Posts Tagged ‘dog breeds’

Favorite Video Friday – A Weimaraner at work

January 8, 2016 6 comments

If there is one thing I love to do, it is watching a dog doing what it was bred to do. Watching Border Collies and Shelties herding sheep is awe-inspiring. Watching a Greyhound or Whippet lure coursing (for fun) is a sight to be seen. Watching a husky with a smile on its face as it leads a sled dog team is happiness at its core.

There is a joy they emanate when they are doing something they are bred to do. But, there is also a finesse and a naturalness to what they are doing that is hard not to appreciate.

I think that’s why I find this video so much fun to watch. This Weimaraner is amazing. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Happy Friday everyone!

go after a

Does the breed make the dog? Or, is there more to the story?

September 7, 2015 5 comments

Sad Looking Chocolate LabSpend any time at all at a dog park or dog-centric event and you will find yourself starting to form opinions about dogs (and their owners). How a dog behaves may be a reflection of the owner, but often we assume a dog’s behavior is based on their breed.

For example, we might say the following:

  • Labrador Retrievers are great family dogs and love kids.
  • Golden Retrievers are friendly with everyone.
  • Terriers like to dig.
  • Hunting dogs, like German Shorthair Pointers and Vizslas, love to go hunting.

But, are these assumptions correct?

Science Friday, often heard on National Public Friday (NPR), explored this very topic this past February. Animal behaviorist James Serpell, was their guest. He discussed our common assumptions on dog breeds and how much of our dog’s behavior is dependent on us, their owners.

He also discussed C-BARQ, a Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire, designed to provide dog owners and professionals with standardized evaluations of canine temperament and behavior.

Take a listen. I think you will learn that breed is only part of the equation.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Favorite Video Friday – Doggie Faces

April 24, 2015 1 comment

I have a fascination with dog faces. I love their cute little noses and long little snouts. I love their soft brown (or blue) eyes and the way they look at you with adoration or curiosity or confusion. I love how some of them have bangs or long, flowing strands of fur that surround their face. I love that some have cute little tufts of hair on their noses. I love their coloring and whorls and speckles. But, mostly I just love them because they are sweet and adorable and overwhelmingly cute.

This week’s video is a deep dive into doggie faces. If you love them as much as I do then this video is for you.  So many dogs with so many different facial shapes, coloring and looks, and every one of them cute as a button.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wordless Wednesday #202 – From the dog park (Summer)

August 26, 2014 11 comments

Walking with the dogs. #dogpark

Miss Molly#dogpark

Miss Molly

One wants to drink water, the other wants to play in it.

Bernadette and Annie (?)

German Wirehair

Prince and his mom, Marsha. A Prince has to survey his domain sometimes.  #weimaraner #dogpark

Marsha and her dog Prince

She makes me giggle. Well actually, both of them do. She's reading him the riot act.

Jasper and Cupcake

Lucy demand some attention from Kym.

Baby Lucas, his mom Kym and Lucy

Charlotte #dogpark

The always fun, and funny, Charlotte

Daisy and Grrr

Daisy and Gir

Willow #dogpark

Little Miss Willow

Nika (post water dish swirl) and Cupcake


The chase #dogpark

I'm not going home and you can't make me. Compton and Tom. #labs

Tom and his dog, Compton (who does not want to leave)

Treat time!

Jill and the whole crew

Murphy #dogpark #saintbernard


Clover takes a break from the heat.




Cupcake greets a new friend. #dogpark

Cupcake and a new friend

Millie crashes. Big dog waits for her to get up again.

Millie (on the ground) and a friend

Ellie #supermodel #dogpark #norwegianelkhound

Supermodel Ellie

A lot of thirsty pups.

Waiting for mom to come back in.

Bella looks on #dogpark

The ever beautiful Miss Bella (Gir’s sister)

Can your personality pick your dog breed?

October 22, 2012 31 comments

I love personality tests and questionnaires that give you some insight into yourself. When I volunteered at our local shelter, we introduced the Meet Your Match program to help improve dog retention numbers for adopted dogs and cats. I took the short questionnaire and was surprised to find out that I prefer “Green” dogs. I was also surprised to learn that I was not all that common amongst the group of volunteers I worked with every day. Most of my friends preferred the Orange or Purple dogs. It sure gave me insight into myself and the dogs I preferred. I’m not sure I knew that I liked the really busy and active dogs as much as I did. Now? I totally recognize it. I gravitate towards the busy ones the most.

Maybe that’s why I was so interested in this story when I saw it. “What Your Dog’s Breed Says About You” highlights a new study on the correlation between personality and dog breed preferences. It seems pretty similar to Meet Your Match, but reveals new information that may help with pet adoption in the future.

The researchers wanted to see how personality traits would influence real-world behavior and preferences.What they found out was interesting.

