Dog Index

History of the Breed

It is believed that the Boxer breed originated from the Brabanter Bullenbeisser which can be be traced back to Belgium. This dog was described as a strong and agile dog, much as the Boxer is today. The Brabanter Bullenbeisser was used by elite individuals in Germany to help in the hunting of wild boar. The dog’s ears were cropped to prevent any potential injuries and tears from encounters with the boars.

As time moved on the Brabanter Bullenbeisser came to do work with cattle dealers and by the 1800’s was considered a working class dog. When not working the Brabanter was an excellent family pet always eager to please its owners. Around the year of 1830 it is believed that an early form of the English Bulldog was crossed with the Brabanter Bullenbeisser and thus the Boxer breed was born. The crossed dogs were white in color, much like the white Boxers today that are banned from confirmation shows and not accepted as a proper color.

The development of the Boxer breed started to flourish with the start of the German Boxer Klub in 1860’s. Although the breed started to flourish it was given an English name that many believe relates to the dogs instinct to use it’s front paws when at play and fighting.

By 1895 the Boxer Klub was formally organized and a breed standard was described to help define what the Boxer should look like. In the majority of pictures from this era of the breed the Boxer is shown white in color. In 1925 the white Boxer was no longer accepted as a proper color for the breed. Most believe the reasoning for this change is that if the Boxer was to be used for police work it would need to be of a darker color as to not be seen at night.

The Boxer was introduced to the United States around the turn of the century and shortly after, in 1915 the first Boxer Champion was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). To the surprise of no one the first champion was from Frau Stockman’s kennel that had done so much for the breed in the early years.

It was not until 1949 that the Boxer started to really make headlines in the U.S. In this year Bang Away was born to Sirrah Crest and went on to become the winningest Boxer of the century. The first win for Bang Away came at the age of 2 and a half months as it was selected by Frau Stockman as Best in Show. Bang Away went on to win the most highly coveted dog show the Westminster along with 121 other Best in Show wins over a six-year period.

Many changes have been seen in the Boxer over the years and more will most likely come. Some of the hottest issues in recent years is the addition of the white Boxer into the breed standard and if natural tails and ears should be standard. No matter what the future holds for the Boxer it will always remain a family favorite.

General Appearance

The ideal Boxer would be described as a medium sized, well-muscled dog. The Boxer is a square built dog with a short coat. The muscle tone of the Boxer is one of its distinguished features and should be clean and well defined. The gait of the Boxer is one of pride and courage as its strides are firm.

The Boxer’s expression should be alert and exert a penetrating gaze from the eyes. As with most breeds the shape and proportion of the Boxer’s head is of the up most importance. The skull should be well proportioned with a broad muzzle.

Proportion and Size

The Boxer is a medium built breed and males should measure 22.5 – 25 inches in height and the female counterpart should be a height of 21 – 23.5 inches. The breed does not have a size disqualification but it is undesirable for males to be below the minimum or females above the maximum. When size is considered the most important aspect is proper balance of the dog.

The proportion of the Boxer is a square body in that the distance should be of equal length when measured horizontally from the front of the chest to the back thigh and the vertically from the withers to the ground.


The Boxer is accepted in two distinct colors, Fawn and Brindle. The fawn can vary from a light tan to a dark almost red color. The Brindle color looks similar to a tiger stripe in that the fawn background is marked with black stripes. The Brindle can range from a few well-defined lines to an almost reversal of color where the fawn background is barely seen.

The Boxer may have white markings in a way that they are beneficial to the appearance of the animal. White markings exceeding one third of the total body is considered a fault. There have been many debates recently of the acceptance of the all white Boxer for the breed and allowing them to compete in confirmation shows.

Temperament and Personality

Energetic, Playful, Loyal, Family Oriented. If owners of this fun loving breed were asked to describe a Boxer these are just a few examples that would be used. The Boxer was originally bred for work but also makes an excellent choice when looking for a family pet. Although no two Boxer dogs are alike, there are common characteristics that a Boxer should display.

If a poll conducted amongst all Boxer owners for choosing one word to describe this breed the overwhelming choice would be Playful. The Boxer is an amazing breed in its youthful exuberance is shown from the puppy stage to the senior years. A Boxer that is not playful, is just not a Boxer. With their uncanny knack for always-making owners smile, a Boxer household is one that is constantly filled with joy and laughter.

If a single profession could be chosen for the Boxer most owners today would say a clown would be the most fitting. Whether wiggling or wagging, the Boxer is constantly entertaining and one cannot help but smile even when in the worse of moods. The Boxer has a variety of tricks to make us laugh. One of the most common is “kidney beaning”. This is a dance a Boxer does when it is excited. It involves the dog turning itself into a semi-circle (similar to the shape of a “kidney bean”, hence the name) and turning in a circle. This is one of the best benefits of the Boxer because who would not love to see this each day when coming home from a tiring day of work.

Another trick of the trade for the Boxer is the elusive “woo-woo”. This is the sound they make when they want something or are excited. It is not exactly a bark, but similar. If you have heard a Boxer “woo-woo” you would know as it is such a unique sound and it sounds as if they are saying “woo-woo” look at me!

The general movements of the Boxer at times while running can be a very enjoyable experience to walk. A healthy, happy Boxer is a treat to see run free as they have a glow and you can feel the happiness they are experiencing. When the Boxer runs also are on the lookout as many will also jump, twist and even summersault end over end for your viewing pleasure.

The Boxers personality is a unique and very enjoyable for most owners but new owners should be weary that the Boxer is not for everyone. They are high-energy dogs and require lots of attention. This is not a breed that is going to lie at the foot of the bed and sleep most of a day away. If the Boxer is not properly exercised and challenged, they can become destructive, as they will find ways to entertain themselves (read chewing your shoes!). The Boxer should be walked or jogged at least two times a day and also provided with mental stimulation. An excellent source of mental stimulation is obedience training. Obedience training is a must for any Boxer owner due to their strength and size. If not properly trained the Boxer can be a handful to take on a walk as they will pull every which direction if not given proper direction. Obedience training is a win-win situation for the Boxer and owner. The Boxer gets to be mentally stimulated, which they desire and it allows the owner to set boundaries for the dog. Placed in the proper home where they can be exercised and mentally challenged, the Boxer makes most owners an excellent pet.

The Boxer by nature is not an aggressive or vicious breed. Many uneducated about the breed assume because of the tough look and sturdy structure of the breed that they are aggressive animals. The Boxer naturally prefers to play and work. They do make excellent watchdogs in that they will bark at strangers and protect their family if need be. In fact, the most difficult of Schutzhund training for the breed is passing the required attack sequence of the training where the Boxer must attack a trainer poised as an attacker.

With its youthful exuberance and affection the Boxer makes an excellent pet for families with children. From personal experience, the breed seems to have a sense of gauging the size of a child and toning down its level appropriately. Although in most cases the Boxer makes an excellent pet for children, a potential owner should always research the breed before deciding on the proper breed for their family. For instance the Boxer is a large dog and could cause problems for infants and young children by knocking them over by accident.

The Boxer is not an outside dog and does not adapt well to extreme heat or cold. The Boxer is not suited for cold conditions because of its short coat does not provide much barrier from cold winds. On the other extreme the Boxer has a short nasal cavity, which can make breathing very hard in extremely hot conditions. For these reasons, potential owners should be prepared to make adjustments and space in their house for a Boxer if they choose the breed. Most owners say the Boxer prefers mild 70 to 72 degrees controlled living environment, much as we would all prefer!

If you do not like a “lap dog” and think by getting a larger breed you will avoid a dog wanting up in your lap the Boxer is definitely not right for you. The Boxer is a “lap dog” and feels the need to be with its owners. Although it is sometimes hard to imagine a 75-pound dog as being cuddly, the Boxer fits this description. Potential owners should be prepared to give their Boxer lots of time with them and know that the Boxer will follow their owner throughout the house.


The Boxer is a very intelligent breed, which has many benefits when training but also drawbacks. The benefits are obvious in that they learn quickly and are eager to further their training education. The downside to working with such an intelligent breed is that they also can and do think on their own. Potential owners should be prepared for many occasions in which the Boxer will plain out not listen to commands. The owner and dog both know exactly what is being commanded and what is suspected. It is just a characteristic of the Boxer to be stubborn from time to time. This can be frustrating but remember to always be patient and the Boxer and trainer will both benefit.

A common example of the Boxer’s stubborn streak is easily observable many times when traveling and it comes time to load up into the car to leave. The Boxer cannot be more excited and has been jumping around all morning looking forward to a ride. When it comes time to physically get into the car, the Boxer will act as if it all of the sudden has lead in it’s feet and not being able to jump into the car. The dog and owner both know the Boxer can get into the car and the Boxer has displayed this ability on many occasions. On this particular day, the dog has decided he wants pampered and needs the owner lift it up into the car. This is just a small example to detail how the stubborn streak can come out and to forewarn anyone considering the breed.

Exercise Needs

The Boxer is an energetic dog. If an owner is looking for a dog to just lie around, this is not a good breed. Although they do have lots of energy, they are not hyperactive and their energy can be easily managed. Daily walks or runs are a must to keep a Boxer feeling their best. Also, the Boxer needs a lot of mental stimulation. If the right amount of exercise is not given, look out because a Boxer will find a way to entertain itself (read chewing shoes, sofas etc…).

Grooming Needs

The Boxer has a short coat but will and does shed. Many often are surprised at the amount of hair that the Boxer does shed. With regular brushings the shedding problem can be held to a minimum. Often a shedding blade can be used to remove the majority of the hair. If using a shedding blade, careful strokes should be taken around the Boxers leg because of the possibility of tearing a tendon or hurting the dog.

Fun FAQs

The Boxers name originates from the dog using its front paw when fighting or playing.

The Boxers ears were originally cropped because it was used for police work and some hunting. By cropping the ears it prevented possible tears while fighting.

The Boxer is known as the “peter pan” of dog breeds because of its youthful mannerism throughout its life.


Although not right for everyone, the Boxer can make most a loving addition to their family and provide years of joy. The key is to properly socialize and train the Boxer at an early age and set limits for your Boxer baby. If these simple guidelines are followed, you can look forward to one of the funniest, loyal family member you could imagine.




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Those new to the breed may have heard the lively tale about the beautiful Russian tracking dogs that toured England with the circus. Dont believe a word of it. The real credit goes to a Scottish Nobleman, the former Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks, who became the first Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan at Inverness, Scotland. Lord Tweedmouth was a ardent waterfowl enthusiast who hunted the rugged waters of the English seacoast. He dreamed of a canine hunting partner possessed of a superb nose that would hunt more closely than the commonly used Setters and Spaniels of that time. He also fancied a dog that would not only retrieve his birds, but deliver them to his hand, a dual talent that was lacking in the bird dogs of that era.

To that end, in 1868, he bred a wavy-coated retriever named Nous, who was reportedly a gift from the Earl of Chichester, to a liver-colored Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, given to Tweedmouth by his cousin David Robertson. Nous, the greek word for wisdom had been born the only yellow pup, then called a sport, out of a litter of all blacks, which was the standard color for the wavy coat, an ancestor of todays Flat Coated Retriever. This mating was no accident; Tweedmouth had a passion for yellow dogs. Belle produced four fuzzy yellow pups and thus launched Tweedmouth on his Golden journey. He kept his favorite pup, Cowslip, and gave little Ada, Primrose and Crocus to a few good friends who joined him in his breeding venture.

