Charming Collies!

A sight of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, a Collie is a friendly and elegant dog. Here’s more on this wonderful breed.

The looks…



Here is the breed who is extremely elegant and glamorous when in full coat. Their head is in proportion to the size of the dog. Whatever the colour of the dog, the nose is black. The neck is muscular, powerful, of fair length and well arched. The shoulder is sloped and well angulated. The forelegs are straight and muscular, neither in nor out at elbows, with a moderate amount of bone. The hind legs are muscular at the thighs, clean and sinewy below, with well bent stifles. Hocks are well let down and powerful. They are available in three colours: sable and white, tri-colour and blue merle.


Queen Victoria had several rough Collies working on her estate at Balmoral in Scotland and it was largely through her patronage that did much to popularise the breed. The traditionally bred rough Collie of today is probably the most likely to resemble his sheep herding ancestors. Their construction is very similar – masculine and athletic in appearance, built on lines of strength activity and grace with a shapely body and sound legs and feet.

However, a very large percentage of the Collies in Britain today differ from the traditional Collie. The breeders have put great emphasis on prettiness and beauty. There are exceptions to the rule but in the main they are smaller than the traditional Collie. Many purists believe that this has taken away much from the breed and the Collie’s natural bent for sheepdog work and have now started importing Collies particularly from North America and Europe to maintain their type and size.

Sweet disposition…

The Collies have a friendly disposition with no trace of nervousness or aggressiveness. They are friendly and intelligent.

Living with them…

Collies are an ideal family and good guard dogs. They can be vocal if faced with strangers or anything they have not seen before. They are fine with children provided the pet parents are responsible owners and don’t let their children be too overpowering with them. “It’s always better to bring home a puppy rather than an older dog who may not be used to children,” advises David.

Exercise needs…

Collies need regular exercise; the best exercise for a Collie is free running and playing in fields. “I myself walk my Collies between three and four miles daily; this is because I have the freedom of the Cotswolds but it is not necessary to walk them that far,” says David.

Puppy rearing…

After Collie puppies are weaned from their mothers, they should be house trained, followed by lead training and gradually getting them socialised. Getting them used to going out in a car is always a good idea as it may stop car sickness as they grow older. Socialising with people and going to dog classes can only do good and be confidence building for them.


It is always a good idea to get them used to be groomed from an early age with a variety of brushes and combs available. “When Collies shed their coat usually for the first time at about 12 months of age, it usually comes out in handfuls and the quicker the dead hair is removed, the sooner the new coat will come through,” tells David.

Play time…

Collies like playing with a ball. They can be seen carrying sticks and where there are two Collies, they like to play hide and seek in the garden. “When out on walks, they like chasing birds that may settle on the grass fairly close to them,” adds David.


Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is widespread in the breed. “The only age at which CEA can be accurately and permanently diagnosed is at six to seven weeks. A puppy who is clear then is known to be clear for life and will be highly valued as a breeding proposition,” concludes David.

(David Abbott is a breeder who lives in Cotswolds, England. In 1986 he first purchased Stumps Cross Cottage for the purpose of breeding and raising rough Collies.)

Sky story…

David Abbott imported Sky from Europe during 2012 to strengthen his breeding team and has had a very successful puppy career since arriving in England with eight wins at Championship Shows and three wins at Open Shows.

Champion Ingledene Late Night Love ‘Shady’

Born on 4th October 2000 with two siblings, Shady was clearly bound for stardom and is surely ‘the dog of a lifetime.’ Slightly smaller but no less robust than her sisters Lacey and Blondie, she pushed her way through and was soon heading the pack. Always full of self importance, she had a way of ‘drawing’ the eye with her fabulous glamour, free movement and showmanship. Her show career was consistent from the time she started as a minor puppy, going on to win the prestigious ‘NI Pup of the Year’ at the end of 2001, with her first CC coming at the age of 13 months, till she retired in 2007, having won a total of 23 Challenge Certificates, 20 Best of Breed, 7 Championship Best in Show, 3 Res. Best in Show, 4 x Group 1 and numerous group placings. She was the first female dog of the breed to win Best in Show at a General All Breed Championship Show, holds the female dog CC breed record and was the UK Top Winning Collie (Rough) for three consecutive years – 2003, 2004 and 2005 with another highlight in 2005 when she won Best of Breed at Crufts and placed Group 3. She was fearlessly campaigned and won equally well under Breed Specialist and All Round judges alike.

Shady is the dam of several Champion/International Champion offspring and is now into her 13th year, she is quite well and active with excellent sight and hearing, though not without her old bones showing a little discomfort some days. We hope she remains well enough to enjoy another summer, watching and barking at her sons, daughters and grand children enjoying crazy chases in the paddock.

–Valerie and John Geddes, Ingledene Collies.
(Valerie is one of the top breeders of traditional Collies in the UK.)

True Terriers!

Energetic, intelligent, athletic, fearless…a Jack Russell Terrier never tires easily…these little bundles of energy are suited to different dog sports such as flyball or agility.

Popular Jack Russell Terriers…

Born hunter: Jack Russell Terriers were bred to hunt down foxes which escaped and hid underground during hunt.

True Terriers!Pooch in the iconic HMV logo: You all must have seen the logo of HMV (His Master’s Voice), wherein a dog is looking and listening to a phonograph. Well, that dog is Nipper, a Jack Russell Terrier.

First pooch to travel to both North and South Poles: In 1982, Bothy, a Jack Russell, owned by explorers Ranulph and Ginny Fiennes, became the first dog to travel to both the north and south poles.

