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Canis familiaris

 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Canis familiaris Reply with quote

The Domesticated Dog has been with humanity many thousands of years.

Here you will be introduced to a wide assorment of man's best friend, the dog.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Borzoi Reply with quote





The Borzoi is a breed of domesticated dog (canis lupus familiaris) that is also called the Russian Wolfhound. However, the officially recognized name is Borzoi. They have medium-length, slightly curly to lightly wavy hair. They are similar in shape to Greyhounds, which most people are more familiar with, but they are generally slightly larger than greyhounds. Borzoi are a member of the sighthound family, which means their primary hunting sense is sight rather than scent.



"Borzaya" ("quick dog") is a Russian term for various types of native sighthound. The Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya (Psovoi - the longhaired borzoi) is the dog we know as Borzoi. The system by which Russians over the ages named their sightdogs was a series of describing terms, not actual names, which makes the use of Borzoi for the Psovaya a mistake made by the first Western exporters of the breed. "Psovaya" means "longhaired", just as "Hortaya" (as in Hortaya Borzaya) means shorthaired. Other Russian sightdog breeds are e.g. "Stepnaya Borzaya" (from the steppe), called "Stepnoi" or "Krimskaya Borzaya" (from the Crimea), called "Krimskoi".



Borzoi can come in any color or color combination. As a general approximation, "long haired greyhound” is a useful description of the modern Borzoi. The long top-coat is silky and quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness or curling. The soft undercoat thickens in winter or cold climates but is shed in hot weather to prevent overheating. In its texture and distribution over the body, the Borzoi coat is unique in the canine world. Males carry significantly more ‘coat’ than females. Sexual dimorphism is present in this breed in terms of coat.



The Borzoi is a large variety of sighthound, with males frequently reaching in excess of 100 pounds (45 kg). Males should stand at least 28 inches (about 70 centimeters) at the shoulder, and currently can reach as much as 35 inches. While females shouldn't be less than 26 inches (about 66 centimeters). Despite their size, the overall impression is of streamlining and grace, with a curvy shapeliness and compact strength. The loin should have a slight rise, but not so strong as to become “wheel backed” which is a fault. The Borzoi might be said to be the Porsche of sighthounds, if the Irish Wolfhound is the Range Rover.



The Borzoi is a quiet, intelligent, moderately active, independent dog. They adapt very well to suburban living, provided they have a spacious yard and regular opportunities for free exercise. They are very devoted to family and want to be at the heart of the house hold. They are very unhappy if forcably separated such as in a kennel or run.



Most adult Borzoi are almost silent, barking only very rarely. If an adult borzoi is barking, pay attention, something is wrong. They are gentle, sensitive dogs with gracious house-manners and a natural respect for humans. Borzoi should never display dominance over people. However they are sometimes nervous around children and need to be introduced to them at an early age if they are to be the pet in a young family. Their long legs can easily be broken by an unsteady toddler stepping or falling on them.



These are dogs used to pursue, or "course," game and they have a strong instinct to chase things that run from them. Borzoi are built for speed and can cover incredible distances in a very short time. They need a fully-fenced yard if motorized traffic is present within several miles of their home. For off-lead exercise they need a very large field or park, either fully fenced or well away from any traffic, to ensure their safety.
Borzoi do not have strong territorial drives compared to breeds such as Mastiffs and German Shepherds, and they are definitely not to be thought of as a "fighting" or "guard dog". They cannot be relied on to raise the alarm upon sighting a human intruder.



Generally, Borzoi should not be territorially aggressive to other domestic dogs. Against wolves and other wild canids, they are born with specialized skills, but these are quite different from the dog-fighting instincts seen in some breeds. It is quite common for Borzoi at play to course (run down) another dog, seizing it by the neck and holding it immobile. Young pups do this with their littermates, trading off as to who is the prey. It is a specific hunting behavior, not a fighting or territorial domination behavior.



Borzoi can be raised very successfully to live with cats and other small animals provided they are introduced to them at a young age. Some, however, will possess the hunting instinct to such a degree that they find it impossible not to chase a cat that is moving quickly. The instinct is triggered by movement and much depends on how the cat behaves. Small, furry animals that run are likely to be considered “prey” and will be hunted and killed as such.



