The Boerboel historically served as a farm dog in 17th century South Africa, but today this strong, muscular, working breed is an excellent guard dog and loyal family companion. Intelligent, calm and confident, the Boerboel gets along well with children and other pets, but because he is a dominant dog, he requires structured, firm training. He has strong protective instincts and a willingness to please. Grooming is minimal for the Boerboel’s smooth, shiny coat.
Affectionately called the “Scottie,” the Scottish Terrier is a compact, sturdy vermin hunter noted for having short legs and a shaggy beard. Charming and gentle, he takes pride in being a beloved pet and loves to be near his human companions. The playful, spirited Scottish Terrier needs plenty of leashed walks or fenced exercise. His hard, dense coat requires brushing twice a week and clipping every other month.
An English scenthound bred to hunt otter on land and water, the Otterhound is distinguished by his shaggy, rough coat and webbed feet. His large, robust body and deep, powerful voice make him an excellent watchdog. Lively and good-natured, this dog is a devoted family companion. The Otterhound requires frequent weekly grooming to prevent matting in his coarse, dense coat.
Characterized by his tall, lean body, long tail and large, upright ears, the Ibizan Hound is an elegant Egyptian sighthound bred to hunt rabbits. This athletic, agile breed is known for his ability to jump six feet in the air from a standstill. Alert, affectionate and loyal, the Ibizan Hound is suitable for families with children. These hounds require vigorous daily exercise in a sizeable high-fenced area.
Developed on the border of England and Scotland in the 1700s to hunt otter and badger, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is best known today for his companionship. This breed is an excellent guard dog but may be aggressive with other dogs and animals. Gentle, affectionate and loyal, the Dandie is particularly good with children.Professional trimming or stripping is necessary to maintain the rough double coat.
With his powerful nose, fierce desire to hunt and great endurance, the Black and Tan Coonhound is used to track raccoons, deer and bear. This breed originated in the late 1700s when hunters in the Southeast crossed Bloodhounds and Foxhounds to create a new hound capable of independently tracking prey and following cold trails for long distances. Outgoing and playful, the breed requires moderate or fenced exercise daily.
A massive, powerful dog, the Neapolitan Mastiff is recognized by his loose, wrinkly skin and slow, bumbling gait. His serious demeanor and natural protective instincts make him an excellent watchdog, but he is calm and affectionate unless provoked. The Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy drooler, especially in hot temperatures or after eating and drinking, so it helps to keep a towel handy. He should be taken on walks twice a day.
Curious, confident and faithful, the Schipperke originated in the Flemish provinces of Belgium. Protective of family and property, the breed is an excellent house dog with a fondness for children. An active breed, the Schipperke benefits from obedience classes and should receive regular exercise. The Schipperke’s harsh coat sheds several times a year but needs only weekly brushing and an occasional bath.
Happy, assertive and clownish, the Lhasa Apso is a small, hardy dog bred hundreds of years ago in the Himalayan Mountains. Originally an indoor guard dog, the Lhasa Apso possesses intelligence, acute hearing and an instinct for distinguishing friend from stranger. An independent breed that enjoys daily walks, the Lhasa Apso thrives with adults and older children and does best with positive training. His beautiful coat needs frequent grooming.
Prized for his stamina, keen nose and determination, the English Foxhound is a versatile hunter whose roots in Great Britain date before 1800. Like most hounds, the breed is independent and can be stubborn. Bred to run long distances in a pack, the English Foxhound needs adequate exercise, but his short coat requires minimal maintenance.
Known for his almost human expression, the Brussels Griffon is an affectionate, charming and curious companion and an excellent watchdog. This sturdy Belgian breed is lively, intelligent and sensitive. His coat comes in two varieties -- rough and smooth. Both varieties need biweekly brushing. Active indoors, the Brussels Griffon is suitable for apartments but still needs daily walks.
An elegant, lightly built hunting dog from Africa, the Basenji is known as the “Barkless Dog” due to his making a noise that sounds like a yodel when excited. His distinctive features are a wrinkled forehead and tightly curled tail. Though aloof around strangers, the Basenji is an affectionate, alert and intelligent breed full of activity and play. The Basenji’s short, odor-free coat requires minimal grooming.