Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted January 19, 2014
We got Minnie mae from a professional breeder when she was about 3 months old. She was the runt of the litter, but was the only dog in the group that immediately came over to us and seemed to like us. As a child, adolescent and adult she was VERY energetic. Almost too energetic for our training skills. We ended up taking her to 4H for professional training, which helped a little bit. But even after a year of training she always pulled on her leash when we went for walks. You had to constantly heel her - she just wanted to run or track animals! I think she would have been a great hunting dog - she loved smelling every single bush and tree and tracking down any morsel of food she could. She also loved rolling herself in dead animals and dog poop. This was an extremely disgusting habit and you had to really keep an eye on her while you were walking. She was strong and could break free and go roll in something in a heartbeat! She had free run of the entire house while we were at school during the day and a huge back yard with zip line to play on too. We took her for walks at least once a day and she was still very energetic. I think this breed would be very good for an athletic family that could take the dog running everyday. She needed a lot of exercise.
Minnie mae (the name we decided on after a couple weeks together means "NO" in latin - hence the obedience training) was VERY motivated by food. Almost exclusively motivated by food. She was a real gourmand. Even though we didn't feed her at the table or sneak her our scraps, it seemed like all she wanted to do was EAT. She was constantly jumping up on the counters to steal food. Once we found her with all four legs on the kitchen table eating an entire stick of butter. When guests came over for appetizers, we had to keep her in a different room (which she did not like and barked) or warn the guests to watch their hands - she would steal what they were eating right out of their hands! We tried obedience training to help with this too, but no luck. As a result of her love of food and our not-so-athletic selves, she gained a lot of weight later in life.
Despite being the runt, Minnie was very healthy for 95% of her life. No dietary restrictions (are you kidding me, she'd eat ANY kind of food she could get her paws on!), no illnesses - we only ever took her to the vet for checkups. In her later years she started getting cysts - large growths under her skin. She had one the size of a grapefruit and we eventually had to put her down (but she lived a very long life).
She had very soft ears while the rest of her hair was short and hard. She didn't shed that much. She would tolerate being petted, but didn't respond with the enthusiastic appreciation some dogs do. She never seemed very emotionally attached to anyone in the family - and this is something all of us missed/would have preferred. She loved food more than she loved people. It felt like we spent more time trying to get her to behave than really bonding with each other. If you have extensive experience training dogs, are athletic and not in need of a strong emotional relationship with your pet, this breed could be a great match for you.