10 Favorite Dog Breeds: 5 – 1

Lots of dogs

And so it continues. My favorite dog breeds. Organizing this list was really hard. If I had my way, I’d just spend all day, every day out in an open field with dogs from every breed jumping all over me. But if I had to take only 5 breeds with me, this would be them.

#5 Newfoundland

I’m telling you, I have this insatiable desire to get a big dog, a mountain of a dog. I want a dog that could be mistaken for a bear. I want a Newfoundland dog.

How much fun would these two be? And if the electricity ever goes out, I’d just make ‘em sleep on top of me until I lost consciousness.

Such beautiful dogs.

#4 Irish Wolfhound

I don’t know why, but I have this feeling inside of me that of all the really big dogs, I would like having an Irish Wolfhound the most. To me, they have the sweetest faces and seem like they would do anything for you. By the way the Irish Wolfhound is the one on the left.

#3 Basset Hound

I mean, come on. Look at those ears. You’re telling me you’re gonna say no to those ears? And the thing about Bassett Hounds is that they can run super fast. For Bassett Hounds I mean.

I see myself with about 20 Basset Hounds, and at least one of them would be named “Bill.”

#2 Boxer

Jodi is the one who got me hooked on Boxers. She had them in her family growing up, and so one day we got our Lucy. And Lucy was amazingly sweet and loyal. I think that Lucy and Jodi’s leg were made of Velcro because you could hardly get them separated.

You want a Boxer without the cropped ears though. Cropping is just cruel and unnecessary. They’re much cuter with the floppy ears anyway.

The thing I love about Boxers the most is that they’ve got these wrinkly eyebrows that allow them to have way more expressions in their face than most dogs.

Oh man, I gotta get me some more Boxers.

#1 Beagle

Big, big surprise. For me, it always has been, and always will be, the Beagle.

They’re the perfect looking dogs. I know, I know, I said over and over that I wanted a really big dog. I still do. But there are really nice things about having a dog the size of a Beagle. Not too small so that you don’t crush it if you accidentally sit on it, and not too big so that it doesn’t crush you.

These are sweet, sweet, sweet dogs.

I think the reason I’ve got it so bad for Beagles has to do with my first dog growing up, Vincent. I actually don’t know what kind of dog Vincent was. I think he was part Beagle though. And then part, oh I don’t know, opossum?

Vincent was probably mostly my little brother Ted’s dog though. Fishing buddies, you know. I couldn’t compete with that.

But I think the idea of Vincent stuck with me and that’s the kind of dog I was always drawn to. The Beagle part, not the opossum part.

The biggest criticism people usually have with Beagles is that they say that they’re untrainable. That they won’t listen to you.

Really? All dogs are good and all dogs are trainable. The problem is never with the dog. The problem is always with the owner.

The first dog Jodi and I bought was a Beagle named Monte. He was a really, really good dog. We went to one of those quickie training classes at PetSmart and thought that would be the end of what we needed to do.

But what happens is that you just forget everything you learned and you don’t maintain it. So Monte pulled our arms off on every walk, because he was so excited. He never came to us when we called him. He just did whatever he wanted. Because we were clueless and we let him.

Then years later when we got Mabel and Gilbert, we had learned our lesson and knew that we didn’t want to repeat that. So we found the most amazing dog trainer in San Diego. The thing is, after you go through her one-on-one training sessions, she invites you to take part in biweekly dog training workshops at a public park, along with her other clients. So Jodi, Mabel, Gilbert, and I went to nearly every one of those free workshops for years, to the point where she would have us helping other people in the class who weren’t as experienced as we were.

And because we put such time and effort into it this second time around, the training just became a part of our daily lives. It’s so embedded in us that it’s impossible for us to take them for a walk, or feed them dinner, or call them to us without using all of those training techniques. We don’t think about it. We just do it.

To prove that you can train Beagles just like any other breed, the video below is Mabel, Gilbert and me in our backyard doing a remote “down” and some recalls. And what you don’t hear in this video, because it’s got a music background, is that next door there are two dogs barking their heads off at our dogs. And there are two kids screaming their heads off at those two dogs to stop. Which, by the way, is the worst way to get dogs to stop barking, because in case you didn’t realize, dogs don’t speak English — or French, or German, or Canadian, or Alabaman, or anything. When you’re screaming at them to stop barking, all they’re hearing is you going “LOUD NOISE! LOUD NOISE! LOUD NOISE! YEAH! LET’S GET THOSE OTHER DOGS!!! LOUD NOISE! LOUD NOISE!”

But the thing about Beagles is that there’s something even more powerful than years of training, and that’s hundreds or thousands of years of breeding and those noses they’ve got. So if they pick up a scent that they want to follow, all bets are off. That’s why you always have to put Beagles on leashes or in fenced yards.

However, if you don’t have to compete with those noses, they’ll listen to you like any other breed. So here are Mabel and Gilbert locked in on me while all that chaos is going on next door. And if our yard were the size of a football stadium, they could do the same thing. These are good dogs!

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