Friday, 31 August 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 16)

Mackenzie River Husky

The term Mackenzie River Husky describes several overlapping local populations of arctic and subarctic sleddogs, none of which constitutes a breed. Most prominent and current of these are the sleddogs of Donna Dowling and others in the interior of Alaska. These dogs are described as standing 27 to 32 inches (61-81 cm) in height and weighing 70 to 125 pounds (32-57 kg). Usually long-coated, they are rangy, deep-chested and long-legged, built for heavy freighting in single file through deep snow. Their colors are the usual northern-dog range of black and white, shades of grey and sable, tan, or blonde.

Historically, the term has been variously applied to different dog populations in the arctic and subarctic regions of Alaska and Canada. Dogs from Old Crow, Fort McPherson, Arctic Red River, Porcupine River, Hay River and Mackenzie River regions, although distinguished by locals, were collectively termed “Mackenzie River” dogs by outsiders; crosses of these local freighting huskies with large European breeds such as St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, or Staghounds were sometimes called “Mackenzie River Hounds,” giving rise to great confusion surrounding the name. Some reference sources describe the Mackenzie River Husky as a dog, used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, consisting of a mix of Inuit (Eskimo) dog, large European breeds, and wolf ancestry [citation needed].

Currently Donna Dowling acts as a coordinator for Alaskan residents interested in breeding and preservation of the native arctic freighting dog. She describes the gene pool as capable of considerable variation, but states that the temperament is always guaranteed to be independent but “completely trustworthy with children, intelligent and eager to work.”

Magyar Agar

Magyar Agár is also called a Hungarian Greyhound. It is a type of sighthound originating in Hungary and Transylvania.


The Magyar Agár is a sighthound of elegant stature, with a short and smooth coat that is slightly longer during winter months. They have button shaped ears that are raised about half way and eyes are oval in shape with a bright and gentle looking expression. They are similar in build to that of the Greyhound. They weigh about 49-68 lbs and are 25-27 inches at the shoulders. They come in a variety of colors.


This breed is affectionate and docile. They are highly unlikely to ever bite or be snippy with people. They are usually well behaved around children and also with other dogs. They are somewhat reserved but should not be overly shy. They are intelligent and faithful. They are an excellent coursing dog, and are still employed for such purposes in Hungary.


These dogs accompanied the Magyars to present-day Hungary and Romania in the 900s. They are not well known outside of Hungary and Romania.


The Magyar Agár has an average life span of 12-14 years.

Malinois / Belgian Shepherd Dog

The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) (IPA: [ˈmælɪnˌwɑː]) is a breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog rather than as a separate breed. The Malinois is recognized in the United States under the name Belgian Malinois. Its name is the French word for Mechlinian, which is in Dutch either 'Mechels' (from Mechelen) or 'Mechelaar' (one from Mechelen).


Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Malinois is a medium-sized, hard-working, square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. The Malinois is recognized by its short brown and yellow coat and its black ears, cheeks, and muzzle.

Coat and color

Due to their history as a working dog (i.e. being bred for function over form) Malinois can vary greatly in appearance. Most Malinois with a fawn coat will have white patches on the paws and chest. Darker Malinois do not generally share this trait. The acceptable colors of pure-bred Malinois are a base color of grey to fawn to mahogany with a black mask and ears, and with some degree of black tipping on the hairs, giving an overlay appearance. The color tends to be lighter with less black agouti or overlay on the dog's underside, breeching, and inside the legs.

The other varieties of Belgian Shepherd are distinguished by their coat & color: the Tervuren is the same color as the Malinois with long hair, the Laekenois is the same color, only it may lack the black mask & ears, and has wirehair, the Groenendael (registered as Belgian Sheepdog by the American Kennel Club) has long hair and is solid black. There are (occasionally and historically) solid black, black-and-tan (as in a Doberman or as in a German Shepherd Dog), or other colored short-haired Belgian Shepherds, but these are not technically Malinois.

A Malinois puppy

A Malinois puppy

If a dog represented as a Malinios is brindle (clear stripes of different colored hair) it is probably a Dutch Shepherd Dog or a mixed breed, although the possibility exists that it is a "throwback" to a common continental shepherd ancestor.


Female Malinois are said to average 25-30 kg (55-65 lb), while males are heavier at 29-34 kg (65-75 lb). Malinois can range from stocky to slender, but are always squarely built.

Working Dog

A Malinois as police dog

A Malinois as police dog

In the United States, Germany and other European countries, the Malinois is bred primarily as a working dog for personal protection, detection, police work, search and rescue, and sport work (schutzhund, French Ring, Mondio Ring).

The dog is also used extensively by Unit Oketz of the Israel Defense Forces. Oketz favors the more slight build of the Malinois to the German Shepherd and Rottweiler, which were employed formerly.

Maltese (dog)

A Maltese is a small breed of white dog that does not shed.


A professionally groomed Maltese.

A professionally groomed Maltese.

The Maltese is a dog belonging to the toy group that is covered from head to foot with a mantle of long, silky, white hair. Adult Maltese range from roughly 3 to 10 lb (1.4 to 4.5 kg), though breed standards, as a whole, call for weights between 4 and 8 lb (1.8 to 3.7 kg). There are variations depending on which standard is being used; many, like the American Kennel Club, call for a weight that is ideally between 4 and 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg), and no more than 7 lb (3.2 kg). The coat is long and silky and lacks an undercoat. The color is pure white and although cream or light lemon ears are permissible, they are not desirable. Some individuals may have curly or woolly hair, but this is outside the standard. Characteristics include slightly rounded skulls, with a one (1) finger width dome and a black nose that is two (2) finger widths long. The drop ears with long hair and very dark eyes, surrounded by darker skin pigmentation that is called a "halo", gives Maltese their expressive look. The body is compact with the length equaling the height. Their noses can fade and become pink or light brown in color. This is often referred to as a "winter nose" and many times will become black again with increased exposure to the sun.


Maltese can be very energetic, despite this they still do well for apartment dwellers. They are relatively easy to train and enjoy a playful game of fetch. These intelligent dogs learn quickly, and pick up new tricks and behaviors easily.

The breed has a reputation for being good-natured, but may be intolerant of small children or other dogs. They can be protective of their owner and will bark or may bite if animals or people infringe on their territory or are perceived as a threat.

For all their diminutive size, Maltese seem to be without fear. In fact, many Maltese seem relatively indifferent to creatures/objects larger than themselves (unless of course it is the owner). They are among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs, yet they are lively and playful as well as vigorous. Because of their size, a Maltese puppy would not be a good choice for families with small children because they can be easily injured. Maltese dog are very jumpy and have very strong hind legs. Once the dog is a bit older and more mature it is fine around small children.


A Maltese dog that exhibits signs of tear staining underneath eyes and around the snout.

A Maltese dog that exhibits signs of tear staining underneath eyes and around the snout.

Maltese have no undercoat, and have little to no shedding if cared for properly. Like their relatives Poodles and Bichon Frisé, they are considered to be largely hypoallergenic and many people who are allergic to dogs may not be allergic to the Maltese (See list of Hypoallergenic dog breeds). Regular grooming is required to prevent their coats from matting. Many owners will keep their Maltese clipped in a "puppy cut," a 1 - 2" all over trim that makes the dog resemble a puppy. Some owners, especially those who show Maltese in the sport of conformation, prefer to wrap the long hair to keep it from matting and breaking off. Dark staining in the hair around the eyes ("tear staining") can be a problem in this breed, and is mostly a function of how much the individual dog's eyes water and the size of the tear ducts. If the face is kept dry and cleaned daily, the staining can be minimized. Many veterinarians recommend avoiding foods treated with food coloring and serving distilled water to reduce tear staining.


The Maltese is generally a healthy breed with few inherent problems. Some problems seen are luxating patella, portosystemic liver shunt, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The average life span is 12-15 years.


Maltese Puppy

Maltese Puppy

As an aristocrat of the canine world, this ancient breed has been known by a variety of names throughout the centuries. Originally called the Melitaie Dog, he has also been known as "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta", the Roman Ladies' Dog, the Comforter Dog, the Spaniel Gentle, the Bichon, the Shock Dog, the Maltese Lion Dog and the Maltese Terrier. Sometime within the past century, he has come to simply be known as the Maltese. The breed's history can be traced back many centuries. Some have placed its origin at two or three thousand years ago and Darwin himself placed the origin of the breed at 6000 BC.1

The Maltese is thought to have been descended from a Spitz type dog found among the Swiss Lake dwellers and bred down to obtain its small size. Although there is also some evidence that the breed originated in Asia and is related to the Tibetan Terrier, the exact origin is unknown 2. Maltese are generally associated with the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The dogs probably made their way to Europe through the Middle East with the migration of nomadic tribes. Some writers believe these proto-Maltese were used for rodent control before the cuteness factor gained paramount importance. The Isle of Malta (or Melitae as it was then known) was a geographic center of early trade, and explorers undoubtedly found ancestors of the tiny, white dogs left there as barter for necessities and supplies. The dogs were favored by the wealthy and royalty alike and were bred over time to specifically be a companion animal. Some royals that purportedly owned Maltese were Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Josephine Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette. At the time of the Apostle Paul, Publius, the Roman governor of Malta, had a Maltese named Issa (Issa translates as 'Now" in the Maltese Language) of which he was very fond. In this connection the poet Marcus Valerius Martialis (Martial), born in A.D. 38 at Bilbilis in Spain, made this attachment famous in one of his celebrated epigrams:

"Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla's sparrow.
Issa is purer than a dove's kiss.
Issa is gentler than a maiden.
Issa is more precious than Indian gems...
Lest the last days that she sees light
should snatch her from him forever,
Publius has had her picture painted."

