Brussells griffon, you be the judge.

Brussells Griffon, hunting dog or cute pet?

Brussells griffon, you be the judge.Brussels Griffon hunting dog   

This is just one of the three types of Griffon: The Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Griffon. The Brussels Griffon is distinguished by having a long wiry non shedding coat with a fringe around the face. Its history traces back to 1880 in Brussels however it is also known that it was used in the 17th century by cab drivers to chase vermin away from their homes.

In current times the dog is known mostly as a companion dog. Relatively rare, these are a smart happy dog, but with great hunting instincts. Like many terriers they ar known to be affectionate, curious and active, and crave human company.

They can be difficult to house train and should be fed a good raw diet, not scraps, to keep a healthy appetite and physical appearance. Like other terriers, boundaries and training are important to keep the dogs happy and non aggressive. If training and leadership is not provided, the Brussels griffon can give over to guarding, separation anxiety and biting. These are not Brussels griffon traits, but the symptom of poor dog management.

Brussels Griffon sizes: 18-20 cm, weight 3-6 kg

Brussels Griffon Grooming: These dogs have two types of coats, rough or smooth. The rough coat is dense and wiry while the smooth coat variety (known as the Brussel’s  Petit Brabancon) is short, tight, glossy and straight. The short coats are much easier to maintain.

The Brussels griffon coat is the wiry variety and can require daily brushing to reduce tangles. This is why the body hair is often clipped short. They shed little to no hair.

Without proper exercise and training the griffon can become wilful, obsessive (food guarding), annoyance barking and dangerous around small children. Poor training also makes them particularly sensitive and unstable.

Patience is required in training and they can exhibit shyness and be ‘offended’ when neglected or corrected. The good news is that if you are a dedicated owner, you can mould their personality from berth, and keeping their hair clipped short will give you a happy low maintenance dog.

dandie dinmont

Dandie Dinmont Terrier is still a hunter at heart


With the name terrier it is clear that this dog is still classed as a small hunter specialist,

This terrier originates between the border of England and Scotland around the 1700’s. They evolved from the crossing of  the Skye Terrier and the Scotch Terrier (extinct). Their name comes from a fictional character called Dandie Dinmont who was created by the writer Sir Walter Scott in 1814.

Like dachshunds they have remarkably short legs which originally helped their specialty of hunting badgers and otters. They were also used by gypsies to kill vermin around their camps, but in modern times are an excellent companion dog.

They are affectionate, courageous independent and intelligent dogs however their hunting instinct means they need to be separated from smaller pets in the house. While they can be trained their independent streaks often requires regular lessons. Their hunting character makes them an excellent watchdog, but they must be corrected if they do not settle after the initial barks.

Without consistent firm training they can develop stubbornness, guarding and separation anxieties. Daily pack walks and socialization can go a long way towards correcting any unwanted behaviors. The Dandie Dinmont typically will have either a pepper or mustard color coat.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier sizes: 20 – 30 cm, 8 – 11 Kg

Dandie Dinmont Terrier grooming: These dogs have a unique 5 cm coat that is a combination of soft and wiry hair. The hair on the Dandie’s upper body is harsher than the hair underneath. Regular if  not daily brushing is recommended for their long coats. Dead hair must be plucked from the coat several times per year.

This is a fierce hunting dog that is often babied because of its size and cuteness that can lead to some annoying behaviors. Their willful, persistent, and independent strengths can quiekcly turn to stubborn, independent (poor recall) traits. Treated correctly, and given suitable interaction each day, will ensure a loyal loving pet. Just don’t trust it with your guinea pigs or cats.

coton de tular

The Coton De Tulear non sporting dog used to be from ratter bichon stock

coton de tularThis dog is now classed in the non sporting group now but originally several hundred years ago in Madagascar was descended from the bichon. Back then it was used as a ratter on ships in the area and soon became a favorite in the royal court, before becoming a relatively common companion dog over there.

Now they are a massively friendly dog that have given up almost any hunting instinct, but of course go back to where they originated from and I am sure you will find a breeder that still breeds them for a work purpose of vermin control.

