Irish Wolfhound



The Irish Wolfhound is believed to have originated in the ‘Emerald Isle’ at some point between 600 and 200 BCE. Half wolf and half mongrel, the early examples were probably very wild, like their owners, the old Irish chieftains who lived in the caves of Connemara and kept warm by lighting fires and wearing wolf skins. Whilst the wolfhound is a very large beast indeed (approximately the same height as an average pony but with a slimmer, more graceful build) it is also a ‘gentle giant’ (this is the term dog lovers generally use for large, scary-looking dogs). Due to the dog’s size, plenty of exercise is required. The wolfhound is not a cheap pet to look after because it will eat a lot of food (e.g. an eight ounce steak for dinner, with maybe some sausages and tripe and a half dozen oysters on the side). In the evenings, the wolfhound enjoys Guinness and perhaps some fiddle (violin) music. If you find yourself with a spare wolfhound on your hands please donate it to charity – it is unfair to keep it chained up in a small wooden kennel in a concrete garden with a cone around its head all day as a neighbour of mine once did. Irish Wolfhounds are always born in October, making them Librans (or, if they are born at the end of the month, Scorpios).



golden labradorLast night, after a difficult and taxing day at work, I sat down on my bed and prayed to the Lord for guidance. And an amazing thing happened – there was suddenly a great flash of light and the Lord appeared RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, IN PERSON!

‘Hello, Markus,’ He said.

‘Hello, Lord,’ I said.

‘Markus,’ the Lord said, ‘I know things have been hard for you lately. But it is important that you do not falter. Continue with your good work; continue to inform the citizens of the world about dog breeds. It is an important job, you are doing the right thing, and you should not listen to oddballs, especially those who do not fear my awesome omnipotence, for they truly are lost souls.’

‘Thank you, God,’ I said. ‘Sometimes my work is hard but you have reminded me it is my true calling in life – I always knew I was never meant to work in retail forever – and the oddballs are forgetting some of your most important guidance, delivered through your only begotten son, during his all too short time on Earth.’

‘Too true,’ said God. ‘If only they’d given my boy more time. But they were caught up in a frenzy of blood lust and unable to see things for what they truly were.’

‘I am sorry, God,’ I said, ‘about what happened to Jesus. If I had been there, I would have done everything in my power to protect him.’

‘I know you would, Markus,’ the Lord said, ‘you are a good man. But what concerns me is just how angry people seem to be. It’s as if they haven’t listened to a word I’ve said.’

‘I’m afraid that does seem to be the case,’ I said. ‘I fear they don’t believe in you anymore; they worship at the altar of science, now.’

‘Science?’ asked God. ‘Who is he?’

‘Science is the scientists, en masse, Lord,’ I said. ‘They are just people.’

The Lord sighed. ‘It is as I thought,’ he said. ‘They have forgotten everything. They get their food from the supermarket and their clothes from the mall and they forget who controls the harvests.’

‘Perhaps you should send more plagues and famine to remind them, Lord,’ I said.

The Lord scratched his chin, which was as big as a grand piano.

‘Actually,’ I said, ‘don’t do that.’

‘I will have a think,’ said the Lord. ‘In the meantime, continue with your good work.’

Yes, friends, that was an actual conversation I had with God during a religious experience at home last night. And let me tell you it was rejuvenating – more rejuvenating than any other conversation I have ever had! Afterwards, I was reminded of one of Jesus’ major teachings: ‘love thy neighbour.’ We would all do well to remember that, I think!

Sadly, I am in the position where I must once more reiterate: this is a family site and no place for abuse or incitement of any kind. The Lord has taught us we should not mercilessly attack others for their views: we can disagree, of course, but when we start to resort to threats and abuse, no matter how entitled we feel, we are being less than civilised (and are probably also breaking the law and potentially leaving ourselves open to the threat of litigation). To those who have questioned my professionalism and integrity, let me say this: I do not wish harm upon any animal for I love them like St Francis of Assisi. Furthermore, I always SAY NO to drugs. It is important to remember that no-one (except God, of course) owns the Internet. That said, I extend the loving hand of friendship to all those who have shared their thoughts on the site. In time, I hope they will grow to love me and my information about dogs so our wonderful community of dog lovers can extend to all four corners of the globe and continue with the good work the Lord wishes to be done.

