Thursday, 13 September 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 24)

Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is a breed of dog that originated in China and has the distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The name (沙皮, pinyin: shā pí; English name probably derived from British spelling of Cantonese equivalent sā pèih) translates to "sand skin," and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat. As puppies, Shar Pei have lots of wrinkles, but as they mature, the wrinkles disappear as they "grow into their skin". Shar pei's were once named as one of the world's rarest dog breeds by Time magazine and the Guinness Book of World Records, and the American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1991.


Shar Pei have a thick, curled tail
Shar Pei have a thick, curled tail

Shar Pei come in many colors: red (rose), sand, cream, black, and blue, and have the same characteristic blue-black tongue of the Chow Chow. Loose skin and wrinkles cover the head, neck, and body of puppies, but adult Shar Pei most often grow into their skin so that these features are limited to the head, neck and withers. Shar Peis usually come in two varieties: one is covered in large folds of wrinkles, even into adulthood, and the other variation's skin seems tighter on its skin, with wrinkles just on the face and at the whithers. Small, triangular ears, a muzzle shaped like that of a hippopotamus, and a high set tail also give the Shar Pei a unique look.


A common problem caused by irresponsible breeding is a painful eye condition, entropion, in which the eyelashes curl inward, irritating the eye. Untreated, it can cause blindness. This condition can be fixed by surgery ("tacking" the eyelids up so they will not roll onto the eyeball for puppies or surgically removing extra skin in adolescent and older Shar Pei). Allergy-induced skin infections can be a problem in this breed caused by poorly selected breeding stock. Shar Pei fever is also a serious problem for the breed. The disease causes short fevers lasting up to 24 hours, after which there may be no recurrence or they may recur at more frequent intervals and become more serious. A possibly related disease is called amyloidosis, and is caused by unprocessed amyloid proteins depositing in the organs, most often in the kidneys or liver, leading to renal failure. At this time there is no test for these seemingly prevalent diseases.

A Shar pei which shows the breed's compact body, curled tail, and small ears.
A Shar pei which shows the breed's compact body, curled tail, and small ears.

Recently, dry foods have been formulated that are specifically made for breeds such as the Chinese Shar Pei that are prone to skin allergies or sores. Shar Pei whose food intake is restricted to these allergy-free dry foods and receive an antihistamine or two daily will enjoy much healthier lives with little or no skin irritation, itching, or sores common to the breed.


The Shar-Pei is known for being a naturally independent and reserved breed. Shar-Peis are often suspicious of strangers, which is related to their origins as guard dogs. Nevertheless, the Shar-Pei is extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to its family, and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and proper introduction. If poorly socialized or trained, it can become especially territorial and aggressive. Even friendly and well-socialized individuals will retain the breed's watch dog proclivities (such as barking at strangers). Chinese Shar-Pei were originally bred for fighting in China. Whilst this breed is adorable it is also very protective of its home and family, a powerful dog that is willing to guard its family members at all costs. The breed is amenable to training, but can get bored from repetition. Overall, the Shar-Pei is a dog that is loyal and loving to its family while being very protective & independent.


Shar Pei puppies, showing the greater amount of wrinkles.
Shar Pei puppies, showing the greater amount of wrinkles.

The Shar Pei breed comes from the Guangdong province of China where it was well-known as a fighting and guard dog. Originally, the intense loyalty of the Shar Pei defined its work -- guarding the Chinese royal family. The dogs are ideally suited for defense; the small ears and deep-set eyes are tough to grab and if grabbed on the skin, the wrinkles enable the dog to turn around and bite back. At one point they were close to extinction, and were listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The rarest dog in the world". Since then, however, the Shar Pei has begun to thrive in many parts of the world as an excellent family dog, due to their loving and devoted nature, suggesting they may have originally been a utility and companion breed rather than a fighting breed. A nickname for the breed is "Golden Lion", refering to dogs who have a light brown coat.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog (or Sheltie) is a breed of dog, bred to be small sheep dogs ideally suited for the terrain of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. While they resemble a rough Collie in miniature, they are not a true miniature Collie, as there are many differences in appearance.


Though the most common colours are sable and blue merle, Shelties come in several other coat colours, such as this bi-black colour
Though the most common colours are sable and blue merle, Shelties come in several other coat colours, such as this bi-black colour

Several coat colors exist. There are three main acceptable show colors: sable, ranging from golden through mahogany; tricolour, made up of black, white and tan; and blue merle, made up of grey, white, black and tan. Bi-Blues (grey, black, and some white) and bi-blacks (white and black) are less common but still acceptable. The best-known color is the sable, which is dominant over other colors. Shaded, or mahogany, sables can sometimes be mistaken for tricolored Shelties due to the large amount of dark shading on their coats. Another name for a shaded sable is a tri-factored sable and white. This names comes from the breeding of a shaded sable, which is a tri-color to a sable and white, or a tri-factored sable to another tri-factored sable. Another acceptable color in the show ring, but much less seen, is the sable merle, which can often be hard to distinguish from regular sables after puppyhood. Double merles, the product of breeding two merle Shelties together, can be bred but have a higher incidence of deafness or blindness or retardation than the other coat colors.

12-week-old bi-blue
12-week-old bi-blue

There are few additional coat colors that are quite rare because they are unacceptable in the breed ring, such as color-headed white (majority of fur white, with the head 'normally' marked). There have been reports of a brindle Sheltie but many Sheltie enthusiasts agree that a cross sometime in the ancestry of that specific Sheltie could have produced a brindle coat.

The size of a Sheltie (at the withers) can range from being undersize (under 13 inches) to being oversize (over 16 inches.) The average height of a Sheltie is 14-15 inches, with AKC standards listing a bottom height of 13 inches and a top height of 16 inches. To be measure either higher or lower than the standards will result in being dismissed from the conformation ring. Being dismissed three times will result in the dog being banned from any more conformation classes.


This blue merle Sheltie is a dog agility champion.
This blue merle Sheltie is a dog agility champion.

The Shetland Sheepdog is an outstanding companion dog and is intensely loyal. It is lively, intelligent, trainable, and willing to please and obey. Shelties are loving, loyal, and affectionate with their family, but are naturally aloof with strangers and might not appreciate being petted by someone they do not know; for this reason Shelties must be socialized extensively. Some can be quite reserved and some have varying degrees of shyness. Although they are excellent family pets, Shelties do especially well with children if they are raised with them from an early age; however, their small size makes it easy for a child to accidentally injure them, so supervision is necessary. Exercise caution when considering an adult Sheltie for a family with young children, they may not be compatible.

Shelties have a reputation as vocal dogs, but that might be undeserved. Ill-bred dogs often display a terrier-like personality--hyper and yappy, always on the go--but can just as easily be overly timid and may become a fear-biter. The intelligent Sheltie can be trained to be an excellent watch dog, and not yappy, giving two or three barks to alert its owner to a person at the door.

Unlike some dog breeds, males and females make equally good pets. The main difference is that males tend to have more impressive coats, and unspayed females will 'blow' coat after every heat cycle. Males should appear masculine, females feminine.


The herding instinct is still strong in many Shelties. They love to chase things, including squirrels, ducks, and children. When people are milling around the yard, Shelties sometimes try to "herd" the people into a group by running around, barking, and nipping at heels. This tendency appears most when children run around the yard in a group. Shelties love to run in wide-open areas. The space should be safe and they should not get too far away.

Shelties usually love to play. They do best with a sensitive, yet firm, owner. The Sheltie is, above all, an intelligent herder and likes to be kept busy, although their activity level usually coincides with their owner's level. Shelties also are very smart, making them highly trainable. Shelties are very good with children.

Care should be taken when using gasoline powered yard care equipment in the presence of Shelties. Particular attention must be given during the starting process of weed-eaters (also known as lawn trimmers) and chain saws. The strong herding instinct quickly comes into play, but subsides just as quickly as the Sheltie finds that his/her job has been done.


Shelties have a high level of intelligence. According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert on animal intelligence, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the brightest dogs, ranking 6th out of 132 breeds tested. His research found that an average Sheltie could understand a new command in less than 5 repetitions and would obey a command the first time it was given 95% of the time or better.


Facial profile of a sable-coloured shetland sheepdog
Facial profile of a sable-coloured shetland sheepdog

Like the Rough Collie, there is a tendency toward inherited malformation and disease of the eyes. Each individual puppy should have his eyes examined by a qualified veterinary ophthalmologist. Some lines may be prone to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, or skin allergies.

As with all dog breeds, diet should be monitored and adjusted as needed as many nonworking Shelties can overeat and easily become obese. Also, be sure not to feed Shelties food scraps as they are easily susceptible to uneasy stomachs.

Life Expectancy

The expected life span for Shelties is between 12-15 years, although some Shelties are shorter lived, and some are longer lived.


The two basic forms of inherited eye diseases/defects in Shelties are Collie eye anomaly (CEA) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

CEA can be detected in young puppies by a veterinary ophthalmologist. The disease involves the retina. It is always bilateral although the severity may be disparate between eyes. Other accompanying defects (opthalmic anomalies) may wrongly indicate a more severe manifestation of CEA. CEA is present at birth and although it cannot be cured, it doesn't progress.

Female sheltie with brown eyes
Female sheltie with brown eyes

That is, the severity of the disease at birth will not change throughout the dog's life. CEA is scored similar to the way hips are. In some countries, the Sheltie gene pool is limited so breeders will breed with a very low scoring CEA. However, most breeders are actively trying to breed this disease out by only breeding with dogs that have "clear" eyes or very low scoring eyes. A CEA score considered too high to breed with may still be low enough not to affect the dog's life. These dogs live happy and healthy lives as pets but should be neutered and not used for breeding. Most breeders have all their adults and every litter tested. Some breeders will supply a certificate from the vet to all their puppy purchasers.

PRA can not be detected at any time but usually does not show up until the dog is around 2 years of age. As the name suggests, it is a progressive disease which will eventually result in total blindness.

Currently there is no treatment for either disease, but as both diseases (CEA and PRA) are hereditary it is possible to eliminate them using selective breeding.

Note: merles may have blue eyes. The color of the eyes relates in no way to either of the above diseases but can signal the possibility of other hereditary defects such as deafness, if it is a merle to merle breeding.

