Author Topic: Working dogs not good family dogs  (Read 17323 times)

Offline Aussies

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Working dogs not good family dogs
« on: August 06, 2006, 03:30:27 am »
 >:(Dear Big Paws:  I'm distressed with the description of Australian Shepherds you've put on your website.  Aussies ARE NOT usually good with children, nor are most herding-working dogs.  They may be okay with the children within a family, but you introduce strange children in the mix and you've got trouble.  Ask anyone in Australian Shepherd rescue.   Because these dogs are intelligent and do have to work, they are extremely sensitive to what is happening around them and will act on it -- if it happens to be a bunch of running, screaming children, they will do something about it and it won't be pretty.  Please for god's sake don't encourage people who have families and who can't spend the time and energy it takes to care for these dogs to get them.  They are not good family dogs. Labs, Golden Retrievers -- they're good family dogs.

Rebecca

Gypsy Jazmine

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2006, 06:18:10 am »
Though I can't comment on Aussie's as I know next to nothing about the breed I can comment on the title of this thread, "Working dogs not good family dogs"...I have 3 Great Pyrenees, the breed traditionally being Livestock Gaurdian Dogs...Our dogs are fabulous family dogs who interact wonderfully with our children, ages almost 8 & recently turned 9...We are knowlegeable about the Pyr breed & do allow them to be Pyrs...We do not have livestock but are looking into getting a couple Pygmy or mini breed goats for them to gaurd...We also try to give them a sense of working by packing with them & letting them gaurd the small animals in our house...Pippin, at least, is very serious about his job...2 of my Pyrs come from long standing working lines...Pippin was out with his gaurdian family until the age of 5 months when we got him & Samson had interaction with his mother working with her sheep but was not actually allowed out with the sheep as we got him as a younger pup than Pippin was...Sheba is a rescue & new to our house so I am just assesing her & can't comment much on her gaurdian abilities yet but she does love to gaurd at our fence with the boys...All 3 dogs seem happy & content with their station & also are such good family dogs that I know I will never be without a Pyr in my life.
Again, in comment to the title of this thread there are many working catagorized dogs that do make good family dogs even the breeds you suggested at the end of your post "work" to some degree & are populary used for hunting...But, if you look further back (to at least the Labs) they were used around water to work further back in their history as a breed
I do believe that some dogs (working or not) do not do as well with children as other breeds however making a family pet is more in the understanding & work you put into your dog no matter the breed...Childr en need to be taught how to respect dogs & learn proper interaction with them & the dogs needs to be taught acceptable behaivor....Al so supervision with young children is just comman sense & should be done no matter the breed.
Perhaps these Aussies coming into rescue were not properly trained, supervised with children, or understood by their owners?
I do also agree that all facts must be presented in a forum so readers trying to gain knowlege of any particular breed are presented with all the facts...The good, bad & the ugly.
I do appreciate your post & can certainly understand your concern!...I cringe when I hear about someone who gets a cute, fluffy little Pyr pup & knows nothing about them...That can be a tragedy waiting to happen!

Offline Saint and Mal mom

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2006, 07:57:57 am »
I have to disagree with you...strongly . I did own an Australian Shepherd mix. (not sure what else he was) And I know many other people who have what would be characterized as "working dogs" including my 2 now. Alaskan Malamute were used for freighting! Not indoor, devoted family pets. But look at my girl lounging on the kitchen floor and please don't tell me that because she's a "working dog" she's not a good family pet. And my Aussie was a terrific family pet as well. HOwever, I will agree that a new level of responsibility is taken on when you get a "working dog" breed. They need to be kept busy, whether that is playing fetch with the family, taking walks with the kids, playing chase in the yard, whatever. And honestly, the only dogs that weren't exactly bred with a specific working task in mind are the toy dogs, which we aren't even talking about. Labs were bred to work too! So were Goldens! They're hunting dogs! Some would argue that many hunting dogs shouldn't be pets. But they are. And they can make wonderful pets. I agree that you should not underestimate that certain "working breeds" need activity, tasks, and exercise. But that will NEVER interpret into "not a family pet." Aussies can be the most devoted, loyal, loving family pets ever, if you are willing to give them a chance. Are you?
Marissa

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cricket36580

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2006, 08:01:41 am »
I think this is "generally" true with any of the herding breeds...  But I think it's more in educating people about the breed and breed type than anything.  I personally wouldn't have one, because I prefer really big dogs but, I've known so many that are in fact good family dogs. 

