Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part Two
Posted on November 20th, 2018 by FetchMasters in Resources
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the first stages of the process of selecting a dog. The process starts with evaluating your lifestyle and making a list of what you are looking for in a dog. The next stage is to use that list to figure out what type of dog will best suit your lifestyle.
Understanding the types of dogs out there will increase your chances of finding the perfect dog for you and your family.
Understanding Breed Types When Selecting a Dog
Our current selection of dog breeds has been bred for a wide variety of purposes for hundreds of years. The first dogs were bred to help humans with hunting, and later livestock management.
As civilization developed, dogs were bred for pest control, more stylized hunting, protecting property, and companionship. We can still see specific traits in dogs today that reflect what their ancestors were bred to do, whether the dog is purebred or mixed. The following are generalities, but they can help guide your decision in selecting a dog that suits your purposes.
- Hunting breeds, sometimes known as “gun dogs” or “sporting dogs” are bred to work directly with humans to hunt specific prey in a stylized way. These dogs tend to be responsive to humans, eager for training, and friendly toward people and other dogs.
- Terrier breeds are bred to hunt vermin independently of humans. These dogs are hard-wired to chase and kill prey and are not as interested in listening to human input.
- Hound breeds are also bred to hunt independently of humans, tracking game either by sight or by scent. These dogs are often thought of as stubborn, because they are independent by nature, and like to do things their own way.
- Herding breeds are bred to assist in the control of livestock. They tend to be more sensitive to their environments than other breed types, and are often stimulated by motion. They usually are easily trained and like working directly with humans, but they may be wary of strangers.
- Guardian breeds are those who have been bred to protect personal property. These tend to be large dogs, and they can be wary of those outside the family unit. These dogs need training to understand friend from foe, especially because they often are very powerful.
- Companion breeds are bred to do just that – give us companionship. These tend to be smaller dogs, who are friendly toward people. They are generally easy to train.
Read as much as you can about the types of dogs you are interested in. This is most important if you have a specific job in mind for your future dog. Not all dogs are suitable for all jobs or purposes. Mixed breeds may exhibit traits from more than one of these breed types, which may or may not line up with how they look. When selecting a dog, there are no guarantees. However, you want to stack the deck in your favor. Selecting the correct type of dog is an important step in stacking that deck. The next involves determining where that dog came from. Find out more in Part 3 of our series on the Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog.
As usual, if you have any questions, please fill free to contact FetchMasters for expert guidance.