Facts About The Dynamic Russell Terrier Dog Breed

The Russell Terrier, a high-energy, exuberant breed, lives life at full throttle and takes guff from no one. He’s smart, endearing and often exhausting.

Bred in England in the mid-1800s, the breed is named after the Reverend John Russell, who was an enthusiastic hunter. One of his first breeding terriers, Trump, was allegedly bought from his milkman. Known as the “Sporting Parson,” he bred feisty and bold fox hunting dogs. The terrier’s job was to run with hunters and their hounds, then flush the fox out when he went underground. In time, some of these terriers were carried on the hunter’s (or his assistant’s) saddle. The dog would be released from his pouch quickly if a fox went to ground. The Russell’s compact, agile body allowed him to maneuver easily underground.

Training a Russell

Russell Terrier close up.

Russell Terriers are adept at learning tricks, but do take a lot of training. Photography ©Fran Gaglione | Getty Images.

Today’s Russell Terrier maintains his tenacious spirit and boundless energy that made him a model fox hunting dog. High spirited and assertive, the Russell isn’t suited for a laid-back, “who bothers with walking or training a dog much?” family. He’s bright and bold, thriving on many sports. But while he flourishes with companionship, he often shows an independent spirit. “What do you mean Sit, Stay? I’m off to chase some squirrels!”

Training a Russell for obedience takes patience. Don’t let Hollywood’s depictions deceive you. The breed learns tricks easily, but he’s not known for predictable compliance. In fact, Moose, the Russell that worked on the long-running Frasier TV comedy, became a star only after his first family couldn’t handle him and sent him off to a trainer.

A Russell has the flexibility and speed for the agility course, but you’ll need to convince him it’s a worthwhile activity. He’ll likely deem barn hunts and earthdog trials as time well-spent. After all, he was bred to follow his quarry’s scent, so these sports feel natural. He may also excel in flyball or backyard ball chasing.

Without outlets for his intensity, energy and hunting drive, he may dig up trouble in the yard, quite literally. And speaking of yards, prospective owners will need to fence their yard securely: Russells are known for following a good scent well off their property. They are also often untrustworthy off leash. Their hunting drive, once kicked into gear, generally trumps an owner’s requests.

Life With a Russell

The Russell Terrier.

The Russell Terrier may try to boss other dogs around. Photography ©Antonio Morelli/EyeEm | Getty Images.

Even indoors, the Russell is a lively dog. He can live in an apartment only if his family is committed to his regular exercise. Out and about, his fearlessness may lead to problems; he may try to boss other dogs around, regardless of their size. And given his prey drive, a Russell should be closely supervised around cats and other small animals. Ever playful, a Russell can be a good playmate for older, respectful children.

Russell Terrier Facts

  1. Grooming: In general, low-maintenance. Requires regular brushing and occasional baths. The Russell coat makes it easy to brush off any loose dirt or hair.
  2. Shedding: Yep! Get the vacuum out.
  3. Height: Between 10 and 12 inches at the shoulder.
  4. Color: White predominates, with additional varied colors and markings.
  5. Coat: Smooth, rough or broken coat.
  6. Life span: A relatively long-lived breed, Russells can live into their teens.
  7. Motto: Just do it!

Confused about the distinction between the Parson Russell Terrier, the Russell Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier?

What is the difference between the Parson Russell Terrier, the Russell Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier?

What is the difference between the Parson Russell Terrier, the Russell Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier? Photography ©Jozef Polc / Alamy Stock Photo.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America is a breed club and registry affiliated with the Jack Russell Terrier United World Federation. It believes, according to its website, that “the Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier are both variants of the Jack Russell Terrier … ”

Some international organizations like the Federation Cynologique Internationale and the U.K.’s Kennel Club recognize two separate breeds: Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier.

