I often hear this question, “what breed is the best one to get?”
My response is simple, well maybe not that simple. It all depends on your lifestyle; are you an active family? Do you like hiking or taking long walks? Then a Pug may not be a good fit for a family that’s hitting the trail. Maybe a Lab or Golden Retriever will be a better fit.
Do you like to relax and sit at home and watch TV, maybe read? Do you like taking shorter walks and enjoy a slower pace? If yes, then the Pug may be a great fit for you.
But even if you get the exact breed that fits your lifestyle to a tee, there is no guarantee that this dog you get will be a good fit for your family. While the odds are so much better if you research and find the breed that fits your needs, there are no guarantees.
Besides researching the breed that best fits your families lifestyle there is another big factor; “Temperament”
Will the dog or puppy you pick have the right temperament for you and or your family.
In this case I will use humans as an example; humans have different personalties, dogs have different temperaments. For this conversation we will use three examples: The Dominate or
(1) Alpha Dog, (2) The Middle of the Line or Middle of the Pack Dog and (3) The Timid or Submissive Dog, some call this dog the end of the line dog. Thats because he’s not interested in challenging another dog or person. He’ll just wait at the end to get what he wants.
Now the three temperaments have different levels and extremes. But for this post we will stick to the the three temperaments.
The Alpha Dog needs strong human leadership. If this dog isn’t shown leadership he or she will become the leader. Yes, even over the human pack members! Do not mixup leadership with being physical or using harsh methods. Being a strong pack leader is not about physical corrections. Being fair and having a balanced pack is the first step in being a good pack leader for the Alpha Temperament Dog.
The Middle of the Pack Dog tends to be the most adjusted dog and fits in well to most situations. Normally this temperament dog will go with the flow. This dog has confidence but wants to follow a leader. They tend to be the happy go lucky type of dog we see walking along, happy to see people and dogs. This dog can be very easy to train and is fun and loving.
The Timid Dog wants to please. If this dog is not lead, it will become overly fearful, barking and maybe hiding when it’s scared. However; if given calm leadership, they learn quickly and are loyal to the pack.
Just because a dog happens to be Alpha or Timid it does not mean they won’t be a great family pet. Once you learn how to handle your dogs temperament, your dog should flourish in your pack. If you find yourself with a dog that has a temperament issue, reach out to a trainer that can guide you in the right direction. If you’re in the Tucson area. look me up, I would be happy to talk with you. Finding the correct method for your dog’s temperament is the goal.
Remember dogs really don’t speak english and people really can’t talk like a dog. As a trainer we can use proven methods to communicate with our dogs that are more canine like.
Balancing your pack and communicating with them in a way that’s more natural for them, will only help. It’s actually remarkable to see how quickly dogs respond when we change our old way of doing things. If we don’t change our behavior first, our dogs behavior will not change.