Breed Spotlight

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Cleo, Keeshond

March 29, 2020

The Keeshond (kays-hond) is a member of the Spitz family and was bred as a barge dog. They first became popular in the mid-18th century and were often found on farms, in villages, and at the docks in Holland. They made excellent watchdogs and companions and were also used for hunting, herding, and drafting. The first American litter was born in 1929 and the Keeshond Club of America was formed in 1935. These little guys are closely related to the Chow, Finnish Spitz, Samoyed, Norwegen Elkhound, and Pomeranian.

"The breed’s name is pronounced “Kays-hond” and it is named for a leader of the people’s party whose nickname was ‘Kees.’ Thus the party mascot became ‘the dog of Kees’ or Keeshond. The Keeshond has another claim to fame. It is often referred to as the dog with spectacles due to distinctive markings about the eyes that enhance its expression." (

Keeshonds can grow up to 40lbs and up to 18" tall. They have a beautiful double coat which helps keep them warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. They do shed heavily twice a year, but brushing 3 times per week is sufficient to avoid matting. They stay relatively clean and only require a bath every three months or so. They should never be shaved. 

These dogs are very playful and are true people lovers. They are a breed that needs to have human contact and be involved as part of the family. Because of this they do not do well home alone and it is recommended someone is home with these guys most of the time. They have been known to bark when bored. Keeshonds are highly intelligent and easily trained. They have been known to be so smart that they can be mischievious and owners are encouraged to expect the unexpected. Keeshonds are also very sensitive and obedient dogs and bred primarily as a companion dogs today. Be aware that Keeshonds can live up to 15 years. They are prone to a number of health conditions including eyes, hips, knees, thyroid. They also have a higher probability of developing Addison's Disease, allergies, and epilepsy.

Meet the Model

Name - Cleo

Sex - Female

Breed Class (CKC)  - Non-Sporting

Born - 05/21/2017

Education - A few puppy obedience classes

Favourite Things - Hiking, boating, and sticking her head out the car window

Dislikes - Big dogs, loud noises, and straws

Highlights and Achievements - Won a community obedience contest

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Chinese Crested

Tinsel, Chinese Crested

March 21, 2020

The origins of the Chinese Crested go back many centuries and there is no documentation about when the breed was initially created. It is believed that large, hairless dogs were transported to China from Africa and generations of breeding focused on reducing the size of the breed. Expert rat catchers, these dogs became known as Chinese Ship Dogs and they travelled over the world keeping ships rat free. Eventually they became known around the world as they were traded in shipping ports in Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, and as far as South  America. Chinese Cresteds made their initial appearance in the United States in the 1880's. Nearly 100 years later, the American Chinese Crested Club was form in 1979 and were finally accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1991 as the club's 132nd recognized breed. Over the years the breed has been named - Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Edible Dog, and the Chinese Royal Hairless.

The Chinese Crested is a small, elegant breed that can stand up to 13" tall and weigh up to 12lbs. The breed comes in two varieties - Hairless and Powderpuff. Both varieties can be born within the same litter. The Hairless variety has hair only on the head tail and feet. The Powderpuff is completely covered with hair. Despite being nearly hairless, the Chinese Crested is prone to allergies, skin issues and sunburn. Skin cream and lotions are required. The Powderpuff needs to be brushed daily. 

Short daily walks and playing in the yard are sufficient to exercise this small dog (be sure to use sunscreen or clothing for sun protection!). These little guys are happy to sleep in late and laze around on the couch with you. If you are active, they can be competitive little dogs and often do well in flyball, obedience, lure coursing, and agility. They are also excellent therapy dogs. Cresteds have a very soft temperament and training must include patience and a gentle hand. Even harsh words can damage the trust and relationships.

The Chinese Crested can live up to 18 years. Can be prone to eye problems, epilepsy, patellar luxation, and heart problelms. 

Meet the Model

Name - Tinsel

Sex - Female

Breed Class (CKC)  - Toy

Born - 04/28/2014

Education - agility and tricks

Favourite Things - tricks and treats! 

Dislikes - being wet or cold

Highlights and Achievements - Tinsel has performed at the Calgary stampede and many other fairs and exhibitions. She has been part of the Canadian agility team and participated in the European open competition in France. She is also a movie dog!

