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Discover Dogs
This weekend we did 'Discover Dogs' - that is, I went on the Saturday and Ina on the Sunday so that Little Dog Draco was not left alone for seven or so hours.

Met immediately by the PAT (Pets as Therapy) people.

PAT collectors

I have a form to fill in and a number to ring - not for the LDD but for Flash, who should be amazing at this.

I was there above all to talk to the Smooth Collie people, because I have ambitions to own one of these while I am still active enough to deal with it and to do agility and obedience. I have numbers to ring and an appointment with LKA. (The Ladies Kennel Association Show - this used to be the biggest show in the world.)

However, I was mainly there to meet and talk about dogs and to see breeds I've not met before, like this Bassett Bleu de Gascogne.

Bassett Blue de Gascogne

I've been in love with the 'Grand' version of this French hunting dog for years, but I don't have a mansion with extensive grounds, and was delighted to meet the smallest version.

Or this Eurasier


This is a manufactured breed starting from a cross between a Chow and a Keeshond in 1960, and having Samoyed added to improve the temperament. Or the Podengo (Warren Hound)


an old breed from Portugal.

I much prefer the Great Swiss Mountain Dog to the St Bernard!

Great Swiss Mountain Dog

It was also an opportunity to meet dogs I've always liked, such as this Griffon Bruxellois of which I much prefer this smooth-coated version. (The dog!)

Griffon Bruxellois - Smooth

Or the Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)

Saying Hello to the Malinois

There were what seemed like hundreds of stalls. This one sold dog beds, which this Shiba Inu was trying out. (I love Shibas, but they are one of those dogs you can "never let off the lead...")

Shiba Inu Bed Testing

And all day demos. I didn't see a lot of these, but this guy was demonstrating how to control a pack.

Under control

And yes, Earl's Court is a dreadful place to take photos. This lot are only usable courtesy of Photoshop Elements!

(Click through to see the full set on Flickr.)

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Fascinating stuff - and great photos considering the conditions. I love the Swiss Mountain Dog. I friend of ours in the US has a dog that looks just like that, though I think he's a crossbreed. He's enormous and lollopy and very laid-back. His name? Rocket!

I'm not fond of the Brussels Griffin - probably because my first meeting with one was distinctly unimpressive. The poor little thing was so flat-faced it could hardly breathe and its eyes popped out as if someone was strangling it.

The Belgian Shepherd is interesting. Do they have the same characteristics as a GSD? They look very similar.

BTW, we have a new puppy on order. Once bitten, in for a pound!
More in my upcoming post.

Belgian Shepherd Dogs - there are four kinds, distinguished by coat length and colour - the Malinois is the short-coat. That's a young dog as they get a little bigger than that (though not normally as big as Luke, the giant Mal puppy in our agility class.) They are used for exactly the same work as the GSD and, indeed, the aforementioned Luke is security bred dog. The Americans have been using them for a while and, indeed, a group of BSD drugs dogs down on the Mexican border had prices on their heads.

They are far more upright than GSDs - neither their backs nor their croups slope - and therefore look taller, though many are more lightly built, but still powerful. The two dogs with longer coats, the Tervueren (same colour as the Mals in the picture) and the Groenendael (black) are sometimes mistaken for GSDs.

As far as I know they don't (or rather didn't) have a major temperament problem, but their use by the police and security firms makes me worried for them. They are, however, rather hyper, particularly the Mals, putting them in the same class as Border Collies. I was seriously considering a Mal, because they are gorgeous and bright and trainable, but that hyper-activity rather put me off.

They sound lovely but by hyperactivity do you mean more hyper than a GSD? If so, no thanks. I love GSDs but their weak spot is that they are often nervous - hence bark first, ask questions later.

I don't know how hyper modern GSDs are - the Malinois, in particular, is a very active dog that needs to be doing, like the aforementioned Border Collie. However, they are not nervous.

Shepherds tend to be distrustful of new people and often bond with one person, which is what makes them one-man-dogs

That's German Shepherds, of course.

That basset is a honey - such beautiful patterning, as well as the blue colourway. And the Eurasier is dead cute; only, how big is he?

Good luck on the smooth collie front.

It's a medium sized dog. It's taken its height from the Kees (maybe a tad bigger) and the Samoyed rather than the Chow, but it is heavier than the Sammy, though not anywhere near as heavy as the Chow and has none of that breed's breathing problems.

I haven't looked at the standard, but those I met were maybe 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder, as a rough guess.

I so want a dog ... but there is no room! I need to find a local old person with a dog that needs walking! Alas, v few old people near here and most have cats, due to no room ...

we can have dogs now we've retired, but we really wanted to move before having another dog. However, the situation being as it is, I'm going for my own dog within the next year or so.

When we couldn't have dogs because of working and the London commute, we used to go to dog shows a lot.

The Shiba Inu looks like a pretty chibi fox!

A friend of mine refers to Shibas as "my little foxy friends."

Flash will be a PAT star, I would think. The local vet has tried to recruit Ish, but I worry about the spraying thing.

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