These Golden fanciers persisted breeding yellow dog to yellow dog, despite the fact that linebreeding of this nature was most uncommon in those times. Ocassionally, they did experimental outcrosses to the Irish Setter, the yellow Labrador and the Bloodhound (Where do you think that expert Golden nose came from). The kennels at Guisachan were sold in 1905, but by that time two historic kennels had emerged: Ingestre and Culham which were eventually registered with the Kennel Club of England. Lord Harcourts Culham Goldens continued Tweedmouths legacy of excellence, producing the great sires Culham Brass and Culham Copper, who are behind the Modern Golden Retriever. In 1909, Lord Harcourt was joined in his breeding endeavors by Mrs William Charlesworth, who later established her own line of influential Goldens under the kennel prefix of Noranby (originally Noramby). Mrs Charlesworth became an icon in the breed, devoting the next 50 years to perserving the breeds working ability, always with an eye toward true type and soundness. Her Noranby Goldens not only worked in the admirably in the field, but also claimed the highest honors on the bench, achievements we have not witnessed in the Golden for many decades.

In 1913, she and a few other breed enthusiasts successfully formed the Golden Retriever Club of England. The early 1900s were flagship years for the Golden in England. Goldens became a popular hunting dog and the breed earned field trial wins and produced several dual champions. Bench champions wore a darker red coat in those days until about 1936 when the lighter colors became fashionable with judges and exhibitors. The Yellow or Golden, Retriever offically recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1913 became the Golden Retriever in 1920. The breed began migrating to Canada and the United States around 1900 when the British military and other professionals traveled to those countries with thier hunting dogs. By 1931, Goldens had also been exported to Uruguay, Belgium, Holland, India, South America, Kenya and Aregentina- true testimony to the breeds versatility and universal appeal. In the United States, these talented and willing retrievers naturally became popular in areas rich with waterfowl and upland game, and thier delightful dispositions earned high marks with non-hunters as wll. In 1925, the American Kennel Club (AKC) granted them offical breed status.

So the original Golden was a hunting dog. With its handsome looks and winning personality, however, this versatile animal was destined to become much more. Those early Golden hunters have evolved into the do-it-all dogs we know and love today.


The Goldens general appearence is that of a symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long inthe leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self confident. Primarily a hunting dog, it should be shown in hard working condition. Overall appearence, balance, gait and purpose are to be given more emphasis than any of its component parts.

In size, a male Golden Retriever should stand 23 to 24 inches at the withers, or shoulder, with females standing 21 1/2 to 22 1/2 inches. A variation of 1 inch above or below the standard is permitted but penalized proportionately in the show ring. A dog that deviates in height more than a inch either way must be disqualified. In accordance with its height, the typical male Golden weighs 65 to 75 pounds, a female 55 to 65 pounds. Proportion is important as well. The standard calls for the length from breastbone to the point of the buttocks to be slightly greater than the height at the withers (top of the shoulder) in a ratio of 12 to 11. Those dimensions make for a dog that is beautifully angled front and rear, able to carry itself with the smooth, powerful gait needed by a hardworking hunting dog.

A proper Goldens skull is broad, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally, but without a prominent forehead or occipital bones. The stop- the indentation between the eyes where the nasal bones and cranium meet- is well defined but not abrupt. The foreface is deep and wide, nearly as long as the skull, and the muzzle is straight, blending smoothly and strongly into the skull. When viewed in profile or from above, the muzzle is slightly deeper and wider at the stop than at the tip. The flews – the hanging sides of the upper lip- should not be heavy. Whiskers may be removed, but this isn’t a preferred look.

The Goldens eyes can be descrided as friendly and intelligent in espression, medium large with dark, close fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep on the sockets. The preferred color is dark brown, but medium brown eyes are acceptable. When the dog is looking straight ahead, no white or haw- the third eyelid- should be visable. Slant eyes and narrow triangular eyes are faulted because they detract from the correct expression.

Soft and floppy, the Goldens ears are rather short, with the front edge attaached well behind and just above the eye and falling close to the cheek. When pulled forward, the tip of the ear should just cover the eye. Low houndlike ears are faulted.

The nose should be black or brownish black. Some noses fade to a lighter shade in cold weather, which isn’t a serious flaw, but a pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation is faulted.

It goes without saying that a Golden should have all of its teeth. They should meet in a scissirs bite, in which the outter side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. This breed is meant to carry large fowl, so it needs to have a strong jaw. Irregularly placed incisors are undesireable, as is a level bite- one wich the incisors meet each other edge to edge. Goldens with overshot or undershot bites are disqualified.

Supporting the head is a medium-long neck that merges gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving the dog a sturdy muscular appearence. The neck needs to be of a length that allows the dog to be a pickup dog but not so long that it appears elegant or sighthoundlike. Too much loose skin under the throat, described as throatiness is undesireable.

Whether a Golden is standing or moving, it should have a well put together body, starting with a topline that is strong and level from the withers to a slightly sloping croup (the region of the pelvic girdle). Faults include a sloping topline, a roach (rounded) or sway back or a flat or steep croup. The body should also be well balanced, short coupled and deep through the chest. What does that mean? The standard goes on to explain that the chest between the forelegs should be at least as wide as a mans closed hand including thumb, with a well developed forechest.

The brisket should extend to the elbow. The ribs should be long and well sprung, but not barrelshaped, extending well toward the hindquarters. The short muscular loinis wide and deep with very little tuck up. Powering up the Golden are muscular forequarters and hindquarters. At the front end, the shoulder blades are long and well laid back, with the upper tips farely close together at the withers. The upper arms appear about the same length as the blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper tip of the blades, close to the ribs without looseness.

Viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good bone, although they shouldn’t appear coarse. Pasterns are short and strong, sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness. Medium sized feet are round, compact, well knuckled with thick pads. To show the natural size and contour of the foot, excess hair may be trimmed. Front dewclaws may be removed, but most people leave them on. Faults are splayed or hare feet. At the rear are broad strongly muscled hindquarters. Legs are straight when viewed from the rear. In a natural stance the femur joins the pelvis at approximatly a 90 degree angle. The stifles are well bent and the hocks well let down with short strong rear pasterns. Goldens with cow hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks are to be faulted.

The merrily carried tail is thick and muscular at the base with a feathered underside. It should be carried level or with some moderate upward curve but never curled over the back. The Golden is a swimmer and uses its tail as a rudder, so its important that the tail not be carried too high.

The crowning glory of this breed is, of course, its coat, but again moderation is the key. A proper Golden coat is dense and water repellent with a good undercoat. The texture of the outer coat is neither coarse nor silky but instead should be form and resilient, lying close to the body. Where the coat shines is in its rich, lustrous golden color of various shades. Like the Golden as a whole, the dogs predominat body coloring should be moderate, neither excessively pale or excessively dark. Take into account, however, that the coat of a light colored puppy may deepen with maturity. The feathering may be lighter in color than the rest of the coat, but with the exception of graying or whitening due to age, white markings are penalized unless they are limited to a few white hairs on the chest. It’s important not to confuse allowable light shadings with white markings. The hair can be straight or wavy, with a natural ruff at the neck, moderate feathering on the back of the forelegs and the underbody, and heavier feathering on the front of the neck, the back of the thighs and the underside of the tail. The coat on the head, paws and front of the legs should be short and even. In no case should the natural appearence of the coat be altered by cutting or clipping, except as noted above to display the feet.

Looks are well and good, but this is a sporting breed we are talking about and in the final analysis, performance is what counts. Even if your Golden never sees a field, it should still be built to move or gait in a certin way. When trotting, its movement should be free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach. Viewed in any position, the legs neither turn in or out and the feet shouldn’t cross or interfere with each other. Show a Golden on a loose lead to best display its gait.


The Golden Retriever is more than just a pretty face and a beautiful coat. It exemplifies the old saying “Pretty is as pretty does”. The description of temperment in the Golden standard could just as easily appear in the Boy Scout Handbook. This dog is to be friendly, reliable and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations or an unwarrented show of timidity or nervousness are not typical Golden traits and should be penalized accordingly.

Gentle, kind, and affecionate: The breed of dog that most comes to mind at the sound of these adjatives is the Golden Retriever. The Golden comes by this reputation with good reason. Of all the hundreds of dog breeds in the world the Golden is one of the most giving and sweetest dogs on earth. Goldens work as Therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and they provide loyalty and companionship to children and adults alike. And as most people know Golden Retrievers have a smile and a wagging tail for just about everyone they meet.

Often they are comical and entertaining and they make up games. They are also very intuitive and sense many things. They try very hard to communicate with their owners and the closer the bond the more successful they are. They are also very observent and notice the strangest things. They are a willing worker, eager to please, lives to be with his or her people, and has the think it through mentality of many great sporting dogs. By and large most Goldens are unflappable, love people, kids and other animals and will gladly run through fire for you if that is what you ask of them, also they are well known for being a benevolent and sofhearted dog. The Golden is considered one of the most tolerant dog breeds around, a trait which makes them uniquely suited to being a excellent companion and also fulfilling some of the most challenging canine jobs around.

Another distinctive facet of the Goldens temperment is versatility. Goldens can work hard in the field one hour and be the perfect childs companion the next. Because the Golden is such a friendly and forgiving dog, the breed is well known among those who provide pet assisted therapy to patients in nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions, because Goldens have a natural love of people many of them seem to thrive in this environment.


Very high

The numbers speak for themselves. Proving the breeds trainability and unwavering desire to please. Golden Retrieves consistantly amass more titles in obedience and tracking than any other breed. During the year 2000 they claimed the following:

635 Companion Dog titles (CD)

310 Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)

111 Utility Dog (UD)

56 Utility Dog Excellent (UDX)

40 prestigous Obedience Trial Champion titles (OTCh)

71 Tracking Dog titles (TD)

24 Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX)

1,319 Agility titles second only to the Border Collie

49 now call themselves Master Hunter (MH)

238 became Junior Hunter (JH)

88 claimed Senior Hunter titles (SH)


The following is a list of health concerns that Goldens can be faced with

Hip Dysplasia

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (a form of congential heart disease)



A Golden is most happiest to be wherever you are. It would be best to get your dog out for at least an hour a day, or you can take up one of the many canine sports, or take a hike in the woods. It is all dependent on the dog as to what type of excersise they need, some may be happy to just lay on the couch with a walk every now and then, others may need to have a job to do.


Goldens are notorious shedders and regular brushing cuts down on the amount of hair left on floors and furniture. It also prevents painful mats from forming in thier coats. These dogs tend to shed moderatly year round and blow coat (shed thier entire haircoat profusly) in the spring and fall. I would groom every day but you can groom every week, it is up to you. I would use a pin brush, slicker, double sided comb, a shedding blade, etc. Pay close attention to the ears and teeth


* Youngest of all the Retriever breeds

* President Gerald Ford owned a Golden Retriever named Liberty

* They actually smile by curling up the corners of thier mouths and showing some teeth

* A Golden can easily carry 10 to 25 pounds of equipment, depending on the size and fitness of the dog on a mountain trail


Shellie Bailey

Greenleaf Kennels

“Home of the Working Golden”

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Great description of the Golden Shellie! Wow, we hope to see many more breeds written up in the same way, we will have such an excellent resource for everyone! Thanks again Shellie and we look forward to everyone else submitting a breed description!




The online community for dog lovers! – All dog breeds welcome!

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Love the post Ridgie Mom and the story, very creative!! Keep the great breed descriptions coming in!




The online community for dog lovers! – All dog breeds welcome!

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The Border Collie originated in the border country between Scotland and England. It is a very old breed, with references in literature going back to at least 1570 in writings by Dr. Caius. Caius mentions him as “not huge, vaste and bigge but of indifferent stature and growth”. The breed has been known as the Working Collie, Old-Fashioned Collie, Farm Collie, and English Collie. It was in 1915 that James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society in Great Britain, first called the dog a Border Collie.

The first sheepdog trials were held on October 9, 1873 in Bala, Wales. In the United States, the trials started in 1880.

Famous Border Collies

Two Border Collies that have had a great deal of influence on the modern Border Collie are Old Hemp and Wiston Cap.

Old Hemp, a tri-color dog, was born September 1893 and died May 1901. He was bred by Adam Telfer from Roy, a black and tan dog, and Meg, a black-coated, strong-eyed dog. Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog that sheep responded to easily. Many shepherds used him for stud on their bitches, and Hemp’s working style became the Border Collie style. It is believed that Old Hemp’s blood runs in the veins of almost all Border Collies today.

Wiston Cap is the dog that the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) badge portrays in the characteristic Border Collie herding pose. He was the most popular and used stud dog in the history of the breed, and appears in a huge percentage of pedigrees today. Bred by W. S. Hetherington and trained and handled by John Richardson, Cap was a biddable and good-natured dog. His blood lines all trace back to the early registered dogs of the stud book, and to J. M. Wilson’s Cap, who occurs sixteen times within seven generations in his pedigree. Wiston Cap sired three Supreme Champions and is grand-sire of three others, one of which is E. W. Edwards’ Bill, who won the championship twice.

The Border Collie Controversy

The Border Collie brings out a great deal of passion in the people who love it, especially in regard to what is best for the breed. Unfortunately, there is much disagreement on that subject, and the disagreement has created some hard feelings among people who are all intensely concerned about the Border Collie’s future. Following is a very simplified summary of the three main factions.

Many people, particularly Border Collie owners from the herding community, feel that American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition in the United States, and Canadian Kennel Club recognition (CKC) in Canada, will irreparably harm the Border Collie. These people believe that breeding the dogs to a conformation standard (that is, for beauty or a certain look) will, at best, split the breed in North America by creating a set of Border Collies that are pretty but can’t work. They take the dogs’ herding instinct very seriously, and believe it would be a serious injustice to the breed if this were to happen. These people refuse to have anything to do with the AKC, and do not register their dogs with the AKC.

Many other people, especially those involved in showing their dogs in AKC obedience trials and other performance events, hope that, with enough people committed to keeping the dog a working dog, and with an AKC parent club committed to the same thing, they will be able to keep a major split from happening by placing the emphasis on herding and performance, especially when it comes to breeding dogs.

There is also a group of Border Collie owners who are primarily interested in showing in conformation. Many of these people have imported conformation-bred Border Collies from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, where the breed has been recognized by the Kennel Clubs for a number of years.

In 1994, breed clubs for all breeds that had been in the Miscellaneous group for many years without seeking full recognition were notified by the AKC that they had to either seek recognition or be dropped from the AKC entirely. The AKC had made the decision that the Miscellaneous group should be used as it was intended: as a temporary holding place for breeds actively seeking recognition.

In December 1994, the AKC voted to officially recognize the Border Collie after decades of its being in the Miscellaneous group (no one seems to be sure exactly how long it’s been, but it’s apparently at least since 1955). Registration began in February, 1995, with stud books to be kept open for three years (in October 1997, the AKC decided to allow an additional three years; as of this writing, stud books are now due to close in January 2001). As a Miscellaneous breed, the Border Collie was allowed to show only in AKC obedience and tracking trials; on February 1, 1995, the breed also became eligible to show in herding and agility trials. In October 1995, Border Collies were seen for the first time in AKC conformation as part of the herding group. And finally, in the summer of 1996, the AKC selected the Border Collie Society of America (BCSA) as the AKC parent club for the breed.

The Canadian Kennel Club, due to its inability to recognize the breed at this time, removed the Border Collie from its Miscellaneous group. (The process of breed recognition is regulated by the Canadian government through the Animal Pedigree Act.) As a result, any Border Collies not CKC miscellaneous certified by the end of 1993 are not allowed to participate in CKC- sanctioned events. The Border Collie Club of Canada (BCCC) is continuing to work with the CKC to regain their showing privileges.

General Appearance

The Border Collie is a medium sized bundle of energy, looking rather like a lightly built Australian Shepherd without a bob-tail. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The skull is fairly wide with a distinct stop. The muzzle tapers to the black nose. The ears are usually half-perked. The oval eyes are generally dark brown, except in merles where one or more eyes may be blue. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail reaches at least to the hock and is sometimes raised when the dog is excited, but is never carried over the back. There are two varieties of Border Collie: one with coarse hair (thick, straight, about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) long), and one with sleek hair (about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) long). The coat colors come in black and white, tri-color, red & white, black & gray, and all black. White should never be the main color. The longer haired variety should have a mane and tail brush. The hair on the face, ears and front legs is always short and sleek. Since Border Collies are bred for working ability and intelligence rather than for physical beauty, conformation varies widely.

Proportion and Size

The height at the withers varies from 19” to 22” for males, 18” to 21” for females. The body, from point of shoulder to buttocks, is slightly longer than the height at the shoulders. bone must be strong, not excessive, always in proportion to size. Overall balance between height, length, weight and bone is crucial and is more important than any absolute measurement. Excess body weight is not to be mistaken for muscle or substance. Any single feature of size appearing out of proportion should be considered a fault.


The Border Collie appears in many colors, with various combinations of patterns and markings. The most common color is black with or without the traditional white blaze, collar, stockings and tail tip, with or without tan points. However, a variety of primary body colors is permissible. The sole exception being all white. Solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle and sable dogs are judged equally with dogs having traditional markings. Color and markings are always secondary to physical evalutation and gait.


The Border Collie is a very intelligent and responsive dog. It excels at obedience, agility and Frisbee (TM). They thrive on praise, are sensitive and very trainable. The Border Collies are commonly used in the agility competitions, as sports like agility are right the this intelligent dogs alley. The Border Collie is highly energetic with great stamina. Provided it gets sufficient activity to keep it occupied and ample exercise, the Border Collie will get along quite happily with other dogs, and children, however the Border Collie may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. They should not be trusted with small non-canine pets, however there are plenty of Border Collies that live and get along with family cats. This breed should be very well socialized as a puppy to prevent shyness. To be truly happy, it needs a lot of: ongoing attention, extensive daily exercise, and a job to do. For those who wish to reach high levels in dog sports, the Border Collie is a gift from heaven. Farmers (for whom the dogs perform work for which they were bred) are also happy with them. It is not surprising that at competitive levels in various sports such as: agility skills, obedience, and sheepdog trials, the Border Collie is represented among the leaders in the sport. They are perfectionist with a permanent will to please. This breed lives for serving you day in and day out. They are not ideal pets for people who have no plans to spend a lot of time with them. These dogs are too intelligent to lie around the house all day with nothing to do. Prospective owners who are looking for just a family pet should consider other similar but calmer breeds, like show line Australian Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs. If there is insufficient activity then it will find its own work to do, and that may not be what YOU had in mind when we say the word WORK. They can become destructive if they get bored or if they are ignored. They can become neurotic if they are left alone for long periods, leading to many behavior problems. This breed is known as an escape artist. Because of his strong herding instincts, the Border Collie may be snappish with children and strangers. They do best with an experienced owner that has lots of time to spend with the dog. The adolescent Border Collie often goes through a phase where he challenges his master’s authority. Some are highly reactive and sound sensitive, making them a poor choice for families with young children. Dominance level is highly variable in Border Collies.


Border Collies are often “soft” dogs; that is, they are sensitive to rough treatment and corrections. You must be firm and consistent because these dogs will try to get away with as much as they can, but you must also be fair in your corrections and training. Typical reactions from a Border Collie that has been stressed by rough or unfair treatment are that it may shut down, possibly rolling onto its back in submission, or acting very engrossed in something else and paying no attention to you; or it may become more anxious and wound up, trying to do everything in triple time, which causes it to make even more mistakes. Motivational-type training, with plenty of treats and/or play, works best with soft dogs for obedience training. It brings out the best in them, helping to turn them into excellent, happy workers that love their training sessions.

Attention-training is important for Border Collies that will be shown in obedience competition. These dogs are very sight-oriented, and are easily distracted by anything moving around them. A dog that is closely watching his handler cannot pay attention to other things that are happening around him.

Border Collies make wonderful trick dogs. They love to learn new things and can be taught many behaviors, such as sitting up, playing dead, and rolling over, and they usually love to show off. They can be very undignified and clownish if they think it will get them attention or make people laugh. This is why these dogs are so popular in movies and television.

Border Collies can be very sound-sensitive. This sensitivity manifests itself in a couple of ways: some dogs become very frightened at loud or unusual noises (i.e., fireworks, the sound of a smoke alarm, even something as simple as hand-clapping); other dogs might just be extremely distracted be different noises.

Exercise Needs

Border collies need exercise and whilst it is not true that they need a 20 mile walk every day they do need an opportunity for a good run each and every day in all weathers.

These are not dogs for the idle or passive owner unless they are sufficiently ingenious to devise activities to satisfy their border collie’s thirst for activity without exerting themselves. We make this point because we certainly know of border collie owners with disabilities, that prohibit them from engaging in physical activities but whose dogs lead a very satisfying and fulfilled life.

Provided with a ball, propelled a great distance by a tennis racket, to be retrieved many times over the period of an hour, two or three times a day the border collie will usually be physically satisfied but it is the mental stimulation provided by an ingenious owner which keeps the border collie sane. Agility practised for fun exercises the body, mind and excellent co-ordination skills of the border collie even when the handler is unfit or has limiting disabilities.

Playing “search” in the house, garden or on walks is excellent stimulation, just leaving the dog in a stay and hiding a favourite toy in an obscure place and then sending the dog to seek and retrieve uses the border collies brain, scent organs and, if the hiding place is well considered, physical dexterity. Teaching tricks such as “giving a paw”, “roll over”, “play dead” or “weaving” on a regular basis exercise the border collie’ agile mind, develop your relationship with your dog – and impress friends too!

Remember the border collie is an all round dog who needs mental, physical and emotional stimulation to remain healthy, happy and well adjusted, depravation in any of these areas are unfair to the dog and likely to cause problems for the owner.

Grooming Needs

The Border Collie needs regular combing and brushing to keep the coat gleaming. Extra care is needed when the soft, dense undercoat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check the ears and coat regularly for ticks. This breed is an average shedder.

Fun FAQs

I heard that Border Collies are the most intelligent dog there is. Is this true?

Defining “most intelligent” is a highly subjective thing, and depends on what traits (such as trainability, reasoning ability, independent thinking, fitness for a particular task, etc.) you consider to be signs of intelligence. Still, by most standards Border Collies are very intelligent dogs. They are highly trainable and have good reasoning abilities. It’s not unusual for them to learn a new command in just a few minutes with only a few repetitions. But their intelligence can also be a problem: many times they quickly learn things that the owner didn’t intend for them to learn, and would prefer they didn’t know! Their intelligence is one of the reasons that they tend to get bored (and into trouble) easily. But then, it’s also one of the reasons they can excel in obedience training and competition. However, Border Collies do not train themselves. All dogs need owners who are willing to commit the time to obedience training if the dogs are to become good companions, and the Border Collie is by no means an exception.

Since they’re good herding dogs, I can let my Border Collie run loose around my livestock when I’m not there, and he won’t hurt them, right?