It is said that the painting of the dog was so life-like that one could not tell the dog from the picture.

During the Renaissance, the poet Ludovico Ariosto in a few lines of his literary masterpiece, Orlando Furioso, describes a dog, that could possibly be a Maltese, however we cannot safely state that it is referring to one.

"The tiniest dog Nature has ever produced --
Her coat of long hair, whiter than ermine,
Her movements exquisitely graceful and
Matchless elegance of appearance."
(Vol.II Canto 43) 3

During the 1940s Dr. Vincenzo Calvaresi was one of the prominent members of the Maltese fancy in the US with his Villa Malta breeding program producing over 100 champions. Toni and Aennchen Antonelli (Aennchen's Maltese) in the 1950s were the main force in establishing the Maltese breed in the US. One of the best know Maltese from their breeding program was the lovely female Ch. Aennchen's Poona Dancer, winner of 37 Best In Shows and owned by Larry Ward and the late Frank Oberstar. The top winning Best In Show record of 43 for Maltese was held for many years by Ch. Joanchenn's Maya Dancer, owned by Mamie Gregory, until recently broken in the 1990's. Marge Rozik continued the breed for years until her death in 1999 and Debbie Martin continues the Villa Malta line that made history.

In the 1950s the Maltese and Lhasa Apso were accidentally bred creating a type of dog that later became known as the Kyi-Leo rare dog breed in the 1970s.


A small adult female Poodle/Maltese Dog mixed-breed.  This one is 2.5 years old and approximately 10 pounds.

A Maltapoo (also known as a maltipoo, moodle, maltepoo, and malti-doodle), is a mixed-breed dog bred from Poodle and Maltese parents . The maltipoo is one of many increasingly common poodle hybrids, largely the result of recent interest in so-called designer dogs. While maltese dogs tend to have a generally uniform conformation, poodles can vary widely in size and color. Consequently, Maltepoos demonstrate this variation. The dog naturally exhibits characteristics from each of its parents. A particular advantage maltepoos are said is a consistently small amount or lack of shedding, due to both parents being low shedders.

Maltepoos in pop-culture

The increase in maltepoo breeding has also been influenced by celebrity trends. An example is Jessica Simpson's maltepoo[3], Daisy, that was featured in her TV series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Other celebrity owners include Brenda Song, Carmen Electra, Ellen Degeneres and Ashley Tisdale, who has a maltepoo named Blondie.


Maltepoos share behavior characteristics with purebred Maltese and Poodles. This generally results in a dog that is playful and very energetic, but they can also be protective of his/her family. An untrained and/or insufficiently socialized dog may bite if another animal or person intrudes into their territory. Like its two parent breeds, the maltepoo is highly social and needs its people to be happy. Leaving the dog unattended for long periods of time may result in destructive and otherwise undesirable behavior.

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a breed of dog of the terrier type.


Manchester Terriers are considered by most to be the oldest of all identifiable terrier breeds, finding mention in works dating from as early as the 16th century. In 1570 Dr. Caius (Encyclopedia of Dogs) gives mention to the 'Black and Tan Terrier,' though he referred to a rougher coated, shorter legged dog than we are now accustomed to.

By the early 1800s a closer facsimile to the current Manchester Terrier had evolved. In The Dog in Health and Disease by J. A. Walsh a full chapter was devoted to the Black and Tan, for the first time recognizing it as an established breed. The description Walsh set forth might, in fact, serve well today: Smooth haired, long tapering nose, narrow flat skull, eyes small and bright, chest rather deep than wide, only true color Black and Tan.

Consistency in type and appearance this breed has maintained for nearly two centuries (at the very least).


In North America, the Manchester Terrier is divided into two varieties. The Toy Manchester Terrier is a diminutive version of the standard Manchester Terrier. The toy variety weighs less than 12 pounds and has naturally erect ears. The standard variety weighs 12 to 22 pounds and has 3 allowable ear types (naturally erect, button, or cropped). Other than size differences and ear type, the Manchester Terrier and the Toy Manchester Terrier should be identical.

Standard Manchester displaying button ears

Standard Manchester displaying button ears
Toy Manchesters displaying erect "candle flame" ears

Toy Manchesters displaying erect "candle flame" ears

In its native England, these two varieties are represented as separate breeds, the Manchester Terrier and the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan).


The following is a brief overview of the breed's history in both its native England and America:

In England

The early 1800s saw times of poor sanitation in England. Rats soon became a health menace and rat killing became a popular sport. John Hulme, enthusiastic devotee of the sport of rat killing and rabbit coursing, crossed a Whippet to a cross bred terrier to produce a tenacious, streamlined animal infinitely suited to the sport. (Perhaps the Whippet influence explains the unusual topline of the Manchester still required today). This cross proved so successful that it was repeated, resulting in the establishment of a definite type -- thus the Manchester Terrier was born.

By 1827 the breed's fighting spirit had made it equally handy along a hedge row as in a rat-pit. The Manchester could tackle, with silent determination, an opponent twice its size. Ears were cropped to save risk of being torn in frequent scraps. (This also enhanced the sharp appearance of the expression). When rat-killing became illegal in England rat-pits were supplanted by dining halls or public inns, all of which were infested by rats. To combat the rodent problem each inn kept kennels. When the taprooms closed, who do you think took command? The little Black and Tan rat killers who proved their worth one hudred-fold to the inn keeper.

1860 saw the Manchester district of England as the breed center for these "Rat Terriers" and the name Manchester Terrier surfaced. Smaller specimens began to gain appeal. Unethical persons were known to introduce Chihuahuas in order to reduce size to as small as 2 1/2 pounds! This resulted in numerous problems, including apple heads, thinning coats, and poppy eyes. Inbreeding further diminished size yet the smaller versions, though delicate and sickly, remained popular for some time.

Smaller Manchesters were carried in specially designed leather pouches suspended from the rider's belt, (earning the title of "Groom's Pocket Piece"). With their smaller stature these dogs obviously could not keep up with the hounds, but when the hounds ran the fox into dense thickets they were not able to penetrate, the little Manchester Terrier was released. Nicknamed the "Gentleman's Terrier" this breed was never a "sissy." His dauntless spirit commanded respect.

In the United States

As in its native country the Manchester gained quick acceptance as a recognized breed. In 1886, just two years after the American Kennel Club was organized, the first Black and Tan Terrier was registered in the stud book. The following year "Lever" (AKC #7585) became the first AKC recognized Manchester Terrier.

The 20th century is dotted by the recognition of breed clubs devoted to preserving and promoting this breed:

In 1923 the "Manchester Terrier Club of America" was recognized, 1934 saw the Toy Black and Tan Terrier changed to Toy Manchester Terrier, and in 1938 the "American Toy Manchester Terrier Club" was recognized.

By 1952, however, the "Manchester Terrier Club of America" (Standards) was without organized breed representation. To the credit of the "American Toy Manchester Terrier Club", the two breeds were combined as one (with two Varieties - Standard & Toy) with the formation of the "American Manchester Terrier Club" in 1958, an organization which still survives today.

Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog is a white breed of dog, of a large size and a rustic appearance.


Maremma Sheepdogs can weigh from about 65 to 110 pounds (30–50 kg), and be from 23 to 29 inches tall (60–75 cm). They are strong, active, and for their size, very lithe.

The Maremma Sheepdog is a massive, noble, distinctive-looking dog with a bear-like head. The jaws are strong with a scissors bite. It has a black nose that often becomes slightly pink-brown with age. The ears are v-shaped, pointed and rather small. The eyes have a lively, intelligent expression, but are not large. The nasal canal is straight. The tail is low set and thickly feathered with dense hair. The deep, well-rounded ribcage extends to the elbows. The long, harsh, and very abundant hair has a slight wave. The under-coat is dense. Coat colors include white with markings of ivory, light yellow, or pale orange on the ears.


Maremma Sheepdogs are often employed as working dogs and those from working lines will most probably need a job to keep them occupied. They are devoted to their master but treat them as an equal and a friend. They are affectionate with people they know. Always treat a Maremma fairly and they will turn into an indispensable guardian angel for your stock, your farm, and your family. Nevertheless, this rugged breed has adapted into a marvelous companion, without losing its extraordinary working abilities. It will defend both house and master, and it is particularly attentive with children.

The Maremma is a friendly and well-balanced flock guardian, sober and dignified. This loyal, brave, and determined dog makes an excellent guard-dog without being a constant barker. It is correctly described as affectionate but not dependent. As a pet, they are not very attached or overly outgoing. This breed is not a dog that will follow your every command submissively and certainly not if it cannot see the point to it. It is very intelligent and its education and training require mutual respect in handling and voice, and above all, consistency.

It gets along with other dogs and pets and can be slightly reserved with strangers but not strongly so. People who are not welcome on your property will be stopped in their tracks. The Maremma is not as large as many of its fellow flock guards, but he still possesses comparable endurance and strength, as well as the ability to make up for the extra 50 pounds (23 kg) it lacks. It is alert and independent.


