Putting Your Afghan Hound In A Professional Dog Show

An owner of an Afghan Hound already knows how truly beautiful and regal the breed is. It should come as no great surprise that people who adopt dogs of this breed oftentimes enter them into professional dog show events. Prior to making this decision, there are a few things an owner needs to bear in mind.

As much as an owner may love their Afghan Hound, not all of them are suitable for the show ring. Every dog breed has something which is called a "breed standard," which means when a dog is entered into a show event they are judge upon certain criteria set forth by the American Kennel Club. For Afghan Hounds, breed standards will vary according to the country in which the dog show is held, but there are a few standards by which to judge whether or not the dog is suited for competition.

The following guidelines are outlined for owners to determine whether or not their dog meets the breed specifications set forth for show competition:

· Ears: should be set low on the skull and covered with a long, silky hair which is a hallmark of the breed.

· Eyes: a dark coloring with triangular shape is required.

· Neck: needs to be long and defined, giving the dog the regal appearance the breed is noted for.

· Mouth: upper teeth need to closely overlap which results in a regular bite.

· Skull: should not be very narrow, the head should be well balanced on the body with a long top-knot on the front of the head.

· Shoulders: need to be strong and muscular, but not excessively.

· Front legs: should be straight and even with the front shoulders.

· Back: should be even in structure and muscular. Hip bones should be level and medium-length, prominent and set apart.

· Feet: should be long and wide, covered completely with long, thick, sleek hair, the toes should be arched. Hind feed should have the same exact characteristics, but not be as broad as the front.

Coat: should be long and fine, extending over the ribs, quarters and flank of the dog. Hair from the forehead should be long and silky, with a distinctive top-knot on the head. All colors are acceptable, but white marks or spots on the face are considered a fault and will be penalized in a show.

· Tail: neither too long nor too short, held in an erect position when the dog is moving.

· Size: preferred height for the male is between 27-29 inches; females should be between 25-29 inches in height.

When showing an Afghan Hound, it is recommended a person get in contact with other people who have experience and a passion for the activity. An owner should join local area Afghan Hound groups or search online for various groups devoted to lovers of the breed. Finding someone who shares a love and passion for showing Afghan Hounds can look at your pet and determine whether or not the dog is show material and give you advice and information about how to proceed.

Full Story >>

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of Terrier type, developed in the 1800s in the historical area of Yorkshire in England. The defining features of the breed are its small size and its silky blue and tan coat. The breed is nicknamed Yorkie and is placed in the Toy Terrier section of the Terrier Group by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and in the Toy Group or Companion Group by other kennel clubs, although all agree that the breed is a terrier. A winning showdog and a popular companion dog, the Yorkshire Terrier has also been part of the development of other breeds, such as the Australian Silky Terrier.


For adult Yorkshire Terriers, the importance is placed on its coat color, its quality, and its texture. The hair must be glossy, fine, straight, and silky. Traditionally the coat is grown-out long and is parted down the middle of the back, but "must never impede movement."

Yorkies have very soft coats. Yorkies have two types of coats; a silky or a soft. The silky coats are the coats of the show dogs. The soft coats are short and you do not have to brush them very often. From the back of the neck to the base of the tail, the coat should be a dark gray to a steel-blue, and the hair on the tail should be a darker blue. On the head, high chest, and legs, the hair should be a bright, rich tan, darker at the roots than in the middle, that shades into a lighter tan at the tips. Also, in adult dogs, there should be no dark hairs intermingled with any of the tan colored fur.

Adult Yorkshire Terriers that have other coat colors than the above, or that have wooly or extra fine coats, are still considered to be Yorkshire Terriers, and will be just as good of a companion as a dog with the correct coat. The only difference is that atypical Yorkshire Terriers should not be bred. In addition, care may be more difficult for "wooley" or "cottony" textured coats, or coats that are overly fine. One of the reasons given for not breeding "off-colored" Yorkies is that the color could be linked to a genetic defect that may affect the dog's health.

Puppy coats

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are not born with their adults coats. Yorkies are born black with tan points and slowly transition in to their adults coats over many months, even years. As an adult, a Yorkie can be black and tan, blue and tan, blue and gold, or black and gold.

A newborn Yorkie puppy is born black with tan points on the muzzle, above the eyes, around the legs and feet and toes, the inside of the ears, and the underside of the tail. Occasionally Yorkies are born with a white "star" on the chest or on one or more toes. These markings fade with age, and are usually gone within a few months. A white "star" on the chest is generally an indication that the puppy will be a good coat grower in quantity, but not necessarially quality.

