american hairless dog

American Hairless Terrier hunting dog

american hairless dogIs one of the newest dog breeds out there. They originated from a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972 by a couple of American breeders the ‘Scotts’ from Louisiana, America. This first hairless rat terrier gave subsequent birth to two other pups and so on, Hence the general body shape and behavior are very similar to the medium-sized Rat Terriers, but of course sans hair. American Hairless Terriers have pink skin with spots in a variety of colors

These dogs are known to be smart, playful and affectionate dogs. This behaviour extends to the whole family including children. The unique thing about the American hairless terrier is that it is one of the few dogs that actually sweat when scared or over heated. Their origin also means that they can fall into guarding characteristics which is great as a watch dog, but not so good around food and toys, if not trained correctly.

Good watchdogs, bad swimmers (ie can drown if not supervised). Being originally a ratter, their nature is alert and persistent, particularly when hunting. However due to the lack of hair, this breed can sustain injuries more than other dogs.

American Hairless Terrier size: This courageous dog is only 18-41 cm tall and 2.5 to 7 kg in weight.

It should be noted that the regular protection afforded to all hairless dogs should be used. That is sunscreen, or dog coats (in summer and winter) to stop either exposure to the sun and cold.

American Hairless Terrier Grooming: The lack of hair of course makes these dogs very good for people with allergies, however there is the chance that the terriers will have rashes or cuts from playing.

One unusual grooming requirement is that they should be bathed two to three times a week. While dogs with good coats are often bathed infrequently so as not to strip oils from their hair, these dogs sweat and need to keep their skin clean to stop rashes or infections. Cuts should be attended to immediately with hydrogen peroxide or antiseptic liquid. They also have fast growing nails (common to the rat terriers) than unless the dogs are walked very regularly on abrasive material, while need nail clipping every week or fortnight.

While they do not have hair, they do drop skin cells every three weeks or so, which means a small amount of dander to contend with.

So for allergy suffers, this may appear as the ideal dog. And as long as you are able to protect their skin you will have a small, happy courageous family dog.

affenpinscher dog

affenpinscher as a hunting dog

affenpinscher dogThis dog isnt well known as a hunting dog, because it is cute and small.  In fact most people buy this dog because it is non shedding .  But it is very advisable to pick a dog with a suitable temperament for your circumstances. The following information is only a guide, but remember all dogs require walking, grooming, discipline and affection.

Many people pick dogs purely on their look but that may get you a highly inappropriate dog for your circumstances. It is highly recommended that temperament, overall size and the grooming regime required are strongly considered in any selection. Non shedding dogs often involve a higher grooming requirement, even if your dog is  just going to be a companion dog.

The affenpinscher shows hunting terrier dog like behavior

The affenpinscher means “monkey terrier” in German, because its face does have a slight monkey resemblance. It also has long hair on its face compared to its body hair which gives a distinctive, if not comical look. It is a considerably rugged dog that is terrier like in behavior. While they have a playful streak, they can be stubborn and very assertive. So they can switch between fun mode and highly protective modes with ease making them a good small watch-dog.

This means that the affenpinscher needs regular training and you will need to assert yourself as the pack leader, otherwise recall and other dominance issues can become an issue. So unless you consider yourself to be an expert trainer, and can spend considerable time training these little guys, you may not want to keep them near little children.

While a considerably friendly dog, a lack of discipline can lead to the affenpinscher food and toy guarding, and challenging much larger dogs and causing further problems around the home. Again, this is not its normal nature, but one that can occur without correct discipline and boundary setting.

Affenpinscher size: The height range is 25-38 cm and weight from 3-3.5 Kg. So as you can imagine with these statistics they tend to be quite a small but stocky animal.

Affenpinscher Grooming:  NEVER, ever clip the coat short, as it can take several years to fully recover. That said, grooming is comparatively simple as the harsh dense wiry coat only needs a weekly comb and/ or plucking. Their coats come in the following colours: black, tan, black & tan, red, silver, and gray. You may need to tidy up the hair around the dog’s eyes/ mouth and years to stop skin irritation.

