Saturday, March 25, 2017

Arrogate overcomes rain, a bad start, and a slow break in Stunning $10 million Dubai World Cup Victory


Racing news and tips: Arrogate wins Dubai World Cup in stunning style

 Grey powers through the field after slow start to win at Meydan 
 Bob Baffert: ‘It’s u
nbelievable, I can’t believe he won’ in Dubai
Saturday 25 March 2017 

Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Greg Wood 

Mike Smith’s first thought after the Dubai World Cup here on Saturday was of Zenyatta, the exceptional horse he rode from a long last to first in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic. But Arrogate is even better than Zenyatta and proved it with an astonishing performance, shrugging off the loss of several lengths at the start to win going away without ever leaving second gear.
Some very good horses have won the Dubai World Cup over the past 21 years, and some very average ones too. The only way Arrogate’s performance is likely to be bettered in the next 21 years, however, is if Bob Baffert’s four-year-old returns for another attempt at the race next year.
Arrogate is used to the standard American practice of putting a handler in the stalls. Without one, he simply fell out of the gate and turned away from the stands with all 13 of his rivals in front of him. Smith waited until they were into the back stretch to unleash Arrogate’s immense stride and start to make some ground, but he was still nearly 10 lengths adrift of the pace halfway around the far turn.
The next few seconds removed any lingering doubt that Arrogate is one of the very best dirt runners for many years. He made ground around the bend with ease and then lengthened again, closing down and then catching Gun Runner, the leader, with a furlong still to cover. As he crossed the line two and a quarter lengths clear of Gun Runner, with Neolithic another five back in third, he became the first horse in history to win $17m in prize money, less than a year after finishing third on his debut at Los Alamitos.
Arrogate is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, whose Frankel retired unbeaten after 14 starts in 2012. He has not reached that pinnacle yet, but took a significant stride towards it here in the eighth race of his career and promises to be closer still by the time his career draws to a close.
 “That was very emotional for me,” Baffert said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought: ‘We’ve come all this way for this, how could he break so poorly?’ I heard the whole crowd, the heavy sigh, even the announcer said: ‘He is dead last,’ or whatever, and I’m thinking: ‘What is this? There is no chance he can win, this is not Hollywood, this is not a script where he comes running at the end.’
“Then on that turn for home, with that tremendous long stride he was gobbling up the ground. I was thinking, no way. I was watching this unfold before me thinking: ‘Where has this horse come from?’ He shows us something spectacular every time he runs.”
Smith is unsure why Arrogate was so slow to stride, but was growing in confidence that his partner was up to the task well before Baffert started to believe. “He’s used to having someone stick their head up in the doors,” Smith said, “but whatever happened, I just think it happened for a reason. It made him much more impressive. It might have been a boring race, it made it an unbelievable race.
 “Once I got away like that, I had to sit there and let him collect himself.
“Zenyatta came from way back, it took her a while to get going. Once we were on the backside, I moved a little and he jumped at them and I thought: ‘We’re still here.’ I called on him heading for home and he just took off, it was incredible. I won the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Zenyatta, people said that was the greatest race but I think this race has topped it.”
Baffert will work backwards from the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in November when planning the remainder of Arrogate’s campaign and he is unlikely to see a racecourse again for a couple of months at least while he is freshened up for the summer and autumn.
But the memory of this performance will not fade easily. Arrogate’s slow start and electrifying finish advertised his immense talent not just to his home audience in the United States, but around the world.
“He had to establish himself,” Baffert said. “We all knew he was this great horse but he hadn’t had a lot of racing. If anybody wasn’t super-impressed with that, they don’t like horse racing. I still can’t believe he won the race. How did that happen? How did he pull it off?”

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.
Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai World Cup: It's a wrap! 
By Leslie Wilson Jr., Racing & Special Features Writer
Dubai: He came, he saw, he conquered. Arrogate, the highest rated horse in the world overcame a shocking start to win the 22nd running of the $10 million Dubai World Cup (Group 1), sending a crowd of over 40,000 fans into a frenzy at the iconic Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.
After missing the break at the start of the 2,000 metre contest, which left him trailing his 13 rivals, the imposing grey son of Unbridled steadily worked his way back into the race under a super confident Mike Smith, before pulling away in the final furlong to win in glorious fashion.
Fellow American-trained Gun Runner, ridden by Frenchman Florent Geroux for trainer Steve Asmussen, best remembered for training Curlin to victory in the 2008 Dubai World Cup, finished 2 ¼ lengths behind the Arrogate while the Todd Pletcher-trained Neolithic, with John Velazquez in the irons, was third, a further five lengths further back.
South African-trained Mubtaahij, second in this race last year behind California Chrome, finished fourth for Christophe Soumillon.
Mike Smith, Arrogate’s 51-year-old rider and one of the leading jockeys in US thoroughbred racing since the early 1990s, was ecstatic and said: "When I missed the break I immediately thought of Zenyatta. I thought 'I've got so much confidence in this horse I'm going to ride him like Zenyatta' and it paid off.
"I missed the break completely because he's used to having a man in the gate with him, but things happen for a reason and thank the Lord we got the job done.”
Smith rode Zenyatta, who was trained by John Shirreffs, to 14 of his 16 victories between 2008 and 2010.

"This horse can do anything, he can win in the lead, he can come from dead last, he hasn't even taken a breath,” he added.
"I get a lot of the glory, but there's a big team who deserve a lot of credit."
Baffert admitted to being mortified after Arrogate was sluggish out of the stalls but said: "When he missed the break, I gave him no chance at all.
"I was so mad at myself thinking I shouldn't have brought him - that's the greatest horse I've ever seen run, it's unbelievable, I can't believe he won. That is a great horse.
"Mike did a great job, he didn't panic. When he turned for home I said 'If he wins he's the greatest since Secretariat'."
Arrogate has been unbeatable in the United States since finishing third in his debut. He has now has won four straight Grade 1 or Group 1 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Pegasus Cup earlier this year.
His victory on Saturday has driven his career earning past the $17 million mark making him the highest earning horse in American racing history.
Baffert, who trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, previously won the Dubai World Cup with Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve in 2001.
Arrogate races in the colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah, the first cousin and brother-in-law of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabi, who also owned the great Frankel.
He has amassed over $80 million in career prize money.
Abdullah has won more than 150 Group 1 races worldwide with more than 125 by homebreds such as Flintshire, Emollient, Seek Again, Empire Maker, Banks Hill, Dancing Brave, and Frankel. 

He also owns the outstanding Juddmote Farm breeding operation. In 2016, Arrogate gave Juddmonte its fifth career Breeders' Cup win when he outfinished California Chrome to win the $6 million Classic. After the 2016 season, Juddmonte Farms was named the Eclipse Award winner as outstanding owner.

Happy Birthday Byron Janis as you reach 89 years old on March 24


Byron Janis, world class pianist and legendary musician, turned 89 this week (March 24) and what do you think he did to celebrate, he released his newest classical album of his never before heard live performances.

Now Byron has long denied the many pains and problems of aging and he has personally no clue what retirement might mean.  How many of you spent the weeks before your 89th birthday in the studio editing and mastering an album of your greatest live performances?

Well the Wall Street Journal broke the news of the project in a story on the 22nd that included the following excerpts.

A Classical Maven Who Can Really Swing

March 22, 2017 4:57 p.m. ET
Byron Janis, who turns 89 this week, was one of what Gary Graffman, his colleague and contemporary, called the OYAPs—the great generation of “Outstanding Young American Pianists,” as they were customarily described by journalists, who crowded the concert halls of the world in the years immediately following World War II.

Mr. Janis’s musical interests have long ranged beyond the classics. Out Friday, “Byron Janis Live: On Tour” (Janis Eleven Enterprises), a collection of previously unissued live performances of pieces by Chopin, Haydn and Liszt that were recorded between 1979 and 1999, also includes solo-piano arrangements of several of Mr. Janis’ songs, thus reminding us that he is also a highly accomplished popular songwriter who, among other surprising things, has written the score for a musical version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” 

The biggest surprise, however, is the encore, a piano duet called “By and Cy—More Paganini Variations.” On this track, Mr. Janis and Cy Coleman, a classically trained Broadway composer who wrote the score for “Sweet Charity” but started out as a jazz pianist of note, join forces to improvise on Paganini’s A Minor Caprice, the familiar solo-violin piece on which Brahms and Rachmaninoff produced their own sets of variations.

