The largest purebred dog organization, the Federation Cynologique Internationale, as of September 2009 recognizes 339 separate breeds of dogs from around the world. Each of these breeds has unique a physical appearance, temperament, uses and history. Big dogs, little dogs. Shaggy dogs, hairless dogs. Skinny dogs, muscular dogs. Fast dogs, the not-so-fast dogs. Hyper dogs, laid back dogs. Working dogs, dogs that let others do the work for them.
And what does your dog’s breed say about you? Oddly enough, most dog owners are attracted to similar traits in their favored breeds that they see, or want to see, in themselves. This may be an exaggeration in some instances such as the Bulldog – really, who wants to be a short, disproportionate, drooling, pug faced ball of muscle? But look beyond the physical and what do you have? A gentle and endearing clown that is universally recognized and loved? It might be easier to ask who wouldn’t want that.
To a canine expert, what your dog’s breed says about you could fill a book and is more accurate then a Myer-Briggs Personality Test. Are you the outdoorsy type who enjoy exercise and feel at their best when challenged both mentally and physically? Or are you the type of person who prefers to be pampered and mix in a vast social circle? Read on to find out what your dog says about you!
What the Top 10 Most Popular Breeds say about their Owners
Labrador Retriever – There is a reason why the goofy, lovable Lab is the number one most popular breed in North America – they are the epitome of man’s best friend. Adjectives like faithful, intelligent, receptive, approachable, fun and athletic in an enjoyable, non-obsessive manner make them easy dogs to be around. If you own a Labrador Retriever, you are all of these things and more.
Golden Retriever – Goldens are very much like their brethren the Labrador. They are a little more stately and regal then the Lab however and with their long coat need a little more time at the beauty parlor. Still goofy and athletic, Goldens are easily trained and excel at activities that involve both their intelligence and their physical aptitude. If you own a Golden Retriever, people see you as smart, attractive although possibly a little higher maintenance then a Lab owner, and extremely approachable.
German Shepherd – The king of the canine world, nothing is more physically impressive or environmentally adaptive then the German Shepherd. Strangers see German Shepherds as a little aloof, protective of their people and environments, extremely capable and intelligent. Do you have a shepherd? Then you know they are also warm and supportive of their family and not half as majestic as they appear in public!
Dachshund – Who would believe that the diminutive, elongated Dachsie is in reality a fierce badger hunter that never backs down? Feisty, stubborn and fearless, the Dachshund has no idea they are not the biggest, most impressive dog on the block and tend to act like they are invincible. Intelligent and loving, the Dachshund makes a wonderful friend and family member. Do you own a Dachshund? Not every stranger will appreciate your many unique qualities on first meeting but given time, they will learn to respect and value your friendship.
Beagle – Alert, happy, and gentle, Beagles make wonderful house pets. They are also extremely hardy, capable and determined hunters. They love the company of other dogs and have a clownish sense of humor. Gregarious and fun, they are protective of their loved ones yet enjoy a good romp. Do you have a Beagle? Your Beagle tells people you are a friendly, sociable creature that is capable of great bouts of activity followed by some serious couch time.
Poodle – Poodles may look noble and high-maintenance but the reality is far different. Poodles are high-energy athletes that love to exercise. Sleek and attractive, Poodles require regular grooming to maintain their sexy good looks and flamboyant appeal. If you share your life with a Poodle, expect people to be in awe of your high-spirited energy and natural nobility.
Chihuahua – Small dog, big package. Chihuahuas make exceptional companion dogs for people that can respect these dogs are not pushovers and that if they do not listen to the bark, then they better expect the bite! Chihuahuas are highly gregarious and sweet with their people but aloof with strangers and down right nasty to anyone with less then honorable intentions. What does your Chihuhua say about you? Beware! I might be small or seem harmless but do not underestimate me – you will feel my wrath!
Rottweiler – Rotties are big, strong, intimidating dogs with gentle hearts of pure gold. They can be protective however and strangers should beware of stepping onto their property unannounced! Originally bred as a flock guardian and herder, Rottweilers are now used as guard dogs and protective family dogs. They are naturally protective of those they love and can be aloof with strangers. Your Rottweiler tells people two things depending on their knowledge base about dogs and dog breeds. Either they are intensely intimidated right off the bat or they know that under that fierce exterior, there is a warm, loving and gentle heart.
Yorkshire Terrier – The ideal lap dog, Yorkshire Terriers are happy to spend time indoors, hanging out on their owner’s laps. Don’t be fooled however, they are still a terrier! Yorkies are high energy, high-spirited companions that enjoy playtime as much as relaxing. Perfectly suited to the active senior citizen, Yorkies are protective yet friendly companions. Your Yorkie says to people that you are friendly and active yet enjoys downtime as well as the finer things in life.
Boxer – Much like the Labrador Retriever, Boxers are lovable, endearing clowns that accept everyone immediately as their new best friend. Athletic but not obsessive about it, Boxers tend to slow down as they age and suffer from the middle age spread also common in Labs. Intelligent and easy to train, Boxers make excellent family pets. Your Boxer says to people that you are happy go lucky and enjoy a good romp as much as a comfy, cozy chair near the fire.
What our pets say about us can speak volumes but when choosing a breed, be realistic. Just because you want to appear to others like the super sporty Viszla that would rather run then anything else in the world, it does not mean that is who you truly are. For both your sakes, study breed descriptions thoroughly when choosing a breed and be realistic with your lifestyle and goals. Choosing the right breed is imperative to how well your pet fits into your lifestyle and your overall happiness at being a pet owner.