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Category: Dog Breeds

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I got a new puppy….well, you knew that. He’s not Brand new. Just kinda new. He still seems very new to me, because I’m never home to play with him.
I know – cheese with that whine? (OH – speaking of cheese – go check out my friend Suzanne’s blog – she’s giving away a cheese making kit – and a smart phone! She is a GOOD TIMES blogger! www.chickensintheroad.com)

But. Back to me.

Wednesdays are going to be Housebreaking Day! You are so excited, I can tell. You ARE – I can always tell by traffic which quadruples every time I mention Housebreaking.

And Tuesday will be: drum roll
What have I taught my dog this week day!
Accountability is a good thing!

Odie is a full blooded 6 month old male Chinese Crested. From the shelter, thank you very much! I’m just insane about him. His personality is quirky and fun and sometimes almost cat like. He is gorgeous, prancing around, elegant and graceful.

The breed book says they are “hardy, friendly and intelligent dogs who perform well as watch dogs.” That is code for ‘they bark’.

This is from the first day my mom and sister met me in 'puppy jail'. I was picked up as a stray. My old family was contacted and didn't want me anymore. Whew!


An honest assessment: gulp!

What he’s learned so far:

He walks pretty nicely on the leash, till he gets distracted. He’s not a puller, but he’s a balker.
He sits wonderfully on command and when he knows he should – when he comes in, before he eats.
He almost has lay down. Not quite.

I lay down Just Fine. Oh - on command? Well...working on it!


He never pees in the house – but husband says when I’m at work, he occasionally poops in the house. Hmmm….NOT GOOD.
Most generally he comes when’s he called. But something we need to work on.
He does high five fairly well.
He barks once in a while but not obnoxiously. Yet.
And he doesn’t charge out the door.

And then I met my new brother and we decided to be best friends.

Okay – short list. Next week we will talk about goals. What I want, and how we are going to get there. The challenges and obstacles. And the FUN ahead. Join me on our journey!

But lots of play time, too, right, Mom? Promise?

Its all in the way you raise them?

Class discussion veered to breed specific behavior yesterday. Its always interesting to me what people think about the differing breeds of dogs. There are certain breeds people think of as ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’. Or ‘can’t be housebroken’ or ‘runners’.

I have my thoughts too – given my druthers when picking a demo dog to show off a new command, I will instinctively go to the lab or golden or pit or yorkie or boxer. They will just Do it for you. I’m not sure how much MY expectation of that influences their behavior.

What about an Aussie? We like to do! Give me a job! LET me!

When I’m in a quirky mood and feel like a challenge, I’ll go to the chihuahua or husky instead. Sometimes I have to pull new tricks from my hat to get them to ‘do it’. “What’s my Motivation for that??” They ask me. “Explain to me why I should want to.” I enjoy that occasionally.

But people will often look me in the eye and say very seriously, “its not the dog, its how you raise the dog.”
And I have to say an emphatic “Sometimes” to that.

Maybe I will and maybe I won't. Depends on my mercurial mood!

Sometimes it IS the dog. I have a golden in class right now that is just nuttso. He has a brother with the ‘golden personality’ laid back, calm, happy. Both from the same litter, both gotten at 8 weeks and raised by the same family in the same way, but one is a wild, destructive thing and the other isn’t.

You Get a boxer because you want that goofy, energetic, intelligent, pawing boxer personality. Right? And a huge majority of my boxers seem to have separation anxiety issues. Something to deal with.
You get a yorkie because you want the smart hyper fun cuddle bug, and you realize many of them WILL be challenging to housebreak. Now some will be calm and housebreak easily. Most won’t be.

Who's so smart? Its me!

You simply Can’t point fingers and say “its all in how you raise them.” Dogs are not robots. They have thoughts and feelings and breed instinct and all kinds of things we can only hope to influence.

Some people can do everything wrong and still have a good dog, despite them. Others can do everything right and have the dog either just not be a good fit for them, or have personality traits we need to deal with.
That’s just a fact.

Dog breeds that aren’t dominant?

Someone yesterday found my blog by that search phrase. They want a quiet, submissive, laid back dog. Which breed would be best?
All righty then.

I’m racking my brain – HEY – you think that’s Easy at 4 in the morning with only one cup of coffee?? Let me go refill and grab my breed book.

Man, now I’m overwhelmed.

I started out laid back, but I came OUT of my shell just fine!


I have a family in class that got 2 goldens – they have 2 boys and wanted one for each. One has the Perfect Golden Personality. Calm, happy, wiggly but controllable. The other is INSANE. He jumps and nips and barks and is just a wild thing. He’s the one in class. “FIX THIS!”

I'm in a foster home - mom is trying to cool my jets before I go to my forever home. Not easy.


I have a chihuahua that starts out every class by attacking everyone – bark and lunge – and then settles down and just glares out everyone from under a stool. Then heaves a big sigh and says “FINE, if everyone else is going to play, I will too!”

What? Just...What?

I have a Jack Russell who….never mind. No one who wants a laid back dog would even Think Jack Russell….

Rotties are often the most laid back dogs I could ask for. Unless they aren’t.

What do you mean?? LOOK - all four of my feet are on the ground at the SAME TIME! (look fast!)


I’ve had dozens of shih-tzu’s come through class whose parents till me they are the Devil Incarnate! But then they mellow. Mostly. Sometimes.

Lady was told she was adopting a six year old lab. SHOULD have been a good fit for her. Quiet household during the week – camping on the weekends. Found out after she fell in love that dog was a two year old Chesapeake Bay retriever. Not a lab and Not laid back. We are struggling.

Looking through my book – I really can’t see any breed that just comes calm and laid back. They all go through wild-child puppy stages and naughty obstinate adolescence before they settle down to laid back. When they are three or four or six. Depending on dog or breed.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

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