The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What Dog Breed is Best

A friend of mine recently asked the question, "What breed of dog should I get?"

I spent awhile drafting a response and wanted to save it, so I'm posting it here:

This is actually a really big question, and largely depends on what you want in a dog, and how you want to live your life.

First start with some dog-finder quiz to see what breeds you should look at. This quiz is actually pretty good:
http://www.selectsmart.com/DOG/

Keep in mind though, that if you get a pure breed you can run into some weird (and expensive) issues due to inbreeding. For example, I've spent about an extra $3k on my wife's dog in the last 2 years because of issues that wouldn't be present in a mutt. But she's a great dog and totally worth it.

Additionally, a lot of breeds that are really popular don't necessarily make the best pets:
Labs - Have lots of weird OCD and anxiety issues
Beagles - Might be cute while you're there, but will bay the whole time you're gone (making some peeved neighbors)
Goldens - Can make an impossible-to-clean layer of fine hair on everything
Herding dogs - Are so smart that they go crazy if you don't constantly challenge them mentally
Pits - Will eat childrens faces off
...you get the idea.

I have a German Shorthaired-Pointer, and think it's the best breed in the world. But they do require a lot of attention and exercise. So if you come home from work and don't want to go running...well, you have to anyway. But if you want a dog that can do well with kids, adults, doesn't bark much, easy to clean, and can go run alongside you while you're mountain biking all day, then there's no breed better.

Mutts are often the best way to go, they need a home, they often are past that annoying (but cute) puppy phase, and they'd be killed if you don't get them. There's also some cool DNA tests you can do now to see what breeds your mutt is made of so that you can find out how to best train them.
http://www.biopetvetlab.com/

Finally, every dog is different. You might find a sedate chihuahua, a dumb border collie, or a lazy GSP. Find the one that best works for you, love it fully, and train it well and you'll wonder how you lived your life without one.

2 comments:

The BMW Mechanic said...

"Goldens - Can make an impossible-to-clean layer of fine hair on everything"

Yes.

ConsciousGardener said...

Have grew up with, and now own two Boston Terriers...they are clowns. One has the manic terrier personality, the other is a lummox.
Thanks for posting about the hops, I'd love to see your set up. Have you done it before?