Looking for a new member for your family, but not sure what breed to choose? A controversial study from the American Veterinary Association shows that breeds can be placed in seven groups based on three general traits:
- Reactivity (described as showing a need for affection, excessive barking, snapping at children, being excitable, or having a high activity level)
- Aggressiveness (showing dominance or being territorial)
- Trainability (easy to train)
You can use this these groups to narrow down your search, based on what you are looking for in a dog.
Group 1 shows high reactivity, medium aggression, and low trainability. Dogs in this group include Lhasa Apso, Pomeranian, Maltese, Cocker Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Weimaraner, Pug, and Irish Setter.
Group 2 dogs have very low reactivity, very low aggression, and low trainability. These dogs include English Bulldog, Old English Sheepdog, Norwegian Elkhound, Bloodhound, and Basset Hound.
Group 3 is characterized by low reactivity, high aggression, and low trainability, (i.e. not great dogs for kids). The dogs in this group are the Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard, Afghan Hound, Boxer, Dalmatian, Great Dane, Chow Chow.
Group 4 has high reactivity, medium aggression, and very high trainability. If you are looking for a dog with these qualities, check out Shetland Sheepdogs, ShihTzus, any size Poodles, Bichon Frise, English Springer Spaniels, and Welsh Corgies.
Group 5 dogs have low reactivity, low aggression, high trainability. (For me, this is the perfect dog!) Dogs in this group include the Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Golden Retriever, Vizsla, Brittany Spaniel, German Short-haired Pointer, Newfoundland, Keeshond, Collie, and Australian Shepherd.
Group 7 dogs have high reactivity, very high aggression, and medium trainability. If that’w what you are looking for, check out terriers, miniature Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, and Dachshunds.
Obviously, not every dog in the specified breed will fit the profile, but this gives you a place to start. Check out our breed guides for more information when you are considering adding a four-legged friend. Don’t forget to write in with your comments – let me know if these profiles stack up to what you see in your own dogs! You can leave comments here on the blog or send me an e-mail at [email protected].
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!