Thursday, 16 August 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 11)

German Coolie

The Coolie is an Australian dog breed. Specifically, it is a herding dog, a subcategory of working dog.


Blue Merle short coat

Blue Merle short coat

Coolies are eye catching, well balanced, medium sized dogs, with unusual markings in form of patches and flecks of colour, creating a mottled effect. The two main colours are red and blue merle though they are also seen as solid and black and white varieties. Eyes can be blue, brown, green or black or a combination of blue and brown. Ears are moderately sized, triangular shaped and are usually pricked or semi-pricked.

Colours: Predominantly red and blue merle. Solids are permissible. Dark merle is encouraged. Careful thought must be put into breeding certain coloured dogs together due to possibility of deafness and other birth defects.

Coat: The coat can be short medium or long with short being far more common and usually the preferred coat type.


Short Coat Red Merle

Short Coat Red Merle

Not much is known about the history of the breed although there are theories.

Research indicates that the breed is a derivative from early herding breeds from the United Kingdom such as the Scotch Collie (rough collie) though some believe that the German Coolie is a member of the Border Collie family and known throughout the British Isles as the Blue Merle and that these dogs can still be found today in Wales, Scotland and England. No trace of the German Coolie can be found in Germany. Whatever the Coolie's origins, it is clear that over the years, stockmen and others have introduced other breeds in order to keep a line going or to improve aspects of their dog’s ability or other attributes. It should be remembered that there is no concrete evidence of the breed’s origin and until any claims are proven without a doubt; any information is conjecture and should be understood as theory not fact. What is important is that those entrusted with the future of the breed be diligent and breed only to protect and improve the traits for which the breed is renowned.


The Coolie is extremely active and intelligent with a naturally strong herding instinct. The Coolie is renowned for its biddable and friendly nature and it's easy-going, fun-loving personality makes the breed a great choice for a lively family or active individual. Coolies are responsive to commands, easy to train, loyal to their owner and accepting of other pets and children. In addition to herding, Coolies excel in sports such as agility and obedience and are also making a name for themselves in activities such as television acting, Search and Rescue and as Pets as Therapy dogs. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is now a reality and is extremely important to the breeds future, that any matings that could produce dogs with questionable temperament be actively discouraged.


short coat red merle

short coat red merle

Coolies generally have very few health problems. Dogs with predominately white heads are likely to suffer hearing and sight problems. This excessive white is usually due to breeding two merle dogs together resulting in homozygous merles. Sun damage to white (lack of pigment) skin can also be an issue. Coolies can live beyond 15 years.

Feeding and Grooming Short coated coolies require very little grooming. A bath when needed and a brush to remove grass seeds if necessary. A stiff brushing removes dead hair from the coat, stimulates the skin and evenly distributes the natural oils over the coat. (Coolies do shed). The longer coated varieties need more care. Working coolies need a good quality high protein dry dog biscuit. A supplement of meaty bones ensures healthy teeth and gums and adds variety to the diet.

Working Ability

short coat black merle

short coat black merle

Coolies are confident all around dogs with natural ability to head, herd and heel. They have the ability to block with force when necessary, move stock together, quietly and confidently. Richmond Hough, longtime breeder of top quality working Coolies says of the Coolie, "Coolies are hardy, displaying endurance and enough speed to outrun and head stock when required. They remain alert on the job. As Coolies are extremely intelligent, it takes very few lessons for them to learn. They are generally receptive to commands and bark and back when instructed. They can adjust to difficult situations. Coolies can display a small to moderate amount of eye though they don't often show eye in a very noticeable way, but display great concentration and intuition making them capable of anticipating the stocks next move."


short coat black merle

short coat black merle

Activity Levels

Coolies are primarily a working dog and require plenty of exercise to keep their bodies fit and minds occupied. Regular exercise is extremely important and should preferably be off the lead in a safe environment.


Many breeders consider that the original name is an important part of the breed’s heritage. Many believe the original name and spelling is crucial in ensuring the breed remains an important part of Australian history. Many original breeders and devotees use the name German Coolie or simply Coolie and are keen to ensure the history of the name is retained, this also helps ensure the breeds history and any historical information is easy to reference without confusion.

The Coolie Registry (America) and the German Coolie Club of America, began researching and gathering factual information and evidence from long time breeders and owners of the German Coolie May 2004. German Coolies have been in America for many years, but are relatively unknown outside of the herding community. It was noted that the majority of Australian's, that still depended on the Coolie as a working dog, prefer the name of the breed to be referred to as the German Coolie, or just the Coolie. The Coolie Registry (TCR) and German Coolie Club of America (GCCA) was formally established April 2005. The Registry was created to preserve and maintain the pedigrees and historical records of the German Coolie breed. The German Coolies have a known long lineage, proven working abilities and have been with some of the same stockmen for many generations. By changing the name of the German Coolie, it would be like losing or disregarding a part of Australian and German history. The German Coolie was (and still is) an icon of a herding dog and many Shepherds depended on their dog. The Coolie is as important now to the livestock industry, as they were in the 1800s. They are still responsible for cutting economic losses with their natural herding ability, impeccable work ethics and biddability, thus saving the producer many man-hours of work. Time is money in the agriculture world. A good herding dog can take the place of 4 to 6 cowboys. To change the name would be dishonoring those that strived so hard to perfect what we love about the Coolie breed to this very day.

In May 2006, the Stockdog Committee of the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) voted to accept the "German Coolie" into their list of recognized and accepted herding breeds.

In May 2007, with the German Coolie becoming more and more popular, it was voted on and decided to form partnerships with the countries of the USA, Australia and Canada in the preservation and promotion of the German Coolie as the unique breed of dog that it has been since the 1800's. The German Coolie Club of America is now known as the International German Coolie Society and Registry.

German Longhaired Pointer

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) is a breed of dog. It was developed in Germany, and is used as a gundog.


The GLP should be muscular, elegant, and athletic. It should not be bulky or cumbersome, and it should be able to move with great speed and freedom. It has moderate bone, but has substance, and must never look frail or weak. Its appearance should reflect its kind, calm temperament.

Coat and colour

The coat is medium length, about 3 - 5 cm (1 - 2 in) long on the body, with the feathering somewhat longer. The coat is slightly wavy, but must not be curly. It is not silky or soft, but rather firm and shiny. It always has a double coat, with the undercoat being quite dense, but not so profuse as to make the guard hairs stand out from the body. The colour is solid dark chocolate with white permitted on the chest, paws, and down the top of the muzzle. Or dark brown roan, with large patches of solid brown, especially on the head, ears, back, and base of the tail.


The GLP is between 60 - 70 cm (24 - 28in) at the withers for males, and 58 - 66 cm (23 - 26 in) for females. It weighs approximately 30kg (66lb).


The strides should be long and free, with strong drive from the hindquarters, and good reach from the front.


GLPs are a kind, gentle, friendly, and intelligent breed. They are very affectionate, and may experience separation anxiety. They only make good pets when properly exercised, as they need a "job" to do, and do not adapt well to a sedentary life. The GLP is an excellent family pet, as it enjoys playing with children. It is very sociable with dogs.


The GLP is very trainable, and loves to work. Because of this, it needs large amounts of exercise daily, needing more than most pet owners can give. It is not well suited for urban life, as it thrives on having lots of room to run and swim. Its ideal setting would be in a rural area, with an active owner who hunts with the dog on a regular basis. GLPs need a moderate amount of grooming about once or twice a week. They are highly intelligent, very trainable, and athletic, traits which make them suitable for many dog sports, especially field trials, obedience, and agility.


GLPs, because they are quite rare in most parts of the world, and thus are unprofitable to irresponsible breeders such as puppy mills and backyard breeders, do not have any genetic disorders that are prevalent in the breed. Their ears are mildly prone to infection, a problem which is easily avoided by cleaning the dog's ears on a regular basis, as well as after swimming.


A German Longhaired Pointer

A German Longhaired Pointer

The GLP was developed in Germany for use as a pointer. It was originally a rather slow dog, and was crossed with setters and English Pointers in the 19th century to improve speed. It was very stubborn and temperamental, and has since been bred for a steady, friendly temperament. It was first shown in 1878 in Frankfurt, and at this time the first breed standard was written. Breeders then began to focus their efforts on producing dogs that performed equally well in the field and the show ring, an endeavour that is continued by breeders today. The Large Munsterlander was developed from the GLP after it was decided that GLPs must only be brown-and-white, the black-and-white strain became the ancestors of the Large Munsterlander.

German Pinscher

The German Pinscher originated in Germany and is included in the origins of the Dobermann, the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer and the Standard Schnauzer.

The Wire Haired and Smooth Haired Pinschers, as the Standard Schnauzer and German Pinscher were originally called, were shown in dog books as early as 1884. These medium-sized dogs descended from early European herding and guardian breeds and were not related to the superficially similar terriers of Great Britain.


The German Pinscher is a medium sized dog usually weighing between 25-45 pounds and typically 17-20 inches in height. Colors for this breed vary but are similar to related descendant breeds such as the Doberman and the MinPin and include black and tan, red, fawn, and blue and tan. For all countries where the FCI standard applies, only black and tan and solid red are allowed colors. German breeders take great care not to get false colors again.

There are also a few colors for this breed that became extinct during the world wars of the twentieth century. These include solid black and salt-and-pepper.

Una Ciortella che dorme

Una Ciortella che dorme


As the name would suggest the German Pinscher is believed to have been bred in Germany and have descended from early European herding and guardian breeds.

The source of the German Pinscher can be followed back until 1836 when this breed suppressed the Mops in popularity. Pinschers were used as guard dogs for coaches. Nobody took a coach when a German Pinscher took care of it. They lived in homesteads where they were used to kill rats on their own. Even today you can observe German Pinschers searching for and finding rats without being trained in open areas and in homesteads.

Another name for German Pinscher is "glatthaariger Pinscher" (German for waveless haired Pinscher). Later the so called "rauhaariger Pinscher" (German for roughly haired Pinscher ; the "Schnauzer") became popular. Even today nobody really knows which breed is older.

From 1950 to 1958 no litter has been noticed. Credit is attributed to Werner Jung for collecting several of the breed in 1958 to continue the line.

In 2003 the German Pinscher was a threatened breed - together with the "German Spitz". Just a few puppies were born. 2007 will be the best year ever in case of born puppies in Germany, because this breed became more and more popular.


Similar to the MinPin the German Pinscher is of extremely high intelligence and strong willed. They are generally very friendly and playful when properly socialized but care should be used around young children as with every dog. Pinschers must be parented with consequence but lovingly.

The German Pinscher is a very agile dog - a good sport dog in agility and obedience. Although a Pinscher is very agile it is very quiet but vigilant in house.

