Every other week, as my Alpha Dog Blog deadline approaches, I sit in front of a blank computer screen as I try to decide what to write about. In many cases, writing is the easy part … the hard part is coming up with topics that my fellow dog lovers and blog followers will enjoy.
As I was scouring the Internet to see what other bloggers are writing about, I came across Cesar Milan’s site and was immediately intrigued by one entry: What does your choice in dog breed say about you?
After doing a little searching on the topic, I found a recently released study from Live Science whose findings suggest that dog owners gravitate toward canines that fit their personality and lifestyle. Uh-oh. I happen to be a pet parent to a neurotic, quirky black Labrador. I wonder what that says about me! The picture of the French Bulldogs to the left, thanks to Shutterstock, is an example of pups that are extroverted.
The research got me thinking about our adoptable dogs here at the Escondido Humane Society and how people react differently to every breed. When I was a dog walker at the shelter, I watched people literally turn around and walk the other way or take a wide berth when they saw me out with a pit bull. The poor dog was judged purely by its breed – something that sadly happens on a daily basis. On the other hand, people approach the Labs or toy breeds without hesitation. So it’s not surprising to me that terrier owners score high in agreeableness and openness.
We always tell people to judge a dog based on its personality and whether it fits into your lifestyle. So many people are missing out on a wonderful companion because they won’t even give certain breeds a second look. I hope this research can help us overcome some of the stigmas attached to certain breeds.
Some other things to keep in mind when adopting:
- You may not find the perfect pet for you on your first visit. That’s OK! New animals are looking for homes almost every day at shelters everywhere. Don’t get discouraged … it may take some time, but that new pet who is just right for you is out there, and hoping that you don’t give up.
- Consider your needs, but also be flexible. If you are always working late, don’t have the resources for training and don’t have much space, that adorable but high-energy Jack Russell may not be for you. On the other hand, the laid-back, older adult terrier may be just right. Imagine the personality and needs of your perfect pet, but try to be flexible otherwise. You may be surprised to see who ends up being the perfect match for you.
- Have your home set up to accommodate your new pet before it arrives (fences repaired, crate set up, supplies ready, etc.). It will help make the transition smoother for both of you.
- Be prepared for an adjustment period. It’ll take some time (usually, two weeks) for you and your pet to get to know each other well. We are here to help, but patience and understanding is key!