Your dog’s behavior will make sense to you when you know the job your dog was bred to do. In Episode 26 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, I tell the story of how and why one particular breed was developed to help waterfowl hunters of the Scottish Highlands, back in the mid 19th century. Finding out about any dog’s heritage, will offer insights about how it may act in your home. Very helpful for when its actions leave you mystified and if you are thinking of getting a specific breed, you’ll know what to expect.
The point of this is that if you know the jobs your dog was meant to do, and understand the behaviors and needs that are hardwired into your dog, you can figure out positive ways for them to express them and acceptable outlets for their instinctual behaviors – rather than leaving it to chance and the dog to work it out. It means, for example, that you’re making sure the dog that was bred for long distance running gets to go jogging with you or someone, instead of scratching through your front door. Give that dog that was born to dig, its own good sized sand box so you don’t keep falling and tripping into those darn holes that your terrier keeps making in the backyard. Of course, keep in mind, every dog is an individual and not all members of a breed will have every single characteristic or behavior trait.
To hear the story of this episode’s, featured breed, (one of the most popular breeds worldwide) and what to expect from them, listen below.
In future podcast episodes, we’ll do the same thing for other breeds. If you want me to cover your favorite breed, let me know. Leave me a comment.
In the second part of the podcast episode, I talked about breeds in the working dog category: the Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Alaskan huskies to name a few that are very good at pulling things – sleds to be exact and doing so while running very fast. I spoke to a dog sled musher, Frank Moe about how he got into the sport, how dogs learn to be sled dogs and I asked him to tell a few stories of his most memorable races. You’ll want to hear those!
Here are the resources mentioned in the Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 26 and the photos of Frank and his dogs I promised during the show.
Resources for the Raising Your Paws podcast episode 26.
[one-half-first]Frank Moe’s book, Sled Dogs to Saint Paul.
Where to buy dog booties that stay on:
Kipmik Products – the Booties Frank uses.
For how to teach your dog to pull things or become a sled dog:
We’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below and always feel free to send me a comment or question about the podcast or the blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I promised that there would be a resume for the breed we talked about in the show: One of the featured dogs that is helping me write it, wants it to be like a modern LinkedIn profile, rather than an old fashioned resume, and so here it is.
Excellent specimen of a dog. Well Rounded. Hunting and swimming expert.
I have an extraordinary disposition. I am cheerful, friendly and good natured with a balanced and gentle temperament and will forgive you if you forget to give me my evening chewy. I’m affectionate as well. Excellent athletic abilities. My stamina is one of my strengths. I will encourage your health by enthusiastically going on walks together. I can play fetch with you for a long time without wearing out too soon. I’m at my top physical condition when I get numerous daily long walks and a good run or two. You’ll bring out the best in me if you spend time playing with me, take me on adventures that let me sniff out the news in the neighborhood and set up playdates with my canine friends. I am very popular with other dogs. Not to brag, but there’s really no one who doesn’t love me, humans, felines, cows, pigs. I make friends with all.
In the market for jobs that will utilize my powers of focus and concentration, like participating in nose work or agility courses.
I’m always a top candidate for work that uses my remarkable skills in locating and retrieving things without damaging them. I am proud of my “soft mouth”. My kind did not earn our name for nothing and it’s obvious, that the beauty of our gold and crème colored fur speaks for itself.
I like strangers as well as my own family, so, not looking for any guard dog positions. I can recommend my buddies, however, the Doberman pinchers and Rottweilers for those jobs.
I’m good at staying in your mind, as I’ll always leave bits of my hair about on the floor, furniture and you, so you don’t miss me if I can’t actually be in the room with you.
Helping hunters by running and jumping over the ground, through the brush and into the water to locate and bring back the birds they shoot down. I never damage the ducks (beyond the minor issue that they are, of course, already dead) but nevertheless, I carry them back gently in my mouth and drop them in front of the hunters.
Offering comfort and delight to people by visiting the ones living together in rather large buildings who have to stay in beds or chairs on wheels.
Sniffing out and locating lost and missing people during search and rescue and recovery missions. Very low fees for work performed – a bit of tug toy, a moment with coveted ball, or payment of beloved, rarely eaten food morsels.
Please….I’m naturally very intelligent – I’m ranked as being in the top 5 smartest dogs when it comes to doing work and following commands. It doesn’t bother me at all to do what you ask of me – I rather like how you act when I please you. Bits of hot dogs are always welcome.
However, I don’t mind going for further education training classes. I like to show off.
Not a bad idea though, to take the youngsters of my kind to puppy and obedience training. They act pretty crazy for a few years – takes them a while to settle down if you don’t show them what’s what.
Picked up after people, when they dropped their socks, underwear, gloves, hats, and toted them around. Since it was a volunteer position, I decided when to give them back.
Will empty closets, bins and boxes of your possessions and redistribute them into other rooms, if you would like – or not.
Skills and Endorsements
Patient. Can sit still and think deep thoughts or roll on the ground while I wait for you. Especially good with human babies and young children, many references available – just ask anyone with a family and one of us.
Trustworthy – You can tell me anything. I’ll never reveal the secrets you whisper into my fur.
Very strong – I can lunge forward in a flash at the sniff or sound of a mouse in the grass and take off right after them if you’re not holding on to my leash too tightly. Don’t worry, I won’t trip over you if you fall to the ground. I know how unsteady humans can be. And the trailing leash doesn’t get in my way.
A wide palate – enjoy a variety of foods. – I love to eat different proteins. I’m partial to the high quality meats in the bags of kibble and cans of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet brands of dog food. Some of my favorites are lamb and duck which is easy on my stomach and is delicious.
Can carry house keys, remote controls, newspapers, and much more in my mouth and deliver only slightly soggy at the appropriate times. I surmise these are high value possessions to you and am very responsible with them and would appreciate the opportunity.
Much written about us in the press and featured in many books, movies and TV shows.
Food. Being in water. Watching for things to hunt. Hunting. Chasing and catching squirrels, tiny rodents, and birds. Swimming. Balls. Treats. Being with my humans. Sniffing. Cheese. Did I say, the water? Snuggles and affection. Cleaning up dropped food from off the floor. Exploring. Fetching. Being given things I can retrieve. Having my own blankie or binkie to carry. Italian beef.