The wieselhund is a small type of working and hunting dog that originated in Blackmarsh. Two distinct breeds are recognized: the Longear and Shortear, with the Shortear being more common.
There are two distinct breeds of wieselhund; the Longear (Longs) and Shortear (Shorties), each dealing with how it has become specialized to function in the capacity of its desired profession.
Shortear wieselhund tend to be the larger and more robust of the breeds and are dedicated to herding. Though the Grasp is not at present known for its agricultural pursuits, in the past lamb was one of the chosen delicacies found within it. Shorties wieselhund, because of their small and stocky build, required less space to be kept and required less food than larger breeds.
Smaller and more slender than their counterparts, the longeared wieselhund was bred to hunt ground mammals. Much more like the breed's ancestor, the Longear use their sweeping ears to not only kick scents into the air, but also to hear tunneling vermin and other pests. Their slender bodies allow them to enter burrows easily and, with their tightly bunched muscles, they can fight in small quarters to drag out a resisting prey animal.
Because of the diminished capacity for the Grasp to maintain livestock in large numbers, the wieselhund has become more of a companion dog than it was in years past; however, though small and cuddly, they remember their vigorous and active ancestry. Hyperactive nearly to a fault if not worked every day, the wieselhund (particularly Shorties) are known for their tenacious spirit and fearlessness. It is not uncommon to hear of packs of wieselhund chasing off wolves from a flock. It is for this reason that several houses in the Grasp have adopted the wieselhund as part of their heraldry.
All artwork by Kelzack.