German Pinschers have a more or less pronounced hunting instinct. Most of them can run free in open areas.

German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog or Alsatian (see Breed names), is a popular breed of dog. German Shepherds are highly intelligent, agile and well-suited to active working environments. They are often deployed in various roles such as police work, guarding, search and rescue, therapy and in the military. They can also be found working as guide dogs for the blind. Despite their suitability for such work, German Shepherds can also make loyal and loving pets inside the home. They enjoy being around people and other animals, although socialization is critical for young puppies in order to prevent aggressive and dangerous behavior. German Shepherds are well-suited to obedience, with advanced and prestigious titles available to test both the handler and dog in various schutzhund trials.


The German Shepherd - The outer coat is thick and harsh, the under coat is soft and dense

The German Shepherd - The outer coat is thick and harsh, the under coat is soft and dense

The German Shepherd Dog is a large and strong dog. The fur is a double-coat and can be either short or long haired. Although the black and tan saddle may be most recognizable, German Shepherds come in a variety of colors and patterns though not all are accepted by the various breed clubs or FCI. Two toned German Shepherds can be black and tan, black and red, black and brown, black and silver, black and cream, blue and tan, or liver and tan. Solid colors may be black and solid white or any of the dilutes (liver, blue, or cream).

Dogs with coats that have tricolored hair (black and white with either brown or red) are called sable or agouti. Sables can come in a variety of mixtures as well including black and silver, black and red, black and cream, and black and tan. Some various markings are referred to as 'striping' (black stripe markings on the legs found in some sables), 'pencilling' (also often found on the sable as black lines on the top of the dog's toes), 'tar heels' (black that runs down the back of the dog's legs), and the bitch stripe (grey hairs along the back of a female or a neutered male.)

Different kennel clubs have different standards for the breed according to size, weight, coat color, and structure. German Shepherds that compete in dog shows, must have an appearance that conforms with the guidelines of the individual kennel club. Some common disqualifying faults include ears that are not completely erect, or a muzzle that is not predominantly black. Ear faults can be caused by weak cartilage in the ears which allow them to flop (also called "friendly-tipped"). It is often possible for a veterinarian to correct this problem by taping up the ears.

In 2005, Dr. Brady Barr of the National Geographic measured the bite forces of many different animals, including domestic dogs for the documentary Dangerous Encounters: Bite Force. A German Shepherd named Ike was measured at having a bite of 130-238 pounds.

Breed lines

There are a number of different types or lines of German Shepherd in which the behavior, abilities, and appearance of each is quite different. The major lines are the international working line, the international show line, and the North American show line

Black Sable (or gray) German Shepherd - the original color and still common in working lines

Black Sable (or gray) German Shepherd - the original color and still common in working lines

Dogs from FCI - recognized international working lines are bred primarily for traits involving their working ability rather than appearance, so their appearance can be somewhat varied.

The FCI-recognized international show lines differ in that more emphasis is placed on the dog's appearance when breeding, so that show quality traits are retained.

The North American show lines have also been bred primarily for their looks, but have a markedly different appearance from the international show line shepherd, featuring a more noticeably sloped back and sharper angles of the hock joint. There is a current debate over whether the American show line still represents the original German Shepherd Dog, or if the line has diverged enough over the years to be considered a separate breed. Critics of the American line argue that the working ability of these dogs has been diminished. Proponents of the line believe that the altered bone structure of the American line improves the dog's herding ability and eliminates the roached back often found in the German lines.

In the former East Germany, German Shepherds adhered more closely to the old prewar standard, marked by a straighter back, a longer and denser coat, and a darker color. These dogs are now praised for their working ability. There are current attempts to preserve this distinct line and raise it to the status of an officially recognized breed ("East German Shepherd Dog").

An all-black German Shepherd Dog

An all-black German Shepherd Dog

Variant sizes and coats

Some groups or breeders have focused on variants of the breed that are not recognized by most kennel clubs as standard show German Shepherds. White Shepherds or Berger Blanc Suisse are recognized as a separate breed.

The German lines of the German Shepherd tend to be larger dogs with a broader head and darker coat. With the "Americanization" of the German Shepherd, many of the dogs have become smaller with less sloping to their hips. These lines can also show more of the silver and black coat coloring as opposed to the black and tan/brown coat of the German lines

White coat

Main article: Berger Blanc Suisse

The recessive gene for white coat hair was fixed in the German Shepherd Dog breed DNA by the late 19th and early 20th century German breeding program that extensively used "color coated" dogs that carried a recessive gene for "white coats." The maternal grandfather of Horand von Grafrath, the first entry "SZ 1" in the SV Stud Book, was a white-coat German shepherding dog named Greif von Sparwasser. White was designated a disqualifying conformation fault by the SV (German Shepherd Club of Germany) in the 1933 and by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) and the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada (GSDCC)in the mid-1960's.

Long-haired coat

Dogs with the long-haired coat variation look somewhat like the Tervuren type of Belgian Shepherd Dog. The long hair gene is recessive. Popular myth holds that long-haired GSDs (sometimes called "fuzzies") are more affectionate, but there is little evidence for this beyond owner impressions. Long coats usually have no or little undercoat, thus they can be rather more sensitive to extreme weather.

Kennel club treatment of long-haired German Shepherds varies. It is considered a fault under American Kennel Club and FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale, i.e. International Canine Federation) standards. Under other standards, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, long-haired German Shepherds are actively bred, registered, and shown, and specialized long-haired breeders exist. There is also a variation known as 'long-stock-haired German Shephard'; stock hair isn't registered directly as a fault and such dogs are able to participate.

Giant shepherd & Shiloh Shepherd

The Shiloh Shepherd was bred by Tina M. Barber of Shiloh Shepherds Kennel. The King Shepherd is a larger variation of the German Shepherd but is not accepted in the AKC ring. When shepherds are bred this large, their size prevents them from fitting the AKC's breed standard description of "Size, Proportion, Substance".


German Shepherd puppies (brother and sister) at 17 weeks.

German Shepherd puppies (brother and sister) at 17 weeks.

German Shepherds are powerful dogs with a high level of intelligence and trainability, but as with most dogs they can become dangerous or destructive if raised improperly. With their uncommon strength, agility and strong sense of loyalty, they can be trained to attack and release on command. Poorly bred GSDs can be fearful, overly aggressive, or both. GSDs, along with Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans, are often perceived as inherently dangerous, and are the target of Breed Specific Legislation in several countries. If a GSD is violent or aggressive, it is often due to the combination of poor breeding and the owner's lack of control, training, and socialization. GSDs are often used as guard, seeing eye, and police dogs and more specifically search and rescue, narcotics dogs, and bomb scenting dogs which further contributes to the misguided perception that they are a dangerous breed. However, many GSDs function perfectly well as search dogs and family pets.


As is common of many large breeds, German Shepherds are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. Other health problems sometimes occurring in the breed are von Willebrand's disease and skin allergies. It is also prudent to check the eye and ear health as GSD tend to have problems with these as well. German Shepherds, like all large bodied dogs, are also prone to bloat. They have an average lifespan of 10-14 years.

GSDs commonly display high intelligence, which makes them ideal candidates for working dogs.

GSDs commonly display high intelligence, which makes them ideal candidates for working dogs.

Working German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherds often compete and excel in obedience trials and Schutzhund competitions. German Shepherds are also often trained as police dogs, due to their trainability, size, work drive, and general appearance which commands respect.

Scent work

The German Shepherd dog is one of the most widely used breeds in a wide variety of scent work roles. These include search and rescue dog, cadaver dog, narcotics detection dog, explosive detection dog, accelerant detection dog, mine detection dog, and others.

Sheep Herding

The original purpose for the German Shepherd Dog was to herd sheep, cattle, or other animals that might require the assistance of a shepherd. As the breed multiplied and society became more industrialized, opportunities to work with livestock became more scarce. The breed organization in Germany decided to look for other useful outlets for these dogs' talents, and soon they were working for law enforcement and the military. The German Shepherd club in Germany incorporated various facets of "work" into their breeding program, requiring all dogs to pass working examinations before being allowed to produce offspring. Now the GSD is more often found working as a guard dog, police dog, detection dog, search and rescue dog, or companion pet than in the field working sheep.

The German Shepherd dog lacks the "eye" of Border Collies or other similar breeds possess. They are trained to follow their instinct, which for the GSD is to "work the furrow," meaning that they will patrol a boundary all day and restrict the animals being herded from entering or leaving the designated area . It is this instinct that has made the breed superb guard dogs, protecting their flock (or family). While in the presence of other dogs German Shepherds may try to herd them, though this attempt is usually futile.

A German Shepherd Dog's instinct to herd might manifest itself by the dog's closely watching or even nipping at members of its family while on walks. The dog might attempt to lead people to what it perceives is the correct location, even going so far as to gently take a hand in his teeth to lead the person. With some training, this can become a trick, sometimes known as "walk the human."


Breed names

The proper English name for the breed is German Shepherd Dog (a literal translation from the German Deutscher Schäferhund) but they are usually informally referred to as GSDs or as "German Shepherds". In addition, the sobriquet police dog is used in many countries where the GSD is the predominant or exclusive breed used by the police force.

The name Alsatian (from Alsace, an area of France bordering Germany) is also commonly used in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the Commonwealth. After World War I, a few dogs were taken to Britain and the United States. In 1919, the English Kennel Club gave the breed a separate register, under the name Alsatian Shepherd. (Anti-German sentiment was still high in the wake of World War 1 (1914 - 1918) and in common with many other German-oriented names in the UK - including that of the Royal Family - the breed was renamed since it was feared that the German Shepherd Dog name could be an impediment.) Only in 1977 did the British Kennel Club authorize the breed to be known again as the German Shepherd Dog.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed of dog developed in the 1800s in Germany for hunting. This gun dog was developed by crossing the old Spanish pointer with a number of other breeds and breed types including scent hounds, tracking hounds, French Braques, and English Pointer to create a lean, athletic, and responsive all around hunting dog. Some authorities consider it to be the most versatile of all gun dogs and its intelligence and affectionate nature make it a popular companion dog for active owners.


The breed is streamlined in build yet powerful with strong hindquarters that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long flop ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy furred game. Its profile should be straight or strongly Roman-nosed; any dished appearance to the profile (such as seen in the Pointer) is incorrect. The eyes are generally light hazel in colour. The tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries.

