Golden Retriever or Australian Shepherd?

@eatsomegrub I think they’re great dogs they’re just kinda difficult in ways you might not expect. They were a surprise for my family. If your heart is reaaally set on one, know that early socialization is super important, that is, essential, and that you will need to know how to give them a job on top of filling their energy needs. I love the MAS’s but decided there was no way one would work for me when I was looking for my first dog.
 
@eatsomegrub Herding breeds are VERY different than retrievers. Herding breeds are prone to reactivity due to the nature of the genetics. So you have to have a plan to manage that reactivity. Aussies tend to be reactive and noise sensitive. Herding breeds are fun dogs for those that love working dogs but they require more care and caution.

Golden sounds like a great first time dog but they are veryyyy needy and in your face. So you have to be ready for the neediness.
 
@eatsomegrub I have an Australian shepherd and do sports in a club with a few golden retriever breeders and handlers. Besides being biddable they have huge differences in temperament. Goldens typically are more easy going and easier to adjust to many different stimuli, Aussies can be a “little” intense and often need very specific socialization and relaxation protocols to make them safe and comfortable in busy places. This can be super time consuming. (I personally exercise my Aussie on average 3-4 hours a day with a mix of training thrown in. We do brain games like scent work, puzzles, trick training everyday. We practice appropriate behaviors in public almost everyday. We practice calm and proof behaviors in many different environments so my dog isn’t inclined to an inappropriate reaction. I love my dog and enjoy spending time with him but to an outside point of view it would like I had a second job catering to my Aussie).

Aussies also need an extensive amount of exercise. Goldens are also energetic breeds but most are content with a lower level of physical and mental work that would be needed to soothe and placate an Aussie.

Also as someone else mentioned Aussies can have a predisposition to reactivity. This is usually a result of poor breeding and/or inadequate exposure and socialization to everyday environments but is something owners of herding breeds (herding breeds natural traits tend to veer to the intense, neurotic side which can make behaviors like arousal, alertness, hyper focus, motion sensitivity tip towards the inappropriate side without appropriate outlets and training) have to be really mindful and diligent about because it can be more common. Goldens tend to be a lot more malleable and while I’ve seen a reactive golden or two in public, I’ve seen dozens and dozens reactive/inappropriately behaved Aussies in public.
 
@eatsomegrub It would depend on what your everyday life can handle. Aussies typically are very time consuming and general manners/emotional regulation can take a long time to truly teach to the breed. They also typically don’t happen until the dog’s needs are met so will still require all that exercise and enrichment. I recommend you lurk on Australian shepherd Reddit, wigglebutt Reddit and reactivedog pages to get a feel for common concerns, questions, expectations people have with the breed and go from there.
 
@eatsomegrub The only two aussies I know don't get along with other dogs because they won't stop herding them and one was reactive towards people as well. Also both were demand/attention barkers and extremely loud.

I watched one of them for a week. We'd do an hour and a half at a park running/fetch, 1 hours worth sniff walks, every piece of kibble went into some kinda puzzle feeder or used for tricks, I'd set up my little agility course and run through it with them. After all that, they still needed enforced crate naps or they'd start destroying stuff and I was told not to have the crate near any wall or furniture or they'll eat it. They napped a bit, but mostly would just spend all day staring at me while I worked from inside the crate

I know they're trendy right now, but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. That's only a sample size of two though
 
@eatsomegrub golden retriever all the way. Aussies are worriengly becoming trendy. They are very high energy, very high drive dogs and often not great for first time owners. Goldens are amazing dogs honestly and great for first time owners. Easy to train, get on well, variation from lower drives to field lines...
 
@eatsomegrub Please don't get working/herding breeds if you don't have the lifestyle for it. If I had a nickel for every person living in the city that got a herding dog, realized they were in over their head, dumped them 5 days a week 12 hours a day at daycare, shocked when they don't do well in that environment then get rid of them I'd be able to open my own nickel store.
 

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