Category Archives: A-Z of dog breeds

Upcoming posts


In 2014 I covered A-Z of dog breeds, with some basic facts and other titbits. The posts covering the A-Z of dog breeds can be found by clicking the lettered categories A-CD-F, G-IJ-L, M-O, P-R, S-V, and W-Z – in which the breed you’re searching for is found in.

Border Collie dog - own image
Border Collie dog – own image

If the breed you’re looking for has not been covered, but you would like it covering, please get in touch, using the information in bold at the end of this post.

Following on from dog breeds, I will now (over 8 weeks) cover cat breeds.

Domestic Short-hair cat - own image
Domestic Short-hair cat – own image

If you have a cat, and would like me to include the breed in the upcoming post, please get in touch with the breed of your cat, using the information in bold below.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (8)


The final post, week 8; covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the eighth, post will cover W-Z of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-CD-FG-IJ-LM-OP-R and S-V have been covered.
Now at the end of my A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

W

Weimaraner

Country of Origin: Germany

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Big-game hunting. The Weimaraner was used as a gun-dog from the early 1900’s – used to hunt wolves, wildcats, and other large predators; as well as large game such as deer, etc. Later being used for hunting game-birds.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  I had a friend in my teens who referred to this breed as the “Parma Violet Dog” after the sweets, because of the colouration of the breed. They are a brown/ grey colour up to and including their brown/ pink little noses.

Weimaraner
Weimaraner
West Highland White Terrier (a.k.a. West Highland Terrier)

Country of Origin: Scotland

Lifespan: 14-16 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: As with many other small terrier breeds, the Westie was bred to control vermin such as rats, foxes, otters, badgers, and other small animals that were classed as vermin.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The distinctive white coat (hence the name), is the only colour a Westie comes in. It was once seen as a white variation of the Cairn (brindle) or Scottish (black) Terrier, but was classified as a breed in its’ own right in the early 1900’s, even though it has been around since the 1500’s.

West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terrier

X

Xoloitzcuintli (a.k.a. Mexican Hairless Terrier)

Country of Origin: Mexico (hence the alternate name); nickname Xolo.  Xoloitzcuintli pronounced as zoh-loh-eets-kweent-lee.

Lifespan: 15-17 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Said to have been around, dating back as far as the Aztecs – the Aztecs would eat them, sacrifice them, and use them as companions and hot water bottles on cold nights! Nowadays they are used solely as companions.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The lack of hair! The only bit these dogs get in abundance is in between the ears, right on top of their head! They do have a thin covering of hair/fur but not enough to immediately notice.

Xoloitzcuintli
Xoloitzcuintli

Y

Yorkshire Terrier

Country of Origin: England – Yorkshire

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Surprise, surprise – this small terrier was originally used for hunting small vermin!

Outstanding Physical Trait: The colouration unique to the Yorkie – sandy coloured face, ears, legs and belly; black/ grey on top (back, tops of legs, tail). They are also quite long haired little dogs, and often need hair trimming around the face, and/or the hair tying back out of their eyes.

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Z

Unfortunately… There is no dog breed for this, the final letter. So I am going to do the cheesy thing, and give you a couple of pictures for Zzz – an adorable, sleeping puppy!

Zzz
Zzz 

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (7)


The penultimate post, week 7; covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the seventh, post will cover S-V of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-CD-FG-IJ-LM-O and P-R have been covered.
In the final follow up post I will look into dog breeds from W-Z
Almost done with my A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

S

Saint Bernard

Country of Origin: Italy and Switzerland – the Great St. Bernard pass linking Switzerland and Italy has a monastery/ hospice where monks used to keep this breed as guard dogs.

Lifespan: 8 -10 years                      Breed Size: Giant

Original Use: Guarding the monks in the monastery/ hospice. and being companions and search and rescue dogs, for the monks. These dogs would act as search and rescue in the mountains and the pass. The dogs are said to have been acquired firstly during the mid-late 1600’s – with their excellent sense of direction,their brilliant ability to navigate through dense fog and snow storms, and the sensing an impending avalanche and being able to warn the monks prior to it happening; the dogs always accompanied the monks out in the mountains and the pass.
Later on, the breed was used on farms and dairies for guarding, herding, and drafting.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Aside from its’ sheer size, the breed has quite a distinguishing colouration – the white face, chest and underneath; the dark ears and eyes (and often around the nose) and the lighter back to tail, down the back legs markings. They are also quite jowly and do slobber a bit!

