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BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

These gunsniffing K-9s are patrolling Mayfair Mall with security officers to find firearms,which aren’t allowed in the shopping center, even with a permit.

Mayfair Mall launched the Vapor Wake Public Safety Canine Detection Program (VWK9) after a 15-year-old male shot 17 rounds that left eight people injured. He faces eight counts of first-degree reckless injury and one count of possessing a firearm while under age 18. FETCH isn’t naming the suspect because he’s being charged as a juvenile.

The VWK9 is in partnership with Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Ala. Dr. Paul Waggoner, co-director of the college’s Canine Performance Sciences program (CPS), and a team of researchers began developing Vapor Wake technology nearly two decades ago to search people and baggage for dangerous chemicals.

Since 2004, it’s produced more than 165 Vapor Wake K-9s. They’re most widely recognized for their participation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and in the 2012 Presidential Inauguration. However, they also work with Amtrak, Disney, Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the U.S. Capitol Police. They’re trained to check the air for thermal “plumes” that may contain explosive particles. Thermal plumes are produced by body heat and are invisible to the naked eye. When people stand still, they go upward. If people begin moving, they trail behind them. It’s like how a boat or a flock of geese leave a wake pattern in the water.

Auburn University breeds 60 Vapor Wake K-9s per year. Labrador Retrievers make up 95 percent of its dogs. The other 5 percent are floppy-eared, sporty breeds, such as the German Shorthair. Once a litter is born, the puppies’ training begins. For the first six months, they’re introduced to different people, sounds and surfaces. Then they enter a four-month canine program in federal prison systems in Georgia and Florida. When the K-9s are a year old, they’re sent to VWK9 in Anniston, Ala. They’re trained for 15 to 18 months, compared to only two to four months for standard explosive detection dogs.

While traditional bomb-sniffing K-9s can only detect statically placed explosives, Vapor Wake K-9s can pinpoint explosives on a moving target. That’s why they cost around $50,000 each. Their certification is only good for a year. Then they need to be recertified with their handler to test their operational skills. Dan Ryan, senior vice president of Security at Brookfield Properties, says that Mayfair Mall didn’t receive any private or public grants for the VWK9 program. Its K-9s are provided by Allied Universal Services.

“For operational purposes, we aren’t able to discuss the number of dogs involved in the program, their work schedules or their names. The dogs range from 1 to 7 years of age,” Ryan says. “Security officers are responsible for their assigned canine partners 24/7. They’re paid through a happy life filled with food, water, friendship and the occasional game of tug of war or fetch with a tennis ball.”

Instead of being obedient to their handlers, they’re only obedient to the odor of a gun or bomb. Security officers are trained to walk behind their K-9s through a crowd of people who are screened without physical contact. The K-9s nostrils move independently allowing them to determine the direction of an odor. They also smell one drop of Kool-Aid in 10 Olympic-size swimming pools.

“The Vapor Wake K-9s could accidentally hit on a customer who’d recently come from a range or someone who’d been out hunting earlier in the day,” Ryan says. That’s because their sense of smell is almost 40 times greater than ours. They even can separate aromas into individual scents, no matter how nuanced. “This is why our approach is customer-friendly. Once a patron is identified as a potential firearm carrier, mall security officers use handheld metal detectors to verify that a weapon is or isn’t present,” Ryan says.

If the customer is cooperative and the hit is positive, they’re asked to remove the weapon from the property. If the patron is uncooperative, they’re asked to leave. Depending on the circumstance, the police also may intervene. When firearm detections occur, they’re brought to the attention of the police officers that patrol Mayfair Mall, so they can be ready to assist if needed.

“At Mayfair Mall, our highest priority is the safety of everyone that walks through our doors. The VWK9 helps keep guns out of the mall by focusing only on those that may have violated our ‘no firearms’ rule,” Ryan says. “While many of our safety protocols happen behind the scenes, this one is visible to the public. Our hope is that the presence of the dogs will not only aid in the detection of firearms but bring an additional sense of security to our guests and employees.”

Every dog (regardless of breed) is unique. This is not an all-inclusive list, as there are several hundred breeds worldwide, but rather a glimpse at some of the more popular and unique breeds (AKC recognized or not) that we have compiled for this issue.

Akbash Dog, Alaskan Klee Kai, Affenpinscher, Afghan Hound, Airedale Terrier, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, American Bulldog, American English Coonhound, American Eskimo Dog, American Foxhound, American Hairless Terrier, American Leopard Hound, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Australian Terrier, Azawakh

New Breed: The Alaskan Klee Kai is a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky who was bred to pull light loads over long distances. Linda Spurlin created the breed in the early ‘70s by mixing Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, Schipperkes and American Eskimos. Klee Kai come in four colors—solid white, black and white, gray and white or red and white—and three sizes (standard, miniature and toy). Standing as tall as 17 inches at the shoulder or as short as 13 inches, they weigh between 9 and 23 pounds. “Don’t kid yourself this breed sheds year-round,” says Kimberly Mix who owns two Klee Kai named Tikanni and Nymeria. “Double coats mean strict grooming during seasonal shedding. I adhere to the strict grooming practice of baths biannually.”

Klee Kai are intelligent, curious, energetic and quick. While loving and loyal toward family members, they’re shy around strangers. They can also be escape artists or runners. “Klee Kai have a personality where if you aren’t their person, or you don’t have treats for them, they have no use for you,” Mix says. “Patience is a must. They’re characters and will rule your roost if you allow them. Socialize. Let them experience as much as possible. You’ll end up with a much more rounded, confident Klee Kai for your efforts.”

Barbet, Basenji, Basset Fauve de Bretagne, Basset Hound, Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, Beagle, Bearded Collie, Beauceron, Bedlington Terrier, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picard, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bichon Frise, Biewer Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound, Black Mouth Cur, Black Russian Terrier, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog), Blue Lacy, Boerboel, Bohemian Shepherd, Bolognese, Border Collie, Border Terrier, Borzoi, Boston Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Boykin Spaniel, Bracco Italiano, Braque du Bourbonnais, Braque Francais Pyrenean, Brazilian Dogo, Brazilian Mastiff, Briard, Brittany, Broholmer, Brussels Griffon, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Bullmastiff

Boxers were developed in Germany during the late 19th century when Bullenbeissers were crossed with English Bulldogs. They were used to hunt bears, deer, bison and wild boar. By the late 1800s, they became butcher’s dogs, controlling cattle in slaughterhouses. The Boxer was called boxl, meaning ‘short trousers’ which may be the root of its name. Boxers are also known for sparring with their front paws while standing on their hind legs. They come in fawn, brindle or white. They stand 21 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds.

When the Boxer is excited, it twists into a semicircle similar to the shape of a kidney bean, and turns in circles. Boxers also make a special soundcalled a “woo-woo” when they want attention. Because of their clownish sense of humor and boundless energy, the Boxer is sometimes called the “Peter Pan” of Dogdom. “Floyd makes me laugh every day. I tell people that he loves life. He wants to be with my five kids or two Frenchies whenever they’re playing,” says owner Margie Shaw. Male boxers are more social, affectionate and playful. “They have a mind of their own,” she says. “My females were more introverted and very protective of me.”

Cairn Terrier, Canaan Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Cane Corso, Canary Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Carpathian Sheepdog, Carolina Dog, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catalan Sheepdog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Cesky Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chinook, Chow Chow, Cirneco dell’Etna, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, Coton de Tulear, Croatian Sheepdog, Curly-coated Retriever, Czechoslovakian Vlcak

The Chihuahua is the oldest breed in North America and the smallest breed in the world. Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the breed descended from the Techichi, a small, mute dog that lived with the Mayans and Toltecs as far back as 9 A.D. Chihuahuas, can have long, short, wavy or flat coats. They can be solid, marked or splashed and come in two different head shapes—apple and deer. Apple head Chihuahuas have broad, round foreheads with protruding eyes and short muzzles. Deer head Chihuahuas have the face shape of a baby fawn with a longer muzzle and larger ears. They’re six to nine inches tall at the shoulder and weigh three to six pounds.