It may take up to three years or more for the coat to reach its final color. P. H. Coombs, writing in 1891, complained about show wins awarded to puppies, when the dog's coat does not fully come in until three or four years old, "and the honor of winning such a prize (for a puppy) can therefore be of but little practical benefit to the owner" since the adult dog's colour cannot be exactly predicted.

Hypoallergenic coats

The typical fine, straight, and silky Yorkshire Terrier coat has also been listed by many popular dog information websites as being hypoallergenic. All dogs shed, and it is the dog's dander and saliva that trigger most allergic reactions. Allergists do recognize that at times a particular allergy patient will be able to tolerate a particular dog, but they agree that "the luck of the few with their pets cannot be stretched to fit all allergic people and entire breeds of dogs." The Yorkshire Terrier coat is said to fall out only when brushed or broken, or just said to not shed. Although neither of those statements agree with what biologists, veterinarians, and allergists know about dog fur, allergists "think there really are differences in protein production between dogs that may help one patient and not another", meaning that some allergic people may not have allergic reactions to a specific dog, like the Yorkie.

Coat care

If the coat is the correct silky texture, maintenance for it is relatively easy, requiring a daily brushing and a bath every month. Owners may trim the fur short for easier care. For shows, the coat is left long, and may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance. Hair on the feet and the tips of ears can also be trimmed.

The traditional long coat is extremely high maintenance. To prevent breakage, the coat may be wrapped in rice paper, tissue paper, or plastic, after a light oiling with a coat oil. The oil has to be washed out once a month and the wraps must be fixed periodically during the week to prevent them from sliding down and breaking the hair. Elaborate care of the beautiful coat dates from the earliest days of the breed. In 1878, John Walsh described similar preparations: the coat is "well greased" with cocoanut oil, the dog is bathed weekly, and the dog's feet are "carefully kept in stockings."

Other colors

The Yorkshire Terrier is a tan dog with a blue saddle.It does have the parti color. The party color coat Is white with black/blue and tan. It's very rare to get a a party color yorkie, and if they are found they tend to be very expensive. The breed is defined by its colour, and colours promoted as "rare" may indicate health problems or crossbreeding with other breeds of other colours. The AKC registration form for Yorkshire Terriers allows for four choices: blue and tan, blue and gold, black and tan, black and gold. Colour alone will not affect whether or not a dog is a good companion and pet. Even though off-coloured Yorkshire Terriers are advertised at premium prices, being of an unusual or untypical colour is neither new, desirable, nor exotic.

Until recently, mismarked Yorkshire Terriers could be crossed with Biewer Terriers, a new breed originated in Germany from parti coloured Yorkshire Terriers. Although the American Kennel Club will not deny registration of a Yorkshire Terrier on color alone, the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America has a directive that "any solid color or combination of colors other than blue and tan" for adult dogs is a disqualification, and "dogs of solid color, unusual combination of colors, and parti-colors should be disqualified."


The ideal Yorkshire Terrier character or "personality" is described with a "carriage very upright" and "conveying an important air". Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is intelligent and active, loves attention and should not show the soft temperament seen in lapdogs.


The Yorkshire Terrier breed is bold and active. They can be very hostile towards other dogs, growling and barking at them. They are surprisingly brave for such a small breed. They are, however, also quite loyal and affectionate. Yorkshire Terrier puppies are especially cuddly with their owners in their first 2-3 years.


The Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire (and the adjoining Lancashire), a rugged region in northern England. In the mid-nineteenth century, workers from Scotland came to Yorkshire in search of work and brought with them several different varieties of small terriers. Breeding of the Yorkshire terrier was "principally accomplished by the people--mostly operatives in cotton and woolen mills--in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire." Details are scarce. Mrs. A. Foster is quoted as saying in 1886, "If we consider that the mill operatives who originated the breed...were nearly all ignorant men, unaccustomed to imparting information for public use, we may see some reason why reliable facts have not been easily attained."

What is known is that the breed sprang from three different dogs, a male named Old Crab and a female named Kitty, and another female whose name is not known. The Paisley Terrier, a smaller version of the Skye Terrier that was bred for a beautiful long silky coat, also figured into the early dogs. Some authorities believed that the Maltese was used as well. "They were all originally bred from Scotch terriers (note: meaning dogs from Scotland, not today's Scottish Terrier) and shown as such...the name Yorkshire Terrier was given to them on account of their being improved so much in Yorkshire." Yorkshire Terriers were shown in a dog show category (class) at the time called "Rough and Broken-coated, Broken-haired Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers". Hugh Dalziel, writing in 1878, says that "the classification of these dogs at shows and in the Kennel Club Stud Book is confusing and absurd" in lumping together these different types.

