Best dog breed for the 'outdoors'? (For new dog owner too)

Tom

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I did crate training, I came home at lunch, and I had a friend who could put the puppy out if I was going to be really late. It worked out fine.

Except for those rare people who have nothing else to do all day every day, crate training is by far the best way to go. There are a wide variety of reasons why crate training is beneficial.
 

leigti

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Except for those rare people who have nothing else to do all day every day, crate training is by far the best way to go. There are a wide variety of reasons why crate training is beneficial.
I was shocked how fast my puppy got used to it. It was within two days. I always thought crates were cruel until I learned how they are supposed to be used. Kind of like prong collars I guess. Used wrong there cruel used right they are helpful.
 

Astrochelys

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@Tom @leigti I have another question if you don't mind, when it comes to the breeder, what sort of things should I look into before buying? By that I know that they should have had their dew claws removed, two vaccinations, be de-wormed and their parents should have certifications by the OFA? Is there anything else I should look for? Should I make sure the parents are CERF certified too? I'm looking through breeders right now so haha.
 

leigti

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I've never bought from a breeder so I'm not a lot of help. I would ask to see the parents if possible. And I think having some sort of personality test would be extremely important. Tom will be able to tell you much more about that topic if for some reason there was only one puppy born in the litter I would run away quickly.
 

Tom

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@Tom @leigti I have another question if you don't mind, when it comes to the breeder, what sort of things should I look into before buying? By that I know that they should have had their dew claws removed, two vaccinations, be de-wormed and their parents should have certifications by the OFA? Is there anything else I should look for? Should I make sure the parents are CERF certified too? I'm looking through breeders right now so haha.

This is very subjective. I go by recommendations from people I know and trust more than anything. I don't know how to help you from afar on this one. Usually the best talkers have the worst dogs. They say all the right things, but all the good breeders know they are full of sh... shaving cream...

When I get a pup, I evaluate the parents and then I litter test the entire litter. This tells me which pups have which attributes and I can then best chose what I need. Often I walk away from an entire litter because there was not a suitable one for me. I'd try to hire a pro to come with you and test the litter. Finding a breeder who will go along with your shenanigans might be tough though. If you didn't already know it dog breeders are weird. ALL animal people are weird, but dog breeders are a special kind of weird.

Good luck.
 

FLINTUS

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@FLINTUS

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours. I always enjoy our discussions, so I would love for you to elaborate a bit for me on what you think is beneficial about two strange dogs running around loose together. To start the discussion I will explain what I think are the reasons to not engage in this practice.
1. Disease potential. Kennel cough etc...
2. Agression. I can't even count how many times I've seen this practice end in bloodshed and reinforcement of bad habits.
3. Injury. I've witnessed a lot of dogs come up lame after these romps. Shoulder jams, ACLs etc.
4. The absolute worse thing for me, and the least understood by most people that I try to explain it to is what this practice does to a dogs mental state. Running around loose with other unknown dogs reinforces social tendencies that are NOT good for a dog that is supposed to integrate into human society. Dominant dogs learn to be more dominant and submissive dogs learn to be more submissive. All dogs learn to ignore commands and begin to assimilate themselves into a dog pack society instead of our human society. The more people do this the worse their behavioral problems get. I'm the guy that gets called in to "fix" the problems after they are created. It would be so much easier if they had just not created the problem in the first place.

What are the good points?

Exercise? My dogs exercise and play with me and with other people.

Fun? My dogs have the most fun they ever have doing things with me.