“We go for dogs that are a bit like us, just as we go for a romantic partner who is a bit like us,” study researcher Lance Workman, a psychologist at Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom, told LiveScience.

Here’s a quick highlight of what was shared in the article:

They researchers asked 1000 purebreed dog owners to take an online survey that measured these personality traits:

  • openness
  • conscientiousness
  • extroversion
  • agreeableness
  • neuroticism.

The researchers also split the dog breeds into categories using the seven Kennel Club breed groups:

  • Gun dogs (e.g., Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, English Setter, Brittany Spaniel, Weimaraner, etc.))
  • Hound dogs (e.g., Greyhound, Afghan, Bloodhound, Saluki, Basenji, Borzoi, Dachshund, etc.)
  • Pastoral breeds (e.g., German shepherd, Collis, Anatolian Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Border Collie, etc.)
  • Terriers (e.g., Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Soft-coated Wheaton Terrier, etc.)
  • Toy breeds (e.g., Chihuahua, Bichon Frise, King Charles Spaniel, Papillon, Havanese, etc.)
  • Utility breeds (includes Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Poodle, Schnauzer, etc.)
  • Working breeds (e.g., Doberman,  Boxer, Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Mastiff, etc.)

They found that there were some correlations between personality types and dog breed preferences.

  • Extroverts were more likely to own pastoral or utility breeds
  • Owners of gun dogs and toy dogs were most agreeable.
  • Hound owners tend to be the most emotionally stable people.
  • Toy dog owners were the most open and imaginative.

The researchers presented their results to the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in London. Their hope is that this new information will help people pick the right breed the first time and lessen the chances that a dog ends up in an animal shelter.

What do you think? If you could identify which dog breed, or mix of dog breeds, best fits your personality would you want to know? Would you use it to help you select your next dog?

What do you find most beautiful in a dog?

April 8, 2012 17 comments


One of the things I love about our dog park is watching all the hunting dogs running through the woods, soaking up their bliss. Doing what they were meant to do. To me, it is a thing of beauty.

Our dog friend, Clover, an Irish Setter, is a perfect example of this. There is nothing she loves more than running through the woods, hunting for birds, squirrels and chipmunks. Quite often during her hunt, she will stop and raise her nose to the wind and search out some unique scent that only she knows, and then she’s off again. Hunting. Searching. But perhaps she is at her most beautiful when she goes into a perfect point. There is just something so powerful about that one point in time. It’s when she’s doing what comes natural to her. What she was meant to do.

When I first adopted Daisy, the only thing that seemed to come natural to her was carrying things in her mouth. The bigger the stuffed toy, the better. When it came to hunting or swimming, Daisy was at a loss. She hadn’t a clue what to do. Chase a squirrel or rabbit? Why? Swim in water? Deeper than her tippy toes? Not a chance.

Maybe that’s why I so enjoy watching her now.

It’s been a long progression of building trust and confidence, but Daisy seems to have really come into her this last year. She has found her inner Labrador Retriever.

Hanging around with her hunting friends has taught Daisy the thrill of the hunt. When Clover, or one of her other friends, let’s out that cry that says “I’m on the hunt of something here!” Daisy’s ears perk up, her tail goes straight out and she runs to join the chase. When she has a chance to run through the woods on her own, she has a smile on her face. You can see the thrill she gets when she jumps over a fallen log or scoots under a large tree branch lying just above the ground. She’s in her element and she knows it.

Dasiy in the water

Now when Daisy sees a body of water, she doesn’t hesitate, but plows right in. She loves sticking her whole snout into the water and swimming around back and forth. She is soaking in her bliss. Doing what she was meant to do.

Maybe that’s why I so appreciate the beauty of a dog doing what they were meant to do. Knowing that it didn’t come naturally to Daisy, at least not at first, makes me appreciate those moments all the more. It’s what I find most beautiful in any dog. Those moments when they are totally in their element. When the thing their DNA was hardwired to do is able to be enacted upon.

What do you find most beautiful in a dog?

What’s Your State’s Most Popular Dog Breed?

March 28, 2012 8 comments

Labrador Retrievers seem to be the most popular breed throughout the United States.

Yesterday, I came across an interesting report by Kristen Seymour over at Vet Street. The headline caught my attention almost immediately “Top Dogs Across America: 10 Most Popular Breeds by State.” Who wouldn’t be interested to find out which breeds are most popular in their state? Not me!

I decided to take a stab at guessing what the most popular breeds were first. Most of my guesses were based on some of my old doggie clients and some of our most popular friends at the dog park, but would I be right?

