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What do you think? Give us your opinion. Anonymous comments allowed.
User avatar #7 - defeats (12/06/2012) [-]
If someone did this with my dog, I would find them, and I would kill them.
(I don't even have a dog, but one day I will, I hope. Anyone know what breed? I'm thinking German Shepherd or Doberman.)
User avatar #93 to #7 - herefortheporno (12/07/2012) [-]
I have a border collie, but I would recommend Irish Wolfhounds. Lolno those things are scary.

But in all seriousness, it really depends on where you live and what kind of dog you want.

Do you live in a warm area or a cold area? Do want a hunting dog? Or a watchdog?Maybe even a rodent killer? Or maybe you just want a dog.

Once you figure out what kind of dog you want, I would talk to a veterinarian about it or research that **** .
User avatar #57 to #7 - markisawesome (12/07/2012) [-]
Go for a brown doberman.
#52 to #7 - LotusxReaper (12/06/2012) [-]
Airedale Terrier. Active, have awesome personalities, very smart, loyal as **** , they're like big ass teddy bears, and they have beards, best dog i ever owned!
#50 to #7 - thedramallama (12/06/2012) [-]
I've never had a doberman, but my grandma had a german shepherd that was my best friend as a little kid, so I got one too :) They stick to you like glue which drives some people crazy but I love it. He makes me feel very secure! They are a bit time consuming though, they need lots of exercise, brushed thoroughly 2-3x a week, and you have to do a lot of training to keep them in line because they are such a powerful dog. Mine is 10 months and already almost 100 pounds. But he's very sweet and affectionate and goofy.

Oh one more thing.... they eat A LOT. Mine goes through 40 pounds and 15 cans of dog food a month.

<--- this is my dog, Mr. Eko. I love this picture because it to me it has that very imposing look that I love about German Shepherds <333
#48 to #7 - obliviouspineapple (12/06/2012) [-]
Golden Retriever.
#43 to #7 - theFuckingGreat has deleted their comment [-]
#45 to #43 - Dember ONLINE (12/06/2012) [-]
Sorry to say, but that is not a wolfdog. Whoever told you it was, was either lying and misrepresenting their animals, or just very poorly informed. Pretty, but certainly no wolf unless he's a very high generation.

I've studied, researched and worked with wolves and wolfdogs for over ten years and that shepherd mix has absolutely no wolf traits.
Also, the term "hybrid" is actually incorrect, because wolves and dogs are the same species, just different subspecies.

This is a photo of a German Shepherd / Gray Wolf mix, mid-to-high content at 85%.
You should check out this website: http://texx-wolf-tails.webs.com/wolfdogscomparison.htm
It's very informative on how to tell the difference between a wolf, a dog, and everything in between.
#46 to #45 - theFuckingGreat has deleted their comment [-]
#49 to #46 - Dember ONLINE (12/06/2012) [-]
I certainly hope that's not true.
I just said that wolves and dogs are the same species, meaning that their blood is so identical that no DNA testing can determine the difference -- it is physically impossible to tell how much wolf is in a dog by a blood test, because ALL dogs are a "type" of wolf.

German shepherds were originally bred back to wolves, but that was around one hundred years ago, and the original German war dogs look nothing like the modern GSD because they have no more "wolf" in them than a poodle or a chihuahua does.

However, yes, if you want to test a dog to see if it's part wolf, they will all come up as being "part wolf", because being a different subspecies is not the same as being a different species.
That's like saying an arctic wolf (canis lupus arctos) is not a wolf because it's not a gray wolf (canis lupus lupus).

If you really did have your dog DNA tested and got told that it's part wolf, I'm sorry, but you really got ripped off. Modern science is not physically capable of finding out a wolfdog's wolf percentage or wolf content level.

Picture related again, it's a 75% Arctic Wolf, 25% White Shepherd mix.
User avatar #97 to #49 - syrialsin (12/07/2012) [-]
That's a badass looking dog. Would they be easy to train? And what would a price estimate be? No hard feelings if you have no ******* idea.
#108 to #97 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Oh, and price varies from breeder to breeder. You can easily find "wolfdog" pups for $200 - 500, but most are just wolfish-looking dogs like huskies, shepherds, malamutes, or mixes of those.

Learn to tell the difference, because you WILL be taken advantage of if you don't; many breeders are uninformed, or just don't care that they are misrepresenting their animals and scamming the people who adopt their puppies.

They just want to make a quick buck off of you with no regards to what happens to that puppy you take home -- or "cub" as they might call it, even though even pure wolf puppies are never called "cubs".

If you're expecting an upper-mid content (about 75%+) like the dog pictured there, expect to pay anywhere from about $700 to even $2000. Some very high contents (just short of pure wolves) can sell for $5000 easily.
If you're looking for lower-mid contents (50% or under) you can expect to pay up to $500 or so, which is fairly average.

I got my male for just $250. He's a low-content; 37.5% Gray Wolf, 62.5% Siberian Husky who takes primarily after his husky genes.
He's an F3 (third generation), meaning his grandparent was a pure wolf -- his mother was 75%, and that one's mother was pure wolf; she had to have a license and permit to legally own and breed her.
This is my male. As you can see, not nearly as "wolfish" as you would usually expect a wolfdog to be, but obviously not pure husky either.
#107 to #97 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Easy to train? Absolutely not. I will not be like the many breeders who lie through their teeth, trying to convince you that these are perfect family dogs who excel in obedience.

