The Kodael is one of the most popular hounds of Caelereth. They are bred and can be bought almost anywhere; because of this they are sometimes called the "Cael Hound". It isn't their beauty or rarity that makes this breed of dog prized, but rather their usefulness. This common dog can do many things and they are wanted in high quantity among the city guards of some Santharian cities. For the most part they are best used as guard dogs, but they can be trained to do an array of little tasks with time, training and patience. If raised right these dogs are a common choice for a family pet in most places. As pups these animals need a lot of attention and contact with people. This breed loves being around people and other animals and needs that contact as a pup to prevent loneliness that will lead to rebellion and end with aggressive behavior. If treated right and if properly handled as a pup, the Kodael is one of the most loyal hounds to be found.
The Kodael is a rather large and strong dog, its size good for the different
types of labour it is trained for. This particular hound usually stands about
two fores, with females
standing about one fore and
two palmspans at the
withers. They tend to weigh anywhere from seven
hebs to a
pygge. This hound's coat is
typically black with patches of tan, brown, or grey on the back, face, legs, and
paws. Its muzzle is almost always black; finding a dog of this breed without a
black muzzle is like finding a needle in a hay stack. Every once in a while a
pure white Kodael pup will be born, but that is about as rare as one without a
completely black muzzle.
The Kodael is normally a short-haired dog though it isn't uncommon to find one with long hair. They also have a double coat (under coat and outer coat). The outer coat is shed during in the late spring and grows back during the early fall. These dogs are easily identified by their big heads, ears that stand up straight, and sturdy, muscular, slightly elongated body. Their eyes are almond shape and dark brown in colour, with a lively and intelligent expression. This breed's physical appearance pretty much stays the same, but through interbreeding and the production of mutts some traits have begun to change, though pure breed lines hold dominance still. This animal tends to live ten to twelve years.
On the southern most continent of the world, this dog has adapted by developing a thinner outer coat that is shed only two or three months later. They also tend to be somewhat smaller and their overall structure is much thinner than others, somewhat like a wolf. Males stand at about a fore and couple palmspans at the shoulder, with females reaching a fore at most. In the southern regions, Strata area included, the colours of their coat are the lightest, ranging from a medium tan to light tan, with the usual black patches on the muzzle and smaller patches on the back.
In Nybelmar, they are roughly a palmspan taller and a bit brawnier than other Kodael. Longer, studier legs and a more compact body are also common for this animal. In this area of the world they are not as dependent on people and they can fend for themselves, but there are few strays. Their colouring and coat is not much different, but darker browns, blacks, and greys are more common, and in certain areas their coat is thinner or thicker than usual.
The Kodael are highly intelligent and agile dogs with a strong determination.
They can be trained to perform a small array of others tasks, but they are
highly prized as guard dogs. Its sensitive nose, makes tracking another one of
many skills that help with its main profession. They can also be trained as war
dogs and in days past it wasn't uncommon for the stray Kodaels of a city to be
collected and used for this purpose due to their already aggressive nature. The
hounds that are raised with the right about of
human contact are very loyal and friendly hounds.
Territory. This hound had its humble beginning like everything. Millenia ago they were found mainly in three provinces of Santharia: Xaramon, Sanguia, and Manthria. At that time they were used as herding dogs on sheep farms, a job they were not all that great at. It took a few more years for them to realize that these dogs made up for their lack of skills as sheepdogs. As they found out the animal was a rather good guard dog its uses began to expand. Cities began employing a few dogs and training them to patrol the city. Once more they began to find more uses for this animal and it swiftly began to spread. Today this animal can be found in some form or another world wide. Trade throughout lands brought these animals to many different parts of the world. They are mostly found in cities or with people, though few have been known to develop survival instincts and survive in the wild.
Habitat/Behaviour. This dog is a very cheerful and social animal. It enjoys and almost needs to be around people. They also seem to have an endless supply of energy and can wear down an active adult, but little kids seem to be a match for this playful hound. When this dog is working its demeanor changes and it knows that the time for play is at a halt for now. The Kodael tends to handle its jobs with a single minded determination with all its loyalty and trust given to its master. All the time it is very affectionate with its master and with children, tolerant of other animals, and wary of strangers. The Kodael expresses a fearless willingness to protect its home and owners.
One of the main factors that determine this dog's behaviour is the way it is raised. After the first six weeks with their mothers, they should be sold as soon as possible. The young pups need a lot of attention and they are most loyal to the people they grow up around. It is often hard for older Kodaels to get comfortable in a new home due to the fact that they only recognize one true family, but they are very affectionate and will recognize the another family after a time.
