Happy, assertive and highly intelligent, the Tibetan Spaniel has been a prized companion in his native Tibet since 1100 B.C. Small, alert and active, Tibetan Spaniels are outgoing and friendly but may be aloof with strangers. Moderate exercise is suggested, and weekly brushing is needed for the breed’s double coat.
One of the oldest breeds, the Pug is a family favorite due to his even temper, playful personality and outgoing, loving disposition. This charming Asian breed originated before 400 B.C. A clownish, mischievous dog, the Pug is sturdy, adaptable and trainable, making him an ideal choice for families with children. The breed needs minimal exercise. Though his short coat sheds, it requires little grooming.
The Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog and also one of the most ancient breeds. In England, this sighthound was used to hunt all types of game, including deer, stag, fox, and hare. The Greyhound is a loving companion that enjoys the company of family and other dogs. He does best with daily exercise, and his short coat is easy to maintain.
A slender, fine-boned toy breed, the Chinese Crested is believed to have descended from African hairless dogs. For centuries, the breed accompanied Chinese sailors on the high seas, and sailors frequently traded puppies with local merchants at port cities around the world. Elegant and graceful, the Chinese Crested is a gay, lively dog that makes a playful, loving companion. The breed comes in two coat varieties -- hairless and powderpuff -- both which shed little to no hair.
One of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute was first bred in Alaska to carry large loads over long distances. A majestic, dignified breed, the Malamute is highly intelligent and learns quickly, but he also can be strong-willed. Loyal, devoted and highly athletic, he is an affectionate family companion that enjoys outdoor activities. The Malamute needs daily exercise, and his thick, coarse coat requires daily brushing and occasional baths.
Loyal, gentle and trainable, the Wirehaired Vizsla is an athletic, exuberant hunting dog. This people-oriented breed is notorious for its happy and confident disposition, and needs to be included in family activities, as it thrives on having a job to do. The Wirehaired Vizsla’s dense, wiry coat should be brushed regularly and bathed occasionally. They are an active, intelligent breed so be sure to provide them with plenty of vigorous play and mental stimulation.
An extremely independent, intelligent breed, the Tibetan Mastiff is a large dog with a massive, wedge-shaped head originally bred to guard families and property. He is courageous, loyal and patient. The breed can be strong-willed, so leashes or fences should be used during exercise. The Tibetan Mastiff sheds his heavy, double coat once a year and requires frequent brushing at that time.
The courageous, lively Portuguese Water Dog was bred to assist fishermen at sea by retrieving, diving and guarding. The breed’s webbed feet, robust body and waterproof coat make him a superior swimmer. Obedient and affectionate, the energetic, athletic Portuguese Water Dog requires daily exercise. His thick, hypoallergenic coat sheds minimally, but regular grooming is recommended.
A spirited dog of keen intelligence, determination and courage, the Kuvasz served for centuries as a companion and guard dog to European royalty. Well-muscled and agile, this ancient Hungarian breed later was found well-suited for herding livestock. The Kuvasz is a gentle, patient, devoted and protective family companion. An active working dog, he does best with daily exercise. His coat is easily maintained, needing brushing but little bathing.
The muscular, powerful German Pinscher is courageous and protective, making him an excellent family watchdog. Originally bred in Germany, the German Pinscher has a strong prey instinct and likes to chase anything that moves. An intelligent, active breed, he needs vigorous daily exercise as well as companionship to avoid becoming bored and destructive. His dense, glossy coat is easy to maintain.
For centuries, the brave, loyal Briard guarded and herded sheep in rural France. This large, muscular breed has a strong protective instinct and an excellent memory. Briards can be willful but also are trainable and eager to please. The breed has a distinctive appearance with his bushy eyebrows, shaggy beard and luxurious wavy coat. The Briard needs extensive grooming, including daily brushing, to prevent matting.
The American Eskimo Dog, which descended from European spitz-type dogs, was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. The breed comes in three size varieties: Standard, Miniature and Toy. Nicknamed the “Eskie,” this breed has a heavy white coat that requires weekly brushing. Although intelligent, affectionate and playful, the American Eskimo Dog can be skeptical of strangers.