A group of Maremmano-Abruzzese of the "Aquilano" subtype just outside the medieval hilltown of  Castel del Monte (Abruzzo) in the Italy's Gran Sasso  National Park guarding their flock from wolves and other predators

A group of Maremmano-Abruzzese of the "Aquilano" subtype just outside the medieval hilltown of Castel del Monte (Abruzzo) in the Italy's Gran Sasso National Park guarding their flock from wolves and other predators

The Maremma is a subtype of Cane Da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, the official Italian name of a centuries-old breed used to guard sheep from wolves and other predators, especially during the annual transhumance migration. The breed is believed to be one of the oldest in the world dating back as far as 2,000 years. The other subtypes of Maremmano-Abruzzese being the Marsicano, the Aquilano, the Pescocostanzo, the Maiella, and the Peligno. The Marsicano has a large lion-like head, measures about 27.5 to 29.5 inches (70–75 cm) to the withers and weighs between 88 and 132 pounds (40–60 kg). The Aquilano has a large head, measures between 29.5 and 30 inches (75–83 cm) to the withers, and weighs between 132 and 176 pounds (60–80 kg). The Pescocostanzo is smaller than the other types measuring 27 to 28 inches (68–72 cm) to the withers, has a wolf-like head is known to be very territorial. The Maiella, which is thought to be a cross between the Aquilano and the Pescocostanzo, is similar in structure to the Aquilano but with a head similar to the Pescocostanzo. The Peligno is similar to the Aquilano but can weigh up to 220 pounds (100kg). It has a thick coat and strong black pigmentation on the nose and is said to be very protective—not even allowing sheep from a different flock to approach theirs.

Livestock Guarding Dogs

Maremma used as sheep guarding dogs are introduced to sheep flocks as puppies so they "imprint" on the sheep. This imprinting is thought to be largely olfactory occurring between 3 and 16 weeks of age. Biologists who have compared modern breeds of sheepdogs rate the Maremmano-Abruzzese the highest in trustworthiness, attentiveness and protectiveness of their flock. In mountainous areas, the dogs are frequently left for long periods alone with a flock so that dogs which are trustworthy in that they do not roam off, attentive in that they are situationally aware of predatory threats, and protective in that they will attempt to drive off predators, are highly prized. Although it is easiest to bond Maremma to sheep and goats, cattle ranchers have found that the dogs will bond with cows and Maremma are increasing used to protect range cattle.

While Maremma have been known to fight to the death with wolves, in most cases wolf attacks are prevented by a display of aggressiveness, which is usually sufficient to cause wolves to seek unguarded prey, in other words, non-farm animals. With the reintroduction of wolves into natural habitats, environmentalists have come to appreciate the dogs because they allow sheep farming to coexist with predators in the same habitat. The Maremma remains a marvelous sheepdog used as Livestock Guarding Dogs or LGDs in Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. Held in high esteem by shepherds, especially in the mountains where the Maremma thrives with its thick double coat being resistant to cold, rain, snow, and brambles. Like all Maremmano-Abruzzese, the Maremma is a courageous dog that will confront predators such as bears that easily could overpower and kill them.

a Maremma pair

a Maremma pair

Recently, in Warrnambool, Australia the world's first trial utilised a Maremma to guard the dwindling penguin population of Middle Island. For years the penguins have been attacked and killed by foxes and dogs. All previous attempts to save the penguins had been unsuccessful. A local chicken farmer suggested and supplied one of his working Maremmas for a trial. The trial has been so successful that the local council and wildlife officers have secured two Maremma pups for permanent relocation to the island.

Companion Dogs

For several decades, the Marrema also has achieved success as a companion dog. This is due to the fact that breeders have developed dogs of excellent temperament and character. Ranchers have discovered that behavioral traits, not a guard dog's size, are the most important factors in determining its effectiveness in protecting livestock. For instance, female dogs studied in the Gran Sasso performed with equal effectiveness as their larger male "coworkers" with no difference in the amount of predation between flocks guarded by females vs. males. Those traits that make the Maremma good with sheep also make them good with people.

English Mastiff

The English Mastiff, often called simply Mastiff, is a large breed of dog of the general mastiff or Molosser type.


This breed is powerfully built, with a massive body, broad skull and head of generally square appearance.

Their size is very large and gives an impression of power and strength when viewed from any angle. The body is massive with great depth and breadth, especially between the forelegs, causing these to be set wide apart. While no height or weight is specified for this breed, the approximate height is 27 inches to 32 inches (70 to 80 cm) and weight is 80 kg to 90 kg (175 to 200 lb) According to the AKC they are one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world. The short coat is close-lying and the color is apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, always with black on the muzzle, ears, and nose and around the eyes.

Guinness Book of World Records recognizes a mastiff from England named Zorba as the heaviest dog in the world, at over 315lb (142.8 kg). Zorba stood 37 inches (94 cm) at the shoulder and was 8 feet 3 inches (251 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. Zorba set this record in November 1989, when he was 8 years old, and about the size of a donkey (there are claims of heavier St. Bernards).


Two Mastiffs

Two Mastiffs

The Mastiff breed is a combination of grandeur, dignity, and courage; calm and affectionate to its master, but capable of guarding. This particular mastiff-type breed is a very good guard. If an unrecognizable person comes near their house, car, or the master himself, they immediatly position themselves between the master and the stranger, if the approaching person does not back down, they take immediate action, it is because of this instinctive behavior that English Mastiffs have earned themselves a spot in the worlds top 10 guard dogs. The breed is innately good natured, calm, easygoing, and surprisingly gentle. It is a well-mannered house pet but needs sufficient room to stretch out. This is an extremely loyal breed and though not excessively demonstrative, it is devoted to its family and good with children.


Mastiff puppies require a carefully watched diet due to their very rapid growth.

Mastiff puppies require a carefully watched diet due to their very rapid growth.

This is a particularly large dog demanding correct diet and exercise. The expected lifespan is 9 to 11 years.

Major issues include hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. Minor problems include obesity, osteosarcoma, and cystinuria. Problems only occasionally found include cardiomyopathy, allergies, vaginal hyperplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, hypothyroidism, OCD, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM).

When purchasing a purebred Mastiff, experts often suggest that the dog undergo tests for hips, elbow, eyes, thyroid, and DNA for PRA.


The Mastiff has a distinctive head with a large dewlap and flews

The Mastiff has a distinctive head with a large dewlap and flews

The Pugnaces Britanniae (Latin) is an extinct breed of dog and progenitor to the English Mastiff.

The Mastiff name probably evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word "masty", meaning "powerful". The Mastiff is descended from the ancient Alaunt and Molosser and is recognized as the oldest British breed. The Mastiff might have been brought to Britain in the 6th century BC. It was used in the blood sports of bear-baiting, bull-baiting, dog fighting, and lion-baiting. Throughout its long history, the Mastiff has contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds.

When Sir Peers Legh was wounded in the Battle of Agincourt, his Mastiff stood over and protected him for many hours through the battle. Although Legh later died, the Mastiff returned to Legh's home and was the foundation of the Lyme Hall Mastiffs. Five centuries later this pedigree figured prominently in founding the modern breed.

Some evidence exists that the Mastiff came to America on the Mayflower, but the breed's documented entry to America did not occur until the late 1800s.

In 1835, the Parliament of the United Kingdom implemented an Act called the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835, which prohibited the baiting of animals. Subsequently, the Mastiff lost popularity and was virtually decimated in England by the Second World War; however, sufficient numbers had been brought to America by that time to keep the breed going. Since that time, it has gradually risen in popularity.


Edwards, S. (1800), wrote in the Cynographia Britannica, London: C. Whittingham:

"What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sinking before him. His courage does not exceed its temper and generosity and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race. His docility is perfect; the teasing of the smaller kinds will hardly provoke him to resent, and I have seen him down with his paw the Terrier or cur that has bit him, without offering further injury. In a family he will permit the children to play with him and will suffer all their little pranks without offence. The blind ferocity of the bulldog will often wound the hand of the master who assists him to combat, but the Mastiff distinguishes perfectly, enters the field with temper, and engages the attack as if confident of success: if he overpowers, or is beaten, his master may take him immediately in his arms and fear nothing. This ancient and faithful domestic, the pride of our island, uniting the useful, the brave and the docile, though sought by foreign nations and perpetuated on the continent, is nearly extinct where he was probably an aborigine, or is bastardized by numberless crosses, everyone of which degenerate from the invaluable character of the parent, who was deemed worthy to enter the Roman amphitheatre and in the presence of the masters of the world, encounter the pard and assail even the lord of the savage tribes, whose courage was sublimed by torrid suns, and found none gallant enough to oppose him on the deserts of Zaara or the plains of Numidia."

McNab (dog)

The McNab Shepherd—also called a McNab Sheepdog, McNab Border Collie, or McNab Herding Dog—is a developing breed of dog. It originated from a smooth-coated dog typically reported to be the Scotch Collie or Fox Collie that was also the ancestor of the Border Collie. The breed's focus is on herding.


The appearance of dogs called McNabs can vary widely, though their shared roots with Border Collies means that they are often predominantly black with white markings — white muzzle with a white streak running up the head between the eyes, usually a white neck and chest, white tipped tail and one or more white feet. Some are large dogs of approximately 70 lb (32 kg), while others are as small as 40 lb (18 kg); some have natural bobtails and others have long, narrow, short-furred tails. Its ears are medium sized and can be "pricked" or the top half may flop over. The coat is smooth or short. A strong characteristic of the McNab is its "cat-like" feet which enable its agility.


