Dogs You Don't See Every Day

Dog lovers may think they know a lot about man's best friend.

But, as The Early Show continued its weeklong series, "Early Goes to the Dogs" on Wednesday, its resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner, had four very unique breeds of canine -- on the catwalk!

No matter what the breed, Turner stressed, "You really need to do the research and find out what that dog was bred to do and match the dog's natural abilities to your family and your lifestyle. You get a good match, you've got a great family member. A bad match? Then you've got tough times."

BASENJI
Origin: Africa
Height: 16-17 inches
Weight: 22-26 lbs
Life Expectancy: 10-12 yrs

CHINESE CRESTED

Origin: Africa
Height: 12 inches
Weight: not over 10 lbs
Life Expectancy: 10-12 yrs

PETIT BASSET GRIFFON VENDEEN

Origin: France
Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 31-40 lbs
Life Expectancy: 14 yrs +

OTTERHOUND

Origin: England
Height: 24-27 inches
Weight: 80-115 lbs
Life expectancy: 11-13 yrs

For more on these and so many other canine breeds, visit the Web site of the American Kennel Club.

BASENJI

What kind of temperament do these dogs have?

The Basenji is alert, affectionate, demanding, energetic and curious. It loves to play and makes a good pet, as long as it is handled regularly from an early age. It is very intelligent, responds well to training with a strong desire to please. They can be reserved with strangers. The Basenji is somewhat aloof, but can also form strong bonds with people. It should not be trusted with non-canine pets. They are usually patient, but do best with older considerate children. The Basenji dislike wet weather. They like to chew, so giving them lots of toys of their own would be a good idea. The breed likes to climb and can easily get over chain wire fences. Basenji are very clever at getting their own way, they succeed less by obstinacy than by charm. It has the unique properties of not barking (it makes a low, liquid ululation instead) and of cleaning itself like a cat. It can be described as speedy, frisky, tireless at play and teasing the owner into play. Their strong desire to play can lead to behavior problems if left alone. Most Basenji problems usually involve a mismatch between owner and pet. The owners mistake the adjective "quiet' to mean inactive instead of noiseless; thus, they become harassed by an active, though relatively silent , dog.

What are they were bred to do?

The first traces of a dog similar to the Basenji are found in Egyptian tombs and wall drawings of five thousand years ago. Also called the Congo Dog, it was brought to Europe in 1934. English breeders refined it and exported it all over the world. In Africa, it is used as a guide in the forests, to warn against the approach of dangerous animals, and as a very active pack-hunting dog of small game.

How big do they get?

The Basenji grows to a height of between 16-17 inches for males and from 15-16 inches for females. They weigh 22-26 pounds for males. The females weighs from 20-25 pounds.

How long do they typically live?

About 10-12 years

What family situation or lifestyle is most suited for this breed?

The Basenji will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. It is very active indoors and a small yard will do. The Basenji is happiest when it is kept with two or three other Basenji; they will not fight among themselves.The Basenji need vigorous daily exercise. They have a tendency to become fat and lazy unless the owner is consistent about it. This breed needs a long daily walk. The Basenji is an alert, affectionate dog. This breed makes a good family pet, especially a family with active children.

Any other quirks and interesting facts about the Basenji?

The feet are usually white. The white color repeats on the chest and the tip of the tail. The forehead is furrowed with wrinkles, giving the breed a worried look. The tail is set high and curled.

CHINESE CRESTED

What kind of temperament do these dogs have?

The most popular of the hairless breed, the Chinese Crested are still very rare. These dogs are sweet, lively, playful and cuddly. They are exceptionally loving and likes to hug and smile. Affectionate with children. Children should be taught not to be rough with this breed as it is friendly, but it does not have the protective hair that other breeds have and can get injured easily. They are an entertaining companion. Intelligent and very alert. Puppies should be well-socialized and exposed to loud noises when young to avoid potential timidity. If its owners do not baby them, these dogs can grow up to be a very well-adjusted dog. They have an ability to perform tricks and are generally good with other pets. They are not barkers. Chinese Crested Dogs like to climb and dig holes. They tend to become very attached to their owners and have difficulty adjusting to a new one. Chinese Crested Dogs crave constant companionship

What were they were bred to do?

The Chinese Crested originated in Africa where they were called "African Hairless Terriers." The ancient Aztecs kept them as bedwarmers, and believe it or not, did eat them. The Chinese trading ships stopped along Africa on their routes, and it was there that they picked up these dogs because they were excellent ratters for aboard their ships. They renamed the dogs "Chinese Crested" and the name stuck. The stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee, used to breed Chinese Crested. This unusual breed was first exhibited in the West in 1885, but the first American breed club was not established until 1979. Full AKC recognition was granted in 1991. The similar Mexican Hairless was formerly recognized by the AKC, but is no longer recognized. The Chinese Crested Dog has been gaining popularity as a cheerful companion dog in both the United Stated and England. The breed is a frequent competitor in rare breed dog shows. Four hairless breeds are known in the U.S. today: The Chinese Crested, the Mexican Hairless, the Inca Hairless Dog, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid.

How big do they get?

Height: 12 inches

Weight: not over 10 pounds

How long do they typically live?

About 10-12 years.

What family situation or lifestyle is most suited for this breed?

Good for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They should wear a sweater in cold weather. Although it is tempting to carry these dainty creatures about; these are active little dogs, who need a daily walk Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard. Don't think that just because he is small he should be confined to a small space.

Any other quirks and interesting facts about Chinese Crested?

The "crest" in its name refers to a copious shock of silky hair that graces the dog's head.The Chinese Crested is found everywhere, but has never reached great popularity. It has often been exhibited in circuses and carnivals as a "freak." However, this little dog has many assets that go unrecognized.

GO TO PAGE 2 FOR DETAILS ON THE PETIT BASSETT GRIFFON AND THE OTTERHOUND

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