Fun-loving and sometimes mischievous, the Affenpinscher is an ancient toy breed from central Europe. With the face and impish nature of a monkey, this peppy breed is extremely loyal and affectionate toward his family, though fearless toward aggressors. Ideal for apartments, his exercise requirements can be satisfied with indoor play, but he also enjoys daily walks. The Affenpinscher’s wiry, hypoallergenic coat should be brushed twice a week and trimmed twice a year.
A dignified, aloof breed often considered an aristocrat, the Afghan Hound has a happy temperament and makes an excellent family companion. Little is known about the Afghan Hound’s history before the 19th century when he was discovered in Afghanistan. A large breed, the Afghan Hound requires regular exercise, and his long, silky coat needs regular grooming.
The largest of the terrier breeds, the Airedale Terrier originated in the Valley of Aire in England, where factory workers bred him to be a good hunter, a strong, intelligent guard dog and a companion. The Airedale Terrier is a sturdy breed with a hard, wiry coat that became known as a “jack of all trades” doing police work, rodent control and hunting game. Airedales need grooming several times a year plus weekly brushing.
Developed in the mountains of Japan, the Akita originally was used to hunt bear, elk and boar. The breed can have an aggressive temperament, requiring supervision around small children and other animals. The Akita has a distinctive thick, double coat and plush tail that curls over his back. Although a fastidious groomer like a cat, he still needs daily brushing. Active and energetic, this breed should be exercised daily.
One of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute was first bred in Alaska to carry large loads over long distances. A majestic, dignified breed, the Malamute is highly intelligent and learns quickly, but he also can be strong-willed. Loyal, devoted and highly athletic, he is an affectionate family companion that enjoys outdoor activities. The Malamute needs daily exercise, and his thick, coarse coat requires daily brushing and occasional baths.
A descendant of the English Foxhound, the American English Coonhound is known for his speed and endurance. This athletic hound, which is capable of hunting raccoon and fox all night long, needs regular exercise to stay in condition. The American English Coonhound is sociable with humans and other dogs. The breed’s hard, protective coat needs little grooming.
The American Eskimo Dog, which descended from European spitz-type dogs, was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. The breed comes in three size varieties: Standard, Miniature and Toy. Nicknamed the “Eskie,” this breed has a heavy white coat that requires weekly brushing. Although intelligent, affectionate and playful, the American Eskimo Dog can be skeptical of strangers.
A rare breed, the American Foxhound was developed by George Washington in the 1700s. Bred to run fast, the American Foxhound is ideal for pet owners in rural areas but also is adaptable to smaller homes if provided adequate exercise. A mild-tempered and easygoing breed, the American Foxhound gets along well with children and most pets. Stubborn and independent at times, he benefits from early training.
Stocky and muscular with a strong, powerful head, the American Staffordshire Terrier resulted when the courageous Bulldog was crossed with a spirited, agile terrier breed. Friendly, intelligent and loyal, this people-oriented breed thrives as part of the family and when given a job to do. An excellent guardian, he loyally protects his family. The Am Staff has a low-maintenance short coat, but he requires regular exercise.
Intelligent, energetic and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is a versatile hunting dog and devoted family companion. One of the few breeds developed in the U.S., this rare breed only has about 3,000 registered dogs. The American Water Spaniel is an active dog that needs regular exercise. His naturally curly coat requires regular grooming and twice weekly brushing.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog originated in rural Turkey about 6,000 years ago to guard livestock and serve as a companion to shepherds. Large, powerful and possessive, this breed adores his family but can be suspicious of strangers. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has two coat varieties, Short and Rough, both which require little grooming. The breed does best with moderate exercise.
Agile, strong and courageous, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed in the 1800s in Australia. An intelligent and determined high-energy working dog, the Australian Cattle Dog is happiest in large, open spaces with an engaging job to do. This loyal and protective breed bonds closely with his family, but his owners must establish themselves as the pack leaders. The breed’s smooth, short coat requires occasional bathing and brushing.