In the early days of the breed, "almost anything in the shape of a Terrier having a long coat with blue on the body and fawn or silver colored head and legs, with tail docked and ears trimmed, was received and admired as a Yorkshire Terrier". But in the late 1860s, a popular Paisley type Yorkshire Terrier showdog named Huddersfield Ben, owned by a woman living in Yorkshire, Mary Ann Foster, was seen at dog shows throughout Great Britain, and defined the breed type for the Yorkshire Terrier.

Huddersfield Ben

Huddersfield Ben was a famous dog. His portrait was painted by George Earl and in 1891 an authority on the breed wrote, "Huddersfield Ben was the best stud dog of his breed during his life-time, and one of the most remarkable dogs of any pet breed that ever lived; and most of the show specimens of the present day have one or more crosses of his blood in their pedigree."A show winner, Huddersfield Ben quickly became the type of dog everyone wanted, and through his puppies has defined the breed as we know it today. He is still referred to as "father of the breed".

In America

The Yorkshire Terrier was introduced in the United States in 1872 and the first Yorkshire Terrier was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1878, making it one of the first twenty-five breeds to be approved for registration by the AKC. During the Victorian era, the Yorkshire Terrier was a popular pet and showdog in England, and as Americans embraced Victorian customs, so too did they embrace the Yorkshire Terrier. The breed's popularity dipped in the 1940s, when the percentage of small breed dogs registered fell to an all-time low of 18% of total registrations. Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier and famous war dog from World War II, is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the breed.


A number of health issues, some of them hereditary, have been found in individual Yorkshire Terriers, and are listed below. There is no data on the percentage of dogs with these ailments, and it is not suggested that all Yorkshire Terriers have all of these ailments, or that any particular dog has any of these ailments. Puppy buyers are advised to ask breeders if tests have been done for these diseases.


Health issues often seen in the Yorkshire Terrier include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, Portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca. Additionally, injection reactions (inflammation or hair loss at the site of an injection) can occur. In addition they may have skin allergies.

Genetic defects

Certain genetic disorders have been found in Yorkshire Terriers, including distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome, luxating patella, portosystemic shunt, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse, and bladder stones. The following are among the most common congenital defects that affect Yorkies.

  • Distichiae, eyelashes arising from an abnormal spot (usually the duct of the meibomian gland at the edge of the eyelid), are often found in Yorkies. Distichiae can irritate the eye and cause tearing, squinting, inflammation, corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers, and scarring. Treatment options may include manual removal, electrolysis, or surgery.
  • Hypoplasia of dens is a non-formation of the pivot point of the second cervical vertebra, which leads to spinal cord damage. Onset of the condition may occur at any age, producing signs ranging from neck pain to quadriplegia.
  • Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome, which causes the top of the femur (thigh bone) to degenerate, occurs in Yorkies in certain lines. The condition appears to result from insufficient circulation to the area around the hip joint. As the blood supply is reduced, the bone in the head of the femur collapses and dies and the cartilage coating around it becomes cracked and deformed. Usually the disease appears when the Yorkie is young (between five and eight months of age); signs are pain, limping, or lameness. The standard treatment is surgery to remove the affected part of the bone. Following surgery, muscles hold the femur in place and fibrous tissue forms in the area of removal to prevent bone rubbing on bone. Although the affected leg will be slightly shorter than prior to surgery, the Yorkie may regain almost normal use.
  • Luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) are another common defect considered to be genetic in Yorkies, although it may also be caused by an accidental fall. Weak ligaments and tendons in the knee or malformed (too shallow) patellar grooves, allow the patella to slip out of its groove sideways. This causes the leg to 'lock up' with the foot held off the ground. A dog with this problem may experience frequent pain and lameness or may be bothered by it only on occasion. Over time, the patellar ridges can become worn down, making the groove even more shallow and causing the dog to become increasingly lame. Surgery is the main treatment option available for luxating patellas, although it is not necessary for every dog with the condition.
  • Portosystemic shunt, a congenital malformation of the portal vein (which brings blood to the liver for cleansing), is also common in Yorkies. In this condition some of the dog's blood bypasses the liver and the "dirty" blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs, and other organs with toxins. A Yorkie with this condition might exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, such as small stature, poor appetite, weak muscle development, decreased ability to learn, inferior coordination, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, behavioral abnormalities, seizures (especially after a meal), and blindness, which could lead to a coma and death. Often, the shunt can be treated with surgery.
  • Tracheal collapse, caused by a progressive weakening of the walls of the trachea, occurs in many toy breeds, especially very tiny Yorkies. As a result of genetics, the walls of the trachea can be flaccid, a condition that becomes more severe with age. Cushing's syndrome, a disorder that causes production of excess steroid hormone by the adrenal glands, can also weaken cartilage and lead to tracheal collapse. There is a possibility that physical strain on the neck might cause or contribute to trachea collapse. Since this is usually caused by an energetic Yorkie pulling against his collar, many veterinarians recommend use of a harness for leashed walks. An occasional "goose honking" cough, especially on exertion or excitement, is usually the first sign of this condition. Over time, the cough may become almost constant in the Yorkie's later life. Breathing through the obstruction of a collapsed (or partially collapsed) trachea for many years can result in complications, including chronic lung disease. The coughing can be countered with cough suppressants and bronchodilators. If the collapse is advanced and unresponsive to medication, sometimes surgery can repair the trachea.


