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.
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.
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!