Monday, 20 August 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 13)

Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed of spitz dog originating from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. Later, dogs were taken from Iceland to the British Isles and became the basis for Border Collies and Corgis. In the Shetland Islands, it was crossed with the Norwegian Buhund and became the Shetland Sheepdog.


These are current breed standards: neck: moderately long, muscular, arched, carried high. back: level, muscular, strong. chest: long, deep, well strung. belly: only a slight tuck upwards. tail: high-set, curled, touching back.

FOREQUARTERS: straight, parallel, strong forelegs. dew claws: may be double. forefeet: oval-like toes, arched, tight, with well-developed pads. shoulders: oblique, muscular. gait: displays endurance and agility, driving action, covers ground effortlessly.

HEAD: strongly built, close-fitting skin, skull slightly longer than muzzle making it look triangular from side or above. nose: black, or dark brown in lighter-color breeds. muzzle: nasal bridge straight, slightly shorter than skull, tapers evenly towards nose to form triangle. lips: black, close-fitting. bite: scissor. cheeks: flat. eyes: medium, almond-shaped, brown, eye-rims are black. ears: erect, medium in size, triangular, very mobile as they move in sensitivity with dog's moods.

HEIGHT: male: 46 cm female: 42 cm

COLOR: tan, reddish-brown, chocolate, grey, black, white is a prominent color, and is required.

FROM SIDE: rectangular, length from shoulder to base of tail is greater than height at withers.

depth of chest: equal to length of foreleg.

COAT: two types: long and short, both thick and waterproof.


The Icelandic sheepdog very much resembles dogs found in graves in Denmark and Sweden from about 8000 B.C. Dog imports to Iceland were limited and from 1901 even forbidden.

In 1650 Sir Thomas Brown wrote "To England there are sometimes exported from Iceland ... a type of dog resembling a fox ... Shepherds in England are eager to acquire them!"

Plague and canine distemper destroyed over 75% of the breed in the late 19th century, leading to a ban on the importation of dogs. The purebred Icelandic sheepdog was again bordering extinction in the late 20th century and in 1969 the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association (HRFÍ) was established, which had among other aims to preserve the breed.


The breed is sometimes denoted in Latin as canis islandicus even though it is a breed and not a species.

The Icelandic sheepdog often has double dewclaws on the hind paws.

The Icelandic sheepdog often has double dewclaws on the hind paws.

Like the name implies it's a sheep dog, but it was also used as a guard dog and general working dog. When herding, the Icelandic sheepdogs were not mainly used to take the sheep from one point to another. However, the dogs were in charge of moving horses and other animals as well. When herding failed, the dogs "drove" the animals by barking. Although this can be trained out of Icies (as they are affectionately referred to), they have a natural tendency to bark when they want something. In the Icelandic landscape sheep often got lost and it was the job of the dog to find them and bring them back to the pack. They are used to work on their own and they figure out things for themselves so owners have to beware so that they don't learn things they shouldn't. As a guard dog their main task was to alert the inhabitants that somebody was coming so the Icelandic sheepdog tends to bark a lot when it sees people approaching. Icelandic Sheepdogs bark, but don't bite. The only predators in Iceland that were a threat to the sheep were eagles so an Icelandic sheepdog will have a tendency to bark at birds and aircraft. The Icelandic sheepdog is very loyal and wants to be around its family all the time. It follows its owner everywhere. Unlike most working dogs, the Icelandic sheepdog calms down when indoors and will happily lie down next to its master's feet.

Irish Red and White Setter

The Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of dog, more specifically a setter. It is virtually identical in use and temperament to its cousin, the Irish Setter, but is more often found as a working gundog.


The coat is long and silky, mostly white, with deep red patches. The dogs range in height from 22 1/2 to 24 for bitches and 24 to 26 inches for males, and weigh 50 to 70 pounds (27-32 kg).


The Red and White can take longer to train than other gundogs, but once trained it is a loyal and reliable companion. Like the Irish Setter, the breed has an enthusiastic zest for life, loves to play, and is excellent with children. Irish Red and White Setters thrive best in active families and require room to romp.


Originally all Irish Setters were mostly red, or red and white, but for many years breeders developed only the red varieties. Consequently, the breed came close to extinction. Thanks to the efforts of an early 20th-century Irish clergyman, Noble Huston, the breed was saved. The Irish Red and White Setter has undergone a revival in recent decades and is considered a separate breed by most major kennel clubs. The breed is still in development for the AKC.


Breed Status in the United States: Currently Irish Red and White Setters that are recorded in the AKC's FSS may earn hunting titles as well as titles in obedience, dog agility, rally obedience, and tracking. They may not compete and earn either field or show championships. Starting June 27, 2007 the breed will be eligible to be shown in the Miscellaneous Class at AKC dog shows.

Irish Setter

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


An Irish Setter after swimming

An Irish Setter after swimming

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

"Red Setter" Controversy

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


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

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

An AKC National Champion Pointing Bird

An AKC National Champion Pointing Bird

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

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

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

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


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

Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a dog breed from Ireland, one of many breeds of Terrier.

The Irish Terrier is an active, compactly sized dog that is suited for life in both rural and city environments. The red, harsh coat protects an Irish Terrier well in all kinds of weather.


Breed standards describe the ideal Irish Terrier as being racy, red and rectangular. Racy: an Irish Terrier should appear powerful without being sturdy or heavy. Rectangular: the outline of the Irish Terrier differs markedly from those of other terriers. The Irish Terrier's body is proportionately longer than that of the Fox Terrier, with a tendency towards racy lines but with no lack of substance.

The tail is customarily docked soon after birth to approximately two-thirds of the original length. In countries where docking is prohibited, the conformation judges emphasize tail carriage. The tail should start up quite high, but it should not stick straight up or curl over the back or either side. The ears are small and folded forward just above skull level. They are preferably slightly darker than the rest of the coat. It is fairly common to see wrongly positioned ears, even though most dogs have their ears trained during adolescence.

Coat and colour

The Irish Terrier is coloured golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten. Dark red is often mistaken as the only correct colour, possibly because wheaten coats are often of worse quality. As with many other solid-coloured breeds, a small patch of white is allowed on the chest. No white should appear elsewhere. As an Irish Terrier grows older, grey hair may appear here and there.

The outer part of the double coat should be straight and wiry in texture, never soft, silky, curly, wavy, or woolly as might be expected in the Kerry Blue Terrier. The coat should lie flat against the skin, and, though having some length, should never be so long as to hide the true shape of the dog. There are longer hairs on the legs, but never so much as a Wire Fox Terrier or Schnauzer.

The inner part of the coat, called the under-wool or undercoat, should also be red. The under-wool may be hard for the inexperienced eye to see. Coat should be quite dense and so that "when parted with the fingers the skin is hardly visible".

A properly trimmed Irish Terrier should have some "furnishings" on legs and head. The slightly longer hair on the front legs should form even pillars, while the rear legs should only have some longer hair and not be trimmed too close to the skin. The chin is accentuated with a small beard. The beard should not be as profuse as that of a Schnauzer.

The eyes should be dark brown and quite small with a "fiery" expression. The eyes are topped with well-groomed eyebrows. The whole head should have good pigmentation.


