Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obscure Sheepdog Breed of the Month

So I have this super cool book of dog breeds that I purchased used from Amazon last year. It is actually a book that was a public library book in the midwest. It's mine now. The book is called Dogs. It is supposedly "the ultimate dictionary of over 1,000 dog breeds." It's written/compiled by Desmond Morris, (C)2001. It doesn't have photos of dogs in it, but for many of the breeds represented, it offers pencil sketch illustrations.

So, I got this book because it actually includes the Smithfield Sheepdog - my personal favorite obscure breed and perhaps the breed of my own dog Mattie. But, it's also a really great book to learn about other breeds from all over the world.

So, each month I'll highlight one obscure breed, starting with the sheep herders. This month, it is the German Sheeppoodle. If you "google" this breed in Google Images, you see just a few pictures - here is one I snagged...

So, the book describes the German Sheeppoodle as such:

The breed is also referred to as the Schafpudel, the Sheeppudel or the Poodle Sheepdog.

This is a rare dog which is little known today. Some authors have even questioned whether it may have become extinct in recent years. It appears to be completely unknown outside its homeland. In appearance this is a shaggy sheepdog, with a wavy, poodle coat and a tendency to become corded. One rather harsh critic commented that it is a dog of "heavy and uncouth" appearance. It has drooped ears, a long tail and a coat that is either white or pied, with various forms of shading. In height it is 24 inches. It has been described by various authors as clever, attentive, vigilant, good-natured, devoted, sociable, gentle, tolerant and affectionate. It is thought that its ancestors included the Barbet and the Poodle. The Puli has also been mentioned as a close relative and it is believed that the movements of flocks of sheep between Germany and Hungary in earlier times may have played a significant role in the development of this breed.

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