Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exotic Dog Breed of the Month

This month, I chose to present an exotic dog breed that is not a herding dog. I give to you, the Mi-Ki (pronounced mee-kee)...

I know: how adorable, right? They look just like Gizmo from the movie the Gremlins. I want one but I think my Maltese-Shih Tzu Lucky would kill me. The breed characteristics of these little spuds includes:

The Mi-Ki is being developed in the United States exclusively as a lapdog and a show dog.

This is one of several new American toy dog breeds being created to satisfied the needs of urban apartment dwellers. [So, they're saying Border Collies don't make good apartment dogs?] In this role, one of the Mi-Ki's advantages is that is seldom barks, a major consideration in areas of high-density housing.

In personality, this little dog is said to be sociable, alert, friendly, good-natured, non-aggressive and intelligent. Unlike many small dogs, it is not wary of strangers. It's breeders recommend it as a companion for the elderly or the disabled and state that, for apartment owners, it can be trained to use a litter box like a cat [but, this ain't a cat!]. In height it is 28cm or less. Its weight is 5-8 lbs.

The Mi-Ki is a dog of rather vague origins. It probably began as an accidental cross between two well-established toy dog breeds, such as the Maltese and the Japanese Chin. In appearance it looks remarkably like an intermediate between these two There is no official word on its precise background, other than that the dog 'is thought to be Asian' and can perhaps be traced back to Penang and shares 'common ancestry with the Papillon, the Maltese and the Japanese Chin. Confirmation of the fact that its beginnings are obscure comes from the report that Donna Hall, VP of the Mi-Ki Club of America, has submitted DNA samples fro three of the foundation dogs for lab analysis at universities in Switzerland and New Zealand.

The breed has an apple domed head and a spitz-like tail curled up over its back. The muzzle varies from 1/2 inch to 1.5 inc. Ears may be erect or dropped [like papillons and phalenes]. The coat may be either long, fine, silky and straight, or smooth and lying close to the body. A beard and moustache may be present with the long coat. Dewclaws must be removed for show purposes, the feet must be shaved and in the case of the long-coated variety, the head must also be shaved. All colors are accepted.

This developing breed first appeared in the US in the 1980's and the Mi-Ki club of America was founded in Wisconsin in 1996. It has to be said that some authorities are highly critical of this breed - one going as far as saying it's not a breed at all. In AKC publications [who cares though] there has never been any mention of a breed called Mi-Ki. It remains to be seen whether it will manage to establish itself in the future.

So there you have it; my next lap dog. Holy smokes these are C U T E little spuds.

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