Next dog daydreaming…

Beautiful Australian shepherd with a tail. Click for source.

Do you ever daydream about your “next dog”? I admit that I do, every now and then… Disclaimer: Pyrrha is perfect for us right now. I can’t imagine a better dog for us. Seriously. We will not get another dog for a long time, but I’m obsessed, so of course I think about the next canine addition to the pack from time to time.

Here’s my shortlist of dogs I’d consider bringing home, in the distant future:

  • A happy GSD male from Southeast German Shepherd Rescue who was good with small children. (This is probably our most likely second addition, only because I still follow SGSR’s rescue page with avid interest and want every third dog they post…)
  • Any ol’ rescue puppy! Preferably with a shepherd or collie heritage.
  • An English shepherd. I met a photographer here in town who has one and he’s crazy about her; got his puppy from a breeder in North Carolina. They appeal to me because of the way they are bred, their comparative rarity (leading to better health lines), their energy level being a notch down from an Aussie, and the fact that they have tails.
  • An Australian shepherd with a tail. As mentioned above, I’ve come to the conclusion that tails are really important and that it’s unfair to rob a dog of a tail purely for looks, particularly since our future Aussie would not be working cattle. Where do people find Aussies with tails, though??
  • A Large Munsterlander. My husband fell in love with one of these when he was farming in Europe and has been hankering after one ever since. They are rather hard to come by in the U.S., however.
  • An English setter. I’ve always liked the look of English setters, for whatever reason. They’re also apparently becoming rather rare as well. We have friends here who have a very sweet Llewellin setter whom I’m also quite fond of (you could mistake him for an English setter, were it not for his smaller size).
  • A Belgian sheepdog or Belgian tervuren. Are they a little more low-key than the malinois? I don’t actually know. I do know that I could never handle a malinois, but I love the look of these Belgians particularly.

I’ve already decided that I want to rescue some greyhounds when we’re older, too, maybe once our future and non-existent children are out of the house. (In my wildest daydreams, I also have a borzoi, but I don’t think I’d ever actually get one…)

An English shepherd. Click for source.

I am so ridiculous. Does anyone else have a similar “next dog” shortlist?

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Gallery of herding dogs

Just a series of photos of some of my favorite dogs from the herding group. Not to pick favorites or anything, but I think I’d have to say that all of my best-loved breeds come from this group of high-maintenance, noisy, difficult dogs. I know. I just can’t get over them. Why this post? Well, I like to look at dog pictures. No apologies. A girl can dream, right?

(Click on each photo for its source.)

Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd

Belgian tervuren

Belgian tervuren

Border collie

Border collie

Rough collie

Smooth collie

German shepherd

German shepherd puppies

Pyrenean shepherd

Pyrenean shepherd

Breed Love: Belgian super-dogs

Sambuca (Buki)
This is a Belgian sheepdog, also known as a Groenendael; breed standards requires them to be all black. Source: Flickr, user 3blackdogs

Belgian sheepdogs are INTENSE. This trio of breeds (all pictured here) contains some of the dog world’s most energetic, intelligent, and athletic members. The Belgian malinois, for instance, has become the preferred dog of the U.S. military and local police forces for its determination, stamina, and intelligence. (Malinois are rapidly replacing German shepherds in this role because the breed has not been tainted by the popularity that plagues GSDs, which often creates poor, careless breeding.) It is reported that the dog who accompanied the Navy SEALs in capturing and killing Osama bin Laden was a Belgian malinois.

Interestingly enough, my dad grew up with a father-daughter pair of Belgian sheepdogs (the black variety, also known as a Groenendael). The dogs were apparently rather high-maintenance, however: the father was named Satan and his daughter was Satin.

Belgian Tervurens
These are Belgian Tervurens. Not that different from Belgian sheepdogs, except for their coloring. Source: Flickr

I don’t know a ton about these three closely related breeds, but what I do read about them is certainly impressive. Because of their relative rarity and working demands, I don’t think I’d ever get a dog from this Belgian trifecta of awesomeness, but I find myself content to admire them from afar.

Belgian Shepherd Dog - Malinois
Finally, this is a Belgian Malinois. Looks like a German shepherd, but isn't. Source: Flickr, user dominik_peters

Keep up the good work, Belgian super-dogs! I salute you.

Belgian sheepdog links: