• Shawna Renga

Dog Archetype Series: The Enthusiast

"If you have zest and enthusiasm, you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind." - Norman Vincent Peale
  • Positive Traits: Happy, energetic, playful, social, FUN!

  • Challenging Traits: Energetic, demanding, prone to boredom and reactivity if not given an outlet.

  • Best For: Homes looking for a running partner, hiking buddy, ball chaser, dog park party animal, or a working dog.

Imagine waking up each morning to a wagging tail, some happy kisses, and boundless energy just waiting to experience all life has to offer. Enthusiast dogs bring the FUN into your world, and can be excellent partners for all of life’s adventures. Enthusiast dogs are always ready for fun, and thrive on boldly exploring the world around them.


happy dog running through field

Life with an Enthusiast can be amazing. Dogs of this type are perfect sidekicks for adventure. Want a dog that will hike the Lost Coast, swim in the ocean, and keep your feet warm as you sleep under the stars? Or a companion for daily urban adventures and dog park meet-ups? Perhaps you want a dog that will be competitive at dog sports like flyball, agility, dock diving, or nose work. If you want a dog that thrives on stimulation and personal interaction, an Enthusiast is for you.


man hiking with husky

But wait! An Enthusiast is not for everyone. Dogs of this type are not couch potatoes or shrinking violets. If you like to sleep in on weekends, chill inside on rainy days, or are gone for most of the day at work, think carefully before adopting an Enthusiast. The naturally high energy and need for interaction make this type of dog prone to boredom if they aren’t given daily exercise and stimulation.


border collie out with ranchers

Separation anxiety, destructive behaviors, and reactivity are all common challenges faced by owners of Enthusiasts who are unable to meet their needs. Shelters and rescue groups often struggle to find homes for Enthusiasts, as this type of dog really deteriorates in the shelter environment. In a shelter, the Enthusiast may seem “crazy” - barking, jumping, or pacing in their kennel. Don’t be deterred by these behaviors, as often they are signs of a life-loving party-pup who has simply been deprived of needed interaction and stimulation.


urban dog

Take a moment to imagine yourself with your “ideal dog”. Do you see images of romps on the beach? Hikes through the forest? Happy hour on the patio at the brewery down the street? If so, think about adopting an Enthusiast as the perfect complement to your life, and get ready to turn up the FUN!

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