Low blood sugar in puppies, or transient juvenile hypoglycemia, is caused by fasting (too much time between meals). In rare cases hypoglycemia may continue to be a problem in mature, usually very small, Yorkies. It is often seen in Yorkie puppies at 5 to 16 weeks of age. Very tiny Yorkie puppies are especially predisposed to hypoglycemia because a lack of muscle mass makes it difficult to store glucose and regulate blood sugar. Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, and a change in diet or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can also be the result of a bacterial infection, parasite, or portosystemic liver shunt.

Hypoglycemia causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless (glassy-eyed), shaky, uncoordinated, since the brain relies on sugar to function. During a hypoglycemic attack, the puppy usually has very pale or grey gums. The puppy also may not eat unless force-fed. Hypoglycemia and dehydration seem to go hand-in-hand, and force-feeding or injecting fluids may also be necessary. Additionally, a hypoglycemic Yorkie may have a lower than normal body temperature and, in extreme cases, may have a seizure or go into a coma. A dog showing symptoms should be given sugar in the form of corn syrup or NutriCal and be treated by a veterinarian immediately, as prolonged or recurring attacks of hypoglycemia can permanently damage the dog's brain. In severe cases it can be fatal.


The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 10–15 years. Extremely under-sized Yorkies (3 pounds or less, and often promoted as "Teacups") generally have a shorter life span, as they are especially prone to health problems such as chronic diarrhea and vomiting and are more easily injured. Even the normal small size of a Yorkshire Terrier means that it can have a poor tolerance for anesthesia, and it is more likely to be killed or injured by falls, other dogs, and owner clumsiness.


Traditionally, the Yorkshire Terrier's tail is docked to a medium length. Opposition to this practice began very early in the history of the breed; Hugh Dalziel, writing about Yorkshire Terriers in 1878, declared that "There is no reason for mutilating pet dogs, and perfect ears and tails should be bred, not clipped into shape with scissors." Often, a Yorkie's dewclaws, if any, are removed in the first few days of life, another controversial practice.

Similar breeds and crosses

The Yorkshire Terrier breed descends from larger but similar Scottish breeds such as the now extinct Paisley Terrier and the Skye Terrier. In its turn, other breeds have been created from the Yorkshire Terrier, such as the Australian Silky Terrier and the Biewer Terrier, bred from a blue, white, and gold puppy they later named Schneeflocken von Friedheck, by Mr. and Mrs. Biewer of Germany. Demand for unusual pets has resulted in high prices being paid for Yorkshire Terriers crossed with various other breeds, which are described with a portmanteau word made up of syllables (or sounds) from Yorkshire Terrier and the breed name of the other parent. A list of such portmanteau-named crosses can be found on the List of dog hybrids page. It is fashionable to merchandise crossbreed and mixed breed dogs with the word hybrid, which implies two different species, but all Yorkshire Terrier crossbreds are of the species Canius lupus familiarus.


Show dogs

  • Huddersfield Ben, was a championship show winning dog before the Kennel Club awarded 'Champion' titles; he was undoubtedly the father of the modern Yorkshire Terrier. His son Mozart was the first really big winning Yorkshire Terrier shown throughout Britain by Miss Hannah Alderson
  • In 1997, Champion Ozmilion Mystification became the first Yorkie to win Best in Show at Crufts, the world's largest annual dog show.
  • Champion WA Mozart Dolce Sinfonia ("Mozart") is a show dog owned by socialite Sabrina A. Parisi. He was featured in the Krassimir Abramov music video for "Say Goodbye" and will star in the upcoming documentary It's a Dog Life from director Vibeke Muasya. On 11 May 2006, Mozart attended Krassimir's concert at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, becoming the first dog to enter the venue.

