Bichon à Poil Frisé The little fluffy pooch

breed002White as snow with contrasting black eyes and black pigmented nose, Bichon a Poil Frise will steal your heart with his happy, lively, playful and friendly attitude. Come fall in love with these tiny bundles of joy.

The Bichon Frise is a playful, lively and gay little dog. His pure white, fine, silky and loose curly coat makes you want to keep him close. With a friendly and outgoing temperament, Bichon Frise is one of the most adorable pets. A Bichon Frise performs very well in the show ring, obedience, agility or as a therapy dog.

The family tree

The Bichon Frise belongs to the Bichon family (along with the Havanese, the Maltese, the Bolognese and the Lowchen or Petit Chien Lion. Sometimes the Coton de Tuléar is also included in this family), and he probably originates from the Barbet family in the Mediterranean. Formerly known as Bichon Teneriffe (from the Spanish Canary Islands), the Bichon Frise is a charming breed, appearing to have been known long time ago although his origin as a breed cannot be documented up to the decade of 1920s.

It was by 1920 that a group of French and Belgian fanciers imported several dogs from the Canary Islands and started an intense breeding programme in order to recover the breed. Then, the Bichon Frise arrived in the USA in the year 1956 (imported from France), being taken then from there to the United Kingdom in 1973, from where the breed was spread to Australia, Sweden, Norway and Canada. Today, the Bichon Frise is a very popular breed all over the world.

White ‘n’ beautiful

The eyes are alert and lively, the ears are drooping, well covered with fine wavy hair and carried forward when the dog is attentive. His tail is well plumed, set on level with the topline, which is lifted and gracefully curved, not curled. His feet are tight and round, having black pads and black nails (preferably). The females weigh 4-5 kg while males weigh 6-7 kg.

Pawfect companion

Being a lapdog, Bichon Frise is a perfect companion for you and your family… because he was born to be your shadow and doesn’t like to be left alone. He is a very clever and gentle-mannered dog.

This is a very advantageous breed as he fits perfectly to a big house or a small town apartment, he doesn’t shed and he’s an hypoallergenic dog, adores children and very gentle. Both males and females are affectionate, intelligent and easy to train.

Active ‘n’ playful

A Bichon Frise is a very active dog who needs exercise and likes to play either with humans or other dogs. They especially like to chase a ball, blitzing or just walking on their rear legs, approaching you while they wave their front paws to you, just greeting you.

Grooming tresses is vital

Grooming a Bichon Frise is not as easy as grooming other breeds, but once you have acquired the day-to-day care routine, you will be delighted in doing so. It is true that most people cannot develop the required skills for scissoring and shaping their bichons, so that a professional groomer should be necessary. But it is also true that you can bathe, dry, brush and comb your Bichon without any problems, as he is a very clean breed who likes to look good. As a general rule, brushing and combing must be done every day, bathing when necessary and trimming, once a month, including the nail trimming.

Daily brushing is essential as this practice will avoid a matted coat. All that you need is a soft slicker brush and a medium size rounded teeth metallic comb.

When bathing your Bichon, run softly your hands from the head to the tail or from the back to the flanks, always following a straight line, never in circles, otherwise his hair will become a mess. You can use a domestic hair dryer for drying your Bichon but please do it using the lowest heat intensity. Try to comb the coat while drying to avoid mats. Apart from this, you might clean your Bichon’s eyes daily. Don’t forget to clean his ears and to brush his teeth too, a practice of absolute need for keeping your Bichon healthy.

Pup care

Bichon Frise females can deliver 3 to 6 pups; however, they can also give birth up to 9 tiny babies who will be perfectly cared from the very first minute as they are very loving mothers. The Bichon Frise puppy care is not different from other breeds, he has no special requirements. You can take your puppy home at 10 weeks but always, please, be sure of acquiring him from a reputable breeder.

Once at home, your puppy needs to learn a routine as soon as possible, so don’t think he is a just a toy to play with all the time. The sooner you teach and train him, the sooner you will be rewarded. Basic commands to be taught immediately are, for example, his name (it must be short, loud and easy to recognise), ‘come here’, ‘stop’, ‘stay’, etc. (an obedient dog is a life insured dog), a loud ‘no’ (avoid to add his name after the word ‘No’) will teach him what is forbidden to do. On the contrary, when he does what you wish, repeat his name while you praise and pet him (you can also give him a treat!!), thus you will reinforce his positive behaviour.

Healthy ‘n’ sturdy

A Bichon Frise is a natural healthy dog; they can easily live up to 16-17 years. Nevertheless, the breed shows some typical diseases that must be treated as soon as their symptoms appear. Bladder Stones result from an accumulation of minerals and deposits in the urine. A bloody urine is the main symptom and females are more affected than males. A prescribed diet is necessary in order to break the stones, unless they are bigger enough so they should be removed surgically.

Bichons are also prone to suffer from hot spots and skin allergies. When that occurs, they can lick and scratch their skins, causing themselves a patch of red and raised skin, which requires immediate veterinary attention, otherwise the skin will ulcerate and the hair loss will be extensive.

Typical hereditary diseases include: Patella Luxation or Slipping Stiffle (causes extreme pain, requiring an immediate surgery) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA (causes progressive vision loss that culminates in blindness).

In short, living with a Bichon is a continuous source of fun, joy and happiness, in fact you are not the owner to your Bichon … it always happens that your Bichon owns you forever.

(Maria-Jose Bernal is a dog show professional based in France. She is a breeder as well as handler of Bichon Frise dogs;

breed profile

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: the little bundle of endless joy

An active, graceful, well-balanced dog, very gay and free in action, fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate…that’s how a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is. Come fall in love with this wonderful breed.

