Posted : 9/10/2008 1:55:50 PM
Is there such a thing? I've got my huggable spitz, now, which has left me with no idea, really, what would be next on my list. Not that it's urgent by any means. I really like the big mastiffs, but I really hate drool. I'd love a dog that was kinda the opposite to the Lapphund. Big and serious and protective. I've thought a lot about livestock guardians, but am a bit nervous about them. Especially with regards to the rabbits. And other dogs, as we do live in suburbia and there are a lot of dogs around. I have a total crush on Tibetan Mastiffs, but I doubt we really have enough room for such a giant. They might be relatively low activity dogs, but they still need a yard big enough to contain them and a car big enough to transport them!
I'm with you I hate drool, you can own a mastiff breed without having all the slime. I chose those with less drool or dry mouth Boerboel and Cane Corso. You can expect after drinking their might be some wetness or they might make a little drool in the area of their bowl but other then that they are not really droolers. Cane Corso do have a prey drive I'd say medium and might hurt your rabbits, others might not want to chase and kill them but could accidentlly harm them slap them with their paws too hard, others would be fine with them. So it just depends on the dog. Boerboels seem to have less prey drive some very low but that doesn't mean they could be 100% trusted with a small animal.
In regards to LGDs and rabbits that is what an LGD is for to protect livestock/family so there really isn't a reason to worry. My friends is good with her rabbits, mine is pretty much ok with my rabbits and her night duty is to protect them and the ducks/chickens. That is what they are bred to guard and protect their flock. They also lack prey drive so don't typically want to chase small critters. A LGD that will chase a rabbit instead of guarding the herd wouldn't be very useful.
You also said you have a spitz and I know many of the spitz breeds are characterized as having some prey drive, some breeds even considered high. So I'm wondering how do they mix with your rabbits.
Not everyone with an LGD lives on acres of land it is about being responsible, managing the dog and lots of socialization. I think you can make it work if you really want, there are different LGDs with different temperaments. Many are also pretty lazy and don't need a huge space to run. Tibetans don't just require room but have similar needs to LGDs in regards to being protective and needing lots of socialization. There are several mastiff breeds some with not much prey drive but still having the a good defense drive and territorial like an LGD, others have a prey drive and would possibly harm your rabbits, other dogs could certainly be an issue too. Some Tibetans can have the same sex aggression issues and be dominant to other dogs.
I think you are right to look ahead and think about room though. A car big enough for the dog and others to fit comfortably is important and maybe something many people overlook.
Here is some photos with a baby chic