Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dog breeds out of the ordinary

Have you ever seen a German Shepherd or a Pomeranian? Sure, you have! But, have you ever heard of a Polish Owczarek Nizinny? Not likely. It's one of many unfamiliar breeds of dogs roaming the Earth and though the name is a mouthful, it is a beautiful creature.
There are many more dog breeds out there that, unless you are a dog expert, you may never have heard of.

Chinese Shar-pei
The Shar-pei is a large mass of wrinkles. Its face, back, sides, and legs are just one wrinkle after another. Picture a wrinkled, miniature hippopotamus. Originating in China more than 2000 years ago, the Shar-pei nearly became extinct in the 1960s.
In the early sixties, it became the rarest dog breed in the world, but was saved from extinction after it was imported and bred in the United States in the early seventies.
The Shar-pei is a medium sized dog, weighing in at 40 to 60 pounds when full-grown; it's about 46 to 50 centimetres high at the withers (ridge between shoulder-blades).

Karabash (Anatolian Shepherd)

These dogs have large frames, but are still sleek and very responsive. They are independent, self-assured and courageous. These strong and loyal dogs become overprotective of the family home and property.
Because they are affectionate with their family, but suspicious of strangers, Anatolian Shepherds make great watchdogs - not allowing strangers on the property in the absence of their owners.

Bouvier des Flandres
These small, but sturdy dogs look somewhat like a terrier. They usually have a dark, rough coat and a generally calm manner. They were originally bred as herders in France and are today used in both police work and as guide dogs or assistance animals for the blind.

Belonging to the terrier group (along with pinschers and schnauzers), the Affenpinscher is a toy dog with good manners. These little dogs are very intelligent and trainable. They have a dark and stiff coat, round head and long hair all over the face.
For their size, they are anything but delicate. This smaller version of a working terrier has a square body with a deep chest. The Affenpinscher is naturally affectionate towards humans and makes a wonderful family pet.

The Basenji is a medium sized muscular dog that is also known as the African Barkless Dog. It never barks, but not because it is mute; apparently it just does not want to.
Basenjis were originally bred in Africa as hunting dogs. They do not make naturally good pets, but overcome their aversion (dislike) to humans if they are handled consistently from an early age.

Central Asian Ovtcharka
It is a large and muscular dog and typically has its ears and tail docked at an early age. It is known as loyal and fearless and has protective instincts that make it an excellent herder and watchdog.

Polish Owczarek Nizinny
Perhaps, you thought we made the name up just to get your attention, right? This dog is a medium sized, shaggy dog with a long coat that covers its eyes. Loyal and devoted, it makes a great pet as long as it is not left alone for long periods of time (this dog is known to cause trouble when unsupervised for too long).

Thai Ridgeback
The Thai Ridgeback Dog, or Mah Thai, is the national dog of Thailand. It gets its name from the ridge of colour growing down its back from just behind the withers to the hips.
The ridge is like a cowlick (tuft of upturned hair on forehead) - formed by hair growing in opposite directions from each side. A loving and loyal breed, it is speculated that the Thai Ridgeback may be one of the oldest dog breeds known to man.
The breed's history dates back to ancient times. There is much speculation over its lineage (line of ancestors), which can be traced back through the evolution of the canine species from wolf to dingo to our present day domestic dog.

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