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All purpose dog?

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vneerland
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Re: All purpose dog?

Are there working lines? What do they do?

Schipperke's (with schip being Dutch for ship) were ratters aboard the canal barges that travel(ed) the canals. They would also alarm the skipper if anyone wanted to come aboard, not a luxury with the boats transporting cargo. No more herding ability than terriers and schnauzers have. For that, you'd really have to stick with border collies.

I'd like to order a 35lb red bitch!

I am pretty sure you're not talking about Schippers here? They come in all colors, as long as it is black. :lol: (oopses happen though and fawn is occasionally available)

Tianateke
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Re: All purpose dog?

No I was talking about a border collie! I am pretty sure they come in red?

Alas, the 3rd slot is now filled! A previous rescue of ours has come home as his mistress has gone away to college and her mom and dad both work full time. Bozeman is a 8 year old not-so-min-pin. Purebreed but WAY beyond breed boundaries. He is about 18" and 24lb. Should be more like 19lb, but he is a food hound. And a mouser! So I have one of my needs taken care of. And he doesn't like cats, so he will keep the neighbors maincoon from climbing the rabbit hutches, there's need # 2. Alas, the goose has already goosed him, so he will have nothing to do with waddling creatures, although getting him to move them for me was already a known unlikely. He is curious about the pony, so I don't know how he will handle sheep (I want to get two icelandic lamb ewes this spring or next)
And he went boating with us when he was our foster, so good deal there.

Pic's to follow soon.

God will not give you more than He can bear

vneerland
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Re: All purpose dog?

Ah! Congrats. 8-) Sounds like you have a (not so) little helper around.
Sorry that he is not going to move the geese for you. I have dogs that would do that, but it's the single use application that most fowl keepers frown upon. :mrgreen:

Crias
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Re: All purpose dog?

I know it sounds like you filled your slot... but thought I would chime in with a few comments about Belgians since I am owned by two (of the Groenendael Variety) and they came up in the discussion. They are very much a want to please breed, and most can be trained to do almost anything. There are MANY that have multiple AKC titles - tracking, herding, agility, obedience, and I know of quite a few that are used for SAR. There are not really major working lines except in malinois (which are used for competitive protection sports too), but almost all will protect if needed. Many working dogs also have AKC championships too. If you spend the time and work with them most will try very hard to please you and do what you ask. Typical size is 45-70 lbs, though some lines run bigger and a few lines run smaller (I have a girl right now that will top out at about 40 lbs and 21 inches, but this is the bottom of the size limits for the breed). Females are smaller than males usually by a fair bit. Most want to be with you 24-7 (including into the bathroom if you let them) and they are not prone to wander (well unless you have an intact male that can smell a girl in heat ;). They are very high energy (especially the first 3 years) and need a job- definitely not couch potatoes if they have a choice and prefer to use not only their body, but also their minds. Many get bored with excessive repetition. They are a loose eyed herding dog (using their whole body to work stock rather than their 'eyes' like border collies) and their origin was a general purpose smaller family farm dog (herd the stock to fields or market, act as a moving fence as the stock grazed, protect the farm from thieves, alert the farmer of strangers, etc.) not just to herd, nor to herd over very large acreage (like a BC might). They were also used as messenger dogs and medic dogs in the world wars. For someone that wants to do competitive activities or have lots of time to give them exercise and a job they can be a great choice!

Now the down sides of the present day breed. Some (perhaps even 'many') can be prone shyness around strangers. They can be overly reactive to normal everyday things, so need A LOT of socialization as puppies. The more you get them out the more confident they will become, but some never become really well adjusted confident dogs around strangers. As a result with that protective instinct some can be prone to bite either out of fear or because they make an incorrect judgement call on whether you need protection or not. Sometimes even meeting the parents can be deceptive, as they are so trainable and have such a strong desire to please that if you work with them enough usually even a shy dog can learn to appear confident or to be a good worker. Many are noise sensitive (fireworks and thunder). While most Belgians have good 'on'/'off' switches (going form a working mode to inside house - settled down mode) some do not and are 'on' all the time.

There are a moderate number of health issues. Epilepsy is a biggie. There is no test for epilepsy (though it is being studied extensively) and often does not show until a dog is 3-5 years old (at which point often a dog has already had a litter of puppies). All lines, if you dig deep enough, (and look at cousins, littermates of dogs in the pedigrees, ect.) have some degree of epilepsy in their pedigree. Of course the further out it is the safer you can feel, but even a dog with no close epileptic relatives can either have it or produce puppies with it. If a breeder says their lines are 100% free of epilepsy they are either lying or unknowledgeable. Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia do exist in the breed, though not as common as in some other large breeds. Responsible breeders test for both. Some eye problems also exist in the breeds (again breeding dogs should be tested). Some cancers are also a problem in the breed, but average lifespan is 10-14 years.

IMO they are among the most beautiful breeds, but certainly not a breed for everyone.

A few pics of my kids just because :)

Size difference between males and females can be quite striking. Maddie, next to a friends male. Maddie is about 22.5" and fairly normal size to slightly small for a female (average is 23") and Spencer is about 26" and slightly larger than average for a male (average is 25")
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/madspen1.jpg)

My older girl Madde- Pics from May of this year. She turned 9 on the 4th of July, but looks and acts much younger. IMO she has a temperament that every Belgian should have - very confident and not shy of anything, but would protect me in a heartbeat! She is a group placer and a champion and multiple working titles (with several high in trials in obedience).
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/mad8yr2.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/mad8yr8.jpg)
Older pic that I love - she was almost 3 in this image
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/35mostare.jpg)

Her daughter Tryst, who is a very cute girl, but not nearly the confidence of her mother, Maddie (above). Despite socialization she is more reactive than I like and more suspicious of strangers. She is the little girl that is only 21". I will not breed her as a result of her temperament.
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/g39d-4.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/tr11mo9.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.aphelionart.com/tr6mo4.jpg)

Jenks
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Re: All purpose dog?

They are beauties.

Danni
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Re: All purpose dog?

No I was talking about a border collie! I am pretty sure they come in red?

Yep border collies come in red! This is my (ee) red. Not to be confused with the chocolate/reds (bb)

IMAGE(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3151/4559336440_d63a12444a.jpg)

He's a big fella, but last year I bred him to quite a small BC bitch and a couple of the pups have matured quite small. They look perfect to me but just slightly too small to make standard. They didn't go to show homes, so that's ok. But I was suprised!

Tianateke
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Re: All purpose dog?

Do the belgians come in bb? They look a lot like a border collie/ german shepherd cousin.

God will not give you more than He can bear

NZ Appaloosas
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Re: All purpose dog?

I don't know how I missed those grons! Hubby and his ex (mother of his son) brought in some of the first grons into the country here. He thinks grons are the cat's pyjamas (told him he can get his grons if I can get my Irish wolfie ).

Diane

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