The Briquet Griffon Vendéen is one of the four wiry coated hunting dogs from the French Vendée region. Next to Briquet, there is the Grand Griffon Vendéen and Grand and Petite Basset Griffon Vendéen. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen was developed directly from the Grand Griffon Vendéen. This breed was amazing for hunting, but people needed slightly smaller dog that would be able to do the same thing with smaller prey. That is why in the beginning of the 17th century, Mr. Comte d’Elva started breeding smallest Grand Griffons in order to develop a new breed. Most likely, some other French hounds were also mixed in to reduce the size, but overall, the Briquet kept many similarities with the Grand Griffon.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has very descriptive name! The word Briquet literally means medium sized dog. The word Griffon is describing all the wiry coated hunting hounds of France and the word Vendéen is describing the geographical location, where the breed was developed. So the name can be literally translated as a medium sized and wiry coated hunter of the Vendée region.
So the Briquet means medium sized dog, so what is the actual size of this breed? The height is typically around 48-55 cm, which is 19-22 inch and weight should be between 22-24 kg, which is 48-53 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéens one and only working purpose is hunting. They are hunting in pack of dogs and most often they hunt deer, wild boar and all kinds of small game, such as hare. These dogs are absolutely passionate about the hunt and even if they are not trained for it, they will most likely try to chase someting on your walks from time to time. The Briquet has amazing qualities for hunting, as they have incredible stamina, they are just tireless and they can hunt in any kind of terrain and in any weather. They have incredible sense of smell and they can pick up a cold or hot trail. Their endurance and sense of smell are their biggest weapons on the hunt. And even though, they are still used for hunting these days, many of them have found another role, and that is companionship.
And the Briquet makes amazing companion dog, especially for active people who like outdoors. It is energetic dog that will be ready for any kind of outdoor adventure with its owners. It is also very affectionate dog – they love to show, but also receive a lot of affection from their favourite people.
And the regular exercise is extremely important with this breed. As a hunting dog, the Briquet is used to hunt and work all day long without tiring, which is why, even when these dogs are not used for hunt, they must be provided with long daily walks, hikes, or jogs, they actually makes amazing jogging partners, vigorous playtime or regular fun training sessions. You just have to exercise their body, but also their mind every day, otherwise they might become restless and bored and potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, like destruction or excessive barking. They will love if you will let them sniff around from time to time, but you should do it only in fenced areas or in areas you know very well.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen never was extremely popular breed and they were few times on the verge of extinction. For the first time during the French revolution. The breed survived, but hunting with dogs was less and less popular, so even the numbers of hunting dogs started to decline. Fortunatelly, in 1907 a breed club was formed in order to restore the breed. They were doing a great job, but then the numbers of existing dogs were yet again reduced during the 2nd World War. Luckily, the breed once again survived in smaller numbers and their population was restored to healthy population. It is still considered as a rare breed, especially outside France. They are present in largest numbers in their home region, the Vendée region, where a good number of these dogs exist.
8) Coat and color
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has a very dense wiry and bushy doublecoat, which is protecting it in all kinds of weather. The coat comes in variety of different colors and color combinations. According to the breed standard, allowed colors are white and black, white and orange, black and tan, tricolor or fawn of any shade with black overlay, with or without white markings.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the grooming and maintenance as well. The only thing that is recommended is regular brushing and combing. The burrs and mud it picks up in its travels need to be brushed off its legs and belly. This is a light shedder with minimum grooming needs. Trimming is not needed, and it is better to leave the coat natural. Bathing is also needed only when the dog is really really dirty and it is better to bath them as little as possible. Just like with any other dog breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is generally a healthy breed of dog with average lifespan around 12 years. Of course, just like any other dog breed, they can suffer from some health issues, such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and different allergies or bloating. But none of these ilnesses should be very common in this breed.