Even shepherds, and especially huskies and malamutes are VERY strong-willed (a kinder term for "stubborn") and require very strict, patient, firm, persistent training and a great deal of devotion.

A wolfdog, whose ancestors have NOT been selectively bred for thousands of years to accept humans as their leaders, are several times worse, and that is saying something.

A huge majority of these animals are rehomed and dumped -- well over half, half of them aren't kept past two years old; very few truly get a "permanent" home.
The number one reason for this is behavioral problems -- people see a beautiful dog and they go and get one blindly, or even after researching the breed but not being anywhere near prepared to properly deal with it.

It's even worse because breeders, who just want to make a quick buck off of the puppies they are trying to sell you, will lie to get you to think the dogs just have a bad reputation and that they really are great house pets.
It's just not true (however tempting it is to believe), and it's the poor animal who winds up paying he price when the owner finally realizes that they're in over their heads and wound up with a very large, powerful, unruly and even aggressive dog.

If you ever even consider getting a dog like this, do your research and really, genuinely consider if this is the animal for you.

My best suggestion would be to foster before adopting, because there are so many who could use even a temporary home to get them out of a kennel. That way, if it turns out that it's not really the breed for you, you can know that you learned your lesson by aiding a dog, rather than condemning one to a life of being shuffled from home to home, thrown in a shelter or worse.

You could also try a mix and/or low-content wolfdog to start off with, too, like I did.
User avatar #109 to #107 - syrialsin (12/07/2012) [-]
Alright. I've had two huskies, and the first was difficult for me, but the second was a bit easier. The second was an offspring of the first, and I'd raised it from childhood, so it may have helped a bit. I'll definitely look into it. After "breaking" them, for lack of a better term on my part, are they loyal? I plan on looking into this later, but you seem to be a reliable source at the moment. Thanks for the help.
#114 to #109 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Thanks, I've put in many years of study and research with canines, and wolfdogs are by far one of my all-time favorites.
Ironically, my two huskies are pup and parent also, but it was the opposite for me; I wound up with an unusually calm and people-pleasing male (not to say that he isn't stubborn or difficult to work with) and it was my younger girl who turned out to be borderline neurotic, she's a real handful, even her father gets fed up with her and ignores her a lot.

As for wolfdogs being "loyal", it really depends on your take of that term.
Will they love you, and accept you as a member of their pack? Yes, usually, when raised properly.
Most are more independent than average dogs, however, so don't expect them to follow you around like an obedient golden retriever.

If you want a dog who will protect you, this is NOT the breed for you -- their highly intimidating appearance will deter strangers, but they are probably the worst "guard dogs" in history; in fact, unless you happen to have a dominant and overly-territorial one (or one who is very poorly trained and human-aggressive as a result), they will almost definitely want you to protect them, not the other way around.
After all, the pack leader is the one who keeps the pack safe, so if they look up to you, they're not usually going to go bravely charging at people who could be a threat.
If socialized properly, they are simply much too social to be good protection dogs; everyone is a friend to them.

It is often said that, especially with huskies and husky mixes, "if a burglar broke into your house, this dog would show them where the jewels were", and I can vouch for this with mine. You might have some luck with a shepherd mix, but you'd be better off going for a shepherd altogether, not a shepherd-wolf.

One remark on the term "breaking", this is a very common misconception. It's rarely a case of "I trained my dog and it is obedient now". Training is a life-long process so you must be forever persistent.
#115 to #114 - syrialsin (12/07/2012) [-]
It's more a matter of affection, than protection. I think I'll go for another husky, because I've got a friend with a pair of huskies about to have a litter. Thanks for the information though. And especially for being civilized on Funnyjunk. It's good to see people like this on the internet, you know? You sir, have a nice day.
#119 to #115 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
In that case, a wolfdog is still a decent candidate, because while many are aloof and outgoing, they are generally very physical animals who love attention and cuddling with their family. Most would be miserable, and even revert to a feral lifestyle, if left frequently isolated from their people.

Not going to lie, though; a husky is probably a better option overall. They're just much more people-oriented. Still a challenge compared to average breeds, but nothing like that of a wolfdog. If you ever do consider a wolfdog, you should think about fostering one, or at least start with a low-content so you don't dive right in and wonder what on earth you've gotten yourself into.

No problem whatsoever about the discussion, I love animals and I'm always happy to help wherever I can. Drop me a message any time, or heck, even IM me if you'd like.
#120 to #119 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Also, one very vital thing, if you do ever consider a wolfdog.

Wolfdogs, which aren't necessarily 'made' to be pets like dogs have been, can get really bad reputations for misunderstandings -- and though the animal itself isn't really to blame, the accusations aren't entirely unfounded.

Incompatible human-to-canine body language is a huge problem among these animals, and that's often what earns them the title of being "vicious" or "unpredictable" or "likely to turn on their owners".

For instance, the human behavior to hug is highly reminiscent of mounting for a canine, which is a dominant, challenging action. You're basically saying "I'm the boss and you can either accept that or fight me right now to decide who's the alpha around here."
Dogs are a lot more lenient on this, but many still aren't fond of hugging because they view it so much differently than we do.

