Written By Mira Divan (Grade 5)
It is almost hard to imagine that English Mastiffs and Chihuahuas are both dogs, for they couldn’t be more different. From enormous to tiny, black to white, ferocious to gentle, dogs come in all varieties. There are 400 different dog breeds in the world, out of which 178 are recognized as per the American Kennel club, yet when it comes to keeping one as a pet most people stick to some 10-20 breeds. Some of the most popular dog breeds are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Bulldogs, Beagles and Poodles.
Thankfully, this massive jumble of breeds can be classified into three main categories- the sporting group, the working group and the herding group. The sporting group dogs are always excited and playful. They make affectionate and energetic companions. Some sporting dogs are the American Cocker Spaniel, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. The working dogs are always alert, strong and extremely intelligent. They make excellent sniffer dogs and guard dogs. Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies and Great Danes are a part of this group. Finally, the herding group. These dogs are the smartest, as their job requires utmost intelligence. They also have the natural instinct of controlling other animals. Some herding dogs are the Border Collie (also the smartest dog on earth), the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the German Shepherd.
But- how did we get so many dog breeds? Well, it is all thanks to what we call genetic mutations. Dogs’ genes have changed over the eons, but they all came from the same, very first dog. The DNA of different dogs has evolved to suit their surroundings. The same kind of DNA change took place in all animals. Then, why is it that there are so many dog breeds but aren’t as many human breeds? The biggest reason is human intervention. We have dug up the science behind a dog’s DNA and used it to our own advantage. We can now create new dog breeds that have the qualities which we seek.
But- all of us can find a perfect match for ourselves. It just needs a little consideration and thought. For a first-time dog owner, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose between so many breeds. Here are a few things to consider:
Climate- You may think that your city is not at all hot, but for a dog with a furry, fuzzy coat, it may feel like the Sahara Desert. Hence, make sure you research which kind of dog will be most comfortable in your neighborhood.
Size- The size of a dog indicates how much space it’ll need. A big dog will always need more space than a small one. If your house isn’t fit for certain large breeds, look out for smaller ones- they are far easier to maintain.
Expenses- Some dogs just generally have expensive requirements. Make sure you are committed to keeping a pet enough to spend large amounts. It is a great idea to figure out which dog breed fits your budget.
If you follow these three basic rules- you’ll undoubtedly find your perfect canine companion in no time at all!
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