Most often 4 or 5 different dog breeds are recognized as Ovcharka dogs. Those include Caucasian Ovcharka, also known as Caucasian Shepherd dog, Central Asian Ovcharka, also known as Central Asian Shepherd or Alabai, South Russian Ovcharka, the Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka, also known as East European Shepherd and sometimes, also the Armenian Gampr is recognized within the Ovcharka group. Lets talk a little bit about each Ovcharka individually. And lets start with the Armenian Gampr.
It is a large and powerful livestock guardian from Armenia. It is the oldest Ovcharka of all, with its history dating back thousands of years to the Armenian mountains, where it was used throughout its whole history by Armenian people for protecting the livestock and homes.
The breed is very strong, with height around 65 cm and weight around 55 kg, which is 25 inch and 120 lbs.
When Armenia and its people came under the control of the Soviet Union in 1920s, many many of these dogs were brought to Russia and they played a major role in development of another Ovcharka, possibly the most famous one, the Caucasian Ovcharka.
Many people believe that Caucasian Shepherd dog is also very old and ancient breed, but in reality its development started in 1920s, when Russian cynologists created this new breed from crossing various livestock guardian dogs from the Caucasus region, notably from Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan or Dagestan and as you already know, the Armenian Gampr is one of the main ancestors of the Caucasian Ovcharka, next, to for example Georgian Shepherd.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is very massive breed with powerful bone structure and very large head. It has relatively long coat and it most commonly comes in gray color. Its height is around 28 inch, which is 72 cm, and weight around 50 kg, which 110 lbs.
These dogs were bred and used to protect livestock against large and dangerous predatros, very often without any human help, which is why they are extremely independent, protective, brave, intelligent, but they are also pretty calm, well balanced and gentle with their own family. They share this temperament with the third Ovcharka of this video, the Central Asian Ovcharka.
And these dogs do have ancient ancestry and they are very old. The breed standard says, that the breed was formed by natural selection, by surviving of the fittest during more than 4000 years in the large territory which spreads from Caspian Sea to Chinese border and from the southern Europe to Afghanistan.
Because the breed is so old, there is no way how to properly track down the breeds ancestry. But they are most likely related to other ancient breeds, such as Tibetan Mastiff or Mongolian Shepherd dog.
The breed has similar temperament and body structure as the Caucasian Ovcharka. But it has shorter coat, which is very very dense with close fitting undercoat and it comes in black, white, gray, fawn, reddish fawn and brindle colors.
And what about its size? Again, this is large and powerful breed. The breed standard only mentions minimum size, which is 65 cm and 40 kg, or 26 inch and 88 lbs. But again, this is only minimal requirements for the size and most of the dogs of this breed are much larger than that and it is not completely unsual for the Central Asian Shepherd to weighs around 200 lbs, which is 90 kg.
The first three Ovcharkas are huge. So are there any smaller Ovcharkas? Well, of course, there are no small sized livestock guardian dogs, but the South Russian Ovcharka is slightly smaller than the Caucasian or Central Asian Shepherd.
Again, the breed standard only mentions the minimum height and weight, which is 62 cm and 30 kgs, or 66 lbs and 25 inch. So yes, even though smaller than the rest, it is still large breed.
The South Russian Ovcharka was developed from dogs that arrived into South Russia and Crimea plains in the 18th century from Spain with the Merino sheeps. These ancestors were pretty small dogs, but they were excellent at herding. Local shepherds crossbred them with local Russian dogs, which resulted in a dog excellent for working with livestock, protecting it and living in Russian climate.
The South Russian Ovcharka is covered with a very long coat, which is slightly wavy and super dense. The color should be white or cream.
And the last Ovcharka in this video is the Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka, or East European Shepherd. It is a direct descendant of the German Shepherd, which was introduced to Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. German Shepherd was used by Soviet military and police, but they wanted to create a slightly larger dog that will be able to easily withstand the harsh and freezing Soviet climatic conditions.
