National Dog Week: Featured Breeds!

September 23-29, 2018 is National Dog Week! To celebrate, we chose five Walk & Wag doggos and asked our team members to share a little something about them. These dogs represent five breeds–Briard, Havanese, Labradoodle, Newfoundland, and Vizsla–and in addition to what our team has to say, we’ve included a few highlights about each of these breeds.

National Dog Week has been celebrated during the last week of September since 1928 and was established to help create more responsible dog owners and provide more loving homes to lovable pets. We are so excited to tell you about some of our favorite clients and the breeds they represent!

We’d like to introduce you to Bart the Briard, Bella the Havanese, Franco the Labradoodle, Roy the Newfoundland dog, and Jasper the Vizsla.

Beautiful Bart the Briard

What the team has to say about Bart:

Lisa: My favorite things about Bart are his love of cookies and his long, flowing hair. Since there aren’t many Briards, people are fascinated by his looks and size (he’s more hair than anything!). I just love walking Bart around Chapel Hill and showing him off.

Linda: Beautiful, head-turning, large, shaggy, loving, smart, energetic, faithful, and protective–these are words that perfectly describe Bart’s breed. Briards are rare, with only about 300 born in the US each year. We are fortunate at Walk and Wag to count a Briard among our wonderful clients.

Darby: Bart is a very sweet dog, and I have cultivated a special relationship with him through the many hours that we have spent together. During my first interaction with him, he took an immediate liking to my beard, gnawing on it for about five minutes! I believe that Bart views people as his equal; as long as the respect is mutual, everyone is happy.

Briards are high-energy herding dogs. They are independent, intelligent, loving, and playful. While incredibly people- and kid-friendly, these lovable giants are naturally wary of strangers and very protective of their pack.

Fun facts: The official breed of the French Army, Briards are native to France and were not brought to the United States until after WWI. During the war, they worked as medic dogs, sentries, messengers, and ammunition carriers and were often tasked with finding wounded soldiers.

Bouncy Bella the Havanese

What the team has to say about Bella:

Annette: I love Bella’s spunkiness. I can’t help but be happy when she’s around. We lost our Havanese, Sparky, suddenly and walking Bella has been like grief therapy for me. She’s stayed at my house and is wonderful with my family. One of my favorite memories is of Bella sitting on my son’s lap while he did homework. She really enjoys her walks (often walking five miles and still wanting more), and she loves to snuggle.

Robert: Bella is a dog who behaves more like a cat! When she’s stayed at my house, she slept so quietly on the bed, it was hard to tell she was even there. Bella is loving and great with people, but also happy to be alone for extended periods. It brings me such joy to watch her track the fish in her owner’s pond, watching them and chasing them around for hours on end.

Havanese are a small breed with energy that rivals most big dogs! They’re great with people, fellow canines, and even other pets. A Havanese lives to please and loves attention. You’ll fall in love with their big, expressive eyes and their hilarious antics.

Fun Facts: The popularity of this spunky little breed knows no bounds. Both Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway had an adored Havanese, and they are the National Dog of Cuba, even named for the capital city of Havana.

Fabulous Franco the Labradoodle

What the team has to say about Franco:

Lisa: I’ve been walking Franco since 2013. This happy-go-lucky fellow is an amazing runner, sailing through the air like a majestic bird. He has a lot of energy and loves taking long walks. Franco’s cousin is Bella the Havanese. While she tries to get him into trouble sometimes, they get along famously and are so adorable together.

Franco has the softest fur and gorgeous eyes and a personality to march his stunning looks! He’s super sweet, easy going, and just an all around great dog. One of his unusual traits is that he’s not especially interested in taking a cookie after his walk, but don’t worry, he’s well fed, enjoying meals from a Vietri Old St. Nick bowl that was custom-made just for him in Italy.

Labradoodles are playful and easy to train. Being very high energy, they need lots of exercise. As both an affectionate and protective breed, they make wonderful family pets. Their energy and intelligence make them excellent guide dogs and therapy dogs, as well as avid swimmers.

Fun Facts: Labradoodles, originally a Labrador Retriever and Poodle hybrid, are not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club, but they are quickly gaining popularity. Vice President Biden, Jennifer Aniston, and Tiger Woods all have Labradoodles. They were first named in the book Into the Water Barrier by Sir Donald Campbell in 1955.

Remarkable Roy the Newfoundland dog

What the team has to say about Roy:

Maggie: I love everything about Roy. He’s a big boy (he weighs more than I do!) with large paws. Roy has a fantastic personality, and his enthusiasm is contagious. He enjoys things that are so characteristically “dog-like” that it’s hilarious. Mud? He loves it. Sticks? Yes, please! To him, there’s nothing better than rolling around in the grass…unless it happens to be snow.

The first time I walked Roy, he was still a puppy, and it was almost 100 degrees outside–not ideal weather for a Newfoundland. He plopped down on the ground in frustration every few feet and rolled in the grass, trying to keep himself cool. Once I got him back inside, he sprawled out on the hardwood floor. I leaned down to pet him and he gave me a huge lick. For a dog who has so much energy, he is amazingly kind and gentle when showing his affection. He trusts the people around him without a second thought.

If you’re not covered in drool after walking Roy, you’re doing it wrong!

Newfoundland dogs are excellent companions. They are easygoing, smart, gentle, and patient–a winning combination for households with kids and other pets. Newfies are powerful, active, and intuitive, with a love of nature and outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

Fun Facts: Newfoundland dogs are unrivaled at water rescues. Rather than a doggy paddle, a Newfie will do a breaststroke; they have excellent lung capacity and partially webbed feet. It is even believed that a Newfoundland dog helped save Napoleon Bonaparte from drowning.

Joyful Jasper the Vizsla

What the team has to say about Jasper:

Robert: Jasper is a breathtakingly beautiful dog with the personality of a gentle giant. He loves people and other dogs, as well as chasing balls (though he’s not always good at retrieving them!).

When I first arrive for a walk, Jasper is often asleep, and he takes his time waking up. For Jasper, waking is a more gradual process; he’s never in a hurry. He’s just like a human emerging from a deep slumber, slowly focusing and realizing it’s time to wake up. He’s very tactile and will often lean into me as he goes through his wake up routine. But once we’re off on our walk, he is very high energy and loves chasing down different scents.

When God created dogs, he had Jasper in mind!

Vizslas are a sensitive, loving, and social breed. They are slim and muscular, yet lightweight, fast learners, playful, and protective. These traits, combined with an excellent work ethic, make Vizslas ideal therapy, guide, drug-sniffing, and search-and-rescue dogs.

Fun Facts: Vizslas have been popular throughout history. They are present in ancient artwork dating back to the 10th century, were used to deliver messages during WWI, and worked in search-and-rescue at Ground Zero after 9/11. This breed is so attached to their people, they are often referred to as “Velcro Vizslas.”

Special thanks to the Walk & Wag team for helping put together this post! Sources include the American Kennel Club, PetMD,, and Animal Planet.

Celebrate National Dog Week by appreciating the special dogs in your life!

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