Owner Profile: The Rare Breed Braggart

16 Jul

Description:   The Rare Breed Braggart (RBB) prides themselves on owning a breed that most people will never know what it is.  These same individuals however, tend to act personally insulted when people don’t know what kind of dog they have, or heaven forbid, ask what kind of mix it is.  These are people who aren’t satisfied having a German Shorthaired Pointer.  No, they must go out and get a Braque du Bourbonnaise.  That Bouvier des Flandres?  Not exotic enough in comparison to a Bouvier des Ardennes.  RBBs will brag endlessly about what their rare breed can do (did you know they can solve world peace and are working on a cure for cancer?), and heaven forbid someone ask why not just get “x breed”, they claim that no other breed can even compare to their dear imported dog.

Common Locations:  Breed specialty shows where they mingle with the three other dogs in the region.  Frequenting online dog forums to flaunt their dog’s superiority over AKC registered breeds. Flying to and fro between FCI shows in Europe, you won’t see them in pet stores with the rest of the riff-raff.

…unless you are a Löwchen

Breeds Owned:  The more uncommon, the better.  Bonus points if most people struggle to pronounce it or if there are silent letters in the breed name.

You know where the J isn't silent? Jackwagon.

You know where the J isn’t silent? Jackwagon.

Skill Level:  Moderate.  The RBB generally has done a fair amount of research on their chosen rare breed and has immersed themselves in breed clubs.

I’m here for the Barbet meeting.

Catch Phrases: 
He’s one of only 30 in the United States”, “I’m the founding member of the local X breed club”, “Um, hello, she’s a Pachón Navarro”, “He’s imported”

Praise (imported) cheesus

Anecdotal Evidence:

BusyBee: I live in a neighborhood with particularly strong Scandinavian roots, and as such, there are actually a good number of Swedish Vallhunds and Lapphunds, and even a few Lundehunds.   At least once per week I overhear someone asking one of these owners if their dog is a “Corgi mix”, which almost always results in a gasp of disbelief and then a rather snarky response implying that not knowing what a Vallhund was is tantamount to heresy.  There is one man in particular who owns three Vallhunds that I see regularly out and about in our neighborhood.  The first time I met them I casually mentioned that I had been seeing more and more Vallhunds in the area, and I’m pretty sure I could actually see the wind knocked out of his sails when he realized that he couldn’t “educate” me on how rare his dog was.

A smorgasbord of self-importance

Potnoodle: When I was but a wee lass, I worked in a grooming shop. Among the various doodles and poos that came in to the shop there was a little scruffy yellow puppy. We all exclaimed over the cuteness  of this little mixed breed and were immediately corrected by the woman at the other end of the leash. “Daisy is a Petit Basset Fauve de Bretagne” she huffed. “Oh, is that in any way related to the PBGV?” I asked. The woman was incredibly offended, despite the fact that they are similar breeds. I’m still upset that the dog didn’t have a more exotic name than “Daisy”.

Totally doesn’t look anything like a generic shelter mutt.

Fang: A recent acquaintance has adopted a dog from a shelter and they have dubbed it a Dutch Shepherd. They’ve become instant experts on this breed, despite their dog having no evidence personality or looks-wise of being a Dutchie besides being brindle. Because they’ve read that this is a difficult breed they are also increasingly more knowledgeable about everything then you are and they will elaborate the ways in which this is true. We won’t be friends for much longer.

More Dutch than their dog

**Do you know any RBBs?  Anyone want to cop to being one themselves?  Share below!**

114 Responses to “Owner Profile: The Rare Breed Braggart”

  1. beccagraham08 November 26, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    I loved the post but more so love the RBB’s replying to your post by stating they are not a RBB but this is my breed’s fancy name and this is how much cooler it is. Very enjoyable.

  2. Melissa November 26, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I have a Lapphund and a Vallhund. God, how embarrassing. In my country they are probably even more uncommon than they are in yours. I usually do a double-take when someone gets either breed right, but I get asked most days what they are and I’m not at all offended if I get “German shepherd corgi cross?” or “Is the fluffy one a husky or a malamute?” When I tell them what they are I usually get “A what?” It’s embarrassing. But I really love my hunds and it’s the price you pay. I don’t ever get tired of answering The Question, or any of those that follow. Valls are tops, but I wish mine had longer legs so he could keep up with my running. Lappies are tops, but I wish they had shorter hair! No one tell me there are enough purebred dog breeds for every possible desire. Where’s my long-legged Vallhund? Where’s my naked Lapphund?

