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Many people make the mistake of getting a dog without full knowledge of their breed’s needs, predispositions and traits. Each different breed has a unique set of challenges, and positives too, that come along with owning a dog from said breed. It is common when adopting a dog to do so because it is cute or otherwise aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes people will want a dog because of a TV, book or movie character whose hero or heroine is a particular breed – i.e. wanting a Great Dane because of Scooby Doo.
This mistake does a disservice to both the dog, and the person. If you are considering adopting a dog, be sure to research his or her breed fully before choosing one. This is an easier thing to do now than it was 50 years ago, because rather than the library you have but to search the Internet. Scores of reputable sites with thorough information regarding a certain breed’s quirks are just a mouse click away. You may find yourself unpleasantly or pleasantly surprised if you adopt a dog without doing so. Here are a few common misconceptions to get your gears turning.
Small Dogs are Universally Friendly
Many people adopt small dogs because they are so “cute” and they must have an unconditionally cute personality to go along with their stature and faces. While it is true that smaller dogs are cute, they very often are not as personable as it is easy to assume they are. Chihuahuas for example, are very one person to one family dogs. They don’t usually get along well with children because children often treat them like a toy, which causes them to nip or snarl. Mini Pinschers are much the same. They are fiercely territorial, and are a one family type dog. Guests will be treated with caution and even aggression until the Pinscher feels they are trustworthy. Similarly, small dogs like poodles and some breeds of terrier are some of the most intelligent dog breeds. Treating them like a toy to be played with or a doll to dress up is likely to cause them mental distress and in return, aggression toward all.
Mini Dogs are Bred Down From Large Dogs
Several breeds of terrier, the miniature pinscher and the schnauzer, as well as a smattering of other small dogs are not necessarily the “toy” version of a larger breed. In the mini pins’s case, the Doberman breed was bred up from the small size, and not the other way around. In the case of many terriers and the schnauzer, different sizes are different variations on the same breed, rather than some forced size alteration caused by years of inbreeding or some such nonsense.
Greyhounds are Timid
Greyhounds are more “reserved” than timid. They will be playful and affectionate with their owners. More often than not, a high level of timidity is a result of a greyhound being unhappy. Greyhounds need extreme amounts of activity to be happy. They need to run around and play upwards of 45 minutes a day. They were bred for running. Without this level of exercise, they will become melancholy and antisocial. The same can be said for other breeds bred for high levels of activity like sheep herding dogs and sled dog breeds such as Huskies and Samoyeds.
Dalmatians Are Smart
Dalmatians were bred to look pretty running next to fire trucks and to not be afraid of horses. This makes them simple to train, which is why they are often “cast” in Hollywood movies. In actuality, Dalmatians border on flat out dumb. This is not to say that there is an exception here or there, and stupid doesn’t mean anything negative about their personalities; they are very sweet. Their level of intelligence can be destructive to themselves or property, so don’t get a Dalmatian if you like your whites white and your house immaculate, or you will be in for a nasty surprise.
Hunting Dogs are Easy to Train
Hunting Dogs like Brittany Spaniels, Setters and Labrador retrievers suffer some of the same hyperactivity as greyhounds paired with the pigeon holed breeding of Dalmatians. They are over exuberant and focused learning is not their strong point. The only way to train them is by using repetition and exhibiting patience. To teach them to retrieve a bird, practice, practice, practice with a retrieving dummy, and they will eventually learn.
Luckily, once they learn they don’t forget, but it takes time to instill them with a behavior. Hunting Dogs are some of the most loyal and loving pooches you will find; so don’t be too harsh in your punishments when they take too long to learn, or bring back a bird a bit chewed up. You dog being unhappy won’t help them learn any more quickly.
What it all boils down to is simple: before getting a particular breed, don’t do so because you simply like the look. Do your research and know your energy level, which can also be a huge determining factor in which dog you bring home.
write by Joyce