Dog Breed – Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog, is classified as a working dog by the American Kennel Club. Portuguese Water Dogs are originally from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from where the breed expanded to all around Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the Atlantic waters of Portugal to the waters off the coast of Iceland fishing for cod.

In 1297 in a monk’s account of a drowning sailor who was pulled from the sea by a dog with a “black coat, the hair long and rough, cut to the first rib and with a tail tuft”.

These theories explain how the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog may have developed from the same ancient genetic pool. At one time the Poodle was a longer-coated dog, as is one variety of the Portuguese Water Dog. It is said that the current day Poodle, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Irish Water Spaniel are possibly ancestors of the “water dog”.

Portuguese and Spanish water dogs are clearly related and probably have a common ancestor. The closest relatives of the PWD and are widely thought to be the Standard Poodle. Like Poodles and several other water dog breeds, PWDs are intelligent, can have curly coats, have webbed toes for swimming, and do not shed. However, Portuguese Water Dogs are more robustly built, with stout legs, and can have a wavy coat instead of tightly curled. If comparing the structure to that of a Poodle, there are significant differences between the two breeds. The Portuguese Water Dog is built of strong substantial bone; well developed, neither refined nor coarse, and a solidly built, muscular body. Portuguese Water Dog eyes are black or various tones of brown, and their coats can be black, brown, black and white or brown and white.

Portuguese Water dogs are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. They are generally friendly to strangers, and enjoy being petted, which, owing to their soft, fluffy coats, is a favour that human beings willingly grant them.

Because they are working dogs, PWDs are generally content in being at their master’s side, awaiting directions, and, if they are trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. They learn very quickly, seem to enjoy the training, and have a long memory for the names of objects. These traits and their non-shedding coats mean they excel at the various service dog roles such as hearing dogs (assistance dogs for the deaf), mobility dogs, and seizure response dogs. They also make unusually good therapy dogs.

A PWD usually stays in proximity to its owners, both indoors and outdoors. Although very gregarious animals, these dogs will typically bond with one primary or alpha family member. Some speculate that this intense bonding arose in the breed because the dogs were selected to work in proximity to their masters on small fishing boats, unlike other working dogs such as herding dogs and water dogs that range out to perform tasks. In any case, the modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working dog, loves water and attention and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner.

Dog Breed – Saint Bernard

The St. Bernard or St Bernard  is a breed of very large working dog from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. They were originally bred for rescue work by the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border. The hospice, built by and named after Italian monk Bernard of Menthon, acquired its first dogs between 1660 and 1670. The breed has become famous through tales of Alpine rescues, as well as for its large size.

The St. Bernard is recognized internationally today as one of the Molossoid breeds. It is a giant dog. The coat can be either smooth or rough; the smooth coat being close and flat, while the rough is dense, flat, and more profuse around the neck and legs. The colour is typically a red shade with white, or a mahogany brindle with white. Black shading is usually found on the face and ears. The tail is long and heavy, hanging high. The eyes are usually brown, but sometimes can be icy blue, and should have naturally tight lids, with haws only slightly visible.

The earliest written records of the St. Bernard are from monks at the Great St Bernard Hospice at the Great St Bernard Pass in 1707, with paintings and drawings of the dog dating even earlier. The first evidence that the dogs were in use at the monastery is in two paintings dating to 1690 by Italian artist Salvator Rosa. The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry (sometimes spelled Berry), who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives. There is a monument to Barry in the Cimetière des Chiens, and his body was preserved in the Natural History Museum in Bern. Another famous dog was Rutor, the faithful companion of the Italian priest Pierre Chanoux, who was named after the peak Tête du Rutor located above the Little St Bernard pass. The classic St. Bernard looked very different from the St. Bernard of today because of crossbreeding. Severe winters from 1816 to 1818 led to increased numbers of avalanches, killing many of the dogs used for breeding while they were performing rescues. In an attempt to preserve the breed, the remaining St. Bernards were crossed with Newfoundlands brought from the Colony of Newfoundland in the 1850s, and so lost much of their use as rescue dogs in the snowy climate of the Alps because the long fur they inherited would freeze and weigh them down.

The dogs never received any special training from the monks. Instead, younger dogs would learn how to perform search and rescue operations from older dogs.

The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded in Basel on 15 March 1884. The St. Bernard was the very first breed entered into the Swiss Stud Book in 1884, and the breed standard was finally approved in 1888. Since then, the breed has been a Swiss national dog.

