One of the smallest of the terrier breeds, the Australian Terrier was bred to be a working dog as well as a companion pet. This dog may be small in size, but his attitude is as large and feisty as every other terrier breed. This loyal, even tempered and extremely active canine is comfortable working and living in almost any environment.
The Australian Outback is a harsh existence for people and animals who venture onto the land ill prepared for life in an unforgiving environment. In the late 1700s, European settlers from Britain arrived in Australia. As more and more people migrated to the Land Down Under, they brought a variety of terrier breeds with them, including ancestors of the Skye, Norwich, Irish, Cairn, Yorkshire, Manchester and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. These British breeds were bred with the small Tasmanian Rough-Coated Terrier to develop an intelligent, alert, brave, fast, and able rough-coated dog – the Australian Terrier – the first dog breed recognized in its native land of Australia.
When it comes to choosing a dog that exudes strength and power, few breeds are more impressive than the Neapolitan Mastiff (or Neo). Besides being a powerhouse, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a very affectionate and peaceful breed that is social and enjoys being with people. While these dogs have many positive characteristics, it’s important for potential Neapolitan Mastiff owners to know the ins and outs of sharing their life with such a large dog.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a rectangular looking dog with a wide flat head. Their expressive, deep set eyes are buried in the folds and wrinkles that this breed is known for. Because of their impressive power, a Neapolitan Mastiff may be a bit much for an inexperienced dog owner. Obedience training and an assertive owner are important to help this breed live up to expectations.
Grooming is an easy task on this short haired dog. The breed comes in gray, blue, black, chocolate, mahogany and tawny coats. They can also have brindle and white markings. This giant dog is a joy to look at. Read More »
When most people hear the word “terrier,” an image of a small dog comes to mind. The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier breeds and known as the “King of the Terriers.” He may be a terrier, but the Airedale isn’t small and was bred to take on some large and fierce competitors. This working dog was one of the first breeds trained and used by police in Great Britain and Germany.
The Airedale Terrier hails from the Airedale valley – a region between the Aire and Wharfe rivers in Yorkshire, England. The breed was created by working class people sometime in the mid 1800s as a common man’s sporting dog. The two breeds most prominent in the Airedale’s creation are the now-extinct Old English Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier and the Otterhound. Even though the development of the breed isn’t well documented, other breeds used were likely the Bedlington Terrier, the English Bull Terrier and an assortment of setters, retrievers and sheepdogs. Read More »
The Glen of Imaal Terrier dog breed has several features which are considered unique by today’s standards, when it comes to terriers. One of those features is the name of the breed itself. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was aptly named to describe the location in Ireland from which it originated. This breed, like many other dog breeds, was bred for a specific purpose.
Playing on the Natural Instinct
Terriers by nature are predators, especially fond of preying on small furry things. While most domestic terriers today aren’t going to be out chasing animals for their owners, this breed was created just for that reason. In the Glen of Imaal, farmers often faced problems with things like foxes and wolves, which would make themselves at home on the farm and make large meals out of the other small creatures the farmer was trying to raise for his nourishment and livelihood. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was created in order to help the farmers manage or even eradicate this specific problem. Read More »
Before fences were used to set boundaries and contain livestock, sheep were free to roam the countryside. Unfortunately, in France farmers who allowed their flocks to roam outside their invisible boundaries were forced to pay high tariffs. Shepherds discovered that the Briard had the temperament and intelligence to work with sheep to keep them contained, but herding wasn’t the original job for this wise dog breed.
The history of the breed begins in France sometime during the Middle Ages. Depictions of large Briard-like dogs are on 8th century tapestries created during the reign of Charlemagne (742-814), and found in writings from the 12th century. Charlemagne gifted friends with Briards, and Napoleon is reported to have owned two of them. Thomas Jefferson fell in love with the breed while serving as Minister to France from 1784-1789, and had dogs imported to his Monticello plantation to tend his flock of Merino sheep. Marquis De Lafayette was a huge supporter of America during the Revolutionary War and brought Briards with him when he joined George Washington’s staff in 1777. Jefferson and Lafayette are both credited with introducing America to this excellent herding dog.
The World Canine Organization assembled a list of 339 different dog breeds that are agreed upon and recognized internationally. That’s a lot of dog breeds! But what this comprehensive list doesn’t include are the many different breeds that used to be documented, but are now extinct.
You may wonder how a dog breed becomes extinct. It’s generally at the hands of humans. We have either lost interest in preserving a certain breed or we have selectively bred that particular dog breed into a completely new breed. Here are a few interesting dog breeds that are no longer with us.
A slow and methodical tracker, the Southern Hound was one of the oldest scent and tracking breeds ever documented. This big, plodding dog with long legs and a deep voice dates all the way back to the early 1400s. Known for his ability to track trails that had already gone cold, he was an expert (albeit slow) rabbit and deer hunter. As the Renaissance was coming to an end, hunters began to favor faster prey, so fox hunting rose in popularity. Because the Southern Hound was such a deliberate, steady tracker, he wasn’t the best choice for this fast-moving sport. Looking for a speedier dog, hunters began cross-breeding Southern Hounds with quicker, lighter breeds. The result was the beginnings of modern-day scent hounds including Beagles, Bloodhounds and Foxhounds.
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