When I go up to the local “dogs off leash” park where I live it is amazing to see the variety of breeds that turn up. Being someone who does read a lot about dogs and other animals, plants, etcetera, in fact most “things” related to the natural world, I have an inkling for what breed of dogs are trending at any given time and, sure enough, there is always a good representation of “the best dog breed” of the moment visiting our dog park and I’m sure it is the same story World-wide. But the question is … is that the best dog breed for those particular owners?
It is amazing how many people are influenced by “trends”.
It isn’t always a pure-bred dog either; the “designer dog” is a big hit with many people, most of whom unwittingly purchase them as cute (usually fluffy) little pups from a local pet store. While some pet stores are quite strict about where they get their puppies, there are still many owners with a doggy whose parents live out a quite horrific existence at a puppy farm somewhere.
Whatever story you are told at the pet store your puppy DOES come from a breeder whose sole objective is to breed puppies for the pet market. There are NO other motives for why they would breed “cross-bred” puppies. As well as that name “designer dogs”, in my time they have gone by a variety of names. Names like “mongrels” or “bitzas” or another amusing name was Heinz dogs, (because you never know, the blood-line could have 57 different dog breeds behind it). And of course, they have also been called exactly what they are, “cross breeds”. But someone a decade or more ago had an “AH-HA” moment and came up with the “designer dog” name and it gave license to a new wave of people to make money out of pet industry, and so many of the gullible public have been caught up. Hook, line and sinker!
But this post is not about cross-breeds or pure breeds or the puppy mill discussion; it is about what causes people to pick one particular breed or cross breed over another. Do people gravitate to a particular variety of dog, believing it is the best dog breed for them, because of its looks, or its personality? Or because they like “fluffy little dogs” or “pretty dogs” or “fast dogs” or “tiny, toy dogs”; or perhaps they like a “tough looking dog” to match their (what they believe to be) tough persona?
It could be any one of a number of reasons and there is another one not mentioned above.
They have been exposed to a certain breed of dog, (and again it could be pure bred or designer dog), and they have fallen for a combination of its looks and its mannerisms, they are “converted”, they have formed an opinion about what is the best dog breed and they welcome one into their family.
A typical scenario could be that they have been seriously thinking about adding a dog to the family. They have received mixed opinions from family members as to what sort of dog they want. Some want a dog like the one in the movie they have just watched. Someone else loves his best mates dog and wants”lost o ne like that. Etcetera, etcetera.
But you! You have seen a happy owner with their dog in the local park, or walking down a street near where you live, and they look so happy together. A real match you might say. And you have seen a lot of other people with that sort of dog or one that looks similar and you begin to think that “here is the best dog breed for me”. (But you’re not a dog expert, so you might only think you have seen the same sort of dog a number of times, when in fact they may have been quite different in a number of aspects).
So now you unsuspectingly decide on a choice of dog based on (probably) the most common reason most people choose their dog. You have based your decision on an impulse …. a whim! It could be your whim, or one of your family’s whims. But it is most certainly not based on thorough research on what breed personality and mannerisms suit your family’s lifestyle and constraints.
So, you are most likely going to “acquire” that special little puppy for your family based on any one or a couple of the above reasons.
You might be lucky. Many people are “lucky” when it comes to choosing the right dog for themselves and / or their family. Let’s face it there are many dogs that are just plain happy souls all the time and love affection and attention in any form it comes. All they want is to be part of your lives. And good luck with that; absolutely nothing wrong with that if it all works out.
But just don’t look too hard at the statistics on the internet at the moment. Overcrowded “lost dog homes” all over the World. Dogs looking to be re-homed, many stressed out because they don’t know what has happened to them. I won’t even mention other horrors / issues that “pets” can be subjected to by we humans.
Yes, you might be lucky but you might also end up with a dog that is too boisterous for your family; demands too much attention, too little attention, inattentive, etcetera, and is totally wrong for you and your family’s lifestyle. You fell in love with the look instead of the personality behind “the dog”.
The point I am trying to make here is that the world of dogs is just SO varied. You know how much variety there is when it comes to looks and size; it CAN be a real issue, this picking the best dog breed for you.
You probably have a good idea as to what breed / type of dog your family are drawn to based on the dog’s external appearances.
You also have a good idea about the demeanor of the dog you are being drawn to after gazing from afar at other people’s dogs; but do you know whether that dog breed / type you gaze at in adoration at down at the local park will fit into your family unit?
It doesn’t take that much time to research a few breeds of dog (that you have narrowed it down to) and learn about the characteristics that are ultimately responsible for it being the best dog breed personality wise / the right choice for your lifestyle. And that IS the most important aspect of having a long and happy relationship with your dog.