The dogs at the St. Bernard hospice were working dogs that were smaller than today’s show St. Bernards. Originally about the size of a German Shepherd Dog, the St. Bernard grew to the size of today’s dog as kennel clubs and dog shows emphasized appearance over the dog’s working ability, along with a closed stud book.

An open stud book would have allowed breeders to correct such errors by breeding in working dogs of other dog breeds.

The name “St. Bernard” originates from the Great St Bernard Hospice, a traveller’s hospice on the often treacherous Great St Bernard Pass in the Western Alps, between Switzerland and Italy. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th century Italian monk who established the station.

“St. Bernard” was not in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called “Saint Dogs”, “Noble Steeds”, “Alpenmastiffs”, or “Barry Dogs” before that time.

The breed is strikingly similar to the English Mastiff, with which it shares a common ancestor known as the Alpine Mastiff. The modern St. Bernard is radically different than the original dogs kept at the St. Bernard hospice, most notably by being much larger in size and build. Since the late 1800s, the St. Bernard breed has been ever refined and improved, using many different large molosser-type breeds, including the Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, English Mastiff, and possibly the Tibetan Mastiff and Caucasian Shepherd Dog. Other breeds such as the Rottweiler, Boxer, and Bulldog may have contributed to the St. Bernard’s bloodline as well. It is suspected that many of these large breeds were used to redevelop each other to combat the threat of their extinction after World War II, which may explain why all of them played a part in the creation of the St. Bernard as it is seen today.

The four Sennenhund breeds, the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog), the Appenzeller Sennenhund (Appenzeller Mountain Dog), and the Entlebucher Sennenhund (Entlebucher Mountain Dog) are similar in appearance to the St. Bernard and share the same location and history, but are tricolor rather than red and white.

The Russian army kennels crossbred St. Bernards with Caucasian Shepherd Dogs to produce the Moscow Watchdogs that are still used as military service dogs in Russia today. St Bernards have in common many characteristics of livestock guardian dog breeds.

Known as a classic example of a gentle giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality. The biggest threat to small children is being accidentally knocked over by this breed’s larger size. Overall they are a gentle, loyal and affectionate breed, and if socialized are very friendly. Because of its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large dogs. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog’s training. While generally not instinctively protective, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders.

The St. Bernard was bred to be a working companion and to this day the St. Bernard lives to please its master and is an amiable yet hard worker. St. Bernards have retained their natural ability for scent work and depending on the skill of the trainer and the talents of the dog, St. Bernards can participate in tracking events or even become involved in search and rescue work.

St. Bernards are often portrayed, especially in old live action comedies such as Swiss Miss, the TV series Topper, and classic cartoons, wearing small barrels of brandy around their necks. Avalanche victims supposedly drank the brandy to stay warm while awaiting rescue, although this is medically unsound. The monks of the St. Bernard Hospice deny that any St. Bernard has ever carried casks or small barrels around their necks; they attribute the image to an 1820 painting by Edwin Landseer, perhaps Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler (which became a popular engraving in 1831 by Charles Landseer). The monks did keep casks around for photographs by tourists.

Dog Breed – Chow Chow

Know your Breed

The Chow-Chow is a dog breed originally from northern China. The Chow-Chow is a sturdily built dog, square in profile, with a broad skull and small, triangular, erect ears with rounded tips. The breed is known for a very dense double coat that is either smooth or rough.  The fur is particularly thick in the neck area, giving it a distinctive ruff or mane appearance. The Chow-Chow has been identified as a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th Century.

One Chinese legend mentions large war dogs from Central Asia that resembled black-tongued lions. One Chinese ruler was said to own 5,000 Chows. The Chinese also used Chows to pull dog-sleds, and this was remarked upon by Marco Polo. One author states that the Chow-Chow was also bred for human consumption.

Today, the American Kennel Club registers approximately 10,000 Chow-Chows a year. The Canadian Kennel Club registers approximately 350.