St Bernard
St. Bernard
Staffordshire Bull Terrier (nicknamed Staffie or Staffy)

Country of Origin: England – Staffordshire (also breed name origin)

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Bred for bull baiting, bear baiting and dog fighting. Unfortunately, all too often they are still used for dog fighting. They are also used as “status symbols” by gangs and owners who want to appear tough – they often encourage negative behaviours in their pet and treat it poorly, and do not train the dog well; allowing their pet to behave how it chooses.
Dogs will choose to behave in the way that gets a positive response from their owner (meaning the dog will behave aggressive if the owner encourages this) – which has led to this breed getting a bad reputation, and often people avoid them due to the minority of bad owners. Behaviourally, any breed will behave negatively if encouraged, it just seems to be bull breeds that bad owners choose to corrupt.
In my personal experience with this breed, they are lovely with people – very loyal and good with families, but often do not get on with other dogs (some do, but most I have worked with strongly dislike other dogs) – this could be due to the centuries of being bred to be aggressive to other dogs.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The wrinkly head and snout of this breed is commonplace, and is a Staffie look. They are stocky dogs with a muscular build – evidence of the brute strength they were bred for. But SO cute! 🙂

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

T

Tibetan Spaniel

Country of Origin: China; region of Tibet

Lifespan: 14-16 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Simkhyi is what the Tibetan monks used to call them – meaning “house/ room” dog – the original use was purely a small companion to live in homes with people. Originally bred by monks in Tibetan Monasteries, but also, in time, kept by wealthy nobles.

Outstanding Physical Trait: One of the smallest breeds of spaniel – this and the Japanese Spaniel (Japanese Chin) are the 2 smallest spaniel breeds, then the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Other spaniel breeds include the Springer and the Cocker – 2 of the more popular spaniel species, along with the Cavalier King Charles – which all have quite typical spaniel features – long coat, long tail, long and floppy ears; the Tibetan spaniel has long (ish fur), short and floppy ears – which also can stick up, and a little tail that curls around, atop its’ back. It has its’ own little look, not typically spaniel!

Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel
Springer Spaniel (left) & Cocker Spaniel (right)
Springer Spaniel (left) & Cocker Spaniel (right)
Toy Poodle

Country of Origin: Germany – defined into various breed standards alter in France. Originally called the Pudelhund – meaning “puddle dog” in German. Then translated into poodle (puddle). It is also the national dog of France, despite not actually originating from there.

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Small (Miniature – Medium, Standard – Large)

Original Use: The larger of the breed were used as gundogs, to retrieve and flush out game – often getting in the water a lot (hence the “puddle dog” name). The smaller breeds were used for sniffing out truffles, and later in circuses for entertainment.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The typical French Poodle cut – pom-poms and fluffy ears and head (pictured below, left).

Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle
Poodle Size Comparison
Poodle Size Comparison

U

Utonagan (a.k.a. Tamaskan Dog)

Country of Origin: Finland

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: The Utonagan has been bred to be a wolf-like breed, and is to resemble the wolf as closely as possible without containing any wolf DNA whatsoever – it is purely domestic dog; no crossing with wolves or other wild canines. It is a mix of the Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky. This breed is fairly new, having only been developed during the late 1900’s! The breed was developed by crossing the Malamute and Husky, later crossing the offspring with the German Shepherd. The breed has been bred as its own breed, without the use of the previous three breeds, since the 1980’s.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  The wolf-like look and colouration with long sleek fur and wolf-shaped face/ muzzle, and pointed ears – even without the long fur it bares a strong resemblance to its’ relative the Grey Wolf. Not unlike the Eurasier, however Utonagan is not a spitz-type of dog, which is clearly seen in the face of the Eurasier – the Utonagan has a more wolf-like face. The Long Haired Utonagan is fluffier than the European Grey Wolf, whereas the Short Haired bares more of a resemblance coat-wise (pictured below).

Untonagan
Utonagan (Long Haired)
Utonagan Short Haired
Utonagan (Short Haired)
European Grey Wolf
European Grey Wolves

V

Vizsla (a.k.a Hungarian Vizsla or Hungarian Pointer)

Country of Origin: Hungary

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: First referred to as a breed in the mid-1300’s, but not established as an official breed until the 18th Century. A dog of the aristocracy used as a gundog – tracking, flushing out and retrieving game – used for this as early as the 14th Century. The name comes from the Hungarian word Vis – meaning, “to search”.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The unique russet-gold colouration is the only colour this breed comes in. Sometimes white flecks may appear on the coat, but primarily the Vizsla is russet-gold, including its’ nose!

Vizsla
Vizsla

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (6)


Week 6 of going through dog breeds A-Z is here; covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the sixth, post will cover P-R of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-CD-FG-IJ-L and M-O have been covered.
In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from S-V, and W-Z
Basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

P

Pharaoh Hound

Country of Origin: Malta, a little island in the Mediterranean sea – not far from Egypt, but not from the land of pyramids, as the name suggests. This breed is the national dog of Malta.

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Sight Hound – used for hunting rabbits for food, for the humans it lived with. The Maltese people call it Kelb Tal-Fenek meaning “rabbit dog”.

Outstanding Physical Trait:  Large ears and long body, depicting the look of the Egyptian jackal god Anubis, much like the Ibizan Hound. The rich tan colour of this breed, verging on being red in colour, is an outstanding feature of this breed.

Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound
Plott Hound

Country of Origin: America. Bred in North Carolina, USA – it is the state dog of North Carolina. Its’ ancestors come from Germany; the Plott brothers moved to the US (only one surviving the voyage) in the mid-1700’s, and developed this breed in America.

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Bred for hunting in a pack. Hunting larger animals, such as wild boar and bears. These dogs are hardy and strong with good endurance and stamina; they need to be to take on a wild boar or a bear!

Outstanding Physical Trait: This breed is tall and lean, the typical look of a hound-type – similar in appearance to the Bloodhound (which makes sense as it has ancestry in German Bloodhound types), however, less jowly than a Bloodhound. It has a slim face and a long snout with a keen sense of smell and powerful jaws – beneficial for hunting and bringing down large game.

Plott
Plott
Portuguese Water Dog

Country of Origin: Portugal

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Catching fish, helping fisherman to catch fish by chasing them into nets, retrieving broken nets or nets that broke loose and floated off, retrieving any other fishing equipment dropped into the water… Generally aiding fishermen in their daily working lives.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The odd hair cut (image below, right) with the back end and muzzle shaved, originates in the original use of this breed – the shaved muzzle helped it catch fish and the lack of fur on the back end is said to have made it easier to swim, with the fur that was left acting as protection and warmth whilst in the water.

Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dog

Q

Queensland Heeler (a.k.a. Australian Cattle Dog a.k.a. Australian Heeler)

Country of Origin: Queensland, Australia – hence both names.

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Bred, and used, for herding cattle – the dog crouches low and nips at the heels (hence the name heeler). Nowadays, this breed is used in herding trials and is shown in dog shows, in the pastoral group.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The colouration differences also lend themselves to 2 more names for this breed – the Blue Heeler and the Red Heeler. The 2 distinctive colours for this breed, the more common being the Blue Heeler (image below). The blue is a grey/black/blue type colour, the red is a tan/ginger colour.

Queensland Heeler
Queensland Heeler

R

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Country of Origin: Zimbabwe (f.k.a. Rhodesia) – Southern Africa

Lifespan: 9 -11 years                      Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Formerly known as Van Rooyen’s Lion Dog and African Lion Hound/ Dog – these previous names give away the original use; hunting lions in Africa.

Outstanding Physical Trait: This poor breed has a very distinctive “ridge” on its back (hence the name Ridgeback) – however, this is not how the breed was originally bred. Breed standards and artificial, intensive breeding from people who (in my opinion) do not care about animal welfare. This “ridge” is the spine, sitting higher than it ought to. Due to the wrong positioning, air pockets form between the vertebrae in the spine and cause pain to the dog. The air pockets often go al the way from the skin – being a hole in the back through to the spine, letting disease and infection set in; not to mention other spinal problems. Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs born without this protruding spine are classed as ‘defective’ when really, these are the only ones that are fully healthy, with correctly positioned spines. Breeders in the past would kill the “ridge-less” puppies in the past – nowadays they are usually just neutered to prevent them from producing puppies, healthy, like themselves. The “ridge” is claimed by breeders and dog ‘clubs’ as hair growing in the opposite direction along the spine, to the rest of the body – however there is more to it than this claim.

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback

 

Ridgeback Ridge
Ridgeback Ridge – protruding spine
Rottweiler

Country of Origin: Germany – named after the town of Rottweil, where it is said to have predominantly been established as a breed. Taken to Germany and Switzerland by the Romans – bred from Roman mastiff-type dogs.

Lifespan: 9-11 years                      Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Herding and guarding livestock, and pulling butchers’ carts laden with meat – f.k.a. the Rottweil Metzgerhund (Butchers’ Dog) due to this use. Nowadays this breed is shown, used as a guard dog, police dogs, and service dogs.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The strong muscular build of this breed, coupled with black and tan markings (with the tan eyebrow spots similar to the Doberman) give the Rottweiler a distinctive look. The Doberman may have a similar colouration, but the strong, sleek build of this breed gives it a more powerful look.

Rottweiler
Rottweiler

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (5)


So this is week 5… I am going through dog breeds, covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the fifth, post will cover M-O of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-CD-FG-I and  J-L have been covered.
In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from P-R, S-V, and W-Z
Basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

M

Miniature Schnauzer

Country of Origin: Germany

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Bred, and used for hunting rats and other vermin on farms in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s. The small size of the Miniature Schnauzer helped it to easily adapt to city life.

Outstanding Physical Trait: I personally, think they look like angry teddy bears with their little beards and bushy eyebrows. The fluffy muzzles are a distinguishing feature, and the breed is aptly named after their beards – the name is derived from the German word for muzzle, “Schnauze”.

Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer
Münsterländer

Country of Origin: Münster, Germany

Lifespan: 11-13 years (both)              Breed Size: Large (large ML) and medium (small ML)

Original Use: The Small Münsterländer was bred (in the 1700’s) originally for use of nobles for hunting, often used alongside falcons in a hunt. The dog would flush out the prey, and the falcon would catch it. Both the Small and the Large were used as gundogs – all round gundogs; retrieving, flushing out, tracking… The Large Münsterländer was bred (in the 1800’s) for hunting things a little larger then its’ smaller counterpart.

Outstanding Physical Trait: 

Munsterlander (small)
Munsterlander (small)
Munsterlander (large)
Munsterlander (large)

 N

Newfoundland

Country of Origin: Canada – the Newfoundland region

Lifespan: 9-11 years                      Breed Size: Giant

Original Use: Fisherman’s dog – pulling fish nets, hauling carts laden with fish and/ or fishing equipment.

Outstanding Physical Trait: That immense coat! Big, fluffy bear-like fur! Thick, waterproof coat. It’s just outstanding… !

Newfoundland
Newfoundland
Norwich Terrier

Country of Origin: England – Norwich (oddly enough!)

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Hunting small vermin such as, rats and foxes in the 19th Century. Originally used on farms, but adapted easily to city living due to their small size.

Outstanding Physical Trait: It is one of the smaller of the terriers, with a cute little face giving it a little, teddy-bear like look. The Norfolk and Norwich terrier used to be classed as the same breed – the Norfolk being known as the drop-eared  as the tops of its ears flop down, the Norwich terrier was known as the prick-eared, and is a required trait for the breed standard (pricked up ears) of the modern day Norwich terrier.

Norwich Terrier
O
Old English Sheepdog

Country of Origin: England

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Herding/ guarding sheep (sheepdog) – it is a pastoral breed, bred in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s. Nowadays they are kept as companions and often shown. They are no longer used as herding dogs, in favour of Collie breeds, but somtimes are still used for guarding – homes not sheep!

Outstanding Physical Trait: The long, thick coat of the Old English with its’ distinctive colouration – white with grey along its’ back and rump and tail (with a white tip on tail).

Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdog
Otterhound

Country of Origin: England

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Bred for hunting otters… The otters would eat up all the fish, so there were few left for humans to fish. Otterhounds would hunt the ‘vermin’, reducing the numbers, but increasing the numbers of fish available for people.

Outstanding Physical Trait: This breed has an amazing, thick, double coat – it is water and weather-proof; ideal for hunting the semi-aquatic creature, and being in water for long periods of time. The Otterhound also has a brilliant sense of smell, being able to track otters beneath and through the water.

Otterhound
Otterhound

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (4)


Welcome to week 4 out of 8! I am going through dog breeds, covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the fourth, post will cover J-L of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-CD-F and G-I have been covered.
In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from M-O, P-R, S-V, and W-Z
Basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

J

Jack Russell Terrier (and Parsons Jack Russell)

Country of Origin: England

Lifespan: 15-17 years                     Breed Size: Small (Parsons: Medium)

Original Use: Small game hunting in the mid-1800’s. Originally bred by, and named after, Reverend John Russell. The variation in breeding throughout later years making the breed more diverse – smooth coat, wire coat, long and short legs. The long legged Jack Russell has become known as the Parsons Jack Russell, and was bred to hunt slightly larger animals (such as foxes and badgers) – the longer legs helping them to keep up with the bigger animals they were hunting.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The diversity in the appearance in this little breed, but with key similarities too! Both breed types can be short coated, long coated, smooth coated, wire coated; then long or short legged – whichever combination, the looks can be quite different – but still really adorable!

Jack Russell Terrier/ Parsons Jack Russell
Jack Russell Terrier/ Parsons Jack Russell
Japanese Chin (aka Japanese Spaniel)

Country of Origin:  Japan (who’d have guessed?!) and China

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Royal lap dog; companion animal. This breed is quite delicate though, and unsuitable around small children as they can be a bit rough and damage this little dog quite easily. This little breed has been depicted with nobility and royalty in pictures dating back as far as the 17th Century.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Their long, flowing, silky coat gives them a regal look (which would have fitted in with the nobility they were bred for). The long tail fur flows down when the tail is down, in silky waves; when upright, the tail fur spreads out, fanning around the end and flowing over the back of the dog.

Japanese Chin
Japanese Chin

 K

Kerry Blue Terrier

Country of Origin: Ireland (County Kerry, in the South-West of the Republic of Ireland; contributing to the breed name) in the 1700’s. Brought to Europe and America in the early 1900’s.

