Horses for courses. Sorry, I mean dogs.

18/08/2012 09:04

I always knew that dog breeds carried with them certain traits, but since we have been doing this, it has become much more apparent. I wondered if you had any views that you could add to this?


Doing guide-dog pups, we quickly found out different traits of labs, retrievers and German shepherds. Guide-dogs like to use lab-retrievers to get the best of both worlds, but keep the single breeds going for their breeding programs. Labs are real foodies and will wolf anything they can - makes it easier to train as they'll do anything for a few bits of food, especially recall. I've found labs to be more intelligent, though they might use their brain power for their own gain (of food!!). Retrievers are more sensitive when being told off - and absolutely love mud. German shepherds do like to herd - they are happiest when the whole family is together where they can see them. All 3 breeds need lots of exercise. It is very important not to give a lab too much to eat. It just doesn't know when to stop, even after a full Christmas cake.


Fox-terriers. Oh, how I'd forgotten what these were like. From first thing in the morning, all Daisy really wants to do is play. She wants you to pull her toys with her. Much more highly strung than labs etc, but just as lovable.She WILL stop when I tell her to, and sit on my foot. In the days of music hall, these, along with poodles were the dancing dogs. We had one that would sit up and beg with perfect posture for hours, when my brother tormented it by putting its favourite heavy tin of dominoes (don't ask!) well out of reach but visible. If it was allowed to get it, he would run round and round the garden carrying it in his mouth. When I pick her up, the one we are minding at the moment is very stiff, almost like a toy, and doesn't really want to be cuddled - just wants to play. But maybe that will change as she relaxes more. If you are not playing with her, she will just sleep - sitting up or lying down with her head in the air. A real-life nodding dog. They're so funny to watch.


Greyhounds. I have to be honest, they weren't high up on my list of favourites. But the two I walk are lovely. Certainly not foodies. It has been lovely to watch the change in them. As rescue dogs, one in particular was petrified of anything and everything, but gradually I have gained their trust, and she will actually walk alongside other dogs now. In the past she has managed to escape her harness. Better than Houdini. You'd never have thought it possible, but she managed it due to her unsusual shape. I don't allow her to go into reverse now. These really do want to be cuddled. Greyhounds don't need very long walks, but enjoy a short sharp run off the lead if it is safe to do so.


Beagles. Aww! We've just had the one puppy so far. And he was SO sweet. And SO long! They'll keep going forever. I've spoken to several people who have these and the main problem seems to be "nose to the ground and they're off". Difficult to get back because they have a one-track mind, and that track probably goes on for miles. However, with Mario, so far so good. We were very wary, but his owners had almost assured us that he would come back. And he did.