Archive for the ‘Breeds of Dog’ Category

Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed

Gemma | January 21st, 2008
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The Shetland Sheepdog originated in the 1800s and its ancestors were from Scotland, which worked as herding dogs. These early dogs were fairly small, about 20 inches in height, which further developed into the current Shetland Sheepdog. It is said that other dogs came into the mix as well, which helped produce this breed, namely the early Collie, the Iceland dog, and the King Charles Spaniel (black and tan version).

Because they were isolated from the rest of the world, the Shetland Sheepdog was able to breed to its original form in a fast amount of time compared to other dog breeds who might have taken decades, or even centuries of mixed breeding to form their current AKC recognition. England became fond of these animals when the British naval fleet used to take puppies back after visiting the islands.

Their name in the beginning were referred to as Toonie dogs which made reference to their local Shetland farming area. Sometime in the early 1900s the name was termed Shetland Collies. However, Collie enthusiasts were not very fond of his name so they changed it to the Shetland Sheepdog.

This dog breed is a very intelligent animal that is considered to be extremely bright, a bit on the sensitive side, and always willing to please. Shetland Sheepdogs learn very quickly which makes them easily trainable. They are very obedient dogs and just as equally gentle, amiable, and make great companions to any family, especially those with small children.

Upkeep And Maintenance

This dog is very energetic, therefore it must have daily exercise to maintain its physical energy output needs. Brisk walks throughout the day on a leash, short jogs, or playful training sessions are all perfect ways to spend time with the Sheltie while getting the dog its required exercise.

Shetland Sheepdogs are best to be kept indoors with its family, as it longs for companionship and human contact at all times. However, this dog can sleep outdoors if necessary, so long as the climate is decent. It is just not recommended for its stable emotional happiness.

Health Information

As a member of the herding group, the Shetland Sheepdog has a lifespan of a 14 years when it maintains good health. Veterinarians suggest that dog owners have their Sheltie dogs specifically tested for DNA for vWD, hip dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid issues. The only major health concern that is common for this dog breed is dermatomyositis. Minor issues to lookout for include allergies, patellar luxation, CHD, PRA, CEA, hypothyroidism, trichiasis, Legg-Perthes, and cataracts.

Sealyham Terrier (Terrier Group)

Janet | January 18th, 2008
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The Sealyham Terrier is not your average terrier. Unlike most of the group, these dogs are unusually calm and mild-mannered. They present the look of a short-legged toy dog but with the function of a great hunter. Sealyham Terriers are perfect for any family that enjoys a dog that has minimal upkeep and small enough to bring anywhere.

They are absolutely perfect to have around children. With a playful personality and always ready to dig and chase, the Sealyham is the ideal companion. They are moderately friendly towards other pets in the house and somewhat reserved around strange people and dogs, yet will bark incessantly at night if someone approaches, making the breed an outstanding watchdog.

A Brief History Of The Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier is the product of a man named Captain John Edwardes, of Sealyham. It’s origins are from Wales and they date back to the 1800s. It is said that the breed may even go as far back as the 15th century, as John Edwardes is a descendant of family that is rumored to have imported the small dogs into Wales.

From 1850 to 1891 the Captain worked hard at taking his family of dogs and creating the Sealyham Terrier that we admire today. The exact crosses that went into his breeding program are not documented, but some experts believe that it carries the traits of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Whatever bloodlines went into the mix, the results were positive a plucky terrier that gained quick respect as an avid hunter of small animals, foxes, and otters.

The Sealyham Terrier became a natural at winning dog shows, entering the show ring in 1903 and becoming officially recognized by the AKC in 1911. Dog enthusiasts quickly sought out the breed because of its smart appearance, dog show qualities, and hunting skills. To this day it is a regular contender in earthdog trials around the globe.

Upkeep Requirements For The Sealyham Terrier

Taking care of the Sealyham Terrier is as easy as can be for any dog owner. They are only moderately active so daily exercise requirements can be met with a few short walks on the leash and a romp around the living room floor, making these dogs perfect candidates for individuals living in a small apartment.