In general, you will never see a happier more well adjusted dog than one that has a job working with people. Movie dogs, police dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, service dogs... All of these dogs are as content as can be. Dog park dogs, not so much...
I realise I'm now a bit behind on this thread, but since you asked me I thought it worth replying.
Obviously you're a ton more experienced than me with this, no question there, and I don't doubt what you've seen at all (please don't take it as so), but I do still believe that dogs walked primarily off-lead in rural settings at least, are more likely to be better off. I don't know enough about city dog parks specifically, so I can't really comment on that.
1. Disease potential to me is a very small risk. If a dog meets maybe 4-5 other dogs on a 4 mile walk each day, and interacts with each for maybe a minute or so, that is a lot less people than we ourselves put at risk in our daily lives, and our immune systems are probably(in general) weaker than dogs as well. Sure there is a risk, but most things in life come with a risk...
2. Aggression that I have witnessed nearly always occurs from primarily on-lead dogs, and an encounter with a primarily lead-walked dog for mine probably increases the chance of aggression five times. It is very, very rare that I ever see an off-lead dog being aggressive. Some of my dogs' closer 'friends' do have little growls at each other when playing, but that is communication just to tell them that they are getting a bit rough. I am happy for my dog to play like this with dogs both him and I have met most weeks of his life, but when, for instance, one of his closest 'friends' was recovering from an operation, a simple 'gentle' suffices, causing my dog to wag his tail, say hello, and move on.
3. Yes, injury is potentially a risk that I've seen happen, but so is playing sports for us again. Same comparison, but both man and dog 'play' to enjoy themselves. And I would suspect training for jumps and stunts and the like with non-working breed dogs would cause more injuries. However, I will say that when young one must be very careful with their hips, and ask owners of big dogs to ask their dog not to play.
4. 'Integrate into human society'
This is what most of our disagreements over specific subjects come down to, you are much more in favor of human manipulation of habitat/animal behavior etc. than I am. A dog was not meant to be a human's 'pet', look at how much breeding we have had to do to get them to where they are now. Most lead owners here keep their dogs on leads because they have not trained them, most non-lead owners let them off because they know that they can recall them if their is a problem. Used wrong there cruel used right they are helpful.
And that's the basic problem here, if people used leads in the right way, then surely in a city they are good to use-although as said, Prague would be worth a look for you if you've never been. To quote @leigti referring to crates'Kind of like prong collars I guess. Used wrong there cruel used right they are helpful.'
The problem is, leads are used wrongly by most people.

And yes, while it is nice that you can exercise your dogs well, a lot of dogs don't get anywhere near enough exercise, and a fast run around with another dog will help to lose energy, stimulate them, and in my opinion, encourage positive social interaction, providing the dog is well-trained of course. I honestly do not believe that dogs who have not been trained would rather go to play with the person, rather than the dog. While well-trained ones do like to be part of a secure pack, playing with other dogs does provide stimulation and enjoyment. My dog noticeably is slower to the car when he has not seen other dogs after a walk outside of our village-do remember of course, that you are comparing youself with multiple dogs who can INTERACT at home, with a single dog.
Very good, but how many people actually have a human-interaction job for their dog? Completely useless example for the vast majority of dogs.
And just to be clear, I am not talking about going into a field, letting off the dog and chasing after him as he goes after anything and everything. I am talking about walking him off-lead down paths, and if he passes another dog and they play briefly then no-harm is done, and benefit is probably gained.
 

Tom

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I realise I'm now a bit behind on this thread, but since you asked me I thought it worth replying.
Obviously you're a ton more experienced than me with this, no question there, and I don't doubt what you've seen at all (please don't take it as so), but I do still believe that dogs walked primarily off-lead in rural settings at least, are more likely to be better off. I don't know enough about city dog parks specifically, so I can't really comment on that.
1. Disease potential to me is a very small risk. If a dog meets maybe 4-5 other dogs on a 4 mile walk each day, and interacts with each for maybe a minute or so, that is a lot less people than we ourselves put at risk in our daily lives, and our immune systems are probably(in general) weaker than dogs as well. Sure there is a risk, but most things in life come with a risk...
2. Aggression that I have witnessed nearly always occurs from primarily on-lead dogs, and an encounter with a primarily lead-walked dog for mine probably increases the chance of aggression five times. It is very, very rare that I ever see an off-lead dog being aggressive. Some of my dogs' closer 'friends' do have little growls at each other when playing, but that is communication just to tell them that they are getting a bit rough. I am happy for my dog to play like this with dogs both him and I have met most weeks of his life, but when, for instance, one of his closest 'friends' was recovering from an operation, a simple 'gentle' suffices, causing my dog to wag his tail, say hello, and move on.
3. Yes, injury is potentially a risk that I've seen happen, but so is playing sports for us again. Same comparison, but both man and dog 'play' to enjoy themselves. And I would suspect training for jumps and stunts and the like with non-working breed dogs would cause more injuries. However, I will say that when young one must be very careful with their hips, and ask owners of big dogs to ask their dog not to play.
4. 'Integrate into human society'
This is what most of our disagreements over specific subjects come down to, you are much more in favor of human manipulation of habitat/animal behavior etc. than I am. A dog was not meant to be a human's 'pet', look at how much breeding we have had to do to get them to where they are now. Most lead owners here keep their dogs on leads because they have not trained them, most non-lead owners let them off because they know that they can recall them if their is a problem. Used wrong there cruel used right they are helpful.
And that's the basic problem here, if people used leads in the right way, then surely in a city they are good to use-although as said, Prague would be worth a look for you if you've never been. To quote @leigti referring to crates'Kind of like prong collars I guess. Used wrong there cruel used right they are helpful.'
The problem is, leads are used wrongly by most people.

