Caucasian Ovcharka Truly Courageous

Breed Profile

Massive, strong, enduring and adaptable to various temperatures – a Caucasian Shepherd Dog or Caucasian Ovcharka is truly a super dog.


Originally bred to protect livestock, Caucasian Shepherd Dog is courageous, strong willed and protective towards livestock or family.
A handsome dog…
A massive dog, a Caucasian Shepherd Dog has a muscular and well-boned body. His heavy, big oval-shaped paws give him firm footing to traverse deep snow and rough terrain. Dense hair between the toes provides excellent insulation. His oval-shaped eyes are small and deeply set, while nose is black, with well opened nostrils. His ears are set high and densely covered with hair for insulation. The tail is covered with long hair.
This breed has three types of coats – long-haired, short-haired and intermediate type. Colours vary from grey, fawn, tan, pied, brindle and white. The height of male/female is 25-28 inch (64-72 cm). The weight of male/female is 45-70 kg.


Temperament: brave n protective
A Caucasian Ovcharka is brave, alert, strong, assertive, strong-willed and courageous and needs to be properly socialised and trained, as the Caucasian Shepherd Dog may exhibit ferocious and unmanageable tendencies. But he is an intelligent dog and can be trained positively.
He is wary of strangers and has a powerful urge to defend. But he is extremely protective of his family, including children, cats, other dogs, etc. He should never be left alone with children as he can go to extremes in the need to protect the child.
Breed profile.1


Living with a Caucasian Shepherd Dog…
This breed is not suitable for all as he requires a pet parent with strong leadership skills. This is not a dog for everyone and requires a lot of socialisation and training. Remember to be a pack leader always.
He is not recommended for apartment life as he needs space like a yard. But he is extremely adaptable to all temperature due to his dense weather resistant coat that provides protection and insulation against the cold.


Exercise – a must…
He barks a lot and a bored Caucasian can be more vocal and destructive. Regular exercise is a must to release pent up energy. If he is not protecting the livestock, he needs to be exercise properly. Take him out for a long walk daily. Let him sniff and explore.


Grooming needs…
The coat of the long-haired variety requires frequent brushings, while the short-haired variety needs less grooming, but should still be combed and brushed. They shed heavily once a year. During shedding, it is recommended to brush the hair every day not only to remove dead hair but also to accelerate the shedding process.


(Paramjeet Singh Dhesi runs ELITE SQUAD KENNEL ( in Ludhiana. He is an avid dog lover who imports rare breeds like Caucasian Ovcharka to India).

Akbash Dog the loyal guardian

 Orysia Dawydiak

Orysia Dawydiak

General appearance…
The all white Akbash Dog is a large and ancient guard dog breed from Turkey.  The body is muscular, long-legged and slightly longer than tall.  They are capable of running at great speed, have stamina, and a gazelle-like grace. In addition, Akbash Dogs have acute senses of sight and hearing.  Males and females can look strikingly different; males grow faster and larger and take longer to mature, whereas females are more refined in appearance.
Their coat colour is all over white; light biscuit on the ears or on the ridge line, or colouration in the undercoat is acceptable. The skin is usually pigmented in a piebald pattern. A large degree of pigmentation is considered desirable.
A double coat is formed by coarse guard hair and a fine undercoat. Thickness of the undercoat will vary with the climate and exposure of the dog to the weather. Coats are shed seasonally. There are two varieties of coat length; long and medium. Both are equally acceptable.

Breed profile 1Sweet temperament…
The Akbash Dog is devoted to his pet parents and any animals in his charge. These dogs possess intelligence and courage, making them natural guardians. Their independent nature allows them to respond swiftly and without guidance in an emergency. There is no difference in guarding ability between the male and female.
Due to their strong maternal instinct, Akbash Dogs begin to bond to other living creatures at a very early age. They have been known to form strong attachments to animals and people.  Once bonded, even without specialised training, the dogs will not hesitate to come to the rescue of their pet parents if they think they are in danger, even at the risk of their own lives.
On their own turf, territorial aggression against intruders is normal, especially when their pet parents are not present. They are often belligerent towards strange dogs on or off their home property.

Breed ProfileLiving with them…
Akbash Dogs can be a challenge to train as obedient companion dogs due to their highly independent nature.  They need a lot of space and a very tall, well-fenced enclosure if they are kept outdoors, and they must always be walked on leash when not safely penned.  They tend to be aggressive toward dogs and sometimes other animals they do not know.  They should not be left tied for any length of time.

Exercise needs…
They need a good deal of exercise and space, although they are not highly energetic, nervous dogs as a rule. Younger dogs need the most exercise, although puppies should not be taken on very long runs while their skeleton is still developing as they could develop orthopaedic problems.

Pup care…
Akbash pups require the same care as most other breeds. They need to be very well socialised to all the stimuli and items that they are expected to encounter in their environment on a regular basis. They should meet many people who will be gentle with them and never play rough games. Pups should be discouraged from biting people’s hands or feet or clothes even in play. Pups should be exposed to other dogs and animals if they are going to be meeting them later on as adults.

Grooming care…
They shed a lot and should be brushed as necessary, especially when they are shedding.  Baths should be given only when necessary so the natural oils are not stripped from the hair. Toenails should be clipped starting when they are small puppies, and not allowed to get long.

Games they love…
If they are given toys to play with as pups, they may continue to enjoy playing with them as adults. They tend to be serious working dogs and not as playful as some breeds, unless an effort is made to engage them.  Some can be taught agility exercises and may enjoy that type of activity.

There have been few serious problems documented, but as with other large breeds, they have suffered from osteosarcoma, occasionally cardiomyopathy, bloat and entropion. Hip dysplasia does occur but is screened for by reputable breeders.  Older dogs can become arthritic and suffer from spondylosis of the spine.



(Orysia Dawydiak has been breeding and using Akbash Dogs to guard her sheep and poultry since 1981.  She and her husband David Sims are authors of the award-winning book ‘Livestock Protection Dogs – Selection, Care and Training’ published by Alpine Publications. Orysia is also the registrar of Akbash Dogs International ( and contributes to the club newsletter ‘Akbash Sentinel’).