The Coton De Tulear

is related to the French Bichons, Maltese and the Italian Bolognese breeds. Its name comes from the conjunction of Coton (French for cotton and its cotton/ woolly like coat) the city of Tulear in southern Madagascar where it remains one of the most popular dogs to this day. They are still relatively rare in the rest of the world.

Being related to the bischons it is very friendly, gentle and affectionate. They are also known to be very social with most dogs and all humans (adults and children). They become very attached to their host family but their tendency not to bark usually prohibits them as watchdogs. They continually strive to please their masters, and so are good at learning tricks, including their ability to perform the trick of walking just on their hind legs.

Because of their energy and eagerness to please, these dogs need regular contact with their owners. Lack of this can reduce their friendliness and increase stubbornness.

Their coats come in three main markings: white & black and white and tri-colored.

Coton De Tulear size:  25-30 cm, 5 – 7 kg

Coton De Tulear grooming: Their grooming schedule is one of the most arduous of all dogs. The cottony/ fluffy top coat required DAILY careful grooming to remove dead hair. It is also  necessary to remove excess hair from their ears and between the pads on their feet. While grooming require diligence, they only require one or two bathes per YEAR to maintain oil and reduce tangles that occur from washing. It is recommended that their coat not be cut.

Because they have a single coat (breed for the tropics) that has poor insulation properties they often prefer to live indoors. That said they are paradoxically eager to play outdoors, and with their high socialization requirement care must be taken to keep them warm in cold climates.

chinese crested

Chinese Crested almost hunting dog

chinese crestedThis is not a traditional hunting dog and currently because of their small size is listed in the toy category.

These unique looking dogs come in two varieties the hairless and the powder puff. Except for health and grooming requirements they are very similar dogs, but for this articles sake we will discuss the hairless variety specifically. The hairless version is in fact hairless except for its feet, head and tail.

The Chinese crested dogs originated from Africa where they were known as African Hairless Terriers. This breed is an ancient breed harking back to the Aztecs who used them as bed-warmers and for food. They managed to remain a fairly well known breed until the 20th century when lack of interest had them de-listed until 1991.

While these dogs come from great hunting stock, their ability to hunt and lack of hair has made them a companion dog for along time

The Chinese crested while rare, is the most popular of the hairless breeds owing much to their loving personality and playful nature. Like whippets they are also agile, alert and playful. Ironically while babying terriers tends to make them unstable and more dominant, if the Chinese crested is not socialized or trained with rigor they can become quite timid. Socialization means daily interaction with dogs, it is also highly recommended to provide exposure to loud noises and activity while young to desensitize them.

Chinese Crested dogs are good with children and can learn tricks easily. Usually they do not bark, but their athleticism and boredom can see them become prodigious climbers and diggers. Like many other small dogs, lack of discipline and training can lead to instability behavors such as growling, guarding and biting.

They also gain weight easy, which is another good reason for daily long walks/ outdoor plays. Health wise the hairless crested can have tooth loss and decay. A large number of this breed are also allergic to wool and lanolin.

Chinese Crested size: 28- 32 cm, 4 to 5 kg

Chinese Crested grooming: Like other hairless dogs, they are prone to sunburn so need cover, sunscreen lotion or coats when outside. The good news is that they are generally an odorless dog.

Like other hairless dogs, they require more frequent bathes, up to two per week. Dog friendly Oil and moisturizing cream should then be rubbed into their skin to maintain health skin. One good aspect of their skin is that they are not excessively prone to fleas.

italian greyhound

Italian Greyhound Sight hound hunting dog

italian greyhoundITALIAN GREYHOUND.

THIS Is a very old breed (but not one of the ancient breeds). that means its DNA is not that close to the wolf ancestor. Records date back 6,000 years to Egypt and 2,000 years in the Mediterranean. The issue with its history this far back is that it is based all on looks, not on DNA. (so confirming if it is the same dog or there were different variations of similar looking dogs is always difficult).

Suffice to say the greyhounds in general have been around a while – believe to be at least 1,000 years confirmed as being brought to Europe by the Phoenicians.