With a wolfdog, however, you're a lot more likely to get a reaction, because it is instinct for them to respond appropriately -- "appropriate"y if you were another canine who was genuinely trying to mount them, that is.

As it is, their owner, a stranger, or even a child could wind up getting a harsh nip to reprimand them -- which wouldn't usually be a big deal to a rowdy puppy learning its place in the pack, but which can be quite serious with a person.

What's worse is that the puppy would know to go motionless and submit when corrected by a mouth grip, but a human will struggle, flail and try to get away, which, in the wolfdog's eyes, is a refusal to submit and needs a more stern correction.
It can be very serious.

#122 to #120 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Another good example is grinning. People grin when they're happy -canines show their teeth as a threat.
If you walk up to one smiling widely, you could well have it tense up and become fearful, or even take you up on that challenge; either result could end up in them lashing out, without understanding why they were "wrong" to do it -- you were trying to pick a fight with them, right?

So as you can see, it really is a fine line between where the dog ends and the wolf begins, because you're mixing in the genes of a wild animal to get an animal that is not like a normal dog -- and that is exactly what you get.

While it is not the "fault" of the wolfdog (or any dog who mistakes human behavior), it does make them a poor option for many owners, especially those with children, even if constantly supervised.
That's not to say that they can't or don't love kids, but they likely will treat them more like they would their own pup, and that's not always a good thing.

The basic rule of thumb is, do your research. Know what you're getting into, learn the risks, weigh the pros and cons. For anyone who has ever met, let alone shared their home with a wolfdog, they can speak for themselves about the benefits.

Breathtaking beauty aside, they are exceptionally intelligent animals with crafty, problem-solving minds that many go as far as to liken to that of primates or young human beings.

They are also very healthy (if well bred, from vet-checked parents) with exceptionally few natural physical or neurological problems. Another great aspect is that they are long-lived; some wolfdogs even live upward of twenty years and seem to remain forever young right up until the very end, because wolves can hit thirty years or more in captivity with good care.

There are hundreds of other reasons that I could never fit here. I would advise reading this page for some good ones, because unlike many breeders who will lie to you, this is a very honest account:
User avatar #124 to #122 - option (12/07/2012) [-]
#126 to #124 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Well since I wasn't talking to you, I wouldn't really expect you to read it anyway.

For anyone who would like some honest, objective opinions about some really fascinating animals, feel free to read.
I don't really mind if you do or not, it was just a discussion between two people which happened to be public.

If you're a potential owner and you want to benefit from it, go ahead. If not, I just hope you're not one more wolfdog owner (or even husky, malamute owner or similar) who ends up getting a dog and throwing it away because you failed to do your research; for you and especially the dogs' sake.
User avatar #53 to #49 - theFuckingGreat (12/06/2012) [-]
How do you know its percentage then?
#58 to #53 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
You have to keep track of your dogs' lineage. Believe me, it's obvious when you see a real wolf.
The white dog above, this is his sire. You can't take one look at this animal and NOT know it's a wolf. He is 99% gray wolf whose ancestors have been bred from wolves to dogs to make him as close to a pure wolf as you can get, without him being a pure blooded wolf and thus illegal in most locations.

The white dog pictured above, his mother was 50% arctic wolf (lower-mid content), so the white male is 75% wolf by blood -- 25% arctic, 50% gray wolf, 25% white shepherd.
I believe I said he was "75% arctic" which was incorrect; he's 75% wolf but not 75% arctic; you can tell because arctics have much smaller ears, and slightly shorter muzzles. Apologies for the error.
User avatar #55 to #53 - thedramallama (12/06/2012) [-]
I think by their physical traits, like their teeth and the size of their paws and stuff like that. Plus that dog looks more like a wolf than anything to me look at that head!
#76 to #55 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
The white one? He's actually an F5 (fifth generation) wolfdog, meaning he hasn't been related to a pure blooded 100% wolf for five generations. He's 75 percent, mid-to-high content (those are two different things). I don't own him (I wish!) but I know his owner. His name is Akki.

I have just a low-content wolfdog, myself, Nova.
He's 37.5% gray wolf (mother was 75% wolf, 25% husky; father was purebred siberian husky) but despite being over one-third wolf, he actually shows less than that in appearance and disposition, meaning he's a lower-content than his percentage depicts. He strongly takes after the Siberian Husky portion of his genes.
This picture is of him, so you can see that even a lower-mid percentage wolfdog is still pretty noticeable as a wolfdog, though impossible to mistake for a wolf by anyone who knows the difference between a wolf and a husky.
#78 to #76 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
This is that dog's mother, Missy. As you can see, it's impossible not to tell she's 75% wolf just at a glance, though her ears and tail are a dead giveaway that she's part husky too.
Her mother actually was a pure blooded wolf; her owner had to get a special license to own her, and a permit to breed her. She was bred to a 50% gray wolf / 50% siberian husky, producing the 75% wolfdog pictured here.
Because her mother was a wolf, that makes her an "F1" wolfdog, and my male is an "F2".
User avatar #82 to #78 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Is it difficult taking care of a wolfdog? I've heard some bad things but I've never spoken to someone who's actually owned one before, what goes in to taking care of one? Would you recommend it to anyone?
User avatar #60 to #55 - theFuckingGreat (12/07/2012) [-]
So why, if she was looked at and determined wolf, by the fact she has no flats etc, can she not be a wolf?
#81 to #60 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
You have deleted the photo, but I will go by memory.
First off, look at your dog's face shape and proportions. She has big round brown eyes and very large ears with little to no fur inside them. Her coat is short and smooth, and her colorations are dark and solid with white patches. Everything I have described is that of a German Shepherd mix.
Wolves on the other hand have very striking eyes; they are golden, amber, hazel or brown with a black ring around the iris so it looks like their eye-whites are black; what little eye-whites you can ever see, that is; the eye shape doesn't look like any dog eye.
They also have ROUND-tipped ears (never pointy) as thick as shoeleather with a lot of bushy fur inside and out. Their fur is plush and coarse, never flat or sleek except in southern subspecies, which are very rare.
The colors are very strict. They never have white patches or paws. The colors are gray, brown, agouti, sable, black phase, and grizzled white -- never quite pure-black, and never pure-white. For wolves who are not black or white, their facial markings (the dark colors around their eyes and down the tops of their snouts) are very soft and faded, not sharp and distinct like you will see in malamutes, huskies or shepherds.
Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy to tell at a glance if a dog really is part wolf or not. See the dog pictured here? He might look wolfish to the untrained eye, but he is a registered, purebred Siberian Husky, of the "Sable" color.

