Dog breed library - Pastoral breeds

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Anatolian Shepherd DogThis powerful guard dog, with its acute hearing and sight, remains alert at all times ready to warn you of any danger. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is large, Mastiff-type, muscular and powerful with a medium coat. They can come in a variety of colours but are usually fawn with a black muzzle. They hail from Turkey and were bred to guard flocks of sheep. They were even used in combat. They are suited to living outdoors with a coat that can withstand extremes of heat and cold. They need very firm but fair guidance. They have a strong protective urge towards their family so need to be trained to accept strangers. They need regular outdoor exercise and will remain active for most of their long lives. The coat needs little grooming but will shed heavily at times. They are prone to thyroid and eyelid problems. They are also sensitive to anaesthetics. As puppies, their immune system is slow to develop so may need boosters over a longer period.Australian Cattle DogThe Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Australian Heeler, is very intelligent and has bags of energy so is good not only at herding cattle but at keeping people on their toes. This medium dog is compact and muscular but agile too. They are smooth coated but have a short, dense undercoat. They can come in a variety of colours. The Australian Cattle Dog comes from a mixture of other dogs with a strong herding and protecting instinct and the ability to withstand the harsh weather conditions and long distances of Australia. They can perform to high levels of agility and obedience but bore easily if not challenged. They are not only naturally hard-working but love to work. They are naturally protective so automatically suspicious of people and animals they don't know. They have great stamina and energy and need plenty of exercise. The coat can withstand weather well, needs little care and is easy to groom. They are prone to hip dysplasia and PRA and the merle colours are prone to deafness.Australian ShepherdThe powerful but playful Australian Shepherd is loving, attentive, smart and eager to please. The "Aussie" is a well balanced, medium sized dog with a tail that is often naturally bobbed. They have a straight to wavy medium-length coat that comes in a variety of colours. The coat is resistant to the weather and varies with the climate. Although the name suggests its origins are in Australia, it actually originates from the Pyrenees and was refined in the US to herd on ranches. They are highly intelligent and easy to train and are capable of high performances in obedience, agility and in a working environment. They are normally good with adults and children, they are usually good with other dogs but won't take nonsense from the animals they herd. They need a lot of exercise for both body and mind. Their coat is easy to maintain with occasional brushing and they don't moult very much. The merle coloured dogs might have sight/hearing problems and interbreeding natural bob tails sometimes leads to spinal problems. Other major concerns are cataracts and CEA.Bearded CollieThe Bearded Collie's lovable, cheerful, carefree appearance belies their sharp intelligence and boundless energy. They are a strong dog, leaner than they look because of their long coat. The double coat is shaggy and waterproof and it hangs over the whole body, even the chin, hence the name "Beardie". They can come in a variety of colours with white but the coat changes colour often as they mature. They are one of Britain's oldest breeds and originate from the 1500s from a cross between Polish sheepdogs and Scottish herding dogs but the breed type as we know it today was set in the 1940s. Beardies are never happier than with people and their intelligence makes them very trainable. As a result, they are very good working dogs but if kept as family pets it's good to give them plenty to do. They are great with people and children. They will generally get on well with other dogs but have a natural tendency to herd everyone and everything. They are happiest outdoors and active with lots to exercise their body and brain. Their thick coat needs quite a lot of brushing to keep it looking good. They can be prone to hip dysplasia.Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)The Belgian Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. They are a medium-sized, strong and well proportioned dog. There are four types, each distinguished by their type of coat. There is the Groenendael which has a long, black, harsh coat; the Laekenois which has a short, wiry, reddish coat; the Malinois with a short red, fawn or black coat with black over the top; and the Tervueren, similar to the Malinois but with a fuller top coat. Although originally a sheep dog, they have proved themselves in the armed forces and police work in a variety of different roles. They will naturally herd and guard so make excellent working and obedience dogs but with the right training can be family dogs too. They can be trained to be good with children and strangers and even other animals. They are accustomed to an active outdoor working life, and as such, it is essential that they get a lot of physical and mental exercise. All the different coat types need careful grooming but the longer haireds more so. They are a hardy breed with no major health problems.Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)The Belgian Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. They are a medium-sized, strong and well proportioned dog. There are four types, each distinguished by their type of coat. There is the Groenendael which has a long, black, harsh coat; the Laekenois which has a short, wiry, reddish coat; the Malinois with a short red, fawn or black coat with black over the top; and the Tervueren, similar to the Malinois but with a fuller top coat. Although originally a sheep dog, they have proved themselves in the armed forces and police work in a variety of different roles. They will naturally herd and guard so make excellent working and obedience dogs but with the right training can be family dogs too. They can be trained to be good with children and strangers and even other animals. They are accustomed to an active outdoor working life, and as such, it is essential that they get a lot of physical and mental exercise. All the different coat types need careful grooming but the longer haireds more so. They are a hardy breed with no major health problems.Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)The Belgian Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. They are a medium-sized, strong and well proportioned dog. There are four types, each distinguished by their type of coat. There is the Groenendael which has a long, black, harsh coat; the Laekenois which has a short, wiry, reddish coat; the Malinois with a short red, fawn or black coat with black over the top; and the Tervueren, similar to the Malinois but with a fuller top coat. Although originally a sheep dog, they have proved themselves in the armed forces and police work in a variety of different roles. They will naturally herd and guard so make excellent working and obedience dogs but with the right training can be family dogs too. They can be trained to be good with children and strangers and even other animals. They are accustomed to an active outdoor working life, and as such, it is essential that they get a lot of physical and mental exercise. All the different coat types need careful grooming but the longer haireds more so. They are a hardy breed with no major health problems.Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)The Belgian Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. They are a medium-sized, strong and well proportioned dog. There are four types, each distinguished by their type of coat. There is the Groenendael which has a long, black, harsh coat; the Laekenois which has a short, wiry, reddish coat; the Malinois with a short red, fawn or black coat with black over the top; and the Tervueren, similar to the Malinois but with a fuller top coat. Although originally a sheep dog, they have proved themselves in the armed forces and police work in a variety of different roles. They will naturally herd and guard so make excellent working and obedience dogs but with the right training can be family dogs too. They can be trained to be good with children and strangers and even other animals. They are accustomed to an active outdoor working life, and as such, it is essential that they get a lot of physical and mental exercise. All the different coat types need careful grooming but the longer haireds more so. They are a hardy breed with no major health problems.BergamascoThe Bergamasco is one of the oldest breeds; thought to have been in existence for 2000 years. They are a medium-sized, well-proportioned and strong breed. The most distinguishable feature about them is their coat. It is made up of three types of hair which grow very long and hang together in "flocks" which gives them the appearance of having "dreadlocks". Long hair covers their eyes too. The coat comes in varying shades of very light to very dark grey. They originate from the Alps where they were used to guard and herd sheep. They are intelligent and balanced, attentive and watchful. Although not naturally aggressive, their first instinct is to guard so the right training is essential. They will tend to use their own judgement about people so may need to be taught to accept all types. They are generally excellent with children. They tend to like other dogs and can be trained to accept other animals. They are usually more comfortable outdoors, especially colder climates, due to their massive coat. They need plenty of exercise. The flocking coat needs careful management to maintain it. They are generally very healthy.Border CollieFor anyone who wants a highly intelligent working dog or dog for competitive sports, a Border Collie is hard to beat. The Border Collie is a medium size energetic working dog with a body slightly longer than it is tall. They come in a variety of colours with a double coat that is either short and sleek or rough. They originate from the England / Scotland border and were bred to herd sheep. They make excellent working dogs and are supremely good at agility, obedience, flyball and pretty much any other canine sport. They are hard working and thrive on praise but are also capable of independent thought. However, they will bore easily if not challenged. They will get on well with people and other animals with the right training. They have a lot of energy and tremendous stamina but must have plenty to exercise body and brain every day. They need regular grooming although professional grooming is generally not needed. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and deafness and are often allergic to fleas.BriardBriards need a firm hand and lots of love, but with the right training, are said to return the love ten-fold. They are a large and powerful dog with a double coat, the outer being shaggy and coarse and they come in various shades of fawn and black. They also have a distinctive square nose, shaggy beard and double dew claws on their back legs. Originally the Briard was a herding dog but has also proved its value in the armed forces and police. The Briard loves to herd and has exceptional hearing. They are good-natured, fearless, loyal, and very trainable but with a strong protective instinct. They are normally good with strangers and children and with the right training, they will get along with other animals. They need plenty of exercise outdoors even though they tend to be fairly active indoors too, they often particularly enjoy swimming. They need plenty of grooming to maintain the shaggy coat. They are generally healthy but can be prone to PRA, hip dysplasia and bloat.Catalan SheepdogThe Catalan Sheepdog will serve his family well as a loyal and intelligent companion. They are a medium-sized dog with a long, dark, shaggy coat. Because the long hair covers the face too, it gives the impression of a beard and moustache. They tend to moult in two stages, first the front half and then the back. They were bred to guard and herd sheep in their native Spain. They are very trainable and excel at dog sports like agility, obedience and doggy dancing. They naturally guard and tend to become attached to their family but they can be taught to get on well with other people and other animals. They need plenty of physical and mental exercise and their long coat needs regular grooming. They are prone to hip dysplasia.Collie (Rough)This highly intelligent dog has many talents as showcased by the famous Lassie. The Collie is large and strong but lean. The ears are distinctive: they are partly upright but the ends fold forward. There are two coat types, the rough and the smooth. Rough Collies have long, straight hair all over their bodies with a magnificent mane down their neck and chest. They both can come in a large variety of colours including the blue merle. They were originally bred to herd and protect sheep in Scotland but have also been successfully used in search and rescue and acting as guide dogs for the blind. They are very intelligent and highly trainable. Although loyal and naturally protective of their family, they are good natured and normally get on well with people and other animals. They need plenty of opportunities to exercise their body and brain. Both coat types need grooming but the rough coat needs substantially more. They are generally healthy but can be prone to PRA, eye defects and hip problems. Some of them also carry the MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive to some drugs.Collie (Smooth)This highly intelligent dog has many talents as showcased by the famous Lassie (of the Rough Coated type). The Collie is large and strong but lean. The ears are distinctive: they are partly upright but the ends fold forward. There are two coat types, the rough and the smooth. Smooth-coated Collies have a shorter, harsher coat with a soft undercoat. They both can come in a large variety of colours including the blue merle. They were originally bred to herd and protect sheep in Scotland but have also been successfully used in search and rescue and acting as guide dogs for the blind. They are very intelligent and highly trainable. Although loyal and naturally protective of their family, they are good natured and normally get on well with people and other animals. They need plenty of opportunities to exercise their body and brain. They are generally healthy but can be prone to PRA, eye defects and hip problems. Some of them also carry the MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive to some drugs.Estrela Mountain DogThe Estrela is good if you want a substantial dog with a commanding voice. This is a large, strong and sturdy dog. They come in two coat types: long and short. The long has a slightly coarse, thick top coat and dense undercoat. The short is similar but the outer coat is shorter. They can come in a variety of colours. They are Portuguese and were bred to fight wolves and protect sheep. Their urge to guard is strong and they are devoted to their family but can be suspicious of strangers. They are strong-willed but intelligent and trainable. They can be taught to get on well with strangers and other animals. They need good daily exercise outside and often