Here in the U.S., the American Kennel Club (AKC) also recognizes two distinct breeds, which it calls the Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier, each with two distinct parent clubs: The American Russell Terrier Club and the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America. Why, you ask? According to the American Kennel Club’s The New Complete Dog Book (2017), in the early days, “Jack Russell Terrier” wasn’t used to describe a breed but became a common name for any mostly white, earth-working terrier in honor of the Reverend John Russell.

How did the two distinct dogs come to be?

Two distinct dogs eventually evolved from John Russell’s fox terriers: the Parson Russell Terrier (which has longer legs and stands 12 to 15 inches) and the Russell Terrier (which is more rectangular and stands 10 to 12 inches). Various strains of these terriers were used for sport, vermin control and as family companions all over the U.S.

The American Russell Terrier Club was established in 1995 as a registry to keep the Russell and Parson Russell separate in both bloodlines and appearance.

In 2003, the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America changed the name from Jack Russell Terrier to the Parson Russell Terrier. The AKC followed suit.

The AKC recognized the Russell Terrier breed in 2012. So the AKC does not officially recognize any breed as Jack Russell Terrier, only Parson Russell Terrier and Russell Terrier.

Most Americans call both a Jack Russell Terrier. This is why using the name “Jack Russell Terrier” can be a little confusing when it comes to this breed. But we can all agree on how wonderful this dog is.

Thumbnail: Photography ©Martin Ruegner | Getty Images.

Originally an attorney, Lynn Hayner writes about dogs and law, in no particular order! Lynn lives in Waco, Texas, with her family, a rescued cat, and her new German Shepherd Dog, Anja.

Why read breed profiles?

Dog breed profiles help everyone, whether you have a mixed breed or purebred dog, to better understand and improve the quality of your dog’s life. If you have a mixed breed dog, read up on all of the breed profiles that make up your dog. Not sure what breed your dog is? There are a number of easy DNA tests out there to help your find out.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about dog breeds on Dogster.com:

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9 Irish Dog Breeds to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

They say, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.” And if you’re lucky enough to share St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish dog, then you indeed have the luck o’ the Irish. Join us in this celebration of Irish dog breeds — you may find yourself green with envy!

1. Glen of Imaal Terrier

A Glen of Imaal Terrier is among the Irish dog breeds. Photography by capture light / Shutterstock.

If you saw this fellow on the street, you might assume he was just a jaunty mutt, but the Glen of Imaal Terrier is actually one of the first breeds of dogs recognized by the Irish Kennel Club, back in 1934. The American Kennel Club didn’t recognize this Irish dog breed until 2004, and it’s still one of the rarest AKC breeds.

This Irish dog breed’s claim to fame? He may be the last descendant of turnspit dogs, kitchen-help animals who walked for hours inside a round drum to turn cooking meat on a spit. But this tough guy has also been used for vermin control and can pull a badger from its den.

2. Irish Red and White Setter

An Irish Red and White Setter with an Irish Setter. Photography by Reddogs / Shutterstock.

Everyone knows the exuberant Irish Setter, but far fewer know his direct ancestor, the somewhat more stately Irish Red and White Setter.

The Red and White Irish Setter has been around since at least the 17th century, but by 1900, those who were solid red won out in popularity (and became today’s Irish Setter), and the patched ones were almost extinct. Realizing the breed was about to be lost, efforts were made after World War I to revive it. The AKC recognized them in 2009, but they’re still quite rare in America.

3. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is an Irish dog breed who loves to party! Photography by Ksenia Raykova / Shutterstock.

The rollicking Irish Setter never met a person he didn’t want to party with, and St. Patrick’s Day is definitely his favorite day of the year! In the 1970s, the Irish Setter rose to rank among the most popular breeds in America, but like so many superstars, his popularity has since declined dramatically. The best-known Irish Setter was the fictional “Big Red,” but a real-life show dog named Champion Milson O’Boy captured America’s imagination in the 1930s, and he could be considered the most famous show dog of all time. This Irishman has shared the White House with three U.S. presidents (Nixon, Truman and F.D. Roosevelt).

4. Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is among the Irish dog breeds. Photography by Elina Leonova / Shutterstock.

Aptly dubbed the daredevil of dogdom, the red-haired Irish Terrier — like any self-respecting Irishman — doesn’t back down from a challenge. One of the oldest terrier breeds, he was used for hunting vermin, but later even served as a sentinel and messenger in World War I.

Although he was once one of the most popular terrier breed (probably accounting for his appearance in several Jack London books), this classic is now one of the least popular.

5. Irish Water Spaniel

An Irish Water Spaniel.

An Irish Water Spaniel. Photography by Marcia O’Connor via flickr.com. Some modifications to size have been made to fit the specifications of this site.

This may be the oldest of all spaniels, dating back at least to the 1100s. And in the late 1800s, this Irish dog breed was the third most popular sporting breed in England. But they’re amongst the rarest of breeds now, and most people who see one assume she’s some sort of Poodle derivative with a rat tail. This is a fun-loving sportster always ready to dive right into water or adventure!

6. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhounds are called Cu Faoil. Photography by DragoNika / Shutterstock.

Irish chieftains used this tallest of all breeds to hunt wolves and Irish elk, and to present to foreign nobility as gifts. The Irish name for them was Cu Faoil; “cu” is a term implying bravery. Almost extinct in the 1800s, the breed was reconstituted with crosses to other large breeds and is now one of the most popular of all sighthounds. This cool and calm Irishman has made his presence felt at the side of American leaders such as President Hoover and celebrities such as Rudolph Valentino.

7. Kerry Beagle

The rarest of the Irish dog breeds, the Kerry Beagle isn’t the Beagle we usually think of. It’s much larger, up to 24 inches tall and 60 pounds in weight. It dates back to the 16th century, but its numbers have steadily declined since the 1800s until only one major pack remains, the Scarteen of County Limerick. According to local legend, when Noah’s Ark rested against the highest peak in Tipperary, two black and tan hounds jumped off in pursuit of a fox, eventually giving rise to the breed. Irish immigrants brought Kerry Beagles with them to America, and the breed is probably behind several Coonhound breeds.

8. Kerry Blue Terrier

The Kerry Blue Terrier. Photography by vgorlitsky / Shutterstock.

The Kerry Blue was the first breed recognized by the Irish Kennel Club. It originated around the Ring of Kerry in Ireland in the 1700s. It was an all-purpose farm dog, hunting vermin, small mammals, and birds, and also herding cattle and sheep. It’s even been used as a police dog. Irish nationalist leader Michael Collins had a famous Kerry Blue Terrier named Convict 224, which he exhibited at the first Irish Kennel Club show in 1920. At that time, the breed became fashionable as a macho symbol for young men. It’s still plenty macho and mischievous — like any good Irishman!

9. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Photography by Kate Grishakova / Shutterstock.

In Ireland, the breed is known as the Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. After all, it would just be dumb to give up the claim to ownership of this leprechaun of dogdom. Established by the 1800s, this Irish dog breed was an all-around farm dog, exterminating vermin, guarding the homestead and rounding up livestock. The Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier was officially recognized as a breed in 1937 in its native Ireland, but only in 1973 did the AKC recognize it. The dog’s playful nature has endeared the breed to people around the world.

Of course, as you know, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish — even the dogs!

Thumbnail: Photography by DragoNika / Shutterstock.

Read more about Irish dog breeds on Dogster.com: 

About the author: Caroline Coile is the author of 34 dog books, including the top-selling Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. She has written for various publications and is currently a columnist for AKC Family Dog. She shares her home with three naughty Salukis and one Jack Russell Terrier.

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5 Wrinkly Dog Breeds

For humans, wrinkles are a sign of aging. Few of us relish our own wrinkles, but we sure delight in wrinkly dogs. You’ll notice that many wrinkly dog breeds are short-faced (brachycephalic), too. Some may sport wrinkles as pups, while others mature into their big wrinkles. Let’s meet five wrinkly dog breeds that boast lovable, lifelong folds and furrows.

