Posts Tagged ‘Dog Breeds’

The Corgi Dog Breed – Part I: General Characteristics

July 28, 2012

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

For a smallish happy fun-loving dog breed, check out the Corgi. There are two types of Corgis, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. These two dog breeds are similar in many ways. In fact, they were once considered as one breed by kennel clubs and were often interbred. But there are some distinct differences. Before we get into how they are different, check out how they are similar.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Cattle Drovers not Herders
Corgis were Welsh cattle drovers brought to central Europe centuries ago. They were further developed in South Wales (Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire). The Corgi didn’t really herd the cattle but drove or scattered them. Why would the Welsh want to drive their cattle? Because the land was owned by the Crown and the only way the Welsh could use it was for their cattle. So the further afield a herd could go the more land the Welsh could use.

General Physical Characteristics
Corgis are short-legged dogs with a compact body. They stand relatively at the same height of about 10-12 inches (Cardigan up to 12.5 inches). They have a flat skull that is wide between the medium-sized erect ears. They have a harsh coat which is straight, fairly short, and dense. This coat needs brushing at least once a week.

General Personality Traits
The Corgi dog breed may tend to bark a lot. Even though they bark, they can be relatively friendly with strangers. They are moderately active dogs which need daily exercise. They are somewhat playful, affectionate, can be good with children, and generally get along well with other pets. Both Corgi dog breeds are intelligent and easy to train.

Next week, find out how the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is different from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. In the meantime, check out our Corgi Dog Breed Gift Store from Amazon which includes some of the great gifts shown below:

Corgi Cotton Ladies Socks Dogs Corgi - Pembroke Welsh Corgi - Mugs

Answers to the Fun Dog Puzzle – Dog Breeds & Colors

February 28, 2012


Fun Dog Puzzle

Dog Breeds & Colors

A few days ago we asked if you could name five dog breeds which primarily only came in red, black, black & tan, or white. If you haven’t checked out our recent post, please visit it before reading the answers below.

I found six reddish colored dog breeds:

  • Vizsla – Solid golden rust.
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever – Any shade of red usually with white markings.
  • Redbone Coonhound – Red with dark muzzle and small amount of white permissible.
  • Irish Setter – Mahogany or rich chestnut red.
  • Irish Terrier – Red, golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten.
  • Finnish Spitz – Shades of golden red.

You could almost name the Irish Red & White Setter which is white with solid red patches. Or even the Pharaoh Hound could be included. His colors are defined as tan or chestnut which is a reddish color albeit not as reddish as the ones listed above.

I found four black colored dog breeds:

  • Black Russian Terrier – Solid black or black with a few gray hairs.
  • Schipperke – Black.
  • Belgian Sheepdog – Black.
  • Giant Schnauzer – Solid black or pepper and salt.

I couldn’t think of five dog breeds which only came in black. But since we included red with white above, can that mean that we can include black and white here? So perhaps include the Dalmatian in this list. Perhaps the Newfoundland but he can also be brown or gray. Or the Flat-Coated or Curly-Coated Retriever which can be solid black or liver?

I found six black & tan dog breeds:

  • Gordon Setter – Black and tan.
  • Black & Tan Coonhound – Black and tan.
  • Airedale Terrier – Tan with black or grizzled saddle.
  • Rottweiler – Black and tan.
  • Manchester Terrier – Black and tan.
  • Beauceron – Black and tan or black with gray and tan.

We could almost name the Doberman Pinscher but he also comes in red and tan or blue and tan.

I found nine white dog breeds:

  • Great Pyrenees – White but can have small markings of gray or tan.
  • Komondor – White.
  • Kuvasz – White.
  • Samoyed – White, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit.
  • Sealyham Terrier – White but may have lemon or tan markings.
  • West Highland White Terrier – White.
  • Maltese – White.
  • American Eskimo Dog – White or white with biscuit cream.
  • Bichon Frise – White, may have cream shadings.

I have named as many as we could. This is not, by any means, a definitive answer. There may be a dog breed that I have missed. And I have to admit that I cheated by looking through “The Dog Breed Bible“. What did you find?

Fun Dog Puzzle – Dog Breeds & Colors

February 25, 2012
Fun Dog Puzzle

Dog Breeds & Colors

Do you know which AKC dog breeds primarily come in one color? See if you can list five dog breeds in each of the following categories.

