Australia issued a set of stamps on 19th February 2013 featuring popular small dog breeds. Around 12 million Australians, comprising 63 per cent of households own a pet and 38 per cent of these households have at least one dog.The Miniature Schnauzer originated as a farm dog in Germany in the 19th century. A cross between a standard Schnauzer and smaller breeds such as the Poodle and Affenpinscher, the breed comes in four colours: black, salt-and-pepper, black-and-silver, and white. Playful and spirited, yet friendly and intelligent, Miniature Schnauzers make excellent watchdogs.
The Miniature Dachshund is a hound dog, probably bred in Germany in the 18th century to hunt burrow-dwelling animals. Long-bodied, with big front paws designed for effi cient digging, dachshunds can be long, smooth or wire-haired and come in a range of colours. They are loyal and obstinate and sometimes stand-offi sh with strangers.
The Pug originated as a lap dog in the royal courts of ancient China. The breed was imported to Europe in the 16th century, where it became a favourite with the House of Orange, and soon became popular throughout Europe. Queen Victoria owned many Pugs. These dogs tend to be quiet and docile and are good family pets.
Descended from British rough coast-type terriers brought to Australia in the 19th century, the Australian Terrier was first recognised as a distinct breed in 1850. Coat colours are shades of blue or red. The breed standard describes the Australian Terrier as spirited and alert, “with the natural aggressiveness of a ratter and hedge hunter”.
Bred as a toy dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was popular among the nobility in 16th century England, where it was used as a “lap warmer” for ladies. It was said of King Charles II that “his Majesty was seldom seen without his little dogs” and the breed has since been identifi ed with this monarch. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, playful and socialise well with children and other dogs.