The primary quality that these dogs are bred for is their herding ability - brains not beauty; they are well known as cattle herders, but can herd other animals, such as horses, sheep, and llamas. McNabs are well-mannered dogs, hard-working, water-loving with consequent good personal hygiene, and friendly with small domestic animals such as cats and chickens, but they require extensive grounds in which to run and are happiest with a job to do. The McNab is also less 'high strung' or obsessive than the Border Collie. They should exercise physically but also mentally by learning new activities or 'tricks' and being allowed to explore and learn new environments. This breed is sociable with other dogs and humans. They are obedient, protective and friendly.


The breed has its roots in northern California, where they were first bred by a Scotsman named Alexander McNab. In 1885 McNab brought two Border Collies from Grampian Hills of Scotland to the McNab ranch in Mendocino County. These two dogs were bred to select shepherd females of Spanish origin which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders, and that cross was called McNab shepherds because Mr. McNab perfected this breed of stock dogs which would head or heel.

Mexican Hairless Dog

The Mexican Hairless Dog is a rare, hairless breed of dog whose size varies greatly. It is also known as Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced show-low-eats-queen-tlee), Tepeitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless. Most owners of this dog call them "xolos" for short.


The breed ranges in size from about 10 pounds/4 kg to 50 pounds/20 kg, with an average body temperature of 104 °F/40 °C. Similar in appearance to a Pharaoh Hound, with a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long antelope neck, the Xolo is notable for its dominant trait of hairlessness. Many members of this breed are also missing several teeth.There is also a "coated" Xoloitzcuintle with a very short coat of hair, and individual dogs may exhibit varying degrees of head and body coats.


The breed is native to Pre-hispanic Mexico, and may date back up to 3,500 years. Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs because they believed the dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the underworld. According to Aztec mythology, the god Xolotl made the Xoloitzcuintle from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all man was made. Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, towards the Evening Star in the Heavens. A true to breed dog should have had dark skin not the pink skin that is sometimes seen. The Aztecs also raised the breed for their meat. 16th century Spanish accounts tell of large numbers of dogs being served at banquets.

Even today a lot of people in Mexico believe this breed to have healing qualities. Some cultures ate the meat of the Xoloitzcuintli for ritual or medicinal purposes, and the meat may still be found for sale in some parts of rural Mexico.

Xoloitzcuintles are not currently fully recognized by the AKC but are now accepted as foundation stock and will be accepted within the next few years, making them a rare breed in the United States. The breed is recognized by the FCI through the Mexican Kennel Club (Federación Canófila Mexicana). The FCM began a registration and breeding program for the Mexican hairless dog on May 1, 1956. Prior to that time the Xoloitzcuintles were considered nearly extinct. New breed stock is still found in remote pockets of rural Mexico.

Hairless and Coated Xoloitzcuintles side by side.

Hairless and Coated Xoloitzcuintles side by side.

Middle Asian Owtcharka / Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs or Alabay are a landrace of breeds which originates from all over Central Asia from Iran to Tibet - along the ancient Silk road.

It is believed that the ancient Central Asian dogs are the ancestors of all breeds. This is debatable, but it is almost certain that the Tibetan Mastiff is a close relative of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog and not its ancestor, as often thought. Regardless of which breed came first they are consisidered the most ancient Molosser breed of dogs in the World.

Central Asian dogs are a wonderful reminder of what a natural dog looks like. The common misconception is that all Central Asian Shepherds are over 4,000 years old, when in fact the Russian version known as CAO is a fairly recent creation. Since these dogs don't exist in a single country, but are found all over eastern Europe and Asia, thus the breed has different names depending on the nomadic tribes that use these dogs as guardians of the nomads today.

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a name used to describe quite a few different breeds. Using the word "Alabai" to describe the C.A.O. is incorrect, since the breed variety known as Alabai is only found in Turkmenistan. Although it is popular to use the word "ovtcharka" these days, it needs to be kept in mind that it is a Russian word, whereas most of these breeds are indigenous to non-Russian regions of the former USSR.

These dogs come in many different types of varying sizes, coats, colours and temperaments, depending on their primary use and region of origin. The dogs' temperaments vary depending on the working ability they are selected for. Prior to the invasion of Central Asia during Stalin's reign all the dogs were used as guardians for people and flock. Large dark dogs were used in the villages and taller less heavy dogs in colors to match the Karakul sheep were used as the guardian of the shepherds.

The Russian dogs differ from dogs in Central Asia today. Due to the 2000 change in the Russian standard which differs greatly from the FCI and UKC Standards used throughout the world.

Kazakh shepard with alabays

Kazakh shepard with alabays

Only a small number of truly pure dogs is found in main cities of the Central Asian Countries, so having a Turkmen or Uzbek heritage listed in a dog's pedigree doesn't necessarily mean that the dog is truly a CAS. When the Russians left the Central Asian cities in a rush in 1990 they left behind German Shepherd Guard Dogs that were let loose to interbred with the native Shepherd Dogs creating what natives call "Ovcharka".

Although there are three different head-types and three body-sizes to be found in the CAS. And that is exactly what Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are - they're working dogs. Whether their job is livestock herding, flock guarding, hunting, or protecting property, the dogs under this name are the main progenitors of all working breeds.

Massive and powerful, this breed is best suited for experienced individuals willing to work on the dog's broad socialization skills from an early age. The Central Asians make excellent guard dogs as well as companions for people. Usually with docked tails and cropped ears, the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs come in a variety of coat types, ranging anywhere from being as short as one inch to those that are over seven inches in length. Coming in all colours except liver or blue " RKF 2000 Revision"

"Black-n-tan," tricolour, brindle and even uniform black dogs can be found in certain regions.

Miniature Australian Shepherd

The miniature Australian Shepherd was developed by selectively breeding small Australian Shepherds.

The dogs are rapidly increasing in popularity among those interested in a compact dog with a strong work ethic. They are especially popular in dog agility, and do well in other dog sports including herding, obedience, disc dog, and many other activities.


Miniature Aussies ranges in height from 13 to 18 inches (35 to 46 cm) at the withers and weighs between 17 and 40 pounds (9 to 18 kg). Coat colors are the same as those for Australian Shepherds, which are blue merle, red merle, black tricolor, red tricolor, black bicolor, and red bicolor. There is even a very rare type of coat color: Brown & white. The eye colors may vary; dogs may have two green eyes, one green & one blue, a blue& a brown, two browns, or two icy blue eyes. Even a green eye & a brown one is possible.

Mini Aussie dressed up and showing off its agility contact-zone skills

Mini Aussie dressed up and showing off its agility contact-zone skills


Miniature Australian Shepherds are notoriously eager to work. They can be easily trained, but their intelligence and drive require obedience training and plenty of interesting activity. Once given a clear job to do, like guarding or companionship, they will thrive in a variety of environments, provided they have an adequate outlet for both physical and mental energy. If they are not allowed adequate room to play, they may become destructive. They are social dogs and form close attachments to their owner. As a result, some may suffer separation anxiety even if you are only gone for a few minutes. Mini Aussie's function well as a family dog, but their excessive energy may need to be checked around small children. Since these dogs are the purebred result of selective standard Australian Shepherd breeding and not the result of a cross-breed with a toy, they have retained the temperament of their standard forebears.


A 5- month-- old dillute cryptic merle Mini Aussie teething

A 5- month-- old dillute cryptic merle Mini Aussie teething

The history of the miniature Australian Shepherd is the same as that of the Australian Shepherd until approximately the 1960s. Thereafter, fanciers formed member clubs and registries to promote the smaller dogs in particular. While there were at one point in the past a few enthusiasts who wanted to pursue recognition as a separate breed, the fancy as a whole and the clubs that focus on the smaller sized Aussies consider the dogs merely a size variety of the Australian Shepherd. The parent clubs of the Australian Shepherd however do not recognize a size variety of the Australian Shepherd.

Miniature Australian Shepherds can be registered with the National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR), MASCA, NAMASCUSA and a variety of other registeries.


Recent studies suggest that Miniature Australian Shepherds are more likely than their full-sized counterparts to carry the mutated MDR1 gene. Read here for more information about the dangers and risk of death caused by MDR1 mutation.

The breed has shrunk even further to the smaller versions. The Toy Australian Shepards are sized down to 13 or under. These smaller dogs are still energetic, and intelligent.

Miniature Bull Terrier / Bull Terrier (Miniature)

The Bull Terrier (Miniature) is a breed of dog developed using selective breeding to miniaturize the Bull Terrier. Miniature Bull Terriers were accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1992.


Miniature Bull Terriers have short, fine, and glossy coats that are very close to the skin, like the Standards. They are accepted in the ring to be white, white with another color, or fully colored. However, like the Standards, any blue or liver colored coats are undesirable. These dogs require very minimal grooming.

In the early 1900s, the difference between the breeds was determined by the dog's weight. However, this led to Miniature Bull Terriers becoming so small and fine that they looked more like a Chihuahua than a Bull Terrier. So, in the 1970s, the weight limit was replaced with a height limit of under fourteen inches. They are usually no smaller than ten inches. According to the AKC, miniature bull terriers weight must be proportionate to its height. However, they tend to range anywhere from 20 - 35 lbs.

The Miniature Bull Terriers have a very strong build. They have very muscular shoulders and a full body.

Miniature Bull Terriers, like the Standards, have a head described as "egg-shaped." It is flat on top with a Roman muzzle. The eyes are triangular and closely set.

The ears are carried erect and are not cropped or otherwise altered.

The tail is carried horizontally rather than vertically.

Miniature Bull Terriers usually live to their upper teens.