Over the decades of selective breeding a new line of German Shepherd was created, which is today known as the East European Shepherd. And unlike the other Ovcharkas, this one was mainly used for other puproses, rather than working with cattle as the East European Shepherd was used mostly by police and military.
Unlike the other Ovcharkas, this dog is easily trainable, not so independent, very obedient, but it is also a great guard dog with brave and alert characteristics.
And what about the size of the East European Shepherd? It is around 67 cm, which is 26 inch and weight around 110 lbs, which is 50 kg.
Among all the Bulldogs, the Mammut Bulldog is easily recognizable thanks to its unique appearance, especially the coat. Most Bulldogs are known for their short coat, but the Mammut Bulldog has slightly longer coat with a lot of feathering around the ears, tail and back of their legs.
Overall the coat is not extremely long, but it is just visibly longer than other Bulldogs coats. The coat comes in all different colors, actually all the colors are accepted except solid white. It can be any other solid color, brindle coat or it can have patches of second color as well.
The Mammut Bulldog has very distinctive face. Of course, it has the typical brachycephalic Bulldog muzzle, which is the pushed in nose. But the muzzle should be slightly longer than with the most popular Bulldog, the English Bulldog. They typically have slight undershot, but all teeth must be present.
The Mammut Bulldog should have wedge shaped head, which is broad, the ears are set high on the head, oval shaped eyes with loving expression, wide and deep chest, strong and well defined shoulders and preferably straight tail.
And what about the size of Mammut Bulldog? Well, the breed typically stands between 17-21 inch, which is 43-54 cm and weight is usually between 50-70 lbs, which is 22-31 kg. There are no big size differences between males and females.
The Mammut Bulldog is a companion pet. And they have very good temperament and personality for companionship. The Mammut Bulldog is generally considered as a friendly breed, which shows great loyalty and affection towards its owners and family.
Some of them can be little bit suspicious and alert around strangers, but they should not be agressive without a reason. Some of them can also be little bit stubborn, which is why disciplined and patient training is a must with this breed. But overall this is pretty smart dog that can learn all the basic obedience commands quite easily.
The Mammut Bulldog is easygoing and pretty gentle dog, that makes excellent companion for children and active households. But of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Mammut Bulldog can also live with other dogs, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood.
The Mammut Bulldog is not a coach potatoe as many people might think. Actually, it is pretty active breed and it is recommended to take your Mammut Bulldog on daily longer walks, hikes and provide it with plenty of vigorous playtime and fun training sessions, in order to keep your dog healthy and happy. If provided with enough exercise, than the Mammut Bulldog is normally pretty calm and relaxed dog indoors.
The Mammut Bulldog is also very often described as bold, brave and sometimes protective over their loved ones.
Longhaired Bulldogs are nothing new! Actually, the Mammut Bulldog is an attempt to recreate a similar, working type of a Bulldog, from 1800s. The breeders used 5 different dogs in the creation of the Mammut Bulldog, and those are American Bulldog, Bandogge, English Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, and Bullmastiff.
The modern day Mammut Bulldog is considered as a German breed, as all the dogs used in the breeds development have german bloodline.
The Mammut Bulldog is still considered as a crossbreed rather than a purebred dog and it is not officially recognized by any major kennel club, yet.
Health and Grooming
The Mammut Bulldog should be, especially in comparsion with the English Bulldog, quite healthy dog breed. It does not suffer that much from the breathing issues, actually the breathing difficulties should be quite rare in this breed. The Mammut Bulldog breed is not linked with any specific genetic health issues, but it can surely suffer from the typical doggy problems like some allergies, infections, bloating or some joint problems, but they should not be very common in this breed. The average lifespan of the Mammut Bulldog is said to be around 11 years.
