Thoughts from the Wild

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Behind the Breed: Brittany

September 28, 2023

If you search online for “hunting dog painting,” chances are, it’s going to feature a Brittany. These photogenic bird dogs have been the subject of countless paintings since the breed originated sometime around the 17th century. And their popularity in fields and homes continues today. The versatility of the Brittany has made them popular hunting …

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Behind the Breed: Airedale Terrier

August 31, 2023

Airedale terriers: All the feisty energy of a typical terrier, but in a body that’s three times the size. No wonder they’re often called the “King of Terriers”! Unlike many breeds that originated in Victorian England, however, Airedales weren’t bred by nobles for hunting purposes. No, the noble Airedale was created in the mid-1800s by …

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Behind the Breed: Lagotto Romagnolo

July 27, 2023

What happens when you can’t do your job anymore? You adapt and become an expert at your new one! That’s what happened with dogs of the Italian Lagotto Romagnolo (pronounced Lah-GOH-toe Ro-man-YO-lo) breed. These water-loving workers were originally bred for retrieving waterfowl for hunters in the Northern Italy marshes. But when the land was developed …

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Behind the Breed: Irish Setter

June 29, 2023

It’s no surprise that Irish setters originated from Ireland. They were bred to sniff out gamebirds for hunters and quietly announce their success by “setting” (lying down on their tummy). Their vibrant red coats made it easy for hunters to spot them across fields, although they weren’t always a solid red color —the original Irish …

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Behind the Breed: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

May 25, 2023

Every dog breed came from somewhere. Most of the breeds we’ve discussed here originated in Europe before ending up as beloved American dogs. But the Chesapeake Bay retriever? American through and through. The Chesapeake Bay retriever was truly “made in America.” According to an account posted by the American Chesapeake Club, a man named George …

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Behind the Breed: Greyhounds

April 20, 2023

Most people know greyhounds as long, lean, running machines. This impression is entirely true: they have been clocked at over 40 miles per hour and are considered the fastest dog breed. What you may not realize is that these speedy sprinters don’t need to be constantly running — they would love to snuggle with you …

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Behind the Breed: Australian Shepherd

March 30, 2023

First things first: Australian shepherds aren’t exactly Australian. They actually hail from the Basque region of Spain where, in the 1800s, their original owners, Basque shepherds, took the dogs to their pastures in the Australian Outback, where they gained a popular following. As news of these remarkable, energetic herders spread around the world, ranchers, most …

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Behind the Breed: Yorkshire Terrier

February 23, 2023

Beneath the silken, lustrous coat of the Yorkshire terrier, or “Yorkie,” lies the heart of a feisty companion equally as eager to work as to snuggle. Hailing from Yorkshire, England, the Yorkie was bred in the 19th century by cotton and wool workers from Scotland who had immigrated in search of work. These workers needed …

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Behind the Breed: Shiba Inu

January 26, 2023

The shiba inu is an ancient Japanese breed that was originally bred to hunt both small and large game, but they have become one of the country’s most popular companion animals. Brought to America from Japan only 60 years ago, shibas are good-natured and compact dogs that are often described as more like a cat …

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Cat Breeds Made For Winter Weather

January 19, 2023

“Winter Wonderland” might be a song humans are humming this January, but not all cats enjoy the dropping temperatures. However, some cat breeds have developed the physical traits to not just survive but even enjoy colder climates. If you live where the winters are harsh (or, let’s be honest, even if you don’t), these might …

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