Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Alpine Spaniel

Alpine Spaniel-pet-dog-dog breeds

The Alpine Spaniel is an extinct breed of dog which was used in mountain rescues by the Augustinian Canons, who run hospices in the region around the Great St. Bernard Pass. The spaniel was a large dog notable for its thick curly coat. One of the most famous specimens of the Alpine Spaniel is Barry, however his preserved body has been modified on more than one occasion to fit with descriptions of the extinct breed from earlier time periods. Due to the conditions in the Alps, and a series of accidents, extinction was discussed as a possibility by authors during the 1830s, and at some point prior to 1847 the entire breed was reduced to a single example due to disease. Evidence held at the Natural History Museum in Bern show that two distinct breeds of dog were being used in the area during this time period. The breed is thought to be the predecessor to the modern St. Bernard and the Clumber Spaniel.

Description

The Alpine was a large breed of spaniel, described as reaching two feet at the withers and six feet from the nose to the tail. It had a closely set coat, curlier than that of the English Cocker Spaniel or the English Springer Spaniel. An intelligent breed, it was particularly adapted to the climate of the Swiss Alps.

Old skulls in the collection of the Natural History Museum in Bern demonstrate a diversity in head shapes. The collection proves at least two distinct variations during the same time period. The larger skulls have a greater pronounced stop with a shorter muzzle while the smaller skulls show a great deal less stop whilst having longer muzzles.

Legacy

A drawing of the Alpine Spaniel in 1848, 18 years after they were first crossed with the Newfoundland

St. Bernard

The Alpine Spaniel was one of the direct genetic progenitors to the St. Bernard. Starting in 1830, the monks and canons of the Swiss Alps began crossing the dogs with the Newfoundland, expecting that the resulting offspring would have the longer hair of the Newfoundland and this would protect the dogs better from the cold. Unfortunately ice would form on the longer hair, and seeing that the dogs were no longer effective rescue dogs, the monasteries gave them away to people in the surrounding Swiss valleys.

In 1855 a stud book was opened for these crosses, which supplied the hospice with suitable dogs and also exported the dogs overseas. Many people began breeding them indiscriminately, which resulted in their modern appearance. By 1868, the breed was commonly being referred to as the "Saint Bernard Dog" first and the Alpine Spaniel second.

Clumber Spaniel

It is thought that the Clumber Spaniel originated in 18th century France from the Basset Hound and the Alpine Spaniel.The name "Clumber" itself comes from Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Alpine Mastiff

Alpine Mastiff-pet-dog-dog breeds

The Alpine Mastiff is an extinct Molosser dog breed, the progenitor of the St. Bernard, and a major contributor to the modern Mastiff (through such dogs as "Couchez"), as well as to other breeds that derive from these breeds or are closely related to them. M.B. Wynn wrote, "In 1829 a vast light brindle dog of the old Alpine mastiff breed, named L'Ami, was brought from the convent of Great St. Bernard, and exhibited in London and Liverpool as the largest dog in England." William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, is believed to have bred Alpine Mastiffs at Chatsworth House.

The names "Alpine Mastiff" and "Saint Bernard" were used interchangeably in the early 19th century, though the variety that was kept at the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass was significantly altered by introducing other breeds, including Newfoundland and Great Dane, and it is this composite breed that now carries the name St. Bernard.[3] Inevitably these Mountain dogs filtered through to the wider population, and the original variety dwindled in its pure form, though a rare breed, the "Cane Garouf" or "Patua", found in the part of the Alps formerly inhabited by the Alpine Mastiff, may also descend from the extinct breed.

The Alpine Mastiff was, along with the Tibetan Mastiff and Caucasian Shepherd Dog, one of the earliest breeds of dog to reach truly gigantic size. It was one of the very first true mastiffs, originating in northern Europe before 500 B.C. The largest individuals may have reached more than 1 m (39 in) tall at the shoulder and weighed 160 kg (350 lb) or more, surpassing the modern Saint Bernard and English Mastiff in size. Beginning in the 1970s, there have been some efforts to breed back the Alpine Mastiff, mainly by using breeds such as the Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, and Bernese Mountain Dog.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Alpine Dachsbracke

Alpine Dachsbracke-pet-dog-dog breeds

The Alpine Dachsbracke (ger. Alpenländische Dachsbracke) is a small breed of dog of the scent hound type originating in Austria. The Alpine Dachsbracke was bred to track wounded deer as well as boar, hare, and fox. It is highly efficient at following a trail even after it has gone cold. The Alpine Dachsbracke is very sturdy, and Austria is said to be the country of origin.