This is not the case at all. Herding instinct is a modified prey drive. An unsupervised Border Collie will chase, injure, and kill livestock just like any other dog, especially (but not only) if he’s untrained .

How are they with children?

When properly socialized and well-supervised with children, some Border Collies can be fine. Those individuals often seem to know how boisterous or how gentle they need to be with different children. But Border Collies must be supervised around children to make sure neither hurts the other inadvertently. As previously mentioned, they often nip at fast-moving children. Border Collies that aren’t well-socialized with them can be fearful and untrusting of children, and a nervous dog will snap at a child.

How are they with cats and other small animals?

It depends on the dog. Typically, a Border Collie will get along with cats and small animals that belong to the family, but chase those that don’t. However, you often need a good-natured cat to deal with one of these dogs. Remember, if a dog’s instinct is strong enough that it chases and nips at humans when they move, it’s also going to be strong enough to constantly harrass the cat. It’s usually a good idea to separate a Border Collie from all small animals when you’re not there to supervise.

Are Border Collies hyperactive? Do they need a lot of exercise?

Border Collies should be very intense, high-energy, busy dogs, both indoors and out. If bored, they will chew anything (books, shoes, carpet, furniture, walls…). They also love to dig holes. Good forms of exercise for a Border Collie include playing fetch (they usually love to chase balls and Frisbees), swimming, jogging, running with a bicycle (be careful they don’t try to cross in front of the bike to herd it!), and hiking.

Border Collies won’t usually exercise on their own, and merely putting a Border Collie into a fenced area as a form of exercise is not enough for them. They tend to either lie around waiting for you to join them, or they spend their time digging up the yard and chewing things they shouldn’t.

When exercising a Border Collie, especially in warm weather, you must watch very carefully for signs of heat exhaustion. Because they are so intense in their work and play, they often don’t stop when they get too tired or too hot. They can easily work themselves to death, even on cool days. Another problem is that they can physically injure themselves because they are so quick and concentrate so completely on their task that they don’t always pay attention to where they are going and can run into obstacles if they happen to be in the way. It’s also very common for Border Collies running on gravel, concrete, and asphalt to wear the pads of their feet down to the point where they bleed, especially when they’re not used to hard, rough surfaces. Most Border Collies won’t even limp until the fun is over, so be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s feet!

How much exercise is enough for a Border Collie?

The answer to this question is as individual as the dogs themselves. Plan on two 45-minute walks per day, snow, rain, or shine – your dog won’t care what the weather is like! At least 20 minutes of each of those walks should be off leash in a safe area, and should include a game of fetch or something equally vigorous. In addition, a 15- to 30- minute daily training session (obedience, tricks, etc.) helps to keep your dog mentally stimulated and well-behaved. If you think your dog still needs more, you may be better off increasing the amount of training and/or mental exercise as opposed to increasing the physical exercise. For a dog with the Border Collie’s physical stamina, working his mind is much more likely to tire him out than taking him for another run. Don’t expect all this work to keep that soggy tennis ball out of your lap when you’re watching television, though. Your Border Collie will still have plenty of energy to spare!

What active sports and activities can I participate in with a Border Collie?

Because of their agility, energy, trainability, love of work, and good scenting ability, Border Collies are extremely versatile dogs that excel at many things: competitive dog sports such as obedience, agility, Schutzhund, Flyball, Scent Hurdles, Frisbee, and tracking; they make good search and rescue dogs; some well-trained, well-socialized Border Collies are wonderful pet-therapy dogs, and some organizations train them as signal (hearing) and assistance dogs; police departments in several states are using them as drug detection dogs. And, last but definitely not least, Border Collies are among the best herding dogs in the world. Be very careful, though, if you get a Border Collie and decide to try herding, because it can be addictive. Many people who got a Border Collie as a companion dog wind up buying property and sheep just to work the dog!

Do they play “Fetch”?

One of a Border Collie’s favorite games is “Fetch,” and it’s great exercise for them. They love chasing balls, Frisbees, and anything else that moves, and their gathering instinct makes them natural retrievers. In fact, the fetching can become obsessive and, to some people, annoying. Not everyone enjoys having tennis balls frequently dropped in their laps as they’re trying to relax, and an insistent dog staring at them or scolding them until the ball is thrown – only to have the process repeated again (and again and again…) a few seconds later.

A word of warning about playing Frisbee with a Border Collie (or any other dog): according to M. Christine Zink, DVM, Ph.D., author of the book Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete: “Frisbees can be very dangerous for dogs, particularly when they are thrown so that the dog must catch them with all four feet off the ground. The problem lies not in the dog jumping and catching the Frisbee, but in the fact that the trajectory of a Frisbee can change unpredictably, causing the dog to twist to catch it and then land in whatever position it can. The most common injuries as a consequence of Frisbee-catching are herniation of the disks of the spinal cord and tearing or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligaments. Both of these injuries can be severe enough to end a dog’s performance career.”

Do Border Collies like to swim?

Border Collies love to swim if encouraged to do so when they are young. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise these high-energy dogs during the hot summer months. It’s also a good way of exercising a dog that has hip dysplasia because it strengthens the muscles that support the hips without putting any weight on the joint..

What other things do they like to do that will help me exercise my dog and keep it mentally stimulated?

Remember: if it moves, it will probably interest a Border Collie. Many love to chase and bite at bubbles blown from a children’s bubble set. They also often love to chase water coming out of a hose (or spray bottle) – a great activity for hot days. Border Collies that understand the stay command (or that have someone who can hold onto them for a minute while another person hides) love to play hide and seek, and they get very good at locating hiding people (be sure to give them “hints” at first by calling them when they have trouble finding you so they don’t get frustrated and give up). You can also hide their toys, and teach them to look for them. Teach them the names of their toys, and then to retrieve a specific toy. They love a good, fast game of “Tag” (and they love to be “It” – but don’t let them nip your legs!). Many Border Collies enjoy using their herding instinct to push basketball-sized balls around the yard, and it’s not unusual to find Border Collies that will play tetherball by jumping at, biting, nosing, and pawing a tetherball around the pole. You can teach your dog some informal agility by making use of the slides, tunnels, bridges, and teeter-totters available in your backyard or some parks’ playgrounds. Teach them tricks – the more complicated, the better (and most Border Collies just love showing off to an appreciative audience).

Do Border Collie jump fences? Are they escape artists?

Border Collies are extremely agile dogs and can easily jump/climb a 6-foot or taller fence if they decide there’s something more interesting on the other side. They are also good diggers and chewers, so if they can’t jump a fence, they might try to dig under it or chew through it if they want to get out. Some Border Collies can even learn to open doors and latches!

How big do Border Collies get?

Border Collies average between 30 to 50 pounds. However, if size is important to you, be aware that some Border Collies are as small as 25 pounds, and some are as large as 65 pounds. You can usually tell how big a dog will get by looking at his parents, but if you plan to get a puppy and you need or want a dog whose size you can count on, you might want to consider a breed with less variation in size.

Do they make good guard dogs?

Because Border Collies are bred to herd rather that protect livestock, they are not reliable guard dogs. They can be protective of their families and generally bark if they hear or see something they don’t like. (There are, however, some Border Collies that have been trained to advanced Schutzhund degrees.)

Do they shed?

They are moderate shedders. Like most dogs, they shed most in early spring and late fall.

How much grooming do they need?

Border Collies are fairly low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming because their coats actually shed dirt very nicely. Generally, a good 10-minute brushing two or three times per week helps to keep their coats clean and in nice condition; more frequent brushing while they are shedding helps to control the amount of hair that ends up on your carpet. Because Border Collies should not have a strong odor, bathing should be necessary only when your dog starts feeling dirty to you, or if the dog has rolled in something noxious. If your Border Collie starts to smell bad soon after a bath, a trip to the vet for a check for skin and ear problems is probably in order.

Like all dogs, they also need to have their toenails clipped regularly unless they do a lot of running on hard surfaces. In that case they often wear their nails down on their own. However, even then it’s a good idea to check the nails once a week, just to make sure.

Do they bark much?

Any dog can become a barker if it gets bored, and Border Collies become more easily bored than most other dogs. In general, however, well-trained, well-exercised Border Collies that get plenty of attention are relatively quiet dogs.

How long do they live?

Border Collies are fairly long-lived dogs. Their average lifespan, barring accidents, is probably around 12 to 13 years, and it isn’t at all unusual to find individuals that are 14 years and older. They usually hold their age well – a 12-year-old Border Collie often still looks and acts like a young dog.

Where should I get my dog?

There are several options, some good, others not so good. If you choose to get an adult dog, you can get one from a shelter, from a Border Collie rescue organization, or from a breeder who is looking for a home for an adult Border Collie. If you decide to get a puppy, you should do some research and find a breeder with a good reputation. Do not buy a Border Collie puppy from a pet store. Although these puppies are adorable, they are generally from puppy mills and are incredibly overpriced. Most people don’t realize that they can usually buy a very well-bred, well-socialized, pet-quality puppy with exceptional guarantees from a reputable breeder for less money than they can buy a puppy from a pet store. Pet store puppies have usually been bred for profit with little consideration given to long-term health. They are often prone to many problems, such as epilepsy, hip and joint problems, and early blindness. They are also usually poorly socialized, which means they can grow up to be timid, fearful dogs. Do not even buy from pet stores advertising that their animals are not from puppy mills: no reputable breeder would ever sell puppies to a pet store! You will often encounter the same problems with health and socialization with puppies sold through ads in the newspaper. The best way to find a good breeder is by asking people who already own healthy Border Collies with good temperaments.

Don’t “rescued” Border Collies have a lot of behavior problems? Do they have trouble bonding with their new owners?

Rescue can be an excellent way of getting a Border Collie, particularly if it will be your first one. The dogs that come into rescue are often well-bred, healthy dogs screened by the rescuer for temperament, whose only “faults” were that they were in homes that could not deal with the exercise and training needs of the breed. The dogs are often housebroken, and sometimes partially trained in basic obedience. Border Collies that go from rescue into active, loving homes seem to bond very quickly and strongly to their new owners. You can even sometimes get a puppy from rescue. (See the section on Breed Rescue Organizations for contacts and further information.)

How do I choose a puppy?

If you want a healthy puppy with a good temperament, the most important thing is to not be in a hurry! First, decide what activities you want to do with the dog: herding, obedience, agility, active pet (jogging, hiking), etc. Once you know what you’re looking for, talk to breeders and discuss your concerns and ideas. Since Border Collies are prone to eye diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and juvenile cataracts, and hip problems such as hip dysplasia, look for a breeder who has all dogs’ eyes and hips checked and certified: eyes are certified by C.E.R.F., and hips are certified by O.F.A. Be sure to ask to see the certificates issued by those organizations. Make sure the puppies are well-socialized: they should be friendly and confident. When you find a someone that you like and who has a good reputation, allow the breeder to help you select your puppy. Most good breeders have a pretty good idea of what the puppies’ personalities are like and will help you to make a good choice of the best puppy for your particular lifestyle. [img][/img][img][/img]

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History of the Breed Though the chihuahua comes from a mysterious past, today, the chihuahua is one of the most recognizable breeds. They are believed to be one of the oldest breeds of the new world continents. They go back as far as about 2,000 years and though they were long believed to be exclusively Mexican, the Chinese were probably the first to actually develop the breed. The orientals have been in the art of “shrinking” for many centuries (another common example is the popular Bonsai trees). When these proto-chihuahuas, called Techichi, were brought to Mexico around the age of the Toltec civilization (around 10 A.D.), they became the favorite of royalty for both the purpose of companionship and eating. They also became popular sacrificial animals. Every time a human was sacrificed to their Gods, his dog would also go with him. The Techichi was a short-legged dumpy dog by comparison to today’s graceful, happy chihuahua. The chihuahua we know today is believed to have been perfected around the early 1850s, and were not held by royalty anymore, but instead were downgraded to being smuggled by peddlers. They were then called “Chihuahua”, after the city of Chihuahua in Mexico where the breed was first discovered by Caucasians. These lovable, tiny dogs were either smoothcoat, longcoat, or hairless. The hairless version is still around, but now known as the Xoloitzcuintle, or Mexican Hairless. Today, the smoothcoat and the longcoat are the 2 most desirable varieties. Chihuahuas were first recognized by the AKC in 1904.

