Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

A new book by a Mr McCandless has upset some dog lovers as it has categorised their pets into various qualities.

The border terrier was ranked top in the “overlooked treasures” category along with the Welsh springer spaniel, affenpincher, pointer and Pharaoh hound.

The Welsh springer spaniel has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years and ranks highly in tests for intelligence,

Research that scored each breed for five attributes namely intelligence, lifespan, health, cost and ease of grooming. The border collie ranked as the best dog to keep as a pet because it can live up to 17 years, with an average lifespan of 12 years.

They are athletic, hard working and very smart. That news will come as little surprise to sheep farmers who have long recognised border collies for their trainability, longevity and relatively low cost.

Experts say border collies are usually considered working dogs that need huge amounts of structured exercise rather than family pets that can be left to their own devices.

According to Mr Candless’s data the collie ranks a distant 29th in a table of family friendly dogs, the out and out winner being the border terrier, a dog that is much better with children.

One of the breeds considered a less good pet by Mr McCanless is the borzoi, partly because it has a life expectancy of only 10 to 12 years and is expensive to feed because of its healthy appetite.

The same could be said of the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, mastiff and bloodhound that rarely live to similar years.

Large breeds tend to live much shorter years than say the terriers and are more prone to certain conditions such as bone problems due to their breeding and large weight.

Bulldogs are also a problem dog as they have been bred with problems to their respiratory system but are very good with children and make lovely family pets.

It is important to realise that all breeds have their own particular problems and it is advisable to do some serious investigation before purchasing a puppy.