Description

Appearance

This small dog has a slight resemblance to a Dachshund, with short legs (although longer than a dachshund’s) and a long body. The coat is dense, short but smooth except for the tail and neck. The round eyes have a lively expression. Being very sturdy, the Alpine Dachsbracke is visibly robust and has a big boned structure.

Preferred colors in competition are dark deer red with or without black hairs lightly interspersed. Black with red-brown markings on the head, chest, legs, feet, and tail are also permitted, as well as a white star on the chest (according to the American Rare Breed Association). The ideal height for dogs is 37–38 cm, and the ideal height for bitches is 36–37 cm. Strong limbs and feet, with black toenails and tight toes as well as strong elastic skin are features that judges look for in competition. They also look for a trotting gait. The top coat should be very thick, the undercoat dense and both closefitting to the body.

The Alpine Dachsbracke weighs from 15 to 18 kg (33 to 40 lb) and stands from 34 to 42 cm (13 to 16 in) at the withers. It is often compared with the dachshund, as they are very similar in appearance.

Temperament

Used effectively to track wounded deer, this breed could work even in harsh terrain and high altitude. It makes a good companion, although it is primarily a hunter and therefore is kept mostly by hunters. It has a fearless, friendly and intelligent personality. Most Alpine Dachsbrackes are excellent with children and good with dogs and other pets, though they may exhibit a strong prey drive typical of many scent dogs.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Alaunt

Alaunt-dog-dog breeds-pet

The Alaunt is an extinct breed of dog, with the original breed having existed in central Asia, Afghanistan and Europe from ancient times through the 17th century. The Alaunt breed had three distinct phenotypes: Alaunt Veantre, Alaunt Boucherie and the Alaunt Gentile. They all were large, short coated dogs of varying head-types. The former two resembled the molosser type dogs much like the present-day Dogo Argentino or like the Caucasian Shepherd Dog except with short hair and a mesocephalic head which made them excellent large-game hunters. The Alaunt was originally bred by the Alani tribes, the nomads of Indo-European Sarmatian ancestry who spoke an Iranian language. The Alans were known as superb warriors, herdsmen, and breeders of horses and dogs. The Alans bred their dogs for work and developed different strains within the breed for specific duties. The breed was further developed in Spain, France, Germany, England, and in Italy.

History

The Molossus descended into Epirus in about 1200 BC,[clarification needed] also from the north. However, their artifacts did not resemble the Mastiff prototype, as they had a long nose of a narrow type, and a long mane. Varro, however, described a herding dog of Epirus which was white, large headed, and slightly undershot, used to defend sheep and goats. One group of Alans arrived in what is now Albania in the fifth or sixth centuries BC. Molossis of Epirus is located in Southern Albania.[3] It is most plausible the Alaunt gave rise to the fighting dogs of the Molossi,[citation needed] which were introduced to Britain by Roman Invasion in 55BC. The Alans provided cavalry for Rome and in 50AD, 5,500 Alans were sent to Britain to guard Hadrian's Wall. Thus, the Alaunt genetic template most plausibly gave rise to the British Pugnaces as fighting dogs which English Mastiffs and Bulldogs descend from.

In the 370s AD, Hun invasions divided the Alani into the Eastern and Western Alans. The Eastern Alani tribes merged with the Ossetians and other nations, introducing their dogs into the bloodlines of many Balkan breeds, such as the Shar Mountain Dog, Metchkar, Qen Ghedje, Hellenikos Poimenikos and other Molossers of the region.[citation needed] Some believe[who?] that the white-coloured Alaunts were the direct ancestors of Balkan breeds, which in turn influenced all other white dogs in the Balkans.

The Western Alans joined the Vandals on their raids through Europe and by the 410s AD, their fierce dogs were influencing many breeds in France, Spain, Portugal, England and other countries, spreading the use of the "alaunt" name, which became synonymous with a type of a working dog, rather than a specific breed. Through breeding with various scenthounds and sighthounds, some alaunts became valued large game hunting dogs, existing in a variety of types, dictated by regional preferences. In 1500 AD, Spain was known for breeding the best Alaunts and used them to conquer the New World.

