Beagles are one of the most popular breeds in the United States today and they’re dogs that nearly everyone can recognize. Cute and friendly, Beagles make great pets. Beagles are happy-go-lucky and they have a short coat that’s easy to care for. They’re the perfect dog for many people.



Small hounds, like the Beagle, date back to around the 16th century, when every English gentleman had his own pack of hounds for hunting. Larger hounds were used to follow deer while the smaller hounds were used to hunt rabbit. These smaller hounds became the first Beagles. The breed was further established in the 18th century when there was breeding to produce Foxhounds as distinct from Beagles. The breed as we know it today was set in type in the 19th century.



Beagles are a friendly, cheerful breed and they make an excellent family pet. They are gentle and love children and they are especially good at getting along well with other dogs. They love to be around people. Beagles tend to be very curious and they are also clowns. They like to entertain. However, if you are thinking of getting a Beagle you should know that these dogs are natural hunters and they will follow their nose wherever it leads. They have one of the keenest noses of any dog breed. Sometimes this means a Beagle will dig under a fence or try to escape in order to follow an interesting smell. If you are out walking your Beagle, keep a firm hold on the leash because if he sees a rabbit or squirrel he could race off after them. Beagles need plenty of daily activity and a good fence.


Beagles do have a “voice” and they are not recommended as apartment dogs unless you have very tolerant neighbors. They tend to bark or “bay” at times. In fact, the name “Beagle” may come from the French “be’geule” referring to the baying of the hounds when they are after game.



Beagles come in two height varieties – up to 13 inches at the shoulder and up to 15 inches at the shoulder. They may be any “true hound color,” including tri-color, red and white and lemon. (Here is a complete list of colors and marking for these dogs: They look like foxhounds in miniature and they are sturdy little hunting dogs. They are compact dogs with a short, hard coat. The coat is dense and it does shed quite a bit, though it’s easy to care for. If you run a brush over it once or twice a week it will cut down the shedding significantly. They generally weigh 20 to 25 pounds though, as a breed, Beagles are prone to overeating and gaining too much weight. Plenty of daily exercise is important for these dogs.



Beagles typically live 10 to 13 years but, like other breeds, there are some health problems that can appear in individual dogs. Some of the issues that can crop up include epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and dwarfism. “Funny puppy” – a developmental disorder seen in young Beagles – also can occur. Hip dysplasia occurs rarely. Disc problems with the back can occur. Possible eye problems include glaucoma and corneal dystrophy, as well as “cherry eye” and distichiasis where eyelashes grow into the eye and cause irritation. Retinal atrophy can also occur.


If you are interested in getting a Beagle puppy or any Beagle, be sure to talk to the breeder about health issues in the breed.



Beagles are smart dogs but they are not the easiest dogs to train. Their strong sense of smell will often cause them to be distracted during training. They can also be a little hard-headed and focused on whatever they are doing so they can ignore your commands at time, especially if they are investigating something. If your Beagle is off chasing something, you can forget about him coming when you call him, especially if he’s after a rabbit or some other prey. Fortunately, they are food-motivated so positive reinforcement methods using food as reward will give you a chance to train your Beagle to learn some basic obedience. They often excel as hunting dogs and in field work.

Poodles are one of the most intelligent of all dog breeds. Although many people think of them as a frou-frou breed and associate them with fancy haircuts and dog shows, Poodles are actually lively, active dogs who make excellent family companions.



Poodles originated in Germany and were originally used as water retrievers. It’s said that the original Poodle clip or hair cut comes from the fact that hunters trimmed the dogs and left extra coat on their joints to help them keep warm in cold water. The Standard Poodle – the largest of the Poodles – is considered to be the oldest of the Poodle varieties. The breed was probably established by the 15th-16th century. The Miniature Poodle was later used for truffle hunting; while the Toy Poodle was popular as a performing dog in circuses. Toy Poodles were also royal favorites during the time of Louis XVI in France.



The AKC breed standard for the Poodle (all sizes) describes their temperament in the following way: “Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.” Poodles require regular daily exercise, whether you have a Standard Poodle or one of the smaller varieties. They are very smart dogs and they enjoy learning tricks and performing. They like to be the center of attention. Poodles are also affectionate and devoted to their owners. They generally get along well with other dogs and pets. You should be aware that because they are so intelligent, Poodles tend to get bored easily, especially if they don’t have anything to do or something to keep them busy. They can become quite mischievous and get into trouble when they’re bored. Poodles do best if they receive training and participate in an activity they enjoy such as agility or obedience. Poodles can also have a strong natural hunting drive and some people still use Poodles for hunting and retrieving work.