Most countries have breed descriptions that say that the Irish Terrier should not be more than 48 cm measured at the withers. However, it is not unusual to see bitches that are 50 cm tall or dogs that are even 53 cm. Younger generations are closer to the ideal, but there is a downside to this: when an Irish Terrier is very small and light-boned, it loses the correct racy type.

Very seldom does one see Irish Terriers that weigh only 11 to 12 kg (25-27 lb), as the original Kennel Club breed description states. 13 kg for a bitch and 15 for a dog are acceptable.


The Irish Terrier is full of life, but not hyperactive. It should be able to relax inside the house and be roused to full activity level quickly.

Irish Terriers are good with people. Most Irish Terriers love children and tolerate rough-housing to a certain extent. Most breed devotees would not recommend an Irish Terrier as the first dog. They should know who is the boss, and have natural respect for him/her. Irish Terriers respond best to firm, consistent training from a relaxed, authoritative person. Violence should never be used - it is always best to outwit and lure.

Irish Terriers are often dominant with other dogs, particularly same-sex aggression is a common problem. Poorly socialized individuals will start fights with minimal,if any, provocation. Thus, early socialisation is a necessity. Most can have strong guarding instincts and when these instincts are controlled, make excellent alarming watchdogs. Most Irish Terriers need a reason for barking, and will not yap continuously.

Irish Terriers are intelligent and learn new things easily. They can learn complex tasks with relative ease, when they have the motivation to do so. In motivating tidbits and toys work equally well. Training will not be as easy as with other dog breeds that have stronger willingness to please people. When seeking a trainer, one should look for a person who has experience with Terriers.

The Irish Terrier is an active dog, and loves to be challenged mentally and physically. Most Irish Terriers are companions and show dogs. There are however more and more people joining organised dog sports with their ITs. Obedience training to a certain level is fairly easy, though the precision and long-lasting drive needed in the higher levels may be hard to achieve. Many Irish Terriers excel in agility, even though it may be hard to balance the speed, independence and precision needed in the higher levels. To date there is one Agility Champion in the US, and a handful of Finnish and Swedish Irish terriers compete at the most difficult classes.

Irish Terriers have a good nose and can learn to track either animal blood or human scent. Many Irish Terriers enjoy Lure Coursing, although they are not eligible for competition like sighthounds are. In Finland one Irish Terrier is a qualified Rescue Dog specialising at Sea Rescue.


The breed's origin is not known. It is believed to have descended from the black and tan terrier-type dogs of the British Isles, just like the Kerry Blue and Irish Soft-haired Wheaten Terriers in Ireland or the Welsh, Lakeland and Scottish Terriers in Great Britain.

F. M. Jowett writes in The Irish Terrier, 'Our Dogs' Publishing Co. Ltd., Manchester, England 1947 - 7th Edition: They are described by an old Irish writer as being the poor man's sentinel, the farmer's friend, and the gentleman's favourite...These dogs were originally bred not so much for their looks as for their working qualities and gameness, the Irish Terrier being by instinct a thorough vermin killer. They were formerly of all types and of all colours - black-and-tan, grey-and-brindle, wheaten of all shades, and red being the predominant colours. Colour or size evidently did not matter if they were hardy and game."

The proper selection process of the breed began only in the latter 19th century. They were shown now and then, sometimes in one class, sometimes in separate classes for dogs under and over 9 pounds.

The first breed club was set up in Dublin in 1879. Irish Terriers were the first members of the terrier group to be recognised by the English Kennel Club as a native Irish Breed - this happened just before the end of the 19th century. The first Irish Terriers were taken to the US in late 19th century and quickly became somewhat popular.

Although the breed has never been very "fashionable", there used to be big influential kennels in Ireland, the Great Britain and US up to the 1960s. Nowadays there is ambitious breeding in many continents, including North America, (Northern) Europe and Australia.


When groomed properly, the Irish Terrier coat will protect the dog from rain and cold. A properly cared-for Irish Terrier does not shed either. The wiry coat is fairly easy to groom, pet dogs (rather than show dogs) needing stripping only once or twice a year.

The coat must be stripped by hand or a non-cutting knife to retain its weather-resistant qualities. This does not hurt the dog when done properly. Keeping the skin above the stripped section taut with the other hand helps especially where the skin is looser, i.e. belly and chest. Never cut the coat - use your fingers or a non-cutting knife. If the coat is clipped, it loses color and becomes softer, thus losing its weather-resistant characteristics. For the same reason the coat should not be washed too often, as detergents take away the natural skin oils. Most Irish terriers only need washing when dirty.

When stripping, the coat may be "taken down" entirely to leave the dog in the undercoat until a new coat grows in. For a pet, this should be done at least twice a year. When a show-quality coat is required, it can be achieved in many ways. One is by "rolling the coat", i.e. stripping the dog every X weeks to remove any dead hair. Before a show an expert trimmer is needed to mold especially the head and legs.

Most Irish Terriers need to have their ears trained during adolescence. Otherwise the ears may stick up, roll back or hang down unaesthetically.


Irish Terrier is a generally healthy breed. The life expectancy is around 14 years.

The proportions are not over-exaggerated in any way and thus eye or breathing problems are rare. Most Irish Terriers do not show signs of allergies towards foods. As they are small dogs, the breed has a very low incidence of hip dysplasia.

In the 1960s and 1970s there were problems with hyperkeratosis, a disease causing corny pads and severe pain. Today it is widely known which dogs carried the disease and respectable breeders do not use those bloodlines anymore. A health study conducted by the Irish Terrier Club of America showed a greater-than-expected incidence of hypothyroidism and cataracts. There are not enough eye-checked individuals to draw any conclusions.

Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is breed of dog that is the largest and one of the oldest of spaniels. It is also one of the rarest.


The Irish Water Spaniel is a stout and cobby dog native to Ireland. The coat, consisting of dense curls, sheds very little. The colour is liver/puce and has a very definite purple hue unlike the colour of any other known breed.[citation needed] Their coat is also unusual in that it is made of hair, not fur (hence the tendency not to shed). This characteristic means that people usually allergic to dogs might have less of an allergic reaction to Irish Water Spaniels (see hypoallergenic), and also means that the dogs must have regular haircuts, like humans. The dogs are strongly built, and a bit taller and more squarish than other spaniels. There is a curly topknot upon the head and the face is smooth. The most distinguishing characteristic of these dogs is their long "rat-like" tails, which are a striking contrast to their otherwise curly coats. Dogs range in height from 22 to 24 inches (56-61 cm), and weigh 55 to 65 pounds (25-30 kg). As their name would imply these dogs love water and to this end they have evolved slightly webbed feet to aid this.


This is an active breed that is usually found in a real working retriever environment. They are intelligent, quick to learn, alert, and inquisitive. They sometimes display humorous antics while working, earning them their "clownish" reputation. With proper socialization they can be gentle dogs with family and children, but are often shy around strangers. Irish Water Spaniels require regular exercise and need an experienced trainer, however, when looked after properly make extremely loving and loyal pets. They require access to water to swim, an activity they specialise in.


Although the current breed stock are Irish, the ultimate origin of the breed is unknown. It is possible that more than one ancient breed of spaniel has gone into its makeup. It is not known from which other breeds Irish Water Spaniels were developed as the acknowledged father of the breed, Justin McCarthy from Dublin, left no breeding records. All manner of dogs have been suggested including: the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, and Barbet, but whether Irish Water Spaniels are antecedents, descendants, or mixtures of these other breeds is a matter of some speculation. What is clear is that the breed has ancient roots. The modern breed as we know it was developed in Ireland in the 1830s.

