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Everything You Need To Know About Australian Shepherd Mix

German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix

The Australian Shepherd Mix is a robust, well balanced dog that loves to get down to mischief. The breed was originally bred for livestock herding and is still a hardworking breed. Also known as ‘Aussie’, these dogs thrive when they are assigned a task they can accomplish.

Australian Shepherd Mix

 

Where Does This Breed Come From?

Australian Shepherd Mixes make great companions. They are increasingly becoming popular today for their friendly demeanor and energetic personas. Despite its name, the breed originates from Western US and not Australia. It is believed that the dog was bred around the time of the Gold Rush in 1840s.

Special care must be taken while breeding dogs. Many irresponsible breeders have simply jumped on the trend to breed puppies but do not take the required measures to ensure their welfare since they are only interested in earning money.

Overview

The Australian Shepherd is an energetic breed that is a beautiful sight to see. Intelligent and hardworking, the breed is capable of completing any task that it has been assigned. Dog owners must thus find ways to keep their pets busy at all times. The highly energetic dog does do not like lazing around and requires plenty of exercise.

If you are interested in competitive sports, the Australian Shepherd Mix is most certainly the dog breed for you. The medium-sized and agile dog is a top candidate in all levels of obedience, flyball, herding tests and agility. Additionally, his heritage of a herding dog makes the Australian Shepherd Mix a loyal companion to have around the house.

Temperament

By nature, the Australian Shepherd Mix is loyal to their family but may come across as aloof to strangers. These dogs require early socialization and need to be exposed to new people and surroundings from an early age. Socialization ensures the puppy grows into a friendly well-rounded dog. Dog owners may consider puppy kindergarten classes or simply devote time to the dog by taking him for regular strolls around the park or introducing him to neighbors.

The happy, easy-going dogs retain their friendly demeanor even in their adult years. The intelligent and keen dog breed makes a good watchdog for their house. Australian Shepherds are great with children and are naturally protective about their owners and friends. Australian Shepherds are quite easy to train and are generally quite affectionate pets.

However, keep in mind the breed has the tendency to get bored quite easily, hence they require tons of attention and mental stimulation in the form of exercise and playtime. If left alone for several hours, the Aussies are prone to exhibit several behavioral problems.

Feeding

It is recommended you feed your pet at least 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high quality dog food every day, divided into two meals. The amount of food and nutrition your pet requires depends on their age, metabolism, level of activity and build.

Encourage good eating habits instead of leaving out food for your dog to eat whenever they want. Excess feeding can lead to obesity which can cause a number of health problems. Keep your pet in good shape by measuring his food and if you are unsure about whether or not he is getting enough nutrients, take him to the vet.

Activity

In order to stay in shape, the energetic working dog requires several hours of vigorous exercise. Australian Shepherd Mixes need to be taken out for long brisk walks that will keep them mentally and physically fit. The Australian Shepherd is active enough to become your fitness partner for your morning jogs.

If under-exercised, your pet can become restless and destructive. The dog breed is prone to suffering from behavioral issues if left alone for several hours, hence devote at least an hour of your day to exercising your pet.

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix By Allie Barber/Pinterest

Australian Shepherd Mix and Children

Rest assured, this dog breed is incredible with children and will grow to become affectionate with practically anybody it is exposed to. However, because some breeds retain their herding heritage, it is crucial to teach your pet not to chase and bother children. Once they get over this problem, Australian Shepherd Mix is sure to make a wonderful companion for tiny tots and families.

Additionally, teach your children to gently approach dogs and supervise their playtime with the pets. Young children should never be left alone with the dog, as they may bite or pull the dog’s ear or tail. Also, teach your children not to disturb pets while they are sleeping, eating or relaxing. While Australian Shepherd Mixes are great with children, keep an eye on them if you have other pets too. The dog breed may not get along with small pets, especially cats.

Training

Training an Australian Shepherd Mix becomes quite easy when the dog learns you are the one in charge. These intelligent dogs generally enjoy training and will be thrilled if you allow them to roam around in the outdoors.