The saviour pooch: George, a Jack Russell, saved five children from pit bulls attack at a carnival in New Zealand. He was posthumously awarded the PDSA Gold Medal in 2009. People in Manaia, New Zealand pay tribute to him at his statue built in his memory.

Paw stars: Whether it is Bear, Gene Hackman’s pet in the 1995 movie Crimson Tide or Max, who played the role of Milo, Jim Carrey’s (Stanley Ipkiss) only friend in the 1994 movie The Mask, Jack Russell Terriers know how to rule our hearts. Other famous movies featuring Jack Russells include Mr Accident (2000), Hotel for Dogs (2009), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) and Beginners (2010).

More recently, Uggie, another Jack Russell Terrier, featured in two blockbusters – Water for Elephants and The Artist. The campaign ‘Consider Uggie’ was launched in December 2011 on Facebook for Uggie to receive a real or an honorary Oscar nomination. However, Uggie received a special mention at the Prix Lumière Awards in France and the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

The pooch in the book: Published by Scholastic, Jack Russell: Dog Detective is a series of adventures of a Jack Russell dog and his friends. This book is authored by Darrell and Sally Odgers.

Strange facts about Jack Russell

Some unusual things revolve around Jack Russell which we have not paid much attention! Let’s find them out.

  • Jack Russell boasts of amazing agility as this small breed can jump five feet high fences easily.
  • Having bred with hunting instinct, Jack Russell chases his prey even beneath the ground by digging. His thick waterproof coat helps him in this task.
  • A female Jack Russell named Tillie paints with her paws and claw strokes. She conducted 17 solo painting exhibitions at Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels and Bermuda and sold more than 100 paintings.
  • The National Geographic Channel documented a Jack Russell called Tokkolas who nurtured a lion cub and a cheetah cub as mother.

Some quick facts…

Size: 10-15 inches
Colour: White with black and/or tan markings
Coat: Smooth, rough or combination of both (broken coat)
Bred for: Fox hunting
Demanaour: Friendly and outgoing behaviour
Life with Jack Russell: True companions
Exercise: Regular exercise a must
Grooming: Very little and easy to groom
Apartment life: Fine, if exercised properly

The silk effect!

Elegant, beautiful, balanced, fun-loving, brave and adapting… Havana Silk Dog is all you can ask for.

Striking looks…

The silk effect!Havana Silk Dog is a small but athletic dog. He is rectangular in shape and has long silky hair. His coat is soft, slightly wavy and long. Bred for herding, he has a lively gait. He has a black, broad nose while his dark, large eyes are set well apart. His eyes are barely visible as he has a curtain of hair falling over them. His ears are set high and are triangular in shape.

They are available in a variety of colours. Their height ranges from 8-11 inches while they weigh around 3-6 kg.

Remarkable personality…

Havana Silk Dog is a fun-loving, socially attracted dog with an easy going and adaptable nature. They are wonderful, amiable companions who like nothing more than to be with their people. They are intuitive and good natured… willing to match their activities to that of their pet parents. From running companions to couch potatoes, they are happy to enjoy activity, or inactivity with them. They are very accepting of children and are gentle and tolerant of them.

Puppy care…

Havana Silk puppies are small and should be maintained in a safe environment under supervision. Exercise pens make safe havens when pet parents cannot watch their puppy. Housebreaking can be challenging in small dogs and too much freedom, too soon, makes it nearly impossible.

Exercise needs…

They do not require a lot of exercise but, if they feel the need to run off excess energy, they will simply do it… the game is called ‘Runlikehell’… they simply get up and race around spontaneously until they are done… Some are good retrievers while others enjoy working with pet parents in ‘rally’ and ‘agility’ exercises.

Groom them beautiful…

If kept in full coat, they should be combed frequently with baths depending on their activities and environment. They shed very little. However, dead hair must be combed or brushed out or they will mat. Sanitary trimming helps keep them clean.

(Joanne V Baldwin, DVM, has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 35 years, and has devoted much of that time working to improve the health and genetic soundness of purebred dogs. Since 1992 she has been deeply involved in the evolution of Havana Silk Dog, raising top show dogs, performance dogs and beloved pets).

Kudos to the wags!

Havana Silk Dogs are very individual in their behaviour… some are lap dogs, some more independent. They are intuitive and usually adapt their behaviour to suit the situation. They make wonderful therapy dogs…for nursing homes, hospitals, Alzheimer units and schools for autistic children.

Cute Hush Puppy dog!

Small, short-legged, scent hound…the Basset Hound is known for both his sense of smell and long hanging ears that sweep the ground!

Hush-Puppy-lWhat’s in a name: The name Basset is derived from French word bas which means ‘low.’ Bassets do have very short legs that keep them low to the ground. Originally bred for tracking hare and rabbit.

Historical connections: Basset Hounds came into the limelight as a popular dog breed during the time of Emperor Napoleon III in France. Famous French sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet, who is known widely for his sculpture of Joan of Arc in Paris, exhibited the emperor’s Basset Hounds at Paris Salon in the year 1853. After a decade, the breed gained global recognition.

For once, wrinkles are cool: Their hanging skin structure gives them a wrinkled and sad but cute look.

Ears… not just for listening: The long trailing ears of Basset Hounds are more than the hearing purpose. This breed with powerful nose uses his floppy ears, which usher on the floor while sniffing, to trap the scent of the thing or object he is tracking after.

Nose… best in the town: Being a breed bred for hunting, Basset Hounds boast of their strong scent power. Even in the indoors, these hound dogs are famous for their ability to detect any eatable items abandoned recklessly somewhere around. Hunters take the advantage of this breed’s sniffing competence to lead them to the direction where lie the objects of their interest.