As mentioned before, Miniature Bull Terriers require little grooming. A quick brushing once a day or a few times a week is sufficient to keep the fur in order, as it cannot become tangled due to its length.


Miniatures do require a lot of training, particularly early on. They must be heavily socialized and trained to obey early in their lives.

They also are very energetic and seem to be able to play endlessly as puppies. However, as they grow older they become less energetic. They must be carefully exercised and dieted to avoid obesity.


Bull Terriers are known to be stubborn and courageous. They don't seem to realize their size, however, because even if confronting an enormous dog they will not back down. However, with the right training, confrontations can be avoided. This characteristic does not change in the Miniatures. Some people think that Miniature Bull Terriers are practically a different dog, but one must realize that they are the same dogs, just smaller. They are very energetic and playful. They love people, but often don't get along with other pets. They are variable around other dogs, and young children must be warned to treat them carefully.


Miniature Bull Terriers are generally quite healthy, but there are hearing, eye, skin, and knee problems in some dogs:

There is a high rate of deafness in white Bull Terriers, Miniature or Standard. Of course, this also occurs in colored and mixed colored and white Bull Terriers. 1 in 5 white Bull Terriers is unilaterally deaf (deaf in one ear) and 1 in 20 is bilaterally deaf (deaf in both ears.) Deaf dogs should not be bred due to deafness being hereditary.

Miniature Bull Terriers are also susceptible to having luxating patellas. This is a knee problem common in small dogs. It can be treated by surgery.

Miniatures are also susceptible to eye problems such as lens luxation.

Also, the skin of a Miniature can be a problem. Pyotraumatic dermatitis (hot spots), allergic reactions, and hives can be problematic.

Like the Standard Bull Terriers, Minis are loving and, like many terrier breeds, can be stubborn at times; but despite this they make great dogs for people with limited space.

Miniature Fox Terrier

The Miniature Fox Terrier is a small, fine, lightweight working terrier developed as a hunting dog and vermin router. It is known colloquially in its native Australia as the “Mini Foxie”.


This is a balanced, smoothly-muscled dog breed; its head is distinctive, with erect ears that can stand straight up or fold just at the tips. Another distinguishing feature is its articulate, oval-shaped foot. The breed standard has always allowed for the dog's tail to be docked or undocked. Natural bobtails are known to occur. There are only three permitted colour combinations: black and white, tan and white, and tricolour (black, white, and tan). The coat of the Mini Foxie is always short and fine.

It is akin to the Toy Fox Terrier, a breed that developed along similar lines in the United States. Some Toy Fox Terrier owners can trace their dogs’ pedigrees to "Foiler", the first Fox Terrier registered by the Kennel Club in Britain, circa 1875-6. Other related breeds include the Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier, and the Tenterfield Terrier.


Mini Foxies are known for being fiercely loyal to their owners and their owners' property, a characteristic written into the breed standard. They must have an inquisitve and bold nature. According to at least one breed club, they make excellent family pets. They get along well with other animals but, like most working terriers, cannot distinguish between small pets—such as reptiles and fancy rats—and vermin, and must not be left alone with such animals.


Miniature Fox Terriers are generally healthy and hardy despite their size. They need little maintenance; lightweight individuals and those that do not run on hard surfaces will need regular nail clipping. Luxating patellae, a common ailment among small breeds, occurs frequently among backyard bred dogs of this breed; breed clubs usually insist upon health screening for breeding individuals to help eradicate it. The breed lives on average 14 years, with much older dogs not uncommon.


The breed was most likely developed from crosses between smaller Fox Terriers and Fox Terrier types and Manchester Terriers, and, later, crosses to other toy breeds such as the English Toy Terrier and Whippet. Hunters were seeking a smaller, speedy Fox Terrier that could be used for hunting smaller pests such as rats and rabbits. Although the origins of the breed are English, the breed was developed in and is endemic to Australia. By the late 1800s, the breed type was clearly identifiable, where the Little Fox Terrier proved its worth against rabbits, rats, and snakes on Australian farms. Mini Foxies demonstrated tenacity, endurance, and extreme loyalty to their owners; the dogs were routinely taken on the hunt, were sometimes used in search parties, and were used at Sydney’s North Head Quarantine Station, the Riverstone Meat Works, and the Brisbane City Council as vermin exterminators.

The dog’s vigilance, size, affectionate temperament, and ease of care soon resulted in its becoming a popular choice in urban centers as well, and by the 1920s the Miniature Fox Terrier was iconic. So well known and popular was the “Little Foxie” that very little thought was given to the need to preserve its lines.

History of the breed club

By the 1980s, the interest in dog fancy, the looming spectre of proposed breed-specific legislation, and increasing concerns about the need to protect purebred dogs led a group of enthusiasts to begin meeting informally to consider the future of these little dogs. In 1986 the Miniature Fox Terrier Club of Australia was formed. The founding members, in conjunction with members of the Canine Council of New South Wales, wrote a breed standard for their breed and laid out a Constitution for the Club. To comply with New South Wales government regulations for becoming an incorporated organization, the Miniature Fox Terrier Club became incorporated as the Mini Foxie Club of Australia, Inc. (1992).

In 1991, fanciers in South Australia also formed a breed club. For these members, official recognition of the dog by the Australian National Kennel Council was the most important of their goals. At that time, challenges to the name “Miniature Fox Terrier” were being mounted, and threatened to preclude recognition by an All-Breed club. These members joined with some owners in Western Australia and organized as the Tenterfield Terrier Club of Australia (1993), a name which was first used by a television personality of that era. The ensuing breed standard for the Tenterfield Terrier differs in substance from that of the Miniature Fox Terrier, and though the two dogs are sometimes confused, they have been developing along divergent lines for over twenty years and are now different breeds. A recent directive from the ANKC placed a moratorium on the registration of any MFCA-registered Miniature Fox Terrier as a Tenterfield Terrier

The breed is not recognized by the ANKC but ANKC judges may judge them.

In 2005, the Mini Foxie was added to the list of dog breeds recognized under the NSW Companion Animals Act.

The Miniature Fox Terrier today

Although still relatively unknown outside of Australia, the Little Foxie is renowned in its native land. Several parliamentarians made reference to the breed during recent legislative hearings on canine issues. ‘Pasqua’ and ‘Fergus’ owned by Anthony Field of The Wiggles, are Mini Foxies, and Ian Thorpe, the Australian swimmer, has spoken fondly of Tiny, his Miniature Fox Terrier, in several interviews. Sean Carlow, reigning Australian men's figure skating champion, owns a Miniature Fox Terrier, and recent television and print features on Toby Allen for his current (as of 2006) Dancing with the Stars (Australia) campaign spotlight his Mini Fox Terriers.

Today, the Miniature Fox Terrier is still very much a working terrier, and is in demand on farms across Australia. They remain popular as pets, and enjoy playing the pampered pooch. As long as their active minds are kept stimulated with games or toys and they receive at least moderate exercise, they make excellent urban and apartment dwellers.

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, also known as the Min Pin by fanciers, is a toy breed of dog. Min Pins were first bred to hunt vermin, especially rats. In its native Germany, the dog is known as the Zwergpinscher. Pinscher, refers to a classification of dogs bred as guardians or to hunt vermin. Zwerg, in German, means Dwarf or Midget. The Mini Pinscher is also known as the "King of the Toy Dogs".


Although it has an appearance similar to the Doberman Pinscher, the Min Pin is not a "Miniature Doberman". Rather, the breed is much older. Although the miniature pinscher appeared in paintings and sculptures several centuries ago, the factual documentation on this breed goes back less than 200 years. The Doberman Pinscher which was bred by Louis Dobermann in 1890 to appear like a larger version of the Min Pin. and development of the Miniature Pinscher breed abroad began in 1895 when Germany's Pinscher Klub was formed and gave the breed its initial standard. Both Miniature Pinscher and Dobermann Pinscher share common ancestors. Similarities between the two may result from a common genetic relation to the German Pinscher. Some genetic stock may have been contributed by the Italian Greyhound, and the Dachshund with no relation to the Doberman or the Manchester Terrier. The source of confusion regarding the relationship between the Doberman and the Miniature Pinscher may have been the result of a Miniature Pinscher breed standard from the 1929, which stated that the breed should appear as a Doberman in miniature. The Miniature Pinscher was imported into the U.S. in 1919 and was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1929.


Typically, the Min Pin stands between 25 and 30 cm (10 and 12.5 in) at the withers, weighing between four and six kg. The coat is short and smooth, with colors, according to most breed standards, of red, stag-red, and black or chocolate with tan markings. Min Pins also come in a blue and a fawn coat. Blue coats are allowed in the UK but disallowed in the U.S. The miniature pinscher frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, though the AKC no longer requires ear cropping for shows. The AKC standard specifies a characteristic hackney-like action: "a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The head and tail are carried high."


The dog has developed into hundreds of breeds with a great degree of variation, such as this Miniature Pinscher and Boxer.

The dog has developed into hundreds of breeds with a great degree of variation, such as this Miniature Pinscher and Boxer.

Though Min Pins look like they'd be mean, they are very sweet dogs. They are inside dogs and can stay outside for short periods of time. They are like puppies all their life, unless they are treated cruelly. They are also known as being fearless protectors of their homesteads, as well as their families. The breed is very loyal and will alert their owner to any changes within the home environment. Miniature Pinschers are not for everyone, as they are very curious, strong willed, and frolicsome. Their owners must have a great sense of humor and a lot of patience. Min-pin appeasement, or spoiling, could result in the dog becoming somewhat of a tyrant, or a "Little Napoleon."


