BREED INFORMATION

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Other names/Nicknames:
  • African Lion Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • South Africa

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • African Lion Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • South Africa

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • Females:  24 to 26 inches

  • Males:  25 to 27 inches

Weight:
  • 70 to 85 pounds

Personality:
  • Dignified and reserved.

  • A loyal and protective family pet.

  • Can become too aggressive.

  • In spite of its formidable powers, the Rhodesian Ridgeback does not usually go looking for trouble with other dogs.

  • Very intelligent but stubborn, probably because it thinks it knows best.

History:

The Rhodesian Ridgeback in spite of its name, is a South African breed.  It was developed by the Boer farmers in the Cape Province in the 19th century for hunting lion that preyed upon their cattle and sheep.  Settlers to neighboring Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) brought the dogs with them in 1876 and drew up the standard which bore the name of the dog’s new homeland.  The hallmark ridge of hair that runs contrary to the rest of the coat is thought to have come from an extinct dog kept by the Hotentot people.  Americans imported the Rhodesian Ridgebacks in 1950 and they were accepted in the American Kennel Club (AKC) registry in 1955.

Body Type:
  • A large, clean-lined, hunting hound.

  • Drop ears are not altered.

  • Long, tapering tail is not altered.

Coat:
  • Coat is short, harsh to the touch, and glossy.

  • The most striking feature of the breed is the ridge of hair that runs along the top of its back in a direction opposite to the rest of the coat.  The ridge should be symmetrical with whorls on either side, beginning just behind the shoulders.  The hairs of the ridge are especially stiff.

  • Color is always that of a lion:  red or red-wheaten.

  • Minimal grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Dermoid sinus.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

What you should know:
  • The only breed of dog to originate in South Africa.

  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks share the color, as well as the heart of the lion, that was once its quarry.

  • An excellent choice for a guard dog.

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Russian Blue

Personality:
  • Elegant, intelligent, shy, and sensitive.

  • Known to have a...

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Personality:
  • Elegant, intelligent, shy, and sensitive.

  • Known to have a look-before-you-leap approach towards life.

  • Content when they are left alone during the day.

  • Shed very little.

History:

This natural cat was brought to England from Northern Europe in the 1800′s where it was developed into a breed.  In the past, this cat was known by many names including Archangel, Spanish Blue, and Maltese Blue.  The Russian Blue almost became extinct during World War II, but was saved through the efforts of dedicated breeders.  Russian Blues were exported from England into the United States in 1947, but did not become popular show cats until the 1960′s.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized, fine boned, muscular, and lithe.

  • Head is a smooth, medium wedge with moderately large, wide-set ears.

  • Vivid green eyes are round and wide set.

Coat:
  • Double coat is dense, short, fine, plush, and has a silky feel.

  • Color is an even, bright blue-gray with silver tips.

  • There should be no tabby markings (although some barring is seen on kittens).

Health and Wellness:
  • Although genetically linked physical problems have not been reported, some lines have problems with timid temperaments.

What you should know:
  • Although most Russian Blues tend to be a little shy, some can be overly timid. Spend some time with kittens in order to select a pet that will be sociable.

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Saint Bernard

Other names/Nicknames:
  • St. Bernhardshund

Country/Date of origin:
  • Switzerland

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • St. Bernhardshund

Country/Date of origin:
  • Switzerland

  • 1000′s

Height:
  • Females:  From 25-1/2 inches

  • Males:  From 27-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 110 to 200 pounds

Personality:
  • Gentle and tolerant.

  • Does not fawn over strangers as a rule.

  • Can be used as a watchdog.

  • May be a fear biter or excessively shy.

History:

Legend is wrapped all around the history of this noble breed.  Its exact origins are obscure but it is of the mastiff type that came across the Alps with the Roman legions.  When the centurions left, some of the dogs remained behind and the Swiss used them for guarding, herding, and draft duties.  Around the year 1,000 that changed.  Monks founded a hospice that was a refuge for travelers crossing the dangerous alpine passes between Switzerland and Italy.  It was discovered that the dogs at the St. Bernard monastery had an uncanny ability to find people buried in avalanches or lost in the snow.  Soon they were trained for the job of rescuing people.  They are credited with saving more than 3,000 human lives.  The Saint Bernard dogs were coveted around the world.  At the turn of the century, show champions commanded record prices.  The United States breed club was founded in 1888 and Saints were among the most numerous exhibits at early American Kennel Club (AKC) shows.

Body Type:
  • A large, heavy member of the mastiff family.

  • The head is massive with a short muzzle.

  • The natural tail is long and carried low.  It is not altered.

  • Ears stand slightly away from the head at the base and then drop sharply, clinging to the side of the head.  They are not altered.

  • Face must have heavily-furrowed wrinkles.

Coat:
  • Saint Bernards come in both a rough and smooth variety, identical in everything except coat.

  • The rough variety has a medium-length, double coat that is straight or slightly wavy.