    • Dawne November 26, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Hey Melissa, your ‘naked’ Lapphund is a breed called the Lapponian Herder 🙂 Or, in Finnish, they’re known as Lapinporokoira. And so very cool you have those two breeds!!!!

    • Melinda December 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Okay I had Belgians for many years and was one of the first to import Belgian Laekenois. You get really interesting comments from that one…Laeken puppy…”Is that a really bad Border Terrier?” Older Laeken, “Is that a bad Irish Wolfhound puppy?”

      I needed something smaller, so now I have a blue-merle Pyr Shep. My favorite guess was, (and yes it was a dog show person) “Is that an anorexic minature Beardie?”

  3. VampiricRambo November 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I admit it… I’m guilty of being a rare breed braggart. At least, I assume myself as such.
    That’s how I ended up with a Leonberger hehe.

    • Katie November 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Haha I dont think I’m a RBB, my breed used to be rare (nova scotia duck tolling retriever), I’m always excited when someone knows what they are lol. Even my non-rare breed dog (pointer) people don’t know what he is….I will admit I do have a snarky canned response when people ask me what my dog is a mix of (two pointers or two tollers is my response) I say it more for a joke than anything else but that makes me a snob more than a braggart lol.

      • VampiricRambo November 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

        Duck tollers are beautiful 🙂 They’re still pretty rare in my area though!

        I’m also pretty excited when people actually know what my dog’s breed is! 🙂 (They’re usually all over the dog too… which I don’t mind. My dog never has enough belly rubs.)

        I also do get the occasional “Yikes, what a mix! Is there a German Shepherd in there?” and “Oh look! A St Bernard!”. I usually just tell them the dog is a purebred… but find a way to give them some credit to not seem THAT snob. For example, when they think it’s a GSD mix, I’ll say they’re close since it’s a German breed. When they say a St Bernard : I give them that classic Leo legend that say it’s a Great Pyr, Newf and St Bernard mix. 😛

  4. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog November 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    I’n not a RBB (most of the time) but I must admit it gets slightly annoying when people ask if my Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy is a beagle mix (constantly) when they aren’t even similar looking. Okay, fair enough maybe when he was very little because they are both tricoloured, but now he’s bigger than a labrador and I still get the “is that a beagle” questions it does bring out the RBB side of me. I understand the “is that a BURMESE mountain dog” or “is that a shorthaired bernese” questions because they look similar, but seriously- a beagle?! I’ve also gotten rottweiler, tri coloured labrador and a few other things. Plus it sounds snobby when I say “Greater Swiss Mountain Dog” so I shorted it to “swiss mountain dog” most of the time to seem less snobby haha!

    Bernese Mountain dog:


    I cannot be the only one who thinks all 3 breeds look very different! I also own 2 Lhasa Apsos (who to be honest are not that rare and increasingly common) and I constantly get “is that a shih tzu’s, mine too!” but I understand that 100% and I am fine with that and completely happy answering that. Its just when said shih tzu owner says something snobby like Lhasa Apsos are probably some cross or mix of shih tzu’s etc that I get annoyed.. sorry but Shih Tzu’s came from Lhasa Apsos. I am also fine with people asking what kind of dog my swissy is because they are relatively rare and thinking it is a bernese is understandable..but a beagle. Really? Are you sure? He looks more like a mastiff than a beagle IMO.
    Haha I am happy I am not the only half RBB and non RBB in the doggy world!

    • EntleDad February 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      I have an Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and they very often are mistaken for beagles. We have buttons with pictures of Entles that say “not a beagle.” I also get “it looks like a mini Burmese” and i struggle to keep myself from telling them that a Burmese is a python, and not in fact a dog!

  5. Maremma MaMa November 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    My girl is mostly Maremma Sheepdog. I got her out of working parents, and so as with most Livestock Guardians, there’s some other stuff tossed in. But I know her behavior and I saw the parents – She’s a Maremma cross.