If you hang around (I just saw that you had just joined) you'll realize we are all about educating people and getting people to do the proper research before getting any dog.  We do appreciate your post, btw.

Offline wolfsoul

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 09:11:13 am »
I have Belgians --- Belgians, though with a different herding style than Aussies, are ALOT more high-drive and typically are quite a dangerous breed. However they make wonderful family dogs. While it may be true of one breed, it isn't always true of another. My dogs are very drivey working dogs, we do several sports and herding, yet they are wonderful with kids.


Offline chaos270

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 09:21:36 am »
I have had very different experiences with aussies.  Growing up I had the perfect aussie who was perfect with kids and other animals and kept all of the neighborhood kids out of trouble.  The aussie I have now is fear aggressive and can't really be trusted except with members of my family.  I think the main difference in the two is their breeding and socialization.  I think for a dog to be good around anything they have to have a lot of good socialization with everyone and with aussies they do need an outlet for their energy. And if you stick around you'll realize this board does stress breed education and we'd be glad to have you join us. 
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Offline rayray

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2007, 02:54:38 pm »
i know that this is an old topic but i wanted to add a bit to it.  my first dog was an aussie.  i spent time with her every day from the time i couldn't even walk or talk till she died.  she would lay down on the floor and let me lay my head against her stomach while i ate cookies and watched the flintstones.  she was also a working dog.  my papa took her out to the ranch and had her bring in the cattle.  however, i have been around and trained aussies that were incredibly hyper and not good with children (i noticed that you mentioned that labs were good family dogs....they are hyper also and can be uncontrollable if you do not work with them).  they were also usually owned by people who never wanted to walk their dogs and expected them to be a lawn ornament.  working dogs need a job.  if you do not give them a job they will pick out one for themselves and herding around kids is an easy pick.  it's not that they aren't good with children it is the fact that if you do not raise them correctly, work with them, and socialize them they can turn into bad dogs.  have the kids help out so the dog will learn to listen to the kids and not think of them as something to push around.  any dog can be a bad family dog if it is raised by an irresponsible family.  my aussie was the best because of her owners and i totally reccomend them to owners who choose to raise them resposibly.
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Offline MagicM3

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2007, 07:08:23 pm »
If you just joined you must by now be feeling really picked on,you will find that we on this group are open and friendly,but honest and especially about the things we know from experience.

Please let us know more about you and your fur kids,

I have never had and aussie,but I have always had working herding breeds and never had any problems with family.And I find them wonderful additions to family.

I am sure that most rescue groups could label not for families or singles, or working people.

There are many reasons that fur kids end up in rescue,and you are correct people are usually the reason.Not educatiing themselves about what they are getting into.

I hope you continue to share your experiences

Tricia and the fur kids

Offline Moni

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 04:02:33 am »
I know that this is an old post, but I don't know why I never saw this before.  Then for some reason it was pulled up when I responded to another totally unrelated post...

"Temperment: Aussies are intelligent, active, good natured dogs who are perfect for families.

Australian Shepherds are known for their laid back, playful, and friendly nature."

I'd like to know where this info was gotten because ... wow. I hope this isn't being put out as fact somewhere.

I happen to mostly agree with the original poster, sorry.  Aussies should never be touted as "The Great Family Dog"!    Aussies are not laid back and they are not supposed to be overly friendly and good natured towards strangers.  Maybe this was meant a different way, but to me these words describe a Labradog/Golden type personality.  Which is the total OPPOSITE of what an Aussie is supposed to be... actually that is the reason why I love them so much.

Aussies are supposed to be a reserved guardian breed, with a high herding instinct.  Reserved meaning standoffish and not running up to great & love random people.  They will accept petting from strangers, but they could care less if they give it to them.  Unchannelled herding instinct leads to kids & people getting nipped, chasing cars, bikes and a strong desire to control movement.  They desperately NEED work to do, if not they WILL come up with something and believe me, you probably WON'T like it. 

They can be A great family dog, but they are not "Great Family Dogs", if you get my drift.

*off soapbox*
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Offline newfiesx3

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 12:39:48 pm »
Did I read that right?  ???
I have 3 Newfoundlands and have owned Saint Bernards in the past. Both Breeds are working dogs if there ever was one. A newf is known as a natural nanny to ALL children. At risk of sounding like a dingbat, they chose the dog in Peter Pan for a reason. My dogs would follow my son off a cliff. They adore all his friends including the ones I don't like! They are the worst watch dogs because they love people, even the ones that want to steal your T.V.

