Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is not a member of the terrier group, the name being given to it by European travelers to Tibet who were reminded of terriers from back home when they first encountered the breed. Its origins are uncertain: Some sources claim them to be lucky temple dogs, whereas others place them as s.

The Tibetan Terrier is a dog with many uses, able to , , and also be a suitable companion dog. Their utility in Tibet meant that the first examples of the breed available in the west were generally given as gifts, as the Tibetan Terrier, along with other Tibetan breeds, were too valuable to the people who owned them to casually sell. As such, the early history of the breed is linked to only a handful of dogs.

The Tibetan name for the breed, Tsang Apso, roughly translates to "shaggy or bearded dog, from the province of Tsang". Some old travelers' accounts give the name "Dokhi Apso," or "outdoor" Apso, indicating a working dog which lives outdoors. Other "Apso" dogs from Tibet include the smaller and more familiar Lhasa Apso and the very Do Khyi Apso

Recent DNA analysis has concluded that the Tibetan Terrier is descended from the most ancient dog breeds.



The appearance of the Tibetan Terrier is that of a powerful, medium sized dog of square proportions, with a shaggy coat. Overall, there should be a feel of balance. Fully grown, he or she should look like a miniaturized Old English Sheepdog.

The head is moderate, with a strong muzzle of medium length, and a skull neither rounded nor flat. The eyes are large, dark, and set fairly far apart. The V-shaped drop ears are well feathered, and should be set high on the sides of the skull. The nose is always black, regardless of coat colour.

The body is well muscled and compact. The length of the back should be equal to the height at the withers, giving the breed its typical square look. Height for either sex is 14-16 in and weight is 18-30 lb , with 20-24 lb preferred, but all weights acceptable if in proportion to the size.

The tail is set high, well feathered, and carried in a curl over the back.

One of the more unusual features of the Tibetan Terrier is the broad, flat feet with hair between the toes. They are ideal for climbing mountains and act as natural snow shoes.


Tibetans have hair, not fur; as a result, their coat grows continuously and pet animals will require occasional trimming. They do not shed but rather slough hair at a rate similar to that of most humans. The exception is at approximately nine months when puppies slough their entire coat in advance of acquiring their adult coat. The double coat is profuse, with a warm undercoat and a topcoat which has the texture of human hair. It should not be silky or curled, but wavy is acceptable. Long and thick, it is shown natural, but should not be so long as to touch the floor, as is typical in breeds such as the Lhasa Apso or . A fall of hair covers the face and eyes, but long eyelashes generally prevent hair from getting in the Tibetan Terrier's eyes, and the breed has very good eyesight.


All colors are permissible, barring liver and chocolate, and none are preferred. Tibetan Terriers are available in any combination of solid, particolor, tricolor, brindle or piebald, as long as the nose leather is black and the eyes and eye rims are dark.


The temperament has been one of the most attractive aspects of the breed since it was first established in the 1920's. They are amiable and affectionate family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children. As is fitting a dog formerly used as a watch dog, they tend to be reserved around strangers, but should never be aggressive nor shy with them.

Suitable for apartment living, the Tibetan is still an energetic and surprisingly strong dog, and needs regular exercise. Their energy level and intelligence is well suited for dog sports such as . They are steadfast, determined, and clever, which can lead to them being stubborn. Some dogs of this breed can often be jealous, which can make it hard to live with another pet.

Though not yappy, the Tibetan Terrier has an assertive bark, likened to a rising siren.


The Tibetan Terrier enjoys the long life span often associated with small dog breeds, and generally lives from 17-20 years.

Though an athletic breed that has been bred for a natural look, the Tibetan Terrier is still susceptible to a variety of health problems, especially those related to the eyes and joints. These can include:
*Luxating patella
*Progressive retinal atrophy
*Lens luxation

Because of that, Tibetan Terrier clubs recommend purchasing from breeders who participate in eye and hip testing, such as the Canine Eye Registration Foundation and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals .

Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is a of assertive, small, intelligent dogs originating in the of Tibet. They share ancestry with the Pekingese, Japanese Chin, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Pug. This breed is not a true Spaniel; its breeding and role differs quite a bit The name Spaniel may have been given due to its resemblance to the bred-down versions of the hunting Spaniels, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.



The Tibetan Spaniel standard allows all colors, but with brown eyes and a black nose. Their temperament should be confident, active, and alert. The outline should give a well balanced appearance, slightly longer in body than the height at withers. Size Height about 10 inches. Their head should be slightly domed with a medium length, strong muzzle. Weight 9-15 pounds being ideal. They often carry a medium length double coat with flarings, and a high set plumed tail, carried over their back.