For the time being, however, I have been advised to disable comments on all posts until investigations are complete. This is a shame, because it means the minority are spoiling things for the majority (and how often have we seen that, eh, friends?). In the meantime, however, you can still contact the site team via the email address on the contact page. And, at some point in the near future, you can rest assured I will resume my good work, as instructed by God, so the good people – the decent people – are able once more to contribute to the greatest dog information website on Earth:

The Lord will prevail.


Markus x


Look at this. Doesn’t look much like a dog, does it? Well, it IS a dog. And it is a REAL dog. It is the Komondor.

A traditional Hungarian herding breed crafted from old mops and solid bone, the Komondor has the largest wingspan of any dog known to man and has even been known to snatch up whole lambs with its extraordinarily strong talons. In the 1980s a brand of pipe tobacco was named after the Komondor and went on to become the best-selling pipe tobacco of all time. The Komondor lives mostly in Peru where it has a modest holiday residence in the mountains.

English Bull Terrier

Update: due to the nature of recent comments on this post it has been necessary to temporarily close it to fresh comments. For further information, see: IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARKUS PRETZEL.

The English Bull Terrier was originally bred for fighting bulls but these days they are mostly just for show. The breed has a very muscular build and a strange-looking head and is available in brindle (brown) and white as well as a combination of the two colours. English Bull Terriers like being with people but enjoy attacking other dogs so if you decide to get one you will need to be careful in the park and always keep your dog on a lead. Some owners use muzzles to avoid embarrassing situations.

Because the fear gene is removed during the breeding process these dogs are not afraid of anything; English Bull Terriers are always up for a fight and can be aggressive towards animals much larger than themselves (e.g. bulls). Having said that, in the film Oliver! (based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens), Bill Sikes’ loyal English Bull Terrier, Bull’s Eye, eventually deserts his owner after Sikes brutally murders his prostitute girlfriend, Nancy. This shows that, despite its aggressive nature, the English Bull Terrier has a kind heart and will not put up with people who treat others badly.

Some think that the English Bull Terrier will eat anything but this is not true. Generally, it is recommended that you feed them meat and biscuits like most other dogs. English Bull Terriers are always born in the spring – late March or April – meaning they are Arians. They like to drink Budweiser.

The 1963 Disney film The Incredible Journey featured an English Bull Terrier called Bodger who went on a 2000 mile trip with his friends (a Siamese cat and a Labrador Retriever) across the Canadian wilderness in search of Edward, a kind of dog guru. When they couldn’t find Edward, the owner of the three pets picked them up in his station wagon and took them home. Whilst The Incredible Journey is a great movie it is also a little unrealistic: if the trip had been real it would not have lasted very long as the English Bull Terrier would have killed and eaten his companions!

There have been many famous owners of English Bull Terriers but perhaps none more famous than Adolf Hitler.


The Poodle is available in a selection of sizes: Standard, Toy and Miniature. The Standard is the top of the range model and has an IQ that is only bettered by the Border Collie; the smaller varieties tend to struggle with the harder questions.

Whilst it is true that Toy Poodles exist mainly for entertainment purposes, it is important to remember that they are not actual toys: they are living things that must be treated with respect.

Popular colours are white and pink. Often, when the Poodle returns from being cleaned at the Poodle parlour you will find it has been shaved in such a way as to leave prominent balls of fur around its ankles and tail. It may also have had ribbons applied to various areas. Whilst this is generally accepted to be ‘just a bit of fun’ it can prove degrading for male Poodles. Be sure to monitor the situation to ensure it does not get out of hand.

If you decide to buy a Poodle it’s worth trying an authorised dealer first. Don’t be afraid to haggle to get the best deal: there are big discounts to be had in the current economic climate.

When you get your Poodle home make it a nest from old torn newspaper and odds and ends. It will be tired for the first week or so as it acclimatises to its new home and will need plenty of cuddles and meat. Your Poodle may also fancy a biscuit or two: Bourbons and Custard Creams are their favourites but if you only have Malted Milks in your biscuit caddy these will suffice. Put on a nice DVD – something gentle like a Disney animated classic – to cheer up your new Poodle. When it is safely asleep you can relax and think about a suitable name (many owners plump for monikers such as ‘Coco’ or ‘Pepster’).

