Comment to 'What dogs do you own, what breeds are they, and how do they differ? '
  • I've frankly become a little tired with all of the mythology and nonsense surrounding different breeds. It can start to almost resemble pokemon trading cards when people start describing how this breed is like this and that breed is like that, each breed developing a unique mythology that rarely aligns with reality. I want to hear about the reality. I want to hear just about your individual dogs. Maybe this thread will take off and be a hit, get lots of responses and then it will become an interesting reference and we'll might notice real trends in certain breeds. I don't want your agendas or biases to speak, don't try and hype up your central asian ovcharka over your sarplaninac (or whatever) because you prefer ovcharkas. Just tell me about your dogs honestly or this thread has no value. I'll start. I own a 6 year old male australian bandog, so approximately (very approximate) 70 % neo mastiff 25% amstaff and 5% boxer/boston terrier. And a 3 year old female bandog that is predominantly dogue de bordeaux x apbt. The ddb x is generally more intelligent and cunning. She's alert and manipulative. She will win any contest of wits between the pair. If she wants a certain bed for example she will get it, and the fact the neo cross might be sleeping on it at the time makes no difference. She'll simply fake a bark and send him running to the fence to investigate at which point she will steal the bed. She's also generally quicker and more agile, more nimble on her feet. She can zig and zag and evade the neo cross, even leap over his back when he's trying to get her in a play fight. She will catch annoying flies that buzz around her head while the neo cross will try to flee from them. She seems to have much better eyesight in general and hearing. She also has a sharper nose for fresh hot scents, she'll pick up on the fact a wild deer or wallaby is in some bushes nearby before the neo x will. She's much smaller, shorter and fatter than the neo x, but is about as fast (possibly a step slower). I don't know why she's fat honestly, she eats much less than the neo x who is almost like skin and bone a lot of the time, and they both get tonnes of exercise. Way more than the vast majority of pet dogs. It's really like she's just an example of what bandog breeders used to say that if you keep crossing bandogs you just end up with a poorly formed pitbull. Her weird little ball shape seems to be a genetic flaw, but one that doesn't seem to hold her back much physically. Like I said she's a good runner, good climber, good jumper. She's sure footed with good balance. She can balance on her front legs and do other weird things. She likes to stay close when off lead in the wilderness, will chase wild animals and like I said will pick up fresh hot scents of animals nearby and investigate, but isn't particularly interested in being a hunter. Just likes to fool around and be silly in the bush, doesn't have any "bush smarts". The neo x is much more interested and serious about hunting and the wilderness, as I will explain later. She's a real character, a clown even, with lots of personality and lots of energy. And she doesn't drool. That would be her positives, her negatives are she's a bit gutless quite honestly, likes to stand behind the neo x when threatened, and this is after starting the trouble in the first place. She's a bit dog aggressive, can be trusted one on one with nice dogs but likes to stir up other dogs and growl and lunge at them and encourage them to fight. If they're a bit iffy at all there will be trouble, they have to be very nice submissive dogs for things to run smoothly. She's especially bad when she's with my neo x, like she obviously really wants to start a fight if he's there in support. She'll be much better behaved meeting a dog if you just so much as walk the neo 20 metres away. I'd question her guardian abilities, she's more just an alarm dog for the neo x. I never had her temperament tested (which I did do with the neo x), but I have a feeling she would react nervously to a suspicious decoy, and lean back into the handler and bark. Just a hunch based on what I have seen from her in day to day life. She's generally distrustful, she doesn't like being rolled over onto her back and gets suspicious if you have some kind of treatment or something to give her (like flea and tick drops on the back or whatever). The neo x meanwhile is just putty in your hands. She's always testing the neo x for dominance it seems, he'll whip her in their little disagreements and she'll quickly submit but she picks at him and tests him all the time. And will also take it upon herself to discipline him if she picks up that he's acting submissively to me like he did something wrong. Generally if he acts submissively towards me (which he does a lot, unnecessarily) she'll jump on the opportunity and attack him. Not seriously or anything, they have never had anything resembling a serious fight, but it's also more than play. I think disciplinary action