Read this before adopting your dog.


Imagine being alive 15000 years ago. Your life goal is survival, hunting, and gathering. Sitting around the fire at night to keep warm with your clan is what constitutes your evenings.

Many dangers lurk in the dark and you know that you are prey. You are caught in a game of survival of the fittest; Only the strongest and smartest survive.

15000 years ago, an unusual ally started to lure around the encampment. It wasn’t a human ally but an animal. An animal that was smart enough to realize that if he hung around near these camps, he will find food.

This animal had many skills. He could see better in the dark, he had a powerful nose and could sense an intruder in its territory much faster than a human could.

Humans realized that this could work. A symbiotic relationship between humans and wolves began. Wolves, being opportunists, stuck around.

The wolves made the area safer, the people provided them with food, thus becoming the first guard dogs.

Humans naturally killed any aggressive wolves that were a threat and only kept the ones that we’re able to adapt to people This is how selective breeding started.

Over time, canines became domesticated and people started using them for many different tasks, such as protect sheep, guard farms or aid during hunting. This is how the selection process began.

The canines that had certain desired characteristics were bred with each other until a dog breed was born.

Husky bred to pull

All dogs have been made for a purpose.

This is why it is so important to do the proper research before adopting a dog. Maybe you have a cat or a rabbit at home and would also like to adopt a dog? You should know that certain breeds do not get along well with other animals because they were bred to work alone and hunt.

Maybe you are sedentary and don’t spend much time doing rigorous exercise? Some dogs that do not get enough mental stimulation or exercise can turn aggressive and destructive.

Or maybe you do love exercise. Some dogs do not have the stamina to follow you on a long hike. Others will jump for joy on the occasion.

But how to choose the right dog among so many breeds?

Here is what you need to know.

Dogs are categorized into 7 groups. Each group different from the next, and therefore their needs will vary from group to group. (In this article I will be following the AKC classification system)

The dog groups are:

Herding, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Hounds, Terriers, Toy breeds.

Herding Dogs

All Herding breeds share an ability to control the movement of other animals. These breeds were developed to gather, herd and protect livestock.

Often they will use their eyes to direct other animals (and people). They may also bite feet (not to hurt but to direct ) Do not be surprised at their strength of character as they are bred to move a flock of animals prone to stampede, to safety. They are also bred to protect their flock at all costs. These dogs are very high energy animals. They are smart and need proper mental stimulation to be happy. They are not suitable for people who do not have much time to devote to them.

Sporting Dogs

This group is devoted to their human families. They were initially developed to work closely with hunters to locate and gently retrieve prey that the hunter shot down.

They have webbed feet and water resistant coats, which makes them excellent at retrieving birds from the water.

Because they work very closely with humans they are some of the most popular and best family dogs.

These dogs will usually love the outdoors.

There are four basic types of sporting dogs; spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters.

These are the dogs that do not share any mutual characteristics. They do not fit into other groups. The personality and appearance features of the dogs of this group are not similar.

The Non-Sporting Group is also for those dogs who no longer perform the duties for which they were originally bred. For example, the Dalmatian is no longer used to accompany horse-drawn carriages, and the Bulldog no longer functions as a bull-baiter.

The breeds can be completely different in physical appearance and personality.

Bulldog: Appeared around 31 BC. Used to fight alongside warriors. Later was used for bull-baiting sport.

The Poodle is ranked second most intelligent dog breed

Working Dogs

Working dogs include rescue dogs, police dogs, sled dogs, army dogs, therapy dogs, detection dogs to name a few.

Working dogs generally grow large in stature and muscle mass, making them suitable for performing laborious tasks.

Dogs considered part of the “Working Group” generally do not make good pets. Because they are so smart, they get bored very easily and can be very destructive if not properly mentally stimulated. The rule of thumb is the smarter the dog, the more destruction he is capable of doing around the house out of boredom.

They were bred to do tasks that are not entirely natural for an animal to do, such as —running into a burning building or placing themselves in the middle of a fight.

Because of their advanced canine intelligence and size, their strength can pose issues for people who are not familiar with dog training.

This often leaves many of them abused, neglected and left in shelters because they have developed destructive habits due to lack of training and mental stimulation. These workers come in all shapes and sizes but for the most part, these are large and powerful dogs. Without the right training, some working dogs can be difficult to handle, even dangerous.

Having said that, a working dog that is properly trained, and that has the mental stimulation it requires will make one of the most devoted and intelligent animals you will ever meet.

Hounds

Hounds are trackers. They can use their sight or smell to track down prey, a lost person, a victim buried in an avalanche or earthquake rubble, etc. They have a powerful sense of smell and were the first dogs to accompany hunters thousands of years ago.

There are two types of hound dogs: scent hounds and sighthounds. Sighthounds use their vision to find what they’re looking for. They are agile and speedy. Scent hounds, on the other hand, smell their way to what they are trying to find. They can be slow on their feet but are tough and sturdy.

Both types can be very independent. They can be trained but must have a strong communication with their owner, or else they will simply not listen.

Apart from their hunting skills, most hounds make excellent pets.

Terriers

Terriers are a specific group and type of dog that was originally bred to dig and hunt for prey like rats, foxes, moles, badgers. Their name originates in the Latin word ’terra’ and means ’earth’. Some terriers will never be good with small animals, it is in their genes to hunt them down. They can also be aggressive towards people at times because they are bred to work alone.

A terrier who spends time around other canines from an early age may learn to be friendly with them but this isn’t always the case. Terriers are best suited to single dog homes.

They were bred to hunt, kill and guard their families home or barn; The owner of a terrier might never be able to bring them to a dog park. Sizes range from fairly small to large.

Having said that, terriers do make great pets, but they require determination on the part of the owner because they can be stubborn.

Toy Dogs

Toy dogs traditionally refer to very small dogs.

A toy dog is essentially made from the existing pool of large dogs but miniaturized.

They may be of any of the various dog types. They have been around for centuries, and are bred for one purpose: to be companions for their humans. Their small size and portability make them ideal for those with limited space.

Some toy dogs are quiet, others are barkers, others prone to laziness and some very active. They can be easygoing and great with children, just as others would attach to one person only. It’s up to you to research each personality.

Owning a dog is a wonderful experience. They are here to stay and can make the most devoted companions if we take care of their needs as they were intended.

Devotion, patience and careful research are important when selecting a companion. If done right, you will gain a best friend for life.

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