Happy and assertive, highly intelligent, aloof with strangers. "Tibbies", as they are often called, make excellent housepets for many people, including families with small children. Tibetan Spaniels enjoy attention and involvement with their owners, but have an independent nature and can be willful. They will bark to warn of strangers and strange occurrences, but generally reserve barking. A fondness for sitting in high places is another feature of the breed.

Health Issues

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is an inherited form of blindness in dogs that occurs in two forms: generalized PRA and central PRA. Generalized PRA is primarily a photoreceptor disease and is the form found in Tibetan Spaniels. The clinical signs have been observed between 1? and 4 years, but as late at seven years.

What are the signs of Progressive Retinal Atrophy?

The earliest clinical sign is "night blindness." The dog cannot see well in a dimly lit room or at dusk. The dog will show a reluctance to move from a lighted area into darker surroundings. The night blindness develops progressively into complete blindness. The British institution Animal Health Trust - AHT, is at present intensively researching PRA in Tibbies aiming at isolating the gene causing the ailement. Considerable progress has been made recently. More information can be obtained direct from the AHT and at http://www.aht.org.uk/.

Is there any treatment?

No, this condition is hereditary and if your dog carries the genes for PRA, it will develop.

What effect will it have on your dog?

Even though your dog will become completely blind, the condition is painless. Many dogs adjust to their loss of sight and do just fine in their own surroundings.

Weeping Eyes

"Weeping Eyes" is one of those vague symptoms that can be the result of any number of different causes. Some tearing in Tibbies is attributable the natural configuration of the face. The combination of facial hair, facial fullness, "bulky eyelids" and "tight" lower lids. What apparently happens is the fullness of the face may push the facial hair against the eyes, irritate then and cause tearing. Some of the tears drain away through the nose but when there are a few too many tears, there's no place for them to go except to overflow those tight lower lids onto the face. Facial hair also sometimes acts like a "wick" to draw the tears onto the face. In most cases this really isn't anything to worry about with no consequence other than cosmetic.

Cherry Eye

"Cherry Eye" is actually a prolapsed third eyelid. What happens is that the eyelid becomes "loose" allowing one of the tear glands to protrude. Tacking is the recommended procedure that should only be done by a qualified vet or a veterinary ophthalmologist.


Among the less serious health problems a Tibetan Spaniel is susceptible to is allergies. This is not unique to Tibbies as allergies appear to be on the rise among all dogs. Things to be on the lookout for are very similar to human allergies symptoms such as watery eyes and scratching. Probably the number one allergic reaction among all dogs is to fleas. The dogs are allergic not to the bite, but the flea saliva.

Liver Shunt - Portosystemic Shunt

A portosystemic shunt is an abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver. As a result the blood is not cleansed by one of the bodies filters: the liver. This condition is often referred to as a "liver shunt".

What are the signs of liver shunt?

Most shunts cause recognizable by the time a dog is a young adult but once in a while one is diagnosed at a later time in life. Since the severity of the condition can vary widely depending on how much blood flow is diverted past the liver it is possible for a lot of variation in clinical signs & time of onset for the signs to occur. Often, this condition is recognized after a puppy fails to grow, making an early diagnosis pretty common. Signs of portosystemic shunts include poor weight gain, sensitivity to sedatives , depression, pushing the head against a solid object, seizures, weakness, salivation, vomiting, poor appetite, increased drinking and urinating, balance problems and frequent urinary tract disease or early onset of bladder stones. If these signs increase dramatically after eating, it is a strong supportive sign of a portosystemic shunt.


Small monastery dogs, thought to be early representatives of the Tibetan Spaniel, loyally trailed behind their Lama masters and came to be regarded as "little Lions", thus giving them great value and prestige. The practice of sending the dogs as gifts to the palaces of China and other Buddhist countries grew significantly, and in reciprocity more "lion dogs" were presented back to Tibet, continuing until as late as 1908. Through exchange of Tibetan Spaniels between palaces and monasteries, the breed is likely to have common ancestors with a number of the Oriental breeds, including the Japanese Chin and the Pekingese.

Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. The Professor created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs. It shows that the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a small scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog" which then evolved into the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Intermixing of Tibetan breeds then involved the Tibetan Spaniel with the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu, resulting in both the latter breeds birthing the occasional "Prapso" in their litters - a pup with a shedding coat greatly resembling the Tibetan Spaniel.

Although legend has it that Tibbies were trained to turn the monks' prayer wheels, it is more likely that their keen sight made them excellent monastery watchdogs, barking to warning of intruders and alert the monks.