Chihuahuas are alert, intelligent, charming, graceful and sassy. Cori Bliesner ended up with her 9-year-old Chihuahua named Nacho because he ran out in front of her car. “I pulled over to try to get a hold of him because he was really tiny and scrawny,” she says. “I spent an hour trying to coax him out from behind the fence at the Miller Brewery.” Chihuahuas have been known to exclude family members and remain faithful to only one person. They have a high pitched, mono-tone bark. “Nacho likes to make his thoughts known and thinks he’s a lot bigger than he actually is,” Bliesner says. Chihuahuas certainly have their faults, but at the end of the day, they’re proof that good things come in small packages.

Dachshund, Dalmatian, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Danish-Swedish Farmdog, Deutscher Wachtelhund, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff), Drentsche Patrijshond, Drever, Dutch Shepherd

While some believe Dalmatians originated more than 400 years ago in Dalmatia, a region in modern-day Croatia, they’ve appeared in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek frescos and medieval letters. They also traveled with gypsies which may explain their elusive heritage. By the 1600s, Dalmatians worked as English carriage dogs. In the 19th century, they became fire-fighting carriage escorts and firehouse mascots. Dalmatians would bark to let bystanders know that they should get out of the way and comfort the horses as they pulled the wagon toward a fire.They also made sure that no one stole the firefighters’ equipment or the horses.

Dalmatians are between 19 to 23 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 60 pounds. Their spots usually appear 10 days after birth and continue to develop until they’re around 18 months old. Dalmatians come in black or liver spots that range from light tan to dark chocolate. They’re smart, athletic, empathetic, inquisitive and loyal. “Pierce rode on a firetruck at 8 weeks old and ended up calming a child at a fire scene. Halligan is deaf in one ear, but he can hear a cookie drop across the house,” says owner Lori Holz. “Pierce loves water and will play in the sprinkler or swim in a river or lake. They both fly three feet off the ground to grab balls in midair.”

Egyptian Baladi, English Bulldog, English Cocker Spaniel, English Foxhound, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Estrela Mountain Dog, Eurasier

The English Bulldog was created in England during the 1200s for the sport of bullbaiting, where a staked bull brawled with a pack of dogs while spectators bet on the outcome. When blood sports were outlawed in 1835, the Bulldog was exported to Germany and the Southern U.S. It was used to herd cattle where the terrain was too rough to allow for fences. By 1886, Bulldog breeders on both sides of the Atlantic had created a thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled bruiser with a sour mug. The Bulldog weighs up to 55 pounds but is between 12 and 15 inches tall. Its short, smooth, glossy coat comes in brindle, piebald, red, fawn or white.

Emily Brendel found her Bulldog named Pork on Facebook in December 2016. Pork is cheerful, comical, friendly and headstrong. “He will do what I want only after I tell him a few times. I have to physically pick him up off the bed or push him out the door. He likes to sleep on the couch or floor most of the day,” she says. “Pork has tear stains on his face wrinkles that are very difficult to get rid of. He also has a deep tail pocket that I clean with Desitin cream and baby wipes. He loves to get his tail pocket cleaned. He’ll run over to me as soon as he sees me grab some paper towels.”

Field Spaniel, Fila Brasileiro, Finnish Lapphund, Finnish Spitz, Flat-Coated Retriever, French Bulldog, French Mastiff, French Spaniel

In the late 1700s, the French Bulldog found favor with Nottingham lacemakers who worked long hours in unsafe mills. When the Industrial Revolution threatened their cottage industry, they immigrated to Northern France—where they crossed the toy-size Bulldog with Terriers and Pugs. With their snub noses and large bat ears, Frenchies became one of the world’s most popular small dog breeds. Tatiana Romanov, the second daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, had a Frenchie named Ortipo. He met the same tragic fate as the rest of the Russian royal family. Virginia’s Senator Robert Daniel also had a champion Frenchie named Gamin de Pycombe. He bought him for 150 British pounds ($15,000 in today’s U.S. dollars). They traveled on the Titanic. Daniel survived and lived until 1940. Gamin de Pycombe was last seen futilely swimming for his life in the sub-zero water.

Frenchies are 11 to 12 inches tall and weigh 16 to 28 pounds. They come in brindle and white, piebald, white, fawn, brindle and tan. Frenchies are easygoing, affectionate, attentive, smart and sociable. They don’t bark a lot, but their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs. Hillery Boyden bought her 4-year-old Frenchie named Beau from a breeder in Pennsylvania. “Be prepared for a lot of snorting and farting. They have smushed faces, so they tend to be a little bit noisier,” she says. “French Bulldogs can also have bursts of intense energy, but they always want to be with you.”

A To F, By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Georgian Shepherd, German Longhaired Pointer, German Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Spitz, German Wirehaired Pointer, Giant Schnauzer, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Goldendoodle, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Greenland Dog, Greyhound

“Great Danes are like having a toddler in a dog suit,” says Jennifer Klika, president of the Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue in Eagan, Minn. “There are days I’d need a pitchfork to push my 9-year-old out of bed. Then he gets the zoomies and runs like a maniac for 15 minutes and looks like a camel whose legs are falling off.” With a lanky body and a head that doesn’t quite match, Danes pout when they want attention, slump when they’re disappointed and bounce when they’re happy.

Danes were originally bred to hunt boars. Assyrians, a major power in the ancient Middle East, traded them with the Greeks and Romans. They mixed them with Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Greyhounds and the ancestors of English Mastiffs.

By the 1500s, German nobility used Danes to protect their homes and loved ones. They considered the breed to be the biggest and most handsome of dogs, calling them Kammerhundes (Chamber Dogs). They were given gilded collars trimmed with fringe and padded with velvet.

In the 1700s, French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon discovered a slimmer German Boarhound. He said the Danish climate caused it to become a Grand Danois (Big Danish). He didn’t develop the breed. But the name stuck.

Danes live an average of 7 to 10 years. They’re prone to bone cancer, heart disease, hypothyroidism, ear infections and hip dislocation.

According to the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), 42 percent of Great Danes also develop bloat during their lifetimes. Treatment consists of a gastropexy (or “pexy”), in which the dog’s stomach is sutured to the body wall, preventing it from twisting. “This procedure is recommended at the time of spay or neuter, as opposed to a second anesthetic event,” says Dr. Morgan McCoy from Magnolia Springs Veterinary Center in Sturtevant, Wis.

By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER, SPRING 2020 COVER DOG

Hamiltonstovare, Hanover Hound, Hanoverian Scenthound, Harrier, Havana Silk Dog, Havanese, Hokkaido, Hovawart, Himalayan Sheepdog

Ibizan Hound, Icelandic Sheepdog, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound, Italian Greyhound, Italian Spinone

As is the case for many of our dog breeds, the origins of the Italian Greyhound are sketchy, but we do know that they were not developed in Italy. It is widely believed that the breed came out of Turkey and Greece about 2000 years ago, where images of small Greyhound-like dogs have been found on ancient artifacts. From there, the Italian Greyhound spread throughout the Mediterranean and by the Middle Ages could be found throughout Southern Europe.

Bred for companionship and as a hunter of small game, the little dogs quickly became the darlings of the aristocracy. Royal owners included Charles I, Catherine the Great and later, Queen Victoria during whose reign the popularity of IGs peaked in England. Frederick II of Prussia especially liked the breed and owned more than 50 of the little dogs! IGs can be seen being held by their highborn owners in Renaissance art and portraits. They were especially beloved by wealthy Italians and soon became known as Italian Greyhounds. In the United States, the Italian Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1886 and this year was ranked 73rd out of 193 in popularity.