Dermatomyositis (Sheltie Syndrome)

Dermatomyositis may occur at the age of 4 to 6 months, and is frequently misdiagnosed by general practice veterinarians as sarcoptic or demodectic mange. The disease manifests itself as alopecia on the top of the head, supra- and suborbital area and forearms as well as the tip of the tail. If the disease progresses to its more damaging form, it could affect the autonomic nervous system and the dog may have to be euthanized. This disease is generation-skipping and genetically transmitted, with breeders having no clear methodology for screening except clear bloodline records. Deep tissue biopsies are required to definitively diagnose dermatomyositis.


Shelties' ears should bend slightly or "tip" at the top to be shown in American Kennel Club (AKC) shows because they contribute to the proper Sheltie expression. The proper ear is to have the top 1/3 to 1/4 of the ear tipped. If a dog's ears are not bent (referred to as prick ears) it is acceptable to help the ears along to the desired position by bracing them into the correct position and leaving them on for several weeks to several months. Wideset ears can also be a problem, often breaking too low down (referred to as 'hound' ears). These are often harder to correct than prick ears, and must be braced early and consistently throughout the first year. It is easiest to train a dog's ears when the dog is a puppy. Beginning at 6 to 8 weeks, the puppy's ears may be taped and glued to help induce a proper earset.

There are also veterinary procedures to "fix" improper earsets, although no reputable breeder will go to those extremes.

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)

Von Willebrand disease is an inherited bleeding disorder. In Shelties, affected dogs as a general rule are not viable and do not live long.

Read this article for more information on von Willebrand's in Shelties.

Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism (under-functioning of the thyroid) is being observed more frequently in Shelties. Clinical symptoms include hair loss or lack of coat, over or under-weight, and listlessness. Research is currently ongoing to further understand the thyroid.

Hip Dysplasia

Although small breed dogs are not usually plagued by hip dysplasia, it has been identified in Shelties. Hip dysplasia occurs when the head of the femur and the acetabulum do not fit together correctly, frequently causing pain and/or lameness. Hip dysplasia is thought to be genetic and for this reason reputable breeders will have their dogs' hips x-rayed and certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.


Sheltie full profile.
Sheltie full profile.

The Sheltie came from the Shetland Islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. Unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their larger counterparts, this breed was not developed by selectively breeding the Rough Collie for smaller and smaller sizes. Rather, it is the result of the intermingling of Border Collies and possibly several other herding breeds over the past several centuries.

Its exact origins are not known, they are thought to be the result of Scandinavian herding dogs, with crosses to the ancestors of the Border Collie and Rough Collie. There have also thought to been crosses to the Greenland Yaki dog and the Icelandic Dog. Later crosses include early 19th century Pomeranians, which were larger than the Pomeranians of today, Papillions, and a Corgi-like dog. In the late 19th century, to early 20th century, crosses to the Rough Collie was made to preserve the original type. It was at this time that the Shetland Sheepdog was known as the Shetland Collie.

The year 1909 marked the initial recognition of the Sheltie by the English Kennel Club, with the first registered Sheltie being a bitch called Badenock Rose. The first Sheltie to be registered by the American Kennel Club was "Lord Scott" in 1911.

Ironically, the Shetland Sheepdog is only rarely found in Shetland, having been replaced by the Border Collie.


In their size group, the breed dominates dog agility competitions. They also excel at competitive obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding. Participating in such a sport will satisfy a Sheltie's needs for mental and physical exercise.

Sable and white Shelties at one and half years and at 6 months. Professional grooming typically gives a fluffier coat than these. The puppy has a transitional "puppy fuzz" coat.
Sable and white Shelties at one and half years and at 6 months. Professional grooming typically gives a fluffier coat than these. The puppy has a transitional "puppy fuzz" coat.


Shelties have a double coat. The topcoat consists of long, straight, water-repellent hair, which provides protection from cold and the elements. The undercoat is short, furry, and very dense in order to help keep the dog warm. The Sheltie is usually a clean dog and should only need to be brushed once or twice a week (it is helpful to spray-mist with water when brushing). Mats can be commonly found behind the ears, under the elbow on each front leg, and in the fluffy fur on the hind legs (the "skirts").

Although its coat might appear to be a time-consuming task, a once-weekly, but thorough, brushing is all that is needed, though more frequent groomings and trimmings will contribute to a beautiful and tidy coat. Shelties 'blow' coat usually twice a year, often at spring and fall, and should be groomed more often at those times. A good brushing with an undercoat rake, which removes the dead and loose hair from its coat daily should reduce the amount of hair that is shed.

It is easiest to teach a dog to tolerate, or even enjoy, grooming if they are shown that it is a pleasurable thing from a young age. Breeders usually teach the dogs to lie on their side, be brushed, and then flip over to the other side.

Toenails and hair between the pads need to be trimmed every couple of weeks to ensure traction and to prevent mud and snow from balling up on the feet.

Show dogs may require more frequent brushing to keep their coats in top condition. Regular brushing encourages undercoat growth, distributes healthful oils produced by the skin, and prevents sores known as "hotspots" which can occur when dead undercoat is allowed to accumulate close to the skin. Show dogs also require trims to certain parts of the coat, including shaping the ears, the topskull, the jawline, paws and topline. To see a detailed explanation of how to correctly trim a Shetland Sheepdog, refer to the book "Sheltie Talk."

Most Shelties learn to love the attention that grooming provides, if the routine is started when the dog is still young.


As with any dog, Shelties should be screened for inheritable genetic diseases before breeding. Both male and female should be tested for thyroid problems, von Willebrands disease and brucellosis, as well as have hip x-rays cleared by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and eyes cleared by CERF. Like other dog breeds, Shelties should only be bred if they are worthy examples of the breed with something to contribute to the bettering of the gene pool. Ideally a dog should hold at least a title from the AKC in conformation; performance titles are icing on the cake.

Breeding colors is also a problem for many beginning breeders. Certain color combinations can produce unwanted or potentially harmful results, such as a blue merle to blue merle breeding, the result of which can be deaf and blind white puppies (called the lethal white syndrome.) A tri-color and bi-color are the only two colors that can safely be bred to any other color. By breeding a sable and white to a blue merle, the result can be an unwanted sable merle. A tri-color to a pure-for-sable (a sable and white which can produce only other sable and whites), will produce only sable and whites, but they will be tri-factored sable and whites (which means they have the tri-gene.) There are many more examples of breeding for color, so a good breeder will research what genes each dog carries. There are many different genes contributing to the different colors of the Sheltie, including the bi gene, the merling gene, the Maltese dilution gene, the smut gene, the sable gene, and the tricolor gene.

Showing Requirements

As with all breeds of dogs there is a certain set of rules that must be followed in order to show them and these vary by country. For example in the United States under American Kennel Club standards, Shetland Sheepdogs must be within the required height of 13-16 inches at the withers for both males and females. Both male and female must be sexually intact to show, except in the Veteran's class. A complete description of the ideal Sheltie can be found in the American Kennel Club's breed standard.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu (柴犬 shiba inu or shiba ken) is the smallest of the six original and distinct breeds of dog from Japan.

A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting.It is similar in appearance to the Akita, though much smaller in stature.

Inu is the Japanese word for dog, but the "Shiba" prefix's origin are less clear. The word shiba usually refers to a type of red shrub. This leads some to believe that the Shiba was named with this in mind, either because the dogs were used to hunt in wild shrubs, or because the most common color of the Shiba Inu is a red color similar to that of the shrubs. However, in old Japanese, the word shiba also had the meaning of "small", thus this might be a reference to the dog's small size. Therefore, the Shiba Inu is sometimes translated as "Little Brushwood Dog".


Shibas range in height from 14.5 to 16.5 inches (37 to 42 cm) at the withers for males, and 13.5 to 15.5 inches (34 to 39 cm) for females, with males weighing approximately 23 lb (10 kg), and females approximately 17 lb (8 kg). Height or weight outside of this range is a disqualifier in the show ring.

Coat and color

Creamy white is a color not allowed by any major kennel club
Creamy white is a color not allowed by any major kennel club

Shiba Inu have double coats, with a straight outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat that is blown generally two times a year, producing a relatively large amount of fur given the size of the dog. Shedding normally occurs at the beginning or end of each season. However, between seasonal sheddings Shibas generally shed in smaller quantities and require regular brushing.

Shiba may be red, black and tan, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or grey undercoat. They may also be creamy white or pinto, though this color is not allowed in the show ring as the markings known as "urajiro" are unable to be seen. The urajiro markings are defined as a pattern of white in contrast to the dog's primary coat color that exists on the underside of the Shiba.


Shibas are generally independent and intelligent dogs. Some owners struggle with obedience training, but like many dogs, socialization at a young age can greatly affect temperament. Traits such as independence and intelligence are often associated with ancient dog breeds, such as the Shiba Inu. Some shibas must always be on a leash, but with the proper upbringing, a shiba's loyalty will keep the dog with its owner for life.

Look up artlessness in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

From the Japanese breed standard:

The dog has a spirited boldness and are fiercely proud with a good nature and a feeling of artlessness. The Shiba is able to move quickly with nimble, elastic steps.

The terms "spirited boldness" , "good nature" and "artlessness" have subtle interpretations that have been the subject of much commentary.

The Shiba is a fastidious breed and feels the need to maintain themselves in a clean state. They can often be seen licking their paws and legs much like a cat. They generally go out of their way to keep their coats clean, and while walking will avoid stepping in puddles, mud and dirt. Because of their fastidious nature, the Shiba puppy is easy to housebreak and in many cases will housebreak themselves. Having their owner simply place them outside after meal times and naps is generally enough to teach the Shiba the appropriate method of toileting.

A distinguishing characteristic of the breed is the so-called "shiba scream". When sufficiently provoked or unhappy, the dog will produce a loud, high pitched scream.


Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest and most "primitive" dog breeds, dating back to the third century B.C.

Originally, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt and flush small game. However, it is now primarily kept as a pet both in Japan and Abroad.

In 1936, the Shiba Inu was declared a natural treasure of Japan through the Cultural Properties Act. Despite efforts to preserve the breed, the Shiba nearly became extinct during World War II due to a combination of bombing raids and a post-war distemper epidemic. All subsequent dogs were bred from the only three surviving bloodlines, known as the San'in, Mino, and Shinshu.

In 1954, an armed service family brought the first Shiba Inu to America. In 1979, the first recorded litter was born in the United States. The Shiba was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992 and added to the AKC Non-Sporting Group in 1993.


Health conditions known to affect this breed are glaucoma, cataracts, hip dysplasia, and luxating patella. Shibas are also prone to food allergies. Epilepsy is also becoming common in several bloodlines in Australia and the USA. Overall, however, they are of great genetic soundness and few shibas are diagnosed with genetic defects in comparison to other dog breeds.Their average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.

