We can all agree we love dogs. I live and breathe the Canine fancy and even I,myself, can honestly say that not every dog is for me. Many breeds have 'deal breakers', whether it's physical or instinct/temperament, that make these breeds a poor choice for owners who's lifestyles simply do not compliment them. So, lets dive into this! What sort of 'dealbreakers' am I talking about? For breeds like Newfoundland’s, it is often their drool that people can’t cope with and the thought of scrubbing strands of drool off ceilings and walls is appalling and stomach turning. Or, perhaps others breeds such as German Shorthair Pointers are completely overwhelming for a home who wants more of an easy going couch companion that will be happy with minimal exercise. No matter the breed you are looking at, one of the most responsible things you can do is decide whether or not you can live with the ‘dealbreakers’ they come along with and whether or not they can fit with your lifestyle.
Photo from https://www.acdca.org/ A Rancher working cattle and being outdoors distracted doing farm chores would be much happier with an Australian Cattle Dog vs a wanderlust prone Beagle. Or, perhaps a home with children that has a cottage on a lake would enjoy a Toller or Golden rather than a Escapee Siberian Husky.
Complimenting our lives with a Breed that fits us is truly crucial to creating a happy, forever fulfilled life for the dog and in turn makes dog ownership more enjoyable for you and/or your family.
This also goes beyond Purebreds as well and should highly be considered if you’re looking to rescue or adopt. Even rescues/mixes have the building blocks from their purebreds ancestors in their genetic makeup that should not be ignored.
Photo of Malamute x German Shepherd from Google
That stunning shelter mix who’s ID card says it’s half German Shepherd and Half Malamute? That mix could be a terrible idea for a home who has cats that may trigger that Malamute's prey drive and lead to a worst case scenario involving their loving family cat.
There are always exceptions to every breed dealbreaker. But I urge you to not let the exceptions be the reasons you opt for a breed. Beagles that can be trusted off leash do exist as do various Terriers that co-exist fine with pet rodents. But, it’s important to not let the hope of being an exception play a role in deciding whether or not a breed is for you. You are not setting yourself up for success by expecting a dog to go against it's instincts.
As a Beagle breeder, IF it’s truly important to my puppy homes that they can run their dog off leash, I simply would urge them to seek another breed where this would be less of a concern. It takes a SECOND for a Beagle to catch the scent of an animal track and go spontaneously deaf. It is not worth risking the wellbeing of my Beagles for a few moments of freedom. It's also not fair to homes planning to run their dogs off-leash to lie to their Breeders about it and we trust you with one of our beloved puppies and an accident occurs. We would've much rather the Puppy been placed in the hands of someone who understands the natural instinct of our breed and respects it.
And It is okay to admit a breed isn’t for you or that you can’t handle specific type! That doesn't make you any less of a dog owner that admitting a Malinois is too much for you and you'd rather something more watered down. It makes you a responsible one.
Whether you don't have the time to ensure you can sit and comb out a heavy coated dog once a day or whether you just don't have the energy level to keep a Border Collie's mind engaged, it's important to be honest with ourselves and look past the physical appearance of breed of dog. We often get way too hung up on how big, cute, shaggy or 'badass' a dog when we need to be diving much further than an outward appearance. The best way to learn about a breed is not necessarily primarily through articles on Google(but they are a great start) but rather speaking to those who own the breed or breeders themselves - and asking a few of these resources. The wealth of knowledge of people who live with these breeds can really bring clarity to whether or not they are a good fit. Ask specific questions relating to what you're seeking instead of "Tell me all about your breed."
How are they with other dogs/children/small animals/ dogs of the same or opposite sex? What's their energy level like? Do they need to be walked each day? Ran? More? Would this breed be happier with a large yard? Can it be trusted off leash? What are some huge health issues I should be steering clear of when looking around for breeders?
Many dogs are ending up in shelters from Back Yard Breeders because of people who are purely buying dogs based on looks and ignoring everything that makes these breeds what they are.
Do your research, ask questions and decide prior what you can live with and what are YOUR dealbreakers. Adopt or Shop, just please do responsibly.