Village-bred Tibetan Spaniels varied greatly in size and type, and the smaller puppies were usually given as gifts to the monasteries. In turn, these smaller dogs used in the monastery breeding programs were probably combined with the more elegant Tibetan Spaniel-type dogs brought from China. Those bred closer to the Chinese borders were characterized by shorter muzzles.

Not only was the Tibetan Spaniel prized as a pet and companion, it was considered a very useful animal by all classes of Tibetans. During the day, the dogs would sit on top of the monastery walls keeping a steady watch over the countryside below. Their keen eye and ability to see great distances, as well as their persistent barking, made them exceptionally good watchdogs. Modern-day Tibbies retain their ancestors' love of heights.

Tibetan Spaniels were being bred in the United Kingdom by the 1890s. The first authenticated reference we find to Tibetan Spaniels in the United States is a litter born out of two imported dogs from a Tibetan monastery in 1965. In January 1971, the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America was formed with 14 charter members. After a period in the Miscellaneous classes, the Tibetan Spaniel was accepted for AKC registration and became eligible to compete as a Non-Sporting breed effective January 1, 1984. The breed was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1987, and placed in Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs, Section 5 : Tibetan breeds.



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Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu , , is a dog breed which originated in China. The name is both singular and plural. The spelling "Shih Tzu", most commonly used for the breed, is according to the Wade-Giles system of romanization. The Shih Tzu is reported to be the oldest and smallest of the Tibetan holy dogs, its vaguely lion-like look being associated with the Tibetan Snowlion. The Shih Tzu therefore also has the nickname "Tibetan temple dog". It is also often known as the "Xi Shi quan" , based on the name of Xi Shi, regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient China, and, less often, the Chrysanthemum Dog, because its face looks very much like the flower, and the Chinese or Tibetan Lion Dog.



The Shih Tzu is characterized by its long, flowing double coat; sturdy build; intelligence; and a friendly, energetic, lively attitude. Here is an excellent example of lively Shih Tzu puppy behavior at 10 weeks . In breeding all coat colors are allowed. The Shih Tzu fur can be styled either in a short summer cut or kept long as is compulsory for conformation shows.

The American Kennel Club Shih Tzu breed standard calls for the dog to have a short snout, large eyes, and a palm-like tail that waves above its torso. The ideal Shih Tzu height at 9 to 10 1/2 inches. The dog should stand no less than 8 inches and not more than 11 inches tall. The Shih Tzu should never be so high stationed as to appear leggy, nor so low stationed as to appear dumpy or squatty. Regardless of size or gender, the Shih Tzu should always be solid and compact and carry good weight and substance for its size range.

This breed has some to no shedding .

Breed variations

The American Kennel Club and the American Shih Tzu Club define the Shih Tzu as an adult dog that weighs between 9 to 16 pounds as the official breed standard. . Descriptions such as "imperial", "teacup", "tiny teacup" are used, but dogs that fit such descriptions are often an undersized or underdeveloped Shih Tzu. Both the AKC and ASTC consider these variances to not be in conformity with the official breed standard. These tiny variances are also not what was defined as a standard by the professional circuit. Many people prefer to have these canines buzzed to a short cut, as their hair starts to mat and become dry as it grows. To have it long, the owner must give the dog's hair intensive care. A medium length coat is therefore recommended but not


Temperature sensitivity

Shih Tzu are considered to be brachycephalic dogs. As such, they are very sensitive to high temperatures. This is why many airlines that ship dogs will not accept them for shipment when temperatures at any point on the planned itinerary exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit .

Life span and health issues

The life span of a Shih Tzu is 13-15 years although some variation from this range is possible. Some health issues common among the breed are portosystemic liver shunt, renal dysplasia, and in standard sizes. In addition, they also can suffer from various eye problems. Shih Tzus may present signs of allergies to red dye #40, and owners should respond to scratching in the absence of fleas by eliminating pet foods that contain this commonly used additive.


The Shih Tzu can require more care than some other breeds if the hair is kept at show length; they need daily brushing to avoid tangles. A short haircut, also known as a pet trim or puppy cut, can make this a task taking place every month or so rather than of daily. They also need regular haircuts. A Shih Tzu has two coats of fur, with the bottom coat shedding into the top coat rather than off of the dog entirely; as a result, this breed sheds very little in the conventional sense. With regular brushing and bathing, shedding can be reduced to almost nothing. As they shed so lightly, Shih-Tzu are considered to be one of the breeds more suitable for people with allergies.

Since the breed is adapted to a cool climate, letting the coat grow out somewhat for the colder seasons is appropriate, but there is still a substantial difference from a floor-length show coat and a warmer, medium-length winter coat.

Because Shih Tzu noses are small and flat, eating contributes to an unclean face. Once the dog has finished eating, owners often wipe the dog's face with a damp paper towel to remove food remnants. This is another area where the haircut matters; a proper show cut will get more messy than other ways of cutting the facial hair.

When they are drinking, it is sometimes necessary to supervise Shih Tzu; water can enter their face-level noses more easily and inhibit breathing. This is why many Shih Tzu are trained to drink from the sort of licker bottles used by hamsters and gerbils. The area around the eyes should be checked each day for mucus buildup and cleaned when needed. Providing the Shih Tzu with bottled water helps to keep eye mucus to a minimum. Additionally, their claws need to be clipped approximately every month.

Crossbred Shih Tzus

A is a dog with two purebred parents of different breeds. Dogs traditionally were crossed in this manner in hopes of creating a puppy with desirable qualities from each parent. For pet dogs, crosses may be done to enhance the marketability of puppies, and are often given cute portmanteau names. Shih Tzus are sometimes crossbred with other toy dogs, creating such designer dogs as Shih-poo , the "Zuchon" or "Shichon" and the . Shih Tzus may also be crossed with , and a ShiChi which is a Shih Tzu crossed with a Chihuahua, Shih Tzu's have also been known to be crossed with Cavalier King Charles Spanieland a "Shorkie" is 1/2 teacup Yorkie & 1/2 Toy sized Shih Tzu http://www.shorkieworld.com/shorkie-puppies-nursery.htm


Recent DNA analysis confirms that the ancestors of today's Shih Tzu breed are the most ancient dog breeds.

Professor Ludvic von Schulmuth studied canine origins by studying the skeletal remains of dogs found in human settlements as long as ten thousand years ago. The Professor created a genealogical tree of Tibetan dogs that shows the "Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog", a scavenger, evolved into the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". From this dog evolved the Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese, and Japanese Chin. Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.

James E. Mumford described the breed in an American Shih Tzu magazine, giving a picture of the versatile character of the Shih Tzu:
"Nobody knows how the Ancient Eunuchs managed to mix together…And now here comes the recipe: A dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man , a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear and the rest dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin."

Shar Pei

The Shar Pei or Chinese Shar-Pei is a of dog known for its distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The breed derives from China. The name translates to "sand skin," and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat. As puppies, Shar Pei have numerous wrinkles, but as they mature, these wrinkles disappear as they "grow into their skin". Shar Pei were once named as one of the world's rarest dog breeds by and the '''', and the American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1991.

The origin of the Chinese Shar-Pei can be traced to the province of Kwun Tung and has for centuries existed in the southern provinces of China. These dogs helped their peasant masters in various tasks such as herding cattle, guarding the home and family, and have proven themselves to be qualified hunters of "wild game, usually wild pigs."

The Shar-Pei is believed to have shared a common origin with the smooth-coated Chow-Chow because of the blue-black mouths and tongues, possibly the Great Pyrenees, a source of the double dew claws, and the Tibetan Mastiff. It was believed in ancient times that the dark mouth of the Chow-Chow, exposed when barking, helped to ward off evil spirits. The first Shar-Pei may have appeared as a mutation. The Shar-Pei when translated means "sand-skin" or "shark skin." This uniquely rough, loose, prickly coat enabled the Shar-Pei to wriggle out of its opponents grasp while fighting in the dog pits. The coat when stroked against the grain may be abrasive, producing a burning, itching sensation. Their tail is carried over their backs on either side exposing the anus. The first tail set is a tightly curled tail, a "coin" tail. The second tail set is the loose curl, and third is carried in an arch over the back. The Shar-Pei with his tail sticking out straight or between his legs was thought to be cowardly. The tail should denote bravery.

While viewing the body head on, if the toes were slightly turned out this was thought to help the dog with balance according to old-time dog-fighting fanciers. The Chinese crawling dragon with his feet pointed east and west was considered a sign of strength. Because of these poor breeding practices many of the Shar-Pei have bad fronts. A dog with straight forelegs is correct.

Incidentally, any dog in China that protects property is called a fighting dog, whereas in Canada and the United States they are referred to as guard dogs.

Following the establishment of the Peoples' Republic of China as a communist nation, the dog population was virtually wiped out. If not for the efforts of Matgo Law of Hong Kong, the Shar-Pei would not be here today. Due to his dedication to the breed, a small number of Shar-Pei were brought to the United States in the 1960s and early '70s. In 1974 American and Canadian fanciers answered Matgo's appeal for help and in 1976 the first Shar-Pei was registered. The foundation stock brought over from Hong Kong were of poorer quality then the Shar-Pei we see today. In August of 1991 the Shar-Pei officially completed the requirements for recognition by the American Kennel club and was placed in the Non-Sporting Group. In 1992 the Canadian Kennel Club also officially recognized and grouped the Shar-Pei in group 6, Non-Sporting n g events. Since that time several Shar-Pei are now and
continuing to become CKC and AKC champions.