Shiba Inus in Popular Culture

  • The Shiba Inu is featured in the "Labrador and Friends" edition of the Nintendogs pet simulation video game, and can be found in all "...and Friends" editions released outside Japan. This edition of the game was originally released as "Nintendogs: Shiba and Friends" in Japan, the Shiba being the more recognisable breed in that country.
  • A Shiba Inu also appears in the video game Silent Hill 2 in one of the game's multiple endings. In this "joke" ending, it is revealed that a Shiba Inu was manipulating events from behind the scenes, much to the surprise and anguish of the game's protagonist.
  • Several Shiba Inus, including the cowardly Sasuke, are featured in the Japanese series Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin and its sequel Ginga Densetsu Weed.
  • Shibas recently have been featured in Belvedere (vodka) ads.
  • A Shiba Inu (Boomer) is given as a gift at the end of the Stargate SG-1Singularity. episode



A Shih-poo is a mixed breed dog that is produced by mating a Poodle and a Shih Tzu. It is one of many Poodle hybrids that have been bred in an attempt to combine the characteristics of the Poodle, such as its intelligence and low-shed coat, with the desirable traits of another breed- in this case the Shih Tzu. Some owners prefer Shih-Poo's over Shih Tzus because the snout of the dog is less pushed in, therefore alleviating many breathing problems that shih-tzus can experience. The Shih-poo is also known as the Pooshih, not to be confused with the Poo-shi, which is a Poodle and Shiba Inu cross. Shih-poos have notable references in popular culture .


The Shih-poos' (as with most mixed-breed dogs) appearance varies significantly. It will take characteristics from both of its parents. One consistent trait of the breed is its size, normally weighing about 10 lb. It is long coated, though its coat texture can be straight, curly, or wavy. Normally the Shih-poo's general build will be somewhere between that of its parents. It can be any colour or colour combination. Partially because of its widely varying appearance it is not recognized by any major kennel club.They are very adorable and a kind dog.


The Shih-poos' parent breeds share many temperament traits, more so than appearance. Therefore it is easier to generalise their personality. They are normally intelligent, alert, friendly, and devoted to their owners though they can often be shy around strangers and like many small dogs they need to be properly socialized around young children. They are demonstrative and seem to enjoy being fawned on and being the centre of attention, doing poorly in kennels because they want their owner's company. The Shih-poo tend to be very sociable with other dogs and they also do well around other pets of all species.

Shih-poo's are usually very intelligent and eager to please their owners. These traits make them very trainable. They learn quickly and seems to enjoy showing off tricks. They can be highly vocal and tend to bark readily, this makes it a good watch dog. However, without proper training barking can become excessive.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu (Traditional Chinese; Simplified Chinese; Pinyin: Shīzi Gǒu; Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou; literally "Lion Dog"), in English pronounced /'ʃi·tsu/ ("shee tzoo"), is a dog breed which originated in China. The name is both singular and plural. The spelling "Shih Tzu", most commonly used for the breed, is according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The Shih Tzu is reported to be the oldest and smallest of the Tibetan holy dogs, its vaguely lion-like look being associated with the Snowlion. It is also often known as the "Xi Shi quan" (西施犬), based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China.


The Shih Tzu characterized by its long, flowing double coat; sturdy build; intelligence; and a friendly, energetic, lively attitude. In breeding all coat colors are allowed. The Shih Tzu's hair can be styled either in a short summer cut, or kept long as is compulsory for conformation shows. Shih Tzu do not have fur like many other breeds; they have hair similar to a human's. Instead of shedding, Shih Tzu lose hair gradually, much like humans lose hair in the shower or while grooming.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) Shih Tzu breed standard calls for the dog to have a short snout, large eyes, and a palm-like tail that waves above its torso. The ideal Shih Tzu to some is height at withers 9 to 10 1/2 inches. The dog should stand no less than 8 inches and not more than 11 inches tall. The Shih Tzu should never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Regardless of size or gender, the Shih Tzu should always be solid and compact, and carry good weight and substance for its size range.

Breed variations

The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Shih Tzu Club (ASTC) defines the Shih Tzu as a dog that weighs between 9 to 16 pounds as the official breed standard. Descriptions like "imperial", "teacup", "tiny teacup" are used, but dogs that fit such descriptions are often an undersized or underdeveloped Shih Tzu. Both the AKC and ASTC consider these variances to not be in conformity with the official breed standard. These tiny variances are also not what was defined as a standard by the Chinese imperial palace or by the professional circuit. Breeders who deal in designer dogs are not eligible for membership in some clubs. For example, the American Shih Tzu Club, the official guardian of the Shih Tzu breed standard, denies membership to such breeders.

Below are the terms some breeders use for mixed breeds which include a Shih Tzu in their ancestry.

  • Shiranian: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Pomeranian (also called "Shihpom").
  • Shih-poo: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle (also called "Shizapoo").
  • Shih-wawa: a cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua (also called "ShiChi").
  • Malti-Tzu: a cross between a Maltese and Shih Tzu (also called a "Mal-Shi").
  • Peki-Tzu: a cross breed between a Pekingese and a Shih Tzu

Life span and health issues

The life span of a Shih Tzu is 11-15 years, although some variation from this range is possible. Some health issues common among the breed are portosystemic liver shunt, renal dysplasia, and hip dysplasia- in Standard sizes. In addition, they also can suffer from various eye problems. Shih Tzus (and many other breeds) may present signs of allergies to red dye #40, and owners should respond to scratching in the absence of fleas by eliminating pet foods that contain this commonly used additive.


A Shih Tzu puppy
A Shih Tzu puppy

The Shih Tzu requires a little more care than some other breeds, and potential owners who are looking for a low maintenance dog should probably choose another breed. The area around the eyes should be cleaned gently each day, with cotton and warm water. Providing the Shih Tzu with bottled water (or water that does not contain chlorine) helps to keep eye mucus to a minimum. Most Shih Tzu enjoy exercising outdoors and, when exercised regularly, have plenty of stamina. Most enjoy a long walk, although they are also quite happy to run around the house. A dog whose coat is allowed to grow out needs daily brushing to avoid tangles; a short haircut, also known as a pet trim, avoids this extra level of care. However, since the breed is obviously adapted to a cool climate, letting the coat grow out for the colder seasons is appropriate. Shih Tzu are considered to be brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs. As such, they are very sensitive to high temperatures. This is why airlines that ship dogs will not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the planned itinerary exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24°C) . Additionally, like many other breeds, the claws need close attention.


The Shih Tzu has been around for a long time. The Shih Tzu was bred to bark when people or animals approached the palace of the Emperor of China: this is allegedly to alert people to the presence of unwanted visitors. It is believed that this ornamental breed was created by breeding the Bei-jing gou (Pekingese) with a Tibetan dog breed, the Lhasa Apso. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog. The Shih Tzu is also known as the Chinese/Tibetan Lion Dog or the Chrysanthemum Dog. It is called the chrysanthemum dog because its face looks very much like the flower.

Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. The Professor created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". From this dog evolved the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.

James E. Mumford described the breed in an American Shih Tzu magazine, giving a picture of the versatile character of the Shih Tzu: "Nobody knows how the Ancient Eunuchs managed to mix together…And now here comes the recipe: A dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man (Chinese), a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear and the rest dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.

Shikoku (dog)

The Shikoku ( 四国犬; alternative names: Kochi-ken, Mikawa Inu, Japanese Wolfdog) is a native, primitive Japanese breed of dog from Shikoku island that is similar to a Shiba Inu. The Shikoku is not a recognized breed of the American Kennel Club, but it is recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club, an organization recognized by AKC as an official foreign registry (AKC recognizes the Shiba Inu, however). The shikoku is also in the Canadian Kennel Club miscellaneous class awaiting full recognition. In 1937 the Japanese Crown recognized the Shikoku dog as a living "natural monument" of Japan.

Comparison to other Japanese breeds

The Shikoku is one of the native Japanese breeds intermediate in size between the large Akita Inu and the small Shiba Inu; all are within the Spitz family of dogs. The Shikoku was bred mainly for hunting deer and boar in the mountainous districts of Kochi Prefecture. It is sometimes called "Kochi-ken" and, along with the Kai dog, referred to as a deerhound.

A study of the 1930s carried out by the Japanese cynologist Haruo Isogai classified all native Japanese dog breeds into three categories: large-, medium-, and small-sized. The Shikoku belongs to the Shika-inus, the medium-sized dogs. Other medium-sized dogs are the Kai Inu, the Ainou and the Kishu Inu. They are all very similar with overlapping colors and only minor differences in size and morphology.

Characteristics and Temperament

It is cautious and brave with good judgment. It is also loyal to its master. It has sharper features than most Japanese dogs and is sometimes allowed to chase wild boar so it will maintain its nature.

Shikoku dogs are tough and sufficiently agile to run through a mountainous region. They are the ideal companion for active outdoor people. They are very energetic and active outside but they are calm and quiet indoors. The Shikoku is a very intelligent dog and a quick learner. They are not as stubborn and independent as the other native Japanese breeds, but still it is not a dog for every person. The Shikoku stands 17-21 inches (43-53cm) high and comes in brindle (white, red, black) or solid red. The body confirmation is typically of the spitz-type: the square body, the wedge-shaped head, the prick triangular ears, and feathered curled tail.

The Shikoku dog is somewhat unique in its appearance. It looks similar to an Alaskan Husky dog physically, but differs in its size and color. The Shikoku Inu, when healthy, ranges from thirty-five to fifty-five pounds (male) and from seventeen to twenty-one pounds (female). This dog would be considered medium sized. The Shikoku Inu can be seen in a variety of colors, sometimes even mixed ones. These colors consist usually of a light brown, a light red-brown, or a light black-brown. In addition, there is a cream colored coat that tends to be very rare. In all of these colors there is usually a mixture of white found around the underside of the body, near the eyes, snout, and legs. The Shikoku tends to shed its coat at least one to two times a year. The dog has a fairly thick coat with pointed ears and a curved tail. Since this breed is so rare, any of the variety of color combinations would be considered a prize.


Three varieties of this breed have been identified: the Awa, the Hongawa, and the Hata all named after the area where they were bred within the Shikoku prefecture. The Hongawa breeding area being the most remote and least accessible, the dogs of the Hongawa line maintained the highest degree of purity and was considered the best type.