Coat and color

The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is short and flat. It should have a dense undercoat protected by stiff guard hairs that makes the coat water resistant and better suited to cold weather than that of the English Pointer for example. The color can be a dark brown, correctly referred to in English as liver (incorrectly called chocolate or chestnut), black (although any area of black is cause for disqualification in American Kennel Club sanctioned shows), or either color with white. Commonly the head is a solid or nearly solid color and the body is speckled or ticked with liver and white, sometimes with saddles or large patches of solid color. Roan coats are also common, with or without patching. While the German standard permits a slight sandy coloring ("Gelber Brand") at the extremities, this is extremely rare, and a dog displaying any yellow coloring is disqualified in AKC and CKC shows.


Various breed standards set its height at the withers anywhere between 21 and 25 inches, making this a medium breed. Adults typically weigh from 45 to 70 lbs (22 to 32 kg), with the female being usually slightly shorter and lighter than the male. Hereby and after the dog of such dimension and size is to be mentioned as PointerX


Since the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life and as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. Shyness, fearfulness, over submissiveness, aloofness, lack of biddability, or aggression (especially toward humans) are all incorrect traits. It is usually very good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and appreciate active families who will give them an outlet for their energy. Most German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent watchdogs. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats or rabbits. With some training, however, it is not unusual for this highly intelligent breed to quickly discern what is prey and what is not, and they can live quite amicably with housecats and the like.

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs plenty of vigorous activity. This need for exercise (preferably off lead) coupled with the breed's natural instinct to hunt, means that training is an absolute necessity. The German shorthaired pointer's distinctly independent character and superior intelligence makes this breed best suited to experienced owners who are confident and capable handlers.

Lack of sufficient exercise and/or proper training can produce a German Shorthaired Pointer that appears hyperactive or that has destructive tendencies. Thus the breed is not a suitable pet for an inactive home or for inexperienced dog owners. The most common cause of death for German Shorthaired Pointers is being hit by a car. Although these dogs form very strong attachments with their owners, a dog that receives insufficient exercise may feel compelled to exercise himself. These dogs can escape from four foot and sometimes six foot enclosures with little difficulty. Regular hunting, running, carting, bikejoring, skijoring, mushing,dog scootering or other vigorous activity can alleviate this desire to escape.

Like the other German Pointers (the German Wirehaired Pointer and the less well known German Longhaired Pointer), this is one of the few hunting breeds that can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, an upland bird dog and water dog, can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound's talented nose. It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities.

This is an intelligent and highly trainable breed. Like the other versatile breeds, the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be comparatively independent and thoroughly capable of working out of sight of its handler. This independence can lead to the dog appearing to have a mind of its own, and so this breed especially requires training to ensure that it understands that the owner is in charge. Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, its superior intelligence and biddability (trainability) continue to make this one of the more popular large breeds.


The Shorthaired Pointer is generally a healthy breed. Epilpetic seizures have been a problem in some lines, and a few individuals may suffer from hip dysplasia, genetic eye diseases, skin disorders and cancerous lesions in the mouth, on the skin and other areas of the body. Most German Shorthaired Pointers are tough, healthy dogs, but according to Margo B. Maloney DVM (NAVHDA Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine, April, 2003) the breed can be subject to a number of hereditary disorders just as any other purebred.


Its short coat needs very little grooming, just occasional brushing. The dog should be bathed only when needed.

Like all dogs with flop ears, it can be prone to ear infections and its ears require regular checking and cleaning. It has a longer life expectancy than many breeds of this size, commonly living 12 to 14 years, with individual dogs living to 16 to 18 years not uncommon.

As it is a large, active breed, it can require considerable food; however, it can also become obese if too much food is given for its activity level. A healthy weight should permit the last two ribs to be felt under the coat, and the dog should have a distinct waist or "tuck-up".


The German Shorthaired Pointer is descended from the old Spanish Pointer, which was taken to Germany in the 1600s. From that time until the first studbook was created in 1870, however, it is impossible to identify all of the dogs that went into creating this breed. Most-likely candidates for its ancestors include local German breeds such as other hunting dogs, the schweisshund, an early German tracking hound, the Foxhound, various French hounds, assorted Scandinavian breeds, the German Bird Dog, and the Italian Pointer. It is generally accepted that no Bloodhound was used as foundation material. In the late 1800s, breeders included the English Pointer to the foundational breeding program, adding style and run to round out the breed's all-around versatility as a hunting dog. Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld of the Royal House of Hanover was credited with encouraging breeders to select early specimens on the basis of function rather than form. It is believed that this enlightened guidance was instrumental in making the breed what it is today.

Modern breeds similar in form and function (but not in color) to the German Shorthaired Pointer include the copper-russet Viszla and the silver-beige or blue-black Weimaraners.

In art and literature

Robert B. Parker's most popular mystery series features a Boston detective known only as Spenser who has had a series of three solid-liver German Shorthairs, all named Pearl: one who stood with him during a bear charge in his rural youth; one given to his girlfriend by her ex-husband; and the third Pearl, to keep company with Spenser and his girlfriend in their late middle age. Author Parker appears on many of the Spenser dustjackets with a solid-liver GSP bitch identical to the three incarnations of Pearl in the series.

Rick Bass's ruminations on living and hunting with a German Shorthaired Pointer in Montana can be found in the book Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had.

Sportswriter Mel Wallis' memoir Run, Rainey, Run, explores the extraordinary relationship he had with an extremely intelligent and versatile hunting German Shorthaired Pointer.

The logo of the American Kennel Club is a Pointer, not a German Shorthaired Pointer, though frequently mistaken for the latter.

Simon the Pointer by Joan Brown captures the personality of pointing dogs, however, this book is about an English Pointer, not a German Shorthaired Pointer.

German Spitz

The German Spitz is a dog breed or group of dog breeds of the Spitz type.


German Spitz are similar in appearance but vary in color. The Giant Spitz can only be black, white, or brown but the Standard, Small and Dwarf can have various color combinations as well. All German Spitzen have a wolf/fox-like head, double coat, highset triangular ears and a tail that is curled over the back. Although the Kleinspitz and the Pomeranian look alike they are not the same dog.


German Spitz are descendants of the ancient spitzen found in the Stone Age and they are the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe. The German Spitz was later brought with to America, and over time was instead introduced there as the American Eskimo Dog breed, which was renamed due to the widespread anti-German prejudice during World War I, and because of this some people regard them as a closely related, yet semi-separate breed.

German Spitz (Klein)

A cream German Spitz Klein.

The German Spitz Klein is a member of the German Spitz breed. They are usually classed as a toy or utility breed.


The Spitz Klein has triangular ears and a small, foxy face that is less fluffy than the rest of the body, although the fur is still very thick. The fur around the neck is extra thick, giving them a lion-like appearance. Their body has a fuzzy, woolly base underneath the straight, smooth upper coat, though that too has a tendency to become crimped when wet. Their tails will usually curl up over their backs and sit flat. They come in a wide variety of colour, including Wolf sable, blue, cream, brown, orange, black, white, particolors of black/brown and white, and also black and tan bicolors, though gold and black dogs tend to predominate.
9 inches (23 cm) min, 11 inches (29 cm) max (bitch and dog)
11 lb (5 kg) min, 18 lb (8 kg) max (bitch and dog)


The German Spitz is descended from the Nordic Samoyed and Lapphund, which were most likely brought over to Germany with the Vikings during the Middle Ages[citation needed], making spitzers an ancient breed. They were then spread all over Europe and were bred to other shepherding breeds. They were originally used as herding and guard dogs, but have been used mostly as companions for the last few centuries.

Due to the fact that Germany did not exist in its current form until 1871, and was made up of small kingdoms, princedoms and dukedoms, different countries developed different spitzers, though all of them came under the heading 'Mistbeller', meaning 'Dung-hill Barker', because of their inclination to stand on dung-hills and bark - a tendency that still remains in them today.


This breed has few inherent health problems, though can be prone to Patellar luxation, due to its small size, especially if they are overweight.

German Spitz (Mittel)


The German Spitz Mitel is very similar to the other sizes of Spitz's. To qualify as a particular class of Spitz the dog is catagorised by size. (30-38cms measured at the withers and be between 7 to 11kgs by weight) .

Example of Mittel

This is a picture of 'Deedee'. She is 12 years old and is seen here posing on Hadrian's Wall in Scotland (Mile fort 42). She is about as big as a Mittel can be. The picture shows her with her tail down which is probably due to the cold wind!


Good aspects of these dogs

  • Friendly
  • Soft, silk-like fur
  • They love exercise but do not need as much exercise as other breeds and are quite happy sitting at home on a comfy cushion
  • Longevity, They can typically reach 15 years of age without health problems.

Not so good aspects of these dogs

  • Like to bark (or yap)
  • Drop hair

German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a griffon type breed of dog developed in the 1800s in Germany for hunting. It became a leading gun dog in Germany in the later part of the 20th Century.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a well muscled, medium sized dog of distinctive appearance. Balanced in size and sturdily built, the breed's most distinguishing characteristics are its weather resistant, wire-like coat and its facial furnishings. Typically Pointer in character and style, the German Wirehaired Pointer is an intelligent, energetic and determined hunter. The tail is typically docked to two-fifths of the natural length. In countries where docking is prohibited the tail should be of sufficient length to reach down to the hocks.


The functional wiry coat is the breed's most distinctive feature. A dog must have a correct coat to be of correct type. The coat is weather resistant and, to some extent, water-repellent. The undercoat is dense enough in winter to insulate against the cold but is so thin in summer as to be almost invisible. The distinctive outer coat is straight, harsh, wiry and flat lying, and is from one to two inches in length. The outer coat is long enough to protect against the punishment of rough cover, but not so long as to hide the outline of the dog. On the lower legs the coat is shorter and between the toes it is of softer texture. On the skull the coat is naturally short and close fitting. Over the shoulders and around the tail it is very dense and heavy. The tail is nicely coated, particularly on the underside, but devoid of feather. Eyebrows are of strong, straight hair. Beard and whiskers are medium length. The hairs in the liver patches of a liver and white dog may be shorter than the white hairs. A short smooth coat, a soft woolly coat, or an excessively long coat is to be severely penalized when showing. While maintaining a harsh, wiry texture, the puppy coat may be shorter than that of an adult coat. Coats may be neatly groomed to present a dog natural in appearance. Extreme and excessive grooming to present a dog artificial in appearance should be severely penalized in competition.


The dog should be evaluated at a moderate gait. The movement is free and smooth with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. The topline should remain firm.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is very affectionate, active and intelligent. Eager to learn and loyal to its family, it needs a handler who is consistent in approach. They like to be occupied and enjoy working for their owner. They are friendly with those they know, but are naturally aloof with strangers and should be socialized at an early age. As a puppy, the owner needs to spend time with this breed otherwise the puppy will grow up to be 'spooky.' The owner mustn't leave it in the kennel, though some breeders will tell them otherwise. Can be rather willful and they like to roam. Powerful and energetic they can become bored and hard to manage without enough exercise. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a good all-around gun dog, able to hunt any sort of game on any sort of terrain. This dog has a good nose and can track, point, and retrieve on both land and water. Steady, lively and vigorous. They do best with older, considerate children; very affectionate with its master and can become jealous. Some may try to dominate other animals but most will get along well with other dogs and household animals. They make good watchdogs.