Sealyham Terriers have tolerance to moderately hot or cool temperatures, but are not the type to live completely outside. In fact, they are best suited for indoor living. They enjoy playing games and exploring when given the chance. Grooming requirements for the Sealyham Terrier calls for a good brushing of its wiry coat two to three times per week. A good shaping is also recommended every three months to keep the coat neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Sealyham Terrier is between eleven and thirteen years. There are no major health concerns and the only minor health issues that run common in the breed include lens luxation and retinal dysplasia. Veterinarians suggest that the Sealyham get specifically tested for eye problems.

Scottish Terrier

Gemma | January 13th, 2008
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Although there is a bit of confusion concerning the background and origin of the Scottish Terrier, researchers do have conclusive documentation and information that shows this dog breed thriving back to the late 1800s.

What is the confusion about? For starters, we used to refer to all terrier-types that were from Scotland as Scottish Terriers. In addition, today’s official Scottish Terrier used to be grouped as a Skye Terrier. Whatever the origin may be, early Scottish Terriers were some of the hardest working hunting dogs alive. They would go in strong pursuit of their prey through any condition and terrain.

For some time they were referred to as Aberdeen Terriers because at one point they were mostly favored by the people of the Aberdeen area. This reference name only made a confusing situation worse. There were even people protesting the various names of this dog breed until finally a detailed description of what an authentic Scottish Terrier should look like was drawn up sometime around 1880. This was the first breed standard created for this dog.

Scottish Terriers first came to the United States in the year 1883. It gained popularity at a gradual pace until World War II. Then for some reason its popularity skyrocketed. The most popular Scottish Terrier was Franklin Roosevelt’s own dog named Fala.


Scottish Terrier dogs are extremely rugged and with a tough-guy personality. How else could you describe a dog whose nickname is Diehard. Along with their bold exterior, these dogs are smart, inquisitive, and are always ready for action. Regardless of how big another dog or animal may be, Scottish Terriers can be fearless and quite aggressive when provoked. This attitude is quite the opposite when it comes to its family, of which the Scottish Terrier will remain loyal and protective.

Taking Care Of Your Scottish Terrier

This is one dog that must have plenty of action in its life. They love adventure and will need excitement through physical activities outdoors. Scottish Terriers can certainly live outside during the cold, as well as warm climates, but like all family dogs it is best suited to sleep inside with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements consist of about two to four thorough brushings every week. Further clipping and stripping may be necessary for coat fashion or dog shows.

Health Information

The average lifespan of a healthy Scottish Terrier is between 11 and 14 years. The only major health concerns to worry about with these dogs are CMO and vWD. Minor issues that may show up are patellar luxation, Scotty cramp, and cerebellar abiotrophy.

Scottish Deerhound (Hound Group)

Gemma | January 10th, 2008
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Scottish Deerhounds are one of the friendliest members of the Hound Group, both towards strangers and other dogs. They are amiable with just about any house pet. These dogs are the perfect addition to any family looking for a hound that makes a loving companion, is excellent around children, and well-mannered inside the house. Scottish Deerhounds are somewhat mellow in nature but once outside will chase anything that moves.

A Brief History Of The Scottish Deerhound

With Scotland being the area of origin of the Scottish Deerhound breed, this dog was a respected deer hunter as early as the 16th century. Researchers estimate that it is an ancient breed, one with deep roots tied to the Greyhound.

Owned exclusively by the nobility during this period, the exact bloodline of how the breed came to be is still up for debate. At one point, during the Age of Chivalry, no person that was below the rank of an Earl could own a Deerhound. They were used to hunt stag but eventually the stag population declined and so did the usefulness of the Deerhound dog.

During the 1700s and into the 1800s, the breed was all but extinct due to the invention of guns and rifles, which had become the primary hunting tools among deer hunters. The mid 1800s proved to be a rebirth in popularity of the breed when a concerted effort was made to bring the Deerhound back. The project worked and the first Deerhound club was created in England during the 1860s. Today the breed still remains low in numbers but always a classic.