In France, Alaunts were separated into three main categories, based on physical appearance and the duties they performed. The lightest type was the Alaunt Gentil, a greyhound-like dog, which eventually became assimilated into the local hunting breeds with the Alaunt Veantre. The original mastiff variety, known as the Alaunt de Boucherie, was crucial in the development of the fighting and baiting dogs of France. The Alaunt de Boucherie in France was known as the Alaunt Butchers in England and the Alano in Spain and Italy and were termed the original Bulldogs as they were used to control and defend herds of cattle. In Spain, the three categories were the Mastins, Alanos, and Lebrels, further separated as the ayuda (defense types) and the presa (offense types), such as the Presa Canario, Fila Brasileiro, and Cuban Mastiff.

Form

The long, broad, flat head of the Alaunt should never be confused with the modified brachycephalic breeds. The brachycephalic head type is wide in base, but short in length.. While the preferred bite is reverse scissor, like the Mastiff, and may have been a trait introduced by the Mongolian breeds at some remote time in history, skull type and bite type are separate subjects of genetic traits. The dolichocephalic skull is narrow at base yet long in length, so the Alaunt could be referred to as a modified dolichocephalic breed, as mesocephalic is a balance of base to length. Moreover, the Alaunt or Mastiff must be separated from the Molossoides in head study, as this term does not separate the Mastiff from the Mountain Dogs or even the Pug.

Modern relatives

Contemporary enthusiasts are developing new breeds based on Alaunt bloodlines, such as the British Alaunt, New Alaunt, Antebellum Bulldog or Altamaha Plantation Dog, Dogo Belgrado, Abraxas bulldog and the American Alaunt. While its origins are strongly rooted in the ancient mountain dogs of the East, the Alaunt is regarded by some cynologists as the ancestor to the original bulldog breeds.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute-pet-dog-dog breeds

The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) originally bred for hauling heavy freight because of their strength and endurance, and later a sled dog. They are similar to other arctic breeds, such as the Greenland Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, the Siberian Husky, and the Samoyed.

Lineage

The first dogs arrived in the Americas 12,000 years ago; however, people and their dogs did not settle in the Arctic until the Paleo-Eskimo people 4,500 years ago and then the Thule people 1,000 years ago, both originating from Siberia. Malamutes were thought to be created by the Malemiut Inupiaq people of Alaska's Norton Sound region, who were a Thule people.

The Malamute has been identified as a basal breed that predates the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th Century. A study in 2013 showed that the Alaskan Malamute has a similar east Asian origin to, but is not clearly related to, the Greenland Dog and the Canadian Eskimo Dog, but contains a possible admixture of the Siberian Husky.

In 2015, a study using a number of genetic markers indicated that the Malamute, the Siberian Husky, and the Alaskan husky share a close genetic relationship between each other and were related to Chukotka sled dogs from Siberia. They were separate from the two Inuit dogs, the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Greenland Dog. In North America, the Malamute and the Siberian Husky both had maintained their Siberian lineage and had contributed significantly to the Alaskan husky, which showed evidence of crossing with European breeds that was consistent with this breed being created in post-colonial North America.

Appearance

 The American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard describes a natural range of size, with a desired size of 23 inches (58 cm) tall and 75 pounds (34 kg) for females, 25 inches (64 cm) tall and 85 pounds (39 kg) for males. Heavier individuals (90 lb (41 kg)) and dogs smaller than 75 pounds (34 kg) are commonly seen. There is often a marked size difference between males and females. Weights upwards of 100 pounds (45 kg) are also seen.

The coat of the Alaskan Malamute is a double coat. The undercoat has an oily and woolly texture and can be as thick as two inches. The outer guard coat is coarse and stands off the body—longer at the withers but not more than one inch off the sides of the body. Ears are small in proportion to the head and stand firmly erect when at attention. The Alaskan Malamute is a heavy dog, with a more formidable nature and structure than the Siberian Husky, which is bred for speed. The Alaskan Malamute is bred for power and endurance, which is its original function and what the standard of the breed requires of Alaskan Malamute breeders.

 The usual colors are various shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white. There are a wide range of markings in the breed including face markings, blazes, a splash at the nape of the neck, and a collar or half collar. In terms of color variants, some Malamutes exhibit a dark grey to buff-colored undertone around their trimmings and white areas, presenting with a color-linked gene known as 'Agouti'. The eyes of the Alaskan Malamute are almond-shaped and are varied shades of brown; however, the darker eye is preferred. The physical build of the Malamute is compact and strong with substance, bone and snowshoe feet.

