Behavior is something that you should take into consideration when deciding what breed of animal you would like to raise. Are they naturally high strung or prone to bad habits? Or are they naturally laid back and easy to handle?
If you are new to raising animals then maybe consider something that will be calm, easily trained, and not succumbed to behavior you are not prepared to handle.
When considering a breed, look at its natural inbred behavior. What was the breed meant for? This will give huge insight to how this animal will behave naturally without having to train it to do so. There will be the occasional exemption to this but on the whole every breed has a base line personality.
Talk to different breeders about why they raise the breeds they do. Breeders love to talk about their work. All it takes is one word hinting in the direction of interest in our animals and you will have more information then you ever thought possible.
If you can, a wonderful way to observe a breed is to attend a show. See what makes them tick, consider if they would be a good fit for your family. Now keep in mind that the animals are not in the place they are most familiar so they might be more jumpy or slightly less cooperative then they are at home. Always ask the owner if you can pet their animal before approaching it.
Breeds and their inbred characteristics.
This is probably the most important concept if you don’t read anything else so listen up! All animals that are domesticated (and even undomesticated) are meant to do something.
- For some breeds of animals, it is was meant to look cute and be a good pet.
- Others were bred for their pelts and then somewhere meant strictly for meat.
- There are also the animals that were meant to do a job. (This is especially important when looking for a dog as a pet for your family.)
The breeds that are meant for pets or were expected to be around longer (Lop rabbits, laying hens, milk goats, dairy cattle. You get the idea) will have the better temperaments. The animals that are intended for market (Californian or polish rabbits, game birds, boar goats, beef cattle) tend to show signs of aggression or be more stubborn and not easy to handle.
Those breeds like Californians, American chinchilla, or Newzeland rabbits that are not going to be around past 12 weeks of age can be as cranky as they want. Most producers are dumping to feed in to the feeders, then pulling them out of the pen to go on the meat truck. That is about the extent of their handling experience.
Look at the temperament and behavior of an Angus-vs-Holstein. The Angus will only be around for about 18months and the Holstein could be around as long as 10-12 years. I for one would be more concerned about the cow that would be around for a longer period of time had a good temperament before I worried about the beef cattle. Meat producers are not concerned that the animal is a bit feisty that won’t be around long. All they want it nice firm flesh on the animal. I am not saying all of this to sound cruel, I just want to show you that you need to look at what an animal was intended for before you buy it.
Lets talk about dogs for a moment. There are 7 dogs groups recognized by the AKC. Working, herding, Toy, Terroir, Hound, sporting dogs and non-sporting dogs. Every one of those groups have dogs that were meant to do something. I have heard of many people who got a dog and later had it put down because it’s behavior was”bad” when in reality it was only doing what it was bred to do. Each group definition is off of the AKC.org web page. I have listed under each group of few of the most common breeds.
Dogs of the Working Group were bred to perform such jobs as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. They have been invaluable assets to man throughout the ages. The Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky and Great Dane are included in this Group, to name just a few. Quick to learn, these intelligent, capable animals make solid companions. Their considerable dimensions and strength alone, however, make many working dogs unsuitable as pets for average families. And again, by virtue of their size alone, these dogs must be properly
A few common breeds in this group
- Great Pyrenees
- Siberian Husky
- St. Bernard
The Herding Group, created in 1983, is the newest AKC classification; its members were formerly members of the Working Group. All breeds share the fabulous ability to control the movement of other animals. A remarkable example is the low-set Corgi, perhaps one foot tall at the shoulders, that can drive a herd of cows many times its size to pasture by leaping and nipping at their heels. The vast majority of Herding dogs, as household pets, never cross paths with a farm animal. Nevertheless, pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions and respond beautifully to training exercises.
- German Shepherd
- Old English Sheepdog
- Welsh Corgi
- Shetland Sheep Dog
The diminutive size and winsome expressions of Toy dogs illustrate the main function of this Group: to embody sheer delight. Don’t let their tiny stature fool you, though – – many toy breeds are tough as nails. If you haven’t yet experienced the barking of an angry Chihuahua, for example, well, just wait.
Toy dogs will always be popular with city dwellers and people without much living space. They make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap warmers on cold nights. (Incidentally, small breeds may be found in every Group, not just the Toy Group. We advise everyone to seriously consider getting a small breed, when appropriate, if for no other reason than to minimize some of the problems inherent in canines such as shedding, creating messes and cost of care. And training aside, it’s still easier to control a ten-pound dog than it is one ten times
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Miniature pinscher
People familiar with this Group invariably comment on the distinctive terrier personality. Their common behavior is know to be feisty and energetic dogs whose sizes range from fairly small, as in the Norfolk, Cairn or West Highland White Terrier, to the grand Airedale Terrier.
Terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Their ancestors were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Many continue to project the attitude that they’re always eager for a spirited argument. Most terriers have wiry coats that require special grooming known as stripping in order to maintain a characteristic appearance. In general, they make engaging pets, but require owners with the determination to match their dogs’ lively characters.
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Rat Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
Most hounds share the common ancestral trait of being used for hunting. Some use acute scenting powers to follow a trail. Others demonstrate a phenomenal gift of stamina as they relentlessly run down quarry. Beyond this, however, generalizations about hounds are hard to come by, since the Group encompasses quite a diverse lot. There are Pharaoh Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans and Beagles, among others.
Some hounds share the distinct ability to produce a unique sound known as baying. It would be best to sample this sound before you decide to get a hound of your own to be sure it’s your cup of tea.
- American English Coonhound
- Basset Hound
This groups behavior is naturally active and alert, Sporting dogs make likeable, well-rounded companions. Members of the Group include pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels.
Noted for their instincts in water and woods, many of these breeds actively continue to participate in hunting and other field activities. Potential owners of Sporting dogs need to realize that most require regular, invigorating exercise to keep from gaining weight and getting board. Hence, causing them to get into trouble.
- Cocker Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- German Pointer
Non-sporting dogs are a diverse group. Here are sturdy animals with as different personalities and appearances as the Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, and Keeshond.
Some, like the Schipperke and Tibetan Spaniel are uncommon sights in the average neighborhood. Others, however, like the Poodle and Lhasa Apso, have quite a large following. The breeds in the Non-Sporting Group are a varied collection in terms of size, coat, personality and overall appearance.
- Bichon Frise
- Boston Terrier
- Bull Dog
- Chow Chow
Just be do a little reserch before buying a breed of any speacies and all will be well.