A breed well know and much loved by the Queen of England, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi traces its origin back to the 1100s. A friendly and active dog, the Pembroke was brought to England by Flemish. Though the breed shares its background – and many of its traits – with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Pembroke is actually a much younger breed than the Cardigan. While aristocracy has always surrounded the breed, England played an important role in the development of the breed, with first illustrations of the Greyhound their dating back to the 9th century. A sight hound used to hunt a variety of game including deer, stags, foxes and hares, Greyhounds also have been used as racing dogs since the 18th century. Bred in the city of Peking by Chinese court, the Shih Tzu is also said to be the oldest and smallest of the Tibetan holy dogs. The breed was also the preferred house pet of the Ming Dynasty and Dowager Empress Cixi. A small, playful dog, the Shih Tzu’s long, luxurious coat requires regular grooming. Known as Le Grand Chien des Montagnes, or the Pyrenean mountain dog, the Great Pyrenees was adopted as a French court dog in the 17th century. Known as both a royal breed and a working associate of peasant shepherds on the slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains, the breed is exceptionally loyal and gentle and is said to be fearless as a guardian of its people and flock. An ancient Chinese breed that was owned exclusively by royalty, the Pekingese has appeared in Chinese art and history throughout the ages, beginning with the Tang Dynasty of the 8th century. Originally named after the ancient city of Peking the Pekingese came to Europe as a result of war. Happy, loveable and loyal, the Pekingese makes a wonderful lap dog. The breed originated there in the 17th century and was kept exclusively by noblemen, known as the Merina, the ruling monarchy in Madagascar. The Coton de Tulear is a loving and happy companion, but does require regular grooming to maintain its soft, dense coat. Originally developed for the sole purpose of accompanying the ladies of the Imperial Palace and warming the laps of Chinese aristocracy, the Japanese Chin’s history is steeped in royalty. Bred to live in the literal lap of luxury and passed from China to Japan as part of a royal gift, the Chin’s only job during its long career has been to charm and amuse their people. The breed became a favorite of Italian nobility in the 14th century and was also popular in Spain, becoming a favorite of Spanish nobility as well as painters. With a name that means “fluffy white dog” in French, the Bichon is exactly that, a small, charismatic and cheerful dog with a curly white coat.