What Your Dog’s Breed Says About You

Filed under: Dog Breeds,Dog Personality — Tags: , mtest on December 4th, 2013

What Your Dog's Breed Says About You

by Valerie Trumps

People often choose dogs who are most like them. See which breed you’d be!

Poodle. Very aware of appearance and spends much time on grooming. A bit stand-offish, yet highly excitable and prone to drama.

Yorkie. Wealthy and attention loving despite protests. Price is no object for what she wants.

Golden Retriever. Helpful and giving in relationships. Loyal to the ends of the earth and fun loving. Enjoys swimming.

Afghan Hound. Loves to keep her hair long. Soulful, perceptive, and intuitive. Speaks with her eyes.

Dachshund. Quirky and unconventional. Loves those who appreciate her uniqueness.

Bloodhound. Introverted and insightful. Laid back and goes with the flow. Good investigator.

German Shepherd. Disciplined and believes in following the rules. Can be harsh when crossed and unforgiving of misdeeds.

Beagle. Pleasant disposition. Open to others’ opinions and beliefs. Unable to tolerate being emotionally hurt. Sometimes confused and misdirected.

Boxer. Fights for what she believes in and will not be bullied. Proud and sure of herself.

Bulldog. Stubborn, confident, and embracing of her own and others’ imperfections. Tells it like it is and lets it all hang out.

Shih Tzu. Prissy and likes to be noticed for her cuteness. Enjoys primping and doesn’t like to get wet.

While these are just generalized impressions, consider if these descriptions fit next time you see a stranger with her dog. The similarities may surprise you.

This article originally appeared on partner site

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Blue Collar Projects Pride in Rescue

Filed under: Dog Breeds,Dog Life,Dog News,Products & Reviewsmtest on May 6th, 2013

As pet parents of two mixed breed rescue dogs, we sometimes lament the lack of cute pet products that tout our favorite breed: rescue.

Last year, two Cincinnati dog lovers and entrepreneurs got together and launched Project Blue Collar, an initiative that focuses on the positive side of adoption. Carole Feeny and Kristin Waters met in 2010 at the gym and quickly learned of each other’s interest in animal welfare. “Although we worked with different rescues (Carole with a foster-based rescue and I at a no-kill shelter), we started networking dogs together and helped each other out at different times when our respective groups were full,” recalls Kristin.

From her experience at the rescue, Carole knew that rescue dogs undergo a wonderful transformation on the road to adoption, a change that the general public often misses due to massive advertising campaigns Blue Collar Projectsthat “engender our pity with tragic images of animals in need and leave us thinking of them as damaged goods. While these marketing campaigns are successful at raising funds they are not helping rescuers show the positive qualities of adoptable animals. This realization prompted me to think of a way to promote the value of the rescue dog and get them to be the marketers of their own movement.  Thus, Project Blue Collar was born.”

Carole and Kristin quickly came together on this project they named Project Blue Collar – Support the Underdog™. The blue collar, modeled on popular silicone cause bracelets that signify a wearer’s affinity for a movement, identifies the dog’s background and its transformation from a homeless animal to a cherished family member.

As with a cause bracelet, the blue collar serves as a conversation starter. “We hear story after story about people asking about the Blue Collar on their dogs,” explains Kristin. “That’s the whole purpose: To create conversations and inspire others to learn about the joy of adopting a rescue dog. When 10,000 dogs are needlessly killed each day in our nation’s shelters, we need to educate people about the value of rescue dogs, and then change will begin to happen – one dog at a time.”

SupportCarole, the company’s president, says when the conversation begins, it gives the pet parent a chance to share their pet’s story. “The story of rooting for the underdog to transform into a superhero is a compelling theme in our culture. Our movement translates the power of that possibility to orphaned animals. We believe that by growing this movement one grassroot at a time, we will create a groundswell of change and impact the course of animal welfare in the future.”

And Project Blue Collar isn’t only for mixed breeds like our Irie and Tiki but for all rescues. Explains Carole, “Whether a purebred or a mixed breed, rescues are rescues and people who have adopted them are proud. Our Blue Collar gives people a way to display their pride and tell their story. Their enthusiasm inspires and educates others to follow their example.”

Photo courtesy Project Blue Collar

This article originally appeared on

Don’t Call Our Mixed Breed Dog a Mutt!

Filed under: Dog Breeds,Dog Personalitymtest on April 8th, 2013

Yes, we get the whole “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” concept. And we know that Irie and Tiki don’t care if they’re called mixed breed dogs, mutts, tykes, curs, mongrels, or random breeds.

But it matters to us.

As pet parents to two former shelter dogs, both mixes of mixes, we feel that the word “mutt” carries with it a derogatory undercurrent. Well, there’s a reason for that: the word is actually a shortened form of the word “muttonhead.” And the first definition that Merriam-Webster lists for the word mutt harks back to that original word, one that described “a stupid or insignificant person.”

Merriam-Webster lists “cur” as a synonym for mutt and things really turn downhill with that definition of “a mongrel or inferior dog.” OK, now we’re getting very touchy since we’d never consider mixed breed dogs in any way inferior. (And it goes without saying that, as shamelessly proud parents, we consider our Irie and Tiki brilliant in every way and perhaps just a bit superior, rather than inferior.)

We have to admit that when the “designer dog” craze swept the pet world, we hoped more attention would be turned to the mixed breed dog. Purposeful cross breeding of two purebreds resulted in dogs with cute names like Maltipoo, Labradoodle, and Chiweenie. Unfortunately, this simply created a new demand for the purposeful mix rather than the one-of-a-kind random mix that our dogs, like so many shelter and rescue dogs, offer lucky adopters.

Every mixed breed dog is a mix of perhaps numerous breeds. Today DNA tests, performed either with a blood draw or a simple mouth swab, can detect the presence of many breeds in a mixed breed dog’s ancestry. DNA tests on Irie showed both Lab and Coonhound at high levels with German Shorthaired Pointer at lower levels. Tiki’s results were a bigger surprise.  Doberman and Poodle were present at high levels with Sheltie and Bulldog at lesser levels (with even more breeds present but too faint to be read).

With that rich background, we certainly think our dogs, like the millions of shelter dogs of mixed heritage, deserve a term that’s more descriptive than simply “mutt.”

For the mixed breed dogs at our house, the term that describes them best is simple: our dogs. Their pedigree isn’t on paper but in our hearts.

What do you think is the best term for describing a mixed breed dog? We’d love to hear your answer!

Join in on the action by checking out the mixed breed group in the Pet360 community. Share pictures and stories with other pet parents of your adorable mutt!

Nittany the Golf Course Dog!

Filed under: Dog Breeds,Dog Lifemtest on March 12th, 2013

by Amanda Drinker

Owning a dog is truly a roller coaster of fun, excitement, fear and worry. Growing up, my family had a cocker spaniel, Mocha. Mocha was low key, loving, playful and relaxed. He was the perfect family dog, and really matched the family dynamic. I never realized how important it was to make sure the breed/dog matches the family until Nittany.

Nittany, a red border collie, joined the family 3 years ago when my fiancé, Andrew, decided he was ready to have a dog. Never in my wildest dreams could I have understood the high energy, herding, and intellect of a border collie until we added Nittany to our lives.  AND never could I have had Nittany as my own pet without Andrew. There was a specific reason Andrew chose Nittany to be his first dog.

Nittany was not just going to be a family pet; Nittany was going to be trained as a golf course dog. Many golf courses across the country have dogs on the course to scare away geese, ground hogs, fox, deer, all forms of lurking wildlife. They really have the life.

Here is what Nittany would tell you about being a Dog of Turf:

1. Going to work with Dad everyday is super fun!

2. I have my own seat right next to Dad on his work cart – we own the course! Nittany

3. No leash no worries – I roam free!

4. I meet lots of nice people every day – some keep treats in their pockets just for me!

5. I spend hours watching the tennis ball go back and forth in the cage outside for people

Here is what WE would tell you about Nittany being a Dog of Turf:

1.Getting rid of skunk spray on a dog is miserable

Nittany2. Getting rid of deer dung on a dog is miserable

3. Marking territory on a members golf bag… happens

4. A day away from the golf course is depressing for him

5. He absolutely loves it – and that makes us very happy!

To read more stories about Nittany and other golf course dogs, come on over to the Community Group Dogs of Turf. There is so much more to discuss!

Deconstructing the Designer Dog

Filed under: Dog Breedsmtest on February 4th, 2013

by Heuer, Victoria

What comes to mind when you hear the term “designer dog”? For some people, the term conjures images of little dogs traveling in their little designer totes, which are perched on the shoulders of their high-fashion, globe trotting “puppy-mammas.” For others — those who are better versed in the world of designer dogs — the image that comes to mind is simply that of a dog that is the best of two purebreds. Both images can be true, of course, and both images illustrate the social consciousness of the dog as status symbol, since designer dogs often carry a price tag that exceeds the cost of their purebred parents. In any case, a designer dog is never a mutt — it is a hybrid.

Just a Fad?

While the term “designer dog” is fairly new, there is nothing new about them. Although many people who were new to the dog world saw the pairings of different breeds as a 20th century fad that was worth noting, avid breeders had been crossing purebreds for centuries. The difference was that earlier hybrids were intended for work purposes – to make better hunting or shepherding dogs, in many cases. The Australian Shepherd is a wonderful example of this, but she’s not the only one. Some of our most recognized and entrenched breeds started out as designer dogs. The Bull Terrier (Old English Bulldog+Old English Terrier) became “official” in 1885.

One of the main sticking points may be that hybrid dogs are not recognized by breed clubs, leading some to wonder why anyone would pay the hefty prices, but that has not slowed the still growing movement. There are currently over 500 “designer” breeds recognized by the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and some breeders take their programs very seriously.

Breed Qualities

Today’s designer dogs are more likely to be companions than work mates. They are bred for appearance, temperament, and often for their hypoallergenic (i.e., non-shedding) qualities. In fact, returning to Australia, we find that one of the most popular designer dogs, the Labradoodle, originated there in the 1970s, and even this breed began as a working dog. The Labrador, recognized for its excellent guiding abilities, and the Poodle, known for its intelligence, trainability and very low shedding, were paired to fill a need for disabled people who had allergies to dog dander. This initial endeavor turned into a movement that has become a serious world-wide breeding program. While the Labradoodle is not an officially recognized pure-breed yet, it is well on its way to becoming one.

The Poodle, in part because of its hypoallergenic quality, is one of the most popular breeds for crossbreeding. The Poodle has been the progenitor of the Cocka-Poo (Poodle+Cocker Spaniel), the Yorkie-Poo (Poodle+Yorkshire Terrier), the Pug-a-Poo (Poodle+Pug), and even the Saint Berdoodle (I’ll let you guess).

Choosing Responsibly

Just as consumers are willing to hand over their hard-earned dough for the latest gadgetry, they will also fork it over for the newest and cutest puppy breed. That can be both good and bad, since we want the ethical breeders to succeed, but there will always be opportunists in the ranks taking advantage of the supply and demand chain. To bring a hybrid to its full potential takes true dedication to the vision and an ethic that supersedes monetary rewards.

You want a breeder who gives serious thought to the compatibility of the pairs, provides proof of the parents’ health and well being, along with the results of genetic testing to screen out genetic problems such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders. In other words, just as with a purebred, you should expect papers with your hybrid puppy too, even if you don’t plan to breed on your own.   Not all hybrids will have the vigor to pass the muster, but you can count on seeing a lot more of them join the ranks of the purebreds. And you’ll be able to say, “I knew them when…”

See the article Deconstructing the Designer Dog on

Top Dogs: The Top Breeds of 2012

Filed under: Dog Breedsmtest on February 4th, 2013

The Tail-Wagging Winners

The American Kennel Club announced the winners for the most popular dog breeds in 2012. View the results and check out if your favorite breed made the cut this year.

#10 Dachshund

The Dachshund is recognized for its long body which can be either short or long. This breed is very loving and enjoys to play. Read more about the adorable Dachshund in our breed profile.

#9 Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is often used by the police and military, but they also make great service, herder, and therapy dogs. This breed is very intelligent and sometimes may serve as a guard dog. However, they do have a soft spot and are very trustworthy. Read more about the Rottweiler with our breed profile.

#8 Poodle

A Poodle is not just another pretty face in the crowd. They are exceptionally smart and get along well with humans and other dogs. Read more about the Poodle in our breed profile.

#7 Boxer

Boxers are large powerful dogs and require plenty of attention. The Boxer is a popular choice for a family pet or as a working police dog. Read more about the Boxer in our breed profile.

#6 Yorkshire Terrier

This adorable member of the toy group may be small, but has big a personality. Often described as brave, energetic, and determined. Read more about the Yorkshire Terrier in our breed profile.

#5 Bulldog

It’s hard to resist the bulldog’s cute wrinkles and gentle disposition. Bonus: they’re easy to take care of and require minimal grooming. Read more about the Bulldog in our breed profile.

#4 Beagle

Beagles are very social and enjoy the company of other canines and humans. This family favorite has been in the top 5 for the last decade. Read more about the Beagle in our breed profile.

# 3 Golden Retriever

Known as a friendly family pet the Golden Retriever jumps up one spot from last year. This popular breed is very active and cheerful. Read more about the Golden Retriever in our breed profile.

#2 German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is strong and many times used in search-and-rescue missions. As a pet, they are full of energy and make great companions. Read more about the German Shepherd in our breed profile.

#1 Labrador Retriever

For 22 years, the Labrador has topped the list. Labs originated from Newfoundland where they were used by fishermen to bring in large nets of fish. They enjoy playing games and socializing with humans. The perfect fit for the energetic family. Read more about theLabrador Retriever in our breed profile.

See the full Top Dog Breeds of 2012 Slideshow at


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