So, I’ve decided to become a Thursday Thirteen-er. This is a simple little meme that encourages you to devote your Thursday blog entry to a list of thirteen things – any thirteen, really. Thirteen things about yourself, thirteen things about your dog, thirteen things you hate/love/envy/desire. Whatever it is, post thirteen of them. I tag everyone with it – just make sure to visit the official Thursday Thirteen Blog to snag the code.
As I’ve mentioned before, I basically got my start in dogs with (English) Mastiffs. My Grandmother bred them, and some of my earliest memories are of lying in a pile of Mastiffs in front of the fireplace, reading a book, and listening to the sound of a thousand pounds of snoring dogs surrounding me. Mastiffs will always be my first love (but shhhh! Don’t tell the Frenchies).
My mother also bred American Cockers for a while, but I don’t really remember much about them, since she passed away when I was just four, and my stepmother was, most emphatically, not a dog person. Owning my own dog would have to wait until I was grown up and living on my own.
Over the years, I’ve owned a few breeds of dogs other than Mastiffs and Frenchies, but there are still lots of breeds out there I’d someday like to own – even though, for some of them, I know I never will.
- Akbash Dog. These are some of the most lovely flock guardian dogs I’ve ever seen. I am still toying around with the idea of getting either goats, or Alpacas, in addition to the Frenchies, and if I do a good flock dog will be essential. Akbash are the breed I’d choose. They’re beautiful, strong and independent – everything you could ask for in a flock dog.
- Presa De Canario. Also known as the Perro De Presa or the Dogo Canario. These are a large, muscular, intimidating looking Mastino breed. Hyper alert, with well articulated muscles. I just think they’re wonderful looking, and they’ve kept their working instincts intact. They might not be everyone’s idea of adorable, but I just want to hug them.
- Tibetan Mastiffs. These gorgeous, big, thick coated dogs are considered by some to be the progenitor of all the modern mastiff breeds. Bred in Tibet to be Monastery guardians, they are fearless, strong and blessedly free of many of the genetic ailments plaguing some of the other large breeds. Unfortunately, their rarity has led to some ridiculous high prices, including one that recently sold for over $100,000.
- Tibetan Spaniels. The companion dog to the Tibetan Mastiff, the Tibbie is considered to be the progenitor of many of the small, long coated companion breeds we know today, including Shih Tzu, Maltese and perhaps even the Yorkie. Tibbies are the best kept secret of the companion breeds – merry, good natured, uncannily clean, smart and outgoing. They require minimal grooming, have snowshoe feet, and are the perfect, healthier alternative to the more commonly seen toys. My godmother bred them, and I think they’re the most bonny of the small breeds. I fully plan to own one or two in the next few years.
- Neapolitan Mastiff. Another wonderful mastino, but oh! The drooling!
- Argentine Dogo. A gorgeous dog, with a wonderful head, but I fully acknowledge this is more dog than I can handle.
- Fila Brasileiro. Like the Argentine Dogo, only more so. If I ever wanted a truly tough, intimidating dog for hunting or home protection, this would be my choice. So definately not the dog for novice owners.
- African Boerboel Mastiff. Another gorgeous Mastino that I’d love to own, but never will.
- Bullmastiff. I love the look of the Bullmastiff, but if I had to choose, I’d pick the more laid back Mastiff instead. That said, I think Bullmastiffs are one of the best of the so-called ‘giant’ breeds.
- Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog. I want one out of sheer perversity – how can you not love a purple splotched, hairless dog that squints in the sun and has satellite dish ears?
- Leonberger. Germany’s ‘lion dog’. Like (english) Mastiffs, Leos require a ton of early socialization. The long coat and high price tag pushes them down my ‘likely to own’ list, but I do think they’re wonderful dogs.
- Cane Corsos. I’ve owned a Cane Corso once, and will never own one again – not because they’re terrible dogs, but just because they are too much dog. They are possibly the smartest, most alert, and most protective dog I have ever owned, and no dog I’ve owned has learned commands more quickly than my Corso. If I lived alone, I’d want a Corso by my side to make me feel secure. As a person who has other dogs and frequent visitors of all ages, a Corso becomes a risky proposition.
- (English) Bulldog. A confession – I probably like English Bulldogs more than I like Frenchies. Personality wise, what’s not to love about Bulldogs? They’re mellow, sweet natured dogs who have never met a stranger. They’re loyal and loving, and perpetually happy. That said, I doubt I’ll ever own one again, as this is one of the most health issue plagued breeds I know of. I’m not sure I’m prepared to deal with the basket full of potential health issues that come along with Bulldog ownership.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!