Monday, 10 September 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 22)

Rafeiro do Alentejo

The Rafeiro do Alentejo, also known as Rafeiro of Alentejo or Portuguese Mastiff, is a breed of dog.


The Rafeiro is a large dog, with males weighing around 155 pounds (70 kg) and females, 130 pounds (60 kg).

The following is the summary taken from standard of the Continental Kennel Club:

Description: Head: Bear like, short muzzle. Eyes: Dark. Ears: Hanging. tapered. Nose: Black and self-colored according to coat. Bite: Scissor or level. Neck: Short. Top-line: Level. Chest: Thick. Body: Rectangular, well muscled, strong bone. Legs: Forelegs are long, strong, muscular. Hind legs are strong, hocks are moderately bent. Feet: Oval. Tail: Long, curved at end. Movement: Swift and very agile, with flowing gait. Temperament: High-spirited, yet very lovable.


They are not the dogs for beginners. They mature slowly, are very independent, and often do not respond to traditional concepts of dog obedience. On the other hand, they are extremely territorial and will protect the sheep, households, and families they feel were placed under their protection. They are not aggressive but protective; they get along quite well with children.


The dogs are descendants of Tibetan Mastiffs, believed to be the oldest breed of dogs. They are closely related to Anatolian Mastiffs, known also as Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. Rafeiro do Alentejo have been used, for centuries, to move sheep, during winter, from mountains in northern Portugal to the plateau of Alentejo and back to the mountain. Gradually they adjusted to living in Alentejo province. The breed was threatened with extinction but survived largely due to an organized effort by a few dedicated people.

At present there are very few registered and recognized breeders but the number of dogs is steadily increasing. The breed is recognized by the Continental Kennel Club and, recently, the Rafeiro do Alentejo were admitted to the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club.

Rajapalayam (dog)

The Rajapalayam is an Indian breed of dog. It was the companion of the royalty and aristocracy in Southern India, particularly in the town from where it gets its name. It is also known as the Paleiyakaran or Poligar Hound.


It is a large dog, usually measuring about 65-75 cm (25-30 inches) at the withers. It is a hound, and therefore should be kept in optimum working condition. It tends to be heavier boned than most sighthounds, but shares the depth of chest and basic body structure. Its facial structure is considerably different from that of, say a Caravan, as it is meant primarily for hunting wild boar. The tail has a slight curl. The most prized colour is milk white, with a pink nose and golden eyes. However, other colours including spotted or solid, black, and brown, are known to occur. In the past, puppies of colour were usually culled from the litters since the owners preferred the pure white dogs. The coat is short and fine. An extremely handsome and graceful dog, the Rajapalayam has a gait similar to the trotting of a thoroughbred horse.


The Rajapalayam was used predominantly for hunting wild boar and as a formidable guard dog. It needs wide open spaces and is very affectionate and devoted towards its owner, although not always demonstrative. It does not like to be touched or handled by strangers, and tends to be a one-man or one-family dog.


While its own origins remain unknown, it is speculated by some that the Rajapalayam may have been one of the dogs used in the breeding of the modern Dalmatian. It is also known that the Rajapalayam dog was used during the Carnatic Wars to attack the British cavalry in their stables.

Future of the breed

The pure Rajapalayam is more or less extinct, and only a few are to be found in isolated pockets around southern Tamil Nadu. The breed may vanish all together if something is not done soon to revive it. A dog breeding unit was established at Saidapet, Chennai, during 1980-81. This unit, which was eventually shut down, primarily reared native breeds like the Rajapalayam, Combai, and Chippiparai. The puppies were sold to the public. To create awareness and encourage dog lovers to rear native breeds, the Animal Husbandry Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu participated in dog shows. Localities have established a cooperative and interested families are given female dogs and expertise that is required for large-scale breeding. The Indian Postal Department has brought out postage stamps on the Rajapalayam, as well as the Mudhol Hound, Rampur Hound, and the Himalayan Sheepdog. The Kennel Club of India[1] has taken up the cause of the Rajapalayam. With the club's cooperation, the "Save the Rajapalayam Project" has been launched.

Rampur Greyhound

The Rampur Greyhound is native to the Rampur region of Northern India, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly.The Rampur hound is a member of the big sighthound family. In North West of India it is often described as a smooth haired sighthound, substantially built. It was the favored hound of the Maharajahs for jackal control, but was also used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to take down a jackal. The Rampur is built to cover great distances at high speed; thus capable of great endurance.


The length from the withers to the base of the tail is about 36 inches, the chest is deep in front but not very wide with well sprung ribs. The tail is long and tapering slightly curving upwards and carried low, it is about 24"-27" in length. The circumference of the neck is about 12 inches and its long arched and muscular and rather broad where it joins the body. The length of the jaw is 9 inches and are poweful with a scissor bite.The males measure 60-75 cms in height. The females measure 55-60 cm in height . They weigh about 27-30 kg.

They are approximately greyhound size, but much wider and more muscular, similar to the Rhodesian Ridgeback.The head of the Rampur is broader and more substantial than the head of the English Greyhound. It has a flat skull and a pointed nose. It also has a charactaristic roman bend. Some other unique characteristics are their Roman nose, ears set high, pendant style, and of most interest, their "hare" feet. The Rampur's foot is a large "hare" shape, with heavy webbing. Their toes are very articulated and flexible, even able to bend backwards a bit. They are not unlike our own fingers in many ways. This manuveurability helps to give them a cat-like balance, able to walk on ledges, or to calmly clear a six foot fence. Colors are mouse-gray, grizzle, brindle, parti-colour or most rare, black. Black however is the most sought after. Eye color ranges from yellow to a golden brown. A word about the gray and grizzle color. These two colors have the ability to blend completely with the foliage of the forest, so much so that when the hound is still, you may not see them from a distance of as little as ten feet, in broad daylight. Its bite is extremely powerful.




The breed loves human companionship, and is well adjusted to other dogs. It has clean habits. The may appear lazy but will charge if needed. The Rampur in play is a scary thing to the uninitiated. They like to charge at each other at speed, then butt their chests with extensive force. They are affectionate to their owners, almost to a fault. Even so, the Rampur Hound is still a commanding breed and makes an excellent guard-dog. It is fiercely protective of its family, although it tends to be a one-person dog and will usually obey only one master. Within family circles, especially with children, it is dependably gentle and sensitive. It is advisable, of course, to supervise interactions and see that the children don't take undue advantage of this innate good nature. It is also a large dog, it must be remembered that with a surfeit of affection, is capable of, however unintentionally, knocking over both kids and grown-ups. The distinct penchant of the Rampur Hound of starting – and, more often than not, ending – fights with other dogs is another factor that needs watching. This apart, before obtaining a Rampur Hound its size and exercise requirements should be taken into consideration. It needs plenty of space and probably will be not be happy to be confined in a small apartment. It is also a robust breed and not susceptible to many of the physiological problems that its Western counterparts are often prone to.

