I need help.
I am trying to choose the best dog breed (or mix) that will fit my lifestyle. I have read a lot (maybe too much) and need some first hand input.
My lifestyle: I am very active, particularly in things like running (ultra) and mountaineering. I would like a dog that does not mind some winter camping and would also not mind going on long trail runs (20-30miles). So it is VERY important that I can run with a dog off leash and have it stay with me and come when I say.

Breeds I am looking at: Husky, Malamute, Labs, Border Collie, Bernese, Swiss Mountain. I am also told to consider several in the sporting breed.

The reputation of the arctic dogs, being very independent and will not stay with you if unleashed, scares me. Is the reputation true?

Any help, ideas on different choices, mixes, etc. is much appreciated. Oh, by the way, I live in New England.
Thanks,
Jeff
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The reputation of the arctic dogs, being very independent and will not stay with you if unleashed, scares me. Is the reputation true?

Yes, and once they go they just keep going, often for 10s of miles. I don't find it onerous to carry a leash. Some people clip their dogs' lead to a waist belt, which works if your dog is 100% reliable about not pulling but which could be kind of dangerous if the dog decides to take off on a downhill (my dogs speed up going down hills, sometimes a lot).
The other thing to consider is that the arctic breeds will tend to do poorly in warm weather (they overheat very easily, which can be deadly), which means no long runs during the summer.

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I need help. I am trying to choose the best dog breed (or mix) that will fit my lifestyle. I ... at: Husky, Malamute, Labs, Border Collie, Bernese, Swiss Mountain. I am also told to consider several in the sporting breed.

Husky's and malamutess aren't great off leash, for the most part. if thats a requirement, I would choose another breed.
A bernese can't and won't do that much exercise.
A border collie is very high energy but needs mental exercise as well as physical.

BethF, Anchorage, AK
My lifestyle: I am very active, particularly in things like running (ultra) and mountaineering. I would like a dog that ... at: Husky, Malamute, Labs, Border Collie, Bernese, Swiss Mountain. I am also told to consider several in the sporting breed.

Bernese & Swiss Mountain Dogs will not be capable of handling a 20-30 mile run. They aren't built for long-distance running. I would hazard to say that most Labs and BC's aren't going to be able to do that, either. These four breeds aren't meant to do long-distance work. BC's do spurts of high-speed and spurts of nothing. Labs sit in a boat all day except for when there are ducks in the water.
You'd do better looking for long-distance running breeds, such as Setters & Pointers.
The reputation of the arctic dogs, being very independent and will not stay with you if unleashed, scares me. Is the reputation true?

For the most part. Setters are the same way. However, you can probably attach a 10 foot leash to your waist pretty easily, once you teach the dog not to pull you.
~Emily
I do rather like my spaniels. They are trustworthy off leash, they were bred for the on foot hunter, and they love to be with you doing things. If you go to a good breeder, one who health tests and understands hereditary problems that cannot be tested for, and you don't mind grooming (even field breds require grooming), they are nice, medium sized, active dog.
You'd do better looking for long-distance running breeds, such as Setters & Pointers.

That's more or less what I was thinking, since the long-distance running thing is a huge limiting factor, followed pretty closely by the off-leash recall. Wouldn't a Dalmatian work out? They were coach dogs at some point, and used to running long distances, no?

Suja
You'd do better looking for long-distance running breeds, such as Setters& Pointers.

Except that those breeds WILL hunt. Hounds are generally good long-distance runners, as well, but there you've got not only prey drive but more independence.
My lifestyle: I am very active, particularly in things like running (ultra) and mountaineering. I would like a dog that ... mind going on long trail runs (20-30miles). So it is VERY important that I can run with a dog off

Get a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Will handle heat better than most, can run a lot farther than you can, will be happy to snuggle down with you for the night and will provide effective protection against animals and psychos on the trail. The off leash thing is my only concern with that breed.
The reputation of the arctic dogs, being very independent and will not stay with you if unleashed, scares me

The neighbor's Samoyed suffers in the NJ humidity while my Ridgeback will find a comfy spot of grass and stretch out. A pointer type may be your best choice. Athletic and not too independent.
Get a Rhodesian Ridgeback.. will provide effective protection against animals and psychos on the trail.

aw, he's back.

shelly (foul wench) and elliott and harriet
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