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  1. #1
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    Dog Breeds for MTBing and BC Skiing. Golden Retriever vs Aussie

    I did a search for dogs but there were mounds of threads. If this has been discussed, my apologies and I'd be grateful on where to find the threads.

    Many roommates in the past have had dogs so I've lived with many different dogs, most of which were goldens and labs. When I was a kid, a few of my friends were ranchers and they either had border collies or blue heelers. I've been looking at getting a dog for a while and was pretty set on a golden but I'm wonder how well they'd do on longer tours or mountain bike rides which is where I came up with Aussie (or Border Collie) idea. They seem to be very high energy and can go forever but probably require more daily exercise and I don't know as much about their personalities.

    Golden Retriever/Lab
    -great family dogs
    -good energy
    -probably wouldn't require as much daily exercise as a border collie or aussie
    -great personalities

    Aussie/Border Collie/Blue Heeler:
    -very high energy (good or bad)
    -might be better suited for longer tours/rides
    -would require more daily exercise
    -don't know as much about their personalities

    Would Aussies do better on long rides than goldens or am I making that up? How much more daily exercise do aussies need? What's the personality like of a aussie/border collie/ blue heeler compared to a lab or golden? Obviously dogs vary quite a bit within a breed but anyone whose had experience with either breed especially mtbing or touring would be great. Mucho gracias

  2. #2
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    I seem to remember a thread on this at one time. I think it devolved into another argument about something. But you may have better luck with this one.

    What about a greyhound?
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  3. #3
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    What's he gonna do with a bus?

    Goldens are quite susceptible to cancer, keep that in mind when you're choosing. They are prone to hemangiosarcoma (among other cancers they get) and that's a bad cancer, it killed a dog mine last year (a Golden mix).

  4. #4
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    labs are high energy IME, they are like lets play fetch for 3 hrs
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
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    Labs also are predisposed to blown acls and hip dysplasia. Love my lab to death, but retired her from biking after first knee surgery. Sheís now questionable for bird season this year. Sigh.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    What's he gonna do with a bus?
    You show up at the trailhead in a bus, people notice.

    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  7. #7
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    You also forgot to add retarded vs not retarded to your differentiation list.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    retarded vs not retarded
    Uh oh.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  9. #9
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    Most Goldens I know wouldn't be ideal long ride dogs. They're just a bit too thickly built for it. I imagine that they'd do better ski touring as it tends to happen at a slower pace, but I can't claim any experience in the area. On the other hand, those same Goldens are generally extremely nice dogs.

    I have a half cattle dog, part Catahoula who hikes/runs/rides/used to ski with me (not so much touring where I'm at the last few years). She isn't really that heat tolerant despite it being supposedly a cattle dog trait, but other than that, she's a superb outdoor dog. Unless you want to stop. She doesn't really like it when you doddle for too long if you're asking her to stay with you. Even at 7+, she's much faster than our neighbor's 1 year old Golden, though really she's not often running full out on our adventures.

    With that said, she's kind of a nutball. We got her as a rescue and she has improved a lot, but she's still a bit nuts about lights/shadows. She barks a fair amount when she wants to communicate. She actually has gotten lazier, but she needed a lot of exercise when young (though even now, I take her on 2 mile jogs/bike rides/trips to the woods most days). She's been phenomenal with our young son, but she's not exactly what you're looking for if getting a chill dog is a priority.

  10. #10
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    Bigger, heavier dogs get blown up joints quicker. Add in a predisposition to hip problems and goldens are not a great choice for MTB trail dog. that said, if you just want the dog to follow on a short 2-3 mile loop, that would probably be fine. Just realize that you need to treat them like a person by slowly working up to longer/faster days on the trail, and they will suffer for the pounding later on in life. Bigger dogs make excellent trail-building buddies but i know a few dogs whose owners brought them on hard daily rides and at 6 years old they can barely walk to the door to greet people. sad.

    The flipside is that if you get a heeler, or more active dog, you might end up with one that NEEDS the daily rides or they go insane and have behavioral problems. Collies and heelers are pretty aloof and generally are not going to be affectionate- they are working dogs who want to work damnit!

  11. #11
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    Neither. Get a cowdog mutt on the smaller side.

  12. #12
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    I normally work with mostly pointing dogs these days, but when I was active with retriever training I knew and trained with some golden retrievers that would easily have the stamina to be a MTB companion. If you want to go with a golden retriever I'd recommend going with a good breeder that competes as they normally want an athletic dog. The golden we had growing up was not from a competition breeding and while he was powerful he would not have had the stamina to go on a long MTB ride.

    Another thing to consider is the hair length. The two breeds you mention have long hair, which may not be a big issue where you are, but some of the places I've ridden there are plenty of areas for the dogs to pick up seeds and burs in their fur. I have an english setter and brittany and both have longer fur. After a hunt or a training session I know I 'm going to have to spend time picking out the seeds and burs from their fur.


  13. #13
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    re: aussies
    we have two, both very family-centric and loving
    but
    one will alarm bark at each and every person that comes to the property, even if he knows them or just saw them two minutes ago.
    the other is friendly chill and is a treat with other people

    check personalities of whatever breed/mutt you decide to get




    both love to run, but the older one cannot anymore...mostly because we have a more weekend warrior family lifestyle (not a ranch work lifestyle at all) & the dogs just don't stay trained for that type of stuff as much as we'd like to believe...they have to stay trained up for endurance too

  14. #14
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    One thing to watch with the goldens is that their paws were made for swimming. As a result they tend to build up ice between their toes when skiing. Booties are available but they have their issues as well. Trimming the hair helps but if the snow is wet it only goes so far. Mine is game for bc skiing - but tends to wallow in powder instead of bounding so she isnít up for very long rips. She has no quit in her - but she tires quickly and then itís just mean. But get her at the lake and she will chase her ball until you canít throw anymore!

  15. #15
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    Offerd in the hope it may help. I've owned both show level labs and Goldens. IMO, labs are just "lively-err" will play bite and play as rough as you want, all day. Goldens are just way more docile dispostion. Our golden loves to run/play but absolutely will not bite. everl. Very submissive. I have no expereince Biking/skiing with either, both could handle any run I could throw at them. Another thing, as metninoed, both breeds are heavy shedders. Black lab was worse, showed on everything. The golden's hair tends to clump into balls more.

    final thing.

    the golden has ALWAYS stayed on the floor, a rule in our house. hte lab, the minute we went to sleep, would jump up on the sopha or chair to sleep. Didn't matter how many times i caught/punished him, and he would just push shit outta the way. So Labs are kinda way more fuck you as well. YMMv
    "Can't you see..."

  16. #16
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    You want a medium size dog, with a slim build, short hair and a lighter color.


    Iíve never had a Greyhound, but they check a lot of my boxes.

    My Vís 9 and starting to slow down a little, but we still ride everyday.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
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    I love our lab. Kids love him and he's a saint with them. However, he's not built for endurance. Even a ski tour at a decent pace he'd probably say fuck this after about an hour. Bike ride, forget it. I think Golden would be same situation as they have similar builds.

  18. #18
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    I had a golden that died at the age of 13 last year. Damn he was a good boy.

    I did take him biking with me until he was around 6 yo, not because he wasn't able to take it anymore, but rather because I had a kiddo and he gained a bunch of weight (because I was taking him out a lot less). I got the weight back under control, but by then I didn't want to risk it because he was older and had been out of the game for a while.

    All of that said, I never took him on long rides, always 3 hours or under, and usually on rides with a significant climb/descent (because the climbs were no work for him and I could just stop a few times on the descent to let him rest). Rides with rolling terrain would have been much harder on him due to the constant speed. And if nobody else has said it, you need to be very careful biking with dogs, because they won't tell you when they are too tired or when they need a drink. Just because you crossed a stream doesn't mean they will stop to drink. And even if you stop at a stream, they may not drink immediately (why, I don't know, they're dogs), so you need to just stop and chill for a while at those points.

    As for ski touring, I never took him for long ones, because avy terrain always concerned me plus, the snowballs in his paws (musher's secret helps but isn't perfect). A short haired dog would be better in that respect.

    But damn he was good dog and fun on the trail.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Neither. Get a cowdog mutt on the smaller side.
    This is sound advice. I have a cattle dog terrier mix (best guess) that absolutely shreds. She's 7 or 8 now, so I try to keep dog rides under an hour and a half or so.Click image for larger version. 

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Most Goldens I know wouldn't be ideal long ride dogs. They're just a bit too thickly built for it. I imagine that they'd do better ski touring as it tends to happen at a slower pace, but I can't claim any experience in the area. On the other hand, those same Goldens are generally extremely nice dogs.

    I have a half cattle dog, part Catahoula who hikes/runs/rides/used to ski with me (not so much touring where I'm at the last few years). She isn't really that heat tolerant despite it being supposedly a cattle dog trait, but other than that, she's a superb outdoor dog. Unless you want to stop. She doesn't really like it when you doddle for too long if you're asking her to stay with you. Even at 7+, she's much faster than our neighbor's 1 year old Golden, though really she's not often running full out on our adventures.