So while grooming is comparatively easy compared to many other non shedding dogs, being aware of their courageous and sometimes misguided protection capabilities should always be kept in mind before a purchase decision is made.


Border terrier hunting dog that is close to its roots

border_terrierThe border terrier was one of the more common terriers but now is often quite rare in many countries.

Border terrier

This is one of the largest small breed dogs. Its history dates back to the border town of Cheviot Hills between Scotland and England where it drove foxes out of dens for farmers to eradicate. The AKC only recognized the breed in 1930.

The Border terrier’s size made them able to follow foxes into dens but also run long distances on the farms. Besides  foxes the border terrier were trained for hunting otters, marten, badger, mice and rats.

So it should be noted that while these dogs make great companion animals, they can have a very large exercise requirement, and a strong hunting instinct.

Its history makes this dog very alert ,agile and bold. They also play well with children and are affectionate and easy to train.

They make an excellent  watch dog and will bark but are now generally not aggressive. Daily socialization off lead with other dogs is the key to keeping these dogs friendly. These dogs are good at digging so you will need to fortify your fences.

If raised with cats, they can get along well with them, but anything smaller is considered fair game.

Border terrier sizes: 31-41 cm tall, 6-7 kg weight.

Border terrier grooming: Considered low maintenance, this low shedding wiry coat only needs brushing once or twice a week  with clipping twice a year. Bathing should be only on an as needed basis to maintain coat oils.

Conclusion. As with all working dogs, these dogs should be owned only by dedicated trainers. They can learn great tricks and are very active but training should never stop. It can be difficult to suppress their natural hunting instinct and lack of exercise and socialization can make them a dominant, digging dog.



Bolognese hunting dog relative to the bichon Frise and Havanese

dogBolognese  ( Bichon Bolognese)

These dogs are stocky compact, white and fluffy, like the Bichon Frise. They are a healthy breed with no major medical issues and in fact are related to the bichon Frise and the Havanese dog breeds.

Unlike the bichon frise relative, the bichon Bolognese are VERY serious in nature but low energy, docile dogs. This means that they can also initially be more shy with strangers.

They are known to be outgoing (when they feel protected), playful and happy dogs. This will of course depend on how well they are socialised when they are small and how regularly they are walked off lead and allowed to play with other dogs.

While potentially a great family dog, poor training skills of the general public suggests that this dog will do better in an environment without very young children.

Bichon Bolognese size: 25 – 30 cm tall and 2.5kg to 4 kg weight.

Bichon Bolognese grooming: While the coat is not complex, it needs to have daily brushings to avoid tangles.

The key tings to success with these low shedding dogs is daily extended off lead walks, and discipline. They can do OK in small apartments as long as they get regularly off lead social times with other dogs.

Without proper socialization and training, their docile temperament and heavy owner devotion can turn into barks and howls.

Bichon Frise once a fierce hunting dog

bichon friseThis article looks at the a small companion dog often just thought of as a lap dog.  Always remember that temperament and grooming regime are very important for the health of long haired dogs like the bichon !

Bichon Frise

The bichon frise (meaning ‘curly lap dog’ in French) has a very old origin as far back as the 13th century. It is the culmination of a Poodle and a Barbet Water Spaniel. While it has a long and colorful history, in modern times it is considered a companion dog and show dog. Its looks are often mistaken for a Maltese terrier.

While its appearance (cuteness factor) means that is often selected by woman as a companion dog, its history suggests that it has a much greater potential. It is known to be intelligent, independent and affectionate. But rather than being a couch dog, given the chance the breed is bold and quite alert.

It is also known to be one of the happiest dogs around, but craves human companionship, which can lead to separation anxiety if not trained correctly. It makes a perfect family dog, and will expect to be taken on all social outgoings – which is fine as it gets along with all manner of people and dogs.

Bichon Frise size: These little fellows only grow to 23-30 cm and weigh only 3-5 kg.

Bichon Frise Grooming. Mostly owners either let the dog grow its coat into a natural round fluffy appearance or give it a traditional poodle cut.

