Whether you have a new puppy or an adult dog, or whether you have a dog from an animal shelter or from a breeder, one thing that all dogs share is a need for good socialization. Socialization helps the dog learn the social skills he needs to deal with other dogs and with humans. It helps dogs know how to behave in public. Well-socialized dogs learn about the world and develop a self-confidence that helps them in every aspect of their lives.

 

Socializing a puppy

The easiest time to socialize a dog is when he’s a puppy. This is because puppies don’t have any fears yet. You can introduce your puppy to everything for the first time and help him have good experiences. If he is reluctant about something or afraid, you can show him that there’s nothing to fear and help build his confidence.

 

Some of the things that you should introduce your puppy to in the home include the following:

 

  • TVs
  • Radios and stereos
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Kitchen appliances (dishwasher, blenders, other things that are noisy)

 

If your puppy is fearful of some of these things, such as the vacuum, you can encourage him to investigate it when it’s turned off. Let him play around it. Praise him and give him treats. Do not scare him with the vacuum or other things that could frighten him. Instead, show him that they won’t hurt him even when they are making noise. Don’t force your puppy to be close to these objects if he is scared. Let him get used to them and praise and reward him when he is relaxed around them.

 

For other common house and yard items, such as the lawn mower or weed eater, you should not encourage your puppy to get too close to them since they can be dangerous. However, you can praise and reward him for being calm when you use them.

 

Outside the home you can take your puppy to places where puppies and dogs are welcome so they can meet friendly strangers. Some people like to take their dog to pet supply stores that welcome dogs so people can pet them. You can also take your puppy to the park if dogs are welcome there. It’s best to avoid the dog park with a young puppy since some dogs can play too roughly and your puppy could be hurt. Dog parks can also be a place where canine diseases are passed so please don’t take your puppy there if he has not had his vaccinations.

 

One excellent way to socialize puppies is by enrolling them in a puppy preschool or puppy kindergarten class. These classes are often offered by pet supply stores, dog trainers, and kennel clubs. You can probably find one in your area. They are aimed at young puppies so they can gain some socialization with other puppies, have some interaction with other people, and learn some basic good manners. They are highly recommended. A puppy who goes to puppy preschool class will be ready to start a good basic obedience class when he’s a little older.

 

Socializing an older dog

Socializing an older dog can be a little harder but it can still be done. If you have obtained an adult dog from an animal shelter or from a breeder, you can cover the same things you would cover with a puppy. Try to find out if the dog has any particular fears or problems that you need to address. For example, some dogs can be fearful about men in hats. You’ll need to keep this in mind, especially if you encounter any men in hats. It might take some time for you to help your dog overcome this issue. Do not force your dog to meet men in hats. This will only make your dog more fearful. Instead, you can let your dog get used to hats, meet women in hats, meet men who put hats on and take them off, and so on. This can be a slow process and some dogs might never overcome this kind of issue. But this gives you some idea of the things you can do. You should praise and reward your dog for any small progress. And remember not to do anything to force your dog or scare him further.

 

Older dogs often benefit from a good obedience training class with their owner. Being in a class setting with a good teacher and learning new lessons often helps the dog build confidence which, in turn, is a good way to help with the dog’s socialization.


Most of the common worms associated with dogs are found in the gastrointestinal tract: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Although these worms are pesky and they can cause diarrhea, anemia, and other symptoms if left untreated, they can be easily treated and eliminated from your dog. If you suspect the presence of any of these worms your vet can do a simple exam to confirm their presence and treat your dog for them relatively inexpensively. Some owners worm their dogs a couple of times per year as a preventive measure.

 

Heartworms

Heartworms are different from these intestinal worms. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. The mosquito first bites an animal that is already infected with heartworms. This animal has tiny microfilariae – small, thread-like worms — in its bloodstream which the mosquito can transmit to another animal, such as your dog. Once these larvae are in your dog’s bloodstream they start to migrate toward the dog’s heart and lungs. When they are in the heart and lungs they become established and begin to grow. Adult heartworms can reach over a foot in length and live for years. A dog can host up to about 250 heartworms.

 

It takes several months from the time the dog is first infected for the heartworms to reach the lungs and heart and for them to be detected in a test by your veterinarian.

