In Sweden, hunting with dogs have a long tradition and scenthounds were used for centuries. The Hamiltonstovare was developed in the second half of 19th century by big dog enthusiast and first president of Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Patrik Hamilton. He wanted to create a sturdy scenthound, capable of hunting hare and foxes in harsh weather and difficult forested and mountainous terrain of Sweden. The breeds used in development of Hamilton Hound were three already extinct German breeds – Holsteiner Hound, Heiderbracke and Curlandish Hound – and also English Foxhound and Harrier.
And the breeding goal was definitely achieved, because Hamilton Hound is just extremely good at hunting and its no wonder that they are used to this day for this purpose. Interesting fact is, that unlike many other scenthounds, especially the english ones, they were not bred to hunt in a pack, but to hunt on their own or in pairs. They have great qualities for hunting, such as extremely good sense of smell, high endurence, agility and flexibility, intelligent, but also independent mind, which makes them very good problem solvers and, of course, high prey drive
Even when this breed is not use for hunting, they will still love to have some kind of a job. And thanks to their versatility, they are suitable for variety of other tasks. They can be excellent trackers, they do great at various dog sports such as agility, nosework, rally, dock diving or lure coursing. The Hamilton Hound is also quite strong dog and they are good weight pullers. And of course, they will always love to go on a long walk or hike with their owners.
Buut the life of Hamiltonstovare is not only about work, they also make very good companion dogs and pets. This is quite friendly and playful breed when it is around its family and they make good play partners for kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently. On the other hand, they can be suspicious towards strangers. The Hamilton Hound will enjoy almost any activity with its family and they truly love its owners.
As i said, the Hamiltonstovare is a very intelligent breed, but that does not mean they are total pushovers to train. It is true, that they are capable of learn a lot of tricks and commands fairly quickly, but because of their independent and lets say stubborn personality, they do not always obey your commands. For example, it is quite hard to teach them reliable recall, because even if they understand the command properly, it would be extremely hard to recall them if they catch a scent to follow. These dogs are also known for being quite vocal and they definitely need a proper early training and socialization provided by absolutely patient, firm and consistent leader. Hamilton Hounds are very food motivated, so make sure you always have their favourite treats when you start the training.
This is very strong and athletic, medium sized dog breed with average height between 49-61 cm, which is 19-24 inch and weight is usually between 22-27 kg, which is 50-60 lbs. Females are naturally little bit smaller then males.
The Hamiltonstovare has a short and harsh doublecoat which is lying very close to the body. The coat on the head and front legs are very smooth. This dog comes in the beautiful tricolor color combination.
8) Tomten and Karo
One Hamilton Hound is quite popular in Swedish folklore, which tell a story about a small Elf Tomten and his companion dog – Hamiltonstovare Karo, who together helped Swedish housewifes.
Great fact is, that this is very low maintenance breed. They have very low doggy odor, they do not shed much and the coat does not need any grooming and it will still look good. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with amazing lifespan around 15 years. Just like all dogs, even the Hamiltonstovare can suffer from some health issues. The main health problem is hip dysplasia, other minor and not so common health issues are epilepsy, different allergies or some eye problems.
The history and origin of this breed is surrounded by mystery and there is not enough historical information about them. These dogs were most likely developed from a common type of a herding dog, that was bred for working in Western Europe. For centuries, these dogs were used for herding in Belgium, but it was not until the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when the breed was standardized and recognized.
2) Belgium Shepherd
There are four Belgium Shepherds – the Belgian Laekenois, Malinois, Tervuren and Groenendael. Some countries only recognize Belgium Shepherd as a breed with 4 different varieties, while some other kennel clubs, such as AKC recognize all four varieties as separate breeds. Most people agree, that the only big difference between those 4 dogs is the length of the coat and its color. Some people also say, there are some slight differences in the temperament, but even they agree that the differences are small.
Speaking of temperament, the Belgian Laekenois is often times describe as very very energetic and lively dog breed, which is extremely intelligent, hard working and alert, but also affectionate, playful and loyal to its people. These dogs are typically highly trainable and they can be trained to do almost any task. The Belgian Laekenois is also pretty protective breed and they tend to be suspicious towards strangers. These dogs will love to spend time with their people, play with older kids or other dogs in the family and just be part of the pack.