Again, I strongly advise at least viewing this website, even just to scroll down it and look at the photos. You WILL see a difference -- http://texx-wolf-tails.webs.com/wolfdogscomparison.htm
User avatar #33 to #7 - Screenshotman (12/06/2012) [-]
what do you want the dog for? just a pet or a working/hunting dog? Guard dog? apartment or house?

I recommend a havanese, but don't buy from just any old sap, it's a good idea to spend the extra money for a purebred one with a good temperment otherwise you might end up with a dog that bites everyone (including you).
User avatar #36 to #33 - defeats (12/06/2012) [-]
Pet dog, but a breed that is big, strong, intelligent, curious, active, a dog I could take on walks and runs up mountains around where I live, and house.
Not really into toy dogs myself, also one that has a fine, sleek, not-to-often shedding coat.
User avatar #59 to #36 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Yikes, didn't see this comment when I posted earlier! German shepherds shed constantly and blow their coat twice a year, these are some of the worst shedders you'll ever find!
#63 to #59 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
No they aren't. I promise.
Picture related, it's my dog.
User avatar #65 to #63 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Oh yeah, those double coated breeds will do that! :p I saw a video about a woman who spins her dog's fur into clothes. You might have enough for a shirt or something there! lol
User avatar #70 to #65 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
I know about that actually, but...are you kidding? That's from ONE hour of ONE brushing. When he's blowing his coat, I get that at least once a day for a month or so, which happens in the spring and fall. I honestly have no clue how on earth they don't go completely bald from losing it all, but it's just endless.
I would know; I have three huskies. I could have made a few hundred dog hair accessories by now if I wanted to, and if it didn't cost hundreds of dollars for one tiny coin purse.

I honestly prefer it, though, because the rest of the year is very minimal shedding, and it's always soft and cottony undercoat, not those stiff guard hairs like you find in labradors, beagles, or basically any other flat-coated breed. I'd pick my super-shedders any day, over porcupine-quill needle hairs that dig into every piece of fabric and carpet you own.
User avatar #73 to #70 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I know what you mean :) I didn't realize it took so much for so little, but it makes sense. My german shepherd isn't that bad, as long as I keep up on brushing him. If I brush him outside every other day or so it only takes about 10 minutes and the hair in the house is actually very manageable
#85 to #73 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
I brush my huskies for two months out of the year, when they blow their coats. You can brush them any time of course, but you usually only get one measly handful of hair any time they're not shedding. It's usually easier to pluck them first when they shed, since he fur falls out in huge clumps. They love it.

If you want a beautiful husky without all of the fur, go for a short-haired husky. This is my smooth/flat-coated female, who has the soft husky fur, but in a much shorter length. Not as cold-tolerant, but much easier to brush.
When she blows her coat, she mostly only loses the fur from her flanks and some around her neck, maybe a few handfuls per brushing compared to an entire garbage bag full like her father (pictured above with all of his hair).

Do your research before ever considering one, though; they are amazing dogs, but the shedding is FAR from their only trait that can be difficult to deal with.
User avatar #92 to #85 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
My boyfriend's aunt had one, she said it was very loud, tore up her yard, and got out of every fence she put up. I wouldn't mind getting one after my shepherd grows up a bit more, he's taking up most of my time at the moment.
User avatar #99 to #92 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Yeah, no offense but it was sheer ignorance to trust a fence to hold a husky anyway. They are very social dogs who crave companionship -- though they do love the outdoors and they can withstand very cold temperatures, they are NOT good outside dogs because they will be isolated from their human family members, which is torture for them.

They WILL be lonely and miserable and they will do everything they can to get loose. Even a happy husky left unattended will be driven by the urge to explore, and they can hop six foot tall fences with grace and dig under them in a matter of minutes.

Any fence expected to hold them has to be specially built. There are ways to do it, but you're much better off just supervising your dog whenever it is outside -- that's what I do to mine and I don't have any problems.

Once they do get loose, you often won't find them. Even if they don't get hurt or killed, hit by cars, attacked by other animals or cruel people or just shot dead in a field for looking too much like a wolf, they are true runners.

