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UKC Terrier Group





History

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Several types of dogs are currently called “pit bulls” in the United States: the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Ancestors of today’s “pit bulls” were developed in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England from ancient Mastiff stock. These early bulldogs were used for hunting difficult game such as wild boar, and as catch dogs for farmers and butchers. The dogs would catch hogs by the ear and bulls by the nose until their master could get a rope around the animal. These dogs also were used in displays of bullbaiting. The name “bulldog” might have come from the dog’s use on bulls, but it also might have originally been “bold dog” because the breed was unafraid of such formidable animals as bears and bulls. Early artwork reveals that today’s American Pit Bull Terrier looks a lot like the original bulldog, so it very well may be a direct descendant, with little in the way of crosses to other breeds. However, the exact mixes that went into what we know as the pit-bull breeds today are shrouded in mystery; owners of fighting dogs were so competitive with each other that they did not divulge their breeding secrets.

When British settlers came to America, they brought their dogs of various sorts with them, including pit-bull types. The role of these versatile, intelligent dogs expanded to include working cattle and hogs; fighting and hunting bears, cougars, and wolves; and protecting the family and homestead. The American Pit Bull Terrier has been called by many names, including the “Old Family Dog” and American Bull Terrier. The RCA Victor mascot was an American Pit Bull, as was Buster Brown’s dog “Tige,” and “Petey” of The Little Rascals. The American Pit Bull Terrier is recognized by the ADBA (American Dog Breeders’ Association, the flagship registry) and the United Kennel Club (UKC). In fact, the United Kennel Club was originally formed by its founder, Chauncy Bennett, to provide a registry specifically for American Pit Bull Terriers.

In 1936, some American Pit Bull Terrier breeders spun off to join the AKC so they could participate in conformation showing in that organization, and the breed was renamed the Staffordshire Terrier. However, some individual dogs (including “Petey” of The Little Rascals) were and still are being registered in both organizations, under both breed names. In 1972, when the Staffordshire Terrier’s English cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, joined the AKC, the Staffordshire Terrier was renamed the American Staffordshire Terrier to further distinguish it from the British breed.

Though the American Pit Bull Terrier has received a great deal of negative publicity, this is mostly due to unscrupulous breeders who have encouraged aggressive characteristics in the breed. This athletic, versatile, affectionate breed can be an excellent working dog and family companion when given the right socialization, handling, and training. His working abilities and athleticism also help him excel at many sports, including obedience, agility, and weight pulling.

Description

The American Pit Bull Terrier is athletic, strong, and agile with a deep chest and a squarely built, sturdy body. The medium-length head has a flat skull with prominent cheek muscles, and a broad, square, or slightly tapering muzzle with powerful jaws. The high-set ears might be cropped or uncropped. The eyes are round, set low and far apart. The eyes and nose can be any color. The back is short, a bit higher at the withers and slightly arched at the loin, but the body is slightly longer than tall. The tapering tail is rather short and low-set. It should never be carried over the back, and it should never be docked or bobbed. The coat is short. All colors and color combinations are permissible except for merle. The standard for the American Pit Bull Terrier is looser than for many other breeds, as this dog was bred for working and fighting ability and not for his looks. For example, some smaller dogs may be 35 lbs. while some weight pulling competitors weigh up to 95 lbs. Dogs should be well proportioned for their size and should move with a springy gait.





Key Facts

  • Height: 18 to 20 in. (male); 16 to 20 in. (female)
  • Size: Medium
  • Weight: 35 to 60 lbs. (male); 30 to 55 lbs. (female)
  • Availability: Might take some effort to find
  • Talents: Hunting, tracking, watchdog, carting, weight pulling, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks

Notes

This breed requires a lot of exercise. Choose another breed if you do not have the time to exercise your dog thoroughly and regularly, or consider getting your dog a treadmill or spring pole (a solo tug-of-war machine). Serious use of a treadmill should begin only at a year and a half or later so it doesn’t interfere with bone formation. The American Pit Bull Terrier does well in most climates with appropriate shelter. Protect from cold weather because of his short coat, and watch out for overexertion in hot weather. American Pit Bull Terriers like to dig and jump, and are known as escape artists, so they might require a more secure environment than many other breeds. Speak with a knowledgeable breeder about what works best. American Pit Bull Terriers are generally quite hardy, but some lines are prone to demodectic mange, a skin disease that may or may not be controllable. In addition, a serious hereditary disease called Cerebellar Ataxia affects some American Pit Bull Terriers. Cerebellar Ataxia causes degeneration of the central nervous system, and symptoms generally do not appear until dogs have reached 3 years old or more, making this a vital concern for people purchasing a puppy. If a puppy inherits the gene for this disease from both parents, he or she will have the disease. If the puppy inherits the gene from only one parent, the pup is called a “carrier” and can appear completely healthy, but can pass on the disease to offspring. Thankfully, there is now a DNA test available to identify carriers so they can be removed from breeding programs. For more details about this test and Cerebellar Ataxia, please visit: http://www.optigen.com/opt9_cerebellarataxia_amstaff.html. Ask breeders whether they have tested their breeding stock for Cerebellar Ataxia. Be sure to check local ordinances—some municipalities have laws regulating ownership of this breed. For example, some require a muzzle when the dog is out in public. Some insurance companies may not provide liability coverage for pit bull breeds.

Personality

Alert and outgoing. Spirited. Very loyal. Intelligent, trainable, eager, and willing to please, but needs a firm and consistent owner. Requires a lot of interaction with his human family — do not get this breed unless you want a real companion. Does best as a house dog, as part of the family. Has a strong affinity for children, though, as with all breeds, children should be supervised and trained how to treat dogs properly. Though American Pit Bull Terriers tend to be friendly with strangers, and therefore are not good guard dogs, they will lay down their lives for their families if needed. The breed is renowned for its gameness, unflagging courage, and sustained determination.