Some lines are prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, genetic eye disease and skin cancers.


The German Wirehaired Pointer was developed in the beginning of the 20th century in Germany from careful crosses of the German Pointer with many other breeds. Sources differ on the exact lineage, though the Wirehaired Griffon, Poodle-Pointer mixes, Foxhound and Bloodhound are all mentioned as possible contributors. This is a dog that can fully respond to the needs of its hunter.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, compact breed of dog. It is one of the three Schnauzer breeds. Like most large breeds, the Giant Schnauzer needs a fair amount of exercise.


When hand-stripped, the Giant Schnauzer has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. Coat color is either black or salt and pepper (grey). It weighs between 70 and 99 lb (32 to 45 kg) and stands 23.5 to 27.5 in (59 to 70 cm) at the withers.

When moving at a fast trot, a properly built Giant Schnauzer will single-track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat.


The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, dominant dog which needs a firm, consistent but friendly handler. Unnecessary harshness will only do harm.

Early and consistent training is necessary as the Giant Schnauzer tends to be very willful and are highly intelligent dogs. Its ability to understand a command does not always translate into obedience however!

Giant Schnauzers are fiercely loyal, often becoming so attached to their owner that they follow them around the house. They are extremely kind natured (similar to that of a retriever or labrador) and a good choice for those with children.

Giant schnauzers need vigorous exercise at least twice every day and can easily make a 15 mile hike. The Giant Schnauzer is a good companion for hunter of raccoons, foxes and even deer.

Health problems in the breed include:


The breed originated in the mid to late 19th century in the Bavarian and Württemberg regions of Germany. Cattlemen wanted a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer for herding and driving, creating it by selectively breeding the Standard Schnauzer with the Black Great Dane, the Bouvier des Flandres, and rough haired sheepdogs. It was a popular herding breed, but its need for more food than some breeds made it less popular for farmers on tight budgets or with limited resources. It was used as a guard dog in breweries and stockyards, a police dog, and during World War I as a military dog. It became scarce during World War II, but its popularity grew again after the war, when it was used as a drover and as a guard dog.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a breed of dog of the terrier category. It originates in Wicklow, Ireland, and was developed as a working terrier, proficient in badger-baiting and hunting of fox.


The Glen of Imaal is classified as a medium-sized dog. When full grown, the average Glen of Imaal weighs approximately 16 kg (35 lbs) and stands 35.5 cm (14 in) tall at the withers. The breed has a medium-length coat that is usually wheaten, blue, or brindle in color.

Adult Glen of Imaal Terrier


The Glen of Imaal Terrier, though normally docile, can sometimes be dog-aggressive if provoked. There have been no reported serious injuries caused by the breed, but their hunting background is visible in some of the dogs. This means that some Glens have a high prey drive and might mistake domestic pets for prey (e.g., cats, rats, gerbils, etc.).


A Goldendoodle or Groodle is a mixed breed dog, crossbred between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. This hybrid is often said to have begun in Australia, along with the Labradoodle; U.S. fanciers challenge this assertion. Poodle hybrids have become increasingly popular and it is likely that the combination of Golden Retriever and Poodle has been duplicated by breeders in various countries.


A one-year-old Goldendoodle.

A one-year-old Goldendoodle.

There are currently no size classifications for the Goldendoodle. It is difficult for a hybrid litter to "breed true"; that is, it is difficult to know exactly what size a Goldendoodle will grow to as an adult, regardless of parental size. However, Goldendoodle sizes can vary if they are standard or mini. A standard Goldendoodle is the result of crossbreeding with a standard-sized Poodle. A standard male Goldendoodle can range in height from 21 to 24 inches (54 to 62 cm), and weigh 55 to 85 pounds (25 to 39 kg). A standard female Goldendoodle can range in height from 20 to 22.5 inches (51 to 58 cm), and weigh 45 to 65 pounds (21 to 29 kg). Goldendoodles can also result from a female golden retriever and a male miniature or toy poodle (both via artificial insemination). Such Goldendoodles can range in height from 13 to 21 inches (33 to 53 cm), and weigh 25 to 45 pounds (11 to 20.5 kg). Goldendoodles also have different coat types. They can range from curly, wavy, or straight depending on its genes. Goldendoodles can have different colors, depending on the poodle genes passed onto the pup. However, Goldendoodles can be white, blonde, tan, cafe, chocolate, red, black, silver, parti, phantom, or a mix. A mix of colors can come from the same litter.

Purpose of the Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle, like the Labradoodle and many other Poodle cross breeds, was bred to be a very low shedding assistance dog for individuals who need such a dog, but who suffer from allergies to shedding hair or have other problems with excessive shedding. However, not all Goldendoodles will exhibit the "hypoallergenic" coat style and saliva of the poodle since, as a mixed breed dog, its traits cannot be accurately predicted. While some Goldendoodles are low-shedding, many others shed a small amount and still others shed as much as a Golden Retriever. While some breeders claim that the Goldendoodle is a hypoallergenic canine, allergists believe that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic animal. There have been no studies to date verifying whether any canine is completely hypoallergenic.


The Goldendoodle is a loving, loyal dog and has a keen sense of smell. They can be taught to enjoy swimming, as both the retriever and Poodle elements of their heritage normally enjoy water. Goldendoodles are intelligent, friendly, and great with kids, just like their Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle parents. They are easily trained, highly social, and by nature are easy with strangers and other dogs. They love to play, and commonly retain the strong retrieving instincts of the Golden Retriever. The Goldendoodle should not be trained as a watchdog as it is highly unlikley that he will respond to this type of aggression.

Breed Status

2 1/2-month-old Goldendoodle pup.

2 1/2-month-old Goldendoodle pup.

The Goldendoodle is not a purebred; rather, it is a specific type of mixed-breed dog or crossbreed. As such, it is not accepted for registration by mainstream registries of purebred dogs such as the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club. A true club will only register dogs with a provable pedigree.

Some breeders allege that the Goldendoodle standard is a first generation (F1) pairing between purebred Poodle and Golden Retriever parents. Others maintain a looser definition and include under the classification what is known as an F1-backcross Goldendoodle, or F1-B. This dog results from a union of Goldendoodle plus Poodle or Goldendoodle plus Golden Retriever parents. Those marketing F1-B puppies resulting from an F1 paired with a Poodle typically maintain that such animals achieve the same hypoallergenic qualities as the purebred Poodle.

There are currently several breeders attempting to stabilize the Goldendoodle as an actual breed. This requires formation of a sufficiently large breeding stock as identified by previous breeding history, number of animals, geographic dispersion, etc. and accepted by the registration entity. After breed formation, only offspring from parings of animals within this locked set are considered to represent the breed. The risk of future genetic problems from such selective breeding is best answered by early establishment of a varied, original, gene pool. Even with these precautions by the registry, the subsequent, aggressive, breeding practices that are often pursued amongst the most popular breeds can produce problems that might only reveal themselves as the dogs mature. On the other hand, all modern breeds have been developed in exactly this way--by limiting the parental pool in order to isolate targeted characteristics of structure, color, and aptitude. To date, no major all-breed registry recognizes the Goldendoodle as an official breed.


The poodle and golden retriever breeds are sometimes prone to several detrimental traits. Therefore, it is important that responsible breeders certify their parent dogs are free from hip dysplasia (such as by having them OFA or PennHIP evaluated), cataracts, and other potentially inheritable problems.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a popular breed of dog, originally developed to retrieve shot game during hunting. It is one of the most common family dogs as it is naturally very friendly and amenable to training. It is a high-maintenance dog and thrives on attention, regular, vigorous exercise, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups. Golden Retrievers are usually compatible with children, adults, and other dogs. They typically bark when startled, but generally their friendly nature makes them poor guard dogs. Golden Retrievers are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness,and willingness to learn. Because of this, they are commonly used as guide dogs, moblility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

Appearance (Based on American Breed Standard)

The ideal Golden is athletic,and well balanced. It is a symmetrical, powerful, and active dog. An American Golden is less stocky and lankier than a British. A male should stand from 23 to 24 inches(58.4 to 61 cm) in height at the shoulders, and females should be 21.5 to 22.5 inches (54.6 to 57.2 cm) at the shoulders. The coat should be dense and water repellent, in various shades of lustorous gold or cream, with moderate feathering. Excessive length, lightness, or darkness is undesirable. The gait should be free, smooth, powerful, and well-coordinated. In shows, any resistance to handling, shyness, or aggression is a serious fault.


Golden Retrievers vary widely in color

Golden Retrievers vary widely in color

English goldens are easily recognized by their light cream-coloured coats which sometimes appear white. This type is bigger-boned, shorter, with a more square head and/or muzzle. They are more common in Europe, so breeders of this type in America may import their dogs to improve bloodlines. A Golden Retriever of English breeding can have a coat colour in the colour range of all shades of gold or cream, but not including red nor mahogany. While shedding is unavoidable with Golden Retrievers, frequent grooming (daily to weekly) lessens the amount of hair shed by the animal. Goldens are known to shed the most in the spring and summer months as this is when they drop their winter undercoats. Severe shedding that results in bald patches can be indicative of stress or sickness in a Golden Retriever.

Coat and color

A darker colored golden.

A darker colored golden.

The coat is dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy. It usually lies flat against the belly. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard states that the coat is a "rich, lustrous golden of various shades", disallowing coats that are extremely light or extremely dark. This leaves the outer ranges of coat colour up to a judge's discretion when competing in conformation shows. Therefore, "pure white" and "red" are unacceptable colors for the Golden coat. Judges may also disallow Goldens with pink noses, or those lacking pigment. The Golden's coat can also be of a mahogany color, referred to as "redheads", although this is not accepted in the British showring. As a Golden grows older, its coat can become a darker or lighter tint of brown, along with a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the muzzle. Puppy coats are usually much lighter than their adult coats, but a darker coloration at the tips of the ears may indicate a darker adult color.


Most Goldens need plenty of exercise, such as dog agility.

Most Goldens need plenty of exercise, such as dog agility.

Typically, Goldens are fairly unruly as puppies and may chew and retrieve everything in sight. However, once they reach maturity, Goldens remain active and fun-loving while developing an exceptionally patient demeanor as befits a dog bred to sit quietly for hours in a hunting blind. Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage are a size suited for scrambling in and out of boats and an inordinate love for water.

