The Bernese Mountain Dog, or known as Bernies or Berners, is a big dog from the mountains of Bern. As a mountain dog, it’s probably not shocking at all that they are super furry and large. It’s almost like they developed the way they are due to the elements. As they are larger dogs, they were mostly used as guarding dogs for their owner’s farms. They were even strong enough to pull carts into towns. Granted, I don’t know how big these carts were, but still cool to say about a dog.
The dog is unfortunately a rather unhealthy one as it has, among even large dogs, one of the shortest life spans. They get all the popular diseases, and they often have mobility problems even at young ages. But even so, they are as playful and fun as just about any other dog.
Caitlyn and Kyle talk a lot about their recent experience visiting the 2018 AKC National Championships hosted in Orlando. They went around meeting several breeds, and watching some of the agility trials and dock diving. Both of which were amazing to watch, as any of the dogs could have a great run or an awful one. It was chaos incarnate. We even got to witness a Bernese Mountain Dog in action.
Song for this week is “Bernese Mountain Dog” by Nancy Simmonds
The Siberian Husky is THE snow dog. When you look at people doing sled racing, it is likely this dog that you think of. It’s also the dog that someone who doesn’t know much about dogs thinks looks like a wolf. These are actually a pretty healthy and old breed, and you would be surprised that it actually comes from Russia. That’s right, it’s not a misnomer like the Australian Shepherd or the Labrador (which is totally from Newfoundland, ha! Well, originally I mean.) The dog has a lot of breeding and popularity in the United States.
The dog can come in several different colors, and it made its claim to fame with the Nome Serum Run. The famous trek in Alaska where several dog teams carried serum for diphtheria. These dogs have been used to pull sleds in both the Arctic and the Antarctic and are regarded as the best sled dog around. It is actually a much smaller dog compared to sled dogs of the time it was introduced.
Kyle talks about how he started reading a sad book about dogs. Caitlyn is excited that we use a lot of latin, since no one can stop her mispronunciations.
The Afghan Hound: named after Afghanistan, or the blanket? It’s the former. Probably for both, actually. Kyle asked this question, but I don’t think we got a straight answer. Anyway, the Afghan hound is known for two things: 1) they have very long locks of hair all across their body 2) they are the dumbest dog. I suppose there are people who look at the world that way, so here’s the answer. Not completely true, we’ve unpacked a bit on how these grades are received in previous episodes.
The dog is very similar in build to most other sight hounds, almost like a long haired Greyhound. In fact, at some point in history it even had a variation of the name “greyhound”. The dog used to hunt various game across Asia, including the rare Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information about the dog until they came to England. Some verifiable facts about the Afghan, is the dog was the first dog ever cloned. That’s right, someone cloned a dog, and it was the Afghan hound.
Since the dog is objectively pretty, we talk about fashion and how Kyle doesn’t understand it. What is the point of a fashion runway shows, as it seems improbable for someone to buy or wear the outfits. Yes, a well tapped comedy mine, don’t worry, we don’t linger long.
The American Staffordshire Terrier, or the Amstaff, is a Pitbull type dog. What I mean by that, is that when you think Pitbull, it’s likely this dog. Or the South Florida artist Pitbull, who is not to be confused with the Amstaff dog breed. This episode encompasses all of these things, since they have a similar background. Which, if you listened to our English Bulldog episode, you’d know deals with the bloodsports of bull baiting, and not looking like bulls.
As we all probably know, the Pitbull is put in a pretty bad light, as it has a very powerful bite. The breed is not inherently dangerous, but as it’s bite has a higher chance of being fatal. This is likely the reason why the breed has so much legislation against it. Most violent dogs are either abused or trained to be that way. Also, the locking jaw thing is not true. The Pitbull is not part snake. Another mis-informative fact out there, they were not nanny dogs. There is no such thing as a nanny dog.
Caitlyn has some struggles with words this episode. Kyle calls out flat-earthers, and people who get dumb rules made after them. It’s an episode on Pitbulls, but we don’t get too political. Except when we made some pretty great jokes about political slogans.
The Chinook, not to be confused with the helicopter, or the Native American Tribe, is a dog developed for sledding. I say developed, because this dog has a very straight forward lineage. Arthur Walden, basically had a dog he considered so fantastic, that he wanted to make it into a dog breed. It’s easy to see that he really did like this dog, as he took it all over the world, from the north to the south pole. It had very dominant traits that it was able to develop into a full breed, which has only been recently accepted into the AKC and UKC.
One of the interesting things about the breed standard, is that there is no standard for their ears. The ears can be straight, floppy, or propellor shaped. One of the more bizarre features this breed has is a
medical condition where male dogs can be born without testes. This, as well as tight constraints on breeding during it’s early days has contributed to this dog being one of the rarest dogs on earth. It had actually been entered into Guinness book of world records three times for it’s scarcity.
We get a letter from Producer Mike explaining the difference in helicopter types, and that Kyle had said the wrong type previous episode. We say a few more things about helicopters. Even in this description you can see some mention of helicopters that aren’t explicitly stating it. May as well use helicopter as the SEO word for this episode, since we mention it more than Chinook.
The Japanese Akita, or as it’s known in the United States, the Akita, is a very storied dog. Like many of the dogs in East Asia, they have a very long history. The strangest part about that history has to be that Helen Keller is a huge reason they came state side. Yes, that Helen Keller’s favorite dog was the Akita. Because of this, the dog actually has some variations from American and Japanese. The Japanese version looks more like the Shiba Inu and the American one has more of a bear head.
The greatest claim to fame that the Akita has is the story of Hachiko. This story has been retold several times, but this is the true and real one. He’s the dog where his owner rode the train to work, and passed away before returning. This prompted Hachiko to return to the station for 9 years until his own death, awaiting his master to come back from work. There’s two movies made about this, and the story is referenced all over the place.
Kyle learns that Caitlyn doesn’t have a soul, in that she didn’t think the Futurama reference to Hachiko was very sad. The two also talk about how if they made a Hachiko movie, what it might be like instead of the real movie.
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.
We have another request! This week we talk about the Leonberger, the giant breed from Germany that was bred to look like another animal (probably). Which seems like a complicated solution to a simple problem. The guy who created this breed really loved large animals and was a great marketer, but didn’t live long enough to see the breed truly come into their own.
As with most dogs, especially German dogs, the two World Wars took a toll on their numbers. They’ve made a comeback recently and their numbers are increasing across Europe and America. Did you see our Facebook post recently? If you did, you know these guys are the Tom Cruise of the dog world and do their own stunts. They jump out of helicopters and save people who have no business swimming!
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.