And what about the grooming and overall maintenance? It is very simple. It is an average shedder, so regular brushing will minimize the shedding by removing all the dead and loose hair and regular brushing is all it takes to keep the coat in best possible condition. Bathing is only recommended when the dog is really really dirty. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Ovelheiro Gaucho is a medium sized dog breed with coat of moderate length. The breeds appearance is similar to the old working Collie dogs or to Border Collies. The average height is also similar to the Rough Collie height and it is between 55-65 cm, which is 22-26 inch and weight is usually between 20-35 kg, which is 44-77 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The coat should not be too long and its density depends on the climate, season and weather, but normally the coat is not as profuse as the Collie coat. There is no limitation when it comes to color. All the colors are permitted and the breed can be found in different color combinations as well.
Even though the breed looks a lot like a Border Collie, they have, unlike the Border Collie, upright working stance. Very often, they carry the tail high, sometimes even curled over the back. The ears are set high on the head and they may vary from semi-erect to fully erect or may be a rose ear.
The head has triangular shape with strong muzzle and scissor bite. The chest is deep and the breed has strong back, strong neck and overall quite muscular and very athletic body.
The Gaucho Sheepdog is a dog breed used for centuries for working with sheep and cattle. Their job is herding and they are great at driving sheep, look at them in the field and to bring them back home to the pens. They are known to do the job naturally, even if they are not directly trained for herding. It is just their natural instinct. But of course, training makes them better at their job.
The breed has amazing personality traits for being great herding dog. They are very intelligent and they are great problem solvers. They are loyal to the owner, but also to the farm animals. They are very lively, alert and watchful. And most importantly, they just love the work, they love to be outside all day long working on the farm and they are very determined to their purpose.
But of course, not all Gaucho Sheepdogs are used on farms. Today many of them are also typical companion pets. And of course, they make very good companion dogs. These dogs are very docile and affectionate companions to its own family and owners. The Gaucho Sheepdog is adaptable breed with cheerful, playful and faithful temperament. They are very good and tolerant partners for kids, but of course you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
They can also try to herd the kids, or some other smaller household pets, it is their nature. But they do not have high prey drive and they can happily live with other pets, like cats, or other dogs in the household, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood.
If the breed is not used for working puropses, they should have some other kind of a job in their life. It can be regular exercise, long walks, hikes, jogs, playtime and fun training sessions. Or you can try some dog sport with this dog. The Gaucho Sheepdog is known to have amazing results in agility, where they can combine their extraordinary intelligence with athletic and agile body.
We do not know much about the exact origin and ancestry of the Ovelheiro Gaucho, but we have some hypothesis and theories about it. These theories are mostly based on physical, behavioral and morphological similarities with other breeds.
The Gaucho Sheepdog breed was discovered in the southern part of Brazil, in the state Rio Grande do Sul. This region is known for pampas, which are very fertile low grasslands, excellent for agriculture and for farming and ranching. This is a reason why herding dogs were necessary and why the Gaucho Sheepdog was mainly used in this part of Brasil.
The most accepted theory says, that the breed was developed from herding breeds brought to South America by European settlers. And it is believed that it is the Estrela Mountain dog and Collie that played the major role in the breeds development. These two breeds are present in South America for relatively long time, at least since the 19th century.
The other two breeds that are often times mentioned as the ancestors of Ovelheiro Gaucho are German Shepherd and Border Collie, but these two dogs were not present in Brasil until the 20th century and their contribution on the development of Gaucho Sheepdog is most likely small.
Health and grooming
If you want to keep the coat of Gaucho Sheepdog in best possible condition, it is recomended to brush it regularly. Brushing will keep the coat tangle and mat free and it will get rid off dead and loose hair which will minimize the shedding. It will also redistribute natural oils all over the coat. No other grooming is required. Of course, just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
And what about the health? Well, there are no scientific and genetic studies about the breeds health, but it should be rather healthy breed with average lifespan around 12 or 13 years. Just like any other breed, they can suffer from some health issues, but none of them is extremely common in this breed. The health issues that are ocassionally associated with the Gaucho Sheepdog are some eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy or Collie eye anomaly or some joint problems like hip dysplasia, but as i said, they should not be common in this breed.
