Eenie Meenie Minie…

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.

44 thoughts on “Eenie Meenie Minie…

  1. It seems it’s a great fun doing all the quizzes! I’m curious what breeds they would suggest to me now and I think I might sit down one day, give myself plenty of time and start answering all the questions.


  2. Oh this was fun! You had some interesting results.

    I tried “selectsmart” and shetland sheepdog was number 3 on my list. I guess I chose well….


    • Woo hoo! I thought it was funny that “mixed breed” was my first result from the first test I took. Maybe they know something after all…


  3. Oh, I love bull terriers. I think they’re just so neat. Plus, I wonder if the great people of Target would give me some sort of discount for owning their mascot. It would save me tons of money!

    I just took the Pet Net quiz and one of my results was bloodhound! I would love to have a pair of those giant floppy ears around the house.


    • I love love love Bloodhounds, all that droopy-eyed-floppy-eared-drooliness? Awesome.

      I really wish we had Target in Canada. Everyone is always talking about how great they are. It’s so unfair.


  4. Puppppppies! The Wife gets to pick our next our next dog, I’m going to see how accurate these are for me and then direct her to them 🙂 Also, the head of training at our local shelter does agility with all of her (awesome) bull terriers! They are awesome, and you should get one. Sometimes I pretend Daph is part Bully.


    • Are you getting another dog?? That’s awesome!

      Just as awesome about the agile bull terriers. I love it when agility handlers succeed with dogs that aren’t border collies.

      Do you know what Daph is? Maybe she has a little in there somewhere. You never know.


    • That is sad. I know the guy would agree to another dog in a second – I am the one who needs convincing. Just keep working on her, I am sure she will cave in time.

      That test must be broken. So much for science.


  5. I feel like we have a lot of different breeds out here in Chicago, but many of those breeds I’ve never even seen before. I wonder if people really do follow these. Though I’m more of a fan of potluck and chemistry.


    • You and me both. I’ve loved studying all the different breeds just as a point of interest so there aren’t too many I haven’t heard of. This makes me a dork. But when it comes to deciding on my own dog, it’s all about chemistry.


  6. One test I took actually suggested Beagle! The reason was they are very extroverted and I am not – the test said people in general pick out dogs with traits they would like to have themselves. Beagles happen to be my breed of choice: mixed or purebred :).
    I adore and love Bloodhounds, too – there is a female needing a home in WI. AAUGH.
    My recently adopted former foster Justus is most likely more Dobie than Coonhound – he is a lovely mix of whatever; I have high hopes for him….
    This is so fun, reading about others’ answers and dogs.


    • Yay for Beagles! That’s an interesting theory. It would certainly apply to Shiva and I. She, the born athlete and me, the born klutz.

      It is fun! Anything to do with dogs always is. 🙂


  7. Lovely…I’d never even heard of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever. I don’t know what duck tolling is. Has it got anything to do with bells?

    Fabulous set of pictures, Kristine 🙂 Thank you for a lovely post.


    • I wish it did! The Toller was bred to run along the shore line. Apparently that arouses a duck’s curiosity and they move toward the dog so the hunter can shoot them.

      They are awesome dogs, smart, playful, and affectionate. Kind of my dream dog if I was going to go that route. We actually visited a breeder back before we adopted Shiva – they were incredible people and I fell in love with all their dogs. But the waiting list is long and (rightly) they don’t breed their female very often. Hence why the Toller is fairly rare.

      Thanks for commenting. It’s been a rough day and your kind thoughts have helped immeasurably.


  8. I vote for the bull terrier! I’m part that, you know, according to my dee-en-ay. But I’m not so sure about it being an agility dog. Have you ever read that book “When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs”? Yeah, the lady that wrote it has bull terriers. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and abouts my picture today? Brudder Ranger HATES to cuddle with me like that. So I just have to kinda sneak it in when he’s fast asleep.

    Wiggles & Wags,


    • Hehehe. Methinks Ranger doesn’t hate it as much as he pretends. He has a reputation to keep up, however. I love reading all about your family.

      I haven’t read that book but I think I need to, it sounds right uo my alley. Thanks for the comments!


  9. Great post. Can’t think of a breed I’d not have, although my favourites so far have been mutts, Jack Russells and of course Greyhounds.

    At the end of the day whether you are getting a dog for a specific task or as a pet, I do believe that you don’t pick them, they pick you:)


  10. what a fun game! i am tempted to do this at work instead of my work itself!
    also, shiva and i are both happy that you ended up with her instead of a pure bred 🙂

    follow our foster:


  11. LOL the pictures worked.
    I don’t give much for these kind of tests. On the other hand I think there are many breeds that would fit ones lifestyle.
    Glad you parents see things differently know, and it was the eighties 🙂


  12. you must have had a great time with the quizzes. When I got my dog, my choices were limited due to allergies. We got a bichon since they are hypo allergenic. Unfortunately I was allergic to her too! But, it never stopped me from always snuggling, etc with her. She was such a sweetie


