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BBS Breed Spotlight: Miniature Pinscher

Just like a little brother doesn’t like being introduced as “John’s little brother,” the Miniature Pinscher doesn’t like being confused for a “miniature Doberman.” Any Min Pin lover or fancier will tell you, this dog is a breed all it’s own. With a lot of attitude packed into a tiny body, the Min Pin is both a delight and a doozy. Read more about this rambunctious little dog on the Breed Spotlight on the Miniature Pinscher.

History & Background: Despite popular belief, the Miniature Pinscher isn’t simply a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher. This small breed, German dog has its own origins through the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound. However, both the Min Pin and the Doberman most likely share the German Standard Pinscher as an ancestor. In Germany, the Miniature Pinscher is called the Zwerg Pinscher (Dwarf Pinscher) and Pinscher translates Terrier. Colloquially this dog is called the “King of the Toys.”

It’s thought the Min Pin is an ancient dog breed, though factual evidence of the existence of this particular breed dates back less than 200 years. What is known is the Min Pin enjoyed life in solely in Germany and Scandinavian countries for many years serving as a ratter. It wasn’t until 1919 that this dog was introduced to the United States. In 1930 the AKC reclassified this dog from the Terrier Group to the Toy and in 1972 this club changed the dog’s name from Pinscher to Miniature Pinscher.

Height: 10 to 12.5 inches

Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Coat: The Miniature Pinscher has a short, hard coat that is smooth and straight. The coat clings tight to the body and covers the Min Pin evenly. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Schipperke

Foxy-like and mischievous, the Schipperke may be the closest one may get to owning a fox itself. This smart and energetic Belgian breed dog enjoys life on a boat and life with a family. introduces you to the Schipperke in today’s BBS Breed Spotlight! Read more below!

History & Background: Though it’s similar in appearance to the Spitz or Pomeranian, the Schipperke is actually related to the black Belgian sheepdog the Leauvenaar. This dog is the predecessor of the Schipperke and the Groenendael. This dog was bred down to a much smaller size and became the guard dog to barges in Belgium. The Flemish sailors became calling this dog “schip” which means boat and they quickly earned the name “Little Captain” and “Little Skipper.” To this day Schipperke’s are at ease on a boat. The AKC officially recognized this breed in 1904. In WWII this dog was used as a messenger between various hideouts of the Belgian Resistance. The Nazi’s never found out.

Height: Males: 11 to 13 inches; Females: 10 to 12 inches.

Weight: 12 to 18 pounds

Coat: This dog has particular patterns of hair that include short hair on the face, medium hair on the body and longer hair in the ruff, cape, jabot and culottes. Behind the ears and circling around the neck makes the ruff. The cape is a strip extending past the ruff down the middle of the back. Jabot is the area extending across the chest and down the front legs. The fur on the back of the thigh forms the culottes. The texture of the Schipperke’s coat is slightly hard and is dense and straight and it stands off from the body. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Affenpinscher

A little dog with a  feisty personality and the resemblance of a monkey? It might sound a little funny, but the Affenpinshcer is one of the oldest toy dog breeds. And though this small dog has been around for a while, he’s finally getting recognized in a big way. Read more about the Affenpinscher on the Breed Spotlight below!

History & Background: The Affenpinscher hails from Germany and is seen in history as far back as the 17th century. This toy dog’s name literally translates as “Monkey Terrier.” In France, this little dog also earned the name Diablotin Moustachu or “little devil with a moustache.” The Affenpinscher was kept as a ratter for farmers and then later breed to be smaller to serve inside the home to keep mice at bay. This dog has been used in the development of many other breeds such as the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer. In 1936 this breed was recognized by the AKC and this year the Affenpinscher Banana Joe won Westminster Best in Show. This was the first year the Affenpinscher has won at Westminster.

Height: 9.5 to 11.5 inches

Weight: 7 to 8 pounds

Coat: An Affen’s coat is described as “shaggy, but neat.” A thick, wiry coat is found on the shoulders and body about 1 inch in length. Shorter hair can appear on the back and tail. The fur on the head, neck, chest and stomach is longer and not as hard in texture. The longer hair on this dog’s head, especially the eyebrows and beard heightens the monkey-like expression of the Affen. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Collie

A classy Lassie. Literally. The Collie is a first-class breed that is hardworking, beautiful and a wonderful family pet. If you don’t already know about this wonderful breed, is excited to share this great dog with you! Read more about the Collie in the Breed Spotlight below!