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use:  Hunting small game, and retrieving from land and water. Also used for hunting vermin. Used as well for herding sheep and cattle.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Although born black, the coat takes on a  blue colouration as the dog matures (contributing to its’ name); it is tightly curled and does not shed. The Kerry Blue Terrier has quite lengthily facial fur, coming down around its muzzle like a long beard or a bit of a funky moustache! This is quite a distinguishing feature of the breed.

Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Komondor

Country of Origin: Hungary

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Guarding livestock – with the large size and the strength, it was quite adapt for this role; also having its’ big, thick coat to keep it warm whilst guarding out in fields. It has been said to be capable of taking out predators such as wolves and bears, when guarding herds and flocks.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The mega funky fur! The fluffy brushed-out fur or the striking dreadlock look! This dog has amazing fur, but it does take a lot of grooming and up-keep! It looks very similar to the Puli, a smaller breed that also has the dreadlock look (and also from Hungary); this breed colour ranges from light to dark (more often being dark), whereas the Komondor is always of a light colouration. The Puli also has a longer lifespan than the Komondor.

Komondor and Puli
Komondor and Puli

L

Labrador Retriever (Labrador)

Country of Origin: Canada – the Newfoundland and Labrador regions.

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use:  The retriever as we know today was originally bred and used for retrieving (big surprise) game; used as gun-dogs to retrieve the small game (often birds) from where they fell after being shot. However, it is said to be derived from a breed used by fisherman for hauling nets – St. John’s Dog a.k.a. Lesser Newfoundland. This dog was used to produce retriever-like dogs and is an ancestor to modern day retrievers (Labrador, Golden, Flat-coated, etc).

Outstanding Physical Trait: This breed does not really have anything outstanding about it physically – it has short, smooth fur; slender bodies, legs and tails; floppy ears; and lovely faces.

Labrador
Labrador
Lhasa Apso

Country of Origin: Tibet

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Bred by Tibetan monks as a watch-dog  for the monasteries. Kept by the monks and by Tibetan nobility. Now it is kept as a companion dog, and is often shown. They are loyal, friendly dogs when properly trained – however they can be quite iffy with strangers, which is a good attribute for a watch-dog! Lhasa’s were not sold, if you wanted one it had to be gifted to you – the spreading out of this breed across the world was in the form of gifts, usually from nobility to nobility.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The long, flowing, silky coat of the Lhasa gives it a look that fits in with nobility. The fur is very straight and needs often grooming to keep it in tip-top condition.

Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apso
Leonberger

Country of Origin: Germany – the town of Leonberg

Lifespan: 9-11 years                      Breed Size: Giant

Original Use: Bred by the mayor of Leonberg, in 18040 – Heinrich Essig, to honour the town. Bred purely because Essig wanted to create his own breed. It is a good guard dog, and over the years has often been used a such.

Outstanding Physical Trait: This breed is tall and well built. They have big, expressive faces and a long, thick coat. The coat is so thick it sheds very heavily twice a year, and moderately throughout the rest of the year – so expect fur carpets 😉 if you own this breed!

Leonberger
Leonberger

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (3)


Welcome to week 3 of going through dog breeds, covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the third, post will cover G-I of dog breeds.
In previous posts, A-C and D-F have been covered.
In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from J-L, M-O, P-R, S-V, and W-Z
Basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

G

German Pointer

Country of Origin: Germany

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Gundog, used mainly for hunting birds – the use also known as Hunt, Point and Retrieve (HPR). The Short Haired being developed in the late 1800’s, and the Wire Haired being developed in the early 1900’s. The name being mainly due to the “pointing” to where prey is (pictured by the Wire Haired Pointer below).

Outstanding Physical Trait: The difference in the fur types of both dog types is very easily distinguishable; the short, smooth fur of the Short Haired, and the longer, wire-type hair of the Wire Haired (hence the names). Both dogs look quite different just due to the different coat types!

German Short Haired Pointer
German Short Haired Pointer
German Wire Haired Pointer
German Wire Haired Pointer
German Shepherd (Alsatian)

Country of Origin: Germany. However, it is also said to  have been bred and named after the Alsace region, Germany/ France – this region has switched hands between Germany and France a few times.

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Herding (or shepherding – name origin). However this breed has been used as a military dog since WW2, and more recently within the police force too. They are also used as guide dogs, although not as commonly used for this role as the Labrador Retriever. This breed has also been used as a guard dog (for herds, homes, etc.) and still fulfils this role today.

Outstanding Physical Trait: It bares a wolf-like appearance, but with a different colouration. Unfortunately, due to Kennel Club breed standards, specifying the angle the legs/hips ‘need’ to be in relation to the body, causing a sloping back and weak hind legs; the hind legs and spine can suffer health-wise, and often the hind legs cannot support the animal.