So if this is how your life started how would you feel?

Born in Pittsburgh, the son of Jewish Russian and Polish immigrants, he became the protégé and first student of perhaps the greatest pianist in the world, some believe in all of history, the great Vladimir Horowitz.

Not a bad start in life for a kid I suspect.  But what was the price tag for such an interesting life? Well, we best give you an overview of the rest of his life before I can tell you the rest of the story.

Byron was one of the greatest concert pianists of the 20th century.

He never got to play his beloved game of baseball.

At age 18 he was the youngest recording artist signed by RCA Victor Records.

At age 20 he made his widely acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut.

He undertook international diplomatic missions for two American presidents.

In fact two presidents asked him to perform in the White House three times (Kennedy twice and Ford).

Unfortunately the Gary Powers U2 incident and Bay of Pigs disrupted the concerts.

Twice he did play for President Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Byron was the last American artist to play in Cuba before the Castro revolution.

He was also the first to play in Cuba at the request of the Castro administration.

His high energy performances in every major concert hall in the world dazzled the audiences.

At the same time he was hiding a serious case of psoriatic arthritis that was first diagnosed in both hands in the middle of his career.

Still his powerful concerts gave a whole new meaning to Chopin, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and all the greatest composers in classical history.

Byron is not just an American legend, nor a world class pianist, he is the embodiment of what happens when the spirit, heart, and soul have merged into the body of one of hardest working, creative, and energetic people walking the Earth.

His life was full of heartache and triumph but he never gave up and to this day never quit. Even after he could no longer meet his concert standards he shifted his interest to composing, teaching, communicating with young talent, and inspiring untold thousands of classical performers throughout the world.  

You owe it to yourself to check out Byron and order his latest album.  You can find him at the web site below. His story is far more extensive, diverse, and compelling than I have hinted but this is really just a birthday card not an autobiography.

Did I mention he married Maria Cooper, the daughter of film icon Gary Cooper?


Happy Birthday Byron and may you never cease to amaze us.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

CPT Spirits in the Sky - Chuck Berry at age 90 joins the celestial band in the Heavens


A Pioneer of the "Bad Boy"
Rock 'n Roll Image
Chuck Berry Dies!

Chuck Berry, Rock & Roll Innovator, Dead at 90

 Rolling Stone 37 minutes ago 

Chuck Berry, whose rollicking songs, springy guitar riffs and onstage duck walk defined rock & roll during its early years and for decades to come, has died. The St. Charles County Police Department confirmed the news on Facebook. Berry was 90 years old.
"St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18)," the Facebook post reads. "Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m." It went on to confirm that the man was Berry and added that his family was requesting privacy at this time.
Starting with his first hit, 1955's "Maybellene," Berry penned a collection of songs that, in both groove and teen-life mindset, became essential parts of the rock canon: "Roll Over, Beethoven," "Rock & Roll Music," and especially "Johnny B. Goode" were witty, zesty odes to the then-new art form—songs so key to the music that they had to be mastered by every fledgling guitarist or band who followed Berry.
As teenagers, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger first bonded over their love of Berry's music, and over the last five decades Berry's songs have been covered by an astounding array of artists: from the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, the Doors and the Grateful Dead to James Taylor, Peter Tosh, Judas Priest, Dwight Yoakam, Phish, and the Sex Pistols. As Richards said when inducting Berry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, "I've stolen every lick he ever played."
By fusing blues and country, Berry also invented a signature guitar style — like "ringing a bell," as he put it in "Johnny G. Goode" — that was imitated by bands from the Stones and the Beach Boys to punk rockers. His lyrics — largely about sex, cars, music and trouble — introduced an entirely new vocabulary into popular music in the Fifties. In his songs, Berry captured America's newfound post-war prosperity — a world, as he sang in "Back in the U.S.A.," where "hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day." ''I made records for people who would buy them," Berry once said. "No color, no ethnic, no political — I don't want that, 
never did.''