History & Background: Though it’s history is fuzzy, the modern Collie is a descendant of the reliable herding dogs used by Scottish and North English shepherds. The name “Collie” doesn’t have a definitive history either, but it’s thought the original word was “coll,” an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “black”. This breed became interesting to fanciers after the Industrial Revolution and then into a fashionable breed after Queen Victoria owned a Collie. Though the need for the Collie as a working dog died out, there is a revival of using this breed as a working and performance dog in the United States and UK.

The Collie has enjoyed plenty of fame outside of the show ring on the silver screen. Undoubtedly the most famous Collie is Lassie, the star of many tv shows and movies. Multiple dogs played Lassie, the first of which was named Pal and were owned by Rudd Weatherwax.

Height: Males, 22 to 26 inches; Females, 21 to 26 inches

Weight: Males, 45 to 75 pounds; Females 35 to 65 pounds

Coat: The fur coat of this Collie is of particular importance as it helps differentiate from other similar breeds. Sometimes called the Rough Collie, the long, harsh outer coat and highly dense, soft undercoat distinguishes this dog from its closely related Smooth Collie. A Collie’s coat is abundant everywhere except the head and legs and feathering appears on the back of the legs and tail.

Color: There are four standard colors for the Collie including

  • Sable & White: Fawn color varying from light gold to dark mahogany. White markings on chest, neck, legs, feet and tip of the tail.
  • Tri-color: Mostly black with white markings like the Sable & White coloring. Tan shading on head and legs.
  • Blue Merle: A marbled blue/grey coat with black and white markings and tan shading.
  • White: Mostly white with sable, tri or blue merle markings. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Treeing Walker Coonhound

Do you have a “Man’s Man” in your family? An all-around example of what being a man is supposed to be? Well, get ready to meet the “Hound’s Hound”. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is commonly referred to the best hound breed because they exhibit all the best qualities of its relative breeds. Whether on the hunt or in the home, the Treeing Walker Hound is one of best! Read more about this hound in’s Spotlight on the Treeing Walker Coonhound.

History & Background: Treeing Walker Coonhounds are descendants of the Walker Foxhound, which is from the family of English Foxhounds that came to America. After Thomas Walker imported the English Foxhound to Virginia in 1742 and the breed didn’t change until the 1800s when a stolen dog was bred to create a new breed called the Walker Hound or “Tennessee Lead.” However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that the Treeing Walker Coonhound was recognized as a distinct breed. Through selective breeding, this dog has excellent hunting abilities, including it’s signature move to “tree” game.

“Treeing” means the dog will track game, then follow it to the tree where the game has run, usually accompanied by placing the front paws up on the tree trunk. A fast, smart hunter that is able to find game quickly and has incredible endurance, the Treeing Walker Coonhound has been called a trailing hound with treeing instinct. Usually this dog goes after small game such as raccoons and opossums. Though this dog is still used as a reliable hunting dog, it’s also known as a wonderful family pet.

This year marks the first time the Treeing Walker Coonhound be at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Watch the Treeing Walker compete in the show ring on February 11th at 8 pm est on CNBC. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Russell Terrier

Ready for adventure! Curious to a fault! Lover of Digging Holes! The Russell Terrier is smart as a whip and always on its toes. Owners of Russell Terriers are constantly surprised by the quickness of mind and physicality this little dog can manage. Read more about this spirited companion as shares the story of the Russell Terrier in the BBS Breed Spotlight.

History & Background: Named after Reverend John Russell, the “Jack Russell Terrier” originated in England, but was developed into the modern breed in Australia. As a derivative of the Parson Russell Terrier, the Russell Terrier is an all-purpose dog. This breed was used as a small game hunter, especially for foxes, and ratter. Russell Terriers were also developed to be small enough to be carried on horseback in a saddlebag. As the breed type began to grow, many fanciers and terrier clubs wanted to draw a line between the wide range of working type terriers. It was then the Parsons Terrier and Russell Terrier were defined as two separate breeds with different body types. In other parts of the world, the Russell Terrier is known as a Jack Russell, but by American standards the Russell Terrier has shorter legs.

The Russell Terrier will be competing at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the first time in this breed’s history. See the Russell Terrier compete at Westminster on February 12, 2013 at 8pm-11pm ET, Live on USA Network.