The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches tall at the shoulder. The Miniature Poodle is between 10 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder. And the Toy Poodle is under 10 inches tall at the shoulder. Otherwise, the dogs are built the same way and come in the same colors. They have a squarely-built appearance with very dark, oval-shaped eyes. Their ears hang down long and close to their head. The Poodle’s coat is curly and naturally harsh and dense. They can be many different colors such as white, black, apricot and gray, but they are not parti-colored under American Kennel Club rules.


Unlike most breeds which have a double coat, Poodles have a single coat. They don’t have an undercoat. They also shed minimally. Instead, their hair continues to grow and curls. They have to be clipped every six to eight weeks to keep the coat trimmed for a pet trim. Some owners allow the coat to grow out into curls but if you do this you will need to brush the coat routinely so it won’t mat. Show dogs require much more extensive grooming to achieve the look you see at dog shows. A pet trim for a Poodle is very easy to care for and comfortable for the dog. Any good professional pet groomer can groom your Poodle for you.


Because they are single-coated and shed minimally, Poodles are considered to be a good choice for people with allergies. If you have an allergy to dogs, be sure to meet the individual dog to make sure that you can tolerate being around him or her. You will still need to take steps in your home such as vacuuming frequently. It will also help to bathe your dog often.



The Poodle Health Registry lists the following common serious health issues for Standard Poodles: Addison’s disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (also known as GDV or bloat, torsion), thyroid problems (both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid), tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Ear infections can also plague Poodles in general because their coat is nonshedding and the hair grows into the ear, trapping wax and dirt. This problem can largely be prevented with good ear care. You should consult your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of an ear infection.


You can find out more information about these health issues and others on the Poodle Club of America web site: If you are thinking of getting a Poodle puppy or any Poodle, be sure to talk to the breeder about health issues.


While these issues can appear in Poodles, these dogs are one of the longest-lived breeds, especially Miniature and Toy Poodles. Various surveys show that Standard Poodles usually live between 11.5 and 12 years. The leading causes of death are cancer, old age, bloat, and cardiac disease. Mini and Toy Poodles have a lifespan of 14 to 14.5 years. Leading causes of death are old age in Miniature Poodles; and old age and kidney failure in Toys. Some Toy Poodles have been known to live into their 20s.



With their superior intelligence and desire to learn, Poodles are very easy to train. They can excel at just about any activity. They are natural show-offs. They do well in conformation dog shows, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, and hunting events, as well as sports like flyball and disc dog. True to their origins, Poodles also love water and you can enjoy sports like dock dog with them. Your Poodle can learn to do just about anything.

shetland sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is a small herding dog that originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Though they resemble the Rough-coated Collie, they are not miniature Collies. Shelties are highly intelligent, loyal, trainable dogs. They’re one of the best breeds for obedience work and they’re talented at many different jobs.


While Shelties are not miniature Collies, they do share some common ancestors. Both breeds trace back to the Border Collie of Scotland. These useful herding dogs were taken to the Shetland Islands and then bred with some of the small, intelligent, longhaired dogs already present on the islands. The resulting dogs were quite small, which made them perfect for farmers on the islands who preferred smaller dogs. There were crosses with Collies and probably other herding dogs over the years to produce the best herding dogs. Shelties were used to help on the farm and to protect the home. They watched over crofters’ cottages, flocks and herds.

Because of the isolation of the islands, the breed did not become recognized by the Kennel Club in England until 1909. They were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1911.


Owners say that Shetland Sheepdogs have an almost human understanding. They are smart and intuitive. They are devoted, docile, alert, and extremely loyal. They make good family dogs but they can have a tendency to herd children and other animals. They can also be barky and yappy at times. They love their families but they can be reserved with strangers. These qualities can make them a good watch dog since they will bark and give a definite alarm when someone is coming.