IGs were bred down from the Greyhound and as such have all of the larger dogs hunting and speed capabilities. They are energetic and playful runners and jumpers, but because of their strong prey drive, cannot be relied upon to stay in place off-leash. They are sometimes referred to as Velcro dogs because they like to stick close to their humans and will follow them everywhere, even under bedcovers. IGs are affectionate and don’t like to be left alone for too long. They love attention, although they are not fond of roughhouse play. They are good with children who can respectfully and carefully interact with them.

Because they are generally adaptable to any environment that contains the humans they love, Italian Greyhounds can live almost anywhere. They make excellent apartment dogs but do need regular exercise. They love to run and can go as fast as 25mph! Again, they will take off if they spy something interesting to chase, so they can never be off-leash or outside a secure, fenced-in area. Like all of their Sighthound cousins, they are born thieves! And of course, they love being held!

Italian Greyhounds are generally healthy but can be prone to some health issues. These include epilepsy, thyroid problems, cataracts, periodontal disease and hip dysplasia. They are also sensitive to pesticides.

The Italian Greyhound is a Sighthound/Toy combination. An IG combines the qualities of a cuddly, loving lap dog with the impressive speed and prey drive of a Sighthound. I’d say this is the best of two worlds found together in one beautiful, portable package!

By PAMELA STACE, FREELANCER, FALL 2019 COVER DOG

Jagdterrier, Japanese Akitainu, Japanese Chin, Japanese Spitz, Jindo

Kai Ken, Karelian Bear Dog, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, Kishu Ken, Komondor, Kromfohrlander, Kuvasz

Labrador Retriever, Laekenois, Lagotto Romagnolo, Lakeland Terrier, Lancashire Heeler, Lapponian Herder, Large Munsterlander, Leonberger, Lhaso Apso, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog (Catahoula Cur), Löwchen

Katerina, or Kate, our model, shares her name with Shakespeare’s famous heroine Katerina from “The Taming of the Shrew.” It seems that both Kates share a number of qualities including stubbornness, intelligence, independence, loyalty and devotion.

Like Shakespeare’s Kate, Lakelands, “Lakies” or “Laplanders” do what they want to do and can be quite bold! Owner Nora Clark says that her girl is friendly and well-behaved but likes things her way! The “Little Tank,” as Nora calls her, loves to be out in the snow but refuses to wear a coat. She loves to play, but can get a bit rough.

The Lakeland terrier originated in Cumberland, England’s Lake District, sometime in the 19th Century. This makes it one of the oldest of the terrier breeds. As sturdy little dogs with a dense, wiry double coat, they were originally bred to work independently from humans, hunting vermin over rocky terrain. Farmers also used Lakies together with hounds to keep foxes away from their sheep during lambing season. These dogs were bred to be tough, athletic and ready to take on anything big or small that got in their way. Coming from lake country, they adore water. The Lakeland is related to the now-extinct Old English black and tan terrier, the Bedlington terrier, the Dandie Dinmont terrier and the border collie. The Lakeland terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1934 and in 2018 was ranked 138 among registered breeds.

Lakies can do well anywhere, but they do best with a thoughtful and understanding owner. Highly energetic, sneaky and with a mind that never stops, they not only enjoy having a daily job to do, but MUST have one. Because they are very headstrong, Lakies need early socialization and training in order to effectively channel their natural eagerness, curiosity and intelligence. They are perfectly capable of finding their own fun around the house and can get into trouble there. So it is best for their owners to find ways to keep them busy! They love people and make especially great lap dogs! Lakies can take a long time to housetrain, but with patience and persistence they will get there! They may be overly protective of their humans or aggressive around other dogs. They are very intuitive and can really tune into the health issues and moods of their owners. Lakies are good watchdogs, but it is important that they be discouraged from being too barky. They are considered non-shedding, and they are a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs.

By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER, SPRING 2019 COVER DOG

Majestic Tree Hound, Maltese, Manchester Terrier (Standard and Toy), Mastiff, Miniature American Shepherd, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Mountain Cur, Moscow Watchdog, Mudi

Native American Indian Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, Newfoundland, Norfolk Terrier, Norrbottenspets, Norwegian Buhund, Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Lundehund, Norwich Terrier, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Old Danish Pointer, Old English Sheepdog, Otterhound

Papillon,  Parson Russell Terrier, Pekingese, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Perro de Presa Canario, Peruvian Inca Orchid, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Pharaoh Hound, Plott Hound, Pointer, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Pomeranian, Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy), Porcelaine, Portuguese Podengo, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Portuguese Pointer, Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Water Dog, Pudelpointer, Pug, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Mastiff, Pyrenean Shepherd

Queensland Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog), Qimmiq (Canadian Eskimo Dog)

Rafeiro do Alentejo, Rat Terrier, Redbone Coonhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, Russell Terrier, Russian Toy, Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are true Renaissance hounds. They are good at a variety of things and have an exciting history. Dutch colonists in southern Africa used the native hunting dogs of tribes and combined them with the more popular European breeds: Greyhounds and Terriers. Thus creating an athletic, regal-looking dog that could hunt in packs and track down lions. They were able to successfully find and confront these predators and keep them trapped by howling at them or baying from a safe distance. Imagine a pack of dogs surrounding the king of beasts like the hyenas did in Disney’s “The Lion King.” Ridgebacks were effective companions for South African-born Cornelius van Rooyen—big game hunter and dog breeder—in the late 19th century. Never killing the lions, the Ridgebacks would howl (bay) at them so the hunter had adequate time to pull out and dispatch his rifle. Ridgies are the national dog of South Africa.

Most importantly, today they are devoted family dogs that are good with children—two-legged children of the human variety, that is. Ridgebacks have an extremely strong prey drive stemming from their days of trotting alongside hunters on horses and chasing down prides. Owner Dan Broege says his dog Reggie may have high energy, but he is still his couch potato at heart. “Reggie is super friendly, loves people and other dogs, but is very protective of the house.” Reggie will guard the house all day yet sleeps under the covers in the bed at night. Ridgebacks are typically very strong-willed dogs that are independent, loyal and domineering.

Because they are the stereotypical strong-willed four-legged children, Ridgies need a firm trainer from youth on. The ideal candidate is someone who can positively steer them in the right direction, keeping them on a tight leash but with lots of exercise. They need training classes and early socialization in order to become well-mannered and well-adjusted companions, according to the American Kennel Club. Though this dog is extremely loyal to his or her family, this is a dog that lives indoors and needs to be fenced-in when outside and off leash due to a heavy prey drive. Broege says his Ridgeback is a freak of an athlete yet possesses some unique quirks. Reggie is a whiner and a kisser but only kisses strangers! Weird. Not the typical behavior for a Ridgie. Usually, Rhodesians are quite affectionate with their owners and more reserved with strangers. Broege also mentions that Reggie loves to watch TV and will only chew on bones that Broege holds for him. Talk about your atypical royal Ridgie.

As for appearance, this beautiful breed should look muscular, symmetrical and balanced in outline, according to the AKC. They have a signature ridge of hair down their back and range in size. Their grooming needs are small as they only require the basics: nail trimming, brushing and bathing as upkeep.

By NASTASSIA PUTZ, PUBLISHER, SUMMER 2020 COVER DOG

Saint Bernard, Saluki, Samoyed, Schapendoes, Schipperke, Scottish Deerhound, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Segugio Italiano, Shetland Sheepdog, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Shikoku, Siberian Husky, Silky Terrier, Skye Terrier, Sloughi, Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer, Slovensky Cuvac, Slovensky Kopov, Small Munsterlander, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Spanish Mastiff, Spanish Water Dog, Spinone Italiano, Stabyhoun, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Sussex Spaniel, Swedish Lapphund, Swedish Vallhund

The Japanese use three words to describe the Shiba Inu or Shiba—a national monument in Japan—and their most popular dog breed.

FIRST WORD: “Kan-i”—refers to the Shiba’s spirited confidence, alertness and bravery.