is the best way to describe it. She's a bit fat like I said, and short/stockily framed, and has a small head. She has bad skin that seems to readily have allergic reactions to different things. She'll often get itchy red marks all over her belly and "goggles" of smooth skin around her eyes. It's nothing serious just a reaction to climate and/or certain plants and it goes away. Her skin generally seems sensitive and delicate compared to the neo x. She often has lots of scuffs and scabs from where the neo x gently mouthed her in play fights. Meanwhile she can sometimes really chew on the neo x hard but she never breaks his skin at all. My neo x is relatively what a lot of people would call "dopey". Really relaxed and laid back and honestly not the sharpest tool in the shed. There's none of that craftiness or cunning, he seems to have a really honest even naive brain. What you see is what you get, which I don't think is altogether bad. He's a dog, doesn't need to solve quadratic equations. He's not as quick and agile like I said, or as quick to snap things with his mouth, but he is extremely dexterous and flexible. Can bend his spine and all his limbs in all sorts of directions and sometimes he will casually sleep with his neck twisted back over his shoulders to the point where the top of his head is almost touching his back. Can also really grab things with his paws, have even seen him use his back paws to hold down an aggressive dog while holding down another aggressive dog with his front paws. He has big soft feet and long toes which, along with the dexterous limbs, allow for this "grappling", but the downside would be a low tolerance for prickles. Thorny prickly ground will pull him up before it pulls up my female. While on the topic of his feet, his toes are webbed, which I suppose all dogs toes are but because they're so spread out they make great paddles and he's an excellent confident swimmer. The female is also a pretty good swimmer but seems less confident and paddles a bit frantically in the water. My male seems more comfortable and does long relaxed strides. He's willing to swim further, and seems willing to swim extremely far if you don't call him back. Once setting his sights on an island in the distance off shore and seemingly intended to just swim over to it before I managed to convince him to come back. The female swims a certain distance and then visibly gets a little worried and has to head back. the male also swims much lower in the water, with just the top of his head sticking out like a crocodile, while the female floats more on the surface with a good top half of her torso sticking out. Could just be the aforementioned body fat percentage issue. But the neo x also doesn't mind going under water, head and all, sometimes. Especially if there is a water dragon or something seeking refuge under the surface. His ease and comfort in the water seems more than just an individual quirk, and I've heard similar from other neo owners, I'm guessing it could speak of some newfoundland influence in the history of the neo. Also should mention even on a freezing winter night he'll dive into a creek given half the chance looking for eels and lizards. Which brings me to his predatory nature. I wouldn't say he has a high "prey drive" in the way it is often described. In fact I'd say it's subdued, with the ddb x a little more eager to chase balls and things. But the neo x is a genuine "outdoorsman". He generally gets to work when he's out in the wilderness, searching for scent trails, analysing where animals have been laying or digging or urinating/defecating. He'll be silent when he's in this mode, even refrain from panting, and he remembers areas where he has seen animals before. He'll stalk up to these areas from down wind, slinking low in the grass like a cat. Like I said the ddb x seems to have a slightly sharper nose for smelling animals close by on the breeze, but both dogs are pretty close in this department, and then at finding older scent trails and generally reading scent, understanding what it is saying and where it's coming from and where the animal was going etc, the neo x seems much better. When both dogs see an animal the ddb x will just wildly chase, but the neo x will try and think one step ahead of the quarry, like if it's running towards a thicket the neo x will head towards the other side to try and cut it off, etc. Also the ddb will just give up after a very short chase, it really seems to be playing and like if it caught up to the animal it would be at a loss at what to do with it. The neo x doesn't range far compared to a real hunting dog, he'll give up pretty soon and won't get too far away, but he'll go much further than the ddb x, and while he's chasing he's obviously genuinely trying to get the animal. He has unfortunately caught a few animals, mostly in my yard while I was asleep, and he actually eats them, often their whole body leaving just clumps of fur and a surgically removed stomach in the middle of the lawn. This is something I've never had any dog do, even a serious working