Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets. www.greytinspirations.com

Happy New Year! And new dog breeds, sort of.

2343137427_86089d1ba5_mI hope everyone is having a great New Year so far.  It’s probably too early to tell how 2009 is going to turn out but hopefully it will be better than 2008 for a lot of people.  Things are going well here at my house.  The viruses or whatever we picked up are going away, thanks to some cold medicine, lots of vitamin C, and the wonders of acidophilus tablets.  I spent New Year’s Day watching the Monk and Twilight Zone marathons with the dogs.  They like anything that involves sleeping on the bed for hours.  You may not know that you can jumble five 50-80 pound dogs on a double bed with you, but you can.  I think we need a king-size bed.

 

 

Did you know that there are over 400 recognized breeds of dogs in the world?  That’s true.  They aren’t all recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club yet, but in other parts of the world there are registries that recognize them.  In fact, the United Kennel Club here in the U.S. recognizes a number of breeds that aren’t in the AKC yet.  There are different reasons for this.  Primarily a registry like the AKC or the Canadian Kennel Club tries to make sure that there is a large enough population of a breed in their country, with enough breeders backing the breed, that it won’t die out right after being recognized.  It’s a long process from the time people begin developing or importing dogs of a breed to this country and the time that it’s officially recognized by the registry.  People who love the breed have to jump through a lot of hoops to get that official stamp of approval.  Once they are an “official” breed the dogs and owners can take part in all of the events offered by the registry, including shows, hunting and herding events, obedience and agility events, and so on.

 

(The United Kennel Club is an old and respected registry with a strong emphasis on working dogs.  They recognize many breeds that still perform their original work.  Some of these breeds have not yet shown much interest in American Kennel Club membership or conformation events.  However, there are many breeds that are recognized by both the UKC and the AKC.  It’s not uncommon for dogs to be double registered with both registries and participate in events with both organizations.  A dog can be both an AKC Champion and a UKC Grand Champion.)

 

People who get one of the registered puppies can also have confidence that the dog is who it is supposed to be — that the parents are who the breeder claims, and the pedigree is what it’s supposed to be for all the recorded generations.  You know, that still matters to a lot of people who want to be able to predict how their puppy will turn out as an adult dog.  That’s one of the purposes of having a “purebred” dog — having dogs that breed true for specific traits.  It’s not really about superiority or being a prissy dog.  You can have a purebred dog who’s the toughest guy on the block — nothing foo-foo about him.  He’s just a purebred dog because he breeds true and has the same traits as his ancestors.

 

Speaking as a breeder I think that too often people have the wrong idea about purebred dogs.  They think if they get a purebred dog that their dog is better than someone else’s dog, or a mixed breed dog.  I don’t think that’s true for a minute.  They’re all simply dogs.  You can have the Westminster winner and he is still “just” a dog.  He is going to drink out of the toilet and chew on your shoes.  Sometimes I interview people who are looking for a puppy and if I think they have unreasonable expectations about a dog — that he will never have an accident in the house, never shed, or do other dog things, then I politely tell them I don’t have a puppy for them.  I don’t want to put any dog in a home where he can’t be a dog or where he will have owners who don’t understand how dogs act.  Whether dogs are purebreds or mutts, it doesn’t matter.  They’re all dogs.  My purebred dogs have destroyed furniture, eaten computer cords, chewed up phones and remotes, and taken my underwear out to the backyard.  LOL  I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I love them and they make me laugh everyday.

 

But, seriously, there are some benefits to getting a purebred dog.  Primarily, you know what you’re getting.  When a breed has been around for 400 years, or 4000 years, then you know what your puppy will look like when he grows up.  You know what his temperament will probably be like.  You know if he will be good with kids.  You know if he will be all right living in an apartment or if he needs two acres.  You know what kinds of health problems occur in the breed and what you should ask the breeder about the parents.  If you buy from a good breeder you should be able to have all these answers before you bring a puppy home.  The emphasis, of course, is on buying from a good breeder.  You can’t expect to get these answers if you just go to a pet shop or get a dog at a flea market.  You have to do some homework about the breed and to identify good breeders.

