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Breeds and their purposes

(15 Posts)
Whitney168 Fri 10-Jun-16 13:47:49

Not a post knocking any breed, owner who has posted on here, or indeed cross-bred dogs ... just a general musing over whether we are losing sight of how very different dog breeds/types can be.

There are posts on here at the moment about Border Collies that chase, and a Husky-cross that runs - both things that are in these breeds' very DNA.

Choosing a dog really isn't as easy as liking the look and the size to think it will fit in to your life.

Whether buying a purebred dog or a crossbreed, I wonder how many people stop to think about what that dog may be bred to do, how compatible the breeds are for crossbreeds, and indeed whether they are likely to be able to cope if a crossbreed takes much more strongly after one parent? If you don't want Breed A or Breed B, then a cross of those two breeds may take the perfect parts of both and create the perfect Dog C - or it may create the very devil!

I know it seems to be current behavioural thinking that dogs are individuals and breed doesn't matter - but after many years 'in dogs', and particularly knowing large numbers of dogs within several breeds, this is so not my experience. Yes, they all have individual characteristics, but within a very similar behavioural framework.

Of course, this doesn't mean anyone shouldn't have a certain type of dog - just that they should research it to ensure they choose training methods that the dog is likely to respond to and get a better understanding of why a dog behaves as it does.

Sorry - as I say, absolutely not a preaching post - but hopefully food for thought!

Abraiid1 Fri 10-Jun-16 13:54:23

I think there's a lot of truth in this. We have had six of the same breed of terrier. While there are personality differences in them, ultimately they are bred to chase and kill vermin, without human involvement in the process. So they don't respond particularly well to training. We can get them to sit, lie and most of the time come back, but if there's a rabbit nearby, the adrenalin thrill will always override training.

idontlikealdi Fri 10-Jun-16 13:59:33

Ha, we have had three of the same breed of terrier too. Fab dogs but small furries and terriers will never go together.

They've all been great with cats children dogs and people though. Trainable but with their own mindset.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 10-Jun-16 14:33:47

I've got a very clingy young lab at the moment and somebody said on here just the other day that labs like to be close to people, hence why they make such good working dogs. I guess I shouldn't dissuade him!

airforsharon Fri 10-Jun-16 14:56:37

Yes I completely agree with you re the similar behavioural framework within a breed but there are 'degrees of' and you can't be exactly sure which issues might arise with any particular dog.

Mine's the chasing Collie I posted about earlier. Collies are ten a penny around here, he's one of 5 I know within striking distance, and he's the only one who pulls/chases. I knew when I got him that chasing can be a breed problem, but hoped if it cropped up I would be able to deal with it. As I said in my OP, in all other respects he is training beautifully, he's still young and i'm hopeful we will crack it.

Fwiw, I opted for a Collie because yes, I do like them as a breed and my other dogs are similar in terms of size, intelligence and energy levels. He actually was a 'sensible' choice, taking factors such as house/garden size into account.

LilCamper Fri 10-Jun-16 15:32:34

I have always had retrievers but have worked with loads of breeds.

I have just recently adopted a mini EBT pup.

I knew about terrier traits so he has a digging pit and is being trained to use a flirt pole.

He is totally trainable with the right motivation. Mastering the basics and also knows a few tricks!

Greyhorses Fri 10-Jun-16 15:49:26

I agree completley. I got my collie as the previous owners thought he had too much energy and couldn't cope. Surely they knew this before they got one confused

My dogs live up to their breed traits. Collie is neurotic and obsessive and shepherd is loyal, a big wimp and overprotective. Both very much individuals but they are typical of the breeds.

I wish people would research more!

tabulahrasa Fri 10-Jun-16 15:52:06

"I know it seems to be current behavioural thinking that dogs are individuals and breed doesn't matter"

Does it? Can't say I've come across that TBH...

My opinion on it is, if it's a puppy then the breeds need to be one/s that someone is going to ok with the breed traits, because that's really all you have to go on with a puppy, with an adult it's different because then there's no second guessing, that dog already does or does not have traits and it's a known quantity, so you're basing things on that individual dog.

Wyldfyre Fri 10-Jun-16 18:36:08

Totally agree with you on the need to research breeds OP.
Loads of people buy huskies/malamutes cos they like the look and don't realise what they have taken on.
Also see it with breeds where there is a clear working/show delineation (spaniels/labs) and people don't realise that there can be a massive difference, with workers having a much higher drive.

Whitney168 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:53:00

Also see it with breeds where there is a clear working/show delineation (spaniels/labs) and people don't realise that there can be a massive difference, with workers having a much higher drive.

Oh yes, so true - the working types of both seem to be cheaper, so I think a lot of people think how different can they be? - the answer, as you say, is very very different LOL.

airforsharon, as I say no pop at anyone, you obviously went in to it with your eyes open and sound as if you're doing the right things. Just something that so many people don't seem to take in to account and worth raising so that anyone looking at puppies perhaps takes a bit more time to understand.

MaitlandGirl Sat 11-Jun-16 07:58:18

I know various people who've complained that : their beagle always has his nose to the ground, their sight hounds chase everything that moves, their Newfoundland is always in the lake, their JRT always chases mice and the best one, their kelpie keeps chasing livestock!!

I love my dogs - the main purpose of their breed is to sit there and look pretty :D

At the training classes we go to the trainer presents you with a list of traits and behaviours specific to your breed/crossbreed on your first lesson. It's quite an eye opener for a lot of owners.

PreAdvent13610 Sun 12-Jun-16 21:40:47

We are currently waiting to adopt a staffy/ border collie mix.
We may be mad.
He is going to be a handful. Long walks, agility training and an almost draconian training regime. Luckily he will get the chance to do some work.
We are going to have to assess him and make sure we can cope and that he does indeed have a good temperament.
We have our eyes wide open but may still be mad

airforsharon Sun 12-Jun-16 23:16:17

Sorry if I sounded a bit chippy OP, I was still a bit grrr at how rubbish my walk with Collie had been. You make some very valid points - ones I wish a local woman with three out of control huskies that have killed a dog and maimed two others in the last couple of weeks had considered.

My biggest cock up has been underestimating how breed specific Collie's training needs to be. I've just bought a very good book on the subject and hope that will help me whip him into shape. He has many good points and is very responsive generally, so i'm hopeful :-) And when he gets to a year old I can think about taking him to agility classes.

Pre good luck with your new hound :-)

Bails2014 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:25:18

I've got a Border Terrier, they are the perfect dog. Bred to follow a horse all day but equally happy to snooze on the sofa.

Only issue being he's scared of horses and he's not great at being a terrier either but he's the best dog I've ever had. He's also the only do I've ever had.

Lokibuddyboo Mon 13-Jun-16 02:58:20

Mines a cross breed a chihuahua crossed with a Jrt and I went in with my eyes open after having researched both breeds to make sure I could cope with which ever of his parents breed he turned out to be like.
Thankfully he's the best of both breeds well I think so anyway, he's not hyper like a jrt he's more of a laid back chihuahua but he's also not as delicate as a chihuahua he's fearless and hard as nails.
He can't be trusted around small furries though as he's already killed two field mice and a baby squirrel while out on walks. I guess thats inherited from both parents.

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