Trench Dog Ale

Last November, Whistling Kite Brewery posted the picture at the left on their Facebook page along with the words,  “Remember our heroes.” That got our attention.  It was a clear nod to the Airedale Terriers used as war dogs during both World Wars, and that a brewery knew this and named an ale after it
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Monks as Breeders

The idea of monks having a breeding program seems counterintuitive (not sure why),  but there is a long history of just such a thing. Certainly, the Monks of New Skete and their German Shepherd Dogs come to mind as a current model, but Buddhist monks nurtured and mated Japanese Chin they
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Pomeranian Bitch and Puppy

Few breeds are exact replicas of their ancestors from over 200 years ago, but at its time in 1777, this portrait by Thomas Gainsborough of the adult Pomeranian, “Abel” was so realistic that when the portrait was delivered to the house of the dog’s owner,  “the deception was so complete that
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Willum Does America

William Jones and Robert Strawbridge met at Market Harborough while Robert was buying a horse. William (Willum, to his friends) was such an amiable chap, and of such moral fiber that Robert invited him along on his return trip to America. Together, they participated in hunts, particularly the Radnor Hunt,
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Women’s Work

  Two years after the invasion of Poland, Great Britain officially began its first war dog training program at the Greyhound Racing Kennels near Potter’s Bar, a facility it had confiscated in 1942. Many of the dogs were Airedales, a fact credited to Lt Col Edwin Hautenville Richardson who had
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The Last Friday

When it comes to New Years Eve, we think this little chap has the right idea: Eat your fill, then fall asleep. That said, this is the very last Friday post we will ever write in 2016. Was it a good year for you? Did it stink? Were the results
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The Big Danish

No, we’re not talking about the unspeakably fattening treat at the right. We’re writing about the name of a breed that’s a translation of an old French designation, “grand Danois,” which means “big Danish.” Most cynologists still aren’t entirely certain why the English adopted the name, “Great Dane,” for the
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Not In Front of the Corgis

It was a concern to all who are fond of the monarch that Queen Elizabeth II missed Christmas Day church services for the first time in thirty years. A heavy cold kept The Queen at home, presumably in the company of her beloved Corgis.  Though Brian Hoey’s book about the
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There’s a Name For That! The Crochet Tail

In our view, the profile of a Briard would be less “Briardy” were it not for the well furnished and familiar “J-curve” at the tip of its tail. Typically raised in an agreeable curve when the dog is in motion, the tail never goes above the level of the dog’s
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A Gentleman from France: An Airedale Hero

If we were an Airedale owner, we’d want to have this book even without knowing what it’s about (just saying), but happily, we were able to find a plot synopsis:   “A heart warming story about a French Airedale Terrier named Pierre owned by Sarah Bernhardt in the early days
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The Keyless Bulldog

Do you remember the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid? The car was unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, and to get the word out about its keyless feature, Volkswagen had DDB (the agency), Palm + Havas (the Creative Agency), Deutsch Inc. (the Digital Agency), and PHD (the Media Agency)
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The “East/West” Front

Does your dog have an “east west” front? Or maybe it’s a “ten to two” front? These terms actually mean the same thing, and that is that a dog’s front feet and toes point outward while standing and/or moving. Put another way, they “toe out.” Is it a fault? It depends
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The Royal Dog of France

The Great Pyrenees got its name from the mountain range in southwestern Europe, but during the reign of Louis XIV, the breed was named “Royal Dog of France” by the Dauphin himself in 1675.  Influenced by royal patronage, French nobility soon discovered the appeal of a breed that was handsome and
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Coconut Matting – in a Dog?

It’s a pity that terms used by our predecessors aren’t a greater part of dog lexicon today because many of them were so darn descriptive.  To wit: If you’ve ever held a coconut in your hands, you’ll instantly remember the hairy texture of its shell. Dog veterans “back in the
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Dr. Caius, a Name You Should Know

If you consider yourself knowledgable about dogs and don’t know the name, John Caius, you’ll want to “up your game.” Dr. John Caius (born John Keys in 1510) was physician to King Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I of England. His account of the English sweating sickness is
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The Pyrenean Shepherd’s “Cadenettes”

A corded coat is not limited to the Puli, Poodle, Komondor or Havanese, but when appearing on a rough faced Pyrenean Shepherd, cords (which strictly speaking, are not true cords, but controlled mats) are limited to the dog’s elbows, croup, and thighs, but never on the head. These controlled mats
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They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky

Twenty-eight years after New Yorker magazine cartoonist, Charles Addams, died, we still delight in his unique way of looking at the world.  Twisted without being insane, wicked without being mean, and humorously macabre without the malice of Edward Gorey, Addams drew characters that were delightfully ghoulish, some of which inspired the
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The Dachshund Gargoyle

If you think you know what the original purpose was for a gargoyle, test yourself. Was it: 1) A decorative architectural element; 2) A functional architectural element, or 3) An excuse for a movie? If you chose #2, pat yourself on the back. Original stone grotesques, or gargoyles, had a functional purpose. A
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Scallywag Malt Whiskey – Named after, What Else?

The holidays are over, but it’s always the right time to give a special gift to someone who appreciates – or collects – breed specific items.  In 2013, Douglas Laing & Co created a small batch blended Speyside vatted malt Scotch whiskey it named “Scallywag,” for the family’s long line of
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Handsome Dan

We often talk about purebred dogs as mascots here, but did you know that it was Yale University that invented the mascot in 1889, and that its Bulldog, “Handsome Dan,” was the nation’s first live dog mascot?  Legend says that each subsequent “Handsome Dan” was selected on the basis of
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The “Never Say Die” Terrier

We don’t know the date that the Daily Paper (presumably of the UK) published the following report, but it beautifully encapsulates the “never say die” attitude we love about terriers. “A Terrier belonging to the Essex Union Hunt went down an earth after a fox at Ongar and did not
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The Stella Artois Whippet

Who doesn’t love a humorous commercial that ends with a lovely dog? It wasn’t the first time a Whippet appeared in a Stella Artois commercial. For this ad filmed in Buenos Aires in 2010, a Whippet named, “Tito” was used, the original plan to have him stroll around with an actor
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Atavistic Behavior of the Anatolian Shepherd

“Atavism” is an evolutionary throwback, and atavistic behavior refers to conduct that reverts to ancestral type.  Dogs circling before they lie down to sleep is a good example of this, but there are some behaviors that seem breed specific, as well. Elsewhere, we’ve talked about the “snout pits” of the Carolina Dog, but we
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Castro and the Havanese

News of Fidel Castro’s passing was welcomed news to the people whose lives he upended, and certainly to the Cubans who loved their country’s national dog breed, the Havanese. Castro hated dogs. He did nothing to preserve the Havanese registry also impacted by the upheaval he started when he overthrew the government
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Naughty or Nice?

The satisfied look of a dog who got everything he wanted for the holiday (and maybe a few things he snuck when no one was looking). What did your dog get for being nice, and not naughty? Photo of “Raine,” an Ibizan Hound, by Elaine Sweet Mason
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The Bichon, New Kid on the Block

It feels like Bichon Frises have always been around us, but despite long-standing popularity in Europe and a history going back centuries,  the breed is a relative newcomer to the United States. The first litter born on American soil was less than 65 years ago, and came about after a French
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Your Dog’s Human Voice

For the first time in over 65 years, the Dulux Old English Sheepdog has a voice. The adorable mascot opines on paint quality and color choices, and not surprisingly, he has the appropriate accent. If a famous actor or actress provided the voice-over for your dog in a movie, whose voice
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American Made

And then there are those breeds that have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to breed history. It should be enough that the Boston Terrier was the very first American-made breed to recognized by the AKC, or that it’s the mascot for Boston University, or that Massachusetts named it
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Owner or Guardian: Which is Best for Your and Your Dog?

Occasionally, we touch on subjects that have less to do with purebred dogs, and more to do with dog ownership (because one impacts the other). Earlier this month, an Ohio judge hearing a custody dispute ruled that an estranged couple’s dog was property, and not a child over whom the
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Stud Book Harrier and the West Country Harrier

The Harrier, one of the oldest of the British scenthound breed, is usually registered with the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles only if they are a member of a pack and have been used for at least one hunting season. Interestingly, two distinct types of Harrier are recognized in England:
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The Puli’s Corded Coat. Always Corded?