Life expectancy is 10 to 12 years, females usually living longer than males. Exceptional individuals have lived to be more than 16 years of age. Dogs that are physically fit and vigorous in their youth through middle age are more vigorous and healthy as elderly dogs, all other factors being equal. In most parts of the world, bloat and road accidents seem to be the most frequent causes of premature death. However, cancer is creeping in as one of the primary causes of death.



The more modern Psovaya Borzaya was founded on Stepnaya, Hortaya and the Ukrainian-Polish version of old Hort. There were also imports of western sightdog breeds to add to the height and weight. It was crossed as well with the Russian Laika specifically and singularly to add resistance against northern cold and a longer and thicker coat than the southern sightdogs were equipped with.



All of these foundation types - Tazi, Hortaya, Stepnaya, Krimskaya and Hort - already possessed the instincts and agility necessary for hunting and bringing down wolves. Today, ranchers in Colorado and Wyoming still use the Borzoi to hunt coyote.



The Psovoi was popular with the Tsars of Russia before the 1917 revolution.. For centuries, Psovoi could not be purchased but only given as gifts from the Tsar. The most famous breeder was Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolairevich of Russia, who bred countless Psovoi at Perchino, his private estate.



The Russian concept of hunting trials was instituted during the era of the Tsars. As well as providing exciting sport, the tests were used for selecting borzoi breeding stock; only the quickest and most intelligent hunting dogs went on to produce progeny. For the aristocracy these trials were a well-organized ceremony, sometimes going on for days, with the borzoi accompanied by mounted hunters and Foxhounds on the Russian steppe. Hares and other small game were by far the most numerous kills, but the hunters especially loved to test their dogs on wolf. If a wolf was sighted, the hunter would release a team of two or three borzoi. The dogs would pursue the wolf, attack its neck from both sides, and hold it until the hunter arrived. The classical killing was by the human hunter with a knife. Wolf trials are still a regular part of the hunting diploma for all Russian sightdog breeds of the relevant type, either singly or in pairs or triplets, in their native country.



In the 1917 Revolution, large numbers of native Psovoi were destroyed by the revolutionaries. The Tsars had turned them into a symbol of affluence and tyranny, and they were not welcomed into the new world of the Soviet Union. Some noblemen took it upon themselves to shoot their own dogs rather than allow them to fall into the hands of militants and be cruelly tortured. However, the Psovoi survived along with the other borzaya variants in the Russian countryside.



In the late 1940s a Soviet soldier named Constantin Esmont made detailed records of the various types of borzoi dogs he found in the Cossack villages. Esmont's amazing pictures were recently published.



Esmont was concerned that the distinct types of borzaya were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzoi were a valuable asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, their breeding was officially regulated. To this day short-haired Hortaya Borzaya are highly valued hunting dogs on the steppes, while the long-haired Psovaya Borzaya, still carrying some of the stigma of its association with the old White Russia, has become more common as a decorative companion.
Exports of Borzoi to other countries were extremely rare during the Soviet era. However enough had been taken to England, Scandinavia, Western Europe and America in the late 19th century for the breed to establish itself outside its native country.




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Greyhound Reply with quote

Greyhound Breed Standard (from the AKC)
Greyhounds are part of the Hound Group

Head should be long and narrow, fairly wide between the ears, scarcely perceptible stop, little or no development of nasal sinuses, good length of muzzle, which should be powerful without coarseness. Teeth very strong and even in front.



Ears
Small and fine in texture, thrown back and folded, except when excited, when they are semi-pricked.

Eyes
Dark brown, bright, intelligent, indicating spirit.

Neck
Long, muscular, without throatiness, slightly arched, and widening gradually into the shoulder.

Shoulders
Placed as obliquely as possible, muscular without being loaded.

Forelegs
Perfectly straight, set well into the shoulders, neither turned in nor out, pasterns strong.

Chest
Deep, and as wide as consistent with speed, fairly well-sprung ribs.

Back
Muscular and broad.

Loins
Good depth of muscle, well arched, well cut up in the flanks.

Hindquarters
Long, very muscular and powerful, wide and well let down, well-bent stifles. Hocks well bent and rather close to ground, wide but straight fore and aft.



Feet
Hard and close, rather more hare than catfeet, well knuckled up with good strong claws.

Tail
Long, fine and tapering with a slight upward curve.

Coat
Short, smooth and firm in texture.

