When you buy or adopt a dog, it’s important that you educate yourself about their breed. Many rescue dogs are mixed-breed, so it’s more difficult to guess at any inherent traits in their lineage. But with pedigree dogs there several reasons you should learn about their breed. You should read up on what to expect from them, from how much exercise they require to potential health problems.

Different breeds will have different energy levels and need to eat different amounts of food. There are also many breed-specific health issues that could come up that owners should know to watch out for.


Energy Levels

It might surprise you how often people buy a high-energy breed, and are then surprised by how lively their new puppy is. Although most puppies are very naughty, certain breeds will need more stimulation than others. Some breeds, such as huskies, will need large amounts of exercise. This will either take the form of one long exercise session or several shorter ones throughout the day. Many owners soon realize they don’t have the time to walk their dog as often as they need. Other breeds don’t have quite so much energy – often smaller dogs, like dachshunds. But even these smaller breeds need exercise.

Know Your Breed

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Many dog breeds, especially breeds that bred as working dogs, need both physical and mental stimulation. Owners with these breeds might consider agility training. They could also use their dog as a working dog or take them to specialist training for their breed. You need to train dogs differently, based on their natural behavior and instincts. For example, German Shepherd training could be quite different to training a border collie. Owners should know the best ways to train their breed, instead of assuming all techniques will apply to every breed.

Health Problems

Breed-specific health problems are not uncommon. In fact, they are present in many breeds. These problems are often due to not having a wide enough gene pool, and to breeding for looks rather than health.  It’s imperative that owners and potential owners are aware of the problems that can occur in certain breeds. British Bulldogs, for example, can experience breathing problems. This is the case with several other breeds with flat faces. Some breeds can experience joint problems or heart problems, and some conditions might even lead to death. For example, heart mitral valve disease could be present in over half of Cavalier King Charles spaniels. This disease is the breed’s leading cause of death.

Care Issues

As well as health issues, there could be care issues specific to your breed of dog. For example, some dog breeds might need help staying warm in the cold, or protecting their feet on long walks. You might also choose to give your dog breed-specific food, or at least a diet specific to their breed. Golden Retrievers, for example, need a diet that will help to prevent them developing joint problems.

If you’re adopting or buying a pedigree dog, make sure you know your breed. Getting to know their specific personality and physical traits will help you to care for them better.

Filed under: All About Dogs

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