Diet. Like any canine, the Kodael eats meat. Only strays hunt and scavenge for themselves and usually an unlucky butcher loses a slab of meat to this dog, but the dogs that live in houses don't have the survival instinct unless trained. Most Kodael are kept in the house, barracks, or kennels are fed daily by their humans. This animal mostly eats scraps of meat though some of the more spoiled house pets get some of the choicier table scraps and left-over pastries from their masters or master's children. There are few Kodael on the streets because they have become dependent on people over the years.
Mating. This dog tends to mate only with another dog it has known for a while. Nobles and breeders tend to buy both female and male Kodaels so they will grow up together and when they are old enough they will produce puppies. People of the lower class that own a dog will look to their friends or family for a female or male dog to pair theirs with so they might pups to sell. These animals don't sell for much since they are common, but there is always a demand for them. And breeding always brings the chance of a rare pup that will bring in more money.
Neither hound needs to be aggressive or show dominance over each other. If they choose each other as their mate then a bond is already in place and the female usually submits to the male. After the female is pregnant, her stomach will swell and the pups will grow. Fifty-two to seventy-two days after the pups will be born. Eight is the average numbers of pups in a litter. For the first two months the father is only allowed near enough to deliver food for the mother. An unusually aggressive nature comes into play and the mother will even snap at her mate and even her beloved master if they come near at that time. After the first two months she relaxes a bit and lets others approach. The pups must stay with the mother for ten to twelve weeks before they are able to be sold. As a pup the Kodael needs lots of contact from its master and possibly other animals to prevent loneliness. That leads to rebellion and from there it leads to aggression.
Usages. The most common use of this animal is as a guard dog. It is not uncommon to see a city guard making his rounds with a Kodael at his side. These dogs will bond to one guard and only follow and be loyal to that one. Most of the time the captain of the guard will buy this dog when they are just pups so it can grow up with its owner and a bond can be formed. They allow the pups to choose its owner or offer a pup to a guard as a reward for service. If the Kodael's guard was to be killed on the job the hound would become useless as a guard dog. They never fully trust a second owner and will not work as well with another person. If a guard retires their hound will retire with them, and if the dog lives to be nine years old they will be forced into retirement. In most places the dog is allowed to spend the rest of their lives with their owner, for faithful service, and stay in the barracks or kennel while that guard is on duty.
The second most common use for this dog is as a pet. The Kodael get along great with children and parents tend to feel safer having a guard dog around. These dogs also can be trained to perform other small tasks that help with life in the city for some people. In some rare cases a Kodael can be trained to guide the blind. It had only been recorded to happen a few times and it takes years of training before the dog can accomplish this. After all the training the prices of these guide dogs rise so only the wealthy can afford them.
Myth/Lore. Because of the few occurrences of these dogs being trained to lead the blind, rescuing people, and other things, many of the religious fanatics believe that the first Kodael were the god's dogs. They believed that the gods gave the world their most prized creatures to help the people of the world. As the population and popularity of these dogs grow, so do the legends. Some tell of these animals helping in the wars, gliding over huge battles on pure white wings surrounded by a bright glow to deliver messages. There is some truth to some of these tales if one would take the time to search for it. It is not unheard of for these animals to be used during wars to send messages to other groups. Though flying over battles on white wings is a huge exaggeration. More like sneaking through the shadows and avoiding all signs of danger. No these animals aren't cowards; they just know when to fight and when to hide. Whether there is any truth behind these myths that the religious fanatics spread we may never know, gods work in mysterious ways.
Breeder. This man should be classified as a collector rather than a breeder, even though he is both. A man of questionable heritage that goes by the name Jovrek lives on the edges of the Santharian province of Manthria. After inheriting an estate from a father he never knew, Jovrek, made a good amount of coin, but never a name for himself. When his sons were old enough he turned the workings of the estates over to them and went back to the life he had set aside for many years. His two eldest sons manage the plot of land while his youngest son and only daughter work with their father, collecting rare animals.
Jovrek owns a number of canines that are rather rare due to their appearance. He is one of few known that own more than two or three pure white Kodaels. The same goes for Kodaels without the completely back muzzle. When attempting to breed more of these rare dogs he found that only one or two of the litter kept the white coat or different colour muzzle. With these rare Cael hounds, he also has different breeds of domestic dogs and other wild animals that he has purchased from tamers.
More than once he has tried to get his hands on a female voldon, but according to him 'that upstart breeder Dekaar' has turned him down quiet a few times already. There are a few other breeds that he has been unable to acquire, but with time he plans to 'own one of each at least'. Spoken like a true collector. While he never made a name for himself as a shrew business man, he is known for his collection and care of these animals. The coin he earns by selling some of these rare hounds is put toward more animals and caring for these creatures.