 

Where are heartworms found

In recent decades heartworms infections in dogs have been found in dogs in all 50 states. Heartworms have been found in dogs as young as a year old. Areas with higher mosquito populations are more likely to have heartworm-infected dogs, but any dog can get heartworms.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms may be barely noticeable at first, especially if the dog does not get a great deal of exercise. The heart and lungs are the organs more often affected but the liver and kidneys can also be affected. The first symptom is often a cough that becomes chronic, followed by exercise intolerance and abnormal lung sounds. When the disease is severe the dog may have difficulty breathing, enlargement of the liver, temporary loss of consciousness because of poor blood flow to the brain, fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity, abnormal heart sounds, and death.

 

Diagnosis and treatment

Your veterinarian can diagnose heartworms. There are several tests available. Most dogs can be successfully treated for the illness, especially if it is caught early. Treatment usually costs several hundred dollars depending on the method chosen and where you live. Complications can sometimes occur with heartworm treatment, especially if the dog has many adult heartworms present.

 

Heartworm prevention

By far the best, easiest, and least expensive way to keep your dog safe from heartworms is by keeping him on monthly heartworm prevention. Heartworm preventives work by killing any microfilariae which have been transmitted to your dog by mosquitoes each month – before they can do any harm. There are several different drugs used in various heartworm preventives for this purpose but they all act in the same way. Products include daily and monthly chewables as well as topical preventives that are applied to the skin. Some of these products are combined with products to kill other worms or with flea and tick medications. You should talk to your veterinarian to decide which heartworm preventive would be best for your dog.


The summer months can be lots of fun for you and your dog but they also pose some special challenges. Specifically, the noise from holiday fireworks and thunderstorms can be upsetting to many dogs. Even dogs who have never been bothered by these loud noises before can suddenly develop fears about them as they get older.

If your dog has issues with fireworks or thunderstorms, we have some suggestions for you so you can help your dog.

Dealing with loud noises in general

Most puppies are unaffected by loud noises. They don’t yet have any fears or negative experiences associated with noise. You can encourage your puppy to take noise in stride by petting him, playing with him, and showing him that things are fun if someone in the neighborhood is shooting off fireworks or if there’s thunder. Your puppy will take his cues from you and your attitude. When there is noise you should:

 

  • Stay positive and upbeat
  • Play with your puppy with toys
  • Keep your puppy entertained
  • Act like the noise is no big deal

You should not do the following things:

  • Do not make soothing sounds
  • Do not coddle, cuddle your puppy or offer sympathy
  • Don’t act like the noise is scary

If you do any of these things, your puppy will think that the noise is something to fear. The more you cuddle and soothe him, the more convinced he will be that he should be afraid! It doesn’t take very long for a puppy to become a basket case when he hears any kind of loud noise.

The happier you act when there is any kind of fireworks noise or thunder, the easier it will be for your puppy to think the noise is okay. Show him that the noise is good or no big deal.

Socialization

Puppies and dogs that are well-socialized are also better able to cope with loud noises. These dogs are typically calmer and they have more self-confidence. They are less likely to become fearful when they hear unexpected noises. It’s easiest to start socializing a dog when he’s a puppy but you can work on socialization with a dog at any age.

Fireworks

If your dog is scared of the noise associated with fireworks, there are some things you can do to help him.

  • Do not take him to fireworks displays
  • Do not put him outside when you know there will be fireworks, such as the 4th of July
  • Make sure your dog is safely indoors when you expect fireworks
  • Turn up the TV or stereo to drown out the noise
  • Consider staying home with your dog to keep him company when you expect fireworks nearby
  • Ask your veterinarian for a sedative for your dog if he still has problems relaxing when fireworks are expected

You can also work on desensitizing your dog to the noise associated with fireworks. This involves recording the sounds of fireworks and playing them for your dog. You start with the sound very low and gradually increase it until your dog becomes comfortable with the actual noise level.

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can be a little trickier than fireworks since some dogs are also sensitive to the static electricity in the air and the drop in air pressure, and not just the noise. They can sense a storm approaching several minutes before there is any thunder. If your dog gives you this kind of warning about an approaching storm there are several things you can do to help him. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use a thundershirt for your dog. A thundershirt wraps snugly around a dog’s body and gives him a feeling of comfort. It also keeps static away from his body. You can also use a snug-fitting T-shirt or tube top for the same purpose.
  • Give your dog a gentle herb to calm him such as valerian. Valerian is used to help people sleep and relax and it helps many dogs with anxiety about storms. You can also use rescue remedy made from flower essences.
  • Some dogs like to take cover in a place where static electricity won’t collect, such as a bathtub. If your dog heads for the bathtub or the tile floor in the bathroom, let him go there. These places make him feel more secure.
  • Finally, you can also work on desensitizing your dog to thunderstorms the same way you work on fireworks. Record the sounds of a storm and start by playing it for your dog very quietly. You can gradually increase the sound level until your dog is comfortable with the full sound.

Noise phobias are not easy to overcome but you can help your dog get through them.


Dogs have been connected to royals throughout history. While Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is known today as a famous dog lover, kings and queens have always had their favorite canine companions. Here’s a look at some of the dogs remembered today for their place in history.

Ancient times

The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to celebrate the dog. There are paintings of hunting dogs similar to Pharaoh Hounds, Ibizan Hounds, and other similar breeds in many royal tombs dating back thousands of years. The Egyptians also favored the fast, graceful Saluki for desert hunting and paintings of these dogs can be seen on the walls of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Favorite dogs were often mummified to accompany their owners into the afterlife.

In China, there were several breeds considered to be “royal” dogs over the millennia. One of these royal dog breeds was the Pekingese. The breed is over 2000 years old. The dogs were carefully bred and guarded in the Imperial Palace and only people within the royal circle could own one. A number of Chinese breeds, including the Pekingese, were unknown in the West until the 19th and 20th centuries because they had been so closely guarded.

Europe and the UK

Europe has many stories of famous royal dogs. Some of the most famous are the Pugs that belonged to William of Orange. Prince William of Orange (in the Netherlands) had his life saved when his Pug named Pompey alerted him to the approach of assassins in 1572. Thereafter, Pugs were often associated with the family. A Pug traveled with his descendant, William III, when he left the Netherlands to become King of England in 1688.

Pugs were also popular in France in the 19th century. The Empress Josephine had her Pug named Fortune carry concealed messages to Napoleon when she was imprisoned before their marriage. Later in the 19th century, Queen Victoria of England bred her own Pugs. Her involvement with the breed, and with other breeds, helped launch Britain’s Kennel Club. Victoria was so passionate about dogs and such a devoted dog breeder, that she helped develop a number of breeds we have today. For instance, she was instrumental in developing the Pomeranian as we know the breed now. Victoria was also responsible for making Collies and other Scottish breeds popular.

The royal Stuart family of Britain had a number of devoted dogs. One of the most famous was the dog Boye. Boye was the companion of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, nephew of Charles I, and one of his most dashing and accomplished military commanders during the English Civil War. Boye, a white Poodle that Prince Rupert used for hunting, often accompanied the prince into battle. Enemies of Prince Rupert and his dog alleged that Boye had supernatural powers. Prince Rupert received the dog while he was imprisoned during the Thirty Years’ War to keep him company. Boye accompanied Prince Rupert from 1642 to 1644 when he died at the Battle of Marston Moor. While he lived, Boye was a symbol of the Royalist cause and much-loved.

Mary Queen of Scots was also an animal lover. After she was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle in February 1587, it was discovered that her small Terrier had been hiding inside the folds of her gown. The dog refused to leave the side of his dead mistress.

One of the great dog lovers among British monarchs was King Charles II. He was famous for the small spaniels that always surrounded him – King Charles Spaniels or English Toy Spaniels. A different breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are probably named after his father, Charles I, who was also a dog lover.

Some breeds could only be owned by royals and nobles. The Scottish Deerhound – a Greyhound-type dog with a harsh coat for protection from the elements – could only be owned by people of the nobility in Scotland at one time. They are known as the Royal Dog of Scotland.

Today

Today Queen Elizabeth II is known for her beloved Corgis. She is said to have 10 dogs: four Corgis and three Dorgis (a cross between Corgis and Dachshunds). She also cares for three Corgis that belonged to her late mother, the Queen Mother. According to a recent news story, one of the Queen’s Corgi’s nearly took the ear off Princess Beatrice’s Norfolk Terrier, Max, at Balmoral during a vacation.

There’s also Kate and William’s dog Lupo. Lupo is a black Cocker Spaniel. There are American and English Cocker Spaniels though they used to be a single breed. Lupo is what Americans would call an “English” Cocker, though he’s simply a Cocker Spaniel in Britain.

You can see that not only are dogs man’s best friend, but they’re often a king or queen’s best friend.


Have you ever wondered what the well-dressed dog wears to bed? Sure, some dogs sleep au naturel in their fur, but some owners provide their dogs with fashionable night clothes. You can find pajamas, nightgowns, night shirts, robes, and a host of other bedtime clothing for your dog.

 

Pajamas

Doggy pajamas can range from styles that look like baby clothes to something a fashionista dog would wear. They can be made of flannel, fleece, and other soft materials for warmth and sometimes even come in “one-sies” or body suit styles to keep your dog warm all over his body while he sleeps. http://tinyurl.com/blk6uym Other pajamas are made of lighter material and would be good for summer wear. Pajamas come in all colors and styles so you might like to have several pajama outfits for your dog. They may feature cute applique images or other designs. More feminine pajamas can include ruffles and lace. http://tinyurl.com/c66wsk7

 

Nightgowns and night shirts

Nightgowns and night shirts for dogs usually look a little more “romantic” in style than pajamas. They have an old-fashioned appearance. The nightgowns are usually for female dogs and the night shirts are for male dogs. They can be made of various materials but often include some kind of poly/cotton blend to make them easy to wash. They often feature bows, rosettes, or embroidery and they are more elaborate in appearance than pajamas.

 

Robes

Yes, they even make robes for dogs. They are often made of a a heavier terry material so they will soak up water after you bathe your dog, but you can also wrap your dog up in a robe on cold nights to help him stay warm. http://tinyurl.com/c3vrz2z In some cases robes can even be customized so you can add your dog’s name to them. Very spiffy!

 

Tees

You can also put your dog in a tee or a thermal tee to keep him cozy while he sleeps. Tees come in all colors and are easy to find at most pet supply stores and online. Many of them have cute designs. Thermal tees are made to keep your doggy warm during the night and they typically come in fun colors and designs. http://tinyurl.com/cbfan44

 

Other nighttime accessories

Many places that sell night clothes for dogs will also sell dog beds, towels, and even collars, leashes, and harnesses that are made to match the clothes. You can sometimes find a clothing theme or color scheme that is used for dresses, hair bows, collars, leashes, and nighttime clothes. This makes it very easy to mix and match your dog’s clothes and other accessories. Plus, you can continue to add pieces as you find them which is nice for you and your dog. In some cases, you can even find toys that match your dog’s clothes.

 

Most night clothes for dogs come in sizes from x-small to x-large but you may need to measure your dog. Take measurements from the base of your dog’s neck to the root of the tail; around the ribcage right behind the elbows; and across the chest at the widest points. These measurements will usually give you the information you need to figure out what size to get.

 


Along with the basic items most dogs need, such as collars and leashes, many dogs need other accessories such as rain gear and booties. This is particularly true if you and your dog live in the city and you have to walk your dog in inclement weather.

Rain gear

Dog rain gear can be simple and slicker-style, or it can be quite elaborate. In many cases the rain gear is made of bright colors to help your dog be easily seen on a a gray day, so colors include yellow, orange, and pink. If the gear comes in darker colors you should make sure it has reflective strips to help your dog be seen in low light. Slickers and jackets can range from sizes that barely reach down to your dog’s stomach (a soft shell style) to some that come down almost to the ground. Most gear fits over the dog’s head and then buckles around the dog’s waist.

While some gear only includes the slicker or rain jacket, other rain gear will also have available a hat for the dog. Some gear will even have available rain boots. Just remember that the more rain gear you have for your dog, the longer if will take to put it on and take it off when you go outside.

Fabrics are usually water-resistant materials, just as they are with human rain coats.

Shoes and booties

Urban dogs can also need shoes and booties for walking on pavement. This is especially true on hot summer days and when the sidewalks are icy. Booties can help protect your dog’s paws on hot pavement in the summer, especially when it’s extremely hot. In the winter time, when sidewalks are icy, the ice is one problem, but the de-icing chemicals can also hurt your dog’s paws, especially if he goes home and licks them off his paws. Ingesting these chemicals can make your dog sick. Snow and ice can also lead to chapped and cracked paws. So, booties can be a big help in the city.

As you might guess, booties come in different styles and sizes. They generally come in sizes ranging from x-small to x-large. You can find them in fashion styles and in very sturdy styles.

Even if you don’t live in the city, booties can be helpful for dogs. If you hike a lot with your dog, especially over rough ground, booties can protect your dog’s paws. If you have an elderly dog who has trouble standing and walking, a pair of booties with soles that grip well can help your dog remain mobile.

Bandanas

You can find bandanas many places. They don’t have to be specifically made for dogs. Your dog can wear one of your bandanas. But there are lots of bandanas made just for dogs and some of them have fun sayings on them or cute artwork that applies to dogs. You can find them at pet supply stores or online. Even some of the companies that make designer clothes for dogs make matching bandanas. They’re fun and functional at the same time. You never know when you might need to use your dog’s bandana for something practical like covering a wound or soaking up some cool water when he’s hot. It’s a good idea to keep several bandanas for your dog so he always has some that are clean and ready to use.

Costumes For Dogs


For many dogs, the only time they have the opportunity to wear doggy clothes comes when they wear costumes for a special occasion like Halloween. But you can find costumes for dogs for many occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, the 4th of July, parties, and even for weddings – whether a doggy wedding or for your own wedding. Dogs always look wonderful in costumes.

Halloween

Most Halloween costumes for dogs are whimsical or humorous – perhaps because there’s something innately humorous about seeing a dog dressed up like another animal or some other object. Or maybe it’s because they just look so darn cute. http://tinyurl.com/c4vxfkt Most dogs accept wearing a Halloween costume with good grace, especially if it’s something like a body suit. If the costume has wings or other appendages, you should monitor it carefully to make sure it doesn’t poke the dog or frighten him. If it crinkles or makes some kind of noise when the dog walks, be sure to stay close by so your dog doesn’t become frightened. And be sure that you don’t let your dog eat the costume!

Christmas

Costumes for Christmas range from Santa and elf costumes, complete with beards and coats made of red velvet, to fancier outfits for Christmas parties. Many dog owners dress up their dogs around the holidays so they can take them to parties. If you do take your dog to a party keep in mind that your dog can only stay on his best behavior for so long. He still needs to go outside to potty and he will need water to drink during the party. He may also need a quiet place to get away from people at some point. Make sure that you don’t let your dog eat Christmas candy, chocolate or other sweets when he’s at a party. This is true for Valentine’s Day, too

4th of July

Uncle Sam costumes are popular for dogs around Independence Day. Many owners like to take their dogs to parades and outdoor events at this summer holiday. Remember that some dogs are afraid of the noise from fireworks so your dog might prefer to stay home at night with the TV on loud so the noise will be muffled.

Weddings and parties

If you are attending a wedding or formal party with your dog dressed up, try to choose your dog’s outfit ahead of time so you won’t be rushed. This will also allow you to find something else or make any changes if the outfit doesn’t fit or you change your mind. If you need to find some accessories to go with the outfit, you’ll also have plenty of time to track them down. Don’t scoff, but some owners plan weddings for their dogs. There are some gorgeous doggy wedding dresses available. http://tinyurl.com/ckj4pkb You might even need some doggy bridesmaid dresses and clothes for the groom. These things take planning! So give yourself plenty of time to find the clothes and accessories your dog needs.

Dog costumes are fun for both you and your dog. You don’t have to limit costumes to Halloween. Your dog can wear a wonderful costume for lots of great occasions.


Many people think of dog fashion as frilly dresses and little coats for dogs but dogs need many functional items of apparel. Just because your dog needs to wear something everyday doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish.

Some of the most basic dog accessories include collars, leashes, and harnesses. Today all of these items come in a myriad of colors, patterns, and styles.

Collars

Whether you have a tiny Chihuahua or the biggest Mastiff, your dog will need a collar. Collars range from sturdy nylon in solid colors to fancy fabric collars with designs, jewels, glitter, and other beautiful touches. You can choose the perfect collar to suit your dog’s personality or keep a selection of collars to wear on different occasions. In many cases you can purchase collars that match specific costumes or outfits. Some collars are made with cotton or other fabric inlaid over a nylon collar so the collar is both functional and pretty. You’ll find a wide range of these collars available for moderate prices.