4) War Heroes
For most of the time, these dogs were used as herders, farmdogs and protectors, but they found utilization in other purposes as well. The Belgian Laekenois was for example used in both wolrd wars as exceptional messanger dog. They were known to fearlessly scamper through the most ferocious of battles, just to finish their task. These dogs made perfect soldiers and war heroes. Later they also find utilization as police dogs and they do serve as police dogs to this day.
As you can probably expect from a dog, that was for centuries use for hard work, this is very energetic dog with high exercise needs. It is important for them, to have some kind of a job in their life. It can be some dog sport such as agility or obedience trials. You can also occupy their mind and body by daily outdoor long walks accompanied with fun training or task oriented playtimes. These dogs are incredible problem solvers and they will love different puzzle games. This dog is perfect fit for active people who will keep them busy. If their exercise needs are not met, it is very likely they will find another way how to deal with their energy and than they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
This is very athletic and well proportioned breed with sturdy body and average height between 56-66 cm, which is 22-26 inch and weight is typically between 20-30 kg, which is 44-66 pounds. The females tend to be slightly smaller then males.
You already know, that the main difference between the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd is the coat. Well, the Belgian Laekenois is the rough haired variety. Their wiry and tousled coat can be up to two inches long and it comes in shades of red or fawn or in grayish tones.
As i already mentioned earlier in the video, this is extremely intelligent dog breed capable of learning all the different trick and commands very quickly. With patience and consistency, you can teach them absolutely anything. Its also important to mention, that these dogs have incredible memory, so it is important to teach them properly from the puppyhood, because once you teach them how to behave, it is quite hard to change it later.
This breed has a very descriptive name. They are named Laekenois after a city of Laeken in Belgium, where they were often times found working by guarding and tending flocks.
The Belgian Laekenois is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with average lifespan 12-14 years. Of course, just like all dogs, even they can suffer from some health issues. The major health concerns associated with this breed are hip and elbow dysplasia, skin allergies and hypothyroidism.
The Texas Heeler is not recognized purebred breed, but a crossbreed between two purebred dogs – the Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd. It is very likely, that crosses between those two breeds have been around for a long time, but it was not until 1970s, when some breeders in Texas started to cross those two dogs together with the goal of creating a new breed. Some sources say, that the first person who registered Texas Heeler was Lucy Guynes from Texas.
The Texas Heeler was developed to be an intelligent, independent, energetic and hard working farmdog and herder and indeed, Texas Heeler has all those qualities. These dogs have natural herding tendencies and can be trained to be extraordinary farmdogs.
Of course, this dog is not only amazing farmdog, but also great companion. This breed is known to be very loyal and affectionate towards it family. It is very lively and energetic breed who will always be ready for any kind of an outdoor adventure. On the other hand, these dogs are known to be alert and suspicious towards strangers and they can make good watchdogs. The Texas Heeler can also be good playful partner for older kids and with proper early socialization they can live with other dogs or some other pets in the family as well.
As you can probably imagine, the exercise needs of this dog are very high. They need plenty of daily exercise, which include several daily longer walks, hikes, jogs or swiming, but also mental stimulation such as regular fun training sessions, task oriented playtime or some dog sport, such as agility, flyball or herding trials. These dogs are not for everyone, you should be active person who like outdoors if you want to buy or adopt this breed. Without enough exercise, the Texas Heeler can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
Just like with all the crossbreeds, the appearance is quite a lottery, but it seems that vast majority of Texas Heelers are more similar to the Australian Cattle Dog, than the Australian Shepherd. Most often they have erect ears, but the ears can be folded as well. The eyes are typically quite big and they usually have very lively, happy and alert expression. Interesting fact is, that these dogs can show heterochromia, which means they have each eye in different color. One eye is typically in blue color and the other in darker color, most often brown. The tail can be either bobbed or long.
This is very athletic and strong, medium sized dog breed, with average height between 17-22 inch, which is 43-56 cm and weight is usually between 45-50 lbs, which is 20-23 kg. The females are usually slightly smaller than males.