Appearance

The Chow-Chow is a sturdily built dog, square in profile, with a broad skull and small, triangular, erect ears with rounded tips. The breed is known for a very dense double coat that is either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick in the neck area, giving it a distinctive ruff or mane appearance. The coat may be shaded/self-red, black, blue, cinnamon/fawn, or cream. Not all these color varieties are recognized as valid in all countries. Individuals with patchy or multicolored coats are considered to be outside the breed standard. Chow-Chow eyes are typically deep set and almond shaped. The breed is unique by their purple/blue-black tongue which no other breed has except Shar Pei, and has very straight hind legs, resulting in a rather stilted gait. The bluish color extends to the Chow-Chow’s lips; this is the only dog breed with this distinctive bluish color in its lips and oral cavity (other dogs have black or a piebald pattern skin in their mouths). Another distinctive feature is the curly tail. It has thick hair and lies curled on its back. The nose should be black, but blue-coated Chow-Chow can have a solid blue or slate-colored nose.

The blue-black/purple tongue gene appears to be dominant, as most mixed breed dogs that come from a Chow-Chow retain that tongue colour.

Temperament

Most commonly kept as pets, Chow-Chows tend to display discernment of strangers and can become fiercely protective of their owners and property. The American Kennel Club standards, however, consider an all-too aggressive or all-too timid Chow-Chow to be unacceptable. For that reason, some owners have attributed a cat-like personality to the Chow-Chow.

Chow-Chow are not excessively active, meaning that they can be housed in an apartment. However, a Chow-Chow living in an apartment will need daily exercise to prevent restlessness and boredom. Upon realizing that exercise is a daily occurrence, Chow-Chow will tend to be more assertive with owners in anticipation of such activities.

This breed of dog has many strong loyal bonds with friends and family, but the Chow-Chow dog is usually overly protective of one or two main family members. It is in the breed’s nature to be quiet and well-behaved, but it is also resistant to training. Chow-Chows become very stubborn and attach to certain individuals as they age. This makes training them when they are puppies crucial, because they gain respect for those who care for them.

To avoid aggression and over-protectiveness as an adult, continuous socialization as early as possible could allow the dog to adjust. When a Chow-Chow reaches adolescence it rejects authority from any owner who failed to earn its admiration. Aggression can be one distinctive behavioural characteristic in this breed, though while some are of an aggressive nature, many are known to be easy-going in nature – sometimes adopting an aloof disposition to individuals other than their owners.

Aggression when it does appear is often towards other dogs of the same gender, especially Chows. Due to their strong hunting instincts, it is recommended that these dogs stay fenced, leashed, and away from cats and small dogs. This is why it is crucial that they are socialized early and consistently to act appropriately with strangers. At first, chow-chows are very hesitant in interacting with strangers. However, this problem can be avoided if the owners train the chow-chow at a young age.

Owning a Chow-Chow can raise the cost of homeowners insurance because some companies consider them high-risk dogs. In a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Chow-Chow were responsible for 8 out of 238 fatalities related to dog bites from 1979 to 1998.

Grooming

Chow breed will heavily shed their fur in the seasons of spring and autumn, which requires more grooming attention than other seasons. It is important that owners use the correct tool to avoid harming the skin and facilitate grooming. Three kinds of brushes that owners can use on their Chow-Chow are a medium-coarse brush for the larger parts of the body, a slick brush for smaller areas, and a pin brush to maintain the longer strands of hair. Chow-Chows are known to have either short and smooth coat, or a rougher and longer coat. Both create a thick woolly layer, as it gets closer to the skin. They should be brushed four times a week; however shedding seasons may require daily grooming. Also, a spray conditioner can help avoiding breakage and tearing to the thick coat of hair. Lastly, a monthly bath is required to avoid fleas and keep a clean coat of fur.

Konrad Lorenz an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist, winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine who is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, had a Chow-Chow mix named Stasi. He wrote about his dogs in his book King Solomon’s Ring.

Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist, owned at least 6 chow chows in her lifetime. O’Keeffe wrote about her dogs in letters to friends and family, took photographs of them, and sketched them. She was a member of The Chow Chow Club, Inc. and kept various veterinary papers, club notifications, feeding schedules, and correspondence relating to her dogs.

Sigmund Freud had a Chow-Chow named Jo-Fi Ling who attended all of his therapy sessions because he felt that dogs had a special sense that allows them to judge a person’s character accurately, and admitted he depended on Jo-Fi for an assessment of a patient’s mental state.

U.S. Navy admiral George Dewey acquired a Chow-Chow in Hong Kong in 1898 and named it Bob. Bob rarely left the admiral’s side and had the run of the cruiser USS Olympia. Bob died in 1899 due to eating chocolates given to Dewey by well-wishers upon Olympia’s arrival in New York City.