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Wylie, Tamaskan

March 14, 2021

The Tamaskan is a relatively new breed and was first developed in the 1980's in Finland by crossing Alaskan Malamutes, Huskies, and German Shepherds. The intent was to create a dog that looks like a wolf, but has the obedience and intelligence awarded to our domesticated partners. Many of the specifics went undocumented but there is speculation that the Czecholovakian Wolfdog was also brought into the mix.  The first registered Tamaskan Dogs were born in 2002. There are 50 Tamaskan dogs registered in Canada and currently only 4 registered Tamaskans in Calgary.

The Tamaskan is a large dog weighing up to 88lbs and reaching up to 28" tall. They are a long haired, double-coated breed but are not high-maintenance and a weekly brush is all that is necessary. A relatively healthy breed with limited congenital health history, they can develop epilepsy, high dysplasia, and myelopathy. These guys can live up to 15 years. They are not currently recognized by the Canadian or American Kennel clubs, but are recognized by the American Canine Association, the Dog Registry of America, and the Tamaskan Dog Register.

These dogs were bred to be intelligent, brave, and extremely loyal. However, as can be common with larger sized dogs exhibiting high intelligence they can be stubborn and require strong leadership. They are high energy dogs and early socialization and training is essential. Despite their high energy, Tamaskans are sweet and affectionate. These dogs are also prone to developing separation anxiety as they bond very well with their owners and do not do well alone. They do well as companion and working dogs and can excel at various dog sports like agility, obedience, and field trials.

Meet the Model

Name - Wylie

Sex - Male

Breed Class (CKC)  - NA

Born - 11/27/2012

Education - Dryland Mushing (Canicross, bikejoring), Rally O, Barn Hunt, and Sprinters

Favourite Things - Walks, Car Rides, Kitties, and his pack of Dachshunds

Dislikes - Remote control cars, skunks, and his toothbrush

Highlights and Achievements - 3 Rally titles in 2 venues, the first Tamaskan dog in Western Canada, the first Tamaskan dog to achieve a CKC title (Rally Novice and Intermediate).

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German Pinscher

Flicker, German Pinscher

March 7, 2021

The German Pinscher was originally bred in the 1600's as a rat hunter and watchdog. It excelled as a rodent killer in stables across Germany and is one of the countries oldest breeds. In 1884 the first breed standard was published. The breed lost popularity and was listed as nearly extinct after WWII. In order to save the breed, breeding had to be done with larger than average Miniature Pinschers which are the base of todays breed. These guys made their way to North America in the late 70's and joined AKC  (working group) in 2003. They are also recognized by CKC in the non-sporting group.

A medium sized Pinscher, German Pinschers stand up to 20" and weighs up to 35lbs. They have a smooth, short coat which can come in tan, fawn, red, black and tan, and blue. They require very little for grooming. These tenacious, highly intelligent little dogs are known to be courageous, playful and affectionate. They are watchful and weary of strangers making them great guarders. Being a rodent killer,  this breed is not known to be good with other, smaller pets. They require a moderate amount of exercise, have no known health concerns, and can live 12 -15 years.

Meet the Model

Name - Flicker

Sex - Female

Breed Class (CKC)  - Non-Sporting Group

Born - 08/01/2015

Education - Barnhunt, Disc, Flyball, Obedience, Rally O, and scent detection

Favourite Things - Warm snuggles and hunting in hay bales

Dislikes - The cold, any colder than 15C

Highlights and Achievements - Completed AKC Rally Obedience titles in 2020

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Dylan, Maremma

February 27, 2021

The Maremma Sheepdog (Mare-Emma), also known as Cane de Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, is a large, livestock guardian dog who was bred for thousands of years to protect sheep in the Maremma marshlands near Tuscany, Italy. They are descendants of the Tibetan Mastiff and share many attributes with the Kuvasz, Akbash, Tatra, and Great Pyrenees among others. The first official Maremma Sheepdog was registered with the Kennel Club Italiano in 1898. It was first introducted to the US in the early 1970's. They currently can be registered with the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, New Zealand Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club in the UK, among a few others.

Hard-working and determined dogs, Maremmas are known to be affectionate, protective, friendly, and intelligent. Generally easy to train, owners should be reminded that they are bred to be independent and can be stubborn. Consistency is key! Early socialization is important as these guys can be a bit aloof with strangers. They are good protectors, without being known as barkers.

These large dogs can weigh up to 100lbs and reach up to 28.5" tall. Maremma's have a dense undercoat and a course outercoat to deflect dirt and water. To maintain their coat, Maremma's require regular brushing to remove dead and loose hairs, it is recommended that they are never shaved. They do well outdoors, but, due to obvious reasons, they do not do well in hot weather. As a working dog, these dogs need mental and physical exercise daily. Long walks are necessary and they need regular opportunities to run free.

