Originally bred to be a multipurpose companion capable of hunting rats on the farm, today’s Rat Terrier is a happy-go-lucky, family-focused house dog. Friendly, curious and lovable, the Rat Terrier gets along well with children and other pets. A particularly loyal breed, he is active and playful, requiring moderate exercise to burn off excess energy. He is a seasonal shedder, but his smooth, close-lying coat requires minimal care.
A hunter of small game with excellent stamina in the field, the Sussex Spaniel has a massive, rectangular body with large, low ears and an outstanding nose. Although this breed has a somber, serious expression, he is friendly and lively. The Sussex Spaniel has an even temperament and is devoted and gentle around the house. His thick coat, which can be flat or wavy, should be brushed weekly.
Bred to herd and guard sheep, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog has a sturdy, muscular body and confident demeanor. He is an obedient, loyal companion with an even temperament. A clever, happy breed, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog requires regular moderate physical and mental exercise. His thick, shaggy coat, which hangs over his oval-shaped eyes, should be groomed daily to avoid tangles.
A true Northern breed, the Keeshond has an alert expression on a foxlike face with markings that resemble spectacles. Lively and full of personality, this breed is affectionate and loyal to his human companions. An excellent watchdog, the Keeshond is an energetic dog that should be exercised daily. His big, fluffy coat and plumed tail require grooming twice a week.
With his pointed muzzle and prick ears, the Finnish Spitz resembles a fox. Once used to hunt small birds and game, the breed today primarily is a playful, friendly house dog. Known for his barking, the Finnish Spitz long ago summoned hunters by barking. A seasonal heavy shedder with a fluffy, dense double coat, this breed needs weekly brushing as well as moderate exercise.
The sturdy, rugged Bouvier des Flandres originally was bred to herd cattle near the Belgian town of Flanders. His name means “cowherd from Flanders,” but along with herding, the breed performed farm jobs such as drafting and guarding. With his calm, gentle temperament, this breed is a loving family companion The Bouvier needs frequent grooming to strip his rough, shaggy coat and plenty of exercise.
Developed in the mountains of Japan, the Akita originally was used to hunt bear, elk and boar. The breed can have an aggressive temperament, requiring supervision around small children and other animals. The Akita has a distinctive thick, double coat and plush tail that curls over his back. Although a fastidious groomer like a cat, he still needs daily brushing. Active and energetic, this breed should be exercised daily.
Fiercely loyal and affectionate, the Skye Terrier thrives as a family companion. An elegant medium-sized dog with short legs and a large head, the Skye Terrier was originally bred in the 1600s on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. One of the oldest and rarest terrier breeds, the Skye Terrier is friendly and gay with those he knows and cautious around strangers. The breed needs regular exercise, and his soft coat requires brushing several times a week plus regular trimming.
A barnyard ratter from England, the Norwich Terrier is a spirited, stocky dog with prick ears and a slightly foxy expression. Despite his small size, the Norwich is an eager and fearless worker of substantial substance. Due to the breed’s hunting instincts and typical terrier curiosity, he should have regular exercise. A fun-loving companion, the Norwich is ideal for city or country homes. His wiry coat requires regular stripping and brushing.
Highly intelligent and willing to please, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a multipurpose hunting dog with a powerful sense of smell and keen enthusiasm for work. A true athlete, the breed thrives with active families who give him regular exercise. A loyal companion and watchdog, the German Shorthaired Pointer has an even and friendly temperament. His coat sheds but requires little grooming.
Even-tempered, loyal and affectionate, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi originally was used as a drover and farm dog in Cardiganshire in 1200 B.C. Mostly a companion dog today, the Cardigan is small but capable of great power, speed and endurance. This breed can adapt well to city or country life if provided daily exercise. His double coat requires regular brushing.
A rare breed, the American Foxhound was developed by George Washington in the 1700s. Bred to run fast, the American Foxhound is ideal for pet owners in rural areas but also is adaptable to smaller homes if provided adequate exercise. A mild-tempered and easygoing breed, the American Foxhound gets along well with children and most pets. Stubborn and independent at times, he benefits from early training.