  • The smooth variety has a dense, double coat of short hair that is harsh to the touch.

  • Permissible colors are red with white markings, or white with red markings, or brindle patches on a white ground.

  • White markings require a white chest, feet, tip of tail, noseband, collar, or spot on neck.

  • The Saint Bernard can never be of a solid color without white.

  • Dark shadings on the head and ears (mask) are highly desired.

  • Moderate grooming required.  Sheds heavily in the spring.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Elbow dysplasia.

  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Epiphora.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Hemophilia.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Fold pyoderma.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy.

  • Pyoderma.

  • Fibrocartilagenous emboli.

  • Osteosarcoma (appendicular).

  • Lymphoma.

What you should know:
  • Famous as Nana in the Peter Pan story and movie.

  • Famous also for drooling.

  • Although the rough-coated Saint Bernard is most commonly seen, the monks preferred the smooth variety for working purposes.

  • The heavier-coated dogs got iced up in the snow (snow compacted and formed little, hard iceballs that clung to the dog’s coat and weighed it down).

  • The Saint Bernard holds two records in the Guinness Book.  Duke is the heaviest recorded member of the canine species—he weighed in at 295 pounds.  Thor holds the record for weight pulling.  In 1974, this 177-pound dog dragged 6,000 pounds of lead for the title.

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Samoyed

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Samoyedskaja

  • Smiling Dog

     
Country/Date of origin:
  • Russia

    ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Samoyedskaja

  • Smiling Dog

     
Country/Date of origin:
  • Russia

  • 1600′s

Height:
  • Females:  19 to 21 inches

  • Males:  21 to 23-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 50 to 65 pounds

Personality:
  • Intelligent and eager to please.

  • Friendly but conservative.

  • Aggressiveness is to be severely penalized in a Samoyed.

  • Prefers to be outdoors.

  • High energy.

History:

This is the herding dog of the once nomadic Samoyed people, who roamed across Arctic Asia and now live in the regions of Siberia east of the Ural Mountains.  For centuries, the big, white dogs guarded and herded the reindeer, which were the lifeblood of the tribes.  Occasionally, they pulled sleds, but this job usually was relegated to the reindeer.  Most of the modern Samoyeds are descendants of just 12 animals brought out of Russia in the 19th century.  Still used as a sled dog, the Samoyed can withstand the most extreme weather.  The story of the first Samoyed in the United States is a romantic one.  Princess Mercy de Montyglyon was showing some of her collies at a dog show in St. Petersburg when she noticed a Samoyed following her.  She dragged him back to his bench, but the next day he followed her again.  It turns out that he was the favorite of the Grand Duke and no amount of money was enough to purchase him.  However, the heir to the Russian throne was so taken by the dog’s attachment to the Princess that he gave the dog to her.  In 1906, he became the first of his breed to be shown in the United States.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, sled dog of the Spitz family.

  • Compact and muscular with a smiling expression.

  • The tail is carried over the back and to one side.  It is never altered.

  • The ears are erect, set far apart, and are not altered.  The ears are small and heavily furred.

Coat:
  • Coat is so thick that is almost impossible to see the skin when it is parted.  Even the bottoms of the feet are cushioned with fur

  • Coat is very long.

  • The outer coat is coarse and the undercoat is oily and woolly.  It should stand out from the body.

  • White or an off-white is the only color allowed.

  • The tips of the hairs are silver and glint in the sun.

  • Sheds heavily in the spring.  At other times, grooming needs are moderate.

  • Males carry much more coat than females.

Health and Wellness:
  • Usually very hardy.

  • Possible hip dysplasia.

  • Skin diseases if kept in a heated house.

  • Serious eye problems.

What you should know:
  • Fridtjof Nansen first brought the Samoyed to the attention of the public through his polar expeditions.  Later, Scott and Amundsen used Samoyeds in Antarctica.

  • Often called the smiling dog for its amused expression.  It reflects the happy heart of the Samoyed, which not only smiles but chortles.

  • A real sense of humor.

  • If you can stand the shedding, this is a fine pet.

  • Can take rough-and-tumble play.

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Scottish Deerhound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Scotland

  • 800′s

Height:
  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Scotland

  • 800′s

Height:
  • Females: from 28 inches

  • Males:  30 to 32 inches

     
Weight:
  • Females:  75 to 95 pounds

  • Males:  85 to 110 pounds

     
Personality:
  • Very dignified and reserved.  Almost regal.

  • A one-family dog.

  • Merely tolerates strangers.

  • Quiet and not protective enough to be a good watchdog.

History:

The Scottish Deerhound shares a history with the Irish Wolfhound, at least until the 800′s.  Celtic men wanted a lighter-boned dog to chase deer up and down the mountains of Scotland.  They began to breed an animal that diverged from the heavier wolfhound.  It originally came in all the colors appearing in the wolfhound today, but only gray animals have been seen in the last few decades.  Deerhounds were founding stock when the American Kennel Club (AKC) was organized.

