Good luck colbie, its a difficult decision and a stressful one too!
We have had both gsd and border collies. I was bought up as a kid with gsd and never felt threatened in any way by any of them. In fact one of our gsd was so good he was like my personal bodyguard. But I know my parents had to get rid of there original gsd (to a suitable good home) when they first had kids as she had never been bought up with children and felt very threatened by them.
My kids have been bought up with border collies. We have three currently and the eldest was bought up with kids at dhs work and is amazing with the kids. The younger two we got before we had kids and one is ok but the other will nip if cornered.
So with all of our breeds we have found that if you already have kids they tend to adapt a lot better and I wouldn't be at all concerned with either breed if they are bought up with kids and have correct training.
I have been bitten by a chihuahua however.
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I grew up with shelties in my family and all three were gorgeous dogs and great with kids. I would have loved another one but I was committed to getting a rescue dog and there wasn't one anywhere needing a home when we were looking. We now have a lab as well as a border collie cross (bits of lab,kelpie and maybe cattle dog). Apart from the hair the lab is the perfect dog - incredibly gentle and tolerant of 8 month old DS although we carefully control their contact (DS loves to crawl after him and sticks his hand through the baby gates). The lab is generally pretty food obsessed but is gentle with DS if he is holding something. The border collie x is very temperamental in lots of ways but part of that is his history. He is typically very gentle but can be quite wary of DS so I'm extremely careful when they are together.
My DH desperately wanted a German Shepard but I refused as my brother was bitten as a child and I couldn't let go of that fear so I really think you need to go with what's comfortable for you.
We recently got a Groodle (golden retriever x poodle). She's 15 weeks now and just the most amazing dog. She's very gentle with my 3 year old even though he is not gentle enough with her. She also been very easy to train. She does not shed hair at all. We get lots of negative comments about cross breeds and all that palaver but I'm not fussed. I did a lot of research to find a dog that would suit our family and lifestyle. I'm confident with her around children and other dogs and even my chooks. They can be quite energetic and need a lot of attention but that suits us fine as my husband works from home. You can get them from medium to large size. Coat can vary depending on the cross but Poppy has a beautiful coat, not too curly and is not difficult to maintain. I have always had chihuahuas which I LOVE and mine (still lives with my parents) has been fine with my child as he is well socialized but my son is rough and a small dog wouldn't suit him as much. We are also in Tasmania with a beach at the back gate so wanted a dog that would like the water. I think you have to be flexible with dog breeds depending on your circumstances. Also any dog needs to be socialized properly. Here she is, miss Poppy.
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I will second the previous posters recommending golden retrievers. Our beautiful retriever is the most placid, good natured dog - and I've never met one that isn't. She loves children and is so gentle with them. The only downside is the fur everywhere but we have floorboards so a quick sweep every day or two and it's fine. A retriever or a groodle might be a good compromise of a big dog for your dh but a super gentle dog too.
Me - 30, Dh - 38 ttc #1 since June 2011
natural bfp June 2012 - mc 5.5 weeks; 5 cycles clomid; 2 unsuccessful ivf.
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