Pug

Pug.

Pugs are little dogs with lots of wrinkles. Photography courtesy Robyn Ginther.

Our prominent eyes and child-like expressions make us crazy-delightful. We’ve been around to charm humankind for centuries. Chinese imperials have cherished us since ancient times, even employing guards to keep us safe. We were bred small to be carried in royal sleeves.

Some of our wrinkles were considered more significant than others: the prince mark of three wrinkles on our forehead with a vertical bar (copying the Chinese character for prince) was a favorite trait. These days, all of our large and deep wrinkles are beloved by our owners. I suggest you dab my skin folds to keep them fresh and clean; I sure can’t reach them with my tongue!

Mastiff

Mastiff.

The Mastiff is a wrinkly dog breed. Photography courtesy Giselle Nevada.

My lined forehead draws your gaze to my observant, kindhearted face. When I’m particularly attentive, my wrinkles are especially distinctive. I have a long history with humans; my forefathers worked with Babylonians, Marco Polo, Hannibal, King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Developed to guard and fight beside soldiers, I was bred tough and striking.

I’m perhaps more easygoing than my ancestors these days, but I hold to my watchdog role. And at some 200 pounds, my size alone discourages intruders. I consider myself a peaceful and dignified bodyguard, always loyal to loved ones. And I’ll love your wrinkles too, when someday you’re blessed to own them!

French Bulldog

French Bulldog.

The French Bulldog is full of adorable wrinkles. Photography courtesy Gordon Deen.

My coat is brilliant, short and smooth. My soft and loose skin is what creates my delightful wrinkles. And the description “delightful” suits my personality, too. Developed from English 19th-century bulldogs, my ancestors followed lace-makers migrating to France after the Industrial Revolution.

Friendly and affable, we soon became popular with Parisians of all economic classes. American tourists in France were enchanted by my forefathers and brought some back to the states. These days, with our laid-back personalities and keen social skills, we top the companion dog list. Come under my wrinkly spell; my furrowed brow shall charm you into dropping extra treats!

Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei.

The Chinese Shar-Pei is another wrinkly dog breed. Photography courtesy Patricia Miller.

If you don’t recognize me for my hippopotamus head shape, you may spot me for my impressive wrinkles — slack skin and creases cover my head, neck and withers. I’m one of the oldest dog breeds, developed in China for general farm work, hunting, and safeguarding property. My scowl allegedly frightened off evil spirits, but maybe deterred trespassers (in material form), too.

These days, our wrinkles are attractive, albeit not especially functional. A clean breed, we don’t shed much; our grooming needs are minimal. Simply wipe our wrinkles down on occasion to keep our skin and coats healthy.

Dogue de Bordeaux

A Dogue de Boredeaux dog.

The Dogue de Boredeaux is famous for his wrinkles. Photography by GlobalP/Thinkstock.

A French guardian célèbre, I trace my heritage to Mastiff-types developed to guard castles, hunt and fight. Everything about me is big: I have an enormous heart in my massive body. My colossal head is interlaced with wrinkles; my drooping cheeks accentuate my memorable appearance. The deep ropes of wrinkles on my head are obvious at all times, but they aren’t worrying frowns. At my size, what in the world could I be worried about?

My striking appearance is just one of my attributes. I’m an affectionate, wonderful watch dog who’s more agile and speedy than my physique suggests.

Tell us: Do you have a wrinkly dog? What breed(s) is he? What wrinkly dog breeds would you add to this list?

Thumbnail: Photography by Waldemar Dabrowski / Shutterstock.

Why read breed profiles?

Dog breed profiles help everyone, whether you have a mixed breed or purebred dog, to better understand and improve the quality of your dog’s life. If you have a mixed breed dog, read up on all of the breed profiles that make up your dog. Not sure what breed your dog is? There are a number of easy DNA tests out there to help your find out.

