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How Breed Influences Canine Behavior

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How Breed Influences Canine Behavior

Canine behavior is often influenced by the breed's traits. While training can help manage most troublesome behaviors, people should look at breed traits when choosing a dog or puppy for their home.

Many find mixed breeds tend to have a better overall behavior than purebred breeds, but owning a mixed breed, or hybrid, is not a guarantee you'll get a dog that matches your expectations. The same is true of purchasing a purebred that is known to be a great family dog, overbreeding can affect a dog's nature.

Sporting and Gun Dogs

Breeds that make suitable hunting companions include:

  • Pointers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters
  • Spaniels

These dogs have excellent noses and eyes. When trained, the dogs learn to point out birds, retrieve birds or even track racoons in trees. The dogs require activity and can be difficult to train. Most have stubborn streaks that require patience and determination to overcome while training.

Black and yellow labs are one of the world's most popular breeds because they are patient, excellent with children and train easily. They do, however, have a great deal of energy that needs to be released.

Hounds Traits

Hounds, like beagles or dachshunds, are loving dogs who love children as much as they do adults. Troublesome canine behavior is limited, but they do love to bark. It will take some serious training to break them of the habit. Hounds like to run around, so plan to take them for daily walks.

Dachshunds are known to have hip problems because of their proportion of back length to the short legs. Make sure you carefully check the parentage to see if hip problems are common in that breeding line.

Toy Dog Breeds' Canine Behavior

Toy dogs are great for those who live in small apartments and homes. They enjoy being indoors and space is generally not an issue. Toy breeds have different canine behavior. Some, such as Chihuahuas, can be snappy, especially with little children. Others like Shih Tzus are excellent companions for young children and have tons of patience and tolerance.

Remember that toy breeds tend to chill easily, so in cold climates they do need protective winter gear to remain warm while outside. Toy breeds are generally easily excited and many are prone to separation anxiety.

Guard Dogs Traits

Guard dogs (German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Boxers, etc.) make great family dogs but require training. Most are hesitant with strangers and unless properly trained may become threatening. With their family, however, they are gentle giants who act like overgrown puppies.

With guard dogs, especially German Shepherds, it's important to check the breeding carefully. Many dogs have hip issues that are extremely costly to a pet owner. Ask for hip certification from the breeder and definitely ask to view the puppy's parents.

Mixed Breed Canine Behavior

There is a growing trend among pet owners to create designer breeds (Chiweenies, Labradoodles, etc.) by breeding their purebred with another. None of these hybrid breeds are purebred or recognized by the AKC.

The new hybrids contain aspects of both parents' temperaments. This can work to an owner's benefit or become troublesome if you like one breed but cannot tolerate the behavior of the other parent. Always research the dog breed behavior trends of both breeds before bringing your puppy home.

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