favour being outside because of their thick coats. They're also agile and capable of jumping substantial heights. They are relatively easy to groom despite the thick coat. There are no known health problems.Finnish LapphundThe Finnish Lapphund is a friendly, family dog that loves people and is eager to please. A little less than medium-sized and fairly broad in body and head with a curly tail, they are often tricolour with brown 'eye-brow' markings. Their double coat is long and very thick, consisting of a longer outer coat and a thick, wooly undercoat to enable them to survive in extreme cold conditions in their native Finland. They were originally used by the Sami people for herding reindeer so they enjoy being outdoors and will often choose to stay outside. Like many other spitz breeds, they can be vocal. They are very good with people and children and generally fine with other dogs but have a tendency to chase wildlife. They are full of energy and need quite a bit of exercise and many breeders will require new owners to have a good sized garden. Their coat doesn't matt easily but grooming can be quite time consuming as there is so much coat, a good groom once a week should be fine. They can moult periodically quite dramatically and require regular combing during this time to remove loose hair. Health testing is done for PRA (night blindness). There are also problems with hereditary cataracts but the gene has not yet been found for this and they should be hip scored before breeding.German Shepherd DogGiven consistent, firm training, the German Shepherd Dog, or GSD, can turn his paw to pretty much anything. They are balanced, muscular and very strong with long, pointed ears and a bushy tail. There are three coat types, the most common double coat, the plush coat, and the longhaired coat. All of these coat types appear fairly frequently, they come in degrees of thickness but all are quite soft and come in shades of black and tan, black, white and sable. The name tells us everything about this dog's history: originally a working farm dog from Germany, but they have proved invaluable in police work, the armed forces and many other fields. German Shepherds are fearless, loyal, eager to learn, very intelligent and have a steady temperament. They are highly skilled as a working dog and can be trained for a huge range of jobs as well as activities such as obedience and flyball. They bond closely with a family but can be wary of strangers, they can be trained to get on well with other animals. They need lots of opportunities for physical and mental exercise. They need regular grooming but are likely to shed constantly despite this. There are some known hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, bloat, epilepsy, eczema, keratitis, dwarfism and flea allergies.Hungarian KuvaszThe Hungarian Kuvasz has very strong guarding instincts and while this may be an asset for working, they would need careful training to make a suitable family dog. They are a large, thick-coated dog that comes in white or cream. In the show ring, the head is thought to be the most attractive part of the dog, this is well proportioned with a large mane around the neck and down to the chest. They originate from Tibet but have been known in Hungary for hundreds of years as sheep guardians. They have a very strong urge to protect, are intelligent and think for themselves, so need well considered training. They can form a close bond with the pets and people of their family but need to be taught to accept those outside. They need plenty of regular exercise and prefer to be outside in cooler weather. This is a breed that needs to be brushed regularly but not bathed too often as the natural oils in the coat help it to shed dirt. They are generally healthy but may suffer from hip dysplasia and are inclined to drool and slobber.Hungarian PuliUnderneath their striking coat, the Hungarian Puli is a likeable and very capable dog. The most noticeable thing about this medium-sized, compact dog is the huge, corded coat. Because it completely covers their head and covers a tail that curls up and over the body, it's almost difficult to tell which end is which. The coat can reach the ground and can come in a range of colours. They have been used for many years in Hungary as a sheep dog. The shepherds preferred the darkest colours, probably because they were easier to spot amongst the sheep. They are lively, cheerful and highly intelligent and make a good family pet as long as children are not rough with them. Their trainability means they do well in sports like obedience and even agility. They may be a little wary of strangers but as long as people adhere to general rule of 'let the puli come to you' they are usually friendly. They will bark enthusiastically but are unlikely to be aggressive. Pulis are an active dog and need regular daily walks outside. Surprisingly, the coat seems to be able to protect them equally well against hot as well as cold conditions. Although Pulis are bathed, they are not brushed as this would ruin the coat, instead the coat has to be hand separated into strands of the correct thickness, about the width of a pencil. The