Shelties love suburban and rural life but they are an adaptable breed and they can adapt to more urban living. However, they do require regular exercise. They are quite energetic. If they don’t get enough exercise they can become destructive or nervous in the home. With their dense double coat, they require quite a bit of brushing and coat maintenance.


Shelties stand 13 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and they typically weigh between 16 and 20 pounds.


Their coat can be black, blue merle or sable, marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan. It is a dense double coat meaning that the outer coat consists of long, straight, harsh hair; and the undercoat has short, furry, dense hair that gives the coat a “standoff” quality. The hair on the face, tips of the ears and the paws should be smooth. Shelties also have a “mane” of hair and frill around the neck and throat.



Shetland Sheepdogs are generally considered to be healthy, sturdy little dogs. The typical lifespan for the breed, according to surverys, is 12 to 13 years. The American Shetland Sheepdog Association, the AKC parent club for the breed, is very active in health matters. According to the club, hip dysplasia, thyroid disease, eye diseases, dermatomyositis (Sheltie Skin Syndrome), von Willebrand’s
disease (vWD), and epilepsy are problems that can occur in the breed, although these problems are not common. The club recommends that breeders have dogs tested for hip and eye problems prior to breeding and two tests from among the following list of tests: von Willebrand’s Disease, Multiple drug sensitivity (MDR1) DNA test, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Collie eye anomaly DNA test, Elbow dysplasia evaluation. Optional tests for breeders include Congenital cardiac database and the American Temperament Testing Society, TT title.


Again, these issues are not common in Shelties but the club is very proactive. If you are interested in getting a Sheltie puppy or an older dog, you should talk to the breeder about health testing. Do not expect any breeder to have done all of these tests! Most breeders will do the recommended tests and probably a couple of others, depending on what potential health problems they think might be present in their bloodlines.

For more information on Sheltie health issues visit the club’s web site:


Shetland Sheepdogs are usually ranked as one of the most intelligent breeds of dog. They’re also willing to please and easy to train. They excel in just about every dog activity and sport. They’re great at obedience, agility, rally, herding, tracking, flyball, and nearly anything else you want to teach them. They make a great partner for anything you’d like to do.

Shelties do have a strong work ethic so they’re usually happier when they have an owner who wants to train them and do things with them. They’re less happy lying around the house and doing nothing. If they don’t get enough exercise and mental challenge, they can develop behavior problems. They need a job or an activity so they stay busy.


Gentle and sweet, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an elegant but energetic Toy dog. They are perfect for people in the city or the country. Similar dogs have been recorded in paintings and tapestries for centuries and the dogs get their name from the Merry Monarch, Charles II, who was so fond of small spaniels.



The British Isles have a long history of small spaniels. They were originally kept as small hunting dogs but in Tudor times the small dogs became popular as companions and pets. Under the Stuarts in the 17th century, a variety of small spaniels became popular, thanks in large part to King Charles II. There are many paintings and tapestries from this era that show household spaniels belonging to the King and to aristocratic families.


Today’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was largely developed by the American fancier Roswell Eldridge. Mr. Eldridge traveled to England in the 1920s looking for spaniels of this old type. He was unable to find exactly what he wanted but he offered prize money at Crufts each year to the best male and female of this old type of spaniel to help spur interest in reviving the kind of dog he had in mind. The first Cavaliers were sent to America in 1952 but because of their small numbers, they were not admitted to the American Kennel Club until 1996.



Cavaliers are cheerful, friendly dogs. They are gentle, sweet, and trustworthy with children. They love being part of a family. They are very affectionate dogs. They are also playful, curious, and eager to please. Like other spaniels, the Cavalier tends to be adaptable. They enjoy exercise but they can be perfectly content sleeping next to you on the sofa. While they are a Toy breed, they still have some hunting dog instincts. Owners report that their Cavaliers will stalk butterflies in the garden and display some other bird dog behaviors from time to time. They make an excellent family dog.




Cavaliers are usually considered to be beautiful dogs. They have a medium-long silky coat that requires brushing once or twice a week but their coat isn’t so long that it’s a chore to care for. They don’t require any trimming. They have long hair covering their paws that is usually allowed to grow. The hair often resembles “slippers.”


Cavs stand 12 to 13 inches at the withers; their weight is proportionate to their height, between 13 and 18 pounds.