You can also find many collars made of fine leather. These collars are usually comfortable for a dog and they are long-lasting. They typically come with plain or squared edges or rolled edges. Better quality leather usually costs more. You can also find braided leather collars and collars that feature elaborate designs sewn into the leather or stamped on the leather.

When choosing a collar for your dog you should buy one that allows you to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and your dog’s neck. It’s usually a good idea to buy less expensive collars for puppies because they will outgrow them quickly. Wait until your puppy is fully grown before buying expensive collars.

Leashes

You can usually find leashes to match collars, if this is important to you – and if you want your dog to be fashionable, it probably is important. Like collars, leashes range from sturdy nylon in basic colors to fancier designs inlaid in fabric over the leash. They also come in various kinds of leather.

Most leashes are either 4 feet long or 6 feet long. If you intend to do any kind of obedience training then a 6 foot long leash is desirable. If you live in the city and you wish to keep your dog closer to you, a 4 foot long leash might be a good choice for walking on city streets.

Harnesses

The same leash that matches your dog’s collar can also match a harness. There are many harnesses that are made to match collars and leashes. Harnesses are often recommended for dogs that pull on the leash or for very small dogs whose throats might be injured by a collar.

Harnesses can be made with fabric across the dog’s chest. The leash attaches to a ring on the back of the harness, along the dog’s back. In many cases the fabric across the dog’s chest is made of a breathable mesh material so it stretches. The harness buckles around the dog’s waist to stay in place. Harnesses can range from the most basic, functional equipment to attractive items of apparel for your dog.

These are just a few pieces of dog outerwear that virtually every dog needs but there are some other kinds of outerwear for special occasions such as rain gear and doggy boots. We’ll cover those items in the next article.

Are Purebreds More Prone To Diseases?


There’s a popular belief today that mutts are healthier than purebred dogs, or that purebred dogs are more prone to diseases. It’s hard to say exactly why this belief if so popular. Perhaps Americans like to believe in the myth of the “underdog” – the hardy dog who gets a bad start in life and turns out to be better than the pampered pooch. However, in this case, the myth is not true. You can find a great pet at your local shelter but your odds of getting a healthy, long-lived dog are better if you go to a good breeder and get a purebred dog.

Do purebred dogs have diseases? Sure they do. But so do mixed breeds. Here are the facts you need to know.

Genetic Disease

Dogs, in general, are subject to about 400-500 known genetic diseases. All dogs – purebred and mixed breeds – carry some genes for some of these diseases. With all the genes a dog has, there are always a few genes that can lead to genetic diseases. A purebred breed can be more likely to have one certain disease appear in the breed. But there will also be breeders who are working to eliminate the problem by carefully choosing dogs for breeding who don’t have the disease. There are often genetic tests so breeders can find a gene and spay or neuter dogs who have the gene so they won’t be used for breeding.

By contrast, dogs that are random bred don’t usually have breeders who are working to choose the best dogs for breeding. They don’t have genetic tests to identify a gene or a health problem. Dogs simply mate because of circumstances. They can have nice puppies but this doesn’t do anything to reduce the risk of genetic diseases if the puppies reproduce later.

It’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate the risk of a genetic disease from a breed, but careful breeding can greatly reduce the chance that a purebred dog you get will have a specific disease.

What About Hybrid Vigor?

Many people think that mixed breed dogs are healthier because of something called “hybrid vigor.” Hybrid vigor refers to breeding together two things that are different enough that the resulting offspring will be healthy and hardy. It doesn’t really apply to breeding dogs since all dogs are so genetically similar. Even dogs as different as Chihuahuas and Great Danes are basically the same. For example, if you breed a Labrador and a Poodle together, expecting to get hybrid vigor, you might instead double up on some of the same genetic health problems. Both breeds are subject to canine hip dysplasia and an eye disease called progressive retinal atrophy. So, breeding a Lab and a Poodle together might produce increased health problems instead of hybrid vigor. It’s the same with many mixed breeds. Most mixed breed dogs carry a variety of genes and when they are mixed with other random genes, you can get something unexpected which could produce some very unwelcome traits.