Most people know the standard greyhound to be a tall slender fast dog. The Italian greyhound is mostly just a smaller version of it, but typically has a more timid personality.

For anyone who has met the Italian Greyhound, you will know that they are playful, attentive, affectionate, and intelligent. They are known to be often timid and submissive however this masks their hunting pedigree. In a pack of Italian greyhounds or around prey or more submissive animals they can quickly assert their dominance.

Being timid by nature, they are very sensitive to their owners training tones so they need to be approached in a calm, strong and consistent manner. Socialization daily is the key to keeping these dogs friendly. They prefer a quiet house and supervision with children, other dogs and pets is a must. Their cute looks often mean that they are under-disciplined or given excess affection which can lead to them being in an unstable state (not sure who the leader is).

You should also be aware that these dogs are very fast, highly active and also able to climb. Their clean quiet nature makes them an ideal pet for many people, however regular training to ensure they know who is the boss is strongly recommended.

They don’t like being left alone and unless exercised enough in the mornings can develop separation anxiety. Because of their short coat they can suffer in cold weather unless they wear coats. Medical issues can include: seizures, hypothyroidism and knee issues.

The Italian Greyhound coat comes in the colours of: white, cream, grey, red, fawn, blue, black.

Italian Greyhound sizes: 30 – 38 cm, weight 3-5 kg

Italian Greyhound grooming: Because of their short coat and long limbs, their grooming requirements are quite easy. They shed very little hair and only need bathing occasionally. Ensure that they are toweled dry and kept warm in winter. Cut toenails as required.

glen imaal terrier

Glen of Imaal Terrier Hunting dog

glen imaal terrierThis is a bit of a mystery dog with undefined breed origins, except that is it known to come from Ireland. Its name is related to Glen Of Imaal, County of Wick Low, in Ireland. It was a versatile fierce hunter both above ground quietly capturing vermin, as well as going underground for foxes and badgers. While it has been found in Ireland for hundreds of years, it has only been recognized by the American AKC in 2004.

Its look is reminiscent of the Welsh corgi or Norfolk terrier. Sturdy in build with short legs for ‘going to ground’ after prey makes them a robust terrier. This dog is essentially two dogs in one. It is a loyal spirited family dog with gentle ways, yet on the hunt shows tenacious vigorous prey pursuit.

They are known to be intelligent however their puppy stage lasts longer than many dogs, making training a trial on occasion. Because of their natural instinct and independence care must be exercised during training so as ‘not to hurt their feelings’. That is, they do not respond well to negative reinforcement or harsh tones or discipline, but without a calm persistent manner, they will quickly assume pack leadership.

They are definitely not to be left alone with other small pets such as rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. They may also have difficulty socialising with other dogs.

While generally good and playful with children, if under exercised and disciplined they will run the house and cause chaos. Their dig and chase predilection makes them a good retriever. Barking is usually limited to a genuine threat.

Glen of Imaal Terrier size: 35 to 37 cm, weight 15 – 17 kg

Glen of Imaal Terrier grooming: Grooming is one of the easiest of all non-shedding dogs. They require the occasional brushing, but only need several baths a year. Hair stripping to thin the coat should be done about two times a year.

The more critical requirement is trimming of the hair between the pads and under the tail. The ear hair needs to be plucked to thin it out, not cut. The Glen of Imaal Terrier sheds hardly any hair.

poodle mini

Miniature poodle hunting dog skills

poodle miniMiniature poodle

This has been one of the most unfairly maligned breeds throughout modern history. Its journey began around 400 years ago in Western Europe. While France lays claim to its development as a water retriever, both Germany and Denmark also are in the mix.

Its breed ancestry is likely to include:

  • French Water Dog (extinct),
  • Barbet and the
  • Hungarian Water Hound.

These two or three breeds first created the standard poodle (much larger) which was then breed down for the toy and miniature poodles.

The traditional cut was created to allow ease of swimming while protecting the legs and body from extreme cold and sharp reeds.

Miniature poodle dog hunting skills

Its original task was as a

  • gun dog for retrieving waterfowl and to
  • sniff out truffles.