Suitability as a pet

Irish Water Spaniels make good pets, as they are good with children and usually with other pets. They also make good guard dogs if they have been trained to do so, and will protect its family at all costs. They are not, however, an aggressive dog, in fact quite the opposite. Although their fur does grow to medium - long length, it does not need daily brushing unless the owner intending to show the dog. They are often happy to curl up and sleep at home, however, regular walks and exercise are essential for healthy, content dog. Their favourite pastime is swimming, so the ideal owner would be someone who could give it access to a clean, safe river, or other body of water.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of dog (a sighthound) bred to hunt. The name originates from its purpose (wolf hunting) rather than from its appearance. These dogs are accepted as the tallest breed of dog in the world, although the Great Dane and Mastiff are of equivalent weight, if not heavier. The arguments as to whether the "largest" dog should refer to the height or the weight of the breed have their basis in these points of contention.


These dogs are the tallest breed. They have a swift pace and very keen eyesight and a rough coat (grey, wheaten, brindle, red, black, pure white, brown, or fawn, though wheaten and grey are the most common colors), a large box-shaped head, and a long, muscular neck. They have a somewhat greyhound-shaped body, but larger. They average up to 90 cm (34 inches) at the withers, a fact that sometimes is its biggest disadvantage when attracting owners who have no concern for its special needs. As with all breeds, the ideal and accepted measurements vary somewhat from one standard to another, and there will always be individuals whose size falls outside these standards. However, generally breeders aim for a height averaging 85 to 90 centimeters (33 to 36 inches) in males, 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) less for females. Acceptable weight minimums range from 76 kg (150 lb.) for males and 55 kg (120lb.) for females. Though the pups may look adult at the age of 7 months, they are not considered even mature until the age of 18-22 months depending the breeder.

Irish Guards mascot in parade dress

Irish Guards mascot in parade dress


Wolfhounds should not receive additional supplements when a good dog food is used. It is generally accepted that they should be fed a large breed puppy food until 18 months old and then change to a large breed adult food. Most breeders today recommend that they not be supplemented in order to slow their rapid growth. They will eventually reach the same height, but at a slower, and safer, rate. Wolfhound puppies around 14 weeks old grow approximately one inch a week and put on one pound a day.

By the age of 8 months, the dogs appear adult, and many owners start stressing them too much. Outstretched limbs and irreparable damage are the result. Wolfhounds need at least 18 months to be ready for lure coursing, running as a sport, and other strenuous activities.

Dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer are the leading cause of death and like all deep-chested dogs, gastric torsion (bloat) is also common, as well as hereditary portosystemic shunt.


The breed is very old, possibly from the 1st century BC or earlier, bred as war dogs by the ancient Celts, who called them Cú Faoil. The Irish continued to breed them for this purpose, as well as to guard their homes and protect their stock. Regular references of Irish Wolfhounds being used in dog fights are found in many historical sagas - Cuchulain's favourite, Luath was slain by a southern chief's hound, Phorp.

While many modern texts state Irish Wolfhounds were used for coursing deer, contemporary pre-revival accounts such as Animated Nature (1796) by Oliver Goldsmith are explicit that the original animal was a very poor coursing dog. Their astonishing size, speed, and intelligence made them ideal hunting animals for both wild boar and wolves, and many were exported for this purpose. They were perhaps too ideal, as the boar and wolf are now extinct in Ireland. The Irish Wolfhound has been recorded as being exhibited in ancient Rome to some excitement, and mention is made that they so amazed and terrified the Romans that it was seen fit to only transport them in cages. There exist stories that in the arena, the original Wolfhound was the equal of a lion. It has also been shown that when hunting animals, the wolfhound would bite the neck and crush the spine, killing the creature.

During times of conflict with England, it was not uncommon for Wolfhounds to be trained to take armoured knights off of their horses, thus allowing an infantry man to move in and finish the kill if the Wolfhound had not done so already.

Due to a massive export into various countries as a gift for royalty and a ban that allowed only royalty to own such a dog, the breed almost vanished in the middle of the 19th century. Captain Graham rebred the Irish Wolfhound with the Deerhound, Great Dane, Borzoi and other breeds; this saved the breed, but had the inevitable effect of altering its appearance, most noticeably leaving the Irish Wolfhound with alternative colours such as brindle (inherited from the Great Dane) as before they were mainly grey in colour. The ancient breed (often referred to as the Irish Wolfdogge in contemporary accounts) was available in both a smooth and rough coated variety. Descriptions of its appearance and demeanor, as well as the method of its use place it closer to the flock guardians in appearance than the modern breed. It is clear that the dog was not always the giant of today and it has been suggested that the Wolfhound was part of the make up of the Kerry Blue Terrier. The historical variety was famed for its loyalty, discernment, grave nature and aggression. In terms of temperament the modern breed has been greatly mellowed.Wolfhounds are often referred to as "Gentle Giants", and an historic motto of the breed is "Gentle when stroked. Fierce when provoked."

The Wolfhound is sometimes regarded as the national dog breed of Ireland but in fact no breed has ever been officially adopted as such. The Wolfhound was historically a dog that only nobles could own and was taken up by the British during their rule in Ireland. This made it unpopular as a national symbol and the Kerry Blue Terrier was adopted by early Irish Nationalists such as Michael Collins. Today, however, the Irish wolfhound is by some margin the best known Irish breed outside the dog world.

Istarski Oštrodlaki Gonič

The Istarski Oštrodlaki Gonič is a dog breed from Croatia, developed in the mid-1800s for hunting fox and rabbit. It is a rough-coated scent hound still kept primarily as a hunting dog rather than as a pet.


Dogs of this breed can vary considerably in size, as the dog is still bred primarily for hunting, so more emphasis might be placed on performance than on specific appearance requirements. It can range from 25 to 56 lb (16 to 26 kg) and stand 17 to 23 inches (44 to 58 cm) at the withers.

The breed's wiry coat is weather resistant for hunting. The topcoat is 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) long and it has a woolly undercoat. The color is white with yellow or orange markings, usually on the ears. The ears are broad and hang flat.


Again, because the Oštrodlaki Gonič has been bred primarily for hunting rather than as a companion, it tends to be willful and hence more challenging to train than many other breeds.


Slovenian breeders created the Oštrodlaki Gonič in the mid-1800s by crossing the French Griffon Vendeén with the Istarski Kratkodlaki Gonic, a smooth-haired hound developed from both sight hounds and scent hounds. The breed first took part in a conformation show in Vienna in 1866.

The dog is still used for hunting fox, rabbits, hare, and wild boar.

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is a small breed of dog, specifically a member of the sight hound family and member of the toy group. They are sometimes called an "I.G." or "Iggy" for short.


An Italian Greyhound at Washington Square in New York City.

An Italian Greyhound at Washington Square in New York City.

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sight hounds, typically weighing about 7 to 11 lbs or so. Standing about 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder or whithers.Though they are in the "toy" group by their weight, they physically occupy more space because of their skinny bodies, so owners must be careful when sizing clothing or accommodations.

The Italian Greyhound's chest is deep, with a tucked abdomen, long slender legs and long neck. The face is long and pointed, somewhat like that of a Dachshund. Overall, they look like miniature Greyhounds. Their gait is distinctive and resembles the elegant trot of a horse. They are able to run at top speed with a double-suspension gallop, and can achieve a top speed of up to 25mph.