According to the AKC breed standard, the Malamute's tail is well furred and is carried over the back like a "waving plume". Corkscrew tails are occasionally seen but are faulted in the AKC breed standard (a corkscrew tail is commonly seen in the Akita). The Malamutes' well-furred tails aid in keeping them warm when they curl up in the snow. They are often seen wrapping the tail around their nose and face, which presumably helps protect them against harsh weather such as blowing snow. Their ears are generally upright, wedge-shaped, small in proportion to the head and set to the side of the skull. The muzzle is deep and broad, tapering slightly from the skull to the nose. Nose and gums are black but some Malamutes have a snow nose, which is black with a pink undertone that can get darker or lighter, depending on the season.

Temperament

Alaskan Malamutes are still in use as sled dogs for personal travel, hauling freight, or helping move light objects; some, however, are used for the recreational pursuit of sledding, also known as mushing, as well as for skijoring, bikejoring, carting, and canicross. However, most Malamutes today are kept as family pets or as show or performance dogs in weight pulling, dog agility, or packing. Malamutes are generally slower in long-distance dog sled racing against smaller and faster breeds, so their working usefulness is limited to freighting or traveling over long distances at a far slower rate than that required for racing. They can also help move heavy objects over shorter distances. An adult male Alaskan Malamute can pull around 500–1,500 kilograms (1,100–3,300 lb) of weight, depending on build and training.

The Malamute has a long genetic foundation of living in harsh environments, and many of its behaviors have adapted to survive in such environments. Independence, resourcefulness, high intelligence and natural behaviors are common in the breed.

Malamutes, like other Northern and sled dog breeds, can have a high prey drive, due to their origins and breeding. This may mean in some cases they will chase smaller animals, including other canines, as well as rabbits, squirrels, and cats; however, this has been difficult to document in detail beyond anecdotal, observational data and many Malamute owners have observed varying levels of prey drive between individual dogs. While Malamutes are, as a general rule, particularly amicable around people and can be taught to tolerate smaller pets, it is necessary to be mindful of them around smaller animals and small children.

Malamutes are very fond of people, a trait that makes them particularly sought-after family dogs, but unreliable watchdogs. Malamutes are nimble around furniture and smaller items, making them ideal house dogs, provided they get plenty of time outdoors meeting their considerable exercise requirements. If they are year-round outdoor dogs, letting them play in a baby pool filled with cold water in summer keeps them cool. In the winter, they love snow.

Malamutes are usually quiet dogs, seldom barking. When a Malamute does vocalize, it often appears to be "talking" by vocalizing a "woo woo" sound. It may howl like a gray wolf or coyote, and for the same reason.

Health

There is only one known health survey of Alaskan Malamutes, a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey with a small sample size of 14 dogs. The median lifespan of 10.7 years measured in that survey is typical of a breed their size; however, this study had a sample size too small to be considered reliable and much anecdotal evidence suggests they have on average one of the longest lifespans of large dogs, up to 15 years. The major cause of death was cancer (36%).

The most commonly reported health problems of Alaskan Malamutes, in the 2004 UK Kennel Club survey (based on a sample size of 64 dogs) were musculoskeletal (hip dysplasia), and hereditary cataracts. There are additional health issues in the breed whose origins are unknown at this time including varied seizure disorders found in young puppies as well as adults, epilepsy, congenital heart problems, kidney problems and skin disorders.


Other health issues in Malamutes include Elbow dysplasia, inherited polyneuropathy, osteochondrodysplasia, cerebella hypoplasia, heart defects, and eye problems (particularly cataract and progressive retinal atrophy). A growing problem among arctic dog breeds, including the Alaskan Malamute, but especially their cousin, the Samoyed, is canine diabetes with onset occurring typically in middle age (5 to 7 years).

Friday, 17 November 2017

Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai-dog-dog breeds-pet

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a spitz type breed of dog, developed in the 1970s to create a companion sized dog resembling the Alaskan Husky (a mixed breed of dog used for sled racing). It is an energetic, intelligent, dog with an appearance that reflects its northern heritage.

