A warm welcome to the Glen of Imaal Terrier, the Shikoku and the Mudi!
The Canadian Kennel Club received Ministerial approval from Agriculture Canada on Friday, October 9th
on the 2016 Special Referendum which means there are 12 breeds that are now eligible for registrations as a recognized breed!
This blog is the first of a series introducing the newly recognized CKC breeds. For a breed to be able to be officially added to the Canadian Kennel Club’s list of recognized dog breeds, which now has 187 breeds, there are a number of qualifications they have to meet. The breed must already be recognized by their native country’s registry, have a population here in Canada as well as a national breed club, and more.
But just because a breed is newly recognized does not mean it’s new. Many of our “new breeds” are ancient dog breeds from other parts of the world and have been living and competing in CKC dog sports in Canada for generations.
Joining the Terrier Group: The Glen of Imaal Terrier
Coming from a remote mountainous region in Ireland called Wicklow County, this rough and ready terrier was an all-purpose farm dog whose jobs included herding, killing vermin and even turning the meat on the family spit using a contraption called the “dog wheel.” One look at his mighty head, shoulders and large mouth full of powerful teeth will tell you the Glen is built perfectly for going into a den and pulling out whatever had scurried down, be it a fox or a badger.
Although they are still capable of doing their original job, they are loved mainly today for being endearing pets, although some really enjoy letting their instincts shine by competing in events like Earthdog. Since they are very adaptable, the Glen is becoming seen more often in city condos, although they are also happy in a suburban house or on a farm, provided their moderate exercise needs are met.
Although I would consider the Glen one of the “decaffeinated Terriers”, he is a true Irishman full of personality and charm. In my experience with the breed, they seem to really listen to you when you talk to them. But, listening and obeying commands are two different things. Although they are quite trainable, Glens, like most terriers, don’t usually work for free so you better pay up in treats or using a favourite toy (preferably a hardy one that squeaks). Training a Glen should never be accomplished by trying to dominate them, but rather it helps to make them think it was their idea.
The Glen is a lot of dog on a little bit of leg - meaning he’s not tall, but he’s also not light. Standing a maximum of 14 inches at the shoulder and weighing around 35 lbs, I would say he is somewhere between small and medium (you’ll need two hands to lift one!).
The Glen’s coat is medium in length and harsh to the touch. Regular brushing and the occasional trip to the groomer will help maintain his outline. The coat can be blue, wheaten (ranging from a light wheaten to a golden red) or blue brindle.
In one sentence: The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a big dog with short legs, full of heart and wants to be involved in whatever his family is doing.
Joining the Hound Group: The Shikoku
The Shikoku is a dog of natural beauty. Named for the mountainous region in Japan where they come from, they are an agile and tough breed that was used as a hunting dog for wild boar. Their most notable character is sesame coloured coats.
Upon first glance of his pricked ears and curled or sickle tail, one might mistake the Shikoku for a larger, more wolf-like Shiba Inu – but this is not the case. The Shikoku is medium in size, well-balanced and muscular. He’s compact and he’s strong. He’s got a double coat featuring both a harsh, straight outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat with the fur on a Shikoku’s tail tending to be a bit longer than it is on the rest of his body.
Let’s go back to how people often mistake Shikokus for Shiba Inus. While they might look somewhat alike, owners will tell you quickly that they are quite different from Shibas. The Shikoku is larger standing 20.5 inches at the shoulder. The Shikoku is also not as stubborn nor as independent as the Shiba Inu tends to be. 1
They are generally easier show dogs because they love to be touched, but need to be taught not to run when in the ring.2
Speaking of running, The Shikoku is not a dog to let run free. These are hunting dogs and if they find a track and their recall is not strong, they will ignore you and continue on their hunting trail.3
The Shikoku’s temperament remains primitive in a few ways. Some lay on their back when their owner returns home, and they like lick your face and push their bodies close to their owners in a wolf-like manner. 4b
The Shikoku tends to be submissive towards their owner, generally friendly with people, but can exhibit not so friendly behaviour towards unfamiliar dogs, so early socialization is important. 5
They tend to be active and energetic outdoors and then calm and quiet indoors. 6
Grooming wise, the Shikoku is easy to maintain. They usually shed twice a year, in the spring and fall. At that time, their undercoat will clump and be very easy to brush out.7
A bath every few months and weekly brushing will keep this natural beauty looking their best.
In one sentence: The Shikoku is a natural dog that understands and respects social hierarchy and so requires a sensitive owner who uses positive reinforcement training techniques.
Joining the Herding Group: The Mudi
In my opinion, Hungary has some of the coolest dog breeds in the world, and the Mudi is no exception. Like all Hungarian breeds, the Mudi
’s history has been largely lost to wars and occupations.8
It’s known that Hungarians kept sheepdogs from the end of the ninth century, but records of breeding and pedigrees started only in the second half of the 19th century.9
Before then, Hungarian sheepdogs were classified as “large” and “small,” and its early history is intertwined with that of both the Pumi and the Puli.10
It’s believed that as a breed, the Mudi was probably in existence somewhere between the 15th to 18th century.11
Some experts say that the breed was the result of crosses between spitz-type dogs and other naturally occurring herding dogs in the area at the time, and this might explain their prick ears and head shape.12
The first thing I noticed about all the Mudik (that’s plural for Mudi) is their beautiful coat. The coat is smooth on the head and front limbs and is dense, wavy or slightly curly on the body. It’s a double coat and comes in solid fawn, black, blue-merle, ash (blue-grey), brown or white. I’ve also noticed that Mudik tend to all have a beautiful shine to their coat. Their coat also only requires weekly brushing (more often during the spring shed), infrequent bathing and does not require trimming.
This is a multi-functional breed that herds, guards, exterminates and also tracks.13
The Mudi likes to be kept busy, excels in a wide variety of dog sports and I’ve noticed them more and more often competing in obedience, agility as well as flyball. Males stand 16-18 inches and weigh 24-29 pounds. Females are slightly less at 15-17 inches and 18-24 pounds.
In one sentence: Mudik are beautiful and intelligent Hungarian herding dogs that make good pets in a home that will provide them both mental and physical activity on the daily.
1. The Canadian Shikoku Association, www.shikokucanada.org/about.htm.
2. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
3. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
4. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
5. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
6. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
7. Ibid., The Canadian Shikoku Association
8. Szeremy, Susi. “A Snippet of Mudi History.” National Purebred Dog Day®, 29 Jan. 2016, nationalpurebreddogday.com/a-snippet-of-mudi-history/.
9. Ibid., Szeremy
10. Ibid., Szeremy
11. Ibid., Szeremy
12. Ibid., Szeremy
13. Ibid., Szeremy