A working dog needs a job. If they are left in kennels or alone in a yard for most of the time they will be destructive and develope bad behaviors.

I was a nanny in college and the family I worked for had an Aussie. George was a wonderful family dog. He had a litter mate that lived 4 houses away and was an awful dog. The poor thing never left his dog run.

The worst thing I've known a well mannered Aussie to do is heard the children into the corner of the yard. He did a great job rounding them up. This behavior is no diferent than my dogs pulling all the kids out of our pool at our last party. In and out they went. Elvis finally laid down on the diving board and kept gaurd. Stitch and Audrey decided it was more fun to play marco-polo! ::) I believe one needs to understand WHY they do what they do.
My heart,soul...house,car,bed,kitchen,....wallet all belong to three beautiful Newfs. I wouldn't have it any other way. Hmm..we could have 4 or 5,6....

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Offline Randee

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 09:57:19 am »
>:(Dear Big Paws:  I'm distressed with the description of Australian Shepherds you've put on your website.  Aussies ARE NOT usually good with children, nor are most herding-working dogs.  They may be okay with the children within a family, but you introduce strange children in the mix and you've got trouble.  Ask anyone in Australian Shepherd rescue.   Because these dogs are intelligent and do have to work, they are extremely sensitive to what is happening around them and will act on it -- if it happens to be a bunch of running, screaming children, they will do something about it and it won't be pretty.  Please for god's sake don't encourage people who have families and who can't spend the time and energy it takes to care for these dogs to get them.  They are not good family dogs. Labs, Golden Retrievers -- they're good family dogs.

Rebecca
What about English Bull Dogs?  What is your recommendation for this species?

Offline Neicy

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2007, 03:30:02 pm »
Wow I was suprised to come to this board which is very new to me and find this thread. I just got a Border Collie pup two weeks ago. She was born Sept 4.

While I fully understand her requirements for her breed I am shocked that some people think this hard working breed would not work for families?

I too believe that good training is at the root of any family dog. If your family is not close and the kids spend more time away from home at friends and activities than they do at home then this dog probably will be hard for you. However in our case we own a small farm, we have three children that are home that help take care of her.

She has not offered to "herd" them yet but you can rest assured that this will be corrected. The only thing she has herded so far is the cat and its been a small herd so she can touch her nose and that was the end of it.

Anyway I certainly hope that like with every other breed there are the worst and the best case scenarios. Education is the final factor that judges if these dogs are "good" family dogs or not.


Offline roobarbs mom

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 02:12:12 pm »
aussies make great family pets.  my aussie adores my children but i socialized very well as a pup.  i think as long as you understand the breed, and understand you need to exercise their mind aswell as body, no troubles.  they are beautiful dogs.

Offline TINKSMOM

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2008, 11:27:59 am »
Any dog can become anything you want it to be if you are educated and willing to spend the time to teach them.

I researched koms before adopting TINK and because she was a LGD breed know to be independent thinkers and determine for themselves what was acceptable or a threat, I knew I had my work ahead of me to insure she would be a well adjusted young lady.

She started puppy school at 9 weeks and is in advanced obedience now at 6 mos. Not because she is hard to train, but because the socialization and exposure to different environments helps to make her well adjusted.

In unfamiliar territory she needs to look to the pack leader (me) to see how to react. If she is confident in that fact, it comes naturally to her.IF I am relaxed and having fun, she will too.

She is a big fat baby and I have no fears of her becoming defensive of our home or belongings. She  loves visitors small or adult. She loves all animals even our cat.

Pups and adult dogs, no matter what their breeding or life experiences can be trained and if they trust you, they will learn to live in your world under your rules and be all the happier for it. All dogs need boundaries, but we need to teach it to them. They really "want" you to take the responsibility as pack leader, but if you don't they will assert theirselves to be the leader out of necessity. They are pack animals and this is a natural instinct.

Love um and train um and anything is possible.
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Offline DaPeach

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Re: Working dogs not good family dogs
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 11:36:06 am »
I agree working dogs aren't good family dogs...they're fantastic family dogs!
Katie - Pyr adopted 4/2002
Franklin - Pyr adopted 3/2007
Norman - cat 2004
Polly - cat 2005
Spike - Conure (the boss) 1992


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