Read more about dog breeds on Dogster.com:

The post 5 Wrinkly Dog Breeds appeared first on Dogster.

What Breed Mix is Buddy?

As you know, I love mixed breed dogs. Irie and Tiki are both mixes of mixes, and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve DNA tested both dogs and love being able to share the results when people ask that inevitable question: “What kind of dog is that?”

Irie and Tiki’s best friend is named Buddy. He was adopted from the same rescue where we adopted both Tiki and our cat Inca. Buddy’s just over 20 pounds and a bundle of happiness and energy; he loves to walk with Irie and Tiki:

Recently we had the opportunity to receive a free DNA test kit from DNA My Dog, and Irie and Tiki asked that we use it to obtain the breed mix of their best buddy:

The test uses a simple, safe cheek swab to obtain doggie DNA. You swab your dog’s cheek and send in the swabs; DNA My Dog checks the results against their database of breeds, and two weeks later you have your dog’s breed mix!

The test was super easy to use. The kit included two long swabs:

To ensure the most accurate results possible, I tested Buddy when he hadn’t been playing with Irie and Tiki, or their toys, which could have transferred some of our dogs’ DNA to Buddy. I also tested him when he had not eaten in several hours.

The swab was easy to administer; I just rubbed it along his cheek and gum:

The two swabs went into an envelope for air drying before sealing and shipping back.

So now we wait for Buddy’s results! In the meantime, what do YOU guess his breed mix might include? I’m definitely seeing some terrier (Border terrier?) and maybe Shih Tzu and very possibly some poodle? His fur is soft and a single coat, and his tail is a happy curl:

He has a distinct underbite as well:

Let us know your breed guess in the comments below!! When Buddy’s results come in, we’ll be sure to share the results with you.

In the coming days, we’ll also have a guest post from DNA My Dog’s founder, Mindy Tenenbaum, about how the easy-to-use cheek swab DNA test is helpful for shelter staff who can use the data to help place their furry adoptees into their perfect forever homes!

DogTipper received a free DNA My Dog kit in exchange for an honest review; we were not paid for this post. All statements and opinions are entirely our own.

What to Consider When Choosing Food For Your Small Breed Dog

Your small breed pup may be big in character, but when comes to food they need a food tailored to their size. Our Freshpet veterinarian, Dr. Katy Nelson, shares some insights into the unique nutrition needs of small breed dogs.

 

They need smaller pieces of food

Little dogs have little mouths, so it is important to take this into consideration when choosing their food. For small breeds, the best food options are those that come prepared in smaller bites, like our Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Recipe for Small Dogs, or food that can be customized for their bite size, like our slice and service rolls.

 

 

They eat small amounts

Small dogs may have big personalities, but they don’t have big stomachs. This means that even the smallest food has to be packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Since small dogs need to consume large qualities of food in relation to their body weight, they require several small meals throughout the course of the day.

 

 

They are prone to becoming overweight

One of the fun things about little pups is that they’re the perfect size to carry around with you. However, this can result in your pup missing out the exercise they need to burn off the calories they consume. One way to overcome this potential weight gain is to ensure that you are following the recommended serving amount to make sure your pup maintains its optimal weight. Even a pound or two of extra weight can be devastating to their little joints, creating unnecessary strain and putting their future at risk for arthritis, heart disease and even cancer.

 

They are disposed to dental disease

Having chews and bones are a good first step to keeping your pup’s teeth clean, but it’s still important to follow a proper dental routine. Talk to your veterinarian about which toothpaste and brush combo they recommend as well as how often you should be brushing your dog’s teeth. Up to three bushings a week has been proven to prevent tartar buildup and ward off gingivitis, so this is a great number to start with.

 

They grow up faster than larger breeds

Small dogs grow faster and reach maturity at a younger age than a large breed dog – usually long before their first birthday. What many people don’t know is that in addition this, they also have a faster metabolism compared to bigger pups. This means that small breeds have higher caloric requirement per pound of body weight, so foods that are high in protein and fats a necessary for optimal health.