Dog Breed – Lhasa Apsos

The Lhasa Apso is a non-sporting dog breed originating in Tibet. It was bred as an interior sentinel in the Buddhist monasteries, to alert the monks to any intruders who entered.

Having been bred as an indoor monastery-sentinel dog by Tibetan Buddhist monks, Lhasa Apsos are alert with a keen sense of hearing. The ideal Lhasa temperament is to be wary of strangers while being loyal to those closest to them. Left untrained, they can be very aggressive to strangers. They rank 68th (out of 79) in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs.

The Lhasa Apso originated on the Himalayan plateau in the area of Tibet. They were domesticated and actively bred perhaps as long ago as 800 BC, which makes the Lhasa Apso one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world.

The Lhasa’s primary function was that of a household sentinel, guarding the homes of Tibetan nobility and Buddhist monasteries, particularly in or near the sacred city of Lhasa. The large Tibetan Mastiffs guarded the monasteries’ entrances, but the keen hearing and sharp bark of the Lhasa Apso served to warn residents by acting like a burglar alarm if an intruder happened to get past the exterior guards.

In the early 1900s, a few of the breed were brought by military men returning from the Indian subcontinent to England, where the breed was referred to as the “Lhasa Terrier”.

The original American pair of Lhasas was a gift from Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama to C. Suydam Cutting, arriving in the United States in 1933. Mr. Cutting had travelled in Tibet and met the Dalai Lama there. At this time, there was only one Lhasa Apso registered in England. The breed was at first called the Lhasa Terrier, later the Lhasa Apso. The American Kennel Club officially accepted the breed in 1935 in the Terrier Group, and in 1959 transferred the breed to the Non-Sporting Group.

Today, in the US, there exists a unique group of Lhasa Apsos known within the fancy as the Gompa dogs. (Gompa is the Tibetan word for a monastery’s main meditation hall.) These Lhasa Apsos are direct descendants of the Lhasa Apsos from the Drepung monastery in Tibet, where, in 1941, Lama Gyen Yeshe was gifted Preserving the Future, Enlisting the Past his first Lhasa Apso by a High Reincarnate Lama. In the 1980s, nine Lhasa Apsos bred by the late Lama Gyen Yeshe or sired by one of his dogs were brought into Canada. Bred together for a number of years, descendants were eventually registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC). In 2000, the remaining descendants entered the United States as part of a successful rescue. Since then, organized efforts have been made to maintain the dogs and preserve the line.

Lhasa Apsos are independent as well as very loyal and eager-to-please dogs, yet they may be suspicious toward strangers. While Lhasa Apsos show loyalty to their owners, they will let their masters know when they don’t want to do something. They will lie flat without moving, “put on the brakes” and refuse to walk forward or try to back away. Time and patience will build trust between the Lhasa and owner.

The male Lhasa Apsos is ideally around 10.75 inches (27.3 cm) at the withers and weigh about 14 to 18 pounds (6.4 to 8.2 kg). The females are slightly smaller and weigh between 12 to 14 pounds (5.4 to 6.4 kg). The breed standard requires dark brown eyes and a black nose, although liver-coloured Lhasas have a brown nose. The texture of the coat is heavy, straight, hard, neither woolly nor silky, and dense. They come in a wide variety of colours including black, white, red, and gold with various shadings.

Lhasas have long coarse hair which causes the weight of the hair to be heavy. Due to the long length of hair, Lhasa Apsos do not shed hair the same way as other breeds. Instead, they shed hair like humans, slowly and continuously, as to keep their hygiene clean and risk of matting and tangling low.

Coming from the extremely cold weather of the Himalayas, the Lhasa has a double coat: an undercoat to keep them warm and an outer coat consisting of guard hairs for protection and aiding to keep their coat flat and smooth.

Routine brushing and bathing are necessary, not only to keep up on the slow continuous shedding but also to remove any dirt and debris that may get caught within the hair strands. A Lhasa with a thick, coarse outer coat will likely require less grooming than a Lhasa with a lot of undercoats and soft, less coarse top coat.

Dog Breed – Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is a dog acknowledged for its importance to Japanese nobility. It is also known for its strabismus of the eyes. Being both a lap dog and a companion dog, this toy breed has a distinctive heritage.

