Dogwood’s Dog Breeds

DOGWOOD RESCUE SOCIETY specializes in the following breeds sometimes referred to as “sporting” or “gun dogs,” as well crosses of these breeds (highlighted breeds provide a link to their American Kennel Club breed profile).

English Pointers
German Short-haired Pointers
German Wire-haired Pointers
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
Pudelpointers
Weimaraners
Retrievers
Setters
Vizslas
Spinoni Italianos
Bracco Italianos
Bracque Francais

Before you decide to adopt one of these breeds, doing your research in advance allows you to assess specific breed characteristics and compatibility with your existing life. There will of course sometimes be some variation due to the nature of the dog’s unique personality, but self-educating yourself through various avenues goes a long way to ensure the right fit for both you and the animal in the long-term. Some people tend to confuse “dog breed” with “dog brand” – but we strongly recommend that you honestly assess your lifestyle in addition to resources that the animal will need (medical, food, training and most importantly TIME).

Some ideas to help you get started in assessing a breed include:

  • Spend time talking to owners and visiting with dogs (Visit dog parks or stroll the sea wall and strike up a conversation. The fact is that many people are more than happy to tell you all about their dog if you ask!);
  • Offer to dog-sit other people’s dogs (neighbours or relatives for example) to get a feel for what is really involved and what is typical for particular breeds that you are considering;
  • Borrow books from the library about breeds you are interested in to learn about their typical traits, temperament and care needs. Another reason books are useful is that the approach to dog training isn’t what it used to be (e.g. it’s not appropriate or useful to rub a dog’s nose in their indoor ‘accidents’). Reading up on the training methods that are effective and relationship enhancing will go a long way in preparing you. Trainers with books like Cesar Millan, Tamar Geller and the Monks of New Skete are invaluable resources in helping you to prepare for the task of dog ownership and to help you to gauge your internal readiness.
  • Watching television shows (like The Dog Whisperer and At the End of My Leash) can certainly help to enlighten about breed characteristics, insight into dog behaviour and dog-human communication. The shows would also equip your imagination with ideas to help channel the spirit of the dog into daily activities that are both fun and appropriate.

Sporting dogs generally require a great deal of exercise (this is why some people love them so much) and sometimes specialized exercise due to their breed characteristics (agility and tracking). Dogs live for at least a decade and often longer, so this research is an investment in terms of long-term mutual care and companionship!

We suggest assessing the dog breed in relation to these characteristics and how they fare against your preferences:

Original Purpose of the Breed: instinctive activity (i.e. barking, protecting, hunting, retrieving, herding, etc.)

Temperament: obedience needs, level of independence or attachment/loyalty, dominant or passive nature, etc.

Energy Level and Size: space and exercise requirements.

Type of Coat: grooming needs and allergy factors.

If you can look at a dog and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, you must be a cat.  ~Author Unknown