Upkeep Requirements For The Scottish Deerhound

Like all members of the Hound Group, the Scottish Deerhound must have plenty of daily exercise to stay fit and keep up with their high energy levels. Several long walks on the leash and a few runs outside in a large field would be ideal. These dogs especially love to chase small animals so be prepared to have your Deerhound trained to stop when called.

This breed has moderate tolerance to hot temperatures but more so with cool weather. They can live outdoors if need be but like all loving canine family members it is best to have your Scottish Deerhound inside at night, sleeping with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about two times weekly with the occasional scissoring to keep the dog’s straggling hair neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Scottish Deerhound is between seven and nine years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed include osteosarcoma, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. Minor health problems include allergies and cystinuria. Rarely seen is neck pain and hypothyroidism. Veterinarians suggest that Scottish Deerhounds get specifically tested for potential cystinuria and cardiac problems.

Schipperke (Non-Sporting Group)

Gemma | January 7th, 2008
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The Schipperke is a member of the Non-Sporting Group, with an unusual look. All black in color, their body tends to slope downwards from the neck to its hind quarters. A small dog breed, they weigh anywhere from 10 to 16 pounds, reaching a height of 11 to 13 inches.

The temperament of the breed is best described as a bold companion, one that is courageous an independent, yet playful and highly affectionate. Schipperke dogs are head-strong and love staying busy. They are easy to train and make great house dogs. They are moderately friendly towards other dogs and pets, with a certain level of weariness towards unknown people.

A Brief History Of The Schipperke

The listed origin of the Schipperke is said to be Belgium, dating back to the 1600s. But the exact details of the true beginnings of the breed is still covered in controversy. One theory suggests that they were boat dogs, used for various tasks for boatmen who traveled between Antwerp and Brussels.

The word schip is a Flemish word for boat, therefore many people considered the name to reference little boatman. However, the Belgian people referred to the Schipperke as a spitz. A second theory is that these dogs were used as watchdogs and ratters for the middle class and tradesmen guilds.

Whatever the true history of the creation of the Schipperke, documented evidence of the dogs were not found until 1690. Local shoemakers from Brussels would hold competitions of their Schipperke dogs and by the 19th century the popularity of the breed grew to the point where one could be found in almost every household. By the late 1880s, the United States became home of several Schipperke dogs and its numbers have been slowly on the rise every since.

Upkeep Requirements For The Schipperke

This breed has an active need to stay busy. Mental stimulation as well as physical exertion is a must. The small size of the Schipperke helps keep its exercise needs down to a few brisk walks on the leash plus some playtime indoors or outside in the yard. But even during rest time they enjoy looking for something to do.

The Schipperke can withstand moderately cool temperatures but is not meant to live outdoors. They do not fare well in heat and should sleep inside with the family at night. Access to a fenced-in yard during the say is ideal, as these dogs love to stay occupied. Grooming requirements for the Schipperke calls for a weekly brushing of its double coat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Schipperke is between thirteen and fifteen years. The only major health concern in the breed is MPS IIIB. Minor health issues include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and Legg-Perthes. Rarely seen is PRA, distichiasis, CHD, and entropion. Veterinarians suggest that the Schipperke get specifically tested for DNA for MP IIIB, thyroid, and hip problems.

Samoyed (Working Group)

Samantha | January 4th, 2008
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The Samoyed makes the perfect pet for anyone that lives in a cold climate area and is looking for a protective watch dog, and one that also thrives on love and affection. This breed is the perfect companion for anyone at any age. Samoyed dogs must have human interaction at all times and they connect deeply with their owners.

A Brief History Of The Samoyed

The Samoyed breed goes back as far as the Ancient times. The original area of origin for the bloodline is in Russia, specifically Siberia. The original function of the dogs were to herd reindeer and act as a guard dog. Today’s function of the Samoyed are for herding trials and sled pulling.