 

That’s not to say that you can’t get a wonderful dog at your local animal shelter.  Of course you can.  But one of the main differences between a dog raised by a good breeder and a dog from an animal shelter is the amount of socialization the dog has had.  Good breeders (note I said good breeders again) spend the first few weeks of a puppy’s life socializing the puppy in various ways to help him become a confident puppy and adult.  They start touching the puppy from the minute he’s born, handling him, petting him; and then they start introducing him to various sights and sounds in the home so he won’t be afraid of things later.  Many pups that you find in an animal shelter have never received this kind of handling and socialization during these critical first weeks.  That puts them at risk of becoming fearful adults and developing behavior problems later on.  It takes a lot of work on the part of the new owner to overcome this poor start in life.

 

The reason I mention all of this is because the AKC has just recognized three “new” breeds.  They aren’t actually new, of course.  They’ve been around for a long time elsewhere.  But they are new here.  These new breeds are the Irish Red and White Setter — a relative of the Irish Setter, and a very beautiful dog; the Pyrenean Shepherd, from France; and the Norwegian Buhund, a Spitz-type breed.

 

Here’s what the AKC has to say about them:

 

The Irish Red and White Setter.  AKC

The Irish Red and White Setter. AKC

The history of the Irish Red and White Setter is as mysterious as the myths and legends of the country of origin. Its original purpose was as a versatile hunting companion, providing food for the table, both fur and feather. The Irish Red and White Setter Association was formed in America in 1997 to preserve the purebred Irish Red and White Setter and to maintain the heritage and unique qualities of the breed as a multi-talented gun dog. As a companion, they are loving, loyal and best suited for a very active family. 

 

 

The Pyrenean Shepherd.  AKC

The Pyrenean Shepherd. AKC

The Pyrenean Shepherd or “Pyr Shep” has herded sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France for centuries. The breed comes in two coat types – Rough-Faced and Smooth-Faced. It first distinguished itself outside its native mountains during its service to French troops during World War I. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Pyr Sheps gave their lives for the cause as couriers, search and rescue dogs finding injured soldiers after battles, and accompanying guards on their rounds. 

 

Some Pyr Sheps came to North America in the 19th century accompanying flocks of imported sheep.  Pyr Shep fanciers imported breeding stock in the 1970’s and 80’s, establishing the foundation for the breed in America today. Working closely with the French parent club, U.S. fanciers founded the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America in 1987 with the goal of protecting and preserving Pyrenean Shepherds. Although tentative with strangers, the Pyrenean Shepherd has a very lively, cheerful disposition, and is a superb canine athlete who excels at agility and other dog sports.

 

 

The Norwegian Buhund.  AKC

The Norwegian Buhund. AKC

The Norwegian Buhund belongs to a large class of dogs called the Spitz type. The breed as we know it today, with its prick ears and curled tail, was nurtured in the rainy western coastlands of Norway where they herded sheep, guarded farms and hunted bear and wolf.  Besides working ability, Buhunds are trained to aid the hearing impaired, perform some types of police work, and perform well in obedience and agility trials. In fact, the Buhund is considered by many to be the most trainable of the Spitz breeds due to their innate desire to please and quick aptitude to learn. Today they work with livestock, guard home and family and make wonderful companions for active people or families. 

 

So, if you’re looking for a new dog, there are three more breeds for you to consider in the U.S.  That brings to 161 the number of breeds recognized by the AKC.  Anyway, I always think it’s interesting when they add new breeds.

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January 2, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] You know if he will be good with kids . You know if he will be all right living in an apartment or if he needs two acres. You know what kinds of health problems occur in the breed and what you should ask the breeder about the parents. …[Continue Reading] […]

    Pingback by The Celeb Buzz » Blog Archive » Happy New Year! and New Dog Breeds, Sort of. « Greyt Inspirations Life | January 5, 2009 | Reply


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