Breed Spotlight 2

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Icelandic Sheepdog

Freyja, Icelandic Sheepdog

June 20, 2021

The Icelandic Sheepdog, is believed to be one of the world's oldest breeds. 1,100 years ago (AD 880) Vikings crossed the Norwegian Sea to colonize an island that is now called Iceland. This new Scandinavian country adopted the language and literature of the Norwegian settlers. The settlers also brought a Spitz-type dog that became popular in the region for herding sheep and ponies, now known as the Icelandic Sheepdog. These guys are Iceland's only native dog and were originally known as the "dog of the Vikings". It is believed that every Icelandic Sheepdog currently living in Iceland can be traced back to the first ISD champion (ISCH Islands Garoa Tinni Tinni - 'Black like a Firestone').  In the late 1800's, 75% of the native dogs in Iceland were lost to plague and distemper. By 1956, Sir Mark Watson wrote that he could only find 1 pure sheepdog on a remote island of Iceland. The breed made a recovery and the Icelandic Kennel Club was formed in 1969. In 2010 they gained full American Kennel Club acceptance and now there are over 6,000 ISD's in the world.

Standing up to 18" tall and weighing up to 30lbs, these friendly and playful little dogs are a joy to everyone they meet. The Icelandic Sheepdog has a heavy double coat with a long outer coat and a dense undercoat (some dogs also have a short coat). They shed a fair bit on a regular basis and even more during shedding season (twice a. year). Daily to weekly brushing is recommended to remove dirt and loose hair. 

Inquisitive and devoted, these little guys are eager to please and easily trainable. As with most dogs, early socialization and puppy classes are highly recommended to encourage healthy development of a well-mannered companion. As companion animals, these dogs need to be with their families and don't do well left alone for long periods of time. Moderate daily exercise is required and they will happily join you on any walk, hike or jog. They also need regular mental exercise in the form of canine sports (obedience, herding, tracking, agility, and rally).

Generally a healthy breed, they do have genetic predisposition to hip and elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation - breeding dogs should be health tested for these conditions prior to being bred. Ears, teeth and nails should be tended to regularly. These little dogs have been known to live up to 14 years of age.

Meet the Model

Name - Freyja

Sex - Female

Breed Class - Herding

Born - April 5, 2020

Education - Puppy class and basic obedience, starting herding school

Favourite Things - Everything! Especially people, treats, toys, swimming and playing fetch

Dislike - birds and squirrels

Highlights and Achievement - Herding Instinct Test


Fennie, Papillon

June 7, 2021

The Papillon (previously known as the "dwarf spaniel") was developed a few hundred years ago during the Renaissance Period. They are one of the oldest toy breeds (descended from the Continental Toy Spaniel) and found their place as companions to France and Belgium's royal ladies in the 17th and 18th centuries. It has even been said that Marie Antoinette's pet Papillon stood loyally outside the prison where she awaited her death sentence. The breed's name comes from the french word for Butterfly due to the appearance of their erect ears which look like a butterfly's wings. Originally the dogs had floppy ears like that of the spaniels they are descended from, known as Phalene. Today both varieties are accepted in the breed standard and are judged equally in the show ring. 

The Papillon is truly a tiny breed measuring up to 11" tall and only weighing up to 8lbs. In general, these dogs are primarily white with patches of colour (any colour but liver) over their ears and eyes and can have patches on their body as well. Ideally they have a white blaze on their foreheads (represents the body of the butterfly), but it is not required for the conformation ring. Their long, silky hair is easy to clean and requires no trimming, they also shed very little since they don't have an undercoat. Weekly brushings and monthly baths is all they need for care - they have very little doggy odour. Their nails grow quickly and must be trimmed regularly and teeth brushing is recommended to avoid dental health concerns.

Friendly and happy dogs, paps are also highly intelligent and are easy to train. They often compete in doggy sports and excel at obedience and agility. These little dogs are eager to please and completely devoted to their owners. They also do very well as Hearing Aid dogs and in pet therapy. They also make good watchdogs and will bark when hearing noises or people on the property, but they are not known as barkers. Papillons are a higher energy breed and they need plenty of physical and mental exercise. Luckily since they are small they don't need as much as larger dogs and a game of fetch in the hallway can suffice.  Since they were bred to be companion animals they do need the company of people or other pets and do not do well when left home alone for long stretches.

