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Discussion Starter #1
This is probably in the wrong place, mods. Feel free to move...


I don't think so! I wouldn't trade them, but I can't help but feel like too many people don't understand GSD temperament (and lump them in with Labs and Goldens)!

Ok. Let me back up. DH and I are looking for a smaller breed to add to our pack - we started looking last year. We narrowed the number of possible breeds. Then, I took a trip to NJ so that I could meet a breeder and see their dogs in person of one rare breed (the Norwegian Lundehund). Absolutely wonderful people..and truly a neat little dog with potential.

But with several of the other breeds, I get the same response when I say that I currently have GSDs. Basically, they feel like I have such an easy breed to deal with - none of the hassles that their breed presents (not "eager to please" is the common characteristic that they cite along with their breed being "independent" and "more difficult to train" and "can not be left off leash - they run away!").

As an aside, since this is non GSD, do you think that going to the breed education seminar offerred at the Nationals would be a good way to get a better understanding of type/movement for that breed? Or should I leave that spot open for a judge/serious breed person?

I called today, to see about getting into the seminar of a breed whose National will be only 2 hours away (woohoo!) and was put off when it was suggested that I not take the spot of someone who is a judge/serious breed person - since we are still deciding on which of these 3 breeds are "right" for us. My thought was that this might be my only shot at getting into this seminar for a few years (depending on where the National is in the future) and I'd hate to miss out on something that could give me a better idea of what I need to look for in the parents of my future puppy, as well as help me evaluate that puppy.

OK.
This shouldn't even need saying...but don't be afraid of hurting my feelings..give it to me straight!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
LOL No.

The breeds are: Basenji (which I'm leaning more away from), Shiba Inu, and the Lundie.
 

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JD - I think you are correct. Dog ownership isn't for everyone. I agree with them, that each breed has its own pros/cons. But they seem to think GSDs are all pros. LOL And that they are easy enough to handle so as to be perfect for beginning dog people (not!).
 

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Why wouldn't you go? How will you ever become a "serious" person if you can't even learn about the breed?

Oh jeez. I hate dog people snobbery. Go. Learn. If you love the breed, get one. If you struggle, and it sounds like you might, you'll probably love your dog even more.

I'm a GSD person. And a beagle person. My trainer laughs at me. "Beagles?" she says? "German Shepherds? Why don't you just lock yourself up now? They're both just difficult dogs, but in such different ways." One just ignores you completely. One completely listens to you. Takes notes. Then after analyzing your plan decides he likes his way better.

(Ok, and this is a trainer who loves terriers. Who is she to talk??
)

I can't help myself. I see why people like labs and goldens. I really do. But I used to teach high school too. And I like toddlers. I live for a challenge, I guess. The more difficult, the better. If I have a GSD, I want a high energy, high drive European Working Lines dog. I'll whine and complain. And you know that I don't just "love" my dog like many dog owners love their dogs. I ADORE my dog. I'll grumble, mumble and yeah, utter a few
words at my dog. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

And he makes me a far better handler than I ever thought I could be.

Go to the session. Find out all you can. Then report back. Based on what you've said thus far, the Norwegian Lundehund sounds like a good dog for me.


Oooh. I just googled them:

Training Lundehunds can be a challenge. Lundehunds are incredibly intelligent and can easily understand what you want them to do, but, in the immortal words of Herman Mellville, they prefer not to. A great deal of patience, a large supply of delicious treats, and a sense of humor are all required when training a Lundehund. Lundehunds are more like cats than dogs in their attitude towards their owners and they generally lack the famous canine eagerness to please, so training should emphasize positive reinforcement, as a lunde-dog is much more likely to obey a command when there is something in it for them. They don't respond well to punishment and negative reinforcement, and instead of altering their behavior you will just wind up with an irritated lunde-dog with a grudge - and they have long memories. Keep training sessions short and fun, be prepared to repeat the same lessons many times, and be realistic. While a patiently trained Lundehund will generally come when it is called, you may have to call several times and the path back to you may involve a few detours to investigate something really interesting along the way.

Hmmm. Then again, maybe I should wait til you've had one a few years, then see what you think!


But seriously, Go to the session.
 

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I can see both sides of that one. GSDs aren't an easy breed exactly but they do have certain qualities that make them easy to work with for certain kinds of people.

For example - I find GSDs FAR more enjoyable to work with than Labs because the common behavioral problems with GSDs (e.g. SA, fear aggression, territoriality etc) don't bother me as much as the common Lab issue of ADHD. Both are high energy when they're young, both very trainable. For other people, having a dog that is great with strangers from the get go is a huge priority and the extra work you have to do to overcome the natural aloofness of a lot of GSDs makes GSDs are "harder" breed for them.

And in a Lab/GSD comparison you're talking about two breeds that both need a lot of exercise and activity. For a less active person, I'd say that either would be a "hard" breed.

Border Collies are perhaps one of the easiest breeds to train but ironically that can make them one of the more difficult breeds to work with. You can accidently train them all sorts of things by being a sloppy handler - things that another breed might let you get by with.

Then there's the need a job factor. Breeds that need a job are much easier to work with if you're providing a job, much harder to live with if you just want a pet to hang out with.

And then there's the element of what you want to put into it. You've got small dogs like Cavs which are just such sweet dogs by and large that even if you never do anything with them, they're still wonderful pets and other small breeds, like JRTs and many Chis, that you really need to work with or they can be holy terrors.

Easy/hard - it's all the kind of person you are and what you want to do with your dog.

I definitely found that I prefer the herding breed mentality while trying to do obedience with a Husky. Loved her! Don't get me wrong. But she spent a lot of time looking at me like "I love you mom, but seriously." You can have a highly intelligent animal but if they have their own agenda, getting them to do what you want can be hard. GSDs by and large want to do what you want, the challenge is in communicating it effectively.

On balance, I'd say that GSDs are very easy to work with and also very easy to screw up. To be a good pet they need a lot of input but if you give that input, they're a joy to work with.

If you are a person that enjoys the mentality of GSDs and finds them easy to work with, I'd say you might want to consider small dogs like Corgis or Shelties or something else in the herding family. If you want something different, then there's a whole myriad of different kinds of different, depending on what you like.

Ah the diversity of dogs!
 

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Angela. I think it's because they think, Rin Tin Tin, search & rescue, police work, etc. GSD are dogs that can do many different things. and they are a prestigues(sp) breed. So I think the general public thinks that they you can just sit on your butt and they'll do anything.

They don't know that with their ability, and the high level of intelligence, comes ALOT of effort on the handlers part.
 

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I have a good friend who is a breeder of shibi inu if you would like to talk to her I can give you her email addy just PM me she will give it to you straight on that breed the pro's/con's plus she has 2 german shepherds as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Each of the breeds present characteristics that I like - from being double coated (can enjoy all weather with provision), smaller than a GSD, independent (but pack oriented), intelligent, and aloof. Ease of care, not as many health issues (some in every breed, of course), and trainability are also factors.

I also like the herding breed mentality and find them easier to work with. I've worked with multiple dog breeds, so I'm not new to the terrors of terriers (LOL) or independent minded Rotties (or just plain strong Great Danes - rope burn from a bad recall - ouch!).

To whoever said "dog snobbery" - you hit it on the head. When I contacted the parent club secretary of one breed she literally told me that she knows EVERYTHING about the breed and I could "just call me God". I'm not joking. When I hung up the telephone I marked them off the list. It may be a wonderful breed, but I'll go dogless before I deal with someone like that. And of course...I won't ACTUALLY go dogless - I have the GSDs!


3K9Mom - I adore Lundies.
I joined the parent club (they just received permission to show in Misc class in AKC!) already. They have such unique characteristics and a rich history that I will always support and appreciate them, even if I never own one.

Ok. I really want to go to that seminar (Shiba)...but, I'm afraid she won't sign me up. Maybe if I re-call and press the issue? Chicken otu and email? LOL I told her that I am serious - I've been researching and spent time going through a 50+ page powerpoint (that she is using as a guideline for the seminar). I just think the hands on demo of seeing what a good eye, or urajiro (sp?), or head is would make it more impressed in my mind.
 

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I like Shiba Inus too. They were the little breed I toyed with between Rex and Luther. Very cute and fiesty.

Hah - who ever said GSDs are an easy breed has never had their fingers and wrists chewed raw and bloody by an 11 week old with a very full grip!
 

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GSDs aren't an easy breed. Some lines, like my workinglines boy, you can NOT train much with food, or they turn things around to think that you are their portable food bowl, and then they defend that resource from other dogs.

Imagine going to a trendy treat-reward dog class with a dog like THAT? How do you find a dog class with dogs like this? LOL!

In short, GSDs aren't for a casual owner. Some lines are really tough cookies, too!

Shibas are great-- they do scream if frustrated, climb furniture and fences, have no real odor, are not hard to groom, always look tidy, housebreak fast-- but are not obedient. Great for owners who appreciate catlike traits in a dog.
 

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My breed research is limited to thousands of trips to the dog park and, of course, training classes. I know nothing about the third breed but the first two are very interesting (and beautiful!) dogs. I'd say polar opposite of the gsd and I think the reason breeders of those breeds would say that gsds are easy is because both of those breeds are really independent and require a very different--and some would say quite challenging--kind of training. I've heard people say both are more like cats than dogs. That said, the people who have them really, really seem to love them...except when they're driving them crazy!


When I was taking Basu to Patricia McConnell's training school one of the trainers had just bought a shiba puppy. She was adorable but quite the handful! The trainer said she was enjoying the challenge of raising her!

Whatever you decide I'm sure it will really expand your training skills and your patience!
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom One completely listens to you. Takes notes. Then after analyzing your plan decides he likes his way better.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowThat said, the people who have them really, really seem to love them...except when they're driving them crazy!
I got "turned onto" the Shiba Inus from one that was in our Narcotics class. His nickname is "Psycho". LOL And that about sums him up. He's an awesome dog.

Later, when we started talking about having a smaller dog into the pack, we were paging through a breed book and found Shibas and said "Hey!"
Someone mentioned Corgis earlier and they toggle back and forth on our list. Sometimes they are on it, sometimes not. LOL We both feel most comfortable with a herding dog...but we both wouldn't mind the challenge of a dog from another group.
 

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If you do decide on a Shiba, make sure you buy some good running shoes.

They are great escape artists & runners. The love the chase game.
I had my Mom's Shiba for a while. I was told that these were very common of Shibas doings. They are not really good on recalls.
Yes, they are very catlike too. When they do get a bath, they hate it! Rusty was very dog/people touchy too. He didn't mind the family or our dogs, but when others came to visit he acted very much like a little Pit Bull explosion waiting to happen.
My Mom had him in OB training as soon as she could. Took him everywhere to meet people & other dogs. Rusty was her retirement
present from my sister. He too was worked. Mom bought all kinds of Shiba books & found them to be a hunting breed & also cart pullers.
Mom hiked him all over & She & my Dad also made him a harness to pull a small radio flyer wagon. Nothing could take the aggression away.
When she passed away, I looked into a shiba rescue for him. They had someone come & evaluate him. He was fine with that, But these people did seem to know the Shiba limits when they evaluated him. I told them all about his quirks that had my family concerned. All they kepts saying was it is a typical Shiba thing.
I kinda felt bad that the transport fell through with sending him.
I certainly could not keep him either (I wished I could).
So please be careful with this breed.
However, I do like the Corgis.

Here's corpral Rusty's Foxfire:

Rusty is a Shiba Inu that was surrendered to us after his owner passed away. He is a very energetic young guy. He is neutered and up to date on shots. He wants to chase some cars and trailer trucks when being walked. He will need a fenced yard or supervision - he cannot run free as he runs away. Rusty looks like a fox and is very much into the chase when he sees a chipmunk or squirrel! He would have to be an only dog as he does not get on with some other dogs. But he does not bother cats. He is crate trained, as are all of our other dogs.
This is from our local shelter just recently.
 

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I agree with Cressida.

How does one define easy?

Easy to train? Easy to show? Easy to live with?

The German Shepherd Dog is "easy" to train, as they are wicked smart and as a general whole, are incredibly biddable. Easy to show? Heck no (and I'm including sports such as schutzhund and agility). Easy to live with? Depends entirely on the dog.

Strauss is disgustingly easy to train in obedience, rally, and schutzhund. He is HORRIFICALLY DIFFICULT to train in agility! His drive is just so over the top when we play that game, he has put me in tears....numerous times. Easy to live with? Totally depends on the day...

Sometimes he's an absolute gem with the best house manners, and other times he slams around the house like an Ox with a sledgehammer tied to his tail. Sometimes he's superb with Buddy (the Labrador), and other times it's like Chuckie's soul has possessed him and he tries to maul the Yellow mass of wuss.

Shepherds, as a general whole, are ones I would consider "easy" as far as training goes. But overall? If you don't know what you're doing, or aren't willing to learn, you better stick your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye...give a wave to your sanity as it speeds past ya too.
 

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My guess is easy=wanting to please.

Dogs with their own agenda-not just not similar to yours-but with an entirely different list-are more like the ancient/Northern breeds.

Large cats. Oh-did you say something? I'm sorry, I was tuning you out.

To find the thing that motivates the GSD is, to me, easier than with those other types/breeds. Leadership, attention, praise, food, heaven forbid using a negative like ignoring...all seem to work. And maybe there is a little work up front, but once that relationship is cemented, it's so nice. Occasionally one of you has a bad day and you work it out.

For almost 15 years, I have gotten up every morning and basically said Kramer, let's review...I am in charge today. And we "negotiate" every inch of the way until bedtime.
Because to force him-gets me nowhere. So what have I done? Added more Chow mixes with that catlike behavior because it IS fun to me! Sicko! Kramer is the king though of that behavior-Ilsa is much like him with some real twists to her behavior, Mariele, Ava and Bruno are like the third ring of stubborn behind those two.

But my GSD girls (or fosters)! You get up and say what shall we do today as a team? (while the bad kid dogs lean up against their lockers sneering and pushing each other laughing at those good GSDs) And they say well, let's see-I am sure it will be wonderful just to be with you!

And the Chow mixes yawn...and pretend gag.

But once you get them to work with you, as much as they are able, it is really great!

When the breeders give their warnings though-listen. I do not like dogs that tend toward dog aggression, which I have heard of in Shiba Inus. So if I had a dog that was unpredictable, prone to running off, stubborn AND dog aggressive, I would not like that.

I really like the Lundehund. It's kind of like a Chowgi! How are they with other dogs?

WHOOPS! Got the Lundehund mixed up with the Valhund! http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/swedishvallhund.htm

Oh-they are cute too! http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/lundehund.htm

Almost any dog with up ears is okay in my book (I am an earist-it's terrible). One of my favorites: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/finnishspitz.htm You can almost hear that dog thinking I am such a little peepot!
 
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