A royal heritage…

“History tells us that King Charles II was seldom seen without two or three spaniels at his heels. So fond wasbreed profile King Charles II of his little dogs, he wrote a decree that the King Charles Spaniel should be accepted in any public place, even in the Houses of Parliament where animals were not usually allowed. This decree is still in existence today in England. As time went by, and with the coming of the Dutch Court, Toy Spaniels went out of fashion and were replaced in popularity by the Pug. One exception was the strain of red and white Toy Spaniels that was bred at Blenheim Palace by various Dukes of Marlborough. This Spaniel was later known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and this particular colour, which is still very popular and common, was named after the Blenheim Palace and is called the Blenheim colour. These dogs were also very common with the French ladies and were used as lap warmers,” told Dinkar.

Loving and lovable…

“The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a delightfully affectionate, playful, intelligent little dog who repays his owner’s care and attention with an endearing devotion,” told Dinkar. Cavaliers are not kennel dogs and do not like to be left alone. Because of four hundred years of close contact with their owners and their development as lap dogs, they make wonderful companions. They are happy, outgoing, loving little dogs who want to love you and be loved, to run and play in a safe place, and to sleep in a soft bed – preferably their owners, but they’re willing to negotiate on that point! They get along well with children, cats, and other dogs.

Physical attributes…

The skull is slightly rounded, but without a dome or peak. It should appear flat because of the high placement of the ears. Eyes are large, round and set well apart. The colour is very dark brown, giving a lustrous, limpid look. There is a slight cushioning under the eyes, which contributes much to the sweet, gentle expression characteristic of the breed. The muzzle is well tapered, well covering the mouth level and lips. Ears are set high, but not close, on top of the head. They are long, with plenty of silky feathering, and wide enough so that when the dog is alert, the ears fan slightly forward to frame the face. His long and silky coat is very soft to the touch and is free from curl, though a slight wave is permissible. Feathering on ears, legs and tail is long, and the feathering on the feet is a feature of the breed. Their height is around 12 to 13 inches at the withers and the weight, proportionate to height, between 13 and 18 pounds.

They are available in four colours – Blenheim (rich chestnut markings well broken up on a pearly white ground), tricolour (jet black markings well-broken up on a pearly white ground), whole-coloured rich red and jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and underside of tail.

Bundle of energy…

Cavaliers are active and sporting little dogs who require regular exercise. They have an instinct to give chase to just about anything that moves, and should either be on a leash or in a fenced yard in which to run. They should get a minimum of two good walks each day (in addition to potty walks). If their owners want walking companions, Cavaliers can build up over time to much longer walks. Regular exercise is recommended. “But, if you are a couch potato, they will share that with delight and if you like to walk for miles on end, they will equally delightedly do that,” told Gabriele G Pollmeier.

Living with children…

Cavaliers love to interact with their owners and enjoy activity and play, making them especially close friends and confidants for children. They are excellent with children, but the age of the children is an important factor in choosing a puppy. Because Cavalier puppies are so small, it is better to get a young puppy only if the family has children above the age of five. An older puppy or adult dog will be more suitable for such families. All children, of course, need supervision to ensure they do not hurt the pup/dog.

Taking care of puppy…

Just like any other puppy or small animal, feed excellent food only, keep lots of fresh clean water available, play with the puppy when he is awake, and let him sleep when tired and do not disturb when he sleeps. Give him plenty of attention and training. Do not scold or punish him, added Gabriele.

Living with other pets…

Cavaliers are the ultimate groupies and are usually delighted to have the company of cats and dogs of any size. If you have a large dog, you will need to watch your Cavalier puppy carefully while he is small. Because Cavaliers are spaniels with a strong sporting instinct, they should be watched closely around birds and other small animals as well. In households where no one is home during the day, the companionship of another dog or a cat is highly recommended.

Groom me beautiful…

The Cavalier does require regular grooming. A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week. Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and combed regularly. Ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days and daily in shedding season.

Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall. They also shed a little all the time. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs.


All dog breeds have their own set of health problems that they may have, so does this breed. Some of them are Heart Murmurs, Mitral Valve Disease and Syringomyelia (SM) is rapidly emerging as a severe inherited condition in Cavaliers. It is a progressive neurological disease that varies in severity. Hence it is important that one buys a pup from a reputed breeder.

On a concluding note…

“They do very well as therapy dogs as well as dogs for handicapped people. They are excellent dogs for the elderly and for young children,” told Gabriele. “I personally feel this breed is perfect for most types of people except for the extreme outdoor person. They adapt really well to apartment living and love being with people. Unlike most small dogs, they are not snappy, protective and that noisy,” concluded Dinkar.

(With inputs from Dinkar Singh, he has recently introduced the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the first time in India and Gabriele G Pollmeier, AnGa’s Star Kennels & Eulenburg Cavalier King Charles Spaniels;

My loving Cavaliers – always like puppies
My two-year-old son just adores our first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who came to us when she was barely two months old. They love playing together, but we take care that he does not hug her too tight! Our male Cavalier is more sensible and just backs away when he sees that our son wants to hug and kiss him. They are totally house and lap dogs and just love to sleep with us in the bed. The female likes to sleep on our pillows and inside the quilt where as the male loves to sleep behind the pillow with his head on the pillow. They are very gentle dogs in a small very manageable size and look so sweet like puppies even now when both of them are more or less adults.

– Dinkar Singh

breed profile

6 sensational breeds of all times

Ravishing Lhasa Apso

Flowing tresses, beautiful expressive eyes…Lhasa Apso has everything a poet wants.breed profile

  1. Small but sturdy: A Lhasa Apso is a small sized dog but is quite sturdy for his size.
  2. Beautiful mane: His dense coat is straight and long. Most popular colours are gold, cream and honey, though multi-colours of brown, grey and black are also found.
  3. Devoted to pet parent: They are friendly but assertive and are affectionate towards their pet parent. They love to obey and please them.
  4. Good watchdog: Don’t go by their size as their keen sense of hearing makes them good watch dogs.
  5. Do well in apartments: They are quite active indoors and are suitable for apartments.
  6. Daily walk and play: They love to walk and play.

(Featured in D&P July-Aug 06 issue)

Cocker Spaniels: a joy breed!