Robust and hardy little dogs, these guys have few genetic health issues (eyes, luxating patella, and heart concerns) especially when reputable breeders conduct health testing on their breeding dogs. Due to their small size, however, they can be easily injured. Care needs to be taken on stairs, when jumping off furniture, with larger pets, and with small children. The breed has a life expectancy up to 16 years.

Meet the Models

Name - Bluechip Queen just Fantasy CGN RN NS (Fennie) and Bluechip Meet me at Gibraltar (Gibs)

Sex - Male

Breed Class - Toy

Born - October 13, 2018 and September 13, 2020

Education - Agility, Canine Good Neighbour, Rally-O, Conformation / Agility, Conformation

Favourite Things - Chuck-it squeaker ball, playing with cats/ Shredding Kleenex, Chasing Fennie when chasing his ball, work with mom, chasing cats

Highlights and Achievement - Fennie - Canine Good Neighbour, Rally-Obendience Novice, 

Gibs, Papillon


Serendipity, Dalmatian

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May 27, 2021

Though the Dalmatian is one of the most recognizable breeds in society today, it's ancient origins remain a mystery.  Researchers tend to disagree on the history and are only able to theorize, thanks to ancient writings and artifacts, the origin of the breed and the location of birth and development - pointing to Europe, Africa and Asia. They are in agreement however that they have existed for hundreds of years. The main occupation of the Dalmatian was coach dog and in these early days he would escort, protect, and guard horse-drawn coaches and their belongings. He is the one and only dog used in this way, making his purpose unique. One of the reasons for their obscure history is their role along side the nomadic Romani people. By the early 1800's the breed was established in an area of Central Europe known as Dalmatia (now part of Craotia). In England Dals were common among British nobles and were also known as "English Coach Dog", "Spotted Dick", and the "Plum Pudding Dog". In the 1800's Dalmatians were used to pull and escort fire engines, debuting their well known association with firefighters. They were entered into the AKC Stud Book in 1888 and are still tested to this day for their "coach dog" ability. The breed has also been used as a border guard and sentinel, draft dog, shepherd, sporting dog (bird dog, trail hound, retriever, boar and stag hunting), pack dog, vermin control and performer (circus). 

The Dalmatian stands up to 24" tall and can weigh up to 70lbs. They are born without spots, and their unique spotted pattern comes in as the pups age. They are acceptable in two colour varieties - white with black spots and white with liver spots. They don't require much work for grooming, weekly brushing and the occasional bath are recommended. Despite their ease in some areas, Dalmatians are a high energy breed and are known for their speed and endurance. They require regular exercise including chasing a ball, biking and jogging with their owner, long hikes through the woods, and any dog sports they are competing in. Highly intelligent, they can be destructive if not engaged enough physically and mentally. As with most dogs, early socialization and training are imperative. The Dalmatian is a sensitive breed so be sure focus training and socializing to positive experiences. Dalmatians are known to be outgoing, quiet, and polite. Can be suspicious of people, making him a good watch dog. 

Dals have a good life expectancy and can live up to 13 years old, especially if coming from a reputable breeder. Some Dalmatians have lived up to 16 years old! The breed is prone to deafness due to their lack of pigmentation on the ears. Parents and puppies should be tested for deafness first, before breeding, and as the puppies develop. Approximately 8% are born completely deaf and up to 24% are deaf in one ear. They are also prone to bladder and kidney stones, hip dysplasia, thyroid, and eye conditions. Many of these conditions are genetic and health testing should be done on potential breeders.