Johnny B Goode
Yet Berry, in his role as rock and roll pioneer, also dealt with racism and bigotry, particularly when he was accused in 1961 of violating the Mann Act (transporting a woman or girl across state lines for purposes of prostitution). Berry claimed he had met Janice Norine Escalanti, a 14-year-old Native American, during a show in Texas and hired her to work at his St. Louis club, Club Bandstand. Imprisoned after a second trial (the first conviction was overturned due to the judge repeatedly using the word "nigra"), Berry, who pleaded not guilty, wound up serving nearly two years in prison and emerged a noticeably changed, bitter man. In recent years, he had mellowed somewhat, thanks in part to receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 1986 and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Born in St. Louis on October 18th, 1926, Charles Edward Anderson Berry learned to play blues guitar as a teenager and first performed at his high school talent show. Music was his first love but not necessarily his first career choice. The son of a carpenter, Berry worked on a General Motors assembly line and studied to be a hairdresser. With pianist Johnnie Johnson (a regular part of his band for years to come), Berry formed a band in 1952. After meeting blues legend Muddy Waters, Berry was introduced to Chess Records founder Leonard Chess in 1955. Berry brought along a song based on the country tune "Ida Red." With a new title and lyrics — and an immediately grabby, grinding opening guitar lick — the song was transformed into "Maybellene." On a return trip, Berry brought his recording of the song and was immediately signed to the label. "[Chess] couldn’t believe that a country tune (he called it a ‘hillbilly song’) could be written and sung by a black guy," Berry later wrote in his 1987 memoir Chuck Berry: The Autobiography.
"Maybellene" hit Number Five in 1955 and established Berry's career and sound. By the end of the 1950s, he had logged seven more top 40 hits: "Roll Over Beethoven" (Number 29), "School Day" (Number Three), "Rock & Roll Music" (Number Eight), "Sweet Little Sixteen" (Number Two), "Johnny B. Goode" (Number Eight), "Carol" (Number 28) and "Back in the U.S.A." (Number 37). Although he was already in his early thirties by the time he scored those hits, Berry was unabashed about why he wrote for a younger audience. "Whatever would sell was what I thought I should concentrate on," he wrote in his memoir, "so from 'Maybellene' on, I mainly improvised my lyrics toward the young adult and some even for the teeny boppers, as they called the tots then."
Each song was defined by the Berry trademarks: that blend of propulsive beat, rueful charm, and ringing guitar. "The beautiful thing about Chuck Berry's playing was it had such an effortless swing," Keith Richards wrote in his memoir, Life. "None of this sweating and grinding away or grimacing, just pure, effortless swing like a lion." During a concert in 1956, Berry was so self-conscious about only having brought one suit that he invented a new stage move "to hide the wrinkles," as he told RS in 1969. That move, the duck walk, also became part of the rock & roll lexicon.
Intentionally or not, Berry also set the template for the rock and roll bad boy beyond his Mann Act conviction. Early in his life, Berry spent three years in reform school for an armed robbery attempt. In 1979, he was indicted for tax evasion and filing false income tax returns and spent three months in jail. (At his sentencing, he burst into tears.) In 1990, he was sued by several women who claimed Berry had videotaped them in the ladies' room in his restaurant in St. Louis. (Berry reached an out-of-court settlement.)
When he was released from a Missouri prison in October 1963 after his Mann Act conviction, Berry was embittered, but he also saw his footprint all over a new generation of bands. The Beach Boys had released their first single, the Berry-influenced "Surfin' Safari," while a new band from England, the Rolling Stones, released Berry's "Come On" as their first single in 1963. At first, Berry picked up where he left off, writing fine new songs like "You Never Can Tell" and "No Particular Place to Go" that held onto his devil-may-care attitude.
In 1966, Berry left Chess, his longtime home, for another label, Mercury, but the result was a series of sub-par albums and weak re-recordings of his hits. (One notable exception: a jam with the Steve Miller Band captured on the 1967 album, Live at the Fillmore Auditorium). In 1969, he returned to Chess — and returned to form — on harder-edged songs like "Tulane," a drug-dealer romp that showed his newfound relevance. In 1972, he scored his first and only Number One pop hit with the novelty song, "My Ding-a-Ling." His last album of original songs, Rock It, was released in 1979.
Berry was a notoriously tough and irascible character offstage. On tour, he long traveled alone, using backup bands hired by the promoters. He demanded payment in advance, a specific kind of amplifier, and a limousine (with no driver) for his shows. In 1986, Richards assembled an all-star backup band (including Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and sax player Bobby Keys) to play behind Berry in the documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll. Even then, Berry intimidated Richards onstage and off and only showed up on the first day of filming after he demanded an extra cash payment of $25,000. Despite those difficulties, the 1987 movie, directed by Taylor Hackford, became one of rock's most acclaimed concert films.
Up until his death, Berry (who is survived by his wife Themetta "Toddy" Suggs, whom he married in 1948, and four children) continued to perform at clubs and casinos. Once a month, he played at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and bar in St. Louis. He lived in St. Louis but often spent time at Berry Park, a 155-acre property in nearby Wentzville, Missouri. (As he told Rolling Stone in 2010, he even still mowed the lawn there.) Asked by RS in 1969 about rock's role, Berry said, "Like any music, it brings you together, because if two people like the same music, they can be standing beside each other shaking and they wind up dancing, and that’s a matter of communication ... so I say it's a means of communication, more so than other music, to the kids."
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dog Breeds in Danger of Extinction - Seems Man's Best Friend Needs More Friends