And yes, while it is nice that you can exercise your dogs well, a lot of dogs don't get anywhere near enough exercise, and a fast run around with another dog will help to lose energy, stimulate them, and in my opinion, encourage positive social interaction, providing the dog is well-trained of course. I honestly do not believe that dogs who have not been trained would rather go to play with the person, rather than the dog. While well-trained ones do like to be part of a secure pack, playing with other dogs does provide stimulation and enjoyment. My dog noticeably is slower to the car when he has not seen other dogs after a walk outside of our village-do remember of course, that you are comparing youself with multiple dogs who can INTERACT at home, with a single dog.
Very good, but how many people actually have a human-interaction job for their dog? Completely useless example for the vast majority of dogs.
And just to be clear, I am not talking about going into a field, letting off the dog and chasing after him as he goes after anything and everything. I am talking about walking him off-lead down paths, and if he passes another dog and they play briefly then no-harm is done, and benefit is probably gained.

You touched on a good point that is worth emphasizing. Previously in this thread I talked about the mistake of too much freedom too soon for young, un-trained dogs. I think this pertains to our leash discussion in that, I'm thinking more about young untrained dogs always being kept on a leash, and you are envisioning older, trained, mature dogs that should not need a leash. Here I agree with you, but the problem over here seems similar to the problem over there in that so many people are either unwilling or unable to train their dogs to such an advanced off leash level. I walked all over Africa with 4 off leash, un-neutered male dogs and never had any problem. Nearly every one else there (Speaking about the general public, not my trainer friends...) had no control and if given the chance their dogs would run over and try to attack my dogs. Happened several times. I had to beat down the attacker while simultaneously calling all four of mine off. Even when attacked, my dogs did not fight because I told them not to, but how many people have that kind of control or relationship?

Anyway, While we disagree on our philosophies of public dog interaction, I thank you for elaborating.
 

Astrochelys

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I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but for how long do you not give a puppy any freedom or until what age? I was thinking if you get them around 7-8 weeks of age, you can crate train them for 2 or so months after that to get housebroken. Would this work or is it still a too young age to do so?
 

leigti

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I can't quite remember how long I kept my dog in the crate when I wasn't home. I bet it was at least a year. I built her an outdoor pen that I put her in when I was at work after she was a year old. I have heard that the puppy is not totally reliable with housebreaking until they are eight months old. I don't know if that's true or not. But the crate wouldn't be something that you just use for a couple months and then never again. You can also put the crate in your car or secured in the back of a pick up to transport the dog. They really like the crate and feel secure. I personally like the enclosed "airline" type. I think the dog would feel more secure than they do in the wide open wire ones. But that's just my opinion. Read up on creating techniques. You don't just throw the dog you lock the door. :) I haven't closed the door of my dogs crate for probably at least seven years. But she goes in and out of it on her own as she likes. She will go to her pen or her crate on command willingly without any problems and with her tail up and wagging.
 

Astrochelys

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I can't quite remember how long I kept my dog in the crate when I wasn't home. I bet it was at least a year. I built her an outdoor pen that I put her in when I was at work after she was a year old. I have heard that the puppy is not totally reliable with housebreaking until they are eight months old. I don't know if that's true or not. But the crate wouldn't be something that you just use for a couple months and then never again. You can also put the crate in your car or secured in the back of a pick up to transport the dog. They really like the crate and feel secure. I personally like the enclosed "airline" type. I think the dog would feel more secure than they do in the wide open wire ones. But that's just my opinion. Read up on creating techniques. You don't just throw the dog you lock the door. :) I haven't closed the door of my dogs crate for probably at least seven years. But she goes in and out of it on her own as she likes. She will go to her pen or her crate on command willingly without any problems and with her tail up and wagging.

Oh I will be planning on using a crate for the rest of their life. It'll be easier to take them on trips, and just a safer place for them in general. Sorry I didn't clarify enough, but I watched some videos, ( this one ) and they just talk about putting the puppy in there for a few hours then keeping the puppy in your arms, bathroom, play and then back in the crate for a few weeks. I won't close the door on them after they're potty trained of course. Thanks!
 

leigti

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It's been too long for me to remember exactly how I did it. But if I was able to supervise the dog she wasn't in her crate. She would still chew things occasionally so I think that's why I crated her when I was gone for a while. I think her and the cat had a deal, the cat would knock something off the table or desk and the dog would chew it. :) my house was never as clean as it was back then when I was afraid that she would chew something. I've heard that you can compare a puppy to a three-year-old child mentally. They understand certain words, they learn to read your body language and movements, they are constantly busy except when they are asleep, and you have to keep a close eye on them all the time.
 

Astrochelys

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I don't mean to completely switch up which dog breed I'm interested in, just curious as I just met two dogs while walking the other today and they were just the best haha. One was an English Setter and the other was an Irish Red & White Setter.

