Sunday, January 2, 2011

What breed do we need?

Are you looking for a new family member of the canine persuasion?

So were we! My husband and I are dog people, but as a couple we had never owned a dog together. Maybe because we didn't own our home before, but probably because we have such different likes in dog breeds. Yet 2010 proved to be the year that our young daughters decided for us that it was time to add a puppy to our family.

I am a researcher at heart, so online I went to find the right dog for us. Lots of dog breeds out there! Lots of information to read. I needed to narrow down the list of breeds. The Dog Breed Selector Quiz was thorough in its questions from yard size, shedding and drooling, to the most important, kid friendliness. The quiz easily helped me narrow the field down to 10 or so breeds. It also showed me where my favorite breeds ranked. Here is the link to take the quiz.

This is the point where the real work began, compromising with my husband on the type of dog we should get. I have had German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Australian Shepherds, and two Doberman Pinchers. The dobies were my favorite dogs. They were loyal, loving, and so easy to train. My husband has had a Keeshond, Bull Mastff, Alaskan Malamute, and a Pug. The Keeshond was his favorite. 

He said NO Doberman. It bummed me out, but he was right. A better choice would be a dog who can stand being inside a tiny house with our family. (Which we do own.) Near the top of our list from the Dog Breed Selector Quiz, he thought a Pug or an English Bulldog would be great. I wasn't fond of the idea of a short nosed snorter dog.  So we agreed to disagree and decided we would pick a breed that neither one of us had owned before.

Back to the list was a Standard Poodle. Great dogs, easy to train, but not for us. Next was the Vizsla. Another excellent choice, this dog is a short haired hunting dog that has no odor. Now that is a plus! But the Vizsla runs like a marathon runner and requires a larger yard than we have. Next was an Airedale Terrier. Another wonderful dog, great with kids and just the right size. Alas, grooming the Airedale is a full time job. Dang it! I really liked that one!

Then we came to a breed we had never heard of before, the Whippet. What is a Whippet? The short answer is a small Greyhound. Here are the stats. A short haired medium sized dog 17"-20" at the shoulders, 20-30lbs. They come in all colors and are excellent with children of all ages. They are couch potatoes indoors and crazy playful runners outdoors. And they don't have a doggy odor. Ding! Ding! Ding! This sounds like our dog! 

But could we find one? We live hours from real civilization.

Next post: Finding a whippet puppy.