UK and USA List Endangered Dog Breeds

Hounded out! They're classic British dog breeds facing extinction - thanks to the mania for trendy pooches. So can YOU help save them?  

  • Native-bred dogs have fallen out of fashion in favour of imports like Chihuahuas 
  • British dogs like the Skye terrier and Bloodhound  have become unfashionable
  • Last year the Kennel Club only registered 28 Skye terriers and 40 otterhounds
  • But breeders are fighting back with schemes like sperm imports and DNA banks 

Spare a thought for man’s spurned best friends. Proud British pedigrees such as the Skye terrier, bloodhound and Dandie Dinmont are facing extinction — rejected in favour of ‘It’ breeds beloved of celebrities.

A mere 28 Skye terriers were registered with the Kennel Club last year, along with 40 otterhounds, 53 bloodhounds, 49 Sussex spaniels and 84 King Charles spaniels.

Such numbers are insufficient to protect their minuscule gene pools from inbred doom. Breeders believe a birth rate of 300 puppies a year is needed to guarantee a large enough pool for a healthy population.

Ahead of the Crufts dog show, which starts on Thursday, supporters are fighting back with rescue schemes that include financial breeding incentives, frozen-sperm imports, DNA banks and even a visitor centre.

Blame fickle humans for the plight. Doughty natives have fallen from fashion in favour of imports such as Chihuahuas (more than 5,200 registered last year). With tiny bodies and pop-eyes, they are must-have ‘handbag dogs’ for the likes of hotel heiress Paris Hilton and singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

Snub-nosed French bulldogs and pugs are also popular, thanks to celebrity owners sharing cutesy snaps on social media. More than 10,000 pugs were registered last year.

Most vulnerable British dog breeds 

Number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2016:
1. Skye terrier: 28 puppies
2. Otterhound: 40 puppies
3. Sussex spaniel: 49 puppies
4. Bloodhound: 53 puppies
5. Irish red and white setter: 63 puppies
6. Glen of Imaal terrier: 76 puppies
7. Field spaniel: 80 puppies
8. Curly coated retriever: 83 puppies
9. King Charles spaniel: 84 puppies
10. Smooth collie: 89 puppies
11. Lancashire heeler: 90 puppies
12. Dandie Dinmont terrier: 91 puppies

And there is the cockapoo, a cocker spaniel/poodle cross. I confess: we own one. When we unleash ours in the park, it merges into a scampering blur of identikit pooches.