An obese red Min Pin (at left).

An obese red Min Pin (at left).
  • Although the breed is not necessarily bad with children, care must be taken in educating youths about proper handling and play. Although sturdy, they can be easily injured by rough play with a child.
  • Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention. Care must be taken in colder weather as the coat provides virtually no insulation from the cold.
  • Due to their instinct to hunt vermin, special care must be taken in preventing a Min Pin from "attacking" small objects, such as bottle caps, as they could pose a choking hazard.
  • Min Pins are also prone to overeating and should have their diets monitored to prevent obesity.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, or Affenpinscher. The breed remains one of the most popular, and is currently the 10th most popular breed in the U.S.


Miniature Schnauzers are quite distinctive in appearance. They should be compact, muscular, and be "square" in build (the height at the withers should be the same as the length of the body). They have long beards, eyebrows, and feathering on the legs. In the USA, ears are sometimes cropped to stand upright and the tail is normally docked short. British Schnauzers have uncropped ears, as ear cropping is illegal in the United Kingdom. Since April 2007, docking has also been banned in the UK.

Their coats are wiry (when hand-stripped) and do not shed, which adds to their appeal as house pets. Miniature Schnauzers that are shown at dog shows needs to be hand-stripped to achieve the wiry texture that the breed standard calls for. Pets that are not shown, can be clippered. This will however turn the coat soft and make the dog lose color. The AKC, CKC and the KC (UK) recognizes only three colours: black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. The FCI, however, also recognizes white Miniature Schnauzers. Some breeders cross-breed Miniature Schnauzers with other breeds to try and introduce new colours, a practice that is discouraged by all major Schnauzer breed clubs. Height is 12 to 14 inches at the withers (American standard) or 30-35cm (FCI, German standard) at the withers, and they generally weigh 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg).

Black Miniature Schnauzer

Black Miniature Schnauzer


Miniature Schnauzers are known for their lively personality. They are also highly loyal to their owners and can be very energetic, but if not given proper exercise or a balanced diet, they will gain weight very quickly.

Miniature Schnauzers are extremely vocal dogs, and are known for their barking. As such they tend to be excellent watchdogs. They are often guarded of strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them. The breed can be overly vocal, but unnecessary barking can usually be controlled by training if the owner has patience with the dog.

The breed is generally good with children, recognizing that they need gentle play. However, they do have a tendency to bark and sometimes nip at small children.

Miniature Schnauzers are generally highly intelligent and easy to train. They can, however, require a great deal of attention and affection from their owner, regardless if they are to be used as show dogs or home pets. If not given affection on a regular basis the breed can become depressed, which can decrease their mental and physical health.

They are highly playful dogs, and if not given the outlet required for their energy they can become a somewhat difficult breed.


A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer with an un-docked tail and natural ears

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer with an un-docked tail and natural ears

The earliest records surrounding development of the Miniature Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. They were originally bred to be farm dogs in Germany, to keep the rats and other vermin out of the barn. In the breed's earliest stages, several small breeds were employed in crosses to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer, with the goal of creating a duplicate in miniature.Crossing to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colours that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal — and as breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, mismarked particolors and white puppies were removed from breeding programs.

The earliest recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in 1888, and the first exhibition was in 1899. With their bold courage, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally used for guarding herds, small farms, and families. As time passed, they were also used to hunt rats, because they appeared to have a knack for it, and its small size was perfect to get into tight places to catch them.

The AKC accepted registration of the new breed in 1926, two years after they were introduced to the United States. The American Kennel Club groups this breed with the Terriers as it was developed for a similar purpose and has a similar character to the terrier breeds of the Britain and Ireland. The Miniature Schnauzer was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948. The United kingdom Kennel club however, does not accept the Miniature Schnauzer as a Terrier and lists it in the utility group for shows such as Crufts.

Male (r) and female adult Miniature Schnauzers

Male (r) and female adult Miniature Schnauzers


Miniature Schnauzers are prone to diabetes, bladder stones and pancreatitis. They are occasionally genetically disposed to ideopathic hyperlipidemia (high levels of triglycerides, i.e. fats, in their blood). Hyperlipidemi

makes pancreatitis much more likely for the affected dog. With proper care, without feeding the dog sweet or fatty foods, it can usually be avoided. As with many other types of dogs, mini schnauzers are not to be given any chocolate, since in their breed, it can act as a poison. Miniature Schnauzers with uncropped ears are prone to ear infections and deafness later in life if the ears are not checked regularly or dried out after swimming. They should not be overfed since they gain weight easily. They can also develop a type of skin allergy, which shows up as a 'hot spot' often around the neck area, which can be tender for the animal forming a hard crust after weeping.

Miniature Siberian Husky

The Miniature Siberian Husky is often mistaken for the Alaskan Klee Kai, with whom it shares similar qualities. However, the Alaskan Klee Kai was bred from the Alaskan Husky, Schipperke, and American Eskimo. The Miniature Siberian Husky is still extremely rare, but its popularity and the population is steadily rising as people discover these beautiful little sled dogs. Miniature Siberian Huskies are smaller versions of Siberian Huskies, the popular sled dogs. They share the same basic genetics and temperament.

Many folks make the mistaken assumption that Miniature Siberian Huskies are a separate breed from the standard sized Siberian Huskies, but they are not.


Currently, Miniature Siberian Huskies can reach a maximum weight of 18–25 pounds (7–8 kilograms) and reach a height of 12–14 inches (30–35 centimeters) at the withers. Their coat lengths and colors, and eye colors, offer the same range of variety seen in standard sized Siberian Huskies.


Miniature Siberian Huskies exhibit temperaments and behaviors that are extremely similar to that of their larger counterparts. However, their smaller size can make them easier for a novice owner to handle.

Like their larger counterparts, Miniature Huskies are noted howlers. If this behavior becomes problematic or an irritation, owners can minimize it by making sure that the dog receives adequate attention from humans or other dogs. Huskies are pack animals and highly social; they can suffer from boredom and loneliness if left continually to their own devices.

They are quite friendly with everyone and at times can be stubborn. The dogs should never be trusted off leash, and do have a propensity for digging, just like standard sized siberian huskies.

Health Issues

Miniature Siberian Huskies have very few health issues, like their larger counterparts. The major health issues in the breed are eye troubles (cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal dystrophy, among others), allergies, and cancer in older animals. Hip dysplasia is a possible risk in all huskies, both miniature and standard. Obesity must be guarded against as well, as the dogs were originally bred to subsist on smaller quantities of food than dogs of a similar size.


Smaller husky-type dogs are not a new phenomenon. In fact the smaller variety has been around in all likelihood at least as long as the huskies themselves if not longer. It seems that very small husky-type dogs lived alongside the larger sled dogs in many tribal Siberian communities. These dogs, technically classified as the "Tungus Spitz" by early explorers, were often described as being "the size of a fox". These dogs were commonly used as hunting dogs.

The modern Miniature Siberian Husky was first bred in the mountains of Hendersonville, North Carolina. The dogs were developed by Bree Hefner May along with the help with a few devoted Siberian husky fans in order to offer an alternative to potential husky owners, as the standard-sized dogs were often too much for novice owners to handle. Development of these dogs continues under the supervision of Bree Hefner May.

Mixed-breed dog

A healthy mixed-breed dog shows hybrid vigor.

A mixed-breed dog (also called a mutt, crossbreed, mongrel, a bitsa, tyke, cur, or random-bred dog) is a dog that has characteristics of more than two breeds, or is a descendant of feral or pariah dog populations. The term "mutt" generally refers to a dog of unknown descent. Dogs interbreed freely, except where extreme variations in size exist, so mixed-breed dogs vary in size, shape, and color, making them hard to classify physically. Historically, all purebred dogs have been selectively bred from a mixed-breed population.

Terms for mixed-breed dogs

There is a profusion of words and phrases used for dogs that are not purebred. The words cur, tyke, and mongrel are generally viewed as derogatory in North America, whereas in the United Kingdom mongrel is the unique technical word for a mixed-breed dog, so is not a term of disparagement. Many American owners prefer mixed-breed. Mutt is also used (in the U.S.A and Canada), sometimes in an affectionate manner. In Hawaii, mixed breed dogs are referred to as poi dog, and in the Bahamas, they call them Pot Cakes (referring to the table-leftovers they are fed). Some American registries and dog clubs that accept mixed-breed dogs use the breed name All American, referring to the United States' reputation as a melting pot of different nationalities. In South Africa, the tongue-in cheek expression pavement special is sometimes used as a description for a mixed-breed dog. Random-bred dog, mutt, and mongrel are often used for dogs who result from breeding without the supervision or planning of humans, especially after several generations, whereas crossbreed implies mixes of known breeds, sometimes deliberately mated.

In Brazil and the Dominican Republic, the name for mixed-breed dogs is vira-lata (vira: to turn, to bring down; lata: tin can, trash can) because there are dogs without owners that feed on urban garbage on the streets, and often knock over trash cans to reach the food. Therefore, by having stray dogs it seems to increase the amount of "mixed-breed" dogs.

Slang terms are also common. Heinz 57 is often used for dogs of uncertain ancestry, in a playful reference to the "57 Varieties" slogan of the H. J. Heinz Company. In some countries, bitsa (or bitzer) is common, meaning "bits o' this, bits o' that". A fice or feist is a small mixed-breed dog. In Newfoundland, a smaller mixed-breed dog is known as a cracky, hence the expression "saucy as a cracky" for someone with a sharp tongue.

