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Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Tibetan Mastiff

A relatively new breed to the United States, the Tibetan Mastiff has an ancient history in Asia. Marco Polo once described this dog as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.” This large dog has a friendly disposition yet intimidating presence. Find out more about the Tibetan Mastiff in Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Tibetan Mastiff!

History & Background: Potentially, Tibetan Mastiffs originated from Molossus breeds, an extinct large breed dog. It is known that Tibetan Mastiffs are an ancient breed that can be traced back to 1100 B.C. China. At a point, these dogs were seemingly isolated in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet where it developed into the dog recognized as the modern Tibetan Mastiff. 

This dog was used as a guard dog for flocks, homes, tents and more. This breed was sometimes tied up to enhance aggressive tendencies. These dogs are still sometimes used a guard dogs in different parts of the world.

A Tibetan Mastiff was brought to Queen Victoria in the mid 1800s and popularity for these dogs began to rise. More were imported into England and the English began to breed and standardize Tibetan Mastiffs. The breed didn’t gain a lot of popularity in the United States until 1980. The Tibetan Mastiff was recognized by the AKC in 2006 and first shown at Westminster in 2008.

In Asia, the term “mastiff” attached to this dog’s name is somewhat of a misnomer. In many languages, including Nepali, Mongolian and Mandrin Chinese, all translations of this dog’s name simply mean “dog,” “home guard,” or “door guard.” The term “mastiff” was mostly likely used because it meant “large dog” but is suggested that a more correct name for this dog might “Tibetan Mountain Dog.” read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Shetland Sheepdog

Scottish in origin, intensely loyal and loving by nature; the Sheltie is a great addition to just about any family! This “Miniature Collie” is an agile and highly energetic medium-sized dog that is a constant joy and surprise.  Read more about this dog in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Shetland Sheepdog below!

History & Background: Like it’s larger counterpart the Rough Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog is a descendant of the Border Collie. However, unlike other miniature breeds, the Sheltie wasn’t developed by selectively breeding continually smaller sizes each generation. When Border Collies were brought to the Scottish isle of Shetland, they were bred with highly intelligent, long-haired, small dogs. Some of these breeds could have been King Charles Spaniels (not Cavalier), Pomeranians, and the now extinct Greenland Yakki. The first Shelties were more Spitz-type working dogs and then were bred with other Collies and taken to England.

When first developed, breeders called this dog Shetland Collies but Rough Collie breeders didn’t like the name association with their breed.  It was then this breed was given the name Shetland Sheepdog. The Sheltie was used as a herding dog, watchdog and general all-purpose farm helper. Shelties were first recognized by the AKC in the early 1900s.

Height: 13-16 inches

Weight: 16-20 pounds

Coat: A Sheltie’s coat consists of two layers, both very abundant with fur. The outer coat is long, straight and rough. The undercoat is fuzzy, downy and very dense, which gives the Sheltie have a puffy look. The outer coat is water repellent and the undercoat provides relief from temperature extremes. This breed does have a lot of frill and feathering, particularly in the form of a mane and on the fore and hind legs. Sheltie tails are thick with hair as well.  However, Shelties have smooth hair on the face, tips of ears and feet.

Color: There are typically three colors or combinations recognized for the Sheltie; black, sable and blue merle. Black coloring can be present with white or tan, ultimately making this tri-coloring. Sable coloring can range from golden to deep mahogany color, also combining with colors of white and tan. Blue Merle coloring consists of blue, white and tan in combination. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Airedale Terrier

The “King of the Terriers,” the Airedale Terrier is not only the largest of the terriers, but has been called the dog who can do it all. Plus, isn’t he just adorable!?  Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Airedale highlights the regal, unique looking yet beautiful English breed and we know you’ll love learning about this terrier.

History & Background: First called Waterside or Bingley Terriers, the modern Airedale looks very different from the Airedale of the past. The breed originates from the Valley of Aire, a dale in West Yorkshire, England where the river Aire flows through the land. The first Airedale’s were used as all-purpose working terriers. This dog was mostly a hunter and was bred by crossing a black and tan terrier, bull and terrier dogs, and otterhounds. Hunters soon noticed this dog was adept at almost all hunting aspects; speed, quickness, cornering, following a scent and was even great in water.

