Today, we will start by taking a look at the Great Pyrenees, a truly majestic mountain dog hailing from the Pyrenees mountains (fun fact: the Great Pyrenees was actually adopted as a court dog by French royalty in the 17th century!). The Pyrenees is truly a mountain dog: measuring as high as 32 inches, these dogs are built like mountains and equally as strong. Their main purpose in life is to watch over livestock, particularly sheep and goats, and this purpose shows in their everyday behavior and mannerisms. They almost always appear to be guardians, exhibiting a zen-like disposition as they keep watch.
Do not let their Buddha-like calmness fool you, though. In spite of their moderate energy level, Great Pyrenees need their exercise and enjoy a good, hearty playtime. They shed their waterproof coats seasonally, and only need the occasional groom (they do always enjoy a good brushing, though!). You should keep in mind, though, that Pyrenees are mostly independent when it comes to training; they are incredibly instinctual working animals, watching and protecting is a part of who they are.
The Great Pyrenees is not for everyone, but it is a calm and patient dog that is incredibly loyal and steadfast. Much like the mountains from which it took its name, the Great Pyrenees is a mindful protector and friend. And, full disclosure, they are a personal favorite of ours. We have two of these wonderful dogs, Bear and Lola. They are loyal, loving, and always, entertaining.
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The Collie – both the rough and smooth-coated varieties – is a proud breed, and rightfully so. They are legendary herders, storied for their devotion and protection of the herd. It is because of their fabled herding pedigree that Collies are typically responsive and fast dogs, not lacking in strength of character either. But, Collies are also incredibly loyal and affectionate, as well, and display a rare sense of devotion to their humans. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear that Collies really desire and thrive on companionship, whether in wide-open country spaces or more confined cityscapes.
Day-to-day, Collies require daily exercise to keep up with their very active energy levels; however, if they maintain an active exercise regimen, they are also very happy to relax and rest at home, too. They do like to be vocal, though, so keep that in mind if you prefer a quiet household. As with most breeds that have such brilliant, long-haired coats, they do shed seasonally and require the occasional groom.
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Let’s all take a moment and state the obvious: Irish Setters have a truly brilliant red coat. I have never seen an Irish Setter that didn’t turn heads and stand out from the crowd with it remarkable shades of red. What makes the Irish Setter all the more impressive is that they can back up those good looks with real athletic talent. Traditionally bred as a true hunter’s companion and partner, Irish Setter’s have the athletic capacity to perform in the field for a full day of hunting. Over the generations, this hunting pedigree has lent itself to building a reputation for equal parts grace and speed.
For the everyday dog owner, the Irish Setter’s hunting heritage means that it is a sweet-natured and outgoing breed that responds well to training and human interaction (they enjoy socializing with other dogs, as well as younger children). Irish Setters do have a rather high energy level and need plenty of space to run around and exercise those hunting instincts, so keep that in mind when considering if the Irish Setter would be a good fit for your lifestyle. They also require weekly grooming, as is to be expected in a breed with such a brilliant and luxurious coat.
On the whole, Irish Setters are perfect for anyone looking for a hunting partner or simply a good-natured, athletic companion. To learn even more, click here!
When you think of a Husky, you probably are envisioning a working dog enduring, yet thriving, in a nameless Artic expanse pulling a sled. Given that they were originally bred in Northeast Asia to work as a sled dog, this mental image is a pretty accurate one; however, I would contend that when you think of a Husky, you should also be picturing a great, all-around dog; a “dog’s dog,” if you will. Huskies are a dignified breed, but although they are always present and alert, they are almost always of a friendly and gentle disposition, ever the social and outgoing type without being overbearing or overly-energized. It is because of such a balanced disposition that Huskies thrive both as more traditional working dogs as well as gentle therapy dogs.
Given their sledding pedigree, it is important to keep in mind a few things when it comes to daily life with a Husky. In terms of energy level, they require regular, daily exercise, full-stop. When it comes to exercise, there is no exception: Huskies need their exercise and playtime. Their sledding heritage also has some grooming implications. Siberian Huskies, because they were bred in much colder climates, have a two-part coat specifically designed to be thicker and more durable to a harsh winter environment. A longer, coarse top coat covers a dense, fine undercoat. What this means is that as a Husky owner, you should expect regular and consistent seasonal shedding; however, if you can handle the hair, Huskies will never let you down.
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