Here were my guesses:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Golden Retriever (My most popular and plentiful doggie clients.)
3. Labradoodle (I see them everywhere here.)
4. Yorkshire Terrier
5. German Shepherd
6. Alaskan Husky (We do live in Minnesota after all!)
7. Poodle
8. Pitbull Terrier (You wouldn’t think that an unpopular and much maligned breed would be on my list, but I think Minnesota may be a bit more progressive than most other states when it comes to pitbulls.)
9. Beagle
10. German Shorthair Pointer

(P.S. I would have chosen Mutt if I could have done so. It’s by far the most common type of dog I see everywhere in Minnesota.)

So how close was I? Check it out.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Chihuahua
4. Golden Retriever
5. Shih Tzu
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. American Pit Bull Terrier
8. Boxer
9. Australian Shepherd
10. English Springer Spaniel

Oh well. Five out of ten isn’t bad. Is it?

So what breed was most popular in your state?
What surprised you most about your state’s Top 10 Popular Breeds list?

Give it your best shot. What breed mix is Dozer?

March 16, 2012 55 comments


After a week of discussing a really serious topic (puppy mills), I thought it might be nice to do a more light-hearted post and ask for a little audience participation. I welcome your input on this one!

About a year ago, my brother adopted a dog from a pitbull rescue group here in Minnesota. Dozer isn’t actually a pitbull (as far as we can tell), but he does have an interesting story. The woman who fostered him had rescued him from a shelter in the south after the shelter manager begged her to take him. It seems that Dozer had been scheduled to put to sleep (i.e., he had run out of time) several times, but the shelter manager kept saving him because he had become really taken with him. He knew that it was only a matter of time before he would have to put him to sleep, so he begged Dozer’s foster mom to please take him, and even though she was there to rescue pitbulls, she did.

Dozer had spent some time with her, but still couldn’t seem to find that perfect family. In fact, she was thinking the cause was lost and she should just adopt him herself, when my brother and sister-in-law came across his picture on Pet Finder. It was love at first sight. Dozer had some behavioral issues to resolve, but a year later I can honestly say he is an awesome dog. My brother and sister-in-law have been amazing pet parents. They took him to basic training and even had him do a little agility (which he loved). It’s been wonderful to see his transformation under their loving care. There’s only one problem. NO ONE can seem to guess what he is – Vizsla? Rhodesian Rideback? Smooth Collie-mix? Hound-mix?

Here’s where you come in. I need your help. I need you dog aficionados to tell me what you think Dozer is mixed with. So, what’s your guess?

Additional details – Dozer is:
– Wicked smart. He can learn a new trick in seconds.
– Prey driven. Don’t ever think of getting between him and a squirrel!
– Tall. Dozer is about the same height as a Greyhound
– Long legged. In fact, he’s all legs.
– Big ears. I love, love, love his ears!

Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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I never wanted a Labrador Retriever…

November 6, 2011 40 comments


In all honesty, I never wanted a Labrador Retriever. Volunteering at the local animal shelter as often as I did, I saw a lot of Labs come through our doors (too many in my opinion). Yet, I was never tempted to adopt one. I saw them as way too high energy and crazy for a person like me. My dog breed preferences always veered more towards Shelties and Shepherd mixes. My first dog was a Sheltie. My next two were Shepherd mixes.

Then, along came Daisy. Ah Daisy! So in need of a home that would give her the time to trust and grow and develop into the loving dog she has become. What a sweet, sweet dog she has turned out to be. She’s not your typical Lab. She doesn’t bark. She doesn’t chase balls maniacally, like many Labs. She didn’t even like water or swimming until very recently.

So you would think that since my first Lab is so atypical I might never consider adopting a Lab again. But, you would be wrong. Through Daisy, I have come to appreciate this breed more than I ever thought I could. Yes, they can be high energy and crazy sometimes, especially in their younger years, but they also are one of the smartest, sweetest and wonderful dog breeds I have had the pleasure to own. They are affectionate and loyal. Fun and entertaining. You can almost drown in those liquid brown eyes of theirs. They say so much with their eyes – happy, sad, curious, frightened, excited, bored… yup, Labs have it all.

Meeting Daisy and caring for her and helping her to discover her “inner Lab” certainly changed my mind about Labs.

Is there a dog that changed your mind about a dog breed?

Favorite Video Friday – Vizsla Love

August 25, 2011 8 comments

My friend Karen, over at Doggie Stylish has herself a new Vizsla pup. His name is Dexter, and he is so damn cute I just want to hug him (yes, I know dogs don’t like to be hugged, he just really is that adorable).

I’m kind of a sucker for Vizslas so it doesn’t take much for me to fall in love with one. Our next door neighbor is a Vizsla, Jasper’s dog park friend is a Vizsla and Daisy’s first friend was a Vizsla. So this week I thought I would pay homage to these cute dogs with two videos that demonstrate why they are so irresistible. Enjoy!

First up, Miss Laila, a true Sleeping Beauty. You can follow her on her blog here.

Second up, Nell. She is a true velcro puppy. Despite her owner’s protests, you can tell Miss Nell is adored. She’s pretty cute too.

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