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    April 23rd, 2013Laura P (Editor)Dogs Of The World

    Every November, The Kennel Club hosts Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London. This is an opportunity for dog lovers to attend seminars and demonstrations, socialise, do some shopping, and, most importantly, meet and greet over 200 different breeds of pedigree dog.

    In association with his event, and the Discover Dogs stands at Crufts in March, Dogs In The News aims to give you a brief preview of some of the dogs you might meet with our “Dogs of the World” series. Today, English dogs get the spotlight:

    England is one of the most prolific producers of dog breeds in the world: a total of 38 breeds can claim to be of English origin! (There are also 8 Irish breeds, 14 Scottish breeds and 5 Welsh breeds.)

    Of those 38 English breeds, 47% are on the Vulnerable Native Breeds (VNB) list, which charts dog breeds which originated in The British Isles and which now regularly register less than 300 puppies a year. This is a shame, as many of them are lovely breeds which would make excellent family pets if given the chance.

    There are also two English breeds on the Kennel Club’s ‘At Watch’ list, which is for British breeds which register more than 300 but less than 500 puppies a year. These are the Old English Sheepdog and the English Setter.

    In the Gundog Group, there are a total of 9 English Breeds, 4 of which (Clumber Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Field Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel) are VNBs.

    Top row, l to r: Sussex Spaniel, Flat Coated Retriever, Field Spaniel. Middle row, l to r: English Springer Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter. Bottom row, l to r: Pointer, Curly Coated Retriever, Clumber Spaniel.

    Top row, l to r: Sussex Spaniel, Flat Coated Retriever, Field Spaniel.
    Middle row, l to r: English Springer Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter.
    Bottom row, l to r: Pointer, Curly Coated Retriever, Clumber Spaniel.

    The Terrier Group is also home to some of our VNBs; 5 in fact (Lakeland, Manchester, Miniature Bull, Norwich and Smooth Fox). In total, there are 14 English Terrier breeds!  They make up more than half of the Terrier Group at championship shows.

    From the top left to the bottom right: Smooth Fox Terrier, Patterdale Terrier (not KC), Miniature Bull Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier (not KC), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier.

    From the top left to the bottom right: Smooth Fox Terrier, Patterdale Terrier (not KC), Miniature Bull Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier (not KC), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier.

    In the Hound Group, we have 6 breeds, 4 of which (Bloodhound, Foxhound, Greyhound and Otterhound) are on the VNB list.

    Top row, l to r: Whippet, Otterhound, Bloodhound Bottom row, l to r: Greyhound, Foxhound, Beagle

    Top row, l to r: Whippet, Otterhound, Bloodhound
    Bottom row, l to r: Greyhound, Foxhound, Beagle

    The Toy Group only has 4 English breeds to offer, but they are very different ends of the spectrum. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Yorkshire Terrier are two of the most consistently popular dog breeds worldwide, while the King Charles Spaniel and English Toy Terrier are on the VNB list and have number which are unfortunately in decline.

    From the top left to the bottom right: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, English Toy Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, King Charles Spaniel/English Toy Spaniel

    From the top left to the bottom right: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, English Toy Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, King Charles Spaniel/English Toy Spaniel

    Finally, we have the Pastoral Group, which has two English 2 breeds, one Vulnerable (Lancashire Heeler) and one ‘At Watch’. The Working Group has two VNBs – the Bullmastiff and the (English) Mastiff – while the Utility Group has only one English breed, which is not Vulnerable, the classic English Bulldog.

     

    From the top left to the bottom right: Bulldog, Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Old English Sheepdog, Lancashire Heeler

    From the top left to the bottom right: Bulldog, Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Old English Sheepdog, Lancashire Heeler

    We hope you have enjoyed our brief little tour of the dogs of England.

    Remember you can visit all these breeds and over 162 more at Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November and at Crufts in March every year.

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    January 30th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Dogs Of The World

    Every November, The Kennel Club hosts Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London. This is an opportunity for dog lovers to attend seminars and demonstrations, socialise, do some shopping, and, most importantly, meet and greet over 200 different breeds of pedigree dog.

    In association with his event, and the Discover Dogs stands at Crufts in March, Dogs In The News aims to give you a brief preview of some of the dogs you might meet with our new “Dogs of the World” series. Today, Canadian dogs get the spotlight:

    Only four recognised breeds come from Canada, but they are some of the most beloved in canine history:

    Labrador

    LabsThis well known breed needs little introduction.  Enduringly popular as pets all around the world, and instantly recognisable as assistance dogs, the Labrador Retriever is the epitome of dog-dom. Many countries (Britain chief among them) can claim to have contributed to the development of the Lab – like most Canadians this individual is nothing more than the sum of all his travelling ancestors – but Canada is the lucky place which he calls home. Named after the town of Labrador in Newfoundland province, this breed was originally bred, as the name suggests, to retrieve game; he remains one of the most successful and popular Gundog breeds to this day, and is an excellent swimmer. This breed comes in three different coat colours, Yellow, Chocolate and Black, although originally only Black dogs were accepted by the breed standard.  This breed has starred in numerous novels and films, and a Lab was the first dog to ever grace the front cover of TIME magazine. The Labrador is a descendant of now extinct St John’s Water Dog.

    St John’s Water Dog

    St John's water dogAlthough this breed – also named after a Newfoundland town – has been extinct since the 1980s, we thought that it merited a brief mention, as it has contributed greatly to the history of the two most prominent Canadian breeds. The SJWD, a mix of British and Irish gundogs and Portuguese Water Dogs brought over by immigrants, was originally used to retrieve fishing nets and carry messages between ships. It is thought that he passed his unique webbed feet on to his water loving ancestors. Similar to the Labrador in build, they often had distinctive “tuxedo markings” – black with white on the chest, brow and feet. A genetic throwback to these markings still sometimes crops up in Labradors today, as a “blaze” on the chest. These dogs were once numerous across Eastern Canada and the Maritimes, but a variety of factors, including strict quarantine laws in the UK, taxes on dog ownership in North America, and the rising popularity of the Lab and the Newfie all contributed to his eventual demise. Some informal attempts have been made to resurrect the St John’s Water Dog in recent years, and similar-looking dogs still live and thrive in Canada today.

    Newfoundland

    NewfoundlandThe Newfoundland, affectionately known as the “Newfie”, is the result of crossings between the St John’s Water Dog and mastiffs brought over to Canada by European immigrants. These large, hairy dogs made themselves almost instantly popular, with their strong swimming abilities and ceaseless devotion; traits still strong in the breed today.  Newfoundlands are credited with many anecdotal stories of sea rescue and this is a role in which they still excel today; many international Coast Guard organisations consider these gentle giants a vital part of their teams. Although they can be clownish and have a propensity to drool, the Newfie is also fiercely loyal. In fact, it was a Newfoundland who inspired some of the most immortal lines of canine poetry ever penned: “Epitaph to a Dog” by Lord Byron. They have also inspired artists in their time – the black and white variety of Newfie is known as a “Landseer”, after Sir Henry Landseer, who featured many Newfoundland dogs in his paintings.

    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

    NSDTRThe Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (or “Toller” as it is thankfully known!) is less well known than his East Coast cousins, but is rising in popularity as both a pet and as a show dog. The Toller is a medium sized dog – the smallest of all the Retrievers – with a reddish brown coat and distinctive white markings (another throwback to the St John’s Water Dog). With Tollers, it’s a case of ‘what it says on the tin’: this breed was developed in Nova Scotia, it’s a retrieving breed of Gundog and its original function was to “toll” (entice) ducks within gunshot range. Tollers were trained to frolic in the water at the edge of rivers: it is thought that their white markings, plume-y tails and activity drew ducks out to investigate. The dogs then returned to the hide and their handlers could have their pick of birds. (The only other breed known to do this is the Dutch Kooikerhondje). They also swam out and retrieved any downed birds, making it a dual purpose Gundog. Despite its history and success in Canada and the UK, the Toller was only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2003.

    Canadian Eskimo Dog

    Canadian Eskimo DogWith much of its Northern regions wintery and difficult to traverse, it’s not really surprising that Canada created a spitz type sled dog, its answer to the Husky and the neighbouring Alaskan Malamute. What is surprising is that, although similar dogs still exist in great numbers in the Great White North, the Canadian Eskimo Dog, as a purebred, is one of the rarest breeds of dog in the world. Just 23 attended Crufts in 2012!  It is the oldest of the Canadian breeds and the only one which can claim to be truly indigenous; it was bred by the Inuit people years before settlers arrived in Canada. (It also goes by the name of “qimmit/ qimmiq” – the Inuit word for dog/bitch.) In the Arctic, the Eskimo Dog pulled sleds; hunted seals, hare, fox and even bear; acted as a companion and bed warmer; and, in times of hardship, even served as a source of food. Their decline is often attributed to the rise of the snowmobile, but there is also a disturbing chapter of history which claims that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police culled thousands of these dogs as a way to disrupt the Inuit way of life during the 1960s. According the American Kennel Club, this breed is officially extinct, but it is still recognised by the British Kennel Club and a small group of devoted breeders are working to ensure that this breed has a future.

    We hope you have enjoyed our little tour of the dogs of Canada. Don’t forget you can visit all these breeds and over 196 more at Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November and at Crufts in March each year.

     

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    November 5th, 2012Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Does your dog have an extra special talent?

    The Kennel Club are once again on the hunt for the UK’s most talented pooches to take part in The Crufts Factor 2013.

    Whether it’s dancing, singing, skateboarding or even playing a musical instrument – they want to see what secret talents the nation’s dogs are hiding.

    There will be a one-off heat at London’s biggest dog event, Discover Dogs at Earls Court, on 10th November. All finalists will perform on the world’s most famous dog stage, at Crufts in March 2013.

    As an extra bonus, ITV will be talent scouting from amongst the entries for a brand new doggie talent show that is due to air as a one off family special at Christmas. And, everyone who enters will be offered 10% off tickets to Discover Dogs.

    So what are you waiting for? All you have to do to enter is upload a video of your talented pet before 5pm on Tuesday 6th November.

    If you’re not lucky enough to own a talented pet, you can still take part in the competition. The finalists are decided by who has the most Facebook ‘likes’, so please take a moment to watch the entry videos and vote for the canines you think are the most clever.

    You can find all the entry videos and competition information on the Discover Dogs Facebook page.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director said: “We are looking for dogs that have what it takes to become stars. Last year Simon Cowell talent scouted our Young Kennel Club member Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey and we want to find another star to follow in their footsteps.

    “We will find our first finalist at Discover Dogs in November, and encourage all dog owners who know their dog is special, and want the world to know it too, to get involved.”

     

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    October 29th, 2012Laura P (Editor)Articles

    One of the unfortunate realities of the purebred dog world is that some breeds are always going to be more fashionable and popular than others. Ahead of Discover Dogs this year, the Kennel Club has urged people to carefully consider breed attributes when selecting a puppy, to make sure they pick the right dog for their lifestyle.

    “The reason the majority of dogs end up in rescue is because people haven’t researched their breed before they buy. People often go for the most obvious or fashionable dog choice, which isn’t necessarily the right one for them.”

    “Of particular concern is the growth in popularity of the Siberian Husky, a beautiful dog which is notoriously willful and generally unsuitable for urban life.” Many people seek out the glamorous Husky due to its wolf-like appearance, without accepting that this is a breed which needs plenty of stimulation and exercise. As a result, rescue centres have reported a rise in the number of Huskies and Husky crosses coming through their doors.

    ‘Handbag’ dog numbers continue to thrive, with breeds like the Pug and the Chihuahua made popular by numerous celebrity owners and television appearances. The Smooth Coat Chihuahua, which originated in Mexico, has seen a 615 percent increase in numbers over ten years, while the Pug, from China, represents a 397 percent increase on the 1105 Pugs registered ten years ago.

    Other dog breeds from abroad that are doing well include the Hungarian Puli and President Obama’s breed of choice, the Portuguese Water Dog, which numbered 93 registrations compared to 51 in the same period last year and just 38 in the whole of 2002.

    But while this is good news for these breeds, their rise in numbers means a decrease in popularity for others.

    The Old English Sheepdog, one of the most iconic British Breeds, has been added to the “At Watch” list for Native Breeds, with just 316 puppy registrations so far this year. This is compared to 28,787 Labrador Retrievers, the UK’s most popular dog.

    “Despite the fact that Old English Sheepdogs have good temperaments and can make fantastic family pets their popularity is being eclipsed by more fashionable foreign breeds that can be much harder to train and care for.”

    Also on the “At Watch” list – for breeds which register between 301 and 450 puppies annually – are the Welsh Terrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. There are thirty Vulnerable breeds – less than 300 puppies a year – in total and four on the “At Watch” list.

    The biggest decline in numbers have been seen in the Clumber Spaniel, down by 37 percent to just 114 registrations, and the Irish Red and White Setter which has declined by 34 percent to just 73 registrations. The Foxhound has had no registrations so far this year.

    However, it is not all bad news: the Norwich Terrier, though still considered Vulnerable, has had a 96 percent rise in registrations this year, from 108 to 202. This is likely partly due to the Group win at Crufts in March, but also because this breed is ideal for people who are looking for a small, apartment sized dog, which is well suited to a family lifestyle.*

    The Otterhound has also increased by 57 percent, from 21 registrations to 33, and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi continues to grow in popularity due to its associations with the Royal Family.

    Obviously breed enthusiasts will always wonder why the general public don’t love their breed of choice, but they are also often the first to admit that ‘this breed is not for everyone’. If you are considering getting a puppy, or a rescue dog, do please do your research first. Come to Discover Dogs at Earls’ Court in London on the 10th and 11th November 2012 – you can meet and greet over 200 breeds of dog, including the ones mentioned here, and discover exactly which one is right for you.

    For more info on Britain’s Breeds, visit: British Heritage Breeds or the Kennel Club website.

    Or see our features: The Dogs Of Scotland and The Dogs of Ireland (England and Wales coming soon!)

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    * Of course, we’re somewhat biased, having been the proud owners of an adorable Norwich since 2006! – Ed

     Source: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/4612/23/5/3

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    November 30th, 2011Laura P (Editor)Dogs Of The World

    Every November, The Kennel Club hosts Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London. This is an opportunity for dog lovers to attend seminars and demonstrations, socialise, do some shopping, and, most importantly, meet and greet almost 200 different breeds of pedigree dog.

    In association with his event, and the Discover Dogs stands at Crufts in March, Dogs In The News aims to give you a brief preview of some of the dogs you might meet with our new “Dogs of the World” series. Today, Scottish dogs get the spotlight:

    Scotland is a prolific producer of some of the world’s most popular breeds. They can lay claim to a total of 14 breeds. Recently, we looked at their Gundog & Pastoral Breeds. Now, we’re back with a focus on the Terriers & Hounds.

    The only Hound to come out of Scotland is the gentle giant Deerhound. One of the Vulnerable Native Breeds, it is similar to the Irish Wolfhound, but less common. As their name suggests, they were bred to stalk and hunt deer, and are one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world. The invention of new rifles and development of new hunting methods meant a decline in popularity for this breed, but they are still kept by a handful of devoted pet owners. They have also featured in a number of historical films.

    Our next breed is more famous for his appearance in literature. The world famous Greyfriars Bobby, symbol of canine loyalty, was described by author Eleanor Atkinson as the “youngest and smallest and shaggiest” Skye Terrier.  As such, this breed enjoys a special place in the history of Scotland. Named after the Isle of Skye, they are low to the ground and long in the back, with oodles of Highland vigour. Unfortunately, the rising popularity of similar breeds means that the Skye Terrier is now one of the most Vulnerable Native Breeds, with just 37 born in 2010.

    The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is also known for his literary connections – he is the only breed of dog to be named after a fictional character (in Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Guy Mannering”, if you must know.) This breed originated from badger and otter hunting dogs used in the Scottish-English borders in the 17th Century, and is easily recognised by its bearded face and distinctive ‘top-knot’ of hair on the head. This is the final Scottish breed on the Vulnerable Native Breeds list – it is preserved by devoted owners and breeders around the world, including vocal campaigner Paul Keevil.