    With that said, she's kind of a nutball. We got her as a rescue and she has improved a lot, but she's still a bit nuts about lights/shadows. She barks a fair amount when she wants to communicate. She actually has gotten lazier, but she needed a lot of exercise when young (though even now, I take her on 2 mile jogs/bike rides/trips to the woods most days). She's been phenomenal with our young son, but she's not exactly what you're looking for if getting a chill dog is a priority.
    Cool that you posted this. We have a dog on order (whenever it may happen) that is a friends 10 year genetic experiment to make the perfect MB/BC ski dog. It will be Catahoula/Border Collie/White Shepard/Blue Heeler. My friend knows what he's doing with pretty much everything else so I'm thinking the dog's going to be perfect for the application. Breeding program is on hold due to the covids, we were supposed to get a puppy in May this year, however it's delayed for a bit. Can't wait though.

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  21. #21
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    I'm in the get a cow dog mutt in the 35-50 lb range. Pure breds are super smart working dogs but need to work and get the energy out. The mutts have good energy but seem a little more even keeled with great personalities. I put my 16 yo aussie/collie mix down last summer and he really did die of old age (weird to say because we euthanized but he didn't have much left in him). Joints were arthritic in his last couple years but he never had a health problem and was a sweet well mannered guy. He was right around 45-50 lbs and could go on rides and tours no problem.

    I have a black lab mix now and he's fast and can go on rides but I don't take him anymore. He goes wide open until he can't and it's tough to tell when he's tired and needs a break. I think I overheated him badly once and felt terrible. The cow mutt would slow down and let me know if it was time for water. The lab fell over and luckily I was by a creek so I put him in it for 20 minutes and then called for a ride. Maybe my lab is just an idiot though.

    Edit-camping. The lab just sits at my feet all night around the fire. The cow mutt would circle the camp at various distances protecting his herd. Then he would sleep just out of the camp circle watching for anything that would hurt us. Pretty cool to see.

  22. #22
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    I prefer a heeler mutt:

    Labs are great but have health problems and get old and fat fast.

    Goldens have the same problems plus they are idiots.

    Vizlas and Pointers get cold.

    Some Aussies are annoying (even if they get enough exercise) and snow balls up on them.

    Heelers are just right if you will actually get them a lot of exercise. Otherwise you're better off with a lab and dealing with the health problems.

    Also this: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...reeds-Breeders

  23. #23
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    Dog Breeds for MTBing and BC Skiing. Golden Retriever vs Aussie

    I'm starting to wonder if my cow trail dog is a little too big to be riding with me. He's a border collie/Airedale terrier mix (Idaho shag), but on the bigger side at 65 pounds. He seems completely stoked to go on a 10 mile ride as fast as I want to go but I don't want him to suffer for it later. He gets so damn excited to go downhill. Lays in water and snow every chance he gets along the way so I trend towards rides with creek crossings. Lately at the end of the ride he seems pretty gassed, fine a couple of hours later though. Maybe I need to tone it down?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    And if nobody else has said it, you need to be very careful biking with dogs, because they won't tell you when they are too tired or when they need a drink. Just because you crossed a stream doesn't mean they will stop to drink. And even if you stop at a stream, they may not drink immediately (why, I don't know, they're dogs), so you need to just stop and chill for a while at those points.
    yeah, you basically need to treat them like they have the minds of toddlers. My dog will jump in ice cold rivers during winter for no reason at all, but sometimes wont touch the cold creek on a 85degree summer day so i have to force him in and make him lie down in it. I try and only take him on steeper tech trails because he cant keep up on fast long trails, so i end up stopping a bunch and ruining the flow and neither of us has that great of a time. But steep loams shuttle trails are ideal for him, ill eat shit into some ferns, and he is right on top of me panting with a worried look like "I dont think this is the trail and the rest of the herd is getting away!".

    One last thing, my dogs paw pads stay pretty calloused throughout the year (more so in summer with more MTB), and they only blister or get cut rarely and usually when the trail tread is noticeably rocky/dusty... and i usually avoid those trails. HOWEVER, spring snow absolutely shreds his ankle pads. Those pads get no contact on mtb trails, and deeper snow is soft and fluffy, so when i take him out on early summer alpine bike rides he just goes apeshit in the snow patches running around and ALWAYS tears the shit out of his ankle pads. the blood splatters all over his white coat and looks really bad and gets me lots of "bad owner" looks, but those pads never touch dirt so he is totally fine running down the rest of the trail... and the cut pads never stop his enthusiasm for snow patches haha.Click image for larger version. 

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    You want a medium size dog, with a slim build, short hair and a lighter color.


    Iíve never had a Greyhound, but they check a lot of my boxes.

    My Vís 9 and starting to slow down a little, but we still ride everyday.
    What are their personalities like? Especially compared to a golden or lab if possible.

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