At first, keep the training sessions short to prevent your pet getting distracted. Be sure to pack lots of treats and rewards for your dog in the game. Before you initiate the training process, it is crucial you become familiar with your dog’s psychology or are at least able to determine what he likes or dislikes.

Coat Color and Grooming

The breed has a medium-length coat that will keep the dog comfortable during rainy and snowy days. Generally, species of the breed that live in areas with cold weather have a thicker undercoat. In addition, the coat of the Australian Shepherd Mix is resistant to water.

With medium to large sized bodies, this breed features straight and wavy fur that covers the entire body. Short and smooth hair can be found on the head and the ears. The breeds comes in a variety of colors ranging from red merle, tri color (black, white and tan) and blue merle. If you are wondering whether the breed is a shedder, the answer is yes. The Australian Shepherd sheds hair all year along but heavily during spring time as they need to get rid of their winter coat.

For a healthy and shiny coat, brush your beloved pet’s hair at least twice a week or perhaps more frequently during the time they are shedding, or else it will lead to matting. Before you begin brushing your pet, spray the dog’s coat with a minute amount of dog hair conditioner to keep the hairs from tangling. However, do dilute the conditioner with water before using it. Then, use a slicker brush to stroke the dog’s hair in the direction of the hair growth.

Do not simply run the brush on top of the dog’s coat. Rather, make sure it goes way down the dog’s skin. Mats are commonly found behind the dog’s ear, hence you may have to work through them by investing in a stripping comb. You may also purchase an undercoat rake that is handy for removing excess hair. This tool will especially come in handy for grooming your pet during springtime when they are shedding.

The Australian Shepherd Mix need only be given a bath if they are dirty or have gotten into a sticky mess. Use a shampoo that is specially designed for dogs. If the product is too expensive, you may opt for baby shampoo as well since it contains milder chemicals.

Adult human shampoo contains harsh chemicals that can damage and dry out your dog’s fur. In addition to brushing and bathing your pet, do not forget to trim their nails. Also inspect your dog’s coat for signs of rashes, sores or infections and take your pet to the vet immediately if they seem to be suffering from an illness.

German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix via

Health Problems

While the Australian Shepherd Mix is generally a healthy pet, it is susceptible to a few illnesses, mainly hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, deafness and allergies. Always ensure you contact a reliable breeder when adopting a pet and ensure the dog has received the proper vaccinations.

Summary

Australian Shepherd Mix is the perfect pet for energetic dog owners who enjoy taking their furry pals for long walks and are in search of a loyal and friendly companion. These dogs can be the liveliest and playful you have ever seen.

Australian Shepherd Mix– Highlights at a Glance

  • Average Height: 20 to 23 inches
  • Average Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
  • Coat Type: Short to medium length,
  • Coat Appearance: Straight or wavy
  • Coat Colors: Blue merle, tri-color (tan, black and white) and black
  • Grooming Needs: Moderate year around and heavy during springtime
  • Shedding: High
  • Brushing Requirements: Twice a week or daily
  • Very Sensitive To Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: Rare
  • Good Tolerance To Heat And Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Yes with early socialization and training
  • Safe For Children: Yes but supervise your pet
  • Good With Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Moderate, does not like cats and may have trouble adjusting with smaller pets such as hamsters, rabbits and birds.
  • Suitable For Apartment: Yes
  • Suitable For First Time Dog Owners: It is recommend the dog owner has experience dealing with energetic pets
  • Training: Intelligent, quick learner
  • Exercise Needs: Fairly high
  • Tendency To Gain Weight: Moderate
  • Major Health Concerns: Deafness, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Allergies: Yes
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years

10 Reasons Why You Should Adopt the Gorgeous Husky Lab Mix

Husky Lab Mix

This medium sized to large dog breed is a mix between the Husky and the Labrador Retriever, more widely known as the Siberian Retriever. This beautiful designer dog should not be mistaken with the Labrador Husky, which is a different breed. Their appearance is a healthy mix of both parent breeds but some dogs end up looking more like a Husky while others show more resemblance to the Labrador Retriever.