With a life span of ten to twelve years, Shikoku need to be properly taken care of, like every other dog. Health is a big part of the Shikoku's life, because dogs such as these suffer from common sicknesses when not given the right things to eat, or not getting enough time outside . Common sicknesses in shikoku happen in the bones, joints, ears, muscles, and nerves. Disease also occurs from things such as trauma and infection. Other more serious issues relate to heart, lung, digestive, and urinary problems.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog

The Shiloh Shepherd was developed in the 1970s and 1980s to highlight some traits particular breeders perceived to be represented (and over time, lost) in the original German Shepherd Dog (GSD). They are much larger, on average, than both original and modern German Shepherd Dogs. They are generally good family companions, considered intelligent and confident.


Plush Shiloh Shepherd Dog
Plush Shiloh Shepherd Dog

The Shiloh Shepherd is designed to have a regal bearing showing both its intelligence and strength. Balance of elegance and strength is the key to their distinct appearance and fluid movement. Their head is broad and slightly domed with a gradually tapering muzzle; bite alignment is important since either an over or undershot bite is considered a disqualifying fault. Their broad and muscular backs are straight with a gradual slope from the withers that complement their full chest. Tails are long, plush and slightly curved; they may show a more pronounced curve when the dog is excited or exercising but should never be a ring or a hook shape. Ears should be firm, triangular and well cupped; they are carried erect when at attention.

Size Standards

The Shiloh Shepherd is powerfully built and well-balanced, with proud carriage and smooth, effortless gait. The male Shiloh stands 30 inches (76 cm) or more in height with a minimum of 28 inches (71 cm); he weighs 140 to 160 pounds (72.5-82kg kg) with a minimum of 120 pounds (63.5 kg). The female is smaller, standing 28 inches (71 cm) or more in height with a minimum of 26 inches (66 cm) and weighing 100 to 120 pounds (45-54.5 kg) with a minimum of 80 pounds (36 kg). With their even proportions, Shilohs will appear longer than they are tall.

Smooth-coated Shiloh.
Smooth-coated Shiloh.

Coat Types

Shilohs come in two distinct coat varieties: the smooth or double coat and the plush coat. The smooth coat should be of medium length and lie close to the body; the hair at the neck and on the back of the fore and hind legs may be longer and thicker than other areas. The outer coat will be dense, straight, and harsh. The plush coat is longer, with a soft undercoat and a distinctive "mane" which extends to the chest. The body coat should not be over 5 inches (12.5 cm) long but will have some feathering inside the ears and behind the legs which should not be over 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

The smooth coat is easier to groom, though the plush coat seems to shed less. For show purposes, plush coats require trimming of tufts that grow between the toes and pads. Coats that are open, wooly or curly are serious faults.

Variant Colors

Shilohs come in many different colors. They may be bi or duals with shades of black with tan, golden tan, reddish tan, silver, or cream. They also can be various shades of rich golden, silver, red, dark brown, dark grey, or black sable. Solid black and solid white are also acceptable, but for show purposes, the nose, lips, and eye rims must be solid black. Blue and liver colors are not bred as they are considered disqualifying faults.

The Flying Trot.
The Flying Trot.

Shilohs of any color may have a small white blaze on the chest or some white on the toes, which should blend in with the lighter color of their coat. White in any other area is considered a fault. Whatever the coat color, a Shiloh is always vibrant since pale, washed-out colours are discouraged. Their eyes are always a shade of dark to light brown; no other eye colors are bred.

Movement and Gait

The Shiloh's gait is smooth and rhythmic. Their long strides and flowing motion require good muscular development. Even while in a flying trot, the straightness of their back is maintained. The full trot is very steady and level, without any swaying or rolling. To help keep their balance, their feet are brought in toward their middle line when running. Any faults in movement or carriage are considered serious.


Shilohs are extremely loving and loyal.
Shilohs are extremely loving and loyal.

Ideal as companions, Shilohs have loyal and outgoing personalities. They were developed to be gentle and loving, able to work with animals and children, while still possessing a trainable drive for particular working applications, such as assistive service, obedience, or herding. With proper socialization they adapt easily to many environments and are stable. Any form of extreme aggression or shyness is severely penalized per the breed standard.

They are frequent recipients of the AKCs "Canine Good Citizen" Award and have also earned the Companion Dog title, the Companion Dog Excellent title, the Utility Dog title and been certified as Reading Education Assistance Dogs.

Working Shiloh Shepherds

The Search and Rescue Redwood Pack in Southern California.
The Search and Rescue Redwood Pack in Southern California.

Using their speed and balance, Shilohs perform agility related activities with ease. However, due to slower bone growth these large animals shouldn't perform strenuous obstacles or jumping until they reach maturity. Shilohs also have great herding instincts. Their courage and confidence make them excellent partners in the arena. Shilohs have been recognized by the American Herding Breed Association(AHBA) since 2004. The AHBA's preliminary test for Herding Instinct is a great way to determine if your Shiloh has the instincts and interest for herding.

Even a child can show a Shiloh.
Even a child can show a Shiloh.

Their unique gentleness and calm temperament also allow them to be highly responsive to therapy work. Organizations that provide Animal Assisted Activities often require stringent temperament testing as part of the application process.

The Shiloh's intelligence and willingness to please make them highly suitable for work as assistance dogs. They respond quickly to training and retain the capacity to make independent decisions when situations change.

Since they are not only biddable, but capable of following complex directions, Shilohs can excel at obedience competitions. The strong bond with their owner makes them highly responsive to this type of work and their satisfaction over a job well done make it a pleasant experience for both Shiloh and owner.

Shilohs excel in the show ring and are so easy to handle that even children can be successful in the sport. Currently Shilohs can be shown in the American Rare Breed Association, the International All Breed Canine Association, Rarities, Inc., the Rare Breed Club of South Western Ontario, the National Kennel Club Inc. and the National Canine Association as well as special shows by the two Shiloh dog clubs and an annual Homecoming held by the breed founder.

In March 2007, "Gandalf", a Shiloh trained in search and rescue, received national media attention after finding a Boy Scout lost in the mountains of North Carolina.


Shilohs have an average life span of ten to twelve years, not unlike the German Shepherd breed.
Shilohs have an average life span of ten to twelve years, not unlike the German Shepherd breed.

There are two main areas of concern for this breed: gastrointestinal problems and skeletal disorders.

Shilohs may experience problems with bloat, a condition where the stomach becomes over-stretched by gas the dog is unable to release. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome has also been reported and can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. Both conditions are serious and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

As with many other large breeds, Shilohs can also be susceptible to hip dysplasia, a genetic disorder characterized by incomplete growth of the hip. Almost all large breeds suffer from some skeletal disorder, due to the fact that the immense weight of their body adds pressure to the hips, limbs and bones. While more rare, there have been some instances of osteochondritis, a condition where a piece of bone or cartilage breaks away, causing pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Skeletal disorders often require long term treatment and therapy.

Panosteitis, similar to growing pains, is a self limiting condition exhibited by shifting leg lameness that may occur during a Shiloh's growth stages. As is common in other large breeds, onset can be sudden but episodes usually resolve within a few weeks and cease when the dog reaches physical maturity.


German Shepherd Dog used as Foundation stock, circa 1978
German Shepherd Dog used as Foundation stock, circa 1978

The Shiloh Shepherd was developed by Tina M. Barber of Shiloh Shepherds (kennel) in New York State. In 1974, she began developing a unique line of German Shepherds. Her goal was to preserve the type of dog she remembered from her childhood in Germany; dogs that are good family companions, exceptionally intelligent, both physically and mentally sound, and large in size.

She separated her foundation stock from the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1990, and the FIC agreed to register these dogs as a separate breed. The name chosen for these dogs was "Shiloh Shepherd", named after the kennel of origin. Shortly thereafter, the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc. (SSDCA, Inc.) was formed to preserve and protect the future welfare of the breed. In 1991, the International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR) was established and took over all registry functions from the FIC.

In 1993, The Complete Computer Place (TCCP), using a specially designed database program, officially started to maintain the records. Nine generations of pedigree and LMX (Littermate X-Ray Program) data were compiled and all past entries that had been kept in paper files were computerized. The ISSR continues to use this program to document all vital data on each Shiloh Shepherd registered in its registry. Ms. Barber continues to be active in the development of the breed as the President of the SSDCA, Inc. and Breed Warden for the ISSR.

In 1997, during a period when the SSDCA was inactive, The International Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club (ISSDC) was opened. In 1998, the ISSDC opened their own registry, calling it the ISSDCr. The Shiloh Shepherd Breed Association (SSBA) was opened shortly after and assumed registry functions for the ISSDCr. The National Shiloh Breed Registry (NSBR) was established in 2001 and The Shiloh Shepherd Registry (TSSR) in 2002. In 2004, the ISSDC was reorganized as a parent club for the NSBR, the SSBA, and the TSSR.

As with many breeds, there are significant differences of opinion between the founding club/registry and subsequently established club/registries.

Famous Shiloh Shepherds

In March of 2007, images of Gandalf, an ISSR registered Shiloh Shepherd owned by Misha Marshall, were featured prominently in news coverage of the rescue of missing boy scout Michael Auberry. Gandalf was credited with detecting Michael's scent and alerted rescuers.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia, belonging to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly-furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears and distinctive markings.

An active, energetic and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic, it was imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and spread from there into the United States and Canada, initially as a sled dog. It rapidly acquired the status of a family pet and a show-dog, no longer as much used as a sled dog as formerly; today it has been largely replaced in dogsled racing by crossbreds.


Siberian Huskies share many outward similarities with the Alaskan Malamute as well as many other spitz breeds such as the Samoyed, which has a comparable history to the Huskies. Siberians have a thicker coat than most other breeds of dog. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, usually with white paws and legs, facial markings, and tail tip. The most common colors are black and white, grey and white, copper-red and white, and pure white, though many individuals have brown, reddish, or biscuit shadings and some are piebald spotted. Striking masks, spectacles, and other facial markings occur in wide variety. They tend to have a wolf-like appearance. Though the breed is not related to the wolf any closer than any other breed of dog, it is thought they maintained this appearance through isolated breeding of Siberia.

