THE VOLDON DOG

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - USAGES -
BREEDERS

This working breed of canine originated in the Santharian town of Voldar as a popular watchdog. The Voldon came about after years of intentional breeding of large dogs. The first group was trained as watchdogs to protect the castle. While having these dogs around the castle, breeders and nobles alike learned what great animals these were. Despite their size and intimidating looks they are actually gentle giants and fiercely loyal to their owners. After a decade the breeder at the castle allowed pedigree Voldon pups to be sold to the wealthy nobles and merchants of the city. From there the dogs spread quickly and they became a very popular watchdog and family pet in the Vardưnn province. These animals are very loyal and kind to their family, even more so than some lap dogs, and would do anything to protect them.

Voldons are one of the tallest dogs, with long legs and a slim build. While the population of these dogs has risen, this is only within one province. Males of this breed can be bought at a high price. Females, however, are not sold, because the breeders of Vardưnn province wish to keep the number of full-blooded Voldons within one area. They also do this so the breeders of Vardưnn can keep purebred males of this hound rare and charge a high price for them. The Voldon is claimed to be the best watchdog ever bred, and anyone that owns one of these magnificent animals agrees. Due to the size, diet, attention, and price required to own one of their animals, they are mostly owned by the wealthy and nobility.

Appearance. The Voldon combines pride, strength, and grace with great size and a powerful, smoothly muscled body in its majestic appearance. It is one of the tallest dog breeds, and it has a square, well-proportioned body. Its front legs are straight and muscular, while the hindquarters are strong and broad. These animals stand from about two fores and a palmspan to one ped at the withers. Males typically weigh from a pygge and a hafeb to a pygge and eight hebs. Females on the other hand can weigh from about nine hebs to just over a pygge. Standing on its hind legs it can reach a height of two peds and two palmspans.

The Voldon has huge feet that are almost as big as a human's hand and could cause some damage. The tail is rather dangerous and can produce large, red welts on a person's side when it walks by, though they can be trained to remain calm while indoors. This limits the wagging of the tail and possible damage. Voldons have arched necks that are long and muscular and flow smoothly into the back. Their heads are long and distinguished, tending to be rectangular in shape, and an array of fine features that include a deep muzzle and full square jaw. Their strong jaws are lined with rather sharp and impressive teeth. Intelligent eyes are deep-set and can be brown, blue, or grey in colour, with lively sparks burning within. Ears are set high on their heads and fold over forward. The Voldon's coat is short and thick, but is not enough to keep them warm during harsh winters and they cannot be outdoors for long periods of time. These thin coats appear in a few different colours.

Solid black is one of the most desired colours for these animals, but very rare. Most black Voldons have small patches of white on the chest or back of their legs. The few solid black, purebred females were kept by breeders at the castle in Voldar in an attempt to breed more of these canines without the white patches. Blue Voldons are very beautiful animals and are highly sought after by nobles due to their rarity. A blue Voldon's coat can be steel blue or slate grey in colour, but steel blue is the rarest and most popular. The final type and the second most common colouring is a dark tan or golden colouring with black patches. With these colourings the Voldon will most likely carry a black mask (black muzzle).
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Special Abilities. Voldons are used as watchdogs throughout the Vardưnn province. They are very bright dogs and very loyal to their families. Voldons can be trained to be indoor dogs and watch for signs of intruders. Their size alone is enough to convince a thief or attacker that they have selected the wrong house. If need be this dog will attack in order to protect its family. Voldons swiftly learn to read their families' moods and emotions and can this way tell if the person approaching is a danger or not. For this dog, people attempting to enter the home in the middle of the night are classified under dangerous. These animals are wonderful at protecting homes and when hearing about this side of them, it is fairly easy to picture them as vicious creatures, but that is false. Voldons have a soft, playful side that is mostly reserved for their family and those closest to the family. Return to the top