It is recommended that its coat is groomed regularly 4-6 weeks for cuts, and bathed monthly to maintain coat oils. The bichon frise is also quite susceptible to flea bites, so maintaining a preventative parasite schedule is vital.

Maintain hair clearance around the eyes and ears as required. Clean eyes regularly to reduce the chance of infection. It has very low shedding.

It must be remembered that while it is a small fluffy friendly dog, that like all other dogs, regular walking, discipline and then affection are what will keep it friendly and happy. If its needs are not met, it can be known to whine, cry and bark.

chacy ranior

Chacy Ranior or schichon not so much a hunter any more

chacy raniorChacy Ranior (schichon)

The Chacy Ranior was known as the schichon up until 2005.

It is developed from many breeds: Bichon FriseHavanese, Lhasa ApsoMaltesePoodle, Shih-TzuYorkshire TerrierMiniature Schnauzer.

As you can see it is usually considered a cute fluffy dog. Its personality traits are that it is stable, playful, alert, smart and curious. As long as they are trained and exercised they make an excellent family pet. Like many small dogs, they will soon try an take over the leadership role in the house if not trained, and will end up with small dog syndrome (dominance, barking, food guarding etc).

There speed and agility has made them rank high in agility trials.

Its intelligence and other aspects means that they only respond to positive reward training – not negative or physical abuse. If handled harshly they can become aggressive or withdrawn. Without proper training they can also become nuisance barkers, which is originally intended to alert owners to threats of property.

They love to play and are very active requiring considerable exercise.

Chacy Ranior sizes: Height 23-31 cm, weight 7-9 Kg

Chacy Ranior grooming: The Chacy Ranior (schichon) has a soft dense outer coat and an insulating undercoat. They come in one of the most extensive range of dog colours: tan, , black and tan, liver, liver & white, apricot, white, black, brindle.

Like many non shedding dogs, the Chancy Ranior requires regular grooming. If you are not showing the dog, it is recommended to clip them short for easier maintenance of their coat that can easily become matted. They shed very little hair and are hypo allergenic.

cairn terrier ulitimate ratter

Cairn Terrier an old dog with strong hunting instincts

cairn terrier ulitimate ratterCairn Terrier  Hunting Dog

Originally from Scotland highlands as far back as the 16th century has a very similar look to the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. In fact these two breeds plus the skye terrier (all non shedding dogs) are all likely to have contributed to the gene pool of the Cairn Terrier. Only by the 1900’s was the Cairn Terrier officially recognized as a unique breed. They are named after piles of small stones that were used to mark graves and Scottish farm borders. The reason being that they were tasked with the job of keeping these stones vermin free.

In appearance the Cairn Terrier looks like a hardy wiry dog with a fox like face.  It has a compact body with strong bones. It has similar characteristics to many terriers: loyalty, hardiness, curious and friendly. Also like other terriers they are great with children, as long as their owners train and discipline them correctly. Because of the hunting nature of these dogs, daily exercise is mandatory to get the best health and socialization from them. Cairn Terriers can also quickly gain weight, so a strict diet and exercise regime makes sense.

If bored these ratters can do plenty of destructive digging and barking – so it is wise to re-direct their boundless energy into performing tricks and playing with other energetic dogs. You will have to be particularly strong around any areas where they may find the scent of rabbits or other vermin as their chase orientation often overrides any training you may have applied.

Cairn Terrier sizes: 25- 33 cm, 6-8 Kg

 Cairn Terrier Grooming: These dogs have a strong shaggy wiry coat that needs several brushes minimum per week to avoid tangles. If you regularly brush, it will be much easier to de-tangle the soft undercoat.

The Cairn Terrier’s thick double coat consists of a shaggy outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat that maintains body temperature in cold climates. The coat can be colored: brindle, black, sand, or grey.

To maintain oils, bathing is recommended only once a month, followed immediately with brushing before the coat dries. Maintaining shorter hair around the eyes and ears is recommended as is monthly nail trimming.

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.