line pig dog I had when I was younger, it would kill things but not eat them. My neo x eats what he kills if given the chance, and wastes very little. (I ofcourse take the dirty wild animal carcasses away from him if I can, because who knows what parasites and etc they could have, but sometimes he eats them before I get the opportunity). I feel compelled now to mention while it's on my mind that the ddb x is a real digger, while the neo never digs unless it's to bury excess of some animal carcass, and even then he seems to not really know what he's doing, digging a bit with one paw lazily before crudely shovelling bark and dirt over the carcass with his nose. My neo x is extremely biddable and extremely sensitive to correction. It really only takes touching the brim of your hat for him to melt into the ground like he's going to get a serious beating, but he's never had a serious beating in his life. The ddb x is more hardheaded and can get fixated on something and ignore your threats to the point where you can hit her with your hat and she'll keep ignoring you. Sometimes annoyingly you'll want to stop her from attacking the neo x, and go to hit her with the hat but this will just make the neo x cower, which makes the ddb x attack him more. It's like if just those two are playing by themselves he'll dominate and discipline her and beat her up as required, but once I get involved he completely submits and turns into a pacifist and then she takes the opportunity to attack. He's generally very good with other dogs, he'll even tolerate being attacked if he doesn't deem the other dog a serious threat. But if he does deem the dog a serious threat he'll attack intensely and then it can be extremely hard to stop him. It takes a lot for a dog to be a serious threat. They have to first be a capable dog of size and strength and then have genuinely sinister intentions. His guardian instinct and nerve/temperament has been tested by a professional and with no training of any kind he passed with flying colours and showed all the right signs. Turning it on when the decoy was acting aggressively/suspicious and then relaxing once he acted normal. I'm not that well versed in the world of PP and etc, but I know the trainer/decoy was very impressed and that my dog was superior to a lot of the other dogs there that had been doing it for a while and were still being worked on to show more confidence and etc. As mentioned I can do anything with him or to him and he just fully trusts you and relaxes. I feel I could probably perform surgery on him and he'd just wait patiently for me to finish. Unlike the ddb x which panics about getting sprayed on the back with a bit of insect repellent, or just being rolled over and inspected in general. There was a time when i was out in the bush with my neo x and we came across a fence that he couldn't jump over or crawl under on his belly, so I told him to lay down on his side and then he just laid still like a corpse while I dragged him under the fence by his feet. Couldn't do this with my other dog, or any other dog I've known. He's generally just very calm and relaxed, a confident and secure dog that is a good citizen and a gentlemen, but can turn it on when it is called for and is not at all lacking in courage and intensity and won't be easily phased by punishment. But yeah he's pretty simple and dopey. Doesn't seem to understand he has to get out of your way and stuff like that. He also drools a lot and seems to aim to get his drool on your pants. His skin is tough like I said, but it can develop fungal problems if it's moist in certain parts for too long. Between his toes especially seem to get pink and sore if you're not careful. He also has problems with his ears. You have to dry them out a lot or he'll scratch them incessantly and injure them, but he's really very healthy and in his 6 nearly 7 years hasn't really needed to go to the vet. He's very fit and lean will jog with me for long distances, but has the bad habit of leaping at me and barking in my face when I'm running. He just seems to get excited by people running, and bicycles and motorbikes excite him even more which isn't good. He's good with kids, both of them are, but the neo x seems especially gentle and attentive with them. If one child is tormenting another he'll even step in and try to gentley separate them, and then nose butt the aggressor in the belly as if to tell him to stop it. Hmm, that's about all I can think of at the moment, sorry if it's all a bit disjointed and longwinded just relaying differences and notable characteristics as I think of them. Might later get into previous dogs I have owned. I don't expect you all to follow this post as a guide, but would just like to know about your dogs, all the better if you have multiple dogs of different breeds and can compare them to one another (who's the boss, which is more alert, etc). I hope to see if there are any identifiable trends with certain breeds having certain quirks, and also how different types differ. It COULD be a very interesting thread IMO, here's hoping.