Small dogs

  • Sylvia, a matchbox-size Yorkshire Terrier owned by Arthur Marples of Blackburn, England, was the smallest dog in recorded history. The dog died in 1945 when she was almost two years old, at which point she stood 2.5 inches tall at the shoulder, measured 3.5 inches from nose tip to tail, and weighed 4 ounces.
  • For 1995 through 2002 Guinness World Records listed a Yorkshire Terrier named Big Boss, as the smallest dog in the world. Big Boss was listed at 11.94 cm (4.7 in) tall when his owner, Dr. Chai Khanchanakom of Thailand, registered the toy dog with Guinness.
  • A Yorkie named Thumbelina, 5.5 inches tall and 8 inches long, held the Guinness World Record for smallest living dog prior to 1995.
  • Tiny Pinocchio, an abnormally small Yorkshire Terrier, has appeared on several television programs including Oprah and the Today Show.

War dogs

  • Smoky, a war dog and hero of World War II, was owned by William Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio. Wynne adopted Smoky while he was serving with the 5th Air Force in the Pacific.

White House dogs

  • Pasha, Tricia Nixon Cox's pet Yorkie, lived in the White House during the Richard Nixon presidency.
Full Story >>

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, also called Korthals Griffon is a breed of dog used in hunting as a gundog. It is Dutch in ancestry, but is regarded as a French breed because the breed's development took place in France. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is particularly adapted for swampy country, where its harsh coat is excellent protection.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized dog with a harsh, wiry coat. The coat is preferably gray with tan to brown markings and a brown head. Other acceptable colors: chestnut brown, white and brown, roan, and white and orange. A black coat is not acceptable. The Griffon should have flat ears that lie close to the head, and eyes that are either yellow or brown. Its nose must be brown.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was developed by Eduard Karel Korthals in 1873. The history of the breed can be read here

Health and temperament

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a superb swimmer and retriever and it loves to play in the water. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are known as intelligent, extremely eager to please, friendly dogs. They are also known for their slightly less excitable temperament when not in the field, which makes them a very comfortable dog when home.


This breed has also been listed by dog information websites as being non shedding or low shedding, and therefore good for people with allergies, but this has never been proven. All dogs shed, and it is the dog's dander and saliva that trigger most allergic reactions. Allergists do recognize that at times a particular allergy patient will be able to tolerate a particular dog, but they agree that "the luck of the few with their pets cannot be stretched to fit all allergic people and entire breeds of dogs." Allergists "think there really are differences in protein production between dogs that may help one patient and not another", meaning that some allergic people may not have allergic reactions to a specific dog.

Full Story >>

Wirehaired Vizsla

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a dog breed originating in Hungary. Wirehaired Vizslas are known as excellent hunting dogs, and also have a level personality making them suited for families. The Wirehaired Vizsla is a versatile, natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and an above average trainability. Although they are lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possessed of a well-developed protective instinct. The breed has a firmness on point, is an excellent retriever, and has the determination to remain on the scent even when swimming. The overall appearance embodies the qualities of a multi-purpose pointing dog, endurance, working ability and an easily satisfied nature. This is a dog of power and drive in the field, yet is a tractable and affectionate companion in the home.


The Wirehaired Vizsla is a wire-coated hunting dog, with a distinguished appearance and bearing. They have a lean build and are very robust. The coat is an attractive russet to golden sand in color. Where permitted the tail may be docked to three-fourths of its original length.

Color and coat

The Wirehaired Vizsla is a rare dog breed in Hungary with an estimated 30 litters (approximately 140-150 dogs) being registered annually.

The coat is wiry, close-lying, strong, and dense, 0.75 inches to 1.25 inches (2–3 cm) in length with a dense, water-repellent undercoat. The outline of the body is not to be hidden by the longer coat. Pronounced eyebrows along with a strong, harsh beard, 0.75 inches to 1.25 inches (2–3 cm) long on both sides of the muzzle reinforce the determined expression. The coat should never be long, soft, silky, shaggy, crinkle, wooly, thin, lacking undercoat or lacking brushes on the legs.


  • Males
    • Height: 22¾ - 25¼ inches (58 - 64 centimetres)
    • Weight: 45 - 65 pounds (20 - 29 kilograms)
  • Females
    • Height: 21 1/4 inches - 231/4 inches (54 - 60 cm.)
    • Weight: 40 - 55 lb (18 – 25 kg)

Overall balance and symmetry are not to be compromised for size.


Like the Vizsla, Wirehaired Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children. They are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or if they are provoked.

They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training. Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers as well. They will retrieve on land and in the water, making the most of their natural instincts. However, they must be trained gently and without harsh commands or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly (Gottlieb, 1992). Vizslas are excellent swimmers and often swim in pools if one is available. Like all gun dogs, Vizslas require a good deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Thirty minutes to an hour of exercise daily in a large off-leash area is optimal (Coffman 1992).