Body Type:
  • A rough-coursing hound, similar to the Irish Wolfhound but with a more slender build.

  • Rose ears are not altered and are kept folded tightly against the neck.

  • Long tail is not altered.

Coat:
  • Coat is shaggy and wiry in texture.

  • A pronounced mane protects the neck.

  • Hair is softer on the underparts of the body and on the head, especially in the long beard.

  • Several colors are allowed but only gray is seen at the present time.

  • Low maintenance.

  • The coat does not mat.

Health and Wellness:
  • Cardiac diseases.

  • Bone cancer.

  • Bloat, although not as prone to it as its sister breed, the Irish Wolfhound.

  • Not very long-lived.

What you should know:
  • Sir Walter Scott’s favorite dog, Maida, prompted him to include Deerhounds in many of his novels.

  • Relative rarity of the breed may make puppies hard to find in some parts of the country, and also expensive to purchase.

  • General George Custer’s hunting companions, two deerhounds, were with him at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

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Rottweiler

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Metzgerhund (butcher’s dog)

  • Rottie

Country/Date of origin:
    ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Metzgerhund (butcher’s dog)

  • Rottie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • Females:  22 to 25 inches

  • Males:  24 to 27 inches

Weight:
  • 90 to 110 pounds

Personality:
  • Dignified and slow to anger.

  • Natural guarding instincts coupled with great courage.

  • Obedient and moderately intelligent.

History:

Rottweilers marched with the Roman legions.  The beefy mastiffs were drovers and stock guards, watching over the cattle the army needed for provisions.  Butchers around the town of Rottweil, in Germany, refined the dog in the Middle Ages until it was so good at its job that cattle could be taken to and from the stockyards without a human attendant.  About 1900, the Rottweiler found favor as a police dog, and a German Stud Book was established.  The first Rottweiler was admitted to the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book in 1931.  It wasn’t until 1948 that a championship title was awarded.  The Rottweiler, with its size and guarding instincts, is the second most popular dog in America.

Body Type:
  • Looks like a heavier version of the Doberman Pinscher.

  • The tail is short, set level with the back, and carried horizontally.  Must be docked if it is not naturally short.

  • The ears are relatively small and hang close to the head.  They are not altered.

Coat:
  • Short, flat, and coarse with a softer undercoat on the neck and thighs.

  • Permissible colors are black with tan markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and over both eyes.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Elbow dysplasia.

  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Calcinosis circumscripta.

  • Subaortic stenosis.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis.

  • von Willebrand’s disease.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Panosteitis.

  • Laryngeal paralysis.

  • Dominance-realated aggression.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).

  • Familial renal disease (atrophic glomerulopathy).

  • Addison’s disease.

  • Lupoid onchodystrophy.

  • Cauda equina syndrome.

  • Osteosarcoma (appendicular).

What you should know:
  • Pronounce it Rott-why-lurr.

  • The breed has a booster in Alexandra Day, whose books about the babysitting Carl have introduced Rotties to millions.

  • Firmly ensconced in second place in the popularity charts and is pushing the Labrador Retriever to be top dog.

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Sabueso Espagnol

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Spanish Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • Spain

  • 500′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Spanish Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • Spain

  • 500′s

Height:
  • 18 to 22 inches

Weight:
  • 45 to 55 pounds

Personality:
  • Can be somewhat temperamental.

  • It is not an easy dog to train to house-living.

  • Very energetic, with a forceful sense of purpose.

  • Loyal to its owner.

History:

A scent-hunting dog much like a Foxhound.  The Sabueso is thought to be of French origin but is now essentially a Spanish breed.  Breed classes are divided by size with the smaller, under 20-1/2 inches more commonly seen.  A forceful hunter, the Sabueso can be used in a pack or individually as a line or tracking hound and is sometimes used to find missing persons by the police.  Rarely seen outside its native land.

Body Type:
  • Hound with a Foxhound in appearance.

  • The long tail is carried low and is not altered.

  • The hanging ears are very long and folded.  They are not altered.

Coat:
  • Short and smooth.

  • The color may be any shade of red with white markings.

  • Black markings are not common but allowed.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • May have ear problems.

  • Hip dysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Does not make a very good house pet.

  • Needs room to run.

  • Obedience training is highly recommended.

  • A willful nature is typical.

  • Will be difficult to find outside of Spain.

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Saluki

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Gazelle Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • Iran

  • 3,000 BC

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Gazelle Hound

Country/Date of origin:
  • Iran

  • 3,000 BC

Height:
  • 22 to 28 inches

Weight:
  • 44 to 46 pounds

Personality:
  • Regal and very aloof.

  • Never fawning or begging attention.

  • Ignores strangers.

  • A one-person or one-family dog.

  • Shyness is common in Salukis.

