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High Energy Breed for College Student

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Member Since
09/13/2012
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 11:47am PST 
Hi all, I'm hoping you can help me select a dog breed.

Here's a quick run down of my situation.

I'm a junior in college living off campus in a townhouse. I study engineering which has kept me busy in previous semesters. By taking 18+ credits up to this point, I have backed off to 15 and have tons of extra time now.

I'm a very active person. I often work out once a day and have no problem with two work outs a day. I love frisbee and the dog has to play frisbee too. I also go on hikes on weekends and would like a dog that can join me. When I play sports I'm the guy at the end of a game who's ready to play another.

I have always wanted a Husky but have recently changed my mind in favor of a Border Collie due to the higher intelligence and their preference for athletics as opposed to marathons.

I grew up with three small dogs who have become increasingly at odds with each other as they age. I'm the alpha male in the pack and the problem dog is always very respectful and submissive to me.

In summary, college student in townhouse with lots of large nearby parks, want high energy medium/large dog who's loyal and intelligent, experienced dog owner.

Who's going to be the first to tell me a Border Collie can't live in a townhouse?
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:02pm PST 
Well, I'm not. I once saw a perfectly beautiful border collie owned by two senior citizens. Granted, the mister was a lifelong runner...but it can be done.

How about Aussies as an alternative? No particular reason to sub them for BC's, but another option for you. I had a lovely Aussie/ACD mix who was the hit of the college town I lived in at the time.
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Hucky and- Ringo

1184791
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:24pm PST 
Hey Savy, what about you and us.laugh out loud

I have had a variety of breeds in my days. Ringo is a black Lab and he never misses a frisbee unless I throw it cockeyed. He's extremly smart, learns quick, very loyal, eager to please and a joy to play ball and frisbee with. Great swimmers too if you want a swimming partner. My friend has a 2 yr old border collie and all though he's a great dog, he is just to hyper. Smart, but hyper.
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Farley

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:25pm PST 
A Border Collie could be a great option for you, or an Aussie too, as was just suggested. I have no qualms about a medium-large size dog in a townhouse. I, myself have a townhouse and keep a 70-lb dog just fine. smile He does require a ton of exercise, though. As long as you've got a yard and keep active (which you certainly sound), house space should be no issue here.

What do you mean by dogs are always "submissive" to you? Many herding breeds will flourish as your working partner, that is how many of them bond to their handler. I am sure they would prefer a working partnership, not a relationship of dominance and submission.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:36pm PST 
Well, Hucky and Ringo...I just took a break from advising everyone to go to the shelter and adopt. Little Brother and Shelter pup Samoa has the looks of a BC, and the temperament of a Golden Retriever. He is a little mellow - one couldn't say he is high energy, but you are right! Labs would also be a good choice. I'm just thinking of those late night study sessions where your Lab decides that you are paying too much attention to the books, so he eats them.

OP - a Springer Spaniel might be nice too.
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Member Since
09/13/2012
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:50pm PST 
I do also enjoy swimming.

My point about the dog being submissive is that she doesn't play power games around me like she does with the rest of the family. She's more willing to work with me. I am definitely getting a dog for the companionship and working relationship.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind the 15-30 minute break from a late night study session. I'm sure the dog would be far more entertaining.
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Hucky and- Ringo

1184791
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:55pm PST 
You got me there Savvy. Since Huck has been good for so long now, I forgot the hell he put me through with all his chewing and destroying the house.

Yes OP, everyone I know that owns a lab went through a period of destruction. In fact I have Huck and Ringo because their original owners didn't want them anymore because of it. But with alot of work they are both great dogs now. If you don't own the townhouse, keep away from destructive dogs. They'll end up costing you more then your college tuitionlaugh out loud
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 1:24pm PST 
It sounds like you're a good match for a younger rescue dog, perhaps a nice BC mix or lab mix. One past the puppy stage that is just aching to get out hiking and playing. There are literally thousands of dogs like that languishing while they wait for a good home. Some purebred dogs wind up in rescue, too. Let me tell you that the best frisbee dogs I know are rescued mutts and mixes that appear to be part BC/herding breed with some lab thrown in. These dogs compete on the national level. I'd look in to rescues that foster dogs that they pull from shelters. They care for them in their own homes while a good adopter is found, so they can tell you all about the dog and what he/she is like to live with. Adoption fees are much lower than buying a purebred, too. I foster dogs for a rescue, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a great dog find an equally great home.