While most believe that the source breed for the Japanese Chin originated in China. According to one story, the dogs were given to the Japanese royalty in AD 732, as gifts from the rulers of Korea. Others maintain that they were given as gifts to the Empress of Japan as early as the middle of the sixth century or by the seventh century. Still others claim that the Chin first arrived in Japan around the year AD 1000.

In 1613, the Japanese Chin was brought to England and in 1853 was acquired by American naval officer, Matthew Calbraith Perry. From 1868 they have been lap dogs to ladies of the upper class and today are companion dogs.

Japanese Chin stand about 20 to 27 cm (8 to 11 inches) in height at the withers. Weight can vary from a low of 1.4 kg (3 lb) to a high of 6.8 kg (15 lb), with an average of 3.2 to 4.1 kg (7 to 9 lb) being the most common. Its distinctive expression is characterized by a large rounded broad head, large wide-set dark eyes, a very short broad muzzle, ear feathering, and evenly patterned facial markings.

Common health issues in the Japanese Chin include luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), cataracts, and early-onset heart murmurs. The Chin, as with most small breed dogs, can also have a risk of hypoglycemia when aged under six months or weighing four to five lbs or less. Some Japanese Chin have seasonal allergies.

The Japanese Chin’s flattened brachycephalic face can lead to breathing and eye problems. Temperature extremes (particularly heat) should therefore be avoided. Its oversized eyes are easily scratched and corneal scratches or more serious ulcerations can result.

Most dogs have two types of hair in their coat: an under and over coat. However, the Japanese Chin only has an over coat. An adult coat can take up to two years to completely grow in and can be either black and white, red and white, or tricolour.

This breed is considered one of the most cat-like of the dog breeds in attitude: it is alert, intelligent, and independent, and it uses its paws to wash and wipe its face. Other cat-like traits include their preference for resting on high surfaces, their good sense of balance, and their tendency to hide in unexpected places. Japanese Chin are loyal to their owners and are typically a friendly breed. While Japanese Chin prefer familiar surroundings, they also do well in new situations. This, alongside their friendly demeanour, makes them good therapy dogs.

Dog Breed – Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland’s earliest working dogs. The breed was given the name Cairn because the breed’s function was to hunt and chase quarry between the cairns in the Scottish highlands.

The Cairn Terrier dog breed is a small working terrier developed on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Farmers used them to rid their property of vermin, and they needed a dog with courage, tenacity, and intelligence—characteristics still found in today’s Cairn.

The Cairn’s unique qualities, called “Cairnishness,” include a short, wide head and a free-moving, short-legged body that exudes strength but not heaviness, topping out at about 10 inches high and about 15 inches long. The double coat is harsh and wiry on top and downy beneath. A Cairn presents as a small, shaggy, alert dog, with head, tail, and ears up, and eyes shining with intelligence.

A British breed club promotes Cairns as the “best little pal in the world.” Cairns are small enough for a lap-top snuggle and sturdy enough for a good romp on the lawn. They do best with lots of close family contact. For owners who cherish the terrier qualities of gameness, independent thinking, and true-blue loyalty, no other breed will do.

The cairn terrier is the energetic, brave and devoted little dog that most of us know as Toto in “The Wizard of Oz.” But his roots extend farther back in time than that, and his accomplishments, too, are far greater.

The Cairn terrier may have existed as long ago as the 16th century, helping to control vermin on the Isle of Skye. Their specialty was in bolting quarry, particularly otters, from heaps of stone known as cairns. The breed is related to the Scottish and West Highland white terriers, and crosses with Westies occurred as recently as the 1920s. Today, the Cairn terrier is an excellent all-around family pet and show dog.

Dog Breed – Akita

The Akita is a large and powerful dog breed with a noble and intimidating presence. They were originally used for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan. These dogs also tracked and hunted wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer.

The Akita is a medium breed of dog originating from the mountainous regions of northern Japan. There are two separate varieties of Akita: a Japanese strain, commonly called Akita Inu (inu means dog in Japanese) or Japanese Akita, and an American strain, known as the Akita or American Akita. The Japanese strain comes in a narrow palette of colours, with all other colours considered atypical of the breed, while the American strain comes in all dog colours. The Akita has a short double-coat similar to that of many other northern spitz breeds such as the Siberian Husky, but long-coated dogs can also be found in many litters due to a recessive gene.