Height: 10 to 12 inches

Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

Coat: Russell Terriers can have smooth, broken or rough coats. All coats are paired with an undercoat, are waterproof and the dog’s body is well covered.  A smooth-coated Russell will sport dense, hard yet short and low-lying hair. Russell’s with broken coats have medium-length hair that falls somewhere between smooth and rough and have facial furnishings. Rough coated dog’s hair is dense, hard and medium-length. Russell’s hair is never thin, wooly, curly or silky. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Lhasa Apso

Independent, a little rugged yet very beautiful, the Lhasa Apso shares these characteristics with its native home of Tibet. This little dog was thought to bring luck in ancient times and now graces many home with its joyful disposition and mischievous personality.  Learn more about the Lhasa Apso in the Breed Spotlight!

History & Background: The Lhasa Apso, or Apso Seng Kyi meaning “Bearded Lion Dog” hails from Tibet. This rugged country produced a rugged little dog that was kept in the home to as a special guard to the family. It’s said Lhasa’s hearing was so acute that the dog could distinguish a friend from a stranger. These dogs were mainly kept by nobility and Buddhist monks in the holy city that shares its name, Lhasa. It was even believed that the dogs themselves were sacred. The thought was when a Lhasa Apso’s master died, their soul entered the body of the dog.

In 1933, the first pair of Lhasa Apso’s came to America as a gift from the 13th Dalai Lama to C. Suydam Cutting. At the time, the only other Lhasa outside of Tibet was registered in England. First called the Lhasa Apso Terrier, this breed started in the Terrier group and was moved to the Non-Sporting Group. Through DNA testing, it’s thought that the Lhasa is one of the 14 most ancient dog breeds. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Kuvasz

If you want a dog that will form a fierce bond with you or your family, the Kuvasz is the dog for you. Even to the point of self-sacrifice, this dog loves its family above all else. Read more about this beautiful dog on the Breed Spotlight on the Kuvasz.

History & Background: Throughout history, the Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz) has played a part in both the lives of European kings and shepherds. Though Tibet is claimed as this dog’s original home, the even larger predecessor of the modern Kuvasz is thought to have accompanied Turkish refugees fleeing the Mongols into Hungary. The Turkish word “kawasz” means “armed guard of the nobility” or “protector.” These dogs were the trusted friend of King Matyas I, the ruler of Hungary and many other nobles. Eventually, Kuvaszok became working dogs for shepherds.

By the end of WWII, numbers of Kuvaszok had greatly diminished. During the war German and Soviet soldiers would kill the dogs because they so loyally defended their families. Of the approximately 30 dogs that remained after the war, other breeds were interbred to repopulate the Kuvaszok such as Great Pyrenees. The result is the modern Kuvasz, which is smaller than its ancestors.

Height: 26 to 30 inches

Weight: 70 to 115 pounds

Coat: The Kuvasz sports a thick double coat of medium length that ranges from straight to wavy and is odorless. This dog also has a mane, starting at the neck and covering the chest. On the lower forelegs and hind legs short, smooth hair appears. An abundance of hair is found on the back of the thighs and under the tail, usually 4 to 6 inches long. During warmer months, the Kuvasz sheds most of its dense coat.

Color: White. Skin pigment is dark; nose and lips are black. The Kuvasz was purposely bred to have a white coat so the shepherds could quickly and easily distinguish this dog from the wolves that would hunt livestock during the night.

Appearance: A sturdy, but light-footed dog, the Kuvasz is truly a great working companion and still used as a flock guardian. In the show ring, the most desirable feature of the Kuvasz is their face. Said to be the most beautiful part of the dog, breed standards for the Kuvasz are very specific when it comes to this dog’s head. Eyes should be almond shaped and slightly slanted. Ears are thick, V-shaped and slightly rounded at the tip and set back on the head to be at eye level. The head is elongated but not pointed and the muzzle has a well-defined stop.

The Kuvasz also had a strong, straight back and is well muscled. This dog has a deep chest, ribs are well-sprung and the tail is carried low with a slightly curved tip.

Temperament: This breed is very intelligent, spirited, fearless and single-minded. Kuvaszok have a great sense of humor that is said to last through adulthood.  Not recommended for a novice owner, a Kuvasz is a one-family dog and has natural territorial tendencies. When trained properly or raised from puppyhood, this dog is great with children and will be a guardian for them. This dog must also be socialized as a puppy to be well-mannered around strangers later in life and will be polite to accepted strangers. Obedience training takes a dedicated leader but this dog does love to work, so giving the Kuvasz a job to do will mentally and physically stimulate them.