  • Reddish – Name five reddish dog breeds. The red may have some white but no other color.
  • Black – Name five solid black dog breeds. The black may have gray or salt & pepper.
  • Black & Tan – Name five black and tan dog breeds. Remember, only list dog breeds which only come in black and tan and not any other color.
  • White – Name five white dog breeds. The white may include some small and light-colored markings or be an off-white color such as cream.

This is a challenge. I don’t think I named five in each category so I may have made a few exceptions on the rules. I will post my answers on February 28th. Let’s see what you can find!

Difference Between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso

January 7, 2012

I know my dog breeds fairly well. But I often get confused over the difference between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. At a glance, the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso look like twins. But there are some subtle differences in both personality and looks.

After doing some research, I discovered that even kennel breed clubs used to have a difficult time determining the difference between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. The breed club in England had the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso grouped as one-in-the-same breed. It wasn’t until after 1934 that they separated into two separate breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has always kept them separate. They recognized the Lhasa Apso in 1935 but didn’t recognize the Shih Tzu until 1969. Another thing I discovered is that while the Shih Tzu is a dog breed by itself, it originated from a mix of the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese dog breeds.

Book on the Shih Tzu Dog Breed Book on the Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

Both the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso originated in the monasteries of Tibet. Both were kept as companions and both were referred to as ‘lion dogs’. The Lhasa Apso, however, was also kept as a guard dog and was referred to as the ‘bark lion sentinel dog”. In personality, the Lhasa Apso differs from the Shih Tzu in that he is bolder and a bit more standoffish with strangers. Shih Tzus tend to be a little more playful and affectionate.

According to the AKC standards, a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso can be a variety of any color. A Shih Tzu should stand between 8-11 inches tall while a Lhasa Apso should stand between 10-11 inches tall. And a Shih Tzu should weigh between 9-16 pounds while a Lhasa Apso should weigh between 13-15 pounds. Based on this info, a Shih Tzu can be smaller, but they can also be about the same size as a Lhasa Apso.

So if the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu can be any color and about the same size, then how can you tell the difference between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso by looking at them? One major difference is the coat type. The hair of a Shih Tzu is much softer than the hair of a Lhasa Apso. The hair of a Lhasa Apso tends to be harder and holds up better in cold weather. Another observable difference is the shape of their heads. The skull of a Shih Tzu is broad and domed. The Lhasa Apso has a flatter head, but it is still a bit rounded. And it is narrower than that of a Shih Tzu.

One good give-away regarding the difference between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso is the owners of a Shih Tzu tend to put the hair on their dog’s head up in a single pony-tail (see Shih Tzu figurine below). This is not as easy to do on a Lhasa Apso since their head is broader and their hair is rougher. If the owner didn’t put the hair in a pony-tail, however, ask them if you can pet the dog. While patting his head, feel his fur and the shape of his skull. See if you can correctly guess the difference between a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso.

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Gift Tote Shih Tzu Dog Breed Gift Mug and Mouse Pad


The English Setter Sporting Dog Breed

November 19, 2011
The English Setter Sporting Dog Breed

The English Setter Sporting Dog Breed

What is a setter dog breed? Setter dog breeds evolved from spaniel dog breeds which began in Spain. When the advent of firearms changed the way people hunted, a different kind of dog was needed. And so evolved the spaniel and setter gundogs. The term setters came about because certain spaniel gundogs were taught to find game, then sit and wait for the hunter. Sitting, or setting, is no longer practiced. Setters working as gundogs today freeze when they find game, then retrieve it for the hunter.

The English Setter dog breed may be the oldest of the sporting dogs, perhaps as early as the 14th century. But modern cultivation did not begin until the 1800s in England. Edward Laverack is credited with developing the breed for show. Then Purcell Llewellin acquired some English Setters and re-developed them as gun dogs. Today, the show dog English Setter is larger, has a larger deeper muzzle, and only comes in what is called a belton pattern.

The belton pattern on the English Setter refers to the roan ticking of a color with white. There is a blue belton English Setter which is white with black ticking, lemon belton (white with light brown or lemon yellow ticking), orange belton (white with orange ticking, liver belton (white with brown ticking), and a white with black and tan ticking. The field dog English Setter can be belton colors but they can also be white with solid patches of color such as black, lemon, orange, liver, or black and tan (tricolor). The liver and lemon colors are rare in both the show and field English Setter.

