Knowing your dog and cat breed

By on January 24, 2016

Much of our content from this month has centered on training. Training can improve an already great relationship you’ve got with your pup, can help you install some basic tools that will help new relationships grow, and can decrease the likelihood that you’ll have to give up on a relationship due to poor communication, boundaries and temperament.

There is one consideration to make before you adopt that we’ve yet to discuss, however.

When choosing a companion animal, it is important to know what one can expect in the dog or cat that will soon become part of one’s family. Know the activity level your animal’s breed has as typical. Know about the ease of training most find in a certain breed. Know about potential health concerns that come with the breed you’ve chosen. It’s never a bad thing to be educated, especially when making a years-long commitment to a new dog or cat.

That said, our pet partner, Trupanion, has a comprehensive breed guide available that will aid you in gaining that all-important education.

The Trupanion Dog Breed Guide, which can be found here, states “Whether you currently have a dog as part of your family, or simply want to find out more about specific dog breeds, this is the place for you. Learn about the personalities, characteristics, and health concerns of different breeds.”

Using the Trupanion Breed Guide is simple and helpful. First, select a breed under the “I own or would like to own a” menu. If you don’t know the specific name of dog you’re wondering about, there are photos to scan.

As an example, here’s what you’ll find when you choose “Burnese Mountain Dog”:

First, a little summary says the Burnese is “an affectionate family dog that is calm, intelligent and trainable.” The guide goes on to say “Bernese Mountain Dogs are sensitive, lovable, and loyal, large dogs. Berners are a bit reserved around strangers but they get along with dogs and other animals. These dogs are prone to boredom and should not be left alone for long periods of time. They do well in cold climates, and have a hard time in the heat. Berners make great companions for families and those who love the outdoors. This breed requires moderate everyday exercise such as a walk or hike.”

After the summary and quick explanation, you’ll find breed details that include typical size and lifespan. Interestingly, these dogs typically live only 6-9 years. Details like “ease of training,” “grooming requirements,” and among others, “friendliness to strangers” will be given so you can make the best choice. There’s also a handy guide detailing care, characteristics, health concerns, history and “what to watch out for.”

Find the breed guide and explore if you have a dog, want a dog or just want to learn a little.

And though it’s Train Your Dog Month, Trupanion would also love it if you made the same considerations when adopting and caring for a cat.

As a cat example, let’s look at what you’ll find when searching for Manx cats. Find the cat breed guide here.

The guide states that your Manx is always “ready for adventure,” and that it is dependent, friendly and protective.

Manxes are, according to Trupanion, “extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Manxes, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Manx and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.”

Again, you’ll be able to find out a bunch of information, including all the types of detail you see in the dog breed guide.

When you’re wondering about your dog or cat, remember to use this great tool. And when you are adopting (especially then), don’t forget to do your homework. Among other things, training can go more smoothly when you know what you are going to face.


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