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BBS Breed Spotlight: Leonberger

With the look of a lion and the heart of a teddy bear, the Leonberger is a true family companion. This dogs looks might fool you once, but once the kindness of the Leonberger shines, you’ll be a fan for life. thinks you’ll fall in love quite easily. Read more about the Leonberger in the BBS Breed Spotlight!

History & Background: Leonberg, Germany is both the native city and namesake of the Leonberger breed. This dog was the product of the breeding a Landseer Newfoundland and a Saint Bernard predecessor, the “barry” by a prominent citizen of Leonberg, Heinrich Essig in the 1930s. Essig was very fond collecting animals and it’s even thought the dog was bred to resemble the coat of arms of the German town, which was the lion.

This dog was kept as farm dog and excelled as a watchdog and a draft worker. Famous owners of the Leonberger include Napoleon II, the Prince of Wales and other royalty. During the World Wars, this breed suffered greatly and only 5 survived WWI. Again during WWII this breed was almost lost into obscurity. In both wars this dog was used to pull ammunition carts, but was a service that almost cost this dog’s lineage. The modern Leonberger can trace it’s line back to the 8 dogs that survived the wars. Today the Leonberger is still used as a working dog in rescue saving missions.

Height: Males: 28 to 31.5 inches; Females: 25.5 to 29.5 inches

Weight: Males: 120 to 170 pounds; Females: 100 to 135 pounds

Coat: As with many working dogs, the coat is highly functional. The Leonberger has a very abundant, water-resistant, double coat. Shorter hair appears on the muzzle and limbs. The long, heavy coat is highly durable, straight, close-fitting and flat. The outer coat is medium length and soft to coarse in texture. Undercoat is soft and dense, but is less abundant in summer months. Leonbergers have a mane which stretches from around the neck to the chest. This dog sports feathering on the back of legs and ears and the tail is well covered in hair. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Coton de Tulear

A walking cotton puff, literally. The French word for cotton paired with the town in Madagascar where the dog originates, Tulear, gives you the name of the living cotton puff—the Coton de Tulear. Read more about this adorable little bright and cheery puff on the Breed Spotlight!

History & Background: A native of Madagascar, the Coton de Tulear is thought to the be descendant of the Coton de Reunion. This dog was said to have gotten Madagascar by swimming to shore from a shipwreck. The modern Coton was the offspring of the Coton de Reunion breeding with local terriers on the island. In the 17th century, a tribal monarchy called the Merina, controlled the lives of these dogs because they were seen as so special in the eyes of the island people. Coastal tribesmen and non-noblemen were forbidden to own the Coton and the dog quickly became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar.” When the French came to colonize the island, they kept the same elitist rules for the Coton. When hard times came to Madagascar in the 1970s, Dr. Robert Jay Russell, a biologist studying lemurs on the island, sent Cotons back to America. Since, Cotons have been gaining in popularity even though they are still seen as a rare breed. In 1996, the AKC recognized the Coton de Tulear in their Foundation Stock Service breeds.

Height: 10 to 12 inches

Weight: 12 to 15 pounds read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Cane Corso

A majestic presence and a rich Italian history are wrapped up into the beautiful form of the Cane Corso. highlights this impressive and distinctive dog in our weekly Breed Spotlight. Read on to learn more about the Cane Corso!

History & Background: The Cane Corso’s name is derived from the Latin “Cohors” meaning “Guardian” and “Protector.” This dog’s direct ancestor is the Canis Pugnax, which was a war dog used by the Romans. Corsos were also used as a “catch dog” to hunt and pin large animals such as cattle and pigs and also as a herder and watchdog. In Italy, this dog can be seen in history living along side farmers and rural families for hundreds of years. In the 1970s this dog almost faced extinction but was saved by a dedicated few. The Corso still has a large presence in Italy, today. The modern Cane Corso looks slightly different than it’s pre-70s relatives because of selective breeding used to grow numbers of this breed. In 1987 the Cane Corso made its way to the United States and has been popular ever since. In fact, celebrities such as Tracy Morgan, Patti LeBelle and Lebron James own Cane Corsos.

Height: Males: 25 to 27.5 inches; Females: 23.5 to 26 inches

Weight: 88 to 170 pounds

Coat: Corsos sport a short, hard coat that should have a healthy sheen. The close fitting coat has a light undercoat that gets thicker in cooler weather. The Cane Corso has a perfectly waterproof coat.