Health Problems

Rampurs are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Their diseases are very similar to other greyhound breeds and will often expirience the same symptoms and diseases. Rampurs have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, Bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma Because the Rampur's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners should generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Rampurs are prone to develop painful skin sores. This can been avoided by feeding them foods high in vitamin A. Rampurs may live up to fifteen years years, but this varies enourmously. Due to the unique physiology and anatomy of Rampurs, a veterinarian who understands the issues relevant to the breed is generally the best option when the dogs need treatment, particularly when anaesthesia is required. If such specialists are not available, it is best to seek one who specialises in the treament of greyhounds or related breeds Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians not familiar with the breed; this can result in an incorrect diagnosis. Rampurs have higher levels of red blood cells than do other breeds, (a trait inherited from their English Greyhound ancestors). Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this higher level allows the hound to move larger quantities of oxygen faster from the lungs to the muscles. Veterinary blood services should use greyhounds as blood donors if there are no available Rampurs, (Greyhounds are generally used as universal blooddonors anyways).


Today, with the passing of Imperial India and the dawn Animal Rights, boar hunting is no longer a State sanctioned activity and is restricted mainly to the rural population of India. They on the other hand maintain hunting with these dogs for food or to get rid of pests, rather than as a pastime, (as the Maharajas did while the dog was still popular). This decline in hunting and the usage of the dog saw a decline in the dog's popularity. More realistically the rural villagers, (especailly those further down India's Caste system) can not really afford to keep such a large dog. It is mainly kept to hunt jackal, but is also capable of tracking down and killing other, larger wounded game. It used to be used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars.


His Royal Highness Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur bred these dogs by combining the blood lines of very powerful but ferocious Tazi, brought in by the Afghans, and the English Greyhound that was more obedient but less resistant to the varying climatic conditions. He gave the name 'Rampur Hound' to the dogs he bred. The Rampur Hound far exceeded the his expectations. From its Tazi and Afghan ancestors it got its looks and stalwart character, and from the English Greyhound it got its speed. Here was a dog that would seldomly back down in confrontations, and could more or less keep up with the fastest prey.

With the fall of the Maharajahs from power in 1947, so too, fell the popularity of the Rampur Hound. The effect of the arrival of the English was evident to the Rampur, as well as the native Indian people. The English greyhound was bred into some of the lines, making it very find a purebred Rampur Greyhound.

An even older example of a Rampur Hound. Circa 1901
An even older example of a Rampur Hound. Circa 1901

With the decline in hunting in India the dog's popularity plummeted. It was no longer fashoinable or practical for the rich to keep them, while the poorer population simply could not afford to keep them. In recent years, however, its popularity has risen, and along with this, the breed's numbers. This remarkable breed balances on the fine line of extinction. Outside of India, only a handful are known and registered, and are all located in the United States of America, in state of New Jersey.

Circa 1923. An old example of a Rampur Greyhound.

Circa 1923. An old example
of a Rampur Greyhound.

Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz

The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz (literally, the Andalusian Wine Cellars' Ratting Dog) is a Spanish terrier. It is believed to be descended from Fox Terriers crossed with other small breeds. This cross was probably during the XIX century, when many British businessmen established in Jerez to deal with Sherry. Its Spanish name reflects its main occupation: hunting rats hidden between Sherry barrels.


The dog is of medium stature, with a short but abundant mostly white coat with black and/or tan markings. The head should be black and triangular with a semi-flat skull, with very dark eyes and folded ears. The tail may be docked to one quarter of its length or natural.


The breed is lively and brave with strong hunting instincts. It must also be friendly and according to the breed club this breed is good with children.

Ratonero / Chilean Fox Terrier

The Chilean Fox Terrier, also known as Ratonero (rat hunter) or Chilean Rat Terrier, is the first Chilean breed of dog existing from 1870 and standarised in the late 1990's for international recognition. Its base is made up of the Fox Terrier of the mid 19th century and Native American dogs.


The Chilean Fox Terrier has black and tan spots on a white fur, it is short-haired and has a grey undercoat which lets some dark spots visible on the white cover coat. The ears are set high, falling upwards in the form of a "V". Well-developed teeth, sissors bite. The Chilean Fox Terrier is easy to train, active, affective, and one of the healthiest and cleanest dog breeds.

Famous Chilean Fox Terriers

A famous Chilean Fox Terrier is Washington (from the comic "Condorito"), Condorito's dog. Though it's not recognised internationally, there have been several Ratoneros' exhibitions in Chile and now the breed is selling through internet pages all along Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, and other South American countries.

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an American dog breed with a rich and varied background as an all-around farm dog. Traditionally more of a type than a breed they share much ancestry with the tough little mixed breed dogs known as 'feists.' Several private associations have maintained Rat Terriers registries for some decades, but more recently there have been movements to obtain breed recognition by the major canine organizations. Common throughout America on family farms in the 1920s and 30s, today they are generally considered a rare breed. Today's Rat Terrier is a handsome, intelligent, active little dog that is equally cherished as a farm helper and as a family pet.


The Rat Terrier comes in a variety of coat colors and patterns. The "classic" base is black tanpoint with piebald spotting (known as "black tricolor"), but blue and brown tricolors are also common, along with red, sable, lemon, and other colors set off by varying amounts of white spotting. Ticking is usually visible in the white parts of the coat, or in the underlying skin. Brindle, currently disallowed by the main breed standards, is considered by some to be a "traditional" Rat Terrier pattern, and there is a growing movement to have this pattern accepted into the breed. However, merle is widely considered to be the result of recent outcrosses and, because of associated health problems, is rejected by most Rat Terrier breeders. Ear carriage can be erect, tipped, or button, all of which contribute to an intelligent, alert expression. The tail has been traditionally docked to about 2–3 inches, but the bobtail gene is very common in Rat Terriers and can result in a variety of tail lengths. Today, some breeders prefer a natural, undocked tail, which is accepted in the breed standards.

In the 1970s, a hairless mutation appeared in a single Rat Terrier bitch, and was propagated into a strain of the Rat Terrier. After a period of development by crossing to coated dogs, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the American Hairless Terrier as a separate breed in 2004.

Rat Terriers usually have natural erect ears and an alert expression.

Rat Terriers usually have natural erect ears and an alert expression.