The early American Pit Bull Terrier was specifically bred to combat other dogs, so many adults of the breed have a strong tendency to dog aggression, particularly if challenged by another dog. It is crucial to socialize puppies well and early with other inoculated dogs and puppies to minimize problems in this area, but even with the best of training and socialization, some individuals of this breed will turn on other dogs once they reach adulthood. American Pit Bull Terrier owners should be aware that eventually their pets might need to be isolated from other dogs. The best way to avoid problems is to socialize thoroughly, keep the adult American Pit Bull Terrier on a leash and under control at all times in public, and avoid situations where a confrontation is possible. Dog parks are not generally advisable. Many American Pit Bull Terrier owners carry and learn how to use a “breaking stick,” which allows them to safely pull apart dogs that are fighting. The American Pit Bull Terrier was bred to be extremely insensitive to pain (a trait which helped make him such a successful fighter), so it is advisable to use a pinch collar to get the dog’s attention, rather than trying to use a choke collar. The choke collar can damage his throat.

To ensure that dogs were approachable in the middle of pit fights, even when badly injured or emotionally excited, the early American Pit Bull Terrier was specifically bred to be willing, responsive, and gentle to humans. In the pit fighting world, dogs who displayed aggression to humans were immediately shot. There were very few incidents of human aggression in the breed prior to the 1970s. However, unscrupulous breeders over the last few decades have encouraged aggression toward humans, leading to the tragic stories about pit bulls that pepper the news today. If you’re looking for an excellent family dog and companion, be sure to buy your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy from a highly reputable breeder, then socialize and train the dog properly and thoroughly. If you have any problems with aggression with your American Pit Bull Terrier, immediately consult a professional trainer who specializes in this breed.

Behavior

  • Children: Good with children, but should be supervised
  • Friendliness: Fairly friendly with strangers
  • Trainability: Easy to train
  • Independence: Not particularly dependent or independent
  • Dominance: High
  • Other Pets: Might be aggressive with same-sex dogs; do not trust with non-canine pets.
  • Combativeness: Very dog-aggressive
  • Noise: Not much barking
  • Indoors: Fairly active indoors
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners

Care

  • Grooming: Almost no grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping of the coat needed
  • Coat: Short coat
  • Shedding: Average shedder
  • Docking/Cropping: The ears are customarily cropped
  • Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging: A good jogging companion
  • Apartments: Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space: A small yard is sufficient.
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Longevity: Fairly long lifespan (about 12-15 years)






Useful Links

UKC® American Pit Bull Terrier Breed Standard

ukcdogs.com/american-pit-bull-terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier Breed Club

adbadog.com

Search for a Breeder

adbadog.com/classifieds

Rescue Organizations

pbrc.net

Books about the American Pit Bull Terrier

Amazon.com

American Pit Bull Terrier Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Sporting Group





History

Copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient breed that has been used in the Mediterranean area for thousands of years. Small, curly-coated hunting dogs, much like today’s Lagotto Romagnolo, are depicted in frescos from the Etruscan necropolis of Spina, dating back to the seventh century, B.C. Written evidence and paintings show that peasants living in the marshlands around Italy’s Romagna region bred the Lagotto Romagnolo (meaning “lake dog of Romagna”) to be a water retriever at least as early as the fifteenth century. At the same time, they were used to hunt truffles—a rare and delicious mushroom that grows underground. When the peasants drained the marshes to create more farmland in the nineteenth century, duck hunting decreased and the dogs were used more often to find truffles.

Like truffle-searching pigs, the Lagotto Romagnolo has a keen nose. But one advantage of using dogs rather than pigs is that dogs are less likely to eat the truffles. Today, this affectionate, energetic, curly-coated dog is the only breed in the world recognized as a truffle-hunting dog. Due to its early use as a hunting dog, however, the Lagotto Romagnolo, also known as the “Romagna Water Dog,” is thought to be the founder of all modern-day water dogs. Its keen sense of smell also makes the dog well-suited to both search and rescue and drug-sniffing work.

The first Lagotti were imported to the United States in 1996. The AKC accepted the dog for Foundation Stock Service in 2001, and they were admitted to the AKC Miscellaneous Class in 2013. They entered the AKC Sporting Group in July 2015.

Description

Nearly as tall as he is long, the Lagotto Romagnolo’s general appearance is well-proportioned, powerful, and rustic. The head is trapezoidal with a moderate stop. The muzzle is broad, wedge-shaped, and slightly shorter than the skull; the nostrils are large and open and can be light to dark brown (depending on coat color). The lips are tight and covered with a long, bristly moustache. Scissors or reverse scissors bites are acceptable. The large, rounded eyes range in color from ochre to dark brown (depending on coat color). The expression should be alert and lively. The medium-sized ears are triangular with a wide base, rounded tips, and looser curls than on the body; they hang when the dog is at rest and rise slightly when the dog is alert.

The neck is strong and lean, and has no dewlap. The body is also strong and should have a roughly square frame, with the back as long as the dog’s height at the withers. The back is straight and muscular, with the withers rising slightly above the croup. Both the loin and the croup should be strong. The underline is nearly straight, with a very slight tuck-up.

The tail, which is covered with bristly hair, tapers toward the end and just barely reaches the hocks. It is carried like a scimitar when the dog is at rest; when he is working, he may raise his tail higher, but it should never curl all the way over the back.

The forelegs are vertical and muscular; the hindquarters should be powerful and well- proportioned. The front feet are slightly rounded and compact, with arched, tight toes, and strong, curved nails; the back feet are slightly more oval and the nails less arched.

The Lagotto Romagnolo’s distinctive coat is woolly, with tight, ring-shaped curls across the body and tail. On the head and ears, the curls are looser and form bushy eyebrows, whiskers, and a beard. This breed also has a visible undercoat. When properly clipped, the coat should be uniform around the dog’s body, and not more than about 1.5 in. long. (The fur on the head can be longer, but shouldn’t cover the eyes.) The dog should look natural and rustic; a fluffy show coat, such as that found in poodles, is not appropriate. Acceptable colors include off-white (solid), white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, orange (with or without white), and various shades of brown (with or without white patches). A brown mask and/or tan markings are acceptable.





Key Facts

  • Height:  17 to 19 in. (male); 16 to 18 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  24 to 35 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Jogging, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, police, search and rescue, agility, obedience, tricks, therapy dog, dock diving, fly ball

Notes

The Lagotto Romagnolo doesn’t shed, but its coat requires either a full shave once a year so it doesn’t “felt” or “mat,” or regular, less drastic clipping throughout the year. Owners need to brush the dogs regularly (about once a week). Lagotti can get destructive when bored or lonely. Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are both common in the breed.

