Dog Breeds Starting With A – E
Here we take a look at some of the popular Dog Breeds Starting With A – E – Afghan Hounds, Border Collies, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians and English Bulldogs
Elegant and unique, this ancient dog breed is thought to date back to the pre-Christian era. The Afghan Hound was first used to hunt prey in the mountain and desert regions of Afghanistan, where his ability to run and long coat were useful to both chase prey and fend off the cold.
Most people would describe this sighthound as independent, aloof and even a little comical at times. Amusing and even sometimes mischievous, these dogs are often known as the ‘clowns’ of the family! Due to his independent nature, training can prove challenging, especially with his natural prey drive.
With his lengthy, luxurious coat, grooming is essential for any owner who doesn’t want to deal with a huge, tangled mess of fur!
Born in a misty place called Northumberland, on the very border of England and Scotland, the Border Collie is arguably one of the most, if not the most, intelligent domestic dog breed in existence today. Like some other highly intelligent breeds, the Border Collie was bred around the early 1900’s for herding purposes, though this fellow is said to have been centuries in the making.
Thanks to their impressive intellect, Border Collies are easily trainable and catch on to new tasks quickly. These guys are born to run, with an energy to match and a focus that can be just as difficult to break. Many owners report their Border Collies nipping at the heels of small children or other animals in a misplaced effort to herd. All in all, Border Collies are usually great with children and very playful dogs!
They’re prone to some minor health problems, specifically issues like Retinal Atrophy, hypothyroidism, and Canine Hip Dysplasia (although the risk can be lessened by maintaining a healthy weight). Being a high energy breed, nutrient requirements are higher than average, but maintaining a healthy weight is important.
Grooming every 4-8 weeks is recommended. Border Collie’s have thick, double coats, and shed often; be prepared for a lot of dog fur!
In the end, the Border Collie is the dog of choice for the family man who prizes intelligence and trainability!
Gentle, playful, and always eager to hunt or swim, the Cocker Spaniel is a gun (bird) dog, belonging to the sporting group. This fellow’s cheerful, upbeat personality always ensures he is a pleasure to have around the family, great with children and happy to cuddle.
Cocker Spaniels are descended from various types of English Spaniels, recognized as their own separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1878. By the mid 1900’s, American hunters found the breed extremely useful for flushing game, although the breed became popular even in the early 1900’s.
For half a century the breed held the number one spot with the American Kennel Club, until ‘puppy mills’ began irresponsible mass breeding, promoting health complications and personality issues, thus diminishing his fame. Some of the more serious problems this breed may encounter include retinal atrophy, cataracts, and/or glaucoma
Grooming the Cocker Spaniel’s significantly long coat regularly is absolutely a must for maintaining a luxurious mane rather than a tangled mass. The show trim for this breed differs from everyday grooming practices for the avg. owner; owners of non-show spaniels may choose to have the coat shortened for easy maintenance. Both under and outer coats must be brushed to avoid matting complications.
Originally used to guard the carriages and horses of the upper class in the 1800’s, today’s Dalmatian is a very versatile and energetic dog! Whether it be watching over house and livestock, performing impressive agility tricks, or participating in family activities, the Dalmatian is a joy to be around!
Dalmations are rowdy and energetic by nature, happily willing to jump on company in greeting. Due to their high energy requirements, apartment living isn’t ideal; dalmatians need lots of space to frolic and play in. After the Disney movie ‘101 Dalmatians’, breed popularity exploded!
Like most breeds, Dalmatians are more prone to some disorders than others. Deafness, allergies and urinary stones can be especially problematic with these dogs. If socialized well, they should get along great with other people and animals; Dalmations love attention and have a strong desire to please!
Weekly brushing of the smooth, dense coat is recommended. Dalmatians not only shed often, but their stiff hairs can be difficult to remove from clothing and fabric. Regular brushing helps remove those stray hairs before they are given the opportunity to become problematic.
Although it is subject to argument, most believe the English Bulldog was first bred in the 13th century (possibly 15th), from a coupling of Mastiffs and Pugs to both guard and control cattle, as well as participate in the violent sport of Bull Baiting.
Their entire body was designed for this purpose. These early Bulldogs were powerful, literally able to ‘swing’ from a bull’s face as it thrashed about. The wrinkles of their face provided channels for blood to flow away from the eyes. The loose skin of their body helped them shrug off glancing blows. They had an extremely high pain threshold, some say almost not able to feel pain at all. Even the Bulldog’s jaw structure helped him latch on to his opponent.
It wasn’t until 1835 that Bull-baiting was deemed cruel and outlawed, unfortunately leading to equally violent competition- pit fighting. The breed came to America along with immigration at the turn of the century, soon giving rise to a new breed- the Pit Bull.
Note: Contrary to popular belief, these first Pit Bulls were specifically bred for their ‘bite inhibition’ and loyalty toward human owners, as opposed to strict violence like many would have you believe.
The Bulldog suffers from a plethora of possible health concerns, prevalent among them major respiratory problems, overheating, severe skin allergies, eczema, dry skin, acne, degenerative spine disease, cherry eye, hip dysplasia, and joint & ligament injuries. Bulldog owners should prepare for the possibility of investing in their pet’s healthcare!
We will be adding more dog breeds starting with A – E over the coming months so stay tuned.
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