Gail Marshall, of the Skye Terrier Club, sighs when I admit cockapoo ownership. It must be galling. No breed has fallen farther from fashion than the Skye terrier.

‘Queen Victoria had a kennelful,’ says Marshall. ‘Mary, Queen of Scots had one inside her petticoats at her execution.’

The breed’s star rose higher thanks to the legend of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier who stood guard over his owner’s grave in an Edinburgh churchyard for 14 years.

But Bill Lambert, of the Kennel Club, says British terriers are now perilously unfashionable. ‘They often get bored and cause mischief if left alone,’ he explains. ‘That’s a problem in families where both parents work.’
The Skye Terrier Club has launched a breeder assistance scheme offering £800 for members to import a puppy suitable for breeding, or frozen sperm from a genetically approved overseas donor. But the initiative has not caused a stampede.

‘The cost of bringing in a puppy can mount into thousands,’ Marshall says.

The Skye’s gene pool also comes with problems such as hereditary kidney and liver ailments. To rid the breed of these, the club works to ensure that the records of potential pairs are screened, and their organs are scanned.

Perhaps the Skye should take tips from another fallen dog star, the Dandie Dinmont terrier. They look like a hairy dachshund, but in the 17th century they were highly prized for hunting rabbits, rats and badgers. Only 91 were registered last year. But now Dandies are to have a £65,000 visitor centre on the Haining Estate in Selkirk, Scotland — the home of the breed.

Protection of native breeds is not only for the dogs’ sakes. Lambert warns that fashion often means buying the wrong animal for your lifestyle.

‘Trendy breeds are being brought in illegally and sold without proper paperwork,’ he adds. ‘They may have developmental problems caused by unscrupulous puppy farmers.’

We love our cockapoo. But as a child of the South Downs, I’m determined to have a Sussex spaniel after 
Roxy has lived her natural span. I’ll be buying a British barker… if there are any left.


Now here is a test for you.  My dog is named Mr. Henry and is he a


or a

Fila Brasileiro

Here is Mr. Henry


20 of the World's Rarest Dog Breeds
American Kennel Club Report

1. Telomian
The Telomian is the only known Malaysian breed to live elsewhere, but originally it was bred by the Orang Asli indigenous people to catch vermin. Because the Orang Asli built homes on stilts to stay safe from dangerous animals, Telomians developed an unusual climbing ability.

2. Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro is believed to have origins in a number of breeds like the Mastiff and Bloodhound, which could explain its large bones, loose skin and smooth coat. The working breed is known for its tracking ability, but also for its sometimes aggressive temper.

3. Catalburun

Possibly because of severe inbreeding due to their rarity, the Catalburun is one of the only dogs in the world featuring a split nose and suspended ears. They were originally bred for hunting in Turkey.

4. New Guinea Singing Dog

The New Guinea Singing Dog gets its name from its unique vocalization, but the once-wild breed gets its reputation as an excellent companion from its intelligence and physical ability.

5. Carolina Dog
Also known as the American Dingo, the Carolina Dog actually started out as a wild and free roaming dog. It was discovered in the cypress swamps of the Southeastern United States around the 1970s, and is now bred in captivity.

6. Karelian Bear Dog
The Finnish Karelian Bear Dog is one of the top 10 most common breeds in its home country. Originally used for hunting and as a watchdog, it has quick reflexes and a fearless nature, and is still popular with big-game hunters.

7. Stabyhoun
The Stabyhoun comes from Friesland, a province in the Netherlands, and today there may be fewer than 4,000 in existence. Stabyhouns make excellent hunting and guard dogs, and they’re also great at catching vermin like moles and rats.

8. Mudi

This Hungarian herding dog is as active as it is versatile. It makes a talented hunter, rodent exterminator, herding dog and flock guardian, but as a pet the Mudi is happiest when given long walks or jogs and a large area in which to run free.

9. Lagotto Romagnolo

Hailing from the Romagna sub-region of Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo was named as a lake dog and traditionally used as a gun dog. Its most interesting occupation, though, is truffle hunting.