The Rat Terrier ranges from about 10 to 25 pounds and stands 13 to 18 inches at the shoulder. The miniature size (13 inches and under as defined by the UKC) is becoming increasingly popular as a house pet and companion dog. A larger strain, often in excess of 25 pounds, has been developed. These Deckers or Decker Giants were named after a breeder named Milton Decker to create a larger hunting companion and are recognized by the National Rat Terrier Association (NRTA, see Breed recognition below). The NRTA recognizes a Toy Variety weighing 10 pounds or less, and continues to classify the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier as the Type B Rat Terrier. In any event the Toy and Miniature Rat Terriers display the same hardiness, prey drive, and stamina as their Standard sized counterparts.


Although often mistaken for a Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier has a different profile and a very different temperament. Rat Terriers are finer of bone and have a more refined head. They always have a short single coat—never wire coated. Rat Terriers tend to be less aggressive than Jack Russells; while they have a definite terrier personality they also have an "off switch" and love lounging on the sofa in a lap as much as tearing about the yard. Rat Terriers are normally cheerful dogs but they tend to be more sensitive than Jack Russells to changes in their environment, owner's moods, or to unexpected noises, people, and activities. The "social sensitivity" of Rat Terriers makes them very trainable and easier to live with for the average pet owner but it also means that extensive socialization from an early age is critical. Proper socialization of a rat terrier puppy includes exposing the animal to a wide variety of people and places, particularly during the first 3 months of life. Like most active and intelligent breeds, Rat Terriers tend to be happier when they receive a great deal of mental stimulation and exercise.
Rat Terriers can be kept easily by pet stores; as a result, many commercial breeders produce puppies quickly and do not take the time to socialize and place puppies responsibly. Many Rat Terrier owners therefore consider going through a rescue service to be a more humane and preferable way to obtain a pet than buying from puppy mills or careless breeders.


The breed name comes from the occupation of its earliest ancestors; brought to the US by working class British migrants, these quick, tough little dogs gained their fame in rat pit gambling. However they were, for the most part, bred for controlling vermin and hunting squirrels, hare, and other small game. Like all terriers of this type, Rat Terriers most likely developed from crosses among the extinct English White Terrier, Manchester Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, and Whippets. After the 1890s, as the breed type became popular in America, other breeds were added to the mix. Beagle, Italian Greyhounds, Miniature Pinschers, and Chihuahuas were likely used to add scenting ability, speed, and smaller size. Many of the foundation Rat Terriers were indistinguishable from small mixed-breed hunting dogs known as "feists." The smaller varieties were split off from the Rat Terrier very early on, registered by the UKC as the Toy Fox Terrier beginning in 1936.

Rat Terriers were cherished as loyal and efficient killers of vermin on 20th century American Farms, as well as excellent hunting companions. As a result they were one of the most popular dog types from the 1920s to the 1940s. However the widespread use of chemical pesticides and the growth of commercial farming led to a sharp decline in the breed from the 1950s onwards. Fortunately breed loyalists maintained the bloodline, leading to the modern Rat Terrier we enjoy today.

The genetic diversity of the Rat Terrier is undoubtedly its greatest asset, and is responsible for the overall health, keen intelligence, and soundness of the breed. Most modern breeds were developed from a few founding dogs and then propagated from a closed gene pool. In contrast, the Rat Terrier has benefited from a long history of refinement with regular outcrosses to bring in useful qualities and genetic variability.

Breed recognition

Rat Terrier organizations exhibit the typical disputes over the course of action to be taken for the promotion and preservation of the breed. As usual among working breeds, points of departure are which dog type best represents the breed and whether the dog's working qualities will be sacrificed to selection for show conformation competition. Perhaps because the Rat Terrier has existed for decades with several evident types upheld by different clubs, disagreements can be highly charged. It seems safe to say however that even farm-bred Rat Terriers have been cherished as much for their smart, amusing, and trainable companion qualities as for their skills at eradicating rats and hunting small game. Thus it is not surprising to see increasing numbers of Rat Terriers excelling at performance sports such as agility, rally, and obedience.

Five week old Rat Terrier

Five week old Rat Terrier

The National Rat Terrier Association is the largest independent registry and has maintained lineage records for decades. Feeling the working terrier nature of the breed will suffer, it is the most prominent of those clubs and associations opposed to Kennel Club closed-registry breeding rules.

The UKC officially recognized the breed on January 1, 1999. The Rat Terrier Club of America is actively working towards recognition by the American Kennel Club and the breed was accepted into the AKC's Foundation Stock Service in 2005. The first Rat Terrier to earn a title under AKC Sanctioning was in Agility on January 14, 2006 in Van Nuys, California.


A Rat Terrier posing

A Rat Terrier posing

The RCA trademark dog, Nipper ("His Master's Voice") might have been a Rat Terrier.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt owned a small, dark colored dog that became well known for eradicating rats from the White House, and some have claimed the dog as a Rat Terrier. A short-legged version of the Rat Terrier (a.k.a. the Type-B Rat Terrier) was recognized in 1999 by the UKC as a separate breed, named the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.

The Rat Terrier was a common farm dog in the early 1900s, bred for catching barn rats in haystacks. Purportedly a rat terrier holds the record for most rats killed in a single infested barn: 2501 rats in 7 hours.

Eleanor Powell trained a little dog named Buttons for a tapdance scene in "Lady Be Good" A Rat Terrier was mentioned in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960. Sean Connery attends a rat baiting match in the 1978 movie 'The Great Train Robbery' which features a Rat Terrier.

Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound is a breed of dog bred to hunt raccoon. They are also widely used for hunting bear, bobcat, and cougar. Their agility allows them to be used for hunting from swamplands to mountains, and some can be used as water dogs. The Redbone Coonhound is the only solid colored coonhound. The AKC standard says, "The Redbone mingles handsome looks and an even temperament with a confident air and fine hunting talents." This breed has been registered with the UKC since 1904.


The Redbone Coonhound has the lean, muscular, well proportioned build typical to the coonhounds, with long straight legs, a deep chest, and a head and tail held high and proud when hunting or showing. The face has a pleading expression, with sorrowful dark brown eyes and long, drooping ears. The coat is short and smooth against the body, but coarse enough to provide protection to the skin while hunting through brush. The nose is always black and the coat color is always a rich red, though a small amount of white on the chest between the legs or on the feet is permissible, though not preferred.

Males should be 22-27 inches (56-68.5 cm)at the shoulder, with females slightly shorter at 21-26 inches (53-66 cm). Weight should be proportional to the size and bone structure of the individual dogs, with a preference towards leaner working dogs rather than heavier dogs. Generally, weights will range from 45 to 70 lbs (20.5 to 31.75 kg). Males are typically larger and heavier boned than females and carry a deeper bay.