They are also noted for their intelligence. As the name suggests, the Golden Retriever loves to retrieve. Retrieving a thrown stick, tennis ball, or flying disc can keep a Golden occupied and entertained for hours, particularly if there is also water involved. Goldens tend to be very tolerant of boisterous children. However, if not properly trained, they may accidentally injure a child in play.


Goldens are very active and therefore require much exercise. They are a breed that is prone to obesity, even more so than the Labrador Retrievers, so the average Golden Retriever should be walked briskly at least twice a day. Some dogs may be too active to be easily exercised by elderly owners.

Goldens should be groomed at least once a week, and every day during heavy shedding. Their coats shed heavily the entire year, and even more excessively during shedding season, which is normally in the spring as the dog loses its thick winter coat. They also need to have their ears cleaned regularly, or otherwise an ear infection might occur.


The Golden Retriever breed was originally developed in Scotland at "Guisachan" near Glen Affric, the highland estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks (pronounced "Marshbanks"), later Baron Tweedmouth. For many years, there was controversy over which breeds were originally crossed. In 1952, the publication of Majoribanks' breeding records from 1835 to 1890 dispelled the myth concerning the purchase of a whole troupe of Russian sheepdogs from a visiting circus.

The original cross was of a yellow-colored dog, Nous, with a Tweed Water Spaniel female dog, Belle. The Tweed Water Spaniel is now extinct but was then common in the border country. Majoribanks had purchased Nous in 1865 from an unregistered litter of otherwise black wavy-coated retriever pups. In 1868, this cross produced a litter that included four bitch pups; these four became the basis of a breeding program which included the Red Setter, the sandy-colored Bloodhound, the St. John's Water Dog of Newfoundland, and two more wavy-coated black Retrievers. The bloodline was also inbred and selected for trueness to Majoribanks' idea of the ultimate hunting dog. His vision included a more vigorous and powerful dog than previous retrievers, one that would still be gentle and trainable. Russian sheepdogs are not mentioned in these records, nor are any other working dog breeds. The ancestry of the Golden Retriever is all sporting dogs, in line with Majoribanks' goals.

Golden Retrievers were first accepted for registration by the The Kennel Club of England in 1903, as Flat Coats - Golden. They were first exhibited in 1908, and in 1911 were recognized as a breed described as Retriever (Golden and Yellow). In 1913, the Golden Retriever Club was founded. The breed name was officially changed to Golden Retriever in 1920.

The Honorable Archie Majoribanks took a Golden Retriever to Canada in 1881, and registered Lady with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1894. These are the first records of the breed in these two countries. The breed was first registered in Canada in 1927, and the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario, now the Golden Retriever Club of Canada, was formed in 1958. The co-founders of the GRCC were Cliff Drysdale an Englishman who had brought over an English Golden and Jutta Baker, daughter in law of Louis Baker who owned Northland Kennels, possibly Canada's first kennel dedicated to Goldens. The AKC recognized the breed in 1925, and in 1938 the Golden Retriever Club of America was formed.


A golden retriever at 15 years old, an advanced age for the breed.

A golden retriever at 15 years old, an advanced age for the breed.

The typical life span for Golden Retrievers is 10-13 years. In many lines of Golden Retrievers, life-threatening health problems are so common that it can be difficult to find an individual that you can count on remaining healthy for a normal lifetime. A large number of Golden Retrievers live less than 10 years.

Breeding Goldens can be profitable for puppy mills and backyard breeders. As a result of careless breeding for profit, Goldens are prone to genetic disorders and other diseases. Hip dysplasia is very common in the breed; when buying a puppy its parents should have been examined by the OFA or by PennHIP for hip disease.

Polish Hunting Dog

The Polish Hunting Dog, formerly Polish Scenthound (Polish: Gończy Polski) is a breed of scent hound originating in Poland.

Breed history:

Hunting with scent hounds was referred to in Polish literature as early as the XIIIth century. Poland has always been a country covered by deep forests, full of big game where the scent hound was the precious auxiliary of the hunter. Hunting with scent hounds was highly esteemed by Polish nobility as attested by XIVth century chronicles. In the XVIIth century, at least two different types of Polish scent hounds were already well distinguished. Detailed descriptions are found in XIX th century hunting literature : in 1819 Jan Szytier (Poradnik Mysliwych) describes the Polish “brach” and the Polish scent hound; in 1821, in the magazine “Sylwan”, W.Kozlowski gives a description and provides illustrations of both types, the Polish “brach” (heavier) and the Polish scent hound (lighter); the very detailed description of Ignacy Bogatynski (1823- 1825, Nauka Lowiectwa) could be used as the first breed standard. After the first World War, the Polish scent hound was still used for hunting in Poland; in the eastern regions but especially in the mountains on particularly difficult terrains. In the Podkarpacle region, the famous Polish cynologist, Jozef Pawuslewicz (1903 – 1979) hunted with Polish scent hounds; he was engaged in the development of breeding this dog.

He wrote the first Breed Standard and it is thanks to him that these dogs were officially registered by the Polish Cynological Association.

General appearance

A lithe dog of compact construction. The bone structure is strong but not heavy. The build implies a great aptitude for mobility and an obvious disposition to resist difficult working conditions in mountainous regions.


Stable and gentle. This dog is truly courageous and can even demonstrate proof of bravery. He is intelligent and easy to educate. Not aggressive but remaining wary towards strangers. To his qualities as a hunting dog, must be added those of an excellent guardian. During the hunt he gives voice with a characteristic melody in various intonations; a higher pitch for the females.

Gordon Setter

A Gordon Setter is a large breed of dog, a member of the setter family that also includes both the better-known Irish Setter and the normally white with black, brown, tan, or a combination of three of these colours English Setter as well as the less common Spanish Pointer. Setter breeds are classified as members of either the Sporting or Gundog Group depending on the national kennel club or council. The essence of the breed is to find game. Their quarry in the United Kingdom, may be partridge or grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, blackgame, snipe or woodcock: whilst overseas bird dogs are worked on quail, willow grouse, sand grouse, guinea fowl, sage hen, francolin and any other bird that will sit to a dog - that is to say, will attempt to avoid a potential predator by concealment rather than by taking to the wing at the first sign of danger. It is this combination of a bird that will sit fast in front of a dog that will remain on point that makes bird dog work possible.


This is the title of the chapter covering pointers and setters in Stonehenge's work on dogs published around a hundred and fifty years ago. The term 'Gun Dogs' would pretty well cover all the dogs described in the chapter. Many of the gun dogs described by Stonehenge are no longer to be found in the United Kingdom or have been absorbed into one of the other breeds. The Russian Setter, the Welsh Setter, Northern Irish Water Spaniel, Southern Irish Water Spaniel and English Water Spaniel, the Spanish Pointer and the Portuguese Pointer have all disappeared in the past hundred and fifty years, and the pictures of some of the breeds that are still with us show considerable differences to the breed as we see them today. Edward Laverick wrote in The Setter, published in 1872: 'the setter is but an improved spaniel'; while the Rev Pearce in The Dog, published in the same year, said, 'he is a direct descendant of the Spaniel: "a Setting Spaniel" was the first Setter'. Since then this is the generally agreed with conclusion that the Setter was primarily derived from the old Land Spaniel, so called so as to distinguish it from the Water Spaniel. It is however likely that outside crosses with Hounds or Pointers did influence its development. William Taplin in The Sportsman's Cabinet (1803-04) maintained that it was 'originally produced by a commixture between the Spanish pointer and the larger breed of the English spaniel'.

We now really need not to go back to the Spaniel and its specialised development into the setting-dog, as it was called, and can be found in the work by the famous French sportsman, Gaston de Foix, Vicomte de Bèarn (1331-91), who it is said owned about 1500 dogs 'brought from all countries of Europe' and was known as 'Gaston Phèbus' owing to his love for the chase. This work is called Livre de Chasse or Miroir de Phèbus, and was started in 1387. This work was the bases of The Master of Game written between 1406 and 1413 by Edward III's grandson, Edward, second Duke of York, who acknowledged his debt to de Foix. Below is the main passage referring to the Spaniel and the Setting-dog, as republished in 1904: 'Another kind of dog is that is called falcon-dog or spaniel (espaignols in the French original ed.) because it comes from Spain, notwithstanding that there are many in other countries.... 'A good spaniel should not be too rough, though his tail should be rough. The good qualities that such a dogs are these: They love well their masters and follow them without losing, although they be in a great crowd of men, and commonly they go before their master, running and wagging their tail, and raise or stat fowl and wild beasts. But their right craft is of the partridge and of the quail. It is good for a man that has a noble goshawk, or a tierecel, or a sparrowhawk for the partridges to have such dogs; and also, when they are taught to be couchers (chiens couchants in the original French - ed.), they are good for taking partridge and quail with the net...' (Baillie-Grohman, p66).

The modern Gordon Setter is a predominantly black dog with rich tan marking on the muzzle, legs and chest. A little bigger and heavier than either the Irish or English, he is nevertheless descended from the same genetic mixing pot , which undoubtedly has its origins among those setting spaniels we met earlier. The Kennel Club applied the name 'Gordon Setter' to the breed in 1924. Before that they were known as vlack and tan setters, and were found in many kennels beside those of the Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon (1743-1827). Indeed, as we shall see, there is plenty of evidence that the majority of the setters at Gordon Castle during the Duke's time were tri-colored rather than pure black and tan.

The breed was brought to the United States by George Blunt and Daniel Webster in 1842, with the purchase of two dogs from the Duke's kennels. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1892.

The Gordon Setter as a Gundog in the United Kingdom

Among the many changes which took place in sport and country affairs during the last century where those concerned with the method of shooting and consequent role of the gundog. These changes were accelerated after the Second World War, prior to which there were many ‘dogging moors’ in the north of the UK, especially in Scotland. Walking up game became largely superseded by driving and field-craft by marksmanship. The function of the gundog was as a result limited to the recovery of dead or wounded birds and – in the age of specialisation – this meant that the Labrador Retriever came to the forefront while the number of working Pointers and Setters declined year after year.

Besides the modernization of the style of shooting and the work required of gundogs, the situation was altered by the new developments that also took place in farming, which helped to bring about a marked reduction in the Partridge population. This came about with the introduction of modernisation such as early cutting of silage, the use of fast-moving mechanical equipment, the burning or ploughing of stubble-fields soon after harvest, the destruction of hedgerows and the use of chemical sprays for weed-killing. The hedgerows had provided shelter and nesting sites; the weeds and other herbage supplied food and cover; whilst the stubble-fields had been a primary source of winter food; so the partridges were deprived of some important assets, whilst the wide use of chemicals on the land exercised a direct harmful effect.