A hardy and healthy breed, these guys are prone to some common large breed issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat and musculoskeletal problems and their average lifespan is 11-13 years.

Meet the Model

Name - Dylan

Sex - Male

Breed Class - Working/Guarding

Birth Date - 09/01/2007

Passed Away - 12/23/ 2019

Favourite Activities - Leisurely walks and snuggling in bed

Dislikes - Bugs and camping

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Silken Windsprite

Phoenix, Silken Windsprite (Long-Haired Whippet)

February 12, 2021

Silken Windsprites are small, Whippet like dogs with long hair.  Though similar to Whippets and previously called Long-Haired Whippets, Windsprites do qualify as a unique breed. These delightful little dogs can grow up to 22" tall and 35lbs. Though not currently recognized by CKC or AKC (Canadian and American Kennel Clubs), they are recognized by the United Kennel Club and the International Windsprite Club serves as registry, breed standard and parent club.

Though there is some confusion about the origin of the Windsprite: genetic recessive gene discovered in Whippets vs Whippets mixed with Sheltie and possibly Borzoi. Regardless, this breed popped up in the United States in the 1970's and became popular in the 1980's. An athletic Sighthound, Windsprites enjoy companionship, dog sports, and their people.

These little go getters will excel in whatever dog sport you decide to participate in including Rally-O, agility, lure coursing, disc dog, obedience, etc. Wanting to have a quiet day? That's ok, these guys are equally calm and relaxed! They do have a very high prey drive and they react strongly to movement. They are highly intelligent and easily trained, do not have a tendency towards barking, and are extremely affectionate. They also have a life-span of 12-15 years.

Meet The Model

Name - Phoenix

Sex - Female

Breed Class -   

Born - 06/01/2019

Education - Disc Dog and Flyball Training

Favourite Activities - Running fast and barking loudly!

Dislikes - Detests wearing clothes and will quickly chew them to bits

Highlights and Achievements - Has qualified for the Updog International Finals at the end of April - Good Luck Phoenix!!

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Canadian Eskimo Dog

Xerox, Canadian Eskimo Dog

February 5, 2021

The Canadian Eskimo Dog (CED)/Canadian Inuit Dog is a unique and truly authentic Canadian dog breed dating back to 2000 BC. These are the original dogs bred and raised by the Canadian Inuit people - Qimmiq (dog). A working dog, these dogs are bred and worked as a sled dog and can pull up to 80kg per dog while covering vast distances of up to 112km! They do well in the cold, dry climate of the Canadian arctic. They were also originally used to assist hunters by finding seal holes in the ice and could hold musk ox and even polar bears at bay.

The population took a nose dive from about 20,000 in the early 1900's to a single breeding male as recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1963. The breed was listed as extinct. Thankfully the breed was rescued by a few passionate people (Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation) who ventured far and wide to locate remote communities and dogs not touched by the RCMP culls of the 60's. To this day there are 300 or less purebred, registered Canadian Eskimo Dogs in existence.

These hardy, powerful dogs are the embodiment of strength and endurance and they need to be worked or exercised for a minimum of 40 minutes per day. They can grow up to 70cm tall and weigh as much as 40kg. They have thick double coats with an insulating undercoat helping them thrive in cold climate conditions. Despite the long hair these dogs do not need to be groomed very often. They can come in any number of colour combinations aside from brindle and merle.

Meet The Model

Name - Xerox

Sex - Male

Breed Class - Working 

Born - 07/09/2016

Education - Rally O, Scent Detection, Obedience

Favourite Activities - Showing off, sledding!

Dislikes - Being away from owner, pushy male dogs, having his feet touched

Highlights and Achievements - Canadian Grand Champion (conformation), #2 CED in Canada in 2019, First ever (and only) CED to earn Novice Sprinter and Chase Ability Titles and half way to next achievement. Currently working towards Trick Dog Novice and Intermediate Titles as well as his Sled/Scooter Titles with the Canadian Eskimo Dog Club of Great Britain.

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Moze, Barbet

January 30, 2021

The Barbet (Bar-Bay) is a medium sized, curly coated breed from France with artwork and scripts dating the breed back to the 14th century. The breed nearly went extinct after the World Wars but those passionate about the breed were able to bring them back. They are ancestors to quite a few of today's breeds including the Griffon, Newfoundland, Bichon, and Poodle. They are still a very rare breed today but are now recognized by both the Canadian and American Kennel Clubs (2020) as part of the Sporting Group.  

