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Choosing a Dog Breed

Choosing a Dog Breed

Which dog breed is right for you?

WHICH BREED? By Dr. Bruce Fogle DVM

Purebreds now account for the majority of dogs in North America, Europe, and Japan. The variety of sizes, shapes, and coats available appeals to virtually all conceivable tastes. While the appearance and mass of some dogs give us a feeling of security, the size and shape of others bring out our instinctive need to nurture. Most of us are drawn to particular breeds – because of our past experience with them or because their looks appeal to us.

A dog’s looks should not be your only consideration. Just as important is its trainability, how noisy it can be, and how good it is with children. When you take these factors into consideration, some breeds are excellent for any dog owner, while others are best in the homes of experienced dog people.

Remember that individual dogs are as different as individual people. The following charts, compiled from a worldwide survey of over 1,000 practicing vets, show the average characteristics of the average dogs of each breed. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 is the minimum level and 5 is the maximum for each feature.




Excerpted with permission from Caring for your dog by Dr. Bruce Fogle published by Dorling Kindersley Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. You can purchase the Caring for your dog at

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