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Do Dogs Prefer Their Own Breed

A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Published on
Friday 26 August 2022
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Do Dogs Prefer Their Own Breed
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Dogs love to meet other dogs because they are social animals. With wagging tails, these curious creatures like to sniff other dogs and feel their vibe. Then, later on, they start playing, rolling over, and running after each other. However, not all meet-ups end with a cheerful play. 

Some dogs get agitated or aggressive towards other dogs. Sometimes a Chihuahua gets aloof with larger dogs and chooses to socialize with other Chihuahuas instead. Does that mean he distinguishes his breed over the others? Do dogs prefer their own breed? Let’s find out.

Do Dogs Like Their Own Breed More? 

Your Golden Retriever may get easily comfortable with other Golden Retrievers during your trips to the beach. Although he recognizes the presence of other dogs, he seems to be drawn to dogs of his breed. Does this mean dogs like their own breed more?

A dog’s preference toward dogs of his own breed can be traced back to his memories. And what are your dog’s first memories of socialization and play? His bond with his siblings! According to a study, dogs have a long-term memory of their family. They can recognize their mother and siblings even after a few years.

So, it is likely that the sight of dogs of their own breed will trigger their memories with their siblings. This is due to the similar physical traits of the same breed. Different breeds of dogs have different external characteristics such as size, muzzle, coat, and more. So seeing the same look on the other dogs will remind them of their fun with the family. 

Up to now, no evidence suggests that dogs like their own breed more. Aside from relating it to their puppyhood memories, the scent may have also influenced their preference. Dogs are known to have an exceptional sense of smell. So, a breed may have a distinct scent that dogs can smell, or maybe not. This is still a wide topic for further experiments and research. 

Do Dogs Recognize Other Dogs of The Same Breed? 

Dr. Dominique Autier-Dérian and his colleagues in LEEC and National Veterinary School in Lyon, France, performed a test on nine dogs. They showed numerous pictures of animals, including other dogs and humans too. They wanted to find out if the nine dogs could recognize dogs’ faces when presented with photos of other species. 

Indeed, the dogs could distinguish the pictures of other dogs despite the breed differences. They were able to group them into a category. Based on that study, we now know that dogs can spot mates of the same species. But, can dogs recognize their own breed? 

It is hard to tell if dogs are aware of the idea of different breeds. After all, many breeds were artificially created by humans a long time ago. Even up to this date, new breeds emerge as humans continue to narrow down specific traits to form a particular breed. Humans have also controlled crossbreeding to some extent to maintain the lineage of a breed. Without human intervention, dogs would have interbred, and breeds would not exist. 

Most likely, if dogs indeed recognize dogs of the same or different breed, it would be through the physical traits. Dogs can determine familiar looks or sizes, which might be why they can distinguish their breed. Dogs can remember things that they routinely see or experience. For sure, you know that your dog can distinguish your car from other people’s cars. Yet, he may be “fooled” if presented with a similar car. In the same way, he may feel the familiarity of seeing a dog similar to his image. 

Do Dogs of The Same Breed Get Along Better?

Dog breeding started roughly 14,000 years ago. Dogs were originally bred for security, protection, and hunting companionship. Later on, factors like looks, body proportion, and role (sports or herding), came into the equation. Humans started to select certain positive and beneficial traits in dogs. Then, they bred dogs to have varying degrees of these characteristics. 

Will dogs of the same breed get along better? Because they have similar temperaments and energy levels, they are likely to live in harmony with each other. They will likely enjoy the same activities. For example, Labrador Retrievers would love to swim and play in the water because they were bred to love water. On the other hand, Dachshunds will enjoy burrowing activities because their breed instincts tell them to.  

But, you have to consider that dogs can have different personalities even within a breed. Some are friendly, some are shy, and some can be anxious.  A dog’s experiences, especially socialization during puppy years, can also affect how they approach other dogs. Early socialization prevents aggression and fearfulness in dogs’ adult years. This is because positive interactions are ingrained in their mind from these experiences.

Dog training can also affect a dog’s approach towards other dogs and even people. Dogs that undergo obedience training are likely to get along with other dogs regardless of their breed. 

Is It Good to Have Two Dogs of The Same Breed? 

You and your furry pal have spent time together for a few years. And, you decided to give him a companion of the same breed. Is it double the love or double the trouble? 

To help you decide on getting a second dog of the same breed, look back on the reasons why you got your first dog. Was it the energy level that sold you? Or was it the companionship that you were looking for? Evaluate your preferences and check if these are still the same characteristics you opt for. Or maybe, you want to try out a different breed.

But, what could be the pros and cons of getting a second dog of the same breed? Let’s check them out:

Pros:

  • You are already familiar with the needs of the breed. Whether it’s the nourishment or the exercise they need, you already know what to choose or how to handle them. 
  • Training will be easier for you. Since you already have an idea of the breed, you already know which techniques would work.
  • Both dogs will likely share the same energy level, temperament, and traits. They will likely get along because they have the same interests.

Cons:

  • You’ll miss out on the opportunity of learning about another breed. Although you can read about different breeds for knowledge, nothing beats experience.
  • You’ll have to deal with the same issues of the breed. A common problem would be predisposed illnesses. 

Dogs can recognize other dogs. But, it may be difficult to determine if they can distinguish different breeds. Dogs are smart animals, so maybe they can determine breeds. We just haven’t fathomed their cognitive abilities yet. It may still take years of research to find out. 

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