Sine Qua Non

We would bet that only one breed standard includes the phrase, “sine qua non” – translation: An essential condition that is absolutely necessary. The words appear in the AKC standard for the English Foxhound in the section on elbows: “Elbows set quite straight, and neither turned in nor out are a sine qua non.” Old documents […]


Time to get nit-picky. A dog’s topline isn’t the same as the dog’s back. They not the same thing, nor are they interchangeable. A topline is formed by the withers, back, loin, croup, and dock, in that order (“dock” being a horsey term that refers to the area just behind the coup). The back is […]

The Black Mouth Cur

A “cur,” as a rule, isn’t a specific breed, and in the United States, it’s usually thought of as a type of dog acknowledged by the job it performs.  The Black Mouth Cur, however, is most decidedly a breed and was recognized in 1998 as a member of the Herding Group by the United Kennel Club, […]

Do You Know This Breed?

The Tarentaise cow grazes at a higher elevation in France than any other breed of cattle, and one dog breed alone became historically synonymous for tending these rich reddish brown creatures – the Savoy Shepherd. This rare breed. also known as the Dog of the Duchy of Savoy, has very ancient roots, but more recently […]

Mongolia’s Bankhar

Until the Soviet Union occupied Mongolia, the Mongolian Bankhar had been used for centuries as an LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog). Historically, the Bankhar (said by some to be an ancient landrace, not a breed) was such an inseparable part of the nomadic herder’s life that the traditional greeting when approaching a Mongolian ger was to say “Hold your Dog!” After […]