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Dog Files Viewpoint: A Breed of Dog For Everyone!

By KatyBeth Jensen For The Dog Files

A few days ago, I was mingling with strangers when a heartless friend introduced me as “someone who knows a lot about dogs.”  Naturally, one of the strangers was thinking about getting a dog. I took a sip of my coke, looked at the inquiring face staring expectantly at me and thought, “Here we go again.”  

Smiling, I inquired what kind of dog he was thinking about. For the next twenty minutes, he talked about the family Lab that had been an integral part of his childhood. “I want my kids to have a dog like I grew up with. He was great. Of course, I’m divorced and only have the kids on the weekend.” I then casually asked if he remembered who took care of the family dog. He gave me a what-does-it-matter look and said, “My mom.”  I asked if his childhood dog was physical and active.

“Oh yeah!” he exclaimed. Our Lab would play ball for hours and hours and wanted to go everywhere we did.” 

Still smiling, I said, “Well then you want an active dog that loves to play ball and go on long walks.”

“Well, sure … on the weekends, with the kids.”

After countless conversation like this one, I have learned to cut to the chase. I looked right at him and said, “Well, if we can convince your mom to move in with you, and find a Lab that only wants to play ball on the weekend, we will have found the perfect dog for you and your children.”

I don’t think I offered the kind of help he was looking for, and yet, if he heard me at all, I offered the kind of help he needed to hear. 

The average life expectancy for a dog is 12.8 years. There is a big chance the dog you bring home will live with you longer than your kids will. One of the most important questions to consider when deciding what type of dog you want to bring into your home and heart is, “What is this dog bred to do?”

A Labrador Retriever lives happily-ever-after in a family that is prepared for a large, boisterous, energetic dog that retrieves everything that’s not nailed down. A Lab is not going to be happy only playing with the kids on the weekend and being left alone for long periods of time. A Lab is going to want to be your best friend even when you go to the bathroom.

An older couple shared with me that they were considering buying a  Portuguese Water Dog. Curious, I asked, “What do you like about a Portuguese Water Dog?”

“Well, our last dog shed a lot and we were looking for a dog that didn’t shed.” Okay, that makes sense, I thought, as I waited for them to continue. We stood looking at each other awkwardly for a few seconds before they added, “They shed hardly at all.” 

“What else do you know about the Portuguese Water Dog?” I inquired, having pretty good idea of the answer. 

“President Obama’s family has one.” Yeah, well rumor has it that the Obama family had to hire three staff members and a full-time trainer to provide Bo with enough training and exercise to turn him into first dog material. The Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog. Their historical purpose was to assist the Portuguese fisherman to do a day’s worth of work. This translates to, “If you don’t want a very active dog, consider a different breed.” The couple considering the Portie was more inclined towards cruises, car rides, and parking spots close to the entrance of the places they were driving to. I smiled and shared with them that a Bichon Frise is another breed that “sheds hardly at all” but needs a more moderate level of activity. Bichon Frises were bred to be companion dogs, and well, Barbara Streisand owns a Bichon Frise! 

Dog breeds are not interchangeable. Dogs are bred to do a specific job. Today, few dogs do the jobs they were bred to do, but they still harbor the skills that made them successful in their original careers. There is a right breed for every family, and making the right match is important.

Profiling before contracting to provide a forever-after-home for the pup of your dreams is encouraged. Take some time and research dog breeds.  If you are considering adopting from a shelter, you have a better chance of a good match if you have in mind “something like a Lab” or “some kind of terrier. “ 

There is a breed of dog for everyone. With a little effort, you can find the right breed of dog for your lifestyle, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

The End.

Pats for your pups,


KatyBeth & Rascal

KatyBeth & Rascal

Katybeth is a professional pet spoiler, living in the Chicagoland area, running her own business, Camp-Run-A-Pup. Camp Run-A-Pup spoils other people’s pups, and they do it really well. Katybeth lives with and loves three dogs of her own, Rascal, a Parson’s Terrier (AKC recognizers her as a Parson’s; you might recognize her as a Jack Russell), Skippy, a Schipperke with a personality disorder, and Scooby, a beagle that might belong to a neighbor. Katybeth’s newest family star is Soquel’s Last Souvenire, or as they like to call her, Trinket, a show-stopping Doberman pup. Katybeth co-owns Trinket with her mom because she likes being on the winning side of the dog show arena and wanted the rights to tell the real unabridged stories of the oddities of dog showing. the movie Dog Show did not even come close to telling. Katybeth also enjoys writing her blog — My Odd Family. Dogs, dog people, dog shows and owning a dog business combined with hearth, home and family never leaves her at a loss for material to write about.

Katybeth Jensen,PPS
Professional Pet Spoiler