Personality

Described as bright, happy, and affectionate, the Lagotto Romagnolo is deeply intelligent and motivated by a strong desire to please his owner. That intelligence and eagerness make the breed easy to train, but it also means the Lagotto needs owners who will give him plenty of attention, mental stimulation, and physical activity—and not owners who are rarely home or looking for a dog who can stay outside most of the day. Lagotti love to walk, hike, swim, retrieve, play tracking games, do agility, and perform tricks; they will be happy, in fact, to do pretty much whatever their humans want to do, as long as they’re together. Many breeders say that the dogs’ interest in hunting game has been bred out of them so they can focus on truffles. Others say this isn’t true, as hunters still use them for game hunting in some parts of the world. With proper socialization in puppyhood, the dog is exuberantly friendly; without it, this breed can be a little reserved, at first, with strangers, but almost never aggressive.

Behavior

  • Children:  Excellent with children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Very easy to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Low
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Average barker

Care

  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Some trimming or stripping of the coat needed (little skill required)
  • Coat:  Curly
  • Shedding:  None (or very light)
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A good jogging companion
  • Indoors:  Relatively inactive indoors
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners
  • Longevity:  Long (15-plus years)






Useful Links

AKC® Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Standard

cdn.akc.org/LagottoRomagnolo.pdf

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Club

lagottous.com

Search for a Breeder

lagottous.com/breeder-listings

Rescue Organizations

lagottous.com/page-18165

Books about the Lagotto Romagnolo

Amazon.com

Lagotto Romagnolo Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Non-Sporting Group





History

Photo copyright © Justine Romano.

Photo copyright © Justine Romano.

The name Coton de Tulear means “cotton of Tulear,” which refers to the dog’s soft, fluffy coat and a city in Madagascar. While the history of the breed is unclear, today’s Coton de Tulears may be descendants of Coton de Reunions, which accompanied ladies on ships. The most commonly told story is that some Coton de Reunions swam from a shipwreck to the Madagascar coast in the fifteenth century and then bred with local dogs. Some of these became wild dogs on the island, hunting closely in packs. Others became the pampered pets of the Merina, the ruling tribe in that country. These little white dogs were so cherished, in fact, that neither coastal tribesmen nor non-nobility were allowed to own one. Because of this, the Coton became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar.” The French—who colonized Madagascar in 1896—also ruled that these dogs could only belong to the ruling class. Due to political and economic upheaval in Madagascar, the Coton is in danger of becoming extinct there, but Americans have been breeding the dogs since 1974, when a biologist studying lemurs in Madagascar sent some of the dogs to his father in New Jersey.

Today these fluffy, happy little white dogs are among the fastest-growing rare breeds in North America and Europe. The Coton de Tulear joined the AKC Miscellaneous Class in June 2012 and the AKC Non-Sporting Group in 2014.

Description

The Coton de Tulear’s general outline should be sturdy and rectangular, but covered with a long, white cotton-like coat. The head is short and, as seen from above, triangular. The skull is slightly rounded. The muzzle is straight with black nostrils and tight, fine black lips. A scissors or level bite is acceptable. The eyes are round, dark, expressive, and intelligent. Rims of the eyelids should be black. The triangular ears should reach the corners of the lips and should have fine tips. The ears can be white, light gray (a mixture of gray and white hairs), or light tan (a mixture of white and light tan hairs).

The neck is well-muscled and the topline is slightly arched over the loin. The loin is short. The chest is well-developed and the ribs are well-sprung. The belly is moderately tucked up. The tail is set low and hangs below the hock when the dog is at rest. When the dog is moving, the tail is curved over the back, with the point aiming toward the neck, withers, or back. In dogs with very thick coats, the tip can actually rest on the back.

The feet are small and round, with tight arched toes. Back dewclaws are acceptable. Shoulders and upper thighs are well-muscled. The gait, according to the FCI standard, should be “free and flowing.” It doesn’t cover a lot of ground, but it should be even.

The fluffy coat is dense and soft, with the texture of cotton. It can be slightly wavy. The base color is white, but a few shadings of gray or tan are allowed on the ears. Gray or tan can appear on the body as well, if they don’t cover more than 1 percent and don’t alter the general appearance of having a white coat.





Key Facts

  • Height:  9-1/2 to 12 in. (male); 8-1/2 to 11 in. (female)
  • Size:  Small
  • Weight:  9 to 15 lbs. (male); 8 to 13 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Agility, tricks, obedience, therapy dog, service dog, watchdog

Notes

Front dewclaws can be removed after two to three days, the customary age for all puppies for this procedure. This is a hardy breed with few health issues, but the dogs need to be brushed at least every other day and bathed once a week. Feet and pads should be trimmed to keep dog from slipping. Many people who don’t show their Cotons keep them in a puppy cut to make grooming less time consuming.

Personality

The Coton de Tulear is a stable, happy little dog who loves people and other dogs. Friendly, sweet, and full of joy, Coton de Tulears are relatively calm. They adore children and are patient with them. They are also easy to train and love to please their owners and perform. As a result, they excel at agility and tricks. (They are known for standing on their legs and “walking” to please their owners.) They will follow their owners around the house to stay close to them, and they tend to grunt and growl to “talk.” They are also excellent watchdogs. Despite the long, luxurious hair, Cotons don’t shed and have no doggie odor.

Behavior

  • Children:  Excellent with children
  • Friendliness:  Fairly friendly with strangers
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Moderate (not particularly dominant or submissive)
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Average barker

Care

  • Grooming:  Extensive grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Some trimming or stripping of the coat needed (little skill required)
  • Coat:  Fluffy coat
  • Shedding:  None (or very light)
  • Docking/Cropping:  None
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A fairly good jogging companion, though small
  • Indoors:  Fairly active indoors
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Recommended for novice owners
  • Longevity:  Long (15-plus years)






Useful Links

AKC® Coton de Tulear Breed Standard

cdn.akc.org/CotondeTulear.pdf

Coton de Tulear Breed Club

usactc.org

Search for a Breeder

marketplace.akc.org/puppies

Rescue Organizations

americancotonclub.com/rescue.htm

Books about the Coton de Tulear

Amazon.com

Coton de Tulear Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Hound Group





History

Vito Dell'Ovo, 'Vito'. Multiple Best of Breed with Multiple Misc Group One wins. Owned by Janise Grey and Nancy Lee Wight, Rockin' Heart Kennels. Bred by Marco Belifore, Sicily, Italy. Photo copyright (c) Gotcha! Photography.

