Would-be dog owners often come upon a dog that is almost perfect for them. When that happens, they should check out similar dogs to see whether they can find one that is a 100 percent match for their particular preferences. Generally speaking, their chances of success are quite good because so many dog breeds exist. For instance, if people think the Weimaraner is almost perfect for them, they can find plenty of dogs similar to the Weimaraner. Some look like those dogs. Others behave like them.
1. Boykin Spaniel
The Boykin Spaniel is South Carolina’s state dog. It came from humble beginnings. To be exact, the Boykin Spaniel Society says the first member of the dog breed was a stray dog that befriended a banker named Alexander L. White. The man discovered that the dog had some talent for retrieving, so he entrusted it to his hunting partner Whit Boykin. Subsequently, Boykin didn’t just train the dog into a superb retriever. He also made it the foundation of the dog breed now named for himself.
Over time, the Boykin Spaniel developed into an excellent hunting dog. It is a popular choice for upland game hunting. Moreover, the Boykin Spaniel is well-suited for retrieving in swamps and other wetlands, which makes sense because of its longstanding association with South Carolina’s Wateree River region. The versatility of this dog breed has also enabled it to become a pet with minimal issues. As a rule, the Boykin Spaniel is an adaptable and affectionate dog, so it isn’t hard to see why it would be an excellent fit for high-energy households.
2. Braque du Bourbonnais
A lot of dog breeds had a hard time during the 20th century. After all, it saw not one but two world wars, which had a very negative effect on the number of dogs running around. In some cases, that happened because dogs were useful for the belligerents’ war efforts; in other cases, that happened because dogs weren’t the biggest priorities for people struggling to stay alive. On top of this, the 20th century saw massive changes in how people lived, which produced corresponding changes in their preferences for dog breeds. Dogtime says the Braque du Bourbonnais was one of the dog breeds impacted by these events.
Supposedly, the Braque du Bourbonnais already existed in early 16th century France, which was at the transition point between the Late Middle Ages and the early modern period. It came close to extinction because of the First World War. Efforts to save the Braque du Bourbonnais met with initial success. Unfortunately, it came close to extinction a second time because of the Second World War. Indeed, the Braque du Bourbonnais effectively disappeared in the post-war period. When enthusiasts tried to save it a second time in the 1970s, they had to reconstruct it using mixed-breed dogs, which says much about the state it was in by that time.
In modern times, the Braque du Bourbonnais is in a much better position. With that said, interested individuals should remember it is a high-energy hunting dog because that has a huge impact on how they should handle it. For example, the Braque du Bourbonnais needs regular exercise to prevent it from getting bored. Likewise, the Braque du Bourbonnais needs constant companionship to prevent it from experiencing separation anxiety. Interested individuals should never let this dog off of its leash because of its strong hunting instincts. The Braque du Bourbonnais is gentle towards humans, but that doesn’t extend to animals it sees as prey.
3. Clumber Spaniel
People who want a big dog should check out the Clumber Spaniel. Reputedly, it is the biggest spaniel in existence, averaging 17 to 20 in height and 55 to 85 pounds in weight. The Clumber Spaniel isn’t the fastest of the spaniels. Still, it manages to be a good working animal anyway, not least because it possesses excellent stamina. In particular, the Clumber Spaniel is a good fit for working in dense cover.
Personality-wise, the Clumber Spaniel is one of the more sedate dogs on this list. It gets along very well with its master. Meanwhile, it shows a much more aloof face towards strange dogs and strange humans. Curiously, the Clumber Spaniel likes to carry things around, which can be an issue if it swallows them.
Dalmatians are one of the most recognizable dog breeds because of their black or brown-spotted white coats. However, they are also interesting for a wide range of other reasons. To name an example, the FCI states that Dalmatians came into existence in Croatia. That sounds strange until one learns that one of the country’s four historical regions is a stretch of the Adriatic Sea’s eastern shore called Dalmatia. To name another example, Dalmatians were once carriage dogs. Essentially, that meant they escorted horse-drawn carriages, which was important because horse-mounted highwaymen were still a serious threat in those times. Besides this, Dalmatians also guarded the valuable horses by spending their nights in the same stables. As such, Dalmatians were status symbols entrusted with extremely important responsibilities. After all, neither horses nor horse-drawn carriages nor the occupants of horse-drawn carriages were cheap.
Firefighters and Dalmatians
Nowadays, Dalmatians retain a role as mascots for firefighters. That is a legacy of their one-time responsibilities as escorts for firefighting apparatuses. Other than that, Dalmatians also make great pets, particularly for people who want their pet dogs to double as watchdogs. These dogs work out well in that role because they are nowhere near as friendly towards strangers as they are towards their human family members. In that context, they are very much on the reserved end of things.