The colour of the coat is a subject of much discussion. In the UK, the USA, and Australia, white spotted IGs are accepted, while the FCI standards adhered to in Europe allows white spots only on the chest and paws.

The modern Italian Greyhound's appearance is a result of breeders throughout Europe, particularly Austrian, German, Italian, and French breeders, making great contributions to the forming of this breed. The Italian Greyhound should resemble a small Greyhound, or rather a Sloughi, though they are in appearance more elegant and graceful.

Example of a double-suspension gallop, note all four feet off the ground.

Example of a double-suspension gallop, note all four feet off the ground.


The Italian Greyhound is affectionate and makes a good companion dog. The breed is excellent for families and enjoys the company of people. While they are excellent with children, the breed's slim build and short coat make them somewhat fragile, and injury can result from rough play.

Although the Italian Greyhound appears fragile, they have some characteristics of larger dogs. Their large, strong lungs enables a bark that is deeper than one might expect from a small dog.

The breed is equally at home in the city or the country and does not require as much exercise as larger breeds, although they are fast, agile and athletic. The young dog is often particularly active, and this high level of activity may lead them to attempt ill-advised feats of athleticism that can result in injury. They enjoy running as fast as they possibly can, typically faster than other larger dogs.

In general the Italian Greyhound is intelligent, but they often have a "what's in it for me attitude," so patience and reward in training seem to work best.

Italian Greyhounds make reasonably good watchdogs, as they bark at unfamiliar sounds. They may also bark at passers-by and other animals. However, they often get along well with other dogs and cats they are raised with. They are not good guard dogs as they are often aloof with strangers and easily spooked to run.

Due to their slim build and extremely short coat, Italian Greyhounds are at times reluctant to go outside in cold or wet weather, so some owners lay old newspaper on the floor near an exit so their pets can relieve themselves. This breed tends to gravitate to warm places, curl up with other dogs or humans, or burrow into blankets and under cushions for warmth.

As gazehounds, Italian Greyhounds instinctively hunt by sight and have a high predator drive. Owners of Italian Greyhounds typically keep their dogs leashed at all times when not in an enclosed area to avoid the risk of even a well-behaved pet breaking away at high speed after a small animal. Also, a short leash is highly suggested to owners due to reports of animals breaking their own necks when running a full lead mounted to the ground or a wall.

Like most small breeds, Italian Greyhounds have small bladders. Housebreaking progresses with training and patience, but still at a slower pace than with larger breeds.

Italian Greyhounds are known for their lack of bladder control in comparison to other dogs. This is thought to be due to the bladder muscle in the dog being far too weak and due to many generations of breeding without removing the undesirable genetic traits.


Dogs of this breed have an extremely short coat that requires little more than an occasional bath. Shedding is typical as of other breeds, but the hair that is shed is extremely short and fine and is easily vacuumed.

The teeth of an Italian Greyhound should be brushed regularly. Their scissor-bite and thin jaw bones make them prone to periodontal disease, which can be avoided with good dental care.


Health problems that can be found in the breed:

Responsible breeders will routinely check their dogs for the onset of various inherited disorders, these commonly include (but are not limited to): CERF examinations on eyes, OFA patellar examinations, OFA thyroid function panels, von Willebrand's factor, OFA hip and Legg-Perthes disease x-rays, and others.


The name of the breed is a reference to the breed's popularity in Renaissance Italy. Mummified dogs very similar to the Italian Greyhound (or small Greyhounds) have been found in Egypt, and pictorials of small Greyhounds have been found in Pompeii, and they were probably the only accepted companion-dog there. As an amusing aside the expression 'Cave Canem' (Beware of the dog) was a warning to visitors, not that the dogs would attack but to beware of damaging the small dogs.

Although the small dogs are mainly companionship dogs they have in fact been used for hunting purposes, often in combination with hunting falcons.

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the family of gazehounds (dogs that hunt by sight). The breed is an old one and is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in the countries now known as Greece and Turkey. This belief is based on the depiction of miniature greyhounds in the early decorative arts of these countries and on the archaeological discovery of small greyhound skeletons. By the Middle Ages, the breed had become distributed throughout Southern Europe and was later a favorite of the Italians of the sixteenth century, among whom miniature dogs were in great demand. It is, in fact, due to its popularity in Italy at this time that the breed became known as the "Italian Greyhound." From this period onward the history of the breed can be fairly well traced as it spread through Europe, arriving in England in the seventeenth century.


Italian Greyhounds in the arts

Portrait of the aging Catherine The Great with an Italian Greyhound.

Portrait of the aging Catherine The Great with an Italian Greyhound.

The grace of the breed has prompted several artists to include the dogs in paintings, among others Velasquez, Pisanello and Giotto.

Vision des Hl. Eustathius by Pisanello

Vision des Hl. Eustathius by Pisanello

The breed has been popular with royalty throughout, among the best known royal aficionados were Mary Stuart, Queen Anne, Queen Victoria, Catherine The Great, Frederick the Great and the Norwegian Queen Maud.

Italian Greyhounds in popular culture


Some Italian Greyhounds enjoy dog agility. The breed's lithe body and its love of action enable it to potentially do well at this sport, although not many IGs participate and their natural inclination is for straight-out racing rather than for working tightly as a team with a handler on a technical course.

Lure coursing is another activity well-fitted to the Italian Greyhound, and they seem to enjoy it tremendously. Although the Italian Greyhound is a very fast dog, it is not as well suited to racing as its larger cousin.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 12)


The Hamiltonstövare is a breed of dog, bred as a hunting hound. The breed was developed in Sweden by the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Hamilton. Its ancestry includes several German hounds as well as English Foxhounds and Harriers.

Hanover Hound

The Hanover Hound is a breed of dog sometimes referred to as a Hanoverian Hound. It is a hunting and tracking dog descended from bloodhounds of medieval times, and is uncommon today.


These short-haired dogs range in colour from light to dark reddish fawn with a brindled appearance. They may also have a mask. Overall, the Hanoverian Hound is sturdily built with a large head, strong jaws and a deep chest. Their weight ranges from 36-45 kg (80-99 lbs). Males range in size from 50-55 cm (19-22 inches) while females are slightly smaller, about 48-53 cm (18-21 inches).


Like any working dog, the Hanover Hound fares best living in an area where he can get lots of exercise and would not be ideal for city living. They are calm and loyal, but described as persistent and single-minded when tracking.

Harrier (dog)

The Harrier is a small dog breed of the hound class, used for hunting rabbits ("hares"). It resembles a foxhound but is smaller.


The Harrier is similar to the English Foxhound, but smaller. They are one of the few truly medium-sized breeds of dogs. Harriers stand between 19 and 21 inches at the shoulder, and adults weigh between 45 and 60 lbs. They have short hair, hanging ears, and come in a variety of color patterns. A humorous, yet fairly accurate short-hand description of a Harrier is that of "a Beagle on steroids." It is a muscular hunting hound with a short, hard coat. It has large bones for stamina and strength. The Harrier is slightly longer than tall, with a level topline. The tail is medium-length, carried high, but is not curled over the back. The skull is broad with a strong square muzzle. The rounded ears are pendant, and the eyes are either brown or hazel. The wide nose is black. The expression is mellow when the dog is relaxed and alert when he is excited. The teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The feet are tight and cat-like, and the front toes may turn inward.


