Monthly Archives: July 2007

Dog Breeds – Cairn Terrier

Probably the most famous of all the Scottish terriers, the Cairn terrier was named after the small stones used as border and grave markings found throughout the Scottish countryside.

The Cairn Terrier excelled at catching vermin, and formerly searched for rodents and other small animals in those very “Cairns”.

Nowadays, this small, energetic dog breed craves social interaction and makes for a good companion. They are very patient and lovable, and get along with most everyone, though this working group dog may not serve as the best lap dog due to their independent nature.

The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier dog breeds in the world, and one of Scotland’s earliest working group dogs.

The Cairn Terrier has appeared in a variety of hit Hollywood films, including the role of “Toto” in the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz.

Keep in mind that the Cairn Terrier is susceptible to such hereditary ailments as canine hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

(photo: brettneilson)

Dog Breeds – Schipperke


This Flemish breed is native to Belgium, where it was bred in Flanders by a canal boat captain named Renssens in the early 16th century.

Since this dog breed was first bred,  there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the Schipperke is a miniature sheepdog, a spitz, or a terrier.

The name “Schipperke” actually means “little captain” in Flemish, though there is debate involved in this as well, with many thinking it’s a derivative of “Scheperke”, meaning “little shepherd”.

Their number one task was to protect the plentiful barges in the region, and also to control vermin.  If a stranger approached, it would be their job to bark to alert their owner.

The Schipperke is a small-sized, thick-coated tailless breed with a very protective temperament.

Because of their instinct to watch and protect, they may bark frequently at strangers and in general, and may not do well with children.

(photo: freewine)

Dog Breeds – Alaskan Malamute

Named after the ancient tribe the Malhemuts, the Alaskan Malamute is one the earliest Arctic sled dogs , and one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

This breed is known as a “pack-animal” because of its great strength and athleticism, and ability to lead or be led.

They are often mistaken for the Siberian Husky, although the breed distinguishes itself with its size.

Because of its origin, it has a thick, warm coat and a muscular, well-built body, with the ability to pull heavy freight long distances.

The Alaskan Malamute comes in a variety of colors, but typically has a white underbody, and is said to be mature and well-behaved around strangers.

Like most other working dogs, they are prone to canine hip dysplasia.

Alaskan Malamutes were famous for leading explorers to the South Pole, as well as being featured in the sled-dog movie 8 Below.

(photo: snappedup)

Dog Born With Heart-Shaped Patch on Coat

Puppy Heart

A baby chihuahua born with a heart-shaped pattern on his coat has become a hit in Japan.

The chihuahua has a white coat with a tan colored patch of fur in the shape of a nearly perfect heart that many onlookers now seem to feel is lucky.

According to owner Emiko Sakurada, who breeds chihuahuas, this is the first of roughly 1,000 dogs to exhibit this type of marking.

She has chosen the name of “Heartkun” for the prized pup, born in Northern Japan and soon to be famous throughout the world.

Spectators as well as the media have been mobbing the young dog, hoping for a chance to touch the dog, as it is believed to rub off some good luck.

This dog gives a new meaning to the phrase, “wearing your heart on your sleeve”.

Dog Breeds – Bernese Mountain Dog

A native of Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog, also known as Berner Sennenhund, Bouvier Bernois, or simply “Berner” has long served as both work dog and watchdog.

They are sturdy and balanced tri-colored dogs, known for their ability to pull carts and drive cattle.
They have a distinct coat made up of black, white, and rust coat that looks like it was specially crafted by an artist, and bear a resemblance to the Australian Shepherd.

Despite the ability to keep a watchful eye over their family, the Bernese Mountain dog still manages to remain extremely friendly with children while not being overly aggressive.

This breed craves exercise and the outdoors, though their endurance may be limited.  They are also playful dogs, that love to lean or even sit on your feet.

A perfectly bred Bernese Mountain dog is said to have a white “Swiss cross” on their chest when standing upright.

(photo: kellypuffs)

Dog Breeds – Belgian Malinois

First bred in and around the city of Malines, Belgium, the Belgian Malinois, sometimes referred to as the Belgian Shepherd Dog, is a highly proportioned and muscular, medium-sized working dog.

It is very intelligent and obedient dog, with a short and straight coat, and  a color scheme generally composed of rich fawn with ablack nose and black ears.

The Malinois, as Belgians refer to them, are quite possessive of their owner, and need to be well socialized at birth.

They tend to get along well with people, but may have problems with other animals.

This breed is most commonly used for police work, as well as for personal protection and detection.

The Belgian Malinois resembles the German Shepherd, but tends to suffer fewer genetic defects because of limited breeding.

(photo: intrepidmalinois)

Horse Breeds – Shetland Pony

Shetland Pony

The Shetland Pony originated off the northeastern coast of Scotland on the wet and rugged Shetland Islands.

It is believed that the ponies are descendants of a Tundra Pony that was found in Britain during the Ice Age.

The Shetland pony was originally used as pack animal for the crofters of the region and later as pit ponies in the mines of mainland Great Britain.

Though they aren’t very plentiful in the islands anymore, their popularity has led to extensive breeding throughout the world.

Today Shetland Ponies are very popular with children, and are often the best choice for a child learning to ride.

They are quiet small and sturdy, yielding thick coats and long manes and tails indicative of their hash origin.

The most popular color is black, but Shetland ponies come in a variety of different solid colors. The Shetland pony stands between 9.3 and 10.2 hands.

(photo: mrpattersonsir)

Dog Breeds – Collie

The Collie was originally a herding breed that worked in the Scottish highlands, though it didn’t take long for the Collie to become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

With the help of Queen Victoria, these dogs were brought to the attention of the world, and soon became one of the most beloved breeds.  Lassie , a “Smooth Collie” and infamous TV dog didn’t hurt either…

The Collie comes in a rough or smooth coat, and is a medium-sized dog with a notably pointed muzzle.

Their temperament is rather balanced, as they get along well with children and are protective of their family without being overly aggressive towards strangers.

They are very easy to train mainly because of their intelligence and willingness to please their owners.

There are several varities of Collie, including the  Rough Collie, Smooth Collie, Border Collie, and Bearded Collie.

Former US president Lydon Johnson had a Collie named “Blanco”.

(photo: christianmadden)

Dog Breeds – Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Supposedly a cross-breed of English descent, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever gained its name sake in Chesapeake Bay while successfully hunting water-fowl.

They are well equipped to do so on both land and water, and especially in icy conditions.  After game was caught, they would often accompany their owners to market, where they would protect the boat or cart from theft.

They may be mistaken for Labradors in appearance, but there are some clear differences in temperament, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be distinguished by its webbed feet.

They are more aggressive than most retrievers because of their background, but are generally well behaved and sociable.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the state dog of Maryland as well as the mascot of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Many owners refer to this breed simply as “Chessies”.

(photo: theladd)

Dog Breeds – Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres

The origin of this breed is still in dispute, but many believe it is cross between the Griffon and the Beauceron, from the French-Belgian region of Flanders.

During World War I, this breed served as a messenger and rescue dog, and today is used commonly to drive the herds of cowmen and drovers of stock in the Flanders region of both Belgium and France.

The translation in French is literally, “Herdsman of Flanders” while in Flemish they are known as Koehond, or cattle dog.

The Bouvier des Flandres breed is short and compact, but has a rather shaggy coat that gives it a more rugged appeal.

They are usually calm and friendly, and enjoy the company of most humans and other pets. They serve as loyal and protective guard dogs, and are smart enough to exhibit non-aggressive behavior at the right times, and vice versa.

Former President Ronald Reagan owned a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky.

(photo: wayne&sally)