When getting a new dog most families try to learn a little bit about what type of breed works best for them. However, sometimes dog breeds and the dogs within each breed don’t quite line up. That’s why I wanted to find out if what society has as the stereotypical behaviors of certain dog breeds really matched up with the actual dog behavior traits that families see. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Ford to learn about her two dogs, Mille and Ambush. Mille is a ten year old West Highland White Terrier, often known as the Westie. As a breed Westies are typically hyper dogs that are always looking to run around. It is because of their energetic personality that they are known to love playing with other dogs. They are good with kids however it may take them a bit to warm up to strangers. Westies are not not overly aggressive dogs but they will try and put on a strong front towards any strange newcomers. Ambush is a six year old German Shepherd putting him among one of the most popular dog breeds in America. Typically we see German Shepherds used as police and training dogs because they are well known for their intelligence and are thought to have a personality of being talented guard dogs. Now that we know the typical traits that are to be expected of each breed let’s see if Mille and Ambush line up!
Overall most of Millie’s behavioral traits did match up with those of the typical West Highland White Terrier. One big difference that stood out was Mille’s playful mannerisms. Being ten years old Mille doesn’t have too much interest in playing with other dogs however, even though she may not succeed she will try to play a good game of fetch. On brand with the typical Westie breed Mille is nippy and will bark crazy to warn her family of any strange newcomers. Although Mille is sociable and nice with the family she is not an overly friendly dog but once you earn her trust and show her love she is sure to show it right back!
German Shepherds are thought to be extremely trainable, loyal, and obedient. All of which stand true for Ambush. Ambush is very teachable and very obedient compared to his stubborn sister Mille. As most German Shepherds are Ambush is very protective of his family. Although he is not dangerously aggressive he is always ready to bark and warn the family of any incoming strangers. While Ambush enjoys the fun of nearby creeks or lakes he is always sure to swim near his family to ensure their safety at all times. Although he is a very defensive dog as most German Shepherds are, don’t be fooled by his big scary disguise, deep down Ambush is a big baby who just wants love and attention over anything else!
In learning about Millie and Ambush I learned that it does seem our idea of typical dog traits for breeds do tend to line up with the dog’s everyday behaviors. While each dog does have his/her own personality and quirks it seems at the end of the day they tend to stick to the roots of their breed.
German Shepherds. www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/large-dogs/german-shepherd.
German Shepherd Dog Breed – Facts and Traits: Hill’s Pet. www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/german-shepherd.
Kriss, Randa. “West Highland White Terrier Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/west-highland-white-terrier/.