To complicate matters, many owners of crossbreed dogs identify them—often facetiously—by an invented breed name constructed from parts of their parents' breed names. For example, a cross between a Pekingese and a Poodle is called a Peekapoo, possibly a play on peek-a-boo, along with the Goldendoodle, a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever. As another example, one of the UK's Queen Elizabeth's famous Corgis mated with her sister's Dachshund, and the resulting offspring are referred to as Dorgis.


This cross between a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever does not closely resemble either parent but has traits of both.

This cross between a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever does not closely resemble either parent but has traits of both.

All possible body shapes, ear types, and tail styles can appear in mixed breeds. Extremes in appearance, such as the flattened face of the Bulldog or the extremely curled tail of the Pug, seldom survive even the first crossbreeding. Mixed-breeds also tend to have a size between that of their parents.

Predicting the adult appearance of a mixed-breed puppy is difficult. Even purebred puppies do not look much like the adult dogs they will become, and with mixed-breed puppies it is nearly impossible. If one knows the breeds of the parents, some characteristics can be ruled out; for example, a cross between two small purebreds will not result in a dog the size of a Great Dane. Some breeds tend to pass on their physical traits to mixes more than others. Border Collies and some Spaniels, for example, often produce offspring with similar coats and ears. The crossbreed offspring of German Shepherds usually have Shepherd faces and other characteristics.

With each generation of indiscriminate mixing, the offspring move closer to the genetic norm. Dogs that are descended from many generations of mixes are typically light brown or black and weigh about 18 kg (40 lb). They typically stand between 38 and 57 cm (15 and 23 inches) tall at the withers.

Guessing a mixed-breed's unknown ancestry is difficult for even knowledgeable dog observers, because mixed breeds have much more genetic variation than among purebreds. For example, two black mixed-breed dogs might each have recessive genes that produce a blond coat and, therefore, produce offspring looking unlike their parents.


A healthy mixed-breed with shiny coat and bright eyes.

A healthy mixed-breed with shiny coat and bright eyes.

The theory of hybrid vigor suggests that dogs of mixed ancestry will be healthier than their purebred counterparts. Mating dogs of very similar appearance over several generations have caused purebreds to carry many recessive homozygotic alleles, many of which are detrimental. This is especially true if the dogs are closely related. This inbreeding among purebreds has made many of them prone to various genetic health problems. Mixed-breed dogs are more genetically diverse due to the more random nature of mating. They are less likely to have certain genetic disorders because there is a decreased chance that both parents carry the same detrimental recessive alleles. Consequently, there is an increased chance in mixed-breed dogs that if a recessive detrimental allele is inherited from one parent, it will be masked by its healthier dominant allele from the other parent. For example, large dogs such as the German Shepherd Dog often suffer from hip dysplasia. Mating a German Shepherd, a breed known to have an increase incident of this disease, with a different purebred dog not known to suffer from it, reduces the likelihood that the cross-breed produced will suffer from hip dysplasia. It should be noted that mating two different purebreds in which both have an incident of the same genetic disease, the resulting cross-breed will usually have a similar chance of developing the genetic disease as inbreeding a purebred, but it may have a decreased probability of other genetic ailments that are not the same between the two different purebred parents. Overall, because of the effect of hybrid vigor in other species, it is ofter assumed that the same effect occurs in mixed-breed dogs. This would mean that on average, mixed-breed dogs are often healthier, have reduced incidents of genetic diseases, and live longer than their purebred parents.

Knowing the recent disease history is ultimately important in dog breeding. Breeding a Shepherd with another Shepherd in which the ancestors of both have no documented cases of genetic diseases will, with a high degree of certainty, give a healthy purebred. Another method to ensure a health dog would be to have the parental dogs genetically tested for a particular disease. This can be successful for diseases that have been identified to be caused by a single gene. Most often, this method can be difficult because the genetic determinant for many diseases have not been isolated, or the genetic determinant is caused by many genes, such as in hip dysplasia .

Some purebred dog breeds have difficulties due to the exaggerated physical traits associate with that breed. For example, the Bulldog has such small hips and such a large head that Caesarean sections are frequently, but not always, required to produce puppies.

There is no guarantee of good genetic health of any dog, purebred or otherwise, as not all damaging genes are recessive. Also, of course, purebred and mixed-breed dogs are equally susceptible to nongenetic ailments, such as rabies, distemper, injury, and infestation by parasites.

Types of mixed breeding

Recognized dog breeds are a result of human selection in that dogs were traditionally bred for specific functions. Most existing dog breeds began as mixed breeds, either by random occurrence or by deliberate crosses of existing breeds. Encouraging desirable traits and discouraging others, breeders sought to create their ideal appearance or behavior, or both, for dogs, and, additionally, to ensure that the dogs could consistently produce offspring with the same appearance or behavior.

Mixing breeds can lead to desirable results, especially in the hands of an expert breeder. On the other hand, inexperienced crossbreeders can produce disastrous results. For example, the offspring of an obsessive Border Collie and an energetic, destructive Terrier could be dogs whose behavior is so erratic that would make the dog a liability.

The Cockapoo results from deliberate crossbreeding.

The Cockapoo results from deliberate crossbreeding.

Mixed-breed dogs can be divided roughly into three types:

  • Crossbreed dogs, which are mixtures of two recognized breeds. Dogs that result from two different purebred parents are known as crossbreeds. Some crossbreeds have traits that make them popular enough to be frequently bred deliberately, such as the Cockapoo—a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel—and the Labradoodle, which crosses a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle. Other crossbreeds occur when breeders are hoping to create new breeds to add and reinforce characteristics from one breed into another breed. Most crossbreedings, however, occur accidentally.
  • Mixes that show characteristics of two breeds or more breeds. A mix might have some purebred ancestors, or might come from a long line of mixed-breeds.
  • The generic pariah dog, or feral Canis lupus familiaris, where non-selective breeding has occurred over many generations. The term originally referred to the wild dogs of India, but now refers to dogs belonging to or descended from a population of wild or feral dogs. The Canaan Dog is an example of a recognized breed with pariah ancestry. Pariah dogs tend to be yellow to light brown and of medium height and weight. This may represent the appearance of the modern dog's ancestor. DNA analysis has shown pariah dogs to have a more ancient gene pool than modern breeds.

There is no scientific justification for the belief that a purebred bitch is in any way tainted after mating with a dog of another breed. Future matings with dogs of the same breed will produce purebred puppies.

Mixed breeds in dog sports

A mixed-breed dog demonstrates dog agility.

A mixed-breed dog demonstrates dog agility.

Mixed-breed dogs can excel at dog sports, such as obedience, dog agility, flyball, and frisbee. Often, highly energetic mixed-breeds are left with shelters or rescue groups, where they are sought by owners with the caring, patience, and drive to train them for dog sports, turning unwanted dogs into healthy, mentally and physically stimulated award winners.

Until the early 1980s, mixed-breed dogs were usually excluded from obedience competitions. However, starting with the American Mixed Breed Obedience Registry (AMBOR) and the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America (MBDCA), which created obedience venues in which mixed-breed dogs could compete, more opportunities have opened up for all dogs in all dog sports. Most dog agility and flyball organizations have always allowed mixed-breed dogs to compete. Today, mixed breeds have proved their worth in many performance sports.

In conformation shows, where dogs' conformation is evaluated, mixed-breed dogs normally cannot compete. For purebred dogs, their physical characteristics are judged against a single breed standard. Mixed-breed dogs, however, are difficult to classify except according to height; there is tremendous variation in physical traits such as coat, skeletal structure, gait, ear set, eye shape and color, and so on. When conformation standards are applied to mixed-breed dogs, such as in events run by the MBDCA, the standards are usually general traits of health, soundness, symmetry, and personality. The Kennel Club (UK) operates a show called Scruffts (a name derived from its prestigious Crufts show) open only to mixed-breeds in which dogs are judged on character, health, and temperament.

Some kennel clubs, whose purpose is to promote purebred dogs, still exclude mixed breeds from their performance events. The AKC and the FCI are two such prominent organizations. However, the AKC does allow mixed breed dogs to earn their Canine Good Citizen award.

Advantages and drawbacks

The mature appearance and behavior of purebred puppies is more predictable than that of mixed breeds, including cross-breeds. With purebred dogs, the genetic variations are well documented and a breeder has a fair estimation of what type of offspring a given pair will produce. Still, there is variation within breeds; for example, two champion sheep-herding Border Collies might produce offspring with no interest in sheep herding.

Overall, mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier. They have more genetic variations than purebred dogs. Often, breeds can be associated with specific health problems. Breeding dogs who are prone to similar health problems greatly increases the chance of health problems in the offspring. By breeding dogs who are prone to different problems, the chances of serious health problems are lowered. Genetic variety increases the chances of good health.

Two mixed breed dogs from Central America

Two mixed breed dogs from Central America

Some trainers believe mixed-breeds exhibit higher average intelligence than purebreds, but others believe mixes are no more intelligent than purebreds. Both sets feature both slow learners and dogs with high learning capacity. For example, Benji, the hero in a series of films named for him, was a mixed-breed terrier. It may be more difficult to predict the trainability of mixed-breed dogs when they are very young. Most Golden Retrievers are eager to please, but a cross of a Golden with the independent Siberian Husky could inherit either dog's trainability—or could result in a dog with the endurance and athleticism of the Siberian and the trainability of the Golden.

