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Hi everyone! I've been following this forum for some time now and I was wondering if you'd be kind enough to give me your opinion on a topic that's been on my mind for a while. There are many of you I respect and admire and I'd really appreciate your input.

Basically, I'm looking into getting my first working within the next 2/3 years. I am 23 yo and would like some more stability, both financially and in my personal life, before I commit to a working dog (or any dog for that matter). I've been fantasising with this for some time now, but I believe it will be best for me and the dog to wait until I'm properly ready. Now, I've moved to Amsterdam, NL recently, and so I'll have the chance to visit many different clubs, ask questions and see different sports. I am not totally sure yet, but I'd like to do KNPV or IPO with this dog. However, this dog will be a house dog, a pet first, and a working dog second. What I mean is, while I know that I might really like the sport and want to pursue the higher titles, I prefer an overall well-balanced dog that suits my lifestyle and can work relatively well rather than an IPO machine which can't settle at home, if that makes sense. So in that sense, I guess I'd be looking for a medium drive dog. On top of that, I want a strong visual deterrent. I know getting a proper PPD is very difficult and in many cases unnecessary, but I believe I would really benefit from a strong visual deterrent - I am a young, small girl and would like feel safe when I walk around alone -, without the liability of a badly trained PPD. And since I still plan on doing some kind of protection sport, the training might help if it turns out the dog is fit for the job.

Now, my main question to you is of course about the breed that you'd advice me to get. While I don't have any experience training working dogs, I have managed to train a couple of pets - whole other world, I know -, and love to learn and do research on the topic, so I wouldn't consider myself completely clueless. It's what I want to spend my life doing as my passion, after all. I have been thinking a lot and have the following requirements.
  • Environmentally stable and confident
  • Can settle at home, and won't go crazy if he misses a day or two of physical activity
  • Tolerant of people but mainly aloof
  • Physically restrainable by myself - 50kg -, as I don't want to bite more than I can chew
  • I'm not looking for an IPOIII prospect, but should be somewhat easily trainable and workable
  • Not handler aggressive and ideally dog neutral
  • Relatively healthy assuming good breeding
I'd also prefer a breed that is relatively proven for its guarding and protection abilities, and a long-muzzled breed to avoid overheating and withstand warm temperatures, but if it can be conditioned well I guess this can be overlooked. Finally, while I really would prefer to avoid high shedders, I know with my requirements I most likely will be looking at a GSD, so if all other conditions are met, I can deal with that too. Same goes for droolers.

I know this is asking a lot, and of course I know that each individual is different even within the same breed, but assuming that the same breed can be generalised to have some similar traits, I was wondering what your thoughts were on what the best candidate could be. So far I've been considering the following:
  • GSD: For obvious reasons, overall best candidate. My only concern is the high energy, but I guess with my requirements all breeds suitable will be high energy and can always communicate to the breeder that I'd prefer a medium energy dog within the litter. Shedding also sucks, but I can deal with it. Within the breed, I'd be looking at working lines - unless advised otherwise by you?
  • Bouvier des Flandres: I've heard they can be a bit difficult to handle if unexperienced? Also, how do they compare in terms of energy and settling at home with the GSD? Overall, I am obsessed with the breed.
  • Americal Bulldog (Scott): I'd rather avoid short-muzzled dogs for a number of reasons, and I know bulldogs aren't the most aloof of breeds, precisely. Might adapt better to a house environment though and not as high shedding.
  • Rottweiler: worried about handling a proper Rottie, handling the heat, it's training style for which I'd need to find an experienced trainer and decoy and its maturing rate. Love the breed, it's deterrent factor and lower activity level than the other breeds.
  • Other breeds I'm also considering: Chasepeake Bay Retriever and Presa Canario.
As I said, I will be visiting clubs and talking to owners and trainers before committing to a breed, especially since I have time. On top of that, I would have a club and trainer chosen before the puppy came home in order to maximise my chances of success and handle any issues that might arise with these strong working breeds.

I apologise as I know this is a long read and a lot of requirements I am asking for, I understand that. But it would mean the world if you could share your thoughts with me on this matter.

Thank you everyone!
Marietta
 

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You are young and overly idealistic. You should narrow things down. You are in the NL and have access to KNPV and don’t want a large fog you can’t physically handle. Having a true PPD is not for a novice so I would forget about that. Decide if you want a pet or a competitive dog. A nice, social XMal with access to a good KNPV club is what I would recommend. Forget the other off breeds except for a GSD. You have a naive, idealistic fantasy that is unattainable. But you could have a great opportunity to train a very nice dog in KNPV, especially if you go with a social KNPV XMal. The notion that they are all cracked out dogs is exaggerated, especially if the fog has the outlet of sport. I would totally forget the breeds you mentioned unless you strictly want a pet. The opportunity to train in Holland in KNPV with a nice dog is potentially a great opportunity.
 