A copper-coloured "bi-eyed" Siberian Husky exhibiting "snow nose"
A copper-coloured "bi-eyed" Siberian Husky exhibiting "snow nose"


Their eyes are brown, blue, black, amber, green, hazel, or light brown. The light blue eye color is also part of the characteristic, but not completely dominant genetically. The breed may have one eye brown or hazel and the other blue (called "bi-eyed") or may have blue and another color mixed in the iris of one or both eyes; this latter trait, heterochromia, is called "parti-eyed" by Siberian enthusiasts. This is one of the few breeds for which different-colored eyes are allowed in the show ring. The Siberian Husky is one of the few dog breeds where blue eyes are common. No preference to eye color is given in the breed show ring, as it does not influence the dog's ability to pull a sled.

Ears and tail

It's ears are triangular, well furred, medium-size, and erect. Their ears are soft and they have very good hearing. Its fox-like brush tail is carried in a sickle curve over the back, and trails behind the dog in motion. Most Siberian Huskies have a white tip on the end of their tail.


The Siberian Husky's coat consists of two layers, a dense, cashmere-like undercoat and a longer coarser topcoat consisting of short, straight guard hairs. This top coat can actually be two different colors, and it's not unusual to find it growing white then black then white on the same piece of fur. Siberian Huskies shed their undercoat two times a year or with the change of seasons; the process is commonly referred to as "blowing their coat". Otherwise, grooming is minimal; bathing is normally unnecessary as the coat sheds dirt. When grooming, most of the work needs to be done on the rear legs, as this is an area which does not naturally lose as much fur as the rest of the animal. The dog should be brushed when the fur starts to clump. Healthy Siberians have little odor. A properly groomed coat is also important especially if the dog has an affinity for playing in water, as the risk of developing fungal infections with a wet undercoat should be taken into consideration if the husky has not been properly brushed. Their coat can be likened to that of their closest relative the Samoyed but is not as big or dense.


Like all dogs, the Husky's nose is normally cool and moist. In some instances, Siberians can exhibit what is called 'snow nose' or 'winter nose'. Technically called "hypopigmentation", it results from loss of sunlight, and causes the nose (or parts of it) to fade to brown or pink in winter. The normal color returns as summer approaches. Snow nose also occurs in other light-coated breeds; the color change can become permanent in older dogs, especially red & white and cream colored Siberians, though it is not associated with disease.


There is a large variation in size among Huskies, and breed standards state that height at the withers and weight should always be proportional to each other. The approximate measurements:

  • Males
    • Height: 21 to 23.5 inches (53.5 to 60 cm)
    • Weight: 45 to 60 lb (20.5 to 28 kg)
  • Females
    • Height: 20 to 22 in. (50.5 to 56 cm)
    • Weight: 35 to 50 lb (15.5 to 23 kg)


A blue-eyed Siberian
A blue-eyed Siberian

Despite their wolf-like appearance, Siberian Huskies generally have a gentle temperament. Being a working breed, Siberians are very energetic and enjoy the ability to explore and run. That, combined with their striking appearance, has made them popular as both family pets and as show dogs. Siberians can be extremely affectionate, curious (like all dogs), and welcoming to people, characteristics that usually render them poor guard dogs. Properly socialized Siberians are most often quite gentle with children.

The harsh conditions in which Siberians originated rewarded a strong prey drive, as food was often scarce. Consequently, Siberians may instinctively attack animals such as house cats, birds, squirrels, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, quail, and even deer, and have been known to savage sheep. However, many households enjoy harmonious, mixed "packs" of cats and Siberians; this works best when the dogs are raised with cats from puppyhood.

A 2000 study of dog bites resulting in human fatalities by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found fifteen such fatalities (6% of the total) were caused by "husky-type" dogs (excluding Alaskan Malamutes) between 1979 and 1997. Most Huskies are not especially aggressive, but some dogs may have stronger prey drive than most, which may manifest itself in aggression towards humans.


As with any dog breed, Siberian Huskies do have some qualities which some pet owners may find undesirable. Despite their affectionate nature, Siberian Huskies are not as subservient and eager to please their owners as some other popular breeds, and will sometimes refuse to perform a task unless given a better "motive" than simply pleasing their trainer. Siberian Huskies can be challenging to train due to their strong will and independent thinking. Proper training requires persistence and patience. Siberian Huskies are not generally recommended for first time dog owners, as their strong will and desire to run are difficult for inexperienced owners to manage.

Siberian Huskies have strong running instincts and therefore for their own safety should never be left to run free off-leash. They have little "homing instinct" and will run for long distances, and therefore should always be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard. Siberians can also dig large holes and will show considerable ingenuity in escaping from fenced runs. As sled dogs they have a very strong desire to pull, thus good obedience training is recommended.

As mentioned they are known as escape artists, and they are a very common breed to run away. They will typically run and run and then 20 miles later realize they have lost their owner, but too far away to ever come back. But not only are they able to dig underneath fences, they are also known to jump over fences higher than 3 feet, and potentially even 4-5 feet tall fences. When playing with other dogs they will jump a lot, and sometimes even jump over other dogs.

Siberians require exercise on a daily basis and a secure fence at all times. Although they do sometimes bark, they are more frequently known to "yodel", "howl", or "whoo", often vocalizing when excited, back-talking to their owners, or to initiate some play or challenge behavior with either human or canine companions.


Siberians are normally rather healthy dogs, typically living from eleven to fifteen years of age. Health issues in the breed are eye troubles (cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal dystrophy among others), allergies, and cancer in older animals. Hip dysplasia occurs but is not a major concern in the breed with high levels of protein and fat, particularly when used for dogsledding. That said, Siberian Huskies are fuel-efficient dogs, consuming less food than other dogs of similar size and activity level. The diet must be adjusted to their level of work and exercise; obesity can be a problem for underexercised, overfed pets. Due to their origins, Huskies do require some amount of fish oil in their diet, primarily for their coat and nails, which can become brittle without the fish oil. Most trainers/hobbyists recommend feeding Siberians sardines as a means to introduce fish oil into their diet, though flaxseed oil can be considered a less-expensive alternative to sardines.


Because of their striking looks and generally friendly disposition, Huskies are often an attractive option for those who are unfamiliar with the unique requirements of the breed. As a result, Huskies are often adopted into homes that are ill-equipped. Huskies are attractive, athletic, and friendly. Huskies are not a good fit for low-energy households. Huskies are much better in all circumstances when raised by one owner and stay with that owner.


It is widely believed to have originated exclusively with the Coastal Chukchi tribes of the east-Siberian peninsula. There is evidence, however, that Siberian dogs were also imported from the Koryak and Kamchadal tribes. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog like their Samoyed cousins.Dogs from the Anadyr River and surrounding regions were imported into Alaska from 1908 (and for the next two decades) during the gold rush for use as sleddogs, especially in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes (AAS), a 408 mile (657 km) distance dogsled race from Nome to Candle and back. Smaller, faster and more enduring than the 100 to 120 pound (45 to 54 kg) freighting dogs then in general use, they immediately dominated the Nome Sweepstakes.

Leonhard Seppala, a Norwegian fisherman turned gold miner, became involved with Siberian dogs when he was asked by his employer to train a group of females and pups for the 1914 AAS. After a poor start his first year, Seppala dominated the races thereafter. In 1925 he was a key figure in the 1925 serum run to Nome which delivered diphtheria serum from Nenana by dogsled after the city was stricken by an epidemic. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this famous delivery. This delivery is depicted in the children's movie Balto. The following year two groups of Seppala’s dogs toured the USA, starting a mania for sleddogs and dogsled racing, particularly in the New England states. (To this day the University of Connecticut basketball team is still known as the UConn Huskies.)

In 1930 the last Siberians were exported as the Soviet government closed the borders of Siberia to external trade. The same year saw recognition of the Siberian Husky by the American Kennel Club. Nine years later the breed was first registered in Canada. Today’s Siberian Huskies registered in North America are largely the descendants of the 1930 Siberia imports and of Leonhard Seppala’s dogs.

Dogsled racing

A team of white Siberians mushing
A team of white Siberians mushing

Siberians are still used occasionally as sleddogs in dogsled racing but have been widely replaced by the more popular Alaskan Husky and hound-type crossbreeds that are specially bred and selected for speed and have less heavy coats. Freight Siberian Huskies were selectively bred to pull a medium load over long distances at a medium pace, and simply can't keep up with their faster counterparts. Siberians are still popular in races restricted to purebreds and are faster than other pure sled dog breeds such as the Samoyed and slower but much stronger Alaskan Malamute. Today the breed tends to divide along lines of “racing” Siberians versus “show” Siberians. The mixed breed, Alaskan Husky, has taken over much of the sledding world.

Apart from dog sled racing, they are very popular for recreational mushing and are also used for skijoring (one to three dogs pulling a skier) and European ski-pulka. A few owners use them for dog-packing and hiking. They have also seen use as therapy dogs.

In the United Kingdom, husky racing on forest tracks using specially designed tricycles, known as rigs, instead of sledges is popular during the winter months.

Silken Windhound

The Silken Windhound is a rare American breed of dog, a member of the sighthound family.


A Silken Windhound, pictured next to the larger-sized Borzoi.
A Silken Windhound, pictured next to the larger-sized Borzoi.

The Silken Windhound is a graceful, small to medium-sized sighthound with a moderately long silky coat. This breed owes its unique appearance, elegant build, and the athleticism of a true coursing dog to champion Borzoi and Whippet ancestors. The Silken Windhound can be any combination of coat colors and markings, from spotted to solid, black and tan, saddled, brindle and sable, pure white and reds to deep black and blues, and a rainbow of colors in between.


A black and white Silken.
A black and white Silken.

Silken Windhounds are as comfortable in the sporting fields as they are on the couch at home with their humans. They are generally affectionate and playful, and make ideal family companions and good playmates for gentle children. They are unsuited as guard dogs due to their trusting and friendly nature. Like all sighthounds, Silkens excel in racing or lure coursing but have also proven to be intelligent and responsive enough to also enjoy less typical sighthound activities. There are successful agility, therapy, flyball and obedience Silkens, as well as those that perform as assistance dogs. They do well with smaller household pets indoors if socialized to them properly, but their sighthound nature means that many small, fast running animals in the field may be chased.


The Silken Windhound is a gentle, intelligent breed, they train easily and most effectively using reward and affection based training in short, positive sessions. Using positive training methods, Silkens will work eagerly and form strong relationships with their owners. Harsher training based on corrections do not work well with this breed, and will often create a fearful Silken rather than an obedient one. Like many in the sighthound family, most Silken Windhounds can slip out of a standard buckle collar, and the collar most often used with these hounds is a martingale dog collar, or a semi-slip collar.


With proper care, many Silken Windhounds will live into their late teens, with some living until they are 17 to 20. Bone and joint ailments like Hip dysplasia are generally not a problem, nor is bloat. However, some dogs in this breed are sensitive to Ivermectin and related drugs, and there have been some cases of cryptorchidism and also deafness and cataracts in geriatric dogs.


Breed founder Francie Stull showing off a Silken.
Breed founder Francie Stull showing off a Silken.

The Silken Windhound was created by Francie Stull, a successful breeder of top show and performance American Kennel Club (AKC) Borzoi and Deerhound who utilized her decades of experience with AKC hounds in the formation of this breed, combining the best aspects of some of the top performance Borzoi and Whippet bloodlines in the Americas. The first Silken Windhound litter was whelped in 1987, and the breed club was formed in 1999. Silken Windhounds now are located all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Silken Windhounds were bred to be a small to medium-sized sighthound. Like other members of their group, they hunt by sight, and can course game in open areas at high speeds.

A "straight race."
A "straight race."

Event Venues

In addition to specialty shows held worldwide, in the US, Silken Windhounds are welcome to show in the rare breed show venues Rarities, IABCA, and NCA, competing as part of the Hound groups. In Slovenia, the Silken Windhound is an accepted part of the Slovenian Kennel Club, member of the FCI, and also participates in the Hound group. Silken Windhounds are also able to participate in sighthound performance sports, and in addition to competing alongside other sighthounds in Finnish lure coursing and straight racing events, the ISWS has an established straight racing program that enables Silkens to race and win points towards their straight racing championships (SRC) in race events around the USA.

Silky Terrier / Australian Silky Terrier

Silky Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is an Australian breed of dog. It is classed in the Toy group in its country of origin and some other countries, but is classed as a terrier in Europe.


The average Australian Silky Terrier is about ten inches at the withers, and weighs about ten pounds(3-4 kg). Its head is longer than that of the Yorkshire Terrier but shorter than that of the Australian Terrier. The coat is five to six inches long(12-15 cm) with a silky texture.


This Silky Terrier has been dressed up by its owner.
This Silky Terrier has been dressed up by its owner.

Australian Silky Terriers are bred as house dogs, so tend to have a strong attachment to their owner and owner's family, coupled with a slight suspicion of strangers and strange dogs.

If a visitor is welcomed by the owner most will then completely accept the visitor and try to get attention from them.

These dogs are very sensitive to voice tone. A loud deep tone will frighten them, and a high squeaky shriek will make them freeze.

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The Australian Silky Terrier is friendly to all the family, but will usually attach itself to one member and be friendly with the rest. It will tolerate strangers, but no more than that. It will love children if raised with them, but it doesn't enjoy being fussed over or being treated like an animated toy and prefers to be treated as an equal.


The Silky is generally believed to have developed by crossing the Yorkshire Terrier with the Australian Terrier in Sydney in the 1890s, but breed historians point out that the Australian Terrier was itself still a developing breed at the time of the Silky's emergence, and, since no early records were kept (as is the case with so many dog breeds) it is likely that other crosses occurred as well. There were also breeding experiments with these crosses in the state of Victoria; it is suggested that Australian and Silky Terriers were first exhibited at the Melbourne Royal in 1872 as "Broken-coated Terriers, Black and Tan", however, the breed is not mentioned in The Dog in Australasia, Walter Beilby's 1897 book.

Certainly it is documented that whatever the outcrossing, puppies evidencing rough and silky coats appeared in the same litters at the turn of the 20th Century. The Australian Terrier, Harsh or Silky coated, was first exhibited at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1902.

An adult female Silky Terrier.
An adult female Silky Terrier.

Different breed standards appeared in the 1920s; in or about 1924 the Kennel Club requested a designation of Australian Terrier, Hard Coat and Australian Terrier, Soft Coat but the breeders rejected the proposal.

Before puppies were registered on the Stud Books, a judge was required to inspect litters to determine which puppies were to be registered as Sydney Silkies, which were Australian Terriers and which were Yorkshire Terriers.

20th Century canine council legislation brought an end to the crossbreeding; eventually Silky puppies were intrabred and the breed was stabilized.

The official name for the breed in Australia became the Australian Silky Terrier in 1955. The breed club was established in 1959.

Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a breed of dog that is a long, low terrier that is both hardy and dignified.


There are at least two versions of the history of the Skye terrier. It was before accepted that the Skye Terrier's origins are connected with a centuries old shipwreck. The story goes that early in the 1600's a Spanish ship wrecked on the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides. Some of the survivors of the shipwreck were Maltese dogs that mated with the local terriers, creating a new and unique breed of Terrier. But a text of Caius, written decades before the shipwreck, describes a very modern portrait of the Skye terrier, proving that the modern Skye terrier existed long time before the arrival of the Malteses :

"lap dogs which were brought out of the barbarous borders from the uttermost countryes northward, and they by reason of the length of their heare, make show neither face nor body, and yet these curres forsooth because they are so strange, are greatly set by, esteemed, taken up, and made of, in room of the spaniell gentle, or comforter".

So it is sure that the Skye terrier has inherited very few, or even not, characteristics of the Maltese. As an achondroplastic breed, and looking alike the Welsh corgi, it is believed that the Skye Terrier may have been a result of a crossing between the celtic terriers local to the area and the Swedish Vallhund of the Viking invaders. It may be that the Swedish Vallhund had mated with the local terriers centuries before Maltese dogs were said to have arrived, making both histories true.

The Skye Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1993.


The Skye is double coated, with a short, soft undercoat and a hard, straight topcoat, which must be flat against the body and free of curl. The ideal coat length is 5 1/2 inches (14 cm), with no extra credit for a longer coat. The shorter hair of the head veils the forehead and eyes, forming a moderate beard. The ears should be well feathered and, in prick-eared examples, the hair should fall like a fringe, accenting the form, and blending with the side locks.


Fawn, blue, dark or light grey, blonde, and black with black points (ears and muzzle) all occur. They may have any self colour, allowing for some shading of same colour on the body and a lighter undercoat, so long as the nose and ears are black. There should be no further patterning on the body, but a small white spot on the chest is permissible.


A statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a famously loyal Skye Terrier
A statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a famously loyal Skye Terrier

Except for the shape and size of the ears, there is no significant difference nor preference given between the prick- and drop-eared types. When prick, they are medium sized, carried high on the skull and angled slightly outwards. In the drop type, the ears are set lower, are larger, and should hang flat against the head, with little or no muscle movement forwards and backwards.


The Skye Terrier coat is resistant to tangling, and needs to be brushed at least once a week. The Skye should be generally kept natural and untrimmed; however, minor trimming of the coat between and around the toes and pads can help avoid problems due to trapped dampness or twigs, pebbles, mud, etc.


Being an achondroplastic dog breed with extremely short legs, the Skye Terrier has particular health concerns. The most preventable is often called Skye limp or Puppy limp, and it is due to premature closure of the distal radial growth plate. If a Skye is exercised too often, too young, especially before 8 months, they can damage their bone growth, leading to a painful limp and possibly badly bowed legs. Jumping up and down from objects, climbing over objects, running, even long walks, are all things to be avoided for the first 8 to 10 months to prevent later problems and allow for correct closure of the growth plate.

Degenerative disc disease is also a common problem in short-legged dogs, and as many as 10% of Skyes will suffer from it.

Mammary cancer is the leading cause of Skye Terrier deaths, with Hemangiosarcomas (a malignant tumour of the blood vessels), Autoimmune disease, and Hyperthyroidism as other concerns of the breed.

Overall, the breed is still considered quite healthy, and the average lifespan is 12-15 years.


The Sloughi is a breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. Sloughis are likely closely related to the Azawakh, but not to the Saluki .


The Sloughi belongs to the Oriental sighthound family. In appearance, it is a short-haired, middle-sized, strong sighthound with drooping ears. Its expression is often described to be melancholy. Its muscular system is "dry", that is, the Sloughi has flat and long muscles, which must not be as brawny as those of Greyhounds or Whippets, even when in excellent physical condition. Its back is nearly horizontal (the lumbar region must be slightly vaulted). It has a moderate angulation and a tucked up underline.

The Sloughi's eyes are ideally dark, though sometimes of amber colour. Its coat colour varies from light-sand, red-sand, red- or light-sand brindled, to sand or brindled with a black mantle, with or without a black mask. According to the standard, a Sloughi may only have a small white patch on its chest. Larger white spots on the chest or white toes and boots are excluding for breeding. Its walk is elastic and light-footed.

The Sloughi's general view is compact and strong; it may not be too dainty.


It is of sensitive nature yet is an alert and intelligent hound. It is said that Sloughis have a mighty longing for moving and that is not easy to keep them in flats with families; however, a Sloughi does not need more exercise than other dogs of similar size. It loves variety, walking on the leash, romping in the countryside, and racing. A Sloughi is faithful to his owner and it needs him close by. Sloughis are easy to bring up and to train, if you know how to do it. Because the Sloughi is very sensitive, its training shouldn't be oppressive, and any punishment should be omitted. What it likes is a friendly confirmation of its behaviour.


The Sloughi is largely unchanged from ancient times, and so retains a robust genetic health. Only a few genetic conditions have been noted in the breed, in particular Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Fortunately the Sloughi is one of the breeds in whom this condition can be tested for with a small blood sample, and breeders are working to eliminate it from the gene pool. Like all sighthounds, the Sloughi is very sensitive to anesthesia, and can be sensitive to vaccines, worming, and other medications - so these routine treatments should be spaced apart instead of given all at once. Otherwise the breed tends to enjoy excellent health into old age.


The Sloughi's origin is mostly a matter of speculation. It is thought that Sloughis originally came from the Orient or from what is today Ethiopia (the tributes to the Pharaohs included smooth Lop-eared Sighthounds from Nubia, south of Egypt). The Sloughi is one of the two African Sighthound breeds recognized by the FCI. On old fragments of earthenware (about 3000 B.C.), a short-haired sighthound with lop ears was discovered that looks like a Sloughi. Today, the Sloughi is found only in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. It is not to be confused with the smooth Saluki of the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East, which is a variety of the Saluki breed. The Sloughi was and is still used for hunting in its native countries, and is also a reliable guarding dog.


The Smålandsstövare (also known as Smalands Hound) is a breed of dog that originated in Sweden in the 1500s. Thought to be the oldest scent hound breed in Sweden, it was first recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1921.