German Shepherd
German Shepherd
Great Dane

Country of Origin: Germany

Lifespan: 8-10 years                      Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Guard/ watch dog

Outstanding Physical Trait: The sheer size is usually the first thing people notice about the Great Dane! However, there are plenty of breeds bigger (classified as ‘giant’ breeds rather than just ‘large’) but most people still think “large size” when thinking of the Great Dane. They have long, slender legs, and slender bodies – with quite long tails. They are a beautiful breed with naturally floppy ears (which is how these dogs ought to look) – the ear cropping (which has thankfully been banned in the UK along with tail docking, since 2007) is often done to this breed to make them look fiercer for the purpose of guarding.

Great Dane
Great Dane

H

Harrier

Country of Origin: England

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Scent hound – bred for hunting in the 13th Century, bred as a smaller version of the Fox Terrier. Used in a pack, alongside people on horseback, to track and hunt small animals – much in the same way Fox Terriers and Beagles were used (up until recently), however the Harrier is taller than the Beagle.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The Harrier doesn’t have anything specifically outstanding about it physically, it looks like a big Beagle or a small Fox Terrier – similar in markings, colouration , and appearance. It has lovely, lop ears, an alert stance, and a solid physique – a well built little hunting dog.

Harrier
Harrier
Havanese

Country of Origin: Cuba, named after the capital city; Havana – this is the only native breed to Cuba, and is the Cuban national dog.

Lifespan: 14-16 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Bred for companionship for the children of Cuban nobility and courtiers. When Cuba was under communist rule in the early 1960’s, many owners and breeders fled to America, taking their dogs with them – spreading the breed to other countries.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The Havanese has a light, fluffy little coat that is wavy-straight giving them a unique look amongst others in their breed type (such as the Bichon Frise and the Maltese).

Havanese
Havanese

I

Ibizan Hound

Country of Origin: Spain – the island of Ibiza, and other surrounding Spanish islands.

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Hunting rabbits for food for the people they shared the island with, and it is still used for this purpose on these islands today. When this breed came about is unknown, but the type has been around for a long time – the type of dog being depicted in ancient Egyptian wall paintings alongside Anubis.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Large ears and long body, depicting the look of the Egyptian jackal god Anubis, much like the Pharaoh Hound (personally, I think the wire-haired – pictured below – looks like the Chilly Down Gang from the film Labyrinth).

Ibizan Hound
Ibizan Hound
Irish Wolfhound (aka Cú in ancient Irish)

Country of Origin: Ireland

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Giant

Original Use: Guard and Sight Hound – used for hunting; by royalty mainly, not a dog for common people to have. This breed was often sent as gifts from royalty of one country, to royalty of another country, to keep a positive alliance between them.
This breed was used to hunt various large game, as well as any threats such as wolves – used in packs to hunt, guard and protect the local area. Some royals and nobles also used this breed for entertainment value by pitting them in fights against wolves, bears, lions, and other large predatory animals – Julius Caesar is said to have been gifted some for this use in Rome.
This breed is very old, and has even been mentioned in Irish law and literature (known then as the Cú) as early as the 5th Century!!

Outstanding Physical Trait: The fact it is a MASSIVE dog?! Brilliant and tall, with quite a striking face with its’ wiry fur.

Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhound
Size Comparison, Irish Wolfhound
Size Comparison, Irish Wolfhound

 

Italian Greyhound

Country of Origin: Italy (if you hadn’t already sussed that one!)

Lifespan: 13-15 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Bred by the Romans as a lap dog for the noble and wealthy, originally.
Although, mummified remains of tiny, greyhound-like dogs have been found in the tombs of Egypt, and across the Mediterranean; whether or not these were what we known in today as the Italian greyhound is a different matter! When this breed came about is unknown, but the type has been around for a long time!

Outstanding Physical Trait: The size has got to be the most outstanding thing, physically, about this breed – or lack of it!

Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhound

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (2)


This is week 2 of “Your Dog: A-Z” – I am going through dog breeds, covering some basic titbits about the breeds. This will be in between other posts too.

This, the second, post will cover D-F of dog breeds.
In the previous post, A-C was covered.
In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from G-I, J-L, M-O, P-R, S-V, and W-Z
Basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

D

Dalmatian

Country of Origin: Dalmatia region of Croatia

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Gun dog, used for hunting large game (such as deer) in the 1800’s. It was then used as a coach-runner; running alongside mail coaches, coaches of the wealthy, and fire coaches; as a guard dog. This is also why Dalmatians are the mascot breed of the fire department.

Outstanding Physical Trait: THE SPOTS! Liver or black spots all over! The distinctive trait that identifies this breed. However, they are born completely white – no spots! So it takes a few weeks to determine the colour of the dog.

Dalmatians
Dalmatian
Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Country of Origin: Britain – the England-Scotland border.