Meet the Model

Name - Serendipity

Sex - Female

Breed Classification - Non-Sporting

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Finnish Lapphund

James, Finnish Lapphund

May 19, 2021

The Finnish Lapphund (also known as Lapinkoira or more recently as Suomenlapinkoira) is an ancient breed that was developed by the Sami (Lapp) people of northern Scandinavia and Russia. This spitz-type breed was used to help hunt Reindeer across the vast tundra of the Arctic Circle. Little is known of the Sami people, but a few hundred years ago they became nomadic and they would move large herds of reindeer in search of pasture land and their Finnish Lapphund evolved with them to become excellent herding dogs. These mid-sized dogs are courageous, quick and intelligent which played a significant roll in their ability to control such large, unruly beasts. During development of the breed standard and the establishment of the Finnish Kennel Club it became apparent that some of the dogs were shorthaired and others were longhaired. This distinct characteristic was noted and the two were separated according to this characteristic only and the short haired variation became known the Lapponian Herder (recognized in 1966) and the longer haired Finnish Lapphunds was recognized in 1967. In 1987, Finnish Lapphunds were introduced to the US and they became recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club) in 2011. It is believed that the first Finnish Lapphunds were brought to Canada as pets in the 1960's, but the first official import of a purebred Lappie came from the US in 1995. The first registered litter in Canada came from a dog named Annie in 2002. The breed is still not fully recognized by the CKC, but they became a "listed" breed in 2007. The Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada does not indicate a date yet for full registration.

The Finnish Lapphund stands up to 21" tall and can weigh up to 53lbs. They have a thick, double coat - smooth outer coat and soft, dense undercoat. Despite the long, thick coat, Lappies require less grooming than expected with just weekly brushing (daily when shedding)  and occasional baths are sufficient.

Faithful and friendly, these intelligent little dogs thrive when given a job to do or a sport to perform in. Like with all dogs, early socialization and obedience training classes are highly recommended before 4 months of age.  As is common with herding dogs, they can have an independent streak and be strong-willed, often described as stubborn. However they are quick to learn with patience and consistency. They are very attached to family and does not do well when regularly left alone. Lappies generally have a calm disposition but as a working dog, they do require moderate exercise including brisk walks or playing with them in the yard. They do not exercise themselves and do need to be engaged with their people. 

Finnish Lapphunds are healthy, hardy, and long lived dogs and most will reach at least 13 years old, t is not uncommon for these dogs to reach 14, 15+ years. There are only a few health conditions that afflict the breed including elbow and hip dysplasia and eye problems. Health testing should include DNA tests for Pompe's Disease and Degenerative Myelopathy.

Meet the Model

Name - James

Sex - Male

Breed Class - Herding Group

Born - June 10, 2010

Favourite Things - Loves playing fetch with his favourite squeaky toy

Dislikes - Nothing! He's sooooo easy going!

Highlights and Achievement - Retired Canadian Conformation Champion

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German Shorthaired Pointer

Viva, German Shorthaired Pointer

May 13, 2021

The German Shorthaired Pointer ( Deutsch Kurzhaar in Germany) was developed at some point in the 1800's when Germany required a versatile, all-purpose dog that could hunt birds and mammals in both water and on land. A key player in the dogs development was German nobleman Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels and the GSP was created through crossing heavier pointers like the Spanish Pointer and the Hannover Hound. The breed was recognized in the late 1800's in Germany. The breed was introduced to North America in the mid-1920s and quickly became a popular sporting dog. In 1930 they were recognized by the American Kennel Club. To this day they excel at competitive hunting events and are among the top winning breeds. The breed has been referred to as “a staunchly pointing bird dog; a keen-nosed night trailer; a proven duck dog; a natural retriever on land or water, with pleasing conformation and markings, and great powers of endurance; and an intelligent family watchdog and companion” and "one of dogdoms' finest swimmers".  In 2013 a GSP from North Carolina won his 75th AKC title!

The GSP is a medium sized dog that can stand up to 25" tall and weigh up to 75lbs. Their coat can be a solid liver colour or have a liver and white pattern. They are often referred to as noble and aristocratic. They have an easy care coat that only needs a light brush a couple times a week (outside of shedding season) and the occasional bath.

Intelligent and eager to please, the GSP is a powerful and enthusiastic hunting dog that is also a fantastic companion. The German Shorthaired Pointer is agile, easy going and adaptable and will do well in a country or city setting. GSP's are very intelligent and sensitive making them quick learners with consistent, positive training. They can be extremely challenging during adolescence and into early adulthood (6 months - 3 years) and does not do well with small pets unless raised with them or introduced properly. Have been known to bark and whine a lot. A highly energetic breed, GSP's do require a moderate-high amount of exercise including brisk walks, off-leash play, and just about any dog sport. Can be destructive when left without adequate mental and physical exercise. 

