Tag Archives: Border Collie

Once upon a time… dog breeds (1)

Once upon a time there lived different types of animals – in addition to or the ancestors of the ones we know know and love today… 

So we all know animal species become extinct and I’ve written many posts about threatened/ endangered species; but what about those species that are still around but have just lost some types/ breeds along the way?

Focusing, for a few posts, on dog breeds that once were but now no longer exist; here are the first few in our exploration of extinct dog breeds…

Hare Dog (a.k.a. Hare Indian Dog or Coydog)

The Hare Dog or Coydog is said to have been a domestic dog/ coyote hybrid (Coy[ote] dog). Bred as a (sight) hunting dog by tribes in Canada. This breed fizzled out of existence by breeding it with other dog breeds that were introduced to the region, until the Hare Dog was bred out of existence.

Described as having no detectable difference in form from that of a Coyote, except in size (being smaller than a Coyote). It is said to have had more of a howl than a bark, yet at the same time the sound is distinct as belonging to a domestic dog. However there are a lot of debates regarding the exact origin of this breed, and surrounding the appearance – and being extinct, I suppose the facts will remain extinct with it.

Coydog (open source image)

Talbot Hound

Said to be an ancestor to the Beagle, the Coonhound, it was close to the Blood Hound; the Talbot Hound was a scent-hound and was used for hunting. It is thought that the breed was interbred with the Blood Hound until just the one breed remained.

The breed is said to have originated in Normandy, and brought over to England by William the Conqueror. This however is disregarded by most as here-say, as there is no evidence to support this. Nor is there any mention of the breed in medieval French history.

Talbot Hound crest (open source image)

With big floppy ears and known for being white in colour (on occasion with spots/patches) the Talbot is described as having been a large, white hound. Large, slow, heavy hounds were described as ‘Talbot like’ regardless of colouration, but the ‘true Talbot’ was described as being milk white in colour.

Talbot Hound (open source image)


Originating in Ancient Greece, specifically from within the region of the Molosi tribe, the Molossus is said to be the ancestor of a lot of large breeds we know and love today. The Molossus was often kept as a guard dog, and said to have been very loyal – fiercely so!

This dog was also used in war, hunting, gladiator and dog fights, as well as for herding and guarding livestock on farms.

The appearance Molossus varies between sources; some suggesting it was Mastiff like in appearance, and others suggesting it was more of a slender sight-hound looking animal. M. Aurelius Olimpias Nemesianus wrote a poem in 284 BC describing this dog as having the appearance of a sight-hound.

Due to the variation in appearance, the Molossus is referred to having been a type as opposed to a breed. Mastiffs are often referred to as Molossus types nowadays.

Stone depictions of Molossus type (open source image)
Molossus type – Alpine Mastiff (open source image)

Hawaiian Poi Dog

This short, fat, little barrel of a dog is said to have been a playful and friendly breed if not a little clumsy! It is also said that they were lazy and rarely barked. Being fed on a vegetarian paste diet caused them to be quite slow and sluggish, and resulted in a bloated stomach. It is said to also have had a large and flat head due to the lack of chewing from their diet. Some sources describe the Poi Dog as having flopped ears, whereas other sources depict them with ears that stick up.

Hawaiian Poi Dog (open source image)

They were kept by tribes they lived with as food. Fattened up along with the hogs. The Poi was also a companion animal and a pup would often be presented to a child as a gift. It is said that if the child died before the dog, the dog would be killed and buried with the child; if the dog died first, however, the child would be given a necklace of the deceased dog’s teeth for protection.

Hawaiian Poi Dog companion (open source image)

As this breed interbred with other breeds it lost its purity; a breeding programme was started in Honolulu Zoo in the 19th Century, in an attempt to recapture the original breed type, but with no luck. The breed soon became extinct.

Cumberland Sheepdog

It’s pretty obvious by the picture below who these guys are the ancestors of…

Cumberland Sheepdog (open source image)

A medium sized dog, with a bushy tail and white in colour with brown or black markings. These dogs were said to be highly intelligent, but unruly if their owner did not take on the role of Alpha. Said to have been an energetic breed – much like its descendant, the Border Collie – it needed a lot of exercise and could get bored easily. Used for guarding and herding livestock, this breed is said to have become extinct by interbreeding; it is said to have been interbred eventually resulting in the Border Collie.

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

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 (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

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…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

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!


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


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


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!


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)