Dog Breed Infatuations

Today I caught myself wondering why I’ve fallen in love with certain dog breeds and not others.

For example, I’m not a big fan of really small dogs (anything under 15 pounds). My wife loves small dogs. Apparently, so do a lot of other people. I, on the other hand, don’t. Though I do enjoy teasing my wife about her rats;-)

But for some reason, I personally can’t come to own a really tiny dog. And today, I caught myself wondering why.

Well one interesting bit of information I found out online was that research shows that dogs and their people look alike. Apparently there is a subtle, but unrecognized bias in breed selection whereby people try to find dogs that bare resemblance both physically and mentally to themselves.

But I don’t think that’s it. I don’t think that explains why I love The Standard Schnauzer and the Staffordshire Bull Terriers (medium-small and super muscular) but not the Pekingese or the Toy Poodle.

After thinking about this a long time, it finally dawned on me. As a child, my parents always owned larger or stronger dogs. My earliest impressions were of dogs that were athletic, muscular, sprinters who could chase down rabbits. I recalled feeling a sense of pride as a child whenever my family dog would catch an animal. Not that I endorse this behavior now. I’m just saying that as I child it thrilled me to know that my dog was a skilled athlete.

That’s it. Deeply ingrained in my earliest experiences with dogs is the feeling of pride at canine athleticism. Small dogs tend not to be very good athletes. Thus, I think I have a hard time appreciating them.

Now that I’ve gone through self-therapy, perhaps I can be more intentional about understanding the positive qualities of small dog breeds as well as larger ones.

What about you? Are you infatuated with larger breed dogs? or the smaller breeds?

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7 Responses

  1. Mike Nichols
    | Reply

    I like medium-small dogs — we have a Bichon Frise of about 20 pounds. I dislike intensely the tiny dogs, chihuahuas etc, because I was raised with them and never could stand them. Also was mauled by a large dog as a child and have ever since been afraid of them.

    Both my brother and sister have large dogs, my brother 2 Great Danes, so I guess they couldn’t stand the dried-up yapping things, either!

    Maybe it does come down to some sort of psychology, after all.

  2. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    When I was growing up, my folks always had the smaller dogs, mostly toy poodles .. but during my early teens we had an Irish Setter named “Brandy” (ya, I know – don’t laugh). He was the greatest dog I knew and was mine – with all the dog tricks etc. He would jump into the lake off the cottage dock and retrieve balls, frisbees, and even put his head down up to 3ft deep and fetch rocks.

    After I was ‘with spouse-to-be’ .. I wanted another Irish Setter, but we didn’t have a backyard. After my wife saw “As Good as it Gets” .. it didn’t matter what dog I wanted – she wanted a small dog // scratch that // she wanted an accessory! 🙂

  3. Poochieheaven
    | Reply

    I first fell in love with big dogs for the same reason as you. I have now found that I like little dogs for other reasons, such as they have less eat and are easier to cuddle with. I just found that it takes finding the right dog.

  4. akc miniature schnauzers
    | Reply

    We recently got a Maltese puppy, his name is Hank! They are excellent dogs and not too big.

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