Don’t go by their size: These dwarf dogs are extremely tall for their stature. They can reach things on tables which other dogs of their size cannot.

United colours of Bassets: Coat colours of Basset Hounds are varied from one country to another. But their common and usual colour is a tricolour of black, tan and white or bicolour of tan and white. Popular tan coloured coat of the breed can have colour variations from reddish brown and red to lemon. But the combination of lemon and white is quite a rare colour.

Excellent pets: They love people and are extremely good with children. They are loyal to their pet parents and hate to be alone.

Love to talk: They love to talk…howl, bark, whine…they use different sounds to express.

Take care of the ears: Their ears need to be clean and dry to avoid infections and ear mites. Their long ears can also fall into the food bowl; puppies can trip over them and bite their ears. Hence, give special attention to their ears while grooming.

Give attention to the eyes: Bassets have droopy eyes and can collect dirt and mucous. Wipe them with a clean damp cloth every day.

Sitting pretty on a logo: The logo of Hush Puppies brand of shoes features a Basset Hound named Jason.

Popular Bassets: Right from Emperor Napoleon and Queen Alexandra upto US President George Washington were blessed with Basset Hounds. The US President was gifted a Basset Hound for his hunting expeditions.

As they were bred to hunt in packs they are very social and gentle.

Famous Bassets

Be it in TV series, music videos, advertisements, magazines… Basset Hounds have made widely acclaimed global reputation. Elvis Presley’s famous song Hound Dog was dedicated to a Basset Hound named Sherlock. The classic TV series Lassie featured a Basset named Pokey who was a close friend of Lassie, a long-haired Collie. Time magazine in 1928 carried a Basset Hound on its front cover on the occasion of the 52nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan. Some of the famous Basset Hounds in movies are Lafayette in The Aristocrats; Toby in Great Mouse Detective; Buster in Toy Story 2 & 3, to name a few!
Breed Profile

Irish Wolfhound: A thorough gentleman!

Giant size, sweet disposition, loving heart…Irish Wolfhounds are truly a sight to behold! Fall in love with these gentle giants!

One of the tallest dog-breeds, Irish Wolfhound derives his name from the purpose they were bred – wolf Breed Profilehunting with dogs. Despite their size, these huge dogs are an epitome of power, swiftness and keen sight.

Ancient root…

Origin of Irish Wolfhounds in Ireland is dated back to 7000 BC. Mentioning of this breed as ‘Cu’ has been found in Irish literature and laws during the fifth century. The term ‘Cu’ is literally used to represent various meanings, such as hound, Irish hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc and prefixed on the names of famous Irish warriors. The breed was almost disappeared in certain period of time in history. But Captain DE Graham of the British Army has revived the bloodline of the breed – bringing up to the present day Irish Wolfhounds.

The magnificent looks…

Irish Wolfhounds are the largest and tallest of galloping breeds – they can actually reach the size of a small pony! Muscular and strong, these dogs are gracefully built. Look at an Irish Wolfhound while he is walking as his movement is so easy and active. Their head is long and so is their muzzle. They have small ears which prick when they are excited. Their legs are long but strong enough to carry their huge size. They are rough-coated and their tail is long with slight curve at the edge. They are found in various colours like grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, wheaten and steel grey. The minimum height of male Irish Wolfhound is 32 inches while that of female is 30 inches and they weigh around 40-69 kg.


Irish Wolfhound is usually described as the gentle giant, full of love and loyalty. They are extremely patient, intelligent and of course sweet-tempered. Although, they are Sighthounds, their temperament is different a bit. When it comes to foreigners or strangers, Irish Wolfhounds are usually more open than let’s say a Greyhound or a Saluki. But we mustn’t forget that they are real Sighthounds, which means that we must socialise them from a very young age, otherwise they might become shy and reserved towards people. That’s the reason why they are not good watchdogs…people would be intimidated with their big size, but their friendliness towards strangers can act as a deterrent.

They are relatively easy to train and should be trained at a very young age to avoid the hassles of a giant disobedient dog. An 80-kilogram is simply not easy to be taught…!

Living with an Irish Wolfhound…

Breed Profile

Brady of Irish Creame Kennel wins Best of Group competition at an international dog show.

An Irish Wolfhound is a perfect family dog and perfect company to a child, as they are very patient and soft. But, it is not recommended to keep an Irish Wolfhound in a flat or house; they are hunting dogs, more importantly, they are Sighthounds, thus they need to be bounded to nature.

They are close to their family and can become bored if left for long periods of time. As all other dogs, they are the happiest if they have a dog as a company. This way they will not get bored, neither depressed.

An Irish Wolfhound puppy needs care and love, and it’s very important that one must not force them to move or exercise more than they are supposed to. In other words, an Irish Wolfhound puppy can move only as much as he wants to. The importance of this ‘unwritten rule’ lies in the fact that as all giant breeds, their joints and bones are more sensitive than in the case of small breeds. They do need walks and outings with their pet parents, but we must never overstrain them.

“The last variety and most wonderful of all that I shall mention is the great Irish Wolf dog, that may be considered as the first of the canine species… bred up to the houses of the great… he is extremely beautiful and majestic in appearance, being the greatest of the dog kind to be seen in the world….”
–Oliver Goldsmith, Animated Nature, 1770

Exercise – more muscle, more power

An adult Irish Wolfhound needs exercise in order to build the needed muscles for every day life. This gives him more power and makes him agile.

Balanced food – a must

Feeding is also very important when it comes to an Irish Wolfhound. Give him a well-balanced diet with vitamins, minerals and other components. They must never be too fat or obese as being obese may be fatal in long term.