Sensitive and demure, that’s how a Cocker Spaniel is. He is suitable as both a gundog and a pet.

  1. Hair so silky: Cockers have beautiful hair, their silky coat is flat or wavy.
  2. Suitable for all: They are awesome as family pets and also as gundogs. They are gentle with children and elders. They also do well with other pets.
  3. Good with neighbours: They will rarely bark at neighbours and disturb them.
  4. Sweet disposition: They are sweet, gentle and obedient; they are so cheerful that they are a joy to be around.
  5. Good for apartment life: They are quite active indoors and can live in an apartment, given their daily dose of exercise.
  6. Easy maintenance: Their shining coat rules out the myth that long-haired dogs shed a lot of hair. Simply brush and comb to remove dead hair and keep their coats shining all the times.

(Featured in D&P Mar-April 05 issue)

Golden Retrievers: Simply ‘golden’

Beautiful and generous – your best friend for life!

  1. So beautiful: The shiny coat of a Golden Retriever requires regular grooming. Their hair can be cream or golden colour.
  2. Charms to kill: Lovable, charming and intelligent – that’s how a Golden Retriever is.
  3. Easy to train: Love to please, so it is easy to train them for obedience training.
  4. Love to retrieve: They love to play ball and Frisbee.
  5. Adjust to apartment life: Given adequate amount of exercise, they are happy to live in an apartment.
  6. Good watchdogs: They keep strangers at bay.

(Featured in D&P July-Aug 04 issue)

My precious Pug

Good things come in small packages…like a Pug who is small but cute, his dark, melting eyes will make you forget your worries and his happy disposition will spread happiness all around.

  1. Small but muscular: A small dog, Pugs have a charming personality…they are short, muscular and have a shiny coat. And don’t forget their characteristic wrinkled face, which adds to their cute look.
  2. Love to please: They are extremely devoted to their pet parents and love to please them at all times.
  3. Social family dog: They are extremely social and are not a one-person dog.
  4. Daily cleaning: Regular brushing is necessary to remove their shedding hair. They do need daily cleaning of their facial wrinkles and cleaning of their eyes and ears on daily basis is also a must.
  5. Take care in extreme temperatures: Since they are short-nosed, they can become over-heated quickly. Also, they cannot withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures and so should be kept in a suitable temperature at all times.
  6. Exercise for fun and health: They love to play and sensible exercise routine is a must to keep them healthy, fit and fine.

(Featured in D&P May-Jun 05 issue)

Lovable Labs

The most docile, lovable and reliable natured dog – what more can you ask for?

  1. Strong n’ athletic: They are medium-sized dogs but strongly built and athletic.
  2. Weather-resistant coat: Their weather-resistant undercoat provides protection from water, cold, etc.
  3. Great family dogs: Loyal, loving, patient and affectionate – Labs go well with all family members and other pets.
  4. Easy to train: They can be easily trained and they love to please their family. But train them from puppyhood.
  5. Active dogs: An ideal pet for an active family, they love to exercise.
  6. Bathing beauties: They love to play with water and are good swimmers.

(Featured in D&P Sep-Oct 05 issue)

Royal German Shepherds

If you have never loved a GSD, you have missed one of life’s greatest pleasures.

  1. Sturdy looks: A German Shepherds is an epitome of strength and royalty.
  2. Loyalty at its best: Extremely lovable and loyal to their family, they can go to any extent to protect their human pack.
  3. People’s dog: They love human company and cannot live without them but they are wary of strangers.
  4. Trainable breed: They can be easily trained and it is important to train them from puppyhood to avoid aggression and behavioural problems at later stage.
  5. Highly intelligent: They are so intelligent that they can be trained as a police dog, dog for the blind, guard dog, etc.
  6. Exercise a must: They love to be active and need to be exercised regularly.

(Featured in D&P Nov-Dec 05 issue)

breed profile

Shar Pei: Wrinkles you’ll fall in love with!!

Who likes wrinkles? But, covered from head to toe with wrinkles, these Chinese dogs leave everyone at awe! Regal, proud, intelligent and absolutely clean dogs…that’s how the Shar Peis are.


When we lost our Boxer dog, we were heart broken and thought we would never find a wrinkly headed dog to breed profilelove again. That was the time when somebody mentioned that he could cheer me up with one look at a puppy that was wrinkled from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail! I didn’t believe such a dog existed and within minutes we were driving to see a litter basket full of the world’s most exotic and adorable little puppies. Before the day was out Okaah, our first Chinese Shar Pei came home as a gift from my brother. The unique experience of owning the rarest dog breed in the world turned me and my husband into enthusiastic dog breeders and exhibitors for life!

Our Shar Pei loves to watch television. Don’t know if she can really see anything but she loves pretending to watch with us every evening for a few minutes. She has a particular spot on the bed that she occupies when she watches her television. She particularly enjoys programmes that make animal sounds like horse racing, and stuff on animal planet!! This wrinkled beauty sure is bitten by the TV bug, like all children are!!

We are ancient!

The Chinese Shar Pei (meaning sandy coat) is an ancient and unique breed, that has been existed for centuries in the southern provinces of China, apparently since the Han Dynasty (c. 200 BC). Statues bearing a strong resemblance to the Shar Pei have been discovered and dated to this period. Originally a multipurpose Chinese farm dog, today the Shar Pei is exhibited in conformation, agility, obedience and tracking.

We are wrinkled!

Shar Pei is an alert, compact dog of medium size; one of the rarest dog breeds. This breed can be recognised by his ‘hippopotamus’ head shape, walnut like wrinkles, dragon feet and butterfly nose. The Shar Pei, like the Chow-Chow, has a blue-black tongue; these are the only two breeds featuring this characteristic.

A Shar Pei’s head is slightly large, and covered with profuse wrinkles on the forehead and the side, almost framing the face. His almond-shaped eyes display a scowling expression while his ears are extremely small and slightly rounded at the tips. Ears are set high and lie flat against the head. His muzzle is one of the distinctive features of the breed, which is broad and full. Another characteristic feature of a Shar pei is his high set tail, which is thick and round at the base.

