A little reassurance?

(45 Posts)
frostedviolets Tue 07-Jan-20 21:09:48

I think I am probably being a bit silly here, anxiety getting the better of me..

There is a thread in AIBU at the moment about pit bulls, which I've left a few comments on.

There are quite a few links about maulings, breeds involved etc.
Rottweilers, GSDs and the like featuring highly in the 'dangerous' camp.

We currently have an exceedingly soft and gentle dog. A border collie.
And due to get a second dog, puppy, in August (working bred GSD).
I have been so ludicrously excited about it, I have loved this breed for years and the breeder we've chosen looks fantastic.

Except I've now gotten cold feet and frightened myself.
We have three young children.

I know that nervousness is a big issue in the breed, and the border collie for that matter, which is the main reason why we went to a working breeder for the collie and have gone down the working bred route again for the GSD.

Am I being silly?

I'm thinking about telling DH to forget the whole thing and go for a Papillon instead, a breed we were actively considering along with the GSD.

OP’s posts: |
WisestIsShe Tue 07-Jan-20 21:15:26

My family have always had GSDs since I was a child, so thirty years. I loved each and every one of them, good temperament, loving, easy to train. A couple were rescues and despite their quirks they were also excellent family dogs.
It's absolutely about the way you train them and treat them. I'd be more than happy for my kids to be around any of our GSDs and would recommend them to a dog person as a great family addition.

FleasAndKeef Tue 07-Jan-20 21:18:00

There are so many variables involved in how puppies will turn out when they are adult dogs I don't think anyone would ever be able to predict whether you will be the one to get the fabled perfect family dog. Breed is obviously important but it goes deeper than that (breeder, genetics, personality, early experiences, health, random unpredictable stuff).
The most important variable is you as an owner. Are you prepared to learn absolutely as much as you can about dog development and behaviour? Are you prepared to use evidence based methods of training? Are you prepared to make sacrifices for your dog (time, money, your furniture)?
If the answer is yes, then you will have a great dog, whatever breed you choose.

Booboostwo Tue 07-Jan-20 21:32:17

There is no correlation between certain breeds and bites. The breeds that are more likely to bite are always the ones that are more popular, so more likely to be bred by idiots, raised by idiots and handled by idiots. This is why number of bites by breed changes over time from Rottweilers, to GSDs, to Dobermans, etc.

GSD are loyal, obedient, clever and settled in their temperament, otherwise they would not make sure good working dog. A nervous GSD is not a good specimen of the breed, and certainly not a good dog to breed from.

Having said that getting any dog is always a risk. You can mitigate the risk by getting a puppy from parents with good temperaments. Have you met the bitch? What is she like? Did you look up the dog? Working dogs are generally healthy and settled, otherwise they would not be able to work. I assume the breeder has shown you all relevant health screening paperwork? A dog that is in pain due to hip dysplasia for example may also develop behavioral problems.

You also need to think about socialization and training. You need to invest quite a bit of time into any dog you get, and to an extent the dog is made by the owner.

Finally, I just have to ask: GSD or Papillon?!!! How did you come up with those two as final choices?

frostedviolets Tue 07-Jan-20 21:46:14

Finally, I just have to ask: GSD or Papillon?!!! How did you come up with those two as final choices?


When we were thinking about getting our first dog together I really wanted a herding breed and pestered for one, Shepherds and Collies have always been my favourite.

DH thought a collie would be the 'easier' dog out of collie and GSD and easier to find one of nice, stable temperament so we got a little working collie puppy.

When we started talking about a second dog obviously GSD came up but I've seen Papillons at Discover dogs at crufts and they were so sweet and gentle and adorable, the black and white ones look like tiny border Collies and from what I have read they are very active and generally healthy so would fit in well.

I was put off by the potential for lots of barking and the potential dental issues being a small breed mostly.

Plus the GSD is a big, imposing sort of dog and to be honest, I'm quite small and not at all strong or fit and sometimes I get a bit nervous walking the dog in more remote places, the idea of a scary looking dog that repels people from approaching appeals to me.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 08-Jan-20 12:23:18

Have you met the potential parents of your puppy? What are their temperaments like? That is your biggest clue to the underlying personality of your puppy (breeds have traits, but so do lines within a breed). Have you spoken to the breeder about training, how to bring the puppy up and how to keep its mind active? With small DC and another dog, will you have time to give a young, working-bred GSD the input that it needs?

A well-bred GSD in the right hands is a wonderful dog. Make sure you can be those hands.

frostedviolets Sun 12-Jan-20 21:05:10

I have met the parents, they are health tested, KC registered but it doesn't matter.

I can update that I had a very short, slightly tearful discussion with DH this evening.

I have put an end to the idea of a GSD.

I just think I am a bit too passive and a bit too nervous truthfully.

I think a more dominating and yes I know dominance theory has been debunked, what I mean is that dogs obviously have different personalities and some are more overbearing, controlling etc dog just isn't going to respect me come adulthood and I think I'll end up with a big dog I just can't control.

Colliedog lives quite a structured life, we follow NILIF, she is very well trained but I am not a naturally confident, assertive person.

I feel really gutted actually.

They've been my dream dog since forever.

DH said he thinks I am '100% a staffy person', his old dog was a staffy, he loves them.
I love a staffy too but I don't think I want one.
I think I want a papillon.

Back to the drawing board I guess.

OP’s posts: |


GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 12-Jan-20 21:08:42

I think I want a papillon.
A bit of a difference to a GSD!

Sorry you're gutted. If you like fluffy dogs, but want something with more heft than a papillon but less amped than a GSD, how about a Eurasier?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 12-Jan-20 21:16:18

GSD are beautiful dogs. I would have had one like a shot but worried about health issues around hips.

