Why Breed Matters When Choosing a Dog.

Why Breed Matters When Choosing a Dog.

As many can tell from my previous posts and articles, I am a big proponent of responsible dog breeding and of purebred dogs. This is not because I for any reason dislike or don’t trust shelter dogs or the shelters themselves, though some shelters have been shown to be doing very negative things in the recent past. This is simply because I believe that responsible breeders will last.

If responsible ownership is encouraged and enforced I would love to see a world where responsible breeders, whether they produce purebred or mixed breed, are the way to get pets. I would love to see a future where shelters are a thing of the past because there are few to no unwanted or homeless pets. Shouldn’t this be what we aim for?

Regardless of this ideal future, people do get their dogs from many sources and no matter where they choose the breed of a dog is always a factor.

Some might say that this isn’t the case, especially with mixed breed dogs. I however beg to differ. It has been my experience that many dog – person relationships could experience a significant change if the person takes into account the breed when not only bringing home a dog, but when training or interacting with them as well.

Here’s what I mean by this.

Certain dog breeds were and are bred or created for specific purposes. Dogs who are known as being destructive, loud, or difficult are usually bored, underestimated, intelligent animals! Do you think a mathematician would be happy to watch infants all day every day? Then why do we believe that an Australian Shepherd or Siberian Husky, dogs bred to work, would be satisfied by a half hour walk when you get home from work, after leaving them alone for 8 or more hours while you were there?

In the same regard, I have heard and experienced many people do the following. Say that they want a dog to get them to be more active. I have said this before in my post on responsible ownership, rather than encourage you to get out more this dog will most likely do nothing more than frustrate you. Instead, if you are inactive, get a dog that might only need a short walk daily, not a marathon sprinter.

Does this mean that all energetic people need Greyhounds and Salukis and all couch potatoes need Bulldogs or Pugs? No! Many Greyhounds are happy as a clam to lounge on the couch daily so long as they get the opportunity to dash every once in a while and get to go on walks regularly. Many Bulldogs would be happy to take a long slow hike so long as you give them adequate sitting breaks.

I’m also not saying that apartment dwellers shouldn’t have energetic dogs. I am saying that if you are to get one, know the responsibilities that go into giving them the appropriate stimulation and exercise.

Mental training is great and treat puzzles can keep some dogs entertained and happy for hours! You can also have just as much fun as your dog through activities like competitive obedience or agility or flyball. There are countless games, puzzles, activities, and more that you can do with your dog.

Always, always, always take all of the necessary steps when looking to add someone to your family, which is what you are doing when you get a pet. One of those steps is determining what personality, energy level, size, and requirements your furry friend is going to need. Looking at breed is a great way to do this! There are some exceptions to this and dogs cannot be 100% judged by their breed. Every dog is individual and every dog has its own personality traits that cannot be fully predetermined by breed alone, but it is a great place to start!

What NOT to Feed Your Dog

What NOT to Feed Your Dog

Countless people will tell you what kinds of foods you should feed your pet, but that’s a topic for another day. Right now I want to focus on some things that you shouldn’t be feeding your pet.

Firstly, here are some foods that are poisonous to most dogs and should be avoided.

  • Avocado
  • Bread Dough
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes or Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Pitted Fruits (Plum, Peach, etc.)
  • Artificial-Sweeteners (Specifically Xylitol)

If you believe your dog has ingested one of the items on this list please keep an eye on your dog. Call your vet but stay calm and explain what you believe has happened. They will be able to advise you as to what would be best.

Other Foods to Avoid, these aren’t as dangerous but follow the same procedure if you believe your dog has eaten any of the following.

  • Dairy such as Milk or Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Excess Fat
  • Raw Eggs and Meat (White, Red, Pork, Fish, etc.)

The last two mentioned above are controversial and here’s what I have to say and why I keep them on these lists.

Excess Fat: Many people have and do give their pets fat trimmings from their plates or before cooking the meat. What they don’t know is that in excess these trimmings can cause pancreatitis. This is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. If your dog is not eating, lethargic, vomiting, and/or appears to be having a hard time breathing please contact your vet right away.

Raw Eggs and Meat:

These items can contain salmonella which is just as harmful to dogs as it is to humans. They also contain many enzymes and proteins which dogs cannot always properly digest, causing them to have stomach pains and distress. My one exception to my rule of no raw foods are the processed high quality freeze-dried raw treats and foods that are being produced by ingenious dog food makers such as Origen and Natures Value. These products are well controlled and monitored throughout the process and the freeze drying process is great at killing possible bacteria. Careful handling is necessary with these items though as they are still technically raw. Please wash hands carefully when feeding or giving treats that are freeze-dried raw.

Do you have things to add to this list? Do you know something which I have accidentally omitted or do you think I included something I shouldn’t have? Please comment below or tweet me @yourpositivedog