The dogs have a sweet, gentle, melting expression with large, round eyes. The eyes are dark brown with a lustrous, limpid look. Cavalier coat colors include Blenheim – Rich chestnut markings well broken up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears must be chestnut and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes, with a white blaze between the eyes and ears, in the center of which may be the lozenge or “Blenheim spot.” The lozenge is a unique and desirable, though not essential, characteristic of the Blenheim. Tricolor – Jet black markings well broken up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears must be black and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes, with a white blaze between the eyes. Rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears and on underside of tail. Ruby – Whole-colored rich red. Black and Tan – Jet black with rich, bright tan markings over eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and on underside of tail.



Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do suffer from several notable genetic health problems. Potential issues include early-onset mitral valve disease (a heart problem), syringomyelia (a spinal problem). These health problems have received widespread attention in the news media but less attention has been paid to the research being done to solve these problems. and


Hip dysplasia isn’t a widespread problem in the breed. Based on 6249 dogs x-rayed for OFA, Cavaliers are ranked 79th among over 168 breeds and mixes. Some 12.4 percent of dogs in the breed have had some degree of hip dysplasia. 4.1 percent of dogs x-rayed in the breed have been rated as having Excellent hips. Luxating patellas can occur in Cavaliers as with many Toy breeds. Cataracts and retinal dysplasia can also occur in some dogs. While breeders are advised to screen their dogs for possible eye problems, the breed isn’t particularly noted for any eye diseases. PSOM, a middle ear infection, can also be found in Cavaliers.



Cavaliers are eager to please and usually easy to train. Like their larger Sporting dog cousins, the Cavalier has a good attitude toward work and training. They enjoy doing things with their owners. They make outstanding therapy dogs, as you might imagine, but you can also train your Cavalier to take part in many other kinds of dog activities. They respond very well to positive reinforcement and most of them enjoy food rewards

The National Dog Show

The National Dog Show has become one of the most important and best-loved dog shows in the U.S. in recent years. The show is actually held by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia dog clubs that came before have been holding dog shows since 1879. The present-day Kennel Club of Philadelphia presented its first dog show in 1912 and became a member of the AKC in 1913.


Unlike most shows today, the National Dog Show is a “benched” show. This means that the participating dogs stay in crates behind the scenes when they aren’t being shown, with their exhibitors next to them, so they can meet the public. This allows the public to learn about the dogs and talk to the exhibitors about them. In the early days of dog shows in the 19th century, all shows were benched but these shows are rare today. Only six shows in the country today are benched. Most shows are “show and go” now, with exhibitors and their dogs leaving the facility as soon as they have finished showing.


The show became known as the “National Dog Show” in 2001-02 when it was first televised on NBC. The National Dog Show has the coveted slot immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (at noon in all time zones) on NBC and in some markets is shown multiple times during the day. Since a dog show actually takes many hours to complete, the show is filmed the weekend prior to the Thursday airing on NBC. This gives the network time to edit the show and get it ready for TV.


Hosts for the program are John O’Hurley and David Frei. Actor John O’Hurley was well-known as Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld, prior to assuming the role of host for the National Dog Show. David Frei is the public spokesperson for the Westminster Kennel Club and also hosts the television broadcast of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on the USA Network in February. The National Dog Show annually has around 20 million viewers. Presenting sponsor for the show is Nestlé Purina PetCare, maker of numerous brands of dog food such as Alpo, Beggin’ Strips, Beneful, Dog Chow, and Purina ONE.


The Best In Show winner in 2012 was the Wire Fox Terrier – GCH Afterall Painting the Sky, a.k.a. “Sky.” More than 2000 of the country’s top dogs will be entered this year, representing over 150 breeds and varieties.


If you plan to be in Philadelphia November 16-17, you can attend the dog show in person.


Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
100 Station Ave, Oaks, PA 19456

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013

Adults (ages 13+): $14
Children (ages 4-12): $7
Children 3 and under are admitted free


As usual, the shows will help raise money for a variety of canine-related causes. Previous beneficiaries of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia include the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. There will be conformation judging each day as well as top agility dogs in the ring at each show. Saturday’s show will be filmed for nationwide broadcast on Thanksgiving Day. Sunday’s show offers enhanced athletic dog exhibitions plus family-friendly activities and hands-on fun. The weekend will feature a flyball tournament, freestyle flying disc, and therapy dogs from the Ronald McDonald House. Check out the program for the shows here:


Whether you’re at the show in person or sitting in front of your television, the National Dog Show always showcases terrific dogs and people who love them.

