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Individual dog or breed? Be honest about yours(37 Posts)
Just wondering if you believe people should pick a puppy or dog based on breed and lifestyle suitability to breed or whether you think it depends on the individual dog? Both? What is your dogs breed? Are they true to breed? What is positive and negative about your dog?
I have a Border Terrier. When she was a tiny puppy I was told they could be aggressive with other dogs. She was socialised with all breeds, had doggy friends.
At 2 years old she took a disliking to JRTs and anything smaller, fluffy dogs like shihtzus, border collies, and terriers in general.
She’s ok now at 12, but it took living with 6 other dogs including all of the above to get her out of it.
If it's a puppy, then look primarily at the breed as it will give you an idea of what the adult dog will be like.
For those looking for adult / rescue dogs, especially those with relatively vague requirements (eg good with kids, up to an hour of walking a day) I would advise them to talk to the rescue centre as they may have an individual of a breed, or mutt, that would be perfect but the prospective owner wouldn't have considered.
This is an awful analogy, but when you're choosing a puppy it's a bit like choosing a cuisine for dinner, and deciding that you'll be happy eating something from within the Italian range of dishes at your local Italian restaurant (but you have no idea if you'll end up eating pizza or pasta). When you're choosing an adult rescue dog it's more like deciding you'd like a specific dish (eg chips) for dinner, but being equally happy if they come from an Indian or Chinese restaurant. That makes sense in my head, it might not make sense to anyone else
My golden retrievers do love to retrieve!
People should consider things like grooming and exercise requirements when choosing a breed of dog.
Certain breeds do have distinct characteristics. But you can’t say all greyhounds are x and all collies are y.
I do think it is a bit of both. I think you have to recognise the general characteristics of that breed but accept that not all dogs will follow those characteristics. We have a Labrador puppy. Loves everybody and everything and is very food driven. All fairly typical however we met another Labrador puppy who is not food driven and generally much calmer. I also think when you look at training dogs you need to recognise their motivations and characteristics. Our Labrador finds walking on the lead tricky as he just wants to explore at a rather fast pace. We have to recognise that training will take time because we are working against his natural characteristics however it is possible.
I have a Dalmatian and he is a truly wonderful family dog. Researched breeders thoroughly before I got him. He's unbelievably loyal and affectionate and I would recommend in a heartbeat as long as you love walking and/or running with them on a daily basis .
Both. You get breed traits but each dog is individual.
My cocker is typical of his breed in that he is a hunting dog and can pick up a scent. He likes to flush pheasants out etc but would fail as a gundog as he hates bangs and gunshots
We have a Spanish water dog who is largely as described however there is some variation.
He is incredibly loyal and affectionate but as the breed suggests he is wary of strangers. This is despite lots and lots of socialisation. So that is true to breed. However unlike his typical breed he is easy going, pretty relaxed and non demanding. He also isint that keen on water despite what all the breed info says
As people have said the breed characteristics give you an overall idea of what the dog will be like but within that there can well be lots of variation. In saying that we used to have a lab who was almost exactly ‘as described’
We got our dog as a puppy. I think pretty much our only criteria was that we didn't want a small dog and we did want a puppy. I checked our local rescue's web site every morning for puppies. When six puppies came in I was there within an hour (and the whole litter had homes when I left an hour later).
Dear dog is apparently half American Water Spaniel but had a completely unknown dad. We were told he could be a Rottweiler or a terrier so to be prepared for a big or small dog. He turned out medium sized and just right for us Still no idea about his breed, and I bet his mum wasn't pure bred either as he looks nothing like the AWS I've seen online. I love mutts.
I have two JRTs both utter bastards. So pretty much true to type.
Had two rotties - one was a rescue and difficult to start with. The other was from a pup and the softest teddy bear of a dog you ever met. Both had similar personalities though, very calm, unflappable and typical rotties.
We have a cockapoo pup (6 months old) who is 3/4 spaniel and 1/4 poodle.
True to form, he is incredibly loving and loyal, very intelligent, quick and easy to train. He’s also a rascal when it comes to anything in her reach - socks,shoes,bras,children’s toys etc. He can use the pedal bin in the kitchen...
I wouldn’t change him for the world though, the silly fluff ball
Big clumsy idiot
Large powerful dog with big teeth even if he looks like a teddy
Chases squirrels and becomes deaf when he sees one
Mud magnets and never met a puddle or other body of water he didn’t like
Very pleased to see everyone and everyone on walks ( this can impact recall)
Can resource guard
Eats socks and rips any toy we give him to bits
Quite chilled in the house, once he’s said hello he goes and lies down
Gives great cuddles
Empathises if anyone is upset and comforts anyone who’s upset
Wouldn’t have any other breed (he’s my 4th)
Staffie cross - loving, cuddly, loyal, intelligent, mostly obedient, and well socialised with other dogs .
Downside - big prey instinct so chases squirrels, cats if allowed (not), foxes (all dogs do that), learning not to go after deer or ducks (but upside is Staffies really want to please their loved ones so being in disgrace is effective in deterring them from doing it again).
Lhasa apso. The most stubborn wee dog but also the most loving. She loves cuddles and being with us but if she gets something in her head you can't turn her!
