“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
So what does this mean? Hard to say. My dog is huge, noble, and terrifies the UPS guy. (I’m no help with that. “My dog doesn’t bite, probably, but then again I’m sure everyone says that. Why don’t you hand me the box and just stay in your truck?”)
If the shit hit the fan I’m pretty sure my dog would kill and eat a dragon to protect the house. Cool! Other times it acts more like a draft animal than a dog. WTF? Also it’s baffled by the whole concept of “fetch”. (“Dude, if you wanted that thing why the hell did you throw it? SQUIRREL!”) Also it sheds all over the house, might as well have a herd of sheep in the living room.
This weekend it indulged in a maddening habit. It won’t crap during the rain. Bigger and tougher than a wolf but it doesn’t like to get it’s feet wet? Happy to frolic in a snow drift but you’ve got to drag it out of the house if it’s raining. Really? It spent all weekend “holding it” and ripping farts that should be banned by Geneva Convention. We’re safe during the zombie apocalypse but only if it doesn’t coincide with a rain shower.
Dangerous but friendly, noble but goofy? Maybe Sherlock was on to something.
I think alot of the dog breed personality also translates. Example, we have two dogs, one german shepard/yellow lab mix and one basset hound.
Shepard is a wonderful loving dog to anyone older than 6. Under 6 and it gets all resource guardy, but generally will tolerate the young uns. The basset on the other hand is dumb as a box of rocks, but LOVES kids. Will slober all over them, loves them pulling his ears as well as laying all over him.
Lab/shepard mix is fiercely protective of family and home, basset would unlock the door for anyone who was around just to say “Hi!” if he had thumbs and the brains to use em.
Lab/shepard is very well trained, and knows the rules. Chooses to break them anyways when she thinks she can get away with them (“You were in the garage, of course I was going to get on the couch. I got off when you came back in though didnt I?”) the basset I’m not convinced he even knows there are rules besides dumping indoors == bad.
Your basset sounds like our bassets Gracie and Rosebud! They would turn themselves wrong side out to get the opportunity to slobber on someone. But they did do their job of warning if someone was in the yard by barking their fool heads off.
And then there are English Bulldogs. Happy and eager to do what is wanted, provided that you can get their attention, which involves striking them a good deal more briskly than a good man is comfortable with … so they generally don’t. Since they are basically (to quote the wonderful Webcomic Digger) “Biceps with feet”, [hurling]
burningone off the couch and halfway across the room is viewed not as punishment for being where he didn’t belong, but a wonderful game. Can we do it again, pleasepleaseplease? OTOH, they have a sonorous sore and a habit of sleeping dead center under Master’s bed, where the floorboards become an impromptu sounding board. So they are a wonderful burglar deterrent, as anyone breaking into the house is certain to think there is a horrible beast whose growling is shaking the building to its foundations.
Also, they might easily trip over the dog in the dark, suffer a nasty fall, and then be slobbered to death.
I thought I’d proofed that. For “Burning” read Hurling. No idea how THAT came about.
We have two dogs, both mutts, one a lab – pit bull mix (90lbs), the other one a heinz 57 (80lbs). Neither of them will fetch. They act all excited when I have the ball or stick or whatever in my hand, but then I throw it and they stand there looking at me like “why did you throw it away? I thought we were going to play with it…”
They are both excellent alarm systems…guard dogs I’m not so sure about.
They don’t mind going out in the rain so much…they are both afraid of thunder (and fireworks, and pretty much any other sudden loud noises).
We had them out at my parents farm a couple of years ago and we were doing some shooting in the field. I wasn’t sure either of them was going to survive the ordeal without having a nervous breakdown. They both just cowered, shivering, underneath anything available that they felt offered some protection from the bangs.
They weren’t even within 100 yards of the shooting but it still drove them nuts. “hounds of war” they ain’t.
Side note: The lab – pit mix (Roxy) has VERY powerful jaws and likes to chew things into little tiny pieces. We can’t buy her chew toys because they end up shredded in minutes. Thankfully, she doesn’t chew on good things. She seems to have a good sense about what it’s OK to chew and what’s not. She likes to collect small (and sometimes not so small) pieces of firewood from the pile, drag them to the deck and lay there happily chewing them into little splinters.
Better than the furniture. Or shoes.
Sounds like my Little Bear. He’s 100+ pounds of big black shaggy scary dog, deadly to rabbits and other wild living things and very loud about large unwelcome things – but I have no faith whatsoever about him defending me from anything. He’d kill to protect himself, but probably not to protect me because he considers me bigger and meaner than he is.
He loves most women on sight but is hostile toward large men. And although he forgets all training if a chance to chase something comes up – he lives to chase things, and then kill and eat them – the game of Fetch completely baffles him. If you give him a tennis ball, you will not ever get it back. Period.
He’s goofy and friendly and affectionate, and also irresponsible and deadly. A good watchdog and a good house dog, but he’ll spend all his life on a cable because of the chasing thing. Once he’s gone, he forgets everything.
“This weekend it indulged in a maddening habit. It won’t crap during the rain.”
I had a dog that did that once, or rather, another family member did. I got tired of dealing with it one night, so when she asked to be taken out, I took her out. She tried to run back inside as soon as she realized it was raining, but I wouldn’t let her.
We had a little shed with a porch. I got up on that and wouldn’t let her on it, and I stayed out there with her getting rained on until she gave up and went.