Together the United States and Canada can now boast over 100,000 Shar-Pei in the world. This unique breed is also recognized by the FCI, HKKC, and the CSPCGB. The CSPCGB operates independently receiving no input or influence from the Kennel Club. I would also mention that the FCI recognizes the HKKC standard and not the AKC's at this time, as per its general policy of using the standard from the country of the breed's origin.



Small, triangular ears, a muzzle shaped like that of a hippopotamus, and a high-set tail also give the Shar Pei a unique look. For show standard, "the tail is thick and round at the base, tapering to a fine point" .


Shar Pei come in many different colors such as fawn, red , sand, cream, black, lilac and blue. They resemble the Chow Chow due to having the same blue-black tongue. There are over sixteen recognized colors in AKC. The coat must be solid in
color and any Shar-Pei with a "flowered coat" or black and tan in coloration is a disqualification. Colors include black, cream, fawn, red-fawn, red, sable, apricot, chocolate, isabella, and blue. The nose may be black or brick , with or without a black mask. A Shar-Pei can also have what is called a "dilute" coloration. Meaning the nose, nails and anus of the dog is the same color as the coat, . All of these color variations are acceptable and beautiful, but the coat color must be solid and well blended throughout the whole body of the dog.


Shar Pei comes in three different coat types; horse, brush and bear coat. The unusual horse-coat is rough to the touch, extremely prickly and off-standing and is closer to the original Shar Pei breed in appearance and coat type than the Brush or Bear Coat. This coat is fairly prickly, and can be rough or irritating when petting in the opposite direction of the fur. The Horse Coat is generally thought to be more active and predisposed to dominant behaviour than the Brush Coat.
The brush-coated variety have slightly longer hair and a smoother feel to them. The Brush Coat is generally considered to be more of a 'couch potato' than the Horse Coat.

Unlike the two coat types above, the Bear Coat does not meet breed standards and therefore cannot be shown. The coat is much longer than the Brush and Horse Coat, so much so, in most cases you can't see the famous wrinkles. A Bear Coat can occur in any litter.

This breed has little to no shedding .

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a unique and intelligent dog most often recognized for its wrinkles. Initially developed as an all purpose Chinese farm dog, the breed does well today in obedience, agility, herding and tracking, with skills that would have been needed on the farm. Because the name "Shar-Pei" means "sand coat", harshness is a distinctive feature in its two accepted coat types, either horse or brush . Other unique qualities include black mouth pigment, a slightly "hippo-like" head shape, small ears, deepset eyes and rising topline.

All Shar-Pei, but especially the horsecoat need early socialization with children, strangers, and other animals.They can be stubborn, strong willed and very territorial.Early training can help control these traits before they become problem behaviors. Some people may experience a sensitivity to the harshness of the coat of either length. This is a mild, short lived rash, that can develop on the skin that has been in contact with the coat, most commonly on the forearms.

The brushcoat matures early to be a stocky strong dog, therefore early socialization and training are essential, in order to have a dog that is a good family member as well as a welcome member of society. The brushcoat is not always as active as the horsecoat, and are often more content than the horsecoat to laze around the house. Like their horsecoat brothers, they are strong willed, stubborn and territorial, but these are often exhibited to a lesser degree. Both coat types, brush and horse are true Shar-Pei.

There is another length of coat that a Shar-Pei can have. When both the male and female carry the recessive gene for this coat type, it can occur. It is any coat that is longer than 1 inch at the withers. This coat length is commonly called a "Bear Coat." This coat length resembles the coat on a breed of dog called a "Chow Chow." The personality of the bear coat is very much like that of a brush coat.


Shar Pei usually come in two varieties: one is covered in large folds of wrinkles, even into adulthood . The other variation has skin that appears tighter on its body, with wrinkles just on the face and at the withers .


The Shar Pei is often suspicious of strangers, which pertains to their origin as a guard dog. In general the breed has proved itself to be a loving, devoted family dog. The Shar Pei are also very independent and reserved breeds. Nevertheless, the Shar Pei is extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to its family, and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and proper introduction at a young age. If poorly socialized or trained, it can become especially territorial and aggressive. Even friendly and well-socialized individuals will retain the breed's proclivities . It is a largely silent breed, barking only when playing or when worried. The Shar Pei was originally bred as palace guards in China. While this breed is adorable it is also very protective of its home and family, a powerful dog that is willing to guard its family members.

