The Dog Dish
The Dog Dish

“You’re a puppy? Oh how cute! What breed are you?”

Something tells me everyone in the human-puppy community has heard this question at some point, probably shortly after meeting someone new. After talking in the previous episode about how human pups get our names and why they’re so important, it seemed only fitting to spend this episode talking about the importance of breeds. What I found surprised me: They really aren’t that important, at least once you meet a pup.

In this episode, you’ll hear from four guests who discuss how dog breeds fit into their sense of identity as a human puppy. Each guest talks about how they selected theirs and how important they think the idea is. Spoiler alert: They aren’t terribly important. What we conclude is that identifying with a dog breed can help other people figure out how to interact with you (because they know what to expect from that kind of dog), but that’s about it. Beyond that basic behavioral overview, the attention goes to the individual, rather than the breed.

The Questions

In order to sniff out the significance of this issue, I asked each of my guests the same basic questions:

  • What breed are you? How did you select/discover your breed?
  • How important is that association to you and to the pup community overall?
  • What advice would you give to new pups who haven’t yet decided what they are?

We get a surprisingly consistent response from across the continental U.S., and from pups both new and established. You’ll hear from Pups Corgo (a Corgi) and Eclipse (a Samoyed) in New Jersey, Chipper (a Great Dane) in Ohio, and Turbo (a Greyhound) in Oregon. I also explain how I picked my breed (a Clumber Spaniel) because my process was different from each of the guests.


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