The show dog English Setter stands about 24-25 inches high and weighs about 50 to 65 pounds. The field dog English Setter is generally about ten pounds lighter. Both varieties have an oval skull, long and lean head, dark brown eyes, and a long and square muzzle with pendant flews. His ears are low set and his tail is carried straght out and tapers to a fine point. The hair of the English Setter is flat and of medium length. He needs brushing every two to three days and clipping every few months.

Other than the shedding, the English Setter can make a quiet calm house pet if he is properly exercised. He is lively and playful and needs at least one hour of exercise daily. He is also affectionate, easy going, and relatively easy to train. The English Setter is good with other pets and does well with children. His friendly nature means he is good with strangers too so he does not make a good watchdog. He may also be inclined to have separation anxiety if left alone.

Like most big dogs, the English Setter is at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia. This risk can be reduced with proper breeding so if you are considering buying an English Setter, be sure to thoroughly research the breeder. A good breeder will have hip dysplasia tested in both parents through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Another test which may have been done is an eye test as the English Setter dog breed also has risks of blindness. Deafness is also an issue and the predominantly white English Setter dog breeds are prone to skin allergies.

Whether you are looking for a show dog, gun dog, or house pet, the English Setter is a good dog. As a show dog, his belton coloring makes him a beautiful dog. As a gun dog, he loves to work. And as a house pet, he is a friendly companioin. To learn more about the English Setter dog breed, check out the “English Setter Comprehensive Owner’s Guide“.

English Setter (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)

Fun Facts About Dog Breeds

July 31, 2011
Rottweiler Dog Breed

The Rottweiler Dog Breed is from Rottweil

If you’re like me, you love to learn about dogs.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of dog breeds all over the world.  Each has their own interesting history, descriptions, personalities, etc.  Here are some interesting facts which I have found on AKC dog breeds:

  • The Saint Bernard dog breed is named from the St. Bernard Hospice which was a stopping place in the Swiss Alps for people traveling between Switzerland and Italy.
  • In the 1870’s, the Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed was used to hunt lions in Rhodesia.
  • The Norwegian Elkhound dog breed was the companion hunting dog of Vikings.
  • The most common way that the Poodle dog breed’s hair is cut today is based on the cut given to their working dog ancestors – cut short on the body to help the Poodle dog breed swim and left long on the ears, feet, and tail to keep sensitive parts of the body from being exposed to the cold water.
  • While mostly descended from ancient dog breeds of spaniel, the Clumber Spaniel dog breed may also have ancestry from the Basset Hound and St. Bernard.
  • The Cairn Terrier dog breed is named from the word “cairn”.  A cairn is a heap of stones set up as a marker, tombstone, or monument.  The Cairn Terrier dog breed would help to hunt the vermin living within or taking refuge in these cairns.
  • The Dogo Argentino dog breed was bred in South America to hunt jaguar.
  • The Saluki dog breed, the oldest of dog breeds, was mummified after death along with the pharaohs of Egypt.
  • The Rottweiler takes its name from a German township called Rottweil.
  • The Affenpinscher dog breed is a German dog breed.  Affen means “monkey” and pinscher is the German word for a dog breed that has his ears and tail cropped/docked.

Do you have a dog with an interesting history?  Please share!

This information was found in various sources including dog breed books by Barron’s.  Visit our Dog Lover’s Book Store to find more great dog breed books.

Information on the Samoyed Dog Breed – The “Smiling Dog”

July 29, 2011
Samoyed Dog Breed

Samoyed Dog Breed

The Samoyed dog breed has a very interesting history. Originally from the primitive Samoyed people in northwestern Siberia, the Samoyed dog breed found his way into modern history by helping explorers in the North and South Poles, as being the pets of the ill-fated Czar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, pets to Queen Alexandra of England, and rescue from a zoo in Sidney, Australia by the Kilburn-Scott family of England. Most Samoyed dog breeds today descended from the dogs who survived the explorations of the North and South Poles. One of the most well-known expeditions was led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen whose Samoyed dog Etah was the first animal to reach the South Pole, followed, of course, by the first man to reach the South Pole.

Samoyeds in the South Pole Expedition, December 14, 1911

Samoyeds in the South Pole Expedition, December 14, 1911, Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

The Samoyed peoples primarily used the Samoyed dog breed to herd and guard elk. However, the Samoyed was also used for hunting and sled pulling. The Samoyed dog breed was a valued member of the Samoyed people’s family. The modern explorers who considered using the Samoyed dog breed due to its more amiable nature than the Husky or Malamute had a difficult time obtaining the Samoyed dog breeds because their owners were unwilling to part with them.

