I have had Black labs for 40 odd years and never thought I would stray from the breed. My current dog is getting a little long in the tooth now and a new companion might be good for him and help the process of 'handing over'.
Having seen and read a little about GWP's, I am thinking about straying from Lab's for the first time. I own a small farm and would like the dog to be a companion rather than a specialist in an particular area. I would need them to be steady and not wander far from my side. I have a small deer park and would like to take the dog into the deer population without it chasing the deer. If it doesn't they will get used to him. He needs to be steady around guns and be capable of retrieving without that being his main function. However the main role will be as guard dog. During the day my dogs are housed in a pen close to the house where they can see any approach to the house. I need them to bark at newcomers but not jump out and eat them. I would also like any thoughts on the sex of the animal. I have always preferred dogs to bitches as I believe them to be a bit more 'bloody minded'. Are there character differences between the sex's of GWP's? Training is another issue. I may just not have the time or ability to train a dog to the level that I require. Labs seem to come part trained, but I hear that GWP's can be difficult and would require considerably more time to train than a lab. Is this true?
Any other observations on the breed would be appreciated.