A Shar Pei can have two distinctly different kinds of coats: the horse coat (harsh to touch) and brush coat (soft to touch). They are found in different colours such as cream, apricot, fawn, red fawn, black, isabella, blue and chocolate.

We are intelligent!

The Shar Pei is an intelligent breed, they are alert, dignified, sober but snobbish. Although unfriendly with strangers, they are extremely devoted to their family.

We are regal!

The temperament of a Shar Pei is regal, which is completely a delight! Their head is always held high, and they love to be petted and cuddled. If you are looking for bright students, Shar Peis are for you…they are bright and learn quickly. They are very quick to learn toilet training…which of course is a big relief for all pet parents. And they are extremely clean…you will never see a Shar Pei rolling in mud. If left alone, a Shar Pei would sit quietly and wait for you to return. They are not scared of being left alone but hate it like most other pet dogs.

We love to run!

Shar Pei loves games that involve running and chasing. If you have kids at home, they will be pally with them.

We need walks!

Shar Pei requires moderate amount of exercise and two good walks a day are just what they need. This compact medium sized dog is well suited for apartment living and does not need a house with large gardens for free play though the same would be added bonus to his lifestyle!

We are cute!

Shar Pei puppies are the cutest that one has ever seen. His excessively wrinkled look makes you go weak in the knees. Along with good feeding and lots of cuddling, a Shar Pei puppy needs to be pampered with some special attention to his eyes in particular as they are often covered with heavy wrinkles. Just keep them clean is the mantra that works best. Shar Peis are clean dogs that require little more grooming than an occasional bath, regular ear cleaning and toe nail clipping.

We are sturdy!

They have short coat with hardly any hair fall. There are several misconceptions in people’s mind that Shar Pei can have skin disorders due to their heavy wrinkles. This is not true unless your dog has an illness!! But like most other dog breeds, they are also prone to some health problems, like entropian (eyelids curling inwards), Hypothyroidism, Demodectic mange and Swollen hocks fever.

We can guarantee that once you have been bitten by the “Shar Pei love bug”… you’ll always want one.

(For more info on Shar Pei, visit or call at 09779977588).


breed profile

Jack Russell Terrier: A ball of energy

Jack Russell Terriers change your life…completely. They give your life a purpose, entertain you and create focus in your lives…what more can you ask for? Katies kids

breed profile

Your life will never be the same when you choose a Jack Russell as a companion. They are a great match and meaningful addition for humans who are intelligent and outgoing. We have had Jack Russells for over ten years and enjoy their spirit and vigour. And believe me, they have brought so many human people to our world. They have introduced us to people with similar likes and desires. They really are there for you…always!

The descent…

The Jack Russell Terrier of America recognizes and registers a type of working terrier that is 10” to 15” tall at the shoulder. They were originally bred in England to aid in fox hunting by bolting the fox from the ground, and to serve as rodent and vermin control around the homes and farms.

Small but robust…

Jack Russell Terriers are big dogs in a little package. They are robust and hardy. Strong and intuitive, they have bright eyes and a determined nature.

The colour variations…

The Jack Russell Terrier can have three types of coats- smooth, broken and rough, each with an insulating undercoat and harsh element resistant outer coat. They have following colour variations – white, tan and white, black and white, and tri colour- black, brown and white. All the colour variations must be at least 51 percent white so he can be distinguished when running in the field.

Basic instincts…Love to play

Jack Russell Terriers are a working breed and their job is hunting. Because of their nature, they are tenacious and active. They enjoy being busy, and their working instincts can be channelled to projects such as agility, flyball, racing, therapy work, and yes, they can be your active companions.

Living with them…

Jack Russell terriers are extremely intelligent. They require strict rules and constant supervision. They enjoy being with their human partners. They can be trained to be comfortable in many environments. But they are also excellent at training people and pet parents must always maintain their alpha position.

It is better to have a sole Jack Russell Terrier or opposite sex pair as they do not do well in same sex pairs, or in groups larger than two, unless strictly supervised.

Jack Russell Terriers and children must both be supervised. If children are well behaved, and interact appropriately, the terrier will be well behaved and form excellent companions. All humans need to be mindful of not teasing the terrier, purposely or unintentionally. Games such as chase, tug of war or keep away are not recommended.

Perhaps the best and the worst quality of a Jack Russell Terrier is their extreme intelligence and outgoing personality. Their ability to play mind games and keep up with everyone’s physical activity makes them a challenging and versatile companion!

Love to exercise…

Jack Russells love exercise and can rarely be exhausted. They love ball retriveal, hiking, running, and being active. Almost as important as the physical exercise is the mental exercise and they need to be stimulated, challenged and kept busy at all times.

Pup care…

Jack Russell Terrier puppies do best when kept with their pet parents as close as possible the first year. It is important to praise the good dog and arrange your home and life to eliminate the opportunity for him to be a bad dog. Misbehaviour is usually the fault of the human the first year. The firmest punishment you can give him is ignoring him when in trouble and removing the situation. Proper and varied confinement is important to provide control as well as training.

Low maintenance breed…

Jack Russell Terriers have excellent, all weather, low maintenance coats. They can be brushed when desired. Rough coats can be clipped or groomed. They need their toenails trimmed every few weeks, and clean teeth can be maintained with safe chew bones, or brushing.

Hereditary problems…

Jack Russell Terriers can be prone to deafness as is common with many other white coloured breeds of dogs. This can be tested and eliminated by annual eye exams as promoted by the CERF foundation.

(Sue Anne Wilson has been involved with Jack Russell Terriers for over 12 years and support the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. She hosts two JRTCA sanctioned trials each year bringing together over 200 terriers and their human companions for a weekend of fun and games.)