The Redbone Coonhound is an American breed. It was developed in Georgia in the 1800s from Foxhounds and Bloodhounds. The name may come from an early breeder, Peter Redbone of Tennessee, though other breeders of note are Georgia F.L. Birdsong of Georgia (contemporary) and the 19th Century's Dr. Thomas Henry. Breeders followed a selective program that led to a coonhound that was faster and had a more developed sense of smell than other coonhounds. They were ideal for pack hunting of both small and larger prey. Originally, the Redbone had a black saddleback, but by the beginning of the 1900s, they were a pure red tone.

Sadly, like many American hunting dogs, especially those from the South, they were widely known and loved by hunters and farmers, but totally unknown in the show ring. Recently, this has changed, and the Redbone has found recognition by the two major American kennel clubs.

Perhaps the best known fictional Redbones were Old Dan and Little Ann, featured in the children's classic story, Where the Red Fern Grows, a popular novel about two dogs and a boy's dream.


The Redbone Coonhound is an excellent companion and family pet, with some special considerations. They love to be with their owners and family, and are happy just doing things with their humans, or sitting by watching them. They are very affectionate, but can be overwhelming to small children or even adults if not properly trained. They tend to be inactive if kept indoors most of the time and can easily become overweight.

Conversely, young coonhounds are energetic and need lots of activity, or they will become destructive. This can lead to acting out in the form of chewing and baying. They take a longer time to train than some other breeds, because they mature more slowly both physically and mentally.

Some Redbones drool a significant amount, and others have a very doggy smell. They are all loud, loud barkers.

Like many hunting dogs, they have an independent intelligence especially well suited for problem solving. This can be an issue if the problem they want to solve is their backyard fence or the dog-proof garbage. But they also are pretty unflappable, able to take anything that comes at them.

As with all hounds, this breed should be watched closely off leash since they have a tendency to roam and a reputation for chasing small creatures such as cats. Puppies, be warned, like to chew on nearly anything, and can be fairly destructive, but a simple month to year of training should stop this.


The Redbone Coonhound is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are hip dysplasia and obesity. The Redbone Coonhound requires daily walks for strength, stamina and weight control, which helps to maintain good health.

  • Temperament: Good natured with a desire to please. Good with children and other pets. Happiest when hunting and needs daily exercise.
  • Color: Red preferred; may have small white pattern on chest and feet.
  • Coat: Short, fine textured.
  • Head: Broad in line with body proportions.
  • Ears: Slightly low set, fine in texture, and reaching to tip of nose.
  • Eyes: Dark brown preferred.
  • Body: Medium sized, lean dog, and taller at the shoulder level than hips. Male height is from twenty two to twenty seven inches. Female height is from twenty one to twenty five inches.
  • Weight: Male's and female's average weight is 75 lbs.
  • Tail: Straight, medium length with brush texture.
  • Legs: Straight in line with chest and muscular.
  • Life span: Relatively long at 10-15 years.
  • Litter size: 10 pups with 6-8 being the usual number.

Red Setter / Irish Setter

The Irish Setter, also known as the Red Setter, is a breed of gundog and family dog. The term Irish Setter is commonly used to encompass the Show-bred dog recognized by the AKC as well as the field-bred Red Setter recognized by the Field Dog Stud Book. It is in the Setter Family


An Irish Setter after swimming

An Irish Setter after swimming

The coat is moderately long and silky and of a deep red color. It requires frequent brushing to maintain its condition and keep it mat-free. The undercoat is abundant in winter weather. Irish Setters range in height from 25 to 27 inches (64-69 cm), males weigh 60 to 70 pounds (27-32 kg) and females 53 to 64 pounds (24-29 kg). The FCI Breed Standard for the Irish Setter stipulates males: 23 to 26.5 inches (58-67 cm), females: 21.5 to 24.5 inches (55-62 cm).


This happy, playful breed is known for its joie de vivre and thrives on activity. It loves to run in open spaces. It is faster and has more endurance than other setter breeds.

In general, Irish Setters are friendly, enjoy human company, and actively look for other dogs to play with. They are affectionate and like to be petted. Irish Setters are excellent with children. Due to the breed's need for frequent activity, this is an inappropriate dog for inactive families or apartment dwellers. Irish Setters are not naturally aggressive, although can bark to protect the area from strangers. Despite being marked as slow-witted dogs by many, their trainability as working gun dogs belies this.


Irish Setters are a moderately healthy breed. Like almost all dog breeds, they are prone to certain genetic disorders:


The breed Irish Red Setter was developed in Ireland in the 1700s from the Old Spanish Pointer, setting spaniels, and early Scottish setters.

Early Irish Setters were white with red blotches on their coats, but today the Setter's coat is a rich mahogany color. The Irish Red and White Setter is more closely related to those early Setters.

The Irish Setter's name in Gaelic is Madra rua or "red dog". Originally, the Irish Setter was bred for hunting, specifically for setting or pointing upland gamebirds. They are similar to other members of the setter family such as the English Setter and Gordon Setter. Irish Setters are extremely swift, with an excellent sense of smell and are hardy over any terrain and in any climate. The Irish Setter is used for all types of hunting. It even works well on wetlands.

Today, the Irish Setter is more commonly found as a companion and family pet.

"Red Setter" Controversy

The Red Setter is a variant of the Irish Setter or Irish Red Setter. The Red Setter is a pointing breed of dog used to hunt upland game. Considerable acrimony exists between the partisans involved in the debate over this breed.


The Irish Setter was brought to the United States in the early 1800s. It commanded great respect in the field and was one of the most commonly used dogs among the professional meat hunter fraternity.

In 1874, the American Field put together the Field Dog Stud Book and registry of dogs in the United States was born. The FDSB is the oldest pure-bred registry in the United States. At that time, dogs could be registered even when bred from sires and dams of different breeds. At about this time, the Llewellin Setter was bred using blood lines from the Lavarack breeding of English Setter and, among other breeds, bloodlines from native Irish Setters. Around the same time, the red Irish Setter became a favorite in the dog show ring.

An AKC National Champion Pointing Bird

An AKC National Champion Pointing Bird

The Irish Setter of the late 1800s was not just a red dog. The AKC registered Irish Setters in a myriad of colors. Frank Forester, a 19th-century sports writer, described the Irish Setter as follows: "The points of the Irish Setter are more bony, angular, and wiry frame, a longer head, a less silky and straigher coat that those of the English. His color ought to be a deep orange-red and white, a common mark is a stripe of white between the eyes and a white ring around the neck, white stockings, and a white tage to the tail."

The Setter that was completely red, however, was preferred in the show ring and that is the direction that the breed took. Between 1874 and 1948, the breed produced 760 conformation champions, but only five field champions.