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Hi everyone! I've been following this forum for some time now and I was wondering if you'd be kind enough to give me your opinion on a topic that's been on my mind for a while. There are many of you I respect and admire and I'd really appreciate your input.

Basically, I'm looking into getting my first working within the next 2/3 years. I am 23 yo and would like some more stability, both financially and in my personal life, before I commit to a working dog (or any dog for that matter). I've been fantasising with this for some time now, but I believe it will be best for me and the dog to wait until I'm properly ready. Now, I've moved to Amsterdam, NL recently, and so I'll have the chance to visit many different clubs, ask questions and see different sports. I am not totally sure yet, but I'd like to do KNPV or IPO with this dog. However, this dog will be a house dog, a pet first, and a working dog second. What I mean is, while I know that I might really like the sport and want to pursue the higher titles, I prefer an overall well-balanced dog that suits my lifestyle and can work relatively well rather than an IPO machine which can't settle at home, if that makes sense. So in that sense, I guess I'd be looking for a medium drive dog. On top of that, I want a strong visual deterrent. I know getting a proper PPD is very difficult and in many cases unnecessary, but I believe I would really benefit from a strong visual deterrent - I am a young, small girl and would like feel safe when I walk around alone -, without the liability of a badly trained PPD. And since I still plan on doing some kind of protection sport, the training might help if it turns out the dog is fit for the job.

Now, my main question to you is of course about the breed that you'd advice me to get. While I don't have any experience training working dogs, I have managed to train a couple of pets - whole other world, I know -, and love to learn and do research on the topic, so I wouldn't consider myself completely clueless. It's what I want to spend my life doing as my passion, after all. I have been thinking a lot and have the following requirements.
  • Environmentally stable and confident
  • Can settle at home, and won't go crazy if he misses a day or two of physical activity
  • Tolerant of people but mainly aloof
  • Physically restrainable by myself - 50kg -, as I don't want to bite more than I can chew
  • I'm not looking for an IPOIII prospect, but should be somewhat easily trainable and workable
  • Not handler aggressive and ideally dog neutral
  • Relatively healthy assuming good breeding
I'd also prefer a breed that is relatively proven for its guarding and protection abilities, and a long-muzzled breed to avoid overheating and withstand warm temperatures, but if it can be conditioned well I guess this can be overlooked. Finally, while I really would prefer to avoid high shedders, I know with my requirements I most likely will be looking at a GSD, so if all other conditions are met, I can deal with that too. Same goes for droolers.

I know this is asking a lot, and of course I know that each individual is different even within the same breed, but assuming that the same breed can be generalised to have some similar traits, I was wondering what your thoughts were on what the best candidate could be. So far I've been considering the following:
  • GSD: For obvious reasons, overall best candidate. My only concern is the high energy, but I guess with my requirements all breeds suitable will be high energy and can always communicate to the breeder that I'd prefer a medium energy dog within the litter. Shedding also sucks, but I can deal with it. Within the breed, I'd be looking at working lines - unless advised otherwise by you?
  • Bouvier des Flandres: I've heard they can be a bit difficult to handle if unexperienced? Also, how do they compare in terms of energy and settling at home with the GSD? Overall, I am obsessed with the breed.
  • Americal Bulldog (Scott): I'd rather avoid short-muzzled dogs for a number of reasons, and I know bulldogs aren't the most aloof of breeds, precisely. Might adapt better to a house environment though and not as high shedding.
  • Rottweiler: worried about handling a proper Rottie, handling the heat, it's training style for which I'd need to find an experienced trainer and decoy and its maturing rate. Love the breed, it's deterrent factor and lower activity level than the other breeds.
  • Other breeds I'm also considering: Chasepeake Bay Retriever and Presa Canario.
As I said, I will be visiting clubs and talking to owners and trainers before committing to a breed, especially since I have time. On top of that, I would have a club and trainer chosen before the puppy came home in order to maximise my chances of success and handle any issues that might arise with these strong working breeds.

I apologise as I know this is a long read and a lot of requirements I am asking for, I understand that. But it would mean the world if you could share your thoughts with me on this matter.

Thank you everyone!
Marietta
The Bouvier is, like so many others, a breed in trouble.
This is my own experience:
 
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