Health & Grooming: Kuvaszok don’t have many health problems and generally are very robust. However, many dogs are prone to bone problems including hip dysplasia. Rough play isn’t recommended for this breed, however Kuvaszok need vigorous daily exercise such as a long brisk walk or a jog. Life expectancy ranges from 10 to 12 years. 

Grooming a Kuvasz is relatively easy. Daily brushing is needed to keep the coat mat-free, but bathing should be avoided altogether. This dog’s coat is made to naturally shed dirt and bathing will remove the oils in the coat that give the dog this property. Dry shampooing with a product like Fresh Dog Dry Shampoo is a preferred method of keeping a Kuvasz fresh and clean. This breed sheds all year round in warmer climates, but only seasonally in cooler climates. 

Product Suggestions: Any Kuvasz is willing to take a challenge, which is why we suggest the 15 – 18″ Jumbo Braided Bully Sticks for this breed. Three extra long bully sticks woven into a tight braid will keep your Kuvasz busy for hours! And as always all our bully sticks are all natural, grass fed dog chews!

Do you know or own a Kuvasz? Tell us your story in the comments section below!

BBS Breed Spotlight: Irish Wolfhound

In Ireland, one dog is the stuff of legend—the Irish Wolfhound. One look at this powerful breed and you’ll see just why this Wolfhound has a reputation. With a scraggly coat and a loveable heart, the Irish Wolfhound certainly does have a reputation for being a wonderful dog. Read on about this giant breed in the Breed Spotlight.

History & Background: Dating far back into ancient Irish history, the Irish Wolfhounds were first known as “Irish dogs,” “big dogs of Ireland,” “Wolfdogs of Ireland,” or “Greyhounds of Ireland” all used interchangeably. A coveted dog for its keen hunting abilities, this Wolfhound is called such not because of its resemblance to a wolf, but its use as a wolf hunter. In fact, boar and wolf populations in Ireland were wiped out because of the Wolfhound. During the English Conquest of Ireland, only nobility could own this breed. The English began heavily exporting these dogs and it almost caused this breed’s extinction. One Englishmen, however, brought the Irish Wolfhound back from the brink.

Captain George Augustus Graham took the remaining Irish Wolfhounds and with very precise breeding with Borzoi, Great Dane, Deerhound and possibly Mastiff, this breed was reconstituted. Only 23 years after Graham began rebuilding this breed, a breed standard was set. Today, the Irish Wolfhound is the unofficial dog of Ireland and many organizations and sports clubs use this breed as their mascot. In 1897 the AKC recognized the Irish Wolfhound in their Hound Group. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Cairn Terrier

If ever there were a dog trapped in the wrong body, it would be the Cairn Terrier. is amazed at how such a lively, energetic being could be such a small creature! Read more about the Cairn Terrier in the BBS Breed Spotlight!

History & Background: Originating in the islands and highlands of Scotland, the Cairn Terrier was once grouped into the Skye Terrier family that included breeds such as the West Highland White Terrier, Scottish Terrier and Skye Terrier. These dogs were bred as working dogs, to chase and corner otters, foxes and other critters. This terrier was even named after the work that it did; chasing animals into “cairns,” which were piles of rock serving as memorials, but small creatures used them as dens.

By the end of the 19th century, Scottish Terrier breeders started breeding separate lines of the Skye Terrier family. There was some confusion at confirmation showings among differentiations between “Short-haired Skyes.” So, “Cairn Terrier of Skye” was suggested, then later shortened to simply “Cairn Terrier.” The AKC recognized this breed in 1913. This breed has also had quite a career in movies and literature. The most notable Cairn in media might be the dog of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Though Baum didn’t specify Toto as a Cairn, the book’s illustrator drew him as one, and a Cairn named Terry was cast as Toto in the film adaptation. A Cairn was also Little Ricky’s dog in I Love Lucy.   

Height: 9 to 13 inches. The Cairn’s height—being low to the ground—differs from other terriers and gives the dog a distinctive looked called “Cairishness.”

Weight: 13 to 18 pounds

Coat: This terrier has a double coat that is highly weather resistant. Cairns have hard and dense outer coats and soft, short and furry undercoats. This dog has bushy eyebrows and a furry tail. read more…

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