This is not uncommon for a Siberian Retriever to have different colored eyes, with one being pale blue and the other one brown. The dog stands tall with long legs and webbed paws. The intelligent dog breed makes for a wonderful companion and is generally friendly.

Husky Lab Mix

Where Does The Breed Come From?

The Siberian Retriever was deliberately bred in the last two decades and is among one of the most recent designer dogs to have come into existence. Like other mix breeds, the Husky Mix breed is not a pure breed and usually takes on the temperaments, characteristics and appearances of both parents. When adopting a designer dog, ensure you contact a reputable breeder as some are only interested in earning money and jumping on the breeding trend.

Such dog breeders are not health conscious and do little to ensure the hybrid is healthy. Unfortunately, there are no clear records of how and when the cross was made but we can learn more about the dog breed by studying both parents. It is best to meet either or both of the dog’s parents before adoption to get an idea about the dog’s temperament.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is an extravagant looking that features a thick coat. The thick coat can be found in a multitude of colors and markings. The athletic yet friendly dog breed is known to have blue or multiple colored eyes along with striking facial masks that instantly grasp the attention of dog owners. The dog bears close resemblance to Siberian wolf which is why they both have similar features.

However, Siberian Huskies are not wolf dogs and neither are they partial wolf breeds. Because of their fierce and independent nature, first time dog owners may have a difficult time caring for the dog as the dog breed likes to challenge their masters. However, that does not stop dog owners from adopting Siberian Huskies, mostly because of the dog’s stunning visual appearance.

See: (German Shepherd Collie Mix – What You Need To Know About Shollies)

The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a useful working dog that is also known for its friendly demeanor. Originally, the dog was bred to help fishermen haul nets, fetch ropes and retrieve fish from the icy North Atlantic. Today’s Labs are just as hardworking and good-natured as their ancestors. These dogs make for great guide and assistance dogs to handicapped owners. Built for sport, the agile breed is short, friendly and incredibly intelligent. These dogs are people oriented and adjust well in families with many members.

The Lab’s friendly and gentle demeanor makes them great therapy dogs. They are often taken to hospitals and elderly homes to cheer up patients. The dog breed excels as rescue and search dogs for hunters and retrievers. Labs excel in a variety of canine sports, such as obedience and agility competitions. However, if there’s one job that Labs are complete hopeless at, it is being watchdogs. These dogs are too friendly and gentle for their own good and are likely to greet an intruder. Throughout the years, Labs have proven versatile and useful.

Husky Lab Mix – Temperament

The Husky Lab Mix is an affectionate and loving dog breed that is known to exercise patience. They are a popular choice among dog owners who are looking for a family pet. The dog is lively and good natured and enjoys long sessions of playtime. They have tons of energy and are hungry for attention. Siberian Retrievers are unique dogs, especially because they love spending time in water.

Although this furry friend has the tendency to bark, he is calm and generally well-behaved. Husky Lab Mixes are protective of their dog owners and are likely to bark to alert others if they see their owners in trouble. While adopting mix breeds, you may have trouble assessing their personalities. We advise you learn more about the dog’s parents to predict his family.

Husky Lab Mix with Children

Husky Lab Mixes are large dogs that should not be left alone with children. With proper training, your pet dog will learn to take care of your kids and will keep them out of trouble. Additionally, teach your children not to rough house with pet dogs. Siberian Retrievers are best suited for large families with young children. These energetic dogs enjoy playtime and will soon love to spend time with your children.

Training

Siberian Retrievers are intelligent and eager to please their owners. The dog breed gets all these aspects from the Labrador Retriever, making him easy to train. However, some dogs may grow up to be more independent and will try to test your leadership skills, like the Siberian Husky. Overall, you need to be firm and consistent. Start training your dog from a young age and hopefully, your dog will not adopt a stubborn attitude. Apart from training, also work on early socialization by exposing your pet to new faces and surroundings from time to time.