In part 1 of this article we looked at some of the great Hollywood dogs of the early Silver Screen. But that’s just the beginning. Movie fans have never lost their love for those larger than life canines we see in the movies.

Benji. Benji was one of the most popular dogs since Lassie. This lovable mutt appeared in numerous movies beginning in 1974 with the self-titled Benji, all the way through his most recent film in 2004 called Benji: Off The Leash! In the first film Benji was played by a shelter dog named Higgins who was trained by Frank Inn – also famous for training many animals for televisions shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres. Benji is always a small, lovable mixed breed dog who has a knack for appearing just when he’s needed, usually to help someone with a problem. Benji was later played by his offspring Benjean. There was even a 1983 television series called Benji, Zax, and the Alien Prince.

Beethoven. Dog lovers know that Beethoven is a giant Saint Bernard who, through unusual circumstances, comes to live with an unlikely family. It takes some convincing, but eventually the father of the family agrees to keep the dog. From there, Beethoven and his family have some amazing adventures in a series of films. Beethoven is the first film in 1992 and it was followed by six sequels in which Beethoven becomes a father, among other things. The films were extremely popular as family comedies.

Chihuahuas in Hollywood. There are several Hollywood movies in recent years starring Chihuahuas such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Legally Blonde, and Legally Blonde 2. The tiny Chihuahua in Legally Blonde is Bruiser – an unlikely name for a Chihuahua, but she was apparently named after a John Grisham character. Legally Blonde 2 is about finding Bruiser’s mom who is owned by a cosmetics firm that tests products on dogs. In Beverley Hills Chihuahua we have talking dogs. Pampered pet Chloe the Chihuahua is dognapped in Mexico and has to escape from a couple of bad dogs. This Disney film has already had two sequels. Chihuahuas are definitely hot these days. Take your pick and enjoy watching a movie featuring a Chihuahua.

This is just the tip of the doggy iceberg. Other popular canine stars in recent years include Buddy in the Air Bud series of films. He also played Comet on the series Full House. Handsome Buddy began life as a stray.

There’s also the 2008 film Marley & Me, based on the book by journalist John Grogan. The film covers the entire life of one yellow Labrador Retriever and his family. Since the film spans 14 years, 22 yellow Labs are used to play Marley in the film. Be prepared to cry when you watch this film.

Who can forget Hooch in the 1989 film Turner & Hooch? Hooch is the large Dogue de Bordeaux in the film who stars opposite Tom Hanks. Most people had never seen a Dogue de Bordeaux before this film. Hooch’s real name was Beasley.

Another famous dog is Winn-Dixie who comes from the film Because of Winn-Dixie. This is another case of a movie introducing a rare breed to Americans. Winn-Dixie looks like a scruffy stray dog but this is actually a rare breed from France called the Berger Picard or Picardy Shepherd.

There are so many wonderful dog movies and fantastic canine stars. We hope you will find some great dog movies you enjoy.

What would Hollywood be without its famous canine stars? Dogs have been parading on the silver screen all the way back to the silent era and more than a few dogs have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. How many of these doggy movie stars do you remember?


Strongheart. Every list of great dog actors has to start with Strongheart. Not only was he the first dog to win the heart of the American public but he was the first canine movie star. Strongheart was a male German Shepherd born in 1917. He was trained in Germany as a police dog before coming to the U.S. before appearing in many silent films, including a 1925 adaptation of White Fang. He did much to popularize the German Shepherd which was still a new breed at the time. Strongheart has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his bloodline still survives today.


Rin Tin Tin. Strongheart was followed in films by Rin Tin Tin, another popular German Shepherd, who is probably better remembered today. Rin Tin Tin was rescued as a pup from a German battlefield in 1918 by an American soldier who brought him back to the U.S. The soldier trained Rin Tin Tin and found work for him in silent films. This canine actor went on to star in 27 films and was famous around the world. Rin Tin Tin did much to make Warner Brothers a successful studio. Along with Strongheart, he helped make the German Shepherd immensely popular in the U.S. Rin Tin Tin also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Petey. Petey, Pete the Pup, or Pete, the dog with the ring around his eye, was well-known in his day as the dog in the Our Gang or Little Rascals comedies. Of course, Petey was an American Staffordshire Terrier – what many people today would call a “pit bull.” In the 1920-40s when Petey was a star, this breed was loved and admired in the U.S., and they were known to be especially good with children. Today negative media attention has given them an often undeserved bad reputation. A number of dogs played Pete over the years, including an American Pit Bull Terrier named Pal The Wonder Dog and his offspring Lucenay’s Peter.