Good Start In Life

Another important factor to consider for any dog is whether they get a good start in life. A healthy mother dog who was vaccinated before giving birth will be able to pass on a good early immunity to her puppies until they are vaccinated. Puppies that are carefully raised during their first few weeks and who receive all their shots and worming before going to their new home are at a distinct advantage from a health perspective. On the other hand, puppies that are dumped at a shelter at an early age where they can come in contact with diseases and where they may lack good socialization are at a disadvantage. There are times when a shelter has to close and euthanize all of their puppies and dogs because of an outbreak of disease. Puppies who get a good start in life will usually have better health for a long time, especially if you continue to care for your dog and make sure he gets good nutrition and regular vet care. Puppies who get a bad start in life can have a harder time with their health.

You can see that there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to what makes purebred dogs healthier than mixed breeds. Of course, these are generalities. You can always find a good, healthy dog at your local shelter. And there are purebred puppies and dogs who are not healthy. But, overall, purebred dogs tend to be healthier than mixed breeds when you consider dogs in shelters who are not adopted as well as adopted dogs.

Popular Dog Breeds: Yorkshire Terriers


Yorkshire Terriers are one of the smallest of all dog breeds but don’t let that small size fool you! Yorkies are feisty little dogs with a big dog personality. They may be a Toy breed but they began as Terriers and they still have a Terrier attitude. Brave, determined, curious, and energetic, Yorkies are dynamos!

 

History

The Yorkshire Terrier is named for the region in England where they originated. At that time Yorkies were used to hunt vermin in textile mills. As Terriers they were fierce in finding and killing rats in the mills. They were owned and bred by weavers and working class people. But the small dogs were so beautiful that they became popular as pets for people in high society in England and Europe. By the late 19th century Yorkshire Terriers were fully established as companion dogs instead of ratters.

 

Temperament

Although they are no longer used to hunt and kill rats, Yorkies still have a Terrier personality in many ways. They are bold and fearless; they like to investigate things; and they are quite determined and energetic, especially for a small dog. In fact, if you’re not careful, a Yorkie will become the boss in your home so it’s important that you don’t let this little dog become too bossy or spoiled. They adapt well to all kinds of home environments and make excellent apartment dogs. They don’t require much exercise because of their small size. They do need to be around people a great deal and they crave human companionship. They love attention and they are very affectionate with their owners. However, Yorkies do tend to bark a lot so this is something you should take into account, especially if you live in an apartment.

 

Appearance

The Yorkie has a long, luxurious coat that has a steel blue body and tan coat around the face and legs. The coat is glossy, fine, and silky. Yorkies are very small dogs. They weight is not supposed to exceed seven pounds for show dogs though pet dogs might weigh a little more than this. Most dogs are between four and seven pounds when they are not overweight. There are some so-called “teacup” Yorkies sold sometimes which are excessively small – as small as a couple of pounds. Dogs this small often have an increased risk of health problems and a shortened lifespan. Yorkshire Terriers have their tails docked in the U.S. and dew claws are removed when the puppies are a few days old.

 

Health

Like many Toy and small dogs, Yorkies can have a very long lifespan. Their lifespan is reported to be 17 to 20 years, though the average lifespan may be somewhat shorter. However, like all breeds, Yorkies are subject to certain health issues. Issues in this breed include: bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca.

 

Genetic issues in the breed can include: distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome, luxating patella, portosystemic shunt, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse, and bladder stones.

 

Yorkies can also have problems with hypoglycemia, especially as puppies or juveniles. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and it is typically caused by going too long between meals. As a small breed Yorkshire Terriers need to eat several small meals per day, especially as puppies and young adults, to keep their blood sugar level steady. If your Yorkie shows signs of hypoglycemia it’s important to give him some Nutrical or syrup right away to get his blood sugar level up and then take him to the vet. Feeding frequent meals or adding snacks between meals usually prevents this problem.

 

Training

Yorkies are very smart little dogs and they can be easy to train. Ideally you should start training your Yorkie when he is young. Try to find good ways to motivate your dog. Some Yorkies are food-motivated but some aren’t. Praise, toys, playtime – all of these things can be used as motivation.

 

Be careful about using certain collars when training your Yorkie. Yorkies are subject to tracheal collapse and it has been suggested that pulling too much on the leash and collar is one possible cause of this condition. You should avoid using chain collars with Yorkshire Terriers for the same reason.