A water dog, the Barbet is bred as a hunting dog used to locate, flush, and retrieve birds and is an extremely strong swimmer. Officially named for their distinctive beards (barbe in French), Barbets are nicknamed "Mud Dog" due to their love of swampy, muddy places. Their thick, curly coat is waterproof and helps protect them in cold water. This coat requires regular brushing and bathing. These cuties come in coats of brown, grey, red fawn, pied, sandy, white, chestnut, and black  and can sometimes have white markings. They are hypoallergenic and non shedding.

The Barbet is a medium sized dog and can reach 24.5", 65lbs and has a life expectancy of 12-14 years. Barbets are a relatively healthy breed, but should be tested for hips, elbows, eyes, seizures, and allergies. They have an extremely sweet and sensitive nature, are very intelligent, and are generally friendly, happy and social dogs. They are a little on the higher energy side and generally love water, so be prepared to be active. They even have webbed paws making them incredible swimmers! They are easily trained and are game for activities such as agility, dock diving, and coursing.

Meet the Model

Name - Moze

Sex - Male

Breed Class - Sporting

Born - 04/30/2018

Education - Basic and activity specific training (agility)

Favourite Activities - Toss, hide and seek - scent detection

Dislikes - Swimming, hunting, being groomed, veggies and most fruit

Highlights and Achievements - Fourth placement in Sporting Group at conformation show.

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Portuguese Podengo

Kooza, Portuguese Podengo Medio - Wire-haired

January 22, 2021

The Portuguese Podengo is a hunting dog that originated in Africa in 600 BC arriving in Portugal in the 700's. They were bred to hunt small and large game such as, rabbit, deer, and boar, depending on size.  They excel at hunting individually or as part of a pack. They have a specific, high-pitched bark that helps hunters to locate them and their prey. This bark is called "maticar". The breed comes in three different sizes - Pequeno, Medio, and Grande (small, medium and large - up to 28") and two different hair types - smooth and wire. 

Podengos have great personalities and are funny dogs who are fantastic at entertaining themselves. They are independent, alert, playful, and agile. The two larger sizes are recognized by AKC and 3 other registries (not currently recognized by CKC). They excel at coursing, agility, nose-work, barn hunt, rally and conformation. The medio and pequeno are higher energy than the large - who does enjoy some comfy couch time!  Though they are an intelligent breed, they are not easily trained and will test the unprepared owner. They need a firmer style of training or their curiosity will land them in trouble with their own adventures. They are food motivated, however, and will work for a fun reward!

Regular brushing and bathing is all this breed requires for grooming, more for the wire-haired  than the smooth coat. They are one of the healthiest breeds and can live into their mid- to late -teens. Podengos are also great companion and watch dogs.

Other Resources

Pez, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno - Smooth Coat

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Sirius, Azawakh

January 17, 2021

The Azawakh is a beautiful, independent, loyal and affectionate breed that is recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club, American Kennel Club (Hound Group since 2018) as well as 9 other registries.

This tall, mid-sized dog (23-29” and up to 55kg) originated in Africa (Azawagh Valley) as a hunting dog and has been chasing after speedy rabbits and gazelles for centuries, particularly in the South Sahara and West Africa. As a sprinter, this breed relies keenly on its excellent vision and incredible speed - up to 60km/hr - and they hunt in packs!! This breed is particularly well suited as a companion, guardian, and hunter.

Exercise and proper diet are extremely important for Azawakhs as they tend to gain weigh easily. They are an active breed and regular exercise is very important - at least once daily. They are fantastic running companions and grooming needs are minimal - brush down weekly and bathe when necessary.

Azawakhs are very intelligent and easily trained, however their independent nature requires training to start very early and owners must be diligent. This is a very soft breed and harsh punishment will do more harm than good. This breed (as most) requires positive, reward-based training. High socialization and exposure to varied locations is required with this breed to instil confidence and ensure calm behaviour. Often a one person dog, Azawakhs are fiercely devoted to one person and loves their close family. Can be wary of strangers making them a good protection dog.

No major genetic disorders and life expectancy up to 15 years.

Meet the Model

Name - Sirius

Sex - Male

Born - 07/19/2014

Education - Basic and activity specific training

Favourite Activities - Mushing, agility, skijoring, and snuggles

Highlights and Achievements - CKC Registered, CKC Champion, Field Champion, First Azawakh to course under CKC, First Azawakh to compete in CKC agility and qualify, First Azawakh to win Hound Group under CKC

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