Rampur Greyhound The hunting hero

One of India’s best known Greyhound breeds is the Rampur Greyhound. He was named after his native state Rampur (UP) and known to have existed in Rampur for over 300 years. Here’s more on this exquisite breed.

Rampur Greyhounds dogs were generally kept by Maharajas and Nawabs for big hunting games. They

Dr. V K Singh

Dr. V K Singh

are very fast and powerful with strong pasterns to cover great distances at high speed. This remarkable breed is now balancing on the fine line of extinction.

Journey down the lane
The Nawab of the Rampur – Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur – created this breed by breeding Afghan Hound (Tazi) with English Greyhound. Rampur Hound endowed his speed from his English ancestors and got his looks and stalwart character from Afghan Hound (Tazi).

Types of Rampur Hound
The Rampur hound is a member of the big Sighthound family. There is still enigma regarding the types of Rampur Hound, although lot of people claim that there are three types of this breed.
1. Reza: They are very homely, little timid and playful in nature. They hunt smaller animals.
2. Kesari: They look like somewhat Deer Hound having long coat.  They are rarest of all Rampur Hounds.
3. Sahi Shikari: They are royale, very strongly built and have powerful jaws, very temperamental in nature and they hunt big games like Blue Bull, even they can attack a tiger daringly. It is also believed that Sahi Shikaris are the real Rampur Hounds and rest are bit mixed breeds.

Sturdy looks…Rampur Greyhound
Their body is little angled back, along with loin and croup. They have a flat skull, little angled top, powerful jaws, and razor sharp teeth. Their ears are short while tail is long. Their feet are long with knuckled toes and powerful well grip pads. They are found in various colours like black, grey, brindle, fawn or white. The height of males is 60-75 cm, while that of females is 55-60 cm and they weigh around 27-30 kg.

Living life king size…
A Rampur Hound has clean habits and is royal by nature. He loves his pet parent’s company and is also well-adjusted to other dogs. They are very protective but tend to be a one-master dog and usually obey his master only. Rampur Hounds do not tolerate unknown faces. So, always keep an eye to avoid undue attacks/fights with other people/dogs. He needs plenty of space to move around and so is not suited for people living in apartments.

Exercise daily…
Rampur Hound requires minimum two or three walks a day; he should not be without leash in public places like parks, garden, road, etc as he has a tendency to run very fast, around 30 km/hr. They love to play and charge at each other at speed.

This dog does not require much grooming and using gloves will keep the coat shining.

This is a robust breed and not susceptible to many of the physiological problems that his western counterparts are often prone to. Their diseases are very similar to other Greyhound breeds and will often experience the same symptoms and diseases. Their lean physique makes them ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces and without bedding; Rampur Hounds are prone to develop painful skin sores. This can be avoided by feeding them food high in vitamin-A. Rampur Hounds may live up to 15 years, but this varies enormously.

Breed ProfileWho is Sighthound?
Also called Gazehounds, Sighthounds are known for being the type of breeds who hunt by ‘speed’ and ‘sight’ instead of scent or endurance. They have strong vision and detect motion of preys in swift manner. A typical feature of Sighthound is the light and lean head which is dolichocephalic (longer head) in proportion like wolves and other wild dogs. Some of the breeds who come under Sighthound category include: Afghan Hound, Azawakh, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Hungarian Greyhound, Saluki, etc.

Hounds of Maharajahs
It was the favoured hound of the Maharajahs for jackal control, but was also used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards and panthers. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to take down a golden jackal. The Rampur Hounds built to cover great distances at high speed; thus capable of great endurance. This breed was used as a popular hunter. The outstanding hunting capabilities of Rampur Hound made him favourite dog of Indian aristocrats. The dog possesses an exceptional personality which is the perfect combination of beauty, grace, speed, power, stamina, and aggressive hunting attitude, which makes him worthy for hunting big as well as small games with same expertise.

(Dr VK Singh is Veterinary Medical Officer at Shamli, Uttar Pradesh).

Brillian BORZOI!

The Borzoi, or as he was known earlier, the Russian Wolfhound, is a tall, elegant dog, streamlined in every sense of the word. He is aerodynamic in structure – built for speed, grace and elegance. If they are fed good food, kept free of worms and fleas, given exercise, love and good grooming, they are a dog to be proud of when walking down the street, as well as a wonderful, faithful companion at home.


Jane Bishop

Jane Bishop

Historical facts…
Originated in Russia, they were made to hunt wolves by the Russian nobility. These dogs hunted in pairs,while the hunters rode on horseback. They were rarely seen outside Russia, unless given as a gift to foreign nobility. Several dogs went to England, which was the salvation for the breed. During the Russian Revolution, most symbols of aristocracy were destroyed, including the lovely Borzois.
Aristocratic looks…
The Borzoi is a Sighthound, which means that he hunts by sight, rather than by scent. Because of this, he must be able to run quickly and turn sharply, to keep the quarry in sight. They are large, elegant, and loving dogs. The head is long and narrow, with a strong jaw to hold powerful teeth. The proper dark colour, shape and set of the eyes give the Borzoi an elegant expression of true aristocrat. The shape of the eyes is similar to that of an almond (oval). The ears fold back in what is called a rose ear, tightly held together behind the head with the tips of the ears nearly touching.
Since he is a running hound who must be agile, both front and back legs are sound and powerful. The front legs are straight and strong with bones that are bladed, not round. Power for drive and speed is generated by the hindquarters which is long, muscular, powerful and wide. They carry a long, silky coat with lovely feathering on the back of the front legs, neck, chest, tail and back legs.
While they often have a white colouring with markings of colour, they can also be solid colours from light gold to black. Brindle is also acceptable.
Temperament…Royal Hound
While they are capable of hunting and bringing down a wolf, they are wonderful with people and other animals. Most Borzois love children, especially if they become accustomed to them early. They are sweet and loving dogs to live with.
They do love to be held and petted by their pet parents. They tend to be quiet, and though they are large in size, they are hardly noticeable in the house as they are happy to lie down and sleep quietly. Generally they do not bark much, and should never be considered a dog who would be expected to guard property.
Living with Borzoi…
They can be kept in an apartment, but they are most happy living where they can have plenty of exercise in a fenced area.  They love to run for a few minutes, and then return to the house, where they like to lie on the sofa or bed, preferably in air conditioning.
Easy grooming…
Their grooming is relatively easy. The silky hair allows dirt to fall out easily, and does not become tangled unless left unbrushed for periods of time. Generally a good brushing every week is sufficient to keep the coat nice. They shed a considerable amount during the change of seasons. The soft undercoat they grow to keep them warm in the winter is shed out as warmer weather arrives.  During this time, daily brushing is recommended. The toenails should be kept short, and the teeth and ears should be kept clean.
Games they play…
They are a hound, however, and with their love of running, they cannot be trusted loose outside a fenced area in most situations. If they simply see a paper blowing in the wind, they are likely to forget their pet parent and his commands, while they happily run after the object of their attention.
Some Borzois will chase a ball or Frisbee, but their favourite thing is to run as fast as they can. They can exceed 30 miles per hour. Their second
favourite pastime is being loved, or sleeping – preferably on your couch or bed.
Pup care…
Puppies will develop most properly when allowed free exercise (in a safely fenced area) to run and play. When puppies are raised with either too little exercise, or taken on long runs when their bones are growing, it can cause serious developmental problems.  They should be fed a diet not too high in protein, fat or calories, so that they grow slowly. If a puppy is allowed to grow too quickly, he can have very painful, crooked legs.
As Borzois have such a deep chest, they are prone to Bloat or Torsion.  So, they should not be fed large amounts of food and allowed to exercise right before or after eating. There is belief that dog food with soy can also cause bloat. For this reason, a quality dog food that does not contain soy or soy products is recommended.  There are some heart problems seen in the breed and some thyroid problems.
If you have decided that you can give a Borzoi a lot of love, attention and room to run then you are sure to have a faithful, fun and loving companion for a long time.
(Jane Bishop has been breeding Borzois for over 40 year and has produced over 40 champions, including dogs who have been ranked in the top 10 in both the US and Canada. Her kennel name is Korsakov and she is also an American Kennel Club judge, approved to judge some of the Sighthound breeds.)

Protective and Fearless The Central Asian Shepherd!

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a protective dog who bonds with his pet parent and his possessions. He is independent, strong, brave and responsible, besides being self assured, calm, balanced, proud, alert and fearless flock guardian. The dogs are very courageous and have high working capacity, endurance and a natural instinct of territory. Fearlessness towards large predators is a characteristic feature.

With their strong guarding and territorial instincts, Central Asian Shepherds are herders and watchdogs with an imposing attitude and attractive appearance that



make them much-loved companions. They are appreciated for being problem solvers who have independent mind. Their distinguished characteristics comprise calmness, alertness, responsibility, self-assurance, alert, fearless, to mention a few. They are considered to be thinking dogs who excel in basic obedience. They have worked towards guarding herds for many hundreds of years. And are also brilliant watchdogs!
Powerful and muscular, a Central Asian Shepherd Dogs seems like polar bear and wolf combination, but with a movement like a cat – yes they are one the most different and handsome breed. This relatively big breed is a large but agile dog, sometimes described as a cat in dog’s clothing and never heavy, generally, coming across as a vigorous dog.

General appearance…
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog/Alabai is a dog of robust built, great size with massive bone structure and powerful muscles. They look very different from many of the other giant dog breeds who are commonly seen.  The body is slightly longer than tall while the head is massive. Ears are close to the head but are naturally small, drop and set low on the head. The tail is highly set and thick at the base. They have long straight heavy-boned legs. Typical motion trait of Central Asian Shepherd is gallop, though they can trot at ease for hours without getting exhausted. Their coat is double-coated and thick. Gender differences are well expressed in this breed. Males are more massive and powerful; females are smaller and lighter in build. The average height of males is 27 – 32 inch (65 – 78 cm) while that of females is 24 – 27 inch (60 – 69 cm) while the weight for males is 55 – 79 kg and for females is 40 – 65 kg. They are found in various colours like white, black, grey, straw coloured, russet (reddish brown), grey/brown, brindle, parti-coloured and flecked. Some have a black mask.

Historical background
Ancient origin of Central Asian Shepherd Dogs can be traced back to the era before Christ when this breed was adopted by sheepherders to ward off predators. However, in the book History of Mastiff by Waynn mentions the evidence of this breed around 100 years ago. They are believed to be originated from Ural Mountains of Russia. But from time to time, they were migrated to several Central Asian countries where they worked with native nomadic tribes as guardian dogs to protect herds from wild animals like bear, tiger, hyena, wolf and marauders. Besides protecting herds, Central Asian Shepherds are known for their excellence in guarding homes, estates, families, etc for which their popularity has been gaining across different parts of the globe.
Living with them…
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a devoted family member – a wonderful companion, equally good with elderly and children if socialised from a young age. They also get along with cats and other animals. They are extremely active, full of life and intelligent.

They can tolerate a wide range of climates. They adore cold weather and snow, but can tolerate heat equally well with sufficient shade and water.
Exercise and training needs…
They love to move around, protecting their property. So, a yard with a fence is a must to keep them occupied and exercised. Hence, it is not a good idea to keep them in apartment. They like to be outdoors watching over their territory. They need to be trained but any negative training will backfire with this breed while positive training will make him a devoted companion. Even a check on the their ancient roots shows that training is important for Central Asian Shepherd Dogs and pet parents should be aware of the breed’s confidence of his strength, independent nature and self-decision making.
They are quite active for their size and require room to run on a daily basis in order for their muscles and bones to develop properly. A fence at least six feet in height is required to contain these athletes, as they can easily jump anything shorter and many can jump much higher. They also need strong boundary training, they are quite territorial and will expand their chosen territory if given the chance.
If you find a huge hillside or boulder on the way during a walk with your Central Asian Shepherd, he will surely climb himself to show you his temperament to tackle any obstacle. He will never stumble or fall in such an act. He will be contended strongly with precise leaps and excellent co-ordinations to stand still on the top attentively observing the surrounding environments. When he finds something interesting around, he will be fixed downward to encounter it.
Grooming needs…
Surprisingly, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog does not require a lot of grooming. It is advisable for pet parents to begin routine maintenance procedures such as bathing and nail clipping from as young an age and as gently as possible. It is much easier to bathe a willing 40 pound puppy than a frightened and resistant 150 pound adult. For most of the year they are light shedders, with easy coat care of weekly brushing. However, these dogs shed their coats heavily in the spring so the coat should be brushed daily at this time to remove dead hair.


Kaizer -(Imported from Ukraine) – Champion Blood Line. (Son of
CH Ukraine, Belorussian, Russia, Ukraine Grand Champion.)

Healthy breed…
This breed is healthiest of all large breeds. This dog benefits from having perhaps the most extensive gene pool of any large breed. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog’s health has also benefitted from its ancestry.  These dogs lived in some of the harshest conditions on Earth and were tasked with battling dangerous predators. Only the strongest could survive, and any genetic defects would have been quickly eliminated.

(Paramjeet Singh Dhesi runs ELITE SQUAD KENNEL ( in Ludhiana. He is an avid dog lover who imports rare breeds like the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs to India).

Breed Profile

Anatolian Shepherd: The Guardian Dog

Magnificent ancient working dog who presents an impression of functional utility without exaggerated features!

Tall and handsome…

Uma (Owned by Maria Marrero)

Anatolian Shepherd, originated from the region of Turkey, is a large working dog used primarily as a livestock guardian. Large, rugged and impressive, they possess great endurance and agility. These dogs are tall and powerful, yet not massive in build. They have a large, broad head with a slight centerline furrow. The eyes are medium sized, almond shaped and are seen in shades of brown or amber colours. The tail is long and carried low with a gentle curve or is impressively curled over the back when the dog is at attention. When walking, the topline becomes quite level, giving a smooth impression of a powerful, stalking lion.
Anatolians have a dense double coat that is thicker and slightly longer about the neck. Most Anatolians have a short or medium long coat that is easy to care for. Hard textured enough to shed dirt, it does not tend to matt or tangle. Short and rough coats as well as a wide variety of coat colours can be found among pups of the same litter.
Males are 29-32 inch tall and weigh 50-65 kg. Females are 27-31 inch and weigh 40-55 kg, though many may be larger boned or slightly racier in appearance and do not fit within these averages.

Colour variations…Untitled-2
All colours of the Anatolian Guradian are acceptable and some colour variations have been given special names. The classic and most frequently occurring colouration is fawn with black ears and black mask, sometimes called karabash (meaning ‘blackhead’). Kangal, another name for that colour variation of the Anatolian, has been used to describe some black masked dogs who can be found in the Sivas region of Turkey. The solid white or cream dogs are sometimes called Akbash. Other colours frequently seen are pinto, brindle, grey, even black.

Extremely agile…
They are long-legged with a definite tuck up at the loins. This conformation permits them to be fleet and extremely agile, capable of overtaking and bringing down a predator with awesome efficiency. Clocked by visitors driving alongside fenced property containing a herd guard, Anatolians have been observed running at speeds over 35 miles per hour. They can leap into the air, turn and come down in front of, or on, the shoulders of the animal behind them, which ever they choose.

Loyal and possessive…
Anatolian Shepherd is first and foremost a guardian dog. He is a hard-working breed whose function is to guard his flock. Thus, an Anatolian is a loyal guard and can be fiercely possessive and protective of his family, stock and territory. They are steady and bold, without aggression. They have a naturally independent and very intelligent personality. Young males in particular can be pushy during adolescence while they are figuring out their rank and status in the household. Anatolians will be aloof when off their property and may be leery of strangers both off and on their property. They do need to be socialised from a very early age and that training and socialisation need to be maintained throughout the dog’s lifetime.


Hannah, Zoran and Babe (Owned by Audrey Chalfen)

Living with them…
Independence is a primary characteristic of the livestock guardian breeds. They have varying degrees of territoriality, but most will expand their territories if they are not fenced in. They are generally wonderful and tolerant with children, but may be aggressive, unless well socialised. Anatolians are fairly dominant dogs, generally best suited for people who have not let other dogs take over their families. Obedience training is a requirement for responsible ownership of this breed. Anatolians are highly intelligent and very quick to learn new ideas, but are not particularly keen on repetitive exercises. This breed has a strong inclination towards independent thinking and may seem stubborn. Responsible owners have been successful with these dogs in directed work such as obedience trials; however, they must keep the training motivational and interesting to get the best out of these dogs.
Anatolians can be very good house dogs, but they are very large, shed with enthusiasm, and may knock things over with their large tails. If you are a finicky house cleaner, this breed would be a challenge for you.
Anatolian Shepherd seems to adore children and think of them as their own ‘kids’. A child does, of course, need to learn how to behave respectfully when around any animal and should be supervised when with any type of dog. It is imperative not to let the child play as a ‘littermate’ would play (inviting nipping and roughhousing), due to the large size of the breed.

He will need lots of exercise, as any large breed does, so, even though he seems lazy, exercise him with long walks, as well as with running and playing in a fenced, supervised area. A fenced yard is mandatory,
to prevent an Anatolian from expanding his territory, and to keep the dog away from traffic.

Pup care…

Breed Profile

Kiowa and Brittany (Owned by Linda Raeber)

As a puppy, an Anatolian should be fed a premium puppy food for the first year. A young pup needs to be fed small amounts of food at least two to three times a day. An adult should be fed once or twice a day. A measured serving is better than free feeding (the all-you-can-eat method) as this can lead to an overweight Anatolian Shepherd. No growth supplements should be fed to puppies, as this can cause nutritional imbalances and skeletal or joint problems.

Anatolian Shepherd will shed small amounts all the time and ‘blow out their coats’ twice a year. Also, females tend to blow out their coats after a heat cycle. They need to be brushed out when they are ‘blowing coat’ and that will minimise your mess somewhat. Also, bathing in warm water seems to make some difference in shedding and may lessen the amount of work as it will encourage the fur to loosen and you can brush off more of it at once.

As this is a breed close to his working origins and most breeders prefer to outcross different lines to make the best use of the available gene pool, the breed seems to have few serious health problems. Anatolians can be sensitive to anaesthesia, and this may be of concern if some veterinary procedures are performed. Like most large breeds, hip dysplasia is a concern. Generally, a healthy, well-bred Anatolian will live into his teens in a safe, optimal environment.

On a concluding note…
This is not the breed for everyone, and should not become ‘the breed of the month’, as has happened to some breeds. This breed is, first and foremost, a guarding dog, with strong independence and dominance drives, and he requires a responsible approach to successful management. If you are looking for a dog who will obey at the drop of a command, then this is not the dog for you.
(Source: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International, Inc., A Florida Non-Profit 501C4 Corporation under The Provisional Parent Club of the United Kennel Club).

Funtastic Bull Terrier

The unique football head, a healthy, clean, exercised, muscled look… known in England as the ‘Gentleman’s Companion’, Bull Terriers are a classically beautiful dog –  a balanced, lively unique terrier!

In 30 years with Bull Terriers, I never fail to be surprised by their loving, sensitive nature and their playful, happy outlook on life. Most are food oriented, but given a Untitled-3 copychoice between playing and eating, most will choose to play.  They will often do a sort of bully dance or bully run… where they buzz around the room and come to a sudden stop.  It’s some explosive expression of joy.  Bull Terriers are full of themselves and delighted with life and like to show it! Some will also walk under plants or tablecloths and seem to go into a light trance.  Sometimes, they don’t react to being called, but if touched, they’ll shake and respond. Life with a Bull Terrier is truly fun.

The unique appearance…
What everyone notices first in Bull Terrier is the oval egg-shaped head and the personality that shines from their eyes. Their smallish, triangular-shaped eyes are dark, bright and brimming with mischievous expression. They have perky smallish ears on top of the head pointing to the sky.
Bull Terriers are a medium-sized dog. They may be white or coloured. The appearance is one of a muscular yet athletic, strong but agile. There is a lot of dog and a lot of personality in this moderately sized package. A compact, short-coated, heavy boned, gladiator of a dog, Bull Terriers exemplify the manner…the ways of a happy playboy.
White Bull Terriers can have markings on their head/in front of the collar. A coloured Bull Terrier without markings or only very small amounts of white on the toes or on the chest is called a ‘solid’.

Sweet temperament…
Most Bull Terriers have loving, sweet natures. As youngsters, they tend to be energetic and playful.  As they mature, they become more sedate, but still love to have a good time and will show bursts of energy.  Like most dogs (and human children), they value routines and learn quickly. They are intelligent, often able to determine how to solve a problem, like how to open a door or to reach food on a counter.  They need direction or they will make decisions on their own.
Bull Terriers want acceptance and want everyone to play with them. They are normally not great watch dogs, unless they perceive an obvious threat to their family. Most have a kind of open hearted approach to life and others, including other dogs. Bull Terriers are living, breathing, loving, soulful creatures, who deserve caring, parental supervision and training. Their nature is to be a family member.  Having a Bull Terrier is like having a three year old child in a fur suit.

Life with Bull Terrier…
Life with a Bull Terrier is never dull. They are impish and curious. Pet parents have to outthink them. They love to travel and get very excited if they think a drive is in the offing. They love time with family.  Muscular and childlike, Bull Terriers are usually perfect companions for children. Most are tolerant and playful. Bull Terriers are great at the companionship and playmate roles, but not all of them would be protective. Do not leave children and dogs together unattended.
It’s ironic, but Bull Terriers rarely start fights. If another dog attacks a Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier will likely be able to make a good stand for himself.

Caring for a Bull Terrier puppy…
Care of a Bull Terrier puppy is very much like any other breed of pup. Don’t let them jump off couches or stairs. They are growing quickly and could injure cruciate ligaments with bad landings. Their diets should be healthy and include a little extra natural calcium through addition of small amounts of yoghurt or broccoli to their meals.  Watch protein levels in food as they are not field dogs. Early socialisation is essential.

Training needs…
A Bull Terrier’s basic outline for life is “If it is not fun, why should we do it”. When pet parents make training activities fun, enjoyable and rewarding, Bull Terriers can learn quickly.

Exercise needs…
Bull Terrier should be given moderate exercise.  Especially as pups, they should not be asked to jog long distances with pet parents. However, Bull Terriers need daily play and exercise through chasing tennis balls and pleasant walks with family. They love the mental stimulation of walks and play too.

Grooming needs…
Grooming is relatively simple. Brushing a Bull Terrier’s coat while watching television is relaxing. Ears should be checked at least weekly and kept clean with a tissue. Clip their nails if/as required. Tooth brushing is recommended daily.  Bathing every month or so with a good quality shampoo is usually all that is really needed.  Overbathing can dry out skin and may not be good for the dog’s health and well being.

While the Bull Terrier is relatively healthy, there are some hereditary issues for which responsible breeders test. The first problem is luxating patella and is easily identified.  Essentially, it is a kneecap that slips out of alignment. Other problems include aortic stenosis and mitral valve dysplasia, which can be serious health and genetic concerns.

Games they play…
Most Bull Terriers love tennis balls. They will run and play until they are exhausted, so their pet parents need to manage playtime. Do not leave them alone with tennis balls and other toys. Leather chew toys tend to be dangerous as they often attempt to swallow them in large pieces. Toys which can safely endure heavy chewing (such as nylabones) are best for Bull Terriers!

Laughing gesture…
Laughter reinforces behaviour in Bull Terriers. They are wonderfully pleased when they make others laugh.  Don’t laugh at bad puppy behaviour no matter how cute…  Laugh and encourage only good behaviour!

(For the past decade, Carolyn Alexander has served as a Director on the Board of NCTA and has been MBBTC Newsletter Editor. For the past sixteen years, Carolyn has also been the AKC Breed Columnist for Bull Terriers. Carolyn and her husband are AKC Judges who have judged around the world. Their Brigadoon Bull Terriers Kennel is world famous for a limited, high-quality, top winning breeding programme. The Alexanders were the first recipients of AKC/BTCA Breeders Cup, also receiving the AKC Silver Bred by Exhibitor medallion in 2008 and are AKC Breeders of Merit.)

breed profile

Stunning Yorkshire Terrier

Alert, confident, self-assured and at the same time cute – a Yorkie is an attention-seeker, but with those lovely looks and beautiful temperament, attentions come to them naturally. Here’s more about this awesome breed.

If you ask to define Yorkies in one sentence, it would say – ‘Big personalities in a small package!’ A well-groomed Yorkie will outshine all the breeds as they are one of the most attractive breeds.

Stunning looks…

A Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed of Terrier type. Yorkies are compact in size. Body is neat, compact and breed profilewell proportioned. It is interesting to note that the dog has a very alert personality with vigilant eyes. He has an overall self assured and confident mannerism. Weighing maximum 3.2 kg, his coat colour is blue-gray, black, and tan, which is long and hangs straight and parts down the middle. The hair is glossy, fine, straight and silky.

Good temperament…

They are very alert, energetic, active and over protective. They love attention and are an easy breed to train. This results from their own nature to work without human assistance.

Living with a Yorkie….

It’s fun to have such a beautiful breed around. They are a very proud breed and do not easily get friendly with new guest. They are perfect for small apartments too. They go very well with kids but we need to also make kids understand that they should not hit them while playing.

They demand lot of attention as it is their basic character. You might not take your eyes off from well-groomed Yorkie around you. They are perfect companion in the house especially because they are hypoallergenic. They don’t shed hair like other breeds and do not smell.

My Yorkie ‘Fredy’ can sense that I am home from long distance even if I am parking the car outside. He is so happy to see all the family members every time we go out and come back. He knows who has arrived and when. Even if someone arrives in the middle of the night he will react even before the door bell is pressed.

Pup care…

Eight weeks is the minimum age before which adopting the dog at home is not advisable. In fact, in case of Yorkies, one could even wait a bit more as they are a very tiny breed. The pet parent should also be very watchful of the food contents being fed to the puppy. However, the most important aspect about taking care of the dog is the personal warmth and care of the pet parent.

Exercise and play…

They are active little dogs. Play will take care of most of their exercise needs. If trained well, they can search anything you hide. They would love to run and look for rats. Running is their favourite fun time. Besides, daily walk is important for them. They need to go out and romp off lead in a safe fenced area.

Health problems…

Their digestive system is sluggish which can cause problems. Other health issues include bronchitis,breed profile lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts and keratitis sicca, arthritis and dysplasia. Also, they are prone to catch lot of infections through skin, ears, teeth, and eyes with ears being the weakest point through which bacterial infection sets in. It is important to take necessary precautions to avoid your puppy falling prey to these disease and infections which can be a fatal blow to the fitness of the dog.

Tips to pet parents…

Yorkies are one of the best breeds for a house with children. If you are blessed with a Yorkie, then spend time in grooming and learning about the breed. Try to buy dogs from recognised breeders after understanding the basic standards of the breed.

If you have a good Yorkie then spend time in grooming and learning about the breed. Unfortunately in India, we don’t have much Yorkie breeders thus we don’t see Yorkie in shows. Try to buy dogs from recognised breeders after understanding the basic standards of the breed.

Fantastic Fredy…

At present, my Yorkie Fredy Mercury is among the top winning Yorkies in the country. I travelled all the way to Czech Republic to get Fredy. He is from one of the reputed Yorkie kennels of the world i.e. Stribrne Prani. His dam and sire are champions in more than 20 countries individually. I am making an effort to get this breed more recognised in India by importing, showing and breeding Yorkshire Terrier. I hope other breeders make their contribution too.

(For Yorkshire Terrier puppies and few grown-ups,
contact Saket Arora at: 9818305222, 9313285133 or
Grooming needs…

Grooming a Yorkshire Terrier is quite a challenging task as this long-haired breed requires bathing, brushing, trimming and so on to make his coat elegant and healthy. Here are some grooming tips.

Bathing: Bathing is compulsory for every Yorkie, but the considerable point is the frequency which pet parents must decide according to the type of shampoo they choose. The shampoo should not remove natural oil from the dog’s skin and coat that can cause hair and skin damage. Using standard shampoo, Yorkie can be bathed once every 2-3 weeks.

Brushing: One of the most important tasks in grooming a Yorkie is brushing. Always use a spray conditioner to soften the coat while brushing. Brushing should start from the strands of hair and proceed on to the body. In case of tangle or mat in coat, avoid using brush, gently use your fingers to pull apart the tangled portion.

Tooth brushing: Yorkies are prone to tooth decay. Brush their teeth using toothpastes exclusively formulated for dogs.

Nail trimming: Yorkies require regular trimming of their nails. Difficult part in this task is that Yorkies have black nails which often defy where the underlying skin in the nail bed begins. It’s wise idea to get the nails trimmed by a groomer or vet.

Ear caring: It’s important to properly trim the ear hair of Yorkie puppies and some adults. Also, you can clean their ears at the same time. These tasks can also be done at home.

As long as trimming of your Yorkie is concerned, it is recommended to take him to a professional groomer.

Amazing Alaskan Huskies

Amazing Alaskan Huskies at La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc

The adrenaline rushes as mushers with teams of 14 dogs compete for an international sled dog race, spanning 900 kilometres in two weeks. The spectators watch the amazing dog-musher bond, where the musher commands his team of 14 dogs with his voice…here’s the story of La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc from dream to reality.

La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is an international sled dog race spanning 900 kilometres in French Alps and Swiss Alps. La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is intended for mushers with teams of 14 dogs who are experienced in long- and middle-distance. The course takes the teams to 20 ski resorts in France. For each of the 10 stages, time-trialed (every two minutes) or mass (in parallel) starts bring thousands of spectators to the Savoie Mont Blanc region.

The race includes three completely independent encampments: one in the first week and two in the second week.

The journey…

Amazing Alaskan Huskies

Amazing Alaskan Huskies

First they were two… The journey of La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc has been phenomenal and interesting. In 1998, Henry Kam (head – KTT, a hi-tech company) and Nicholas Vanier became friends. For many years, Henry had been supporting nature-adventure sporting events while Nicholas was preparing to cross Canada with his dogs and KTT was one of his partners. In 2002, Nicholas was preparing for the Yukon Quest, the legendary 1000-mile race linking the Yukon Territory to Alaska, when Henry asked, “Why don’t they have this in Europe?” Nicholas replied, “Because no one organises it.” The two decided to organise a similar race in Europe. Together they left for the Yukon Quest (between Maska and Yukon, it is a sled dog race of 1000 miles), Henry as a voluntary worker for the organisation. This was a ‘learning’ experience for them. The decision was made: La Grande Odyssée will be the greatest race Europe had ever known.

Then they were three… Dominique Grandjean, a well-known veterinary surgeon and a specialist in Huskies, with experience in organising races, joined the founder team. Three complementary expertises therefore came together: the champion’s expertise, knowledge of animals and marketing and organisational expertise.

Thus, it was decided that La Grande Odyssée would take place in the Portes du Soleil (Haute Savoie, France and Switzerland) and Haute Maurienne Vanoise (Savoie).

Then they became 20… In 2004, there were 16 French ski resorts and four Swiss ski resorts involved in creating 1000 km of routes, 90 percent located outside the skiable areas.

Then they were 500… On 7th January 2005, 18 best mushers in the world, representing 10 nations and accompanied by their 300 dogs, exceptional sports dogs and men, were in Avoriaz for the start of the first event. For organisational purposes, a team of 50 people had been created – more than 200 professionals and 250 Alpine huntsmen were involved. Some 20 partners offered their support, including Pierre & Vacances, the Ademe (French agency for the environment and energy management) and Eco-Emballages.

This first event was a great sporting, media and popular success, despite the numerous problems with organising any first event. It was confirmed: La Grande Odyssée, this great sporting event, matched the objectives of the Portes du Soleil (a ski-sports destination in Alps) and the Haute Maurienne Vanoise (a ski resort) in terms of image and values.

Then they were 1000… The second event in January 2006 had become the main theme for the winter communications strategy of the entire region. It enabled people to discover that the mountain is beautiful, that it can be used in a gentle and non-aggressive way and the values of authenticity, courage, and respect for the environment have a high educational value. La Grande Odyssée attracted more than 70,000 spectators and 1,000 people who were involved in this second edition.

What’s more? La Grande Odyssée became the medium for many ‘edutainment’ campaigns: 1,000 primary school children from Savoie were invited to take part in an educational project, conferences were organised to promote eco-citizen initiatives.

Then they were 1,000 and 1! In October 2006, the Savoie Mont Blanc brand name was chosen for the national and international promotion of all the tourist destinations of Savoie and Haute Savoie in summer as well as winters: 110 ski resorts, as well as the lakes, open spaces and national parks.

The concept

The dogs running this race are the most endurant animals in the world. They can run for hours, at a high speed in cold weather, but to reach this level, it requires great breeding, accurate training, feeding and most importantly the building of a strong bond between the dogs and the musher (man driving the sled). It is very important to notice that the musher drives his team only by his voice. He holds no leash or whip. The only link between the dogs and the musher is the voice. The dogs in front of the team learn many commands (direction, pace, etc) that they follow when asked by the musher. So, it’s only the trust and the love that the dogs have for their mushers who make them run.

There is no other sport than Mushing (name of dog sledding sport) where man and dogs can share the effort so much. It’s really the ultimate activity for those who want to share an adventure with their best four-legged friends.

Who can participate?

The majority of the dogs running La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc are Alaskan Huskies. The breed is still evolving as the mushers are still breeding the best dogs to increase the capacities of these dogs to run for a long time speedily in cold weather. No other dogs can stand the performances of the Alaskan Huskies. On the musher’s side, the men and women running La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc are true athletes as they need to help dogs to travel 750 km of mountain trails in 11 days of the race.

The awards

There is a 54,000 Euros purse shared by the Top 10. The special awards include Best Dog Care (to the musher who has shown the best care to his dogs all along the race); Rookie of the Year, Best Ranked Musher (among those who are running the race for the first time); Sportsmanship Award; Best Siberian Husky Team; Best Climber; Fastest Team on the Three Longest Uphills of the Race; Friendliest Musher (chosen by the staff); Friendliest Dog (chosen by the veterinarian team); and Red Lantern (last musher to finish the whole race).

Quick Facts about Sled Race

The race: Timed competition of teams of sled dogs who pull a sled with the dog driver or musher standing on the runners. The team completing the marked course in the least time is judged the winner.

Popular in: Arctic regions of the United States, Canada, Russia, and some European countries.

Types of sled race: Sprint (4 to 25 miles/day), mid-distance (100 to 300 miles), and long-distance (300 to more than 1,000 miles).

First sled race: All-Alaska Sweepstakes in 1908

First heroic expedition of sled dogs: Dog team of Alaskan postal service carried vaccines for a small town in Northwest Alaska, Nome in 1929 to save the residents from Diptheria, where even aircrafts could not fly due to harsh weather conditions.

Breeds: Earlier, all kinds of breed were used for sled race, including Saint Bernard. But, gradually Siberian huskies took over as they are faster and can withstand the harsh climatic conditions.

Major sled races: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska; Ivakkak in Nunavik, Quebec; La Grande Odyssée in French Alps; and Yukon Quest from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon one year then Whitehorse, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska the next.

Care for K9: Like all athletes, the Siberian Husky is also prone to twists, joint sprain, muscle tears, sore soles, stress diarrhoea, etc. Mushers take special care of their sled dogs. They are fed a high-energy nutritious diet and they are kept in shape all the year round. Mushers learn how to massage their pooch’s feet so that they can help them when the need arises. They also make them learn basic commands and are taught how to work as a team. All these dogs are well groomed as well and are regularly taken for their health check-ups to their vets.
Did you know?
Radek Havrda from Czech Republic is the only musher who has won the race two times, which is an amazing feat.

Next race
Next La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc race will be held from 11th to 22nd January 2014.

(Annabel Kam is Responsable Communication et Relations presse at La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc, Montreuil, France).

Terry with her Briards - Bucket, Rosa and Jammie

Love in a fur ball!

Stunning looks, extremely devoted to family and a sense of humour – can you ask for more? Briards are one of the most loving breeds of dogs…a sheer joy to be around! Here’s more on these wonderful dogs.

The looks…

Olive (Pic Courtesy: Irene Cotter, Furfetched Photography)

Olive (Pic Courtesy: Irene Cotter, Furfetched Photography)

The Briard’s general appearance is a medium build, athletic, herding dog. Their proportions are slightly off-square. Their countenance is distinct with proud head carriage and agile quicksilver movement. Their glorious coat and athletic gliding feline-like movement are probably their two most distinct and notable physical traits.

They have a double coat – a coarse and dry outer coat, which lies flat and falls in long wavy locks and a fine and tight undercoat. The Briard comes in various shades of tawny, black and gray and a combination of those colours. The breed also comes in dilution of the tawny and black although neither is considered desirable.

The average height of males is 24-27 inches while that of females is 22-25 inches and they weigh around 35 kg.

In the history…

French emperor Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette all owned Briards. The dogs were used to run messages, detect mines, pick up trails, support commando actions, find the wounded and carry food and ammunition to the front lines.

The demeanour…

The Briard is a working dog at heart and was developed in the beginning mostly as a guard dog and anti-poacher dog. With the advent of farming and the increase of population, they became an all purpose farm dog providing help with many of the farm tasks such as driving stock down the road to the fields, keeping stock in open unfenced grazes, and guarding the farm and family. Therefore, their basic temperament is one of protectiveness and discriminant tendencies. They are a dog who prefers to know their limited circle of family and friends and is intensely devoted to them. They must be thoroughly and constantly socialised outside of the home to strangers and new people for their first year of life.

The breed learns fast, has high drive to work and perform tasks, and has a developed sense of humour. They are a dog with strong opinions and an assertive nature. Briards are best in the hands of pet parents who are clear with setting and maintaining limits and boundaries.

Living with them…

Briards are a wonderful dog to live with. They are affectionate and loving to their family and friends, devoted and kind. Most would rather lie on the feet of their pet parents and that would be their favourite activity. The breed is rarely destructive, if raised right with boundaries and limits. They do not tend to be active in the house and even when young have a very sensible outlook on living within the confines of a house. Their sense of humour is one of their most delightful traits.

Exercise needs…

Briards are not usually a high energy breed. Exercise needs are the normal exercise given to any canine. Walking is good! As a young dog we especially feel it is good for them to get out and gallop and retrieve and get to stretch their legs at least few times a week.

Games to play…

Many Briards love to retrieve balls, sticks and frisbees. The breed loves games of chase and hide & seek. Tug of war with a stuffed toy is often a favourite, although it is discouraged from dogs living with young children.

Puppy care…

Puppy care is no different that sound raising practices of any growing medium size breed. We suggest a crate for confinement when no one is home or watching. An excellent quality dog food is a must and of course fresh water. Briards are easy to train, easy to housebreak and easy to bond with. The breed’s socialisation needs are extremely high. The new pet parent must be aware of the high maintenance of this breed. The grooming needs are very demanding, being a fully and heavy coated breed. The socialisation requirements outside of the home are even higher and cannot be treated lightly. There is no shortcut to proper care and raising with constant socialisation away from home. Briards are not a breed for overly busy people unless the dog can be included in every aspect of the busy lifestyle which can be a plus for socialisation.

Grooming needs…

The coat must be line brushed on every inch at least once a week using a pin brush and slicker. This process can take 1-5 hours, depending on the age of the dog and quality of the coat. Weekly bathing and blow drying with line brushing like all drop coat breeds keep the coat clean and mat free.

Briards do not really shed hair. But hair does die. Short coat breeds shed that dead hair and it falls all around on the floor, furniture and clothing. Long coat breeds have the live coat entangle with the dead hair which is what creates mats. The brushing process removes the dead hair when it is not shed and prevents the dead hair tangling into mats.


Most responsible breeders screen for hip dysplasia by x-raying. The breed has gastric torsion which most likely has some hereditary basis. The breed is also screened for Stationery Night Blindness (SNB) with a DNA test. SNB is inherited through recessive genes. As breeders we also screen for eye disease health through annual visits to veterinary ophthalmologists. There is definitely an inherited basis for poor temperaments with some dogs displaying genetically inherited dog or people aggression.

On a concluding note…

When considering the Briard, first make sure the breed will fit your lifestyle. They need you to be comfortable at being their leader and in charge of reinforcing consistent boundaries and rules. Briard is not a breed for a person looking for an easy pet. They are a lot of work when you include the grooming needs and socialisation requirements. If you are not afraid of the work involved, there is not a more devoted, demonstrative or loving pet on earth.

(Terry Miller of Deja Vu Briards is based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a dog behaviourist. Deja Vu Briards is home to almost 300 champions and holds every record for Briards. Deja Vu Briards is the home of the top winning male and female of all time and the top sire and dam of all time. Deja Vu dogs are exhibited all around the world and have won more Briard Club of America national specialties and group placements at the famous Westminster Kennel Club than any Briard kennel in history).

Briards we loved!

  • Ruff – In the popular comic Dennis the Menace, Ruff is Dennis’ big, lovable, faithful dog, who follows him everywhere.
  • Reno – In the film Top Dog, Reno is a police dog, whose handler was killed. He teams up with Wilder to investigate a plot by domestic terrorists to attack a conference on unity.
  • Cho Cho – In the movie The Karate Dog, Cho Cho is a dog who can speak to humans and is an expert in martial arts.
  • Sam the Sheep dog – In cartoon series Looney Tunes, Sam the sheepdog, is a large Briard Sheepdog with white or tan fur and mop of red hair that usually covers his eyes. He very rarely runs and tends to be sedentary in his movements.