Color: This dog’s coloring can range from black, grey, red and fawn. Any of these colors can appear in brindle. The solid colored fawn and red dogs usually have a black or grey mask. White patches appear on the chest, throat, chin and toes. Eye color is related to muzzle color. Dogs with black muzzles have dark brown eyes and gray muzzles have lighter colored eyes. Nose color matches the pigment of dog; black pigment matches a black nose and grey pigment matches a grey nose. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: German Wirehaired Pointer

Have you ever heard the phrase “German engineered”? This phrase is a great selling feature because most know that German designed products are very good products. That means dogs, too. The Germans wanted an all-around amazing dog, so they bred the German Wirehaired Pointer, the dog who can do it all. Find out more about this well-designed dog on the Breed Spotlight on the German Wirehaired Pointer.

History & Background: Around the mid-1800s, improvements to the shotgun spurred many in the public to become hunters. In fact, the number of hunters doubled, but this quick growth left a need for a well-rounded, all-purpose hunting dog. And like many other dog breeds, necessity is the mother of all invention, and for the Germans this dog was the German Wirehaired Pointe. GWP’s were bred to be a medium-sized pointer, easily trainable dog that could search, locate and point game. Because of the varied terrain, from mountains to dense forest, and inclement weather this Pointer was bred to have a very particular coat.  In Germanay, this wirehaired dog was first known as the Deutsch-Drahthaar, which was a combination of Griffon, Pudelpointer (Poodle & Pointer) and German Shorthair.  In the early 1920s the GWP was imported to America and was recognized by the AKC 1959.

Height: Males: 24 to 26 inches; Females: 22 to 24 inches

Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

Coat: The wire coat of this German breed is its most distinctive feature.  A GWP’s coat is weather resistant and mostly water resistant. The undercoat is dense to protect in cold weather and in summer is almost invisible. The outer, wiry coat is straight, harsh, flat and 1 to 2 inches long. This dog sports a well-covered tail, bushy eyebrows, beard and whiskers. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Basenji

Referred to as the “barkless” dog, thinks the Basenji doesn’t need a bark to get someone’s attention. The Basenji is a stealthy creature that could sneak right up to you, both on the hunt and into your heart. Read more about this beautiful dog’s ancient past and interesting characteristics in the BBS Breed Spotlight on the Basenji.

History & Background: The Basenji is one of the most ancient dog breeds and can be seen in Egyptian tombs and wall drawings dating back 5,000 years. Another ancestor of the modern Basenji originated in Central Africa and this “type” dog has been living with humans for thousands of years. Mostly confined to the Congo, this dog was known as the “dogs of the savages,” “dogs of the villagers,” and “dog of the bush.” This breed was once prized for its intelligence, speed and silent hunting ability in many African villages. In the late 1800s Basenjis were taken to England in an effort to build up the breed, but many of these dogs died from distemper. After many attempts, Basenjis were being bred successfully in America by 1941 and soon after this breed was recognized by the AKC in 1944.

Height: 16 to 17 inches

Weight: 22 to 24 pounds

Coat & Color: The coat on a Basenji is very short and fine with elastic skin. Coloring can be chestnut red, pure black, tricolor (black or red) or brindle. White feet, legs, chest or blaze, collar and tail tip are common.

Appearance: Basenjis exude alertness. With their small frame, tight but smooth muscles and balanced frame, this dog is the portrait of agility and readiness. This dog has a wrinkled around the forehead and a short muzzle. Facial features include small, almond shaped eyes, and small, erect ears. The back is short in length, but level. Basenjis have straight legs and a tightly curled tail that sits on top of the back. read more…

BBS Breed Event Spotlight: National Dog Show

It’s here! No, not Thanksgiving. The National Dog Show! This Turkey Day event is just about as traditional as the turkey itself. Ongoing since 1842, the National Dog Show put on by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and is one of three major national dog shows. is providing you with some National Dog Show Trivia that will make today’s viewing that much more interesting and special.

10 Past Winners

2002: Standard Poodle
2003: Doberman
2004: Terrier
2005: Colored Bull Terrier (Rocky Top’s Sundance Kid)
2006: Toy Poodle
2007: Australian Shepherd (Buff Cap Creslane Arctic Mist)
2008: Pointer
2009: Scottish Terrier (Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot a/k/a “Sadie”)
2010: Irish Setter (Windntide Mr. Sandman)
2011: Wire Fox Terrier (GCH Steele Your Heart)

Group Descriptions

Terrier: Most of these dogs evolved from the British isles and each had very specialized duties depending on what geographic location the were in. Most of these jobs included hunting small critters like badgers and otters. Tenacious in personality, these dogs have great confidence and courage.