Territory. This breed of dog originated in the Santharian Vardưnn province. Dog handlers at the castle in Voldar intentionally bred large dogs in an attempt to find a good guard dog for the castle. They didn't plan on this animal turning out to be one of the most loyal and talented watchdogs. It took ten years to convince the breeders and other involved groups to sell pedigree Voldons to the nobles and wealthy merchants of Voldar, and soon these animals spread throughout the entire province. It were mostly males that were sold and within the castle of Voldar, extensive records of these animals are kept. Nobles and wealthy merchants that were lucky enough to own females were often required to allow the dog to be checked up on every other month or so. In order to keep the full-blooded line of these animals to themselves they made sure that females were not sold outside of the Province. There are a scattered few of these animals outside the Vardưnn province, but they are all males and the nobles and wealthy merchants that own them paid a high price for them.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Voldon's large and intimidating appearance often hides its gentle nature. It is often referred to as a "gentle giant". These animals are very sweet and affectionate to their owners and are fiercely loyal. They are generally good around children, smaller animals, and people that their humans don't feel to be a threat. They are very sensitive to their families' mood and will only allow people they do not know into the home if they feel that their owner is familiar with the person. Voldons are very attentive and aware of situations within the house and will often investigate sudden and strange noises at any time of day. During the nights they will make their rounds to check on their family and secure the mansion, or castle ground, before retiring to their beds, but still staying alert. They are seldom spooked, but strange scents or noises are approached with a low rumble, like a thunder in the distance. This sound will easily bring a group of guards running. A full bark from this animal is likely to wake anyone within seventy peds if not more. They are known as vicious, brave, and powerful defenders of their families in the face of danger. It is very rare for them to bark needlessly at something so a Voldon bark should be taken seriously.

Every aspect of a Voldon's life depends on the owner. They depend on humans for food, water, shelter, and love. These are all very significant to owning one of these dogs and the last thing possibly is the most important. Voldons need to be socialized and cared for both as pups and adult dogs. This helps the bond between owner and dog grow and living with this animal becomes much more enjoyable. They have a very sensitive character and demeanor that is often overlooked due to their intimidating appearance. Interaction with its owner is extremely important to the temperament and overall character of a mature Voldon. These dogs look to their owners for guidance. They are like children and grown and learn from their owners. Mature Voldons that were raised by their current owner can read that person's body language and emotions. They can know then their owner is depressed, happy, angry, or other things and they tend to mimic that emotion at times.

Voldons are not excessively active dogs; they only really need a long, daily walk to keep healthy. Most nobility lack a kennel-master to take care of these animals and put them in the care of them stablemaster, hire a kennel-master, or allow one of their sons to care for the animal if they show interest. They prefer to start indoors and lounge around most days or play with their owner. Most of the time they are very gentle when playing with people, but sometimes they get a burst of puppyish energy. During these times they will need to be allowed outdoors to romp around for a while. While in this strange phase the graceful animal will become rather awkward and clumsy while pouncing around and playing. Some youths often play and run around with their pets during the times that they are rather hyperactive or acting like puppies again. Most breeders highly advise against tussling with a Voldon, but not for reasons one would think. These animals will not become violent, but they are still very large animals, bigger than some types of ponies. Even without attempting to they could cause injury. It is dangerous for small children to be around these creatures during these bursts of energy because they cannot recognize their own strength and size. 
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Diet. Special attention should be given to this animal's diet. As the Voldon goes through a great number of growth spurts, it needs a steady diet that will supply its body. The first month of a pup's life it lives off of its mother's milk. Those who are raised by a dog-boy are kept alive on cow or goat milk. After that it should start eating small chunks of raw meat with some chopped up vegetables and a raw egg twice a day. Portions need to be even and as the pup grows the amount it eats will change. Chicken or other poultry, pork, lamb, and beef parts are different types of raw meats that could be fed to this breed, but not limited to those stated. Most Voldons are owned by rich merchants and nobility and most often get the less desirable, but nutritional pieces with choice cuts thrown in the mix every now and then.

