All posts in Canine Breeds

Canine Breed Spotlight: Newfoundland

Canada’s own! The Newfoundland!

Dog breed group: Working Dog

Average life expectancy: 8-10 years


The Newfoundland originated right here in Newfoundland, Canada! This breed came about from breeding the working dogs already in Newfoundland with Portuguese Mastiffs brought over by Portuguese fishermen in the 1600s. There were two main breeds developed that worked with the fishermen, the lesser Newfoundland and the greater Newfoundland. The lesser Newfoundland (also known as the St. John’s dog) is now extinct, but was the basis for breeding today’s modern retrievers. The greater Newfoundland persisted and is the ancestor of the Newfie as we know it today. They are a hard working dog, known for carrying heavy loads, pulling tow lines from ships to land, and rescuing the drowning.



Canine Breed Spotlight: Havanese

The Havanese!

Dog breed group: Companion Dog

Average life expectancy: 12-15 years


The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba. The breed is descended from the now extinct Blanquito de la Habana (“little white dog of Havana”) The Blanquito de la Habana was cross bred with other Bichon type dogs to create the Havanese of today. Historically, the  Havanese were a popular breed for many aristocratic families in Cuba. European travelers brought these dogs back to Europe, where they became trendy and popular. Later, their popularity waned and the breed almost became extinct, even in Cuba. During the Cuban Revolution, some Havanese dogs came to the US with their owners, where the breed was saved by starting a breeding program with this handful of dogs.



Canine Breed Spotlight: Pug

A quick look at the Pug!

Dog breed group: Toy breed

Average life expectancy: 12-15 years


The Pug breed originated in China a long time ago (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). They were bred to be companion animals for the ruling families of China. They lived a life of luxury and were even guarded by soldiers. When China began trading with European countries, the Pug made it’s way to Europe. They were a popular dog in Europe. They rode in private carriages and were dressed up by their owners. They were also used by the military to track animals and people. The breed made it to North America in the 1800s. They started out as a very popular breed, but then the interest in them faded away. Thanks to a few dedicated breeders the Pug was saved and has recently regained its popularity.



Canine Breed Spotlight: Papillon

Here’s a quick look at the Papillon!

Dog breed group: Toy breed

Average life expectancy: 12-15 years


The Papillon derives its name from the characteristic butterfly look of the long fringed fur on the ears and the symmetrical pattern on their face. The French word for butterfly is papillon. This dog is also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. This is a very old breed of dog, it has been portrayed in portraits dating all the way back to the 16th century.



Canine Breed Spotlight: Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier!

Dog breed group: Non-sporting

Average life expectancy: 11-13 years


The Boston Terrier originated in the United States in the 1870s in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past this breed of dog was primarily bred as a pit fighting dog. The original Boston Terrier was a dog named “Judge”, he was Bulldog/English Terrier cross- a sturdy dog with a blocky head. “Judge” and his offspring were bred with the smaller French Bulldog until the Boston Terrier we know today was created; a small, compact dog with a short tail and erect ears.



These dogs have left their fighting days behind and are now known for their friendly and happy temperament. Each Boston Terrier is different, some are stubborn, some are very high spirited and excitable, other can be calm and gentle. These dogs love to play games! Fetch, dock diving, flyball and agility are all favorites. Because of their sweet and charming personalities Boston Terriers are also popular therapy dogs.

Is this breed right for you?


  • Boston Terriers have a short face, this makes them prone to snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, so they can be noisy sleepers.
  • They are highly active and need exercise and will do better when the owners are at home for the majority of the day.
  • They are slow to house train. This is due to their stubborn streak. Expect to put a lot of time and effort into crate training and housebreaking your Boston Terrier.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying kinds of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here is a look at some health concerns that are commonly seen in the Boston Terrier.

This breed is brachycephalic (short faced) and this can lead to some health problems. This is what makes them snort and snore. It can also cause episodes of reverse sneezing. The short face also makes them “bug-eyed” which can lead to eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers and glaucoma. Brachycephalic breeds also at a slightly higher anesthetic risk than dogs with long faces.

Boston Terriers can be prone to luxating patelllas (loose knee caps). Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place. If this occurs in your pet, surgical correction may be needed. If your Boston Terrier has problems with their rear legs it may cause them to lean forward and stand more onto the forelegs. This can cause a curvature of the back called roaching.