An annual dog sled race is held every year where hundreds of teams of dogs run 1100 miles in just nine days, so you if they DO get out, you will NOT find your dog waiting for you on the porch when you get home like an obedient labrador.

If you're lucky, you might find them a few counties or even states away, if they live that long on their own with all the dangers of a modern world, and if you find them at all.

Obviously, if you're looking for an off-leash dog whom you can trust with commands alone, a husky or malamute is NOT the right breed.
User avatar #104 to #99 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Definitely, I don't even allow my shepherd to be off leash outside of my fenced-in yard, and he only goes in the backyard for 5-10 minutes at a time, and I always stand out there with him. I do that because I'm afraid he'll jump the fence or someone will steal him, or something. And my dog hates to spend even a minute alone, he gets stressed when he can't keep an eye on everyone lol
#110 to #104 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Some would call you overprotective or too controlling, but I strongly admire you for your devotion and vigilance.
I'm glad you're a responsible owner who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of your dog, because you're absolutely right, he could very easily get out of the yard or even be stolen to be resold or used as a breeder to make money, or worse, a bait dog. Horrible, but it can and does happen.

We have a yard with a six foot fence, but I never leave mine alone because I've seen them sail over a six foot barrier with nothing but a good run, and anything else can be hopped over with no effort whatsoever.
Fortunately, mine never have any inclination to get out when I'm out there with them.

Besides, there's nothing they need to do out there that they can't do while I'm watching them and making sure they're safe.
If that means occasionally waiting out there while my goofballs chase each other and slide around in the mud for an hour and need to be hosed off before they can come in, well, that's just part of being a dog owner.
#121 to #110 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I've been called overprotective before :p In fact I get told pretty much daily that I "baby" my dog and he's spoiled rotten and all that, but I just think that since I like having him around so much, I should do all I can to keep him around. And even if he's as spoiled as they say, he still listens to me and nowadays I barely have to give him verbal commands I just use my hands.

This is him, by the way, he'll be one year old on valentine's day :D
#127 to #121 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
..Heh. Wow. That sure brings back some memories. He looks too much like my first GSD mix, whom I had when I was seven. Your boy is a beautiful dog. I'm more a fan of the working line shepherds now, but this was my girl. It amuses me to see that neither of them ever grew into those ears.
#129 to #127 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I know!! Those ears!!!! I thought they'd never stand up. He's still a little leggy, too. They do look just alike! She's very pretty. How can you tell working lines from show lines? I've always kind of wondered what type mine is, it's hard to tell from the examples I've seen online.

Here's his ears when he was still just a little guy and could barely hold them up lol
User avatar #135 to #129 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
That's so weird, your other comment doesn't have a Reply button. I hope it's okay if I respond here.

Yes, of course there are physical differences between the lines.
Even comparing your boy to the sable working-line shepherd I posted above shows countless differences. Nothing alike, but she's still purebred and kennel club registered.

When it comes down to it, there are thousands of variations within every single breed, and that's just the purebreds taken into account, not others who have crossed them out with other dogs to alter or improve the breed.

Of course, each kennel club has its own specific standard (which changes all the time) of what they personally think that the dog "should" be, and every kennel club is different -- AKC, UKC, NKC and so on.

In my personal opinion (and anyone is more than entitled to disagree), I find it very unfortunate when their "breed standards" sacrifice the dogs' health, longevity or quality of life, just to make them look a certain way; especially when that dog is not kept "true to the original" as they so often claim (another example is to google 'first doberman' -- you wouldn't recognize it as a doberman today!) and more often than not, they encourage breeding bad traits.

The modern shepherd's horrible hip and joint problem is a prime example of this, where the dog is, for whatever insane reason, bred to look like its hindquarters slope downward so intensely that it has a permanent posture of "I'm about to take a **** on your rug". Even those who are not dysplastic still often have crippling problems throughout their entire lives.

For this reason, I have never personally owned a "purebred" dog, but rather, I go for a dog whose lines have had good temperaments and no health problems in the last several generations at least.

As for animal planet, even "Dogs 101" said Chihuahuas were bred with Fennec Foxes, and that's genetically impossible because they're not even the same genus (canis lupus familiaris vs. vulpes zerda).
#130 to #129 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Working variety is generally what they're bred to do, such as herding and/or livestock guarding, schutzhund/personal protection, even drug or bomb detection. Most of the modern GSDs couldn't do half of what they were bred for, sadly; by "improving" the breed, they mostly just inbred the hell out of it and made the joints very weak and prone to genetic weaknesses, which is a huge disappointment. Google "first german shepherd" and you might be amazed.
These two even look alike as juveniles. This is that dog at about six months old when we got her.
#131 to #130 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
And this is the mother of my current german shepherd, a working variety Sable (notice the drastically different body type) from the original German war dog lines. If you look up the first german shepherds, she looks quite accurate to them.
#133 to #132 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Much more wolflike face, in comparison to the modern-day kennel club "breed standard" german shepherd dog. After all, a hundred years ago, the german shepherd was just a wolfdog.
#134 to #133 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Awwww.... mine makes that face all the time! Ok, so there's no physical difference? Because that's what it seemed like people were talking about with german and american and czech lines or something like that... I do remember reading that american show lines are different in the back, seems like they bred them to look like frogs or something. And I have noticed the difference between shepherds now and then, I saw pictures of the first "real" german shepherd and they look practically nothing like what I see now, even the shepherds in WWII look different than some of the champion dogs I've seen pictures of.

