Choosing A Dog : Why Breed Groups Don’t Work On Their Own

This is another in my series of stories about why people need help choosing a dog.  And this is an example of how even an experienced dog owner can come unstuck.

This story dates from when I lived in Essex, but it’s message is still very relevant.  This is a short version of the conversation I had with a very frustrated dog owner.  

I’ve always owned gundogs.  I owned labradors for years.  When my last lab died, I chose this Weimeraner to replace her.  I’ve always liked the look of them. My labs were delightful – easy going, easy to train and would do the exercise I wanted to do with them.  This dog’s completely different.  Very difficult to train and needs about 20 miles a day, every day.  I thought being a gundog she would be the same as my labs, but she’s not.  Because I can’t walk her as much as she needs she’s a nuisance.

This experienced owner made the mistake of thinking that because he had owned a particular breed of gundog – the labrador – that he’d be suited to any other gundog breed.

Although he was an active guy, the Weimeraner needed far more exercise than he had time for.  It was therefore causing him problems elsewhere in his life.

And although he had trained other dogs before, he hadn’t bargained for the wilful intelligence of the Weimeraner.  That is compared to the easy trainability and willingness of the Labrador.

He admitted he didn’t do any research before he made his choice.   Even a limited review of breed profiles would have shown the Weimeraner to have high energy and challenging training needs.  But because he’d ‘had gundogs’ before he just automatically assumed he could choose any gundog and be fine.  (It is an easy mistake to make.)

Not so.

Within the breed groups there can be a huge difference in the breed characteristics – size, trainability, intelligence, exercise level.  So in the gundog group, they were bred in different countries for different conditions.  Though they were bred to work for humans, some of them ‘work’ more remotely and others side by side with their owners.

Some are strong swimmers  – such as the Curly Coated Retriever and Gordon Setter .  Some are long distance field trackers, like the Weimeraner and German Pointer.  Some are bred to be close to their masters and retrieve on command – the Labrador Retriever.

So although the breed group can indicate general charateristics, it’s not enough on it’s own to tell you whether you’re a good match.  

Top Tip : If you know you prefer a particular ‘style’ of dog, breed groups can be a good way into the choosing process.  But you always need to check each individual breed to make sure you’re choosing the right dog for you.

Choosing A Dog The Right Way

It’s a fact that 50% of all people who get a dog have to rehome it in less than 12 months.  It’s also a very sad truth that a huge number of puppies bought are from puppy farms – raised in appalling conditions without adequate care, veterinary treatment, food or socialisation.  Many have health problems and behavioural issues.  And these contribute to the problems you as owners face when you get them home.

Failure HURTS.   The emotional and financial cost of choosing the wrong dog can be hard to recover from.   Learning to choose a dog the right way takes a long time. You have to know all the questions before you know if you have the answers.  Missing even a small piece of the puzzle can cause serious problems.

That’s why this site was set up.  My mission in life is for everyone who is right for a dog to have a dog they love to live with.  To get rid of as many puppy farms as possible, and rescue centres, by making sure you choose right first time.

You can choose to get it right.  The tools on this site give you all the opportunity you need to choose the right dog.  Not everyone has lots of money to splash about so there’s everything from free to a serious investment.  However if you’re spending $800 or more on a pedigree puppy then just a little bit extra invested now could make all the difference later on.

Get Your Free Guides!

Most people make a mess of choosing a dog.  Puppy farms do big business because of it.  Sickness, starvation and suffering are the price the dogs pay. It’s a multi-billion industry you don’t want to fund. Get a lifetime of support from people who care.  Fast track your success with the best tips around.  Get your Free Guides today by clicking this link    Send article as PDF   

Comments are closed.