I've been thinking about this a lot lately as Riley reaches her maximum size...What is my ideal SIZE of dog?  We want another dog in a few years once our son is a bit older and Riley is more settled so it's got me thinking.  

Forget for a minute about breeds, coat type, whatever... I've had 3 very different sizes of dogs - a 12 lb Bichon (Yoshi), 38 lb mini goldendoodle (Luna) and now a ~75 lb standard bernedoodle (Riley).

I think my ideal dog size falls somewhere between Luna and Riley, around the 50-60 lb range. 

Luna's size was good in many ways, mostly in terms of just physically being able to control and lift her more easily.  It was also nice that if I placed things about 6" away from the edge of the kitchen counter there's no way she could get them... (See also: Reasons I don't want a cat lol)

Riley is tall, big enough to put her nose up on a kitchen counter without her paws leaving the ground.  She's also VERY strong, stronger than I am and almost too heavy for me to lift (definitely too heavy to lift without potentially hurting myself).  DH thinks Riley is the perfect size (or possibly secretly he wishes she were larger), probably because he doesn't have the same physical struggles as I do with her.  

Things to consider when I go on my next breed hunt... though who am I kidding we are probably going to end up with another doodle lol.

What's your ideal dog size? 

 

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  • My ideal dog size would be about 18-20" and whatever weight is appropriate for that, lol. Probably Luna size, 35-40 lbs. A true medium sized dog.
    Problem is, there are very few purebreds that I would want to own that are that size. Soft-coated Wheatens and Portugese Water Dogs are just about right size wise and coat wise, but not in temperament & breed tendencies. There are a few different kinds of sheepdogs that fall into that size range, too. Again, not the right temperaments for me. 
    Actually the ideal sized dog for me would be a small Standard Poodle, but the better breeders aren't producing those. You can sometimes find a very well bred Standard female on the smaller size, but I've yet to see a well-bred male under 25". And I vastly prefer males to females in any breed. 

    • Do you like Old English Sheepdogs at all?

      • I think they are one of the cutest breeds ever. But I don't care for their personalities or trainability. 

        • Yes, they are rather independent and definitely not as trainable as poodle mixes, but very sweet dogs.  Our Chica is a lovely dog, now that she is three years old.  

      • I think I'm going to stay away from breeds with strong house guarding instincts next time around myself.  Riley is very protective of the house (a work in progress) and it makes things challenging when we have visitors.  

      • My understanding is that they alert, but they don't guard.  Is that incorrect or simply a "fault" vs. what the true standard says?  When I read about them they seem like they have nice personalities.  What about them have you not liked?  I'm honestly just curious because I haven't really known any.


        • It's not about guarding. It's about the fact that OES's are ranked #63 out of 79 breeds in Stanley Coren's intelligence evaluations. They fall into the "Fair" Working/Obedience range, requiring 40 to 80 repetitions to learn a new command and the 30th percentile for obeying a learned behavior on the first command. I don't have the patience for that. I barely have the patience for my #2 ranked Poodle, who is in the "Brightest" Working/Obedience range, requires less than 5 repetitions to learn a new command, and obeys a learned command on the first request 95% of the time.
          Besides being less than brilliant, Old English Sheepdogs are know to be very stubborn and strong-willed, with minds of their own, and can be skittish and sharp tempered when they don't come from lines with excellent temperaments and/or are not carefully & properly socialized. 
          The Disney movies did some major damage to the temperaments of OES lines in this country, just like those of Dalmatians and Cockers.
          In fact, their popularity in this country has dropped and you can find recent online articles saying that the OES breed is in danger of extinction. 

          • But what about when you combine the OES with a standard poodle?  That maybe makes them a litte more intelligent and definitely improves their look.  My sheepie looks like her phantom poodle father and besides being very herding motivated, she gets along well with other dogs.  When our phantom goldendoodle died, we wanted another dog just like him, but we got a phantom sheepadoodle instead.  We are quite pleased with her.3765827079?profile=RESIZE_930x

            • Any given sheepadoodle CAN end up smarter thanks to the poodle...or it can end up not-so-bright thanks to the OES -- or somewhere between.  No way to know until that pup grows up.

              • Riley has the smarts of a poodle and the stubbornness of a Bernese...it is a bad combo lol.  

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