I watched a show that said that shepherds weren't originally bred with wolves, then some were, but the dogs weren't stable and they stopped crossing them with wolves. But then again, that wouldn't be the first time Animal Planet was a bit off with their information... :p

<-- Mr. Eko the first day we got him :)
#64 to #63 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
And if you think that's bad, imagine THIS one...
User avatar #61 to #59 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Dang, I guess having owned cats I didn't realise how often dogs shed, I suppose it'll be a learning curve.
User avatar #68 to #61 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
If you want something that sheds as little as possible, you need a dog that has hair, not fur. Like poodles, yorkshire terrriers, shi tzus, and cocker spaniels.
User avatar #71 to #68 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
The dog breeds I like really are fur dogs, I suppose grooming isn't something I had taken into much consideration, but I think I could work it out, we all have to start somewhere.

How often do you have to brush your dog per week? And how long does each session take?
User avatar #75 to #71 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I brush him two or three times a week and it takes about 10-15 minutes each time. I do that outside and that keeps the hair inside to a minimum, but that's for a dog that sheds fairly heavily, if you got a doberman I'd think once a week brushing would be fine.
User avatar #77 to #75 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Awesome, two to three times a week for 15 minutes sounds quite al right actually.
I'm wondering too about bathing, obviously cats are fairly impossible to bath, not that you need to as often as I expect dogs need it, what sort of routine do you have regarding that?
User avatar #79 to #77 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I give my dog a bath once a month, sometimes longer if he's not too stinky. If they are bathed too often you'll dry out their skin and the oils in their fur, so they don't need very many baths at all. Most dogs I've had tolerated bathing pretty well. :)
User avatar #90 to #79 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Actually, once a month is pretty vigorous. You're absolutely right; over-washing can be much more harmful. Their coats can become damaged and actually make them smell worse, because the natural, healthy oils in their skin and fur are fighting to replenish themselves. I only wash my dogs about once or twice a year, and rinse them without soap if they get dirty or muddy when necessary. Super healthy, shiny coats and mine never have any odor, not even if you snuggle your face against their fur and smell them. I use them as pillows sometimes.
User avatar #96 to #90 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
Dogs make the best pillows!!
#100 to #96 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
My kitty agrees!
User avatar #87 to #79 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
I'll add that I would not be mountaineering in days with 40+°C, as a Scottish person, I'd likely fry.
User avatar #86 to #79 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Good stuff, I hear they're very high energy and strong dogs, would they enjoy and benefit from very long walks up and around mountains etc? I think they would, but I also walk during the heights of summer, and I currently live in the south west of France, and it can get very hot (49°C was the peak last summer) it's generally around 30-35°C during sunny summer days.
So how do they cope with the heat? I know some dogs fur helps keep them cool as well as warm, but I don't know about all breeds.
User avatar #94 to #86 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
That I'm not very sure about, but my shepherd doesn't take heat so well.
User avatar #98 to #94 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Neither do I, really, which means that on hot days the extent of my own exercise will be limited during the hottest hours.
With regards to cooling dogs down, can they cool down from just drinking water, or do that have to rest?

Before I ever get a dog I'll consult a vet etc as to which breed would be best, and it won't be for some time. For now I'm just curious.
#102 to #98 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Most dogs, even cold-tolerant breeds like huskies and malamutes, usually do well as long as they have plentiful shade and water, when outdoors in hot climates. Shepherds are the same, but obviously a cool house would be strongly preferable.

As for exercising, it's best to avoid doing that in the heat of the day; early mornings and evenings are ideal.

Be careful with letting your dog drink quickly or excessively before, during or after exercising, it can cause pancreatitis and bloat, which are often fatal, especially in larger breeds like these.

It's best to let them rest for a while (at least half an hour or so) before offering water. Bloat is one of the top causes of death for dogs, but sadly one of the least well-known.
Picture related, it's my husky mix on an urban mushing outing.
User avatar #105 to #102 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Early mornings and evenings I could do, and houses here are made to be cool during the summer, so we shouldn't have much issue there.
And rest before drinking, noted!

How long have you been looking after dogs? And do you do it as a profession or just an enthusiast?
#112 to #105 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Also, you have my utmost respect for researching dogs before getting one of your own.
Most cannot say the same, and often times, the poor dog is the one who winds up in an unfortunate position due to a poorly-prepared owner who wasn't ready to take on such responsibility.
I wish there were more people like you in the world.
Enjoy my Siberian Shepherd puppy as my thanks. <3
User avatar #116 to #112 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Thanks man, and that is a cute pup, really nice eyes.
And yeah, research is going to be my main focus when it's time for me to finally choose a dog breed, I think it's great that people want to have a pet dog, but I know many dog owners who are not equipped for their pets.
One such family (and this put me off of German Shepherds for a long time) had two German Shepherds, which they had raised from puppies, I think the second was the offspring of their first. The problem was the dogs were poorly trained and were often quite aggressive towards strangers, I'm fairly sure there was an instance when first the dog bit someone. After that, the dogs were kept in the utility room most of the day, and they would bark constantly when they had visitors.