General Appearance Small. Legs not too long, not too short, aligned straight with the chest and rear (not cow-hocked or bowed). Back straight, somewhat longer than tall. Head should be round domed (apple-domed) with a well defined stop. Muzzle should meet a 90 degree angle. Eyes are round, wide-set and large, but not protruding. Tail should curl over the back, but not pig-tailed, but curled enough to where the tip barely touches the back. There should be some length to the neck, but it should not be too long, yet it shouldn’t have the appearance of sitting directly on the shoulders. The ears should be carried at 40-degree angles when at rest. The smoothcoat can be either close or plushy (double-coated smooth). Longcoats should appear fluffy, with feathering most pronounced on the ears, legs and tail.

Proportion and Size Height should be no more than 9 inches at the shoulder. Weight should be no more than 6 pounds.

Color Any color acceptable, fawn, black, red, blue, white, chocolate, lilac, brindle, cream and even merle. In any pattern.

Temperment (including suitability with children) Described as the “big dog in a little package”, chihuahuas display an amazing terrier-like personality. Chihuahuas are loving dogs with people. They love to seek the warmth of their owner. Chihuahuas tend to attach themselves to one member of the family. They are not recommended for small children. Older children would be more ideal. They are quite suspicious of strangers however.

Trainability Chihuahuas can be trained to do anything a larger dog can–on a smaller scale of course. Potty training takes a little extra time and effort. Though chihuahuas are habitually stubborn and even sometimes pig-headed, they are very intelligent dogs.

Exercise Needs 20 minute walks are good enough for chihuahuas mostly to avoid obesity–a common, life-threatening problem in chihuahuas.

Grooming Needs Smoothcoats are basically wash and go. Longcoats require usually only a small amount of brushing.

Fun FAQs Here are some things I am typically asked about chihuahuas:

Are longcoat chihuahuas a new breed?

No. Longcoats have been around as long as the smoothcoats.

Did the longcoats come as a result of crossbreeding?

No one is really sure how the longcoats came about. Every smoothcoat dog carries a longcoat gene somewhere.

Do chihuahuas come in different sizes, ie standard, toy or teacup?

There is no such thing as a standard, toy, tiny toy or a teacup chihuahua. The teacup myth was concocted by backyard breeders and puppymills as a ploy for making money, saying these are “special” breeds. The AKC says a chihuahua can be up to 6 pounds. Over 6 pounds is undesirable.

What is the difference between a “deer” chihuahua and an “apple dome” chihuahua?

The answer is simple, the shape of the head. Deer head chihuahuas have flatter heads, eyes closer together and usually longer noses. Apple dome chihuahuas, which are more desirable, have a rounded head, usually a shorter muzzle and wider set eyes.

Is it true chihuahuas tend to prefer companions of their own kind?

Chihuahuas can get along well with any other dog, as long as the dog isn’t too rambunctious. They can get along well with cats and even rabbits. The reason most people who have one chihuahua will get another is ADDICTION. These little dogs grow on a person very quickly.


Cassandra and the crew Bambi, Spunky, Groucho and Mikey.

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Wow, great breed info about the Border and Chi Rosie and lovingpup! We love reading and learning about the different breeds we have not owned and hope everyone else does too. Keep all the great breed info coming in everyone!!




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WOW, Hey guys, these are unbelievable articles. Thanks to all of you that have participated in the contest so far. Their are many more breeds to go.

Make sure to get your chance to win our fabulous prize giveaway, contest ends August 31, 2003.





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Loved reading your Border Collie descrip. – great info and soooo my dog!


Rosepaw & Honey ^..^

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The wire hair fox terrier

Wire Fox Terriers are very intelligent, and they make great family pets as well as magnificent show dogs. This old breed of dog has an interesting history that is described by the online magazine, “Dog Owner’s Guide”, in the article entitled “The Fox Terrier”, which was written by Norma Bennett Woolf, and published in 2000 by Canis Major Publications. It says that Wire Fox Terriers originated in the United Kingdom, and they may be the ancestor of the Working Terrier. Except for their coat, Wire Fox Terriers are very similar to Smooth Fox Terriers. The Smooth Fox Terrier was actually the first of the two breeds to arrive in the United States. Wire Fox Terriers were introduced in the latter part of the nineteenth century. These dogs were originally used to hunt down and dig out fox, and they possess many of these deep-rooted instincts today.

The website article, “Wire Fox Terrier”, published by the AWTA, describes in the following, the physical characteristics of this attractive breed of dog. It says the Wire Fox Terrier, by show standards, should be mostly white and have a wiry, coarsely textured coat. “The Fox Terrier” says, in addition to the prevalent white coat, the Wire Fox Terrier has sections of black or tan fur. The coat should be very thick, with a softer, finer coat beneath. An adult Wire Fox Terrier, to be considered show quality, cannot stand more than 15 1/2 inches high at the shoulders, and there should be no more than 12 inches between the shoulders and the base of the tail. Between the occipital bone and the tip of the nose, there should be between 7 and 7 1/4 inches. A Wire Fox Terrier of proper size and proportion will weigh about eighteen pounds. A female Wire Fox Terrier is generally a little smaller in comparison to the male and weighs about 1 to 3 pounds less.

“The Fox Terrier”, in the following, provides information on the temperament and personality of this breed of dog. It says Wire Fox Terriers, for the most part, are happy-go-lucky dogs. However, they can be quite stubborn, and they have some undesirable tendencies, such as digging up the yard and ignoring commands. It is recommended that a Wire Fox Terrier is given obedience training so it realizes who is in control. Even though they are friendly and generally good-natured, these spunky dogs will stand their ground and guard their territory. Wire Fox Terriers will often challenge a dog much larger than themselves.

Wire Fox Terriers need a large yard to run and play in. They love to play fetching games and are great frisbee players. Plenty of exercise is important for the Wire Fox Terrier. If they are not burning off enough energy, they can become quite rambunctious indoors. Wire Fox Terriers love to go for walks, which is a great form of exercise for the owner as well as the dog.

Because of their inherent nature to hunt, “The Fox Terrier” recommends a fenced in yard for this particular breed of dog. It says the fence should be well below the ground, because they are famous for tunneling out. Once they are out and on the loose, it is sometimes difficult to retrieve them. A dog that has escaped and is not responding to commands will often come back if the owner lies down on the ground and continues calling its name. This is because the dog’s natural curiosity will prompt it to go see what is wrong. “The Fox Terrier” advises that it often takes a lot of patience and understanding to deal with the antics of a Wire Fox Terrier.

According to “The Fox Terrier”, Wire Fox Terriers are a breed of dog that does not excessively shed, but they should be brushed on a regular basis to help keep the coat clean and odor-free. In between baths, rubbing baking soda into the fur and brushing it out will help control odors. The same article says that Wire Fox Terriers that are show dogs, require regular plucking of the hair so the colors of the coat are as bright as possible. It says Wire Fox Terriers kept as pets do not require such extreme measures of care. It is sufficient to trim the white fur and pluck only the colored areas. “The Fox Terrier” recommends finding a professional dog groomer who is knowledgable with this particular breed.

Wire Fox Terriers have very few health concerns says “The Fox Terrier”. It advises however, these dogs are subject to problems with digestion, thyroid disease, hip dysplasia, which happens to be common in many breeds of dog, and some Wire Fox Terriers require tonsillectomies. Regular visits to the veterinarian for immunizations and checkups will help keep your pet healthy, disease-free, and will increase his chances of enjoying a long life.

The Wire Fox Terrier is a very outgoing and active dog and often very much full of themselves. Cocky and self-assured, they can get into lots of trouble. Intelligent and always alert, they love to play with toys and balls, and often real water lovers. Puppies, they are adorable little bundles of fur, but a puppy buyer must be prepared for the dog they will grow up to be.

Although they are lap sized, in their hearts they are much larger. They are friendly and outgoing with most people, but can be standoffish and protective of their family. They also can and often are, aggressive to other dogs and with most other animals of any size. Great care should be taken in bringing a Wire Fox Terrier into a home with other pets. Bred as hunters, they can see other pets as prey. If you have a cat, bird or hamster, and are getting an adult dog, be sure to find out if your dog has been with any of these pets before you bring him home. Some wires will live peacefully with other animals, but many will not. Your Wire’s natural instinct will probably cause him to see them as prey to be hunted and killed. Keep this in mind.

They are generally friendly and curious and tend to be into things. Like a bright child they are great fun, but also a challenge to live with. The Wire requires a lot of attention from it’s people and needs to be part of the family. They want to be with you wherever you are, whatever you are doing. They are great couch and bed companions.

Wires, like most terriers, require enough room to exercise and play. They are generally great with older children and they enjoy the hours a child will spend with them. They are best with a securely fenced yard and should never be allowed to run loose. If they see something they think is prey or play, they will not come when they are called. A loose Wire is in great danger as he does not understand he is not immortal and can be hurt or killed. They have a great curiosity and will get into trouble when left to their own devices.

All puppies are cute. They are so new and innocent. They are also a challenge to raise correctly. Up until they are six months old they have puppy teeth that are very sharp and can cause some real damage. They also take some time to house train. They need a lot of attention and should be in a home that has someone home most of the day. The adult dog is past all this. He may be already house trained, and used to walking on a leash. He will be more settled in.

There are advantages to both the puppy and the adult. Take both into consideration when you start looking for your new pet. The Wire usually lives a long and healthy life. Many live to be 15 years old or more. They are generally very hearty and do not have any major heredity problems. They are strong and seldom get sick if properly protected from contagious disease by regular vaccination and sensible feeding and care. They do tend to be allergic to fleas and can have some skin problems.These are usually easily dealt with by good care and a clean environment.

The Breed Standard: (The American)

-General Appearance:

The Terrier should be alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on the tip-toe of expectation at the slightest provocation. Character is imparted by the expression of the eyes and by the carriage of ears and tail. Bone and strength in a small compass are essential, but this must not be taken to mean that a Terrier should be “cloddy,” or in any way coarse-speed and endurance being requisite as well as power. The Terrier must on no account be leggy, nor must he be too short on the leg. He should stand like a cleverly made, short-backed hunter, covering a lot of ground.

N.B: Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice a Terrier’s chance in the show ring, unless they interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud.

-Size, Proportion, Substance:

According to present-day requirements, a full-sized, well balanced dog should not exceed 151/2 inches at the withers-the bitch being proportionately lower-nor should the length of back from withers to root of tail exceed 12 inches, while to maintain the relative proportions, the head-as mentioned below-should not exceed 71/4 inches or be less than 7 inches. A dog with these measurements should scale 18 pounds in show condition-a bitch weighing some two pounds less-with a margin of one pound either way.