Feeding

Due to their large size, Siberian Retrievers should be fed around 3-4 cups of high-quality dog food divided in to two meals every day. Note that your dog’s size, age, level of fitness and gender all play an important role in deciding how much they need to be fed. Dogs are just like individuals so they do not all require the same amount of food. A highly active dog is likely to require more quality nutrition compared to a lazy couch potato that does not want to move.

The quality of dog food plays an important role in your dog’s growth and development, hence feed them a nutritious diet. Avoid buying commercial, store-bought dog foods that contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Dogs are carnivorous in nature and thus they do not have the proper digestive system to digest plants.

Socialization

The Siberian Retriever or the Husky Lab Mix is a friendly and intelligent dog. They are eager to please their pet owners and are generally friendly towards other people and pets. Like any other dog, early socialization is important to prevent your dog from behaving timidly. Expose your dog to new pets and surroundings from a young age. If you train him right, the Husky Lab Mix can grow up to become good natured and well-rounded dogs.

Living Conditions

Because of their gentle and friendly demeanor, Siberian Retrievers are prone to becoming attached to their owners and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. The Husky Lab Mix is a great family dog and is also known to be patient with young children who may roughhouse with the dog.

For this reason, Husky Lab Mixes are suitable pets for large families with kids. If left alone for long periods, your furry friend is likely to suffer from separation anxiety. Because the dog enjoys jumping around and playing, are best suitable for homes that have at least one medium sized yard. Siberian Retrievers should not be cramped in tiny spaces and small apartments.

Coat and Grooming

Since mixed breeds take on the appearances of one or both their parents, it is difficult to predict the coat and grooming requirements of the puppy. Some Husky Lab Mix may have Husky like features while others may closely resemble a Labrador Retriever. The mix breed has a double coat, with short to medium length silky hair. Their coat colors can range from a variety of different colors, including chocolate, copper, brown, black, and white.

The dog requires moderate maintenance in terms of grooming. Husky Lab Mix is an average shedder though his average shedding may increase during seasonal times. During these sessions, we recommend you invest in a small vacuum cleaner to help you clean up the mess. Brush your dog’s coat at least once or twice a week to help control the shedding. This will also help keep the coat healthy. Bathe your Siberian Retriever only when your dog absolutely needs it. Also, brush your dog’s teeth at least a couple of times a week and also get his nails clipped from time to time.

Dogs are prone to ear infections so keep checking their ears and wipe them with a clean piece of cloth whenever you can. If you notice any signs of infection, take your dog to the vet immediately. If you are up for it, take your dog to the vet for occasional grooming sessions, it might be a little pricey but you will certainly be happy with the results and will not have to worry about accidentally hurting your dog during the grooming process.

Husky Lab Mix with Other Animals

Like other dog breeds, Siberian Retrievers are likely to do better if they are raised with other animals.Otherwise he is likely to view other small animals as prey. With early socialization and proper training, your dog will learn to behave well with other pets and dogs. Siberian Retrievers are generally good with children, hence you need not worry about that.

Health Conditions

The Husky Lab Mix is a generally healthy breed and while there are no known major health concerns associated with the Siberian Retriever, you must be aware of the most common dog related diseases. There is a chance the puppies can inherit certain heath conditions from his parents or may be prone to certain conditions because of them. Some diseases you should be wary of include epilepsy, heart problems, and joint dysplasia and ear infections.

Ensure that you adopt your dog breed from a reliable dog breeder who has the necessary health clearances. Mix breeds are generally healthier than pure breeds because they are drawn from a broader gene pool. But you cannot expect all mix breeds to be healthy, especially if the parents are prone to health concerns and have not been treated. It is worth researching about your dog’s heritage before adopting a pet.