German Shorthaired Pointers can live for 10-13 years. Unfortunately the breed can be prone to a number of health conditions including hip dysplasia, eye conditions like PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and some forms of heart disease. Bloat and torsion can also be concerns with this breed.

Meet the Model

Name - Gch Shotshell Viva La Vida CGN RN aka Viva

Sex - Female

Breed Class  - Sporting Group

Born - May 14, 2015

Education - Obedience, Canine Good Neighbour, currently field training

Favourite Things - food, birds, hunting, sleeping til 9am, ear scratches, dog shows

Dislikes - early mornings, baths, nail trims

Highlights and Achievements - Canadian Grand Champion in conformation, awarded Best of Opposite sex in 2020 GSP regional, novice trick dog title, Canine Good Neighbour certificate, Rally novice title, versatility dog certificate from GSP Club of Canada, raised 6 puppies between 2 litters.

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Bearded Collie

Fizz and Sprite, Bearded Collies

May 3, 2020

It is believed that the Bearded Collie is an ancient breed dating back to the 1st century BC. In the 1500's Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and Komondorok were brought to Scotland and bred with the local Scottish farm dogs to bring us closer to the breed we know today (sometimes called the Highland Collie, Hairy Mou'ed Collie, and Mountain Collie). Paintings from the 1700's show dogs resembling Beardies proving their popularity as cattle and sheep drivers/herders well into the 1800's. After the Victorian era, along with the disruptions created by WWII, the Bearded Collie all but disappeared. However, the breed was revived by Mrs. G.O. Willison after WWII and became a recognized breed by the English Kennel Club by 1959. The first US litter was born in 1967, they were accepted by the American Kennel Club under the Miscellaneous class in 1974, and was one of the founding breeds of the AKC Herding Group in 1983.

Bearded Collies can stand up to 22" tall and can weigh up to 55lbs. They have a rough, long outer coat that is weather-resistant and a thick, shorter, insulating undercoat that allows the breed to do well even in adverse weather conditions. They come in a variety of coat colours including black, blue, brown, and fawn and often have white markings in multiple areas around their bodies. Interestingly, the breed standard states that their eyes "should tone with coat colour" - for example, blues have light coloured or grey eyes, fawns have light brown eyes, and blacks and browns have dark coloured eyes. Also, Beardies are born dark coloured and then change to their adult colouring as they age, usually by 9-18 months.  These guys require a fair bit of grooming including a light daily brushing and an extensive brushing (30-60 mins) with a pin rake, brush, comb and anti-tangle spray weekly. They shed heavily at least once per year. Their ears should be checked/cleared regularly and teeth brushed daily.

An outgoing and intelligent dog with an obvious sense of humour, the Beardie is a fun and bouncy breed that gets along well with everything including children and other pets. They are an active breed and require daily exercise to expel some of their energy, can be destructive when bored. They excel at most dog sports and are up for any activity or dog sport your family may have planned. Beardies were bred to be independent decision- makers and can be strong willed.

The Bearded Collie is an intelligent and independent breed who requires a patient trainer with a positive reinforcement training style. Because they are bred as independent problem solvers they can be willful and sometimes quite stubborn. With patience these dogs can be trained to do nearly anything. Early socialization and puppy training classes are highly recommended.

A fairly healthy and sturdy breed, these guys live an average of 12-14 years. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, allergies and eye problems so responsible breeder screening is important as some of these conditions are genetic and can be prevented.

According to the Bearded Collie Club of America -

"A Beardie is…

…a fuzzy, heart-warming hug!


…a tail that can sweep a coffee table clean in an instant.

…eyes that can melt the heart, yet be full of understanding.

…a wet kiss with a beard fresh from the water bowl.

…knowing your kitchen floor will never again be totally dry.

…Bounce with a capital B!

…laughs for both owner and dog.

…an extraordinary memory.

…the ability to think and calculate.

