How to choose a dog: tips from a dog handler
Find out which pet will suit you the most.
Like humans, dogs have different temperaments. But, unlike us, our younger brothers are characterized by some “breed features” that can affect their personality. Therefore, some breeds may suit you perfectly, and some – not so much.
In appearance, the dog may seem “the one”: a cute muzzle, a donut tail – probably playful (just like you like!). And then it turns out that you’ve chosen a stay-at-home dog that you can’t shake. That’s because it’s a big mistake to look for a new friend only by appearance. It does not hurt to know in advance what type of character is characteristic of different breeds, because the dog becomes a real family member and a full partner for many years. Historically, all breeds have their own purpose. Depending on this, the dog can be both very independent and not human-oriented, and a sensitive empath.
Classes of some breeds led to the fact that the dog began to do everything on its own, for example, hunting dogs, which include everyone’s favorite burrowing dachshund breed. In her work, the dachshund always found herself one-on-one with the hunted animal and had to make her own decisions. So her independent character was formed.
Hunting dogs are interesting communicative companions. They know what they want, and they need persistent, meticulous owners who can be consistent in communication, walking and training. By the way, any dogs need it, but hunting dogs especially.
Dachshunds and terriers are traditionally considered comfortable for an apartment, but their character will sooner or later make itself felt. If you are not ready to spend a lot of time raising a pet, it is better to look at other breeds. Hunting dogs need space, play and the same attention as other family members.
It is important to remember that hunting dogs are different. Burrowing or greyhound breeds do their job on their own. Some are sharpened to act in tandem with the owner-hunter: for example, to bring prey (poodles, retrievers), to detect it (cops) or to lift a bird on the wing (spaniels).
Popular breeds: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Scotch Terrier, dachshund, beagle, poodle, fox terrier.
Such dogs are very sensitive to their owners, so they often become excellent companions and helper dogs. Retrievers, for example, are massively used as guides for the blind, in the search and rescue service, as therapy dogs. These representatives of the canine genus are characterized by childlike spontaneity and puppyishness. They love to play, explore new things and try their best to understand the owner, even if he is just learning the dog language. Such pets are suitable for novice dog breeders.
Herding dogs are divided into two main branches. The first is shepherd guard dogs, that is, dogs for the protection of sheep. They were bred for independent work: they can guard herds alone and live for a long time without a person. Such dogs do not need contact so much: it is unlikely that you will achieve from them what is commonly called puppy love.
Popular breeds: Central Asian or Caucasian Shepherds.
These are serious dogs that can become dangerous in the hands of inexperienced owners. But proper upbringing and love make these giants touching and loyal friends. It is these dogs that are used to protect territories or protect objects.
The natural loneliness of such dogs does not mean at all that it is impossible to establish contact with them. It will not be enough for the owner just to be around: you will have to make more efforts than with other breeds to form a bond with the dog and not lose it.
The second branch is herding dogs, which must graze herds. They, on the contrary, are very empathetic, attentive to the slightest changes in the behavior of the owner, because they work in tandem with him and must immediately obey him.
Popular breeds: Collie, corgi, kelpie, some sheepdogs.
They are usually excellent companions, but they require games, movement, intellectual dog work. After all, their ancestors lived all day in nature, grazed herds, looked for stray sheep and could run a couple of tens of kilometers a day. They also have lightning-fast reactions, so fast enough people get along with them best.
Sled dogs have become very popular over the past 5-7 years: everyone likes cute fluffy huskies with blue eyes. Every muscle of this dog is sharpened to run with a sled. They have a huge need for movement, their character is fervent, gambling and persistent. Natural impulsivity, if not directed in the right direction, can lead to serious violations of behavior: escapes, conflict, aggression. Such a dog is suitable for someone who loves active sports himself and is ready to wind circles around the park with the dog.
Popular breeds: Husky, malamute.
Like hunting dogs, they need an attentive human friend with whom they can walk in the same direction, and not a detached human owner.
They are intelligent and physically developed dogs, very loyal to man. They are not as emotionally sensitive as shepherd dogs or retrievers, but they have more independence and the ability to withstand stress in the difficult work of fighting crime and protecting the owner.
Their task is to assess the degree of danger independently, while strictly obeying the guide. Guard dogs are considered dangerous by many, but in fact this is not the case — they can be formidable with strangers and incredibly gentle with their owners.
Popular breeds: German and Belgian Shepherds, Doberman, Rottweiler, Cane Corso.
In addition to service dogs that help in the work of the special services, there are breeds that specialized more in the protection of possessions, for example, the Mastino Neapolitano and the Great Dane of Bordeaux. These dogs are usually distinguished by equanimity.
If you want a pet of this breed to understand you, it is better to resort to the help of a dog handler. With proper training, these dogs can become wonderful companions for families with children and even for novice dog breeders.
There is an opinion that it is inhumane to have a dog in an apartment. Dogs really need a lot of space, much more than the same cats or rabbits, but you can still choose a breed that will be comfortable even in the studio.
For a small apartment, miniature breeds that have historically not been designed to do any work or have simply stopped doing it for a long time: this is what happened with Yorkshire Terriers, for example. Now the main task of such pets is to be a faithful and devoted companion. They are very sociable and can find a common language with almost anyone. Of course, with due sensitivity on the part of the family, especially children. In the case of any breed, it is important to instill in the child an attentive and careful attitude towards animals.
Popular breeds: Yorkshire Terrier, Russian Toy Terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, pug, Petit Brabanson.
Indoor and decorative breeds are suitable even for melancholics — such dogs adapt well to the temperament of the owner. Be sure that your pug will be like you: if you are sad, he will also be sad, if you are having fun, you will have fun together.
It is not so important which breed of dog will eventually turn out to be your pet. For example, many are afraid of bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and other bull-type dogs. Despite their notoriety, they can be excellent companions, preserving playfulness and puppyishness for the rest of their lives.
Your pet can be a mongrel that you pick up from the street — and then in any case you will not be able to predict her temperament. Therefore, it is important to know immediately why you are getting a dog, how you will share the responsibility for taking care of it between family members and how you will raise it.
It is important to add that absolutely any dog needs education and understanding of its needs. Consultation with a dog handler at the very beginning of the journey as a dog owner will save you from a lot of difficulties.