Toy: Dogs in this group have been around for centuries to serve one purpose: companionship. To this day, their small size makes them perfect for any household and living situation.

Working: Breeds from the Working group have a wide range of shapes, sizes and looks, but they have been all been used as aids in their human’s work. Their intelligence and build have made these dogs excellent guards and herders and today still work as these as well as police, military, security, service and hunting dogs.

Sporting: These dogs were developed to help hunters, usually bird hunters using guns. The duties of these dogs can range from pointing and marking, flushing or recovery.

Hound: This group was once classified as sporting because they also can help with hunting, but usually hunt somewhat independently from their humans. Made up of scent hounds and sight hounds, this group has a lot of variety in size, shape and look.

Non-Sporting: At the inception of the AKC, there were only two group, Sporting and Non-Sporting. Many splits and reclassifications later, the Non-Sporting group consists of all the dogs that remain and contains the most variety in one group.

Herding: Characterized by the natural ability performed by these dogs, the Herding group is dogs that have been used on farms to gather and move other animals about.

There are 173 registered breeds; which dog will you root for?

Happy Thanksgiving! Have fun watching the National Dog Show! 

BBS Breed Spotlight: Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouiver des Flandres is a very misleading dog. With a very up class name, the Bouvier des Flandres has very humble beginnings on Belgian farms. (One Bouvier, Lucky, even made it to the White Hosue as Ronald Reagan’s dog.) A formidable looking dog, the Bouvier is a gentle and sweet soul. Find out more about this dog by reading the Breed Spotlight on the Bouvier des Flandres.

History & Background: Bouviers were first bred by monks in Flanders, which is an area of Belgium. These dogs were first bred by monks and other farmers for cattle droving, sheep herding and cart pulling. Watchdog duties were given to the Bouvier as well. Throughout the years, this dog has had many names. The French name of Bouvier des Flandres literally translates “Cow Herder of Flanders” but also called “koehond” (meaning cow dog), “Vuilbaard” (meaning dirty beard) and “toucheur de boeuf” (meaning cattle driver). It’s thought Bouviers get their look from the breeding of Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds with local farm dogs.

Since this dog was always meant to fulfill the function of a working dog, no breed standard was ever readily sought after. However, in the early 20th century fanciers began noticing this dog and soon after the Bouvier appeared at the International Dog Show in Brussels. After this, Bouviers saw an uptick in popularity. It wasn’t long after WWI began and even though this dog was used a messenger, the breed almost died out. The same was true for WWII, yet by that time the AKC had recognized the breed and Bouviers had been shipped to America from Europe. By the 1960s Bouviers were thriving once more and the American Bouvier des Flandres Club was founded in 1963.

Height: Males 23 to 28 inches; Females 22–27 inches

Weight: Males 80 to 120 pounds; Females 60 to 80 pounds

Coat: Bouviers sport a weather fast coat made up of a hard and course outer coat and a soft and dense undercoat. This dog’s coat was made to withstand just about anything. The coat should have a disheveled look without being curly.  Hair on the ears is rough and Bouviers should have a thick mustache and beard. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight Belgian Tervuren

The Tervuren is a European breed that shows fierce loyalty and affection for their owners. highlights this beautiful and personable breed today on the Healthy Dog Blog.

History & Background: Named after the Belgian city of Tervuren, this dog is one of four Belgian sheepdogs which all share a common ancestry. In its own country, this dog as known as the Chien de Berger Beige, which translates “long-haired other than black.” This is because the three other dogs with similar characteristics are the Groenendael, which has long black hair, the Malinois, which a short coat and the Laekenois, which sports a wiry coat. The origin of all of these dogs was pre-Industrial Revolution, when general-purpose working dogs were in high demand. Protective as a watchdog, able to herd livestock as well as having high mental capacity and being attentive, the Tervuren and its cousins were bred as a perfect match for Belgian farmers.

The Tervuren was known as the Belgian Sheepdog for many years, but in 1959 the AKC recognized the Tervuren as its own breed.