It will be obvious to the reader that these changes significantly affected the status of Setters and Pointers, not least that of the Gordon. Though often used as a general purpose gundog, the Gordon Setter is essentially a wide-ranging dog employed in the UK to locate Red Grouse and Ptarmigan on the Scottish or North of England moors and partridges on the stubble-fields of the south of England. Up to the late 1930s most Gordons were kept for this type of work, so that the majority were to be found in Scotland and the north of England; but now they are more evenly distributed and there are no large working kennels.

The function of the Setter is well summarised by Captain Blaine as follows: ‘The work required of the setter and pointer differs from that of all other breeds of dog. It is their business to range and hunt independently for game, at a distance from the sportsman, using their own initiative and intelligence to find it, and having done so, to remain staunchly “on point” awaiting his approach. They must search for the body, and not for the foot scent, and be able to maintain a fast steady gallop for long periods without fatigue. For the purpose a dog should have independence of character, speed, endurance, and a sensitive nose, combined with natural ability for hunting the terrain, in the best method of finding game’ (Croxton Smith, 1932, p70).

Perhaps one of the best descriptions of the Setter at work in the field is a poem by the poet William Somerville (1675-1742) in the following lines:

‘When autumn smiles, all beauteous in decay,
And paints each chequered grove with various hues,
My setter ranges in the new shorn fields,
His nose in air erect; from ridge to ridge,
Panting, he bounds, his quartered ground divides
In equal intervals, nor careless leaves
One inch untried. At length the tainted gale
His nostrils wide inhale, quick joy elates
His beating heart, which, awed by discipline
Severe, he dares not own, but cautious creeps
Low-cowering, step by step; at last attains
His proper distance, there he stops at once,
And points with his instructive nose upon
The trembling prey. On wings of wind and upborne
The floating net unfolded flies; then drops,
And the poor fluttering captives rise in vain.’

The Gordon Castle and other important kennels

Alexander, the 4th Duke of Gordon (1743-1827), established his kennel of Black and Tan Setters at Gordon Castle, which was situated near Fochabers, not far from the River Spey and a few miles from the coast of Morayshire. The exact date when this occurred is not known. A Colonel Thornton visited the place during his tour of the Highlands in 1786. He makes no mention of any kennel of Setters at that time, although he does note that ‘The Duke of Gordon still keeps up a diversion of falconry….I saw, also, here a true Highland greyhound, which is now become very scarce….’. The Duke was indeed devoted to country pursuits and was among the last of his day in Scotland to keep hawks and practise falconry; he was celebrated for his Scottish Deerhounds as well as his Setters. However all that can be inferred from the Colonel’s remarks is that there are unlikely to have been any Setters of note at the Castle in 1786. (Thornton, 1804, p 196).

There is much on record that seems reliable about the origin or derivation of the Duke of Gordon’s Setters, though verification at this late date is of course impossible. Most of this evidence comes from Samuel Brown, the Veterinary Surgeon of Melton Mowbray, who was a great authority on the breed. In a letter to ‘’The Field’’ of 12 November 1864 Samuel Brown stated: ‘An old gentleman sportsman, and one too who has shot over the same breed for fifty years and new them during his boyhood, assures me that the late Duke of Gordon, Marquis of Anglesey, and several other noblemen, had their original stock of setters from the late Mr Coke of Longford, and that the colour was usually black-white-and –tan. Mine are descended from the original breed of Mr Coke, the Gordon ‘’Regent’’ and ‘’Fan’’, and within the last five years from a black-white-and –tan bitch which I got direct from the Beaudesart kennel’ (i.e. the Marquees of Anglesey’s – Ed.). Five years late, in another letter to the same journal, the Rev F. W. Adye wrote: ‘Mr Brown was told by Mr Coke himself that he often sent dogs to the Duke of Gordon and received others in exchange, in order now and then to obtain fresh blood’ (‘’The Field,’’ 8 January 1870). These facts were well know to J. H. Walsh (‘Stonehenge’), Editor of ‘’The Field’’ and a leading authority on sporting dogs, for it is he who mentions in the first chapter of his book ‘’The Dogs of the British Islands’’ (1867) a Setter ‘from Mr Coke of Norfolk and doubtless related to the late Duke of Gordon’s kennel, as Mr Coke and the duke bred together and interchanged setters frequently’. Therefore it does appear to be reasonably established that Mr Coke provided most of the original Setters for the Duke’s kennel. The Rev Hutchinson, who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Sixty-one’, insisted that ‘the original setter taken or sent to Gordon Castle by the first Marquis of Anglesea’ (‘’The Field’’, 29 January 1870), however what has been seen is that, according to Samuel Brown’s ‘old gentleman sportsman’, the Marquees of Anglesey likewise had his original stock of Setters at Beaudesart from Mr Coke – probably, although this cannot be confirmed, some years before the Gordon Castle kennel was founded; for in 1869 the Beaudesart Setters were said to have been maintained ‘for sixty years pure and unmixed with any blood’ (‘’The Field’’, 11 December 1869). It is most unlikely that the Duke obtained his setters from only one source, we know that he interbreed with other kennels besides Mr Coke’s, notably with Lord Lovat’s.


A 3-month-old Gordon Setter puppy showing the breed's distinctive tan markings

A 3-month-old Gordon Setter puppy showing the breed's distinctive tan markings

Gordon setters, also known as "black and tans," have a coal-black coat with distinctive markings of a rich chestnut or mahogany color on their paws and lower legs, vents, throat, and muzzles; one spot above each eye; and two spots on their chest. A small amount of white is allowed on the chest. Although uncommon, red Gordons are occasionally born to normal-colored parents, the result of expression of a recessive red gene. Predominantly tan, red, or buff dogs are ineligible for showing. A Gordon's coat is straight or slightly waved (but not curly), long and silky, with chest, stomach, ear, leg, and tail feathering. According to the AKC breed standard, "the bearing is intelligent, noble, and dignified." They are the heaviest of the setter breeds, with males reaching 27 inches at the withers and up to 80 pounds in weight.


The AKC describes the Gordon Setter temperament as "alert, gay, interested, and confident. He is fearless and willing, intelligent, and capable. He is loyal and affectionate, and strong-minded enough to stand the rigors of training." Gordons are intensely loyal to their owners; thrive in an attentive, loving environment; and are good family dogs. Puppies and adult dogs can be quite boisterous, and although they are patient by nature, may not be suitable for households with very young children. Gordons are sensitive and empathic, eager to learn, and need firm but gentle handling. Early socialization and obedience training is important. They are known as great talkers. The breed is one of the slowest to mature, not hitting prime until three years of age or more, and will show puppy-like characteristics well into their older years.

Gordons were bred to run, and require 60 to 80 minutes of vigorous exercise daily. Young dogs should not be over-exercised or begin agility training until they are at least 18 months old, to avoid joint problems later in life. Because of their hunting instincts, Gordons should not be allowed to roam freely if unsupervised, as they are apt to wander into a potentially dangerous traffic situation while following a scent.


Although not as prone to hip dysplasia as many of the larger breeds, Gordons can suffer from the condition. Other health issues can include hypothyroidism, gastric torsion (bloat) and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Life expectancy for the breed is generally about 10 to 12 years.


Although the Gordon Setter, along with other bird-hunting dogs, cannot be considered to have any great future so far as its basic function is concerned, though there is no need to despair of a breed which has commanded so much past allegiance. Any work of man, whether in the cultural field or the more practical sphere of animal breeding, survives largely by virtue of its ability to arouse the devotion of a limited number of supporters rather than that wider popularity which must always be dependant on fashion. In this respect the Gordon has not been found wanting. Since the time of its great vogue, which may well be put in the latter half of the nineteenth century, it has claimed fervent partisan supporters in every country to which it has spread. The ability to incite such enthusiasm is the best possible guarantee for this wonderful dogs future.

Catalan Sheepdog

The Catalan Sheepdog is a breed of Catalan pyrenean dog used as sheepdog. The breed is very rare in the United States, mostly being bred in Europe, especially Catalonia, Finland, Germany, and Sweden.


Catalan Sheepdogs range in size from 18 to 20 in (46 to 51 cm) in height and 45 to 60 lb (20 to 27 kg) in weight for males, with females being smaller. Their coat is long and either flat or slightly wavy, and can be from fawn to dark sable and light to dark grey. There is also a shorthaired version of this breed, but is nearly extinct


They are apparently so clever that they guard sheep without needing the instructions of the farmer. Enough (outdoor) action and distraction makes this dog a quiet and well-balanced home companion.


Catalan Sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia. Their average life span is 12 to 14 years.


This breed is used for herding and even as a companion. Because of its intelligence the Gos D'Atura, like most sheepdogs, are easy to train. Not only for herding, this cheerfull dog likes to do all kinds of dogsports such as agility and doggydance. In spite of its unpretending appearance this courage dog is also used as a watch-dog. An "allround-dog" and great companion.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is a breed of dog known for its giant size and gentle personality. The breed is commonly referred to as the "Gentle giant". Great Danes are among the tallest dog breeds, along with the Irish Wolfhound; as of 2007, the world's tallest dog is a Great Dane.


Height and weight requirements for show dogs vary from one kennel club's standards to another, but generally the minimum weight falls between 100 to 120 lb (46 to 54 kg) and the minimum height must be between 28 and 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) at the withers. Most standards do not specify a maximum height or weight. In August 2004, a Great Dane named "Gibson" from Grass Valley, California was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest dog, measuring 42.2 inches at the withers.

There are six show-acceptable coat colors for Great Danes:

  • Fawn: Yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip.
  • Brindle: Fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern. Often also referred to as a tiger-stripe pattern.
  • Blue: The color shall be a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
  • Black: The color shall be a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
  • Harlequin: Base color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small grey patches,(This grey is a Merle marking) or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect.
  • Mantle: The color shall be black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.
Great danes of several coat types, from L to R: harlequin, black, brindle, blue and fawn

Great danes of several coat types, from L to R: harlequin, black, brindle, blue and fawn

Other colors occur occasionally but are not acceptable in the show ring. Because they are not valid for show dogs, they are not pursued by breeders. These colors include white, fawnequin, merle, merlequin, fawn mantle, and others. These are sometimes advertised as "rare" colors to unsuspecting buyers. Any coat that includes "mouse grey" is disqualified from show.

