If you had to choose a different breed, what would you choose and why?

From the July 2018 Issue of ShowSight. Click To Subscribe.

Thanks to everyone who offered opinions on this month’s topic. The following is a selection of responses. Want to voice your opinion? Follow ShowSight’s Facebook Page for the monthly question prompt. 

Question for all ShowSight Readers: If you had to choose a different  breed besides your own—what would you choose and why?


My current breed is a Bedlington Terrier. If I were to pick another breed, it would probably be a Xolo! Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. I love their aloof primitive personality, along with their clean lines. There are other breeds that interest me, but due to allergies, most wont work for me. 
—Diane Stille

I would choose Pumi (non shedding, Terrier-like, downsized). Current breed is Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. 

I have had Old English Sheepdogs for 40 years, most of my life. I would never change Breeds. —Anonymous

I have English Springer Spaniels usa. If I had to change for a different breed I would choose for the Wired Fox Terrier and why, I love their character. —Cecilia van Dooren

I show and breed Japanese Chin. If I chose another breed (hard to imagine since the Chin have my heart), it would be one that has less whelping issues in general like Yorkies or Cavaliers. —Anonymous

I would choose Greyhoud or a Rottie. Love the hardy nature of the breed and the temperament. Rotties because of the sleek look and the devotion to their people. Sort of aloof as I am. —Anonymous

I would choose the Boston Terrier. My grandparents had Bostons as long as I can remember. They were playful and great with us when we were very young and a real lap dog for my grandfather as he aged. They seemed to be intelligent and family oriented. I would recommend them to a family wanting a small dog. —Joan Stone

Russell Terrier, I currently have Parsons. Russells are a smaller version with a more laid back temperament. 

Another herding breed, intelligent, good work ethics and quick learners. —Mary Law Weir

Probably a Bloodhound. I do search and rescue, so that seems to be a natural breed to go from Border Collies. 

I am approaching an age that I would down size. I recently met a Rat Terrier that caught my eye. Small, muscular, can travel easily, low maintenance. Still able to keep up with an active life style. —Anonymous

As a person who appreciates the uniqueness of all breeds, this is a tough call. My own breed is the Puli. I think I would choose a Doberman as my alternate breed. I’ve always admired their elegance and their “wash and wear” coat appeals to me! —Sherry Gibson

I breed and show Irish Terriers. If I had to downsize—really downsize—I would choose a Pomeranian. An unlikely choice—but perhaps not. They have a ton of personality and brains, like my IT’s. The same feisty, independent but loving spirit and they crush agility. What’s not to love? Well…there is all that coat. —Thea Lahti

Currently own Basset Hounds, would probably choose smaller or slower breed, love Bulldogs. Getting older and slower myself, started out with Blueticks and Black and Tan Coonhound, love my hounds, hence the Bassets. 

Curly Coated Retriever—they are not as popular as the other Retrievers but are a nice large breed that would be fun to have. —Anonymous

I currently have a Papillon. The next breed I want is a Toy Fox Terrier. That was my original choice, but the breeder never bred the parents so I got the Pap instead. He is awesome and I love him to death, but want a short-haired dog next time. —Anonymous

My heart and soul belong to the Glen of Imaal Terriers (and a Dachshund or two!) but if I had to choose another breed it would be the Kuvasz. This breed has such a rich history and has stayed true to the traditional look 
and temperament. Their expressive faces convey intelligence and commitment to their job. They still do their job of guarding home and livestock—a job that cannot be replaced by man or machine. The Kuvasz exemplifies the “P” of purebred…purpose bred, preservation and predictability. That’s why I have a “passion” for them! —Theresa Nesbitt MD

Japanese Chin. Chin are relatively healthy as a breed, about the same amount of things to watch out for as the Afghan Hound as far as health checks go. Intelligent and trainable. With Chin I wouldn’t have to run as fast with in the show ring and they are lighter weight. They can also get most of the exercise they need just running through the house. Less coat maintenance. Personality is similar to Afghans when they want attention they love you, then they leave and go do their own thing. —Carla Helm

Cairn Terrier, because that is from where West Highland White Terriers originated! —Anonymous

I have Alaskan Malamute since 1971—a Corgi because they are easy to groom and I would be able to show them myself! —Anonymous

I would choose a Brussel Griffon. Small square, incredible funny face, but beautiful at the same time. I would love to look at them and enjoy. My breed is Miniature Poodles for 40 years, but I could be tempted with a rough Griffon. 
—Inge Semenschin

Yorkshire Terrier because I love their brave personality. —Anonymous

My breed is the Bulldog. If I had the chose a different breed it would be the French Bulldog because it’s similar to the Bulldog. —Anonymous

When I started in dogs 49 years ago, I came from horses. I actually chose my breeds, not just fell into them. 
They had to be healthy, there had to be breeding/show stock available, they had to have a low upkeep, and be hardy and willing. My first breed was Pembroke Welsh Corgies. then after 20 years I added Tibetan Spaniels. I think I would love to have a Pickard. A happy dog with a peaceable nature. 
—Pamela Bradbury

