Monday, January 3, 2011

The Breed For Me

As the member of a dog club where many people own purebred dogs, I'm in an interesting position as the owner of a mixed breed; if I do, one day, choose to make a purebred dog a part of my life, I've got lots of choices, and the dogs I'm around certainly make an impact on my opinions of various breeds.

I thought it'd be fun to take a slew of Dog Breed Quizzes online and analyze the results a bit.

Animal Planet's Breed Selector told me the best choice for me would be an Australian Shepherd.'s Breed Selector also gave the Aussie as the top choice.

Good Housekeeping's Breed Selector told me a Rottweiler would fit well into my home.  (Marge vehemently disagrees, as they are, unfortunately, her least favorite breed.)

Breeder Retriever's Breed Selector put the English Setter in the number one spot for me.'s Breed Selector returned the Bearded Collie in the answer list.

Eukanuba's Breed Selector selected the Bouvier Des Flandres as the best dog based on my answers.

Purina's Breed Selector returned no matches - I guess they don't think I'm fit to own a dog!

And, lastly,'s Breed Selector told me that no purebred fits my lifestyle and that I'd be best suited to a mixed breed.

Obviously, these tests are bogus, but breed suggestions sure are interesting when you've never owned a purebred dog before.  I'd also be interested in hearing the results that some of these tests return for some of you, especially if you already own purebred dogs and know what types you like.

I have to be honest.. with the exception of the Australian Shepherd (and, of course, a good ol' mutt), I don't think I'd like living with any of the breeds that these tests suggested to me.  They do seem to have it narrowed down to Herding, Working, and Sporting dogs, though, which are the type of dogs I prefer.

So, what do you think?  If I were to get a purebred dog, what type of dog would suit me well? You know the type of dog I like - an athletic, smart and responsive medium-to-large sized dog, with high but not over-the-top exercise and training requirements.  Should be able to tolerate the extremes of a New York climate.  The dog doesn't have to be extremely friendly with strangers and strange animals, but should be able to accompany me to a wide array of places comfortably.

(This is all just for fun, of course.  I won't reveal them yet, but I already know at least a few breeds that I'd be interested in owning!)

Fear issues (and heat intolerance) aside, I've basically described Marge's qualities to a tee.  No wonder I love my girl so much.  She's my "perfect dog" at the moment!


Lorenza January 3, 2011 at 9:47 PM  

My mom tried once one of those selectors and the breeds she got were not the ones she really likes!
Marge is perfect!
Kisses and hugs

Two French Bulldogs January 3, 2011 at 9:53 PM  

same here. The selectors told mommy to get a doggy she didn't want. BOL
Benny & Lily

Cyndi and Stumpy January 3, 2011 at 9:57 PM  

Funny how you got so many results. I love Bouvs and back in my schutzhund days, they were on the short list.

In my mind, Aussies are one of the best all around dogs a person could own. Of the choices listed above, I could also see you with a beardie. I don't know how you feel about grooming, though. both of those require regular grooming and are heavy shedders.

I could see you with a boxer or a dobe. Both are high speed enough for agility but can be total couch potatoes (with enough exersize)

andrea January 3, 2011 at 10:02 PM  

YAY! I'm here :)

glad Layla's hanging in and hanging on ...

Goals - I like the very specific nature of your goals but I really like "General Training
In terms of general training/management.. it's hard to form specific goals. I hope, however...
- to continue to find ways to socialize Marge (such as attending more club meetings with her)
- to push our boundaries; to better recognize when we can dive a little deeper and when we need to back out of a situation
- to keep her active and outside as much as possible without having her scared
- to continue to make progress regarding her situational fears around my dad"
there is so much you can work on in the meat of this all :)

on to today's posts .. the breed thing - I often wonder what breed I'd choose if I chose dogs and hey didn't choose us ..
I've lived with or known really well (for long enough to have serious thoughts)irish setter, gordon setter, golden ret (more of them than any other single breed), lab, sheltie, shi, chihuahua, airdale, jrt, aussie, bouvier, beagle, hound, many many mixes and I'm sure I'm missing some - like you I think I would lean towards sporting, working, herding dogs but my best best dogs aren't replicatable ..:)

