For years I was a two dog person. Bert was part Husky and part Chow. Later I discovered he was part Kangaroo, part Badger, and part otter. Jumped, dug, and swam, that dog loved all three. Sam was the other half of the pair and he was, and still is, part Black Lab and part Grey Hound. Then, as Bert aged, about three years ago, I found Lucas, who is part Weimaraner and part Moose and suddenly I was a three person dog. After Bert died in 2010 I felt like I needed to go with three again. There is a bigger difference between having two dogs and having three dogs than there is between having one and having two. Two dogs gives you a pair. Three gives you a pack.
Dog live and breathe hierarchy. It’s as much in their instinct as is barking at strangers. But there are times you want your dog to bark and there are times you want to be able to tell your dog not to bark. And while we’re at it may I suggest you allow your dog to bark? Most people try to keep their dogs from barking at all but I say let them hammer down when someone you don’t know comes up. Allowing the dogs to have a say in the matter means they realize they have a job. I’m not saying let them go wild and lose their minds every time someone new shows up but let them do what they do best; protect their loved ones.
But there are times you do not want them to bark and there are times you don’t want them to be pack animals. In a pack, if one member attacks everyone joins in and if one member of the pack rushes forward so does everyone else. I yell “No!” and all three of my dogs stop whatever they are doing and all three dogs look at me before they move again. I don’t yell at them very often. I don’t speak harshly to them very often. But when I do it’s for a very good reason and everyone, every dog in the pack, stops. This is a lot more important than teaching them tricks. But I digress.
So here’s what I am asking the dog people today; what breed of dog, or mixed breed of dog, would you recommend to me? I knew what I was getting into when I got Bert. I had loved a chow before and trust me, they are not easy dogs, sometimes. But Sam was my first Greyhound mix and Lucas was my first Weimaraner. Lillith was my first Pit Bull and my first girl dog. I have to say that girl dog energy is totally different than male dog energy and I cannot deny I am leaning towards another female right now.
But what kind of dog do you have? How big is he or she? What habits ought I look for and adore in your dog? What sort of things would you warn me about? How long did your favorite dog live?
I’m not ready to give up on Sam anytime soon but I am looking around to see what I might find next. If I need a third dog who do you think he or she should be?
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.