…a puppy pout, always followed by forgiveness"

Meet the Models

Name - Fizz and Sprite

Sex - Male and Female

Breed Class  - Herding Group

Born - September 21, 2009 and July 7, 2010

Education - Agility, tricks, dock diving, disc and herding

Favourite Things - Barking, agility, tricks and barking

Dislikes - Bearded Collies love everything! 

Highlights and Achievements - Fizz and Sprite have done agility shows (among others) at the Calgary Stampede and all over North America. Sprite has been part of the Canadian Agility Team and has competed in Brazil and France. They have had appearances in TV shows (including Heartland) and Commercials!

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Moscow Watchdog

Cayley, Moscow Watchdog

April 27, 2021

In 1946 a government breeding program was started to create a breed of dog that excels as a watchdog and can handle the extreme winters faced in the Soviet Union. Originally, Moscow Watchdogs were developed by crossing St. Bernards with Caucasian Ovcharka (Caucasian Shepherd). The goal was to create a watchdog with the size, appearance, and coat of the St. Bernard along with the stellar guardian qualities and intelligence of the Ovcharka. The dogs were popularized in Hungary in the 80's and breed stardard was achieved by the Russian Dog Breeders' Federation and the Russian Kennel Club in 1992 and 1997 respectively. The breed was introduced to America and the first litter of Moscow Watchdogs was born in 2015 in the United States. There are currently 38 purebred litters in North America (approximately 150-200 dogs in total). There are only 25 known dogs in Canada and currently 2 breeders, 1 of which is in Lethbridge, AB. Some breeders are advocating to get the American Kennel Club (AKC)  and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale ( FCI).

The Moscow Watchdog or Muscovite Watchdog stands up to 27" tall and can weigh up to 150lbs. Despite their large size, Moscow Watchdogs are generally calm dogs and known as   gentle giants. They have been described as protective, powerful and intelligent. Like other guardian and watchdog breeds, they are also strong-willed and independent. Though they can be a good family dog, Watchdog's are not affectionate or cuddly. They will, however, bond very closely with their people and will fiercely defend their people and property if threatened. 

Moscow Watchdogs are an active breed and are willing to participate in any family activity you may have planned including hiking, swimming, and jogging. They do well with a brisk walk or jog and enjoy running off leash daily.

Positive reinforcement training and regular socialization is advised to nurture a well rounded dog. They are an assertive breed and their independent nature can lead to some stubborn tendencies. 

The Moscow Watchdog has a thick, medium-length coat and is a heavy shedder. Regular brushing and grooming is a must. 

This breed is fairly hardy and has a life expectancy of up to 11 years. They can have musculoskeletal issues like hip and knee problems due to their size and they also have a risk of bloat and torsion. 

Meet the Model

Name - Cayley

Sex - Female

Breed Class  - Not yet accepted by CKC, this breed is recognized in Russia and Europe

Born -Sep 26, 2013

Education - Basic Obedience

Favourite Things - Hiking, swimming, running/jogging, chasing a ball

Dislikes - Black dogs, initially standoffish to strangers

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Sealyham Terrier

Cole, Sealyham Terrier

April 20, 2021

In the mid-1800's Captain John Edwardes spent most of his life developing his dream dog in southwest Wales on the Sealy Ham estate located on the Seal River. He needed a dog to help him and his Otterhounds hunt for otters, foxes and badgers - he is fearless!. He wanted a small and stocky terrier, able to dig his way into animal dens and pull out the ''pests". The white colouring was very important and was used to help distinguish him from the prey. It was imperative that the hounds can tell the difference between dog and prey when they come out of the den smelling like the animal. It is unknown for sure which breeds were involved in the original Sealyham Terriers but theories include the Corgi, Bull Terrier, Dandie Dinmont and the West Highland White Terrier (among others). The breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1910. The breed became popular in the mid-1900's and won Westminster's Best in Show award three times. There were over 2000 puppies registered in Wales and England during the 1920's but with popularity came poor breeding practices and once health concerns became apparent the breed lost it's popularity. By 2008 there were only 43 registered with the English Kennel Club and they are listed as a Vulnerable Native Breed. Sealies made their first appearance in the US in 1922 and many high profile celebrities owned this breed including Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant.