With “Preston” becoming the first Puli ever to win Best in Show at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin last weekend, we thought you might find something interesting about Puli standards from around the world: “Both a combed out and a neglected, tousled coat are undesirable” (FCI); “Coats
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The Ovcharka

The Caucasian Ovcharka, an LGD, or Livestock Guardian Dog, is a native of the Caucasus Mountains for which it was named. It goes by many names locally (including the Kavkazkaya Ovcharka, Kaukasische Schaferhund, Magai, and Volkoda) and is thought of as a “natural” breed in that it is indigenous to
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Hector, the Fat Finding Bloodhound

The Southern Water Company has 25,000-miles of sewers serving Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, and homeowners know that nothing “gunks” up the works like fat, oil and grease (known in the industy as “FOG”). As of 2014, at least 17,000 blockages a year backed up
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The Brocaire Rua: Raciest of the Terriers

The Irish Terrier (Brocaire Rua in Irish) is the raciest member of the terrier group, so described because of its longer body and legs than other terriers. It was first introduced to the public in 1875, and a mere 25 year years later, it became the fourth most popular breed in
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The Very First Police Squad – What Breed?

The very first police dog squad in New York City (and all of America, for that matter) was assembled in 1907. It’s numbers were made up of Jim, Nogi, Lady, Donna, & Max — each, a one year old Belgian Sheepdog, and specifically a Laekenois. How the dogs came to be
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When Shepherds Have Too Much Time

We doubt there’s such a thing as a shepherd with too much time on his or her hands, particularly during lambing season, but we have to admire the clever blokes who brought attention to the livelihood with some creativity. The video of the glowing sheep being cajoled into highly improbable
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Furnishings, and Three Genes That Account for Them

“Furnishings” doesn’t refer just to furniture. The word itself is quite old and can be traced to back the 16th century and the Middle French word, “fournir,” which morphed into “fourniture”  to mean “a supply,” or the act of furnishing. In the dog world, “furnishings” refers to long hair on the
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Name the Breed

The Fox Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and Bull Terrier were said to have played the most significant part in the molding of the breed we’re challenging you to name before we identify it below. We paraphrase a passage that described the goal of the breed’s creator, and that was to
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Belferlein, the Pomeranian

Perhaps if religious leader, Martin Luther, had mentioned it, we might have gotten through his autobiography, Here I Stand, the two times it was assigned reading in college.  As interesting as the instigator of the Great Reformation was –  his book, not so much.  We think he should have mentioned
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The Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis: Which One Recites Limericks?

Corgi owners may disagree, and because dogs are individuals,  one must make allowances for unique personalities, but when asked about the difference in temperament between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, we pass along something we were told years ago: When attending a party at the home of
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“Icing” on a Breed

While at the recent AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, we asked a Neapolitan Mastiff owner if it was possible to “over do” certain aspects of the breed, and the answer was “yes.” Shortly after the interview, we came across a slang term for this very thing, and the
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The “Blooded” Hound

One of the oldest of the hound breeds introduced to Europe (even before the Crusades) was a dog so valued that only the clergy was said to have been entrusted with keeping watch over it to ensure its purity. Because of this purity, the dogs became known as “blooded hounds” –
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The German Pinscher

It’s puzzling to us that the Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer, and Standard Schnauzer all have in common one breed, but that one breed doesn’t get nearly the attention it should these days. The breed is the German Pinscher. Descended from the Rat Pinscher (also known
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On the Tip-toe of Expectation

“Old” terrier men had such a way with words. Within the very first line of the Wire Fox Terrier standard appears the vivid phrase, “On the tip-toe of expectation.” To our way of thinking, there exists no more apt description of a breed ready to act at the slightest provocation,
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One Springer’s Very Special Job

Some of you may remember that “Ratty,” from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows stories is a water vole, a critter that lives along rivers, streams and ditches, around ponds, lakes, marshes, and in areas of wet moorland. Sometimes mistaken for rats, water voles have undergone one of the most
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Babbling – a No No

In the world of hunts, all scent hunting dogs are referred to as hounds, not dogs, and the hound who barks or bays when she sees game is “giving tongue.” Hunters will say of dogs barking on a hot trail that the “hounds are giving great tongue,” but…. …..the dog who “talks” too much,  or
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The Istrian Pointer: A Dalmatian’s Ancestor?

That the Dalmatian is the only spotted breed in existence today is not news.  Less clear, however, are the origins of this canine icon, and the AKC breed club, itself, concedes that the breed’s origins are buried so deep in the past that researchers can’t agree on where he came
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Sally, the Valiant Pit Bull

We are sometimes asked why we incorporate “Pit Bulls” into our posts as if they were purebred dogs. The answer is easy as long as you know your breed history. Staffordshire Bull Terriers came to America in the late 1800s, but dog fighters who wagered big money in the pits
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