The Wirehaired Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and enjoys being challenged and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Vizslas that do not get enough attention and exercise can easily become destructive or hyperactive. Under-stimulated Vizslas may also become depressed or engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviours such as persistent licking (Coffman 1992). Vizslas are very gentle dogs that are great around children. The Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as much of the time as possible. Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners if allowed, burrowing under the covers.


The less usual Wirehaired Vizsla is a completely separate breed from its more commonly seen smooth-coated cousin. The Wirehaired Vizsla was developed in the 1930s, initially by Vasas Jozsef, owner of the Csabai vizsla kennel along with Gresznarik Lazslo, who owned the de Selle German Wirehaired Pointer kennel. Their aim was to produce a dog that combined the color of the Vizsla with a heavier coat, and a more substantial frame, better suited for working in cold weather and retrieving from icy water.

Two Vizsla bitches (Zsuzsi and Csibi), both of whom combined excellent pedigrees with good working ability, were selected to breed with a totally liver colored German Wirehaired Pointer sire (Astor von Potat). Zsuzsi’s sire was known to have offspring with longer coats. The best of Zsuzsi’s and Csibi’s offspring were selected and bred together and Dia de Selle, the first WHV to be exhibited, was born. She had the same body as the shorthaired vizsla, but her head was the shape of the the German Wirehaired Pointer. While her coat was not rough and thick enough, she was the promising beginning of the creation of the new breed.

Anecdotal history suggests the added infusion of Pudelpointer, Bloodhound and Irish Setter blood during the period of the Second World War when many other Hungarian kennels became involved in the development of the breed. It has also previously, but incorrectly been suggested that the breed was created by backbreeding of smooth Vizsla's most heavily coated offspring (Gottlieb,idem).

The Wirehaired Vizsla was recognized in Europe by the FCI under the Hungarian standard in 1966. It is also recognized by the KC (UK). Introduced to North America in the 1970s, the WHV was first recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1977 and North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association in 1986. The breed was recognized by the UKC (United Kennel Club)in 2006.

The breed was admitted into AKC's Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in 2008. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the Wirehaired Vizsla became eligible to compete in AKC Companion and Performance Events. http://www.akc.org/reg/fss_news.cfm They are also recognized by in North America by the ARBA (American Rare Breed Association), as well as American Field (Field Dog Stud Book) registries.

There are approximately 400-450 Wirehaired Vizslas in the US and between 2500 and 3000 worldwide. It was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council in 2007.

Common illnesses

Although the Wirehaired Vizsla is not generally considered as a sickly dog, breeding from a small number of dogs has led to heritable illnesses in some offspring, including:

  • dysphagia-megaoesophagus (difficulty swallowing, drooling and muscle wasting)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • hypothyroidism
  • sebaceous adenitis
  • digestive problems (including intolerance to certain foods or food allergies)
  • eye conditions such as:
    • ectropion (the upper or lower eyelid curls outward which gives the look of "droopy eyes")
    • entropion (the upper or lower eyelid, but in most cases the lower lid, curls inward towards the eye, therefore irritating the cornea)
  • idiopathic epilepsy is becoming more common in this breed (Gottlieb 2002)

Responsible breeders do not select dogs for breeding if they have such inherent problems.

Full Story >>

White Shepherd Dog

The White Shepherd Dog emerged from white coat lines of the German Shepherd Dog. It is only recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club in the United States.


In German Shepherd Dogs the recessive gene for white coat hair was cast in the breed gene pool by the late 19th and early 20th century breeding program that developed and expanded the German Shepherd Dog breed in Germany. A white herding dog named Greif was the grandfather of Horand von Grafrath, the dog acknowledged as the foundation of all contemporary German Shepherd Dog bloodlines.

Information provided in early books on the German Shepherd Dog make mention of Greif and other white German herding dogs, with upright ears and a general body description that resembles modern German Shepherd Dogs, shown in Europe as early as 1882. The early 20th century German Shepherd breeding program extensively line bred and inbred "color coat" dogs that carried Greif's recessive gene for "white coats" to refine and expand the population of early German Shepherd Dogs. White coats were made a disqualification in the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany breed standard in 1933 after the breed club came under the control of the German Nazi party that took over all aspects of German society in February 1933 when Hitler declared a state of emergency. The German breed standard remained unchanged as German breeders repopulated the breed in the years after the conclusion of WWII.

