Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breed matching test: FAIL

I'm a sucker for online quizzes. So, I took the breed matching test someone recommended.

Ok: first of all, a "yorkipoo" isn't a breed, it's a mutt, so if we're trying to match me to a breed the test is a failure right from the conceptual stage.

Second, the breed test is missing a few crucial questions, such as, say, what's the weather like where you live? Because where I live, there is snow on the ground eight months out of the year, and the temperature gets down below -40°C at least once a year. This is very relevant to my choice of dog. Obviously I need a dog with a double coat, or else it won't be getting any walks about eight months out of the year. So thanks for recommending the German pinscher... It's a cute dog, and totally not suitable for me.

Oh yeah, it might be an idea to ask if I want my dog's tail docked... because I don't. So there goes the German pinscher again, as well as all four other breeds the test recommended.

Also, it would be useful to consider how much I want to spend on dog food. A standard schnauzer (recommendation #3) is a nice dog... and it weighs twice as much as Tinky-Winky, so that's twice the food budget. Likewise the American water spaniel (recommendation #4). Corollary: bigger dogs poop bigger. I hate picking up giant dog turds. And the Portuguese water dog (recommendation #2) is almost three times Tinky-Winky and has no undercoat.

Then, there is the drooling. Ask me if I like dog drool? I don't, thanks for asking. Recommendation #5, the clumber spaniel, is known for drooling. Plus it has a squished face, and I specifically said I didn't want a squished face. (Actually, I said I expected the dog to jog with me, but that comes to the same - squished faces make it harder to breathe.)

Oh, and maybe it would be a good idea to ask how much I walk, and not suggest ridiculous things like a "peekapoo". I mean, other than the fact that I don't do mutts with stupid fake-breed names, how is a "peekapoo" going to walk 10 km a day in any weather?

All that being said, spaniels were the runners-up when I was shopping for a dog, but specifically, I like both the English and Welsh springer spaniels, and the brittany. The English springer spaniel comes in at #12 on my test, the highest of any breed I'd actually consider owning. At #11 is one of my favourite breeds I'd never own: the bull terrier. I adore bull terriers, but they're much too big for me, and have short coats.

Also, I can't imagine why it recommended the Belgian sheep dog and the Belgian Tervueren (#19 and #20), but not the Malinois, THE breed I always wanted until I realized they're too big for me. And I really can't imagine by what stretch of the imagination a pitbull seems like a good choice for me.

Out of the forty "recommended" breeds, in the end, there is ONE I would actually consider owning at this time.

On the other hand, under "bad choices for me", we find the Welsh springer spaniel (whereas like I said, the English springer is #12 on the "good" list), the Icelandic sheepdog (my current Plan B dog), and... the shiba inu. Hmmmm... Well good thing I did my own research instead of taking breed tests, eh? Shibas are absolutely perfect for me. The one and only thing I might prefer is if they'd heel better, but shibas are absolutely perfect for me.

Also, under the breed overview on that same site, some of the dumb things they have to say about shibas include:

  • amount of shedding: 3/5 (????? Shibas shed their entire coat twice a year. MASSIVE amounts of hair.)

  • good for novice owners: 3/5 (How about 0/5? Shibas need strong leadership, good training, and massive exercise. Novice owners suck for shibas.)

  • intelligence: 2/5 (Have these people ever met a shiba? Shibas are absolutely wily. Mine is smarter than most people I know.)

  • need for exercise: 2/5 (Ok, they haven't ever met a shiba. The only reason shibas aren't 6/5 on need for exercise is they're so small. But they're at least a 4/5.)
I could go on, but you're probably getting the point.

In short, if you're trying to figure out what's the best breed for you, whatever you do, don't use this test. They don't know jack about what breed you need.

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