SECOND WORD: “Ryosei”—means good natured and loyal.

THIRD WORD: “Soboku”—describes easy, natural good looks.

Indeed, Shiba Inus exhibit all of these magnificent qualities as well as a couple interesting behaviors unique to them. But more about that later.

The Shiba Inu is the smallest of six original dog breeds native to Japan, the largest being the Akita. Shiba means “brushwood” in Japanese, and Inu means dog. It is unclear whether brushwood became part of the dog’s name because Shibas hunted in dense underbrush or because its red coat was like the autumn color of Japanese brushwood. During World War II, between bombing raids and outbreaks of distemper, Shibas almost became extinct. In order to save the Shiba, the Japanese began a breeding program that incorporated the last three remaining Shiba bloodlines. The Japanese Kennel Club was established in 1948.

Shiba Inus are relatively new to the U.S. The first Shiba arrived here in 1954, but the breed really didn’t become popular until the 1990s. The AKC officially recognized the Shiba in the Non-Sporting group in 1992, and today Shibas are the AKC’s 44th most-registered breed.

By PAMELA STACE, FREELANCER, FALL 2017 COVER DOG

Taiwan Dog, Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, Thai Ridgeback, Tibetan Mastiff, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Tornjak, Tosa, Toy Fox Terrier, Transylvanian Hound, Treeing Tennessee Brindle, Treeing Walker Coonhound

Ultimate Mastiff, Utonagan

Vizsla

Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wetterhoun, Whippet, Wire Fox Terrier, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Wirehaired Vizsla, Working Kelpie

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

Yakutian Laika, Yorkipoo, Yorkshire Terrier

Zuchon

 

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

You thought Marco Polo was well-traveled? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. From Caracas to Tasmania, these Instafamous pets capture the spirit of adventure—follow them now.

1. Miami@miami_traveller_dog

Miami is one of the world’s most jet-setting pets. “He’s an unusual Chihuahua because he’s sweet and friendly with everyone,” says owner Marianna Chiaraluce. She adopted him when he was 7 months old. He was unsuitable for canine competitions because of a minor health issue. “But this made me love him even more,” she says. Their very first adventure was a three-month road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since then, Miami has visited President Lincoln’s house in Springfield, Ill.; Elvis’ birthplace in Memphis, Tenn.; and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo. He’s also the Pet General Manager at The Box in Riccione, one of the best-known seaside resorts in Northern Italy.

2. Aspen@aspenthemountainpup

Photographer Hunter Lawrence shares Aspen with 284K followers on Instagram. He adopted the Golden Retriever from a small coastal town near Houston, Texas. On Thanksgiving morning in 2012, he saw a listing for a new litter of puppies posted online. He immediately ran out the door to go check them out. Aspen loves getting buried in the snow, even if he sometimes eats snowballs, and diving into icy water. He’s visited eight different states and Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada—one of the prestigious stops on the World Cup skiing circuit. The 8-year-old currently lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. Whether he’s basking in the sunshine or in an ice cream coma, he always has the biggest smile on his face. “He’s genuinely happy…if we’re near him, he just lights up,” Lawrence says.

3. Snupi@podroze_z_pazurem

Snupi (which means sweet in Dutch) is undoubtedly the most famous dog in Poland. He has his own comic book called “Travels with Claw.” “We know very little about his past,” says owner Izabella Miklaszewski. “He was adopted by a family but returned after a week, possibly because of the cost of treating his kennel cough.” The 12-year-old mongrel has visited 36 countries on five continents. He’s also traveled over 3,200 nautical miles crossing the Amazon River and the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Brazil. Snupi has also conquered the 13,123-foot peak of Toubkal in Morocco. His record altitude is 19,101 feet above sea level at the Misti Volcano in Peru. He’s also trekked through the Cordillera Huayhuash, an 81-mile trail with an elevation between 10,826 and 18,012 feet.

4. Rio and Bruce@adventurrio

Best friends Rio and Bruce have been to eight states and nine national parks. Rio is a 3-year-old gray and white domestic longhair. She didn’t instantly warm up to her 1.5-year-old dog sidekick. “It took a little while for them to really become friends. But Rio is a very brave kitty and quickly figured out that Bruce is a great play buddy,” says owner Maria Roper. “When we go hiking Rio normally follows Bruce’s lead. When we’re exploring a campsite, it’s the opposite. Rio explores and Bruce follows her around, and they’re just so cute together.” Last summer, the traveling cat and dog duo camped in the Black Hills. They napped on rocks together whenever they got tired. Then Rio and Bruce visited Sequoia National Forest and the Pacific coast, where they saw the ocean for the first time.

5. Willow@vancatmeow

Unhappy after 10 years in the corporate world, Rich East sold his house and all of his possessions. Then he quit his job to travel with his rescue cat Willow in a campervan. Since leaving their hometown of Hobart, Tasmania, they’ve covered more than 31,000 miles. “Willow spends most of her time off leash with supervision. She rarely wanders more than 100 yards from the van, but when she does, I can find her with her tracking collar,” East says. “She’s made my van a home and the whole of Australia her backyard.” The 6-year-old has visited New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

6. Burma@burmaadventurecat

An Iraqi war vet with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, Stephen Simmons was homeless. For five years, he lived out of his Jeep with his military service dog Puppi. In April 2013, he was sitting outside a grocery in Grants Pass having a sandwich when a homeless girl came up with a box of free kittens. Simmons held Burma and couldn’t resist him. The black cat spent the first eight weeks of his life in a damp tent during the cold, rainy Oregon winter. Burma, who has 73K Instagram fans, has traveled to 31 states with Simmons and his girlfriend, Nicole Rienzie. She and her two Instafamous cats, Monk and Bean, have also joined the trio, becoming a blended family of six. “Although Burma grew up on the go…he’s made me believe in something much bigger than us and this world again,” Simmons says.

7. Max and Louise@max_et_louise

Thiago Ferreira documents the adventures of Parson Russell Terriers Max and Louise who have 68K Instagram followers. Max arrived in 2009 for Christmas. He was only 49 days old. Louise was Max’s Christmas gift a few years later. Before she was adopted in Caracas, Venezuela, Max used to sleep most of the time. But since that day, he’s had his own partner in crime. Max and Louise have lived with the photographer in Paris and Lisbon and accompany him every year when he visits Rio de Janeiro for Christmas. “They love to jump off boats for a dip in the water,” Ferreira says. They’ve visited the French Alps, Las Vegas, the Greek island of Mykonos, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Miami Beach.

8. Lilo@lowrider_lilo

Lilo is a 4-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi from Calgary, Alberta. Wearing bandanas and Corgi goggles (or “coggles”), she’s been adventuring in the Canadian Rockies since 2016. “We started Lilo on short hikes with barely any elevation first, then slowly built up her endurance and stamina to longer and harder hikes,” says owner Aiko Dolatre. “Even with that, we still have to be mindful of her health, not letting her jump down from high places on the trail and keeping a closer eye on her in hot weather conditions.” Lilo has ridden a wooden horse in the Enchanted Forest and braved the Capilano Suspension Bridge. She’s also visited Prairie Mountain, Sunwapta Falls, Johnston Canyon and Moraine Lake.

9. Ollie@explorewithollie

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Stephen Martin joined the Army in 2005. Seven years later, he moved from his duty station at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium to Colorado Springs. That’s where he adopted Ollie, a Wirehaired Fox Terrier mix, who’s climbed 37 of Colorado’s 14ers. Ollie, who has 21K Instagram followers, loves drinking out of creeks and lying down in them. Martin and Ollie start hiking at 3 a.m. and sit on the peak for an hour or two before sunrise. Because dogs see in dichromatic color, Martin doesn’t really know what a gorgeous sunrise looks like to Ollie.“But he’ll sit there on the rock next to me…and I watch him enjoy it,” he says. “I feel like he knows when we reach the top.”

4 Hidden Travel Dangers for Pets
Want to live with no excuses and no regrets?
Here are 4 dangers to watch out for.

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Anxiety: According to “Scientific Reports”—an online multidisciplinary open-access journal—50 percent of dogs are afraid of loud noises, heights and walking on metal grids. Cats are commonly stressed by another person or pet. “So let your pets sniff all the things they want to sniff. Let them hide if something spooks them—in your arms or a backpack, so you become their safe space,” Roper says. “They’ll gradually build more and more confidence and learn to love new experiences.”

Fishing Gear: Keep them away from your tackle boxes and bait buckets. Dogs often get fishing hooks stuck in their nose and tongue. It’s not rare to see dogs that have swallowed, well…hook, line and sinker. If you’ve got any lead sinkers or jigheads lying around, be careful. If your dogs are naughty enough to swallow one (or several), they can cause lead poisoning.

Pressure-Treated Wood: Pressure-treated wood is coated with chromate copper arsenate (CCA) that protects it from insects and rot. Because it lasts 20 years or more, it’s been used to build 90 percent of all outdoor wooden structures in the US, says the Environmental Working Group. CCA is dangerous because it’s made with arsenic. It can seep into the soil and pool on wooden surfaces. Whether you’re picnicking or fly fishing on an arsenic-treated deck, keep an eye on your pets. Don’t let them lap up puddles or play in dirt that could have ashes from a CCA wood fire. One tablespoon contains a fatal dose of arsenic.

Snakes: According to a new study published in “Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology,” cats are twice as likely to survive venomous snake bites than dogs. That’s because they often swat at snakes with their paws while dogs investigate them with their nose and mouth. Venom acts faster on dog plasma than cats or humans. Without snakebite first aid, dogs will quickly bleed to death. “Dogs are usually more active than cats, which isn’t great after a bite has taken place,” writes Lead Researcher Bryan Fry. “The best practice is to remain as still as possible to slow the spread of venom through the body.”

BY JESSICA PAIRRETT, COPY EDITOR

Who among us doesn’t think our precious pups are smart? Well, okay, maybe not all of us do. While our dogs are smart in their own ways, not every pooch out there is born to earn an A on every task he or she is asked to do. But some dogs are simply smarter, right?

There’s no cut-and-dry answer to that. In looking at a dog’s intellect, we need to take a step back and consider just how is a dog’s intelligence determined. Is it by the number of tricks he does or the number of words he knows? What about if your dog is savvy out on the agility course? That’s not a feat all dogs are built to master. Then there are dog breeds we may consider highly intelligent war heroes, those who put their lives on the line and display bravery as they sniff out dangerous battlefields. And we cannot forget to include how well dogs can pick up on our emotions, often referred to in the human workplace as emotional intelligence. Let’s take a look at how dogs have varying degrees of intellectual and emotional intelligence.

Intelligence by Breed

So who is the expert on this issue? One of the places we often turn to is the American Kennel Club (AKC). As one of the authorities on all things dog, would it surprise you to learn that the AKC currently does not have a list of so-called smart breeds? Wisely, the AKC takes the stance that dogs are individuals, and to answer the intelligence question, we need to look at breeds and how they are classified. For example, working breeds have instincts and natural abilities that allow them to quickly perform jobs while other breeds are highly driven to please their people.

In short, the AKC views a dog’s intelligence based on breed, training and natural traits. Clear as mud, right? We can thankfully refer to the work of famed canine psychologist Stanley Coren, who had once educated us about different types of intelligence (see sidebar). He has provided us with one metric—working intelligence—with which to compare our dog’s smarts to others.

In Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs,” he took a dive into the working intelligence of dog breeds. His research included lengthy surveys from about 200 dog obedience judges. Numerous breeds were rated on how well they obeyed commands and how quickly they learned new tricks. Those deemed the brightest breeds were the dogs that could obey a command 95 percent of the time and learn a command in five or fewer tries. And then, ta-da! The 10 reportedly smartest dog breeds list was born.

Top 10 in Working Intelligence

1) Border Collie: The quintessential agility dog, Border Collies are full of energy and smarts. Also recognized as a herding dog, this breed is a true workaholic and an athlete who also loves to cuddle with its people.

You might be familiar with the famous Chaser, a Border Collie who knew more than 1,000 words. Chaser’s person, John Pilley, trained her to learn and retain words much greater than “ball” and “toy,” said Karen B. London, PhD, a certified applied animal behaviorist and certified professional dog trainer. Chaser could even distinguish between nouns and verbs! Pilley remained modest about Chaser’s depth of knowledge, though. He maintained that other dogs could also learn just as Chaser did, that is, as long as other dogs were taught like Chaser: sometimes many hours a day and in a methodical and extensive manner that also included fun and play.

2) Poodle: How does this froufrou dog come in at second place? It’s easy! The Poodle (all breed sizes) is a friendly, active breed with a reputation as one of the most trainable out there. Regular exercising and training are musts to keep their extremely intelligent brains busy and out of any sassy behaviors. For these reasons, Poodles also make great hunting buddies helping you track and retrieve.

3) German Shepherd: All hail the police (and military) hero! The list of these brave dogs in history is long. With a strong work ethic, they require a job to do so they can burn off energy. This is a loyal friend of the family and a wonderful guard dog. Their affection and intellect also serves them well in roles as guide dogs or in other forms of service to their humans.

4) Golden Retriever: The sweet, lovable Golden can have impeccable manners with help from your obedience training and socialization with other pups and people. Goldens love to be active, whether it’s swimming, running, fetching, hunting or hiking with his family. You’ve likely heard of Goldens doing search-and-rescue or other service work.

5) Doberman Pinscher: Hailing from Germany, these brave dogs are proven guards. But their working intelligence also makes them ideal therapy, rescue, military and police dogs. The Dobie’s strength, speed and endurance has also led to their solid reputation as protectors.

6) Shetland Sheepdog: Having intelligence with a sense of humor, Shelties have an abundance of energy that’s made for a long history of herding and keeping watch over its flock and family. They also are very affectionate and playful, enjoying playtime with children and learning new tricks.

7) Labrador Retriever: There’s a reason Labs have topped the list of lovable dogs. If you have one in your home, you know their affectionate, playful natures are top Lab qualities. The breed is also an active one that makes for a great running companion. Being gentle, people-pleasing and easy to train also make the breed ideal for search and rescue and other service work.

8) Papillon: The smallest breed on the list is the butterfly dog, nicknamed for their unique ear shape. These intelligent dogs are as beautiful as they are happy and friendly. While small in stature, the Papillon is fast and quite the little athlete up for whatever training you’re ready to offer.

9) Rottweiler: Solidly built, Rotties have made excellent working dogs since their Germany origins. This herding breed also falls into the military and police dog bucket. Rotties, devoted companions that they are, are great service and therapy dogs. And they take on the obedience circuit, too!

10) Australian Cattle Dog: This working dog of Blue Heeler origin is full of energy—physical and mental! ACD parents should have energy to expend as this breed needs to work, whether it’s in agility, herding, tracking or general obedience.

So, there you have it: the top 10 smartest breeds as measured by working intelligence. But don’t forget: Breed isn’t the only factor influencing intelligence. You also have to consider their personality traits and the amount and type of training you’ve done together.

My Dog Didn’t Make the List!

Worried your dog’s smarts might not be up to par? Don’t be! First, remember that this data was gathered from obedience judges, which could have been subjective. Ever had a bad experience with a certain breed of dog? Think of your bias (good or bad) around that particular breed, and recognize that is your opinion. And that’s perfectly okay!

But if you want to bond with your dog while upping their working intelligence, Petfinder.com offers some great tips.

First, remember that all dogs are trainable. Find what motivates him and watch him excel. Second, make sure to use positive reinforcements whether that includes food, lots of pets, a short game of fetch, bubbles to pop or another activity that is super motivating.

Build your dog’s intelligence through interactive games, sports and agility, food puzzles or snuffle mats. Remember that motivation works wonders. Remember that smarter breeds require more of something (stimulation, activity or attention) that keeps their minds sharp and their bodies physically active, according to Petfinder.com. Bond through regular walks, other exercise and play sessions and behavior training.

Finally, make sure that no matter what you do, get up and interact with your dog. Just as a child learns and grows as their mom or dad spends quality time with them, so dogs do with you. And besides, do you really need a specific reason to spend time with your furry companions?

Intelligence in Many Forms

We’ve talked a lot about a dog’s working intelligence. But what if one of these dog breeds isn’t for you? Remember that all dogs are individuals and there are so many kinds of intelligence that can be paired with your dog’s style. Find the one that best suits her or him. After all, the best kind of dog is the one perfectly fitting for your lifestyle.

I remember how I once compared my now-senior dog’s intelligence to that of his prior packmate’s. Buddy was a rule-breaker, not a rule-follower, and truly would not have ranked high on working intelligence. Lucky, however, ranks way up there in interpersonal intelligence. His communication skills often amaze me, including his many appropriately timed sighs (huffs)—even when I don’t think he’s listening! Lucky’s other pack member, Taco, ranks up there in adaptive intelligence. He’s a sneaky one for sure!

No matter the breed of dog we keep, we should all take the time to figure out our dog’s true intellect. Find out what makes your dog happy and feed that. Let them explore their interests, said London. And as Pilley believed, you’ll find better communication—and happiness—with your dog because of it.

What do you think? What type of intelligence does your dog show?
Are we missing a type of intelligence your dog displays?
Let us know at our Facebook page!

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Your cat is clever, perhaps even crafty, but how smart is she? According to scientists, it’s not your imagination. While your dog might have a higher social IQ than your cat, she can solve harder cognitive problems, if she feels like it.

Her brain is only 2 inches long, weighs as much as a pair of dice and makes up about 0.9 percent of her body mass. While it’s smaller than your dog’s, its structure and surface folding is 90 percent like yours. Your cerebral cortex, the region of your brain that controls thinking and problem-solving, contains 21 to 26 billion neurons or nerve cells. Your cat has 300 million neurons while your dog only has 160 million.

Basically, your cat is as smart as an 18-month-old child. She can experience primary emotions such as happiness, anger and fear. “We don’t think cats can experience secondary emotions like forgiveness or vengeance,” says Dr. Susan Krebsbach, owner of Creature Counseling in Oregon, Wis. “How many times have you heard, ‘He urinated outside of the litter box because he was mad at me because I was gone for the weekend?’”

While your cat can’t appreciate all the colors you do, she has more nerve cells in the visual areas of her brain than humans and most other mammals. That’s why she zooms across the house chasing a speck of dust that you can’t even see.

But her world isn’t black and white. “Because cats are more active in the early morning and the late evening when light levels are low, their retinas contain eight times more rods than humans,” Krebsbach says. “So cats are more sensitive to light in the blue-violet and yellow-green range.”

Besides having top-notch vision, your cat has object permanence, an understanding that things exist even when she can’t see, hear, touch or smell them. That is, out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.

Her short-term memory spans about 16 hours. In a laboratory setting (mad scientist optional), she can probably solve food puzzles from memory. But Rubik’s cubes or sudoku are out of the question. While her long-term memory is difficult to gauge, it’s probably impeccable, which you already know if your fur baby bops you in the head at 6 a.m. She has an internal clock and seems to “know” when it’s time for things to start happening. She’s good at picking up on other regular indicators of the time, like bird songs and sunset. No, she can’t read clocks. Change the time on them to see if it makes any difference. It won’t.

If cats are so smart, why aren’t there any drug, cadaver or explosives detective cats? “Well, remember, cats have a different skill set, but that doesn’t make them less intelligent. As a matter of fact, we don’t have any bomb-sniffing humans.” Krebsbach says. Dogs come when they’re called, but cats take a message and get back to you later.

Puzzle Toys
“During the daytime, cats are loving members of our families with scratches behind the ear and sleepy moments on our laps,” says Frederik Lindskov, product developer at Northmate. “During the night, however, their instincts tell them to go hunting for mice…around the neighborhood. The greatest challenge for any cat owner is to make a home that reflects both sides of this double nature.” Enter puzzle toys. They ease boredom, encourage mental stimulation and reduce destructive behaviors. Here are three of our favorites:

1. Northmate Catch Interactive Feeder
Designed to kickstart your kitty’s hunting instincts, Catch by Northmate controls portion size, slows eating and prevents vomiting. Dishwasher safe and suitable for indoor and outdoor use, this specialized bowl is made of hard, phthalate-free plastic and has four anti-slip feet. Scatter wet or dry food across the feeder. Then your cat can push or grab it out from between its smoothly rounded spikes.

2. Nina Ottosson Melon Madness Puzzle & Play
Your curious cat will love Nina Ottosson’s Melon Madness Puzzle & Play. Cats bat at the pegs and swivel the seeds to uncover six hidden treat compartments that hold up to a quarter cup of food. Each puzzle is made from food-safe materials and comes with a tips and tricks info sheet. With no removable parts, you’ll also never have to worry about losing play pieces again.

3. Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center
Engage your smarty cat’s five senses with Trixie’s Activity Fun Board. Developed by cat expert Helena Dbalý, it has four transparent globes that can be filled with food for your cat to fish out. Its peg and alley centers allow her to MacGyver kibble around non-pointy pins and wavy walls. Its tongue center is best for liquid treats and has slits that prevent your cat from using her paws. Last but not least, its tunnel center is ideal for stalking and swatting hidden toys and treats.

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Seven years ago, Rudy—an emaciated Arabian horse trapped in knee-high manure—popped up on Chelsea Harley’s Facebook feed. His owner had already surrendered 60 horses to Shawano County authorities (all shipped to slaughter) before threatening to shoot him if Amazing Grace Equine Rescue (AGES) in Elkhart Lake, Wis., didn’t remove him immediately.

Harley shook when she read he’d been down for several hours and staff couldn’t get him up. So she dumped materials for a sling into her bag and drove nonstop from Chicago, Ill. Every weekend for a month, Harley slept in the barn with Rudy while offering massages to 12 other horses. After being hired by AGES founder Erin Kelley-Groth, she spent 40 hours a week rehabbing Rudy while caring for her two blind horses, two special needs dogs and a young cat with chronic kidney disease.

For the first few weeks, the sorrel stallion was in a sling. Each time she removed it, Rudy collapsed and it’d take a skid-steer and six people to get him back up. “During his recovery, we learned to be mindful of flying hooves and teeth. Several of us have scars and broken bones as a result of his desperate need to protect himself,” she says.

“Many of our horses also have some kind of lameness, and that can be challenging when we want to get them adopted.” For example, Grayce was pulled from a kill pen in Oklahoma. and had a miscarriage in quarantine. She has cartilage and bone fragments floating around in her joints causing her to throw her body around.

Grayce receives daily anti-inflammatories and herbal supplements like Devil’s Claw, Yucca or Boswellia. But she can’t handle a higher workload. “I encourage people not to ask, ‘What can that horse do for me?’ Be open-minded to meeting senior or special needs horses,” Harley says.

“You can still have a wonderful relationship while doing groundwork lessons and providing a forever home.”

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Flashy on the outside and a gentleman on the inside, Acado is a 13-year-old Hanoverian. “He’s one of the most handsome horses in the barn,” says Jenny Caldwell, assistant trainer. “When he walks into a different environment, he puts his head up and looks around, but he’s never spooked.” The Show Hunter isn’t just a Steady Eddie; he’s a class act.

History
Hanoverians are one of the oldest warmbloods. They come from destriers: hot-blooded horses who carried fully armored knights into battles, tournaments and jousts. In the 1600s, they were imported into north-central Germany. They worked as cavalry remounts and harness horses.