coat takes a lot of work to create the cords to begin with, and then weekly maintenance. Reputable breeders will test for hip dysplasia and eye problems (mainly Retinal Dysplasia), but in general this breed is very hardy.Hungarian PumiThe distinctive appearance of the Hungarian Pumi is likely the result of his origins as a cross between the Hungarian Puli and German and French prick-eared sheepdogs. However, there is probably a good deal of terrier in the breed too, as they have a very terrier-like personality. They are quite a small dog with an elongated muzzle and a medium-length, curled coat that has to be trimmed regularly like that of the Poodle to avoid it matting. However, also like the Poodle, they have little to no shedding. Their colouring is normally anything from black to light grey but always one solid colour. They were bred as a farm dog to guard and drive cattle and to clear vermin. As a result, they are energetic, spirited and intelligent so need plenty of mental and physical exercise. The Pumi is loyal and very trainable, if a little noisy, but needs to be well socialised to strangers and other animals from an early age. Pumis are generally a very healthy breed with a life expectancy of 12-14 years.KomondorThe Komondor, with his white, flocked coat, easily blends in with the sheep he has been bred to guard. But, beware of thinking of him as a meek little lamb, he is a fierce protector. They are a large, muscular dog with a large head and big bone structure. However, it is difficult to see any part of the dog clearly because of the enormous, white, felted, corded coat that can reach up 11 inches long. They came with the Cumans into Tibet hundreds of years ago. Their name means "Cuman Dog". They were, and still are, used to guard sheep. They are bred to work independently, guarding a flock against any kind of threat including wolves and bears. As a result, they are fiercely protective and not naturally biddable. They need to be trained to be sociable towards other animals and strangers and, if they are to live with children, it is best to raise them with children. They need quite a lot of exercise but left to their own devices will tend to sleep so need to be taken for a brisk daily walk. Due to their coat, they are happiest outdoors and can live outdoors in many climates for most of the year. Their coat must never be brushed or combed but they can be bathed, although the coat takes a long time to dry and must be dried fully. They are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat and skin problems.Lancashire HeelerThe Lancashire Heeler is a tough little character who likes to be busy. They are a small dog with a long body and short legs in relation to the body length. The coat is black with tan markings or liver with tan markings. It is short and sleek in summer but grows thicker in winter when it develops a noticeable mane. Like other low to the ground dogs such as the Corgi, the Heeler was bred to herd cattle by nipping at the ankles, but is rarely used for herding today. They are intelligent and eager to learn but may not be the easiest breed to train. Because of their instinct to nip ankles, especially when excited, this needs to be trained out of them. They generally like people but may be a little wary of strangers and they tend to prefer the company of older rather than younger children. They can be friendly to other dogs but naturally want to be in charge. Care needs to be taken around small mammals as they are the Heeler's normal prey. They enjoy a daily walk but tend to be very active indoors too. The coat is easy to maintain with regular brushing and combing. There is a health condition in the breed called Primary Lens Luxation for which there is a DNA test. All puppies should be bred from health tested parents or those that are hereditarily clear of lens luxation.Maremma SheepdogThe Maremma Sheepdog is a large guardian who will naturally protect his family and home in a calm and dignified manner. They are a very large dog with a dense double coat and a bear-like head. The coat is quite long, harsh, has a slight wave and comes in shades of white and cream. They originate in Italy where they were used for guarding sheep and are still used for that today. As flock guardians they are brave, an excellent guard dog and naturally independent so are not an easy dog to obedience train but they are affectionate, loyal and intelligent. They are normally good with children, other dogs and other animals but may be a little wary of strangers. They much prefer to be outside and do not fair well in hot conditions. If not living outside, they need long daily walks. The thick hair needs regular grooming but there are no known health problems.Norwegian BuhundThe Norwegian Buhund is a quick learner with a natural desire to please. They are considered by many to be the easiest of the spitz breeds to train. They are a medium-sized spitz-style dog with an alert little face and erect, mobile ears. Their double coat has a smooth, harsh outer and comes in wheaten, light red, black and wolf-sable. Early Buhunds worked with Vikings, herding and guarding cattle and sheep and were then buried alongside