Color
Immaterial.

Weight
Dogs, 65 to 70 pounds; bitches 60 to 65 pounds.

Scale of Points
General symmetry and quality 10
Head and neck 20
Chest and shoulders 20
Back 10
Quarters 20
Legs and feet 20
Total 100
http://www.akc.org/breeds/greyhound/index.cfm

Greyhounds are the fastest of dogs, one of the oldest of breeds, and long symbolic of the aristocracy. Its likeness appears on an Egyptian tomb dating from about 3000 bc. Streamlined and slender but strong, the greyhound can attain a speed of about 45 miles (72 km) per hour. It has a narrow head, long neck, deep chest, long, muscular hindquarters, and a long, slim tail. Its coat is short and smooth and of various colours. The greyhound stands 25 to 27 inches (64 to 69 cm) and weighs 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kg). It hunts by sight and is used mainly to pursue hares, but it can also hunt deer, foxes, and small game. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/245971/ greyhound)

A Greyhound is a sight hound descended from southern wolf strains and related to Afghans, Salukis and other sight hounds. As hunters they work cooperatively with other hounds and develop strategies of pursuit spontaneously during the chase. This characteristic can be seen in the independent behavior frequently exhibited by even the best trained show Greyhounds in obedience competitions.

Although they have exceptionally keen eyesight, Greyhounds also have keen hearing and sense of smell.

Generally, Greyhounds are quizzical, sometimes shy, very sensitive and surprisingly gentle. They possess superior intelligence, and can exhibit a quiet but surprising independence. These are not animals whose spirit have been broken by their training or racing experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Desert Sight Hounds Reply with quote

Dogs of the Desert Wind
The desert environment made for smaller wolves, and shorter coats for canids. These dogs are moderate size, abour 30-40 pounds with squarish bodies and up on leg, ie long legs to keep the body away from the heat of the ground. Head is wedge shaped and sharply angled with rather large pricked ears that tilt forward, sometimes creating forehead wrinkles. They were thought to originate in what is now northern Iran.

The Azawakh has been bred by the tribes of the Southern Sahara, and employed as a camel and goat guardian. They are built like fine Arabian horses, possessing a lightfooted, lithesome gait. In the hot, airid and treeless areas, hunting was accomplished mainly by sight and running down prey, such as gazelle or antelope. This resulted in a longer legged dog, with wider back vertebrae with increased loin muscling, lighter bone (bladed rather than round) and deeper chest for increased lung capacity. The head lengthened and narrowed to slice through the wind and increase the cooling mechanism of the nasal passages.

The swiftness of these sight hounds brought sport to dog lovers that has spanned the years, probably since before Ovi’d written description at the time of Christ. Humans, being human, have always enjoyed contests, and from the beginning delighted in boasting ‘my dog’s better than your dog’. Dog racing is the most ancient of canine sports. Initially they pursued hare, now the thrill of the chase must suffice as the hare has been replaced by a stuffed bunny.

Racing competitors stand as far apart from their show brothers as do field trailers from bench competitors, occasionally appearing to be different breeds altogether. Racing dogs are alert to the extreme, which may not allow them to be good pets, very deep chested, and powerfully built.

Sight hounds that run down prey alone in open country are distinctly different from ancestors that ran in groups. Fleet sight hounds have been in demand and the Phoenician’s hound trade was known throughout the ancient world. The dogs of the chase were bartered for where ever the Phoenician ships landed. This is how the sight hound became seeded over a wide area of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The Dogs of the Chase were an exception to the “unclean” rule among the Arabs. They were prized by their owners, lived in tents with the tribal chieftains, and were given as treasured gifts. The sight hound became the dog of nobility in other areas of the world as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Afghan Hound Reply with quote

Afghan Hounds (Afghanistan)
The history of this hound is ancient and may date back nearly 5000 years, though the legend which claims the Afghan as the dog Noah took into the Ark may be a bit exaggerated. These hounds have long, flowing hair to protect them from the cold mountain air. His unique, upright tail served as a marker in the heavier underbrush and his high-set hip bones enabled him greater flexibility in the mountains. The aristocratic, elegant Afghan was no pussycat, hunting big, tough game such as wolves, foxes and gazelles.

