Spotted Carriage Dog
The spotted carriage dog is a medium-sized dog, generally standing around 56–61 cm (22–24 in) and weighing in at around 22–25 kg (48–55 lbs). They are quite thin in build with long, skinny legs, often making them appear smaller than they are at a distance. They live to be around 13–16 years of age.
They have a striking appearance when it comes to color; every dog within the breed is white with spots all across their bodies. The colors of the spots can be blue, liver, tri-color, dark to pale yellow-brown, with the most commonly seen color being solid black under the white coat. Their ears are often solid color from tip to patches over their head, with the rest of their bodies being covered in small, often coin-shaped spots. Puppies are born pure white (but the spots are often visible on their skin), and develop their spots as they age, with the first appearing at around three weeks of age. Spotted carriage dogs continue to develop spots throughout their lifetime, though at a slower rate than when they are younger. Some older dogs end up with almost patch-like markings from several spots developing in the same area as one another. Their tails, however, are usually solid white, though spots do occasionally form around the base, or at the tip.
Their coats are usually very, very short and fine, though there are some long-haired carriage dogs, though they are quite rare. Dogs that have long fur are generally kept in areas with cold weather, and the short-haired type are most often seen further south where the long fur would be a problem for the dog at times.
One fault to the breed is a known deafness within purebred dogs. Dogs that have white ears or blue eyes are often born deaf, either in one ear or both, which is often not noticed until training begins in early puppyhood. These dogs are not fit for work, but are able to be kept as pets, if someone is willing to put the work into dealing with the deafness of the dog. As a result, breeders of this dog try to avoid breeding white-eared or blue-eyed dogs together–or at all–and the fault is somewhat rare now, but still crops up from time to time.
They are found all over Aversia, kept by nobility and commoners alike. The more refined, purebred dogs are usually seen in the hands of nobles, though it is not uncommon to see carriage dogs sleeping at the doorsteps of commoners’ homes. They are most often seen in the south, due to the majority of the breed having very short coats, but some of the long-haired dogs are found in the north, or in areas bordering the colder regions of the world. As for rarity, they are considered to be common.
The spotted carriage dog’s main use is found in its name. They were originally bred to run alongside carriages to protect the occupants and horses from thieves and highwaymen. They are generally trained to run at attackers’ horses and bite at their legs to frighten them into either throwing their rider or fleeing with their rider still seated. They will charge thieves on foot as well, and bark at them to warn the occupants of an approach.
They are also used as general guard dogs for houses or stores. They have a loud bark that makes a good alarm, and can often startle would-be thieves into thinking twice about trying to break in.
Another use, though less so, is hunting and vermin control. They are sometimes used as bird dogs or hunting small game such as deer and rabbits. They are also used as rat and mice dogs, often left to their own devices around a farm or home to kill and eat any rats or mice that might try to make a building their home.
And of course, they are also companion animals. They do require space to run and a lot of exercise, but they make good pets, bonding well with their owners. They are, however, wary with strangers, both people and other dogs, and pets will need to be socialized early to prevent any aggression issues as adults.
Spotted carriage dogs are wary by nature, and generally only bond entirely with one or two people. They are not outright aggressive with strange people; they usually only growl and move away from strangers they don’t know unless they have been trained to hold their ground against an approach. With strange dogs, however, they can become aggressive, though this can be prevented by exposing puppies to many different dogs when they’re still young.
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