The older I get, and the more interested I have become in dogs and what makes them tick, the more tolerant have I grown as far as other breeds are concerned. I have ended up with a breed (had you asked me when I was in my early 20s) I could have sworn I would never ever have. I used to think sighthounds was definatly a "no-way"-breed for me, now I can think of quite a few breeds in that group I would like to at least try. Who (but elderly ladies) would possibly want a toy-dog? Not me!
(And I dont feel Im as old as I thought you had to be to own one!)
Im now in to my third.
My first encounter with bordercollies was in the early 70s in England. I thought they were bloody awful! OK if you had sheep, but otherwise...a very definite NO!
Now I am very seriously considering one and have got as far as to study pedigrees and check out differant breeders.
Yes I know that this is a site for Irish setter lovers...but what if you had to choose another breed, what would it be?
Just a few seconds ago I thought this might be in interesting theme for a discussion... someone got there before me:-)
Well, I hope to be stuck with the irish for a while yet, but I have met many breeds I would consider owning. Although usually it is not the breed as such but the character of the individual.
Putting all reason aside I love Irish Wolfhounds - but I could never own one, due to their short life span. I've considered Welsh Springer Spaniels - a handy size and very setter-like. But I seriously think that when I am incapable of owning an Irish setter I will opt for a Border Terrier. They seam real little dogs full of character... but then, which dog is not?
The Irish wolfhound I would also like...mainly to draw. But then they seem a bit TOO much and live far too short a time, like Great Danes. Growing up so slowly...and then instantly old. I think any terrier is still something I could NOT have. I normally dont like that explosive temperament...but then as I have ended up liking all those no-way-breeds...Ill probably end up with a bunch of terriers (constantly fighting and to be kept in differant parts of the house) if I dont watch out! :-)
In old age you'd only have one terrier;-)) and not just any terrier but the Border terrier who I believe were used as pack dogs and therefore should not have the same kind of instinct as those other little fighters...
I think I too will always have setters but I did buy a german shepherd last November from a friend who breeds shepherds and border collies I thought it would be good to have a breed that would not invite strangers in for tea(as setters probably would!!!) This pup Luka is great and so easy to train and is a lovely character! I was present for his birth and for most of his litter mates, so I feel a special bond with him!! I will not show him as that is so hard work here!!! I also like the welsh springer spaniel(setters in a smaller size!) I also have met some wonderful cross breeds in my Kennels and lots of very mixed breeds and they can be the best characters!!!!
You'd love the Welsh Springer Spaniel's Susan. I used to own two, Ch. BuGwyn's Western Brave Heart, "Buddy", and Blossom, Ch. Heavens Western Sun Flower. I think one day I might like to get back in to that breed because they are a great red and white color, but not as much grooming and you don't have to run as fast as with a Setter.
I'd love to own a Irish Wolfhound or a Great Dane, but fear they might be too big a dog for me at my age. Such gentle giants, but like you I hate they don't live too long. Its hard enough losing a Irish Setter at 10 to 12 years of age. Although I did have one Irish Setter who lived to just short of 14. Molly was a amazing 24" bitch, too small for the show ring, but big enough for my heart.
I saw a bunch of retired Greyhounds at Crufts one year...and well, I had to force myself not to take one home. I do feel a dog of any breed or mix is for life and not just until its active time in the field/track/ring is over.
I love all dogs and often seem to end up with a mixed breed. I do try to keep them in the sporting breeds most of the time, but I allowed my daughter to talk me into taking a dalmatian one time. He was 6 years old and deaf (which we didn't know about until we got him home) - but he was a great dog. Actually, they are much like the Irish Setter - on the go all the time and loves everyone, but their constantly wagging tails really hurt when they hit a bare leg.
With advanced age rapidly approaching, I, too, have wondered what I would be able to take care of when the time arrives. I think I've decided on Papillon, probably an older rescue - don't want the dog to outlive me! Have done a little research (not much) and am coming to believe this little package will be nice to have on my lap to cuddle, when the time comes! So, in about 10 or 12 years, that's what I'll do!
Londa, That will be very difficult to time...a dog that dies practically at the same time as you do! I have a friend that has had foxterriers for all his life and when the last one died ten years ago, (he was 70 then) he said that however much he would love another dog he could not face something happening to him and his dog being left behind. Well he has spent the last ten years dog-less and hating every second of it.
But I think its great getting an older rescue dog of course.
It is probably easier in a bigger country, here in Sweden with a much smaller population, a specific breed rescue dog would be hard to find. I have done a few jobs on rescue-shelters in Sweden and the dogs available are very seldom anything for the normal person. They tend to be male cross-breeds around a year old that their owners could not handle becourse they had no experiance in dogs anyhow. The crosses normally involve breeds like American Staffordshire bull terrier, German Shephard, Bordercollie and Rottweiler. Big dogs that are far too much to handle for most people.
Going well of the subject here...
I think no matter how old I get I will always have Irish Setters. Although I would venture to get another breed while having Irish around. I know at least that Lego needs a big brother to defend him from all the bullies ;o))) I really like a Tornjak ( a molos dog related to Tibetan Mastiff) because I grew up around them in Bosnia during the winters when they were not with sheep. They are very impressive huge fluffy non barking dogs :))) I also have had a special affinity towards a Borzoi. So much that I have been trying to get my sister to get one. There is something about them that is very aloof . Also a Doberman ( another one for my sister) or a German Shepherd ( my dad used to own one and tell me a lot of great stories about them)...
But I have to admit I have always had a thing for Redheads :)))))))