Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey

This book by Don Messerschmidt is a journey of discovery of the exotic and rare breeds of large dogs from Tibet and the Himalaya such as the Tibetan Mastiff, the rare Kyi Apso (the bearded or shaggy Tibetan Mastiff), the Himalayan mountain dog and the Sha-kyi (Tibetan hunting dog). Don has undertaken thorough research on the dogs, travelled in the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan regions of Nepal studying them closely and searched information on these dogs in the old writings of various writers, travellers, anthropologists, spies, explorers, diplomats and missionaries. He has also bred, photographed and made them participate in dog shows. An anthropologist and Himalayan specialist, Don is a Tibetan Mastiff aficionado and spent a considerable time researching, raising and breeding them.
This book dispels a lot of myths about these dogs and is a must read for all big dog admirers.

Big Loss!

Our daughter daisy came to us on September 5, 2009 when she was only three months old. She was abandoned on railway tracks with fractured hind legs. We took her in and immediately she stole our hearts with her crazy antics. She was leader of our ‘puppy pack’, carried her toys wherever she traveled, guarded food during feeding time… the list is endless. She was always in her antics making everyday brighter during the period she graced our lives. She taught us how to love and live.
On the unfortunate morning of June 20, 2010 she breathed her last and left us for the heavenly abode. She has left a huge void in our home and hearts. Daisy was a source of comfort and companionship of unconditional love and joy. We are devastated by the big loss. With her, we have lost a piece of ourselves as well. Daisy, wherever you are, I hope you know that mamma-papa will love you always and you are in our hearts forever and ever. RIP dear one.
–Ankush and Aparna, Hyderabad

Beautiful big Red Setters

Feathered silky flowing red hair, dark hazel expressive eyes, muscular legs, proportionate bodyline, athletic with sweet temperament… the Red Setters have it all! His beautiful looks and high energy will bring joy to your family. Here’s some more info about this lovely breed. Red is the colour of energy, courage, strength, vitality, and passion and Irish Setters, better known as Red Setters, live upto the colour of their coat. Perhaps the most beautiful of all breeds, Irish Setters simply take your breath away with their beauty and grace.

Journey down the lane

Originally called the Irish Red Setter in US, they are the ancestors of Spanish Pointer. He was bred as all-around hunting dog, with strong sense of smell. Fast and racy, he was particularly good for hunting game birds. His beautiful looks and sweet disposition has made him a show and a family dog.

Bold ‘n’ beautiful

The aristocratic Irish Setters have feathered, long, silky red-coloured coat, except for the head, where it is short and fine. Even his feet are well covered with hair. His long ears are triangular and soft while his legs are long and muscular. He is slightly longer than tall, giving an overall look of elegance and strength. Other features include black or brown nose and chestnut or dark hazel eyes, giving an expression of softness, yet alertness. Do not be betrayed with their melting brown eyes as they will make you to give in to their demands. His tail is fringed. Their colours range from rich chestnut with no trace of black. They can have a little white on chest, throat, chin or toes, or small star on forehead or narrow streak or blaze on nose or face. As per Nagendiran Reguraj, a reputed breeder of Irish Setters, their best physical appearance is their chestnut colour and shiny coat.

The height of the male dogs is 26-28 inches and weight 29-34 kg while that of female dogs is 24-26 inches and 25-29 kg, respectively. They have a life expectancy of 11-15 years.


Irish Setters are very affectionate, friendly and intelligent. Besides, they are quite active, full of energy and high spirits. They are swift, with an excellent sense of smell. It is a treat for eyes to see them walk as their gait is lively and graceful. As per Reguraj, “Irish Setters are racy, balanced and full of quality.” They are responsive and impulsive, yet sensitive and are a real joy to be around. They love to be around people and are excellent with children. They also like to play with other dogs. By nature, Setters have a mind of their own and need lot of love and attention. They are very clever dogs, which makes it more difficult and challenging to train them. But once trained, they remain trained for the rest of their life.

Living with them

They make good companions, are lovable and need lots of exercise. They are not recommended for apartment living and need a yard to run around.

Keeping them fit

They need plenty of exercise in open spaces. They love to play games like retrieving, swimming and other fun games.

Taking care of the pup

Shower lots of love and care. Be patient and never be aggressive while training and upbringing your puppy, advises Reguraj. “The more love you give, the more you get,” he added.

Styling them up

Grooming an Irish Setter is easy. Daily brushing and combing keeps soft coat and make him look his gleaming best. They are an average shedder.

Watch out for health problems

They tend to bloat, hence it is advisable to feed them 2-3 small meals instead of one big one. They are also prone to eye problems, elbow and hip dysplasia. Ears should also be carefully groomed to avoid ear inflammation.

“Irish Setters are not for everyone. Don’t bring home a Setter unless you’re willing to match your wits and energy with these lovable, hyper-active dogs. And you’d better have loads of patience – teaching a Setter sit –stay–heel will test your patience to the limits. The Setter tries to wear you down; to make you do his bidding! With a Setter you’ve to show who’s the boss – not with anger but with firmness. And believe me, there are times when you just want to give in, to let him do as he wishes. But at the end, patience pays. Firmness is what the Setter demands and finally respects. And once you’ve mastered that, you’ll have the best companion that you could ever want. Sure, you can never expect the Setter to be predictable…but then what’s life without a few surprises?” told Adite Chaterjee a proud pet parent of Irish Setters.
(Nagendiran Reguraj is a well-known breeder of Irish Setter, GSD, Fox Terrier (Wire), Saluki, Toy Poodle, Caravan Hound, Beagle Golden Retriever and Labrador. His kennel and stud farm is called Fleetwoods Kennels And Fleetwoods Stud Farms. Adite Chaterjee is a proud pet parent of three beautiful Irish Setters.)