The breed is amenable to training, but can get bored from repetition. Overall, the Shar Pei is a dog that is loyal and loving to its family while being very protective & independent.


Because of its fame after being introduced to North America in the 1970s, the breed suffered much inexperienced or rushed breeding. Many genetic problems arose as a result. Allergy-induced skin infections can be a problem in this breed caused by poorly selected breeding stock. This actually has become more and more rare over the years with responsible breeders and lines. Familial Shar Pei fever , and swollen hock syndrome, , are also a serious problems for the breed. The FSF disease causes short fevers lasting up to 24 hours, after which there may be no recurrence or they may recur at more frequent intervals and become more serious. A possibly related disease is called amyloidosis, and is caused by unprocessed amyloid proteins depositing in the organs, most often in the kidneys or liver, leading to renal failure. At this time there is no test for these seemingly prevalent diseases.

A common problem is a painful eye condition, entropion, in which the eyelashes curl inward, irritating the eye. Untreated, it can cause blindness. This condition can be fixed by surgery .

Chinese Shar Pei can be notoriously allergic to food products that contain soy, corn, wheats, glutens and sugars . It is recommended in the breed now to use a completely grain-free food to offset and try to prevent these allergies. Often the consumption of these types of poor quality foods result in allergic skin reactions. Shar Pei whose food intake is restricted to better quality foods free of corn/soy/wheats and glutens, will enjoy much healthier lives with little or no skin irritation, itching, or sores.
Responsible breeders work to reduce the frequence of these genetic problems, and so finding an experienced, well-established Shar-Pei breeder is important. Some problems can be virtually eliminated from experienced breeders' litters. The breeder will also give the best and most detailed diet information specific to their Shar-Pei.


The Shar Pei breed comes from the Guangdong province of China. The original Shar-pei from China looked very different from the breed now popular in the West. People in southern China, Hong Kong, and Macau differentiate the Western type and the original type by calling them respectively "meat-mouth" and "bone-mouth" Shar-pei.

The ancestry of the Shar-Pei is uncertain. It may be a descendant of the Chow Chow, however, the only clear link between these are the purple tongue. However, pictures on pottery suggest the breed was present even in the Han Dynasty . For many years the Shar-Pei was kept as a general-purpose farm dog in the Chinese countryside, used for hunting, protecting and herding stock, and guarding the home and family. During that time the Shar-Pei was bred for intelligence, strength and scowling face.

Later, it was used in dog fighting. The loose skin and extremely prickly coat were developed originally to help the pei fend off wild boar, as they were used to hunt. Dog Fighters used these enhanced traits to make the Shar-Pei difficult for the opponent to grab and hold on to, and so that if it did manage to hold on, the Shar-Pei would still have room to maneuver and bite back. The Shar-Pei's most intriguing feature to this fact is that if you grab them by any loose wrinkle they can actually twist in their skin and be in your direction. This was used in fighting as a means for them to fight back, they would be bitten and twist in their skin to bite back at the offender. During the Communist Revolution, when the Shar Pei population dwindled dramatically, dogs were rescued by a Hong Kong business man named Matgo Law, who appealed to Americans in 1973 through a dog magazine to save the breed. Around 200 Shar-Peis were smuggled into America. The current American Shar Pei population stems mainly from these original 200.

DNA analysis has concluded that the Shar Pei is one of the most ancient dog breeds

Famous Shar-Pei

*Lao-Tzu, Martin Prince's dog in The Simpsons, appeared in two episodes; "Bart's Dog Gets an F" and "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds".

*Fu Dog from the cartoon ''American Dragon: Jake Long'' is a Shar Pei.

*Satchel, from the syndicated comic strip Get Fuzzy, is half yellow lab and half Shar Pei.

*Malcolm and Derek, from the TV version of Creature Comforts.

*A Shar Pei appears in the television show '''' as character pet, Bpo Bpo.

*In a British television advert for a Garnier anti-wrinkle cream, a Shar Pei puppy is featured.

*Sharpay is a character in High School Musical who is rich and pretty. Her name is a homonym of Shar Pei. "I mean, come on, they named me after a flabby dog!" is a line stated by Sharpay in the .

*New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight had a Shar Pei named Nikko that went on tour with him and appeared in many magazine articles and pictures focused on the group.

*In Australia and New Zealand, a Shar Pei puppy named Roly has been used for many years in television commercials for Purex toilet paper.

*Popeye, a Shar Pei dog that appeared in Hong Kong TVB comedy shows.

*Zac Lichman from '''' had a Shar Pei named Molly, who undertook a task on Day 55, and was also reunited.