their owners to accompany them in the afterlife. Now Buhunds can be found in many roles from hearing dog to police dog. The Norwegian Buhund can be a little wilful but is generally a cheerful, intelligent and attentive dog. They make a good watch dog but are just as happy as a family pet. They are people friendly and especially fond of children and not naturally aggressive to other animals. They are a very active dog that needs plenty of regular physical and mental exercise. They need regular brushing and combing and shed heavily at certain times of the year but their coat is easy to keep clean. They are prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems.Old English SheepdogThe Old English Sheepdog has a distinctive shaggy coat. Back in the 18th Century, the farmers would shear them along with the sheep to make warm clothes and blankets for the winter. They are a large and strong but compact dog with a large head. Their double coat has a coarse outer coat with a soft, waterproof undercoat. The outercoat is long and covers their entire body including hanging over their eyes. It comes in combinations of greys and whites. They are sometimes born tailless. Possibly originating in Europe but finding favour as a sheep herder in the UK, the Old English Sheepdog has been used to herd reindeer, too, as their coat enables them to cope with the cold. They make a good family pet: stable, friendly, loving and happy to fit in around people. They are loyal, intelligent, trainable and protective with a resonant bark that sounds like a cracked bell. They are people friendly, good with children and get along with other animals. They are fairly active indoors but need a good daily run outside too. The long hair needs a lot of brushing and combing to stop it from matting and needs clipping regularly. They can be prone to certain blood disorders, hip dysplasia and cataracts and may have a gene that makes them sensitive to certain drugs.Picardy SheepdogPicardy Sheepdogs, known as Berger Picard in their native France, were nearly extinct after World Wars 1 and 2 but have had something of a revival since then. They have appeared in a number of films in the USA because their rustic look gives them the appearance of a lovable cross-breed. They are a medium-sized dog with a thick, wiry, waterproof coat that is normally fawn or brindle, which is quite easy to maintain. They can also be quite amusing with a tendency to look as though they're laughing or smiling. The Picardy is hardy and well-muscled but not a heavy dog and they can take plenty of exercise. They are lively and intelligent, if a little reserved around strangers, but are quiet, loyal and love company.Polish Lowland SheepdogThe Polish Lowland Sheepdog may look cuddly but they need plenty of opportunity to exercise their body and brain. They are a medium-sized, shaggy dog with a lot of hair around their forehead, cheeks and chin, which gives them a friendly appearance. They are quite well muscled and broad and all coat colours are acceptable. They may have descended from corded herding dogs and have excellent herding skills although today are often more of a pet. With firm and clear training, they can make a happy, dependable and affectionate family dog. They are intelligent, fairly easy to train and have an excellent memory. Naturally child-friendly, they can be wary of strangers, but are generally good with dogs and other pets. They are bred to be a working dog, to be outside and follow instruction. As a result, they need a lot of mental and physical exercise. Regular grooming is needed, at least once a week, to keep their coat free from matting. They are a hardy dog with no known health problems.Pyrenean Mountain DogThis gentle giant is a natural guard dog who is normally affectionate toward their own family. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a very large well-proportioned dog with a large body and a great, thick weather-resistant double coat. The undercoat is soft and woolly and the top coat, coarse and flat. They also have a mane around the shoulders and neck. The coat is mainly white but can have small patches of badger, wolf-grey or pale yellow. Originally, they were used as a flock guard in the Pyrenees. They are very intelligent, independent and protective. Within their own family they are serious but can be affectionate with children, animals and people they know. Because it is in their nature to want to look after their family, they need to be socialised well with people, children and animals from outside. Pyrenean Mountain Dogs need a moderate amount of exercise so need a good daily walk if not being used as a working dog. The heavy coat needs regular brushing and combing, they shed continually but more so at certain times of the year. They can be prone to bloat, hip dysplasia, bone cancer and kneecap problems.Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired)Although a sheepdog, many Pyrenean Sheepdogs are more like a Terrier in personality. They are a small-medium sized dog, very slender underneath their shaggy coat. The breed standard states that the ribs should be easy to feel. Their hairy face, little semi-pricked ears and rough coat leads many people to believe they are some kind of terrier mix than a purebred. They were bred to herd sheep in the French mountains. They are not the easiest dog to train, they are highly intelligent and knowing with a hint of mischief in their make up. Given an experienced dog-handler with the time to devote to their training, they can be an impressive dog but they are easily bored, love to bark and have a high prey drive. Care needs to be taken to properly socialise them in their early life as they can be wary of strangers. They also have a tendency to chase small mammals. They need a lot of physical and mental exercise, they are athletic and very fast. The long coat needs regular brushing and combing. They are a generally healthy and long lived breed but it's worth checking them for hip and elbow problems and eye and hearing problems.SamoyedSamoyeds are affectionate and playful with everyone even if they're not 100% reliable in doing as they're told. They are quite a large spitz-type breed with a huge, thick coat that has a ruff round the neck and shoulders. They normally come in white but can also come in biscuit, yellow or cream. They also have flat feet and hair between and under their pads to cope with very cold ground. The originate from Siberia where they were used to pull sleds, guard property and herd reindeer. They are gentle, loyal, loving and happy-go-lucky. They are very intelligent and can be trained but on the downside, have a tendency to bark and love to chew. Samoyeds usually get on well with strangers, children and most animals although they do have an instinct to hunt. They need regular exercise and find warmer temperatures harder to cope with because of their coat. The thick coat needs a good deal of brushing and combing and they can shed excessively at certain times of the year. They are prone to hip dysplasia, diabetes, skin allergies and PRA.Shetland SheepdogThe Shetland Sheepdog is smart, energetic and rather glamorous. They are a small dog that looks like a miniature Rough Coated Collie: fine featured with a long double coat that has a mane around the neck and chest. Their coat comes in blue merle, sable and black with varying amounts of white and/or tan. They were bred in the 1700s to guard and herd sheep in the Shetland Islands, off the coast of Scotland. They are eager to please, affectionate and extremely intelligent. They are very trainable with plenty of energy and do particularly well at sports such as agility and obedience. They can be a little reserved around strangers but are generally fine with children and other dogs. Although active indoors, they are a breed with a good deal of energy that needs a daily walk too and they love to chase things. Regular brushing is important to keep the coat looking good and they are a seasonal heavy shedder. They can have malformed or diseased eyes and are prone to hypothyroidism and kneecap problems. They can also be allergic to certain medicines.Swedish LapphundThe Swedish Lapphund is a resilient well-rounded dog that can turn their paw to anything, be it herding, guarding, hunting or family pet. They are very rare but are the national dog of Sweden. They are a medium-sized spitz type breed with a typical spitz rectangular shape. Their weather-proof coat is thick with a soft dense undercoat and a harsher outer coat that stands out. They come in black, brown or a combination of the two with occasional small patches of white. They have a long history which goes back to when they were a hunting and guarding dog for ancient Scandinavian tribes, to being used to herd reindeer in the mid 18th Century. They are a highly intelligent and trainable dog but one that is capable of independent thought too. They enjoy human company and are brave, loyal and friendly. They are normally good with other animals, people and children but have a tendency to bark. They need regular physical and mental exercise but they do not tolerate heat well. Despite the thickness of their coat, they are relatively easy to brush and comb but they can shed heavily. They are prone to epilepsy and hip dysplasia.Swedish VallhundSwedish Vallhunds are busy little dogs who love human company and want to be involved with everything. They are small and low to the ground but strong and sturdy. Their head is quite long with erect, alert ears. Their coat, can be either 'silver' or 'red', both are a combination of dark hairs and lighter hairs, the silver has a cream undercoat whereas the red's undercoat is more tan. Their double coat is thick with a dense undercoat, slightly harsh outer and a slight mane. They can have patches of white but this is not desired. They may be distantly related to the Corgi and had a similar role as a cattle herding dog. "Vallhund" means "cattle dog" and as puppies, their natural tendency is to nip ankles but this can easily be trained out of them. They have a cheerful, affectionate, steady temperament and are highly intelligent and trainable. They also love the sound of their own bark. They are people, children and animal friendly. Although active indoors, they enjoy a daily walk too and have good stamina. Their coat is easy to maintain