The Harrier is more playful and outgoing than the Foxhound, but not as much as the Beagle. Cheerful, sweet-tempered, and tolerant, it is excellent with children. This pack dog is good with other dogs, but should be supervised with noncanine pets unless it is raised with them from puppyhood. It prefers life in a pack with people, dogs, or both. This active dog likes to go exploring, sniffing, and trailing, so be sure to keep it on a leash or in a safe enclosed area. Some Harriers like to bay.


This breed's lifespan is generally 10-12 years. Hip displasia is known to occur in this breed.


Sources have widely conflicting stories about the origins of this breed. According to one, the earliest Harrier types were crossed with Bloodhounds, the Talbot Hound, and even the Basset Hound. According to another, the breed was probably developed from crosses of the English Foxhound with Fox Terrier and Greyhound. And yet another, the Harrier is said to be simply a bred-down version of the English Foxhound. The first Harrier pack in England was established by Sir Elias de Midhope in 1260 and spread out as a hunting dog throughout the west of England and into Wales. Although there are many working Harriers in England the breed is still not recognised in that country.

In any case, today's Harrier is between the Beagle and English Foxhound in size and was developed primarily to hunt hare, though the breed has also been used in fox hunting. The name, Harrier, reveals the breed's specialty. The Harrier is still fairly rare in the United States, but has a long history of popularity as a working pack dog in England.


The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs, which also includes the Bichon Frise, the Bichon Bolognese, Maltese, Coton De Tulear, Tsvetnaya Bolonka, Franzuskaya Bolonka and possibly the Löwchen breeds. These dogs were developed from the now extinct Mediterranean Bichon Tenerife, which was introduced to the Canary Islands by the Spanish and later to other islands and colonies of Spain by sailors. They are very playful dogs and good with older more considerate children.


Black and tan Havanese

Black and tan Havanese

The Havanese, while a toy dog and always a companion, is also a hearty and sturdy dog for such a size, and should never give the appearance of fragility or of being overly delicate. The height range is from 8½ to 11½ inches (216 to 292 mm), with the ideal being between 9 and 10½ inches (229 and 267 mm), measured at the withers, and is slightly less than the length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, which should give the dog the appearance of being slightly more long than tall. A unique aspect of the breed is the topline, which rises slightly from withers to rump, and the gait, which is flashy but not too reaching, and gives the Havanese a spritely, agile appearance on the move.

The expression of the face, with its almond eyes, is one of mischievousness rather than being cute, like the Bolognese, and the ears, which are medium in length and well feathered, always hang down. The tail should curve over the back at rest, and like the rest of the dog, is covered in long fur.

The key word for the Havanese is 'natural', and the breed standards note that except for slight clipping around the feet to allow for a circular foot appearance, they are to be shown unclipped; any further trimming, back-combing, or other fussing is against type and will cause a dog to be disqualified. That includes undocked tails, uncropped ears, and even a standard that forbids the use of topknots and bows in presentation. The AKC standard notes "his character is essentially playful rather than decorative" and the Havanese, when shown, should reflect that, generally looking like a toy in size only, but more at home with playing with children or doing silly tricks than being pampered and groomed on a silk pillow.


Though there is some argument on whether the original Havanese were all white or of different colors, modern Havanese are acceptable in all coat colors and patterns, with allowances made in every breed standard for their unique colorful nature. The only restrictions is that every Havanese must have a black nose and eyerims, except in chocolate colored dogs, where brown coloration is allowed. Popular colors include fawn, white, and black, and parti-colored Havanese are as well regarded as solids. The color of a Havanese puppy may change as an adult, called "silvering" as the most usual case is a black puppy turning silvery-grey with age. This is not to be confused with "sable", which is a lighter color at the roots with dark, often black tips; in some sables, these tips grow out with age and they eventually appear to be only the lighter color. If you are concerned about the color you may want to ask the breeder for the family history, as silvering or fading has a strong genetic component.


Havanese, like other Bichons and related dogs like Poodles, have a coat that doesn't readily shed. Rather, it catches hair and dander internally, and needs to be regularly brushed out. Many people consider the Havanese to be nonallergenic or hypoallergenic, but they do still release dander, which can aggravate allergies. It's best to be exposed to the Havanese before deciding to choose one as a dog for a house with allergies.

Havanese have three coat types, the smooth, which is similar to the Maltese, the curly, which is not unlike a Bichon Frise coat, and the wavy, which is the preferred coat type and the type most uniquely Havanese. The hair is long, soft, and abundant, and should have no coarseness. A short coat mutation shows up occasionally in otherwise normal litters, but these are not showable Havanese and go so far against standard that even novelty breeding of them is discouraged.

Because of the tropical nature of the Havanese, the thick coat is light and designed to act as a sunshade and cooling agent for the little dog on hot days. This means, though, that the fluffy Havanese needs protection against cold winter days, in spite of the warm wooly look of their fur.

The coat can be shown naturally brushed out, or corded, a technique which turns the long coat into 'cords' of fur, and which is hard to start but easy to care for when completed.


The Havanese has a playful, friendly temperament which is unlike many other toy dog breeds. It is at home with well behaved children and most other pets, and is rarely shy or nervous around new people. Clever and active, they will often solicit attention by performing tricks, such as running back and forth between two rooms as fast as they can.They are very lovable.

The Havanese is a very people oriented dog. They often have a habit of following their humans around the house, even to the bathroom, but do not tend to be overly possessive of their people, and do not usually suffer aggression or jealousy towards other dogs, other pets or other humans.

The Havanese's love of children stems back to the days when it was often the playmate of the small children of the households to which it belonged. Unlike most toy dogs, who are too delicate and sometimes too nervous or aggressive to tolerate the often clumsy play of children, the Havanese, with care, is a cheerful companion to even younger children, and this is no small part of its growing popularity around the world.

The Havanese have been known to eat only when they have company in the same room. If one is eating and their person leaves the room, it is likely the dog will grab a mouthful of food and follow their "person", dropping the food and consuming it one morsel at a time in the room their person goes to.

Havanese are true "dogs", loving to play in an aggressive manner, not wanting to be the "loser" of whatever game they are playing. That being said, they calm down quickly when prompted to do so by their owners.

Havanese have excellent noses and are easily trained to play "find it" where the owner hides a treat and the Havanese sniffs it out, never giving up until the treat is discovered. This is a highly trainable dog.


Though the Havanese may seem to suffer from a large complement of ailments, very few Havanese from reputable breeders will have these problems, and the wide list is more a testament to highly proactive clubs and breeder organizations. Havanese clubs like the Havanese Club of America have worked hard for many years to try and search out and eradicate the health problems these dogs may suffer from. In spite of these uncommon ailments, Havanese are generally considered healthy and sturdy dogs, and live between 12–16 years.

Among these ailments are:

Havanese, even ones not to be bred, should go through several tests, including a one-time BAER hearing test, a CERF eye test annually, and a Patellar Palpation and Hip Evaluation. Soaping has also become a popular way for breeders to test health. It involves soaping up the dog to flatten the coat to its body and reveal the structure of the legs. Crooked, bowed or over short legs are a symptom related to many Havanese health issues, and dogs suffering from them should not be bred.