Dogue De Bordeaux

Strong, powerful and imposing… a Dogue De Bordeaux is a dog with a substance. Their powerful aura is pawfectly complemented with a harmonious temperament.

One of the most ancient purebred dog, Dogue De Bordeaux (DDB) or the French Mastiff is also popularlybreed profile known as the ‘National Guard Dog of France.’ Massive and powerful, this dog is a good companion dog…with natural instincts to guard and protect, besides being a responsible and friendly family member.

The individuality…

The characteristics that distinct a Dogue De Bordeaux apart are his head, expressions, wrinkles and his trotting, which resembles the trot of a lion.

The DDB’s massive head is one of the striking features of the breed. When viewed from above and the front, the shape of the head is a trapezoid.

Their eyes are oval and set wide, and are hazel or dark brown.

Wrinkles are symmetrical and change intensity and proportion as the face expressions change. It is important to note that puppies and youth go through a period where the head is changing and wrinkles may be absent.

They have a muscular body and their coat is soft and thin to the touch. The length of the body of DDB is slightly greater than the height at the withers. The muzzle is broad, thick and short.

DDBs are found in three colour variations – black mask, brown mask and no mask. In the Black mask, the mask is often only slightly spread out and must not invade the cranial region. There may be slight black shading on the skull, ears, neck and top of the body and the nose is black. In the Brown mask (used to be called red or bistre), the nose and eye rims are brown. In no mask, the coat is fawn: the skin appears red (also formerly called “red mask”) and the nose is reddish or pink.

The males weigh around 50 kg while the females weigh around 45 kg. Their average height is 23.5-27 inches for males and 22.5-25.5 inches for females.

The spirit…

The Bordeaux has a good and calm temperament. He is extremely loyal, patient and devoted to his family. Fearless and confrontational with strangers, he is a great watch and guard dog. He socializes very well with other animals, preferably start from an early age to avoid them being aggressive with other dogs. The Dogue de Bordeaux snores and drools. Despite his appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux is gentle with children and family members. In fact, they are a stress buster for children and are highly playful and caring with them.

Pup care…

Deworming should be done once a month for the first 6 months and then every 2-3 months. One should be careful not to make the puppy heavy. This should be done after an age of 10 months. Play and exercise by themselves is a must and they should get ample space to run.

Training, a must…

This is a powerful pooch and is not suitable for an inexperienced dog parent. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. This breed needs a calm but firm parent who displays a natural authority over the dog, one who is confident and consistent.

The diet…

Diet plays a very important role in the life of Bordeaux. Research has shown lifespan being linked to diet.

The mane care…

DDB needs little grooming and they are average shedders.

The workouts…

DDB needs a lot of exercise as the lack of mental and physical exercise can develop behaviour problems. They need to be taken on a daily long walk.

The fun time…

Fetching and swimming are the best games the Bordeaux loves. They are excellent swimmers and simply love water.

The health issues…

Most are healthy, but the breed can be prone to hip dysplasia. There are also cases of epilepsy, heart problems and hyperkeratosis.

Tips from the breeder…

These are highly active dogs, hence space requirement is a MUST. We would never suggest you to get a Bordeaux if you cannot spare time for the dog. They need very good diet and always get a puppy from a reliable source/breeder.

(Anil Tiwari belongs to Colossus Kennels, which is into exclusive breeding of Dogue De Bordeaux and Old English Mastiffs.)

An ode to the Bakharwal dog

Some of our exotic Indian breed dogs are on the verge of extinction. One such rare but enduring breed is the Bakharwal dog. Here’s more on this fascinating Kashmiri Sheepdog.

The provenance…

The origin of the Bakharwal dog is Pir Panjal mountain area of Hindukush and the Himalayan belt of the Indian subcontinent habitat for more than 300 years. They are the oldest breed of central Asia, rarely found in other parts of the world and belong to Asian Molossers variety. It is believed that they are the descendents of Tibetan Mastiff dog, but no such scientific reference exists. They have some popular names like Gujjar Dog, Bakharwal, Kashmiri Bakharwal Dog, Kashmiri Sheepdog, Kashmiri Mastiff, Gujjar Watchdog and Bakharwal Mastiff. The traditional native variety is usually reared by nomadic tribes like Gujjar and Bakharwal. Bakharwal dogs are commonly found during migration of nomadic tribes, guarding large sheep and goat flock.

The disappearance…

The shepherd dogs are at the brink of extinction as per the report of the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF). Only few hundred dogs of this particular species are left which are also declining more rapidly. The possible reasons may be smuggling, theft and assassination during insurgency at higher altitudes.

The countenance…

The dog is active and alert with muscular, deep-chest, straight back, broad shoulders and long legs. The dogs are strong, stout having powerful neck and large head. The body coat is very thick and undercoat densely covered to give protection against the harsh climate. Female dogs are able to produce one to four pups per year. Their height at withers is 24 to 30 inches and they can be found in colours like black, tan and tricolour.

The demeanour…

They are intelligent, rough, ferocious, protective, brave, solemn, loving, affectionate and trustworthy in disposition. They are not suitable for indoor living. Training of the dogs is difficult due to their dominant, stubborn and independent habit. They are best-suited for trained, patient, strong, and confident person with dominant attitude, who can train them effectively to compel them for doing similar kind of activities repeatedly. Although, they can chase tiger in time of need to protect livestock and master but they are not excessively ferocious or unmanageable at any time.

The fodder…

They have non-vegetarian food habits.

The health issues…

In general, the dog is healthy and vigorous. Some common health problems are hip dysplasia, dislocation of the knee, cryptorchidism, obesity, bloat, throat, rabies and other infections.

The appeal…

There is need to conserve the ancient working dog breed. Government and NGOs should take initiative to locate the dog breed and try to propagate them for better conservation.

breed profile

Dashing Dobes

Elegant in appearance, loyal, intelligent–that’s the Dobe for you. A well-bred, properly trained and disciplined Doberman is a wealth of joy for the family. Here’s more on this powerful and noble breed.

breed profileProtective, watchful and fearless, a Doberman’s affection towards his family is unlimited, says Javinder of Jaspar’s Kennels. You need to be blessed with one to know what it means to have a Dobe. These loyal and energetic dogs will take your heart away in no time.

