Different Dogs

Just for fun, I was wondering if any of you have thought about what kind of do you'd have if you couldn't have a doodle. I have a long list of dogs I wish for. They all have pros and cons. What other dogs do you love? 

I'll start - a few off my list, in no particular order

Portugese Water Dog - doodliest looking, possibly too high energy? 

Standard Poodle - If I'm thinking of a show dog, could I pick a more challenging breed to groom? 

Golden Retriever - Lots of shedding. Lots of cancer. The cancer issues are more worrisome than the shedding.

Old English Sheepdog - Love their fluffy coat. I don't know too much about them otherwise.

Italian Spinone - Maybe too high energy? Though the ones I've met don't seem to be. 

Papillon - perfect coat, perfect pocket size. Big dog in a small package. Hard to housetrain.

Irish Wolfhounds - Don't live long enough. Big poops, big food bill. Gentle giants.

I could go on all day. There aren't many dogs I don't love. 

I tend to cross dogs off my list that I've seen to be super high energy and drive. Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, all of the Belgians. But people say that doodles are high energy dogs, and I don't find mine to have ridiculous exercise needs. They're active, but they're also kind of couch potatoes. People talk about Portugese Water Dogs and Spinones being high energy dogs. I always wonder how they compare to mine, and if a lot of it is about perspective.  We can play ball. We can go to training classes and for walks, but I'm never going to run 5 miles a day. 

I think I've caught the dog show bug just a little, and I'm thinking about what AKC breed I might want way in the future. I love my girls so much. It's hard to decide on a second choice dog breed.

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  • I seriously considered getting a Spinone before I got Jasper. They are very "soft" dogs, meaning non-aggressive and gentle, but they DO need a lot of exercise. As long as they get that exercise, they are mostly couch potatoes in the house. And no breed looks as much like my darling JD; in fact, he was twice mistaken for a Spinone, once by an Italian!

    I joined an online Spinone group and even spoke on the phone with an owner near me. Turns out that the kind of exercise they need is to run in the wide open spaces and track...i.e., hunting. It can be pretend hunting, no guns, no killing, but they are not retrievers and won't get what they need from games of fetch like Jack did. I was not about to go tramping through the fields out in the country twice a week for an hour year round including winter here in Chicago. 
    I once spoke to a PWD breeder. Her exact words were "as puppies, they are hell on wheels. And they are big barkers." There are a few in my neighborhood who prove her right on the money. You cannot walk past one of the houses without hearing wild barking that continues even after you are several houses away, and that's with the dogs in the house and the windows closed. I can't imagine what it sounds like inside the house. And don't even ask what happens when the Porties at a different house are in the yard when you walk by.

    I only like, and have only ever owned dogs with furnishings. I went down the list, and most were too high energy or too nasty in the temperament department (that includes most of the terriers and furnished herding & working breeds), or they had too many health issues of the kind I can't deal with again- allergies, IBD, ortho problems. 

    I did go to visit a PBGV (Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen)breeder and fell in love. You cannot beat a PBGV for cute. And they were also very affectionate. However, this was a champion breeder who is not trying to sell people on her breed, and instead does the right thing, which is to give you a lot of printed material on what it is like living with a PBGV. It made "Don't Buy a Bouvier" look tame. Digging, baying, stubborn, and requiring a surprising amount of above mentioned "pretend hunting." 

    I talked at length with a Tibetan Terrier breeder. Everything about them seemed perfect for me....until I got to the housebreaking problems ("probably not before 6 months") and the high cancer rate. TT breeders also throw hissy fits if you have color preferences. 

    So, in the end, I went with what I know; Poodles. I would have gone with a Standard, but the Miniatures are healthier. Standards are prone to a lot of auto-immunes issues, most of which cannot be tested for. And show breeders, which are the only ones I would consider, usually have very big dogs. Even though a Standard can be anything over 15", you will not find a 15" Standard, or even an 18" Standard, in any show ring. I didn't want to have to go through not being able to get my dog in and out of the car again, and I didn't want to get dragged down the street again; I was 12 years younger & stronger when I was training Jackdoodle, lol.
    So....a Miniature Poodle turned out to be basically a no-brainer for me. 