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Originally used by gypsies and farmers for hunting vermin – rats, badgers, otters, rabbit, weasels, and any other small creatures considered vermin. This breed is famous from Sir Walter Scott’s book Guy Mannering in 1814 – which is also where the breed got its’ name from, from a character named Dandie Dinmont. In the book they are known as Mustard and Pepper Terriers, after the 2 colours of the breed.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The “top-knot” – the fluffy, little,puffy hair-do! Also, hypoallergenic – they do not moult, so again, a good breed for those dog lovers allergic to moulting dogs!

Dinmont Dandie Terrier
Dinmont Dandie Terrier
Doberman (aka Doberman Pinscher)

Country of Origin: Germany – developed in the late 1860’s  by Louis Dobermann, and named after him – if you hadn’t already guessed!

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Louis Dobermann bred this dog, from a variety of different breeds, to be a guard dog, as Louis was a tax collector. This is still the same main use the breed has now. However, nowadays, in some countries, this dog (as well as many other breeds) are disfigured by veterinary procedures to make them “look fiercer” – tail docking and ear cropping. Often these procedures (especially the ear cropping) go wrong and the dog is left looking a bit odd, as well as missing chunks of its’ body – damaging hearing and impairing body language.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The tan markings above the eyes, sometimes giving it an “angry” look – maybe this is what Louis Dobermann was going for?! The breed comes in black, blue, red and fawn – all with tan coloured markings.

Doberman
Doberman

E

English Bull Terrier

Country of Origin: Britain, England

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Unfortunately, this breed was developed in the early 19th Century, by crossing bull and terrier breeds, for the purpose of dog fighting as a blood sport. Sadly this still illegally goes on with more than just this breed. Them smaller variation of this breed, the Miniature Bull Terrier, was bred to be more easily hidden at the arrival of police to illegal dog fights.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The shape of the skull; due to intensive, artificial breeding; has become a distinguishing feature of this breed, and they have come to be known by it. The almost completely oval shape of the head is hard to miss, and is due to breeders choosing to breed these dogs this way for no other reason than aesthetics… With no thought given to the dogs themselves.

English Bull Terrier
English Bull Terrier
Original English Bull Terrier Skull Shape
Original English Bull Terrier Skull Shape

 

Eurasier (aka Eurasian Spitz)

Country of Origin: Germany

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Bred by Julius Wipfel, by mixing the Wolf Spitz (Keeshond), Chow Chow, and Samoyed in the 1960’s (so a fairly modern breed). It was bred to be an even-tempered, family dog  – but has a cool indifference to strangers; not aggressive but not wanting their attention either. Bred to be a family pet, and is a family oriented dog. It was also bred for its wolf-like appearance; Julius wanted it to look like a more primitive canine.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Wolf-like look and colouration. Long sleek fur and wolf-shaped face/ muzzle, with pointed little ears – Julius Wipfel definitely achieved his desired look for this breed.

Eurasier
Eurasier

F

Flat Coated Retriever

Country of Origin: Britain, England

Lifespan: 8-10 years                      Breed Size: Large

Original Use: As the name of the breed suggests, the original use was a retrieval dog – to seek out and flush out live game, and to retrieve game that had been shot. Very popular in the 19th Century for use on large hunting estates, specifically for bird hunting.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Long, water-proof, flat coat that distinguishes it from other retriever types (very different to the curly coated retriever, for example). The long, flowing coat of this breed is longer at the front of the body, and the front legs.

Flat Coated Retriever
Flat Coated Retriever
French Bulldog

Country of Origin: Nottingham, England – that’s right, not France!

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Small

Original Use: Lace-makers in the 1800’s bred this breed as a smaller version of the standard bulldog, as a companion or lap-dog! They were originally known as the “Toy-Bulldog”. When some lace-makers went to France during the Revolution, they took their lap-dogs with them; this breed soon became popular amongst the French court who adopted the little breed as their own – hence the origin of the name.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The French Bulldog has fairly large ears for such a small dog, personally I think this just adds to the cuteness of this little breed, and it also makes them good watch-dogs – being able to hear very well anyone approaching, and give you a little warning of the impending visitor. I have known people, all too often, to confuse the French Bulldog and Boston Terrier – however, the Boston Terrier is larger, slimmer and its’ ears are more in proportion to its’ size.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog
Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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Your Dog: A-Z, Originally Bred For… (1)


Over 8 weeks, I am going to go through dog breeds, and cover some basic titbits about the breeds; a little bit of history surrounding the breed, including the original use for the breed, and some other interesting facts. One thing I will include for each breed is the original use of the breed… Some are obvious, such as bulldogs – used for bringing down bulls! Other original uses are quite surprising! This will be in between other posts too.

This, the first, post will cover A-C of dog breeds. In the follow up posts I will look into dog breeds from D-F, G-I, J-L, M-O, P-R, S-V, and W-Z… basically I am doing an A-Z of dog breeds, with 1-3 breeds covered per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your dog in this post, please leave the breed in the “thoughts” comment box below, or post it via the contact page – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular dog breed!