When the World Wars came to Europe, the Airedale was again used in a myriad of ways. They carried messages to soldiers, transported mail, guarded camp, and found wounded soldiers on the battlefield. After their work in war, the Airedale transferred to police work. Before police forces started adopting German Shepherds for their work, Airedales were used extensively.

Airedales came to North America in the 1880s, but increased in popularity after WWI. The tales of Airedale bravery on the battlefield inspired dog lovers to have this breed in their own home. Another reason for gain in popularity was the Presidential owners of Airedales including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding. It’s said President Harding’s Airedale, Laddie Boy, was the first celebrity White House pet. Mr. Harding even had a custom chair made for Laddie Boy to sit in during important Cabinet meetings. By the 1920s the Airedale was the most popular dog breed in the USA and continued to peak until 1949.

The Airedale is mostly a companion dog today, but is still used as a working dog in some parts of the world. The AKC recognized the Airedale in 1888, and the breed standard was approved in 1959. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Silky Terrier

Called a terrier yet classified as a toy breed, the Silky Terrier is a joyful, active dog that loves to snuggle as much as play. This little breed truly is the best of both terrier and toy worlds. A beautiful coat and a lively personality, this dog is a pleasure to have in any living environment. Find out more about this versatile breed in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Silky Terrier.

History & Background: First called the Sydney Silky, this breed hails from Australia and is the product of interbreeding the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier. The goal of this breeding was to improve upon the Australian Terrier’s blue and tan coat. The Silky and Australian Terrier were recognized as the same breed for a long time and the Silky is very often mistaken for a Yorkie. After much breeding, the Silky Terriers were identified as a breed of their own, standards were set and the breed was officially called the Australian Silky Terrier.

After WWII, American servicemen brought home Silky Terriers and then hundreds of Silkies were imported from Australia after gaining popularity in the states. The AKC recognized this breed in 1959. This dog is primarily used as a companion dog, but still exhibits the terrier tendencies for hunting small animals, such as rodents.

Height: 9-10 inches

Weight: average 10 pounds

Coat: Just like the name gives away, the Silky Terrier sports a single, glossy and silky coat. The length of the coat falls below the body outline but isn’t so long that it touches the ground. A Silky has so much hair on the head that it seems to form a topknot. These dogs are groomed so that the hair around the face is parted down the middle and continues this way toward the full length of the body ending at the base of the tail. Despite the profuse amount of hair, the tail is covered, but not plumed and the ears are completely devoid of longer hair. The feet and legs of the Silky should have short hair and shouldn’t be covered up by the body coat. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Brittany

Today Best Bully Sticks highlights the Brittany.  Easy going, easy to please and easy on the eyes; the Brittany is a sweet and beautiful dog with a hunting instinct in its veins. A favorite of hunters and field trial competitors, the history of the Brittany is to hunt, point and retrieve game. The Brittany will also be a loyal companion in any family and because of this breed’s all around good nature, has been gaining a lot of popularity outside the hunting world. Read more about the loveable Brittany below!

History & Background: Named after a French province, the Brittany is a skilled hunting and pointing dog, and has been depicted in paintings and tapestries from the 17th century. The first written account of this breed was from a Reverend in 1850 speaking of the wonderful hunting abilities of a bobtailed dog. There isn’t much known about the breed history of the Brittany but it’s suggested that a French hunting dog was bred with English Setters producing a modern Brittany. With their uncanny resemblance to Welsh Springer Spaniels, it’s said both these dogs have a common ancestry.

A Brittany was first shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900 and the first breed standards were outlined in 1907. In 1931, the AKC recognized this dog and approved them for the show ring and field trials in 1934. In fact, the Brittany has more dual championships in America than any other breed.  Before 1982 this dog was called the Brittany Spaniel, but they are now know as simply “Brittany.”