    The final four Scottish breeds, on the other hand, enjoy enduring popularity. Our next breed, the Border Terrier, is currently the 6th most popular breed in the UK. Anyone who knows one of these cheeky chappies, with their otter like faces and their wiry coats, will understand why. As well as being a popular family pet, they’ve also had success at agility competitions and get on well with horses. The Border Terrier is the breed of choice for the current Kennel Club Chairman, Steve Dean.

    The West Highland White Terrier (or “Westie”, as it is affectionately known) is another well known Scottish breed. As its name suggests, it originated in the West Highlands, and was bred to be white to make it stand out from the heather. These twelve inch high fellows are typical terriers and much loved family pets. They are also popular choices with advertisers, with their images being used to sell everything from dog food to whiskey.

    They are not to be confused with our next breed, the eponymous Scottish Terrier. These black dogs are also highly popular with advertisers, and are often paired with Westies to make a contrasting pair. They are two very different breeds however, with the Westie having a more rounded face and the ‘Scottie’ a more angular frame. (In fact, while Westies cannot be any colour other than white, the Scottie can occasionally be found with a wheaten (straw to nearly white) coat).  Also known as the ‘Aberdeen Terrier’, this breed’s distinctive shape has lent itself to characters in animated movies such as “The Lady and the Tramp” and “101 Dalmatians”.

    Finally, we have the Cairn Terrier, known for his big personality and shaggy coat – in fact, these dogs are often exhibited in the show ring looking like they just strolled in after a long walk! This is another breed which is no stranger to the big screen; Toto from “The Wizard of Oz” was played by a brindle Cairn Terrier called Terry.  The breed also comes in wheaten, grizzle, cream, red and sandy coat colours, and they are incredibly popular pets the world over. They used to be exhibited as “Short Coated Skye Terriers”, until the two breeds split in 1909.  The name “Cairn” refers to the mounds of stones erected as memorials or markers which dot the Scottish countryside.

    We hope you have enjoyed part two our little tour of the dogs of the Highlands and Islands.

    Don’t forget to check out the first part of the Dogs of Scotland feature: Gundogs & Pastoral.

    Plus, remember you can visit all these breeds and over 193 more at Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November and at Crufts in March every year.

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    November 10th, 2011Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx

    This weekend the Kennel Club are hosting their annual Discover Dogs event at Earls Court in London. As well as all the usual attractions, they will also be using the event to launch their latest initiative, Bark and Read.

    The Bark and Read scheme aims to improve literacy in children by having them read to dogs to improve their confidence.

    Research shows that children can be nervous and stressed when reading to others in a group, which can make them frustrated and put them off reading for pleasure.

    However, a dog is a non-judgemental reading partner and an excellent listener. Having a dog in the classroom can make a child less anxious and less self conscious. The dog provides comfort, encourages positive social behaviour, enhances self esteem, motivates speech and inspires children to have fun and enjoy the experience of reading.

    The Bark and Read campaign is being launched after figures revealed that one in five children leave school unable to read or to write. Overcoming fear and fostering a love of reading is the first step on the way to improving literacy.

    The Kennel Club will be hosting reading days at its library based in Piccadilly, which holds the largest collection of dog literature in Europe.  It will also be working with its Charitable Trust, Pets as Therapy and R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dogs, an organisation which was founded in the States) to help support the network of dogs that can be taken in classrooms, libraries and other places of learning.

    At the Discover Dogs launch, there will be a dedicated reading corner where children can sit and enjoy a good book in the company of a canine pal. Children under 12 go free to the event, so do drop by if you’re in the area.

    Zoe Wannamaker is the first celebrity to publicly endorse the campaign. She says: “Reading is such an important skill that is used in every part of our lives, but it can be a scary and intimidating experience when you are young. If children aren’t inspired to read then they will just turn to their play-stations and x-boxes instead.”

    Dogs In The News would also like to show their support for this campaign; we are all avid readers and firmly believe in the importance of books in childhood. As you know, we run a Doggie Book Club and hope to do a feature shortly on the best doggie books for children.

    Which titles make your shortlist?

    However, in the meantime, we wish the Kennel Club all the best with this new initiative and look forward to the launch this weekend.

