Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Musings: Are You Happy With Your Breed Choice?

Hey, everyone!

I saw this topic while lurking on a dog forum, and the idea really intrigued me. The topic being: Are You Happy With Your Dog Breed Choice? It was a twofold question: the first being would you get the same breed knowing what you know now, and would you stick with your breed when/if you were to add to the family. I'm so curious to see people's thoughts on this!

I feel like I have to make a note before someone gets their panties in a twist. 
The question is not "are you happy with your dog". 
I'm not asking if you are or are not happy with your individual dog, and I'm not saying I am unhappy or regret my dogs. I don't, at all. The query has to do with your breed, not your dog/s themselves.

Knowing What I Know Now, Would I Still Have Gotten My Breeds?

The short answer is yes, I am happy with the breeds I've chosen. They all mesh well together and mesh well into my life. They both fit what I was looking for, and they still fit with my life now. 

The longer answer is the each fill a perfect place in the family, both in the human regards and in their own little dog-clan. 

Nola is a miniature Dachshund, and is damn near perfect for me. She was made for me in every way, and my only wish is she was a bit more active (and the vast majority of people would consider her crazy busy! I'm just a bit, ah...spastic, hyper, ADHD energetic). She is my scary smart, wickedly mischievous, sweet, silly, loves to train, in tune, confident, ballsy, go anywhere and do anything heart dog. She's the boss around here, and she knows it. 
If I want to go somewhere, Nola is the dog that accompanies me. From off leash beaches or woods, to stores, to walking around the little beach town, to photo shoots to training sessions, she is up for anything and takes life in stride. If I'm anxious or upset, she's on me to calm me down. She's so sensitive to my emotions, and is always ready to offer support. She is my first dog, and I couldn't have struck gold more thoroughly than with her. She's also the favorite. Clearly. 

Pike is a mini Aussie, and he's the weird one. ;) He's quirky, he's fantastic with kids, he's sensitive and melodramatic as can be. He is insane for any and all toys, and will fetch for hours (literally, hours). He's the one always wiggle-butting around with a toy in his mouth, dancing at your feet for you to throw it. He's the one that seems pretty stupid, until you watch him open a ziplock bag (open, not tear. Open it like a human would.) to get his tennis ball out. 
If I want to smile and shake my head at crazy antics, Pike's the dog for it. If I want to play, he's my dude. Seeing the pure joy on his face when he's engaged with play is priceless. He's the "special" one, and for all his many, many quirks, I wouldn't trade that ugly mug for the world. 

Olivia is a miniature Dachshund, and she's the slug. Or the furniture, depending on the day, haha. She's incredibly sweet, quiet, gentle and so laid-back. She's great with kids, and is so enthusiastic about everything she does. She is the laziest dachshund I've ever met, and between busy buzzing Nola and bouncy-bouncy-bouncy-boucey-boucey Pike (that's how he is!), she really does mimic the furniture sometimes. 
If I want a cuddle or a dog to sit by my feet as I read or groom another dog, she's the one for that. She's the calm, quiet one that can remind me why in the hell I have dogs if Nola and Pike are having a crazy moment. If I want to see a dog light up with the simplest of training exercises, she's the dog I go to. Nola's haughty, and deals with training as "seriously, is this what you consider a challenge? I can do that with my eyes closed.", so she keeps me working to keep up. Olivia thinks she figured out the cure for cancer when she simply sits. It's adorable!

This post was written pre-Lucky, and while I would have never in a million years picked a Great Dane mix of my own accord (and more than likely won't go for the breed or a mix again in the future), I'm very happy with the sweet girl. Such a gentle, loving dog. 

So the group is The Bitchy Superior, The Quirky Ball-a-Holic, and The Slug Puppy. Oh, and now the Giant Pseudo-Xolo (Xolos are a hairless dog breed, so I've saddled her with that nickname for the time being). 

Will I Have These Breeds Again?

The short answer: maybe, but probably not any time in the near future.

The longer answer is I might consider another (larger) mini Aussie waaaay down the road (as in, after Pike passes. And he'll be 2 in February.), but I don't think I'll have another Dachshund. 

To be perfectly honest, Nola has set the bar too high for any other dog in the breed. I was seriously struggling with Olivia a few months back because I kept subconsciously thinking that she should be like Nola, when in reality they couldn't be more different. Once I finally figured out what my problem was and accepted that she isn't like Nola, and no dog ever will be, the problem went away and I'm happy with her as her, rather than a second Nola. In reality, two Nola's would be enough to make anyone's head spin. ;) 

So, what are your thoughts? Are you happy with your breed? What breed will/would you get next?

- Dachshund Mommy


  1. Military Husband introduced me to pugs and I adore them!! I'm obsessed.

  2. Did I miss what happened to Lincoln? Before Ruby I never would have picked a JRT or Border Collie - I know their energy and training requirements and wouldn't have thought that would fit into my life; however, I'm so in love with my little spitfire Ruby I would have a JRT again in a heartbeat. I would like to stick to smaller dogs in the future - I think it's so wonderful of you to be planning to keep Lucky when she is so different from what you are used to.

