Recently I interviewed breed representatives competing for theBest Sleepertitle. The super active breeds reading that post have been petitioning me to write a flipside piece: the Few Naps Needed list. And since these particular dogs are high energy, they’ve had tons of time to work on their “pick me, pick me!” petitions.
Cairn Terrier: Whether I’m chasing mice or dancing down the yellow brick road (Yes, I was Toto in the Wizard of Oz. There’s no joke I haven’t heard), I have energy out the yin-yang. I’ll sleep if the day grows dull, but otherwise I’m ready for anything. My breed history explains my energy and tenacity. I’m a working terrier, bred to help Scottish farmers get rid of vermin. So today, if my owner wants to catch up on recorded TV shows on a lazy Saturday, he’ll need to take me on an adventure first. Or at least point me in the direction of a few mice.
Lagotto Romagnolo: I was bred for exertion, not snoozing. Developed in Italy as a gun dog, I also hunt for truffles. For inexplicable reasons, people seem to have a thing for eating these little fungi. My senses are sharp; my retrieving skills honed. I’d rather work, or dig in some dirt for whatever I smell, than nap. I consider myself rustic and vivacious. Those traits don’t correlate to sleepy, that’s for sure.
Boykin Spaniel: I was developed in South Carolina for hunting wild turkeys, and let’s not forget the ducks and doves too. I was bred as a mid-sized retriever that literally wouldn’t rock the hunters’ boat. Today you won’t catch me lagging behind when out hunting or on a family adventure. Now at times I may doze off curled up with my owner, but only at the end of a fun day. Many other spaniels agree with me: Sleeping is over-rated, especially when there’s a turkey to hunt or a ball to catch.
Portuguese Water Dog: So I’ll let you in on a little secret: the first family chose me as their breed because I’m one of the few breeds that can keep up with the demanding schedule of a presidential family. After all, I was bred to stay busy, helping fishermen catch fish, retrieving nets, and swimming as couriers. Today, I still have unsurpassed water-loving genes. I certainly won’t waste time dozing through family beach day. I also have prevailingStay Awake so You Don’t Miss the Fungenes. Heck, it’s not like I was named the Portuguese Sleeping Dog now was I?
German Shorthaired Pointer: I’m often called the ideal all-purpose hunting dog, so of course I don’t sleep on the job. I was developed for trailing, pointing, and retrieving, so I can hunt just about anything, from quail to deer to my neighbor’s cat (no worries; I mainly enjoy the running part!. And if I’m not hunting, I’m up for swimming, running, dog sports, or trekking all day through hill and dale with my owners. I’d rather do 40 activities than take 40 winks. I’m classified in the sporting group, not the sleeping group, for all these above-mentioned reasons.
Parson Russell Terrier: I was bred by the British to hunt fox. But no worries if my family is fox-less. I love everything that involves movement: flyball, hikes, walks, retrieving, dock jumping, field work, jogging, running in circles, or running scatty through the house. Now you’ll notice naps aren’t on the list. What would be the point of breeding unlimited energy into me if you wanted me to sleep all day? And besides, apparently I’ll sleep plenty once I cross that rainbow bridge people keep talking about.
Australian Cattle Dog: I was bred tough as they come, working all day in the rough conditions and weather of Australia. Clearly I’m the exact opposite of lazy. Can you imagine me napping around cattle that refuse to heed my directions? Hardly! Australian settlers, after all, developed me for stamina. History says (and I delight in this story!) that early sheepdogs brought with settlers couldn’t take the rigors of the rugged Australian outback. Thus the settlers developed us as the perfect working dog. Nor do I sleep through my family’s fun today. I may power-nap, but then I’m raring to go. I shut my eyes only when my job (or my family fun) is done for the day.
The following breeds also duly claim the right to be on this list (and won’t stop nagging me if I don’t mention them. Try distracting a Border Collie who has his mind committed to saying something!)*
- Border Collie
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- Australian Shepherd
- Irish Setter
- Tibetan Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
*Many other breeds have the right to appear on this list, but they were slow getting in their petitions. Perhaps I’ll mention them in the next round. Suggestions?