Thursday, October 29, 2009

Picking up the Group thing...

Picking this up from Jules, who picked it up from Amanda in turn:

If you HAD to choose a dog from each CKC/AKC "Group," what would you choose and why? (excluding your own breeds)

Group 1- Sporting
Group 2- Hound
Group 3- Working
Group 4- Terriers
Group 5- Toys
Group 6- Non Sporting
Group 7- Herding

This will be a really fun exercise for me considering that, at any given moment, I own at least a half dozen imaginary dogs in addition to the actual, flesh-and-blood variety that live in my house.

1. SPORTING: Nostalgia urges me to take a Golden or a Lab, although they're a little more dog than I want to handle. That size issue leads me toward the English Cocker, but I can't get on board with the whole tail-docking thing. A delusion of me someday becoming flashy and stylish (try not to kill yourselves when you fall out of the chair laughing) argues for a groomed-to-the-hilt show quality Irish Setter. FINAL ANSWER: The Golden. They make great obedience dogs, they have pretty, "girly" hair that I already know how to groom, and they generally play well with others.

2. HOUND: After the Herding group, this is probably the group I can find the second largest number of dogs I would actually consider owning (and not just at gunpoint). Which is mildly disturbing to me on a number of levels. I have an on-going fascination with sight hounds that refuses to be deterred by any number of arguments that they are, shall we say, not the most obvious choice for competitive obedience. Independence and aloofness notwithstanding, I would happily have a Pharoah Hound or an Ibizan. I adore the Borzoi and I debated adopting a rescue Greyhound; that I don't have a 6-foot fence, and my house is a mere 1,200 sq. ft. ranch, are the only reasons there is not currently a 50-mph couch potato in my home. Whippets are the obvious size alternative. I prefer something with more hair, but since the long-haired whippet isn't apt to make an appearance in the AKC register anytime soon (read: NEVER), I'd have to forego the coat. On the other end of the size spectrum, I love me some long-haired Dachshunds, either standard or miniature-sized. Ever see a mini Dachshund on an agility course? Cutest. Thing. Ever. FINAL ANSWER: I WILL have a Whippet amongst all the corgis someday, and its name WILL be Devo. 'Cause, Whip It? Yes, I really am that lame. And if I get my addition and my 6-foot fence, or if we buy a bigger house, bring on the Borzoi.

3. WORKING: My husband would really like to have a Newfoundland. And I speak the truth when I say that I have NEVER met a Newfoundland whose personality I didn't love. But my GAWD, the drool!!! And the hair!!! And the drool!!! That is one big dog to be depositing hair and slobber all over my floor (and walls, and ceiling...). One of our kennel club members has Newfs and has offered to let Nathan test-drive one for a weekend to see if it changes his mind. I can't see it changing mine. I like the looks of a nice, show-quality Doberman -- a lot. But then there are the tail-docking and ear-cropping issues. I like the looks of the spitz breeds, but the feistiness with other dogs? Not so much. PWDs are great working dog and a good size, but I'm not wild about their looks, either lion-clipped or natural. I'm just not into curly-coated dogs. FINAL ANSWER: If forced at gunpoint, I guess I would settle on an Alaskan Malamute. They're pretty, they have the hair issue but not the drool issue, they are bred to work in packs and should get along with other dogs if socialized well while young. And I've been trying to get one of my dogs to howl with me since I've HAD dogs; I bet a Malamute would oblige.

4. TERRIERS: Okay, this one is easy. (In truth, it would take the actual, physical gun to make me take a terrier, but since this is all fantasy anyway...) I've said for years that, when I turn into a crotchety old woman (notice I didn't say "if") I will get a nasty little Scottish terrier to sit on my lap, growl at people, and bark at those pesky kids playing their music too loud and trespassing on my lawn. I have full commitment to the stereotype. Cuz that's just how I roll.

5. TOYS: It's a close toss-up between the Cavalier and the Papillon. I've seen a lot of great working Papillons, and they have that whole cute butterfly ear thing going on. The Cavalier has an expression that could melt the entire continent of Antarctica and is the ultimate brush-its-hair-and-go-totally-girly-on-its-ass toy dog. But it also has the long hair on the feet, and as my Corgis will attest, I am known in my house as The Foot Nazi. FINAL CHOICE: The Papillon, by a (foot)hair.

6. NON-SPORTING: Yeah, not really my group. I think the Frenchies are cute, especially after seeing "Monster" on the short-lived series Threshold, but their reputation when it comes to training and housebreaking is not a good one. The Tibetan Spaniel is smaller and is cute, but hard to come by. I really like the Standard Poodle personality and temperament, but there's that whole curly-haired thing, and the grooming. FINAL ANSWER: The Standard Poodle. I'd just have to have a really good groomer on speed-dial to keep its sporting clip in tip-top shape.

7. HERDING: Yay, my favorite group!! I've seriously considered a number of these dogs. I love the Rough Collies, particularly the blue merles. Drawbacks are the hair, the fact that they're always bigger than my brain expects them to be, and the barkiness that I've seen with a lot of Collies. Love the looks of the Aussies, again especially the blues, but I've seen SO many Aussies who are dog aggressive, and they are probably a higher-drive dog than I want to live with full-time. I've known some really cool Belgian Terverens, I'm a little flirty with the notion of a Canaan Dog, I've owned a Pembroke in the past... and then there are the Shelties. I don't think there's ever been a time in my life when I didn't know at least one person with a Sheltie. I know, I know -- the hair, the barking (Oh! the barking...), but they are the neatest, weirdest... Okay, you know how they have the different character alignments in D&D? You don't? You weren't one of those odd, geeky, role-playing freaks in high school? Oh, me neither. I'm just going by what I've heard... oh, alright. I was totally one of those odd, geeky, role-playing freaks in high school. ANYway... one of the alignments is Lawful Evil. Characters of this alignment are highly self-motivated and not out for the greater good, but they are very organized and revere order over chaos in their pursuits. This is the Sheltie in a nutshell. There is a whole worldwide, underground, coalition of Shetland Sheepdogs out there and, believe you me, if only they had opposable thumbs they would have taken over the world a LONG time ago. The lack of that one, all-important digit has forced them to play the long game, using the stupid man-apes as pawns in their struggle to subdue the universe. When they are whirling around and barking their heads off at someone sneezing? Don't buy the act. It's all a diversionary tactic to keep us mere homo sapiens from tumbling to what's really going on. Seriously! FINAL ANSWER: Yeah, a Sheltie. They've got mind-control powers, yo.


  1. This was a fun blog game. I'm with you - always imagining which new dogs I might add to my life!

  2. Ahhh you underestimate the frenchie and training. I have found them to be very smart and easy to train. I think the people that have issues with training them are of the small dog mindset and just don't do the work. (including housebreaking) My Missy could have eaily gotten a title with an owner less lazy (and less of a chicken) than I. Our two forays into the obedience ring and subsequent DQ's were all my fault, not mistakes made by her.

    I'm with you on the newfies. Totally love them but can't do the drool. :-)