  3. I know it is not an actual breed - but I tend to choose ACD mixes because I don't think I could handle a full breed ACD. They need a LOT of work and can be difficult to handle for someone not prepared for that. I really like the ACDs though because of their compact size and great companion hiking qualities, plus they are short haired dogs which means I don't have to spend a lot of time on grooming.

    I'm not sure what breed my next dog will be. Maybe an English Lab? I think the list of dog breeds I wouldn't be able to handle is easier to come up with! :)

    I love that Lucky fits right into your arms. I wonder what size she will end up being and if she will still fit? She has the sweetest face! (Don't worry, Nola is still the super model in your pack!)

  4. We did a ton of research before deciding on goldens and the type we wanted. Even with all the shedding, we wouldn't change a thing! :)

  5. We didn't have a dog in mind either time we adopted. Daisy was my first dog and she was a lab mix and she was absolutely perfect and I understand what you say when you said made for you. Daisy was made for me!! And when we were going to adopt Cocoa we didn't even think we would get a puppy but she was meant to be our puppy!! We knew about her breed after we adopted her but wouldn't change a thing!!

  6. We are already in line with Sheltie Rescue for our 3rd Sheltie. Despite constant pushing to go for the mutt, we love the breed and it fits our family. The two we have are very different and I suspect the third will also be on the spectrum of differences for the breed. However, there is something about the characteristics and general behaviors that work for us.

  7. Just getting caught up on everyone's blogs - Lucky is indeed lucky to have you find her! Can't wait to see how that beautiful girl's health improves and THRIVES under your care.

    I never in-visioned myself with a poodle as a dog, let alone a miniature poodle. I'd always imagined and wanted a larger dog, more specifically a boxer or great dane...poodle wasn't even on my list of liked dogs anywhere. Now, having Wesley and seeing how smart he is, how cuddly and his perfect lap size...I'm hooked. I just love my minature poodle, and can't imagine having any other breed.

  8. What happened to Lincoln?! Great dogs :)

  9. Haha, good question. Chihuahuas are NOT the easiest dog to live with. They bark, they bite, they want everything their own way and are as stubborn as mules.
    But they also love their humans deeply, have a sweet nature and have you in stitches laughing with their antics. So I am happy with slight reservations...
    Lynne x

  10. I am a pug person through and through and have been for more than 20 years.. LOVE, love, love the breed. We have 3 right now and 7 waiting at the rainbow bridge.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  11. Mine are mixes but when I decided to adopt a dog, because I had experience with many breeds, I knew what I didn't want. I wanted a medium sized short haired dog with medium energy. Zoe fits that perfectly. Other than her weird fear and anxiety quirks, she's awesome. With Phoenix, I just wanted a friend for Zoe who would be playful and I got that, too. I think the girls have taught me a ton and if I ever do decide to get a purebred, I sort of know what sort of personality and energy to look for.

  12. I find this question fascinating.

    Honey is my first purebred dog. After 3 reactive dogs in a row, I wanted a dog who would help me volunteer as either a service dog puppy raiser or foster parent.

    Because of my specific plan, I thought raising a pure bred dog from a reputable breeder would give me the best results. I thought of labs, King Charles Cavalier spaniels and goldens.

    I'm very happy with my choice. Honey was a great foster sister. And she's been everyone's friend.

    But I'm not sure I'd get another pure bred dog. I'm not opposed to them. But I also love mixed breed dogs. And unless I have specific job in mind for a future dog, I think I've learned enough to be able to choose a good mix for our home.

    On the other hand, I've learned how good a mellow, friendly dog fits into our lifestyle. Now that we live on a boat, she has to meet lots of new people and dogs all the time. I can't imagine any dog who would be better for us.

  13. Wow, Pike opens ziplock bags like a human? I would love to see that. What a fascinating little creature he is!

    I love this post, and these questions so much I'm going to go write my own post about it, haha. But the short answer is--Nala is perfect, and many of the things that I love about her are German Shepherd things, so, yes, in many ways, I'm very happy with my breed choice (although I didn't set out to adopt a German Shepherd. I had a list of things I wanted, things I needed, and things I didn't want, and she happened to fit the bill, to my surprise. I actually assumed that I'd be adopting a middle-aged Border Collie or retriever mix). Would I get another German Shepherd? Yes--because thanks to how much I love Nala, my heart just melts every time I see one. But I plan to be very, very picky, because the breed is notorious for both health and behavior issues.

  14. I've always loved Labs but I've wondered if I might do well with a Border Collie. I, myself, have a Border Collie personality. Perhaps we'd feed off each other too much!!!

    One other thing is that members of the same breed can be so different. Shyla is one-of-a-kind. In our 7 Labs so far, she is so different from any other.

    You have quite a potpourri of breeds so that's lots of experience for you. I'm so glad you're taking in Lucky and nursing her back to health!

  15. I'm a Lhasa girl through and through....although I do love Arty (Shih-Tzu), there is something about the easy going and smart Lhasa personality that has me (and hubby) hooked!

  16. Interesting topic. Yes, I love the breed who I share my life with. I used to think (or make myself believe) that I was a Pittie kind of girl. I loved PitBulls, and thought they were the dog for me, and I do love Pits, and have been owned by them, BUT it wasn't until my first Siberian Husky.... when I just knew they were the breed for me. I couldn't imagine sharing my life with any other breed now.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!


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