The Akita is perhaps the most renowned and venerated of the native Japanese breeds. Although it bears a likeness to dogs from ancient Japanese tombs, the modern Akita is the result of a concerted nineteenth century effort to restore seven native Japanese dog breeds. The Akita, largest of these breeds, was restored using many breeds, including indigenous Odate dogs, which were used as the best representatives of native Japanese animals. Over time, Japanese breeders selected against many traits descended from some ancestors, including black mask, pinto pattern, and substantial size; whereas American breeders perpetuated those traits. In 1918, the Akita-inu Hozankai Society of Japan was formed to preserve the original Akita, and in 1931 the Akita was designated as one of Japan’s natural monuments.

The most honoured Akita of all time was Hachiko, who greeted his master every evening at the train station to accompany him home. When his master died at work one day, Haichiko waited for him, and continued to return and wait for his master every day until he died nine years later on March 8, 1935. Today, a statue and annual ceremony pay homage to Haichiko’s loyalty. The first Akita arrived in America in 1937, when Helen Keller returned from Japan with one. Following World War II, servicemen returned home with Akitas from Japan. The breed’s popularity grew slowly until it received AKC recognition in 1972. Since then, it has steadily gained admirers and continues to grow in popularity. The Akita is now used as a guard and police dog in Japan.

The Akita does not back down from challenges and does not frighten easily. Consequently, they are fearless and loyal guardians of their families. Yet they are also affectionate, respectful, and amusing dogs when properly trained and socialized.

An Akita is bound to shed quite a bit, and you may be wiping some drool from their face if you bring one home. Certainly, owners should be prepared for some clean up. Furthermore, they tend to be stubborn and are not overly fond of strangers. While those can be good traits for a watchdog, they’ll need an experienced trainer if they’re to interact with other animals or people. The Akita is not a suitable pet for novices.

That said, dogs of this breed are faithful companions that will be attached to the right human for life and shower them with adoration and love. Therefore, if you and your family are up for the challenge and consider adopting an Akita, you’ll have a lifelong friend who won’t let you down.

Dog Breed – Field Spaniel

The Field Spaniel is a medium-sized dog breed of spaniel type. They were originally developed to be all-black show dogs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were unpopular for work as a hunting dog. However, during the mid-20th century they were redeveloped as a longer-legged dog that was more suitable to be used for field work. They are now considered to be a rare breed, and are registered as a Vulnerable Native Breed by The Kennel Club.

The sturdy, medium-sized Field Spaniel dog breed was originally developed to retrieve game from land or water. Today, while they retain their excellent hunting skills, they’re mainly family companions and show dogs and are rarely seen in the field.

These dogs love people and are loyal family friends. However, they do not fair as well in apartments due to their high energy and exercise needs. If you decide this is the breed for you, make sure your dog has plenty of space to run and play, and keep up with daily walks.

Field Spaniels bear a family resemblance to Cocker, Springer, and Sussex spaniels. The distinctive glossy coat is either black, some shade of liver, or combinations of the two. They stand 17 or 18 inches at the shoulder and should present the picture of well-balanced, moderately proportioned hunting companions. The long, feathery ears frame a facial expression conveying a grave, gentle intelligence.

Field Spaniels are sweet, sensitive souls with just enough independence to make life interesting. They are trustworthy with kids, tolerant of their fellow mammals, and responsive to training. The U.S. breed standard calls these tranquil house dogs “unusually docile,” but they are nonetheless playful and enjoy a good backyard romp.

Field Spaniels require less grooming than most other spaniel breeds. Even to get them ready for the conformation show ring is not an involved process as they are to be shown looking as natural as possible. No fancy trimming is necessary.

The Field Spaniel is a rare breed that can be hard to find. Take the time to research breeders and find one who is willing to help you find just the right puppy. A responsible breeder will ensure that your puppy’s parents are screened for any genetic conditions that may exist in the breed and will be diligent in removing from the gene pool any dogs with serious health conditions for which no screening test is yet available.

Dog Breed – Pug

Pugs often are described as a lot of dog in a small space. These sturdy, compact dogs are a part of the American Kennel Club’s Toy group, and are known as the clowns of the canine world because they have a great sense of humour and like to show off. Originally bred to be a lap dog, the Pug thrives on human companionship.

A Little History

Pugs originated in China, dating back to the Han dynasty (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). Some historians believe they are related to the Tibetan Mastiff. They were prized by the Emperors of China and lived in luxurious accommodations, sometimes even being guarded by soldiers.