Many people enjoy owning mixed breeds, valuing their unique appearance and characteristics; while purebred dogs exhibit little variability of appearance within their breed, mixed-breed dogs exhibit often unique appearances. Although some dog owners prefer the status of owning a specific breed of dog or have a nostalgic attachment to a breed they wish to acquire, many others enjoy mixed-breed dogs that exhibit characteristics similar to their favorite breeds; in fact, with a mixed-breed, they can enjoy some aspects of appearance and personality of two favorite breeds with a single dog. There is usually an abundant supply of mixed-breed dogs wanting owners, available at negligible prices, while pedigreed dogs can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and reputable breeders can be hard to find.

Some owners value a dog's pedigree as a status symbol and, therefore, have no use for mixed-breed dogs; others particularly appreciate the physical or behavioral traits of certain breeds; still others ignore pedigree and, instead, value a dog's personality and health. In short, most dog owners believe that their dog's breed—and specifically their own dog—is the best sort of dog there is.

Local animal shelters adopt out dogs of both purebred and mixed ancestry, emphasizing each dog's personality and suitability as a companion for each potential owner's lifestyle.


The Mudi (plural: Mudik) is a rare herding breed of dog from Hungary.


A fawn Mudi

A fawn Mudi

Mudik usually weigh 18 to 29 pounds (8 to 13 kg) and stand 15 to 19 inches (38 to 47 cm) high at the withers. The coat is medium wavy or curly, with short hair on the face and legs. The accepted colors are black, ash, brown, white, fawn, and black merle.


The Mudi is a versatile farm dog that can hunt, exterminate rodents, and act as a capable herding dog and flock guardian. Although the breed is much less popular than the better-known Puli and Komondor in its native country, owners of the Mudi claim that it is incomparable for its versatile talents and pleasant disposition.

Mudhol Hound

The Mudhol Hound is an Indian breed of dog of the sight hound type. The breed is also known as Caravan Hound and the feathered variety is commonly referred to as a Pashmi. In the villages he is known as the Karwani. It is a common companion amongst village folk in India's Deccan Plateau, who use the dog for hunting and guarding. However it is largely unknown to the general public or dog lovers, both in India and abroad.

The Kennel Club of India (KCI) and Indian National Kennel Club (INKC) recognize the breed under different breed names. The KCI registers it as a Caravan Hound while the INKC goes with the name Mudhol Hound.


The Mudhol/Caravan of today has well-defined characteristics. The head is long and narrow, broad between the ears with a tapering muzzle. The jaws are long and powerful, with a scissors bite. The nose is large, and may be black, liver, or flesh coloured. The ears are medium sized, very slightly rounded at the tips, and hang close to the skull. The eyes are large and oval in shape, and may be dark or light in colour. The expression is a piercing gaze. The neck is long, clean, and muscular, and fits well into the shoulders. The forelegs are long, straight and well-boned. The males are 68–72 cm in height at the withers and the females are 64–68 cm tall. The back is long, broad and well-muscled. The loins are wide and deep. The chest is strong and deep with well sprung ribs. The abdomen is tucked in. The hind quarters appear wide and well-muscled. The tail is strong at the base, not too long, set low and carried in a natural curve. The gait is high-footed, flexing all four legs, but should not be hackneyed. There are two coat varieties—one with an entirely smooth coat and the other with silky featherings on the ears, legs, and tail. All colours and combinations of colours are acceptable.


The breed is above all a working hound, capable of providing an excellent performance in the field on a consistent basis, under gruelling conditions that would decimate most other dogs. It is therefore elegant, graceful, and courageous. Its physical strength couples with great speed and plenty of stamina to allow it to catch and kill several types of game, from hare to blackbuck, over rough country. It is not an ideal dog for the apartment dweller, as it needs great deal of space to exercise, although if arrangements are made to exercise the dog regularly in a sufficiently large, safely fenced area, it may do well in a flat or any other dwelling.

The breed, if treated with kindness and respect, can be exceptionally loyal. They are not very friendly, and do not like to be touched by strangers. However, a Caravan should never be aggressive, as this sort of temperament is not ideal for a hunting dog, which must tolerate other dogs and human beings, especially when they are not intruding on his territory. It makes a reasonable watch dog, and can protect that which he holds dear, should the need arise. He should always be treated in a kind, consistent, fair, and respectful manner, otherwise he may develop a nervous or vicious nature -- either of which are difficult to live with.


The Mudhol/Caravan is an ancient breed, native to the Deccan Plateau of western India. This region covers parts of the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and, to a lesser degree, Andhra Pradesh. The breed is basically an offshoot of the Saluki and was first introduced into India by traders and mercenaries from various parts of Asia, who traveled in caravans. When local people saw the dogs running alongside the caravans, they began referring to them as “karwani”, meaning “of the caravans”. The name endures to this day in the villages, but it was anglicized to Caravan Hound when the Kennel Club of India recognized the breed.

In Karnataka, the breed is also known as the Mudhol Hound, after a small town in Bagalkot District. A former ruler of Mudhol, Sri Srimanth Raja Malojirao Gorphade (Maloji Rao Ghorpade), is said to have presented a pair of hound puppies to King George V of England. Upon inspecting these curiosities, the monarch found them true to sighthound conformation and dubbed them “the hounds of Mudhol”.

Münsterländer / Small Münsterländer

The Small Munsterlander (SM) is a hunting-pointing-retrieving dog breed that reached its current form in the area around Münster, Germany. The Large Munsterlander is from the same area, but was developed from different breeding stock and is not as closely related as the names would suggest. Small Munsterlanders bear a resemblance to both spaniels and setters but are rather more versatile.


Small Munsterlanders should have kind, expressive eyes

Small Munsterlanders should have kind, expressive eyes

The breed is often described as about 35 pounds (16 kg) and 18-20 inches (0.45 to 0.5 m) at the shoulder, but the average is somewhat larger, around 45 pounds (20 kg) with some males reaching or slightly exceeding 60 pounds (27 kg) and up to 22 inches (0.55 m). The body is lean yet powerful and not prone to becoming overweight due to an active nature and natural athleticism. Coloration is large patches of brown on a ticked or solid white background. The soft coat is medium length, requiring grooming after hunting in heavy cover or weekly otherwise. The breed is not registered with the American Kennel Club, which emphasizes appearance over working ability. In the US Small Munsterlanders may be registered with the United Kennel Club or the Small Munsterlander Club of North America.


Small Munsterlanders are very intelligent, trainable, and attentive but require gentle and patient training, which provides excellent results. They are also strong-willed and an owner who is inconsistent or indecisive might find that his dog is hard to control. Both voice and hand signals are used, and an SM looks back at the hunter for silent signals at intervals when on hold or pointing. They have a very strong drive to follow their keen sense of smell, and thrive with hunting or comparably challenging exercise for an hour or more every day. They love swimming, too. Lack of regular and sufficient exercise and mental challenge will likely result in unwanted behavior, which is common in highly intelligent, driven breeds. They mature rather slowly over 2.5 to 3 years but a well-trained, mature SM is a hunter without peer, and the upland bird hunter hunting over such a dog will enjoy both the experience and great success. The Small Munsterlander is a happy, affectionate family pet when in the house, while remaining a keenly focused, even driven, hunter-pointer-retriever when in the field. They are not suited to life in a kennel because of their sociable nature and need to interact with people—they need to live in the home of their human family. SMs will pick an individual person to bond most closely with, typically the one who hunts with the dog, but will revel in the company of the rest of the family, too. When raised with other pets in the household, such as cats, they can coexist happily though they may enjoy a game of chase and point. Unfamiliar small animals outdoors will not be tolerated in the same way.


Originally a dog bred to work with noble families' falconers before guns were used in bird and small game hunting, ancestors of the Small Munsterlander had to work in upland areas to flush prey for the falcon, then allow the falcon to keep the prey until the falconer could retrieve it while the dog pointed at the catch. To this day the Small Munsterlander has excellent close searching and pointing drive. With wider availability of guns and personal time for commoners, hunting became more popular, and the breed was further developed as a retriever that worked equally well in the field and water. Owners of the breed consider it to be uniquely effective in working as a team with the huntsman in all phases of the hunt, akin to the close cooperation between a sheep herder and Border Collie.

By the 1800s the breed had fallen into obscurity. Small Munsterlanders were little known, kept by a few families on farms around Munster. For a half century the few dogs that were bred were primarily companions, and used when hunting to feed the family rather than for sport. It developed a local reputation as the dog to have when a hunter's success or failure determined whether his family would have enough to eat. At the end of the 19th century, a concerted effort was made to re-establish the breed from the remaining lines in the Munster region. The fortunate outcome of the companion phase in the Small Munsterlander history was its excellent in-home personality.


The Small Munsterlander is rare in the United States, numbering perhaps in the hundreds, and demand from hunters outstrips the number of available dogs, so breeders typically give preference to hunters. They're especially hard to come by for nonhunters there. They are more numerous in Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. SMs excel in nonhunting roles as well because of their exceptional scent-tracking ability, and are used in search and rescue teams and contraband detection ("drug sniffing") roles as well.

In the United Kingdom, the breed is rarer still, with less than 30 dogs known. Recognised by The Kennel Club as an imported breed in 2006, they are still to be established in the hunting community.

Other names for this breed: Spion in Germany; and Heidewachtel in the Netherlands.

No comments: