Winter weather is no problem for the Norwegian Elkhound. This sturdy dog has been bred for more than 6,000 years to hunt elk, bear and other large wild animals in Arctic conditions and has a soft, dense undercoat meant to protect her from harsh weather.
Did you know that because Beagles lived in packs for hundreds of years, they are naturally comfortable in the company of people and other dogs? They are patient and gentle with children and make wonderful family pets. They are easily trained, but may choose to ignore all training once they have picked up a scent. Beagles are prone to obesity as adults, and therefore daily exercise is recommended.
The American Bulldog is descended from working type bulldogs found on ranches and farms in the Southern and Midwestern United States. This confident breed may be aloof with strangers when they are young, but they bond strongly with their owners. They tolerate children well if socialized when young. Their strong prey drive may make them unsuitable for homes with cats and other small pets, but this behavior can be tempered through early socialization as well.
The Rat Terrier is a small American breed of Terrier common on farms in the early 1900s. This tenacious dog was used for ridding farms of vermin, including rats, giving it its almost too obvious name. They share a certain stubbornness and Napoleonic complex with other Terrier breeds, but are extremely intelligent and willing to learn if given the right environment.
The Boxer is a middleweight athlete developed in 19th century Germany, descended from Bulldogs and Mastiffs. Historically, it was used for dog fighting and running down and holding wild boar and other game until hunters could arrive. Boxers are known for standing on their hind limbs and batting at their opponent, which some believe was the basis for the breed's name. History aside, they are loyal, loving family dogs who are patient and playful with children.
The Olde English Bulldogge is a muscular, medium-sized dog of great strength, stability and athleticism. Because of his strength, as well as his protective nature over his family and home, a solid foundation in obedience training is a good idea. But while he may look like a tough guy, the Olde English Bulldogge is friendly, loving and eager to please. He loves to chew, so be sure to keep plenty of safe, durable toys around to discourage furniture or shoe destruction!
Beagles are naturally comfortable in the company of people and other dogs. They are patient and gentle with children and make wonderful family pets. They are easily trained, but may choose to ignore all training once they have picked up a scent. Be wary with treats, though! Beagles are prone to obesity as adults, and therefore daily exercise is recommended.
Despite what some consider an intimidating appearance, the American Pit Bull Terrier is loyal and eager to please, making him a wonderful family dog. In fact, his affection for children once earned him the nickname “nanny dog” in the early 20th century. Noted as an ineffective guard dog due to his friendly nature, a well-socialized APBT can do well in homes with other pets. A natural athlete, his intelligence and endurance help him excel in a variety of sports.
The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the spaniels. Like her close cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel, she was used to hunt woodcock (hence her name), and she still possesses great speed and swimming abilities. The American Cocker was the most popular breed in the United States during the 1940s, 50s and 1980s, and several U.S. presidents have also been fans of American Cockers, including Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Did you know the Japanese Akita was introduced to the United States by Helen Keller, who was impressed with the Akita’s loyalty? A young Akita police officer instructor who owned the dogs presented Helen Keller with an Akita pup in 1937, and since then the breed has enjoyed relative popularity in America.
Developed for stamina, versatility and of course, cold temperatures, the Elkhound’s form has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. Her silver-grey outer coat has saddle markings, often with black points, and covers a soft, dense undercoat meant to protect her from harsh weather. Energetic, loyal and devoted to her family — she is happiest when she is close to her people and can make an excellent tracking or agility dog.
The precise origins of the Sarplaninac (pronounced shar-pla-NEE-natz) are unclear, but theories abound that she descends from either the ancient Molosser dogs of Greece, cattle dogs that migrated west from Asia, or the livestock guarding dogs of Turkey. She gets her name from the mountain Shar Planina, located in the Balkans, which stretches from Macedonia and Yugoslavia to Albania.
The Tosa Inu is a Japanese dog that was developed between 1868 and 1912 by crossing several different breeds. Tosas were often referred to as the Sumo wrestler of the dog world, and indeed, they were traditionally used for dog fighting, which dates back to the 14th century in Japan. Dog-fighting is now illegal in Japan and many other countries, and today the Tosa is considered a Japanese national treasure. While his coat is easy to keep he does have a tendency to drool!
The Peek-a-poo (or Pekepoo) is the result of cross between a Pekingese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. An active and energetic dog, the Peek-a-poo greatly enjoys her daily walks or romps in the backyard, which can help her avoid destructive tendencies. She is loving, affectionate and protective toward her family, and she is known to announce the presence of suspicious strangers with a mighty voice.
The Silken Windhound is a relatively new breed of sighthound, having first been developed in 1987 by a Kentucky Borzoi and Deerhound breeder, Francie Stull. Stull was attempting to create a smaller sighthound with the same athleticism and elegance of the larger sighthounds, with a wonderful temperament, long coat and all-around good health. She combined champion Borzois, small Whippet-based Lurchers and purebred Whippets, and the Silken Windhound was the result.
The Patterdale Terrier gets his name from a small village in the Lake District of Cumbria in Northwest England, where he comes from. His exact origins are unknown, but Lakeland, Border and Bedlington terriers were all used in developing the breed.
The Dutch Smoushond, or Dutch Ratter, is a very rare breed of dog descended from terrier-type dogs in Germany and the Netherlands. He was originally bred to keep stables free of rats and other vermin, but he was also popular in the late 1800s as a gentleman's companion.
Did you know the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only dog breed to be named for a fictional character? His name comes from a character in an 1814 Sir Walter Scott novel, Guy Mannering. In the book, the farmer Dandie Dinmont owns terriers named “Pepper” and “Mustard” after the colors of their coats.
In early 18th century, a breed of little white dog similar to the Bichon Frisé or Bolognese of today arrived in Russia. There are differing accounts of how she got there — some say that a small dog from the courts of Louis IV of France was presented to a member of the Russian nobility, as a gift. Others claim the breed migrated to the Russian Empire with Napoleon’s army and were known as “Bolonka” (which translates to “Bolognese” in several Slavic languages).
The Berger Picard, or Picardy Shepherd, was likely descended from dogs brought to France by Central European Celts around 400 B.C., making him one of the oldest of the French herding breeds. Sheepdogs resembling Berger Picards have been depicted in tapestries and engravings dating back to the Middle Ages.
As her name suggests, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a wiry, coarse double coat that enables her to pursue her prey through brambles and brush. Her coat gives her a somewhat unkempt appearance, but regular brushing will keep its natural unruliness under control. As she is a hunting dog, she does require plenty of exercise to stay physically and mentally fit, but she is also known for being calmer than most field breeds when indoors.
Standing around 20 inches at the shoulders, the Small Münsterländer weighs between 40 and 55 lbs. His intelligence and devotion make this #dog breed easy to train, but these traits also mean he needs plenty of mental and physical exercise. He is happiest when pointing, tracking and retrieving — all of which he will do naturally — so a fenced-in yard is best to keep this natural hunter well-exercised and close to home!