    • I do love the Poodles. But I would want a standard. Maggie is 24" and I can pick her up and carry her around. She plays me. "I can't walk if you're going to work."  I'm not too worried about the size yet, though someday that may be a consideration. I just suddenly really want to do this dog show thing and I think a poodle may be the worst choice I could make. I know conformation Poodles are really competitive and I don't think I could find a groomer to do a show poodle no matter how much I paid. I don't think there are that many people who know how. There are some standard poodles at the club, but I don't think even if they helped me that I could be taught to groom like that. It's art, and I've always been bad at art. 

      I really like the Spinone I know. He is soft and sweet. And his name is Ralph. How cute is that? He and Maggie are buddies. I'm not sure how my yard would measure up in the need to run requirement. He could go run at the dog park...I'm just not totally convinced. I keep coming back to the PWD even if they are bad as puppies. They have the look I'm after. Now, if you told me they are bad as puppies in the same way Malinois puppies are bad I would totally rethink it. I know my limits. I don't have the right personality for a Shepherd. They would walk all over me. 

      I like the Tibetan Spaniels too. And Papillons. I wonder if I found a really well bred Papillon it would make a difference with the house training part. All of my guys were rescues and potty training was futile. I believe they knew they were supposed to go outside, and they also knew they didn't have to. 

      So many dogs! Sometimes I worry that life isn't long enough to have all the dogs I want. 

      • Yes, a Poodle of any size is a bad choice if you want a show dog. It's not just about finding a groomer who can do the cuts ("trims" is the correct term), it's about keeping the trims up. Do you want to have to braid and band your dog's head & ears every day, lol? 
        It's the main reason I didn't show Jasper. he might have gotten enough points for a championship before he went over 15". 
        Porties in show clip have shaved rear ends and shaved tails. I hate that look. 
        The easiest dogs to groom for show are the wirehaired breeds. PBGVs are a snap for that. 
        A Belgian Malinois is to a German Shepherd as a Pitbull is to an Airedale. GSDs make great pets. malinois are NOT pets, period. 
        NOT Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers. Whole other breed. :)

        • In my possibly incorrect book on dog breeds (from the library) it lists a "cording poodle" -- made up?

          • All Poodles can be corded. It's not a separate type or breed. 

            • That has been my understanding, but this book actually listed it as a separate breed. However it lists breeds from other countries that are not recognized here as well. So who knows? The books can still be wrong.

              • The book is wrong. Get a different book, lol. There is absolutely not a separate breed of Poodle that cords. 

            • Don't really care for the shaved areas but I love the corded look!

        • Nope, I don't want to braid and band and anything every day - I don't even want to do my hair every day! I really need a haircut!

          I don't like the Lion Clip either. But if I'm reading correctly they can be shown in either the lion clip or the retriever clip and no preference is supposed to be made to either. Retriever clip is much better. They also come with two different coat types - curly or wavy. I wonder if they can tell when they're little what kind of coat they have. I prefer wavy. I'm just starting to read a little info about them. I wonder if there are any around here. 

          I saw an Irish Water Spaniel at the dog show. For a second I thought it was a poodle and then I did a double take. Not a poodle. I thought I knew all the dogs, but that one was new to me. I wonder if there are any other breeds I might be missing out on because I've never heard of them. 

          I was sitting near a young Malinois at the kennel club meeting the other night. I don't even have words for the intensity of that dog. I'm not sure what would motivate a person to want a dog with that personality. I'm feeling a little salty toward German Shepherds right now though. One of them nipped at Willow when we were practicing for the CGC and now she thinks she's afraid of them. 

          Yes, Tibetan Terrier is what I meant. So many dogs. How will I ever choose? I don't think I love the wire haired dogs quite as much, but there is something to say about ease of grooming. 

          • Most people who get Malinois as pets are motivated by the challenge. And then you have the idiots who were influenced by that stupid movie. The Malinois people were up in arms about that film even being released, lol. And they were right. Prior to that, you NEVER saw them in rescue. 
            No question that there are a lot of bad GSDs around. You have to be very careful about lines and temperament. 
            But there are a LOT of great pet GSDS. There are NO great pet Malinois. 

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