I've also been wondering about adopting, I've never been to the places where they keep rescued or abandoned dogs (I don't even know what those places are called), I'm wondering if these dogs can bond to you as strongly as one raised from a pup, and are there times when you adopt a rescued dog and they have problems? (temperament wise)
#128 to #116 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Again, not going to lie; german shepherds are the number one dogs who get reported for biting humans, outranking breeds such as pit bulls by miles, although those get more negative publicity for it.
They are versatile dogs who have no qualms about using those teeth on someone if they feel the need to; it could save your life or it could gore you up pretty badly if that drive is not properly curbed and directed.
Of course, the major biters like small breeds don't actually get reported for it, so it would be better stated that they are "the number one large-breed people-biter". I myself was bitten by a GSD.

It's a shame that happened, but I can't say it was bad that they kept the dog separated. After the aggression has escalated like that, even a professional trainer may not be able to reverse long-term behaviors like that. They're just lucky the dog wasn't confiscated or put down for their failure to properly socialize it.

Concerning rescue dogs, they absolutely can bond with you as well as a puppy -- sometimes more so.
However, there's the sad truth that, with abuse comes trauma, and with unknown pasts comes issues such as bad experiences, poor socialization and many other issues.

You may expect a rescue dog to shower you in appreciation, and it may be a forever skittish dog who shakes and cowers in the corner, wets itself and/or growls at you when you approach it, snaps at you over its food or toys, and takes months, if not years to come out of any of that.

I've rescued a dog who was obviously beaten without mercy, and if you as much as picked up an item like a stick to play fetch, she would bristle up, tuck her tail and bark at you (this was the GSD who bit me).

But, because a pampered puppy has never had to go through the hardships of neglect or abuse, and many will attest that a rescue dog can often times be eternally grateful and grow to be the most loyal companion ever, with a bit of love and care.

So, again, it really does vary with the individual.
#111 to #105 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Just an enthusiast. My family has had dogs since I was a baby (including a low-content wolfdog and a 110 pound rottweiler / doberman gentle giant whom I used as a stepping stool to get into my bed).
I've studied and researched canine behavior and psychology for over a decade now, with huskies, malamutes, shepherds and wolfdogs being my favorites.

I've owned huskies and low-content wolfdogs for going on six years now, and I started with a half-husky mix when I was twelve years old.
We live in California where 110 degree summers are perfectly normal, and with nordic breeds made for subzero temperatures, I know a thing or two about dogs and high temperatures.

It gets so hot here that I don't even run my dogs in the summer, because the exertion can put them at risk for heat stroke.
I bought a cheap $10 treadmill and mine love it, they can get rid of that hyperactivity and energy without roasting and they adjusted to it very quickly. Also works great for when it's pouring down rain. Not as good as a walk, but it works.

As much as they love exercise, they hardly want to go outside when it's hot. I let them out and they do their business and they're already back at the door, trying to get me to take them back inside.
Not all are like that, though; some will eagerly run until they drop, so don't expect them to know their own limits..or obey them, even if they do.

If you're into shepherds I wouldn't necessarily suggest it due to being genetically prone to hip and joint problems, but urban mushing is a passion of mine, for my huskies.
I have three of them and by far the easiest and most enjoyable way to wear them out is to harness them up and hook them up to a scooter.
They even make snowless rigs, or "dirt sleds", for your dog to pull you. Bikes are inadvisable without the proper equipment, and rollerblades or in-line skates are just accidents waiting to happen, but there are safer ways to do it.
Here's a photo of two of mine when my younger girl was still in training.
User avatar #113 to #111 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Thanks for the info, dude.
And it's great that you got brought up in a household with dogs, I wish I had dogs growing up, but my parents aren't particularly dog people, my dad owned a brown Doberman when he was in his early twenties, so he has suggested them as a breed. My two favourite breeds are Doberman and German Shepherds, the hip and joint problems do put me off quite a bit though.

Would you recommend a doberman, or what breed of dogs would you recommend, I'm very active physically, and one of the reasons I'd like a dog is to take with me when I exercise.
User avatar #117 to #113 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Not a problem at all. You're welcome to contact me any time you have questions, I'm always happy to help and talk about animals. I even have instant messengers if you'd prefer for quicker responses.

I've known a few dobermans in person. With the right training, they are often very pack-oriented dogs who are very devoted to their families. I like them.

Training is an absolute must, because you don't want that drive redirected onto you if the dog is particularly stubborn or dominant; nip bad behaviors in the bud early so they don't escalate to aggression later.
It might be kind of cute or funny when that puppy growls at strangers or guards his toy from you when he's the side of a football, but when he's a seventy pound dog and he snaps at you or someone else, it's much less appealing, not to mention ten times harder to break.

Like most purebreds, they are not devoid of health problems, so make sure you're prepared.
As for purchasing any purebred dog, ALWAYS buy from a reputable breeder, and make absolutely sure that the parents are health checked. This means tests done; for example, shepherds should always have their hips and elbows examined and given a passing grade before being bred, to better ensure that the pups will not be subjected to bad joints.

Buying from a good breeder WILL cost you more, but it could very likely save you thousands of dollars in vet appointments, surgeries, and heartache with your new companion.
Don't go for the breeder who only brags about how good-looking their dogs are, or how many kennel clubs they're registered in; you want to see healthy, happy, good-natured dogs (not neglected puppy machines who are just used for their owners to make a quick dollar), because the parents will of course have a huge impact on the pup.

