Up until recently, the act of puppies pricking up their ears to human voices was simply cute. Now we know that it’s actually a form of communication between humans and their new pups. It’s not the sort of language that can be learned, however. Puppy-talk comes naturally to humans and puppies (but not adult dogs).
Yorkshire terriers look dainty and delicate but they’re working dogs who used to control vermin in the mines and textile mills of Yorkshire. So they’re pretty tough. Working yorkies are bigger and more robust than their modern companion lap dogs. They have their loveliness and cuteness to thank for that.
Cockapoo dogs are a cross between poodles and American cocker spaniels. They first made an appearance in the USA in the 1960s but have become increasingly popular as ‘designer dogs’ over the past few years. Cockapoos are bred specifically for temperament; that is, playfulness, loyalty, affection, gentleness and friendliness, and make wonderful family pets.
Border Collies were bred as sheepdogs along the borders of Scotland, England and Wales. With their black and white coats, they’re one of the most instantly recognizable of the dog breeds. They’re also considered one of the most intelligent, not to mention one of the most high-energy breeds.
Turkish Angora cats nearly went extinct in the 1900s but thanks to a concerted breeding effort at the Ankara Zoo, the breed was been saved, although it is still very rare. Now Turkey takes conserving its ‘national’ cat very seriously and won’t even consider mixing it with other breeds, no matter how similar in looks.
Somali cats are, in essence, longhaired Abyssinians and they share many characteristics. These include intelligence, playfulness, energy and desire to be the center of attention. Somalis first came about in 1963 but it wasn’t until 1979 that they were recognised by the US Cat Fanciers Association.
Ragdoll cats come from an entirely unpedigreed stock. They originated in North America in the 1960s and were bred from different longhaired and semi-longhaired cats. It was generations before Ragdolls were officially recognised as a breed by cat fanciers.
Cymric (kim-rick) cats are part of the Manx group of cats; they’re a tailless breed with the only difference between the two being the length of their coats. Cymric cats have long coats and Manx cats have short coats. They originated in the Isle of Man, where the relative isolation helped to quickly establish the taillessness as a breed trait.
There are two types of Burmese cats, American Burmese and European Burmese. They are largely similar in character, differing primarily with regard to appearance. European Burmese have more rounded heads, less compact bodies, and more coat colors than their American counterparts.