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Who's your doggy???

29 Jun 2015 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

The personality test

Dog Personality'

For animal lovers, there are few things more exciting that bringing home a dog. The love that you share with Man’s Best Friend isn’t often equalled by any other kind of love, the key word being ‘unconditional’. However, as in the case of friendships or romantic relationships, looks only go so far; it’s compatibility that counts in the long run. Before you choose the right dog for you and your family, take a good long look at yourself, your circumstances, and your environment. The "Who’s your doggy?" column deals with important questions that need to be considered before you bring home a new dog.

We often use words to describe ourselves or our current mood to our friends. “I’m feeling lazy today.” “I’ve been too busy to stay in touch.” “I’m too depressed to do anything.” “I’ve been partying all week!”

Even if you’re exaggerating, you could easily be any of these things and still live happily with an animal. However, you’ve got to remember something. Dogs and cats, the most common animals that people live with, also have personalities. Your idea of “cute” will come and go, but personality traits stay a while longer. Whilst choosing a companion dog, it’s best to get past the looks and on to the dog’s personality in connection with your own, as quickly as possible. First of all, you’ve got to decide if the companion dog is required to play a role in your life. What are you looking for? A guard dog? A watch dog? A clown? Or simply a companion? These are real questions; I know a man who once returned a rescued dog he adopted, because a week into the adoption, the dog “still did not know how to carry his office bag to the car”. No kidding! 

Here are some things you might want to consider before going out and adopting a dog:

How active are you? It’s best to answer this question as honestly as possible, because there’s no hiding behind a lie when you realise you’re an ardent fan of the Great Indoors and that boxer you adopted wants a 20-minute run twice a day. And play time at home. And a belly rub or ten. And a game of fetch just before hitting the sack. Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, Great Danes, Pekingese, and Pugs are known to give the most prolific couch potatoes a run – or at least a crawl – for their money. If you’re looking for a jogging companion, you know where not to look. On the other hand, several kinds of Terriers, Boxers, Dalmatians, and Irish Setters rank amongst the most active dog breeds in the world, ready to embark on a long run or set out for a walk any time you want. 

Are you a people-person?

If you’re the life of the party, the planner of wild Saturday night bashes, or even just a very friendly person, you might want to pick a dog who will be equally happy to welcome people into your home. It won’t bode well for you, your guests, and most of all, your dog, if a guest in the house means high stress and deep discontentment. Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers and Beagles are quite famous for their friendliness and thrive in situations where they get to socialise with several people and, often, dogs. If you prefer to keep to yourself and enjoy the company of a book more than most people, perhaps it’s best to adopt a more sedate dog. Several of the Spitz dogs, Rottweilers, Dalmatians and Dobermans are known for being one-person dogs, often “imprinting” on or choosing one member of the family to devote themselves to.  While this doesn’t stop them from being social, they might be best suited to your quiet lifestyle, as long as you’re active and silence comes with the promise of plenty of exercise!

How vegetarian are you?

This is a sensitive topic these days, with vegetarians and non-vegetarians both trigger-happy when it comes to vocalising their choices. In this article, the question has very little to do with you; it’s about the dog. Most people who know dogs understand that they are naturally meat eaters. Those big canines they have are meant to tear into flesh, quite natural in the order of things, although not so much in the case of our over-manufactured, artificially-generated human needs. I’m a vegetarian by choice, but all the animals I live with get a meat diet. If you’re very particular about having a primarily vegetarian dog, don’t pick a large, muscular breed. A smaller, more indoors dog will perhaps thrive with a lacto-ovo diet, eggs having the highest value of protein in pet foods. However, if you are vegan and are expecting to live with only vegans, perhaps it’s best to pick another vegan human to live with. My personal take on imposing morally-constructed food restrictions on animals that have a greater connect with what’s natural, is a big no-no. 

Little and loud or strong and silent?

Now, this is important. What’s your take on a dog’s Vocalising Quotient? A watchdog primarily achieves his or her status by not merely watching but informing you of anything new that he or she sees and doesn’t like. Some dogs get the general drift, but others are too yap-happy to care if they’re barking at a stranger, a neighbour, you, a car horn, or sometimes even the memory of a sound. I have a dachshund who barks for most of the time that he’s awake. In his case, it’s the result of abandonment-related trauma. Living on the streets and fending for himself in unfamiliar places has made him suspicious of everything.

If you like silence, pick a quieter dog. Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, some kinds of Mastiffs, and St. Bernards are amongst the quietest breeds of dogs there are, although if you’re in India and reading this, there are several reasons why you should not be living with a St. Bernard. If you like a loud dog – and there’s no reason not to – Beagles, Jack Russel Terriers, and Lhasa Apsos are all about the talk. 

Source: Elke VogelSang Dog Photographs

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