Husky Lab Mix Dogs – Highlights at a Glance

  • Average Height:Up to 25 inches
  • Average Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
  • Coat Type:Double coat
  • Coat Appearance: Short to medium length and silky
  • Coat Colors:Brown, black,
  • Grooming Needs:Low
  • Shedding:Seasonal, Moderate
  • Brushing Requirements:Twice a week
  • Very Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: Yes
  • Good Tolerance to Heat and Cold:Moderate to good
  • Good Pet: Yes with training and early socialization
  • Safe for Children: Yes, with training
  • Good with Other Dogs:Yes, if trained properly
  • Good with Other Pets?Yes, if trained properly
  • Suitable for Apartment?These pets are well-suited at homes that have at least one medium sized backyard
  • Suitable for First Time Dog Owners? Yes
  • Training: Fast learners
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Tendency to Gain Weight: Normal
  • Major Health Concerns: Skin problems, ear infections, epilepsy, bloat, cod tail and eye problems.
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span:10 – 15 years

The Siberians Retriever makes for a great family dog as long as you can devote enough time to him and have a backyard that allows your pet to move around freely and happily. The dog breed is not suitable for folks who are often away on vacations or frequently have to go on business trips. With proper care and attention, the Husky Lab Mix will learn to be happy in your home. Plus, because of his friendly demeanor and active life, you might not mind the dog’s excessive shedding after all.

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd: Which Dog makes the Perfect Pet?

Thinking of adopting a furry friend but cannot decide between a German Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois? Well, not to worry because after reading this post, you will be able to choose between the two amazing dog breeds.

Both dogs belong to the sheepdog family and are known as military dogs. Because of their similar appearance and fur coat, they are often mistaken for each other. However, they also differ in several ways, especially with regards to behavior, lifestyle and physical characteristics. Generally, German shepherds are less aggressive and have a slower attacking speed compared to Belgian Malinois. Also Belgian Malinois tend to be smaller in size. In this post, we will discuss some important differences between the two breeds but first, let us familiarize with each.

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherdsource

German Shepherd – Overview

In case you do not know, the German Shepherd is one of America’s most popular dog breeds. The intelligent and hardworking dog can be trained for military and police services. German Shepherds are often trained to become guide dogs for the disabled. They have distinct physical characteristics with strong pointed ears and sturdy bodies.

These furry creatures can be found in several colors but the most common include tan and black. These dogs have even been given the role of national heroes as German Shepherd search dogs had played an active role in crawling through the ruins in search of survivors in the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Furthermore, the dog breed is an incredibly devoted and loving companion that makes a great addition to any household.

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd

Belgian Malinois – Overview

These canine friends were originally bred as herding dogs. Today, Belgian Malinois can actively be found working as protection dogs, police dogs and friendly family companions. The energetic and athletic dog is short-haired and fawn colored. Originally bred in Malines, Belgium, the dog breed has great stamina and excels in various tasks.

In additional to police work, herding, working in search and rescue, Belgian Malinois is also a top contender in performance events, including agility. People who are not familiar with the dog breed often confuse them with German Shepherds. Malinois are sensitive dogs and do not respond well to harsh training methods. Dog owners are thus advised to remain patient and persistent during training.

Belgian Malinois

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Also See: German Shepherd Collie Mix – What You Need To Know About Shollies

Fur Coat

German Shepherd

GSDs are medium to large sized dogs, with strong jaws and a black nose. The dog breed has more triangular eyes with tan colored fur and a black saddle. German Shepherds have long and straight hair that lies close to the body. Sometimes, the hair may be wavy and wiry. The coat is available in a variety of colors and patterns including black, sable, silver and red. You should also probably know that GSD are heavy shedders that shed all year long, hence if you wish to adopt this bet, you should probably be prepared to clean up the mess.

Belgian Malinois

Unlike GSD, Malinois have short, fawn colored straight hair. They have a hard topcoat and a dense undercoat that provides the dog protection against the harsh weather conditions. They are usually fawn colored with black ears. Typically, fawn-colored Malinois have a tiny bit of white on the tips of their toes or a tiny white spot on the chest.