Height: 17 ½ – 20 ½ inches

Weight: 35-55 pounds, Males; 25-50 pounds, Females

Coat: A Brittany has a dense, single coat that is flat or wavy but never curly (by the breed standard.) The texture of a Brittany’s coat isn’t wiry nor is it silky. The coat does feather at the ears, front and hind legs, but again, the breed standard prefers less than more fringe. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Kishu

Sometimes called the Kishu Ken or Kishu Inu (Inu and Ken meaning “dog” in Japanese), this dog is very rare and isn’t seen often outside of its native homeland of Japan. Best Bully Sticks wants to share the beauty and sprit of the Kishu Ken in today’s Breed Spotlight. We think you’ll enjoy reading about this ancient, stealthy and beautiful breed!

History & Background: Bred for 3,000 years in Japan, the Kishu is an ancient breed. Originating in the southern most island of Japan, (Kyushu) the Kishu line has stayed pure simply because of the geographical limitations of living on an island. This dog was first used as a hunter of deer, boar and sometimes bear. This dog’s hunting skill is sometimes described as “one dog, one shot” describing the Kishu’s ability to stalk and keep the prey at bay until the hunter could approach close enough to kill the prey with one shot.

The Kishu was named a “Memorial of Nature” in 1934 by the Japanese and because Japanese culture truly appreciates their national treasures, exportation of this breed is severely restricted. There are only two breeders of Kishu’s outside of Japan—the Netherlands and Texas. The AKC has the Kishu listed on their Foundation Stock Service list and recognizes this dog in some of their agility and obedience trials.

Height: 17 to 22 inches

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds

Coat: The Kishu’s coat is short, straight and coarse. The undercoat is very dense and makes this dog have a downy looking coat.  A Kishu’s fur feathers on the back legs and cheeks and the tail is plumed. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Bedlington Terrier

A breed with the “look of a lamb and the heart to of a lion,” the Bedlington Terrier is quite a unique dog. Best Bully Sticks is amazed at the distinctive look, attitude and features of this dog that truly puts this dog in a class of its own. BBS thinks you’ll be equally delighted in this friendly but feisty breed.

History & Background: The Bedlington Terrier is named after a mining town, Bedlington, in the county of Northumberland, England where it was first bred. This dog was first called the Rothbury or Rodbery Terrier after an area on the English coast where one of the first ancestors of this breed was kept for studding. This breed was originally used to hunt rodents in the mines and then later for racing. The Bedlington was also used as a hunter for foxes, hares and badgers because of its build for speed. It’s said that the Bedlington could have been the ancestor of the Irish Kerry Blue Terrier. This breed was recognized early on by the AKC in 1886.

Height: Males: average of 16 ½ inches; Females: average of 15 ½ inches

Weight: 17 to 13 pounds

Coat: The Bedlington’s coat is somewhat odd because it is made up of both soft and hard fur. The hair stands away from the body and curls, especially on the head and face. Some say this breed’s coat has a “lint” texture. Even more distinctive is the cut of this terrier. When this dog has been groomed for the show ring, the body coat doesn’t exceed 1 inch, however the face, ears and legs usually have longer hair. Pared with the shape of this terrier’s head, this cut makes the Bedlington look much more like a lamb than a dog. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Briard

Best Bully Sticks has seen some furry dogs, some fuzzy dogs, but today’s Breed Spotlight is all about a shaggy dog! BBS is talking about the Briard, a French herding dog with a lot of spunk and a lot of heart. Read more about this shaggy dog below!

History & Background: It seems the Briard has been a popular dog for many ages. The dog originated as a French herding dog, as a mix between the sleek Beauceron and the wooly Barbet.  During the Middle Ages, the Briard was a beloved dog that has been seen in tapestries and written records. The breed was used mostly as a livestock herder and guard that was more prone to bite a stranger in defense of its breed, but became a “softer” dog through selective breeding. The Briard was used in the French Revolution & WWI as a messenger, sentry and to search for wounded soldiers. However, they’re most commonly used as pastoral dogs and served as herders, watchdogs and guard dogs. It’s said that Charlemagne, Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette all owned Briards. The stories are conflicting about who, Jefferson or Lafayette, introduced the Briard to America.

Today, the Briard serves in many roles, such as police, military and search and rescue dogs. The Briard breed has also had a handful of on-screen roles that have included appearances on Dennis the Menace, My Three Sons, Get Smart, Married…with Children and Dharma & Greg.

Height: 23 – 27 inches (males); 22 – 25 ½ inches (females)

Weight: 66-88 pounds (males); 55-77 pounds (females)

Coat: The Briard’s coat is one if its most distinctive features, truly making it a shaggy dog. The long outer coat is dry and hard, so much so that it even makes a scratchy noise if strands of fur are rubbed together between fingers. Even though the coat is dry, a good coat will have sheen, denoting healthy hair. The hair falls flat on the body in long wavy locks, including the head. The head’s hair naturally lies flat and has a natural part down the middle, however the Briard’s long eyebrows do not lie flat and curve up and out to create a light cover over the eyes. The Briard also sports a mustache and beard. The undercoat is fine and tight against the whole body. As much hair as this dog has, it’s never so much that it covers up the dog’s shape or impedes vision. This dog needs steady grooming to look ideal and also be comfortable. An ungroomed Briard can develop matted fur. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel exudes kindness, a gentle nature and playfulness. You can almost see it in their eyes; the Cavalier is simply loving and sweet. Best Bully Sticks takes a look into the Cavalier’s past this week—it’s origins and it’s journey to being a modern dog.

History & Background: From their beginnings, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been a dog of comfort and companionship. Depictions of this dog can be seen all throughout English history in tapestries and paintings.  However to understand the origins of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel their history has to be traced through it’s predecessor, the King Charles Spaniel.

The King Charles Spaniel was a favorite of the court of King Charles of England and his court. These little dogs were called “Spaniel Gentle” or “Comforter” and were even believed to be able to keep fleas and sickness at bay. King Charles even was said to have his “little dogs” everywhere he went. These dogs had longer noses, and when King William III & Queen Mary II took the throne these longer nosed dogs were going out of fashion and pugs were beginning to grow in popularity. The long-nosed spaniel and the pug, or other flat nosed dogs, were bred together and a new type of King Charles Spaniel was created.

This “down-grade” of the breed appalled many and in the 1920’s an American, Roswell Eldridge set out to find a King Charles Spaniel most like its ancestor. Eventually, a male and female that met Eldridge’s requirements were found, however he died before he saw his plan come to fruition. Yet, a group of dedicated fanciers had grown behind Eldridge’s plan and the first breed standard set by this group and was called, “King Charles Spaniel, Cavalier Type” to set it a part from its ancestors. Not too long after, the breed became known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that this breed came to America. The AKC didn’t recognize this breed until 1997. In pop culture, this breed is known to be the dog of the “Sex and the City” character Charlotte York.

Height: 12-13 inches

Weight: 13-18 pounds

Coat: Cavaliers have a medium length coat that is silky and can be wavy, but never curly. This breed’s coat feathers on the ears, chest, legs and feet. The breed standard by the AKC states that this dog shouldn’t be trimmed or clipped and should only be shown in it’s natural state. The only exception to this rule is for the hair that grows between the pads of this dog’s feet. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Rottweiler

Rottweilers—the protector of humans. Because ultimately, this dog saves lives through its work. And this dog does work; as a police dog, a guard dog, a rescue dog and even as a therapy dog. Read more about the origins of this dog in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Rottweiler.

History & Background: Rottweiler’s hail from Rottweil, Germany where they were used as herding dogs for sheep and for carrying carts full of goods to market.  In fact, Rottweiler’s are one of the oldest herding breeds. Rottweiler’s were selectively breed for their herding and guarding characteristics but as the need for these skills diminished over the years, breeding slowed down. At one point in the early 1900s there was only one living female Rottweiler in Rottweil, Germany. Not too long after this, Rottweiler clubs were started to preserve the breed and since, the breed hasn’t changed much at all.

During and since WWI & WWII the Rottweiler has been used a police dog, messenger, ambulance and guard dogs. The AKC recognized this breed in 1931

Height: 24″-27″ for males; 22″-25″ for females

Weight: 110-132 lbs for males; 77-105 lbs for females

Coat: Rottweiler’s coats are simply designed: a medium-length, dense and flat outer coat and an undercoat, which is mostly present on neck and thighs. The amount of undercoat will depend on the climate the dog is in, but should never show through the outer coat. This breed only sheds seasonally. read more…

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