A year or two ago I ran into what I thought was an English sheepdog in a store. I was blown away by its temperament, surrounded by little kids who wanted to touch its long coat, as it basically lounged with its owner in the checkout line, relaxed but still friendly and quietly responsive to the children. It was stunningly beautiful, and it reminded me of a giant shaggy Sundance (although more calm), so it stuck with me. At some point later I realized it couldn’t be an English sheepdog because of its coloring, which was brown and white. I’m pretty sure it’s a bearded collie, and it’s what I picture when I imagine my dream large breed dog. If I want a change in 10-15 years (after I’ve had at least one more Havanese) I really might go for it, if our allergies can handle it. I’m curious how people with allergies do with them. It seems like people with less severe allergies were sometimes able to live with dogs before the popularity of hypoallergenic breeds, but it was more work. DS also has mobility issues and Sundance’s size is almost too much for him, but I’ve been reminded lately that sometimes I don’t work on certain things with Sundance because he can be scooped up, and that the size of the dog matters a lot less if I’m better focused.If looking for a more allergy friendly herding breed, I would suggest looking the Bearded Collie route or looking into the breed I think is the dog world's best kept secret, the Schapendoes. Puli and Pumi can be very sharp, very sensitive dogs (moreso than the average herding breed, in my experience) and thus the breeds struggle with temperament as that often goes too far. Beardies and Schaps tend to lean a bit more similar to Havanese in their goofiness and friendliness, but still have the herding breed tendencies that make Border Collies so wonderful (I often call my Beardie students "Border Collies that dropped out of their doctorate program to pursue their true calling in clown college" 😉)
I eventually plan to go the Schapendoes route. They're pretty rare (a friend of mine had the first litter in the US in 10 years a few years back), but there are at least 3 breeders stateside currently, and due to the breed's unknown status, most don't have super deep waitlists and want to get their dogs in the hands of people that will do stuff with them.
i really want to know more about Schapendoes! What are their coats like?