Powerful ‘n elegant

One look at a Doberman Pinscher and the first word that comes to mind is elegant. They carry themselves proudly and with great nobility. Doberman has a medium-sized square body. Compactly built, they are muscular and powerful for great endurance and speed. The Doberman has a smooth and thick coat that lies close to the body. The height of male dogs is around 26-28” while that of female dogs is 24-26”– added Bala of Jebaans Kennels. “They are available in black, red, blue and fawn all with tan markings,” told Javinder. 

Watchful ‘n loyal

“Energetic, determined, alert, obedient and willingness to please, that’s how a Doberman is,” sums up Bala. If properly trained, they are the best as pets for children. 

“They are good with children provided they are introduced to them at their growing up stage. Unlike many breeds, Dobermans are vigilant even as young puppies, they are aware and watchful of strangers and their surrounding,” told Javinder.

Living with the bundle of energy

“Dobermans are family dogs and they live best when kept as a family member inside the house. In fact, they love the company of all the family members, one should never neglect a dog as they are very sentimental and do understand that they are not well taken care of,” told Sanjay of Kiro Doberman’s.

“The Doberman is a working dog with bundles of energy. He is ever ready at all times with tremendous adaptability. This is not a breed suited for everyone. The secret to successful living with a Doberman is to give him a daily function in the family environment, letting him clearly know of what is expected of him. A Dobe knows when to protect, when to growl, when to smile and when you are in need, he is always there!” added Bala. “They need human interaction and lot of play, especially when growing up,” told Javinder.

Quantum of exercise

“As puppies, they all just need to play around with their parent and enjoy being a puppy. At junior age, between 4-8 months, one needs to start their leash training and walking for shorter distances in beginning and then for longer distances. After seven months, they need to be trained for vigorous exercise, like up to two km running along with obedient classes in between,” told Bala.

“The best would be to exercise your adult dogs for a time span of 30- 45 min (max) at one time. Long walks are very much advisable. You can also cycle your dog for 20-25 min on clean roads. Make sure the dogs are not exercised after they have taken their food,” added Sanjay and warned against over-exercising one’s pet.

Before you bring home a pup

“Temperament is fundamental to the breed and should never be compromised on. Always ensure that you buy a puppy from a responsible breeder and be aware of the temperament of the parents,” advised Javinder.

Puppy care

“Regular puppy care with socializing,” added Javinder. Whatever puppies learn, it has a lasting impact on their lives ahead. So, a puppy should be allowed to be a puppy and no negative experiences. They should be fed with quality food four times a day and should get their shots and vaccines in due period. They should be conditioned properly to mould into a good adult later–told Bala.

Good quality dog foods are best for complete nourishment of the puppy. Give the puppy enough space to run and play so that he will have natural exercise, which is very important,” advised Sanjay.

Groom me little

One of the best features of a Doberman is his easycare coat. They do not shed much hair. The coat should be brushed on a regular basis to remove excess hair, which will help control any shedding and should also be done before bathing. A damp cloth can be used for in-between bathing to clean dirty areas including the bottom of the feet. A well-maintained coat will exhibit a healthy shine, will be smooth and close fitting to the body and is one of the Doberman’s most beautiful attributes. 

Use only tepid water and warm water may be avoided. During a bathing session, avoid the dog’s eyes and ears. Cotton balls can be placed in the ears to help keep water out. After wetting the dog thoroughly, wash with a dog shampoo using a sponge or your hand. Work from the rear to the head giving special attention to areas that tend to get extra dirty such as the bottom of the feet. Completely rinse the shampoo from his body and dry with a heavy towel. A hand blow-dryer can be used to fully dry him. Brush him again after bathing–added Sanjay.

“The dog’s teeth may be cleaned at regular intervals, take him to your vet/groomer for paw care. The ears should be examined at regular intervals and cleaned of wax and dirt that may accumulate. Consult your vet if you notice any problem,” told Bala.

Health issues

“Doberman is quite a trouble free breed. Hereditary problems such as heart and blood disorders are known to occur but are rare,” told Javinder.

Why we adore them?

“This is one of the most noble and dedicated breeds. Love the breed and he will be your best friend forever,” concluded Sanjay. They are simply the best–told Bala.

(Inputs from Mr. Bala – Jebaans Kennels; Mr. Javinder – Jaspar’s Kennels; and Mr. Sanjay Khan – Kiro Doberman’s)

Recognising and loving our Indian Treasure Forever

The proud heritage…

India boasts of approximately fifty breeds of dogs of which only five are recognised by the Kennel Club of India. From the deserts to the mountains and from the tropical forests to the harsh rocky plateaus, each terrain is represented by its own unique breed of dogs well suited to its climatic conditions, geographical features and local needs. The value and significance of the Indian dog has in fact well been illustrated in our scriptures. The Rig-Veda for instance mentions ‘Samara’ as the faithful dog of Indra and gods, who recovered the cows of Brihaspati from the demon Asura Vala. 

The Indian dogs have also found reference by historian Alexander Pliny, for their capacity to fight tigers and lions. The Middle Ages symbolise the description of the vast variety of Indian dogs existing at that time, in a chapter titled Saremeya Vinoda from the then Western Chalukyan King’s encyclopedia named Someshwara. In fact, it was up till the 16th century that innumerable references were found regarding the Indian breed dogs tamed by kings and commoners for the purpose of hunting and guarding. However, it was the advent of the British rule that ushered in English and foreign breeds, which soon gained popularity. And eventually our native breeds, which demonstrated praiseworthy intelligence, suited for our Indian climate and commendable physical sturdiness, began getting treated as inferior and unwanted – ultimately being relegated into utter neglect.

