Is the Eurasier right for me?
Eurasiers were created to be ‘the perfect family companion’, but they are certainly not the perfect dog for everyone. Before deciding to take one into your home, try to meet some adult Eurasiers and talk to their owners about them. Ask about the bad things as well as the good!
The Eurasier, as specified in the Interim Breed Standard of the UK Kennel Club, is first and foremost a ‘devoted family companion’. Eurasiers generally form a strong bond with the whole family, rather than just one person, and they love being with their humans - night and day! Eurasiers are described in the UK Breed Standard as being ‘self assured, calm, and of even temperament’; the FCI Standard adds ‘even tempered with high resistance against any provocation’. This means they are generally very good with children and other animals whom they regard as part of ‘their pack’; indeed, they often seem to have a special affinity with babies and toddlers. (As with any breed, however, small children should always be supervised when dogs are around).
Another typical characteristic of Eurasiers is that they are ‘reserved with strangers, without any signs of aggression’. However, because the Eurasier is a relatively new breed, and because of its three different ancestors, there tends to be more variation among individual dogs than there does in many other breeds, and this is one trait that varies considerably. Most Eurasiers will take a while ‘making up their mind’ when they meet a new person. They may back away initially, especially if the stranger reaches out to touch them. This doesn’t mean they’re fearful or shy - just that they prefer to greet unfamiliar people on their own terms and in their own time. Other Eurasiers may sniff the newcomer and then show little interest, while others still are a lot more extravert and friendly.
This reserve can be explained by the fact that the Eurasier is a breed, who truly ‘grows up’ like their ancestor, the wolf. Puppies always approach new situations and people with interest, unless they have had a bad experience. This changes when a dog or wolf grows up and a natural reserve is the consequence. Most gundog and herding breeds were selectively bred to remain ‘permanent puppies’ as this makes them more dependent and easier to train
Most Eurasiers are ‘watchful and alert without being noisy’ (FCI Standard), which makes them good watchdogs – but NOT good guard dogs. They will typically bark a short warning to their ‘pack’ when someone approaches the house, for example, but will quickly settle down again if they are satisfied there is no real threat. Some Eurasiers bark more than others.
The FCI Standard states that Eurasiers have ‘no hunting instinct’ - but some owners know better! This is another characteristic that varies considerably from one dog to another: some get very excited at the smell or sight of rabbits and squirrels and will happily chase them if allowed to, while others show little interest.
Eurasiers are intelligent, quick to learn, and generally keen to please their owners. This makes them quite easy and rewarding to train. However, like most Spitz breeds, they do have a degree of independence, and this may manifest itself as appearing to ‘go deaf’ at times when they are doing something that they consider to be more interesting than what YOU want them to do! Again, this varies from dog to dog; some Eurasiers do well at Obedience and Heelwork to Music, while many enjoy Agility. Generally, though, Eurasiers don’t like doing exercises that are very repetitive, and this needs to be taken into account in training. Calm and consistent training is the key to success with Eurasiers; nothing is achieved by being harsh.
As a breed, Eurasiers tend not to eat a huge amount. Many are rather fussy when it comes to food, and some can be quite picky eaters. This is generally not something to worry about, as long as the dog is getting a balanced diet and is within the correct weight range for its age. Some Eurasiers are notorious for being messy drinkers!
If Eurasiers had a motto, it may well be ‘Enjoy life to the fullest!’ One of the greatest pleasures of living with this breed is their happy-go-lucky, game-for-everything nature. Whether lazing at your feet, accompanying you on a long hike, or romping with their doggy friends, Eurasiers exude a sense of well-being and ‘joie de vivre’ which rarely fails to make you smile!