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Can you help us pick a breed?

(125 Posts)
GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 14:27:06

We currently have a lab/patt cross who is four years old, but have always had pairs of labs before now, and we are on the look out for a second dog.

We had just assumed it would be a lab, but I think it's worth considering other breeds too. We aren't in a rush, and will probably be a good long while before we actually get round to getting the next dog, but I just want some ideas so I know what we're looking for.

So, we ideally want a dog either a similar size to GinDog (he's a bit larger than a Patterdale) or larger. Can accommodate large dog but not something very powerful like a Ridgeback.

It needs to be a very active dog. An average day for it would either be at home with me which would include a lot of walking, or out at work with DP running alongside the tractor. GinDog can cover a ridiculous amount of miles!

It would need to be clever/alert enough to learn the sounds of farm vehicles, and just basically have its wits about it.

It needs to be a sociable dog that can handle visitors, children occasionally, other dogs, that kind of thing. We always have a rescue cat knocking around as well, so able to be around cats also a must.

Would potentially be a gundog too, but it's not a deal breaker if not.

Other than a Labrador, we've also thought of a beagle or a border collie. I think a beagle would tick the exercise plus social boxes, but I wonder if it would be a bit tricky to train, and whether we would ever get to the point of being able to let it off the lead. I think we wouldn't, and that could cause a problem when out with the tractor. I suppose a dog could stay with me at all times and have walks on the lead, but it is handy having the option to send it off with DP if I'm not well, or have a rare day of not being able to walk a lot.

What other breeds could we consider?

Setterlover Tue 15-Nov-16 14:35:41

Get a an Irish setter!

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 14:36:59

Oh! Do you have one? Can you tell me more about them?

Setterlover Tue 15-Nov-16 14:43:04

I nearly have one! She's 4 weeks old but I know quite a lot about them.
I've got to pick up children but I'll be back later

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 14:46:46

Aahhh how lovely! Thank you, look forward to hearing more

Hoppinggreen Tue 15-Nov-16 14:49:48

Look at Tollers. They are lovely dogs.
We doggy sit one sometimes and he's so well behaved and much less clumsy and tank like than our Goldie

TrionicLettuce Tue 15-Nov-16 15:08:36

Standard poodle? Very bright, active and trainable. Don't be put off by the daft clips they have in the show ring, they're awesome dogs underneath and there's no reason you can't just keep them in a nice short clip.

Dalmatian? The original carriage dog, very intelligent and bags of stamina.

Smooth collie? Really lovely natured and friendly, bags of energy and very trainable.

Australian shepherd? Not quite as intense in some ways as BCs but still very, very active and intelligent.

Australian cattle dog? Tons of energy and well suited for farm work but would need to be very well socialised.

Springer spaniel? Boundless energy, very biddable and generally lovely temperaments.

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 15:16:58

Thank you for all the suggestions! Going to have a sit down and read about each one this evening.

I forgot to say, we'd rather avoid a dog that needs cutting, just because I see the states that GinDog gets in on a daily basis, and any coat longer than his might send me to an early grave grin

PilkoPumpPants Tue 15-Nov-16 15:19:58

A dalmation does sound like a good match for you like a pp said.

They are very intelligent, trainable and have a lot of energy. Nice short coat too.

PilkoPumpPants Tue 15-Nov-16 15:21:49

I think he'd love tractor life toogrin

Bubble2bubble Tue 15-Nov-16 15:26:45

A nice mongrel... plenty of lab/collie, lab/spingers around who would fit your bill.
We have two springer collies who have amazing fitness, even at 10 years old, very bright and trainable but with a good 'off' switch.

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 15:51:57

I hadn't even thought of dalmations actually, but yes they would be good!

I do like lab crosses (obviously grin) but I was under the impression there wouldn't be many around - lovely GinDog was given to us for free (apart from vet costs) because the Patterdale mum accidentally got out and pregnant with the village lab wanderer!

Stevemcqueenlikesbeans Tue 15-Nov-16 15:54:46

Working cocker spaniel (we have one, wonderful soft temperament and very active, or Vizsla - both gun dogs and beautiful in nature

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 15:56:39

Just had a Google of Tollers. They look a similar size to GinDog which is lovely. Would they be okay to run off lead? (In our own fields, but they aren't enclosed so they could disappear)

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 15:58:08

I really love Vizslas and worked in a home with one once. He was so lovely. But he was really bloody lazy and refused to walk in the rain! Is this normal behaviour for them or was he just a soppy thing?

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 16:01:27

Australian Shepherd looks good too, although the long coat is making me twitchy grin

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 16:02:19

Are dalmations more powerful than labs? Or about the same?

Hoppinggreen Tue 15-Nov-16 16:15:14

The Toller we look after has perfect recall
<glares at errant Goldie>

tabulahrasa Tue 15-Nov-16 16:17:40

I've never met an intelligent Dalmatian...they're trainable, but actual intelligence and common sense? Nope

They're lighter framed than labs, so no, not as powerful.

FleshEmoji Tue 15-Nov-16 16:18:49

We've got a German Wirehaired Pointer and think he's fantastic :-)

Loves people and dogs, never managed to wear him out but he still settles in the evening, very bright, up for anything.

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 16:21:28

The Toller is already better than GinDog then wink he will come to the sound of a Defender's ignition, but not to my yelling. <rolls eyes>

I think I thought Dalmations were a bit dopey and perhaps that's why I'd not considered one. Will need to read up a bit more.

The pointer sounds lovely.

How are all these dogs with cats?

GinIsIn Tue 15-Nov-16 16:21:29

Border collie was the first thing that came to mind when I read your post! Are you after a puppy or an adult dog? I actually met a dog this morning that was lab X border collie X Irish wolfhound and it was so cool! Sadly he's already been rehomed so wouldn't be available but what a fab dog!

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 16:23:59

No specific requirement for puppy, but would like to know about an adult dog a lot before taking it on... hard to train an old dog new tricks etc etc. As in, I think it would need to be a dog used to being on a farm if it was an adult when we got it.

GinAndOnIt Tue 15-Nov-16 16:24:42

And that 3 way cross does sound absolutely lovely smile

Mungobungo Tue 15-Nov-16 16:35:09

We've got a pointer/lab cross who LOVES being outside and will run for miles and miles - never runs out of energy but is a very loving family dog, good with people and other animals and very intelligent. Bred as fun dogs so would suit your purposes. Beautiful dogs.

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