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What’s Your Favorite Dog Breed?

Do you have a favorite dog breed? I think it’s a factor of being human. We like certain things better than others. Sometimes there’s a reason for our preferences. Sometimes it’s just that we like what we like.

When it comes to dogs, people often have preferences about what dogs they like.

Favorite dog breeds

For me, I like big dogs rather than small ones. Short hair better than long. Older dogs better than puppies. Beyond that, I want a pretty calm—some would say lazy—dog.

I would say I don’t care about the type of dog, or breed, but I realized I actually do.

I was talking with one of our hiking friends recently about how Baxter is slowing down a bit and not as interested in long walks.

She has a border collie and she remarked that she had no idea what it was like to skip a walk.

This is the reason that when we were looking to adopt a dog, I disqualified every border collie—even if the dog was only part border collie.

Border collies, with their energy, their drive and their need to “work,” intimidate me. I want my dog to be fulfilled and happy, and I knew the type of fulfillment that most border collies need wasn’t the best fit for me.

See our post: Socializing your herding breed

Rightly or wrongly, a lot of dog breeds come with a lot of bias.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL)

There’s the obvious case of pit bulls, who face actual bans or breed-specific legislation (BSL). Ontario, where I live, banned pit bulls in 2005.

See our post: Are pitbull memes doing more harm than good?

But there are lots of other opinions and stereotypes about breeds out there. These perceptions influence how we act around dogs and how we choose the dogs that join our families.

I’m interested to hear from you That Mutt readers about some of your opinions about dogs and what qualities you gravitate to.

When people hear that Baxter is a boxer-lab mix, they usually say something like, “Labs are such friendly dogs.” Or “I thought boxers were energetic.”

Baxter is a friendly fellow. Although he can occasionally be a crotchety old man. And energetic? Not so much.

Baxter curled up on a chair

Breed specific characteristics

Breeds come with specific characteristics. These dogs have been bred for years to accentuate certain qualities and suppress others.

There are exceptions to every “rule,” but the breed of a dog is usually a pretty good barometer of what to expect from a particular dog.

At the same time, it’s important to see dogs as individuals. Initially, I was concerned that Baxter’s boxer side would make him overly energetic. But after talking with his foster mom and meeting him, I realized his energy level was a perfect match for us.

While I don’t think I will ever adopt a border collie, it is important to see dogs as more than just their breed and keep an open mind about who is the best fit for our families.

Although I have to say that I definitely have a favorite dog. He’s a Baxter.

Now I’d love to hear from the rest of you!

  • What biases do you have about dogs?
  • Are you loyal to a particular breed?
  • Has a dog ever surprised you by behaving differently than his breed?

Let me know in the comments!

Julia Thomson is a blogger at Home on 129 Acres where she writes about her adventures of country living and DIY renovating. She and her family live on a 129-acre farm in Ontario, Canada.

Related posts:

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Do you own a breed people are scared of?

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Robert

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

Vizslas are my favorite, when I was younger I had a male Vizsla he was amazing dog, 5 years ago my female Vizsla passed away at the age of 16 she was not what I expected from a Vizsla, super calm inside the house around cats other dogs, she would get the occasional Zumiez when it's time to go for a bike ride.

But she can Run for hours, she also ate more than any other dog I've had.

I've been trying to adopt a mixed breed from rescues with no such luck I've always wanted a mutt don't care what mix breed just a mutt but have been denied every application I filled out.

So now I'm waiting patiently keeping my eyes on Craigslist to see if somebody has puppies or getting rid of a dog for some reason.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

Good luck in your search for a dog. Vizslas are one of my favorites too.

Karen Abouelsoud

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Growing up, I desperately wanted a dog. I found strays that didn't work out and loved every dog I saw from afar. When I finally was allowed a dog, a friend had puppies to give away, a border collie-bird dog mix. I picked one little guy that came to me & wouldn't leave me. He was the best dog ever. We did everything together. When I lost him to cancer I thought I would never want another dog, but if I did, it would have to be a border collie. Then I met someone at my new church that quickly became a dear friend. At the time she had a lab & a miniature poodle. I loved both of them but the lab was my favorite. I dog-sat at every opportunity. After losing the lab to cancer, my friend said she was going to get another poodle & I needed a dog too & suggested a poodle, We got poodles that were cousins. I had a choice between a little boy with a small head, big ears, sad eyes, his hair was chopped more than groomed properly & a puppy that was perfectly groomed , jumping up & down & seemed to be the perfect one to take. Obviously I didn't take the perfect poodle. My Sonny ended up being a smart, loving, cute, photogenic guy that became a true soul-mate. We had a connection that only comes along once. We did everything together from trips to Petsmart, the beach or just a drive. He sold me on poodles all the way. After losing him I was devastated. Now I have a rescue poodle that I took sight unseen, except for a picture on a facebook page & a sad history. I was told he was aggressive but I learned that the problem was not aggression but resource guarding. He was immediately friends with my 2 cats, he has never been aggressive toward them or any other dog or person we have met. We've worked hard on training & he has become a loving cuddler, mischievous, & too smart for his britches. I couldn't live without a poodle in my life now & wouldn't want to.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 23rd of August 2019

Aww, those are great stories. Thank you. I feel like poodles are not recognized enough for their athletic ability and intelligence.

Cindy Siebrecht

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Like Zara, I seem to prefer whichever breed I happen to have at the moment - currently a doxie chihuahua mix. My favorites in the past have been German Shepherd (the old fashioned kind with a straight, strong back), black lab, English setter, miniature doxie, and mutts. I feel very strongly that people should carefully consider their lifestyle when choosing a breed of dog and I admire you, Julia, for your attention to that. When her old husky died, my sister was looking for a large-breed, laid-back kind of dog. Her oblivious daughter presented her with a purebred Australian shepherd puppy that she got from a friend. The puppy’s parents were talented working dogs. My sis was dismayed because she didn’t feel she had time for an active herding breed, but tried to make the best of it. And really, who can resist a cute, fuzzy puppy so eager to please. My shy, introverted pre-teen daughter formed an immediate bond with Sidney. They spent so much time together exploring the farm that my sister suggested I enroll her in a dog class associated with the local 4H club. It was the best thing ever for my daughter and the dog. Sidney excelled at obedience and agility winning purple ribbons every year. The confidence boost that gave my daughter is priceless. For that reason alone, I have to say that Australian shepherd is very high on my list.

Bored Cesar

Wednesday 14th of August 2019

My all-time favorite dog breed is golden retriever. They are very friendly with children and are easier to train. Thanks for sharing this article. Totally enjoyed it!

KL

Monday 12th of August 2019

Definitely loyal to GSDs! There’s not much I don’t like about the breed tendencies.

I admit to being a little biased against gun dogs in the sense that I generally expect them to be way more outgoing than I’d prefer. Don’t get me wrong, they’re utterly charming to meet. Just friendlier than I would want to own. But I did meet a Golden recently who was a really polite, reserved dog. Very nice, and very pleased to meet me, but he was more about his handler. He wasn’t what I’d have expected but I liked him very much.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 12th of August 2019

Yes, Remy is overly friendly, you'd be annoyed I'm sure! Haha. I know what you mean.