Chopped up vegetables and a cracked raw egg with the shell should be mixed with the meat in a bowl for the dog. This isn't the only thing that they could be fed but while the dog is growing for the first two or three years of its life it is probably best to stick to a balanced diet. After the growth period there is little point in changing its eating habits. A bowl of water should always be somewhere that the dog can access it throughout the day. 
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Mating. Extensive records are kept for the offspring of these animals. Mostly breeders at the castle in Voldar will match two Voldons when the female is in heat. Nobles that own single females would bring that dog up to the castle while she was in heat. Female Voldons usually produce a litter of five to fifteen pups, but the average number is eight or nine. Most of the time the mothers can only care for six or seven pups and breeders have another mother that lost their pups raise the extra puppies. It is rare that a litter is lost and most times they have to get kennel boys (more commonly known as "dog-boys") to tend a few pups each day. This is normal and usually the one or two pups from each litter are raised by humans are kept instead of sold due to the fact they already have a bond with the boy that raised them.

These pups are kept in the care of the dog-boy that raised them and are used to protect the mansion or castle. This is because trying to force a pup away from the human that it has bonded with and make it bond with another can lead to behavioural problems. In a dog this big, behavioural problems cause destruction at the least. Some of the nobility that owns and breeds Voldons sometimes sell their extra pups back to the castle if they don't have children or the time to raise them up on their own.

At birth the pup usually weighs one or two ods and is blind and deaf. At two weeks they begin to open their eyes and ears. In a matter of two weeks the pups double in size. By about three months the pup are about the size of a full grown, medium sized dog. At a year the dog usually reaches its top height, but for the next year or two they would still gain bulk and possibly grow a bit taller.

After the females at the castle give birth to their pups, breeders check their records and pay visits to others that should have litters of pups being born. All female pups are registered and often the owner will be offered a good price for them. Only then are they allowed to take them out of the city, but they are required to keep the female in the province. Male Voldons are the only ones that are allowed to be taken from the area. Those that own female Voldons are closely watched and runners from Voldar are often sent by Dekaar Nettell to check up on them. The recognized breeders that are allowed to own and breed these dogs respect the attempt to keep the purebreeds to themselves. There are only a few known places within the province that breed these dogs. While they know that they cannot keep the purebred lines to themselves forever, they will attempt to hold onto it for a long as they can.
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Usages. Voldons are commonly used as watchdogs and family pets. Watchdogs will bark or growl or do something to alert their owners when something is out of the ordinary. The boisterous, mighty bark from this animal will send most intruders fleeing for their lives. Their low rumble and challenging gaze through a bedroom window will cause a would be intruder to think twice about attempting to enter that home. This in a sense is guarding. Their sheer size and powerful deep bark is very intimidating and does a wonderful job of scaring away would be thieves and attackers. A Voldon possesses power and strength and is more than capable of taking down an intruder at will.
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Breeders. Dekaar "Dog-boy" Nettell is one of the few men still alive that were around when the first batch of Voldon pups were born. He was just a dog-boy, about nine or ten years old, when the large female mutt gave birth to a litter of ten pups. For three weeks after the pup's birth, Dekaar lost a lot of sleep due to the fact that he was put in charge of the hounds. The pups that the mother couldn't feed had to be taken away from the litter a couple times a day and fed with a bowl of milk and clean rag. That was his job and he bonded with the pups by doing so. As they grew it was up to him to monitor their growth, judging their size and weight in relation to their information from a week before.

He was the main boy in charge of making sure all the pups survived since all the older boys had already been given litters to look after. He spent a lot of time with this breed and had kept many journals on them and even perfected the records that they keep in an attempt to keep the Voldons in only one province. Now he is the head breeder and caretaker of the Voldons and resides in the castle of Voldar. His nearly eighty years of age prevent him to be around the pups all the time, but he keeps an old Voldon in his rooms with him. He mostly catalogs breeding records and female birth numbers that are brought to him by the younger breeders and trainers.

Thanks to Dekaar, these animals have stayed within the area for a long time. It was about eighty years ago that the first Voldon litter showed up in Voldar's stables. While ten years after they started showing up, they were being sold out to nobles and merchants in the city, Dekaar worked to keep the females within the castle walls and then the walls of the city. Around 1648 the first female Voldon was sold to a breeder and nobleman outside the city walls. Since then, there are various factors that are involved in acquiring one of these animals and runners from Voldar are sent to check on the female Voldons once a month, if not more.
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 Date of last edit 11th Singing Bird 1668 a.S.

Information provided by Garret Arroway View Profile