The history and evolution of the magical bond between man and dog is truly a divine miracle of unfathomable symbiotic benefit. A guardian whose senses were keener than those of a genius detective, a protector with speed and endurance beyond that of an Olympian, and a friend whose courage rivaled the bravest warrior? It all tributes back to one ancient wolf and his evolved lack of fear, who emerged among the monsters of the forest to a superhero sidekick. But this relationship was just forming, and it doesn’t stop at this first miracle.
As time passes, our wolves evolved with our society, adapting much more rapidly with elegant design and functionality. Through genetic targeting and hybrid breeding, man and dog have become an inseparable cosmic pair unmatched anywhere in the known universe. Right about now you are starting to think; my family needs a dog, my children need a dog and I need a dog. But which breed is right for you and yours? While all dogs make for best friends, some are, um, more lovably clueless than others. But when it comes to working intelligence (i.e. following commands), certain types stand out from the pack.
In this article, I’m going to talk about five specially evolved breeds of amazing dogs. While all breeds are a magnificent gift to man, these five are beyond special. While we don’t utilize our dogs like we once did for predator alerting and hunting in the past, these five dog breeds bring something more.
The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is the classic family companion. They are obedient, playful, intelligent, well-mannered, great with kids, and kindly to strangers. Highly reliable bird dogs, their keen sense of smell and desire to work alongside people makes them sought-after narcotics sniffers. Golden Retrievers need people and are best suited for large, active families. Trainability is through the roof with a golden retriever, as they can be taught to accomplish almost anything that can be done without an opposable appendage.
Golden Retrievers are a breeze to train. They are people-pleasers and will do anything for a bit of praise and some food. This makes them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. Goldens should always be treated with a gentle hand, as they are sensitive creatures who don’t respond well to harsh tones and discipline.
Their trainability has made them a number once choice for service and therapy dogs, and in recent years they have been a favorite choice of police forces, who utilize them as drug and bomb sniffers and in search and rescue teams. The Golden Retriever’s kindly expression says it all. This is one of the finest family dogs in the world; cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone, and forgiving of any mistakes made by inexperienced owners.
The Border Collie
The valedictorians of the dog world, these herders took a prominent spot in our rankings. Most can learn a new command in under five seconds and follow it at least 95% of the time. Astounding.
The Border Collie dog breed was developed to gather and control sheep in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. He is known for his intense stare, or “eye,” with which he controls his flock. He’s a dog with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive, all of which make him a premier herding dog breed. He’s still used today to herd sheep on farms and ranches around the world. The highly trainable and intelligent Border Collie also excels in various canine sports, including obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and flying disc competitions.
Border collies are an extremely energetic dog breed and must have the opportunity to get lots of exercise. They love to run. A bright, clever breed, the border collie is best suited for country living. If confined without activity, this breed will quickly become unhappy and destructive. Because of their herding instincts, they are protective of their family and territory and make excellent watchdogs. They will look out for the family kids. Although they get along well with children and other pets they are raised with, they can be reserved and sometimes snappish with strangers, nipping at the heels the same way they would nip at sheep if herding.
German Shepherds happily serve as police dogs, seeing eye dogs, medical assistance dogs and therapy dogs, so it’s no surprise that consistent obedience comes standard with this breed. The German Shepherd Dog is perhaps best known as the strong, courageous and obedient guide dog breeds for the disabled and service dog of police K-9 and search-and-rescue units, valued for its tenacity, intelligence, loyalty and focus. GSDs are often sought as guard dogs and protectors.
German Shepherds can be trained to do almost any task set before them. They are smart, bold, alert, and single-minded when necessary and eager to please their people. They are powerful but still agile. While highly trainable, they should be socialized and trained young in life. This requires a firm, consistent and kind handler.
German Shepherds can be as energetic as they are large, although they should be of even disposition and unflappable, with a restrained, composed and confident temperament. They should be patient, attentive, faithful and determined. They can be bold but should not be unnecessarily aggressive. They do not require an enormous amount of daily exercise, but they certainly are not the ideal breed for apartment dwellers or people who live alone and work long hours. They tend to bond well with children and enjoy participating in family activities like hiking, swimming, picnicking, running and the like.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
If they’re good enough for royalty, they’re certainly bright enough for the rest of us. Unlike their Cardigan Welsh Corgi cousins, Pembrokes lack long tails, but they make up for it with a smart, even-keeled personality. Spirited and athletic, steady and dependable, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a true “big dog on short legs.”
Herding, obedience, agility, or chasing balls (with surprising speed) are enjoyable outlets for his enthusiasm and desire to work. Corgis are the smart dog breeds who need something to do.He is polite with guests, reserved with strangers, and makes an alert watchdog. Most Pembroke Welsh Corgis are fine with other family pets. But they’re often territorial with strange dogs and cats – as a working farm dog, one of his responsibilities was to chase strays away from his own farm. Corgis are wonderful with livestock, including horses.
This handsome dog breed was created in Africa to be a versatile hunter and home guardian. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an all-purpose “Renaissance hound” dog breed whose hallmark is the ridge, or stripe of backward-growing hair, on his back. Though the breed became famous in its native Africa for its skill at tracking and baying, today Ridgebacks are cherished family dogs whose owners must be prepared to deal with their independence and strong prey drive.
Ridgebacks are fast and powerful athletes who can weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, and oftentimes more. They come in only one color , wheaten, which spans every shade seen in a wheat field, from pale flaxen to the burnished red of a maturing crop. Ridgebacks also have two nose colors; black and the less commonly seen brown.
Rhodesian ridgebacks are extremely tolerant dogs and excellent companions. Ridgebacks are gregarious animals, enjoying the company of other dogs; but families should be cautious about having several male dogs in one household, because this can lead to dominance struggles. These dogs can be good with cats if brought up with them.