The Texas Heeler got its name from the place of its origin and from one of its parent breeds. Heeler is a nickname of Australian Cattle dog and it comes from their tendency to nip at cattle´s heels to drive them where they want. Many Texas Heelers also have this natural nipping tendencies, so the name is a great fit for this breed.
The Texas Heeler comes in variety of coat types and coloration. Most commonly, you will see this breed in relatively short, 1-3 inches long, smooth and soft coat, which is similar to the Australia Cattle dogs coat. Very rarely, they can inherit the longer and flowy coat as well. You can see this dog in different colors and color combinations, but the most common are black, blue merle, or blue ticked with white or fawn.
Great fact is, that this is fairly low maintenance breed. If they inherit the short coat, than even without any brushing, they will keep it in good condition. If they have longer coat, regular brushing to prevent matting is recommended. These dogs are known to be above average when it comes to shedding, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing to remove the dead hair is recommended. But it is impossible to stop the shedding. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The average lifespan of Texas Heeler is relatively high – between 12 to 15 years. There are some health issuses associated with this breed and those are hip and elbow dysplasia, distiachiasis and progressive retinal atrophy. These dogs can also suffer from Collie Eye Anomaly, cataracts or allergies.
The origin and history of Hokkaido dog is not very well documented, because this is very old and ancient dog breed. It is believed, that the Hokkaido was developed from some medium sized Japanese dogs, that were brough to Hokkaido island from Honshu with migrating Ainu people. These dogs adapted to colder climate and rugged terrain of north Japan and that this how the Hokkaido breed originated.
The Ainu people valued Hokkaido dogs very highly, mostly thanks to their extreme loyalty and especially for their great hunting skills. Ainu people were bear and deer hunters and Hokkaido dogs helped them with hunting this big game. The Hokkaido is known for its bravery and big courage, great sense of smell, amazing orientation, which enables them to work independently on large distances from its owners, high intelligence and prey drive. All these traits make this dog breed just amazing at hunting.
3) Nihon Ken
The Hokkaido dog is one of the Nihon Ken breeds, which are the native Japanese Spitz breeds. There is six Nihon Ken breeds, all of them quite similar together. The list of 6 native Japanese dogs include Hokkaido Inu, Akita Inu, Kai Ken, Kishu Inu, Shikoku Ken and Shiba Inu.
This breed is named after its place of origin, which is a prefecture of Japan and second largest Japanese Island – Hokkaido. Often times, this breed is named as Hokkaido Inu or Hokkaido Ken. These words Inu and Ken have similar meaning and both can be translated to english word „dog“. Other names for the breed also include Ainu-Ken, Ainu dog, Seta or Dō-ken.
The Hokkaido Ken is not only a great hunter, but also amazing loyal companion. They might not be overly affectionate like some other breeds, but they are totally devoted to its family and they definitely love its owners. These dogs are known to be okay with other dogs in the family and they are normally good dog partners for kids. But of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. On the other hand they are typically alert and suspicious towards strangers and it can take a while before a complete stranger will gain their trust.
Hokkaido is highly intelligent breed which is pretty easily trainable. This is highly food motivated dog, so make sure you always have their favourite treats in your pocket, when you start the training. Some owners say, that Hokkaido can be little bit stubborn and independent, so they are not total pushovers to train and they do need consistent and patient trainer to become completely obedient. The Hokkaido is also excellent problem solver.
Hokkaido dog was used for hunting bears and deers in very hard terrain for centuries, so as you can probably imagine, this is highly active dog. These dogs will be happiest if they have some kind of a job. Of course, you dont need go hunting bears with your Hokkaido, it can be some „fake“ job, such as vigorous and task oriented playtime, regular fun training sessions or some dog sport, such as agility, hunting trials or obedience trials. Without enough exercise, Hokkaido dog can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
On the first sight, the Hokkaido is a spitz. They have small erect ears, thick coat and curled tail. The Hokkaido also have very big paws, strong jaws and powerful chest. This is medium sized dog with average height between 18-20 inch, which is 45-51 cm and weight is typically between 30-60 pounds, which is 14-27 kg.