History:

The Saluki may very well be the oldest, purebred dog in existence.  The likeness of a breed resembling it can be found on the carvings made in Sumeria 9,000 years ago.  Mummified remains of Salukis have been found lying alongside the remains of Egyptian pharaohs.  However, the breed was preserved by the Arab peoples, who valued swiftness in both horse and hound.  The swift Saluki was used then, and now, to run down fleet game such as rabbit, hare, gazelle, and antelope.  The Saluki made its way to the United States and received American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition in 1927.

Body Type:
  • A streamlined, greyhound-like body built for running.

  • Feathering adds a bit of glamour.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Long, naturally-curved tail is not altered.  It acts like a rudder when dog turns at high speed.

Coat:
  • Two varieties are available.  The long-haired, most often referred to as the Saluki, has feathering on the legs, ears, and tail.  The smooth-haired variety, sometimes called Sloughi, is without feathering.

  • Allowable colors are solids:  white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle, and tan.

  • Patterned coats of tri-color and black and tan are also permitted.

  • Low grooming requirements.

  • Feet have long hair between the toes, which is a protection against burning sands.

Health and Wellness:
  • Sensitivity to many drugs, particularly anesthetics.

  • May develop skin allergies when exposed to the chemicals in flea collars, insecticides, and tick dips.

  • Fragile leg bones may break when running or turning at high speed.

What you should know:
  • The only dog that escapes traditional Muslim prejudices against the species.  The Saluki was considered a sacred dog sent by Allah.

  • Whenever one sees the word dog in the Bible, it refers to the Saluki.

  • The standoffish Saluki can be your best friend, only in their eyes it is a bond between equals.

  • Walking gait is a high-stepping prance.

  • Thrives in hot, dry climates.

  • There is a considerable size difference between males and females.

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Schipperke

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little Captain

Country/Date of origin:
  • Belgium

  • 1500′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little Captain

Country/Date of origin:
  • Belgium

  • 1500′s

Height:
  • 10 to 13 inches

Weight:
  • 12 to 16 pounds

Personality:
  • Lively and alert.

  • Excellent watchdog.

  • Nothing gets by a Schipperke on guard.

  • Does not like rough handling.

  • Not at all mean, rather mischievous.

History:

Bred as watchdogs and ratters in their native Belgium, the Schipperkes found plenty of work on the barges.  When people saw these little tailless tykes strutting on the decks with a vast show of self-importance, they said they looked like Schipperkes, or little captains.  The Schipperke really was important on the barges. These four-footed, first mates stood watch, guarded both boat and cargo, killed rats, and hustled the tow horses.  The breed has an unusual affinity for horses to this day.  The breed first landed in the United States in the 1880′s, but it was not until 1929 that they were popular enough to gain admittance to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • Small, Spitz-like in appearance.

  • The tail is docked to one-inch if the dog is not born tailless.

  • The small, prick ears are not altered.

Coat:
  • The abundant, double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat and a slightly harsh outer coat.  It stands well off the body.

  • Solid black is the only permissible color in the United States.

  • Red is allowed in Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) competition.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Exceptionally long-lived with very few ailments

  • Pemphigus foliaceus.

What you should know:
  • Pronounce it skeep-er-kee as the Belgians do.

  • Will exercise itself around the house.

  • Makes an ideal city or apartment dweller.

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Scottish Fold Longhair

Personality:
  • Disposition matches their sweet expression.

  • Adore human companionship.

  • ...
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Personality:
  • Disposition matches their sweet expression.

  • Adore human companionship.

History:

In 1961, William Ross found a litter of folded eared kittens on a farm in Scotland.  He used one, a white cat he named Susie, to develop the breed.  The folded ears are the result of a spontaneous mutation.  Breed was further established by crosses to the British Shorthair and American Shorthair.  Longhaired Folds appeared in litters with their shorthaired counterparts and were developed into a separate division and accepted for championship by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1992.

Body Type:
  • Medium with a rounded, well-padded body.

  • There should be no sign of immobility due to short, coarse legs or splayed toes, and the tail should be long and flexible.

  • The head is well rounded with rounded whisker pads.

  • Ears fold forward and downward.

  • A small tightly folded ear is preferred over a loose fold and large ear.

  • Eyes are wide open with a sweet expression.  Color corresponds to coat color.

Coat:
  • Coat is medium long and silky with ruff, britches, ear furnishings, toe tufts, and a plumed tail.

  • All colors are accepted with the exception of those showing evidence of hybridization resulting in the Himalayan pattern, chocolate, lavender, or those combinations with white.

Health and Wellness:
  • Neonatal isoerythrolysis.

  • Prognathism.

  • Vertebral deformities.

  • Osteochondrodysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Although all kittens are born with straight ears, only about 40% will develop folded ears.

  • If ears are going to fold, they begin to do so between three and four weeks of age.

  • Ear can be a single fold, double fold, or triple fold with the latter considered the most desirable.

  • Preferably, your kitten should come from a mating of a fold-eared cat to a straight-eared cat.

