Last week Sam at Marge Blog wrote a post based on the myriad of dog breed selection quizzes there are out there in Internet-land. I’m not going to lie, I’ve taken many over the years. I like dogs, I like reading about different dog breeds, and I am a permanent teenager who fondly recalls when OkCupid was more about discovering what type of shoes one should wear than it ever was about online dating. (C’mon, I can’t be the only one who spent hours taking endless personality quizzes. Can I?)
But I digress.
I come from a family that has always been kind of snobbish when it comes to dogs. My parents were not too fond of mixed breeds back then.* I don’t know if it was the time period or if they just really were that pretentious, but I was raised to look at mixed breed dogs as inferior. Fortunately, and obviously, this didn’t stick. As a kid I loved all dogs, just as I do now. At this point, I almost love mixed breed dogs more. I know I’m in very good company.
However, this Adoration of the Mutt doesn’t prevent me from wondering what breed I would choose, if I chose to seek out a pure-bred dog for my next family member. Regressing back to high school, I decided I should follow Sam’s lead take a couple of these “Selector Quizzes”, just for a lark. Let’s see what the all-powerful Interwebs say:
The SelectSmart test told me to stick with a mixed breed. Perhaps I should have ended the madness here?
Sadly for you, I did not.
Animal Planet’s test came up with an actual breed. Apparently, they believe I should find a German Wire-Haired Pointer. I’ve actually always liked these dogs. There is one in my neighbourhood. But he’s a little bigger than I’m used to. Not to mention, I don’t know how well a hunting dog would get along with The Cat.
Dogtime’s quiz came up with a Black Russian Terrier. To this I say, seriously? Did this test actually even consider my answers at all? While I am sure they are absolutely wonderful, it looks like they require a lot of grooming. And apparently they are guard dogs. I thought I told them I didn’t desire a guard dog. But I must because the quiz told me so. And quizzes like these are very serious about what they do.
Eukanuba’s selector claims my dream dog is a Bull Terrier. I actually like these dogs, though I haven’t seen too many in agility. Maybe mine would be the first? What a bizarre mix it has been so far.
It gets odder.
According to Pet Net, I should look for a Saluki. A Saluki? Gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. But I live in the Great White North. I’m not so sure this beauty would survive very long. If I was going to go sight-hound, I would think a Borzoi would suit better, but apparently I have no idea what I’m talking about.
Doggie Dealer was on a much better track with the Labrador Retriever. If I had the space, I’d adopt the first lab mix I could find today.
And Puppy Finder didn’t do too badly with an Irish Setter. Beautiful, perfect for agility, and would make a great running companion for Sheevs.
But I have to say, my favourite result was via Breeder Retriever. They told me the best breed for our lifestyle would be a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. I knew these tests were based on scientific fact.
Clearly the results don’t mean much. I answered the same questions in the same way every single time and yet I received such different answers. These are not the best way to choose a new dog. They aren’t even an okay way. But perhaps they at least serve the purpose of helping people consider their options a bit more seriously. Instead of just grasping at the first puppy they see, or going for the one they saw on television that knew so many tricks, perhaps these quizzes will at least cause people to think about the types of dogs that may fit in with their expectations a little more. Maybe some will actually read the information next to the test that encourages adoption and gives advice on finding responsible breeders.
If you’re wondering if I did all this just for an excuse to share some pretty dog pictures, the answer is simple.
*This has changed. My parents now have seen the error in their ways and have altered their current view. I blame the eighties.