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Old 11-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Flat Coated Retriever
I've met a couple flat coated retrievers that I very much liked. Met them at an obedience trial hosted by my local GSD club. Nice dogs. Social. Very, very good obedience- snappy, flashy, spirited. Overall nice dogs. I still vote Dalmatian though!
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:27 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Why not a Golden? If you buy from a reputable breeder, health issues will have been tested for, and I have met many, many Goldens happily in their teens. They are friendly, social, generally non-aggressive and can be very athletic (especially field-bred Goldens).

A well-bred Labrador kept lean will live a long time and be an awesome companion; friendly, biddable, athletic.

English Setters are wonderful companion dogs. Sweet, friendly, benign. The Llewellen type is probably going to be a bit more hardy than the show type.

Flat-Coated Retreiver is another good suggestion. They are a lot like Goldens, but if anything, they are a bit more Setter-like in disposition.

I have been looking at some of the recommendations here and I'm facepalming... Kuvasz? Giant Schnauzer? St. Bernard? Not what you are looking for. Avoid any type of livestock guardian (Kuvasz, Pyrenees, Maremma, Anatolian). They are not biddable at all, and some can be aggressive toward strangers/strange dogs. They are bred to be guardians and to think independently. I would also avoid Rotts and Giant Schnauzers as they have a tendency to be too guardy and a bit too much dog for what you need. St. Bernards are notoriously unhealthy and short-lived, as are most of the giant breeds.

I have not had good experiences with Swissies and Berners.

What you might consider is simply going down to the shelter and adopting a big black dog. Of course, you don't know how long the dog is going to live, but big black dogs are always the last to be adopted from shelters.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:39 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Why not a Golden? If you buy from a reputable breeder, health issues will have been tested for, and I have met many, many Goldens happily in their teens. They are friendly, social, generally non-aggressive and can be very athletic (especially field-bred Goldens).

A well-bred Labrador kept lean will live a long time and be an awesome companion; friendly, biddable, athletic.

English Setters are wonderful companion dogs. Sweet, friendly, benign. The Llewellen type is probably going to be a bit more hardy than the show type.

Flat-Coated Retreiver is another good suggestion. They are a lot like Goldens, but if anything, they are a bit more Setter-like in disposition.

I have been looking at some of the recommendations here and I'm facepalming... Kuvasz? Giant Schnauzer? St. Bernard? Not what you are looking for. Avoid any type of livestock guardian (Kuvasz, Pyrenees, Maremma, Anatolian). They are not biddable at all, and some can be aggressive toward strangers/strange dogs. They are bred to be guardians and to think independently. I would also avoid Rotts and Giant Schnauzers as they have a tendency to be too guardy and a bit too much dog for what you need. St. Bernards are notoriously unhealthy and short-lived, as are most of the giant breeds.

I have not had good experiences with Swissies and Berners.

What you might consider is simply going down to the shelter and adopting a big black dog. Of course, you don't know how long the dog is going to live, but big black dogs are always the last to be adopted from shelters.
why are big black dogs the last to be adopted?
flat coated retrievers are one of the happiest friendliest breeds i have come across, i have been told by some of the north east breeders most will not reach 8 years of age as cancer seems prevalent in this breed. i have met a few great dane mixes that seem very healthy and are great dogs, but the inescapable fact is, the larger the breed, the shorter the life span. i still believe mixed breeds are generally healthier than pure bread dogs.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:49 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Black dogs tend to be last to be adopted (same with black cats) simply due to superstition, from what I can tell. So sad :/ I've always been drawn to black animals.

We have a client who owns 4 flat-coated retrievers and all are very happy. They range from 3 yrs to 17 yrs, and all are extremely healthy. I believe the 17 yr old is on a joint supplement now and has mild arthritis. Very likely that ol' guy is an exception to the norm lol. But they're all very healthy. And all participate in agility. If I ever got a floppy-eared dog, they'd be one of my first choices.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Do you like huskies? They're stubborn and have very independent personalities but I've heard they've got very few health problems. Being as hardy as they are with the type of weather they're supposed to endure and the life style their bread to live, I'd imagine this is true. I've no scientific evidence to back it up for you. They also eat a lot less than a large breed dog which is nice...to me at least Less poo to pick up!
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #56 (permalink)
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I used to have a Golden but the breed has so many health issues it puts me off...also they are a bit small for me. I don't know much about Flat Coated Retrievers but I will look into them...

I was thinking about the Hovawart before, but it seems like they may be less fitted to being out and about all the time with a lot of people? They do seem to be a pretty healthy breed. The Beauceron was another I really liked but also seemed like they maybe are not the type of dog that would be good in public?
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:03 PM   #57 (permalink)
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the only two beaucerons i have seen seemed to be very nice and well behaved. met them at a dog park and they seemed to be fine around other dogs. cant say for sure if this is the norm though.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #58 (permalink)
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I only know one Beauceron. She came over and crawled into my lap without even knowing me, just because I pet her head and was sitting on the ground. She was so sweet. I wouldn't write that breed off. Talk to Bocron, she used to have them. I was told that it was hard to find a good breeder in the states and the girl went to Canada to get hers.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:35 PM   #59 (permalink)
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I know a couple people on another forum who have Beaucerons but they have some temperament issues... I've heard that some lines can have some aggression/nerve issues although I don't think it's the breed as a whole. I also was told they can be a "hard" dog and very suspicious with strangers but the dogs people mentioned in responses here sound a lot friendlier?
The few I've met personally were not like waggy-lovey but they were perfectly fine with people crowding around and stuff.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #60 (permalink)
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I just thought of something! Do you wanna meet my husky? I promise not to bring Zeeva and you can leave Bianca too...You'll immediately see his personality. But he's pretty healthy. Just a suggestion. No pressure if you don't like huskies!
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