  • Your kitten should walk easily and not have a stiff, thick or short tail.

  • Scottish Folds should be purchased when they are at least four months of age

  • The best Longhaired Scottish Folds frequently come from shorthaired parents.

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Sealyham Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Wales

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 10...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Wales

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 10 to 12 inches

Weight:
  • 18 to 20 pounds

Personality:
  • Friendly and outgoing.

  • Alert and watchful.

  • Intelligent but tends to add his own little twist to anything you try to teach him.

History:

This Welsh breed was named for the family home of its creator Captain John Edwardes.  His spunky earth terrier was bred for the courage needed to tackle vermin that intimidated other dogs, such as badgers, fox, and weasels.  The exact mixture of breeds he used to create the Sealyham is not known.  Some say it included Corgis, Bassets, Dandie Dinmonts, Bull Terriers, and West Highland White Terriers.  Whatever he used, the result was a superb hunter.  The Sealyham entered the English show world in 1910 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) the following year.

Body Type:
  • A short-legged terrier that is the embodiment of power and determination.

  • Chunky would be a good word to describe the Sealyham.

  • Button ears are not altered.

  • Erect tail is docked.

Coat:
  • Harsh, double coat is water resistant.

  • The undercoat is soft and dense, and the outercoat is hard and wiry.

  • Coat is straight.  Curly hair is a bad fault.

  • White or yellowish white with colored markings allowed on the head and ears.

  • Markings on the body are not desirable.

  • Does not shed.

  • Professional grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Like most white dogs, the Sealyham may be subject to genetic deafness.

  • Lens luxation and retinal dysplasia of the eye.

  • Reported to have problems with allergic skin diseases.

  • Does not tolerate heat well.

  • Congenital deafness.

What you should know:
  • Most charming quality—a sense of humor.

  • Long-lived but act perpetually youthful.

  • Good for allergic people, although the non-shedding coat requires constant attention.

  • Likes to dig, a heritage from its hunting past.

  • A rarer breed that may be expensive to purchase or hard to find.

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Scottish Fold Shorthair

Personality:
  • Disposition matches their sweet expression.

  • Adore human companionship.

History:

In 1961,...

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Personality:
  • Disposition matches their sweet expression.

  • Adore human companionship.

History:

In 1961, William Ross found the first known Scottish Fold cat on a farm in Scotland and used one, a white cat he named Susie, to develop the breed.  Folded ears are the result of a spontaneous mutation.  Breed was further established by crosses to the British Shorthair and American Shorthair cats.  Accepted for championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1978.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized cat with a rounded, well-padded body.

  • There should be no sign of immobility due to short, coarse legs or splayed toes, and the tail should be long and flexible.

  • The head is well rounded with rounded whisker pads.

  • Ears fold forward and downward.

  • A small tightly folded ear is preferred over a loose fold and large ear.

  • Eyes are wide open with a sweet expression.

  • Color corresponds to coat color.

Coat:
  • Coat is medium short, dense, and plush.

  • All colors are accepted with the exception of those showing evidence of hybridization resulting in the himalayan pattern, chocolate, lavender, or those combinations with white.

Health and Wellness:
  • Neonatal isoerythrolysis.

  • Prognathism.

  • Vertebral deformities.

  • Osteochondrodysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Although all kittens are born with straight ears, only about 40% will develop folded ears.

  • If ears are going to fold, they begin to do so between three and four weeks of age.

  • Ear can be a single fold, double fold, or triple fold with the latter considered the most desirable.

  • Straight-eared cats are still valuable to the breeding program and make wonderful pets.

  • Preferably, your kitten should come from a mating of a fold-eared cat to a straight-eared cat.

  • Your kitten should walk easily and not have a stiff, thick or short tail.

  • Scottish Folds should be purchased when they are at least four months of age.

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Shiba Inu

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Brushwood Dog

  • Shiba

     
Country/Date of origin:
  • Japan

  • 300...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Brushwood Dog

  • Shiba

     
Country/Date of origin:
  • Japan

  • 300 BC

Height:
  • 13-1/2 to 16-1/2 inches

     
Weight:
  • 20 to 30 pounds

Personality:
  • Fiery temperament.

  • Does not get along well with other dogs.

  • Bold, independent, and aggressive.

  • Tends to roam, as it is looking for something to hunt.

  • Clean, almost cat-like in personal hygiene.

History:

A native Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu looks like the typical Spitz-type Northern breed.  It is not, however, part of the family that includes the Husky, Samoyed and Keeshond.  It is more closely related to the Chow Chow, Shar Pei, and Dingo.  Shibas are a multi-purpose hunting dog.  They are quick enough to chase down most four-legged game and agile enough to snatch an ascending bird right out of the air.  In the 1950′s, a combination of World War II and distemper almost wiped out this ancient breed.  However, breeders in Japan and abroad have made this little hunter quite popular.  It has been registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1993 and, in a testimonial to its appeal, two years later has surpassed more than half the long established breeds in popularity.