The dog should be balanced and this may be defined as the correct proportions of a certain point or points, when considered in relation to a certain other point or points. It is the keystone of the Terrier’s anatomy. The chief points for consideration are the relative proportions of skull and foreface; head and back; height at withers; and length of body from shoulder point to buttock – the ideal of proportion being reached when the last two measurements are the same. It should be added that, although the head measurements can be taken with absolute accuracy, the height at withers and length of back are approximate, and are inserted for the information of breeders and exhibitors rather than as a hard-and-fast rule.


The length of the head of a full-grown well developed dog of correct size-measured with calipers-from the back of the occipital bone to the nostrils-should be from 7 to 71/4 inches, the bitch’s head being proportionately shorter. Any measurement in excess of this usually indicates an oversized or long-backed specimen, although occasionally-so rarely as to partake of the nature of a freak-a Terrier of correct size may boast a head 71/2 inches in length. In a well balanced head there should be little apparent difference in length between skull and foreface. If, however, the foreface is noticeably shorter, it amounts to a fault, the head looking weak and “unfinished.” On the other hand, when the eyes are set too high up in the skull and too near the ears, it also amounts to a fault, the head being said to have a “foreign appearance.”

Keen of expression:

Eyes should be dark in color, moderately small, rather deep-set, not prominent, and full of fire, life, and intelligence; as nearly as possible circular in shape, and not too far apart. Anything approaching a yellow eye is most objectionable.

Ears should be small and V-shaped and of moderate thickness, the flaps neatly folded over and dropping forward close to the cheeks. The topline of the folded ear should be well above the level of the skull. A pendulous ear, hanging dead by the side of the head like a Hound’s, is uncharacteristic of the Terrier, while an ear which is semierect is still more undesirable.

Disqualifications: Ears prick, tulip or rose.

The topline of the skull should be almost flat, sloping slightly and gradually decreasing in width toward the eyes, and should not exceed 31/2 inches in diameter at the widest part-measuring with the calipers-in the full-grown dog of correct size, the bitch’s skull being proportionately narrower. If this measurement is exceeded, the skull is termed “coarse,” while a full-grown dog with a much narrower skull is termed “bitchy” in head. Although the foreface should gradually taper from eye to muzzle and should dip slightly at its juncture with the forehead, it should not “dish” or fall away quickly below the eyes, where it should be full and well made up, but relieved from “wedginess” by a little delicate chiseling. While well developed jaw bones, armed with a set of strong, white teeth, impart that appearance of strength to the foreface which is so desirable, an excessive bony or muscular development of the jaws is both unnecessary and unsightly, as it is partly responsible for the full and rounded contour of the cheeks to which the term “cheeky” is applied.

Nose should be black.

Disqualifications: Nose white, cherry or spotted to a considerable extent with either of these colors.

Mouth: Both upper and lower jaws should be strong and muscular, the teeth as nearly as possible level and capable of closing together like a vise. The lower canines locking in front of the upper and the points of the upper incisors slightly overlapping the lower.

Disqualifications: Much undershot, or much overshot.

-Neck, Topline, Body:

Neck: Should be clean, muscular, of fair length, free from throatiness and presenting a graceful curve when viewed from the side. The back should be short and level with no appearance of slackness-the loins muscular and very slightly arched. The term “slackness” is applied both to the portion of the back immediately behind the withers when it shows any tendency to dip, and also the flanks when there is too much space between the back ribs and hipbone. When there is little space between the ribs and hips, the dog is said to be “short in couplings,” “short-coupled,” or “well ribbed up.” A Terrier can scarcely be too short in back, provided he has sufficient length of neck and liberty of movement. The bitch may be slightly longer in couplings than the dog.

Chest deep and not broad, a too narrow chest being almost as undesirable as a very broad one. Excessive depth of chest and brisket is an impediment to a Terrier when going to ground. The brisket should be deep, the front ribs moderately arched, and the back ribs deep and well sprung. Tail should be set on rather high and carried gaily but not curled. It should be of good strength and substance and of fair length: A three-quarters dock is about right-since it affords the only safe grip when handling working Terriers. A very short tail is suitable neither for work nor show.


Shoulders when viewed from the front should slope steeply downwards from their juncture, with the neck towards the points, which should be fine. When viewed from the side they should be long, well laid back, and should slope obliquely backwards from points to withers, which should always be clean-cut. A shoulder well laid back gives the long forehand which, in combination with a short back, is so desirable in Terrier or Hunter. The elbows should hang perpendicular to the body, working free of the sides, carried straight through in traveling. Viewed from any direction the legs should be straight, the bone of the forelegs strong right down to the feet.

Feet should be round, compact, and not large-the pads tough and well cushioned, and the toes moderately arched and turned neither in nor out. A Terrier with good-shaped forelegs and feet will wear his nails down short by contact with the road surface, the weight of the body being evenly distributed between the toe pads and the heels.


Should be strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; the thighs long and powerful; the stifles well curved and turned neither in nor out; the hock joints well bent and near the ground; the hocks perfectly upright and parallel with each other when viewed from behind. The worst possible form of hindquarters consists of a short second thigh and a straight stifle, a combination which causes the hind legs to act as props rather than instruments of propulsion. The hind legs should be carried straight through in traveling. Feet as in front.


The best coats appear to be broken, the hairs having a tendency to twist, and are of dense, wiry texture-like coconut matting-the hairs growing so closely and strongly together that, when parted with the fingers, the skin cannot be seen. At the base of these stiff hairs is a shorter growth of finer and softer hair-termed the undercoat. The coat on the sides is never quite so hard as that on the back and quarters. Some of the hardest coats are “crinkly” or slightly waved, but a curly coat is very objectionable. The hair on the upper and lower jaws should be crisp and only sufficiently long to impart an appearance of strength to the foreface. The hair on the forelegs should also be dense and crisp. The coat should average in length from 3/4 to one inch on shoulders and neck, lengthening to 11/2 inches on withers, back, ribs, and quarters. These measurements are given rather as a guide to exhibitors than as an infallible rule, since the length of coat depends on the climate, seasons, and individual animal. The judge must form his own opinion as to what constitutes a “sufficient” coat on the day.


White should predominate; brindle, red, liver or slaty blue are objectionable. Otherwise, color is of little or no importance.


The movement or action is the crucial test of conformation. The Terrier’s legs should be carried straight forward while traveling, the forelegs hanging perpendicular and swinging parallel to the sides, like the pendulum of a clock. The principal propulsive power is furnished by the hind legs, perfection of action being found in the Terrier possessing long thighs and muscular second thighs well bent at the stifles, which admit of a strong forward thrust or “snatch” of the hocks. When approaching, the forelegs should form a continuation of the straight of the front, the feet being the same distance apart as the elbows. When stationary it is often difficult to determine whether a dog is slightly out at shoulder but, directly he moves, the defect-if it exists-becomes more apparent, the forefeet having a tendency to cross, “weave,” or “dish.” When, on the contrary, the dog is tied at the shoulder, the tendency of the feet is to move wider apart, with a sort of paddling action. When the hocks are turned in-cow-hocks-the stifles and feet are turned outwards, resulting in a serious loss of propulsive power. When the hocks are turned outwards the tendency of the hind feet is to cross, resulting in an ungainly waddle.


The Terrier should be alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on the tip-toe of expectation at the slightest provocation.


Ears prick, tulip or rose.

Nose white, cherry or spotted to a considerable extent with either of these colors.

Mouth much undershot, or much overshot.


Rui (Me) and Zeus (My Wire Fox Terrier)

“Fox-terriers are born with about four times

as much original sin in them as other dogs.” J. K. J.

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Doberman Pincher (the Pinchername doesn’t exist here in Norway).

The Doberman Pinscher is instinctively alert, loyal, loving, and has a watchful temperament. He is naturally protective of those he loves, and uses his keen intelligence to weigh various situations. Unless neglected and bored, the Doberman is a quiet dog. Usually when there is barking, there is a good reason to check out the source of the dog’s concern.

Today’s well breed Doberman is not prone to outbursts or temper, although, unstable dogs of poor breeding stock, can be found in this as well as other breeds. It is to be stressed that poor temperament is more a sign of careless breeding by unknowledgeable persons, than a characteristic of the Doberman. It is vital that potential puppy owners be sure of the quality of the parent stock, and have a trustful and communicative relationship with the breeder of their pup. There still exists some public misconception that the Doberman is a vicious dog. This simply is not true. Any animal that is not properly cared for has the potential of becoming unbalanced, and even dangerous.

The Doberman is a healthy and hearty dog with few inherent illnesses. A good breeder will take caution to breed only those dogs that have a clear health history, having passed all health and genetic testing specific to the breed. Most important of these tests are

*VWD by DNA for Von Willibrands Disease

Thyroid panel

OFA Certification for hips

An exam ruling out probable Dilated Cardio Myopathy at time of breeding.

Temperament must also be closely examined and any dog showing temper or an intolerant attitude must be immediately eliminated from the breeding program.

The Doberman comes in a variety of colors, black and rust, black and tan, red and rust, blue, and fawn. The “blacks” usually will have the thickest coats, “reds” having less hair per square inch than a black. The dilutes: “fawn” and “blue”, have a much thinner coat than even most reds. We at Gaea do not breed the dilutes because they have a high incidence of thyroid insufficiency and coat loss. There have been other adverse health factors associated with the dilute. Therefore we avoid the fawns and blues and concentrate on producing the healthier “blacks” and “reds” with rich colors and stable coats.

Diet will play a key role in the health of the Doberman as it does in all breeds. A premium quality food is essential for optimum health as it is with all breeds. It should be pointed out , that the sub-standard foods such as those which are Diet will play a key role in the health of the Doberman as it does in all breeds. A premium quality food is essential for optimum health as it is with all breeds. It should be pointed out , that the sub-standard foods such as those which are available in the grocery stores, should not be fed. The main ingredient in those foods is a grain such as wheat or corn. These grains are common allergens in all dogs and are frequently responsible for skin eruption, shedding and dry skin as well as that offensive doggy odor coated breeds can have. Coat, skin , and, overall health will suffer over a period of time as a result of a poor diet. A food with no corn wheat or soy is recommended; meat should be your number one nutrition source.. Canidae, and Natural Balance are two that contain no offensive grains. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat scraps, as well as the usual dog biscuits make delicious snacks that the dog will look forward to receiving. In addition to a healthy well balanced diet, we at ‘Gaea’ recommend a natural vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant be given. This is especially important if you are feeding a commercially made dog food that contains corn, wheat, soy, preservatives, or other additives that have been known to cause skin and coat problems, dangerous formation of cancer causing free radicals and a number of other ailments. Cancer is the number two killer of the Doberman breed; Dilated Cardio Myopathy being number one at this time. We recommend NU Vet Plus . It has been proven to help prevent or reduce many of the problems dogs face such as poor coat, allergies, arthritis, digestive disorders, heart disease, and tumors. We have also found it effective in strengthening the ear cartilage , reducing the ear posting time.

The healthy Doberman has little to no “Doggy” odor. An occasional bath, with a mild moisturizing dog shampoo will keep him or her looking their best. There are products on the market to use for cleaning the ears. They should be used after the bath and should contain a drying agent. This will help to dry up any excess water that may of slipped past the cotton and made it’s way into the dogs ears during the bath. Water left in the ears frequently does cause problems. Don’t forget to trim the toenails as they grow quickly on a house dog which is what the Doberman is meant to be.