 

 

Choosing a food that is made especially for small breeds, plus making sure your pup gets plenty of exercise and dental care will help your four-legged loved one lives a long and healthy life.

The post What to Consider When Choosing Food for Your Small Breed Dog appeared first on Freshpet.

All About The Breeds Behind The Westminster Group Winners

The Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show went to Flynn the Bichon Frisé but each breed represented at the WKC Dog Show is special in its own right. Let’s learn a bit more about the breeds behind the seven Westminster Kennel Club finalists right here.

1. Bean the Sussex Spaniel Clowns Around in the Sporting Group

Bean the Sussex Spaniel.

Bean the Sussex Spaniel. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

‘Bean’ the Sussex Spaniel is truly well named as he is always full of beans and puts on an entertaining performance for judges and ringside spectators alike. More formally known as Grand Champion Kamands Full of Beans @ Erinhill, this multiple Best-in-Show winner is handled by Per Rismyhr, a spaniel specialist, for his proud breeders and owners, Karen Ann Toner and Amanda Toner. Sussex Spaniels are a long and low breed that love to sit on their haunches and beg at every opportunity.

Needless to say, the roaring crowds at Madison Square Garden fell in love with this routine and only egged on Bean the ham to sit up and beg every time Rismyhr walked him up to the judge, Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart. Judge Sweigart got her start in Labradors, so she is an expert on all the Sporting breeds and recognized what a superb specimen Bean is. He was in sparkling condition and well-muscled with his golden-liver coat, a hallmark of the breed, glistening.

The breed’s long, low body with heavy bone was developed to hunt in heavy brush and undergrowth. Although the Sussex Spaniel was one of the original nine breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, the breed never gained popularity, as hunters preferred the faster, flashier gun dogs. Today, the Sussex Spaniel is one of the rarest breeds in the world. Many Americans first became acquainted with the breed in 2009 when ‘Stump’ made history by becoming the first Sussex Spaniel, and the oldest dog of any breed at age 10, to win Best in Show at Westminster.

2. Lucy the Elegant Borzoi Leads the Hounds

Lucy the Borzoi.

Lucy the Borzoi. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

‘Lucy’ the Borzoi triumphed in the Hound Group, repeating her victory of 2016. Grand Champion Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl was born in Japan and went on to become that country’s top-winning dog of all breeds before she was sent to the USA to compete in dog shows here. She ended 2017 as the No. 1 Hound in America. She made an elegant picture, sweeping around the Westminster ring with her handler, Valerie Nunes Atkinson. With this win, she retired from the show ring and will return to Japan to begin the next chapter of her career, motherhood.

The Borzoi was favored by the Russian aristocracy who went on wolf hunts with 100 or more of the fleet-footed hounds. Borzoi are classified as sighthounds, using their excellent eyesight to spot game. At home, they are quiet and dignified, making a loving companion for those who can provide them with the space to gallop freely in a safely enclosed area.

3. Ty the Giant Schnauzer Makes a Giant Impression in the Working Group

Ty the Giant Schnauzer.

Ty the Giant Schnauzer. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

‘Ty’ the Giant Schnauzer who was the No. 1 dog all breeds for 2017, continued his winning ways at Westminster, claiming a Group First and ultimately Reserve Best in Show over nearly 2,900 dogs. Grand Champion Ingebar’s Tynan Dances With Wildflowers showed flawlessly for his handler, Katie Bernardin. Ty and Katie have competed in shows nationwide and never let down. In fact, Ty is the top-winning male Giant Schnauzer in breed history.

Interestingly, Ty’s talented breeder, the late Maryann Bisceglia, also bred the top-winning female Giant Schnauzer, and top Giant Schnauzer overall, in breed history. She passed away two years ago and is greatly missed in the dog show world.