I have Smooth Dachshunds. If I could choose again, I would choose a quieter, less destructive dog. Dachshunds dig up the yard and have a huge bark. They are not appropriate for apartments. —Anonymous

Dobermans—smart and elegant. —Lou Ann King

I have Beagles but I would get an Whippet, they are wash and go and are really couch potatoes after a good run and very clean. —Anonymous

I have Papillons which have been a source of pride and joy to me for fifty years. However, if forced to choose another breed it would probably be Japanese Chin as their shape, make and coat are reminiscent of Paps. Also, I do love those brachiocephalic heads. —Maxine J. Gurin

I’ve shown a lot of breeds and I eventually choose Shetland Sheepdogs as my breed because they’re small enough to be easy to carry and transport but the main reason I chose them is because of the breed temperament. Not only are they intelligent, which many other breeds can claim but they want to please and even more importantly, they try to please you—which many other breeds can’t claim! I’ve often said training a Sheltie for obedience is almost like cheating because they’re so easy to train!

Belgian Tervuren would be my second breed. After showing other guarding breeds, as well as Terv’s, I came to appreciate the qualities of those breeds and I found the Terv to combine the Sheltie intelligence and willingness to please along with the protective instinct. —David Calderwood

Keeshond or Klee Kai as I would like to stay with a smaller spitz breed. I have Pomeranians. —Ron Elshaug

I have English Springer Spaniels and love them but I have bad knees and can’t show them my self any more. So I would choose French Bulldogs because they are rugged, adorable and I could show them! —Anonymous

I have French Bulldogs and if I had to choose a second breed it would be the Boston Terrier. —Anonymous

I would choose the English Bulldog because of size and minimum maintenance. —Anonymous

Havanese. Showing a Bichon Frise today is entering a grooming competition. Few judges really look at their structure (or hidden flaws covered up by the creative groomer, or whether or not the halos (or anus) of the dog is darkened with black shadow to cover up bad pigmentation—the expert groomers know how to fix. The Bichon trim is very “stylized” and really, only a handful of US groomers have the expertise. If one is unfortunate enough to compete against one of these expert groomers in the ring, forget a win—it has become a beauty contest—even Bill McFadden said so on TV. The Havanese is very Bichon-like in temperament and I wouldn’t trade this temperament for anything. —Anonymous

While Havanese will always be my main breed and the only one I will likely ever breed. I sure do love my Pointer boys and my Tibetan Terrier boy! —Kathy Ambler

I have English Cockers. If I switched, it would be Australian Shepherd. Smart, affectionate and loyal. —Kim Estlund

Anatolian. I have Akitas, and I like independent large dogs. Anatolians seem to have a lot of the guard traits I like, but are still companionable. —Anonymous

French Bulldog or Brussel Griffon. My breed is Mastiff and Bloodhound —Anonymous

My breed is Boxers and I have loved an owned them for over 40 years. This September I will turn 65 and like many in our sport we are aging and find some of the larger dogs somewhat difficult to show. As a result I hired a handler. The hiring of a handler promotes additional costs but it also takes away the time and joy that I have in showing my own dog. Prior to my knee replacement I was able to show the Boxers but with the advent of a new knee and another new one in progress I am no longer able to go in the ring. With many of us having limited mobility I see more wheelchairs and canes in and around the show ring. I wonder if there is a concession to be able to show your own dog but have someone else move the dog. Certainly it would take more time and with judges only having a precious two minutes per dog that could be problematic, just a thought.

While I appreciate that handlers are often a necessity I must also acknowledge that they do not necessarily do a great service to our sport. Along with handler and the statistics that are kept we have devolved into a sport that only the very wealthy can afford to compete and campaign a top dog. We no longer see large kennels as often and in years gone by and that has also changed our sport considerably.

I originally began showing because I wanted something else to do with my dog. It was a joy to be in the ring and working with my own dog. Upon hiring a handler I found that in addition to the exorbitant expense it just was not as much fun to sit ringside and watch. I wanted to be in the ring and I wanted to work my own dog. Isn’t that what this should 
be about?

After an exhausting search and looking at many breeds I settled on the French Bulldog. This breed has a big dog attitude in a little dog body. They are fun to be around and I have once again found joy in the dog show ring. Win lose or draw I am taking the best dog home and that is as it should be. —Cindy Knox

Duck Tollers, love the breed they are great family dogs, sweet, smart and great hunting dogs. —Mary Ellen Meyer

My breed is Silky Terriers and working Anatolian Shepherds (with our dairy goats). I would like to get a Whippet. Although they like to run and chase, they are also great companions. I first liked them in historical English tapestries. Then I met one in England that was the companion of an older man that was staying at my bed and breakfast. Also, my first show Silky and foundation bitch nursed on a Whippet, who had a litter within a week of the Silky. I always like to think that there is a little bit of Whippet in my Silky line! 
—Pam Richardson

A Siberian or a Pomeranian. My breed is the Keeshond. I have an affinity for the Nordic Spitz Breeds. —Anonymous

I would not want a different breed than Pekingese. If I had no Pekingese, I would probably have only what wandered up to the house and asked to come in. Pekingese are the most loving, glamorous, precious dogs, in my opinion, and I’m sorry, but that is my breed for life. —Anonymous

Boston Terriers. My mom did them when I was a kid. They are easy to handle and great companions. They are live stock full of personality. And, they can go into senior citizens homes as well as live in condo apartment setting. 

