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8 Breeds for the Experienced Dog Owner

(Tuesday, May 06, 2014)

Some breeds may not make the best pets for first-time dog owners due to the breed’s grooming or exercise requirements, temperament or natural instincts. Here are 8 breeds that might fit best into an experienced dog family:

Akita: Large, powerful and alert, the Akita is a working breed that originated in Japan. Although known to be a quiet dog (they are known as the "Silent Hunter" in Japan), the Akita has strong guarding instincts and will sound the alarm if an intruder breaks into their house. Akita temperament can range from calm to bouncy and assertive, so the breed should always be supervised around small children and other animals. Akitas like to be "pack leader," so obedience training is also necessary for a harmonious household.

Australian Cattle Dog: The Australian Cattle Dog can be as stubborn as the cows they were bred to work. Without peer as a cattle herder, he is ready and willing to work all day. Happiest in wide open spaces, ACDs are very high-energy dogs and extremely intelligent, so they need a job - such as herding, obedience or agility - to keep them happy. While wary of strangers, the breed bonds closely to its family, though the owner must establish themselves as the pack leader.

Bloodhound: While Bloodhounds are extremely affectionate, they are take-charge dogs, so it is important to be the undisputed boss in your household. The breed is very strong and as the best mantrailer in the world, will want to follow its nose! New owners may be caught unawares as they are pulled to a new scent.

Border Collie: The Border Collie is the workaholic of the dog world. High-drive and extremely energetic, he requires exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do on a farm and space to run. The BC is not the optimal breed for first-time families that may not know how to keep him occupied.

Cane Corso: The Cane Corso worked as a property watchdog and hunted wild boar in his native Italy. Although a very cute puppy, this is a breed that grows into a very large and strong dog with a dominant nature and strong will. Owners must establish themselves in the leaders of the household very quickly or run the risk of a 120 pound dog running the household!

Skye Terrier: The Skye Terrier is a scrappy terrier that likes to do his own thing. That, combined with a long double coat and profuse hair over their face that must be brushed regularly to prevent mats, make it a breed for owners used to their particular temperament and regular grooming time.

Tibetan Mastiff: The Tibetan Mastiff is an aloof and watchful guardian breed. Historically, the breed remained isolated in the Himalayan mountains, where it was kept confined during the day and then let loose at night to guard family and property. They were left behind to guard the tents and families when the flocks were moved to higher pasture. Extremely independent and intelligent, the Tibetan Mastiff may have its own agenda. Due to the breed’s protective nature, it may be hard to bring strangers into the home where it lives.

Treeing Walker Coonhound: The energetic Treeing Walker was originally bred to track and tree wild raccoons. The breed has a competitive spirit and extreme endurance that makes it a favorite of hunters today. New owners may not be prepared for the breed’s desire to chase small game while outside or the barking that comes along with it as they tree their quarry.