Because of the small genetic pool from which the Havanese were revived, Havanese organizations around the world are always on the lookout for new health and genetic issues that may come to the fore in this otherwise wonderful and healthy breed.


The Havanese itself developed uniquely in Cuba, either as the result of said Spanish sailors, or as is often believed by native Cubans, as gifts from Italian traders to open the doors of wealthy houses to their goods. The "Little Dog from Havana" even traveled back to Europe where it found brief favor in the late 19th century as a circus and trick dog and a court companion.

As part of the Cuban Revolution, many trappings of aristocracy were culled, including the pretty but useless fluffy family dogs of the wealthy land owners of Cuba. Even though many upper class Cubans fled to the United States, few were able to bring their dogs, nor did they have the inclination to breed them. Indeed, when Americans became interested in this rare and charming dog in the 1970s, the gene pool available in the US was only 11 animals.

With dedicated breeding, as well as the acquisition of some new dogs of type internationally, the Havanese has made a huge comeback, with recognition by many major kennel clubs and one of the fastest growing registration of new dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC) (+42% in 2004). They have also acquired a certain level of trendiness due to rarity, good temperament, and publicity by such famous owners as Barbara Walters.

Havanese at work

Because of the cheerful and readily trained nature of the Havanese, they are increasingly a dog utilized for a variety of jobs, especially those involving the public. Havanese have been utilized for:

Havanese also compete in a variety of dog sports, such as


Havanese have several specific considerations for their care that a prospective owner should keep in mind.

The Havanese has a profuse coat that requires daily grooming. If one does not intend to show their dog, it can be trimmed shorter so as to require less brushing.

The Havanese, with their drop ears, need to have their ears cleaned to help prevent ear infections.

Though they are not a dog that requires long walks, Havanese are active and require at least a large, well-enclosed yard to run around in a few times a day. They will also use up energy tearing around and getting underfoot.

The Havanese is not a naturally yappy dog, but may alert its owners to approaching people. Usually acknowledging that you have heard their alert is enough to make them cease.


Buyer beware

The Havanese is an expensive and rare dog, and the cost of getting a dog from a breeder who takes the time to put them through the right health tests can drive the price to $2000 or more. Be aware of anyone who is selling a Havanese through a pet store, for they could be fake. There is a lot of time and money invested into a healthy puppy, and a responsible breeder should want to meet you, often a few times, before selling you a puppy.

Many people use the Havanese's rarity to sell them for a fast profit. Increasingly, some people will attempt to pass off a crossbreed as the Havanese. If you must look for an inexpensive dog, try a Havanese rescue group first.

The Havanese's front legs and back legs are different lengths, which creates the spring in their step.

Hortaya Borzaya

The Hortaya Borzaya or simply Hortaya (Хортая Борзая, translation: "shorthaired sight hound") is an old Asian sight hound breed originating in the former USSR. It is a dog of large size, of lean but at the same time robust build, of considerably elongated proportions. In its everyday life the Hortaya is quiet and balanced. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing a moving object at a very far distance. In spite of its calm temperament the dog has a very active reaction to running game. Hortaya are excellent, enduring hunting dogs endowed with a good, basic obedience and completely lacking aggression towards humans.


The Hortaya is a sight hound of a large to very large size depending on breed type. The breed has five distinct types, with at least as many subtypes to each main type. The result of this is a broad variability, adapting the breed to the large variety of geography, climate and prey found across the huge expanse of its habitat.

The short, dense fur can come in almost any color and color combination: white, black, cream of all shades, red, sable and brindle, solid or piebald (with white markings, or white with coloured markings). A black overlay and black mask, grey or red tan markings are normal. The nose is black, with light colours a brown nose is not a fault. Eyes always have a black or very dark rim.

Atypical colors and markings, like brown or chocolate, a saddle or dapple pattern, and diluted colors (isabella) with blue or light eyes are not allowed.

Hortaya males range from 26 to 30 inches (65 to 75 cm), females from 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm). The weight depends largely on type and can range from 18 kilograms (Stavropol type female) up to 35 kilograms (Northern type male). In general the Hortaya is heavier than it looks.

When not hunting the typical gait of the breed is a fluid, limber and effortless trot. When chasing the prey Hortaya gallop in extremely fast leaps of great length.


The Hortaya Borzaya is of a friendly, but distinctly Asian character. It is never aggressive or fierce towards humans, even though occasionally quite vigilant. Due the rigorous selection on hunting in a team with its owner, the Hortaya belongs to the trainable sight hounds, showing a good basic obedience and high intelligence.

It is very close to wolves in its pack behaviour. Thus it is usually no problem to keep even larger groups of Hortaya together in a kennel, Hortaya integrate easily.

As rural people in Eurasia do not at all tolerate dogs which harm their livestock, properly socialized Hortaya do not hunt domestic animals and can easily be taught, which animals are off limits to them.


The Hortaya is an Asian dog breed, which developed over the centuries in the steppes north of the Black Sea, after spreading slowly from the mountains of Afghanistan westwards. Dogs of this type were bred by various peoples of this region, which extends from modern Ukraine and the south of Russia to the westernmost regions of Kazakhstan. Therefore it is not possible to attribute this breed to a specific people or country. In the east and south-east of its geographical spread it connects to the oriental rsp. Central Asian sight hounds, while it is considered the link to the western sight hound breeds close to the Polish frontiers.

In the year 1951 the USSR laid down the first standard for the breed. Nowadays the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF), the national Russian FCI member association, officially maintains the standard. Currently there exist an estimated 2500-3500 Hortaya Borzaya worldwide, with less than a few dozen outside of the boundaries of the CIS.

An international recognition by the FCI does not exist so far, however the breed is nationally recognized by all FCI member countries within the CIS and by many other middle European nations. In some of these states the studbook is maintained directly by the national member organisation of the FCI, in others the Hortaya is registered by specialized hunting dog associations.

The owners of these dogs are mostly local hunters, who live in remote, often isolated villages in the steppe. Few of them have any interest in shows. For them the Hortaya is a valued co-worker who puts food on the table in winter. In the steppe a good hunting Hortaya can be worth as much as a good riding horse.

The Hortaya Borzaya belongs to the extremely rare sight hound breeds, which - up to our modern times - has been selected exclusively on its hunting abilities and qualities.


8-weeks old female Hortaya Borzaya puppy

The breed is late in development, very vigorous and longlived. It is not rare that older dogs, retired from active hunting, start their breeding career at an age of 8 or 9 years in perfect health and without any impairment. Breed specific illnesses or hereditary diseases, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are so far unknown. The life expectancy of the Hortaya Borzaya largely depends on its use. In regions where they are hunted on large prey, especially predators, there may be quite some dogs killed young during the hunt. If you subtract these dangers, 14-15 healthy years as an average is not uncommon.

However, great care has to be taken in not over-feeding the Hortaya pup and juvenile Hortaya. The breed was formed on a meagre, extremely basic and low diet with but rare and small amounts of meat, especially high quality meat.

Most of the year Hortaya get little more than the scraps from the table, a gruel of oats, bread soaked in milk and whatever rodents they can hunt for themselves around the house. Only during the spring slaughter/lambing season and the main hunting season they get more meat: the innards and offals from what they hunt for their masters. As a result this breed has practically no tolerance for high quality, high protein dog foods and supplements, and especially the young, still growing dogs will suffer irreversible and lethal damage to their bone structure and cartilage when faultily fed.