Grooming needs

They should not be bathed frequently – once in a month is enough! But they need regular grooming of their coat using different grooming knives like the Hauptner grooming knife. Also, in some areas, body scissors are needed. Since the use of these accessories is not so simple, it should be done by a professional handler or a groomer!


Their average life expectancy ranges from seven to nine years due to their big size. They might suffer from heart disease or cancer. Besides, there’s a common phenomenon named bursitis (typical in the case of young dogs, but not characteristic in the case of adult dogs). It is commonly caused by repetitive and excessive pressure and hits on the same spot, elbows are the most commonly affected, but sometimes may occur on the back as well. It’s neither dangerous, nor serious, but requires treatment. It’s pretty displeasing to the dog. The best treatment is to use crèmes and bandage with massage. Homeopathy treatment is also effective.

All in all, Irish Wolfhounds are excellent companion dogs – huge dogs with a heart of gold!

(Anna Szabó with her father Szabó Vilmos breed Irish Wolfhounds at Irish Cream Kennel in Zala, Hungary.)

Breed Profile

Excellent Eight!

Every breed of dog is different…there are some physical or behavioural characteristics that set them apart from other breeds. Here are EIGHT such breeds we have loved and admired!


1. Black-tongued Chow Chows…only literally!


  • Original root: Originated from China, Chow Chow is locally known as Songshi Quan which literallyBreed profile means Puffy Lion Dog.
  • Ancient breed: A very old dog breed, Chow Chows can be seen on old Chinese pottery, dating back to 206 BC.
  • Black-mouthed: What sets them apart is that they have a blue-black tongue and black lips.
  • Blue is the colour to be: A blue-coated Chow Chow also has a blue or grey nose.
  • Stilted walk: Their straight hind legs are almost straight, which make their walk as if they are walking on stilts.
  • Lion or dog: Their broad muzzle around their head gives them a lion like appearance.
  • Who’s the boss: This dog surely needs to know who’s the boss…only a dominant alpha pet parent can keep them in control.
  • Love you always: They are mostly one-person dog, extremely loyal to their pet parent.
  • Foot fetish: They love to curl around their pet parent’s feet and kiss them…so snuggle with them on a cold winter day and bask in their warmth and love.
  • Famous Beagles: US President Calvin Coolidge was a proud pet parent to a Chow and Sigmund Freud felt that his Chow named Jo-Fi helped him in therapy sessions. And other celebs in the ring of Chow lovers include Drew Barrymore, Salena Gomez, Mathew McConaughey and Portuguese soccer ace Nani (Manchester United).


2. Swimming champ Newfoundland!


  • What’s in the name: As the name suggests, these dogs are from Newfoundland in Canada bred for hunting fish, herding and guarding.
  • I am a ‘Complan Boy’! They grow up to 150 pounds and what’s amazing is that most of their growth takes place in the first year of their life.
  • Water-resistant coat: Their double coat is flat and repellent to water. The outer coat is oily and coarse while the undercoat is oily and soft.
  • Webbed feet: They have webbed feet which helps them in swimming.
  • Baywatch babes: They love to swim in water and can act as water rescue dogs; S.I.C.S. – Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs engages in heli-rescue session is founded by Ferruccio Pilenga, a pet parent of a Newfoundland and volunteer in Italian Civil Protection. In 1828, a Newfoundland named Hairyman in Isle of Aux Morts saved more than 160 Irish immigrants from ship wreck. While escaping from Alba Island, Napoleon Bonaparte once drowned into the sea and the rescuer who afloat the French Emperor to the safe place was a Newfoundland.
  • Perfect body: Their extremely large bone structure and perfectly built musculature make them suitable to take on fierce streams or rough ocean current.
  • Quiet dog: If you do not like dogs who bark…here’s a breed for you…because they rarely bark.
  • Drool… a problem: They drool a lot when they are feeling hot or are excited. They even drool after drinking water and they drink vast amount of water. So, always give them a big bowl of fresh water, if you have a Newfoundland at home.
  • I don’t overeat: Don’t go by their size…they do not eat much…they eat just how much a Lab eats!
  • Am your shadow: They love to follow their pet parents…everywhere…whether you are working or relaxing!
  • Smart n’ brave: Newfoundlands protect their pet parents at all times…they are always ready to place themselves between their family and the threat or they will corner the person who poses a threat! But they will not attack. What’s more, they are intelligent enough to know which person or thing could be a threat to their family.
  • Popular character: They are popular as fictional characters, such as ‘Nana’ the beloved nanny to children in Peter Pan.


3. Wrinkled Shar-Pei!


  • What’s in a name: The word ‘Shar-Pei’ means sandy coat.
  • Ancestry trace: This breed is considered to be one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world.
  • Only wrinkles that look cute: What sets the Chinese Shar-Pei apart from other dogs is his extremely wrinkled skin.
  • l Perfect protector: For years, Shar-Peis were used as guard dogs to protect cattle, homes, etc.
  • Looks that kill: Their prickly coats can fend off wild animals like boars. Always active in fighting; if somebody grabs their loose wrinkle, they can easily twist to escape from the grip.
  • Lose wrinkles when grow old: Perhaps they are the only living beings in the world who lose wrinkles as they grow! Puppies have more wrinkles than adult Shar-Peis.
  • Skin problems…no: It is a myth that Shar-Peis have skin problems due to wrinkles. In fact, they have skin problems if it is a heredity issue.
  • Blue-black tongue: Another distinct characteristic is their blue-black tongue.
  • No undercoat: These dogs do not have a undercoat, just a coarse over coat.
  • Who’s the boss: If you do not establish all human family members as higher in the Shar-Pei pack, chances are that he will not accept the hierarchy and think himself to be the boss.
  • What Chinese believed: In olden times, Chinese thought that their wrinkles and black mouth would ward off evil spirits.
  • Record holder: Time magazine has named Shar Pei as one of the world’s rarest breeds.


4. Dalmatian: see spot run


  • What’s in a name: They are named after the Croatian province of Dalmatia, probably their place of origin. They were also known as Firehouse dogs, Carriage dogs or Spotted Coach dogs.
  • Watch dog: Since Dalmatians were used as war and guard dogs in the borders of Dalmatia, this breed is still high in his guarding instinct and hence considered good watch dogs.
  • No spots when born: These spotted animals are in fact born white, without any spots. The spots begin to show after two weeks.
  • Water animals: Dalmatians love to play in water and are good swimmers.
  • Hypoallergenic dog: If you love dogs but are allergic to them, Dalmatian is a breed for you.
  • Athletic dog: They are active and can be used as rescue or guard dog, athletic partner and they participate in activities like jogging, horse riding, fly-ball, agility. They need lots of exercise to keep them calm.
  • Fire fighting mascot: This breed is widely known for his role as an escort of fire fighting apparatus. In carriage drawn days, this breed being compatible with horses would run in front of the carriage helping to clear the way and guide the fire fighters to their destinations.
  • Excellent hunters: Dalmatians are excellent hunters of rats, rodents; used as bird dogs, trail dogs, stag hunting, etc.
  • The million-dollar smile: Sometimes, Dalmatians curl their lips as if they are smiling.
  • Run…run…run: For all the health freaks, here’s good news. A Dalmatian can run for hours, without being tired. So, wanna have a run with him?
  • Disease akin to humans: They are the only animal to develop swelling in joints (gout), a disease common in humans.
  • No protein please: Here’s a breed who cannot digest protein…it can actually lead to bladder stones.
  • Velcro dog: They love their pet parents and will virtually stick with them… companionship guaranteed all the time!
  • Popular Dalmatians: They gained fame, especially after British author Dodie Smith’s book 101 Dalmatians published in 1956. Besides, George Washington is also believed to have a Dalmatian. And the breed features attractively with actor Priyanka Chopra in Garnier’s Light moituriser ad.


5. Pug: big dog in small package!


  • What’s in a name: The word Pug means a person who likes to tease or play tricks while the Latin word ‘Pugnus’ means fist. Probably, since Pug’s faces look like closed fist, their name would have been derived from this word.
  • Much in little: Pug is referred as Multum in Parvo (Much in Little to describe the breed’s remarkable personality, irrespective of his smallness.
  • l Wider popularity: Though originated in China, Pugs became popular in western Europe across the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland. They have been popular in Tibet because Buddhist monks adopt the breed lovingly. Then the Pug was later patronised by Queen Victoria.
  • Different names, one dog: Pugs are known as Carlins in France, after the name of a man who played the role of a man with a black mask. Fawn-coloured Pugs have black-markings on their face, covering their ears, which look like a blackmask! Pugs are also called Lion Dogs in China.
  • Religious dogs: Pugs were considered religious symbols in Tibet and China. In fact, Chinese were so possessive about Pugs, that they did not trade them until the 1800s.
  • Bred from Mastiffs? Did you know that Pugs have been bred from Mastiffs! These cute looking toy breed has been bred from the large breed Dogue de Bordeaux, cross-bred with a smaller dog. No doubt, this dog is a big dog in small package!
  • Largest toy breed: Toy breeds are diminutive size dogs and Pugs are the largest dogs in this category.
  • Well shaped wrinkles: The wrinkles on the Pug’s face are arranged like the Chinese symbol for the word ‘Prince,’ just suited for the dogs reared by royalty.
  • Bark: louder than his size: Though a Pug is not a good watchdog, but his loud bark can wake you up from your sleep, if not scare the intruder away.
  • Groom the short hair: If you think that the straight and short hair of Pugs does not need grooming, you are wrong. They shed a lot and hence need to be brushed regularly.
  • Not a hot dog: Pugs are very sensitive to heat as they do not have any cooling area on their bodies. Hence, it is very important to keep them cool on hot weather days.
  • Famous Pugs: Napoleon’s wife Josephine Bonaparte was blessed with a Pug, who went into the battle with her husband. He carried secret messages from Napoleon to his wife. Another popular Pug saved his master Prince William from assassination in 1572, when Holland was at war with Spain. William was sleeping and his Pug alerted him and woke him from the disaster.
  • Popular fames: Well-known pugs in movies like Frank in Men in Black and others in Pug-featuring flicks like Hotel of Dogs, The Adventure of Milo and Otis, Pocahontas, etc make the breed popular in Hollywood. Also remarkable is Cheeka in Vodafone’s India campaigns.


6. St Bernard: sweet giants!


  • What’s in a name: Their name comes from Bernard of Menthon–a monk in the 11th century, established a traveller lodge at a pass in Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The pass and lodge also got their names from the monk.
  • Daring rescuer: St Bernards have become popular through tales of their Alpine rescue jobs. But now participate popularly in dog sports like carting and weight pulling.
  • No brandy barrels around their neck: People often talk of St Bernard running around the Alps, rescuing injured skiers, with a small barrel of brandy around their neck. In reality, St Bernards have been rescuing people lost in snow and avalanches but minus the brandy around their neck.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover: Though St Bernard is a heavy, muscular breed…he is quite active and agile and his feats as a rescue dog confirm this further.
  • Sweet giant: This giant breed has a heart of gold. He is intelligent and sweet tempered. In fact, he’s great with kids and other pets.
  • Grown fast: Proper foods and abundant exercise are required as the breed grows very fast. Producers of the 1992 film Beethoven claimed that they used more than 100 St Bernard pups to portray four puppies in the sequel of the movie because the breed grew extraordinarily fast during filming.
  • Warm dog but cold environment: Though St Bernard is a warm and loving dog, he cannot do well in a warm climate. So, if you stay in a warm area, St Bernard is not a breed for you.
  • Famous St Bernard: Barry is the most famous St Bernard who rescued around 100 people from the snow. His body rests in the Natural History Museum in Switzerland.
  • Better socialisation: As St Bernards are large breeds they need well socialisation with people and other dogs to prevent from any territoriality and aggression.


7. Chihuahua: big ‘tiny’ dog


  • What’s in a name: They are named after a state in Mexico called Chihuahua. But still there have been quite a number of confusing stories about the origin of the breed.
  • Smallest among all: Chihuahua is the smallest among all dog breeds.
  • Sweet nicknames: In order to describe Chihuahua puppies, breeders use different terms like Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Teacup, Miniature and so on.
  • Sacred breed: Chihuahuas were considered sacred by the Aztec and Toltec tribes of Mexico. In fact, in Mexico and the United States, their remains have been found buried with humans!
  • Brainy: Compared to their body size, these little dogs have largest brains.
  • Who owns whom: You never own a Chihuahua, he owns you…only if he chooses you. They like to choose their own human. But once chosen, they are extremely loyal.
  • Look at the ears: As puppies, Chihuahuas have floppy ears, which stand up as they grow older.
  • l Sun beauties: They love to sunbathe…so if you are heading to a beach to get some sun tan, don’t forget to take along your Chihuahua.
  • Large litter: These tiny dogs give birth to a litter upto 10 puppies.
  • Snore: Don’t go by their size, these little ones actually snore while sleeping.
  • Super watch dogs: For them, size does not matter; they will not hesitate to attack the intruders.
  • Warm up to a Chihuahua: In olden days, people used Chihuahuas as hot packs to relieve aches and pains.
  • Feeding care: Amount of foods should be carefully measured while feeding a Chihuahua because overfeeding causes diabetes, shortening of life span and other health hazards to this breed.


8. Sniffer Beagles!


  • Amazing sniffers: Beagles have as many as 220 million scent receptors, making them great tracking dogs. They are scent hounds who have gained their popularity in tracking games.
  • Breed group: They have similar feature with Foxhound and are members of Hound Group.
  • l Detective dog: Their extraordinary sense of smell and tracking instinct make them detective dogs involved in various activities.
  • Water-proof coat: Beagles are hunting dogs with water-proof coat. Their coat also does not attract burrs or plants…making them very easy to groom.
  • Trailing white tip: Beagles have a white tip on their tails. This helped hunters to trace them in tall grasses.
  • No smell, no drool: If you do not like the doggy odour, Beagle is a dog for you. Also, a Beagle does not drool.
  • Better female bonding: If you are a female, then Beagle is for you…Beagles love female company; they bond with them quicker than males.
  • Who cares: Perhaps the most difficult part of training for Beagles is to come when called!
  • Foodies: Beagles are big foodies and their amazing smelling capability, comes handy at finding food hidden away!
  • Famous Beagles: Queen Elizabeth loved Beagles, and she has even been painted with them! While, Beagles named Him and Her lived at the White House with their pet parent President Lyndon B Johnson. Also, equally popular are the Snoopy from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip and Odie, Garfield’s pal in Jim Davis’ comic strip. Even, Shakespeare mentions Beagle in his literary work Twelfth Night.
Breed Profile

Toy Fox Terrier Pawfect Pawsome Pooch

They are true terriers who love to do everything with you; strong, sturdy with enough energy to hike with you all day and with just the right amount of toy dog in them so that they are not hyper and like to cuddle.

Don’t go by the size of the Toy Fox Terrier (TFT), they may look small but they are a terrier in a true sense. You will simply love their smartness and playfulness. He is a big dog in a small package. A TFT is also known as the American Toy Terrier or Amertoy.

Strong n’ elegant…

Eager, intelligent and full of interest – that’s how a TFT looks. His dark-coloured V-shaped eyesBreed Profile are bright and clear while his ears are pointed and set high. He is square in shape with his length approximately equal to height while the females are slightly longer. Their average height is around 10 inches and they weigh around 1.5-3 kg. They are muscular and athletic, with short glossy coat. They are found in four colours – tricolour (white body with black markings, black head with sharply defined tan markings on the cheeks, lips and eye dots), white, chocolate and tan (predominantly chocolate head & body spots are chocolate), white and tan (predominantly tan head with tan body markings) and white and black (predominantly black head and body markings).

Sweet demeanour…

Alert, friendly, intelligent, completely loyal and protective to their pet parents, that’s how a Toy Fox Terrier is! They learn new tasks easily and are eager to please their pet parents. Their special capability is their ability to adapt to almost any situation. In fact, like other terriers, TFTs are self-possessed, spirited, determined and not easily intimidated. He is a highly animated toy dog who is comical, entertaining and playful all his life. They are a very small breed, not really suited for really small children but they will get along with them, if the children are not really rough if they are raised or well socialised with children.

Life a pleasure with them…

They are great dogs to live with and will do well in an apartment. They will do everything that you want to do and then they will not hesitate to curl up in front of the TV for the evening with you.

Exercise is fun…

They will usually get all the exercise they need in the house or yard but they love their walks. They love to play throw, retrieve and tug of war. They are easy to train for obedience, rally and agility.

Groom me little…


They need very little grooming. All they need is brushing 1-2 times a week, daily tooth brushing, nail clipping and a bath 1-3 times a year. Since they are a short-haired breed, they shed but not a lot. Hence, maintaining them is an easy task.

Sturdy breed…

The breed has a few problems like thyroid and patellar luxation that should be tested before the dogs are bred. Also check the lines out for allergies or other health problems, make sure you get a health guarantee from the breeder. Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who has done the testing and the dogs have tested clear.

On a concluding note…

They are the Terriers with the most pleasant behaviour and a lovely disposition. If you are looking for some fun in your life, bring home a TFT!

(Karl & Sharon Hager of Kilshans Kennels have been breeding and showing West Highland White Terriers for about 30 years when and then we decided to start looking into some smaller terriers who didn’t take so much grooming and Toy Fox Terrier answered everything that we wanted. We are enjoying showing and training these fun dogs in conformation, rally obedience, regular obedience and agility. They are doing very well and we have several titles in both conformation & rally. We have taught three of our TFTs to paint; we do demos occasionally with them).

breed profile

Born to win –American Staffordshire Terrier

If you are looking for a family member who will be caring, loving and ready to go to any heights for you, then bring home an American Staffordshire Terrier and you will never be alone!

“The American Staffordshire Terrier is the strongest dog in the world for his size. He exudes self-confidence and is highly intelligent. His very nearly human facial expressions…make him both handsome and comical. With sleek coat, muscular body and agile movements, he is a large dog wrapped in a medium-sized package – enough dog for anyone and too much dog for some,” sums up Jacqueline Fraser, ‘The American Staffordshire Terrier’ Denlinger, 1991.

The origins…breed profile

The Amstaff originated in the early 1800s by combining the Bulldog of that era to the now extinct Game Terrier. Their ancestors were bred to be pit dogs and were victims of human cruelty and entertainment. A quotation from a ‘pit man’ in early research embodies the Amstaff temperament, “These dogs were not bred to fight (any dog will fight) – these dogs were bred to WIN”. It is this winning attitude that endears the Amstaff to so many people and makes the breed so versatile and adaptable.

When bull baiting and pitting dogs became illegal, the Amstaff easily used his abilities and intelligence in other venues. In rural America, he soon became an invaluable member of the family farm. He is an excellent stock dog, catch dog, hunting dog and protector of livestock and family. He successfully works as a search and rescue dog, therapy dog, an accomplished actor and decorated war hero. No task is too difficult for this intelligent and agile dog.

Epitome of strength…

The American Staffordshire Terrier gives the impression of great strength for his size. He is muscular, agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. His eyes are dark and round and ears are set high on the head. Their coat is short and smooth.

The Amstaff’s height and weight are proportionate. The males are 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders, the females are 17 to 18 inches, and their weight range from 60 to 70 lbs. They are available in many colours; however, all white or black and tan are discouraged.

The non-typical terrier…

The American Staffordshire Terriers are poised and alert to their surroundings; if they are startled or threatened, they will not cower or flee but will meet the challenge head on. The Amstaff’s energy is boundless; he has exuberance for life and is an athlete with no limitations. They are not a dog who should be tied or left without human interaction, because their primary objective is to please their pet parents and to be separated from him for length of time; they view as punishment and more unbearable than death.

Bragging rights…

Every Amstaff pet parent has a story to share, of how his or her dog has protected or provided a service for them or a member of their family. They are constant companions and champions of children and adults alike, they recognise the difference between friend and foe and will rise to any challenge he encounters. They will lay their own lives down to protect their human without regard to their own safety.

Living with them…

They can live in an apartment if they are exercised properly. They prefer warm climates and are active indoors. They need to be exercised everyday, which may include long daily walks, jogs or runs.

They need to be groomed regularly – brush them with a firm bristle brush and bathe or dry shampoo them when necessary.

On adopting…

Inviting an Amstaff to be a member of your family is a decision not to be taken lightly. They do require a leader who will help them funnel their energy and exercise their intelligence with challenges. They are content to live on a farm or in the city, as long as they are with their family they are content. Be prepared to be entertained!

(Tammy Marsh runs the Dapple Hills Amstaffs, USA –

Wheaten Terrier make life beautiful!

Always in good mood, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is as sweet as honey. They are loyal companions with whom you would love to share your life… today and all tomorrows.

Journey down the lane…breed profile

The history of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, also called as Wheaten, has been somewhat obscured by its closeness to the other Irish Terrier breeds. The Wheaten is probably the oldest of the four breeds. Their existence for at least 200 years can be inferred from textual references to soft-coated dogs. The relation of the modern Irish Terrier to the Wheaten, though less well documented, appears to have been the result of deliberate breeding experiments. So the humble Wheaten probably has a fairly mixed ancestry. Despite the long history of the Wheaten, it wasn’t until 1937 that the soft coated Wheaten was officially recognised by the Irish Kennel Club. The breed has grown steadily in popularity since and is now well-known worldwide. Wheaten Terriers were used by small farmers to kill vermin or help with the work about the farm. They were used for a long time in the difficult job of hunting badgers and otters.