In pursuit of change…

Having taken notice of the dire circumstances and initiated action when no one else did, the Ethnic Indica Canine Society (EICS) today stands as perhaps one of the most effective efforts in pursuit of rescuing, protecting and preserving the extra-ordinary lineage of Indian Breed Dogs. Based in Andhra Pradesh, the society endorses as its primary purpose, the breeding of pure indigenous breeds to ensure their eternal continuation and preservation. Towards this goal, the society, under the guidance of reputed Kennel Club of India, judges Nawab Nazer Yar Jung and Raja G.V.N. Krishna Rao undertake activities of identifying and sourcing indigenous breeds in their native habitats to initiate their breeding. And its primary objective today stands as the setting up a kennel showcasing as many breeds of Indian dogs to propagate their excellent worth.

The society further takes the popularisation of indigenous dogs as one of its crucial objectives, with the hope of sensitising more and more people towards loving and respecting our native breeds. This is done through spreading awareness about various Indian breeds and promoting them as ideal pets amongst dog lovers by way of organising dog shows and educational seminars. What the Ethnic Indica Canine Society in addition aspires to achieve through these promotional campaigns is to establish an international market for Indian dog breeds. Like all other popular foreign breeds, the society desires to make indigenous dogs known around the world for their rich heritage and for their outstanding behavioural and physical characteristics.

Admiring some popular breeds…

Representing diverse regions, independent cultures, uniquely distinct legacies and moreover different qualities, the following indigenous breeds are amongst some of the most popular in India. Here is introducing them in all their magnificence – Caravan (Mudhol) Hound: Hardy yet elegant Heritage – History says these dogs came to the Maharashtra interiors in the 16th century, during the time when Aurangzeb set out on his Deccan adventures. The dogs apparently accompanied the caravans of warriors who came to India through the Khyber and Bolan passes and, hence got tagged as Caravan Hounds. Today, this breed is known to be symbolic amongst the Marattas, who by religion, are closely linked to dogs as their God Kalabhairavi is shown being accompanied by a dog.

Region – Caravan Hounds are found in villages of Maharashtra, more specifically in the villages nearg Satara, Kolhapur and Osmanabad. They are also seen in the Maratwada part of the old Hyderabad state, adjoining Telangana in Andhra Pradesh.

Physical features – Caravan Hounds can match the speed of the Grey Hound, the fastest dog in the world, in rugged and uneven terrains too. Bearing a sleek and smooth coat, these hardy yet elegant dogs are seen in colours of beige, fawn, red, white, cream or black, although mostly in broken browns and whites to blend in with the terrain in which they hunt. With the males standing at 22 inches to 30 inches in height and the females between 20 to 28 inches; Caravan Hounds are pretty lightweight and athletic.

Personality traits – Known to have excellent homing instincts, a Caravan Hound would make sure to return home even if it is left 200 miles away. They make excellent guard dogs, hunting with the help of sight, rather than through the use of their sense of smell. They are particularly skilled hunters of hare, chinkara as well as black bucks which were plentiful in the Deccan Plateau region at one time.

Pashmi Afghan Type: Aristocratic

Heritage–Pashmi Afghan Type were first introduced to hunt black buck herd in Deccan Plateau. Also known as Old Afghan Hounds, Pashmis are the pride of Maharashtra. Kept by the North-West Frontier Pathans in Osmanabad, these dogs came with the Afghans into the Deccan, where they got trapped and hence remained pure as a breed. Pashmis ultimately lost recognition and were dumped into neglect once the Pathans returned to their homeland after the partition of 1947. 

Region – Janwal in Maharashtra is where the origin of the Pashmi is traced. Kept as pets, guard dogs and rabbit hunters, they are now present in the Deccan Plateau.

Physical features – The word ‘Pashmi’ meaning ‘hairy’ in Persian, these dogs are elegant all the way, standing tall at around 25 inches to 33 inches. They showcase an aristocratic look which goes back to the Baluchihound origin. Seen in colours like black, white, cream and brown, Pashmis have a hairy coat on their ears, thighs and tails. The skin on the cheeks of this native breed is typically loose and the main body slopes from the shoulders to the tail, with an arched back and prominent spine giving an impression of speed.

Personality traits – Used largely for panther hunting, Pashmis were originally fierce, a trait that was subdued through breeding with the mildest amongst them. Today, these pleasant tempered sight-hounds are known to be intelligent and sturdy guard dogs to the extent that they are considered fit for use in the police and the armed forces.

Pashmi Hunting Type: The speed machine

Heritage—There are more than 10,000 dogs in Maharashtra, parts of Gujarat, parts of Andhra Pradesh in every village hamlets and towns. These dogs are indigenous to this area of Deccan Plateau. Phoenicians used to export dogs from India to Mediterranean region for warfare. Pashmi may have gone to Egypt and then to Arabia.

Physical features—Slender, arched, heathered on ears, legs and tail, he is a wonderful speed machine. These dogs are generally between 23-30 inches in height, males 2-3 inches taller than the females.

Personality trails—This graceful animal running at 45 miles per hour can bring down a blackbuck or chinkara. It has stamina for chasing its prey for four miles continuously at a stretch. This Pashmi is systematically bred, will make India proud in the canine world. Pashmis could really be mascot of India’s canine world as Bulldogs to English, St Bernards to Swiss and Great Dane to German.

Kaikadi: Adorable

Heritage—The Kaikadis receive their name from a semi-nomadic tribe, which domesticated them in packs of 30 to 40. Kaikadis were essentially stonecutters who made stone crucibles and used stone maces to grind medical herbs and chutneys. As a secondary occupation, this tribe also gathers Herbal medicines, which it prepares and sells to other village folk. Region – This indigenous breed is found in the state of Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat.

