The importance of knowing your breed of choice

The importance of knowing your breed of choice.

By Michele Lee

Last week we covered where to look and what to watch out for when acquiring a pet.
I now would like to go briefly over ‘choosing’ your breed.
It is not a good idea to make choices for a pet based on some of the following commonly used criteria.

  • Awww, he is so cute!! (a puppy)
  • Needs a home, will be euthanized if he/she is not adopted (shelter animals),
  • Has an intimidating look that will keep strangers at a distance.
  • Have always wanted a certain breed of dog.

‘Just because he is cute’ is a thinking that will quickly wear thin,
if you are not prepared for what a new puppy will introduce into your household.
Puppy’s like to chew, it may be a shoe, your leather couch or just your big toe.
Needle sharp teeth with a constant need to chew (somewhat like the old ‘Pacman” game),
will be something you can pretty much count on well into a dogs first year of life.

It is an admirable thing to bring home a pet from a shelter, it is something more people need to do.
However,if you choose a breed that you are not familiar with you may end up with a few unexpected occurrences.
I am speaking from experience. I myself wanted to give a shelter dog a home and quickly fell in love with the large brown eyed Beagle that looked at me with his eyes just begging to become a part of my family.
I thought it was odd that Georgie (the name we gave him) was obviously a purebred Beagle and young, only a couple of years old. I was mystified by what had caused him to end up at our local pound.
(I can hear Beagle owners everywhere laughing at me as they are reading this)
I soon found out that Beagles are a tracking breed and they ‘love’ to track.
They will find a way out of a fenced in yard when let out to potty or dart out a door if they pick up a scent.
And they are always picking up some kind of scent!!
There are a lot of pets out there that have been rescued from shelters and have found themselves back out on the street, kicked to the curb by new owners that had no idea of what they were getting into.

I do not think I even need to go into much detail about what could happen when you choose a breed because of it’s fierce looks. That’s right, you may end up with a pet that will hold the flashlight for your burglar if he gets scratched on the belly!! This is the case more often than not with many breeds. Unfortunately, their owners try to make them aggressive or mean in a variety of ways.
The end result…the evening news covering a tragic story of a child being bitten or mauled by an animal.
What is not reported is that the animal has been mentally and physically abused by its owner.

Often, people have wanted a certain breed of dog for years.
They have childhood memories of knowing or owning one, they have read books or have seen movies that ‘starred’ one.
Whatever the reason they will go out and purchase the pet they have always wanted.
Listed below are some obvious examples of why this may not be one of the best ideas that you have had in your lifetime.

A Great Dane as a housedog may have a difficult time not running into and knocking over your prize collection of ‘what nots’ that you have distributed lovingly throughout your home
English Bulldog’s are most likely not going to be a great choice if you are looking for a pet that can make it through an agility course.
Jack Russel Terriers may be small but they are definitely not the lapdog that your elderly grandmother wants!!
Certain dogs believe it or not can be trained to use a litterbox but for obvious reasons if this is your plan I would have to advice against attempting this with anything but teacup sized breeds!!!

Many of have us lead different lifestyles and there are pets that are better suited to some than others.
Take the time to do some research before making a commitment that is much like having a child.


One Response

  1. Hello,

    I just posted something on my site at and I have a link to you. You posted on my other blog called 4urpets that had the redneck caption. Come by The Empty Nest and see what I did.

    Hope you like it.

    Kathryn (4urpets & The Empty Nest)

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