A very affectionate and popular breed, the golden retriever is highly regarded for its intelligence. They can learn well over 200 commands, making them indispensable companions, both in the home and in the workplace. Loyal, loving and patient with a willingness to please and a love of learning, this is a fabulous companion pet to bring into your family.
These are sturdy dogs that top the scales at 80 pounds, so they need a bit of room, but can easily be apartment dogs if they're sufficiently exercised. But they would probably prefer a medium-size backyard.
The shepherd was originally bred specifically for intelligence. Smart, courageous and protective, the German shepherd is one of the most dependable of companions. They learn tasks after only a few repetitions and obey commands nearly always the first time it is given. They are eager to learn new tasks, as this gives them direction and purpose — very important for a shepherd. Besides being used for herding animals, they are often used as guard dogs, police dogs and search-and-rescue dogs, and have even been trained by the military for parachute jumps.
They're fairly big dogs at 24 inches and 80 pounds, but surprisingly, if they're well exercised, they're not too shabby at living in a roomy enough apartment, though they much prefer a big yard to romp in.
Easily trainable, steadfast and sharp-minded, poodles flourish in human company. Even with the frou-frou hairdos, poodles are made to endure and can be quite effective as guard dogs, especially the standard-size poodles. In fact, the "poodle clip" was created specifically for the working poodle so it could swim more effectively, while still having fur to protect its organs as it went about the business of hunting and retrieving.
The poodle excels at training and obedience, and also loves creative playtime. This is what made them so popular as circus performers. But this can be a drawback, as well. If left alone to boredom, poodles can be creative about finding ways to amuse themselves, sometimes finding trouble along the way.
They come in a variety of sizes, from toy to standard, so there's sure to be a version of these fluffy-haired Poindexters for any size house.
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