Physical features – Kaikadis come in diverse sizes and shapes and therefore, need selective breeding programs to maintain specific types. While the Otter Hound type bears a lot of whiskers on the face, there are also those, which resemble the Fox Terrier type. Then, there is one kind, which looks like miniature Basenjis. Measuring between 12 to 14 inches in height, this miniature kind, if promoted well, can become to be known as no less adorable than the Daschunds and Pomeranians. Kaikadis are usually seen wearing patches of brown and black on a white background and are also seen in uniform colours of brown, white and occasionally black. Carrying their tales high, most of them are loop-eared, while some are also seen with erect ears. In fact, the very famous logo of ‘His Master’s Voice Gramophone’ which displays an inquisitive dog peeking into the voice box shows a dog not much different looking from the Kaikadi.

Personality traits – These dogs hunt in packs of 10 to 15, and are used to catch rodents such as mongooses and squirrels along with other small mammals including rabbits. Using both senses of sight and scent, they are also engaged in flushing partridges and grouses from the bushes. Kaikadis are extremely energetic and showcase a tendency of barking excessively while they hunt. While on one hand they are excellent watchdogs, these dogs are also known to be very affectionate with children. However, they can show signs of ferocity if anyone enters their master’s hut.

All these Indian breed dogs are a treat for all dog lovers. So, come, let’s all come together to give them the recognition and love they deserve.

Upender Reddy is Hon Secretary of Ethnic Indica Canine Society, Secunderabad. He is a dog enthusiast who likes to put Indian breeds in the forefront of the international arena of dog world. To contact: please call at 9848535035.

breed profile

English Springer Spaniel The showstopper!

One of the world’s best show dogs, English Springer Spaniels are intelligent and fun-loving pooches…eager to be an inseparable part of your family.

Evolved with time

“I have been blessed with many wonderful Springers over the past forty years. My first was perhaps mybreed profile most special. He was born in 1972 and went home with me when I was just twenty years old. He became my best friend and constant companion, my bed dog, my protector, puppy raiser, and my ticket into the world of the English Springer Spaniel. He finished his Championship at a year old, on my 21st birthday, and went on to be a multiple Best In Show dog and the sire of 66 champions, which made him the top producing black and white sire in the history of the breed. Another world was opened to me in the early 90’s when I sent Am. Ch. Ocoee Raven’s Child to Australia. She was the first ESS female CH ever exported from America to Australia. Sine then, there is no looking back, yes, I am in love with the English Springer Spaniel,” tells Kathy Lorentzen, a well known breeder of English Springer Spaniel.

Look at me!

The English Springer Spaniel is a moderate-sized sporting gundog. He is a member of the flushing spaniel family. Their origins are based in the old ‘setting and springing’ spaniels, which were eventually divided into the Setters and the Springer Spaniels. Hence, they are the tallest and longest legged of the flushing spaniel breeds.

They are compact, medium-sized dogs with a proud expression. “Springers are one of the most beautiful breeds. Their long, lean heads with deep set, dark eyes are stunning and their glossy, flowing coats make them a show-stopper,” says Kathy Lorentzen.

English Springers can be found in different colours like liver and white, black and white, white and liver, white and black, with or without ticking and roaning, and with or without tan tri-colour markings.

The average height of a male English Springer is 18–20 inches and weight is 23–25 kg while females are around 17–19 inches high and weigh around 16–20 kg.

We are different: field and show dogs

English Springer Spaniel is one of those breeds who have extremely different types of show and field dogs. In other countries the separation is not as distinct, but in America and England the two types are rarely, if ever, bred together. The field-bred dogs are selected totally for performance, while the show bred dogs are selected for conformation according to a breed standard, health and temperament. Field dogs tend to be more refined, with far less coat. They have been bred to be a speed dog rather than an endurance dog, which is what the ESS was originally meant to be. Field dogs also tend to be too ‘hot’ in temperament for the average pet owner because great desire has been bred into them for generations in order to get the fastest and boldest hunting performance out of them. While there are lines of show bred Springers who are very successful hunting companions, there are no lines of field bred Springers who are successful in the conformation show ring. There also are no show bred Springers that compete in actual field trials, but they do compete successfully in Hunting Tests.

I am happy-go-lucky!

Springers are happy, outgoing and intelligent dogs who need a lot of human interaction. They are agreeable and easy to train but do not do well with any sort of heavy-handed discipline. But, they respond well to a positive reward system.

We are a family!

English Springers are wonderful family dogs. They love children and love to be a real part of the family. The only thing that pet parents need to be careful about is making sure that the dog knows, he is not the alpha in the relationship.

“Perhaps their most striking characteristic is their sense of humour and innate desire to please their people,” adds Kathy.

Walk, run and play with me!

Springers are active, especially as puppies and adolescents. “They should have access to a large yard to run and play in, or should be taken for several walks a day if a yard is not available,” advices Kathy.

Springers are always up for games. They are natural retrievers, learn tricks easily and most of them love to swim.

Am a sweet puppy!

“Raising a Springer puppy is no different than raising any other puppy, they should have a crate for naptime and mealtime, a regular schedule of going outside to learn to be housebroken, and a puppy training class to learn basic manners. Also, they should be exposed to children as puppies to make them fond of them,” tells Kathy.

Groom me beautiful!

Springers grow a fair amount of hair and need to be brushed weekly, bathed frequently and trimmed at least four times a year. Their head, feet and tail should be trimmed and their topcoats stripped. “For people not showing their dogs, their backs can be clipped and their feathering shortened to make it easier to take care of,” Kathy gives a sound advice.

They shed a lot of hair. “They are a double-coated breed, and rotate coat on a seasonal basis, but if kept brushed and combed, the shedding will be minimal,” she adds.

My health issues!

As in any breed, English Springers too have their share of hereditary issues, which include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, retinal dysplasia and retinal atrophy. Springers can also be prone to skin and ear problems.

(Kathy Lorentzen breeds and exhibits English Springer Spaniels under the Ocoee prefix, in conjunction with her daughter, Melanie King. She is an independent consultant for United Kennel Club. She also worked as judge at American Kennel Club for a short period of time and was in the panel of West Kennel Club where her Best of Breed Golden went on to win the Sporting Group.)