Have you ever wondered what sport activities you should get your dog involved in? Why not base your play on the “jobs” your dog’s forefathers used to do? Yes, there were times when all dogs were “employed” by their humans to perform certain tasks and people couldn’t do without them. In modern times, our dog breed preference is not based so much on their “pre-occupations” but mostly what we like about the dog’s traits as our companions.
Sporting dogs which include pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels share similar traits to hunt in wooded areas and water. They have strong abilities to find, point and retrieve. These dogs have been bred for generations to hunt for their owner’s dinner table. They are very enthusiastic, full of energy and easy to train. If your choice of dog is a sporting dog, make sure to provide proper exercise on daily basis to ensure that the dog won’t get involved in distractive behavior such as digging holes in your backyard, tearing apart your couch, or chewing your favorite pair of shoes.
Hounds posses’ great sightseeing and/or scenting ability traits so no wonder they are considered to be the original hunting dogs. Their group has a great deal of variety; both physical and behavior. They range from the tall and glamorous Afghan hound to the short-legged dachshund. Although the dachshunds seem to be out of place in this group, there is a good reason for their disproportions. Their “job” background is serving as a digger and chasing foxes and badgers into their dens. Most hounds make great companions. They are very reliable and tough dogs that come in many sizes and great for any family.
The working groups are bred for generations for their strength and protective instincts to guard property, pull sleds and perform water rescues. Some popular breeds from this group are Rottweiler, Siberian Husky and Doberman Pincher. They require early socialization and training help to prepare them to fulfill their purpose as a “working dog”. They are not every-family- pet since they need proper and strict training.
Non-sporting dogs is a group of dogs diverse in size and appearance. In contrast to other groups, these dogs lost their ability to perform the tasks they were bred for. For example, Bulldogs were bred for centuries for bull-baiting and finally was forbidden in England in the mid 1800s. Nowadays, most non sporting breeds are great companions and choice of many families. They learn quickly and love any exercise as long as it suits their body type. Other examples of this group are the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog.
The toy group is the smallest group of dogs and was bred to fit on the lap. This group has diverse traits but they all share the same characteristics of being small dogs. Back in the days they were used to provide physical comfort and entertainment for their owners. Nowadays, they perform very similar tasks; give a lot of love to their owners. They are also known for their therapeutic value as therapy dogs. They are widely known for not leaving their sick owner’s bed side. Some examples of this miniature cuteness are Pomeranians, Chihuahua, and Havanese. And let’s put it this way, the training is always easier to do when the dog is 10 times smaller compared to some of the other groups.
What is your experience and preference in these dog groups as a dog sitter or dog owner? What factors played in your decision when choosing a dog for yourself or for dog sitting?