Vito Dell’Ovo, ‘Vito’. Multiple Best of Breed with Multiple Misc Group One wins. Owned by Janise Grey and Nancy Lee Wight, Rockin’ Heart Kennels. Bred by Marco Belifore, Sicily, Italy. Photo copyright (c) Gotcha! Photography.

Named after Sicily’s Mount Etna, which is the largest active volcano in Europe, this medium-sized hunting dog probably dates back to the 5th century B.C. The proof? Archaeologists have found coins imprinted with images of a dog that looks very similar to the contemporary Cirneco dell’Etna (pronounced “cheer-neck-o”). Legend has it, in fact, that 1,000 Cirnechi (“cheer-neck-ee”) guarded a temple devoted to the god Adranos, who was said to live under the mountains. Those Cirnechi, the legend goes, had the divine ability to recognize thieves and disbelievers. For centuries, the square-proportioned, elegant dogs were used for hunting wild rabbit, using mainly scent but also hearing and sight to find prey. Often the Cirneco was partnered with a ferret for hunting. (The dog would find the rabbit and the ferret would flush it out.) This ancient hunting breed wasn’t known outside of Sicily until 1932, when an Italian veterinarian wrote an article decrying its dwindling numbers. A Sicilian baroness then took up the cause of finding good representatives of the breed—mostly owned by peasants—and she began to preserve and strengthen the Cirneco’s breeding lines.

Now designated as a “primitive” hunting breed (meaning it has not been manipulated by humans), the Cirneco dell’Etna has only been in the United States since 1996. The Cirneco dell’Etna became a member of the AKC Miscellaneous Class in January 2012 and of the AKC Hound Group in January 2015.

Description

The Cirneco dell’Etna is a medium-sized slender dog with a very light—but very strong—build. The eyes should be small, oval, and an amber or ochre color, (never yellow or brown) with an alert expression. The color of the eye rims should match the color of the nose. The ears are erect, rigid, and set very high and close together. The head is lean and the nose is large. Only a scissors bite is acceptable.

The neck is strong and well arched. The topline slopes from the withers to the croup. The ribs are narrow and the belly tucks up slightly. The tail, which is set low and reaches to the hock, should be fairly thick for its whole length. The dog carries it high and curved when moving, and in sabre position when resting.

The hindquarters are strong and muscular, with a light bone structure. There should be no dewclaws in the back. The feet are well knuckled, slightly oval, and straight. Pads and nails should be the same color (either brown or flesh colored, never black).

The coat is short on the head, ears, and legs, and longer (to 1.25 in.) on the body. The coat should be sleek and close, and have no feathering. The color should be uniformly light to dark tan or chestnut; a mixture of light and dark hairs, or mostly white, is acceptable. Brown (which is darker than tan), liver (which includes having a liver-colored nose), brindle or black patches, hairs, or pigmentation are disqualifications.

The Cirneco has a springy trot and the hind legs should track the forelegs.





Key Facts

  • Height:  17.5 to 20.5 in. (male); 16 to 19.5 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  23 lbs. (male); 20 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, sighting, tracking, therapy, watchdog, agility, lure coursing, obedience, tricks

Notes

Front dewclaws are not removed (per the breed standard). The Cirneco dell’Etna is extremely hardy and well adapted to working in the heat. However, the breed is sensitive to cold and can’t be left outside during cold weather.

Personality

The Cirneco dell’Etna is compliant and affectionate. Because it tends to be easily offended, it does best with very gentle training methods. Make no mistake, though—this is a lively, active dog that needs exercise, mental stimulation, and human affection to stay balanced, healthy, and constructive. In addition to his skill as a hunter (and lure courser), the Cirneco performs well in obedience and agility and makes a very good watchdog. Inquisitive and intelligent, the Cirneco thrives not only on human attention but also on human partnership. Early socialization is crucial for building the dog’s confidence and tolerance for children, other animals, and all manners of stimuli. Having a dependable recall is especially important, as the dog’s strong prey instinct can make him likely to run.

Behavior

  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Loves everyone
  • Trainability:  Can be slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Moderate (not particularly dominant or submissive)
  • Other Pets:  Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood
  • Combativeness:  Can be a bit dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Average barker

Care

  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  None or very light
  • Docking/Cropping:  None
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners
  • Longevity:  Moderately long-lived (about 12 to 15 years)






Useful Links

AKC® Cirneco dell’Etna Breed Standard

cdn.akc.org/CirnecodellEtna.pdf

Cirneco dell’Etna Breed Club

cirneco.org

Search for a Breeder

cirneco.org/breeders/

Rescue Organizations

akc.org/dog-breeds/rescue-network/contacts/

Books about the Cirneco dell’Etna

Amazon.com

Cirneco dell’Etna Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Herding Group





History

Ch. Rancholunac de Ubrique. Owned by and photo copyright © Sheryl Gaines, Casa de Rancho Kennels.

Ch. Rancholunac de Ubrique. Owned by and photo copyright © Sheryl Gaines, Casa de Rancho Kennels.

The Spanish Water Dog’s exact history is unknown. Some people believe the Turks brought curly-coated herding dogs to the Iberian Peninsula to work flocks of sheep and goats. Others believe the breed originally came from Northern Africa. What we do know is that the first mention of what sounds like a similar dog appears in 1100 A.D., and that by the eighteenth century, shepherds used these dogs to move livestock in semiannual migrations in Spain. The use of the dogs for livestock continued in Andalusia, which didn’t develop as fast as the rest of the country. The versatile dogs also were trained to assist fishermen in Spanish ports and to hunt waterfowl and game.

Known throughout the centuries as Perro de Agua, Perro Turco, Laneto, Perro de Lanas, Churro, and Turcos Andalucia, the Spanish Water Dog still herds cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. The dogs also work in search and rescue, drug and bomb detection, agility, and obedience. Although a key part of Spanish history and culture, this very versatile breed wasn’t recognized by the Spanish kennel club (la Real Sociedad Central de Fomento de las Razas Caninas en España) until 1985 and by La Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) until 1999. The first Spanish Water Dogs were imported to the United States around 1999 and the breed was accepted by the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 2005. The Spanish Water Dog entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class in June 2012 and the AKC Herding Group in January 2015.