Dobermans do not thrive as kennel dogs, therefore all ours are raised in our home as family members. Puppies are then able to be socialized, beginning at birth. Pity the poor unsuspecting new owner who brings a kennel bred and raised puppy into their home. After generations of being isolated in a kennel, the social temperament and bonding ability can be literally breed right out of an otherwise perfect dog. I often wonder how a breeder can honestly tell you their dogs have good temperament when they are isolated in a kennel. How can they be observed in all situations? Granted, the dog will wag it’s tail and appear to be happy when the breeder brings out the much wanted bowl of food and offers a very brief moment of attention. Kennel breed and raised dogs are also much more difficult to housetrain. They have been conditioned to eliminating in their immediate area. Dobermans have a short coat, with no undercoat to protect them form the elements of weather. They do need the protection of an in home environment. Since all our pups are raised in our home, we require that they go only to homes that will keep them as in home companions.

Whether you are looking for a companion, a dog for agility, AKC conformation showing, tracking, obedience work, or many of the other dog related activities, the Doberman is the dog to look toward. Contact a reputable breeder. Don’t expect the breeder to always have what you want at that time. A good puppy is well worth the wait and good breeders usually have a reservation list for their puppies.

Something like this, I guess.

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Wow, rg and Nero, thank you both so much for the additions of breed profiles, great job!! Since we have closed this contest I will make sure to add them to our September contest so you both can have a chance to win a prize!!




The online community for dog lovers! – All dog breeds welcome!

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Breed History


Today’s Yorkshire Terrier is very different from the early Yorkshire Terriers of the North of England. There are varying accounts of the origins of this breed and its development. I have tried to give the most accurate, and most widely agreed upon history of the Yorkshire Terrier assembled from books and publications written be reliable and experienced fanciers of the breed in the UK.

Before 1750, most British people worked in agriculture. The onset of the Industrial Revolution brought great changes to family life. In Yorkshire, small communities grew up around coal mines, textile mills and factories. People were drawn to these areas to seek work from as far away as Scotland. They brought with them a breed known as the Clydesdale Terrier, or Paisley Terrier. These were primarily working dogs, much larger than today’s Yorkies, and were used for catching rats and other small mammals.

These terriers were inevitably crossed with other types of terrier, probably the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier, and the Skye Terrier; it is also thought that at some stage the Maltese Terrier was crossed with these breeds to help produce long coats. As the outline of the Maltese resembles that of many of today’s Yorkies, this is very likely. Unfortunately, no records in the form of Pedigrees exist to confirm these crosses (possibly because of the poor level of literacy in these times), but a great deal is known about the type of people who bred them, and there can be no doubt that early breeders had a very clear idea of the type of dogs they were attempting to produce. We can see in today’s Yorkies how strongly the terrier temperament has been retained.

Early Yorkshire Terriers and Breeders

One of the most famous early Yorkies was Huddersfield Ben, bred by a Mr. Eastwood and owned by Mr. M.A. Foster. Huddersfield Ben was born in 1865 and died in 1871, and can be said to be the father of the modern Yorkie. In his day “Ben” was a very popular stud dog who won many prizes in the show ring, and had tremendous influence in setting breed type.

In 1874 the first Yorkies were registered in the British Kennel Club stud book. They were referred to as “Broken Haired Scottish Terriers” or “Yorkshire Terriers”, until 1886, when the Kennel Club recognised the Yorkshire Terrier as an individual breed. The first Yorkshire Terrier breed club was formed in 1898. During these early years, one who greatly influenced the breed was Lady Edith Wyndham-Dawson. Lady Edith was secretary of the Yorkshire Terrier Club for some time and did much early work for the improvement of the breed. Later, a Miss Palmer, who was Lady Edith’s kennel maid, started her own Yorkie kennel under the “Winpal” prefix. When Lady Edith returned to Ireland at the start of World War I, Miss Palmer went to work for Mrs. Crookshank of the famous Johnstounburn prefix, a name with a long list of champions, which is now in the care of Daphne Hillman, who was entrusted with this prefix, and still uses it along with her own Yorkfold prefix.

Many others have worked very hard since these early years to improve this breed, and to these breeders much is owed. Many of their early dogs became the foundation stock of kennels in North America and elsewhere.

Yorkies Today

The Yorkshire Terrier now flourishes throughout the world and the early breeders who were instrumental in producing the diminutive toy terrier of today would surely be astounded at the success of this delightful breed. In 1932 only 300 Yorkies were registered with the British Kennel Club, in 1957 the number was 2313, and in the 1970’s Yorkies were the most popular breed in Britain. This trend continued until 1990 with a record of 25,665 Yorkies registered. However, this figure has now begun to drop, and in 1994 there were 12343 registrations, with the Yorkie being recorded as the 7th most popular breed.

The most famous Yorkshire Terrier of modern times in the UK was CH Blairsville Royal Seal. He was by CH Beechrise Surprise and his dam was CH Blairsville Most Royale. “Tosha” to his friends (of whom he had many) was bred, owned and handled by Mr. Brian Lister and his wife, Rita. Tosha was definitely a ‘King’ among dogs and no one who saw him flowing around the ring could ever forget him. His prescence could be felt, even by a complete novice, and many say that just thinking of him brings a lump to the throat. During his show career Tosha won 50 CCs, all under different judges. He was 12 times Best In Show at all breed CH shows, and 16 times Reserve Best In Show. He took 33 Group wins, and went Reserve Best In Show at Cruft’s in 1978, just as his dam had done before him. Tosha was Top Dog, all breeds, for two consecutive years. He became the sire of many prolific Champions and still features in the pedigree of many of today’s Yorkies.

Ironically, when Royal Seal died, aged 15, in 1988, that year his breed record for the highest number of CCs in the breed was broken by Osman Sameja’s CH Ozmilion Dedication “Jamie”, who finished his show career with 52 CCs, although a few of these were duplicated under the same judges. Jamie also has two all breed CH show wins, and his many Toy group wins helped him to win the Top Dog title in 1987. The Ozmilion kennel is the top Yorkshire Terrier kennel of all time, and holds the record for the number of Champions produced.

Following on from this, Jamie’s grandson, Ch. Ozmilion Mystification broke another record in 1997 by being the first Yorkie ever to win the coveted Best In Show award at the most prestigious dog show, Cruft’s. “Justin” was retired after this event, having to his credit a total 51 CCs, 48 with Best of Breed, 22 Group wins, 9 Club BIS, and at All Breed Shows, 7 RBIS and 3 BIS awards. He was Top Yorkie from 1994-1997, Top Dog All Breeds 1996, Crufts Supreme Champion 1997, and Pedigree Chum Champion overall Stakes winner 1997.

Some record of achievement! In this same year, the great “Jamie” died.

Yorkies in North America

The first Yorkie to become an American Champion was Bradford Harry, who gained his title in 1889. He was the great-great-grandson of Huddersfield Ben, and was imported from England by P.H. Coombs of Bangor, Maine. Some of the most notable early American kennels are Janet Bennet and Joan Gordon (Wildweir) who imported many English Yorkies, including lines from Johnstounburn, Haringay and Buranthea. The Mayfield-Barban kennels owned by Anne Seranne and Barbara Wolferman have also done much to improve the breed.

Whilst CH Blairsville Royal Seal dominated the British show scene, his American counterpart, CH Cede Higgens was making his mark in the USA. These two dogs were both shown during the same era, and were inevitably, constantly being compared. However, although they were both outstanding specimens of the breed, those who had seen them both, agreed that they were totally different in type. Bred by C.D. Lawrence, Cede Higgens was closely line-bred to the Clarkwyns and Wildweir lines, by CH. Wildweir Pomp ‘N Circumstance.

Another dog who had significant influence on the North American Yorkies was CH Finstal Royal Icing, bred by Sybil Pritchard in the UK and exported to the Jentre kennels after Sybil died. He is by CH Finstal Johnathan, who still has winning progeny in the UK today. Johnathan was looked after by Wendy White (Wenwytes) after Sybil’s death, until he died in 1994 aged about 17.

The Yorkshire Terrier is also very popular in North America today. In 1992, Yorkies were #14 on the AKC’s list of most popular breeds with 39,904 registrations. In 1994 they were #11, although registrations had dropped to 38,626.

It may seem strange that Yorkies have risen in popularity in North America while the number of registrations has dropped, but overall, AKC registration, is down (as is UK registration), with some popular breeds having dramatic reductions in the numbers now registered.


Physical Characteristics

The Yorkshire Terrier Breed Standard

(British Kennel Club)

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Long-Coated, coat hanging quite straight and evenly down each side, a parting extending from nose to tail. Very compact and neat, carriage very upright conveying an important air. General outline conveying impression of vigorous and well proportioned body.

CHARACTERISTICS: Alert, intelligent toy terrier.

TEMPERAMENT: Spirited with even disposition

HEAD AND SKULL: Rather small and flat, not too prominent or round in skull, not too long in muzzle; black nose.

EYES: Medium, dark, sparkling, with sharp intelligent expression and placed to look directly forward. Not prominent. Edge of eyelids dark.

EARS: Small, V-shaped, carried erect, not too far apart, covered with short hair, colour very deep, rich tan.

MOUTH: Perfect, regular and complete scissor bite. i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth well placed with even jaws.

NECK: Good reach

FOREQUARTERS: Well laid shoulders, legs straight, well covered with hair of rich golden tan a few shades lighter at the ends than at roots, not extending higher on forelegs than elbow.

BODY: Compact with moderate spring of rib, good loin. Level Back

HINDQUARTERS: Legs quite straight when viewed from behind, moderate turn of stifle. Well covered with hair of rich golden tan a few shades lighter at the ends than at roots, not extending higher on hindlegs than stifle.

FEET: Rounds; nails black

TAIL: Customarily docked to medium length with plenty of hair, darker blue in colour than rest of body, especially at the end of tail. Carried a little higher than level of back *

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free with drive; straight action front and behind, retaining level topline.

COAT: Hair on body moderately long, perfectly straight (not wavy), glossy; fine silky texture, not woolly. Fall on head long, rich golden tan, deeper in colour at sides of head, about ear roots and on muzzle where it should be very long. Tan on head not to extend on to neck, nor must any sooty or dark hair intermingle with any of the tan.

COLOUR: Dark steel blue (not silver blue), extending from occiput to root of tail, never mingled with fawn, bronze or dark hair. Hair on chest rich, bright tan. All tan hair darker at the roots than in the middle, shading still lighter at the tips.

SIZE: Weight up to 3.1 kgs (7lbs)

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicals fully descended into the scrotum **

* In the UK it is now possible to show animals with undocked tails. As yet there is no recognised standard for the presentation, type, length or carriage of a full tail.

** It may also be possible now in the UK to show neutered animals, providing permission has been obtained from the Kennel Club in advance.

Differences in the American Kennel Club Breed Standard

There is very little difference in the American standard. The main differences are:

Neck: no mention is made in the Am. standard

Mouth: The Am. standard states: “the bite neither overshot nor undershot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable” No reference is made to a full mouth.



Yorkshire Terriers are a small glamorous dog which compete in the Toy Group in most countries, as in the UK and USA. Showing this breed is very specialised and time consuming and only for the really dedicated enthusiasts. To grow the Yorkie coat and prepare it to show standard is not an easy task. Should anyone wish to know more about this, then please send a private email request to the author, contact a specialist breed club, or read one of the many books that show how the Yorkie coat is prepared and maintained.

In the UK, the Yorkshire Terrier is traditionally displayed in line in the show ring, on its own individual wooden box, which is draped with a cover, usually red, but as there is no rule about the box cover, some exhibitors use blue or tartan covers. The Yorkie is still examined on the judge’s table, as in most other countries. A ring full of mature Yorkies displayed on their little red boxes is truly a sight to behold!