I was wondering if these dogs would make good apartment dogs (Along with Brittany's)? If taken out on walks, or hikes, regularly? Could they be relatively trained and housebroken easily? Do they deal with separation anxiety fairly well?
 

FLINTUS

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Not sure about setters in the US, but as much as I love them, the breeders around here say that they are very restless, and do not like to be left alone at all, even if their actual temperament towards other dogs and children is very good.
 

Astrochelys

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Not sure about setters in the US, but as much as I love them, the breeders around here say that they are very restless, and do not like to be left alone at all, even if their actual temperament towards other dogs and children is very good.

Even for a couple of hours? I'd love to maybe get one as a second dog, but I'd rather them be okay in a crate or around the house peacefully without barking/whining while I was out for a few hours
 

Tom

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I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but for how long do you not give a puppy any freedom or until what age? I was thinking if you get them around 7-8 weeks of age, you can crate train them for 2 or so months after that to get housebroken. Would this work or is it still a too young age to do so?

This will vary with the individual, but I usually go for 12-18 months before they are ready for off leash work. The sooner you turn an untrained dog loose in any environment, the sooner you will have problems. At what age is a child old enough to play outside without supervision? I say when they understand the "rules" and know how to behave properly in their given environment. Same with our dogs. A four month old puppy does not know the rules yet, and I don't even really attempt to teach them "the rules" until they are older. The pet store group obedience classes at 6-9 months old will be your first foray into this control work. After you have successfully worked with the private trainer at 12-18 months is where you begin to test the "freedom waters". At this point you have some voice control (well, you should have some control...) on a more mentally mature dog, and when the dog does the wrong thing, you will know how to communicate your wishes, and the dog will know how to respond and what is expected. When everything is trained and on voice control on leash, is when you start thinking about off leash.
 

Tom

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I don't mean to completely switch up which dog breed I'm interested in, just curious as I just met two dogs while walking the other today and they were just the best haha. One was an English Setter and the other was an Irish Red & White Setter.

I was wondering if these dogs would make good apartment dogs (Along with Brittany's)? If taken out on walks, or hikes, regularly? Could they be relatively trained and housebroken easily? Do they deal with separation anxiety fairly well?

Any breed can work for any person. The main variables are the individuals dogs genetic and traits, the trainers experience and ability level, and how much time and effort is put into training the dogs.

There is no way to answer how well any dog will do with separation anxiety. Sure there are some trends with some breeds, but in most cases, "separation anxiety" is directly caused by the action, or inactions, of the person raising and training (or not training...) the dog. Same with dog aggression and people aggression. People inadvertently make their dogs this way and they don't even know they are doing it. As soon as the leash is in my hands, the behavior stops. I do it all the time.

After all that, I would not recommend a setter as a first dog for a new owner. Similar to a husky. It absolutely can work if you are determined, capable, and put a lot of time and effort into it, but there are easier breeds.

In the same way, I would not recommend a wild caught Manouria impressa for a first time tortoise owner. What percentage of first time tortoise owners would have success that way, vs people keeping a CB russian or hemanni as their first tortoise?
 

Tom

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Even for a couple of hours? I'd love to maybe get one as a second dog, but I'd rather them be okay in a crate or around the house peacefully without barking/whining while I was out for a few hours

For what you want to do, I wouldn't recommend a second dog. A puppy that grows up in a household with an established adult dog will typically remain mentally immature and will bond much stronger to the other dog than to the people. It can be made to work, but it is a lot of work. Best to have one dog and make that dog your one and only super star.
 

DawnH

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All my dogs have been rescues. For my entire life. When I was little, to now. Adopt a dog. You won't regret it. I promise.

Our German Shepherd was 8 years old when we adopted him. He had heartworms so bad they were flushing into his lungs, broken back leg, in the early stages of heart failure (due to the HW's) staph infection, 104 temp and was scheduled to be euthanized when we found his picture on FB at an animal shelter 5 hours away. He was scheduled to be euthanized the next day due to all his issues and "lack of interest." 4 years later he is the best dog EVER and is my shadow. We almost lost him a few times during his treatments and he KNOWS. He KNOWS this is his family. Our Great Dane was neglected and adopted by us when she was 7 months old. Kept outside on a cement pad 24/7 with no human contact/food/water. That was also 4 years ago. Best dog ever and is a nanny to every foster child that comes through these doors. She KNOWS.

Adopt a dog. Train the dog. Better yet - train YOURSELF (a reputable trainer is KEY!) Most dog issues are the owners, not the dogs. YOU want the best dog? BE the best owner.
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