Dog noses, in all their various shapes, sizes and forms fascinate me. When I stumbled across a picture of the Pachon Navarro it was if I had struck crazy dog nose gold!
A DOUBLE-NOSED dog! I had to know more, so here we go!
The website pointingdogblog writes, “All dogs have a slight crease between their nostrils, but it is usually no more than a very shallow line. Many Pachones have nostrils that are clearly divided by a much deeper furrow, making it look similar to the business end of a side-by-side shotgun.”
YES…look at these pictures! A great big old double nose. And these are REAL dogs that are still doing what they were bred to do. Intelligent, friendly, loyal, and bold in the field, these big, robust dogs are meant to have a job. They need something to do, everyday, not just a romp at the dog park once a week. The quintessential hunting dog, they are also great family pets and thrive being with the people they love. Since they were bred to hunt in packs, they usually play well with others.
Anatomically, it is actually a cleavage in the actual nose. Similar to a cleft palate, but obviously not life-threatening. Though my research did say that cleft palates are an issue within the breed. There are other breeds that mention this type of split nose within the standard, but it is a DQ (disqualification or major fault). Only the Pachon Navarro allows for it. By the way, there are Pachon Navarro that do not have this unique nose, just like there are variations within many breeds.
How did this develop? Was some centuries ago double-nosed dog an amazing hunter, capable of sniffing out birds that other dogs couldn’t? Did a savvy early Spanish hunter notice and use that dog as the cornerstone for a breeding program? Or was an especially virile stud dog used extensively who just happened to throw this nose and the breed developed from there? We will never know. It is another example of humankind’s propensity for manipulating genetics, I suppose.
The first examples of this type of dog appeared in the 12th century in Spain, as various strains of hunting dogs being developed all over Europe. By the 1800s the different types were divided by breed name and each breed had its own dedicated group of breeders and fanciers. By 1922 this breed was officially recognized and the breed standard set. They were bred until the 1950s when a virus, myxomatosis, almost wiped them out. Until the 1970s, when a handful of these dogs were discovered, it was thought the breed had disappeared. In 1978 the Central Canine Society of Madrid launched a Commission for Spanish Breeds to find and save the various Spanish dog breeds from slipping into extinction.
Want to know more? This guy actually went to Spain to track down this breed to learn more. Now THAT is dedication. Check out his uber-complete story of this unique breed.
Image by Craig Koshyk
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