Dog Breeds Archive

The Bu-who? Westminster Dog Show Welcomes 3 New Dog Breeds

Pyrenean Shepherd The 134th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicked off yesterday with all the fluffy and furry fanfare we’ve come to expect each year, as nearly 2500 dogs compete for best in breed at Madison Square Garden in New York City this week.

With competitors of every shape and size competing for glory (….and that’s just the handlers), the show is truly a visual delight as viewers are treated to the spectacle of, say, a gang of dread-headed Komondors swiffing around a show ring to a small army of prancing poufy Pomeranians scurrying round the ring in perfect formation.  

Red rover, red rover, send a Buhund right over.

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 7.37.12 PM At almost every Westminster, new breeds are added after their human lobbyists fulfill the A.K.C.’s rules. This year, three new breeds were added to the lineup. Check out their photos and learn more about these unique, newly-inducted breeds below.

1) The Pyrenean Shepherd: (Pictured at top) Also known as a "Pyr Shep", this breed is native to France and has herded sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France for centuries

2) The Norweigan Buhund: (Pictured at right) An energetic herding dog that hails from Viking times, this breed belongs to a large class of dogs called the Spitz type. They are also trained to aid the hearing impaired and to perform some types of police work.

3) The Irish Red and White Setter: (Pictured at bottom) Known in Ireland since the 17th century, the Red and White is bred primarily for the field.

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 7.36.42 PMAs I write this, Schmoo and Zazou are barking at the Westminster Dog Show on the TV as a posse of super teased and sprayed toy dogs flaunt their fluff in the ring. To translate, I believe their barking either means  A) "Those dogs have too much product in their hair!" or B) they secretly hope that their dream of a Mutt-minster Dog Show will one day become a reality.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Top 8 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Portuguest Water Dog

Earlier this year, President Obama and the first family welcomed Bo the Portuguese Water Dog into their family, particularly for his hypoallergenic coat, since their daughter Malia has allergies. She is not alone in her plight, as approximately 10 percent of Americans are allergic to dog dander … including yours truly, which I discovered just a few months ago. With a household and office full of pets, this explains why I’ve pretty much sneezed my way through life.

While no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, there are many non-shedding breeds that the American Kennel Club suggests for allergy sufferers, as they produce less dander.  As well, many mixed breeds found in shelters can quite possibly be a mash-up of some of these hypoallergenic breeds (such as my very own rescue mutt Lulu Schmoo, who was found wandering homeless in the streets of Mexico) and be just hypoallergenic enough for you. So if you are specifically looking for a hypoallergenic dog to add to your family, consider your local shelter or peruse for candidates!

In no particular order, the top eight hypoallergenic breeds according to the AKC are:

1. Portuguese Water Dog
An athletic and active breed, the Portuguese water dog requires daily vigorous exercise. Very intelligent and responsive to obedience training,  their profuse coat requires regular maintenance. It may be kept in the lion clip (the coat on the hindquarters and muzzle are clipped to the skin) or the retriever clip (the entire coat is clipped to one inch in length and follows the outline of the dog).

Bichon Frise 2. Bichon Frise
A naturally gentle and playful dog, they love activity and require regular exercise. Their hair grows continually and does not shed, so extensive grooming is a must to prevent mats.

3. Chinese Crested
Cresteds make alert and playful companions and do well in families with gentle children. However, they are prone to more frequent skin irritations, allergies, and sunburn than a coated dog would experience, so owners should take appropriate precautions.

Irish Water Spaniel4. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish water spaniel is an active and energetic companion and possesses the natural instinct to please, making them elatively easy to train, but regular exercise is important. Their hypoallergenic coats require brushing every few weeks and trimming every two months to neaten and shape the coat.

5. Maltese
Despite their diminutive size, the Maltese tends to be brave and without fear. They are one of the most gentle of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese should be brushed daily, and groomed often to prevent Maltese Dog Breedmats from forming in their long, white coat.

6. Poodle
Exceptionally smart and active, the Poodle is the only breed that comes in three size varieties, and so can accommodate nearly any size living quarters. Their hypoallergenic coat requires regular professional grooming.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breet7. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Wheatens tend to be less scrappy than other terriers but they are true terriers and will be more active than many other breeds, enjoying plenty of exercise every day. They relate well to children and can adapt to city, country, and suburban life. The Wheaten is single coated and sheds minimally, but it needs regular grooming to keep its coat mat-free.

Miniaure Schnauzer Dog Breed8. Miniature Schnauzer
While all schnauzers have hypoallergenic coats, the miniature in particular adapts easily to any living situation and loves children if the two are introduced while the dog is under a year of age. Despite their small stature, the miniature schnauzer can give an alarm just as well as a larger dog, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They shed very little, but require grooming every few months.

Did we forget anyone? Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are definitely gaining in popularity as are other breeds. Feel free to share which other breeds might be considered hypoallergenic in the comments section below!

Reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley