Do you have a crush on a breed, perhaps even one you’ve never had before? If you’re looking on the internet, following on social media, or simply drooling over one of the five breeds below, you’re in good company. These are among the most-searched breeds on Dogster.com:
We know you’re sweet on us, so just admit it: You sometimes watch TV ads or look at catalogs simply to see us! I’m the third most popular breed in the country, but also a star capture-attention dog breed. We were developed in Scotland by Lord Tweedmouth as a gundog to retrieve fowl. We’re sporty, smart, and sweet. We can swim like a star, rock the obedience ring, collect accolades on the agility course, or lead a search and rescue excursion. My stunning cousin, Pinkie, rocked the Westminster world a few years ago, but also served as a surrogate mother to three tiger cubs. Now how’s that for exceptional adaptability? And yes, our social media presence is extensive: We have a million and a quarter followers on the Golden Retriever Facebook page alone.
It’s possible your infatuation starts with our hot dog shape, but it also relates to our amazing temperament and history. We were developed centuries ago in Germany with a unique body shape to hunt badgers and hole-digging vermin. To work in underground environments with limited oxygen, we needed a long rib-cage to efficiently process air. We also needed short legs to fold for easy movement through tunnels. These days, badgers or no badgers, we’re still small in stature but tough and determined. We’re independent, yet loving. Humans seem especially drawn to putting our likeness on objects. I’ve seen myself on everything from socks to bracelets to mugs. Yes, even I check out the I Love Dachshund site.
Your admiration is well justified. Captain Max von Stephanitz developed us in the early 20th century specifically for (take a breath, the list is long): brainpower, usefulness, endurance, speed, strength, courage, intelligence, and adaptability. We can guide you, protect you, herd your livestock, assist you with a disability, or loyally serve your police and military. We’re also capable of great discernment, or intelligent disobedience. That’s a fancy way of saying: I may not obey if you ask me to lead you into a danger that I perceive (and you don’t!). With our extensive capabilities and beauty too, I understand why you love to hear about our accomplishments. Yes you’ve likely heard of Rin Tin Tin and Buddy the seeing-eye-dog, but how about my military war dog hero cousins Lucca or Nemo?
You may call me a Blue Heeler, a Red Heeler, or an ACD. You’re justifiably captivated by my exceptional abilities. I’m an unmatched herder, developed to weather the tough terrain of Australia. I’m renowned for moving stubborn cattle by nipping at their heels. Yep, that’s my name: a heeler. It’s interesting that you’re especially intrigued with my working abilities. Maybe you’re craving a working relationship with your dog, regardless of his breed. Hey, how about trying a sport like Rally? Any dog will appreciate it! And as for me, I’m likely “too much dog” (odd expression, isn’t it?) for many families. I need hard work and daily exercise. Cattle are optional, but highly desired.
We were developed thousands of years ago in Siberia. Although we were bred with great stamina for providing transportation over large areas,we also were developed with a highly social nature. We had to keep our families warm at night! We adore our people, but we also love an escapade. That’s code for: We can escape out of any yard when the whim strikes. As for the human infatuation with us, I have multiple theories: First, perhaps you think I look wolf-like? Wolves, after all, are marvelous creatures. Second, we are arguably the most stunning breed on the face of the planet. Or perhaps you’re intrigued with our adaptability? Did you know my coat provides good thermal protection from both heat and cold extremes? Plus we’re heroic! My forefather Balto was one of the most famous dogs in history: He led a life-or-death sled race to deliver medicine to children in Nome, Alaska.
Top photo: Rave the German Shepherd Dog, courtesy Deborah Stern
Homepage photo: Siberian Husky courtesy Eileen M. Gacke