King George II of England was the first person to breed Hanoverians. In 1735, he founded the Stallion Depot in Celle, Lower Saxony. He used Black Holsteins as a foundation stock. They’re powerful coach horses produced by crossing German mares with Neapolitan, Spanish and Oriental blood.

Modern Hanoverians were used in British royal processions until the reign of Edward VIII when they were replaced by Windsor Greys. At the end of WWII, the breed was mixed with Thoroughbreds and Trakehner. They became increasingly light, agile, athletic and graceful.

Health
Hanoverians may suffer from osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). It’s caused by poor nutrition, physical trauma and rapid growth. OCD creates lesions that encourage fluid buildup, small fractures or cartilage destruction. Twenty-five percent of the time, OCD is found in the fetlocks. Ten percent of Hanoverians get OCD in their hock joints.

With a digestive system that’s similar to rabbits and rats, horses can’t vomit or burp (what goes in must take the long way out). “If a horse gets a belly ache [or colic], its stomach can twist on itself,” Caldwell says. The second leading cause of death in horses, colic is caused by a change of diet, a lack of roughage or parasites. Its symptoms include pawing, restlessness, rapid breathing or violent rolling.

“Acado is treated like an Olympic athlete,” says rider Brooke Brodersen. He has his own masseuse, chiropractor and indoor treadmill. He takes a daily electrolyte, joint supplement and probiotic. Because Acado’s teeth continually grow and are worn down by chewing feed, he gets his teeth floated or filed down twice per year. He also eats high-quality hay and snacks on carrots, apples and, occasionally, licorice jelly beans.

Hunters & Jumpers
Show hunter Acado wears aluminum shoes on his front hooves and steel shoes on his backs. His mane and tail are braided, and his tack is a simple snaffle bit and traditional bridle. Brodersen wears a black helmet, black gloves, tan breeches, black field boots, a white show shirt and a dark-colored hunt coat.

In the ring, Hunters like Acado jump over eight to 12 fences that are conservative and natural, including colors like white, brown and green. “The judges are really looking for a perfect flow without bobbles,” Brodersen says. They’re looking for horses that are well-mannered, athletic and attractive to ride safely and smoothly over the obstacles.

“It looks kind of like we’re going around the ring automatically, but every single step requires communication between the horse and rider,” Brodersen says. “If you’re not paying attention, steps can get stretched out, and you can’t make the distance of the jump.”

Jumpers ride over technically difficult courses that twist and turn. Fences are bright, colorful and lofty. Jumpers’ manes and tails aren’t braided. Saddle pads and ear bonnets are allowed. If horses knock down a fence, stop at a fence or don’t complete the course in a certain time limit, they incur “faults” or penalties. The horse with the fewest faults and the fastest time wins.

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

For four years, Department of State (DOS) Agent Paddy worked as an Explosive Ordnance Division Technician at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When Danny Scheurer and the rest of his unit went to clear a building, he leaped from an SUV and dashed to the door. “We tried to run,” Danny remembers. “But the guys in the back — because they didn’t have radio silence or a [military] dog—breached the building. It blew up.”

While serving their country, both Danny and Paddy were injured. Danny was given a 70 percent disability rating. “I received VA medical care, options for schooling, paid training for employment and multiple other perks for serving my country.” However, Paddy was labeled unsuitable for typical retirement. Because of former aggression, he was slated to be put down.

“How’s that for a soldier who serves?” Danny says. Dogs have been officially serving as four-legged soldiers in the U.S. military since World War I (1914-1918). Approximately 5,000 military working dogs (MWDs) served in the Vietnam War. They saved nearly 10,000 human lives. (The U.S. Army didn’t keep records before 1968). MWDs also took part in the takedown of Taliban leader Osama bin Laden and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

There are around 2,500 MWDs in service today and 700 deployed overseas. “Imagine hearing both stories, while not aware that Paddy is a canine,” he says. “Most people’s reaction would be anger, concern or consternation regarding a veteran being denied retirement due to atypical retirement qualifications.”

That’s where Save-A-Vet in Lindenhurst, Ill., comes in. Danny started the nonprofit to rescue canines that aren’t adoptable because of their attack training, field experiences or physical and mental injuries—including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries that may cause dogs to barely blink or eat.

“Unlike a lot of agencies, the DOS truly cares about their K9s and reached out to Save-A-Vet asking us to take him [Paddy] into our program,” Danny says. “I’m very happy they did this as he’s now one of our most loveable K9s and the new mascot of the organization.”

The English Springer Spaniel loves all animals and people. He usually can be found claiming all of the office couches or stuffing tennis balls under their cushions. “He’s got about 150 balls everywhere. He constantly has one in his mouth,” Danny says.

“We don’t have a normal shelter because we don’t foster.” Instead, Save-A-Vet puts K9s in secured facilities throughout the country. It also hires disabled military or law enforcement officers to care for its dogs in exchange for rent-free housing. They’re randomly drug tested. “They must be able to pass a background check and either be employed or attending school full-time with a minimum of a B average,” Danny says. “It’s not a free handout. You wake up at 6 a.m. and take care of my dog. If it’s not being fed at 6 a.m., you’re fired.”

Save-A-Vet is a place of mutual healing between two-legged and four-legged veterans. Ornella, for example, was retired from Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) because she started eating her own tail. “When we fixed her, it was allergies. The veterinarian figured out that she probably had gotten into drugs.”

Her sharp nose served our country’s borders for two years. Her handler CBP Officer Shawn Johnson says, “She possesses those qualities and energies that make a successful drug detector dog a smuggler’s worst fear.” In 2014, she suffered a fatal heart attack. “The veterinarians tried CPR, but she wasn’t able to pull through,” Danny says. “Although Ornella has passed, we’re happy to have given her what I can only imagine have been the best two years of her life.”

Public donations and Made in America companies such as Basecamp and the Travel & Adventure Show power Save-A-Vet, which cost nearly $81,000 to run last year, even with seven unpaid, full-time staffers. “When we put out that we need volunteers, we typically have a couple hundred people show up,” Danny says. “We have volunteers all over the country.”

Save-A-Vet doesn’t take dogs from civilians or rehome their K9s. (Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, handles all MWDs adoptions.) “With Save-A-Vet’s leadership, military canines became veterans after decades of being categorized as equipment,” says Randi Scheurer who is Danny’s father and the nonprofit’s photographer.

Nero is a former Navy bomb dog. He had two discs in his back fused together and a golf ball-sized lump removed from his jaw, but he was never caged. Firemen, cops and construction workers would drop by his house every morning to bring him bacon. “He was Danny’s constant companion until the end,” Randi says. During Nero’s final days, Danny laid with him in the back of a van—wrapping his arms tightly around him, making another forgotten soldier’s “golden years” golden.

For more information, visit saveavet.org or call 815-349-9647.

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Pepper was black, short and chunky. The one-year-old Shar-Pei looked like a baby hippo. She had mange and infected ears. Chained outside in the heat, she stunk badly. Her owners wanted to euthanize her. But there was something special about her. Kathy Baily, the president of Shar-Pei Savers in Genoa, Ohio, adopted Pepper and trained her to be a therapy dog. (Next year, she’ll be 12 years old.) Independent, regal, alert and dignified: Is this wrinkly wonder right for you?

History

The Shar-Pei most likely originated in the small fishing village of Tai Li in southeastern China during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). While Marco Polo’s journal, published in 1271, only mentions Pugs and Chow Chows, a translation of a 13th-century Chinese manuscript refers to a dog with a “sandpaper-like coat” and a blue-black tongue.

Chinese farmers used Shar-Peis for hunting, herding and guarding their livestock. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China as a communist nation, Shar-Peis were declared upper-class luxuries and were virtually wiped out. During this period, a handful was smuggled into Hong Kong and Taiwan.They were crossbred with Tibetan Mastiffs, Chow Chows, Great Pyrenees, Bulldogs and Boxers.

In April 1973, Matgo Law, owner of Down-Homes Kennel in Hong Kong, begged U.S. dog fanciers to “save the Shar-Pei.” Then the “Guinness Book of World Records” proclaimed the Chinese Fighting Dog the rarest dog breed on Earth. Commercially-minded breeders pumped out litters as quickly as impulsive buyers could pull out their credit cards. By the mid-’80s, the Shar-Pei craze died down.

Clowning Around

On April 1, 2018, Jineen McLemore-Torres adopted Jameson from Shar-Pei Savers. At three months old, he hadn’t opened his eyes. “He had a visible cherry eye, and we believe the breeder who surrendered him was unable to sell him,” she says.

“Jameson was initially a medical foster, but my female Shar Pei Jade and I both fell in love with him,” Jineen says. When he’s not lounging on his favorite bed or digging in the mud, he’s running full speed into the couch, without even trying to jump up on it. “When I was playing with him last…he threw himself on the ground, making a loud thump, rolled on to his back, legs in the air and expected a belly rub while nibbling on my hands.”

His stubbornness always rears its ugly head whenever he’s at the store or an event. If he doesn’t want to leave, he plops down on his side or back and refuses to move. “Everyone thinks it’s hilarious, but it doesn’t feel funny when it’s happening to me,” she admits.

Whenever you try to teach a Shar-Pei a new trick without his favorite treats (ahem…antlers), he’ll throw shade at you. While Jameson is a bit lazy, he earned his AKC Star Puppy certification when he was under a year old. Jineen recently began teaching him to shake hands and give high five. “I thought it’d be at least a week of short sessions,” she says, “but at the end of a 10-minute session, he was throwing his paw up.”

Health

“The joke in the Shar-Pei world is, if you’re not willing to spend thousands on your dog for healthcare, don’t get a Shar-Pei,” Kathy says. Shar-Peis are prone to familial Shar-Pei fever (FSF), which causes fever, temporary joint pain and swelling. It can lead to polyarthritis, liver failure and kidney failure.

“There’s no cure for FSF; only supportive care,” says Dr. Erin Wilson from Spring Harbor Animal Hospital in Madison, Wis. “Owners should talk to their family vet about keeping pain medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories on hand for painful flare-ups. They should also learn how to take their Shar-Peis’ temperatures, as prolonged elevated body temperature may require hospitalization and IV fluids.”

Shar-Peis are also susceptible to skin infections, eye problems (like retinal dysplasia or glaucoma) and bloat, which is a potentially fatal twisting of the stomach that requires immediate surgical treatment. “We’ve also found that dogs with a horse coat will tend to get kind of a smell to them,” Baily says. “They sleep in a ball, so their bellies tend to get stinky.” Use a baby wipe or gentle shampoo.

While Shar-Peis don’t require a lot of exercise, a sweater or jacket may be needed during the worst of the winter months. “During summertime, walking should be limited to early mornings or evenings when the weather is cooler,” Dr. Wilson says.

Should You Adopt a Shar-Pei?

Shar-Peis don’t show well in shelter settings. When people walk by their cages, they either shrink back or start to bark. “People see that side of them and think, ‘I don’t want a dog like that,’” Kathy says. But Shar-Peis are extremely intelligent and devoted to their families. They slowly warm up to strangers but generally are great once you get to know them. “They are very clean dogs and housetrain very young…and they give the best hippo kisses.”

BY CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Sportsmen on both sides of the Atlantic cherish the conveniently sized and agile Brittany as an all-purpose hunting partner and a dog sport teammate. The only thing that makes a Brittany happier than the smelly, great, smelly, wonderful, smelly, outdoors (Did we say smelly?) is staying velcroed to their owners.

History
Brittany is the westernmost region of France, surrounded by the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. It was here, possibly as early as 150 A.D., that peasants and poachers developed what’s today considered one of the world’s most versatile bird dogs that are capable of hunting duck, woodcock, pheasant and partridge.

While few breeding records have been kept, l’épagneul Breton, or Brittany Spaniel, is thought to be a cross between an orange-and-white English Setter, a Welsh Springer Spaniel and a Spanish Pointer. The breed was recognized in 1907 when an orange-and-white male named Boy was registered as the first Brittany Spaniel in France.

When Brittanys were brought to North America by Juan Pugibet in 1928, American hunters didn’t like them because of their short tails. “Although the Brittany doesn’t have the physique of a German shorthaired pointer or the beauty of a setter, it has enough heart to outhunt any other [gun] dog,” says David Schlake, an upland hunter from Austin, Texas. “If all the pointing breeds made up a team, the Brittany spaniel would be football player Rudy Ruettiger, who recorded an unlikely sack in the waning seconds of the 1975 Notre Dame-Georgia Tech football game.”

Louis A. Thebaud imported these “small players with big enough hearts” into the U.S. in 1931. Three years later, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club. But in 1982, their name was shortened to Brittany because their hunting styles resembled setters more than spaniels.

Never a Dull Moment
On May 12, 2018, Josh Graber and Heather Reichert bought their Brittany named Napa from Gilmore Brittanys in Boscobel, Wisconsin. “We had the option between two female dogs. We picked the one that we thought was going to be calmest,” Graber says. “Actually, she ended up being as energetic as ever.”

Napa successfully hunted pheasant at seven months. “If you don’t hunt them [or exercise them for at least an hour per day], they’ll find something to do, and that usually isn’t good,” says Susan Spaid, the President of the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network. “Brittanys do really well with invisible fences. While people do successfully keep them in apartments, they’re usually the kind of people that run five miles per day and take their dogs with them.”

Napa isn’t hardheaded, but self-confidence just kind of oozes out of her. “She lets people know what she wants and isn’t afraid to show it,” Graber says. “She particularly likes dogs that are bigger than her, and [she] can’t get enough of people. Anybody who comes in she tries to get them to do a belly rub.” If she didn’t have that adorable pink nose, she’d be [a] brown-noser for sure. All it takes is a passing look of disapproval from her owners to snap her out of mischief.

The Brittany is a little bit of a shedder but not a very heavy shedder. “I get my dogs’ coats cut pretty close during the summertime,” Spaid says. “But some people shave them.” Napa gets her teeth brushed every day. “I’m a dentist, so that’s something that we focus on. She loves the peanut butter and pork toothpaste,” Graber says, “She gets a bath once per week and her nails cut because they grow pretty fast.”

Health Issues
“The breed is the correct size to live a long life,” says Jesse Sondel, owner of the Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin. “Most live 10 to 12 years, with one in five dogs dying of old age at 15 to 17 years.” While they’re fairly healthy, they’ve been known to suffer from hip dysplasia, a sometimes-crippling malformation of the hip joint that can require expensive surgical repair.

Other conditions that can affect the breed are epilepsy and retinal atrophy—which is an untreatable eye disease that causes blindness. Some Brittanys also are born with cleft palates or have hypothyroidism, a common hormonal disease that causes their metabolisms to be as slow as molasses in January. “All breeders should do OFA [Orthopedic Foundation for Animals] hip, elbow and thyroid testing prior to breeding,” Sondel says.

Should You Adopt a Brittany?
Athletic, bright and family-oriented, Brittanys are amazing dogs, but they’re not for everyone. “If a robber entered your house, a Brittany would hold the flashlight for him. They’re just not good watchdogs,” Spaid says. Some Brittanys, especially adolescents, also might suddenly urinate when they get over-excited or feel intimidated.

Whether their owners are taking a Saturday snooze or trekking to the mailbox in their slippers, the Brittany just wants to be near them. But make no mistake; this is not a couch-potato puppy. Brittanys need daily, heart-thumping exercise—whether hunting, doing canine sports or human-centered activities like playing fetch with the kids—to keep their high spirits from bounding off.