Cropping of the ears is common in the United States and much less common in Europe. Indeed, in some European countries such as Denmark, Germany, in parts of Australia, and in New Zealand, the practice is banned, or controlled such that it may only be performed by veterinary surgeons for health reasons. Ear cropping for looks only was never done in England. The original purpose of Ear Cropping was to cut the ears so that wolves and wild boar (often the objective of great dane hunts) would not be able to grab ahold of the ear. Now, however, it is used to obtain a more regal or majestic look in showdogs. The original ear cropping can be seen on the pictures above.


The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature; the breed is often referred to as a gentle giant. Great Danes are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets, wild animals, and humans (including strangers and children). However, some Great Danes have dominance issues, are aggressive with other dogs of the same sex, or chase small animals.


Great Danes, like most giant dogs, have a fairly slow metabolism. This results in less energy and less food consumption per pound of dog than in small breeds.

This Dane is fawn mantle, a non-standard color

This Dane is fawn mantle, a non-standard color

Great Danes have some health problems that are common to large breeds. Bloat (a painful distending and twisting of the stomach (Gastric volvulus)) is a critical condition that can affect Great Danes and results rapidly in death if not quickly addressed. It is a commonly recommended practice for Great Danes to have their stomachs tacked (Gastropexy) to the interior rib lining during routine surgery such as spaying and neutering if the dog or its relatives have a history of bloat, though some veterinary surgeons will not do the operation if the actual sickness has not occurred. Elevated food dishes are often believed to help prevent bloat by regulating the amount of air that is inhaled while eating, although one study suggests that they may increase the risk. Refraining from exercise or activity immediately before and after meals may also reduce risk.

Another problem common to the breed is in the hips (hip dysplasia). Typically an x-ray of the parents can certify whether their hips are healthy and can serve as a guideline for whether the animals should be bred and are likely to have healthy pups.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and many congenital heart diseases are also commonly found in the Great Dane.

Also, some Danes may develop yeast infections, when not fed all needed nutritional requirements. The yeast infection may also lead to minor recurring staph infection(s).

Great Danes also suffer from several genetic disorders that are specific to the breed. For example, if a Great Dane lacks color (is white) near its eyes or ears then that organ does not develop and usually the dog will be either blind or deaf. Many pure white Danes are deaf.


Some sources state that dogs similar to Great Danes were known in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.Various sources report that the Great Dane was developed from the medieval boarhound, and or the Mastiff and Irish wolfhound lines. It is also reported that the Great Dane was developed from mastiff-like dogs taken to Germany by the Alans. The breed may be about 400 years old.

The Great Dane is the large hunting dog of the Danír tribe, ”Dene” in the poem "Beowulf", today’s Danes.

In Old Norse (ON) and Old English (OE) the male is always referred to as ”Hund” (in etymology from ”the Hunt/Hunter”) and the female as ”grey/grig”. This division can still be seen in the hunting protocols from the Royal Kennels of the Royal Court of Denmark year 1710-36 (may be seen at the National Archives, Denmark).

Thus in Norse and Old English literature, specifically the compilation of sagas known as Elder Edda (Poetic Edda), the hound is named in variations over these words, for example ”hvndar” and ”greyiom” ( Skírnismál , verse 11, Elder Edda)
”mjóhundr/myo hwnd/mjøhund, meaning "slender hound" or sighthound (Scanian Law from 1200/1250)

As the original purpose of the hound was to be able to take on the wild boar, the Deer and the wolf we often see kennings applied that identify Odin’s two hounds as wolfhounds. As the king’s personal hounds it is the very same hound that guards the entrance to the next world in both Denmark and England, the folklore of which forms the basis for ”The Hound of the Baskervilles” (see Black Shuck).

The large hound, alongside the horse and the raven, is holy to the kings of Denmark and England. We see this both in the common language at the time and in the buried treasure of the kings and queens.

The large hound appears to be a migration dog. It arrives in the landscapes of the Danes in two migrations: Firstly with the Celts in the 5th Century BCE (see the Gundestrup cauldron, "Plate E: Warrior Initiation" under the cauldron) and secondly with the Danes as they begin to settle year 40-77 ACE.

Uniquely The Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science has a collection of dog skeletons from both periods and thereafter well in to the Middle Ages. The dogs were buried alongside their owners, male and female, as guiding spirits to the next world. None exists prior to this period. The large hounds are 61-70 cm tall over the shoulder (see the Ladby ship).

The most treasured hound, as is the case with the horse, is the white colored with black markings. Today we know this hound as ”Harlequin/Harlekin” (English/ Danish). However the origin is ”Herla Cyning” (OE) or ”King of the Army”.The word evolves because the human king is titled Hariwalda (ON/OE), in the new kingdoms in Britannia evolving to ”Bretwalda” or ”ruler of the army/Britannia”. His personal hounds in white are rulers of all dogs.

Two large hounds can be seen on “The Royal Purse Lid” (The British Museum) as guiding spirits to the king buried in Sutton Hoo, East Anglia, presumably (H)Rædwald in the 7th Century ACE.

Likewise the large hound is depicted on the engravings of the Golden horns of Gallehus from Southern Jutland, Denmark dated to the 5th Century ACE and on numerous rune stones (see the Tjängvide and Ledberg Runestone) and engravings on Viking ships used for burial purposes (see Oseberg ship). The depictions continue uninterrupted in church paintings and murals up until today.

The original large hound was lighter in construction than the current one. We know this both from art and from the royal hunting protocols. We also know what caused this to change, when and how.

Great Danes Gislev church, Denmark 1500-25

Great Danes Gislev church, Denmark 1500-25

Towards the end of the 16th Century the Royal Court of Denmark introduced the new fashion of the Parforce Hunt – an unnatural hunt where the hunting dogs were no longer allowed to run down and kill the deer.On the contrary the dogs were expected to hunt the deer, knock it down and hold it firm until the human huntsman arrived to make the kill.

We can see from the protocols of the Danish court that the large hound is not well equipped to perform this new role in the Parforce Hunt.It is too light in build to hold down a deer or wolf without killing it. To solve this problem King Frederick II of Denmark (regent 1559-1588) sends a ship to London in 1585 to bring back “Englandshvalpe” (English puppies) given to him by Queen Elizabeth I of England (regent 1558-1603). The English puppies are the far heavier English mastiffs.[citation needed] The Royal Tapestry from 1585-6 depicts King Frederik II. with his new “English puppy” (see Danish Broholmer). The tapestry can be seen in the National Museum of Denmark. (Source: C. Weismann: Vildtets og Jagtens Historie, Copenhagen, 1931, p. 438-440).

The protocols of the Royal Danish Kennels maintain two separates lines in the kennel in the breeding programme; the Danish and the English line. The cross breeding becomes known as “Blendinge” (same word and meaning as the English word “blend”). This new line of large hounds is the foundation of the present day Great Dane as we see them in Denmark, England and the United States.

The large hound was imported in to the Roman Empire and thus correctly is referred to as Alano in Italian (see Gaston III of Foix-Béarn and his treatise “Livre de la chasse” from 1389. He refers to the large hound in three working functions: ”Alan Gentil”, ”Alan Vautre” og ”Alan de Boucherie”).

The Great Dane Raro, Denmark 1655

The Great Dane Raro, Denmark 1655

We have a record of the hound acting as a wolfhunter very late in history. Johan Täntzer wrote ”Der Dianen Hohe und Niedere Jagdgeheimnüsz (1682-89 in three books). He worked for King Christian V of Denmark (regent 1670-1699), initially as ”Birdcatcher” (Fuglefænger) at the hunting lodge Jægerborg Castle (see Lauritz de Thurah). Later on, from 1677-85, he acted as Wolfhunter (Ulvejæger) in Jutland, Denmark[citation needed]. He was tasked with controlling the wolf population. He retired as Inspector of the hunting grounds on Amager, Copenhagen and wrote his book on his experiences of hunting wolfs with the large hound in Jutland, Denmark ((Source: C. Weismann: Vildtets og Jagtens Historie, Copenhagen, 1931, p. 467-470).

The hound was highly treasured and a tribal competitive advantage. Thus the hound did not exist in Denmark until King Christian VI of Denmark (regent 1730-1746) ceased the Parforce Hunt in 1741 and gave away all the large hounds from the royal kennels.

The records from the royal kennel at Jægersborg Castle (see Lauritz de Thurah), Denmark shows us who received the hounds as gifts:

The Great Dane Sultan, Denmark 1699

The Great Dane Sultan, Denmark 1699

King Frederick I of Sweden – 11 pack of hounds
Markgraf Friedrich (Brandenburg-Bayreuth) – 25 pack of hounds
The Duke of Pløen, Friedrich Carl – 6 packs of hounds
King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia – 4 large “Blendinge” (Blended) hounds

This event distributes the large hound throughout Europe amongst the aristocracy and forms the basis for all later rewritings of history. Up until this event in 1741 the hounds were only to be found in the original landscapes, including Normandy from year 912 (hence why the hound can be seen in hunting scenes on the Bayeux Tapestry depicting year 1064, prior to The Battle of Hastings).

In 1749 Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon begins publishing his large thesis on evolution called ”Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière”. His uses the large hound as an example of evolution (Book 4) and since he cannot find it anywhere in France or in Germania he seeks it in its home turf Denmark. It is he who for the first time coins the name ”le Grand Danois”. In the English translation of his work by William Smellie (encyclopedist) the same word becomes ”Great Dane”. Up until that time the hound was referred to in England as ”Danish dog” (see "Canine Madness”, 1762).

Le Grand Danois

Le Grand Danois

We know from a thesis by the Dane Jacob Nicolay Wilse titled ”Fuldstændig beskrivelse af stapelstaden Fridericia – efter pålidelige underretninger og egne undersøgninger.” (page 176) and published in 1767 that the Danes called the dog ”large hound”, a terminology continued well in to the 20th Century.

In Germany in 1780 the hound is referred to as ”Grosse Dänische Yagd Hund” or ”Large Danish Hunting Hound” (see Edward C. Ash : Practical Dog Book, 1931, ”The Great Dane").

The first dog exhibition was held in Hamburg 14-20 July 1863. 8 dogs were called ”Dänische Dogge” and 7 ”Ulmer Doggen”.

The records of FCI from this meeting shows that all documentation was published in Bulletin Officiel de la Société Canine de Monaco, August 1937.

