OK, I may have made a mistake, but I started talking about dogs with my wife tonight, we were looking at various things on-line, one of the kids ended up in the room and figured out what we were doing, and pretty soon we had 3 kids super-excited about the prospect of getting a dog near-term.
It seems like everyone’s fairly on-board with the medium size target (30-50 pounds or so).
After looking around the web a bit and trying various “find your ideal dog breed” tools, one breed that we’re interested in is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. They’re not common (I don’t think I’d heard of it until tonight). They look quite a bit like Golden Retrievers, but smaller - roughly on the upper end of the size range we’re looking for. There’s a breeder near Chicago, a bit of a drive for us, but with a recently born litter (the dog that looks like a small Golden, in the middle of the picture on the front page in that link, is, I think, the mother).
Anyways, is anyone here familiar with this breed? Thoughts/comments/recommendations?
Also, I’d consider a cross between a Golden or maybe a Lab and some smaller breed. My wife didn’t seem to impressed by the picture of the GoldenDoodle. I think she wants something with a coat like a golden - long, fairly straight and soft.
Phil, it sounds like you may have found what you’re looking for but I’ll throw this out there as a possible fall back.
I have been resisting getting a second dog for a couple of months now but almost caved when I fell in love with a Schipperke at the local shelter. I’ve never met a dog with a happier tempermant. They are high energy without being hyper, extremely loyal and great with kids. They are very intelligent dogs with no health issues. During World War II the Belgians used them to run messages and the Nazi’s never caught on. Some pictures:
It’s hard to tell scale in that first picture but those Schipperke’s in the second picture are full grown. It’s a small to medium sized breed, maybe a little bigger than my puggle.
Meanwhile, I have a Puggle (Pug Beagle Mix) which has a lot of advantages of a pug without the disadvantages.
Still looking for a puppy. We’d been leaning towards a Brittany Spaniel but experiences visiting a couple of litters last weekend were sub-par. Plus, I really don’t like the docked tails that seem to be commonplace.
Now I’m looking around for English Springer Spaniels, which are similar to Brittanys, but again, the litters I find all seem to have docked tails.
I liked what I saw of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, which looks a bit like a smaller version of a Golden Retriever - maybe a bit more active. But puppies are hard to find. I haven’t found any available litter within a couple hundred miles.
I’ve re-included Golden Retrievers in the search, but the couple litters I’ve asked about had LARGE mom and dads.
Basically, the criteria now are 30-60 pound weight, good with kids, strong preference for a natural tail. I think I prefer purebreds to mixes. I’ve accepted that any dog we get is likely to have a lot of energy at least for the first few years. I think with our kids we can deal with this.
You might look for field-bred English Springers, they usually don’t have docked tails, and are easier to groom, since they have shorter coats. They’re the exact same breed temperament wise to the “Show” English Springer.
Are you looking for a puppy or a grown up dog? I’ve been ogling some of the rescue sites and they have some nice not-puppy-anymore dogs.
Above the fold, I see Golden Retriever puppies in California, California again, Michigan, and Tennessee. No prices. No way to filter by geography. Yes, I can scan the list, find some that are close to me (there’s a Missouri listing down the page a bit), and click through and try to get more info. For that Missouri listing, it’s unclear if they have any pups available now. A click through to the website still fails to yield quick clear info.
Schipperke’s are very protective of their owners, and have a tendency to bite visitors. The insurance company I used to work for had them on the “Prohibited dogs” list alongside pit bulls, rotties, the usual suspects. Not saying that YOURS is that way, but statistically they bite more than most other breeds.
We have a sheltie mutt mix, who is super loving, super smart, and super energetic, and a Greyhound, who is basically low key constantly. It’s a great mix, and they’re both very loving, but for a calm dog and is good with kids, I can’t think of a better dog than a greyhound.
Phil, one way to get a dog without a docked tail is to reserve puppies from a breeder before the dog is born. This means you need to visit the breeder, see other dogs that the breeder has bred so that you can make a determination on whether or not you can trust the breeder. They will probably make you pay up front, but they won’t dock the tail if you tell them not to.
Anax, thanks for coming in here and dumping all over me - it’s quite helpful to the thread and to my search process for a dog.
You must be reading my mind about shedding, because I don’t think I posted anything in the thread about that.
Also, I didn’t have a criteria of small to medium, but rather, medium (40 pounds).
But you got the other two right, so bully for you!!!
It’s true that I posted that I preferred a dog that doesn’t require a ton of exercise, but, shockingly perhaps, the process of looking at dogs and talking to my family has caused me to ease up on that criteria.
And yes, I appreciate the input from the thread. But a lot of it was just, “Here’s the dog I have and I like it.” without really meeting the criteria I’m looking for.
Anyways, we’ve got a couple books on various dog breeds now and have a better handle on that end of things. Now I’ve moved on to complaining about the difficulty of finding a specific breed from a good breeder who doesn’t chop off the dog’s tail. Feel free to tell me what I’m doing wrong on that score in this thread or in my general search for a dog.
The AKC breed standards determine whether or not a breeder can get a litter ‘registered’ (in other words obtaining papers for the dog). If the breed standard says the tail is to be docked, then the breeder has to dock the tail in order to advertise that the dog has papers. Dogs without papers sell for significantly less than dogs with papers.
So basically you are wasting your time asking AKC breeders for dogs who normally have docked tails for a puppy without one. They’d be losing a lot of money to do that without a ‘pre-order’ first.
(I suspect I may be on Phil’s ignore list, but if he doesn’t respond to this, and someone else wants to post it, be my guest).
Phil, if you’re still looking at English Springer Spaniels at all, I’d be happy to share a bit of information with you, as my family breeds them. (And this provides me an opportunity to gratuitously link to both an old thread and some puppy pictures of the newest litter, below)
They’re very friendly dogs, very good natured and easy-going. However, in their first few years they are very hyper. And, as the name of the breed might indicate, they like to jump, and they’re very good at it. I agree with your dislike of docked tails; it’s a practice that my parents unfortunately follow, and one I’ve never been too happy with. If you can get past that…they’re a breed that you’d be very happy with. This is a content-lite post, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
On to the pictures!
I was amazed at how well they held still for over a second for this picture. Mostly.
Nap time makes it easier.
He’d lost interest in me; naptime was more important. I was rather impressed that he kept his eyes open as long as he did, even.
I get the feeling they’re going to be keeping the dog in the background here. My parents almost always end up keeping one; I think they’re up to 11 or 12 dogs now. And very well treated dogs at that.
Not that there’s many more, but there’s a few more pictures here.
Lorini - I’m not sure if I was really aware of tail docking prior to this recent investigation of dogs. Anyways, I don’t like the practice, and would have a strong preference to have a dog with a real tail. Unfortunately, the practice is common for many of the dogs in the medium size range that I’m looking at.
I’ve read somewhat confusing and/or conflicting accounts of the extent to which the AKC or others push tail docking as a breed standard. It seems to be something that can be negotiated away, at least in some cases, by talking to the breeder VERY early - right around the time the pups are born. I was actually talking to a breeder today who was willing to do this for a recently born English Springer Spaniel, but decided not to go ahead with it as he would have required a large deposit, the breeder is a long ways away, and I’m not 100% sold on that breed (i.e. I think I’d prefer to meet some adults before committing. I’ve probably met some of these before, but have no specific recollection of them.)