In 1959 the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) adopted the exclusively colored breed standard of the parent German breed club. White-coated German Shepherd Dogs were officially barred from competition in the American Kennel Club conformation ring in the United States starting in 1968. AKC-registered white German Shepherd Dogs may still compete in performance events.

During the 1970's, white dog fanciers in the United States and Canada formed their own "White German Shepherd" breed clubs, breeding and showing their dogs at small specialty dog shows throughout North America.

The White Shepherd Club of Canada (WSCC) has been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the White Shepherd since 1971. Originally formed as a Chapter of the White German Shepherd Dog Club of America, the club was renamed White Shepherd Club of Canada in 1973. Its first conformation show was held that year with 8 dogs entered and 25 people in attendance.

In Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act, a federal statute under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, which is the governing body that sets down recognition and standards for all pure animal breeds. For a long time, Agriculture Canada had protected white German Shepherds from the many attempts by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada to have white dogs disqualified from the CKC conformation ring, as had long been the case in the USA. Some brave members of WSCC had shown in the CKC breed rings and had even accumulated points toward their dogs' CKC Championships. Unfortunately, that would all change in 1998, when the color white was officially disqualified from the CKC German Shepherd breed standard.

Disappointed but undeterred, the WSCC continues to work toward full breed recognition of the White Shepherd as a separate breed with the CKC. The club hosts shows several times a year, often in combination with the American White Shepherd Association. Event dates and locations are published in the club's newsletter and on its web site.

In September 1995, a small group of fanciers of the white-coated German Shepherd Dog established the American White Shepherd Association (AWSA), a new club to advance, promote and protect the White Shepherd breed in the United States. In cooperation with the White Shepherd Club of Canada, AWSA wrote and published a new breed standard, and eventually petitioned the American Kennel Club for full recognition as a unique pure breed, separate from and independent of the German Shepherd Dog. As of this writing, AKC has not granted recognition or registration for the White Shepherd breed, but the breeders, fanciers and members of AWSA carry on with independently-held club activities as well as running and maintaining the private club registry. AWSA continues to negotiate with the AKC for breed recognition as well as with the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) for breed separation. Until such time as GSDCA can be persuaded to grant official release of the white dogs, AKC must continue to register all white German Shepherd Dogs born from two AKC-registered German Shepherd parents as German Shepherd Dogs.

In 1999, a group of AWSA members organized and established the United White Shepherd Club (UWSC) as a United Kennel Club affiliated parent club. They immediately petitioned for a new White Shepherd breed classification within UKC. The United Kennel Club accepted the UWSC's petition and created a new and separate White Shepherd breed conformation standard and registry. The White Shepherd breed was officially recognized by UKC on April 14, 1999. Today, United Kennel Club recognizes both the White Shepherd breed standard as well as the original German Shepherd Dog breed conformation standard where white and colored dogs continue to be considered together as one breed.

Neither UKC nor AWSA-registered White Shepherds can be registered with FCI as White Swiss Shepherd Dogs (Berger Blanc Suisse). Breed clubs associated with each of these unique breed lines maintain their own breed standards for appearance and temperament. The breed "appearance" standard given below is appropriate to the UKC-registered White Shepherd Dog and, with a few very minor changes - mostly in wording and layout - to the written standard of the AWSA club as well.

No matter which country they hail from, White Shepherds excel in performance events such as competition obedience and rally obedience, tracking, flyball and agility. Many fine dogs have also earned titles in herding, proving that the herding instinct and ability has been retained in this versatile breed.


The White Shepherd is a direct descendant of the German Shepherd Dog and the two breeds share common roots and are similar in appearance. However, the White Shepherd evolved from a continuous selection for a working companion dog with that exclusive color, beauty and elegance as seen both standing and in motion. His high degree of intelligence and sense of loyalty have allowed him to become one of the most versatile working dogs serving mankind.

The White Shepherd, as recognized by UKC, is a medium-sized, well-balanced, muscular dog, slightly longer than tall, with a medium length, pure white coat, erect ears, and a low-set natural tail that normally reaches to the hock and is carried in a slight curve like a saber. The White Shepherd is solid without bulkiness and should be shown in lean, hard physical condition. The outline of the White Shepherd is made up of smooth curves rather than angles. When trotting, the White Shepherd moves with a long, efficient stride that is driven by a powerful forward thrust from the hindquarters. The rear leg, moving forward, swings under the foreleg and touches down in the place where the forefoot left an imprint. Gender differences are readily apparent.

The White Shepherd should be evaluated as an all-around working dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they deviate from breed type; and how much they interfere with the dog's ability to work.