with regular brushing and combing and occasional bathing. There are no known health problems.Turkish Kangal DogThe Kangal Dog is a favourite among Turks and has been declared the National Dog of Turkey. He is to be found not only guarding sheep and goats but on postage stamps and coins. They are a large, powerful, heavy-boned dog with a broad head and a tail that curls up and over the back. Their short, thick, double coat is fawn to grey with a black muzzle and often black ears. They are named after the Kangal district in Turkey from where they originate and have always been used as a flock guard. The Kangal Dog will bond closely with their family and be loyal and affectionate but their primary instinct is to guard. They will confront anything they perceive to be a threat but will only attack if necessary. They are a little more people-friendly than most flock guarding dogs and generally like children but they are naturally wary of strange dogs and strangers. They have great strength and speed and need a good deal of physical and mental exercise. They do not need a lot of grooming but will shed heavily at certain times of the year. There are no known health problems.Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)The most obvious difference between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is that the Cardigan has a long tail. Other differences are that their ears are a little larger and set wider, they have a slightly longer, heavier body, a less wedge-shaped head, round feet and less straight legs. They are a fairly small dog with a well-proportioned head, body and tail but short legs giving them a stocky look. Their double coat, which can come in any colour with or without white markings, is thick and longer at the ruff, backs of legs and long tail. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the older of the two types of Corgi. They go back as far as 1200 and were used as a cattle herding dog. They were also called a "Yard dog" because their length to the tip of their tail is the same as a Welsh yard. They are highly intelligent, trainable, adaptable, loving and loyal. They need to be taught not to bark too much and puppies will have a natural tendency to bite ankles but this can be trained out of them. They need to be socialised well with other animals and children and may be a little wary of strangers. They are an active dog that needs a good daily walk. The water-resistant coat is easy to maintain with regular brushing and combing and occasional bathing. They are prone to PRA and glaucoma. They are also prone to back disorders and have a tendency to put on weight easily so it is important to avoid overfeeding as the added weight makes the back problems worse.Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)The most obvious difference between the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is that the Pembroke has very little and sometimes no tail. Other differences are that their ears are a little smaller and set closer together, they have a slightly shorter, lighter body, a more wedge-shaped head, oval feet and straighter legs. They are a fairly small with a well-proportioned head and body but short legs giving them a stocky look. Their double coat, in shades of red (with or without black) with white patches, is thick and longer at the ruff and backs of legs. They were bred out of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi for herding cows. The low body and lack of tail meant that they could keep out of harm from the cows' legs. They are a busy dog, interested in everything and highly intelligent, trainable, adaptable, loving and loyal. They need to be taught not to bark too much and puppies will have a natural tendency to bite ankles but this can be trained out of them. They need to be socialised well with other animals and may be a little wary of strangers but they are usually good with children. They are an active dog that needs a good daily walk. The water-resistant coat is easy to maintain with regular brushing and combing and occasional bathing. They are prone to PRA and glaucoma. They are also prone to back disorders and have a tendency to put on weight easily so it is important to avoid overfeeding as the added weight makes the back problems worse.White Swiss Shepherd DogThe White Swiss Shepherd Dog or "Berger Blanc Suisse" has only been officially recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK since 2017. The breed was initially a herding dog developed in Switzerland in the twentieth century. They can be medium or long haired and (as the name suggests) they always have a white coat. They usually have a great temperament, and are loyal family pets that are friendly towards children. They are also lively and intelligent, and require plenty of exercise, stimulation and company if they are not to get bored. They can be very good at agility, obedience, flyball, tracking, herding and more. They shed their hair throughout the year, with heavy shedding in response to temperature changes. As with many working breeds, it's worth considering hip and elbow dysplasia tests with this breed, along with a number of other standard health tests.