The Border Collie, also known as the “not-Lassie collie”. That’s right, the collie that everyone knows about is not the one that everyone knows about. The Border Collie is however, THE herding dog. These dogs are used to herd just about everything. Including sheep, pigs, chickens, and any other kind of bird you can imagine. Oh were you going to say ostrich? Yeah, they herd those, too. I wish I had video proof, but I can’t find any on such short notice.
The Border Collie is also one of the few dogs that are workers and show dogs. In fact, the working dogs are also allowed to show with their scars and damage from herding work. Interestingly though, as the Working Collie Club doesn’t seem to get along well with the AKC. Because of this, in the past, they have removed registration from dogs that have won in AKC shows. They also dominate in agility trials, and have even forced show runners to created ABC trials (Anything But Collies).
In this episode, we talk about Caitlyn’s resolution to take care of chickens if we ever got them. We finally follow up on the Chihuahua episode where Caitlyn went to the dentist. This time Kyle went. What were the results? Find out in this episode of Why Are You A Dog?!
Song this week is “Border Collie Song” by Rich Hall
The Finnish Lapphund is the cutest dog breed. Somehow the Scandinavians figured out how to make all the best stuff. Best mythology, best cities, and even the best dogs. I know, that’s subjective, but I’ll stand by it. The Finnish Lapphund (or Lappies as Caitlyn referred to them) goes back quite a ways and has origin with the indigenous people of the European north. The Sami used the Finnish Lapphund for herding an unusual animal. That is until the snowmobile.
Did we mention these things are adorable? The fact they aren’t known outside of Finland is a total shame. Although they lack popularity, they have been part of the AKC for a few years now, and have a pretty thriving show community. Since these dogs are on the smaller end, they also seem to live forever. And as we all know, since they’re a bit smaller, they like to bark. It’s probably good that they bark though, since they kinda look like wolves. . . That’s important because wolves don’t bark, in case you didn’t know. . .
Caitlyn and Kyle talk about World War II, and Kyle royally screws up some facts. So much so, that if he had been accurate, the entire war may have been different. Caitlyn was there to quickly correct him though, so sorry any Russians, Poles or Germans out there.
The Airedale terrier is, surprisingly, a very interesting dog. These dogs seem to be everywhere you look. Their origin is essentially being several different dogs bread together until someone said, “Oh yeah, that’s neat.” As far as Terriers, besides the Giant Schnauzer, they’re usually known for being much smaller dogs. But these boys are pretty big, and some folks in their past even sought to make them bigger.
Like many other terriers, they start out chasing small rodents in holes, until they got mixed up with a bunch of other dogs and formed what we see now. Then somehow they became war dogs. Yeah, these friendly looking guys fought in wars. But to just limit them to that would be a disservice, as far as other dog jobs, they seemed to have done them all. Some folks would even say they did them better than any dog.
In this episode, Kyle and Caitlyn talk about how a dog breed is solidified. We also ponder whether anyone went to Harvard for a Creative Writing degree. Caitlyn also takes a minute to warm up to the jokes in this episode.
What is the relationship with water and the Spanish Water Dog? Nothing. The history of the Spanish Water Dog, has very little to do with water. Why did it get stuck with this name? Well why is the greyhound called “grey”hound? My guess is that someone must have seen one jump out of a body of water. Then the name forever stuck. These dogs actually have a pretty storied history, and have done many different jobs. Back when a dog was meant for more than for more than petting, these guys did everything. You’d probably see them herding, hunting, and some performing some guardian dog duties.
It’s interesting to consider them being much for water, as they have a lot of fur. As we learned about guardian dogs, they take after the looks of their charge. Typically they might herd sheep, so if their hair gets a little out of control you’re not meant to even cut it, but sheer it. You’re actually suggested to not really alter their look too much, and make them look fuzzy and unbrushed as their natural look.