Description

Despite its adorable curly coat, the Spanish Water Dog’s general appearance should be one of strength and elegance. Its skull is flat and its stop is very slight. The nose should be either the same color or slightly darker than the rest of the dog. The eyes are very expressive and should range from hazel to chestnut in color. The ears, which are set at medium height, are triangular and drooping.

The neck is well muscled and set firmly into the shoulders. The topline should be straight and the back is strong. The withers are barely noticeable and the croup slopes slightly. The chest should be broad, the ribs well arched, and the belly slightly tucked up. The shoulders are oblique and well muscled, and the forearms should be sturdy. The feet are rounded; the nails can be of variable colors. The stifle should be well bent and the hock joint is low.

The skin is supple and tight and can be pigmented brown or black. The distinctive coat is curly and wooly, and might form cords when it’s long. The coat can be clipped for shows, but never less than an inch. It should look natural, not showy. Accepted colors are solid white, black, and brown, as well as white and black or white and brown. (Tricolored dogs and brown and tan dogs are not acceptable.)





Key Facts

  • Height:  17 to 19-1/2 in. (male); 15-3/4 to 18 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  40 to 49 lbs. (male); 31 to 40 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Herding, therapy, search and rescue, hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility, tricks, obedience, therapy dog

Notes

The Spanish Water Dog’s tail is docked between the second and fourth caudal vertebra. Some Spanish Water Dogs are born with naturally bobbed tails. Dogs may be shaved once a year-more often if they’re not show dogs-to keep the coat and skin healthy. Puppies are born with curly hair; the cording, which looks like dreadlocks, usually begins sometime after the first year. Many dogs need help from their owners in cording the coat (this involves tearing mats of hair into smaller sections), but Spanish Water Dogs are never brushed or combed. People who are allergic to pet allergens tend to do well with this breed. Spanish Water Dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, allergies, prcd-PRA, and hypothyroid. Though incidents are not common, there have been some reports of Addison’s Disease, exogenic pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), glaucoma, and epilepsy.

Personality

Covered with a mop of cute curls, and extremely affectionate with owners, the Spanish Water Dog might look like an adorable house pet, but this is a serious working dog. As such, it needs a firm but gentle and experienced owner who can provide leadership to a dog who is intelligent, has a strong desire to work, is very focused on his owner and has the potential to become dominant. This is a very loyal and faithful breed—so much so that early socialization is crucial to keeping the dog’s protectiveness in check. Reserved with strangers, a Spanish Water Dog should not be timid or overtly aggressive.

Behavior

  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Moderately protective
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Needs people a lot
  • Dominance:  High (dominant)
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Average barker

Care

  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Curly coat
  • Shedding:  None (or very light)
  • Docking/Cropping:  The tail is customarily docked.
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A good jogging companion
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Apartments:  Will be okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  A small yard is sufficient.
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners
  • Longevity:  Average (about 10 to 15 years)






Useful Links

AKC® Spanish Water Dog Breed Standard

images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/SpanishWaterDog.pdf

Spanish Water Dog Breed Club

swdclub.org

Search for a Breeder

swdclub.org/home/find-a-swd/finding-a-breeder

Rescue Organizations

swdclub.org/home/find-a-swd/rescue

Books about the Spanish Water Dog

Amazon.com

Spanish Water Dog Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Herding Group





History

CH. Firehouse Sumatra©s Secret. Owned by, bred by and photo copyright © Janet Boursier, Firehouse Kennels.

Photo copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Small Australian Shepherds (less than 18 in.) have existed since ranchers in the Western United States first started importing sheep (and herding dogs) from Australia in the late 1800s. The ranchers bred the “little blue dogs” from Down Under to their own herding dogs, creating what we know today as the Australian Shepherd.

Breed historians believe that, over time, ranchers bred the dog to be larger, so that it could more effectively handle cattle. But historical photographs show that ranchers have long owned smaller-sized “Aussies,” today called Miniature American Shepherds. A deliberate breeding program didn’t begin until 1968, but throughout the 1970s and ’80s, a handful of breeders took up the cause of breeding smaller Australian Shepherds that could still work stock, but could also be companion dogs. They were first registered with the NSDR (National Stock Dog Association) as Miniature Australian Shepherds. Dogs less than 13 inches were registered as Toy Australian Shepherds.

In 1990, a handful of those breeders created the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA (MASCUSA). The name was changed in 1993 to “North American Shepherd” to comply with the rules of the American Rare Breed Association, the only show venue open to them at the time. As the larger Australian Shepherd had been recognized by the AKC, ARBA would not allow the Miniature Australian Shepherd to show using the AKC name. In 1998, ARBA changed its policy and the breed’s name changed once again, this time to the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd. Later it was again shortened to the original name, Miniature Australian Shepherd.

In 2011, the Australian Shepherd parent club allowed the breed to separate into two. The smaller size entered the AKC FSS program under the name of Miniature American Shepherd. It quickly advanced to enter the AKC Herding Group in July 2015.

This diminutive version of its full-bodied cousin is increasingly popular—not only for its intelligence and athleticism, but also as a house dog and family pet. The dogs excel at canine sports such as agility, obedience, flyball, and disc.

Description

Small, but strong, the Miniature American Shepherd is known for his stamina, intelligence, athleticism, and docked or natural bob tail. The head is clean and strong with a flat (or slightly rounded) top skull and a slightly tapered muzzle. The teeth meet in a scissors bite; the almond-shaped eyes are expressive and intelligent. The triangular ears should be set high at the side of the head.

The Miniature American Shepherd is slightly longer than tall, with bone that is moderate and in proportion to body size and height, without extremes. The neck arches slightly at the crest, the topline is level, and the whole body is firm and muscular. Front pasterns are thick and strong; hocks are slightly bent. Both rear and front feet are oval, compact, and have close-knit, well-arched toes.

The weather-resistant double coat is of moderate length and coarseness. The top coat can be straight to slightly wavy, but hair on the head, outside of ears, front of forelegs, and below the hocks is short and smooth. There should be some feathering on the backs of the legs; hindquarters have fuller feathering than the forelegs. Male dogs have a more pronounced mane and frill than females. Accepted colors include blue merle, red merle, solid black, and solid red. White markings and tan points are acceptable, but the areas surrounding the ears and eyes should not be white.