Just about any dog can make a great companion, if you're devoted enough and if your lifestyle can accommodate one; not just for now, but for the ten, fifteen or even twenty or more years that they will spend with you.
User avatar #118 to #117 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Thank you dude, you are a great help.
That's one daunting thing for me, is the prospect of finding good breeders.
And as far as breed goes, personally I'm not after "pure bred perfection" that some people want, I'd like a nice dog, and I've heard many arguments that mixed breed dogs are generally healthier.
Do you recommend pure breeds or mixed? I know some people are either/or and some are happy with both, but from what I gather you have a lot of experience with mixed breeds, and if it's true that they can avoid many health dilemmas then it would be worth consideration.
#125 to #118 - Dember ONLINE (12/07/2012) [-]
Again, not a problem.

When it comes to breeders, I strongly advise that you do not settle, and don't ever be in a rush. You're going to pick out a new family member, and the next decade or two of your life (and theirs) isn't something that should be taken lightly.

You may "ooh" and "aah" at the adorable puppies, and rightfully so; but do you really want one if the mother has her tail tucked, cowering in the corner or worse, growling at you? That could be the exact behavioral issue you're looking at in about a year or so with the pup you bring home.

As for health, just make sure the breeder is well recommended by others who have adopted pups from them, and insist upon seeing vet records and health tests where applicable. If a breeder refuses any of that, you can be assured that they're not who you want to give your money to in the first place. That's about the best you can do, since the dog's actual health is still a very individual thing, of course.

As for the age-old "purebreds vs. mixed breeds", it could go on for hours. When it comes to health, the most accurate conclusion is that it is nowhere near as simple as "purebreds are healthier than mixed breeds" or vice-versa. It's often said that mutts are healthier, which is true to an extent; their health problems are nowhere near as predictable, because you often don't know what you're getting. You're also mixing up the DNA, so for example, a boxer (which is highly prone to cancer due to excessive inbreeding, a whopping fifty percent will usually get some form of it in their lifetime) is going to be a lot more likely to have poor health, even if it's well bred, than even a boxer mix.

This is one more reason I adored my Husky / Shepherd's breeds, because they offset each other well.

Basically: if the parents, grandparents and other ancestors have few, or optimally no health issues, then that dog is more likely to be healthier than another, whether it's been selectively bred and kept to a specific line or not.
User avatar #101 to #98 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
I've heard putting water on their chest and paws helps to cool them down in addition to drinking water, I let mine lay in a kiddie pool during the summer if he's particularly miserable. But I also don't give him much exercise when it's really hot because the heat just sucks all the energy from him and he gets overheated very quickly.
User avatar #103 to #101 - defeats (12/07/2012) [-]
Thanks man, it's helpful to know beforehand.
User avatar #106 to #103 - thedramallama (12/07/2012) [-]
No problem, it's good to ask questions and really think about it before you get a dog, too many people don't then give the dog up when it's too much. :(
User avatar #42 to #36 - Screenshotman (12/06/2012) [-]
Black Labs/Golden Retrievers fit everything except the little-shed. Almost all dogs have a lot of shedding though.

So yeah, a golden or a lab would be good.
#30 to #7 - anon (12/06/2012) [-]
I have a German Shepherd. They are very smart and lots of fun. They can have tons of energy too, so they can get bored easily and resort to chewing stuff up. They also love to bark. Still, they make excellent pets. Possibly the most loyal dogs you could ever get, they will protect you no matter what.
#29 to #7 - anon (12/06/2012) [-]
Irish Wolhound are best breed
#27 to #7 - turlough (12/06/2012) [-]
Rottweilers all the way
#24 to #7 - captnpl (12/06/2012) [-]
Most veterinarians go for Labradors.
User avatar #23 to #7 - fugglybastard ONLINE (12/06/2012) [-]
American pitbulls are awesome. They aren't vicious like people think, actually have been shown to be less aggressive than labs. They're goofy so they are fun to have around. Also short haired so less shedding
#19 to #7 - darklit (12/06/2012) [-]
i think that's the plot to Taken 3
#51 to #19 - defeats (12/06/2012) [-]
You I like!
You I like!
#54 to #51 - rockshayde (12/06/2012) [-]
Love the context of this gif. So appropriate xD
Love the context of this gif. So appropriate xD
User avatar #17 to #7 - mrthezho (12/06/2012) [-]
Depends on what you will use it for and where you live.
User avatar #13 to #7 - fornowjr ONLINE (12/06/2012) [-]
German Shepherd. I love those dogs and had them when i was growing up. The are fun to have and protect your house very well.
User avatar #14 to #13 - defeats (12/06/2012) [-]
Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
User avatar #18 to #14 - colegaleener (12/06/2012) [-]
Their hips get really bad causing them pain later in their life.
User avatar #38 to #18 - lolsaucewin (12/06/2012) [-]
The dog is already alive..so not owning it isn't going to save it's ******* hips. Might as well give it a nice home.
User avatar #74 to #38 - colegaleener (12/07/2012) [-]
Just a heads up :)
User avatar #11 to #7 - kalthorak (12/06/2012) [-]
Collie FTW
User avatar #9 to #7 - jinjo (12/06/2012) [-]
I have a half king sheperd half Bermese Mountain dog.

He's awaesome.
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