The breed is named after the nomadic Samoyed people, who came from central Asia and arrived in the northwestern region of Siberia. Their survival depended on herding groups of reindeer of which they used as food. In order for those reindeer to stay alive they had to always be on the move to feed. The job of the Samoyed was to herd the reindeer and protect them from hungry predators.

In addition to guarding herds of reindeer against attacks from Arctic predators and keeping them on the move, the Samoyed was also an avid hunter, often used to hunt down bear. When needed, these dogs were also great at towing boats and sledges. Another job of the Samoyed was to sleep inside the villagers’ tents at night with the children to help keep them warm.

The Samoyed made its way to England around the late 1800s. But many of these early dogs were not the all-white versions you see today. When Queen Alexandria was given a pure white Samoyed as a gift she immediately took kindly to the dog and promoted its beauty around the country. You can still find descendants of the Queen’s dogs in many of today’s pedigrees.

Samoyed dogs made their way to the United States in the very early years of the 1900s. They quickly became popular as sled pulling dogs because they out-performed most other breeds that were used to pull at the time. In fact, it was the Samoyed that was used in traveling to the discovery of the South Pole.

Upkeep Requirements For The Samoyed

This is one breed that needs plenty of daily exercise. Families that enjoy an active lifestyle will make a happy Samoyed pet. Vigorous play sessions, plus brisk walks outside will be more than enough to satisfy their energy requirements. These dogs also enjoy pulling and herding.

The ideal climate for the Samoyed is in cold weather. The breed is genetically programmed to thrive in the Arctic region so it does not tolerate heat well at all. They should be able to run outside during the day but sleep indoors with the family at night. Grooming requirements consist of a thorough brushing of the dog’s thick coat about two to three times per week.

Health Concerns

The average life span of the Samoyed is between ten and twelve years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is CHD. Minor issues include hypothyroidism, cataracts, and gastric torsion. Veterinarians suggest that all Samoyed dogs get tested for DNA for PRA, hip, eye, and thyroid problems.


Gemma | January 2nd, 2008
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The Saluki is considered to be the most ancient of all dog breeds. There is evidence of their existence found in art work on Egyptian tombs that are dated thousands of years B.C. Arab nomads from the ancient civilization of Seleucia (where this breed got its name from) used the Saluki dogs to hunt animals in the desert such as fox, gazelles, and rabbits.

Ironically, most dogs are considered unclean in the Muslim world but the Saluki was considered the exception. The people of the land at that time referred to this dog breed as el hor, which means noble. These dogs were a precious provider of meat and so they were allowed to sleep inside the house-tents with other people and enjoy the attention and love from its Bedouin master.

The Saluki dog breed has been kept amazingly pure. This is largely due to the fact that Salukis were not allowed to breed with dogs outside of its race. This practice was adhered to for thousands of years. Variation of the breed started to emerge when Saluki dogs were widely distributed throughout the Middle East by many nomadic owners.

Saluki dogs were noticed by the Western world sometime during the year 1900. It did not take long for the breed to catch on with popularity. In fact, the Saluki was officially recognized by the AKC in 1928.


The personality of the average Saluki dog would be described best as aloof and relaxed. They can be a bit reserved around strangers but are loyal and affectionate towards their owners. These dogs are great with children but may be too quiet and gentle for most kids to be entertained. In fact, many Saluki dogs quite shy.

Taking Care Of Your Saluki

Taking care of your Saluki dog requires daily exercise, preferably running in an open space outdoors. They love to sprint but if the outside is not safe for them to run around in, their physical requirements can be met with a nice brisk walk on the leash several times each day.

Saluki dogs can handle both hot and cold climates, and can even play outside in the snow. However, it’s best to keep this dog indoors at night with access to the outside during the daytime. Saluki dogs must have a warm soft bed to sleep in. They are naturally thin and could develop calluses if forced to sleep on a hard surface.

Health Information

Many people who are not educated about the Saluki dog breed wrongly assume that they are sick or underfed because they look very skinny. Although it looks that way to someone seeing a Saluki for the first time, this assumption is false. They are naturally thin dogs that do not put on weight easily.