Some rescues can be stringent about living requirements, some want fenced yards etc. Don't let that deter you: before you get your heart set on a dog, make sure you check out their adoption requirements and that you jive with the rescue, then start checking out the dogs. Many are willing to work with the right adopter on a case by case basis, too, especially active dog experienced people like yourself. It's really worth trying to go this route. If you're willing to share what area of the country you're in, maybe someone could recommend a great rescue nearby to look into (?) Best of luck in your search!
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 1:34pm PST 
I live in a townhouse, with no yard. Although my fiance is working daily 9-6, I'm on medical leave and normally would be working all sorts of shift hours too.

I own an adult Beagle, and a Lab/Border Collie puppy. It most certainly can be done, assuming you put in the time and work it would take to make sure the dog was happy.

I definitely agree that a Border would be much happier with a working partnership than in a submissive/dominant relationship - that kind of dog/human relationship is old and outdated and many, many people now use positive reinforcement with far more success. Push a Border around, alpha roll, etc and he'll likely not want to work with you at all and be more content to go be by himself ransacking the house because he doesn't want to spend time with someone who treats him that way. Not sure if you actually alpha roll or anything. But the term 'alpha' being used in a sentence with 'submissive' got me thinking that route. Please if you get a dog, join the forums and check out the Behavior and Training forum for many tips, suggestions and ideas on how to go about training a dog with positive reinforcement.

My Lab/Border puppy is only five months old and super tiny(her lab mother was very small as well and Ria is barely an inch taller than my Beagle), but she lives for her ball and the frisbee. You take those outside and ALL her focus is on you. She lives to play, loves to play and even more so, loves to please me and my fiance. She kind of got a half and half personality from both ends - pretty much all good stuff too. But be warned, a bored Border will test you a lot more than a content, tired Border.

Australian Shepherd is another good one to look into. What about looking into rescue mix breed puppies too? You can often go in and even interact to find if the pup has enough play drive to eventually get into frisbee. My pup rocks in her breed mix. Also, I don't often suggest them... But some Cattle dogs may suit you - depends on the individual dog though.

Oh, and Savvy and Hucky - Ria is half lab - lab mother. She hit that phase of destruction too in her first three months. It was a nightmare. She chewed on everything she could get her little teething chompers on. Cords, shoes, my leather seats on my kitchen chairs, the wooden legs of the kitchen furniture, etc. She's gotten out of that and is fully housebroken now and I couldn't be happier with how she's turning out, but I definitely hope she doesn't hit that phase again. I found plenty of exercise and OTHER, more appropriate things to chew worked to calm down her chewing on inappropriate objects. I also kept a VERY close eye on her whenever she was out so I could catch her in the act and replace it with a toy.

But otherwise, yes, a lab would be fantastic too. They're eager to please, can keep up with an active lifestyle(thrive with it actually), are very intelligent and love to play.

All in all, before deciding, please do your research on any and all breeds brought up in this thread! Ultimately, it comes down to you.

Don't want a destructive dog? Exercise and mental stimulation keep a thinking/intelligent dog happy. Need ideas for mental stimulation? Definitely check out the Behavior and Training forum. But often a few training sessions a day - especially WHILE exercise, can quickly tire a dog out.

I also wouldn't say Huskies aren't intelligent, or that theirs is lower than a Borders... Their intelligence is just more focused on what they were bred to do - run, and their stubborn attitude that's more cat-like("You feed me. I must be a God." attitude versus the "You feed me. You must be a God!" attitude). They're also more difficult to train for off leash, but they can be great dogs in the right hands. Definitely don't sound like the right fit for you though. smile
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Member Since
09/13/2012
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 2:01pm PST 
Thanks for the great responses.

Again, I didn't realize "alpha" carried the connotations it does here. I simply meant that dogs don't see me as a push over. I love dogs as friends and not servants.

I think my biggest concern about owning a young dog is the chewing phase. From you all's experience, what's the best way to prevent any damage to the house? From my research I know that exercising the dog is key. But when it comes to leaving the dog home alone, what's a good practice? Confining it to a single room or space?

I shouldn't put down the Husky for its intelligence, I find endless running rather boring. And while I may not mind barking or yowling, a husky talking may grow old to neighbors.

A lot of you have recommended getting a mix, is there a particular reason you're steering away from purebreds?
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