Body Type:
  • Typical build of the Northern Spitz breeds.

  • The thick tail curls over the back and is not altered.

  • The ears are small and erect.  They are not altered.

Coat:
  • A double coat of medium length that feels almost velvety.

  • The topcoat is stiff and straight.  The undercoat is soft and dense.

  • Tail hair is slightly longer and stands out from the body.

  • Allowed colors are red, sesame (a red with recessive black gene that manifests itself as a sooty overlay), and black and tan.

  • In all three colors white markings are required.

  • Moderate grooming is required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Patella luxation.

  • Uveodermatologic syndrome.

What you should know:
  • Shiba Inu in translation means little dog.

  • The independent nature of the Shiba Inu makes it very difficult to train.

  • Not suggested for the first time dog owner.

  • Very vocal.  Will yodel in pleasure on seeing an owner after a separation.  Also emits a high pitched scream if it feels frustrated or is unwilling to comply with a command.

  • Shibas are regular escape artists.  They are intensely curious and want to investigate the world around them.  Turn your back one second and they are off in a flash.

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Selkirk Rex Shorthair

Personality:
  • Robust and fun loving.

  • Affectionate and sociable.

History:

A result of ...

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Personality:
  • Robust and fun loving.

  • Affectionate and sociable.

History:

A result of a natural genetic mutation, the first curly-coated kitten was found in a litter of cats in Wyoming in 1987.  The curly-coated kitten was crossed with Persians and British Shorthairs to develop the Selkirk Rex breed.  Unlike the Cornish or Devon Rex, the curly coat is the result of a dominant gene.  One of the newest breeds of cat, the Selkirk Rex was accepted for championship status in The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1994.  This breed is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Body Type:
  • Medium size with a rectangular, muscular torso that has a slight rise to the hindquarters.

  • Head is round and full-cheeked with medium, pointed, wide-set ears.

  • Wide-set, round eyes complement coat color.

Coat:
  • Non-matting coat is medium in length, thick, and arranged in loose individual curls with curly whiskers, eyebrows, and ear furnishings.

  • Kittens are born with a dense curly coat that straightens when they are about six-months old, returning to full curl when they are 1 to 1-1/2 years old.

  • A longhaired version of the Selkirk Rex has a longer coat with the same curly characteristics.

  • Any color or pattern is acceptable, including pointed.

Health and Wellness:
  • Cats that are homozygous for the gene that provides the curly coat, tend to be less robust and have a tendency to lose their hair.

What you should know:
  • Combing or brushing your Selkirk Rex will straighten the curl in their coats.

  • Since the breed is new, there may be a waiting period before a kitten is available.

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Siamese

Personality:
  • Intelligent and very affectionate.

  • Assertive, active, and...

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Personality:
  • Intelligent and very affectionate.

  • Assertive, active, and conversational.

  • Have big, deep voices.

  • Easily trainable.

  • Will fetch, walk on leashes, or learn to use the toilet.

History:

Believed to have originated in Thailand where they were temple guardians and the companions of royalty.  Legend states that the Siamese cats accompanied souls to heaven.  A pair of Siamese were given to President and Mrs. Rutherford Hayes in 1878 by the United States Consul to Bangkok.  Other Siamese were imported to the United States from England, and by the turn of the century were appearing in American cat shows.  Accepted by all breed associations for championship status.

Body Type:
  • Medium-size with fine bones and firm muscles resulting in a svelte, firm cat with long, graceful tapering lines.

  • Head is a long tapering smooth wedge with very large pointed ears.

  • Deep blue eyes are medium sized and almond shaped.

Coat:
  • Coat is short, fine, and glossy.

  • Paler colored body has a distinctive pointed pattern of darker color on face, ears, legs, and tail.

  • Kittens are born white and start getting color on the points at around ten days of age.

  • Available in four color combinations: seal point (dark seal-brown points on a fawn body), blue point (deep silver-blue points on a light-gray body), chocolate point (milk-chocolate points on an ivory body), and lilac point (pinkish-gray points on a white body).

  • The International Cat Association (TICA) also accepts other colors, such as lynx points, tortie points and red points in the Siamese class.

Health and Wellness:
  • Endocardial fibroelastosis.

  • Mucopolysaccaridosis.

  • Aortic stenosis.

  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

  • Amyloidosis.

  • Allergic bronchitis.

  • Food allergy.

  • Psychogenic alopecia.

  • Periocular leukotichia.

  • Gastrointestinal track (GIT) adenocarcinoma.

  • Cutaneous mast cell tumor.

  • Mammary adenocarcinoma.

What you should know:
  • Rated as the most popular cat among short haired breeds.

  • Used as the foundation for many modern breeds.

  • Although many original Siamese had kinked tails and crossed eyes, these are now considered faults in modern day cats.

  • Although the extreme type of Siamese is favored in the show ring, the old style Siamese (Appleheads) with their round heads and stocky bodies are still popular as pets.