    However, nobody really knows what a Maremma is. And she doesn’t care. So when people ask, I’ve come up with two solutions:

    -Saying she’s crossed with a breed from Italy kind of similar to a Great Pyrenees
    -Make Up a Dog Breed and act really snooty about it.

    The more ridiculous the name I can come up with for the second course of action, the better. My favorite so far has been, ‘All American Ranch Dog’. I then proceed to pretend like this is an actual breed, reel someone in and convince them that they want one, and then politely recommend they check out the rural shelters in Oregon to get a dog like mine.

    While they’re still puzzling it out, we move along.

  6. Daniela Hielc November 28, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I understand when people ask if my dog is a mix. I got her fro a shelter and she was liste as a Korean Jindo cross but after researching it she is more likely a Carolina Dog being that she was picked up off the streets, her temperament, her coloring and conformation,

    MY DOG IS NOT A SHIBA INU she is about 10 pounds heavier then a male Shiba Inu and about 15 pounds or something then a female shiba. EVERYONE thinks she is a boy though NOW THAT ticks me off. She has visible nipples she is not a boy!

  7. Lexa December 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    I guess I will expose myself as a RBB to be, lol because I have to correct you on a Fauve. It is not PETIT Basset Fauve de Bretagne it is just Basset Fauve de Bretagne and thebreed they are related with are Griffon Fauve de Bretagne, not so much with PBGVs,. The only thing that saved me from embarrassment when I saw them for first time was the fact that it was at a pro handlers set up at large AKC show.

  8. Lexa December 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Oh, and I had a Black and white rough coat JRT (JRTCA registered), no one knew what kind of dog he was. Anyway when people heard that he was JRT they would tell me that he must be Parsons since he has long legs. The only difference is only in registry and short legs are a disqualifying fault for both.

  9. tdierikx December 3, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Try owning a slim Labrador… I get asked what mix she is because she isn’t fat!

    • Jessica December 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      Bwahahaha! TRUE!!!

  10. jess December 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    In the shop I work in, we rename our mutts to be some rare, pretentious dog breed. So far we have a White Paw Moutain Cur (black lab mix) and a Long Hair Neapolitan Goat Herding dog (Heinz 57). What are they really…nobody knows. Its just fun to answer (and mock) the ever annoying RBB and Doodle owners.

  11. bitterzuur December 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    I only just noticed: the j in kooikerhondje is not silent, just not english.

  12. Suzanne January 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Me Me Me!!

  13. Adwhale January 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    I also have a Basset Fauve de Bretagne, & if I had a pound for every time someone asks what she is.., well I’d be doing pretty nicely.. Its such a gob-full anyway that hardly anyone gets it when you tell them, so I entertain myself by trying to invent a brand new breed every time I’m asked the question. She’s been a Slovakian weasel hound, a Malagasy lima hound, a Swedish love hound and a Lithuanian hog hound. The reward always comes when the knowledgeable response comes back – “Oh she is – I thought so! Such a wonderful breed aren’t they!” – whatever rubbish you’ve fed them..

  14. RelicsMom February 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I don’t think I’m a RBB, Okay maybe I’m a “selective” RBB haha. I have a Xoloitzcuintli but when most people ask what he is I am nice and say “Mexican hairless” to avoid confusing them with the AKC name. One man asked me if he was a Pitbull Chinese Crested mix. I admit I went a little RBB on him, didn’t get snobbish but I laughed and gave him the “no this is an ancient mexican breed of dog that was worshipped by the Aztecs and Mayans over 3,000 years ago” speach!

  15. Rebecca West August 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    I was considered a RBB before I moved. We used to live in ND, and pretty much everything that wasn’t a lab was rare. We drove 10 hours to Wisconsin to pick up my dog from a rescue facility. She is a retired Greyhound. People wouldn’t even try and guess what her breed was, they would just come out and ask. lol

    • Rebecca West August 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      Oh, and we moved to MN. Here they are uncommon, but I have had several people correctly guess her breed. Also, I have never been snobby about her breed, that is just what I wanted. I wouldn’t trade her for any other dog, despite her numerous idiosyncrasies.

  16. michaelbrandow July 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    Brilliant. For more on dog snobbery: http://www.michaelbrandow.com/

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