Pugs are one of three types of short-nosed dogs that are known to have been bred by the Chinese: the Lion dog, the Pekingese, and the Lo-sze, which was the ancient Pug. Some think that the famous “Foo Dogs” of China are representations of the ancient Pug. Evidence of Pug-like dogs has been found in ancient Tibet and Japan.

In the latter 1500s and early 1600s, China began trading with European countries. Reportedly, the first Pugs brought to Europe came with the Dutch traders, who named the breed Mopshond, a name still used today.

Pugs quickly became favourites of royal households throughout Europe, and even played a role in the history of many of these families. In Holland, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after a Pug reportedly saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving him a warning that the Spaniards were approaching in 1572. When William of Orange (later called William III) went to England in 1688 with his wife, Mary II, to take the throne from James II, they brought their Pugs with them.

It is known that black pugs existed in the 1700s because the famous artist, William Hogarth, was a Pug enthusiast. He portrayed a black Pug and many others in his famous paintings. In 1785, Goya also portrayed Pugs in his paintings.

As the Pug’s popularity spread throughout Europe, it was often known by different names in different countries. In France, it was called Carlin; in Spain Dogullo; in Germany Mops; and in Italy, Caganlino.

Marie Antoinette had a Pug named Mops before she married Louis XVI at the age of 15. Another famous Frenchwoman, Josephine Bonaparte, had a Pug named Fortune. Before she married Napoleon Bonaparte, she was confined at Les Carmes prison. Since her beloved Pug was the only “visitor” she was allowed, she would conceal messages in his collar to take to her family.

In the early 1800s, Pugs were standardized as a breed with two lines becoming dominant in England. One line was called the Morrison line and, reportedly, was founded upon the royal dogs of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. The other line was developed by Lord and Lady Willoughby d’Eresby, and was founded on dogs imported from Russia or Hungary.

Meanwhile, in China, Pugs continued to be bred by the royal families. When the British overran the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860, they

discovered several Pugs, and brought some of the little dogs back to England with them.

Pugs became very popular during the Victorian era and were featured in many paintings, postcards, and figurines of the period.

Queen Victoria had many Pugs, and also bred them. The queen preferred apricot-fawn Pugs, whereas another Pug fancier, Lady Brassey, made black Pugs fashionable after she brought some back from China in 1886.

Pugs were introduced to the United States after the Civil War, and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. At first, Pugs were very popular, but by the turn of the century, interest in the breed waned. A few dedicated breeders kept breeding and, after some years, the breed regained popularity. Founded in 1931, the Pug Dog Club of America was also recognized by the AKC that year.

Characteristics

The Pug’s comical face, with deep wrinkles around big, dark eyes and a flat round face, can’t help but make you smile. It is believed that the Pug’s name comes from the Latin word for “fist” because his face resembles a human fist.

Pugs are clowns at heart, but they carry themselves with dignity. Pugs are playful dogs, ready and able for games, but they are also lovers, and must be close to their humans. Pugs love to be the center of attention, and are heartsick if ignored.

The moles on a Pug’s cheeks are called “beauty spots.” His muzzle or mask is black, with a clearly defined “thumb mark” on the forehead and a black trace down the center of the back. His ears are smooth, black and velvety. He has a characteristic undershot jaw (the lower teeth extend slightly beyond the upper teeth) and a tightly curled tail.

While Pugs can be good watchdogs, they aren’t inclined to be “yappy,” something your neighbours will appreciate. If trained and well-socialized, they get along well with other animals and children. Because they are a small, quiet breed and are relatively inactive when indoors, they are a good choice for apartment dwellers. Due to the flat shape of the Pug’s face, he does not do well in extremely hot or cold weather, and should be kept indoors.

Pugs have a short, double coat, and are known for shedding profusely. If you live with a Pug, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality vacuum cleaner.

Personality

Don’t expect a Pug to hunt, guard or retrieve. Pugs were bred to be companions, and that’s exactly what they do best. The Pug craves affection — and your lap — and is very unhappy if his devotion isn’t reciprocated.

He tends to be a sedentary dog, content to sit in your lap as you read a book or watch a movie. This doesn’t mean the Pug is a stick-in-the-mud. Au contraire. He is a playful, comical dog that enjoys living it up, and delights his owner with silly antics.

Like every dog, the Pug needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Pug puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbours will also help him polish his social skills.