*In a recent episode of BBC Three reality series Dog Borstal a Shar Pei named Mia appeared, exhibiting virtually every negative aspect of the breed including Shar Pei fever. Trainer Robert Alleyne said of the Shar Pei breed that they are ''"a genetic disaster"''.


puglets. The breed is often summarized as ''multum in parvo'' , describing the Pug's remarkable personality despite its small size.


While most Pugs appearing in eighteenth century prints tended to be long and lean, Their heads, carried on arched necks, should be substantial and round, the better to accentuate their large, bulging, dark eyes. The wrinkles on their foreheads should be distinct and deep, The lower teeth should protrude farther than their upper, meeting in an under-bite.

Coat and color

Their fine, glossy coats can be , , or black. All dogs tend to either die or are within a few months after the onset of clinical signs, which usually occur anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of age.

Pugs, along with other brachycephalic dogs , are also prone to hemivertebrae. The screwtail is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs in others areas of the spine it can be devastating, causing such severe paralysis that euthanasia is a serious recommendation.

The Pug, like other short-snouted breeds, has an elongated palate. When excited, they are prone to a "reverse sneeze" where the dog will quickly, and seemingly laboriously, gasp and snort. This is caused by fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing. "Reverse sneezing" episodes are not harmful to the Pug but are usually resolved by the owner calming the dog and gently rubbing the throat to induce a swallowing action; the symptom may also resolve itself without intervention. Owners typically recognise this phenomenon as a pathological symptom rather than as an endearing behavioral pattern.

As with all small breeds, some problems may arise in pregnancy and during birth. The most common problems include the need for a Caesarian section birth and new mothers being disinterested in the puppies, sometimes accompanied by the mother not opening the birth sac.

As Pugs have many wrinkles in their faces, owners normally take special care to clean inside the creases, as irritation and infection can result from improper care.. It is very important that the drainage from their eyes is cleaned from their wrinkles.

Pugs are one of several breeds that are more susceptible to , also known as Demodex. This condition is caused by a weakened immune system, and it is a minor problem for many young Pugs. It is easily treatable, however, some Pugs are especially susceptible to the condition, and will present with a systemic form of the condition. This vulnerability is thought to be genetic, and good breeders will avoid breeding dogs who have had this condition. in East China, they were known as "Lo-Chiang-Sze" or "Foo" . The Pug's popularity spread to Tibet, where they were mainly kept by monks, and then went onto Japan, and finally Europe. A Pug also traveled with and when they left the Netherlands to ascend to the throne of England in 1688.

The English painter William Hogarth owned a series of Pugs, to which he was devoted. In 1745 he painted his self-portrait together with that of his Pug, Trump, now in the Tate Gallery, London.

In nineteenth century England, Pugs flourished under the patronage of the monarch Queen Victoria. Her many Pugs, which she bred herself, included Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus. The piece Pugs and Pug breeders by speaking of the dog and its characteristics as a faulty product, "evidenced" by a fictional quote from the American Pug Breeders Association director, "While pug owners are accustomed to dog malfunction, the latest animals are prone to more problems than just the usual joint failures, overheating, seizures, chronic respiratory defects, and inability to breed without assistance. The latest model Pug is simply not in any way a viable dog."

*Otis from ''The Adventures of Milo and Otis''
* - First appearing on David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" Odie went on to win America Online's Top T.V. Moment of the Year in 2004.
*Frank from '''' and ''Men in Black II''
*Weenie, from Kay Thompson's ''Eloise'' book series
*Shakespug is a friend of Satchel Pooch, a main character in the comic strip Get Fuzzy.
*Mr. Pickle, BBC-presenter Jonathan Ross's Pug, seen in his talk show ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross''.
*Ethel Skinner, a now deceased character in the British soap opera EastEnders, had a pug called Willy.
*Ralph, Don Burke's dog In the long running channel 9 show, was a Pug and a frequent guest of the show.
*Percy Pug from '''' and ''Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World''.
*Bean from The Clique series.
*Lloyd from Norbit
*Marie Antoinette had a pug named Mops.
*Lady Bertram, a character in Jane Austen's novel ''Mansfield Park'', had a female pug called Pug.
*Pakkun from Naruto.
*The Bedford CA van of the 1950s and 60's is commonly referred to as pug-nosed, because its frontal appearance is reminiscent of a pugs face.
*Pug dogs appeared as royalty pets in the movie and the
*A pug appears in U.S. commercials for the allergy/asthma medication Advair.
*Monroe, in The Life and Times of Juniper Lee.
*Rock band Menomena claims to be managed by a black female pug named Getty Lee
*Vodafone India have a line of commercials with Pug.
*A pug is the main character of Dan Yaccarino's illustrated childrens book ''Unlovable''.

