Acquired: Breeder (professional)
California, United States
Posted August 2, 2009
but they're not necessarily "starter" dogs, at least not without a lot of support and guidance. Besides everything else, they're just too darned smart. My bitch would have been an easy dog for anyone--she's incredibly sweet, gentle, smart and biddable and she loves kids, even tiny ones. She's a little nervous around aggressive dogs at the dog park, but otherwise is basically perfect.
My dog, on the other hand, carries around full buckets of water (yes, he takes the bucket, dunks it in a pond to fill it, then brings it and jumps up on the couch with it, still full), disassembles my weedeater to get the monofilament out (I need tools, he doesn't), turns on the television (by getting the remote out of the basket and turning it on), and, when he can grab one (yes, they are WAY out of his reach, which is a challenge with a dog this big, but he'll intentionally distract me if I'm cooking, come in and try to get what I'm using, and he is FAST) runs around with knives in his mouth, flipping them in the air and catching them. NOT an image for the faint of heart.
I've professionally trained everything from dogs to parrots, raptors, monkeys, large cats, wolves, dolphins, sea lions, whales and have bred and trained Border Collies for more than thirty years. NO dog has challenged or delighted me as much as this one. He's sweet and scary smart, watchful and standoffish (but not aggressive) with strangers, great with other dogs and NEVER has to be shown anything twice. And both of my Shilohs are INCREDIBLY sweet and affectionate with my two geriatrics dogs, aged 13 and 15.
I've loved every second that I've had them (they're currently nine months old) but they are definitely NOT Golden Retrievers. I suspect they'd be horrid backyard dogs. These are dogs that need to be part of your life fulltime, going everywhere with you. And they definitely need jobs.