Most wild dogs and dogs originated by natural selection look like this. And than, we have dogs, that look much different from them. Not only their bodies, size and coat is different, but also their heads look extremely different. So what is the reason for it? Well, of course, the answer is selective breeding.
When people thought that different head shape would be beneficial for certain function, they started selectively breeding and creating the ideal head type for that kind of a job. And over the time, the shape of a dog’s skull has evolved into primarily three broad categories – the dolichocephalic skull, mesocephalic skull and brachycephalic skull. Lets talk about each category individually.
The most proportional is the mesocephalic skull. It is the medium skull and most of the wild and primitive dogs have this type of a skull. It is no coincidence, that this type of a skull have the fewest head and neck related issues.
This skull is sometimes also known as Square skull and dogs with this type of a head have broader snouts and larger nasal cavites, which is why they have extremely good sense of smell.
Some examples of breeds with mesocephalic skull are Alaskan Malamutes, Beagles, Belgian Shepherds, Border Collies, Dalmatians, Cocker Spaniels and most of the other Spaniels as well, Irish Setters, Siberian Huskies or Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
Than we have the long headed dogs, whose skull is known as dolichocephalic. Most of the dogs with dolichocephalic head were bred to have excellent sight, mostly for hunting purposes. Dolichocephalic skulls provide higher range of vision due to the long and narrow snout. Dogs that were used in racing events or to chase down prey were also bred to have long, thin, streamlined heads.
The problem with dolichocephalic skull is, that extremely narrow skulls may have problems with eye formation, overbites and not enough room for incisor teeth to fit properly.
Dogs that would fit into this category includes most of the sighthounds like Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Borzoi, Saluki or Whippet. In sighthounds, the long skull is most visible, but dogs like Fox Terrier, Rough Collie, Pharaoh Hound, Manchester Terrier, Doberman or Dachshund also have slightly longer skull and they can be included into dolichocephalic breed group as well.
The last group are short nosed dogs, also known as brachycaphelic dogs. This type is most often connected with serious health issues like breathing problems and overheating, but originally, for example Bulldogs, were bred to have short muzzles to function as a fierce weapon for use in bull-baiting and dog fights. The utility of the skull compression was to achieve strong jaws.
Brachycaphelic heads are often times bred to extremes, because many people find it cute and actually want dogs with extremely short muzzles and large human like eyes. But of course, if you push the limits of the dogs head, than you will create a lot of very bad health issues.
When the shape of the skull is distorted, the space into which the teeth erupt can be distorted as well. This results in teeth that don’t fit together properly. Breathing issues are another big problem with brachycaphelic dogs, but again, this problem started to be serious only when we started to breed dogs to their extremes. Some brachycaphelic breeds are absolutely healthy.
The list of Brachycaphelic dogs include all kinds of Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, Boxers, Brussels Griffons, Chow Chow, all kinds of Mastiffs, or Pugs.
The names of the skull types are pretty complicated, which is why dog breeders, owners and fanciers created several other names for these heads. Those include Apple Head, which is a rounded with a dome like skull head. The example of the Apple head is Chihuahua. The blocky head, which is square and cube-shaped and it is the Boston Terriers head. Domed head, which is convex and even rounded top skull, like Cocker Spaniels head. Broken-up face with receding nose and with a deep stop and undershot jaw like Pekingese. The Down face, where the muzzle has a convex incline from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose like Bull Terrier. The Dish face which is a head with a profile that forms a slightly concave shape. The example of this kind of a head is a Pointer. And last but not least the snippy face, which is a pointed, thin muzzle without much depth or width and the typical example is Saluki.
It is important to say, that even though the medium skull, the mesocephalic skull is connected with the least health issues, there is no guarantee that if you will buy the mesocephalic dog he will not suffer from any ilnesses. But you should be very careful when you will buy a breed with skull that is extremely long or short as those dogs truly suffer much more from different health issues and you should buy this kind of breed only from reputable breeder with a long history of healthy dogs. But of course, you should always buy any dog from reputable breeder.
Lets start with the appearance description of the Alpenhütehund. It is relatively small sized dog, slightly smaller than Border Collie or Sheltie. The breed is not officially recognized by any kennel club, so there is not much official information about it, but the ideal height should be between 37-47 cm, which is 14-19 inch and weight is typically somewhere around 10 kg, which is 22 lbs. Females are slightly smaller than males.
The Alpine Shepherd Dog has a shiny, soft and medium long doublecoat. The coat is very practical and it is water and dirt repellent. The breed comes in various colors and color combinations, which are black, mahogany, yellow, blue merle, all with or without white markings or in tricolor.
The head of Alpine Shepherd dog is wedge shaped, but it should not be too long or narrow. They have medium sized and slightly triangular eyes with alert, but friendly and curious expression. Most often the eyes are in dark brown color.
The tipped ears are set high on the head and they are semi erect or completely erect. Different ear shapes on the same dog are allowed and indeed it is normal that the dog does not have symmetrical ears. The tail is very fluffy and very long.
As the name suggest, the Alpine Shepherd dog is supposed to work with cattle, to herd the livestock. But it is most often living as social companion and family pet, which is most likely due to the fact, that they are less driven than Border Collie and some other herding dogs, that are probably better fit for herding job. The Alpenhütehund does not have that strong herding instinct as some other breeds.
But as i said, it is very good family companion. It is quite active breed, that needs daily longer walks, hikes or jogs to stay in good shape, happy and healthy. It is very athletic and quite energetic dog breed, which makes excellent fit for active people. They will be always ready for any outdoor adventure. The breed is also known as skilled climber and they do not fear heights.
Not only that this dog is active and energetic. It is also very smart dog that excells at learning different tricks and commands. And you should spend some time doing some fun training sessions or buy or create some puzzle toys for your dog. This will occupy their mind, which is as important as occupying the body. You can also try some dog sport with them, such as agility. They will love it.
The breed is very loyal to its owner and create extremely strong bond with the owner. The Alpenhütehund is people oriented dog and they want to spend every minute with its people.
These dogs should not have high prey drive as they were never used for hunting and they can be trained to be very good off leash dogs. But this is vastly influenced by early training and socialization. Typically they are not prone to running away and they stay close to the owner.
These dogs can live with other dogs, other pets or kids in the family without any problems. Of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised, but the Alpenhütehund truly makes amazing family companion dog.
Sadly, there is not much information about the ancestry and origin of Alpenhütehund. There are some stories which say that this is ancient breed that was used for herding the livestock in German Alps for very long time, but it is impossible to validate these theories. So keep that in mind.
One theory about the history of Alpine Shepherd dog claims that the breed has ancestors connected with Phoenicians and that they were spread to German Alps by Romans, where they were crossed with various native herding dogs.
When the need for herding dogs declined, the pure Alpine Shepherd dog almost went extinct and lately it was brought back from extinction by including the infusion of Sheltie genes.
Today, the breed is extremely rare with only few dozens or lower hundreads of pure Alpine Shepherd dogs living in Germany and it is almost impossible to find these dogs outside Germany.
The breed is also not recognized by any major kennel club, not even the German kennel club and it does not look that it will change in near future.
Health and grooming
The Alpenhütehund does shed some deal of fur all year long. During shedding seasons in the start of the spring and autumn, they shed a lot. If you want to minimize the shedding, it is recommended to brush the coat regularly. Brushing will also keep the coat mat free and it will redistribute natural oils all over it. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
Great fact is, that the breed is usually very healthy with great lifespan around 15 years. Just like any other breed, they can suffer from some health issues, which include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and some hereditary eye diseases.