By Dr. Becker
Dogs can have many different characteristics when it comes to personality. Many are even-tempered, endlessly patient and generally agreeable. Some are balls of fire, constantly engaging. Others, not so much.
Just for fun, a group of 281 veterinarians, vet technicians and staff members got together to settle on which five dog breeds most closely fit the “melodramatic pup” designation. Counting down, here’s what they came up with:1
No. 5: Dachshund
Small but mighty, Dachshunds are also quite vocal, often barking when there’s nothing to bark about. You might say they’re “talking just to hear the sound of their own voice!” That may be the perfect explanation for this pup’s persistent input.
What makes these little “wiener dogs” so lovable is that they’re devoted family members, sociable and ready to keep a sharp eye on everyone. The barking may occur if they feel that all is not as it should be and sometimes for no reason at all. As Your Purebred Puppy2 notes:
“Though bright and clever, Dachshunds like to do things their own way. In other words, they're stubborn … Dachsies are proud little dogs who resist force. They become irritable when pushed too far, and they may respond defensively (growling or snapping) if jerked around, handled harshly or teased.
You'll also hear his sharp, persistent bark when people approach, for most Dachshunds are alert watchdogs who do not take kindly to strangers intruding on their domain. Again, you need to put a stop to overt signs of suspiciousness, lest this progress to nastiness.”
No. 4: Pug
They say it with those big, brown eyes: You’re mine — all mine. Pugs have a way of making sure your time and attention are focused on them, and if you get distracted, they’ll either take advantage of the moment or find a way to get your attention again.
Separation anxiety is sometimes an issue, as are stubbornness and a penchant for begging. This dog likes his own comfortable space but also thrives on family interaction.
Pugs seem to do best in a low-key atmosphere and respond well to positive reinforcement and TLC. One of the most often-used adjectives regarding their personality is “comical.” He’s smart enough to repeat an action just for another outpouring of attention like he received the last time.
No. 3: Beagle
Smart, focused and fun — that describes this popular dog breed. Beagles love physical activity, and they’d make great watchdogs if they weren’t such pushovers! The upside is how great they are at companionship; the downside is that a stubborn streak may take over if he’s not trained well as a youngster.
This breed has a great nose, which may get a little frustrating on a walk because they love to smell the roses — every single one of them — and every other fragrance they encounter!
Good luck getting your Beagle to follow your agenda on outdoor adventures, unless you help him understand your expectations early on.
No. 2: Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have been referred to as “drama queens” because they have a tendency to act and react over every little thing. She takes very seriously her role as a watchdog, much like a loyal and protective friend who borders on jealous.
Experts warn that this is a smart dog who may exhibit willful qualities. According to Chiwawa Dog, Chihuahuas:
“May be slightly difficult to train, but when they want to learn they will do it quickly and efficiently ... If they do not get this training they can be extremely yappy with a high pitched bark that will continue long after you tell them to stop.
They get extremely excited when things happen such as your arrival home, and unless trained they will continue to bark much to the dismay of your neighbors. In fact, they get excited about a lot of things. This is a dog that likes to be in the center of all the action and will jump around until you allow it to be.”3
The bright side is how entertaining and affectionate they are, participating in your life with eager enthusiasm.
No. 1: Basset Hound
Can dogs be manipulative? If so, this dog might win the prize. They have a way of gazing at you with mournful expectation, making you want to do anything possible to get them to be happy again, even if it means slacking on the training they need.
The fact is, Basset Hounds have their own mind, and training isn’t generally something they’ll sit still for without a meeting of the minds. They’re captivated with every whiff on the wind, howl at the moon and often want to run with abandon in spite of your commands to “Stop!”
Along with the stubborn bent, this breed is a very good buddy: pleasant, affable and easily swayed by food rewards, so offering food and treats will elicit more of a response than an argument will ever do. “Friendly persuasion” might be the best way to get them to see things your way.
Just Like People, Dogs Will Display an Array of Personalities
Depending on your dog’s temperament, your own list of “most dramatic dog breed” finalists might be different. That’s OK! The fun part is you can observe your pups being their adorable, histrionic selves and still love them to pieces. Good training is the way to keep control of a pet who may be convinced he’s the life of the party, or determined to stay on the couch when you say it’s time for a walk.
But as they say, sometimes the human needs as much training as the dog. Do your part in providing your forever friend with the time, attention and training he needs, and while he will still be “personality plus,” he’ll also be happier and healthier. And so will you.