In the 1940s, Field and Stream magazine put into writing what was already a well-known fact. The Irish Setter was disappearing from the field and an outcross would be necessary to resurrect the breed as a working dog. Sports Afield chimed in with a similar call for an outcross. Ned LaGrange of Pennsylvania spent a small fortune purchasing examples of the last of the working Irish Setters in America and importing dogs from overseas. With the blessing of the Field Dog Stud Book, he began an outcross to red and white field champion English Setters. The National Red Setter Field Trial Club was created to test the dogs and to encourage breeding toward a dog that would successfully compete with the white setters. Thus the modern Red Setter was born and the controversy begun.

Prior to 1975 a relationship existed between the AKC and the Field Dog Stud book in which registration with one body qualified a dog for registration with the other. In 1975 the Irish Setter Club of America petitioned the AKC to deny reciprocal registration, and the AKC granted the request. It is claimed, by critics of the move, that the pressure was placed on the AKC by bench show enthusiasts who were unappreciative of the outcrossing efforts of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, as well as some AKC field trialers following a series of losses to FDSB red setters. Working Irish Setter kennels today field champion dogs that claim lines from both the FDSB dogs and AKC dogs.


The modern Red Setter is smaller than his bench-bred cousin. While show dogs often reach 70 lb, the working Red Setter is generally around 45 lb. The coat is less silky and the feathering is generally shorter. The color is lighter, with the working dog found in russet and fawn colors. The Red Setter often has patches of white on his face and chest as the Irish Setter of old did.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the oldest dog breeds indigenous to Southern Africa. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa where they crossed with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoisan people (native name - "Khoikhoi", but referred to by the English as the "Hottentots"). The Rhodesian Ridgeback in the earlier parts of its history has also been known as Van Rooyen's Lion Dogs, the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog (Simba Inja in Ndebele, Shumba Imbwa in Shona) because of their ability to harass a lion and keep it at bay while awaiting their master to make the kill.

The original standard, which was drafted by F.R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (modern day Zimbabwe), in 1922, was based on that of the Dalmatian and was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1926

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the only breed besides the Thai Ridgeback and the Africanis of South Africa with a ridge of fur along the spine.


Examples of Ridges.

Examples of Ridges.

The Ridgeback's distinguishing feature is the ridge of hair along its back running in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat. It consists of a fan-like area formed by two whorls of hair (called "crowns") and tapers from immediately behind the shoulders, down to the level of the hips. The ridge is thought to be derived from the ridged hunting dog of the Khoikhoi (literally, "men of men"; native South African people, referred to by the Europeans as Hottentots). Some Ridgebacks are born without ridges, and until recently, most ridgeless puppies were culled, or euthanized, at birth. Today, many breeders opt instead to spay and neuter these offspring to ensure they will not be bred.

Male Ridgebacks should be 25-27 inches (63-69 cm) at the withers and weigh approximately 85 lb (36.5 kg FCI Standard), however some have been known to reach up to 160 lb, females 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) and approximately 70 lb (32 kg). Ridgebacks are typically muscular and have a light wheaten to red wheaten coat which should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance but neither woolly nor silky. The presence of black guard hairs or ticking is not addressed in the AKC standard, although the elaboration of the AKC standard notes the amount of black or dark brown in the coat should not be excessive. The FCI Standard states - excessive black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable. White is acceptable on the chest and toes.

Ridgebacks have a strong, smooth tail, which is usually carried in a gentle curve upwards. The eyes should be round and should reflect the dog's colour (pigment, not coat colour) -- dark eyes with a black nose (regardless of coat colour), amber eyes with a liver nose. The liver nose is a recessive gene so therefore is not as common as a black nose; some breeders believe the inclusion of livernoses in a breeding program is necessary for maintaining the vibrancy of the coat.

Example of three whorls.

Example of three whorls.

The original standard allowed for a variety of coat colours, including brindle and sable. The modern FCI standard calls for light wheaten to red wheaten. While the deeper red wheaten was often favoured by judges in the past, it seems now all shades of wheaten are being included in the winners circle including the liver nose. In the show ring, white on the feet and chest is common but it is preferred to not reach the shoulder or above the dew claws on the feet. The FCI standard considers white on the belly or above the toes 'undesirable'. The only disqualification in the AKC standard for this breed is ridgelessness.


Ridgebacks are loyal, intelligent, and gentle. They are, however, aloof to strangers. This breed requires training and dedication and is only for the experienced dog owner. They are strong-willed, exceptionally clever, and many seem to have a penchant for mischief. They do not make a good first dog, though the same traits that make them difficult often appeal to the more experienced owners. Although they can withstand wide temperature variations due to their African heritage, they are sensitive and prefer to be with their human families inside. They were traditionally hunters, guardians, and companions.

Despite their athletic, sometimes imposing exterior, the Ridgeback has a sensitive side. Excessively harsh training methods that might be tolerated by a sporting or working dog will likely backfire on a Ridgeback. Intelligent to a fault, the Ridgeback accepts correction as long as it is fair and justified, and as long as it comes from someone he knows and trusts. Francis R. Barnes, who wrote the first standard in 1922, acknowledged that "rough treatment ... should never be administered to these dogs, especially when they are young. They go to pieces with handling of that kind."


Ridgeback at 8 months.

Ridgeback at 8 months.

The breed's long history dates back to early in the 18th century when the first European settlers found with the Khoisan tribes a domesticated dog with the hair on his spine being turned forward. Later, to fill specific needs of the big game hunters of the late 19th century for a serviceable hunting dog, tough, resistant to disease, intelligent enough to avoid crocodiles and snakes, with tick repellent smooth coat, tight paw pads to protect against thorns and rough terrain, brave enough to face a lion or any other big game, but fast enough to stay out of harm's way of horns, claws and teeth. The main person behind this development was Cornelius Van Rooyen of Plumtree, Rhodesia.

The history of the breed is frustratingly murky. What is commonly accepted is that Van Rooyen used two ridged, rough-coated bitches from the Swellendam district brought to him by the Rev. Charles Helm in 1879. Van Rooyen crossed these bitches with members of his pack, noting that their ridged progeny excelled at lion hunting.

It is likely that the Great Dane, bloodhound and deerhound also contributed to the gene pool along the way.

The Breed Standard is based on that of the Dalmatian and was first registered by the South African Kennel Club SAKU (now KUSA) in 1924. At that time KUSA was the only Kennel Club in the territory. The breed was first admitted into the American Kennel Club in 1955 as a member of the Hound Group.

As hunters, Ridgebacks were sent out (in pairs at least, often in larger packs), to wear a lion down by taunting and goading it into confusion. The Ridgeback was acutely aware of the danger played out during this drama. Nevertheless, the tenacity of this devoted animal could be depended on to corner or "bay" the lion while the human hunters stepped in for the final kill. (The poor accuracy of the rifles of this time in history required close proximity to the beast to effect the objective) The dogs worked in revolving groups to keep the lion occupied until the hunter arrived; the dogs themselves did not usually kill lions, but somehow over the years this fable began and still persists. Female Ridgebacks were often used more than males, as the females tended to be more agile. When not used for hunting, these dogs were beloved family companions, guardians of the family and property, and able cattle drovers.