10. Azawakh

This West African sighthound makes a fiercely protective companion and guardian, and an extremely intelligent lure courser. The breed is elegantly built and features a short coat in a wide variety of colors and markings.

11. Thai Ridgeback
The Thai Ridgeback was previously unknown outside of its country of origin, but it is now gaining popularity elsewhere. What makes it most unique? A ridge of hair, growing in the opposite direction of its coat, running along its back. Only two other breeds have the same feature.

12. Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid has been around since before AD 750, and today it remains an uncommon but treasured pet. The “agile, smart and swift” breed is good at hunting and lure coursing as well. But its most notable quality is that it is sometimes hairless, with skin that appears in a variety of colors.

13. Catahoula Leopard Dog

The often multi-colored or spotted Catahoula Leopard Dog is believed to be the first dog bred in the United States. It was named after Catahoula Parish in Louisiana and was traditionally used to hunt wild boar.

14. Chinook

The name Chinook means “warm winter winds” in Inuit, and its double coat keeps it comfortable in the cold. The Chinook originated in New Hampshire as a drafting and sled-dog racing breed, combining the power of a freighting dog and the speed of lighter racing sled dogs.

15. Norwegian Lundehund

With six toes on each foot, prick ears that it can control at will, and the ability to tip its head backward to touch the backbone, the Norwegian Lundehund is unlike any other breed. Its unique build helped it excel at Puffin hunting, but it also makes an “easy-to-live-with” pet.

16. Otterhound

As its name implies, the massive Otterhound is very capable in the water. The scent hound has webbed feet and a rough, double coat, which also makes it a great hunter on land. Otterhounds excel as pets too, being inquisitive, boisterous, and amiable.

17. Finnish Spitz

This agile and hardworking breed resembles a fox in many ways. The Finnish Spitz features erect ears, a dense coat, and a bushy tail, appearing in a range of colors from pale honey to deep auburn. The breed is known for its intelligent expression and brisk movement.

18. Bedlington Terrier

Known for its curly and pale-colored wool coat, the Bedlington Terrier bears some similarity to a lamb. But this breed is much more athletic than it appears, traditionally used for racing and to catch vermin. Its graceful build aids in speed and endurance.

19. Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhunds are athletic dogs, excelling in obedience, agility, tracking, herding, and flyball, in addition to traditionally being a farm dog used for herding. The “small, powerful, fearless” breed comes in a variety of colors and with a variety of tail lengths, from bobtail (no tail) to a full curl tail.

20. Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is huge in size and noble in bearing, known for a “solemn but kind expression” and an impressive double coat. Its aloof, watchful, and independent nature makes the Tibetan Mastiff an excellent guardian breed but a reluctant participant in organized activities like obedience.

American Dog Breeds Nearing Extinction

Spinoni Italiani
Bluetick Coonhound
Kerry Blue Terrier
Manchester Terrier
Redbone Coonhound
Australian Terrier
Tibetan Mastiff
English Toy Spaniel
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Irish Terrier
Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeen
Miniature Bull Terrier
Clumber Spaniel
Most Endangered American Breeds 
No. 1: English Foxhound

Like the American Foxhound, the English Foxhound — which finishes off the list as the rarest dog breed in the country — is frequently found on the Atlantic seaboard or in the southern United States, usually as a member of a pack owned by a foxhunting club. She, too, is an older, established breed and has been part of the American landscape since the 18th century or earlier. She's a spirited hound who can be an excellent companion to an active person, and although her stately bearing makes her look almost regal, know that this dog is generally always ready for fun — and barking. Her loud bay can carry surprisingly long distances, so she's typically best in a rural home.
No. 2: American Foxhound

He's not always thought of as a companion animal, but the typically friendly and energetic American Foxhound certainly has the capacity to be a great workout buddy. This is one of the older American breeds, but more often than not, he's a member of a pack owned by a foxhunting club.
No. 3: Norwegian Lundehund

A fairly recent addition to the AKC's list of recognized breeds, the Norwegian Lundehund is quite the contortionist. This spitz breed was bred to climb cliffs on Norwegian islands and retrieve live puffins, which explains a few of her unusual characteristics: six-toed feet and a surprising flexibility that allows her front legs to extend flat to the sides and her head to bend backward almost to her back.
No. 4: Cesky Terrier

