View Full Version : What kind of dog?

06-07-2007, 12:21 PM
Sadly my old lab has breathed her last and now rest in one of her favorite spots. Though I am not ready for a new dog quite yet, I have started wondering if it should be a lab again or another breed or mutt. I don't want too small of a dog (my wife has two and that is more than enough). The range of 40-70 lbs. is about right but wouldn't be worried if it ran bigger. I am mostly unfamiliar with what dog breeds are out there and what their characteristics are so I solicit your opinions and comments on a possible new companion. I could add other desirable traits (such as I'm not a big fan of barking for barking's sake) but will probably just cover that as you fire away with your favorites.

06-07-2007, 12:40 PM
My condolences...

Don Browning
06-07-2007, 02:11 PM
I hope I don't ruffle any feathers with what follows, but unless you are a bird hunter, I would stay away from ALL bird dogs. Now I will preface by saying that I've had a slew of them, and have one now that I dearly love (Mojo, a GSP). You have to be a bird hunter, and marvel at thier expertise on point to balance with their wild behavior. Every Lab I've ever met (never owned one) seems like a dog on Xanax compared to Brittneys/GSPs/English Setters/Pointers. Someday I'll have a dog that won't dig out and do his dead level best to get in front of a car, but I don't think it will be a bird dog. I've often thought of a good German Shepard...................hmmmmm. I better quit this line of thinking as Mojo is reading over my shoulder!

06-07-2007, 02:28 PM
I am sorry for your loss. My philosophy on pets has been that they and your spouse are the only family members you get to choose and I'm not always certain about the spouse. It sounds like you have a lot of great memories with her.

Is your next dog going to be mainly a family pet or a hunter?

06-07-2007, 02:35 PM
It would help us some if we knew what your intended purpose is for a new dog. Waterfowl or upland bird or furred game or backwoods companion? I have a West Siberian Laika, the dog of several Siberian tribes, but long-known to Russian hunters. They were bred to hunt and tree fur, moose, bear and boar. They have a kinship with Karelian Bear Dogs which are not unknown in the Mountain West and Alaska. My pup, Misha, has proven himself to be a good backpacking companion as well. Anyway, paint us a picture of your hoped for uses and family situation and we can offer you more accurate, useful suggestions. Sorry about the loss of you Lab.

z. hughes
06-07-2007, 09:27 PM
My condoleses on your loss.

flamingo 7
06-07-2007, 10:21 PM

My 2 cents worth. Take a look at a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. I am terribly biased, but absolutely love the breed. I too looked at the Lab over the years, but when I finally made the commitment to get a hunting dog I went with the WPG almost by accident and it has been a match made in heaven. The breed is one of the European versatile breads that will hunt and retrieve fur or fowl as well as track wounded game. They are a mid sized dog in the range you are looking for, though Pepper has sprung up to 84 pounds (and still considers herself a lap dog). She is big for the breed and larger than her littermates or bloodline. I am a dreadful introvert and have hunted solo for most of my adult life, but I’d rather leave the gun at home than go without her. They love being around the family and are great social animals. The current issue of Gun Dog has an excellent article on the breed this month and the Breed website is at http://www.awpga.com . There is another version of the breed that has been crossed with the Chesky Fousack, which is also called WPG’s. They have their own governing body and there is a huge battle over the practice and ethics of the crossing. I guess if I was a breeder I would worry about it, but I’m not. I love the breed and will be buying one in the near future (Pepper is 12) and probably begin looking at the pure strain first. Finding a good bloodline and breeder will play a bigger role than which association they are registered to. They are an uncommon dog (which is admittedly part of the fun), but one of the areas that host a number of them is the Oregon area.
On a related note I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest reading a couple of books by the Monks of New Skeet. They earn their keep by breeding and selling German Sheppard’s, and the breeder I bought Pepper from trained his dogs using their methods. They may look funny, but I believe they are ideally suited to the temperament of this particular breed. I can discipline the dog effectively with a stern look and a growl. I’m not experienced enough with other breeds, and suspect that harder breeds wouldn’t respond well to the techniques, but Pepper and her sidekick Decoy (a beagle) are living proof that they work.
Finally I have to say, my condolences on the loss of your Lab. The greatest injustice in life is that Dogs don’t live long enough.

