A Dog for the Family
The Perfect Pet
Of Mutts and Men
The Terrible Ten
When Less is More
Glossary of Dog Terms
Types of Breeders
Dog Personality
Dog Behavior
Little Shop of Horrors
The AKC Pure Bred
Breeding Your Dog
The Top Ten
Bulletin Board
Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions
This site has become extremely popular, so before writing to ask me a question, please take a look here and see if your question has already been answered. It's not that I don't love getting e-mail, it's just that I've got to work to support this free resource.  

Now, without further ado.... the Frequently Asked Questions. If after reading all these frequently asked questions, you STILL need to ask a question, the e-mail address is provided below.

Will you send me a list of breeds that fit this description: (fill in the blank....from "that travels well" to "is good for people with allergies" to "that weigh less than 20 lbs")?

Usually this request arrives with no more information that is listed above.  
PLEASE!!  I understand that this is a time consuming process.  (That's why I created the site, to share what I learned along the way.)
There are so many questions that need to be answered when choosing a dog from how big of a yard you have to how often you're willing to groom.
With regards to my recommendations, I can recommend breeds that appeal to me.  Fortunately, most breeds fall into this category.  However, since I own Field Spaniels, I'm prone to be attracted to the "out of the ordinary" breeds. Most people don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a family pet.  I get that. 
Note;  My family is full of dog nuts.  We "vacation" by traveling for hours to go to remote places to camp out with other dog nuts and run around in the elements "showing" our dogs.  Every time we go to a dog show, we find a new breed to adore.  If we're not going to dog shows, we're reading the AKC Gazette and discovering a new breed to adore.

As for the hypo-allergenic issue.... It's my understanding that there's no such thing as a "hypo-allergenic" breed of dog. I know there are several breeds that claim to be hypo- allergenic.  They include Poodles, Bichon Frise and the Lowchen.  

For a nice breed selector try this one
What breed of dog should I get?
Getting a dog is such a personal choice, I don't know where to begin on this one.  What's perfect for me may be horrid for you.  My husband (who is also the father of my three children) and I can't agree on the perfect dog breed, so how can I be expected to recommend one to you with just one line of text and a return e-mail address?  

Go to Purina.com and use their breed selector.  Choose the characteristics you desire and those you don't.  It's a starting point.  For another nice breed selector try this one
Once you've got a list of breed to consider, go and visit a dog show.  Find an AKC event here.  If you're interested in hunting, visit a hunting trial.  If you're interested in obedience, visit an obedience event.  If you're just interested in a pet for your family, I recommend you visit a conformation dog show.  Dog breeders who compete in the conformation ring usually are breeding for health and temperament in addition to physical standards for perfection in their chosen breed.  (A dog who bites a dog or exhibitor during an AKC conformation event is disqualified from showing.) 

What breed of dog should I get to protect my family from evil doers?
Dogs are not a good choice for a security device. There are many, many articles about watch dogs vs guard dogs. 
A watch dog will alert you to intruders.  A tiny Yorkshire Terrier does a great job this. They bark (and bark, and bark) to alert you to intruders. A guard dog, on the other hand, will do something about the intruder. Unfortunately, unless the dog is specifically trained, you can't be sure Fido won't think your mother-in-law or neighbor is a threat and act accordingly. (No matter HOW distasteful you find your in-laws and/or neighbors, you don't want your dog physically attacking ANYONE.  I'm certain your insurance agent agrees.)

You can buy a dog who has been thoroughly and completely trained to protect you and your property. You can even TRAIN the dog yourself to do so. In the end, if someone (a bad guy) wants in, no dog is going to stop them. Any intruder can easily kill your dog. It doesn't even take a gun. A ball bat will do.  
Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a specially trained animal that can die from neglect, abuse or even old age, invest in a high grade security system.  Install a commercial fence and electrify it for fun if you fear for your safety.
  How do I find a reputable (ethical) breeder?
Oh how I'd like to refer you to a web page or some other resource where only reputable breeders are allowed to list their kennel information.  However, once you start trying to define "reputable", then the whole discussion dissolves into a melee.  What I think is "ethical" another may think is unreasonable.  (I think it's not "ethical" to sell a pet quality dog on a full and open registration. Other breeders have a different opinion.)

To find a reputable breeder according to YOUR standards, I recommend you visit AKC competition events.  If you're interested in agility or field work, then visit those events.  If you want "just a pet", then go to an all-breed conformation event.  Most exhibitors at conformation events are breeders. At these events you'll meet all kinds of people who are just plain silly about dogs. Just like the general population, some are nice while others are rude.  Keep in mind what's been discussed on this website as you talk to breeders.  Just because they're at a dog show, doesn't mean they're ethical.  
My dog is a demon.  He's growling, snapping and refusing commands.  I'm afraid he's going to bite someone.  HELP!
80% of the time this is a dominance issue.  Please, read Dog Behavior.  Then, I'm going to suggest that you crate train the dog and begin obedience classes with him.  Doing just these two things solves the problem so often it's almost scary.  

Here's the text from an actual letter and my response.

Now, if you've read this far and you still have a question or comment, feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Note:  This is not an e-mail address I check daily, but I do check it several times a week.  The amount of spam I was getting listing my private e-mail on these pages was truly mind boggling, not to mention the bombardment of virus laden messages.