The Smalandsstovare typically weighs between 33 and 40 pounds (15 to 18 kg), and stands 17–20 inches (43–51 cm) tall. The coat is typically black with tan markings, similar to those of a Rottweiler. It has been thought that perhaps the Smalandsstovare's naturally short tail was a trait created by a very early breeder named Baron von Essen.


Although mostly seen as a hunter's companion, The Smalandsstovare is quite a willing dog and can make an ever-lasting friend.


There is historical proof that this dog was used for pursuing hares and foxes in the Middle Ages. However, for the Smalandsstrovare, selective breeding hadn't started until the 19th century, which made it recognized finally in 1921.

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.

Smooth Collie

The Smooth Collie is a breed of dog developed originally for herding. It is a short-coated version of the Rough Collie of Lassie fame. Some breed organizations consider the smooth-coat and rough-coat dogs to be variations of the same breed.


The Smooth Collie is a medium to large dog, ranging in size from 20-26 inches at the shoulder and weighing 40-75 pounds. Standard size for the breed is on the larger end of the range in the United States and Canada, smaller elsewhere; for example, for the AKC, the range is 22 to 26 inches (56-66 cm) and 50 to 75 pounds (22.5-34 kg). In all standards, females should be significantly smaller than males.

Blue merle Smooth Collie
Blue merle Smooth Collie

The Smooth Collie is slightly longer than it is tall, with a level back and a deep chest. The features of the head, particularly the "sweet" expression, are considered very important in the show ring. The breed has a long muzzle, flat skull, and semi-erect ears (although, in practice, the ears typically must be folded over and taped in puppyhood, or they will be fully upright in the adult dog).


The coat consists of a soft, extremely dense undercoat and straight, harsh outer guard hairs. The guard hairs are one to two inches long, with the longer hair mainly in a ruff around the neck and on the backs of the thighs. The coat requires a thorough weekly brushing. Shedding is moderate most of the year, heavy during the twice-yearly shedding season.


Smooth Collies come in four colors, three of which are considered acceptable by all standards worldwide. The universally accepted colors are sable (Lassie's color; can be light gold to deep mahogany), tricolor (black, with tan and white markings), and blue merle (silvery gray marbled with black, and tan markings), all marked with white areas on the chest, neck, feet/legs, and tail tip. Kennel clubs in the United States and Canada also accept white, sometimes called color-headed white. These Collies are predominantly white, with heads (and usually a body spot) of one of the other three colors.


Smooth Collies are often kind to smaller animals.
Smooth Collies are often kind to smaller animals.

The Smooth Collie is generally a sociable, easily trained family dog. Although not an aggressive breed, they are alert and vocal, making them both good watchdogs if well trained and potential nuisances if allowed to bark indiscriminately. This breed of dog needs a lot of attention and is not for the inexperienced dog owner. Training this breed requires a light touch, as they are sensitive to correction and will shy away from harsh treatment. They get along well with children and sometimes other animals, usually getting along with other dogs. Smooth Collies are used both as family pets and in obedience competition, agility, herding trials, and other dog sports. Some are still used as working sheepdogs. They are also very useful as assistance dogs for the disabled.

They usually appreciate small animals because they often get lonely.


The Smooth Collie is a long-lived breed for its size, usually living 10 to 12 years. Like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain inherited or partially inherited health problems. Those problems currently include:

  • Collie eye anomaly (CEA): A collection of eye problems ranging from minor blood vessel abnormalities to blind spots to severely deformed or detached retinas. This problem is so widespread in collies that completely unaffected dogs (called "normal eyed") are uncommon, although conscientious breeders have been able to gradually increase the normal population. The problem and its extent can be determined through an eye exam conducted before six weeks of age, and does not get worse over time. Mildly affected dogs suffer no impairments, and are fine pets or working dogs.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Gradual degeneration of the retinas of the eyes, eventually leading to blindness. This disease is less common than CEA in Collies, but more difficult to breed away from, as symptoms are not usually detectable until the affected dog is middle-aged or older.
  • Multidrug sensitivity: Sometimes fatal reactions to a class of common drugs, particularly ivermectin, used as a heartworm preventative and treatment for mites. The gene that causes this sensitivity has recently been identified, and a dog's susceptibility can now be determined through a simple blood test.
  • Gastric torsion ("Bloat"): A painful and often fatal twisting of the stomach occurring in large or deep-chested breeds. Bloat can usually be prevented by feeding small meals and not allowing vigorous exercise immediately before or after eating.
  • Epilepsy: Seizures of unknown origin. Frequency of the seizures can often be significantly reduced through medication, but there is no cure for this disease.


The early history of the Smooth Collie, like that of many dog breeds, is largely a matter of speculation. The most common view of the breed is that they are descended from a population of shepherds' dogs brought to Scotland by the Romans around the 5th century. Even the origin of the breed's name is unclear, variously claimed to describe the early shepherd dog's dark color ("coaly"), or derived from the name of a breed of sheep once commonly kept in Scotland ("Colley").

The modern history of both the Smooth and Rough Collie began in the reign of Queen Victoria, who became interested in the shepherds' dogs while at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. In 1860, she purchased some of the dogs for her own kennel. With the Queen's interest, it became fashionable to own Smooth Collies. Thus began the breed's transformation from working farm dog, similar to the modern Border collie, to the largely pet and show dog we know today.

The Smooth Collie today is considered a variety of the same breed as the Rough Collie in countries such as the United States and Canada, meaning that they can interbreed and some statistics are kept only for "Collie" rather than for both varieties individually. The smooth and rough are classified as separate breeds in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia. The latter is a fairly recent development, however, with the Kennel Club (UK) allowing the interbreeding of the two varieties until 1993.

Smooth Fox Terrier /
Fox Terrier (Smooth)

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It was the first breed in the fox terrier family to be given official recognition by The Kennel Club (circa 1875; breed standard 1876). It is well known, and although not a widely popular breed today outside of hunting and show circles, it is extremely significant due to the large number of terriers believed descended from it.


Tan markings with black mask.
Tan markings with black mask.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a balanced, well-proportioned terrier with a distinctive head that has a tapering muzzle, fiery dark eyes, and folded v-shaped ears set well up on the head, but not prick. It is a sturdy dog in that it is well-muscled and exhibits endurance, but should not appear in any way coarse or cloddy.

The male Fox terrier is tame but it will also respond to your commands. Shoulder height of a male Smooth Fox Terrier should be no taller than 17.5 inches with females proportionally less, and a male in show condition should weigh approximately 18 lbs.

The tail should be set well up on the back and be straight or slightly curved, but not carried over the back or curled like an Akita's.

Its coat is hard, flat, and abundant. This breed does shed somewhat. In color they should be predominantly white—some are even all white—but typically with markings of black and tan, black, or tan. Red, liver, or brindle are objectionable and disqualifying faults in the show ring. Heads are usually solid colored, but a variety of white markings are permissible, including half or split faces, blazes, or color only over the eyes and/or ears.


A Smooth Fox Terrier with black markings
A Smooth Fox Terrier with black markings

Smooth Fox Terriers make excellent family pets. Because this is an intelligent and active breed, they must be kept exercised, and interested, and a part of the family. They are affectionate and playful. They have well-developed hunting instincts. Left to their own devices and deprived of human companionship, undesirable behaviour may be exhibited, including chasing of small animals, constant barking, becoming bored, destructive, or escape artists if ignored.


The Smooth Fox Terrier's development as a breed is largely undocumented, but the dog has been known as a distinct breed in England since at least the 18th century; the first documented evidence of the Smooth Fox Terrier came in 1790, when a man by the name of Colonel Thornton painted a portrait of his beloved dog, Pitch.

Conventional wisdom has long held that the Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier are variations of the same breed; in recent years, however, an increasing number of experts have stated the opinion that the two breeds are not related at all. Whereas the Wire Fox Terrier is probably directly descended from the Rough Black and Tan Terrier of Wales, the Smooth Fox Terrier is thought to count the Smooth Black and Tan as its primary ancestor, with traces of Beagle and Bull Terrier thrown in as well.

The Smooth Fox Terrier's historic profession is fox bolting. A fox bolting dog will accompany pack of foxhounds and "bolt" after foxes, driving them out from their hiding spots and into the line of sight of the larger dogs and men on horses. Smooth Fox Terriers with white coats were less likely to be mistaken for the fox in close combat situations, and were therefore more highly prized.

The Smooth Fox Terrier entered the show ring during the mid-1800s, making it one of the earliest entrants in such events. The American Kennel Club recognized the Fox Terrier in 1885; one hundred years later, the Smooth Fox Terrier was recognized as being a distinct breed from the Wire Fox Terrier.

The Smooth Fox Terrier lives 12 to 14 years. Some known health problems are deafness, luxating patellas and a variety of eye disorders.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland. The name may or may not be hyphenated. Alternatively, the words "soft" and "coated" are occasionally combined into one to make "softcoated".

There are four coat varieties: Traditional Irish, Heavy Irish, English, and American. They are considered to be hypoallergenic - a trait which makes them a good choice for allergic or asthmatic dog owners.


Puppies have a dark coat of either red, mahogany or white. The muzzle and ears of Wheaten puppies may be black or dark brown. The muzzle of a Wheaten can also be either black or dark brown. The dark puppy coat gradually grows out into a wheat-coloured coat as they get older. The color can range from wheat to white, but white coats are not considered desirable by breeders and show enthusiasts. The adult coat may contain black, white, or darker brown "guard" hairs in addition to the lighter wheaten-coloured hair.

A Wheaten of the English coat variety
A Wheaten of the English coat variety

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog, which ranges on average anywhere from 17 to 19 inches and weighs about 30 to 40 pounds. The breed seems to have a square structure and is well built. Its hair does not shed like most dogs; like human hair and Poodle hair, it keeps growing, needs regular trimming, and drops just a few hairs daily.

The English coat variety tends to be thicker than the other varieties and tends to be kept a bit longer than the American variety. For this reason, American coats need to be regularly cared for and maintained.

A curiosity of the breed is that whenever an adult wheaten incurs an injury to the skin the resulting coat will grow out in the puppy brown color and then return to Wheat over time.


Wheaten terriers stay young at heart for many years. They are quite active and very sociable. Their temperament is curious and friendly. Wheaten owners are familiar with the famous "wheaten greetin'" that these friendly dogs treat visitors with.

The Wheaten is a fun-loving, intelligent dog. It can be vocal, making it a good watch dog. However, no one should consider this breed to deter burglars, as the dog will greet the burglar as a friend. Their temperament should be such that they consider a stranger a friend they have not met yet.