Caitlyn and Kyle prove they are forever going to just be bad at math. This time, they try to do pretty simple multiplication (I mean, this was on the table you learn as a kid!), and still screw it up. Luckily, they caught themselves, and the show moves on. We talk about other things, but this was not about dogs, so it’s a highlight!
This week on “Why Are You A Dog?” the show gets real. During her research, Caitlyn found some fascinating history about the Catahoula Leopard Hound/Dog/Cur or whatever you call it. These dogs were essentially put into a contest against one another to see who was the fittest. The rules for the contest are ludicrously unfair, and it sounds like either an action movie from the 80s or a Young Adult novel.
We also learn more about how the AKC seems to have something against American dogs. Not only is the Plott hound (another American dog) a recent addition, but the Catahoula still is not officially a recognized breed. What do these pups gotta do to get a shot at recognition? I guess they could always harass some AKC officials into doing what they want.
Kyle tells Caitlyn about his foolproof system to identify whether hats have a purpose. Caitlyn immediately tries to break the system.
Oh my god, who was hiding the Vallhund from us all? Properly referred to as “Swedish” Vallhund, these puppers look like a corgi husky hybrid dog. So essentially, have the body of corgi, but the coloring of a husky or a wolf. Unsurprisingly, the Vallhund and Corgi have some sort of shared history, but what it might be, is unclear. So yeah, it’s one of those dogs that no one really knows much about!
Although not much is known about the Vallhund, they have been around for at least a thousand years. They were more than likely used by vikings for all farming purposes, and may or may not have a hand in the creation of the corgi. I doubt they rode around pillaging villages, but it does make for an amusing image. These dogs are rather new to the AKC and still incredibly rare in the United States and only has 10 states with registered breeders.
Caitlyn tries her damnedest to struggle through some Swedish words, and Kyle shares his personal experiences with the language. The episode also eventually breaks down into who does the most work, and thus who deserves the most titles.
German Shepherds, I don’t think we have to ask why you’re a dog. They’re almost ubiquitous with the whole idea of dogs. Seriously, you see a dog doing an actual honest to goodness job, making a living, it’s more than likely going to be a German Shepherd. Also, some of the more famous dog actors are German Shepherds. They also enlist in the military, work on the police force, and even take long stints as personal tour guides. They’re not really good at guiding though, go check out the Labrador episode for that though.
Unlike some other dogs, this one actually is from the country of origin that is given in it’s namesake. I’m looking at you so-called “Australian Shepherd”. Although in the scheme of history, they haven’t been around too long, they’ve certainly made an impact on it. Although burdened with the world wars, they somehow remained popular, and are one of the most popular dogs around (at least in the United States.)
In this episode, the dog talkin’ duo get a little bit too Monday, so be prepared for extra comedy, and a lot of word issues. Kyle tries to retell a “humorous” story, and naturally forgets important things in the telling of. All in all, this was an episode. This episode was also requested (kinda. . . ) by Jane DS of twitch Justin.tv and Twitchin’ Kitchen fame, so thanks, Jane!
This week on “Why Are You A Dog?” We talk about the dog that’s a mop, the Dog Marley himself: the Komondor. These are the dogs with dreadlocks, that you may or may not have seen before. They are also among the least popular dogs in all the United States, but somehow getting slightly more popular. If you ever see one in person you’d see these pups are huge, and did I mention they have crazy braided hair?
This week, Kyle creates a challenge for Caitlyn, to see whether or not Cairn Terriers (Cairns) and West Highland Terriers (Westies) look different. Turns out, when you take away the “one is only white, and other is not” they look prettttttty similar. Play it for yourself down below:
Happy Thanksgiving! This week on the podcast Caitlyn and Kyle take you on a journey in their longest episode yet. A journey that includes an arguments about the opening about the show, a misnamed dog, a lot of topography, and some unnecessary information about crofts. Be sure to listen to the very end of the episode for some bonus content that didn’t quite make it into the greater context of the show!
This week’s outro song is The Aussie’s Cowboy Song (Australian Shepherd) by Nancy Simmonds on her album Musical Tails, 2nd Litter.