Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 77

If you are looking for an active pet, I would say dogs are the ideal choice because they can protect you unlike cats. Also they are a lot more active. You can take dogs for walks and play fetch. The down side is that they may be hard to train. They also reqiure more attention than cats. But I still enjoy having a pet dog I think you would too if you get one.

There are more than 100 breeds of domestic dogs, and their classification is based principally on their uses. The domestic breeds are the sporting breeds, hounds, terriers, working breeds, and the toy breeds.

The sporting breeds are trained and employed for retrieving or finding game. The largest group in this class is the spaniels, of which there are about 10 types. The spaniels have been trained to retrieve and to flush game, and they hunt both birds and fur-bearing animals. Retrievers are specially trained to locate and return game to hunters and are used most commonly in hunting waterfowl. There are four varieties: the curly, the Chesapeake Bay, the golden retriever, and the Labrador. Pointers and setters, used for hunting upland game birds, range ahead of the hunter, point the game until the hunter arrives, and retrieve the fowl after it has been flushed and shot. Among the varieties that are used in these pursuits are the Weimeraner, the English and Irish setters, and the German short-haired pointer.

The hound group includes the basset, the bloodhound, the whippet, the dachshund, the wolfhound, and the beagle. The greyhound, one of the oldest breeds, is built for speed with its thin body and long legs. The bloodhounds and foxhounds (smaller, stockier dogs) are used for hunting, mostly by scent. The beagle, now more a pet than a hunter, can also follow a scent and is easier to follow on foot.

The terriers originally were bred for hunting burrowing animals, such as the badger and fox. The Boston terrier is the only breed to have originated in the United States. The fox terrier, typical of the group, may have been derived from the foxhound. It was originally bred for fox hunting but is an excellent ratter. Other terriers are the Airedale, largest of the group, and the Scottish and Skye terriers.

Most of the working breeds are large animals used as draught animals, for police work, for herding, and as guide dogs for the blind. Other draught breeds are the Alaskan malamute, the Eskimo, and the Samoyed. Among the animals used as guard dogs and for police work are the Doberman, the German shepherd, and the Great Dane. The collies, Belgian sheep dogs, and English sheep dogs are outstanding sheep herders. The bulldog is now more of a pet and house dog than a guard dog, but it is pugnacious if set on an intruder and will not release the person. The poodle, said to be the most intelligent dog, can be trained as a gun dog and was originally used for duck shooting.

Some of the toy breeds have been known for centuries and are principally household pets which may develop an instinct for protecting the premises of the owner. They are all quite small, some being miniatures of the larger breeds. The chihuahua is the smallest. Some of the more popular varieties are the Pomeranian, Pekingese, and pug.

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