Book 1

 Welcome to "The Dog Beautiful"

   The Dog Beautiful Book 1 celebrates and explores the past, present and future of our beautiful companions.

Beauty without vanity

Strength without insolence

Courage without ferocity

And all the virtues of man without his vices

(Lord Byron, 1788-1824)

The Northern, Nordic and Spitz breeds are indeed some of the most beautiful dogs in the world. One look into their eyes touches the depths of the soul and energizes the vibrant and spirited life-force that is as enduring as nature itself. The Northern Breeds are the primitive ancestors that adapted their behavior patterns to be able to cohabitate with people. This in turn unlocked the hidden genetics associated with domestication and resulted in the development and expression of new traits and variations such as size, coat, body type, temperament and personality. Primitive dogs that dwelled on the fringes of human society into trusting partners that specialized in helping mankind survive by herding, hunting, pulling sleds, guarding and providing companionship. They followed people as they travelled across Europe, Asia, Siberia and North American to become the foundation stock that evolved into the many treasured breeds of dogs that are loved and cherished today.

Look inside the book


 "The Dog Beautiful" - Chapter Detail

Book Chapters

Chapter Highlights and Insights

Chapter One - Introduces the Northern Breeds and explains the origin and meaning of "Spitz."

Excerpt: The term “Spitz” has existed for several centuries and is still used today as a label for many of the Nordic breeds. Where does the word “Spitz” come from? The word “Spits” (ending with an “s”) originated from the Old Dutch language and literally translates as “pointed peaks,” referring explicitly to the image of snowcapped mountain peaks. Large mountain ranges span the northern European and sub-Arctic regions. The semblance of the triangular and fuzzy appearance of the snow-swept peaks was associated with the pointed ears and wedge shaped muzzle of the Nordic breeds and hence the label became synonymous with the dogs that were acclimated to living in these regions. In old agrarian times (and even in modern day,) naming conventions were (and still are) based on the association with a particular resemblance, form or working function. (The image on the book cover depicts the "Spitz" resemblance to the mountain peaks.)

Chapter Two - Characterizes the two Northern breed branches into two groups. The "Arctic Branch" (descended from the larger Arctic Wolf) that include the Samoyed, Malamute, Husky, Greenland Dog and other sled pulling working breeds. The "Nordic Branch" (descended from the smaller Eurasian wolf) and also includes the Spitz breeds. This chapter explores the character, nature and behavior of the two Northern Breed branches.

Chapter Three - This chapter dives deeply into the factors that influence training a Northern Breed dog. Topics include learning capacity, energy level, age, potty training and more.

Chapter Four - All about the double coat of the Northern Breeds. Includes coat and skin colors, growth cycles, bathing, grooming, trimming and more. Includes shedding and cleanup too.

Chapter Five - This chapter covers an in depth anaysis of general health. Topics include inheritance factors that affect health and constitution, natural selection, mutatations and risk factors. Interesting discussions also focus on tear stains, allergies, pigmentation, diet and energy levels.

Chapter Six - The evolution of genetics as it pertains to breed health is the focus of this chapter. Recognized health conditions (such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, metabolic disorders, allergies, etc.) and the formation of health databases are brought to the forefront. Genetic testing, traditional medicine and holistic practices are presented and there is a discussion about the current state and value of of the testing resources available today.

Chapter Seven - A deep dive in the evolution of the dog starting with the origins of the species, how domestication changed and updated their physical features, and separated from the wild roaming packs to be with mankind. The foundation of the Northern Breeds, the establishment of their base traits and how they branched off from there into a Polar/Arctic branch and a Nordic/Spitz branch. Later, people migrated and settled into different regions which set up the base for specialization into breed types.

Chapter Eight - The concept of Dog Breeds is established. The practice of recording animal husbandry spawned the creation of Kennel Clubs and breed standards in England and Europe.

Excerpt: In the decades leading up to the Victorian era, circa 1750 – 1830, recording animal husbandry became a common practice for prized livestock, horses and eventually dogs. This practice led to the establishment of controlled breeding practices, and the outcome of this resulted in a significant increase in the degree of similarity between individuals and the reproducibility of certain traits such as size, performance, function and behavior. This is the point in time when the concept of distinct “breeds” originated. The benefit of establishing a pure breed meant that each puppy would both represent as well as carry forward the desired traits and behaviors of the breed.

The concept of "pure" breeds was driven to greater lengths in America with the inception of the American Kennel Club (AKC) for the members of elite society. Later, the United Kennel Club was established to serve the "working" class of common folks and their working/utility dogs. The Polar/Arctic breeds such as the Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and Norwegian Elkhound were readily accepted into the AKC the working breeds group as they fit the definition of working service and purpose. But the Nordic/Spitz dogs were shunned in America, and eventually, this forced the Pomeranian and Keeshond to set up standards which altered their American breed type in order to become accepted. Read the eye-opening backstory about how and why the Spitz breeds were forced into extinction in America, leaving the white American Eskimo as the sole survivor for decades.

Chapter Nine - This chapter contains the initial genetic mapping and genome analysis information for the wolf and 160+ breeds of dogs performed by the National Institute of Health. This study shows that the original dog breeds were the Polar/Arctic type dogs. A colorful scientific diagram of the genetic mapping is presented and an outline of the how migrations and cross-breeding influenced the creation of new breed types, from Toy dogs to Schnauzers, Terriers to Hunters, Scenthounds to Setters, Retrievers to Pointers, and Herding dogs to Mastiffs

Excerpt: How does the genomic evidence line up with the hypothesis that the Northern Breeds gave rise to the herding, hunting and protection breeds? Genetic analysis confirms that the Northern breeds were the earliest to branch off as they evolved from the original common ancestor. Genetics also show that today’s modern breeds are a product of selective breeding followed by refinement of the genome. In many cases, there has been a fair amount of genetic drift from the original ancestors that were at the branching point for many of the breed types. However, the hypothesis appears to hold true that the Northern Breed genetics are the ancestors to almost all breeds that exist today. There are only two exceptions, the Xigou and Basenji, who have a private history and path of their own.

Chapter Ten - This chapter further explores today's most prominent kennel clubs (the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, the Kennel Club of England, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale) and the formation of breed clubs, which are the lifeline for each breed. Sounds breeding principles come into play as these determine the future steps for each breed.

Chapter Eleven - The final chapter is lovingly dedicated to the beautiful Northern Breeds! The theme throughout history has been "the struggle for survival" and every breed has faced the threat of extinction. A brief history, pictures kennel club acceptance and the genetic ancestry mapping are provided for each breed. Breeds include: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo, Chow Chow, Eurasier, Finnish Lapphund, Finnish Spitz, German Spitz, Greenland Dog, Icelandic Sheepdog, Japanese Spitz, Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian, Samoyed, SharPei, Shiba Inu, Siberian Husky, Swedish Lapphund, Swedish Vallhund, and the Volpino.

 Thank You for Visiting "The Dog Beautiful"

  Please check back often for articles and posts related to topics in The Dog Beautiful Book 1. We hope that you have enjoyed your visit today!

Image Gallery

Services & Shopping

The goal  is to provide insight and knowledge about today's modern dogs.  Providing balanced perspectives flavored with common sense observations that  are brought forward in a holistic and non-judgmental manner.  The intention is to inspire those who love their pets and enable them to create and enjoy relationships that are fuller, vibrant and more enriching.   There is always more to learn from our dogs and from each other. 

Contact Us

The author, Theresa Wright, can be contacted via  Email.  You're welcome to follow our facebook page and joing our facebook group.

Address: Troy MO, USA
Join the Facebook Group: