Choosing a Breed 


What is the Right Breed for You?

Many times people fall in love with a cute puppy on television or in a magazine but often times do not do their research before committing to adopting one of these pets. Unfortunately, many pets are relinquished to the APA for exhibiting breed specific behaviors.  Examples of this might be a Beagle that bays frequently, or a Cattle Dog that chases the other pets in the house.  Below is a quick reference for anyone interested in adopting a certain breed. This is not a complete guide but is a start if you are unfamiliar with behaviors commonly associated with them.

This group includes Retrievers, Setters, and Spaniels.
Generally friendly and social, these dogs do very well in a variety of homes. They enjoy regular vigorous exercise and are typically good with children and other animals.

Includes Border Collies, Cattle Dogs and German Shepherds.
Typically seen in agility shows, these dogs thrive when given a “job” to do. Tenacious and active, they do well with “outdoorsy” owners or those with a very active lifestyle. These dogs can be wonderful with children and other pets but can display herding behavior that is often misinterpreted as aggression.

Includes Beagles, Greyhounds and Dachshunds.
Hounds are a very diverse lot. A Greyhound might require running laps around the park while a Beagle might be satisfied with a daily stroll around the block. Hounds are usually known for a type of bark called a “bay." These dogs may also want to follow a good scent trail so keep a sharp eye on them and make sure they don’t wander off. Hounds are not for people that are easily irritated by barking.  but they are generally good with children and other animals.

Includes Rottweilers, Dobermans and Mastiffs.
These dogs are powerful and muscular but raised properly they are gentle giants. Dogs in working group have been historically kept as “guard dogs” and can be territorial. These dogs can be wonderful with children and other animals but shouldn't’t be left unsupervised with either until the full temperament of the animal is known.

Includes Jack Russells, Airdales and Pit Bulls.
These are high energy dogs! This is not the dog for you if you want a couch potato. Terriers have high energy requirements and can be destructive if not exercised adequately. Although these animals may get along beautifully with other pets and small children, do not leave unsupervised with either until the full temperament of the animal is known.

Includes Shih-Tzus, Pomeranians and Chihuahuas.
These small dogs need big care! They can be more difficult to housetrain and grooming costs can add up quick. These dogs may get along quite well with children but should not be left unsupervised until the full temperament of the dog is known.

What about Designer breeds?
You’ve heard of a Labradoodle or Cockapoo but what about a Shep-rador or a Cattle-weiler? We see many different and sometimes hard to believe mixes here at the APA. You could end up with the best of two or more different breeds so don’t limit yourself to just one type of dog. Since our website updates itself every hour be sure to check back often. You never now when another Basset-poo might show up!

While many of the APA pets might exhibit breed specific behaviors, many are unique, just like people are unique. So, be sure to ask your adoption counselor for any additional information regarding the pet you are interested in adopting.