As soon as nine-year-old Samantha got home from the public library, she settled into the sofa and began to look at the books her mom had helped her select. Her favorite was one with pictures of rare breeds. As she leafed through the pages, she noticed one really unusual dog. Staring at the photo, she finally realized why. The dog had a double nose.
Double-nosed dogs are also known as split-nosed. According to the Canine Information Library, only three rare breeds with this physical characteristic have been identified even though mention of a split nose pops up in the history of certain European hunting dogs.
What looks like a double or split nose is apparently a normal canine nose. However, a band of skin and fur divides the nose in half from the center to the dog’s upper lip, separating the nostrils.
This double-nosed dog also goes by the several other names, among them Navarra Pointer, Old Spanish Pointer and Bracco Navarone. The Navarro is an ancient Spanish breed. However, by 1900, it was nearly extinct. Breeders subsequently revived the breed.
The origin of the Pachon Navarro remains a mystery. The breed has a short-haired and a long-haired type. Since the long-haired type has silky fur, breeders sometimes call these dogs sedenos, or “silkies.”
These double-nosed hunting dogs are very sociable. They’re amenable to being around other dogs. While males reach 22 to 25 inches, females grow to 21 to 24.
This split-nose dog is the only pointing breed native to Turkey, where it’s linked to the Tarsus-Mersin region. Breeders also refer to the dog as a Turkish Pointer and a Tarsus Pointer. The dogs are known for their relatively long life span, from 12 to 17 years on average.
The origin of the Catalburun remains unknown. However, most breeders assume the European pointers and hounds imported by Turkish nobility along with some Greek pointing dogs probably contributed to the breed. The gene pool today is so limited that Catalburuns are quite inbred.
These double-nosed dogs have short hair. Their bodies are sturdy, with strong legs, deep chests, powerful muzzles and an extraordinary scenting ability. Although they’re born in a number of color combinations, a white coat with darker patches from yellow and wheat all the way to black is the most common. Some are tricolored. The double nose is black, brown or pink.
Despite its stocky appearance, Catalburuns are quick and agile. They’re particularly skilled at hunting partridges. Since they don’t get along very well with other dogs, owners typically use a single dog for hunting. Though somewhat detached and standoffish with strangers, these dogs are devoted to their owners and friendly with children. They love working and need a lot of exercise to stay in peak condition.
Andean Tiger Hound
Experts speculate that this split-nose breed is most likely a descendant of the Pachon Navarros that Spanish conquistadors brought to Central and South America in the sixteenth century. AnyDogBreed.com indicates that this rare dog has been spotted in Bolivia. Among sightings is a 1913 report by an explorer named Percy Fawcett. In 2006 and 2007, the press published photos of a dam and her son.
Pictures of the Pachon Navarro suggest that that breed’s double nose is far less pronounced than that of the Andean Tiger Hound.
Breeders have speculated for decades that the peculiar anatomy of double-nosed dogs is responsible for a heightened sense of smell. However, this belief remains unsubstantiated.
Canine Information Library site