The miniature poodle is one of the top three most intelligent dogs in existence and also have the skills of: retrieving, agility, watchdog, competitive obedience, learning tricks. The one thing that these tasks have in common is the need for high intelligence and stamina.

The poodle is most known for its intelligence and ability to be highly trained. They are a great companion dog and can be very happy with a willingness to please their owner. They are very bonded to their family which means they must be an inside dog.

With intelligence comes an inquisitive mind that must be satisfied. Unless walked daily this intelligence can quickly be dulled into boredom which has led to the ‘snappy poodle syndrome’ that the press seems to enjoy passing on. Their sensitivity when they are neglected can turn to nervousness and not trusting strangers and children (who often play inappropriately with dogs). They are rarely aggressive but boredom and lack of exercise can lead to problem barking and severe separation anxiety.

Poor breeding control has led to some poodle lines having numerous health problems. Some of these are cataracts, Anaemia, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, skin infections etc. However responsible breeders should limit these issues. Owners of the miniature poodle become very dedicated to the breed and rarely swap.

The miniature poodle comes in the solid colors of:, silver, gray, apricot, red, blue white, cream brown, black

Miniature poodle size: 28 – 40 cm, weight 7-8 kg.

Miniature poodle grooming: Unless you are showing a poodle, its grooming can be relatively simple compared to many non shedding dogs. The coat is either curly or corded but both are one of the lowest shedding coats of all dogs. For pet owners, the main requirement is to bathe them regularly, and clip them every six to eight weeks to prevent knots.

One of the most common poodle health issues is skin allergies, which can quickly lead to ear infections. Wax build up and hair build up keep the canal moist which promotes fungal and bacteria growth. You can buy ear washes that are usually a mild acidic solution, and pluck ear hair with special tweezers. A raw food diet, and Omega 3 supplements can also be used to keep a miniature poodles skin allergies at bay.

The miniature poodle’s intelligence and sense of fun, coupled with their retriever ancestry makes them a fun and faithful family dog. Just ensure that grooming maintenance is maintained and you will have one of the best dogs in the world in your family.


schnauzer mini

Miniature Schnauzer Hunting dog

schnauzer miniMiniature Schnauzer

The origins are German. The breed type only started to stabilize around 1900 when selective breeding was taken seriously so that smooth German Pinscher and coarse-haired Schnauzer pups would not appear in the same schnauzer litter. These first distinct schnauzers (sans German pincer genes) became what we now know to be the standard schnauzer (the largest of the three schnauzer sizes).

Miniature Schnauzers were created by crossing small Standard Schnauzers and the Affenpinscher with the Poodle.

Miniature schnauzer as a hunter

While it was originally a farm dog use for removing rats, it is most commonly used today as a companion dog. Though they still retain all of the skills developed over centuries (note similarity to the poodle skill set) of:

  • hunting,
  • tracking,
  • ratter,

Like many dogs that have not been used as a farm dog for a while breeders concentrate on their companionship behaviors.

So while originally a great ratter like the jack russell, they are now not bred to perform as a terrier, hence they have a lot lower level of ‘hunting ability’ compared to the rest of the terrier group.

Non hunting mini schnauzer skill set: watchdog, competitive obedience, and learning tricks.

In look these are a small sturdy little dog. They are intelligent, loving and happy just like the poodle and get on well with strangers and children IF SOCIALISED regularly. It seems that sometimes at an age past two, or due to people not taking them for regular walks, that they can easily become aloof and disinterested in other dogs.

While smart they can also become stubborn with training and need the settings of strong consistent boundaries. If the owner does not show the miniature schnauzer they are in control, they may get poor recall and consistent low howling for a bark. Guarding, separation anxiety, nervousness and aggression towards larger dogs can also occur.

Miniature Schnauzer size: 30-36 cm, 5-7 kg

Miniature Schnauzer grooming: The mini schnauzer has a double coat consisting of a wiry outer coat and a soft undercoat. Groomers usually trim the dog close to the body except for the beard, eyebrows and sometimes legs. Coat colors come in white, black, salt and pepper, and silver and black.