The Miniature American Shepherd’s gait should be smooth, balanced, and agile, easily covering ground.





Key Facts

  • Height:  14 to 18 in. (male); 14 to 18 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  Averages 18 to 40 lbs.
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Herding, agility, obedience, disc, dock, flyball, tracking, freestyle, tricks, therapy/service, search and rescue, retrieving, watchdog

Notes

Rear dewclaws are removed; front dewclaws can be removed. The tail can be docked if the dog is not born with natural bob tail. This is a generally hardy, healthy breed, but some lines are prone to hip dysplasia and certain eye diseases, including iris coloboma (in which a hole in the iris allows too much light to enter the eye, resulting in squinting and impaired vision in bright sunlight); collie eye anomaly (a disorder that affects the parts of the eye that aid in night vision and protect the retina from glare in daylight); microphthalmia (abnormally small eyes); and progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative disorder of the photoreceptors, which can result in blindness). In merle-to-merle matings, puppies that inherit merle genes from both parents (called “homogenous merle” or “lethal white”) may have severe health problems, including hearing and vision problems. (Note:Not every puppy born to two merle parents will inherit two merle genes.)This breed can carry the MDR1 gene, which makes the dog susceptible to negative reactions to certain drugs and medications. DNA testing for this gene is available. If the dog carries this gene, avoiding the use of those medications will prevent the negative reaction.

Personality

A working dog at heart, the Miniature American Shepherd is a smart, easy to train, and happy dog that loves his family and loves to work and play. Extremely athletic and blessed with high levels of stamina, these small dogs will plunge into just about any game (or job) you can offer them—including disc, agility, obedience and rally, herding, retrieving, tracking, dock diving, and swimming.

Their loyalty and attachment to their people make Miniature American Shepherds wonderful companions and family members. They tend to be reserved with strangers. They also tend to herd everything in sight (from kids to household pets), often by nipping. These herding and nipping habits need to be checked at an early age. Due to their intelligence and energy, Miniature American Shepherds, like many herding dogs, need lots of exercise and lots of mental stimulation to stay balanced and content. Left to their own devices, they can become bored and destructive. Early socialization is also key to keeping them well-behaved in public.

Behavior

  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Average barker

Care

  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Medium
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking/Cropping:  Tail is customarily docked.
  • Exercise:  Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with a large yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners
  • Longevity:  Moderately long lived (about 12 to 15 years)






Useful Links

AKC® Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Breed Standard

cdn.akc.org/GBGV.pdf

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Breed Club

mascusa.org

Search for a Breeder

marketplace.akc.org/puppies

Rescue Organizations

facebook.com/MiniAussieRescue.Support

Books about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Amazon.com

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Herding Group





History

Copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Called the Berger Picard (pronounced “bare ZHAY pee CARR”) because it is a herding dog (berger means shepherd) from the Picardy region of France, the dog is beloved in Europe for its funny face, comical antics, and strong herding abilities. First introduced to northern France in the ninth century, this lively, shaggy working dog is considered one of the original French herding breeds. It was used to drive and protect cattle and sheep for centuries.

The French didn’t recognize the Berger Picard as an official breed until 1925 (it had been shown in the same class as Beaucerons and Briards since 1863). The breed nearly became extinct during World War II, due to heavy trench warfare in the region, but a few dedicated breeders worked to rebuild the breed during the late 1940s. Today the Berger Picard, while still very rare, is growing in popularity in both Europe and the United States, as it is considered an excellent family dog and watchdog.

One curious historical note: Numerous sources note that smugglers used Berger Picards to sneak tobacco and matches across France’s borders because the dog’s shaggy fur hid the contraband goods from a distance, especially at night.

The AKC accepted the Berger Picard into its Foundation Stock Service in 2007. The breed entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class in January 2013 and the AKC Herding Group in July 2015. In recent years, the Picard has appeared in three American movies: Because of Winn Dixie, Daniel and the Superdogs, and Are We Done Yet?

Description

The Berger Picard is a medium to large, well-muscled dog with a harsh crisp coat, a generally rugged appearance, and a lively, pleasant expression. The body should be slightly longer than it is tall; females tend to be slightly longer than males. Skull and muzzle are the same length. The head is chiseled but not pointed, with a slightly defined stop. The lips are thin and tight. The breed sports distinct eyebrows that do not cover the eyes, beard, and moustaches. The nostrils should be black and well opened. The jaws are powerful, with a scissors bite. The medium-sized dark eyes are oval in shape. The ears are wide set and erect, with slightly rounded tips.

The body is solid and lean, with a strong, level back and strong loin. The underline has a slight tuck-up. The tail is long. When it’s at rest, it should reach the hock and have a slight curve at the tip. When the dog is moving, he might carry the tail higher, but not over the back. The shoulders are long and sloping; the forearm is vertical and well muscled. The feet are rounded and compact and the hock has a moderate bend. Dewclaws can be left on or taken off on forelegs but need to be removed from the hind legs. Nails should be dark.

The Berger Picard’s gait is supple and free, giving the appearance of effortlessness. The coat is two to three inches long over the whole dog, with a fine, thick undercoat and a slight ruff on the front and sides of the neck. The coat is not shaped or trimmed in any way. Coat color can be fawn, fawn with a dark trim and gray underlay on the head and body, fawn brindle, or gray. Slight white patches on the chest or tips of paws are allowed.





Key Facts

  • Height: 23.5 to 25.5 in. (female); 21.5 to 23.5 in. (male)
  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 50 to 75 lbs.
  • Availability: Difficult to find
  • Talents: Tracking, herding, search and rescue, watchdog, agility, obedience, Schutzhund, performing tricks

Notes

The Berger Picard might suffer from separation anxiety if away from its owner for long periods of time. Hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy are beginning to show up in this breed. A working dog with a lot of stamina, the Berger Picard needs plenty of exercise and stimulation, and a leader who is kind, firm, and able to withstand the temptation to pamper this super cute dog. The ears can be trimmed or stripped regularly to keep them looking tidy.