Kari in Alaska January 3, 2011 at 10:03 PM  

I always get Lab. Don't know why, Im more of a pitbull girl myself ;)


andrea January 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM  

oh geez - boston terriers and a french bulldog, an italian greyhound should make my list and a maltese, pomerians too

jumping ... I am not a hoarder I promise - I guess taking palliative and hard to work with pooches means a fair range of breeds over the years :)

gonna try the selectors
my only comment on aussie for now is be very careful to pick carefully - some aussie lines are crazy reactive/fearful etc

Stella January 3, 2011 at 10:12 PM  

Hi Sam and Marge!

At my advanced years, I will probably never have a puppy again, but I also will turn down the Rottie one of the places suggested, Purina, like you, wouldn't place a dog with me. I think it was Eukanuba that offered me 55 dogs as did Animal Planet. It was kind of a fun exercise, and kept me from doing the dishes, but thats about all it did! By the way, I adore Rotties, I just don't need one at this time!

You have such a sweet girl now, and I love to see her working, she has such a good time at it most of the time, are you interested in a dog right now or just having fun thinking of the next dog?

It was good to see you in comments today and I agree its been nice meeting and talking. Looking forward to more.

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

houndstooth January 3, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

I grew up with Shelties, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. All three of those breeds are excellent at the kinds of activities that you seem drawn to. Shelties do bark, a lot, though. I love Aussies for working, though! They are extremely intelligent, very forgiving and have a lot of motivation.

Of course, now I'm quite biased to Greyhounds, though. I've lived with them for ten years now and love their quirks. I can't imagine ever not having at least one around! German Shepherds have grown on me immensely, too. Ours is almost too smart for her (and our) own good, though! I've always loved learning about new breeds! :)

Sam January 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM  

@Stumpy's mom - Schutzhund days?! Oh, please do tell! I'd love to hear about it.. hope you can tell us about it sometime!

@andrea - Seems to be the case with quite a few of the popular herding breeds. Have to be careful about shyness and reactivity in BCs, too!

@Jo - Yup, there's nothing wrong with any of the breeds suggested (I love ALL dogs!), but let's face it, we can only have a certain number of dogs in our lifetime, so it's always best to pick the ones that we can give the most suitable life based on our lifestyle! Animal Planet offered me a whole slew of dogs, too, I just posted the top choice that they gave me. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers were second, I believe.

I'm not thinking of getting another dog anytime soon - Marge would not respond favorably to it, and neither would my parents! My next dog probably won't come for another 7 or 8 years, at least. This is just for fun! Of course, it doesn't hurt to start making relationships with people in breeds that I'm interested in, so that when it's time to buy or rescue a purebred, people know that I'm serious about my choice and can provide a suitable home for the dog in question.

A couple of you hit on some of the breeds on my list already!

AC January 3, 2011 at 10:35 PM  

Ohoh! I love breed matching!

I took Animal Planet's quiz and they came up with an Australian cattle dog with a German wirehair pointer coming in second.

For Sam...hmmmm...
I guess I always think of agility and BCs. I think you could have a ton of fun with one that's not insanely intense.

I like the idea of an aussie for you too. Ready to work, but maybe a bit more mellow than a BC. The aussies I know are also easy going with new people and animals.

A dobie? They seem to be good for just about anything. I don't know how they fair in the cold but that's easily solved with a jacket =)

Amy / Layla the Malamute January 3, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

This is a really fun post!

I tried 4 of the tests. 3 of them I got Airedale, and Purina also doesn't find a match for me. I don't want an Airedale. I mean, if one wandered into my home and nobody claimed him, I might keep him, but I won't go out of my way to get one.

I'm going to think about what breed I'd pick for you, and I'll let you know later on. That's a really good question! I'm going to right away say NO to a Pug. Not sure why but that's my first guess as to a no.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! January 3, 2011 at 11:06 PM  


Especially since I just left Sagira's blog and saw Bokeh's 14 wk pics!

There is a Bouvier up the street - I think she is their third one -

Orie (Oreo) is very beautiful!

