Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Should Appearances Matter When Choosing a Dog?

Hey, everyone!

Today's topic was inspired by an old post in a dog Facebook group, and I thought it'd make a really good blog discussion. The basic question was should looks come into play when choosing a dog, and if so, to what extent. Let's debate!

Now that's a pretty girl. 

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, coat types, eye colors, ear types...I could keep going. Purebreds alone have an insane variety, not to mention how no two mixed breeds or mutts are alike. There is - quite literally - something for everyone, and each is beautiful in their own way.

However, there's no denying that certain types will always have a stronger draw for you. Perhaps you love the musculature of bully types, fawn over the delicateness of toy breeds, adore the sleek athleticism of herders, or the rugged good looks of the working group. Maybe you're more drawn to the pure elegance of sighthounds, the adorable scruff of terriers, or the droopy faces of scent hounds. Often it's the dog's looks that initially draw you to her (in a rescue situation) or her breed, and you refine off that initial impression.

Personally, I'm a complete and utter sucker for herding dogs and sighthounds. They are stunning, and make my fingers itch with the urge to photograph them. That doesn't mean I should get an Afghan Hound simply because they're one of the most gorgeous breeds around when they don't fit my life. Temperament, energy level and lifestyle compatibly are the most important things to consider when it comes to getting a dog, not their looks.

However... I don't think it's wrong to let appearances factor in, to an extent. If a certain dog or breed catches your eye, explore it and see where it leads. You're going to have this dog for 10-15+ years, and I personally want to have a dog I like looking at. Ack, that sounds so vain, but it's true!

You have to find a nice middle ground when it comes to this, in my opinion.
A Vizsla would be a good fit for me, but I will never own one. One of the things I'm absolutely not willing to compromise on is a liver colored nose, and that's all a Vizsla comes in. On the other hand, a Saluki is to die for in its beauty, but I will never have one. The temperament isn't for me. Like I said, find the middle ground!

I also really like "ugly" breeds. Hairless, dwarf, brachycephalic, scruffy...they make me so happy to look at. Nola's long little body brightens my day, and my parents have a French Bulldog that I really, really want to steal. Her face...! Look at this. There's too much adorable in one picture.

What about you? Did looks come into play when you selected your dog? Do you think they will play a role in future dogs?

- Dachshund Mommy


  1. For me, it's all about the EARS and a certain look of intelligence and mischief in the eyes. I have picked all four of my dogs from shelter/rescue photos. It was definitely Ruby's striking split-face that reeled me in, and Boca's smile. I tend to prefer dogs that are very structurally functional, proportional - i.e., those that look most like foxes and wolves. Norwegian Elkhounds are my physical ideal; however, after having one (actually two double-coated dogs)I am loving the sleek, super-short and maintenance-free coats that Ruby and Boca have. I don't know if I could deal with Elkie levels of hair again. I'm also powerless in the face of beautiful markings. I like hairless breeds as well but brachy breeds don't appeal to me in the least. You're right that there is something for everyone, whether that's a purebred or a rescue mutt!

  2. when you find a breed you love appearance doesn't matter all that much
    Lily & Edward

  3. I am also a huge fan of sighthounds and herders. I think looks definitely do play a part when we choose our dogs and I'm okay with it. I'm also with Lara, I'm all about the ears, too! I love prick ears! :D

  4. Of course looks play into it! LoL I was in love with Dante's brindle color, and Ziva's stunning color and eyes.
    I tend towards muscular bully type dogs with big block heads. Just makes me want to smoosh and kiss their squishy faces!!
    I also love sleeker foxy kind of dogs like kelpies, and then the mischevious faces of an australian cattle dog with their triangular ears.
    If we add a third dog I think I want a boston terrier, but if we don't add a third dog and just wait. Then our next dog will be an only dog and probably a kelpie or australian cattle dog.

  5. Interesting topic.

    I'm very attracted to wolf-like breeds with prick ears. But I know they're not a good fit for my life.

    And I don't admire golden retrievers for their looks. Or at least I didn't, until I fell in love with Honey.

    The thing about appearance preferences is that they can change with exposure. It's why it's so important for us to see all kinds of people depicted in popular culture.

    People with wrinkles look attractive to us when we see and enjoy people with wrinkles. People of different skin color or hair type are more attractive when we spend time with them.

    And dogs we don't think are cute, become adorable once we fall in love with them.

  6. I don't think looks come into play for me. I took Delilah and had only seen a photo of her (and I didn't really think it was all that flattering.) LOL For me it's more about the personality and how it meshes with me.

    I think I'm a "Lab Girl" BUT I would love a Brittany, because I love how they look. Shit, I just contradicted myself. :-)


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