The looks…

A Wheaten is a hardy and active who is well-built and gives the idea of strength. He is neither too leggy nor too low to the ground. His head is powerful, without being coarse and is in proportion to the body. His eyes are dark hazel coloured, not too large, not prominent and well placed. His ears range from small to medium, carried in front and are at a level with skull. His tail is well set, not too thick and carried gaily but never over the back. His coat can range from shades of light wheaten to a golden reddish hue. Single-coated, the texture is soft and silky to feel and not harsh. The coat at its longest is almost five inches (12.7 cm). It is soft, wavy or loosely curled with the sheen of silk. The puppies are seldom born with the correct colour or texture of the coat. They go through several changes of colour and texture before developing the mature adult coat, which usually occurs between 18 months and two and a half years.

The height of males is 18-19 inch (46 – 48 cm) while that of females is somewhat less and they weigh around 18 – 20.5 kg.

Excellent temperament…

Spirited and gameful, Wheatens are good tempered. They are most affectionate and loyal to their pet parents. They are intelligent and can be a trustworthy, faithful friend. They are defensive but without aggression. They have a special talent to make you consider them just as family members.

Living with them…

There are not enough words to describe how much joy and affection a Wheaten Terrier can bring to your home. They are always in good mood and happy and don’t hesitate to display their affection. They take interest in whatever you do and they are extremely close to their pet parents.

They love children. They are the best companions ever. Their playful and affectionate temperament matches very well with what children are looking for in a dog company. Although they are not watch dogs, they will instinctively keep an eye on the children of the family and protect the family from strangers if a danger was to occur.

Daily exercise – a must…

They need to be exercised daily. Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can live in a flat, apartment only if they daily have the opportunity to be walked in a park for a minimum of one and a half hour where they can run freely unleashed. They are very quiet inside the house, rarely bark but they need outdoor activities.

No shedding…

They do not have undercoat so they do not shed at all. They are considered as hypoallergenic dogs and highly recommended for people having allergies to pet hair.

Training at an early age…

Wheaten Terriers typically welcome family and friends in a very demonstrative way. They usually start this behaviour when they are still little puppies. So you will need to train them not to do it but never yell at them or hit them! Wheatens are very sensitive dogs. Love is the main thing of the Wheatens’ training.

Games they love…

They love to play ball and to retrieve sticks, even in the water if they were trained since a young age. Some people practice agility with them and they are doing very well. They are Terriers so they were at a time hunting dogs. Long walks in the countryside, where they can smell on tracks, is one of their favourite activities. They do not run away like other hunting dogs so you can unleash them in the fields or on trails. They will follow you and won’t go too far away from you, you will always have them in close sight.

The healthy breed…

Pure Irish Soft Coated Wheaten lines don’t have a disease specific to their breed. Some breeders mixed Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers with Poodles and Kerry Blues, to get a fluffy frizzy coat easy to sculpt and more spectacular in shows. These unconsidered matings have brought some diseases like kidney dysplasia. All the hereditary problems that you could read about Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers belong to dogs from mixed lines.

Once you have shared life with a Wheaten, you might have another one and for sure, you would never live without one!

(Katia Gobbi is a breeder of Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and is representative of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed by the French Terrier Breeds Club (CFAT-DT)).

breed profile

Newfoundlands: The life saviours

Dogs are man’s best friends and Newfoundlands live to this adage. They are life saviours – rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. Here’s more on this amazing breed.

Newfoundlands were earlier used for hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to the shores, retrieving things which breed profilefell overboard and most importantly rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. They are still used as outstanding water rescue dogs. S.I.C.S., the school for rescue-at-sea and air-rescue in the marine environment in Italy, trains dogs, especially the Newfoundlands for this amazing feat.

The strong persona…

Strong and massive, Newfoundlands are bear-like dogs. Their head is broad and heavy and so is their muzzle. Their nose is black and eyes are deep-set and brown, spaced wide apart. Their ears are small and triangular shaped. And they have webbed feet – which make them excellent swimmers. Their tail is strong and broad.

They have a double coat, which is flat and water-resistant. They are found in different colours like black, black with blue highlights, black with white markings, brown, grey and white with black markings.

Males weigh around 59-68 kg while females weigh around 45-54 kg and their height varies from 69-74 cm and 63-69 cm respectively.

The beautiful temperament…

Intelligent, sweet, courageous, generous, calm, patient, loyal, trustworthy, sociable, gentle…these are just a few of the qualities of Newfoundlands. They are very obedient dogs who are devoted to their pet parents. Though they rarely bark, they are brave dogs and are protective whenever there is a need. They can distinguish between who is a threat to the pack and who is not. When they are properly socialised, they get along with other dogs and animals. They are patient with children and love to play with them. They enjoy outdoors but love to be with their family.

The little problems with the rescuer…

They drink a lot of water and create a mess while drinking. They also drool after a drink. Besides, they are little difficult to train – you need to be calm but firm while training them.

Living with them…

Sufficiently exercised, they can live in an apartment. A small yard would be good for their exercises. They prefer colder climate and cannot do well in warmer regions.

Daily walks…

This giant breed loves to laze around but they do need their daily dose of walk. And they would simply love to swim!

The grooming regime…

Your Newfoundland needs to be groomed regularly. His thick, coarse double-coat needs to be brushed daily, or at least weekly. They shed their undercoat twice in a year and they need special grooming during that time.

Famous Newfoundlands

  • Boatswain: Pet of English poet Lord Byron and the subject of his poem ‘Epitaph to a Dog’.
  • Bilbo: Lifeguard at Sennon cove beach in Cornwall.
  • Brumus: Robert F Kennedy’s dog.
  • Brutus: First dog to complete the Appalachian Mountain Club’s ‘Winter 48’, climbing all 48 peaks in one calendar winter.
  • Carlo: Emily Dickinson’s dog.
  • Hairy Man: The dog who helped Ann Harvey and her father and brother rescue 163 people from a shipwreck.