Like most of the other dogs on this list, Dalmatians are very energetic, meaning interested individuals need to be prepared to give them a great deal of daily exercise. Thanks to that, these dogs are better suited for living environments with plenty of space for them to run around. They can do well in apartments and other smaller homes, but they will need a lot of supervised outings to make up for it.
5. German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers are exactly what they sound like. As hunting dogs go, they are very versatile. German Shorthaired Pointers do well both on land and in water. Furthermore, they are smart enough and biddable enough to serve as all-purpose gun dogs. Poor record-keeping means it is unclear whether German Shorthaired Pointers are related to the Weimaraner or not. Still, that is a real possibility because German Shorthaired Pointers are speculated descendants of German Bird Dogs and a host of other German hunting dogs. Certainly, they look like the Weimaraner.
As for the German Shorthaired Pointer’s behavior, it is very much a hunting dog with both characteristic pros and characteristic cons. For instance, it is yet another high-energy dog that needs regular exercise. Without that, German Shorthaired Pointers will find a way to busy themselves, which won’t be to their human masters’ liking in most cases. That is particularly true because these dogs are more independent-minded when compared with the Weimaraner, which may or may not be a good thing depending on exactly what interested individuals want out of their dogs.
6. Golden Retriever
If people want an energetic dog, they could do much worse than choosing a Golden Retriever. For proof, look no further than the AKC’s statistics showing that these dogs are consistently some of the most popular dogs in the United States. That is unsurprising given the Golden Retriever’s numerous positives. A general good nature might be the best known of those positives, but it is far from being the only one.
It is interesting to note that the Golden Retriever does have limitations as a hunting dog. One, it isn’t a particularly strong swimmer. Two, it takes more time to mature than the Labrador Retriever. Three, its long coat requires more maintenance because it will pick up burrs and other unwanted things while it is out and about. On top of these things, Golden Retrievers are like a lot of other hunting dogs in that they have separated into pet lines, show lines, and working lines. As such, those that fall into the first two categories may or may not be capable of performing the same work as those in the third.
Currently, there are three kinds of foxhounds with widespread recognition. These would be the American Foxhound, the English Foxhound, and the Welsh Foxhound. Each one tends to be called just the Foxhound by people in its respective region. Due to this, context is very important for people who want to keep track of what people are saying about what.
In any case, foxhounds specialize in hunting foxes. As such, they are scenthounds that work in packs. That is good because foxhounds tend to be capable of getting along very well with dogs and humans. With that said, they aren’t necessarily well-suited for every household. For instance, people shouldn’t own American Foxhounds unless they live outside of the cities. Vetstreet says their baying is audible for miles around, which isn’t a good thing when people have plenty of neighbors within that distance.
8. Rhodesian Ridgeback
A lot of dog breeds show an almost unbelievable amount of courage. One example would be the Rhodesian Ridgeback, which was expected to help out with the hunting of lions and other big animals in Southern Africa. That doesn’t mean people expected these dogs to take down those animals in one-on-one fights. Instead, they were supposed to keep their targets occupied until their human masters could get a good shot in. If anything, that makes these dogs even more courageous because their targets so often outmatched them by huge margins in one-on-one fights. With that said, Rhodesian Ridgebacks were also capable of taking down smaller threats such as baboons without human intervention. That might not sound like much, but PBS mentions how baboons are often considered a pest species because of their interest in human crops.
Regardless, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be a good choice of pet for people who know what they are doing. These dogs have a strong sense of loyalty. Moreover, they are useful for protection because they tend to be aloof but not aggressive toward strangers. Still, it cannot be emphasized enough that experienced handling makes for the best results. Poorly-trained and socialized dogs do all kinds of problematic things that their better-handled counterparts do not. Even worse, Rhodesian Ridgebacks require a degree of delicacy because they are more sensitive than they seem on initial inspection.
9. Spinone Italiano
The Spinone Italiano hails from the Italian peninsula. Its exact origins are unknown. Similar-looking dogs have existed since at least the Renaissance. Unfortunately, that says very little because outward appearances can be misleading. In any case, the Spinone Italiano became prominent in modern times in connection with the region of Piedmont. Its numbers took a sharp tumble during the Second World War, but interested individuals managed to get the dog breed going again afterward with relatively little disruption. Generally speaking, these dogs are good-natured animals that get along well with their families, though they do have a stubborn side to them.
Hungary is home to several dog breeds descended from ancient times. The Vizsla is one of the most prized. It is a versatile hunter that can operate on fields, in forests, and even in bodies of water. Moreover, the Vizsla has strong protective instincts, which is why it has also seen a fair amount of use as guard dogs in their human masters’ homes. These dogs have a strong resemblance to the Weimaraner, though they are leaner animals with clearer musculatures. They also have reddish noses that blend in well with their coats. If a dog has a different-colored nose, chances are good it isn’t a Vizsla.