I’m proud to say I have a purebred dog from a breeder. That’s right, I said it.
We’ve even played show dog.
I’m also a huge advocate for maintaining the working aspect of breeds. You may remember we celebrated National Purebred Dog Day last year by getting Suki’s Herding Instinct Certificate.
I’m trying to think of a way to say this that doesn’t come across as better than thou, because that’s not what I mean. I think people should be able to have whatever dog they want, and all dogs can be fantastic. For me though, Schipperkes are so perfect. I’ve met mixed breeds I would have loved to own, but Suki is in an entirely different playing field. With the predictability a purebred offers she was basically designed over generations to blend seamlessly into my lifestyle, and she’s done that above and beyond what I even expected when I decided to add a Schipperke to my life.
Having the predictability of a herder’s tempered prey drive is exactly what I need around my miniature chickens. Especially with the highly tempting little morsels the babies are. Suki will go for squirrels and even small wild birds, but she instinctively took a caring role over the new chicks. Yes you can get dogs like this through random chance, but it takes dedicated selective breeding to consistently maintain that kind of temperament. If you want a dog for a job, getting one that was bred for it gives you the highest chances of success. You’re not training a behaviour so much as carefully molding what the dog already instinctively had.
I think a lot of people take it personally when someone prefers to own purebreds, especially when that reason is because they want the dogs for a specific job. We’ve been raised to believe anyone can do anything they set their mind to, and we’ve extrapolated that onto our dogs. The truth is though, a dog bred for a specific job is going to be better at that job than a dog that wasn’t bred for it. It doesn’t matter if the second dog is purebred or a mixed breed. I’ve trained Suki to retrieve and there’s nothing stopping me from taking her out hunting, but she’ll never be on the same level as a field Labrador. Just like she could never course rabbits with the same efficiency as a sighthound. I’m not even too proud to admit that she’s unlikely to have the same level of herding instinct as a dog from working lines. I don’t take it personally when a duck hunter would rather own a gundog, and I wouldn’t recommend a Schipperke to them in the first place. There’s a reason that most serious agility competitors eventually end up with at least one Border Collie. It just makes sense that they would choose a breed to fit their lifestyle. That’s why there are so many different breeds in the first place. Even if someone wants a purebred as just a companion, who cares? Don’t take it so personally that someone else wants something different from you. Someone that relishes the temperament of a Golden Retriever would likely find Suki annoying to live with, and likewise if I had to live with their dog (how do you Golden people handle not being body-slammed every morning as you dish up breakfast?). Instead of trying to cram all the dogs into one little box I’d much rather celebrate their differences. It’s why they’ve blended so seamlessly with humans and took the title of Man’s Best Friend without any competition.
To check out the festivities, head over to National Purebred Dog Day’s Facebook page.