The Yorkie is without doubt one of the most appealing of all Toy breeds. It is charming and intelligent, and despite its size, is full of courage, loyalty and affection. Although this breed is small, the Yorkie still retains the true Terrier temperament. Yorkies are small enough to carry and are ideal for anyone with a small home or apartment. The Yorkie is happy to go on quite long walks, but is equally happy to run around a small garden or home, providing it has enough toys and distractions to occupy its lively mind. These are little dogs who think they are much bigger. They will defend their territory decisively. They have an acute sense of hearing and will alert their owners to the slightest sign of intruders. They can be very noisy, so consideration must be given to neighbours when considering this breed as a pet.


Grooming/General Care

Because they have a long coat, Yorkies are not suitable for anyone who does not have the time or inclination to spend on the grooming and bathing this breed requires. Most pet Yorkies do in fact have their coats trimmed short or shaved for convenience and hygiene. Therefore, anyone obtaining a pet Yorkie must remember that there will be additional grooming expenses to take into consideration.

The Yorkie coat does not shed, and does not have an undercoat, making Yorkies desirable for some people with allergies, and those who do not want a breed that has a messy moult. The correct texture of the coat is described as long, straight and silky. It will continue to grow unless trimmed. In fact, the Yorkie coat is very similar to human hair.

Special care must be taken to ensure that the hair around the anus of these dogs is kept clean. Because of their long hair, it is common for these dogs to become matted in this area, and this can lead to compacted faeces. Apart from making the dog very sore and uncomfortable, this may, if left unattended, cause more serious problems, such as fly strike, that would require veterinary assistance.

Yorkie puppies may have “tipped” or “tilted” ears until they are around 6 months old. I am frequently asked about this when owners purchase a 10 week old puppy with nice erect ears, only to find that the ears drop again around 4 months of age. This is often because at this time the Yorkie is shedding it’s milk teeth and cutting it’s adult teeth, which can cause the ears to go up and down daily, and owner’s should not be unduly concerned during this natural stage. However, it is important to keep the hair on the top third of the ear flap trimmed very short. This will stop the ears from being weighed down by excessive hair until they are firmly “set”. Also the hair should be plucked from inside the ears, and ears checked regularly for excessive wax and for mites.

Yorkies should also have special attention paid to their eyes, and teeth. The long hair should be prevented from falling into their eyes, thus causing irritation and infection, either by tying it back or trimming it. As with most Toy breeds, Yorkies may have a tendency to tartar build-up on the teeth, but if regular attention is given to the teeth this should not be a serious problem.

Yorkies do not have an undercoat, and even with a long coat, they feel the cold very easily, and like most Toy breeds prefer the comfort of cosiness and warmth. They enjoy being pampered. Yorkies are difinitely not a breed to keep outside in a kennel. When going out in cold or wet weather they will appreciate a warm dog coat to wear.

Although regular grooming may be an added expense for the Yorkie owner, Yorkies eat very little, and are not expensive to feed.


Suitability as Pets

Yorkies will live happily with cats and other dogs if brought up with them, but being terriers, they are also very possessive of their owners, so care should be taken when introducing this breed to a new animal household member. If they do fight, they can fight to the death. As with all small dogs, great care should be taken when allowing small children to handle them, as they are prone to jump from any height, and of course, being small, are more susceptible to accidents around the home, by way of careless human feet and the opening and closing of doors. They do however love to play with sensible children. Their favourite sleeping place is their owner’s lap.



Yorkies are generally easy to house train. For their own safety it is better to crate train them and to leave them in a crate when they are left alone, e.g. during the night or if their owners are out of the home. Always leave them some toys and fresh water, and be sure they have a cosy bed inside the crate. Remember that as they do enjoy human company they will not appreciate being left alone for long periods.

Obedience training is highly recommended for Yorkies. Although few Yorkies compete in obedience in the UK today, a little dog called “Shandy” did compete successfully, and was placed in the highly acclaimed obedience championships at Cruft’s in 1973. All breeds can and do benefit nevertheless from basic obedience training.


Health and Longevity

Yorkies are generally hardy and healthy and long-lived. Like many Toy breeds however, there is some incidence of heriditary/congenital disease in the form of patella luxation, open fontanellas, Perthe’s disease and a smaller incidence of elongated soft palate and a tendency to collapsed trachea. * However, conscientious breeders only breed from sound, selected stock, and do their best to eliminate these defects. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that one buy only from a reputable breeder, and never purchase a puppy from a pet shop or ‘puppy mill’. Wherever possible one should see the puppy in the home where it was bred, and view its parents, or at least its mother. A reputable breeder will offer constant support and assistance throughout the dog’s life. To purchase a puppy from an unreliable source may invite future heartbreak (and huge vet’s bills).

* NB: The BVA/KC who conduct health screening schemes for inherited are now advising that Yorkies should undergo eye tests for PRA and late onset HC. These conditionas are under investigation in the UK for this breed. In the USA, many breeders already have their breeding stock tested for PRA.


Choosing a Puppy

What colour will my dog be?

All Yorkshire Terriers are born with smooth coats and are black with small tan points. It is only with maturity that the beautiful long, dark steel blue and shaded tan coat develops. This feature can vary in age depending on the individual, but when buying a puppy you can expect it to still be black on its body, and for its head markings to still be very “sooty” looking. In puppyhood this is not a fault. Some Yorkies do stay black, whilst others become very light and silver. Although these are considered faults for showing, it is impossible to determine in a young puppy what colour it will become as a young adult. In any case, the colour will not of course, affect the dog’s quality as a companion.

Do Yorkies come in Miniature and Standard varieties?

Many beginning Yorkie fanciers believe that there are two types of Yorkie, Miniature and Standard–this is not so. However, many pet Yorkies are somewhat larger than the show Yorkies; again this does not affect their suitability as pets or make them any less desirable as companions.

How soon can a puppy be sold to a new home?

If a Yorkie is wanted only as a pet, a reputable breeder may be prepared to let a puppy go to a new home between 8-10 weeks of age (although 12 weeks is more desirable). A pet quality Yorkie will be far cheaper than a show quality specimen (which most breeders will not sell until much older). It is quite impossible to have any indication of show quality in this breed until the dog is at least 6 months of age.

What Sex is best as a pet?

This is a matter of personal preference. Most breeders believe both dogs and bitches are equally loving, loyal and intelligent, and make good companions. A bitch may come into season from 6 months onwards, when extra care must be taken to prevent unwanted matings. Pet Yorkies are better neutered. This will prevent unwanted puppies and the possibility of disease in later life. Many breeders may not wish to issue registration papers for pet puppies, or may only do so on proof of neutering.

What should I feed my Yorkie?

When collecting your puppy be sure to get a diet sheet from the breeder and try to stick to its recommendations, especially in the first few weeks. The breeder should also provide you with documentation of worming preparations given, any vaccinations the puppy may have had, and a pedigree form.

How should I keep my Yorkie confined when travelling?

ALWAYS make sure that your dog is safe and secure when travelling in a vehicle. The best way to do this is to train it to travel in a special travelling box or crate (such as a Vari-Kennel). Should you need to brake suddenly, your little dog will then be less likely to be thrown forward and injured. Keeping your dog in a crate while travelling will also prevent it from distracting the driver and causing an accident.

One further word of warning, In some countries it is common to own a swimming pool. If you do, please ensure that your Yorkie cannot jump or fall into the pool in your absence. I have had reports from the USA of Yorkie’s getting into pools and then being unable to get out again, with drastic consequences as the poor little dog becomes exhausted and drowns. If you do have a pool, please ensure that it is fenced off or covered when not in use.


“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”

Author Unknown

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Yorkie/Maltese-Mom, love the info on the Yorkie!! Wow, you guys all know your pups!




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History of the Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are a type, or strain, of working terrier; they are not pure bred in the sense that they have a broad genetic make-up, a broad standard, and do not breed true to type. This is a result of having been bred strictly for hunting since their beginning in the early 1800’s, and their preservation as a working breed since. The broad standard, varied genetic background based on years of restricted inbreeding and wide outcrossing, and great variety of size and type, are the major characteristics that make this strain of terrier known as a Jack Russell (a.k.a. Parson Jack Russell Terrier®) such a unique, versatile working terrier.

The Jack Russell Terrier takes it name from the Reverend John Russell who bred one of the finest strains of terriers for working fox in Devonshire, England in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Rev. Russell (1795-1883), apart from his church activities, had a passion for fox hunting and the breeding of fox hunting dogs; he is also said to be a rather flamboyant character, probably accounting for his strain of terrier’s notability and the name of our terrier today. His first terrier, the immortal TRUMP, is said to be the foundation of John Russell’s strain of working terriers.

Everything about the Jack Russell has fox hunting in mind …. coloring, conformation, character, and intelligence. The body is compact, of totally balanced proportions, the shoulders clean, the legs straight, and most importantly, a small chest (easily spannable by average size hands at the widest part behind the shoulders). The Jack Russell must also be totally flexible, allowing him to maneuver underground. This conformation allows the terrier to follow his quarry down narrow earths. The fox is a good model for the Jack Russell-where the fox can go, so must the terrier. Although originally bred for fox hunting, the Jack Russell is a versatile working terrier to a variety of quarry including red and grey fox, raccoon and woodchuck.

John Russell maintained his strain of fox terriers bred strictly for working, and the terrier we know of today as the Jack Russell is much the same as the pre-1900 fox terrier. The Jack Russell has survived the changes that have occurred in the modern-day Fox Terrier because it has been preserved by working terrier enthusiasts in England for more than 100 years; it has survived on its merits as a worker. It is the foremost goal of the JRTCA that the Jack Russell continues in that tradition.

Kennel Club Recognition

The Fox Terrier, accepted as a kennel club breed in the late 1800’s, has undergone many conformational changes as a result of the whims of the show ring, resulting in today’s Modern Fox Terrier. Conformational changes such as a deep chest, long, narrow head structure, and extremely straight shoulders make it very unlikely that a fox terrier of today’s standard could follow a fox into a shallow earth, even if the instinct to do so remained. John Russell maintained his strain of fox terriers bred strictly for working, and the terrier we know of today as the Jack Russell is much the same as the pre-1900 fox terrier. It is interesting to note that John Russell was one of the original founders of England’s Kennel Club in 1873; in 1874, he judged Fox Terriers in the first Kennel Club sanctioned show in London. While he remained a Kennel Club member for the rest of his life, he did not exhibit his own dogs. The Jack Russell has survived the changes that have occurred in the modern-day Fox Terrier because it has been preserved by working terrier enthusiasts in England for more than 100 years; it has survived on its merit as a working. It is the foremost goal of the JRTCA that the Jack Russell continued in that tradition.

There has been a great increase in the conformation showing of Jack Russell in recent years. Conformation exhibiting has been very effective in the U.S. in promoting correct conformation according to the breed standard, thereby improving the quality of the breeding stock in this country.

However, while showing is beneficial to the breed in that respect, the JRTCA designs its trials to keep the working aspects of the terrier in the forefront. The highest awards presented to a terrier by the JRTCA are its working awards; the Natural Hunting Certificate and the Bronze Medallion for Special Merit in the Field. The JRTCA National Trial Conformation Champion is selected from the JRTCA Working Terrier Division of the National Trial; all entries have proven their working ability to having earned at least one Natural Hunting Certificate in the field. JRTCA sanctioned conformation judges are required to have an in-depth, first-hand knowledge of terrier work, and understand the importance of the physical characteristics necessary for a terrier to be useful for the work he was bred to do. These judges are required to work their terriers in the field.