We don't know what she is. As mentioned before, she was labeled as a Maremma Sheepdog. Last night, we briefly went to a training facility, and they called her a Kuvasz. I guess she looks like either. I'd be interested to do a breed DNA test on her one day, but what's interesting are the number of people who refer to her like she's a mogwai and going to one day transform into this aggressive, extremely difficult beast. Yet at 6 months old, Ahri is compliant, quiet, sensitive, submissive, friendly, gentle, and mostly low key (last night when I got home, I could tell for instance that she'd been confined much of the day while we were at work, as she played fetch with me for around 15 minutes in the yard and we went for a walk later that night, but I'd never describe her as "active" necessarily...just puppyish). She loves people and dogs, and wags her tail and gets a bit bouncy whenever she sees them, which I'd consider a bit unusual for a dog that supposedly is "aloof with strangers," as the Maremma and Kuvasz apparently are.
People are so odd with dogs, it seems. After reading a study I'd found where 5,000 canine "professionals" (vet's, trainers, etc), were asked to visually identify the breeds in 100 mixes, they only had about 25% accuracy, which leaves me feeling a little less than confident that Ahri is what anyone visually thinks she is.
Can't she just be our dog? The paranoia about her makes me feel a bit nervous, that one day I'll wake up and my sweet marshmallow puppy will be a barky, disobedient, aggressive monster to everyone outside of the household. I'm sure she'll test some boundaries as she gets older, but after having already been spayed at 5 months, I'm hoping her hormones don't get THAT out of wack to where she acts like a different dog. I'm also hoping that our firm, yet gentle consistency with her, daily exercise routines, and frequent exposure to new people and situations will prevent many of these issues and keep her amiable. For now, she just reminds me of a more mellow golden retriever!
We're planning on bringing Ahri to daycare every other week or so to keep up her socialization with other dogs and people while she's young, and plan to enroll in a basic obedience course to help her stay obedient and responsive even in distracted situations. I think she'll really enjoy daycare, since she loves everyone and has a submissive demeanor that is apparently very likable.
|Lounging in the yard together.|
Even Ferguson seems to enjoy her, and I was expecting much more aloofness and annoyance on his end. Normally he is quick to growl and snap at unfamiliar dogs, but thus far it's only happened once, when she was really pushing him to the edge and I was actually HOPING he'd tell her to stop so she'd stay in check with canine etiquette (she was jumping all over him and nibbling on his ears). And, with a very low growl and quick showing of teeth, she stopped immediately and backed away. I'm amazed at her intuition and sensitivity with other dogs, so long as the other dog gives her any indication.
Only time will tell what happens I guess with Ahri's breed tendencies. But for now, she is responsive and mostly quiet when confined, doesn't pull on the leash (I can actually walk all three dogs with relative ease! We've been doing 2 miles each morning before work), fetches, is non-confrontational, loves everyone, and is non-destructive. So...what could go wrong? I guess we'll find out if anything does...!