Health conditions known to affect this breed are cataracts, cancer, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Hypothyroidism is a growing concern, at least in the United States, where it is routinely screened for; the Ridgeback ranks number 7 in terms of most affected breeds recorded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Average lifespan is from 9-11 years, though they have been known on rare occasion to live to nearly 16 years.

Genetically, the mutation that causes the ridge was recently found by a consortium of researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Nicolette Salmon Hillbertz, Göran Andersson, et al), Uppsala University (Leif Andersson, et al) and the Broad Institute (Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, et al).

Dr. Mark Neff and his team of researchers at the University of California at Davis have located the mutation that causes a relatively rare, but breed-specific, form of heritable deafness in the Ridgeback. They have also identified the liver nose gene in Ridgebacks.

Dermoid sinus is a congenital condition (similar to Spina Bifida in humans) that is known to affect this breed. It can be very painful for the dog and a very expensive ongoing problem for the owners.

The dermoid sinus is often referred to as feeling like a thin "spaghetti noodle" beneath the skin. Puppies should be screened at birth by the breeder or a knowledgeable veterinarian by palpation of the subcutaneous dorsal midline from the base of the skull to the insertion of the tail.

In the United States surgical removal is often a viable option for affected neonates, puppies and adult dogs. All affected dogs, even those surgically corrected, should be desexed and never be bred from.

In many places in Europe however surgical dermoid sinus removal is extremely cost prohibitive. Because all unremoved dermoid sinuses will eventually abcess, and abcessed dermoind sinuses will eventually cause the dog a painful death, dermoid puppies should be culled whenever surgical correction is not an option.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States maintains a web site devoted to the breed's health issues and ongoing research at This group recommends that breeders perform at least four health screenings -- hips, elbows, thyroid and eyes -- with cardiac and hearing tests optional. They also recommend that all Ridgeback owners enter their dog(s)' information in the Comprehensive Rhodesian Ridgeback Health Survey at

Modern Hunting Classifications

Ridgeback on trail

Ridgeback on trail

Although the Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally placed in the Gundog Group for the first 20+ years it was recognized by the SAKU (now known as the KUSA) the breed is now classified as a Hound by registries the world over.

The historic and modern hunting uses of Rhodesian Ridgebacks have included everything from upland game birds, to larger 'dangerous game'. While the hunting versatility of the breed has served it well in the field, it has caused much confusion and contention among Ridgeback fanciers about what these dogs are, and are not, as hunting companions.

There is some (often heated) debate whether the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a sighthound or scent hound. Positions in this discussion usually mirror geography (and the body style of dog preferred), with Americans on the sighthound side of the debate and Europeans and Africans on the scenthound side. Perhaps both are correct: This incredibly versatile breed does not fit easily in either category. In general Ridgebacks pursue prey by the context appropriate method. By sight when possible, and if the prey is not in sight, tracking by scent. Further muddying the waters, Ridgebacks have a pre-caudal gland, not found in other sighthounds.

Alternatively, the HRA (Hunting Ridgeback Association) contends that neither classification is correct - that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is neither a sighthound, nor a scenthound, as those types are classically defined. They maintain that the Ridgeback is actually a silent tracking Cur Dog.

Most Curs are denoted by their fast, hard hunting style - a Cur is known for finding game using its eyes, ears and nose.

Curs (as a true type, not simply a 'mixed-up' mongrel) were developed by early settlers in both southern Africa and the southern and western United States, as all-purpose, versatile dogs. While many of the U.S. Cur breeds were developed to tree (and are excellent tree dogs), the Ridgeback was not specifically developed to 'tree hard'. Despite the fact that many Ridgebacks will tree, they will often do so silently. Therefore Ridgebacks are usually a poor choice for a use as a lone tree dog.

Like the other versatile Cur breeds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are currently used by hunters throughout the world to hunt all manner of game. Because of their excellent tracking abilities, many Ridgebacks are used in Scandinavia and Germany to track and/or drive wild boar, deer, stag, and moose. Because of their predisposition to deftly and vocally bay larger game on the ground, Rhodesian Ridgebacks (and Black Mouths and other similar Cur breeds) are used extensively in Texas, Southern Africa, and Northeastern Australia to hunt wild boar. Curs are also well known for serving as outstanding stock dogs.


A Rottweiler is a large dog breed originating in Germany.


A rottweiler puppy.

A rottweiler puppy.

The breed is black with clearly defined tan or mahogany markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and eyebrows. The markings on the chest should form two distinct upside-down triangles, and even a tiny patch of white in between is not acceptable for show dogs. The cheeks should have clearly defined spots that should be separate from the muzzle tan. The muzzle tan should continue over the throat. Each eyebrow should have a spot. Markings on the legs should not be above a third of the leg. On each toe should be a black 'pencil' mark, and the nails are black. Underneath the tail should also be tan. The coat is medium length and consists of a waterproof undercoat and a coarse top coat. Rottweiler coats tend to be low maintenance, although they experience shedding during certain periods of the year.

The skull is typically massive, but without excessive jowls. The forehead may be wrinkly when the Rottweiler is alert, but otherwise the skin should be relatively fitted, or "dry." A Rottweiler's eyes are a warm, dark brown — any other color does not exemplify the desired breed type. The expression should be calm, intelligent, alert, and fearless. The ears are small drop ears whose inner edges are flush with the head. 'Flying' ears are considered undesirable. Inside the mouth, dark lips and gums are preferred, although the tongue is pink. Blotchy pigmentation is undesirable and complete lack of pigment ("bubble-gum pink") is listed as a serious fault in the AKC standard for the breed. Naturally, Rottweilers are a tailed dog. There are at least two different explanations as to why tails were originally bobbed. One version is that tails were originally removed to prevent breakage and infection that would occur when the tail became covered in mud and other debris collected from pastures and livestock. Another is that as working dogs they were bobbed to avoid a "tail tax" (the method used to count livestock being driven to market was to count tails). Today, many owners in U.S. decide to have the tails removed soon after the puppy's birth for purely cosmetic reasons. The tail is usually docked to the first joint, and in general should give the impression of a lengthened topline. In the past docking was a commonly accepted practice, but it has been banned in many European countries and Australia. The chest is deep and should reach the dog's elbows, giving tremendous lung capacity. The back should be straight, never sloping. According to FCI standard, the Rottweiler stands 61 to 68 cm (24-27 inches) at the withers for males, and 56 to 63 cm (22-25 inches) for females. Average weight is 50 kg (110 pounds) for males and 42 kg (95 pounds) for females. In 2005, Dr. Brady Barr of the National Geographic measured the bite forces of many different animals, including three domestic dogs for the documentary Dangerous Encounters: Bite Force. The Rottweiler was measured to have the strongest jaw pressure of the three dogs at 328 pounds.


An undocked Rottweiler in profile

An undocked Rottweiler in profile

In the hands of a responsible owner, a well-trained and socialized Rottweiler can be a reliable, alert dog and a loving companion. However, any poorly trained dog can become a danger in the wrong circumstances. In general Rottweilers are fond of children, very devoted, quick to learn, and eager to please. They are typically very bright dogs. Rottweilers are playful animals who may frequently demand attention from their owners. However, if they are not receiving the mental stimulation they desire, they will find creative and sometimes destructive ways to elicit it. Such behavioral problems as chewing, barking for attention and eating less can be a result of lack of human interaction.

The Rottweiler is a steady dog with a self-assured nature, but early socialization and exposure to as many new people, animals, and situations as possible are very important in developing these qualities. The Rottweiler also has a natural tendency to assert dominance if not properly trained. Rottweilers' large size and strength make this an important point to consider: an untrained, poorly trained, or abused Rottweiler can learn to be extremely aggressive and destructive and, if allowed to run at large, may pose a significant physical threat to humans or other animals. They can be strong-willed (bull-headed) and should be trained in a firm, fair, and consistent manner - the owner must be perceived as the leader. If the owner fails to achieve this status the Rottweiler will readily take on the role. However, Rottweilers respond readily to a clear and benevolent leader. Aggression in Rottweilers is associated with poor breeding, poor handling, lack of socialization, natural guarding tendencies, and abuse.

The Rottweiler is not usually a barker. Male dogs are silent watchers who notice everything and are often quite stoic. Females may become problem barkers in order to protect their den. An attentive owner is usually able to recognize when a Rottweiler perceives a threat. Barking is usually a sign of annoyance with external factors (car alarms or other disturbances) rather than a response to actual threats.

The Rottweiler Welfare Association offers the following advice for would-be Rottweiler owners:

Like all dogs, the Rottweiler needs to be trained properly and controlled at all times, and should be prevented from any chance to make predatory attacks upon livestock and wildlife.

  • No one should own a Rottweiler unless they are absolutely sure they can control it, and are willing and able to devote time and effort to teaching the dog basic good manners
  • The Rottweiler has a natural guarding instinct. Do not do anything (for instance, rough play) to enhance this guarding instinct.
  • No Rottweiler should be left in the sole charge of a person, such as a child, who is not capable of controlling it
  • Any person who owns a dog should be aware that he will be devoted to and feel protective towards his household. This should be borne in mind when children are playing, people are arguing, or visitors are calling
  • Third party insurance should be taken out on any Rottweiler that you own.


A male runt Rottweiler; puppies that are atypical of the breed standard are often sold by breeders as family pets.
A male runt Rottweiler; puppies that are atypical of the breed standard are often sold by breeders as family pets.

The Rottweiler is a tough and hardy breed, but potential owners should be aware of known health issues that can affect this breed. The most serious genetic health risks a Rottweiler faces are canine hip dysplasia (CHD), subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), elbow dysplasia, and osteosarcoma. Other conditions which may affect this breed include hypothyroidism, gastric torsion (bloat), and allergies. Rottweiler owners should have their dogs' hips, elbows, heart, and eyes tested by a veterinarian before breeding. DNA tests should also be performed to screen for von Willebrand's disease (vWD). Rottweilers typically live between 8 and 11 years.


The breed is an ancient one, and its history stretches back to the Roman Empire. In those times, the legions traveled with their meat on the hoof and required the assistance of working dogs to herd the cattle. One route the army traveled was through Württemberg and on to the small market town of Rottweil. The principal ancestors of the first Rottweilers during this time was supposed to be the Roman war dog, local sheepdogs the army met on its travels, and dogs with molosser appearance coming from England and The Netherlands.

This region eventually became an important cattle area, and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth in both driving and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals. However, by the end of the 19th Century, the breed had declined so much that in 1900 there was only one female to be found in the town of Rottweil. But the build up to the World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler.

From that time the breed has become popular with dog owners, and in 1935 was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed.

The first Rottweiler club in Germany, named DRK ("Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub" — German Rottweiler Club) was created the 13 January 1907, and followed by the creation of the SDRK ("Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub" — South German Rottweiler Club) on the 27 April 1907 and became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The DRK counted around 500 Rottweiler, the SDRK 3000 Rottweilers. The goals of the two clubs were different. The DRK wanted to produce working dogs and did not emphasize the morphology of the Rottweiler. The main stud dog of this club was Lord von der Teck. The IRK tried to produce a homogeneous morphology according to their standard. One of the main stud dogs of this club was Ralph von Neckar.

Dog attacks

A Rottweiler barking and displaying large teeth

A Rottweiler barking and displaying large teeth

In recent years the breed has received some negative publicity, possibly related to the fact that Rottweilers were the number two breed of dog named in fatal human attacks from 1979 to 1998 in a report by the CDC. Unscrupulous breeders have produced dogs with highly aggressive tendencies and some owners have used the dogs as guard or protection dogs. Other owners may acquire a Rottweiler for a family pet, but neglect to properly socialize and train the animal, resulting in a dangerous, unpredictable dog.

The portrayal of Rottweilers as evil dogs in several fictional films and TV series, most notably in The Omen, has contributed to this negative publicity. Interestingly, Mace Neufeld (executive producer, The Omen) had trained German Shepherds in the U.S. for this role, but they had to substitute Rottweilers at the British shoot location because of Britain's 6-month quarantine rule on animals.

Despite the media's fascination with Rottweilers who run afoul of canine behavioural standards, people who have experience with properly raised individuals can attest to the Rottweiler's friendliness and often clownish nature. In fact, the FCI standard calls for a dog that is fond of children. Nevertheless, this breed is not for the inexperienced or uninvolved dog owner, or anyone who lacks the physical strength to handle the Rottweiler.

As a result of recent dog attacks involving the breed, some German States of Germany put the Rottweiler on an index of dangerous dogs. The states adopting the legislation are Bavaria, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. Visitors and residents must obey the local muzzling and leash-length laws.

Raising a Rottweiler is a significant responsibility. The rewards can be great for those willing to devote the necessary attention; the headlines can be sensationalized when that responsibility is ignored. Attacks by large dogs generate large headlines; less publicized are the details of the treatment of that dog prior to their anti-social behavior. Like any intelligent animal much of their personality is a reflection of their upbringing. Following are some examples of publicized Rottweiler attacks.