Temperament

German Shepherd

GSD may look aloof but they are certainly not shy animals. While the reserved dogs do not usually make friends easily, once he does, he is sure to remain extremely loyal to you. German Shepherds are easy-going and approachable with loved ones. Because of their protective nature, they make excellent watch dogs

The intelligent dog breed can be trained to do almost anything, from guiding a disabled person to rescuing survivors from an avalanche. However, despite all these positive traits, German Shepherds are prone to suffering from separation anxiety, which means they cannot be left alone for long periods. An un-exercised and bored dog is likely to exhibit all his bent up feelings by barking and chewing or indulging in other destructive behavior.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is an outstanding working dog that may seem reserved towards strangers just like the GSD. Similarly, Malinois makes an excellent watchdog and is protective of his family and other companions. The dog breed can be trained to protect people and their property. Belgian Malinois’ are calm and peaceful dogs and will cooperate if you do not intimidate them.

Like other dogs, the Malinois’ personality depends on a variety of factors, such as socialization, heredity and training. Begin early socialization and expose your young puppy to new people and surroundings. Additionally, meet one of the parents, specifically the mother to learn more about the dog’s temperament. Meeting the dog’s siblings or other relatives can also be helpful in determining their personality.

Grooming

German Shepherd

GSD are jokingly known as German Shedders as the breed sheds throughout the year and is known to shed a ton of hair at once, twice a year. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to the problem hence dog owners must be prepared to clean up the mess. However, brushing your dog’s fur 2-3 times a week will aid the process. We advise you invest in a handy vacuum cleaner, just in case!

Bathing the dog too often may strip its fur off natural oils, hence only give your furry friend a bath when they are in dire need of it or are dirty. Luckily, GSD, despite being heavy shedders are generally clean and odorless dogs. Additionally, trim your dog’s nails after every few weeks and inspect their ears for signs of infections. As German Shepherds love to chew, we advise you stock up on tons of dog chew toys that will prevent tartar buildup and satisfy their chewing habits at the same time. Do not forget to brush their teeth at least a few times a week.

Belgian Malinois

You will be pleased to know that Belgian Malinois are easy to groom because of their short and straight hair. Simply brush the dog’s coat weekly using a firm bristle brush and only bathe when necessary. Malinois dogs are moderate shedders and only shed heavily during the spring and fall. Also, brush your dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week to get rid of tartar buildup. Daily brushing is required to prevent the risk of periodontal and gum diseases.

Health Problems

German Shepherd

Unfortunately, GSDs are prone to several health conditions. When adopting a pet, be sure to contact a reliable breeder. Some prominent health conditions that you should be concerned about include:

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Belgian Malinois

Compared to German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois dogs are a generally healthier breed and only susceptible to a few common health conditions. While not all dogs are prone to suffer from any or all of the health risks, it is however important to be aware of them if you are adopting the breed. Common health concerns include:

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Aesthesia Sensitivity

Training

German Shepherd

While German Shepherds are intelligent, training can be quite difficult if your dog is stubborn. Begin training when the dog is still young and reward him with lots of treats to maintain continuous progress. GSD generally enjoy training but may have a difficult time in the first few sessions just like any other dog.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are much easier to control and train. While both breeds are intelligent, Belgian Malinois dogs tend to be more involved in the activity, making it easier for the trainer. Also, Malinois dogs are curious pets and are always keen to learn new things.

Aggression

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are a larger dog breed and known to exhibit less aggression compared to Belgian Malinois.

Belgian Malinois

Malinois are much smaller than GSDs but tend to be more aggressive. Similarly, Belgian Malinois are much faster than German Shepherds and have more energy.

Exercise

Both dog breeds are energetic and are suited for outdoor activities. Highly energetic dogs should not be left idle for long periods. Take your pet out for long walks and let them spend some time outdoors for improved mental and physical health. It is crucial you keep your dog busy in various activities or else they might exhibit destructive behavior in the form of barking and chewing.

Feeding

German Shepherd

Due to their large build, German Shepherds must consume 3-4 cups of high quality dog food, divided into two meals a day. Always feed your dog nutritious food that does not have high starch content.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are medium sized breeds and must be fed around 2-3 cups of nutritious dog food, divided into two meals. Please note that the amount of food your dog consumes greatly depends on their overall build, health and age.

Verdict

Therefore, you see, both dog breeds are quite different from each other despite the similar physical characteristics. It is thus crucial you choose a pet according to your personal preferences and needs.