Assuming that crazy means high-energy, exuberant and perhaps a bit silly, and not mentally disturbed, a number of canine candidates spring to mind as contenders for the title of “craziest dog”. Of course, crazy may also refer to a dogs' looks -- and, admittedly, there are some pretty odd-looking pooches around the world -- so that list is a big one. And since some dogs are merely crazy for affection, deciding which dogs are craziest may come down to choosing the dog you are craziest for and leaving it at that.
Sheer zest for life motivates some dogs. Even without commercial toys or outside help, some dogs run, jump and frolic the hours away as if the whole of life has to be crammed into one day. Among these happy-go-lucky canines, the Irish setter and the Labrador retriever are standouts. The American Labrador is somewhat more slender and active than the English version of the breed. Both the Lab and the setter are good family dogs but can be a handful without proper, early training to help them deal with their high energy levels. They're not for the laid-back owner. Choose these breeds only if you share their joy of physical exercise on a regular and lengthy basis.
For working breeds, getting the job done motivates their activity. Herding dogs such as Australian cattle dogs and border collies in particular are so focused that, in the absence of sheep or cows, they attempt to herd chickens, cats or even their humans to fulfill their innate duty. If you don't plan to use your herd dog for working livestock, you must substitute something else to keep her busy. Australian cattle dogs and border collies make excellent agility dogs, because they enjoy both the challenging physical activity and the mental stimulation of the trials.
Chinese cresteds may be the craziest-looking dogs ever, though these small dogs are sweet-tempered, playful and alert, and they love humans. They do well in family situations as companions for people with pet allergies because they shed very little. However, they do suffer from skin allergies themselves, as well as from sunburn. Crested owners must be careful of the dogs' skin. Another dog with a crazy appearance is the komondor. This large sheep-guarding dog resembles nothing so much as a huge mop, making it distinctive indeed. If you're thinking about adopting one of these courageous and loyal dogs, plan to spend considerable time caring for his long, cordlike hair.
Some dogs hide their crazy in subtle ways. It may only be when you wake up to slobbery kisses or find yourself still holding a “puppy” grown to 130 pounds that you realize your dog is crazy for love. Among the most affectionate pups is the Great Dane, nicknamed “the world's biggest lap dog." Also called the gentle giant, the huge Great Dane offers lots of love. Among the most affectionate of all breeds is the American pit bull terrier. Though this powerful dog has an undeserved reputation for aggressiveness, the truth is that with early socialization and proper training, this wonderful breed is more likely to bruise strangers with his wagging tail and drown burglars in kisses than to bite; consequently, the pit bulls makes a poor guard dog. However, American pit bull terriers' affection extends only to humans: The breed is not particularly good with other pets, and is better in a one-pet household. For people willing to give them the training they need, they are hard to beat as affectionate and loyal companions for humans.
- Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector: Irish Setter
- Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector: Labrador Retriever Guide
- Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector: Australian Cattle Dog
- Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector: Border Collie
- American Kennel Club: Meet The Chinese Crested
- American Kennel Club: Get To Know The Komondor
- Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector: Great Dane
- DogTime: American Pit Bull Terrier
- Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images