On May 16th, 2000 a ten year old boy was attacked by two rottweilers running loose in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. The dogs had to be put to sleep and the owner was taken to court.

On 23rd September 2006 a five month old girl was mauled to death by two Rottweilers after being left alone with them, in Leicester, United Kingdom.

On 27th September, 2006 a fifteen month old boy was attacked by a Rottweiler and suffered injuries to his face after a severe mauling, in Middleton-on-Sea, West Sussex, United Kingdom. The owner of the dog volunteered to have the dog destroyed after it was seized by police.

On April 13th, 2007, a three month old child was attacked and killed by a Rottweiler, near La Plata, capital city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The child was attacked while she was sleeping at her grandparent's house, the owners of the dog.

On 21st August, 2007 a six-year-old girl on a chalet holiday based at a working farm in Dervock, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK had to be hospitalised and undergo plastic surgery following an attack by two rottweilers during which the victim was described by eye witnesses as being attacked "like a bit of meat, eating her and biting her." The rottweilers, described as "possessed... like wolves" by the same eye witnessess, were later shot by the farmer.

Prospective owners should take these examples to heart, and should never leave small children alone with ANY animals no matter how well they feel they have trained them.

One unusual example of the breed's guarding instinct is a rescue attempt of a woman sinking in a peat bog in County Durham, when rescuers were prevented from saving her when her two Rottweilers began snarling at them. They were enticed away from the scene after being fed with biscuits. The happy ending here occurred despite poorly trained dogs - the owner could otherwise have had the dogs "sit" and "stay." This behavior would be typical of a dog well bonded with its owner, as would be the many unreported cases where burglaries and even murders were deterred by the presence of one or more Rottweilers in a home.

Rough Collie

The Rough Collie is a breed of dog developed originally for herding in Scotland. It is well known because of the works of author Albert Payson Terhune, and was popularized in later generations by the Lassie novel, movies, and television shows. There is also a smooth-coated variety; some breed organizations consider the smooth-coat and rough-coat dogs to be variations of the same breed.


Three different Collie colours (from left to right): blue merle, pale sable and black tricolour

Three different Collie colours (from left to right): blue merle, pale sable and black tricolour

Collies have four basic coat colors: sable and white, where the "Sable" ranges from pale tan to a golden mahogany; white; tricolour, which is primarily black edged in tan; and blue merle, which is a mottled gray. All have white coat areas, in the collar, parts of the leg, and maybe tail tip. Some may have white blazes on their faces. Rough Collies have more pointed faces than their look-alike Sheltie 'cousins'. The Rough Collie has long hair, but if brushed every day it will not be so hard to keep well in order.

The desired size and weight varies among breed standards; male collies can stands 55.8 to 66 cm (22 to 26 in) at shoulder; the Female averages 5 cm (2 in) shorter. The male can weigh 20.4 to 34 kg (45 - 75 lb) and the female 5 to 10 pounds (2.3 - 4.5 kg) less.


This is an intelligent and friendly dog who loves to work. The coat needs to be brushed frequently to keep it in a show condition, but it does not require extensive care. Rough Collies are calm dogs but can get excited and rush about if you want them to. They are mid-sized dogs, suiting them to live in small houses and apartments. The herding instinct is still very much apparent in the breed today. Rough Collies are very loyal and protective to their owners and are good with children. They are a good family dog.


Both Rough and Smooth collies are descended from a localised variety of herding dog originating in Scotland. Originally, there were numerous forms of these dogs. After the industrial revolution, dog ownership became fashionable, and these early collies were crossed with the Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound), to get a more "noble" head, which is today one of the true characteristics of the rough collie. Continued breeding for show purposes drastically changed the appearance of the dogs; in the 1960s, it was a much taller dog than it is today. Earlier dogs were also more sturdy in build

Russian Black Terrier /

Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier (or simply BRT) is a breed of dog developed originally as a guard dog and police dog. It is rare outside its native country and is just starting to be recognized elsewhere; for example, it is one of the AKC's most-recently recognized breeds, gaining full status in July of 2004.


The BRT gives the impression of great strength, athleticism, and courage. It should be rustic (but not coarse) in appearance, and should not look as though its coat is sculpted or trimmed. It should never appear to lack substance or be weak in any way. Males should be noticeably more masculine than females.


The coat is hard and dense, never soft, wooly, silky, or frizzy. It should be between 4-10 cm (1.4-4 inches) in length. It should form a beard and eyebrows on the face, and a slight mane around the withers and neck that is more pronounced in males. The coat is low-shedding and the colour is black or black with some gray hairs.


The male stands 25-29 inches (64-74 cm) at the withers compared to the female's 25-28 inches (64-72 cm) with a tolerance of 1.3 inches (3 cm) or more if the dog is well proportioned. The breed weighs 80 to 143 pounds (36-65 kg)


BRTs are confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal. It should never be timid, and will not hesitate to defend the people that it loves if it thinks they are threatened. The BRT may seem aloof, but needs human companionship and bonds deeply to its family. They are wary of strangers and take a long time to warm up to unfamiliar people, thus they make excellent guard dogs. BRTs are dominant by nature and need confident owners who have experience handling similar dogs.

BRTs have traditionally been used for a wide variety of tasks, such as carting

BRTs have traditionally been used for a wide variety of tasks, such as carting


The BRT, because of its breeding as a working dog, has a very strong "work ethic", and needs a job to do in order to be happy. Early training is a must, as it will exploit any owner who has failed to establish clear dominance, and it's just too big to not be trained. They are very responsive to firm, consistent training, and excel at Obedience competitions. They also perform well in other dog sports, such as Agility, and Schutzhund training. They have a low-shedding coat, and need grooming at least once a week, more for show dogs. The BRT needs lots of exercise, and may become hyperactive and destructive if it doen't have a chance to burn off its energy.


The BRT is a generally healthy and somewhat long-lived dog (lifespan of 10-14 years), however it is prone to certain hereditary diseases:


The BRT was developed in the former USSR by the state for use as a military/working dogs. The breeding stock was largely imported from the occupied countries, especially East Germany. Breeds used in the development include the Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Giant and Standard Schnauzers and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog. It was bred for working ability, rather than appearance, and early examples only resembled today's BRT in their build and coat type. It was bred solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel until 1957, when some puppies were sold to civilian breeders. These breeders began to breed for looks (as the original was rather plain) while retaining working ability. The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1984.

Russian Spaniel

A Russian Spaniel

Russian Spaniel was created in Soviet Union after the World War II in 1951 as a result of cross-breeding of various European spaniel breeds. It was specially bred to satisfy Russian hunting requirements. As a result, a new breed was formed with dominating cocker-spaniel features, but taller and with longer bodies.

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