At some point, either during or immediately after World War II, the country of origin of the hound is changed from the original Denmark to Germany. FCI would appear to no longer have the records that would be able to explain why that might be.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or Großer Schweizer Sennenhund, is the largest of the traditional Swiss herding breeds, the Sennenhunds, a grouping in which the Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and Appenzeller Sennenhund are also included. They are believed descended from large dogs brought to Switzerland by the Romans in the first century B.C., although another theory states that they arrived many centuries earlier with Phoenician traders. In any case, they are almost certainly the result of the mating of indigenous dogs with large mastiff-type dogs brought to Switzerland by foreign settlers. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are believed to be in the ancestry of both the Saint Bernard Dog and the Rottweiler.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, muscular, tricolour (black, rust, and white; typically with a white blaze) dog. Males should weigh around 60 - 70 kg the height is 65 - 72 cm at the shoulders. The females weigh 50 - 60 kg and are 60 - 68 cm tall at the shoulders. The length to height ratio is around ten to nine. This breed must have a double coat to be considered show quality. There is black on top of the dog's back, ears, tail and the majority of the legs. There should be rust on the cheeks, a thumb print above the eyes and also rust should appear on the legs between the white and black. There should be white on the muzzle, the feet, the tip of the tail, on the chest down and some that comes up from the muzzle to pass between the eyes. The fur is a double coat, the top coat being around 5 cm long, the bottom coat being thick and a type of gray which must be on the neck, but can be all over the body; with such an outstanding coat, most Swissies blow coat twice a year.


The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a reputation of combining protectiveness with a gentle nature, particularly with respect to its love of its family, especially children.

These dogs are strong, active, and remarkably agile for their size. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can be trained for weight-pulling competitions and/or to pull carts behind them carrying goods or even a person. They also excel at herding and pack hikes. Also, unlike other mountain dogs, they do not drool excessively. Prospective owners need to be prepared to give them lots of time and attention.

Swissies have a very strong pack instinct. They are protective of their family and training is important for them to learn their place. They want the pack to be together and get distressed when a member wanders off.


Head of a Swissy

Head of a Swissy

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was originally a herding dog, but was later used for draft. There are still farms today that use the dogs for pulling cheese or dairy carts to market, though today it is mostly ceremonial. It may have been the advent of mechanized vehicles, combined with the rise in popularity of the Saint Bernard Dog (the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog helped produce the Saint Bernard Dog), that led to the decline in popularity of the GSMD. However it happened, the breed was believed to be extinct, or nearly so, by the turn of the 20th Century.

In 1908, an owner named Franz Schertenlieb entered his mountain dogs in the Swiss Kennel Club (SKG) jubilee conformation dog show, knowing that they would be seen by an expert in native Swiss dogs, Dr. Albert Heim. Dr. Heim, an avid fancier, was apparently delighted to find a living example of the Großer Schweizer Sennenhund, and exhorted the members of the Kennel Club to do all that they could to safeguard the breed, including scour farms and villages for healthy specimens for a breeding program.

His suggestion was acted upon, and a careful breeding program was begun. Due to the meticulous nature of the selection process, the lack of worthy brood bitches, and the requirement that all puppies be reexamined as adults for conformation and temperament before being certified as suitable for breeding, breed numbers grew slowly.

All-breed club recognition

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, now often known as the GSMD or ‘Swissy’, is an example of an ancient, well-documented and established pure breed that was nevertheless not recognized by large all-breed kennel clubs around the world. The first GSMDs were introduced to the United States in 1968, and were recognized provisionally by the AKC in 1985 and received full recognition in 1995, an ironically late date for such an old breed of dog. It was recognized by the UKC in 1992. The Swissy was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) June 1, 2006 and is shown in the working group.


The Greyhound is a breed of dog that has been primarily bred for companionship, coursing game and racing. The Greyhound is the second fastest accelerating land mammal, beaten only by the cheetah; a combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest and aerodynamic build allows it to reach speeds of up to 45 mph in less than one and a half seconds, or within 3 strides.


Dogs (males) are usually 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches) tall at the withers and weigh around 27 to 40 kg (70 to 100 pounds). Bitches (females) tend to be smaller with shoulder heights ranging from 68 to 71 cm (27 to 28 inches) and weights from less than 27 to 34 kg (60 to 75 pounds). Greyhounds have very short hair, which is easy to maintain. There are approximately thirty recognized color forms, of which variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red and blue (gray) can appear uniquely or in combination.


A male brindle Greyhound

A male brindle Greyhound

Although greyhounds are extremely fast, they are not high-energy dogs. They are sprinters, and although they love running, they do not require extensive exercise. Most are quiet, gentle animals. An adult greyhound will stay healthy and happy with a daily walk of as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Greyhounds are often referred to as "Forty-five mile per hour couch potatoes." The dogs often lie on their backs with all four feet in the air while sleeping, an apparently comfortable (if undignified) position. Such a greyhound is said to be "cockroaching."

Greyhounds as pets

With their excellent temperaments and gentle natures, greyhounds, including retired racing greyhounds, make wonderful pets. Generally even-tempered and gentle, they are pack-oriented dogs which means that they will quickly adopt human "masters" into their pack. They can get along well with children, dogs and other family pets (though are sometimes not safe with smaller pet animals or untrained children). Greyhounds are generally loyal, tractable dogs with developed intellects. They are most affectionate toward those that they know and trust. To allow different greyhounds to hunt and race together, aggression toward other dogs and people has been nearly eliminated from the breed. Greyhounds are said to bark very little, which makes them excellent suburban pets, and are usually as friendly to strangers as they are with their own family. The most common misconception concerning greyhounds is that they are hyperactive. It is usually the opposite. The greyhound is basically a quiet dog and will spend most of its time sleeping in a favorite spot.

Their talents include sighting and coursing. They do not have undercoats and therefore are less likely to trigger people's dog allergies (Greyhounds are sometimes incorrectly referred to as "hypoallergenic"). Not having an undercoat coupled with their lack of body fat also means they are more susceptible to extreme temperature (heat and cold). Most sources recommend that Greyhounds be housed inside.

Greyhounds are very sensitive to insecticides. Many Vets don't recommend the use of flea collars or flea spray on greyhounds unless it is a pyrethrin-based product. Products like Advantage, Frontline and Advantix are safe for use on Greyhounds and are very effective in controlling fleas and ticks.

Companion greyhounds must be kept on a leash because their hunting instinct has instilled a strong desire to chase things (predator drive; see prey drive). Greyhounds can live in an urban setting but require moderate exercise on a regular basis. They enjoy walking and running outside.


Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing

In the late 20th century several Greyhound adoption groups were formed. The early groups were formed in large part out of a sense of concern about the treatment of the dogs while living on the track. These groups began taking greyhounds from the racetracks when they could no longer compete and placing them in adoptive homes. Prior to the formation of these groups, in the United States over 20,000 retired greyhounds a year were euthanized; recent estimates still number in the thousands, with about 90% of National Greyhound Association-registered animals either being adopted, or returned for breeding purposes (according to the industry numbers upwards of 2000 dogs are still killed annually in the US while anti-racing groups estimating the figure at closer to 12,000.).

Accidents and disease are also common killers among racing greyhounds. In 2005, an epidemic of respiratory failure killed dozens of dogs and left over 1200 quarantined in the U.S., particularly in Massachusetts, Colorado, Iowa and Rhode Island

The vast majority of greyhounds are bred for racing (registered with the National Greyhound Association or NGA), leading American Kennel Club registered dogs about 150:1. Each NGA dog is issued a Bertillon card, which measures 56 distinct identifying traits with the Bertillon number tattooed on the dog's ear to prove identity during their racing career.

There are several reasons why some National Greyhound Association greyhounds may never race:

  • The dog is too slow.
  • The dog has physical defects.
  • The dog does not have the required temperament.
  • The dog has no desire to race anymore.

There are currently two online databases to easily lookup or search for all past and present registered dogs: and Dogs can be searched by their Bertillon number, race name, and other attributes. Data includes dog photos, race statistics, and pedigree.

Most NGA greyhounds finish racing between two and five years of age. Some retired racing greyhounds have injuries that may follow them for the remainder of their lives, although the vast majority are healthy and can live long lives after their racing careers are over.


Greyhound in flight

Greyhound in flight

Greyhounds are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Some Greyhounds have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, Bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma.Because the Greyhound's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners of companion Greyhounds generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Greyhounds are prone to develop painful skin sores. Greyhounds typically live 10–13 years.

Due to the unique physiology and anatomy of greyhounds, a veterinarian who understands the issues relevant to the breed is generally needed when the dogs need treatment, particularly when anaesthesia is required. Greyhounds cannot metabolize barbiturate-based anesthesia as other breeds can because they have lower amounts of oxidative enzymes in their livers.

Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians not familiar with the breed; this can result in an incorrect diagnosis. Greyhounds have higher levels of red blood cells than do other breeds. 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 often use greyhounds as universal blood donors.


Greyhounds unleashed in Paolo Uccello's Night hunt (Ashmolean Museum)

Greyhounds unleashed in Paolo Uccello's Night hunt (Ashmolean Museum)

Popularly, the breed's origin can be traced to ancient Egypt, where a bas-relief depicting a smooth-coated Saluki (Persian Greyhound) or Sloughi was found in a tomb built in 4000 BC. Analyses of DNA reported in 2004, however, suggest that the greyhound is not closely related to these breeds, but is a close relative to herding dogs.

Historically, these sight hounds were used primarily for hunting in the open where their keen eyesight is valuable. It is believed that they (or at least similarly-named dogs) were introduced to the area now known as the United Kingdom in the 5th and 6th centuries BC from Celtic mainland Europe although the Picts and other hunter gatherer tribes of the Northern area (now known as Scotland) were believed to have had large hounds similar to that of the deerhound before the 6th century BC.

The name "greyhound" is generally believed to come from the Old English grighund. "Hund" is the antecedent of the modern "hound", but the meaning of "grig" is undetermined, other than in reference to dogs in Old English and Norse. Its origin does not appear to have any common root with the modern word "grey" for colour, and indeed the greyhound is seen with a wide variety of coats. This may be confusing however as the deerhound and wolfhound are more comonly grey in colour and possibly the true origins of the greyhound. It is known that in England during the medieval period, Lords and Royalty keen to own greyhounds for sport, requested they be bred to colour varients that made them easier to view and identify in pursuit of their quarry. The lighter colours, patch Like markings and white appeared in the breed that was once ordinarily grey in colour. The greyhound is the only dog mentioned by name in the Bible.

According to Pokorny the English name "greyhound" does not mean "gray dog/hound", but simply "fair dog". Subsequent words have been derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *g'her- 'shine, twinkle': English gray, Old High German gris 'grey, old', Old Icelandic griss 'piglet, pig', Old Icelandic gryja 'to dawn', gryjandi 'morning twilight', Old Irish grian 'sun', Old Church Slavonic zorja 'morning twilight, brightness'. The common sense of these words is 'to shine; bright'.


Until the early twentieth century, greyhounds were principally bred and trained for coursing. During the early 1920s, modern greyhound racing was introduced into the United States and introduced into United Kingdom and Ireland in 1926.

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