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The Joys of Double Coats

What do the Maltese, Shih Tzu, Poodle, and Malamute have in common? They all have double coats of fur — an outer layer of coarse hair and an inner layer of shorter, softer hair. Both layers shed, but the inner layer is more prone to tangles.

 

The Japanese Chin did not originate in Japan, but in China. The Chin and Pekingese were once considered to be the same breed.

 

The Miniature Schnauzer was bred to be a good rat catcher and all-around farm dog. To this day, clubs in Germany hold regular ratting trials to ensure the breed retains its working characteristics.

 

Evan MacLean of the University of Arizona believes when choosing breeds to be working dogs, their cognition abilities need to be considered in addition to temperament and how reactive they are to certain things in the environment. Physical characteristics and temperament are often considered, while cognition has received far less attention.

 

Chocolate Labs live shorter lives than other Labs, according to researchers from Sydney and London. Overall, Labs are one of the longest-living breeds.

 

Mr. Smarty Pants read the above information in a book, magazine, newspaper, or website; heard it on TV; or overheard it at a party. Got any facts? If you do, email them to Mr. Smarty Pants at MrPants@AustinChronicle.com for possible inclusion in this column.