WE PLANT THE "SEEDS OF IDEAS" IN DOG OWNERS MINDS - THESE IDEAS EVENTUALLY BLOSSOM INTO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DOG BEHAVIOUR - Sally Hopkins
WE PLANT THE "SEEDS OF IDEAS" IN DOG OWNERS MINDS - THESE IDEAS EVENTUALLY BLOSSOM INTO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DOG BEHAVIOUR - Sally Hopkins

companion dogs

 

The dogs listed below are :-

  • Earth dogs
  • Flushing dogs
  • General Guarding dogs
  • Livestock Guarding dogs
  • Pointing dogs
  • Property Guarding dogs
  • Retrieving dogs
  • Scent hounds
  • Setting dogs
  • Herding dogs
  • Sight hounds

 

Over the centuries Man has bred some of the smaller breeds of dogs to become companion or house dogs. The origins of many of these dogs can be traced back to working breeds but have been bred and adapted to either become "hot water bottles" to keep their humans warm before central heating was invented, or for companionship and affection as a pet.

 

One particular characteristic of companion dogs are their large eyes, which mimic those of babies and children, giving an impression of cuteness and vulnerability. These dogs are far from vulnerable and have big personalities even though they may be small in stature! The highest reward for these dogs is attention and company.

 

Examples include

Australian Silky Terrier, Bichon Frise, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, German Spitz, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Lowchen, Maltese, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Poodles, Pug, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniel,

 

earth dogs

This group of dogs are used for pest control. They hunt and kill small mammals that live underground by either -

  • entering their prey's burrows and killing them underground
  • chasing the prey above ground to be killed by others (ie human or other dogs)
  • or killing their prey when they are above ground.

 

Their name Terrier comes from the Latin Terra meaning ground or earth. Their prey is usually either badgers, foxes, otters, rabbits or rats. These dogs have a strong instinct to DIG, CHEW and enjoy "killing" toys and tugger type games

 

Examples include -

Airdale Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Black & Tan Terrier, Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Dachshunds, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Irish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Jack Russell Terrier, Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Skye Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier,

 

flushing dogs

These dogs have been bred to search the undergrowth for birds and frighten them into the air so that the huntsmen can shoot the birds. They then return the bird's body to the huntsman without biting it or causing further damage (ie they need to have a "soft mouth"). These dogs have a very strong instinct to run through undergrowth and explore habitats that Game would chose to hide in. All the breeds come under the name of Spaniel, although not all dogs with "spaniel" in their name are in fact flushing dogs.

 

Examples include -

American Cocker Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel,   

 

 

GENERAL HUNTING DOGS

Although some breeds have become specialised for various hunting duties, other breeds have not and can adapt to whichever tasks are expected of them. These breeds of dogs have been put in this category.

 

Examples include -

Basenji, Brittany Spaniel, Dogo Argentino, Finnish Spitz, Nordic Spitz, 

 

LIVESTOCK GUARDING DOGS

These breeds have been bred to have an instinctive desire to defend and protect livestock, or control them. Selective human breeding has reduced their hunting instincts while encouraging their defensive and protective instincts, making them both brave and fearless while guarding and agile as they herd the animals in their charge.

 

The following breeds were bred to guard their owner's animals (which the dogs regard as their own pack to be defended from a variety of different dangers, both human and animal).

 

Examples include -

Estrela Mountain Dog, Komondor, Pyrenean Mountain Dog  

 

POINTING DOGS

These dogs were bred to stand frozen to the spot, head held high, foreleg raised, and "point" out the position of the prey until the hunter had prepared his weapon and was able to kill the game. Like the Setting dogs (see below), these breeds need strong self control in order not to move or chase the prey. Some pointer breeds have been bred to hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) and are particularly popular with modern hunters as they can cover each aspect of the hunting tasks.

 

Examples include -

English Pointer, German Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla, Italian Spinone, Large & Small Munsterlander, Weimaraner,

 

PROPERTY DOGS

One of the first task Early Man bred dogs to do was to guard their encampments from predators and strangers. The larger dogs fought off strangers and animals while the smaller dogs acted as watchdogs, barking out a warning to those who came too close.

 

Examples include -

Boxer, Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Doberman, Great Dane, Leonberger

 

RETRIEVING DOGS

Although most gundogs have been bred to retrieve, some became specialists (such as Flushing dogs (see above),Setting dogs (see below) and Pointing dogs (see above) while others were bred specifically to retrieve game that had been killed, particularly from the water. These dogs needed strong instincts to bring home prey without being tempted to mouth or eat it - consequently these breeds have a strong desire to carry things in their mouths.

 

Examples include -

Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Curly-coated Retriever, Flat-coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Spanish Water Dog, Standard Poodle

 

SCENT HOUNDS

Scenthounds have been bred to have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and are capable of traveling long distances in their efforts to track their prey. They keep their noses to the ground, running this way and that, in their eagerness to pick up an interesting trail and follow it to its source, baying or making a distinctive sound as they track their prey so that their owner can hear and follow them.

Scenthounds can be split into three categories - Large heavy bodied dogs that hunt in small numbers, being held on leashes by huntsmen on foot (such as Bloodhounds); Medium sized dogs that hunt as a pack with huntsmen on horseback (such as Foxhounds); and small short legged dogs that hunt without being on a leash with huntsmen on foot (such as Basset Hounds).

 

Examples include -

Basset Hound, Beagle Hound, Bloodhound, Finnish Hound, Foxhound, Hamilton Hound, Norweigian Elkhound, Otterhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Trail Hound,

 

SETTING DOGS

These long legged dogs are usually cautious and self controlled dogs that have been bred to stand perfectly still and not move once they find their "prey" (in direct contrast to most hunting dogs instincts, which is to chase and kill) until their handler arrives and releases them from their "setting" stance. This behaviour, which imitates a wolf freezing before the pack move in for the kill, can result in these breeds of dog being "lost" for long periods of time when out walking. What has really happened is that they have come across prey and have instinctively "set" or frozen to the spot, and are waiting for the rest of their "pack" to arrive - they are not being disobedient or "deaf", it is an instinctive behaviour that they cannot ignore.

 

Examples include -

English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish (Red) Setter, Irish Red & White Setter,

 

HERDING DOGS

These categories of dogs were bred to herd, move and control large numbers of animals without the need of lots of humans to do the task. These dogs were bred to have high levels of intelligence in order to anticipate their charges movements and gain their respect and co-operation. They have strong instincts to chase and herd anything that moves. It is very important to channel these strong instincts into appropriate things that the dog is allowed to chase AT AN EARLY AGE. If the dog is allowed the freedom to learn that it can chase unsuitable things (eg livestock, traffic, joggers, cyclists, cats etc) and gets the exciting rush of adrenaline as it runs after the moving object, these first impressions will be indelibly etched on the dogs long-term memory and it is very very difficult to retrain them not to chase. By encouraging the dog to chase objects and toys that you have control over so that it fulfills these chase instincts, and restricting its access* to unsuitable moving targets, you can avoid many of the behavioural pitfalls of owning these types of dogs.

 

*The answer to the age old problem of keeping control of young (or rehomed) dogs while allowing them the freedom to run and explore their environment and other dogs whilst out on walks, is to clip a long line to the dog's harness and let it trail behind the dog as its walks "free". The line should be approximately 10-20m long (the DOG-GAMES Shop often has these in stock at the Shows it attends) as this is most dogs' "comfort distance" from their owners. If the dog sees a sudden movement and begins to run off, the line can be either trodden on or picked up so that the owner can prevent the dog from going further than the line's length as if by "magic" - be careful the dog does not injure itself by jerking on the end of the line.

 

Over a period of weeks and months the young dog comes to realise that there is no reward in trying to chase after these moving things and that it is far more fun chasing the toys that its owner has ready to play with and produces randomly while out on these walks. They can then be allowed free access off the line, and it is very unlikely that they will begin to chase unsuitable "targets".

All these breeds need plenty of mental stimulation as well as exercise if kept as pets, otherwise their boredom and lack of mental challenges will result in behavioural problems.

 

SHEEP/CATTLE/DEER

 

The task of herding cattle is more dangerous than that of moving sheep as cattle can lash out with their hooves and cause injury to the dog. Therefore these dogs need to have strong and fearless personalities, often barking at the cattle to make them move rather than get too close to those dangerous feet.

 

Examples (for Sheep) include -

Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, Beaceron, Belgian Shepherd, Border Collie, Briard, German Shepherd Dog, Hungarian Puli, Hunterways, Rough Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Smooth Collie

 

Examples (for cattle) include -

Australian Cattle Dog, Bearded Collie, Bouvier des Flandres, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Giant Schnauzer, Lancashire Heeler, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Swedish Valhund, Rottweiler,

 

Examples (for deer) include -

Finish Lapphund, Samoyed, Swedish Lapphund

 

SIGHT HOUNDS

These breeds of dogs are some of the most ancient pure bred dogs still in existence. They have been bred to be the sprinters of the dog world using their very keen sense of sight to chase and kill the prey. Sighthounds strongest instinct is to run after fast moving animals in an attempt to chase, catch and "kill". It is very important to channel these strong instincts into appropriate things that the dog is allowed to chase AT AN EARLY AGE. If the dog is allowed the freedom to learn that it can chase unsuitable things (eg livestock, traffic, joggers, cyclists, cats etc) and gets the exciting rush of adrenaline as it runs after the moving object, these first impressions will be indelibly etched on the dogs long-term memory and it is very very difficult to retrain them not to chase. By encouraging the dog to chase objects and toys that you have control over so that it fulfills these chase instincts, and restricting its access* to unsuitable moving targets, you can avoid many of the behavioural pitfalls of owning these types of dogs.

 

*The answer to the age old problem of keeping control of young (or rehomed) dogs while allowing them the freedom to run and explore their environment and other dogs whilst out on walks, is to clip a long line to the dog's harness and let it trail behind the dog as its walks "free". The line should be approximately 10-20m long (the DOG-GAMES Shop often has these in stock at the Shows it attends) as this is most dogs' "comfort distance" from their owners. If the dog sees a sudden movement and begins to run off, the line can be either trodden on or picked up so that the owner can prevent the dog from going further than the line's length as if by "magic" - be careful the dog does not injure itself by jerking on the end of the line. Over a period of weeks and months the young dog comes to realise that there is no reward in trying to chase after these moving things and that it is far more fun chasing the toys that its owner has ready to play with and produces randomly while out on these walks.They can then be allowed free access off the line, and it is very unlikely that they will begin to chase unsuitable "targets".

 

These superlative sprinters do not have a great deal of stamina for long periods of exercise. They conserve their energy by resting for large parts of the day until they have the next opportunity to chase "prey".

 

Examples include -

Afghan Hound, Borzoi, Deerhound, Greyhounds, Lurcher, Pharaoh Hound, Saluki, Whippet, Wolfhound,

 

 

This web site has been written by Sally Hopkins (unless the author of the web page is stated otherwise).

 

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