Appearance

Height and Weight

It is intended that the Alaskan Klee Kai remain a small to medium-sized dog. Height is measured from the withers to the ground. An Alaskan Klee Kai should not appear heavy or too thin. Weight should be proportionate to height. This breed is part of the Spitz family and looks like a miniature Alaskan Husky. According to breed standards, an adult Alaskan Klee Kai should be between 13 and 15 inches in height. They should weigh between 9.9 and 15 pounds. The breed has an average life expectancy of between 12 and 16 years.

Toy Variety: Up to and including 13 in (33 cm)

Miniature Variety: Over 13 in (33 cm) and up to and including 15 in (38 cm).

Standard Variety: Over 15 in (38 cm) up to and including 17 in (43 cm).

Serious Fault: Over 17 in (43 cm) up to and including 18 in (46 cm).

Eliminating Fault: Over 18 in (46 cm) in height.

Coat and coloring

Alaskan Klee Kai come in three recognized color varieties: black and white, gray and white, or red and white (which may appear as a cinnamon or a dark auburn). Solid white Alaskan Klee Kai also exist but this coat color variety is considered a disqualification by the breed standard. Solid white Alaskan Klee Kai have just recently become recognized by the United Kennel Club and may be registered but not shown competitively.

There are also two coat types found in the breed. These consist of the standard and full-coated varieties. Both are recognized by the UKC and equally acceptable by the breed standard. The only exception being that the coat length may not be so long as to obscure the outline of the dog, which is considered a breed fault. The Alaskan Klee Kai has a double coat; an undercoat that is short and soft and an outer coat that is made of longer guard hairs. This double coat allows them to have thermal protection from extreme hot and cold weather.

Like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Klee Kai typically requires relatively easy care. They are extremely clean. Most do not like wet feet and will spend hours daily grooming themselves. Alaskan Klee Kai, like many other northern breeds, do not have a typical "doggy odor" or "doggy breath." Most Klee Kai will seldom require a bath. They are rather efficient, so no grooming is needed. An Alaskan Klee Kai should not be shaved unless for medical reasons. They need their coat to keep them cool and to protect their skin.

Also like Siberians (and unlike short haired dogs who shed all year), the Klee Kai blows its coat twice a year. Of course, the size of the dogs limits the amount of fur blown. It is best to groom the dog on a regular basis during this time. Some of the longer haired dogs can become matted if not groomed. Most Klee Kai will assist the loss of hair by rubbing against things such as fences. Other than this period of blowing coat, the Klee Kai is very self-sufficient. The normal preventative measures should be taken, such as trimming of nails, normal grooming in the form of brushing. This process is especially important in the bonding process.

Temperament

Most people compare the Alaskan Klee Kai to the popular Siberian Husky due to their similar fur markings. While they are both Spitz breed dogs, the Alaskan Klee Kai is significantly smaller in size. They are also behaviorally almost utmost opposites to their large husky counterparts; they tend to be shy, skittish and wary around strangers. The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent, playful, curious and high energy breed. They can be standoffish and cautious around unfamiliar individuals. Because of their inherently reserved disposition in the presence of strangers, continual socialization throughout an Alaskan Klee Kai's life is highly encouraged. They are moderately active and have a strong prey drive, keeping them on a leash is necessary as they will pursue any distraction that comes their way. This means unless they are properly introduced and raised with smaller animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and birds, they will hunt them.

They can be a great family dog if raised with young children who are careful with animals: Alaskan Klee Kai are not likely to tolerate being mistreated and should be monitored when with children. Because of their intelligence, they do well in obedience classes and have a high drive to please their owners which helps them to excel in this area as well as many other types of activities. Another such activity is agility in which the Alaskan Klee Kai almost seems to have been bred to take part.

The Alaskan Klee Kai are generally quiet dogs and are not known to be problem barkers, but it is common for Klee Kai to create vocalizations and to "talk" similar to other northern breeds.

Health
Previously the Alaskan Klee Kai was thought to have been remarkably free of genetic defects when compared to other small dog breeds. Current health concerns with this breed are: Thyroid Disease, Nutrition, Autoimmune Thyroditis, and FVII Deficiency.

Other health concerns that the breed may suffer from have yet to be discovered because of the breed's relatively young age and small gene pool.


Responsible Alaskan Klee Kai breeders have their dogs health tested and registered with OFA for cardiac, patellar, and thyroid issues. They are now accepted by CHIC if they have passed their OFA exams and eye exam by CERF.