What breed will you choose? Part 2
In her last column, Yvonne looked at traits of some of the most popular breeds of dogs.
This week. she continues her column with some more family favourites, including the Jack Russell Terrier:
When we think about getting a puppy the first thing to consider is which breed of dog you are going to get.
This is a critical decision; will that breed fit into your lifestyle?
Will it live up to the expectations you have in terms of need for exercise, companionship, and fitting in with your existing family life?
Jack Russell Terrier
I love a terrier, but they can terrorise.
The Parsons Jack traditionally was the ‘show line’ in this breed and the general Jack Russell tends to come from the working line.
These dogs are smart, quick, very cheeky with a strong desire to work.
They can be a handful; they are vocal and often are diggers. Aas they were hunting dogs it is a natural drive we encouraged when initially bred for working, but it doesn’t always fit in with a manicured lawn and perfect garden!
They are tenacious creatures, often described as hard to train and wilful.
They are characters, loving, charming dogs, but not for the fainthearted.
They are perfectly trainable, and no dog is wilful, but they are often smarter than us!
Like a lot of small dogs, they can be prone to luxating patella which is an issue with their kneecaps moving from its normal place.
As I have said a reputable breeder will have ensured this is not passed down the line, so make sure you pick a good one!
Show dogs are bred for what they look like, to meet the ‘breed standard’.
Traditionally the black and white collie was the ‘sheep dog’ but now there are lots of different coloured collies out there and the gene pool is quite varied.
Collies now come in a range of sizes and have different characteristics, some bred specifically for agility work, some that have not come from a working line that still have all the characteristics of the working farm Sheep Dog. These dogs are incredibly smart, they need a job.
Unfortunately, when breeders have tried to seek specific criteria that has led to dogs being more prone to compulsive behaviours.
This is not positive for our dogs or their owners.
These compulsive behaviours are reinforcing for the dog internally, just like OCD behaviour in humans.
This is not the dog to buy with a young family, our Collies can find them extremely difficult to live with as they have a strong need to have control and can build frustration if they are unable to maintain that control and ‘herd’ the family together.
These are not dogs to live in a town where they are left 8 – 10 hours a day with no outlet for their natural abilities.
Herding is a very strong need in a dog that has that built in, if they cannot practice that natural behaviour, they will herd something else, runners, cars, cyclists, children etc.
Think carefully before you buy a Collie and make sure you know what you are buying.
If you buy a working one from a farm, expect to have a handful of dog to learn to live with!
In summary, it doesn’t matter what breed of dog you buy, but it does matter that you have taken the time to ensure that your lifestyle will fit around that dog.
Dogs have needs which need to be met for harmony to be in the home.
Having a dog is one of the most fulfilling and wonderful experiences of life, the bond and partnership you can build is fantastic, but you need to be sensible about what you can realistically offer and choose a breed of dog that fits and not just buy a dog on their appearance.
Remember all the above said, every dog is an individual and so you will always get dogs that don’t match what is considered to be typical of the breed, but if you don’t take these things in to consideration when picking a dog, you can become really unstuck.
As we come out of lockdown, we will have hundreds of dogs up for rehoming as people move back to their normal lives and realise, they don’t have the capacity in their life for that kind of commitment.
If you can rehome a rescue that is always a wonderful thing to do. Giving a dog that second chance can change not only their lives, but yours for the better.
If you have any questions for Yvonne, email [email protected] and we will get you some answers.
To find out more about Daisy Dog Academy visit https://www.thedaisydogacademy.com.