The average lifespan of a healthy Saluki dog is between 12 and 15 years. These animals are very healthy because of their pure blood line having been kept intact for centuries. Because of this practice, the only major health concern that tends to come up is hemangiosarcoma. The only minor issue is cardiomyopathy. Rarely seen is hypothyroidism.

Saint Bernard (Working Group)

Gemma | December 29th, 2007
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The Saint Bernard is one of the highest recognized members of the Working Group. A gentle and affectionate breed, this dog is highly devoted to its family and always willing to please. They are wonderful around children (although may not be playful enough for kids) and are easy to train.

A Brief History Of The Saint Bernard

Researchers estimate that the original roots of the Saint Bernard probably go back to the great Roman Molossian dogs. But it was not until the mid 1600s did the breed make a name for itself as a trusted saver of lives, literally.

Around this time the dogs first made their way to the famous St. Bernard Hospice, which was a refuge camp for individuals traveling between Switzerland and Germany. Originally, the dogs were used for small working tasks like pulling carts and being watchdogs. It didn’t take long for the Monks to discover that the dogs had the gift of tracking down lost people through the icy mountains.

These canines became adept at finding lost travelers quickly. When they would find someone lying in the snow the dog would lick his or her face which would help warm up and revive the individual. This invaluable service was depended on for at least three centuries. In fact, over 2,000 lives have been saved by these St. Bernards.

The most famous of these life savers was a St. Bernard named Barry. Barry is personally credited with saving a total of forty individuals. Before Barry had died the dogs were known as a variety of names. The most common was Hospice Dogs. Then when Barry passed away he was so widely known that to honor him people started calling the dogs Barryhund dogs.

Unfortunately, the breed’s numbers took a dive during the early 1800s. Inbreeding and disease caused many of the dogs to die, not to mention severe weather causing treacherous conditions for St. Bernards to deal with. A few dogs remained and were crossed with Newfoundlands during the 1830s.

The result of this cross with the Newfoundland dog had created a long-haired version of the St. Bernard. However, the long coat (although was thought may help the dog in the cold) only hindered the animal when the long strands of hair would freeze while traveling through the snow.

By 1810, the first group of St. Bernards made their way to England. The common name referred to them at this time was the Sacred Dog. Fifty years later, the dog became common place and was changed to its it current name, the St. Bernard.

Upkeep Requirements For The Saint Bernard

St. Bernards need exercise on a daily basis to stay healthy and fit. Just a few walks on the leash or a romp outside in the yard will be plenty. Many (new) proud owners of the breed make the mistake of keeping their St. Bernard puppies indoors but this living situation has the tendency to make puppies overweight, thus causing hip problems. It’s best to have a fenced-in yard that they can roam around in during the day, even as puppies.

It is not ideal for the breed to live in a hot climate, even if the seasons change to colder weather during the winter. They must have year-round cooler temperatures. Grooming requirements for the St. Bernard (whether you own a long-hair version or a short-hair version) consist of a thorough brushing about once per week, more when shedding. Drooling is also a common habit of these dogs.

Health Concerns

The average life span of the St. Bernard is between eight and ten years. Major health problems that run common in the breed are ectropion, osteosarcoma, CHD, entropion, gastric torsion, and elbow dysplasia. Minor issues include heart conditions, hot spots, CVI, diabetes, OCD, cardiomyopathy, and seizures. Veterinarians suggest that the breed get specifically tested for eye, cardiac, hip, and elbow problems.

Rottweiler Dog Breed

Gemma | December 26th, 2007
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The Rottweiler is a physically imposing and intimidating looking dog that ranks at the top of the charts for being an excellent watchdog and a family protector. This dog breed has a history that is said to have stemmed from the Romans, used as drover dogs, herding large stocks of cattle over great distances, and into many countries.

Rottweilers are said to have entered the United States sometime in nearly 1930s which then gained recognition by the AKC. Having become nearly extinct years earlier due to lack of functioning use by people, the Rottweiler has become one of the most popular dog breeds in today’s households, making its mark in the top 10 most popular registered dogs of the American kennel club.

