Selecting the Right Breed of Dog
Selecting the Right Breed of Dog
While there are no essential personality differences between the
sexes of dogs, there is no doubt that some personality
variations exist among the various breeds. Though rather minor,
they are significant enough so that they should be inquired into
in order that the particular breed can meet individual needs.
This fact may be of special importance where there are children
in the household. The disposition of an animal certainly must be
compatible with the personality of the child. Some breeds have a
tendency to be peppy, alert, excitable, or noisy, while others
are generally quiet, lazy, or phlegmatic. Some are more likely
to become one-man dogs, while others seem to want to encompass
the whole world in their sphere.
There are, however, enough breeds to satisfy almost any
requirement. Once the breed has been definitely decided upon, it
is advisable to get in touch with a recognized kennel club
agency. It is especially important that the breeder be highly
recommended, for occasionally breeders have been guilty of
dishonest practices, though these are the exception rather than
the rule. In the final analysis, however, there are reliable and
unreliable dealers in all fields and the discretion of the
purchaser must ultimately decide the issue.
When the animal is purchased, a ten-day trial should be insisted
upon, in order to have time to get veterinary certification of
good health, and to ascertain whether the animal is of suitable
disposition – that is, to find out whether the animal gets along
with your family. The reliable breeder will agree unhesitatingly
to such a reasonable request. Less reliable breeders will agree
to a trial of only 24 to 48 hours. Since latent diseases often
do not arise for several days, and since it usually takes more
than a couple of days to decide whether an animal’s disposition
is suitable, the prospective owner is advised to proceed with
extreme caution when he has only a day or two to make his final
A reference list of the recognized breeds of dogs follows. The
various breeds were developed to adapt these animals to
different activities; to learn to distinguish one breed from
another; the best method is to attend dog shows. The official
publications of the American Kennel Club give detailed
information on the history and standards of the various breeds.
The American Kennel Club recognizes six major classes of dog
breeds, as follows:
Group one: sporting dogs
Griffon: Wirehaired-Pointing. Pointer: German Shorthaired.
Retrievers: Chesapeake Bay, Curly-Coated, Flat-Coated, Golden,
Labrador. Setters: English, Gordon, Irish. Spaniels: Brittany,
Clumber, Cocker, English Springer, Field, Irish Water, Sussex,
Group two: sporting dogs, hounds
Afghan, Basset, Beagle, Bloodhound, Borzoi, Dachshund,
Deer-hound (Scottish), Foxhound (American), Foxhound (English),
Greyhound, Harrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Otterhound, Rhodesian
Ridgeback, Saluki, Whippet, Wolfhound (Irish), Wolfhound
Group three: working dog
These include some of the largest breeds in the dog world. They
are best suited to being used as guard dogs for police or army
purposes, watchdogs, herding dogs, sled dogs, etc.
Alaskan Malamute, Belgian Sheepdog, Bernese Mountain Dog,
Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Briard, Bull-Mastiff, Collie
(Rough), Collie (Smooth), Doberman Pinscher, Eskimo, German
Shepherd, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Komondor, Kuvasz, Mastiff,
Newfoundland, Old English Sheepdog, Puli, Rottweiler, Samoyede,
Schnauzer (Giant), Shetland Sheepdog, Siberian Huskie, St.
Bernard, Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), Welsh Corgi (Pembroke).
Group four: terriers
These breeds have a sporting background. They are adapted to
hunting small game, especially where a considerable amount of
digging is required.
Airedale, Bedlington, Border, Bull, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Fox
(Smooth), Fox (Wirehaired), Irish, Kerry Blue, Lakeland, Lhasa,
Manchester, Norwich, Schnauzer (Miniature), Schnauzer
(Standard), Scottish, Sealyham, Skye, Staffordshire, Welsh, West
Group five: toys
These have been bred as novelty dogs and have no work or
Affenpinscher, Chihuahua, English Toy Spaniel, Griffon
(Brussels), Italian Greyhound, Japanese Spaniel, Maltese,
Mexican Hairless, Papillon, Pekingese, Pinscher (Miniature),
Pomeranian, Pug, Toy Manchester Terrier, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire
Group six: nonsporting
While some of these breeds have a sporting, guard-dog or hunting
background, they are now bred mainly as pets. They include some
of the most distinctive and handsome animals in the world of
Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog,
Keeshonden, Poodle, Schipperke.
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