Are there breeds you love and breeds you don’t get the appeal of? I think we all do – though I would be the first to admit that there are always exceptions to any rule. I love Border Collies – but I’ve met individual ones that aggravated me. And I am generally not a fan of German Shorthair Pointers (or Wirehaired Pointers, for that matter), but one of the sweetest, funniest GSPs is in my extended family and I adore her.
In my opinion, hunting dogs in general are some of the prettiest dogs there are. But if they come from a long line of hunters, I tend to find it annoying to walk with them. I enjoy walking with my dogs, interacting with them, racing and playing with them, and watching them scan and joyfully take in their environment. I do not enjoy feeling like I have to prevent the dog I am walking with from scanning the environment for small creatures that they might be able to kill. As such, I love hounds – but only the ones who aren’t into hunting!
I was raised around dogs who were bred to herd cattle – Kelpies and Australian Cattle Dogs and various mixes of these – but I tend not to enjoy the intensity, grit, and independence that these dogs are known for. However, I have lots of friends who enjoy them for those traits alone; some people prefer having somewhat aloof dogs who can take care of themselves without a lot of fuss.
I was an adult before I was introduced to the typically softer, more responsive Border Collie – still a herding breed, but one that tends to be more attuned to humans, more solicitous of our affection and approval than the tougher dogs bred to take the hard knocks of cattle herding. My BC Rupert, a “pet quality” pup who was practically given away (in contrast to his high-cost, sheep-herding prospect littermates), opened my heart forever to these sensitive and quirky dogs.
But as much as I admire purpose-bred dogs, I don’t want one for myself. I’m afraid I’m always going to be a mutt lover. I love big mutts and I cannot lie! I get such a kick out of trying to guess what mixed-breed puppies will look like– how big they will be! – when they mature. And I love trying to identify what breed their personality traits and tendencies may be attributable to – if any! My two most muttliest mutts – the two dogs that show the most breeds in their mixed-breed DNA tests – don’t show any particular traits that align with any breeds at all!
Are there breeds you’d never own? Do you always get dogs of the same breed? Or do you select dogs without regard to their breed?