  13. that is so funny kristine! that you did the quizes on so many sites and got such totally different answers makes you go hmmmm, doesn’t it? a bull terrier is just a LITTLE different from a saluki after all.

    mutts are THE BEST! all my favourite dogs have been mutts. sometimes i wonder about people going to breeders to pick up an expensive _ _ _ _ _oodle. aren’t they just mutts too?

    i think when i have a spare hour [maybe in my next life], i shall have to come back and do these quizes.

    btw, it’s lovely that your parents aren’t pretentious anymore :p


  14. You know, these quizzes are meant to be entertaining but of course many people feel like they really are for deciding a particular type of dog. Or, perhaps worse, they pick just based on how cute the puppy is. It is sad really, for the owners who get a dog that doesn’t fit into their life well, and for the dog who ends up being frustrated and unsatisfied. Do you mind if I borrow this post idea for future use on my blog? I didn’t even know all those quiz sites!


  15. I agree, I think those quizzes give some different dog breeds some exposure and maybe makes people who are thinking about getting a dog consider what it is that they really want in a canine companion. The quizzes can be pretty entertaining, though!


  16. The sheer number of dog breeds has always daunted me whenever I think about getting a purebred dog (laughingly said, as I have one and a half – there’s a possibility that Emma’s a pure Pittie).

    I mean you could create a list of attributes you want in a dog and there will (usually, unless you’re looking for very breed/type-specific traits) at least 20 breeds, if not 50, that could easily fit that role. And then don’t forget the only-ten-people-in-the-world-know-they-exist breeds. And then the dogs that don’t fit to their breed standard, but fit into your criteria. I mean come ON.

    I’ve had a soft spot for BRTs for a while.

    And Great Danes.

    And Borzois.

    And just about any other dog anyone could name.

    Going to a nearby shelter and finding a dog that fits my character trait list is SO much easier. And I got to find a dog that’s a living example that individuals can by contrary to just about every breed trait!

    Awesome post. I need to get back to posts about SOMETHING.


    • Agreed. I would much rather go to a shelter or surf But it’s kind of interesting to think about. If you could design the perfect dog, what traits would it have?


      • Hmm . . . “perfect dog” . . . . .

        1) Lightly shedding (like Emma), but with a better tolerance of hot/cold weather than she has.

        2) Perfectly friendly with people and well socialized, but not a dog who will drag me down the street to meet a stranger.

        2a) I can’t decide if I would ever want a guard-breed dog on whom I could rely if ever I was in danger. But since I don’t know yet, this is still optional, as guard-type dogs tend to have other hang ups if not properly bred/socialized.

        3) Same as above for with other dogs. It would be nice to have a dog who can play respectfully with other dogs without going over the top. (Neither of my dogs play much, if at all, with other dogs.)

        4) Great on/off switch.

        5) Easy to train, intelligent, bright, inventive, creative, biddable, yet has that “off” switch and can sleep all day if need be.

        6) Great toy drive.

        7) No substantial fears (noises, cars, sights, movements, being handled etc.).

        8) Hardy, well-built dog not prone to medical conditions.

        9) NOT a picky eater. A great love of food is a wonderful asset.

        10) Manageable prey drive so that the dog can be trusted around domestic critters (cats, rabbits, etc.) but it’s still fun to let ’em chase the squirrels and such.

        11) NO separation distress.

        12) An athletic dog who could take to a variety of sports if the desire piqued (not necessarily Olympic athlete material, but one who won’t die of cardiac arrest from running an agility trial either).

        13) Great bite inhibition, as well as prohibition.

        14) Very soft mouth.

        OK tell me if I missed anything. Hehe.


  17. Ooh, this was *fun* I’m going to keep my results a secret ’till tomorrow since I’m going to do this as a post AND encourage other bloggers to do it, as well. Thanks 2 you and Marge for the inspiration!!


  18. So funny Kristime. I’ve long wondered if all the dog quizzes would give me different answers if I took them all (and yes, like you I like to take these wacky quizzes too). It appears they would be if I am to use your results as an indication.

    I actually took a questionaire that our shelter offered to help people find the right dog. It identifies dogs as purple, orange or green. Most people turn out to be “orange dog” people (they like dogs that will go for a walk, but are just as happy hanging out on the couch with you, in other words, dogs that aren’t that active), the second most likely people are “purple dog” people (they like dogs who don’t need a lot of exercise and are “people” dogs).

    The last groups is a much smaller subset… the green dog people. They like the active and independent dogs. They like to do physical activities with their dogs and they like the independence of an active breed, but also like training them.

    I turned out to be a green dog person. I think you may be too based on the answers you got back on the quizzes. You are active, as is Shiva, and your answers were all active dogs. So maybe the quizzes were right in some way – they just chose a breed instead of recommending a series of breeds that fit your lifestyle and personality.


    • I never thought I would be a “green dog” person but I think you are right. I like dogs that are more active, that like doing things with me, outdoors and indoors. After owning a Shiva, there is no going back!

      Your shelter’s questionnaire sounds a lot more useful, really. I think it is a fanastic tool for rescues to use when talking to potential adopters.


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