Personality

Loyal, amiable, smart, and blessed with a natural smile, the Berger Picard can make an excellent family pet if properly socialized in puppyhood. Positive training methods, plus lots of opportunities to work and play with their owners (think swimming, running, agility, obedience, herding, tracking, and hiking), keep these dogs engaged and happy. As herders, they are also excellent watchdogs. They can be reserved with strangers, but they generally follow the lead of their owners when introduced to new people—they shouldn’t seem timid, nervous, or aggressive. The number one fault of the dog, breeders say, is that he’s so cute, owners forget to discipline him. Firm pack leaders who have lots of time to devote to the dog’s mental and physical needs are best suited for the breed. Berger Picards are generally good with children when raised with them from puppyhood. Because some have a strong prey drive, they need to be taught that other pets are members of the family, not prey. The rough, shaggy coat requires only several brushings per month to avoid matting and only the rare bath.

Behavior

  • Children: Good with children only when raised with them from puppyhood
  • Friendliness: Moderately protective
  • Trainability: Can be slightly difficult to train
  • Independence: Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance: Moderate
  • Other Pets: Good with pets if raised with them from puppyhood
  • Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise: Average barker

Care

  • Grooming: Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping: Some trimming or stripping of the coat needed
  • Coat: Wiry
  • Shedding: Average shedder
  • Exercise: Needs lots of exercise
  • Jogging: A good jogging companion
  • Indoors: Relatively inactive indoors
  • Apartments: Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space: OK without a yard
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners
  • Longevity: Moderately long-lived (12 to 15 years)






Useful Links

AKC® Berger Picard Breed Standard

http://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/BergerPicard.pdf

Berger Picard Breed Club

picards.us

Search for a Breeder

marketplace.akc.org/puppies

Rescue Organizations

facebook.com/BergerPicardClubOfAmericaRescue

Books about the Berger Picard

Amazon.com

Berger Picard Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Miscellaneous Class





History

Portuguese Podengo M©dio (Smooth). Benfica II da Castelhana, LW12, BOB12, LW13, YCH(PT), BOB13, CH(PT), GrCH(PT). Photo copyright (c) Ana Catarina Alves. All rights reserved.

Portuguese Podengo M©dio (Smooth). Benfica II da Castelhana, LW12, BOB12, LW13, YCH(PT), BOB13, CH(PT), GrCH(PT). Photo copyright (c) Ana Catarina Alves. All rights reserved.

The Podengo is a primitive Portuguese hunting breed. It is most likely the descendant of multi-purpose hunting dogs used by Phoenician traders who reached Portugal in the 700s BC. Today, the Podengo is the most popular type of dog in Portugal and comes in three sizes: Pequeno (small), Médio (medium), and Grande (large). Each size comes in two varieties: smooth and wire-coated, making six types altogether. (The six types are not inter-bred.)

Called “triple threat hunters” because they use scent, sight, and hearing to find their game, all Podengos hunt in packs. The Médio, bred to hunt rabbit and wild boar, stalks its game and then flushes and/or kills it. The Grande, bred to hunt deer and wild boar, either kills the game or runs it down to exhaust it and then waits for the handler to shoot it.

Podengo Médios are not new to the United States—Portuguese-American families have had them (though not in great numbers) since the early 1800s. Yet they arrived on the show circuit much later. Registered purebred Smooth Podengo Médios were first shown in the United States in 2004; registered purebred Wire Podengo Médios were first shown in the US in 2005.

Podengo Grandes are newer to the US. The first Podengo Grande was imported to the US in 2008. The first litter was born in 2009. That same year, four wire-coated Grandes were also imported.

The AKC split the types into the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the Portuguese Podengo (comprised of the Médio and Grande) in July 2009 at the request of the American Portuguese Podengo Médio & Grande Club, the parent club for the larger varieties. This was done largely to eliminate interbreeding of the Pequeno and Médio and to recognize their completely different structure. The Pequeno entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class in January 2011 and the AKC Hound Group in January 2013. The Portuguese Podengo (which includes the Médio and Grande), entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class on Jan. 1, 2014.

Hardy, intelligent, and fun-loving, these agile, playful dogs are still very rare in the United States, with fewer than 175 dogs registered as of 2014. This means that breeders are still collecting data on some characteristics of the breed, such as longevity and health issues.

Description

Lean and muscular, both the Grande and Médio varieties of the Portuguese Podengo are almost square in shape. The head is lean and shaped like a four-sided pyramid. The stop is moderately defined and the cheeks are oblique (not parallel). The lips are thin and close fitting, with teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The nose is always darker than the coat. The eyes are almond shaped and expressive. The ears are triangular, pricked, and carried highly erect.

The neck is straight and strong and the top line is straight or slightly arched. The chest reaches down to the elbow and the belly has a slight tuck up. The croup is straight or slopes slightly. The forelegs are straight and strong with very elastic wrists. Dewclaws are allowed.

The hindquarters are well muscled. The rear pasterns are strong, short, and straight; there are no dewclaws. The feet are oval, with long slightly arched toes and dark nails. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to a fine point. When the dog is at rest it falls into a slight curve; when the dog is in motion, it is carried slightly curved or even in a sickle shape.

The smooth coat is short, dense, and has an undercoat. The wire coat is rough and has no undercoat. Wire-coated Podengos also have distinct beards. They are shown in a natural state; only trimming of the face and feet is allowed. The coat color is yellow and white or fawn and white of any shade, or primarily white with patches of any shade of yellow or fawn. Tones of black or brown, with white patches, or white with patches of black or brown are acceptable but not preferred.





Key Facts

  • Height:  16 to 22 in. (Médio); 22 to 28 in. (Grande).
  • Size:  Large.
  • Weight:  35-44 lbs. (Médio); 44-66 lbs. (Grande).
  • Availability:  Difficult to find.
  • Talents:  Jogging, hunting, sighting, lure coursing, tracking, watchdog, agility, obedience, tricks.

Notes

The Portuguese Podengo is generally not good with small dogs or cats due to its strong prey drive. The breed needs secure fences, at least six feet high, with hardware cloth dug into the ground at the base, as they are excellent jumpers, climbers, and diggers. Wire-coat varieties need occasional brushing to remove old hair.

Personality

These smart, active, and agile dogs make fine companions. They were bred to be hunters, so they are alert enough to be good watch dogs. But they are friendly, playful, and loyal enough to be excellent family dogs. Podengos are highly trainable. As a general rule, Grandes tend to be a bit more mellow than Médios. Still, the fact that they are a primitive breed means that a more experienced dog owner is best suited to handle them (although novice owners may do well with an adult dog that is already trained). Socializing Podengos is especially important, as is maintaining a firm (but fair) style of discipline and giving them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Highly motivated by food and fun, they tend to be easy to train. Both Médios and Grandes can be wary with strangers, but they love to play and interact with their people.