Once your Poodle has had all its vaccinations there is nothing wrong with taking it to the park for a long walk: the Standard model actually loves this! But the smaller varieties can tire easily and the use of a wheeled platform can help on longer trips. You can make one of these fairly easily using castors and a piece of old wood with a bit of string attached. However if you do choose to use one of these walking aids do please be careful and remember to make sure your Poodle’s feet are adequately secured to the platform with some Sellotape or something similar before setting off.


The Rottweiler, or Rottweil Metzgerhund (Butcher Dog), hails from the German market town of Rottweil on the edge of the Black Forest. A robust, hardy breed of the Molosser-type, the ‘Rottie’ has unfairly gained an unsavoury reputation over the years not only as a result of its popularity amongst thugs but also because of its portrayal as a ‘Devil Dog’ in 70s horror flick The Omen. In reality, however, these dogs are gentle giants; dedicated and loyal, they were prized by the Romans for their herding abilities and later became expertly practised at the art of butchery.

The coat is black, coarse and dense with a tan underside. The head is large and bullish, broad between the ears and perfectly suited to the boater. Fitted with a reliable workhorse engine, the Rottweiler generates a considerable amount of torque and delivers consistent pulling power throughout the rev range making it one of the most suitable breeds for towing. In its native Germany, the breed has been used for both ambulance and police work.

Until the outbreak of World War I, the Rottweiler was usually the first point of contact for hungry travellers seeking Wiener Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Bierwurst and the traditional Schwarzwald delicacy, Curry Wurst. Wearing their characteristic red and white striped aprons, boater hats and lederhosen, the ‘butcher dogs’ were a common sight throughout Bavaria and Swabia, dispensing sausages to hordes of hungry merchants from the carts they pulled behind them.

But the breed was to fall into disrepute following what the records refer to only as a Fleisch-Zwischenfall (literally, a ‘meat incident’) in Flanders, 1917. With the exception of a further, rarely-mentioned indiscretion in the 1940s and a brief appearance in the aforementioned movie The Omen, not much was heard from the Rottweiler until the late 1980s, when the breed was re-launched as a family dog and all-round good egg.

These days, Rottweilers are just dogs, plain and simple, and no longer work as butchers. ‘No more the butcher’s life for me,’ sings the lonely, oft-misunderstood Rottweiler to himself in melancholy moments when he pops out to the back yard to smoke a cigarette and ponder what it’s all about. Luckily, such moments are few and far between as the Rottie has now found new purpose as best friend to the men, women and children of the world. ‘Hooray for the Rottweiler,’ all the people sing, ‘for he is our friend!’ Indeed he is.

Competition Winner Announced!

Dog Breeds of the World is pleased to announce its first competition winner! We would like to thank all those who entered; please keep the entries coming as the competition is ongoing. The prize of a beautiful and original signed picture of the winner’s chosen breed (right) goes to Judith Rachmani of Tel Aviv, who writes:

‘Greetings from sunny Israel. I would like to see the Rottweiler featured – to counter the recent unfair negative publicity about Rottweilers. Let us pay tribute to the Rottweiler’s unfailing courage, loyalty, good nature, eagerness to please and capacity for hard work.’

Thanks, Judith, your picture is on its way. In the meantime, you can read about your chosen breed here.

Well, the Rottweiler certainly proved a popular choice! In no particular order, here are our runners up…

Jennifer Gibbard of Hampshire:

‘I think Rottweilers are a misunderstood breed. Having owned 3 beautiful Rotti’s I think its about time people remember the good things about them – how majestic, strong and loyal they are. I love them!’

Laura Love from Londonderry (great name, Laura):

‘…for the last year my son and I have been volunteering as dog walkers at our local shelter for abandoned dogs and cats. We have come into contact with a number of Rottweilers and have found them to be gentle giants. They adore affection and have been given a bad reputation by people keeping them as status symbols to appear fierce. They are really lovely animals!!!’

and Rachael Hardy of Sheffield:

‘I would love to see the Rottweiler featured, they are a gorgeous dog, loyal, strong and a wonderful companion. Sadly they are a much misunderstood breed due to bad ownership. I have just been lucky enough to adopt my fourth Rottie from a Rottweiler rescue and she is a beautiful, loving natured dog.’

Unfortunately there are no runners-up prizes available at present, but thanks to all contributors for your entries. For more information on Rottweilers, Dog Breeds of the World recommends the Rottweiler Welfare Association.