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a non-sporting dog breed originating in Tibet. It was bred originally to guard monasteries by alerting monks to any intruders who entered.


Lhasas Apsos should ideally be 10  inches at the withers and weigh about 14-18 pounds . The females are slightly smaller, and weigh between 12-14 pounds . The breed standard requires dark brown eyes and a black nose, although liver coloured lhasas have a brown nose which makes them unsuitable for the show ring but still make great pets. Texture of the coat is heavy, straight, hard, neither woolly nor silky, and very dense. A Lhasa's coat should be of good length if it is for the show ring but a lot of people who keep lhasas as pets getting it trimmed into the teddy bear cut by a groomer. All colors are equally acceptable for the show ring as long as they have a black nose. Lhasas can be with or without dark tips to ears and beard although it is traditional for them to have it. The tail should be carried well over the dogs back. The breed standard currently used by the American Kennel Club was approved July 11, 1978. Lhasas can change colour as they get older. Some start off with a dark brown coat with tan and white splotches, but when their hair is cut or it grows naturally, their colour can turn much lighter.


Having been bred to be sentinel or , Lhasa Apsos tend to be alert and have a keen sense of hearing with a rich, sonorous bark that belies their size .

Lhasa Apsos, although small, can exhibit brief periods of explosive energy. Unique personality characteristics of Lhasa Apsos have gained them a reputation in some circles as being a very emotive breed that in some cases prove themselves to be completely fearless.

If properly raised it will come to appreciate bathing, hair combing and cutting. The Lhasa Apso is a long-lived breed, with some living in good health into their early 20s.


The heavy coat of Lhasas can also be explained by the geographical features of Tibet: the temperature frequently drops below freezing thus making it hard for a dog to survive without sufficient insulation. Lhasas were rarely groomed by their owners thus allowing the breed to adapt to the harsh weather, although when they are in warm climates, such as the south-western , many owners prefer to have the coats trimmed.

In 1901 Mrs. A. McLaren Morrison brought the Lhasa Apso to the where it was registered as an official breed in The Kennel Club in 1902.

The original American pair was a gift from Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama to C. Suydam Cutting, arriving in the United States in the early 1930s. The American Kennel Club officially accepted the breed in 1935 in the Terrier group, and in 1959 transferred the breed to the Non-Sporting group.

Recently, DNA Analysis has identified the Lhasa Apso as one of the 14 most ancient dog breeds. The breed has incredibly good hearing and this is why they were used in Tibet as ears for the old Tibeten monks who were hard of hearing so that the monks could be alerted by the dogs sharp high pitched bark if there were any intruders.

At the World Dog Show Argentina in 2005 a Lhasa Apso, Homero del Alcazar, became ''World Champion''


* The Brazilian comic series Monica's Gang features a Lhasa Apso named which belongs to Jimmy Five.
* In the animated series Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Peter's Aunt May owns a lhasa apso named Ms. Lion.
* Dougal of The Magic Roundabout is based on this dog breed
* Known to suffer from Sebaceous Adenitis - Sebaceous Adenitis is a hereditary skin disease that occurs primarily in Standard Poodles, but has also been reported in a number of other breeds, including the Lhasa Apso.
* Suffer from the genetic disease Progressive Retinal Atrophy which can leave lhasas completely blind.

Kunming Wolf-dog

The Kunming Wolfdog, or Kunming Dog is an of wolf-dog hybrid.



Kunming Dogs are similar in appearance to the German Shepherd Dog but stand taller in the back and have a shorter coat. The tail is often carried curled high when excited. Coats are marked with a black saddle and muzzle, with other colors ranging from light straw to deep rust.


Height: 25-27 inches
Weight: 66-84 pounds

Breed History

The breed was created in the early 1950s to meet the need for military dogs in Yunnan, the capital of which is Kunming. A group of 10 dogs was brought to Kunming from a military K9 training program Beijing in 1953. These ten dogs were insufficient for the immediate need, and so 50 suitable household dogs from Kunming were 'recruited' as well as 40 similar dogs from the city of Guiyang in Guizhou province. After training, the best twenty of these 90 'civil' dogs were then selected. The 10 'wolfdogs' from Beijing, these 20 'civil dogs' plus an additional 10 'shepherd dogs' imported from Germany constituted the pool from which the Kunming Dog was developed. The Chinese Public Security Bureau officially recognized the Kunming Dog as a breed in 1988. Kunming Dogs are now widely used by the Chinese military and police, and have also found their way into use as civilian watchdogs and guard dogs. They are less commonly kept as pets.