Behavior

  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children.
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers.
  • Trainability:  Easy to train.
  • Independence:  Not particularly dependent or independent.
  • Dominance:  Moderate.
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other dogs in the household (but not small dogs); do not trust with non-canine pets.
  • Combativeness:  Can be a bit dog aggressive.
  • Noise:  Likes to bark (Médio); average barker (Grande).

Care

  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed.
  • Trimming & Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed.
  • Coat:  Short or wiry.
  • Shedding:   Average shedder.
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed.
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion.
  • Indoors:   Moderately active indoors.
  • Apartments:   Not recommended for apartments (Médio); Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised (Grande).
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with at least an average-sized yard.
  • Climate:   Does well in most climates.
  • Novice Owner:   Not recommended for novice owners.
  • Longevity:  Moderately long-lived (about 12-15 years).






Useful Links

AKC® Portuguese Podengo Breed Standard

cdn.akc.org/PortuguesePodengo.pdf

Portuguese Podengo Breed Club

podengo-mediogrande.com

Search for a Breeder

podengo-mediogrande.com/puppy.html

Rescue Organizations

No rescue contact found.

Books about the Portuguese Podengo

Amazon.com

Portuguese Podengo Gifts

CafePress.com

AKC Miscellaneous Class





History

Courtesy Wikipedia, GNU License. Manjusha Kennels, www.manjusha-spitz.ca.

Courtesy Wikipedia, GNU License. Manjusha Kennels, www.manjusha-spitz.ca.

A descendent of small spotted dogs used for hunting by ancient Scandinavian peoples, the Norrbottenspets (pronounced “Nor-bot-ten–spitz”) originated in Norrbotten, Sweden, and Lappland, Finland, where they were used as hunting and farm dogs as far back as the early 1600s. The Swedish Kennel Club accepted these small Spitz dogs in 1910, but the breed nearly became extinct after World War I, with just a few dogs being kept as farm dogs and pets in far northern villages. The Swedish Kennel Club declared the breed extinct and closed its stud book in 1948 (just 38 years after the dogs had been registered), but devotees started a successful breeding program in the 1950s. In 1967 the Swedish Kennel Club accepted the dog for registration again with a new breed standard. Finland accepted the dog in 1973. In that country, they are called Pohjanpystykorva, pronounced “poh-zhawn-pie-stick-korva.”

In both countries breeders are working to preserve the breed. In the United States, the AKC accepted the Norrbottenspets into its Foundation Stock Service in November 2007. The breed entered AKC’s Miscellaneous Class in 2014.

Unlike most hunting breeds, the Norrbottenspets uses sight, scent, and sound when hunting. Once it finds game, the dog flushes and then chases the game until it is cornered or treed. The dog then holds it there by barking rapidly at a high pitch, which both confuses the game and covers the sounds of the hunter’s approach. (During trials the dogs may bark up to 100 times per minute.) Because the dogs are used to hunt everything from upland grouse to raccoons, elk, and even moose over rough, forested terrain, Norrbottenspets are agile, strong, and generally fearless.

Description

The Norrbottenspets’ overall appearance should be compact and well-muscled, but not bulky. The eyes should be brown and almond-shaped, with pigmented rims; the medium-sized ears are upright. The nose is black and the lips are thin and tightly fitting. The head is broad, but clean cut and tapers evenly to the nose. The teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Females look distinctly more feminine than males. The expression is calm, attentive, and fearless.

The back and loin are level; the back is short and muscular. The chest is long and oval and the belly tucks up slightly. The dog carries the tail in a loose curve, with the tip touching the side of the upper thigh. (A bobbed tail is a disqualification for shows, but does not impede hunting.)

The front legs are straight and parallel. The feet are small and strong, with well arched toes. These dogs have dewclaws on their forelegs but not on their back legs. The upper thighs are long and strong and the pasterns are also long. The gait is smooth, free, and strong, and exhibits much freedom of movement.

The Norrbottenspets has a hard, short top coat with a fine, dense undercoat. The base color is white, but the dogs have masks that cover the sides of their head and ears, plus patches of color on the body.





Key Facts

  • Height:  17 to 18.5 in. (male); 15.5 to 17.5 in. (female).
  • Size:  Small to medium.
  • Weight:  Averages 25 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find.
  • Talents:  Hunting, watchdog, lure coursing, sighting, tracking, agility, obedience, tricks.

Notes

The Norrbottenspets can vocalize a lot when excited. This breed requires little brushing except during seasonal sheds, when regular grooming is recommended.

Personality

Fearless to the point of being daring, Norrbottenspets are calm, confident, intelligent, and very alert. Their history as working dogs makes them excellent watch dogs. Their strong prey drive means they shouldn’t be off leash in an unfenced area and they may chase small pets from other properties. (They are generally OK with their own family’s pets if raised with them from puppyhood or introduced very slowly as adults). That same exuberance means these Spitz-type dogs also love to please their owners and leap at the chance to do work such as obedience, agility, lure coursing, jogging, and hiking.

Behavior

  • Children:  Good with children.
  • Friendliness:   Reserved with strangers.
  • Trainability:  Easy to train.
  • Independence:  Fairly independent.
  • Dominance:   Moderate.
  • Other Pets:  Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood.
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog aggressive.
  • Noise:  Likes to bark.

Care

  • Grooming:  A little grooming needed.
  • Trimming & Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed.
  • Coat:  Short coat.
  • Shedding:  Seasonally heavy shedder.
  • Exercise:  Needs lots of exercise.
  • Jogging:  A good jogging companion.
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors.
  • Apartments:   Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with at least an average-sized yard.
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates.
  • Owner:   Good for novice owners.
  • Longevity:  Long lived (15 or more years).






Useful Links

AKC® Norrbottenspets Breed Standard

images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/Norrbottenspets.pdf

Norrbottenspets Breed Club

norrbottenspets.weebly.com

Search for a Breeder

No breeder lists found.

Rescue Organizations

facebook.com/American-Norrbottenspets-Association-141720995929205/

Books about the Norrbottenspets

Amazon.com

Norrbottenspets Gifts

CafePress.com