Use and activity

The Hortaya Borzaya is—in its original habitat—still purely a hunting sight hound. It is used on all game living in the steppe, especially for hunting hares, foxes, wolves and Saiga antelopes. It is extremely enduring, capable of working from early morning into late evening. Up to 8–10 runs on game on one day including tracking it down together with the hunter across large distances is a perfectly feasible workload. The Hortaya is no short distance sprinter, like e.g. the Whippet or the Greyhound. Game is usually chased for distances up to 2.5 miles (4000 m) on the open steppe and a Hortaya can repeat these runs after but a short rest. Unlike most sight hounds it is not hunting on sight alone, its sense of smell is also quite well developed and it often will track game gone out of sight nose down.

female Hortaya Borzaya Zluka

Hortaya hunt singly on smaller game, or as pairs and larger groups on wolves, antelopes and deer. Small game will be hunted and killed immediately, larger game cornered and held in place for the hunter. The Hortaya has a "soft mouth" like the Retriever breeds, after the quick kill the game must not be rent as the native hunters also use the furs. In the CIS hunting sight hounds are regularly tested, judged and graded in so-called "hunt trials".

Recently a first few Hortaya have been officially exported with full breeding papers to western European countries, e.g. Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also to Germany (2004), Finland and Switzerland. 2005 the first Hortaya was imported into the USA. Some of these dogs participate in racing and coursing, this partly out of competition due the lack of international FCI recognition. Hortaya owned by Westeuropean owners have shown aptitude for Agility, Breitensport and have proven to be excellent trail companions for horseback riders. 2006 the very first registered Hortaya litters outside of their historical habitat have been born in Europe.


4-weeks old puppies of the first German litter

Contrary to the practice of Western breeding and breeders of other dog breeds, the Hortaya is not regarded as an unfinished breed which still needs any amelioration or even formation.

The shorthaired sightdog of the southern Eurasian steppes, which today trades under the name of Hortaya Borzaya, was bred in this habitat for thousands of years, is a breed as old as the Tazi/Saluki and only marginally younger than the Bakhmul/Afghan. For newcomers it would be unwise to be deceived by the relatively recent standard.

Analogous to the oriental and Asian breeds of thoroughbred horses the original breeders of Hortaya consider it rightfully as firmly consolidated. An improvement into any direction therefore is not part of breeding Hortaya. This is an important and massive difference to the western way of dog breeding and it has far reaching, very positive consequences for the breeding practice.

As no changes are striven for the breeding methods used among other breeds to achieve them, like incest, inbreeding or linebreeding, are practically non-existent. These methods are seriously frowned upon among Hortaya breeders. It is extremely rare that ancestors appear twice among the first 4-6 generations of a pedigree. In fact, Hortaya breeders try hard to achieve the farthest possible outcross. This is one important reason why the breed is so healthy in spite of its relatively small population.

Another consequence is the application of the breed standard. It does not describe any ideal dog which should be bred for, as it is with other dog breeds. Instead the Hortaya standard is a standard of exclusion: it only and very simply describes the boundaries outside of which a dog would not be considered acceptable. Anything else would be pointless, as it is the active endeavour of Hortaya breeders to preserve the large variety of types and sub-types of the breed, which may seem being totally different breeds to the layman.

Additionally, with the Hortaya it is its hunting ability which is the measure of everything, anything else is quite secondary regarding selection.

Looking at all this it also becomes clear, why an international acceptance of this breed by the FCI is not regarded as being very desirable by the majority of Hortaya aficionados. The breed's breeding practice, its consolidated state and its truly extreme phenotypical diversity do not really fit into the actual breeding and judging practices of today's FCI or of any other major kynological federation. Any international FCI acceptance which would not result in immediate harm to the breed needs major, important groundwork and decades of preparation. Currently the direct and immediate consequence would be the undesirable separation into show and work lines, and into western and original Hortaya.


The Hovawart is a German dog breed. The name of the breed means "an estate guard dog," which is the original use for the breed. The breed originated in the Black Forest region and was first described in text and paintings in medieval times.


The Hovawart is a medium large dog. Dogs are 63-70 cm (24 3/4"-27 1/2") and bitches 58-65 cm (22 3/4"-25 1/2") at the withers. The weight is approximately 25-40 kg (55-90 pounds). The correct colour descriptions are Black, Black and Gold, and Blonde. The Black and Gold is the most popular colour.


The Hovawart is an outstanding watch dog and somewhat reserved towards strangers. They make excellent family dogs as they are totally devoted to their family. They are a working dog breed, and require a consistent and loving yet strict training and meaningful activity throughout their lives.


A black Hovawart in the water

A black Hovawart in the water

13th Century

One of the first documented recordings comes from the year 1210 when the German castle Ordensritterburg was besieged by Slavic invaders. The castle fell and its inhabitants including the Lord were slaughtered, however the Lord's infant son was saved by one of the castle's Hovawarts. In spite of being wounded itself, the dog dragged the tiny child to a neighbouring castle and thus saved the boy's life. This young boy, Eike von Repkow, grew up to become a legendary figure in the history of German law. He later published the Sachsenspiegel, the oldest Code of Law to survive from medieval Germany. Not surprisingly, the Hovawart is mentioned with praise. The Schwabenspiegel, a law text published in 1274 and based on Eike von Repkow's Sachsenspiegel, lists the Hovawart among the dogs you have to replace and pay restitution for if they are killed or stolen.

15th Century

By 1473, Heinrich Mynsinger described the Hovawart as one of "The Five Noble Breeds" and among its uses listed that it was useful for tracking the robber and miscreant. This along with references to the Hovawart in German law show that it was a readily identifiable breed and held in similar esteem to that of hunting dogs.

20th Century

Following the medieval period, the popularity of the Hovawart began to decline. Newer breeds such as the German Shepherd slowly replaced the Hovawart as a guard and working dog until it had almost disappeared by the beginning of the 20th century. Around 1915 a group of enthusiasts decided to try and save the breed. Predominant in this group was the zoologist Kurt Friedrich König. They started by looking for dogs in the farms of the Black Forest region. König then started a careful breeding program using these dogs and crossed them with Kuvaszok, Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Leonbergers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and an African Hunting Dog. After much work the group was rewarded in 1922 when the first Hovawart litter was entered into the German Breeding Registry. The enthusiasts continued their work and in 1937 the German Kennel Club officially recognised the Hovawart. All this work was almost undone with the outbreak of the Second World War. Because of their abilities many Hovawarts were used in the German war effort and perished. By 1945 only a few remained. Enthusiasm for the breed remained and in 1947, Otto Schramm and some fellow enthusiasts in Coburg formed a new club, the "Rassezuchtverein für Hovawart-Hunde Coburg" which is still in existence today. In 1964 the German Kennel Club recognised the Hovawart as the country's seventh working breed and around this time enthusiasm for the breed started to develop in other countries.

An adult fawn-coloured Hovawart

An adult fawn-coloured Hovawart


The Hovawart does exceptionally well in search and rescue, tracking and working dog activities. The females are generally lighter in build and often love agility. In training and especially obedience work the trainer must keep positive reinforcement in mind all the time, as the Hovawart is not as eager to please as many other working dog breeds. It is important to realise that the Hovawart works WITH you and not for you. They do have the ability to think and act independently. Their guarding instinct for example does not require any real training, it is inherent, its what they were bred for. The Hovawart may easily become reluctant if training is built only on punishments.