We have boxers, in total we've had 6 at different times and they have all had very different and distinct personalities. Boxers need human company, they will destroy your house if they're left alone. I found them very easy to train, and their recall is fantastic. Of the two we have now one is really smart and very intuitive and the youngest is thick, a lovely friendly dog but stupid and scared of his own shadow. One thing I have found to be true is that they don't really grow out of puppyhood until they are about 4/5. They are very loyal and affectionate and are very good guard dogs. I love dogs but would only share my life with a boxer
Dalmatian, attractive, independent, intelligent, family loving, natural hoover/dustbin - clears all your waste food. Will make sure you walk everyday, guards the house and hunts vermin. Enlivens your day with their antics, always a story to tell!
No real downsides.
Breeds will only give you a probability, maybe, if you know the parents, a high probability of their behaviour. They do vary. Would definitely research breeds if looking for a puppy, though, even if getting a cross-breed, if only as it gives you a knowledge base to start ie what they may be like, not will esp with crosses. Thing is though, if you want to do mega hikes etc not always a great idea to get a puppy as it won't be up to hiking till its at least a year old.
If you want definite characteristics and aren't fussed about breed, its worth considering a rescue, as they should be assessed, and many (so they tell me) would make great pets, but their (the rescue's) criteria can be somewhat restrictive. Never had a rescue myself (don't think I'm deemed suitable anyway!) but did walk dogs for a rescue centre, and yes, some of them are lovely.
I think breed or mixture can give you some indication of what the probability of the dog having certain characteristics are, but only meeting an adult dog in a non stressful environment tells you what they are actually like.
FWIW, I have two lurchers - one is greyhoundy salukish, and one is whippety dobermanish. Both are gentle and kind, like to run very fast, and spend huge amounts of time asleep which is true to 'type'. I get to meet a lot of lurchers, and apart from the collie cross lurchers they do tend to share these characteristics.
Akita, completely true to breed
Stubborn as anything
Hard to train
Aloof with Strangers
Protective of family and property
Very loving with close family
Massive prey drive
Lazy as anything and will happily chill in the garden for 20 minutes a day apposed to walking for an hour
Positives - I love him more than the earth
Never chewed anything
4 yrs old- all of a sudden he doesn't like any dog bigger than him or bulldog looking.
He's v territorial about the garden, barks at birds, the wind.
Also very bad separation anxiety. Really doesn't like to be away from me. But that's cis he's never really away from me!
Staffy cross - I took her off her owner who was kicking her at 8 weeks. She’s now 10. Pretty typical staffie - LOVES people, says hello to everyone on our walks, esp loves children, loves to lick(!!!), won Waggiest Tail at dog show as her whole body wiggles, easy to train, incredible recall, high prey drive, not keen on little fluffy dogs & more recently not keen on submissive dogs, can sense if I’m upset from across the room & will jump on me & lick my tears. Cons: people hate staffies.
Beagle, rescued 2 years ago, not completely typical to breed - his scent drive is high & if he gets on a squirrel scent / sees one, his ears turn off (he has to wear a gps tracker!!). But he’s a little ‘shy’ - from knowing his background, I understand his triggers. He is funny, goofy, loving, cuddly. His recall is excellent, until he is on a scent.
Cons: He sheds so badly, it’s a nightmare! He loves mud & rolling in fox poo. Sometimes having to wait a while for him to come back... or having to wander after him & the invisible squirrels.
I think that while there is individual variation, most dogs of the same breed will share similar traits/have a broadly similar personality.
I have a border collie (working bred)
I would say she is ‘typical’ yes.
- Very intelligent, generally learns new tricks within 10 minutes.
- Very soft and gentle and friendly with people.
- Very child tolerant
- Very helpful, she will try to stop the cat clawing the furniture for example and when my dog walker shared a video of one of the dogs bouncing around with a stick refusing to give it up my dog was the one to try and pull it out of the other dogs mouth..
- Very biddable/eager to please. Not at all stubborn.
- Very quiet
- Protective. I don’t think she has the nerve to ‘follow through’ but she will emit a very low same pitch threat growl at unexpected callers late at night, she has done the same to a very dodgy looking man on a walk.
- Fairly sensitive, raised voices will make her anxious.
- High prey drive
- Very quick to frustrate
- Dog aggression (this is due to repeated bad experiences, not a ‘breed thing’)
We have an Old English sheepdog (Dulux dog!)
Our DS has severe autism and the dog is fabulous with him. He's so placid and such a laid back character. We've had him for 3 years and he just gets better and better.
DH says he's a bumbling clumsy dog, he doesn't realise how big he actually is. When DS has his meltdowns the dog helps calm him down.
Love him to bits!
Meant to add, his grooming takes me ages, and it's expensive when he goes for his regular professional groom (every 3 weeks.) We have him clipped in the summer though.
Show style lab so is bigger than the working dog lab
True to breed. I'm he is gentle ,easy to train ,loves water and dirt we all adore him .Very well mannered but did work hard so he is not seen as a oh feck bouncy lab
Negative the hair and at times the fact he needs knackering mentally and physically so am out all weather's
Will i have another lab no unless golden oldie rescue type.As rather not walk 2/4 hrs a day all weather's )Knew what was getting into though but as I get older know in future not want to do that much input