Hi, all! Hubby and I are planning to add a third dog this spring after our WGWL pup, Redy, turns two. Redy is just about where we want him to be with training (and I’m confident he will be by spring) and our older dog, Dala – a 5.5-year-old spayed female Great Dane – is a saint and our “nanny dog.” Husband and I both work within 5 minutes of home, have flexible schedules, a great trainer, a big fenced-in yard and dog run, etc. – so we’re comfortable with our decision to add dog number three (and, in fact, did have three dogs until our 10-year-old Kuvasz passed away a year ago).
Anyway, now we’re trying to choose a breed (and, ultimately, a breeder). After a LOT of research and discussion, we’ve narrowed it to two: the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Newfoundland. Do any of you GSD people have experience with either breed? Or thoughts as to which would be best for our household/could be a good "pack mate" with a GSD?
Here is more about us:
We’ve found that Dala and Redy both do best with dogs that respect their personal space and have good “doggy manners.” Neither is fond of our neighbor’s in-your-face Golden Retriever, for example, or of our friend’s mixed breed pup who insists on ALWAYS snuggling next to (or on) our Dane.
I like intelligent, drivey dogs and have always had working-line GSDs – the Dane, although she’s a wonderful goofy dog, is just SO stubborn and slow. Hubby, although he loves GSDs, is more inclined the the Dane personality: he's not keen to add a second high-energy high-drive dog to the household. We’re hoping for a middle ground: smart, trainable, good nerve and lots of confidence, able to go hiking and have a “job” but not as active as the GSD. We like a breed with a lot of personality (the Kuvasz, bless her, lacked in that department) and a confident, non-threatening dog that could succeed in therapy dog work at our local children's hospital.
Also, definitely a dog that respects our personal space and our other dogs', and isn't fawning all over us for attention all the time. (I love dogs, but geez -- I couldn't live with our neighbor's Golden Retriever and its constant demands for affection.)
Photos below of the pups in the barnyard area, and hanging out on the sofa in the house.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts/experience with Berners or Newfs you’d like to share, we would LOVE to hear your thoughts and opinions as we try to choose the best breed for us! Thank you so much!
P.S. I should mention we’re also aware of the health problems that plague both breeds, and especially the Berner. We ensure our dogs through Trupanion and will ensure the newest pup as well