The Samoyed dog breed was came to America through the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, who was the brother of the Czar. The Samoyed dog breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1906.

The Samoyed dog breed is a Spitz-type breed. All Spitz-type dog breeds descended from the arctic regions of the world. Like most Spitz dog breeds, the Samoyed dog breed has the short triangular ears and long tail that curls over the back. He also has a thick double-coat which consists of the wooly undercoat and the straight harsh outer coat which stands out from his body. The long hair is more prominent on his tail and around the ruff of his neck.

The Samoyed dog breed is distinguished from his light-colored coat. His coat is white in color, white and biscuit, all biscuit, or all cream. He stands about 19 to 23.5 inches tall and weighs between 35 and 65 pounds. The hindquarters of a Samoyed dog breed are very strong. His chest is moderately deep and his legs are moderately long. He has a wedge-shaped skull, dark eyes and a black nose.

Another distinguishing feature of the Samoyed dog breed is his “smile”. Known as the “smiling dog”, the Samoyed dog breed’s look goes along with his happy personality. He gets along well with every member of the family, including children. He is good with other pets and good with other people outside the family. Although he is not an aggressive dog, he can make a good watchdog.

Like other Spitz-type dog breeds, the Samoyed dog breed can be somewhat independent and stubborn. But this can be easily overcome with proper positively reinforced training and emphasis on his eager-to-please nature.

The Samoyed dog breed is playful but relatively calm indoors. He needs regular exercise such as long walks, jobs, or brisk play sessions. Without proper exercise, the Samoyed may have a tendency to develop behavior problems such as chewing. The Samoyed dog breed also needs regular brushing. His thick coat needs to be brushed 2 to 3 times per day, or daily during shedding season.

As with most large breed dogs, the Samoyed dog breed can develop hip dysplasia. And like most deep-chested dogs, the Samoyed dog breed is prone to gastric torsion. The chances of purchasing a Samoyed dog breed that develops hip dysplasia can be reduced by purchasing from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will most likely be a member of the Samoyed Club of America, Inc. They will also most likely have already done the testing for hip dysplasia on both parents of the puppies.

If you would like a dog who will do well with every member of your family, the Samoyed dog breed may be for you. Be prepared for a dog who needs lots of daily exercise and grooming. Consider adopting a Samoyed dog breed from a rescue group or purchasing one from a reputable breeder.

The information that we found on the Samoyed dog breed came from a variety of sources including Barron’s “Samoyeds, A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual”, “The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Dr. Bruce Fogle, and Barron’s “The Dog Breed Bible”. For these and other great books on the Samoyed dog breed, visit our Amazon Dog Lover’s Book Store.

Samoyed Dog Breed Figurine

Samoyed Dog Breed Figurine

Dog Breed Puzzle Solution

June 29, 2011

Free Online Puzzle

Check out the previous post for the dog breed puzzle before reading the solution below.

Rat Terrier – Miscellaneous Class.  Acceptance into the AKC Miscellaneous Class effective July 1, 2010.  When the Board of Directors is satisfied that a breed is continuing a healthy, dynamic growth in the Miscellaneous Class, it may be admitted to registration in the Stud Book and the opportunity to compete in regular classes. (terrier designation)

English Setter – Sporting Group

Afghan Hound – Sight Hound

Harrier – Scent Hound

Newfoundland – Working Group

West Highland White Terrier – Terrier Group

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Toy Group

Boston Terrier – Non-Sporting Group

Canaan Dog – Herding Group

Catahoula – Non-AKC American dog breed.  It is an American dog breed but is not registered with the AKC in any dog breed group – not even the Miscellaneous Class of the AKC.

Corded Poodle – Foreign Dog Breed (Non-AKC).  German in descent.

Sorry if we tried to trick you a bit with the dog breeds.  The Boston Terrier dog breed is not in the AKC Terrier Group and the Catahoula is not an AKC dog breed.  A puzzle wouldn’t be fun if it were too easy.  For more information about the various dog breed s of the world, check out ” The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Bruce Fogle.

Dog Breeds Puzzle – Match the Dog Breeds to Groups

June 26, 2011

Free Online Puzzle

Test your knowledge of dog breeds.  Mix and match dog breeds with each corresponding group.  Dog breeds are listed below, A-K.  Match with the corresponding group, 1-11.  The solution will be posted in three days from the date of this post.

A) Newfoundland
B) Boston Terrier
C) Harrier
D) Canaan Dog
E) Rat Terrier
F) Afghan Hound
G) Catahoula
H) Corded Poole
I) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
J) English Setter
K)West Highland White Terrier

1) AKC Sight Hound (Hound Group)
2) AKC Scent Hound (Hound Group)
3) AKC Working Group
4) AKC Sporting Group
5) AKC Non-Sporting Group
6) AKC Toy Group
7) AKC Terrier Group
8) AKC Herding Group
9) AKC Miscellaneous Class
10) Non-AKC American Dog Breed
11) Foreign Dog Breed (Non-AKC)

See how many dog breeds you can match without having to check in books or online.  If you want to know more about the various dog breeds of the world, including AKC dog breeds, check out “The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Bruce Fogle.

About the Greyhound Dog Breed

June 23, 2011


Greyhound Dog Breed

Greyhound Dog Breed


Dogs looking similar to the Greyhound dog breed have been depicted in ancient art from thousands of years ago.  As a sight hound, the Greyhound has origins from the ancient Middle East.  Greyhound-like dogs are depicted on early Egyptian drawings as well as classic Greek and Roman wares.  Probably during Roman expansion, they Greyhound-like dog breed found his way to Britain.  By Saxon times, this dog breed was well established.

The Greyhound dog breed was kept by both commoners and nobility alike.  He helped the commoners catch food and joined the nobility on the hunt by coursing deer.  In the 1800’s the Greyhound dog breed was popularly used by the upper class for coursing hare in competition.  The popularity of such competitions spread to the lower class and betting on such races became commonplace.  In the 1920s, the chasing of a mechanical lure replaced the old fashioned way of Greyhound racing.  Greyhound racing remains popular today.

While Greyhound racing is more humane than pit fighting, the treatment of the Greyhound dog breed after he was no longer able to race was appalling.  Oftentimes, he was left to starve to death or brutally killed.  Animal activists and rescue groups like the Greyhound Protection League have changed all that.  Now Greyhounds who are no longer able to race are placed in loving homes to live out the rest of their lives.

The Greyhound dog breed is super-fast.  He can run at over 35 miles per hour.  Being fast, you would think that he is a hyper dog who requires a lot of maintenance if kept as a pet.  This is not true.  The Greyhound dog breed is extremely gentle, calm, and docile.  He is good with children and other pets (although due to his instinctive nature to chase, he should be carefully introduced to small pets).  The Greyhound dog breed only needs moderate daily exercise which can include a daily walk or short sprints in a game of fetch.

The Greyhound dog breed has an independent nature which can sometimes make him somewhat more difficult to train than the people-pleasing dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever dog breed.  However, he is a people-pleaser too and responds very well to positive reinforcement training.  As a calm dog breed, the Greyhound is also a relatively quiet breed.  He is not much of a guard dog and is not generally inclined to barking.

The Greyhound dog breed stands about 26 to 29 inches tall and weighs about 60 to 70 pounds.  He is graceful, slender, and strong.  He has a deep chest and his hindquarters have good muscle definition.  He has a long narrow muzzle and head with small folded ears.  His tail is long and tapering and his feet are hare-like.  Hare-like feet in dogs are feet which have longer toes.  This is common in fast-running dog breeds like the Greyhound dog breed.

The Greyhound dog breed has a short and smooth coat which only needs occasional brushing.  He can be any color like black, gray, red, or fawn.  He can be solid or with patches of color.  And he can be varying shades of brindle.  The American Kennel Club puts no restriction on color for the Greyhound dog breed.

As with most purebred dogs, the Greyhound dog breed tends to acquire some genetic health issues.  Like most large dog breeds, gastric torsion is a risk for the Greyhound dog breed.  Be careful about what he eats and don’t let him run immediately after eating.  The Greyhound dog breed also tends to develop arthritis and other rheumatic disorders.  Bone cancer is also a concern.

If you are considering bringing a Greyhound dog breed into your family, you couldn’t have chosen better.  Despite his large size, he is a great house pet and will do well with every member of your family.  But rather than buy a Greyhound dog breed, please consider adopting one.  There are thousands of Greyhound dog breeds all over the US retiring from their racing days and in need of a good loving home.

Greyhound Dog Breed Figurine

For more information on the Greyhound Dog Breed, check out “Greyhounds, Barron’s Complete Pet Owner’s Manual