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Judging by appearances

The other day I met a friend’s dog, Delby. He’s a beautiful Pekingese, and he was so sweet trotting along. Having enquired whether he would welcome the attention, I called to him and held my hand towards him. Far from the snooty aloof response I expected, he scampered over happily, fur ruffling with each movement. He sniffed my hand and was quite happy to be fussed.
We spent the afternoon in his company, and he proved to be energetic, affectionate and extremely well behaved, especially for so young a dog. I came away very impressed with the breed, and pondering whether I might one day like a Peke as a member of our pack. I had thought of them as a bit standoffish and lethargic, not fun and friendly like Delby.
It made me wonder how many breeds I judge by how they look, and in how many breeds I am mistaken about. Of course, each dog is an individual, but it may well have characteristics strongly associated with its breed. Basset Hounds look solemn, but those I have met have always possessed wonderful senses of humour. Bull Mastiffs look dreadfully fierce, but are usually big softies. Our own little Bichon may resemble a ball of white fluff, but she behaves as if she is a force of nature.
Great Danes are huge but usually easy going, while tiny sweet looking Chihuahuas can be fearsome unless adequately socialised and trained. The thing is that each dog has no idea how he looks, and so behaves how he feels, not how he thinks he should. This could be disastrous if humans adopted it as a policy, but fortunately dogs are generally a amiable species.
So I’m now left with so many breeds I want to spend time with and find out about – Irish Wolfhounds, Dachshunds, Weimaraners, French Bulldogs, Italian Spinones, Affenpinschers....I could go on!
Take care,


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