The head is proportional to the size of the dog. Males appear masculine without coarseness, and females feminine without being overly fine. The skull and muzzle are of equal length, parallel to one another, and joined at a moderate stop. There is little or no median furrow.

The White Shepherd has a weather-resistant double coat. The outer coat is dense, straight, harsh, and close lying. The undercoat is short, thick, and fine in texture. At the neck, the coat may be slightly longer and heavier, particularly in males. Ideal coat color is a pure white. Colors ranging from a very light cream to a light biscuit tan are acceptable but not preferred.

Dogs with noses not predominantly black is a disqualification.

The tail is set on low in a natural extension of the sloping croup. The tail extends at least to the hock joint and usually below.

The appearance standard for United Kennel Club registered dogs is very similar to but not exactly the same as for other separate breed lines such as the AWSA-registered White Shepherd or the FCI internationally recognized Berger Blanc Suisse (White Swiss Shepherd Dog). While all of the existing breed lines have a common genetic heritage with the white-coated members of the German Shepherd Dog breed, they are each separately registered with their respective clubs or registries which also maintain the individual breed appearance standards.


The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression. The ideal dog is self-confident and maintains a certain aloofness. It is eager and alert when needed, willing to serve in its capacity as a companion, guard, guide dog, herding dog, or whatever the circumstances may demand. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. Lack of confidence under any surroundings is not typical of good character. Any dog that exhibits unprovoked aggression and attempts to bite any person, dog or other animal must be disqualified and removed from any dog show event.

White German Shepherds are very loyal, very protective dogs. They are especially protective of those designated as 'pups'. These dogs enjoy running, playing fetch, or any activity with their 'family' or 'pack'. They are loving, and very good with children. These canines are very good companions if raised in a good home. They can learn various tricks (depending on the dog) and are usually intelligent animals. They can also live a very long time - 12-14 years.

The White German Shepherd breed have a very playful and curious personality. Some have a tendency to be very vocal by whining, grunting, and moaning. These dogs are also great howlers. Be prepared to have conversations with your White German Shepherd. They are wonderful family dogs, most can be trained to accept any household pet and kids. They are very respectful and honor their masters.


There are many misconceptions about white-coat German Shepherd Dogs and the gene that expresses for their coat color. Clarence C. Little's The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs hypothesized that dilution or partial albinism ce, ca and cch alleles of the so called (C) gene caused the cream and white coat color variants in domestic dogs. Little's hypothesized partial albinism explanation for cream and white colored coats has been applied across most domestic dog breeds, including white coat dogs from German Shepherd breed lines, since Little first published his book.

However, comparative analysis of the dog genome and specific breed DNA sequences now shows that Little's hypothesized gene (C) color dilution explanation for cream and white colored coats is most likely not a relevant determinant of cream and white coats known to commonly occur in many dog breeds. Little's 1957-era partial albinism dilution explanation, as applied to explain domestic dog white and cream coat colors, can be replaced by the findings of modern genetic research.

Research has shown that a recessive e allele at the Extension (E) gene is at least partially responsible for cream and white coat color. The (E) gene, now identified as the Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene, is one of the two genes known to code for alleles that are absolutely fundamental to the formation of all German Shepherd Dog colored coat variations. When the recessive allele is inherited from each breeding pair parent, the e/e genotype offspring of certain breeds, including white coat dogs from German Shepherd breed lines, always have cream or white colored coats.

White shepherds were once blamed for color dilution or paling for the entire breed because the recessive e allele of the MC1R (E) gene locus masks expression of alleles at other gene loci that actually do code for lighter (often termed as diluted or pale) colors of silver, black and tan or liver. German breeders of the 1920s and 1930's misinterpreted pale-colored offspring of white dogs as an undesirable "white" genetic trait. A colored dog paired with a white GSD always produces full colored puppies because the e allele is recessive.)

In popular culture

  • In the 2008 Disney animated film, "Bolt", the titular character is a small white dog portrayed as a white shepherd.
  • In the survival horror video game "Haunting Ground" ("Demento" in Japan), one of the main characters is a White Shepherd named Hewie.
  • the 1987 motion picture "The Lost Boys, features a White Shepherd called Thorn, owned by the character Max.
  • Samuel Fuller's acclaimed 1982 motion picture 'White Dog', features a White Shepherd that has been trained to attack and kill people with black skin.
  • Jack LaLanne, popular fitness "guru" had white shepherd dogs that appeared on his TV show.
  • Rapper Lil J~J of Perry,GA has a white german shepherd named Sophie.
  • Fantasy author Neil Gaiman has a white German Shepherd named Cabal.
  • Jennifer Aniston has a white shepherd called Dolly.
Full Story >>

Pets for sale - Latest ads