Dog Behavior

All puppies are cute. They”re cuddly, soft and sweet. It”s easy to see why so many people go to their local pet stores, shelters or vet and end up coming home with a furry new friend.

As cute as they may be, however, you shouldn”t impulsively decide to bring a new dog into your home. Different breeds display different traits as adults. Too many new dog owners choose their new companion simply on looks alone; however, you should always take the breed”s characteristics in mind when you adopt a new dog.

Canine Behavior by Breed

Not all dog breeds are created equal. Dogs exhibit a wide range of personalities and traits. Some are gentle and act well in social situations, while others are rowdy and prefer to be in familiar situations and environments. Although most dogs can be trained to be obedient and follow commands, some will take to training easily while others will fail obedience class time and time again.

Certain dogs were bred to exhibit certain characteristics. Here are some of the more popular groups of breeds and some of their prominent traits:

  • Herding Dogs: Herding dogs were bred to help herd large groups of animals, such as flocks of sheep. These dogs are highly intelligent and make good family pets, although they do require a fair amount of exercise.
  • Hound: A hound helps hunters track animals. They are known for their ability to retrieve and make good family pets, as they are typically easy to train.
  • Terriers: Terriers were initially bred to hunt and kill pests. Typically small, terriers are brave, tough and energetic, though they have a tendency to bark excessively.
  • Toy Dogs: Simply put, a toy dog is a small dog that is kept as a pet. While some toy dogs are docile and inactive, others are highly energetic. Toy dogs make excellent pets. However, due to their small size, toy dogs might not be the best choice for a family with young kids, as over-eager children could play too rough with it and cause it injury.
  • Working: A working dog is one that learns and performs tasks to assist its owner. Working dogs are highly intelligent, alert and very loyal. They typically make excellent family pets and enjoy being active.

Dog Breeds and Children

Some dogs are great with children and tolerate small hands tugging on their fur and pulling their ears. Others become irritated with children and lash out when young ones are near.

If you have children in your household, you should consider choosing a breed that fares well with tots. Golden Retrievers are not only tolerant of kids but also protective of them. Here are some other breeds that are good with children:

  • basset hounds
  • beagles
  • collies
  • labrador retrievers
  • newfoundlands
  • pugs.

Communication Between the Dog and Owner

Most dogs will try hard to understand and please their owners, just as most owners will work hard to understand their dogs. As long as you are patient and establish a dominant role with your pet, he will likely respond to your commands. Of course, as stated earlier, some dogs learn more easily than others, so if you don”t think you have the time or patience to train a stubborn dog, choose your breed carefully.

It isn”t hard to teach your dog to follow a few basic commands. However, you will have to be consistent and be able to see things from your dog”s point of view. Understanding your dog”s instincts and his breed will help you develop strategies to erase unwanted acts. As some dogs are more prone to certain unwanted behaviors, such as biting and/or incessant barking, you might find that it is more difficult to eliminate these actions.