Thursday, February 5, 2009

3 Good Things (non-sporting group edition)

From the AKC

Non-sporting dogs are a diverse group. Here are sturdy animals with as different personalities and appearances as the Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, and Keeshond. Talk about differences in size, coat, and visage! Some, like the Schipperke and Tibetan Spaniel are uncommon sights in the average neighborhood. Others, however, like the Poodle and Lhasa Apso, have quite a large following. The breeds in the Non-Sporting Group are a varied collection in terms of size, coat, personality and overall appearance.

1. Poodle

The Poodle, though often equated to the beauty with no brains, is exceptionally smart, active and excels in obedience training. He is also the only breed that comes in three size varieties.

The stylish "Poodle clip" was designed by hunters to help the dogs move through the water more efficiently. The patches of hair left on the body are meant to protect vital organs and joints which are susceptible to cold.
I have to say that I've had first hand experience with dogs in each of the three sizes of poodles. The toy I knew was neurotic, the miniature, flighty, and the standard, smart. Standard poodles are known to be very smart and make excellent pets. If I had to take a stab at why their popularity seems limited to dog professionals and those who’ve really done their homework, I'd say it has something to do with the very “Continental” image which is conjured at the mere mention of the breed name.

These pictures ought to put a few other fabulous images in mind.


2. Boston Terrier

Truly an "All-American" dog, the Boston Terrier is a lively and highly intelligent breed with an excellent disposition.

The breed is an American creation, resulting from a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. In 1891, the breed became known as Boston Terriers, taking the name of the city where they originated.
I had to include this breed because it was the first truly American dog breed. But I also have to be honest: the only Boston Terrier I’ve known personally was a Rescue dog and had some serious issues. (He had to walk backwards to go into the living room because it was carpeted - near as we could figure, that’s why). It bit my baby cousin (whose father is a hunter) in the head, and that was the end of that poor dog. Not an auspicious introduction to what I’m sure is an excellent breed.


3. Shiba Inu

Descended from the primitive dogs of the ancient people of Japan, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small wild game, boar and bear. The name Shiba in Japanese means brushwood, after the breed's hunting terrain or the color of brushwood leaves in the fall and Inu means dog.

The Shiba Inu, the smallest and oldest of Japan's dogs, has been with the Japanese people for centuries. They make excellent watchdogs and have established themselves as the number-one companion dog in Japan.

This is a compactly beautiful dog. It's similar looking to the Spitz breeds in that it always looks like it's smiling.


Honorable Mention: French Bulldog. Any dog described as “a clown in the cloak of a philosopher” deserves an honorable mention.

Next up: The Herding Group

Why Dog Week?


Kendall J said...

Yay for Poodles! Thanks so muck for featuring pics of Moxie, my standard poodle, in your post!

I think it is the "continental" reputation of poodles that some people respond to. When I tell people I have a poodle, they usually look at me funny. When they meet Moxie, he instantly wins them over. He's athletic, smart, gentle, and he adores people.

Poodles also can make excellent hunting dogs (since that is what they were originally bred for), and there are several breeders who are focusing on enhancing their latent retrieving capabilities. (Lackeland Poodles is one for instance: Their top dog, Beau is a beautiful example of what a field poodle ought to look like. He's quite and accomplished hunter.

Thanks again!

LB said...

Thank you for letting me share your photos, and for sharing your knowledge of a great breed.

Fiddler said...

Just fyi--the owner or manager of that pet supply store we like now has a French bulldog that is a real sweetie. They used to have an ancient chocolate lab I haven't seen for a while. : (

LB said...

Does the French bulldog of which you speak have the coloring of a Pug??? I think I saw the very one last week (my regular pet store was out of Betta bowl conditioner). I followed the dog around a little bit until I thought the owner might think I was stalking it.

That is one cute dog!

Fiddler said...

Yes, that's the one. Would that be the fawn coloring, or the brindle? E. wanted to know. She loved the Frenchie, too.

LB said...

Fawn. E has excellent taste.