With his long body and bearded face, the small Cesky Terrier has a distinct look. He's all terrier, too, with a tendency toward barking and digging, and he generally has loads of energy. He requires a securely fenced yard to keep him safe, and it's best to keep him away from small animals and birds, which he's likely to chase and try to kill. Still, this intelligent breed is known to love his family, even if he is somewhat aloof with strangers.
No. 5: Harrier

The Harrier may look like an oversized Beagle or small English Foxhound, but she is her own breed. She's typically sweet, affectionate and highly energetic. This scenthound was originally used to hunt hare and fox, and she tends to be a good competitor in agility and a natural tracker.
No. 6: Otterhound

The laid-back Otterhound is the sixth rarest dog breed, and given the fact that this breed nearly disappeared when hunting otters became illegal in Britain in the late 1970s, that's hardly a surprise. This big dog (up to 125 pounds!) tends to be hairy and messy, so he's not for the house proud, but he loves to "communicate" with his people with various muttering, grumbling and groaning sounds.
No. 7: Finnish Lapphund

Another medium-size spitz breed whose double coat sheds heavily, the Lappie is known to be noisy, agile and alert. These characteristics came in handy in her early days as a reindeer herder, but now she tends to be calm, friendly and submissive with people.
No. 8: Finnish Spitz

A medium-size spitz breed, the Finnish Spitz is quite the talker. He barks, first and foremost, but also uses many different sounds to get his point across. In fact, this is one breed that can actually claim the official title of "King of the Barkers" each year in Finland, where he is the national dog.
No. 9: Pyrenean Shepherd

The Pyr Shep is the smallest of the French herding breeds, but she generally has a big personality and energy to spare. She tends to be highly alert, extremely devoted to her family and quite intelligent, all of which means she requires a home with a family who's fully committed to giving her the training and exercise she needs.
No. 10: Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Named after a character in Sir Walter Scott's book Guy Mannering, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a true darling, with big, dark eyes; a poufy topknot; and plenty of self-confidence. He's typically playful and affectionate with his family but can be reserved around strangers.
No. 11: Glen of Imaal Terrier

Like many other terriers, the Glen of Imaal Terrier tends to think she's larger than her 32 to 40 pounds. She's often called "scrappy," doesn't generally care much for other dogs, and don't even get her started on cats. She is usually a bit quieter than other terriers, though, making her a breed to consider for apartment dwellers who love the terrier group.
No. 12: Norwegian Buhund

This Norwegian farm dog is generally cheerful, hard working and talkative. The Norwegian Buhund has made a name for himself as a hearing assistance dog and agility and obedience athlete, as well as a companion. He tends to be very active and barks and sheds, but his fans adore his foxlike face, confidence and lively disposition.
No. 13: Scottish Deerhound

Although Hickory, a Scottish Deerhound, won Westminster in 2011, this tall and noble breed is rare. Despite her regal air, she's a bit of a prankster, particularly during her highly active puppy years. She's typically equally at home in a condo or castle, and the two things she may love most in life are running and cuddling up with her people on the sofa.
No. 14: Canaan Dog

The independent Canaan Dog is a natural watchdog with historic roots. In fact, he may have originated in the biblical land of Canaan, where he guarded camps and flocks. The breed became feral after the Romans dispersed the population, and it wasn't until World War II that these dogs were redomesticated after displaying their intelligence and trainability. However, the Canaan is still a bit primitive, with a few quirks in general, so finding just the right home is of the utmost importance for this breed.
No. 15: Curly-Coated Retriever

The Curly-Coated Retriever, a charming and protective dog with an unusual, tightly curled coat. She originated in the 18th century, most likely by crossing the now extinct Old English Water Dog, Irish Water Spaniel and small Newfoundland, with some Poodle added later. She is a constant thinker and generally loves channeling her energy and brainpower into new sports like agility and flyball, or games like pulling a child on a skateboard. With proper motivation (like play, praise and treats), this talented and entertaining breed tends to learn quickly.