Height: Males 24 to 26 inches; Females 22 to 24 inches


Weight: Males 65 to 75 pounds; Females 60 to 70 pounds

Coat: Tervurens have a thick double coat made up of long, plentiful and close fitting fur. The texture is somewhat harsh, but not silky or wiry. The undercoat adjusts to the weather making the Tervuren very adaptable to climate changes. The hair on the head, outside of the ears and front of the legs is short.  Tufts of hair protect the ear opening. Male dogs have a mane of fur around their neck and both sexes have fringes of fur down the fore legs and back legs.

Color: On the body, Tervuren’s color ranges from rich fawn to mahogany. All colors have black overlay. This dog has a double-pigmented coat, which means the lighter colored hair is black at the tip and as a dog matures, they darken. This darkening is most prominently seen on males around the shoulders, back and ribs. To meet the breed standard, white can show up on the chest and toes but no more. Mature dogs are required to have a black mask as well as the ears being mostly black. Under the chest, tail and butt, this breed can show cream, grey or light beige coloring. Tervurens can also be grey, but the AKC doesn’t recognize this coloring in confirmation showing. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Maltese

Since ancient times, Maltese have been a statement of a wealthy household. Today, this clever and jolly little dog makes a household richer for having been in it. Find out more about this small breed with a big personality by reading’s Breed Spotlight on the Maltese.

History & Background: The “ancient dog of Malta” or “Roman Ladies’ Dog” or even the “Maltese Lion Dog” were all names given to the ancient breed that is the Maltese. This breed enjoyed the good life next to aristocratic ladies of their time. These ladies carried the Maltese around in their sleeves and let them to sleep in their beds. One of the best-accounted ancient Maltese was Issa, the dog of a Roman Governor in Malta. This account of Issa, written at the time of the Apostle Paul, painted Issa as “purer than a dove’s kiss,” “gentler than a maiden,” and “more precious than Indian gems.” It’s easily seen that even in their earliest days this dog was very much loved. It’s even seen that Greeks built tombs for their Maltese and were worshipped by the Egyptians.

It’s thought Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean took Maltese to England. Royalty owned this breed in England as well and even as far back as the 1500s would coat a $2,000 to purchase. This breed has been recognized by the AKC since 1888 and is a true companion dog for any family.

Height: Males – 8 to 10 inches; Females – 8 to 9 inches

Weight: Males – 3 to 7 pounds; Females – 2 to 7 pounds

Coat: A Maltese has a single coat made up of straight and long hair with a silky texture. Breed standards require no kinks or curls show in the coat.

Color: Coloring for a Maltese is pure white. Standards say that this breed can have some light tan or lemon color on the ears. Maltese have large dark eyes and a black nose. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Newfoundland

New-fun-land. Newf-in-land. New-found-land. No matter how you say it, the Newfoundland is a sizable sweetie with a penchant for lazing about and loving his family. highlights this beautiful beast of a dog in our Breed Spotlight! Read on to find out some very interesting facts about the Newfoundland!

History & Background: The exact history of this dog is a bit fuzzy and speculation about the pedigree of the Newfoundland is very wide and ranging. Some say the Newfie has ties to Great Pyrenees while others say mastiffs and yet others say the Labrador. The most interesting story says this dog is the descendant of the Viking “bear dogs.”  What is known is that the Newfoundland hails from the island of the same name off the Canadian coast. First called the St. John’s Dog, after the city in Newfoundland where the Newfie was a working dog being used by fishermen. This dog had a heavy coat for icy waters, a large build for hauling carts and large, webbed feet for swimming. This dog also was a savior to many at danger in the water. Accounts of Newfoundlands saving shipwrecked sailors or children in too deep of water are also a part of the legend of this breed. At one point, Newfoundlands were taken to England and widely bred. Most modern Newfies have forebearers born in England.

It can be seen throughout history that Newfoundlands have been noble and loyal companions by the owners who’ve kept them. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Lyndon B. Johnson and Senator Robert F. Kennedy all owned Newfies. Seaman, a Newfoundland, was the companion of Meriwether Lewis on the Lewis and Clark expeditions. Famous Newfoundlands were produced out of imaginations as well and can be seen in literature as Nana, the “nurse” dog of children in Peter Pan as well as many other fictional characters.

Height: Males: 27 – 29 inches; Females: 25 – 27 inches

Weight: Males: 130 – 150 pounds; Females: 100 – 120 pounds read more…

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