Today, I’m taking a break from Caturday and making it Saturdog. I’m sorry, cats.
Dogs are thought to be descended from wolves, according to scientific evidence. The modern wolf is completely distinct from the modern dog, suggesting their common ancestor must have died out thousands of years ago.
Dogs are omnivores, meaning their diet comes from both plant and animal sources — unlike cats who are carnivores, and will die without meat. Dogs are able to survive and thrive on a vegetarian diet. Although dogs are happy to eat a wide range of food, many common foods are toxic to them — most specifically chocolate, garlic and onions, grapes and raisins, avocados, mushrooms, and more.
Dogs are known as the “children” of the animals because they have strong traits of playfulness, innocence, trustworthiness, and optimism that they never grow out of. Even senior dogs often act like puppies.
Just like people, each dog has its own unique set of personality traits. Even within the same breed, no two dogs are alike. However, all dogs share an umbrella of traits…
- Loyal — Dogs are probably the most loyal of any animal. They know who their owners are, and they will do anything to protect them, please them, and honor them. Protecting their owner is their top priority. They are quick to attack anyone who threatens their owner. They know when their owners have been betrayed and will do anything to help them.
- Trainable — Dogs are very easy to train. Dogs are the icons of conditioning psychology — just look at Pavlov. Some tricks take a little more work, but ultimately dogs are designed to do as they’re told.
- Domesticated — Unlike their wolf cousins, dogs are completely domesticated. This means that if you were to leave a dog out in the wilderness on its own, it couldn’t survive. They need a human to take care of them or else they will suffer.
- Extroverted — Dogs are extroverted, meaning that they need external stimuli to energize them. When left alone, they become drained. Even the shyest of dogs are extroverted. They are eager to interact with others and see the world. They love to travel and experience new things.
- Playful — No matter the age, dogs always want to play. Dogs love to have fun and be silly.
- Loving — Dogs have the biggest hearts. They love everyone and want everyone to know it. Without connection, they cannot be happy. Loneliness really hurts them.
- Physical — Dogs are very physical animals, requiring direct contact from humans or other animals. They enjoy rough belly rubs, wrestling, jumping on others, and getting cuddles. They really like to roughhouse.
- Pleasers — Dogs are eager to please others because know how much they need them. Nothing makes them happier than making others happy.
- Dominant — Although submissive to their owners, dogs are generally dominant. They are territorial, loud, bold, and must make themselves known.
There are many, many different dog breeds. Each unique breed ranges in size, color, personality, behavior and temperament, and health concerns…
French bulldogs originate from England and France. They live about 10–14 years. These dogs are small yet very muscular and strong with thick bone structure. They are best known for their trademark “bat ears.”
Health: French bulldogs are prone to breathing problems and respiratory issues. They also have issues with breeding and typically require artificial insemination. Due to their top-heavy body, most require C-sections in order to deliver litters because their hips are too narrow.
Personality: French bulldogs make perfect pets because of their relaxed, easy-going disposition. They are sociable, charming, and will win over anyone’s heart. They’re extremely playful and require a lot of physical activity. Also, they are smart, alert, and attentive. However they can be stubborn and competitive — never one to back down from a challenge.
English bulldogs are medium-sized and live about 8–10 years. Extremely muscular and hefty, they have broad shoulders and thick legs. They are best known for their cute wrinkles and folds.
Health: Just like Frenchies, English bulldogs are also prone to respiratory issues. It is important that they stay cool and hydrated, as they are quick to become overheated. They may develop asthma or hip dysplasia. Also, their weight should be watched as they are subject to obesity.
Personality: English bulldogs may have a “gloomy look,” but they are actually incredible amicable, friendly, and cheerful. As puppies they may be quite frisky and active, but slow down with age and become cuddly adults. Surprisingly, they are extremely sensitive.
The American Bulldog is medium-to-large and lives about 10–15 years. It was descending from the now-extinct Old English bulldog. Often, they are used for animal farms, sports, and dog shows. They have strong jaws and adorable, floppy ears.
Health: American bulldogs may suffer from nervous system disorders, kidney or thyroid issues, elbow dysplasia, eyelid problems, or bone cancer. Generally, they are a healthy breed.
Personality: These are very dominant and strong-willed dogs. They are also confident and assertive. American bulldogs are loyal and dedicated to their owners. In fact, they may disobey anyone who they feel has betrayed their owners.
Golden Retrievers are large dogs with long, rich, golden coats. Their color ranges from light to dark golden. They live about 10–12 years. They originate from the UK, Scotland, and England.
Health: These dogs require large space to release their energy and get enough proper physical activity. They may suffer from hypothyroidism, elbow or hip dysplasia, eye or skin problems, tumors, heart disease, or seizures. Due to their thick coat, they require frequent proper grooming.
Personality: Golden Retrievers absolutely love to play, and their favorite game is fetch. Just like their name “retriever,” nothing makes them happier than to retrieve things for you! These dogs are eager and enthusiastic. They are extremely outgoing and feel very lonely without companionship. They require lots of attention and hugs.
Labrador Retrievers, or “Labs,” are large dogs with a lifespan of 10–14 years. They are one of the most popular dog breeds. Their colors range from black, to chocolate, to golden.
Health: Lab health is very similar to Golden Retrievers. Even short-haired labs may experience “hot spots,” which is a rough patch of skin due to dermatitis.
Personality: Labs are incredibly easy to train. They genuinely enjoy learning new things and pleasing their owners. They are really smart and pick up on new tricks quickly. Labs love to run around and play fetch. They get along with practically any dog or human.