Can I recommend a Smooth Collie to go with your BC? Beautiful, placid, loving family dogs. A tad on the hairy side but the face makes you forgive a lot

GSD20 Sun 12-Jan-20 21:21:56

I have 3 GSD and a young child. Never had a moments trouble. All of mine are stranger and dog friendly and would invite a burgled in rather than protect us hmm

We did extensive research on lines and I avoided show lines as they are often nervous and any with a strong drive. I also met the parents and grandparents who were all lovely dogs.

Honestly you can’t beat a GSD. I walk all 3 of them by myself and I weigh less than 50kg!

frostedviolets Sun 12-Jan-20 21:31:20

A bit of a difference to a GSD!

I know 😂
Always loved the herding breeds.
I like clever, active, biddable dogs.

And yes I do love a long silky coat.

Can I recommend a Smooth Collie to go with your BC?
I have actually been reading about them tonight.
My old neighbour had the truly hairy, rough coated version.

Smooth collies are quite rare though aren't they?

OP’s posts: |
GSD20 Sun 12-Jan-20 21:34:24

Oh I’ve also just thought of groenendael?
Very much like a small fine boned GSD?

zeroyogurts Sun 12-Jan-20 21:34:57

How about a working Springer?
One of the top dogs for being child friendly and other dog friendly.
Very active.
Our Springer acts quite similar to a pointer or collie (I know as I’ve had both)
She’ll lie down to wait for something, plus stand on 3 legs pretty often.
She is hands down the most affectionate dog we’ve had.

adaline Sun 12-Jan-20 21:38:34

What kind of qualities are you looking for? If you can narrow it down maybe we can recommend some breeds? smile

frostedviolets Sun 12-Jan-20 21:53:28

Groendaels are gorgeous, utterly gorgeous.
I love all the herding breeds, all the Collies, German Shepherds, Belgian shepherds etc.

No to springers.
I'm afraid I've met so many not at all nice ones I am not terribly fond of that breed.


Active, colliedog walks somewhere between 1 and 4 hours most days, sometimes all day in the summer.

Trainable, don't want a stubborn dog.

I know there is no such thing as a 'child friendly breed' but I have three children, i need a dog that is relatively bombproof/confident, okay with noise and relatively sturdy.
No Italian greyhounds or chihuahuas and the like.

Ideally, not barky.
I am aware that papillons can be a bit on the barky side.

I'm partial to a long, silky coat.
Nothing extreme like rough collie or Pomeranian levels of maintenance though.

Not too overbearing/needing 'boundaries' a temperament.
My initial cold feet re GSD was over the pit bull thread and the children but the more I've thought about it, I'm just not a naturally assertive , super confident no nonsense person.

Not bothered about size.

OP’s posts: |
MarshallPNutt Sun 12-Jan-20 21:59:49

Good choice OP. Quite separate to any breed traits etc. it is very sensible NOT to get a dog you have any misgivings or worries about.

The nervousness will affect how you are around them. Much better to select a dog you are totally sure about.

peoplepleaser1 Sun 12-Jan-20 22:09:54

OP I take my hat off to you. As a dog walker I have seen the results of people getting the wrong dog for them and it is heartbreaking for everyone involved.

GSD are wonderful wonderful dogs, but they are big and powerful and if things go wrong they can go very wrong.

You will find the right dog for you, and you will love and adore it whatever breed it is.

The dog world can be a funny place- they really really do all tend to have character traits specific to the breed. It feels wrong somehow to have prejudice towards certain breeds, but some are definitely predisposed to certain types of issues.

Of course any dog can develop issues in the wrong hands, and some don't revert to type but most do. Most responsible dog owners can overcome breed specific issues with hard work and training but it does make sense to have a dog that is suited to you and your circumstances.

Booboostwo Mon 13-Jan-20 13:52:34

Get a German Spitz. Very bright and trainable, friendly and can become a lovely member of the family.

The grooming is a downside, I know you said a Pom coat is too much, but no one is perfect! The breeder should be able to help you pick a puppy that does not have a show coat which should make things easier.

SutterCane Mon 13-Jan-20 14:01:14

Sheltie? You do get lines with far less profuse coats than you tend to see in the show ring.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 13-Jan-20 14:44:16

I had a papillon when I was a child. He was a cracking dog - behaviourally bombproof, though with hindsight almost totally untrained (Recall? Forget it. Begging? Like a pro) - but that was our fault, not his. Never a barker, and while he did lose most of his teeth in later life, they were never brushed (this was old school dog keeping)

I'd love to have another one in the future.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 13-Jan-20 19:10:24

Smooth collies are quite rare though aren't they?

They aren't the most common of dogs but there are several good breeders in the UK. We had to wait for a few months for the right pup.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 13-Jan-20 19:12:46

And just look at that face

frostedviolets Mon 13-Jan-20 22:19:02

Think we have pretty much decided on a papillon puppy.
Not sure if we are going male or female yet.
Want a tricolour (same as colliedog)

DH mentioned another border collie but I fancy something different.

Let the search commence!

OP’s posts: |
Booboostwo Tue 14-Jan-20 05:50:31

Lovely! I feel you owe us a photo a few months down the line though! 🤣

JKScot4 Tue 14-Jan-20 05:58:38

I work in rescue and I’ll be honest your thoughts process for a dog is quite skewed; you don’t choose random breeds because you’ve always wanted it.
* I'm quite small and not at all strong or fit and sometimes I get a bit nervous walking the dog in more remote places, the idea of a scary looking dog that repels people from approaching appeals to me.*
and you were ready to get a GSD??
Why are you getting a 2nd dog? Does your DH do all the walks/training? I’m actually quite appalled by your attitude, a dog isn’t just to look good and satisfy your want, what can you give the dog? a fulfilled active life? or just look good? 🙄

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