Mini Bull Terrier, they are merry as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. —Anonymous

Leonberger they are another large breed that I like and I enjoy their personalities. —Anonymous

I cannot imagine being without a hound. I have been showing my my breed exclusively for the past 31 years in conformation, performance, tracking, lure coursing and along with therapy work. Possibly a PBGV or a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. My reasoning is simply because they are smaller than than my present breed and as I get older, I may need to get a smaller breed. —Anonymous

I have Tibetan Terriers. If I couldn’t have one, I would get a PBGV. I think they have the same fun, tough spirit without the ridiculous coat care. —Anonymous

Belgian Malinois. I am getting to the age where I would like a dog who is obedient in my life. I am also looking for a dog who I can do events my Basenjis will not do, like dock diving, fly ball and others. Also I like the look of the breed and also the intelligent eyes. I can tell the brain is thinking all the time, just like the Basenjis. —Laura Gilchrist

I currently have English Cocker Spaniels, which I have shown and bred since 1976. If I were to get a different breed, I think it would be the 13" Beagle. My parents had a Beagle and she actually lived with me the last two years of her life. I love their personality and the maintenance is much less than the ECS’s which, as I get older, can be a chore.

My first love though is German Shepherds, the first ‘breed’ I ever had and I love them. If I found the right one, that would be my choice even at this point in my life. To me they are the smartest breed on the planet and living with them is like living with a person. —Carol D’Aloisio

I have had Papillons for 35 years, but Poms have always had my attention. I am retired now, so that opportunity has passed. They are adorable, smart and lively little dogs. Most breeders have done a great job in keeping these precious little guys in premium condition. —Jill Riley

Currently own Border Terriers and have had Poodles, Giant Schnauzers and German Wire Haired Pointers. If no restrictions I would choose a Border Collie. I would love to try herding and be really competitive in agility and obedience. However if I keep all my criteria in consideration—wire hair, no cropping or docking, active, smart, all around dog that I can compete in (conformation, working, agility, obedience)—I would have to go back to a Border Terrier. 

French Bulldog. I love their clownish nature and endearing bark. Owned and bred Dachshunds for over 30 years. 
—Tom Daniels

I have Miniature Pinschers since 1982! I’d pick Toy Fox Terriers! —Anonymous

Vizsla: Little grooming, sporting dog, nice size and slick looking —Anonymous

I have Finnish Spitz and would not choose another breed over them. I would, however, add either an ACD or Catahoula, two strong breeds that will get along well with mine. —Anita Thomas

My breed is Havanese and if I had to choose a different breed I would go with a Biewer Terrier. I love the size and temperament of the breed along with the beautiful silky coat. —Anonymous

Several: Rottweiler, bred and raised several champs—love this breed. Standard Poodle, as a pet, don’t want to groom but they have personality! Whippet, easy going, clean and loving. —Anonymous

I have Silky Terriers but for a big dog I would get a Doberman and a small dog would be a French Bulldog. I’ve never met a Dobie that I didn’t like and the Frenchie is exuding personality. —Anonymous

I breed and own English Setters. If I had to chose it would be a Nederlandse Kooikerhondje or Bracco Italiano. Kooiker—love their personalities. Bracco—love the possibility of another great sporting/hunting breed in my home; both are from the Sporting group. —Anonymous

I would love a Borzoi! They are so gentle and elegant. 

That’s easy. I have always wanted a Rottweiler male. I think they are really smart and, from my point of view, they don’t require a lot of trimming—just a good brush and some soap and water. Unhappily, my friends who know me say that I shouldn’t have one because I have the wrong temperament. Go figure! I have had a number of breeds over the years but I believe I am best known for Pointers. —Tom Bradley

I would choose a Golden Retriever. They are affectionate, loyal and a fun loving breed. Easily trained and they get along well with other breeds plus they also love children. 

I have Norwich Terriers now, have had Goldens, Keeshonds, and a couple mutts along the way, but if I had to choose it would probably be a French Bulldog. A whole lot less grooming. —Anonymous

Wolf Hybrid, because I had one before and it was the most amazing dog and taught me about the nature of the dog in the wild. However, the Brittany will always be my go-to dog, the versatility of this breed is amazing. There is nothing I can’t do with my Brittanys. —Jeri K Conklin


I show Bouviers but I’m thinking about getting a Vizsla to show. I just lost my companion Vizsla with cancer at age seven. He was the best dog ever. Not to mention a hell of a lot less grooming. —Anonymous

Lagotto Romano—lovely, sweet temperament, medium sized, very trainable, medium energy, handsome coat, shape and face. —Anonymous

I have Norwich, often considered getting into Norfolk as well. That would be my other choice. —Anonymous

I have Malinois and if I had to choose a different breed, it would be Dobermans, because they are both elegant and of noble bearing. —Anonymous

Current breed—Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Different breed—Burmese Mountain Dog, their loving, kind nature, their look and coloring. —Anonymous 

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