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is known to be less aggressive in nature than that of other terrier breeds. Although Wheatens are terriers; they are originally Irish farm dogs and have some herding dog mentality as well. Wheatens do well as a sole dog companion and can also be fine in a multi-dog household depending on the temperaments of the other dogs. Typically, one of each sex make best companions for each other.They make wonderful pets and are very loving. Wheatens are restrained and patient with children.

Proper socialization with their environment and with other children and adults when they are young most likely will ensure a stable temperament in a Wheaten. Basic obedience classes may enable less frustrating co-existence with a Wheaten.

The breed is generally trainable, although the terrier stubbornness does appear on occasion. Consistency in training and positive reinforcement is the best method in the training of a Wheaten, as they can be very sensitive to physical correction. With both a short attention span and an energetic personality, Wheatens can be difficult to train as show dogs. However showing a well-trained wheaten can be very rewarding.

Some Wheatens love water while others will avoid it. They do not tolerate heat well, due to their thick coat. Wheatens enjoy chasing squirrels, birds, cats, and most moving animals.


Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a life expectancy of 13-14 years and typically remain perky to the end. They are prone to some genetic disorders, particularly protein-losing enteropathy and protein-losing nephropathy which constitute the loss of protein from the Intestinal tract or the kidneys, respectively. Both conditions are potentially fatal and difficult to diagnose. Other disorders sometimes found in this breed include: Renal dysplasia (especially in Europe), Hip dysplasia, and Progressive retinal atrophy. Several of the breed's clubs are now beginning to address these health issues.


Many Wheatens are prone to do tuckbutting, which is where Wheatens go crazy and run in a circle (usually around a garden) extremely fast while tucking their feet underneath their hindquarters. This is usually due to the Wheaten's over-excitedness, or their happiness.


The Wheaten was originally bred in native Ireland to be an all-purpose farm dog whose duties would have included herding, watching and guarding livestock, and vermin hunting. This is probably why they are not as aggressive as other terriers, who were primarily vermin hunters. They are believed to be related to the Kerry Blue Terrier.

Despite its long history as a farm dog, the Wheaten wasn’t recognized as a breed in Ireland by the Irish Kennel Club until 1937. Following this in 1943, the English Kennel Club recognized the breed as well. The first Wheatens were exported to the United States in the 1946, but serious interest in the breed took years to develop. Miss Lydia Covel was one of the first breeders of the Wheaten Terrier in the United States. Finally, in 1973, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club.

South Russian Ovcharka

A South Russian Ovcharka, also known as a South Russian Sheepdog, is a large, long-haired (12 centimeters), white sheepdog. Breeders have not yet developed a precise theory of the dog's origins. However it is agreed that its ancestors lived in the Crimea region between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. About 26 inches tall it has a long head, with dangling, small, triangular ears. Its coat constists of long, usually white (although sometimes white with yellow, or with shades of grey), thick coarse hair, that is bushy and slightly wavy. An undemanding dog, it can adapt to any weather conditions.


The South Russian Ovcharka is Robust, lean, with massive bone structure and strongly developed musculature. The Coat is long 4-6 inches (10-15 cm), coarse, thick, dense of equal length on head, chest, legs and tail, with a well developed undercoat. The coat colors are most often white but also white and yellow, straw color, grayish (ashen gray) and other shades of gray; white lightly marked with gray, gray speckled. The head is longated shape with a moderately broad forehead; the occipital crest and the zeugmatic arches are strongly pronounced. The stop is barely visible. The nose is big and black. The ears are relatively small, of triangular shape, hanging. The eyes are oval shape, set horizontally, dark; the eyelids lean, tight. The teeth are white, big, fitting closely. The incisors are set regularly and close in scissor bite. The neck is lean, muscular, of moderate length, set high. The chest is reasonably broad, slightly flattened, deep. The belly is moderately tucked up. The Loin is short, broad, rounded. The withers are apparent but not high. Back straight and strong. The tail is falling at rest, reaching the hock, with the end curved upward. The front legs are straight, parallel, relatively long. The angle formed by the shoulder bone and upper arm bone is about 100 degrees. Pasterns are strong, wide and long, with a slight slant. Hindquarters are powerful, wide set, parallel. Well-angulated. The upper thighs are well-muscled. Stifle bones are long, inclined. Hock joint is clean-cut, angular. The hock is strong, long, slightly inclined. The feet are oval shaped, strong, well arched, covered with long hair.


The South Russian Ovcharka is not for everyone. This very large breed can be dominant, wary of strangers, and is very lively making him difficult to care for. It is a great guardian breed however and would do well guarding cattle or flocks of sheep. The South Russian Ovcharka is a dog of robust constitution, of above average size; it is fierce and distrustful of strangers, not very demanding and can adapt easily to diverse climatic conditions and temperatures. This is most evident evident according to its sex. The males are more dominant, stronger and larger than the females. They are usually highly nervous when engaging in sports activities; strong, balanced and are also very lively. They have a dominant reaction: active way of defense. As guardians they extend themselves to include their families, their home and as much land as they can scent fully call their own. The possessive nature of this dog requires extensive property, a sizable family, and preferably other animals that it can protect. It has a dominating personality and can enforce its will upon other dogs with ease. This breed needs an owner who knows how to display strong leadership. It socializes best while still young.


The South Russian Ovcharka requires firm and consistent training as he can be very independent and can have a short attention span. Given a dominant trainer/handler, this breed can do exceptionally well


The coat of this breed requires daily brushing down to the undercoat, accepting grooming from puppyhood. As this breed is very active, his coat has the tendency to become matted quickly. Around the mouth should be cleaned daily. The coat plays an important role, protecting the dog against cold and warmth. It is "self cleaning". Even when the weather is dirty and rainy, the coats will be bright white when dried. It is possible to spin and knit the hair. It used to be done in Imperial Russia, and the knitting was used as a form medical treatment of rheumatism.

Health Problems

South Russian Ovcharkas can become quite old. The age of 10 till 12 years is not an exception. In general they are healthy dogs.



Historians and kinologists have different versions about the South Russian Ovcharka's breed origin. Some believe, South Russian Ovcharka is developed from pra-slavics - arias dogs. Those resided at South Russian Ovcharka place of origin at 4 millennium BC and used the original pre-historic bearded (“broudasti” in Russian) dogs as herd dogs and guard dogs. Those were described by L.P Sabaneev as 'Russian Shepherd' or 'Russian wolf-killers'. As arias moved west and north, and those tribes were named Slavic; the bearded dogs were referred as Russian Shepherds. Dogs were kept in quantity by Russian aristocracy. This is a Russian Native Breed, completely developed by 1790th .

By another version, South Russian Ovcharkas originated from European herding dogs of the same hair type known as Austrian Shepherd. South Russian Ovcharka and European herding dogs of similar hair type look alike and have the same ancestors. Several herding dogs with long, wooly hair were imported to Russia from Europe. In Russian Imperial Law Books (XXVI volume, 1830) mentioned a special breed of dogs imported at 1797 from Spain with merino sheep. Those dogs were used for both herding and protection against predators, highly praised for their abilities. Law books recommended to breed these dogs. Russian scientists specializing at southern steppes before 1797, wrote that local sheep herds are protected by wolf-looking dogs and hounds.

Small Austrian shepherds were not suitable for Russian steppes. Sizable territory and natural merino sheep's instinct, keeping the herd together, excluded the need for small herding dogs. There only was the great need to protect from predators. So Austrians were crossbred with “tatar” shepherds (similar to Caucasian) and sight hounds, the most common breed in the Crimea area at that time. Offspring selected were large, aggressive, hardy.

So, arguments about the South Russian Ovcharka's ancestry are endless. However, there are facts nobody can argue with. SRO definitely have wolf as the direct ancestor. A South Russian Ovcharka skull is built almost identical to wolf’s with only slight differences, what could be explained by domestication.

Recent History

Starting in 1797, there were flock of sheep sold from Spain to Russia. These sheep had to be brought to the steppe so they were driven over land, all the way on foot; sometimes up to 2500 or 8000 sheep. Transports like these could take two years and were accompanied by shaggy haired sheepdogs. Once the sheep arrived in Russia most of them were brought to Askania Nova, a large area in the Crimea. The small sheepdogs were crossed with local dogs such as the Tartar (Caucasian) Ovcharka, the Crimean Greyhound and the Hungarian Komondor, because there was a strong need for larger dogs which were suitable to guard and protect the herds against wolves and other predators. The ability to drive sheep wasn't as relevant anymore. Askania Nova was the largest and most well known "sheep colony" in Russia. For a long time the breeding of SRO was in the hands of the Falz-Fein family that owned Askania Nova. By 1850 the SRO was already settled and widespread. Records show about 2000 Ovcharkas, permanently working, with 4 or 5 dogs for every 1000 sheep.

In the 1870's the South Russian Ovcharka reached its greatest numbers, after which a decline set in, due to steppe reclamation for agriculture, growing grains etc. And with a rather fast decline in the number of wolves, the need for dogs also reduced. When the Russian Revolution took place, Askania Nova was almost completely plundered and destroyed. Most of the dogs were killed or stolen, and many were shot because they did not accept new masters. Thanks to the famous biologist Prof. A. Brauner the SRO still exists. When he came to Askania Nova in 1923 he only found a few young Ovcharkas. With the help of military kennels, shepherds and other enthusiasts he collected them. In 1928, after the foundation of a state breeding center in Dzhankoi (Crimea), a successful resurrection of the breed took place. The number of dogs increased and they even found their way to other cities like Moscow. In 1930 there were some official Russian entries at a German dog show and in 1939 there was a special breed exhibition in Simferopol.

When WW II started, the main kennels including the one in Dzhankoi were fully destroyed. Only a few South Russian Ovcharkas were left in state kennels, in the Crimea and in Moscow. In Leningrad just 5 South Russian Ovcharkas remained. To maintain some semblance of breed and bloodline, these pure-breds were crossed with dogs of SRO-type but unknown heritage. In 1947 the Komondor was used to acquire fresh blood; in the 70's another Komondor cross was made. South Russian Ovcharka numbers have once again decreased drastically in the last decades due to the bad economic situation in Russia and also by fashion. Lots of dogs died because of a lack of medication and food. Lots of people can't afford a South Russian Ovcharka; people who can want to have a fashionable breed of non-Russian origin. Recently some new clubs in and around Moscow are trying to popularize the South Russian Ovcharka in Russia. In 1994 100 South Russian Ovcharkas were entered in one Moscow show.