While the miniature schnauzers wiry coat is easy to groom, it can also become easily tangled unless brushed daily. If grooming is sporadic and clipping is long, some areas may need to be cut out. They are typically cut at least twice a year in autumn and spring. Like poodles, for aesthetics, visibility and health they often have hair removed from the eyes and hair plucked from the ears.

With very little shedding this dog is excellent for allergy suffers or people wishing to maintain a clean house.

maltese terrier hunting dog

Maltese terrier hunting dog bio

maltese terrier hunting dogThe Maltese terrier hunting dog was created in Italy a long time ago, most likely from miniature spaniels and miniature poodles. Because they were first recognized as an official breed in Malta, they took the name of the country as their breed name. For anyone wanting a royal dog, this may be the one for you. Records have it that royalty and refined women in the 1800’s used to carry them around in their sleeves and sleep with them in their beds for warmth and protection.

This dog is very intelligent, playful, very affectionate as well as trusting and gentle. The Maltese can learn tricks easily and is a good watchdog. These traits make it an ideal companion dog for women the world over.

Like many small dogs, the trick is to train the Maltese regularly and set boundaries so that they don’t dominate the house. If they do, house training, separation anxiety and guarding may occur. In extreme cases nipping of strangers and children can also occur as an extension of guarding and jealousy.

Note this is inherently a gentle dog, and these extreme negative behaviours only occur when boundaries are not enforced (such as allowing the dog to sleep on your bed).

The Maltese coat is single layer and usually white of ivory. If allowed to grow, it will reach the ground. The hair hangs straight down without kink or wave which helps to reduce the matting.

Maltese dog size: 21 – 25 cm, weight 3-4 kg

Maltese dog grooming: As the coat can grow very long it requires DAILY combing and brushing. However care must be taken as the coat is soft and can pull and break moderately easily. Because of the usual light coat color, eye and beard staining can occur, so regular cleaning of tears and saliva is recommended if you wish to prevent coat staining to a darker color. These are a non shedding dog

They can be washed up to once a week and their ears should be kept clean and plucked. Some people like to tie their head hair into a top knot, however this can be kept short to keep it out of the Maltese’s eyes.

lakeland terrier hunting dog

The lakeland terrier dog hunting dog bio

lakeland terrier hunting dogLakeland Terrier was originally called the Patterdale Terrier the breed is recognised as far back as the 1800’s. It is a small sturdy terrier similar in proportions to the welsh terrier only smaller. Its dominant traits are epic bravery and loyalty.

The Lakeland Terrier is actually a direct cross of the Bedlington Terrier and the Old English Wirehaired Terrier – both from England. Originally it was used as a farm dog to prevent crop and herd loss from vermin and foxes in particular. The Lakeside terrier was a formidable hunter taking on badger, fox and otter across all types of landscape from woods, open fields and water. It would outrun its prey and kill them. While it is now accepted as a companion dog, it is still used in some places as a watchdog, hunting and show dog.

So you may ask why you would take on such a potentially hard core dog. The answer lies in its happy disposition, alertness and affection for adults and children alike. Like any terrier though, these dogs need a strong trainer who sets strong consistent boundaries for the family and Lakeside terrier to remain happy. Along with its early breeding the Lakeside terrier continues to enjoy furious digging and barking, which can manifest itself in separation anxiety, food and toy guarding if not exercised enough and given strong guidelines for behavior.

That said, the Lakeside terrier is a fast learner and eager to please, as long as the owner gives them a set task. Unlike some terriers, the Lakeside is generally good with dogs and pets, particularly if it is introduced to them while young. Coat colours come in: solid blue, liver, red, wheaten and black.

Lakeland terrier sizes: 32 – 37 cm, 6- 8 kg

Lakeland terrier grooming: This terrier has a double coat with the outside one being hard and wiry while the undercoat is much softer. This setup required plucking 2-3 times a year to remove dead hair and thin the coat out. For good healthy they also require regular ear plucking and trimming between the pads of the feet. The traditional cut is to keep the hair longer on the legs and their muzzle.