The coat of Hokkaido is very thick, dense and weatherproof, which have help the dog surviving in cold and snowy region of Hokkaido island. You can find this breed in , white, black, brindle, sesame, black and tan, and wolf-gray. The grooming is fairly simple, because the Hokkaido is fairly self-managed breed. There is no need for trimming or shaving, only regular brushing is recomended to remove the dead hair, minimize the shedding and to keep the coat as clean as possible.
The Hokkaido Inu is relatively healthy breed with average lifespan between 12-15 years. These dogs have a very high rate of Collie Eye Anomaly, which is the most common health issue associated with this breed. Other health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia and Cryptorchidism
The Shichon was developed by crossing Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. Of course, unintentional mixes between those two breed could have been there for centuries, but it was not until 1990s, when these two dogs were crossed intentionally with the intention of creating a new dog breed. It is believed, that they were first crossed in the USA with the intention of creating a teddy bear looking, sweet and gentle dog, which will make excellent family companion.
Most of the dog breeds were, or still are used for some purpose. Some are hunters, some are protectors, some are sled dogs and some are for example search and rescue dogs. The Zuchon is not use for any of those purposes and it is just a sweet companion dog. The only job they sometimes do is therapy work. The Zuchon makes excellent family companion, because they are absolutely affectionate, loving and playful dog. They should be friendly to everyone, even with strangers. The Zuchon is a good partner for kids as well, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently and with proper early socialization, Zuchons can live in a household with other dogs, cats and other pets.
Just like with all crossbreeds, even the appearance of Shichon is quite hard to predict. The Shichons coat can be pretty long and flowy, but also shorter and very curly. It depends, whether they inherit the coat from the Shih Tzu or Bichon. These dogs come in variety of colors and color combinations, commonly in white, gray, silver, cream, apricot, tan, black and chocolatte and in combinations of those colors.
What we can predict is the size of Zuchon, because both of its parent breeds are quite small dogs. The average height of Zuchon is typically between 9-12 inches, which is 22-31 cm and weight is usually between 7-15 pounds, which is 3-7 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
5) Dog for novices
If you do not have much experiences with dogs, than the Zuchon might be a good choice for you, as your first dog. Because of their eager to please personality and friendly nature, even with only little bit of training, they will still behave quite okay. Of course, if you want to have an obedient dog, which should always be the case, patient, regular and consistent training is needed. The small size, which somes in hand with small strenght and adaptability makes this dog also very good for novices, because you can always manage the dog without any problems.
Well, there is no such thing as a completely 100% hypoallergenic dog, because they all produce some dander or salive, but the Shichon is very close to be one. If you suffer from allergies, when you are around dogs, than there is a big chance, that Zuchon will not trigger the allergies. These dogs are practically non shedding dogs, which is why, they are so good for allergy sufferers.
7) Designer dog breed
The Shichon is sometimes reffered to as a designer dog breed. This term sounds fancy, but it is just another word for a crossbreed. The designer dog breed is a cross between two purebred dog breeds, in this case a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. The difference between crossbreed and mutt is, that mutt is a dog of uncertain origin, but designer dog breed was always developed from two different purebred breeds.
Even though these dogs are small and cuddly, they are still dogs and they need regular daily outdoor exercise and walks to stay healthy and happy. These are not hyperactive dogs and their exercise needs are not the biggest, but you still have to walk them few times a day, just like any other breed. This is also very playful breed, so you can try different games with the Zuchon. Regular fun training sessions are also great way how to exercise this dog physically but also mentally. If you will not exercise your dog or if you will not give them enough attention, they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking.
In general, crossbreeds have long lifespan and small dogs also have very long lifespan, so it should not be surprising, that even the Zuchon have long lifespan. The typical lifespan is around 15 years, but it is not uncommon for this breed to live well into their late teens. If you will buy or adopt a Zuchon, he will be part of your daily life for a very long time!
Even though this is usually quite healthy dog breed with long life expectancy, they still do suffer from some health issues, just like all dogs do. The health concerns associated with this breed include patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, some respiratory problems, cataracts and hip dysplasia.