This animal is extremely bold, confident, and alert. In fact, the Rottweiler is a top pick for anyone who is looking for a watchdog that has extensive protection abilities. However, when a dog is as courageous and aggressively confident as the Rottweiler is, sometimes stubbornness comes with the territory in terms of training ability. However, it is worth putting in the extra time and patience when making this dog breed a household pet.

Upkeep And Maintenance

Like most large dogs, the Rottweiler must have physical activity on a daily basis. Mental play and obedience lessons should also be a part of the daily regimen. Vigorous games and long walks on the leash through safe areas would make an ideal day for the Rottweiler.

This dog has a preference for cold weather and enjoys the winter months. It has little ability to handle hot weather and humid temperatures. Rottweilers can become overheated fairly quickly if ran too hard during the summer.

In terms of living arrangements, this dog can live both indoors and outdoors. If chosen to live outdoors, you should ensure that your Rottweiler is equipped with plenty of shade and shelter during the hot weather. However, it is a known fact that this dog prefers to be indoors spending lots of time with its owners.

Health Information

The lifespan of the average healthy Rottweiler can last up to 11 years. Veterinarians suggest that specific tests be done for hip dysplasia, cardiac problems, vWD, and elbow dysplasia. The major health concerns that all Rottweilers may have are elbow dysplasia, SAS, CHD, and osteosarcoma.

Rhodesian Ridgeback (Hound Group)

Gemma | December 23rd, 2007
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The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the perfect dog for hound lovers that not only appreciate the breed’s hunting abilities, but one that also makes a trusting protector and an affectionate companion. These hounds rate high on all votes when it comes to being good around children, friendliness towards other pets, and as a fearless guard dog.

Loyal to its family, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has an independent, strong-willed personality. But this head-strong attitude will not get in the way of training as these dogs take to obedience training quite easily. They do, however, need the handling of a dominant owner to keep them from trying to dominate the family pack.

A Brief History Of The Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has been around since the 1800s and its area of origin stems from South Africa. European Boer settlers had arrived in South Africa during the 16th and 17th centuries and needed a dog that could hunt in both hot and cold temperatures, withstand rough brush, work on limited water – all while being a trusted guard dog.

The Settlers created such a dog by crossing the breeds they had brought with them (namely the Greyhound, Pointer, Mastiff, Staghound, Bloodhound, and Great Dane), with the native breed of the local area the Hottentot tribal hunting dog.

These new dogs were not only excellent hunters that could use scent and sight to track down prey, they were also supreme watchdogs and family protectors. They were so fierce on the hunt that during the 1870s several of the dogs were documented as having hunted down Lions in Rhodesia.

They were known then as Lion Dogs and had a distinctive ridge of hair that ran down the top of their back. They became so popular as successful hunters that many people had owned them. But eventually too many varieties of the Lion Dog had emerged so a specific breed standard was created during the 1920s, which is the bases for today’s standard.

Part of the criteria was to change the name to the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The breed was introduced to the United States and England during the 1930s and in the 1980s was officially recognized as a sighthound, thus allowed to compete in sighthound field trials. Today the Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the more popular hounds and is enjoyed by households all over the world.

Upkeep Requirements For The Rhodesian Ridgeback

Like all members of the Hound Group, the Rhodesian Ridgeback must have plenty of exercise to keep up with its high energy levels. They are also happy when being mentally stimulated through dog training and games. Hiking with its owner is one activity that the breed enjoys the most.

The ideal living arrangements for the Rhodesian Ridgeback is to sleep inside at night with the family but have daytime access to a large fence-in yard to run and play. They can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures but not to the extreme. Grooming requirements for the breed calls for a light brushing every couple of weeks to remove dead hairs.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is between ten and twelve years. There are no major health concerns and the only minor health issues are elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and CHD. Rarely seen in the breed is dermoid sinus and deafness. Veterinarians suggest that Rhodesian Ridgebacks get specifically tested for elbow, hip, thyroid, and dermoid sinus.