A

Afghan Hound

Country of Origin: Afghanistan – introduced into Britain in the 1800’s

Lifespan: 12-14 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Sight Hound – this breed will track and hunt game, whilst humans follow (often from horseback). They have brilliant eyesight, and hunt mainly by sight – making this breed a sight hound.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Long, luxurious coat that tangles easily and needs daily grooming – however the coat protects from a lot of weather types; this breed can withstand high and low temperatures due to their coat. DO NOT shave your Afghan assuming it will cool them down during hot summers, their coat is specifically designed to keep them cool as well as warm – shaving off the coat in hot weather can cause them to over-heat.

Afghan Hound
Afghan Hound
Airedale Terrier

Country of Origin: England – Airedale in Yorkshire to be precise

Lifespan: 10-12 years                     Breed Size: Large

Original Use: Hunting vermin – rats, foxes, badgers. They use smell to find where the vermin are hiding – burrow’s, etc. – and flush them out and pursue them.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Hypo-allergenic coat – minimal shedding, great for people with allergies to dog hair.

Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terrier

B

Bedlington Terrier

Country of Origin: England – Northumberland, in the old mining town of Bedlington

Lifespan: 15-17 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Hunting vermin! Similar to a lot of terrier breeds, the Bedlington was originally used to hunt and kill vermin – pest control! They are also said to have been used to guard small flocks of sheep, due to their appearance, they blend into the flock like a lamb – and would give a sharp nip to any stranger who got too close!

Outstanding Physical Trait: Hypo-allergenic coat – these dogs do not moult, so require daily grooming to ensure a nice coat, however are great for people with allergies to dog hair. The fluffy, curly fur gives this cute breed the appearance of a lamb! 

Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Bichon Frise

Country of Origin: Allegedly found by sailors on the island of Tenerife during the 14th Century, and taken back to France.

Lifespan: 14-16 years                     Breed Size: Toy

Original Use: Funnily enough, this has not changed – companion and show dogs. Sometimes they were used for performances in circuses, but were originally just used for show and as companions. They were highly popular within Renaissance courts, by courtiers.

Outstanding Physical Trait: It’s lose, curly fur sits away from the body; often being said to look similar to a powderpuff, or having a “mane”.

Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise
British Bulldog

Country of Origin: Unsurprisingly – Britain! In the 1500’s. In England, to narrow it down.

Lifespan: 8-10 years                      Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Bull-baiting, and bear-baiting. This was, however, done with the original version of the breed – taller, slimmer, longer muzzles… not the intensively bred short, wrinkled, chubby dogs that have become the national dog of the British Isles.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The short, wrinkled snout is a main feature of this breed; giving a grumpy old man kind of look! However, the muzzle was not so short and wrinkled in the original version – meaning originally, it could breathe/ sleep/ smell better!

British Bulldog
British Bulldog

C

Chinese Crested

Country of Origin: Surprisingly enough, not China! They are thought to have come about from an African or Mexican hairless breed. Although no-one is quite sure of the origin of this little breed, they are thought to have come to China via sailors in the early 16th Century.

Lifespan: 11-13 years                     Breed Size: Toy

Original Use:  They were used on these ships as for ratting as early as the 13th Century, and from use on ships they made their way around the world and to many different countries. Aztec tribes were also known to have kept them as little bed warmers and companions, although they also ate them!

Outstanding Physical Trait: The Chinese Crested comes in 2 forms – the hairless (Cruella DeVille’s dog in 102 Dalmatians) and the powderpuff. The main difference is clearly seen – with the hairless only having patches of fur, and the powderpuff having fur all over the body.

Chinese Crested, Hairless
Chinese Crested, Hairless
Hairless, Powder Puff
Hairless and Powder Puff
Collie – Rough, Smooth, Border, Bearded

Country of Origin: Britain – mainly Scotland and England, but also Wales and Ireland.

Lifespan: 15-17 years                     Breed Size: Medium

Original Use: Herding – still used for this, and in some cases also used for sheepdog trials and showing.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The differences in appearance is outstanding between the types in this breed. The 2 most similar are the border and the rough collie. The rough collie is what people often refer to as a “Lassie dog” due to the famous film about a rough collie named Lassie. The border collie is what most people think of when they think of sheep herding dogs. The bearded collie is often confused with the Old English Sheepdog – however much less scruffy, and smaller! The smooth collie is most unlike the rest, not having a long, flowing coat… It has short fur and is the only collie type not to moult – which is good for collie lovers with allergies to dog hair.

The colour differences are also vast within the collie breed; black and white, brown (chocolate) and white, blue (grey) and white,  red and white, sable (sand) and white, lilac (diluted brown) and white, tricolour (back, tan and white), tricolour chocolate (brown, red and white) blue merle, red merle, tricolour merle, and any other variation that comes from mating two different coloured dogs!

Collies
Collies

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
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