Frankie Furter and Ernie January 3, 2011 at 11:12 PM  

Herding Working & Sporting Dawgs hummmm? Well when you mix those all together I think you get a


I'm just sayin.

Kiyi Kiyi January 3, 2011 at 11:39 PM  

Tibetan Terrier!

ForPetsSake January 3, 2011 at 11:56 PM  

How was I not already following you?! Technology escapes me at times....

Sierra Rose January 4, 2011 at 2:55 AM  

Interesting! We randomly chose to sample the Eukanuba test....with answers picked towards what mom would think would be retrievers...just for kicks.... The test result suggested a bull terrier! Glad mom loves me enough that I can stay. Whew.
You and Marge make such a great team! That bond is there, and you have matched each other :)

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Unknown January 4, 2011 at 3:44 AM  

Very interesting post. I've never done this kind of quiz before but it looks really interesting. I might try it later on, LOL!

I am grown up with mutts until I got married. When Rosie was 5 years old, we got Laura, a rottie. She was the sweetest creature in the world and we loved her to bits. She passed away last year at the age of 10. Three years ago, we adopted Mika, a mutt from SPCA. Then we adopted a sheltie, Hana who gave birth to Eva. Hana passed away last year due to heart enlarged and kidney failure. So we have mutts and a rottie and shelties. To me, they are all so good with different abilities.
Laura, the rottie was loyal and sweet with excellent temperament. She was never nasty and friendly with people even children. She was a bit loud and liked barking but she was okay.
Mika, the mutt is the one who barks least but he is very loyal and tough.
Hana and Eva, the shelties are loud and do bark a lot but both of them have perfect temperament and they are really sweet and understanding. They are very good company too.
If this question went to Rosie, my daughter, she would choose rotties and shelties without any hesitations, LOL!!!

Dexter January 4, 2011 at 4:52 AM  

Ha! I've taken those dumb tests. While I suspect I would grow to love any dog that lived with me, the choices they make are surprising and not really helpful.

Besides, NONE of them pointed me towards either a mastiff or an airedale (my two favorites - sorry Dexter).

Poor Mango. On top of everything else he twisted his ankle running in the snow yesterday. I can usually play tennis ball in the yard with him to work off some energy, but that is right out until the conditions are less slippery. His walks are short and slow and close to home. Guess he'll have to do his mental stimulation activities. Wish he had a treadmill.

Mango Momma

Unknown January 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM  

Those test always tell me I should get a breed I dont like or breeds ive never heard of. I dont put much thought into it.

I will say that I dont think I will get two opposite breeds again!
One loves water, one hates it.
One can be off leash, one cant.
One loves to run, one prefers to walk etc.

I will say hounds are a pain the ass :) I am a glutton for punishment so i will always have one around :)

Diana January 4, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

I dont think taking those test are very helpful, its just for fun. If you are interested in a breed, I would good to a show ring and watch the dogs you like. Talk to breeders about what you are looking for in a dog. That would probably be the most helpful. Wathing a dog move in the ring and seeing how much hair they have to take care of and their size can be really helpful. Diana

Sam January 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

@Diana - like I stated in the post, this was solely for fun; I know these tests are bogus. I already know the types of dog that I'm interested in and have started some research on. I've got lots of time; I'm not interested in adding a dog right now. :)

Anna the GSD January 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM  

What kinds of questions are those..who doesn't want a dog who is healthy with a long lifespan?? It's rigged! Mom didn't get me! I want a recount--hanging chads and all! :)

You know, my peoples are smart and trainable and like agility! And we like Marge's, so that's a plus!! Hee hee!

Kathy Mocharnuk January 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM  

I know they are a little smaller then you are used to but I could see you with a Swedish Vallhund, the ones I met are so happy and carefree without being too over the top bouncy, really smart but with a tad independance, they do not seem to have fears or phobias and love everyone and everything. They are smart, like learning a lot but not too sensitive and they can be fast. I could also see you with a lab but probably because Marge looks a lot like a lab, so the size fits, and their happy go lucky nature, I wonder about Aussies who can be so bouncy-and the hair-and barking-but really great dogs....
Of course the perfect dog is Marge, cant get better then that!

