A mascot for the fire department, the Dalmatian, was initially bred to be a hunting dog as well as a carriage dog to keep robbers away. They have quite a graceful silhouette, and the spotted pattern on the fur definitely makes them striking to behold. You may not know that the puppies are actually born without the spots and that their markings start showing up when they’re about two weeks old. They are frequent shedders and do well in active homes that know how to keep them mentally stimulated.
The Samoyed is described as a white puffball of a dog, but they look this way for a specific reason. Their thick coats will keep them warm in cold climates, and even their perpetual smile serves a function: it prevents icicles from forming in the corners of their mouths and faces. They are intelligent and social animals but can be pretty mischievous if left unattended for long periods of time. Their thick coats require regular grooming, or you could end up with a very matted dog.
The French Pointing Dog has a hunting dog that originated, you guessed it, from France. People bred them to be game and bird hunters, rooting out the tall grasses and pointing where they fell after the owners shot them. They’re very affectionate dogs and relatively playful, being relatively submissive and gentle with those they live with. These dogs are intelligent, easy to train, and eager to make friends with strangers at your door than guarding your house against them. They’re not very independent, which means they’re more likely to stick by your side than to go off and do their own thing.
The Chow Chow was made famous by Martha Stewart, who had a number of them as her dogs. It was initially bred to be an independent dog so that they could take care of themselves, so don’t expect this dog to be a big cuddler. Their suspicion of strangers makes them excellent watchdogs, as long as they’re trained to do so. They require patience and consistency, or they’ll learn very quickly that you’re a pushover and won’t listen to anything you have to say. They don’t enjoy being left at home for long periods of time and require a lot of grooming to keep that excellent coat in check.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a very affectionate breed, despite being originally bred to help out fishers with their work. Its tightly-curled coat helps to keep their body warm when they’re in the water, so taking them swimming is a good form of exercise. They’re eager to please and easy to train and work well with both children and other dogs. They’re adaptable to any situation they’re brought into, so they won’t suffer if you move around to different settings. Not very prone to barking, they’re more of a companion animal than a watchdog.
The English Setter is a beautiful British breed bred for pointing when hunting. They are known for their excellent memory, so anything you do will be committed to memory forever. They thrive in human companionship, preferring to be inside the house than outside with nothing to do. This usually amounts to the English Setter having separation anxiety sometimes, so care should be taken to reduce this as much as possible. When it comes to exercise, a long walk or teaching agility training will work wonders at tiring them out.
The Keeshond is a dog breed from the Netherlands bred to watch over barges traveling along rivers and canals. They’re small enough to make them portable but have a solid bark to deter those with bad intentions. This breed has three coat layers: a thick double topcoat, a wooly undercoat, and a long outer coat, all designed to keep them warm. Despite these three layers, they don’t require an extensive amount of grooming in order to maintain the look of their coat. They make excellent watchdogs but are also quite personable, eager to make friends with anyone they meet.
The Norwich Terrier is a fun little breed initially bred to chase rats. They’re fearless and will take on anything they see as a threat. They are not the same as the Norfolk Terrier, which is an entirely separate breed: the Norwich terrier has upright ears while the Norfolk terrier has drop ears. They do require companionship, so having another terrier in the home or having someone who is home all the time can help curtail separation anxiety. They’re effortless to train, especially with treats, so they make excellent dogs use in agility training.
The Greyhound was originally bred as a hunting dog but has more recently been used for racing. Thankfully, this practice is being weaned out of society. They’re gentle dogs that run really fast, which means they need many exercises. Their short coats make them not fit for cold climates, so clothing and blankets should be provided during winter. They’re pretty friendly to people and have a very mild nature that other dogs can get along with. They’re very sensitive to people’s emotions, so they’ll openly react to any tension in the home.
“Wrinkly” is one way to describe the Shar-Pei, but they are more than that. Because of their wrinkles, they require some careful cleaning between them, or they could end up with skin infections. They’re quiet dogs and aren’t prone to barking, are very protective of their family, and are relatively easy to train. At times, they can be independent and strong-willed, so you have to be firm when it comes to discipline. They’re not eager to greet strangers, preferring to ignore them altogether. In fact, you might find that the Shar-Pei isn’t as affectionate as other dogs you may have had in the past.
The Jack Russell Terrier is known for being one of the most energetic dog breeds out there, and that’s because they were originally bred to hunt foxes. They’re used to running long distances and following foxes down into the holes. For this reason, you cannot be a couch potato with this breed. They require constant stimulation, both physical and mental, in order to be happy. Their size makes them perfect for apartment living, but you have to work to provide them with exercise every day. They’re friendly to children and strangers alike but have a high prey drive, so you should not put them outside unattended.
The Alaskan Malamute is also part of the Spitz family, the same as the Pomeranian. They are affectionate and loyal and can withstand frigid temperatures with their thick coat. These dogs are often confused with huskies at times since they’re both sled dogs, but their body structures are relatively different from each other. They have a deep chest and heavy bones for work, but you must demand respect from them, or else they won’t listen to your commands. You also need to groom these dogs regularly to avoid tangles in their coat; failure to do this can lead to hot spots and itching.
The German Shepherd, by far, is one of the most popular dog breeds in America. In society, people primarily use them for police work, but they were initially bred to take care of livestock. They’re easy to train and are always eager to please their owners, no matter what tasks are given to them. They shed twice a year, so regular brushing is required to minimize the hairballs rolling around on your floor. No matter what you train them to do, they’ll catch on quickly, as long as you are consistent in your training methods. Regular exercise is also a must to keep them happy since they are a working breed.