The Giant Schnauzer hails from Germany and is the largest of the three distinct Schnauzer breeds. The Giant Schnauzer was developed as a versatile protection, security and guard dog and has a loyal following in this country.

4. Winston the Norfolk Terrier Rules the Terrier Group

Winston the Norfolk Terrier.

Winston the Norfolk Terrier. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

‘Winston’ the irrepressible Norfolk Terrier caught the eye of Terrier connoisseur judge Rosalind Kramer and won the Group, handled by Ernesto Lara, who has also devoted his life to the Terrier breeds. Grand Champion Yarrow Venerie Winning Ticket is another great show dog that seems well named, since he is a multiple Best in Show and specialty winner enjoying enormous success.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Norwich Terrier (drop and prick ear) in 1936. It took until January of 1979 for the Norwich Terrier, with its prick (or upright) ears, and the Norfolk Terrier, with its drop ears, to be given separate breed status. Game and hardy, compact and active, the Norfolk is one of the smallest of the working terriers.

5. The Toy Group Win by This Pug Was a… Biggie

Biggie the Pug.

Biggie the Pug. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

When ‘Biggie’ the Pug was pointed to the No. 1 spot in the Toy Group by judge David Kirkland, it was a particularly emotional moment for his owner Carolyn Koch and his handler Esteban Farias. Biggie’s cousin ‘Rumble’ was top Pug and one of the biggest-winning Toy dogs in the country when he died suddenly last year. Biggie showed his heart out on the green carpet of the Westminster ring and brought home glory to his family. Somehow, he knew it was the night to rumble.

Grand Champion Hill Country’s Puttin’ On The Ritz delivered a great performance and was certainly a crowd favorite. The Pug is of Chinese origin and dates back to pre-Christian times. Pugs were highly prized by the emperors of China. Dutch traders brought Pugs from the East to Holland, and then on to England. Happy and robust, with a range of human facial expressions, the Pug enjoys huge popularity around the world. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

6. Non-Sporting Group Honors Go to Flynn the Bichon Frisé

Flynn the Bichon Frisé.

Flynn the Bichon Frisé. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

‘Flynn’ the Bichon Frisé finished 2017 as the Top Non-Sporting dog in the nation and his momentum kept up through Westminster, where he led the pack. Grand Champion Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love was handled as always by the amiable Bill McFadden, and the animated powder puff was in top form.

The Bichon Frisé breed originated in the Mediterranean regions and descended from the Barbet, a larger, curly-coated water dog. Italian and Spanish sailors took Bichons along on their voyages, both for company and as items of barter. In the 16th century, the breed appeared in France where it became a favorite of the aristocracy during the Renaissance. The Bichon Frisé arrived in the US in 1956.

7. A Slick Performance by Slick the Border Collie in the Herding Group

Slick the Border Collie.

Slick the Border Collie. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

The Border Collie is known the world over as a versatile breed and ‘Slick’ proved it at Westminster, where he sailed into first place under judge Robert Vandiver. Grand Champion Majestic Elite Clever Endeavor, with many Best in Show wins to his credit, has become the top Border Collie of all time, shown by his equally athletic handler Jamie Clute.

The Border Collie proved himself indispensable to shepherds by allowing them to maintain large flocks in the Border country between Scotland and England. Queen Victoria, a huge dog lover, became enamored with the breed in the 19th century and promoted it widely. The Border Collie is recognized worldwide as the quintessential sheepherding dog, admired for his obedience, trainability and natural appearance.

Thumbnail: Lucy the Borzoi. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli.

Why read breed profiles?

Dog breed profiles help everyone, whether you have a mixed breed or purebred dog, to better understand and improve the quality of your dog’s life. If you have a mixed breed dog, read up on all of the breed profiles that make up your dog. Not sure what breed your dog is? There are a number of easy DNA tests out there to help your find out.

Read more about dog breeds on Dogster.com:

The post All About the Breeds Behind the Westminster Group Winners appeared first on Dogster.