  • Siamese should be bred not only for type, but for good temperaments as well.

  • Look for a kitten with a friendly, happy nature.

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Scottish Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Aberdeen Terrier

  • Scottie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Scotland

    ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Aberdeen Terrier

  • Scottie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Scotland

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 10 to 11 inches

Weight:
  • 19 to 23 pounds

Personality:
  • Independent and self-assured characters.

  • Dour and stubborn.

  • Trying to train a Scottie can be a real contest of wills.

  • Tend to be one-person dogs.

History:

The Scottie is one of the oldest purebred terriers native to the British Isles.  For generations it was bred as an earth dog to roust foxes and other vermin out of under ground dens.  The word terrier stems from the Latin word terra, meaning earth, and reflects the early work of the little tykes.  Type was standardized in the 1880′s.  The Scottie was immensely popular as a working ratter in the United States.  It was one of the founding breeds of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • A short-legged terrier with an elongated head decorated by long eyebrows and lavish whiskers.

  • Should give the impression of great power in a compact body.

  • Thick tail, carried erect with a slight curve, is not altered

  • Erect ears are not altered.

Coat:
  • Hard, wiry, double coat.

  • Must be professionally groomed.

  • Contrary to public opinion, the Scottie is not always black.  There are ten acceptable colors including brindle, gray, sandy, and wheaten.

Health and Wellness:
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Cranio-mandibular osteopathy.

  • Scotty cramp.

  • von Willebrand’s disease.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Atopy.

  • Demodicosis.

  • Chronic hepatitis.

  • Melanoma.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

  • Lymphoma.

  • Bladder tumors.

What you should know:
  • Known to be diggers.

  • Scotties can be excessive barkers.

  • The most famous Scottie in America was Fala, the beloved pet of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

  • Rudyard Kipling immortalized the Aberdeen Terrier (Scottie) in his writings.  Look for Thy Servant a Dog or His Apologies for good reading about the breed.

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Shetland Sheepdog

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Sheltie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • 13 to 16 inches

Weight:
  • 14 to 22 pounds

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Sheltie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • 13 to 16 inches

Weight:
  • 14 to 22 pounds

Personality:
  • Good-natured and eager to please.

  • Intelligent and trainable.

  • On the soft side in temperament, even timid sometimes.

  • Excessive barking. Many owners have a compulsive barker’s vocal cords cut.

  • Standoffish with strangers.

History:

Looks are deceiving.  The Shetland Sheepdog is not a miniature Collie.  The Highland Collie is a shepherding specialist.  The Sheltie, on the other hand, is a farm dog of all trades.  It herds sheep, ducks, pigs, and cattle. It keeps the barn and garden free of vermin, and warns of intruders (human or animal) on the property.  The harsh, bleak Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland are known for their miniature animals, such as the Shetland pony and the Shetland Sheepdog.  Life was hard on the islands and the animals were small, but tough, as the conditions demanded.  The breed began to come to prominence in 1908 when the Scottish Club was formed.  In 1911, the American Kennel Club (AKC) began to include this diminutive sheepdog in its registry.  By the 1950′s, the Shetland Sheepdog was close to the top on the popularity chart.

Body Type:
  • Resembles a Collie in miniature.

  • The tail is long and carried low.  It is never altered.

  • The ears are small and set close together.  The tips should fold forward.  Ears are never altered.

Coat:
  • A double coat that consists of a long , straight, harsh outer coat and a dense, soft undercoat.

  • Hair stands well off the skin.

  • Water resistant.

  • Sheds heavily and requires frequent brushing.

  • Permissible colors are sable (ranging from golden to mahogany), blue merle, tricolor and bi-black.

  • Solid white is not allowed, as this color may be linked to a deafness gene.

Health and Wellness:
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis.

  • Collie-eye anomaly.

  • Hemophilia.

  • von Willebrand’s disease.

  • Dermatomyositis.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Discoid lupus erythematosis.

  • Cushing’s syndrome (AT).

  • Bladder tumors.

What you should know:
  • Choose a puppy that is outgoing.  Avoid one with any sign of shyness.

  • Very popular breed.

  • Regularly in the top fifteen of the AKC registered breeds.

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Selkirk Rex Longhair

Personality:
  • Robust and fun loving.

  • Affectionate and sociable.

  • Kittens are born...

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Personality:
  • Robust and fun loving.

  • Affectionate and sociable.

  • Kittens are born with a dense, curly coat that straightens when they are about six-months old, returning to full curl when they are 1 to 1- 1/2 years old.

History:

A result of a natural genetic mutation, the first curly-coated kitten was found in a litter of cats in Wyoming in 1987.  The curly-coated kitten was crossed with Persians and British Shorthairs to develop the Selkirk Rex breed.  Unlike the Cornish or Devon Rex, the curly coat is the result of a dominant gene.  One of the newest breeds of cat, the Selkirk Rex was accepted for championship status in The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1994.  This breed is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).