His old native name is Tazi, and his obvious resemblance indicates similar history with the Russian Tazi. Originally, sale of the national dog to outsiders was prohibited, and the first specimens to arrive in the United States and England did not appear until the turn of the 20th century.

The Afghan coat bears singular requirements: the topknot and the distinct short haired saddle on the back which forms as an adult are breed requirements. It is permissible for the dog to display a shorthaired cuff on the feet.

The Afghan excels at lure coursing. They are aloof dogs, although at times they can be the greatest clowns. They are convinced that they are royalty, and in their eyes, are certainly above ‘lesser’ breeds.






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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Azawakh Reply with quote

Azawakh (Mali) weighs between 37 and 55 pounds, and reaches 23.5” up to 29” at the shoulder. They have very short, soft fur and should be sable in color with white markings. They are sometimes called Tuareg Sloughi. These sight hounds were bred by the nomadic Tuareg tribes of the southern Sahara as hunting and guard dogs for over a thousand years. They were developed for the chase, and will course any game. They are described as fleet footed enough to catch gazelles, hares and the European mouflon or wild sheep. They are courageous enough to ward off big predators, they are untiring like a camel, and beautiful like the Arabian horse.



They defended goats and camels and were particularly valuable against jackals, hyenas and wild dogs. Their true value lies in the chase however, as the nomads appreciate their beauty and look upon the Azawakh as a symbol of high standing and wealth.

The dog must never kill the prey, merely curbing its flight. If the game were killed, it would spoil in the desert heat. The Tuareg hunter has no guns nor even bow and arrow, providing food for the encampment only with a knife and a sight hound.

Pups are cultivated from birth for the hunt. They are fed on milk, never on flesh, and continue this diet throughout their lives. As three month old babies, they are introduced to their calling by beginning with rats and progressing to hares. Eventualy, at full growth, the Azawakh is taken on horseback to course gazelle. The hound is seated in front of his master on the saddle until the game is sighted, and the chase is begun. When the dog is released, he begins his “breathtaking course,” which sometimes lasts five to six hours. Finally the Azawakh hamstrings the quarry, waiting for his master to join him and complete the kill.

This breed has been the product of strict culling and selection, based on the namad’s stark existence. When a litter was born, only one male was kept for hunting purposes, and occasionally a bitch for reproduction. The others were killed. This practice made it nearly impossible for outsiders to obtain an Azawakh. Asking a nomadic huntsman to sell his sighthound was tantamount to asking him to sell his oldest son.



The Tuaregs required their dogs to have white markings, the ones without white were considered worthless. Black nails and black eye rim pigmentation surrounding the large, dark eyes were also required by the nomads, along with five obligatory warts on the head. Owners state that to know one is to love the breed. Nevertheless, Azawakhs are not for everyone. They are a proud, even haughty breed that does not take well to harsh discipline. They are aristocratic, “a friend, never a slave.” True to their native land, they love sun and warmth and require protection from cold climates. One breeder warns that they love food and will become food thieves, eating themselves into obesity, especially if they do not get their long runs.

Their gait is typical of the sighthounds, almost ballet llike in movement, lightfooted, floating. They are built similarly to a good Arabian horse, high on leg, short coupled, with small feet. This is quite different than many other desert hounds. Their speed reaches 43.5 mph.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Basenji Reply with quote

Basenji originated in Zaire. They should weigh 22-24 pounds and be 16-16.5” tall at the shoulder. Coat is short and smooth and may be red, black and tan, black, and all may have white markings. They are also known as the Congo Dog.



These dogs were admired by the pharaohs of Egypt. They are an ancient breed dating back to the earliest pariahs. They were used as hunting dogs much like their larger relatives the Pharaoh and Ibizan hounds. As the Egyptian culture declined, these hunting dogs were adopted by tribes throughout the Congo.

The breed’s keen nose, a Basenji can scent at 80 yards! And sharp eyesight were useful to the natives, who used the dogs to drive game into nets or to track wounded prey. Because the Basenji hunted silently, he often wore a bell.

Centuries later, the Basenji was found in the bush by British explorers, nearly in its original form. The breed’s independence, resourcefulness and hunting ability had helped the Basenji to survive on its own.

Finally, in 1936, a pair imported from the Congo produced the first English litter. When these pups were exhibited at Crufts, they created so much interest that special police had to be employed to keep the crowds moving past the Basenji benches.

A popular hunting dog for small game in his native land, he is valued for his silent approach. Today the barkless dog is valued for the same attribute in apartment complexes. He is not totally silent, and can communicate with growls when displeased, and a singular yodel when happy. The Basenji is exceptionally clean and will use his feet to cling, play and communicate.

They are avid coursing dogs and retain many of the characteristics of the pariahs, including the aloofness, the wrinkled brow, and the female only cycles once a year. These dogs prefer being with their family and, if left to their own resources, may resort to deviltry and destruction for their amusement.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Cirneco Dell’Etna Reply with quote

Cirneco Dell’Etna comes from Italy. They weigh 18-26 pounds and reach 16-20” at the shoulder. The coat is short and smooth and they may come in all shades of fawn with white markings allowed. Another name for this breed is the Sicilian Greyhound. This dog is a Pharaoh Hound look alike and was brought to Sicily in the Phoenician heyday when dogs of this type were a hot item. They have been kept, and bred, in the shadow of Mount Etna for 3,000 years.



The large island of Sicily is the major home of the Cirneco. In more ancient times, the breed also was known further north on Corsica. The roots and history of this breed are the same as the Pharaoh’s and the Ibizan’s, repeated on a different island.



Even before recorded history, a temple dedicated to the local divinity has existed at Ardano on Sicily. This holy place was supposedly guarded by the Cirneco dogs who had a supernatural instinct to attack the sacrilegious and thief but to welcome enthusiastically the devout.



The breed is prevalent around Ardano, and it is now the only breed which hunts on the slopes of Mount Etna. As hunters, they are smaller versions of their relatives from Malta and Ibiza. Although basically sight hounds of an ancient sort, they can also hunt by scent. The Cirneco is a specialist on rabbit and hare, but is so silent that it can also sneak up on any kind of feathered game. He is a lively and friendly companion not known outside of his localized area in Italy. He is also becoming extremely rare.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Tasy - Tazy Mid-Asiatic Borzoi Reply with quote

Tazy (USSR) aka Tasy, or Mid-Asiatic Borzoi. They should be 22-28” at the shoulders with short, silky coat and fringing on the tail and ears. They should be tan, gray, or black/tan, usually with spots and white markings.



The Tasy is seen in the deserts along the Caspian Sea where he chases hare, fox, marmot, some hooved game and even wolf. Although the Tasy is a sighthound, he also has a sharp sense of smell. These dogs were very special and in the past have actually kept their owners from starvation. Though progress has brought the breed to near extinction, a few individuals are working to prevent this from happening.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Taigan Reply with quote

Taigan (USSR) should be 22-28” at the shoulders with a long, thick and double, sometimes wavy coat with heavy feathering on tail, ears, thighs, shoulder and front legs. They come in solids in black, gray, fawn or white and can have white markings. They are also called the Kirghiz Borzoi.



They came from the eastern high altitude regions of Tien Shan on the Chinese border and this breed is not found outside the borders of Kirghizia. It has been adapted for endurance work at six to ten thousand foot elevations and can do scent work as well as retrieve. They are used to hunt fox, marmot, badger, hare, wildcat, wolf and hooved game.



This beautifully coated dog is full of hunting zeal and shows charm and grace with its handler.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Galgo Espanol hails from Spain. They weigh 60-66 pounds and can be 26-28” at the shoulders. The coat is short and smooth. They come in shades of cinnamon, chestnut, red, black, brindle and may be solid or combinations with white. They are sometimes called the Spanish Greyhound.



The Galgo has an ancient history. He is named for the Gauls, a Celtic tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula six centuries BC. Celts always appreciated good dogs and they acquired gazehounds from the Phoenician merchants who plied the Spanish shores. Caesar conquered the area just before the Christian era, and the Roman writers of the first and second centuries AD describe the sleek Galgo.

After the Middle Ages, the Galgo maintained type for centuries, especially in Andalusia and Castile. Farmers used him for guard work or for hunting rabbits. Spanish nobility also favored these fleet hounds for formal coursing of live game. Those used for coursing remained the purest in type.

<a href='http://www.greatdogsite.com/breeds/details/ Galgo_Espanol/'><img src='http://www.greatdogsite.com/admin/uploaded_f iles/1198056864galgo_espanol.jpg' alt='Galgo Espanol' border='0' ></a>
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