Kristine January 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM  

While I grew up in a house where mxied breed dogs were looked down upon, I don't know if I will ever own a purebred. I like the surprise and uniqueness of a mixed breed dog best.

It's odd, the Purina test told me the same thing. No matches for me. :-(

Sue January 4, 2011 at 2:28 PM  

Thanks Sam, that was fun. I had some interesting results.

Animal Planet - Belgian Tervuren and PWD
PuppyFinder - Gordon Setter and Black Russian
Good Housekeeping - Rottweiler
Breeder Retriever - PWD and Bearded Collie
ShjowDog - PWD and Bearded Collie
Eukanuba - Spanish Hound
Purina - none
SelectSmart - PWD and Standard Poodle

It looks like I'm in the right breed, but several of those are breeds I love and would consider owning.

Kathy Mocharnuk January 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM  

I did the selectors
animal planet: Border collie
Nova Scotia Duck T.
Puppy find:
Irish setter
Good Housekeeping:
Breeder Retriever:
Nov Scotia Duck T
Irish settr
English Springer

Whats the deal with Irish setters, ccant imagine myself with one, but maybe I should think and the Trollers, humm, never looked at those either...shelties didnt come up on anything and those are my second breed of choice, LOL

Gus, Louie and Callie January 4, 2011 at 6:08 PM  

Marge who says we are not all purebreds? He he We think it doesn't matter the breed as long as you are loved..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Never Say Never Greyhounds January 5, 2011 at 7:10 AM  

Interesting that the quizzes returned such a variety of answers. I say get what you want, but choose the right personality. Greyhounds are not suppose to be agility/obedience dogs, but I do pretty well with the personalities I pick.

KB January 5, 2011 at 8:38 AM  

Australian Shepherd was the number one breed for me too (by animal discovery). It met 88% of my criteria while a Lab (#9 on list) met 82%.

I've actually always thought that an australian shepherd might be good for me but after seeing R's OCD behavioral issues, I seriously wondered whether an australian shepherd should be a "pet" in a non-working home.

Fun! Thanks.

Crystal (Thompson) Barrera January 5, 2011 at 11:29 AM  

I just did all those quizzes. What a mixed bag. I got toller, aussie, bichon, lab, golden, welsh terrier, mixed breed... and nothing from Purina! When I answered fewer questions about myself, it told me bull terrier.

Personally, I'm on the waiting list for a cardi corgi, and I am also interested in papillons, tollers and pyr sheps.

Muttsandaklutz January 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM  

Wow, that's quite the variety of dog breeds! I take it you're more of a big dog person than a little dog person? :-)

ForPetsSake January 5, 2011 at 11:03 PM  

You do have your perfect dog! But it is fun to speculate. I'd have to agree with the 1st 2 choices - the Aussie would work for you. Maybe even a Blue Heeler?

Golden Samantha January 6, 2011 at 4:57 PM  

And I don't blame you! Marge is fabulous with YOU! And what bad blogging buds we've been again - we're trying to turn over a new leaf in 2011 regarding our crummy visiting habits the last part of 2010! Love this post! I've spent the last 1/2 hour finding out about dog breeds I've never heard of that I should have! (Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Beauceron and Gascon Saintongeois Hound!) Just some of them - so much variety! We hope you had a wonderful Xmas and we wish you a Happy, happy New Year! Hugs and Pats to Marge!
Sammie and Avalon

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart January 6, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

That's funny that you took all those tests. My best breed/mixed advice is this:

Know what you want in a relationship with your dog

Know what you want the dog to be able to do

Narrow your list, then go with your gut/heart.

hornblower January 11, 2011 at 1:00 AM  

English Setters are my <3 breed.
I have a pb one I adopted from breed rescue but mine is a field, instead of the show variety you've got the photo of.

English Setters are SOoooo awesome!

As for your requirements: I think you might want a standard poodle. Such fun great dogs, & I know people who actually hunt with them....but you can really do anything you want with them &, I must admit, they're a bit less loopy than setters :-)

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