Sealies stand up to 10.5" tall and can weigh up to 24lbs. They are generally known to be alert, outgoing, affectionate, and comical. They are ready to hunt and work during the day and provide comfort and companionship in the evenings. Not quite as spunky as some of the other small terriers, these guys are one of the strongest small dogs around. They are highly adaptable and do well in the city as well as the country.

The Sealyham Terrier has a thick, double coat that is weather resistant, non-shedding, and hypoallergenic. It is worn short on the body with long and lavish facial features. They must be brushed 3-4 times per week as they tend to mat easily and should be bathed monthly. 

A more active breed, Sealies need plenty of exercise and should be walked/played with at least twice per day. They are sensitive to warm weather and can overheat easily so exercise during the cooler parts of the day is necessary.

The Sealyham Terrier does require strong leadership with training, like most terriers, and they should be socialized early to prevent dog aggression and sparring as they age. These guys are also known to be food aggressive and this must be corrected swiftly. These guys are also likely to bark at everything. They are more stubborn than eager to please, so be aware before choosing this breed as your companion. 

The Sealyham Terrier can live up to 14 years old. They are likely to have allergies, are prone to several genetic eye diseases and can develop infections and eye tearing due to long facial hair. They are also prone to ear infections. 

Meet the Model

Name - Cole

Sex - Male

Breed Class (CKC) - Terrier

Born - May 8, 2014

Education - Obedience Class, Sporting Dog class

Favourite Things - Going on any outdoor adventure, loves vegetables as treats, especially carrots, snuggling on the couch, and of course his favourite lamb chop toy

Dislikes - Being left alone

Highlights and Achievements - Has had multiple placements in grooming competitions as well as being a CKC finished champion

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Coton de Tulear

Mango, Coton de Tulear

April 10, 2021

The Coton De Tulear (KO-Tone Dih TOO-Lay-ARE), "Royal Dog of Madagascar", is a small, but robust dog that was named for the seaport town in which it lived (Tulear) and its long, cotton like hair. It is claimed that the original dogs were survivors of a shipwreck and then bred with terrier-type dogs to form a breed called Coton de Reunion - which have since gone extinct. Bred primarily as a companion dog to the wealthy, the breed was also used as a ratter on the seas. Royalty were so possessive of the breed that they passed a law prohibiting the commoners from owning one and were very reluctant to let any of them leave the island. In the 1960's some French tourists that were visiting the island fell in love with the breed and introduced them to Europe where they were instantly popular. In 1993, the United States of America Coton de Tulear Club was formed and in 2014 they were first recognized and registered with the American Kennel Club.

These small, comedic, happy-go-lucky dogs can stand 11" tall, weigh up to 15lbs, and live 15-19 years. Cotons have been referred to time and time again as clowns, jesters, and tricksters. Living primarily as companions to their favourite humans, Cotons provide hours of amusement and comfort. Cotons have some very unique characteristics including a range of vocalizations for talking with their owners and can walk very well on their back legs! 

The Coton  is low shedding and are considered hypoallergenic. They require a fair amount of grooming (especially as a puppy), but become easier once their adult coat comes in. They should be groomed 3-4 days a week and bathed monthly. Matting can occur next to the skin if not combed regularly. Cotons are energetic dogs that require a moderate amount of exercise - a daily walk or play session in the yard. These dogs are praised for being intelligent and can be easy to train as they respond well to praise, play, and food. Cotons excel in most dog sports. They are extremely observant and will quickly learn their humans routine and adapt well to their needs. Keep in mind that they can be difficult to house train and do not do well home alone. Alert and territorial, the Coton can make a good watchdog without barking excessively.

Coton de Tulears are a fairly healthy breed and have a low incidence of genetic issues due to breeder efforts for health testing. They can have eye problems, hip and knee problems, and spinal disc disease.

Meet the Model

Name - LouLou-D'Amour De La Vanille Bourbon aka Mango

Sex - Male

Breed Class (CKC) - Toy

Born - February 9, 2015

Education - attended puppy, manners, rally, lvl 1 agility and sprinters

Favourite Things - his person, Katie

Dislikes - being left alone

Highlights and Achievements - Best of Breed and Placed 4 in toy group

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