Up next in How to Understand Dog Breeds (21 videos)
Thinking of getting a dog? Animal expert Julia Szabo gives you the pros and cons of different dog breeds in these Howcast videos.
I'm Julia Szabo, also known as a Pet Reporter, and I am the "Living with Dogs" columnist for dogster.com. I've actually written 6 books and I'm hard at work on my next one. It will be about about dogs -- that's as much as I can say right now. I love dogs and I think nobody's life is complete without one. So I'm here to tell you about a variety of different dogs breeds that might suit your lifestyle. I hope you'll adopt one soon. If you're in the market for a dog, you couldn't do better than to go to your local animal shelter, and get yourself a mutt. Mutts are incredible dogs, because they are so versatile and so eager to please. They're obviously mixed breed dogs, they're hybrids. They're the product of random breeding back and forth, up and down. And so, because they weren't bred for one specific purpose, they're not showing intense behaviors like some terriers do, some hounds. Some very specific groups of pure bred dogs which are bred for those behaviors. To hunt, to go after rats. So when those pure bred dogs get stuck in an apartment, for instance, and they don't have the outlet for that hard wired natural instinct, they start to go berserk. And it's understable. But a mutt is very laid back. They are combinations of 2 or more dogs. Sometimes 3, 4, 5, 6 different breeds go into one mutt. So what you get there, is you get a dog whose main purpose and desire is to please you. And to do whatever it is you want to do. So if you like to go jogging, they'll come jogging with you. If you like to sit on the couch and watch TV, they'll do that too, happily. So they're very attuned to your lifestyle, and very adaptable. And really, they're the all American dog. You couldn't do better. It's like the canine melting pot. Getting a mutt couldn't be easier. It's as easy as going to your local animal shelter. And if you don't know where that is, you just google animal shelter, and your zip code. Or you go to petfinder.com, which is a wonderful website that has a database of all shelters across the country. You know, dogs become homeless just like people do. And it's through no fault of their own, really. So we can actually reduce homelessness. It becomes kind of a political statement, and a real social good.