“And, unfortunately, while the majority of the public is in favor of adopting pets from shelters, very few – usually about 20 percent – actually do. That has recently gone up slightly to the mid-20s.”
Fricke and retired police officer Irvin Cannon, a confirmed dog lover whose new book, For the Love of Dog Tales (www.FortheLoveofDogTales.com)
“You won’t find a better companion, whether you bring home a mystery mixed-breed or a purebred Labrador,” he says. “Everyone thinks mutts are smarter and generally healthier, but really, it all depends on their mix of breeds and which breed strain is dominant.”
Border collies and Rottweilers are two of the smartest breeds, Cannon says. But they tend to have other traits, too, which are just as important to consider when choosing what dog best suits your lifestyle. Remember – dogs are as individual as people. A dog’s breed, or breed mix, is no guarantee that it will have certain traits.
That said, border collies tend to need lots of room to run and lots of attention – they’re high-maintenance, Cannon says. If you can’t spend a lot of active time with them, they’ll be unhappy and you’ll have problems.
Rottweilers are fast learners and loveable family animals, but they also tend to have bold personalities associated with pack leaders. If you don’t think you can assert your authority, or if you have young or shy children, you might want to consider a more submissive breed. Dominant dogs that are allowed to bully their family members can become dangerously aggressive.
Irvin Cannon was a poor kid growing up in Detroit when his family took in a stray dog. It surprised young Irvin that his father would be willing to share the family’s meager groceries with a dog, but he soon discovered the return on their investment was enormous. A former police officer in Detroit and Denver, he also worked as a corrections officer in Arizona.