The owner of a Hovawart should ideally have previous experience in owning and training a dog and as such the Hovawart is not usually suitable as a first dog.

Magyar Agar

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


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.

Hungarian Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla, pronounced VEEZH-la (zh as in vision), is a dog breed originating in Hungary. Vizslas are known as excellent hunting dogs, and also have a level personality making them suited for families. The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla was created by cross-breeding the Hungarian Shorthaired Vizsla with the German Wirehaired Pointer during the 1930s.


A Wire-haired Vizsla

A Wire-haired Vizsla

Smooth-haired appearance

The Vizsla, as described in the American Kennel Club (AKC) standard, is a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Robust but rather lightly built; the coat is a golden-rust color. The coat could also be described as a copper/brown color. They are lean dogs, and have defined muscles, and are similar to a Weimaraner. Small areas of white on the fore-chest and on the toes are permissible but undesirable. The tail is normally docked to two-thirds of the original length. The ideal male is 22 inches(0.55 m) to 24 inches (0.61 m). The ideal female is 21inches (0.53 m) to 23 inches (0.58 m). Commonly weighing 40-65 lbs (18.14-29.48 kg). Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring more than 1½ inches (3.8 cm) over or under these limits must be disqualified.

Wirehaired appearance

The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla is a medium-sized, wire-coated hunting dog developed in the 1930s (see History below), with a distinguished appearance and bearing. They have a lean build and are very robust. Coat: Various shades of russet gold and dark sandy gold: wiry, close-lying, strong, and dense. ¾ of an inch to 1¼ inch (2-3 cm) in length with a dense, water-repellent undercoat. The outline of the body is not to be hidden by the longer coat. Pronounced eyebrows along with a strong, harsh beard, ¾ of an inch to 1¼ inch (2-3 cm) long on both sides of the muzzle reinforce the determined expression. The coat should never be long, soft, silky, shaggy, crinkle, woolly, thin, lacking undercoat or lacking brushes on the legs. The tail is docked 1/4 in countries where docking is permitted. Ideal males: 22¾ to 25¼ inches (58 - 64 cm) Ideal females: 21¼ to 23¾ inches (54 - 60 cm)


Vizslas are lively, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children. Often they are referred to as "velcro" dogs because of their loyalty and affection. They are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or provoked.

They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training (American Breed Standard, AKC). Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers as well. They will retrieve on land and in the water, making the most of their natural instincts. However, they must be trained gently and without harsh commands or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly (Gottlieb, 1992). Vizslas are excellent swimmers and often swim in pools if one is available. Like all gun dogs, Vizslas require a good deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Thirty minutes to an hour of exercise daily in a large off-leash area is optimal (Coffman 1992).

The Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and enjoys being challenged and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Vizslas that do not get enough attention and exercise can easily become destructive or hyperactive. Under-stimulated Vizslas may also become depressed or engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviours such as persistent licking (Coffman 1992). Vizslas are very gentle dogs that are great around children.

The Vizsla is totally unsuited to being kept outside, since unlike most other breeds, it does not have an undercoat. This lack of undercoat makes the Vizsla susceptible to the cold so it must not be kept in a kennel or left outside for extended periods of time. The Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as much of the time as possible. Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners if allowed, burrowing under the covers. They are self-cleaning dogs and only need to be bathed five or six times a year, and are somewhat unique in that they have little noticeable "dog smell" detectable by humans. After several forays into lakes and streams they will develop an aroma that is a weaker version of the 'wet dog' smell. A quick bath and this odor will vanish. Lack of undercoat also means Vizslas are hypoallergenic .


Smooth-haired history

Vizslas love to fetch.

Vizslas love to fetch.

The origin of the Vizsla can be traced back to very early times in Hungarian history. Ancestors of today's Vizsla were the hunting dogs used by the Magyar tribes living in the Carpathian Basin from the 9th century on. They were widely used for hunting boar.

The first written reference to Vizsla dog breed has been recorded in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle prepared on order of King Lajos the Great (Louis the Great) by the Carmelite Friars in 1357 (Boggs, 2000:17).

Vizslas faced and survived several near-extinctions in their history, including being overrun by English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers in the 1800s (Boggs, 2000:19) and again to near-extinction after World War II (Boggs, 2000:21).

The Vizsla was used in development of other breeds, most notably the Weimaraner and German Shorthair Pointer breeds (Boggs, 2000:18). There is much conjecture about those same breeds, along with other pointer breeds, being used to reestablish the Vizsla breed at the end of 19th century. (Boggs, 2000:19). In either case the striking resemblance between the three breeds is indisputable.

Wirehaired history

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a separate breed from its common smooth coated cousin. The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla was created in the 1930s by the interbreeding of the Vizsla and the German Wirehaired Pointer to get a dog with a heavier coat, suitable for working in the colder weather. The Wirehaired Vizsla is recognized by the FCI, CKC, UKC, and the KC(UK). Currently there are fewer than 400 Wirehaired Vizslas in the United States.

Common Illnesses

Although the Vizsla is not generally considered as a sickly dog, breeding from a small number of dogs has led to heritable illnesses in some offspring, including:

  • dysphagia-megaoesophagus (difficulty swallowing, drooling and muscle wasting)
  • hip dysplasia
  • hypothyroidism
  • sebaceous adenitis
  • digestive problems (including intolerance to certain foods or food allergies)
  • eye conditions such as:
    • ectropion (loose eyelids which give the look of "droopy eyes")
    • entropion (where the hairy skin around the eye rubs against the eye)
  • idiopathic epilepsy is becoming more common in this breed (Gottlieb 2002)

Responsible breeders do not select dogs for breeding if they have such inherent problems.

Vizsla in the U.K.

Approximately 1,000 Vizsla puppies are registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain (KC) each year, making the breed one of the top 50 most popular. The number is steadily rising year on year as more people recognise the breed. At least two breed clubs for the Vizsla exist in Britain.

Vizsla in the U.S.

A Wirehaird Vizsla pup

A Wirehaird Vizsla pup

Frank J. Tallman and Emmett A. Scanlan imported Vizsla Sari as the first Vizsla in the United States of America.

Sari and her two pups (Tito and Shasta) were delivered by a TWA cargo plane to Kansas City via New York from Rome on October 7, 1950. (Boggs, 2000:23). Sari was later bred with Vizsla Rex. The male Vizsla Rex del Gelsimino, born 8/1/49, was purchased for $75 in food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies thanks to an Belgrade's US Embassy employee M.M. Yevdjovich who provided the direct connection to the owner in Stapar, Serbia to Tallman's representative Harry R. Stritman. Rex understood German and Hungarian commands and the claim has been made of history dating back to 1730 although never verified through a Serbian dog book in Yugoslavia.

Rex was delivered by a TWA cargo plane to Kansas City via New York via Brussels from Belgrade on June 12, 1951. (Boggs, 2000:26) There is a bit of controversy about Rex's official breeder, verbatim from (Boggs, 2000:26): "The Yugoslavia Kennel Club offered to give temporary registration to Vizslas at a local dog show so as to register future blood lines since many of the dogs in Yugoslavia and behind the Iron Curtain were pure bred, but without registration papers."