Weidmans Heil

06-08-2007, 04:09 AM
Snakey: We've had a succession of golden retrievers over the years. Great disposition, smart, friendly, and ours have not barked at much. When they bark, you know something is up. And you never have to worry about them with small children around. But their best attribute, IMHO, is the ability to totally ignore small "yippy" dogs who stand at their feet and bark at them.

06-08-2007, 04:35 AM
What do you want the dog to do/be? Floppy house pet, outdoor dog, pheasant pointer?

Right now, I have no idea from your explanation.

06-08-2007, 04:59 AM
Sorry to hear about your Lab.

I would take a close look at the Herding Breeds.

I have Australian Shepherds. But there are many great herding dogs.
My aussies are generally high drive. They do require a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
Not as neurotic as a Border Collie.
Generally high intelligence and easy to train.
They excell in Obedience, Agility, Flyball and Frisbee competitions. Also used in SAR work. Very versitle breed

Some breeds need strong owners to keep them in check.

They have alot of traits that make them great outdoor companion dogs.

06-08-2007, 05:12 AM
Snaky, Sorry about your lab. I have a black lab female that is 10 and will be thinking about a new addition in a year or two. I will almost certainly get another lab, they are active when engaged in hunting or retieving but more calm than most when just hanging out in the house. I grew up with a german shorthair p. and although I liked the dog it was a little to high strung. The neighbor has a german W.P. that is very athletic and needs more runnig to be happy than most labs. So if you like long runs it may be a perfect match but if you dont usually have the time each day, then you may want to stick with a lab since they seem to be more content just being near their owner.
I am no expert on the 2 german breeds and generalizing about how they behave is sometimes not a good idea but those are my thoughts. Dean

06-08-2007, 08:51 AM
I lost a dog a couple of years ago to cancer. He was only 5, so I wasn't really ready for that. That just sucks and I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

I'm also a big fan of the herding dogs. Can be as aggressive as they need to be, but that aggression is about making a threat go away, not about killing (unlike the fighting breeds). They are by nature very nurturing towards their group and also very smart and trainable. It is also easy to get dogs from working bloodlines (find a rancher getting rid of some pups) instead of neurotic high strung AKC or whatever bloodlines.

I have a heeler (australian cattle dog). He's my second. If you socialize them young, they are great dogs. Tough as nails, smart, compact, don't need a lot of water, fearless, don't bark, don't shed very much, and very personable. Both of my heelers have been 60 pounds of muscle, but they are still small enough to get on your lap or curl up on the foot of a sleeping bag and leave room for your feet. Surprisingly, my current heeler follows scent pretty well. I don't think that is really characteristic of the breed.

My other dog is an australian shepherd / border collie mix that I got when my Dad had to move. She is a good dog too. Lots more shedding, higher strung, yippier (that's all the border collie I think). She is also more sensitive, so she responds very well to discipline as long as you don't hurt her feelings, in which case you have to rebuild a little bit. Perhaps because she is a female, she is more aggressive than the heeler by quite a bit. She's the one who I rely on to start a fight if a fight is needed.

06-08-2007, 09:30 AM

60 pounds? That's a very big heeler (almost two times the norm). You'll have to bring that body builder to the Rondy!


z. hughes
06-08-2007, 09:47 AM
I would say that it may be worth the time to visit your local animal shelter or rescue group. Lots of good dogs that need homes out there.

We have two lab mixes. My oldest is a Lab/Aussie shepard mix. If he was a person he would be a Marine. He has picked up some of my more aggressive personality traits according to my wife. When he was a pup I use to tell him, "Your on gaurd until I get home Max." my wife thought this was cute until she realized if she was at home and I wasn't he wouldn't sleep, he would wonder around the house or yard and look out the windows until I got home. When I got home he would have a good fresbie/ball session and he would sleep like a rock for at least 4 hours. This is my dog, and the one that sets my mind at ease. If anything happens and I am not at home, which is alot working the night shift he would die defending my family. I will also say his diposition does not lend itself to lots of social activities at my house. My mother has only rarely been at my house mostly because we are fairly sure she abused him for several months when she was left alone with him.(which is a whole nother story all together.) We answered an add for free pups in the paper. The seller knew next to nothing about the father, the mother was on scene and went nuts when we where picking him out because we where close to her family, a trait I liked. He loves to work. The down side is he gets a little pissy with me when I get dressed to go to work, since he doesn't get to go. He recently went to the vet and got mad because he did not get to go in the work car. He barks when I need to be concerned about something. I'll add I whish I was half the natural athlete he is.

My youngest was also free out of the back of a pick-up truck in walmart. My wife picked him up and was there when I came home from work one day. He is a lab/chow mix is our guess. He is smart but, a total mommy's boy. This of coarse was a due to the fact that when I was gone he spent about 7 months as a lap dog and still thnks he is at 70lbs. He has only recently decided that I am allowed in the house, 4 years after my return. He loves my wife and barely tolerates me. Defanatly my wife's dog. He barks alot! Especally when, he knows someone is sleeping and he is in his room. He also eats things when he get bored. This year he ate two lbs of carpet because he was bored and had er surgery on Xmas day, $2000.00 later and he is all better. This was because I was working 12-16 hour days on the day shift and My wife was pushing 10-12, they got left home alone alot and it just did not work out best.

They do but heads on occasion. We have had stiches in the youngest and me because of this. This is prevented by lots of obiedence and play time. Both of mine are nuetered, five years later and they still are not calming down. We also leave the radio/TV on when we are gone to prevent "seperation anxiety". They also get bored and tear up, thier room. To the toon they have crushed the interior door knob, and some how are working on peeling away the outer layer of a sheet metal door.

I had bassest hounds growing up. Lots of personality. They did bark and sometimes demanded lots of attention, and where stuborn, and would eat anything. Lots of great stories growing up of some of the goofy things he did, like eating 8 fresh out of the oven pie's cooling on the counter one Thanksgiving day, and running out of the house with a hot pie plate in his mouth despite getting chased by a wild woman(my mother) with a 2x4 all while burning his mouth but, he didn't drop the pie!

If I learned anything with my two its this. Do good strong obiedence and start early. Socialize early, get them used to the car early if you need to. Do not use food rewards. The dogs will work for you for no other reason than they want to in "working" breeds. If needed, the prong collar is your friend bespite it looking like a medievel torture device. That and quality food, and no people food.

Finally a great quots on labs, "they have a face that says I will eat through bricks to get to you."

Sorry, I got long winded, we have no kids but, our dogs are our life.

06-08-2007, 09:59 AM
Thanks for your responses. Tessa was a great dog. Friendly but knew friend from foe. When she barked I knew to take notice otherwise she was pretty quiet. She was a natural hunter and needed to be cause I didn't train her to do much just went with what she had (she did everything I needed and expected from a dog). She was energetic and could go all day but could also be mellow and just lay around if nothing was afoot. She was good with all people and very safe with kids. I guess I am looking for something just the same. I have heard from many whose labs aren't quite in her mold, to say the least, so I wonder if she was an exception. Most have said their labs bark and stray and are hyper. Could be just the nature of the masters maybe! I am really just looking for a companion mostly and don't hunt so much any more that a non-hunter would be a liability. Friendly but protective and smart (if that makes sense). Hair on the short side would be best but the dog must be able to live outside (in a proper house etc) when I'm not home. I also don't want a "cringer". It must be a dog that can take a "no street" order (meaning don't go into the street or wherever) in a stern voice and not cower (my wife's dogs do that and it drives me nuts). A firm command shouldn't offend its sensibilities. That is about it otherwise I'm not to selective re: color etc.. If I could have cloned her I would have!

06-08-2007, 11:22 AM
Maybe you should look into adopting from one of the breed specific rescue organizations. Once you decide what you are looking for you can call the local contact and discuss it with them. That is what my wife and I recently did and it has worked out well. We wanted a second dog as a companion for our 1-year-old Brittany Schatzi, but didn’t want another hyper dog. We called the local American Brittany Rescue and after about a month we ended up with a second Brit that is so mellow it is hard to believe. We were happy with our experience.

06-08-2007, 01:44 PM
If safe with the kids is a requirement, I would never ever get a dog that I didn't know the full history of. No shelter dogs, no rescue dogs. Maybe that's being overly cautious, but its always been my rule.

Lost Arra
06-08-2007, 02:52 PM
My sympathy snake. We just lost a 15 year old mini dachshund to a coyote. (Good motivation for hunting in the "off season".)

Our other dog is a redbone coonhound. Terrific dog. Smart but if you have squirrels or possum or cats or coons AND neighbors you would have a problem. They are relentless treeing dogs with a loud bawling mouth. They don't bark without a reason but if they have a reason it could go on for hours.



06-09-2007, 10:38 AM
“She was energetic and could go all day but could also be mellow and just lay around if nothing was afoot. She was good with all people and very safe with kids.”

“am really just looking for a companion mostly and don't hunt so much any more that a non-hunter would be a liability. Friendly but protective and smart (if that makes sense). Hair on the short side would be best but the dog must be able to live outside (in a proper house etc) when I'm not home.”

If I am understanding you correctly, based on these comments I would give the American Bulldog a look. My wife and I got ours a year ago and so far he has been perfect for us. He can run around all day if that is what YOU want to do, however he is asleep at my feet right now as I type this (sounds kinda like your first copied sentence).

The only problem that we have run into is taking him to some cities that are frequented by moronic hippies who in their ignorance confuse him for a pit bull (American bulldogs have NO terrier in them, are about twice the size and have a different muzzle, ears, ect…but since when do leftists care about reality anyway?). American Bulldogs are distant relatives to the more popular English Bulldog, but the initial “buy in” cost is about ¼ that of an English and the continual medical upkeep of an American is virtually nil.

06-09-2007, 11:37 AM
Nice hound pics but I'd say you best stay away from hounds, they are the closest things to wild dogs that you can find. If they weren't they wouldn't be any good at treeing lions and bringing bears to ground. You'll never beat a retrieving breed for a good family dog and they can be decent hunters. Sounds like any med to large breed will work for you though. Herding breeds would be a good choice. Pointing breeds are too schizoid IMO. I saw a neat dog today at the farmers' market. A Labrapudel. I put down my 12 yr old male Golden six months ago and I've been looking at some other breeds. I've owned Labs, Goldens and Chessies exclusively for 30 years but I don't waterfowl anymore so I've been looking pretty hard at the versatile breeds, specifically, Pudelpointers and Wirehairs, but both of these would not be good choices for you. Bottom line advice from me then is this: Get another Lab. Dogs are a product of two things, their genetics and their training. When someone tells me they've had problems with a Lab or a Golden, then I keep my mouth shut and walk away 99% sure that they messed up in its training.

06-09-2007, 01:10 PM
I love Aussies. My current girl is getting long in the tooth and it's going to be tough when she goes. Aussies are smart, loyal and if she barks - you need to get up and take a look.

Lost Arra - I have a farmer friend that lost one wiener dog to yotes and another got cut to ribbons. I now have free run of his farm with standing orders to kill every yote I can get in my sights. Hunting is fun, but the leghold trap is more productive.

06-09-2007, 01:17 PM
And snares even more productiver........

06-09-2007, 06:56 PM

Yep, that's true. I use 3/32" 7x7 mostly, but I've been able to use 1/16" 1x19 cable to kill yotes dead as a hammer by putting them in front of woven wire fence crawl unders and leaving enough cable for them to hang themselves. I've seen them squeeze under crawl unders the size of a grapefruit. Amazing stuff.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me when trapping yotes is how observant and in tune with their environment they are. I often use a cow skull or bone as a visual attractant or backing for a set. Put it out on a huge pasture - they'll notice it right away and go right to it.

I'm a big fan of the #3 Bridger coilspring. Sorry to hijack this thread, but it's good to meet another trapper. Maybe we can talk shop in another thread.

06-11-2007, 07:18 PM

Sorry to hear about your dog. It's amazing how attached we get to our pets.

I love my Beagles, but they are definitely not a maintainance free dog. Lots of walks, hiking and running in the field. That said, they can go all day and never act like they are the least bit tired. They are always on leash in the woods or they'd be gone. Took them in to my elk hunting spot 2 weeks ago, did a little fishing and checking for elk activity. They had a blast crossing creeks, chasing frogs and couldn't quite figure out the deer we saw. They are fun, but a total handful.

Good luck in your search for a new partner.


Lost Arra
06-12-2007, 07:04 AM
elmbow: I'm sure you are correct about lion/bear hounds but redbones in general are a long long toss from wild dogs unless they are treated like wild dogs. Just don't dress up like a raccoon then all bets are off.

06-12-2007, 01:11 PM
No experience with Redbones but a fair amount with Plotts and some with Ticks and Walkers. I have raised two Plotts from puppyhood and will state without a doubt that a tree hound is not to be trifled with by an amateur owner hoping to make it a domestic family pet. I'm not saying it can't be done but the challenge, compared to raising up most other breeds as family dogs will be daunting. It's in their blood to run wild, be independent and ignore owners' commands. Were this not so, they would be worthless for their intended purpose.

06-12-2007, 02:34 PM
I can assure you, hounds of any ilk are not in my future.

06-12-2007, 03:47 PM
Its always hard when you loose a good one.. but if you keep dogs its going to happen.

I'm kind of a dog man. I hunt coyotes with stag hounds and I have some scent hounds that I follow around. I also have a blue heeler that stays around the pens.

But if I was going to have only one dog it would be an Airedale Terrier. I have had several in my life and even inherited a kennel of them at one time. If you get one from working stock, not show dogs, they are hard to beat. They will retrieve, flush and tree a bear or a lion or coon. They love kids and are very protective. They make great guard dogs but are not really aggressive towards people.

Teddy Roosevelt said "They can do anything any other dog can do and then whip the other dog if they have too"

And thats about right. They are tough but not stupid.

06-12-2007, 10:14 PM
+1 on Cowboyvon's recommendation for Airedales. They are solid and can track like nobody's business. The German's used them as scouts and message carriers in WWII and they also trained them to carry explosives under US tanks and set them down so they could be blown with wired clacker. Very smart and very versitile. Also, very mello for a terrier. It is still there a little, but nothing like you would think and more mello them any lab I have ever seen.

They are also not very aggressive looking, so a lot of rich folks that want protective dogs will get them. I would highly recommend them for your situation. I breed them among other dogs and my sister has one right now with great success.

Hope this helps,


06-13-2007, 07:53 AM
I have always been intrigued by Airedales. I have never been around one but my dad has and he had nothing but good to say about them. I will look into that breed when I get the urge for another "friend". Thanks for reminding me about them. If only dogs lived as long as we do! Tessa's passing had more of an impact on me than any other dog I've had, all have saddened me when they died, but she was really special. Hope to get another that is as good or better, probably different but great in its own way.

06-13-2007, 08:38 AM
When you feel like it go over to http://www.coyotegods.com go to the forums and look under coyote dogs. John-Henry runs the site and raises some good dogs. You might have to join. I'm pretty sure that there is a guy up in your neck of the woods that has a few of his dogs.

Good luck..

06-13-2007, 08:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> If only dogs lived as long as we do! </div></div>

My mother in law, who also happens to live in Eugene, once commented to me that one of the cruelest tricks of nature is that dog and human lifespans are so different. I thought that was a pretty perceptive comment. As Von mentioned earlier, if you are a dog person you are going to experience it not once, but several times.

07-15-2007, 08:48 AM
I'm sorry for your loss.

I would recommend that you look into an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler or Red Heeler). I have a Blue Heeler that I have had since he was a pup. I've been around and trained dogs all my life, but this is my first Heeler. He is an incredibly intelligent animal. More so than any other I've ever worked with. He's easy to train, mild mannered, and if you get the animal young enough and spend enough time with him as a pup, he/she will "imprint" on you. The breed tends to produce one-owner dogs that are fiercely loyal.

You must have (and take) the time to exercise and mentally stimulate this breed on a daily basis. If you don't, he'll get bored and find things to stimulate himself (read, ate the television remote).

Although the breed is reported to be bad with children (they tend to want to herd them by biting at their ankles), mine was raised around ten affectionate children. He often doubled as a "woobie", miniature horse, and general purpose playground toy. This resulted in him becoming very docile with kids.

Mine was also the Omega. Often referred to as the "runt" of the litter. This made him very submissive (not to be confused with "timid"), the result is that he reacts to feedback (both positive and negative) very quickly. Little more than a raised voice corrects unwanted behavior from his recognized Alpha (you).

Finally, despite his very calm nature, he looks like a demon. This keeps the well-intentioned, but often irritating, "casual dog petters" clear of my our path.

Jerry Y
07-15-2007, 09:18 AM
So sorry for your loss. I love my lab with all of my heart. Personally when the time comes I'll get another.