Body Type:
  • Medium size with a rectangular, muscular torso that has a slight rise to the hindquarters.

  • Head is round and full-cheeked with medium, pointed, wide-set ears.

  • Wide-set, round eyes complement coat color.

Coat:
  • Non-matting coat is medium long in length, thick, and arranged in loose individual curls with curly whiskers, eyebrows, and ear furnishings.

  • A shorthaired version of the Selkirk Rex has a shorter coat with the same curly characteristics.

  • Any color or pattern is acceptable, including pointed.

Health and Wellness:
  • Cats that are homozygous for the gene that provides the curly coat, tend to be less robust and have a tendency to lose their hair.

What you should know:
  • Combing or brushing your Selkirk Rex will straighten the curl in their coats.

  • Since the breed is new, there may be a waiting period before a kitten is available.

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Shih Tzu

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Chrysanthemum Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • China

  • 1600′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Chrysanthemum Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • China

  • 1600′s

Height:
  • 9 to 10 1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 9 to 16 pounds

Personality:
  • Gentle and loyal.

  • So charming that it will worm its way into your heart.

  • Proud and aristocratic temperament.

  • Can be stubborn.

History:

Although it is associated with the Emperors of China, the Shih Tzu is of Tibetan origin.  Shih Tzu dogs probably came to China as gifts from the Dalai Lama.  There was a religious significance.  The little dogs were said to be the living embodiment of the lion, which is revered in the Orient as the guardian of Buddha.  They remained the property of Chinese nobility for centuries and it was not until 1930 that some reached the West.  Most of the little pampered pets were destroyed in the Chinese Revolution but several were sent to England.  From England, they spread around the world.  The Shih Tzu was admitted to the American Kennel Club (AKC) registry in 1969.

Body Type:
  • Small, stocky, short-legged dog of Oriental origin, with a profuse coat that often sweeps the ground.

  • Tail is held high and arched over back like a plume.  It is not altered.

  • Long, hanging ears are not altered.

  • The gait of a Shih Tzu is slightly rolling, with a strong rear action.

Coat:
  • Very long, dense, double coat.  The undercoat is woolly.  The outercoat is extremely long and may be slightly wavy but never curly.

  • Head hair is tied with a barrette or rubber band to prevent eye irritations.

  • Called the chrysanthemum-faced dog because the hair grows about the face in all directions.

  • Professional grooming suggested.

  • All colors permissible.

  • A white blaze on the forehead is highly desirable.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Porto-systemic shunt.

  • Renal dysplasia.

  • Entropion.

  • Trichiasis.

  • Epihora.

  • Urolithiasis (oxalate and struvite).

  • Atopy.

  • Hypertrophic pyloric hypertrophy.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

What you should know:
  • Shih Tzu means lion in Chinese.

  • Often confused with the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu is smaller; has a denser, slightly-wavy coat; and, the hair is traditionally tied on top of the head.

  • This is a very sturdy toy breed that can, and will, tolerate rough and tumble play.

  • The gentle nature and low exercise requirements make it an ideal pet for the elderly.

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Siberian

Personality:
  • Affectionate, loyal, and protective of their humans.

  • Sociable and...

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Personality:
  • Affectionate, loyal, and protective of their humans.

  • Sociable and confident.

History:

Natural breed that originated in Russia.  According to Russian cat fanciers, the true Siberian is exported with a metrika (Russian pedigree), a seal and specific signatures from a recognized registry and member breeder.  Siberians were introduced to the United States in 1990 as part of an exchange program that introduced Himalayans to Russia.  Although accepted for championship in smaller breed associations, the Siberian has not yet been recognized for championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).  The Siberian was recognized for championship in The International Cat Association (TICA) on May 1, 1997.

Body Type:
  • Large, heavy-boned body gives the impression of roundness and circles.

  • Head is a large, broad, modified wedge with medium-long, lynx-tipped ears and ear furnishings.

  • Most adults have large, yellow-green eyes that are almost oval in shape.

Coat:
  • Moderately long coat with a full ruff, britches, and long flowing tail.

  • All colors or combination of colors and patterns are acceptable with the exception of the pointed pattern, self chocolate, and self lilac.

Health and Wellness:
  • Russian breeders report that some lines have a predisposition towards umbilical hernias, a problem that can be surgically repaired.

  • Kinked tails are occasionally found, but do not affect the well being of the cat.

What you should know:
  • Considered by some to be the ancestor of all longhaired cats.

  • Can take up to five years before the cat matures to full size.

  • Considered to be the largest domestic breed in the world.

  • Known to have an amazing jumping ability.

  • Kitten buyers should make sure that their Siberian is authentic, and not just a longhaired cat that resembles pedigreed Siberian.

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Texas West Animal Health

16367 South FM 4,

Santo, TX 76472

Phone. 940-769-2222

Fax. 866-632-3365

Email. texaswestvet@gmail.com