     

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    November 7th, 2011Laura P (Editor)Dogs Of The World

    Every November, The Kennel Club hosts Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London. This is an opportunity for dog lovers to attend seminars and demonstrations, socialise, do some shopping, and, most importantly, meet and greet almost 200 different breeds of pedigree dog.

    In association with his event, and the Discover Dogs stands at Crufts in March, Dogs In The News aims to give you a brief preview of some of the dogs you might meet with our new “Dogs of the World” series. Today, Scottish dogs get the spotlight:

    Scotland is a prolific producer of some of the world’s most popular breeds. They can lay claim to a total of 14 breeds. Today we will look at their Gundog & Pastoral Breeds. Click the link to our tribute to Scotland’s Terriers & Hounds.

    One of the most universally recognised dog breeds is the Golden Retriever. And, although America, Canada and England can all claim to have contributed to this breed’s ancestry and development, Scotland is the country that started it all. This plucky, attractive chap is beloved by families the world over for his steady temperament, dark facial features, and soft golden coat. He is also a popular gun and working dog, and has starred in many feature films. This breed was originally recognised by the Kennel Club as “Flat Coats – Golden”, but has been known as the Golden Retriever, or ‘Goldie’ since the 1920s.

    The other Scottish Gundog is the Gordon Setter, named after the Duke of Gordon. The Gordon Setter is a handsome fellow in black & tan, heavier set than his English and Irish cousins. He predates the Goldie as a hunting dog; his job was to “set” upon animals (smell them out, show the hunters where they were and then scare them out of hiding) rather than retrieve the animal once it was down. Unfortunately, the rise of the gun meant the decline of the Gordon and he is now one of the rarer Scottish breeds.

    But not as rare as the Smooth Collie, the first of many Pastoral breeds which originated in Scotland. Much less common than his hairy cousin (see below), the Smooth Collie is identical to the Rough except in his lack of coat. This breed was popular with Queen Victoria and so was quite fashionable at one time, but sadly his numbers have now declined in favour of other breeds. However, anyone considering taking on one of these dogs would not be disappointed, as they are bright and quick to learn, and would make excellent agility stars or sheepdogs.

    Of course, we all recognise our next breed, the Rough Collie, from the eponymous Lassie film franchise. This Scottish breed was made famous by Hollywood for being loyal, brave and devoted – which is hardly far from the truth! The characteristic coat makes this handsome breed stand out from the crowd and they are well known the world over. Rough Collies are over 200 years old and were originally bred to herd sheep in the Scottish Highlands.  The name comes from the Gaelic word “càilean”, which means “doggie”.

    The Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately known as the ‘Sheltie’ by their fans, is another offshoot of Collie lineage. In theory, this breed should be a perfect miniature of the Rough Collie; the way the story goes is that settlers in the Shetland Isles bred their dogs (much like their ponies) in smaller sizes to better suit space available! Originally used for herding sheep, what these dogs lack in stature they more than make up for in personality. Today they are popular pets in cities and the countryside, and excel at mini agility and heelwork.

    This is a theme with Scottish breeds it seems, as our next breed has become practically synonymous with competitive agility. I am talking, of course, about the Border Collie. They also compete (and win) regularly at heelwork, flyball, obedience and, obviously, sheepdog trials. This breed is the true athlete of the canine world, and is never happier than when it when it has something to do which occupies both mind and body. Unfortunately, this need for constant exercise means that many are abandoned in rescue after being taken on by lazy owners.

    Finally, we have the Bearded Collie, the last of five Pastoral breeds to have come from Scotland. This dog, known for its long silky coat, was also bred to herd sheep, and to be hardy and reliable, able to stand up to the harshest conditions and the toughest sheep. It has a similar temperament to the Border Collie – these are dogs with active minds and they will make mischief if left to their own devices. It also has a nickname, being better known as the ‘Beardie’. The coat is high maintenance and will need brushing at least once a week, so think hard before you acquire one of these charming dogs.

    We hope you have enjoyed part one our little tour of the dogs of the Highlands and Islands.

    Don’t forget to check back soon for part two of the Dogs of Scotland feature: Terriers & Hounds!

    Plus, remember you can visit all these breeds and over 193 more at Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November and at Crufts in March every year. 

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