Lassie. One of the best-loved of all canine stars is Lassie. For the movies, the role of Lassie (a female) was played by a male Collie named Pal in Lassie, Come Home in 1943. The story – and the dog – were so popular that Pal appeared in six more movies in the next few years playing Lassie. He was owned and trained by Rudd Weatherwax, a remarkable animal trainer. In 1951 Mr. Weatherwax acquired the Lassie name and trademark from MGM and he and Pal, as Lassie, toured rodeos, fairs, and other events across the country. Then in 1954 a new generation of fans discovered Lassie when his son carried on the name with the award-winning TV series. Lassie has appeared in every kind of media and his descendants continue the tradition today.


Asta. If you love madcap, screwball comedies from the 1930s, or if you’re a Nick and Nora Charles fan, then you know Asta. Asta, a Wirehaired Fox Terrier born in the early 1930s, may have starred in more classic movies than any other dog actor. His credits include The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, the Topper movies, and the Thin Man movies. He worked with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, William Powell, and many other stars. Yet he could easily steal scenes from all of them. Asta’s real name was Skippy and he had other famous roles such as Mr. Smith in The Awful Truth and George in Bringing Up Baby, but he’s best known as Asta. Thanks to Asta, the popularity of Wirehaired Fox Terriers skyrocketed in the United States.


Toto. Most people know who Toto is. He’s Dorothy’s dog pal on her trip over the rainbow. Winsome little Toto appears in the 1939 Hollywood classic The Wizard of Oz as a Cairn Terrier. Toto was played by a female brindle Cairn named Terry. Terry was paid $125 per week during the filming of the movie which was more than many of the human actors received. During production of the film one of Terry’s paws was broken when one of the actors stepped on it and she had to be replaced by another dog for a time. Her owners and trainers changed Terry’s name to Toto.

Kurzhaar - German shorthaired pointer

Versatile, highly intelligent, and possessing a steady temperament, the German Shorthaired Pointer makes an excellent family dog. They are natural athletes who love doing things with an active owner or family. They’re also loyal and affectionate dogs.


The exact origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer is unclear but they are probably descended from the old Spanish Pointer which formed the basis for many sporting breeds, along with the German Bird Dog, the English Foxhound, English Pointers, and local German tracking dogs. The result was a versatile utility dog, capable of hunting many different kinds of game. The breed is good at trailing, retrieving, and pointing pheasant, quail, grouse, waterfowl, raccoons, possum, and even deer and other large game. They were first admitted to the AKC in 1930.


German Shorthaired Pointers are even-tempered, affectionate, and loyal. They are friendly and willing to please. They are also highly intelligent and energetic dogs. They need regular daily exercise and do best if they have room to run. These dogs are natural athletes and they enjoy having things to do. A dog that is cooped up indoors all day will need an outlet for his energy or he will develop behavior problems and become destructive in the home. This breed typically gets along well with other dogs and pets and they are good with children. They are often recommended as a good breed for families, especially for people who have a good fenced yard.


The GSP is a medium-large dog with an aristocratic bearing that comes in liver or liver and white. They often have liver ticking over their bodies and solid liver markings on their face and ears, or liver patches on their bodies. They can also be liver roan (a mingling of liver and white hairs). As the name implies, they have a short coat that is hard and smooth. Their coat is easy to care for and requires minimal grooming. German Shorthaired Pointers do shed seasonally and then it’s necessary to keep them brushed to cut down on the shedding. The paws are webbed. Dogs typically weigh 55 to 70 pounds and stand 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder; females are slightly smaller. In the U.S. the tail is docked. These elegant dogs have clean lines, good looks, and a sound temperament.


The GSP is considered to be a generally healthy breed. Like most larger dogs, they can be subject to hip dysplasia. Genetic eye diseases are known in the breed, as well as epilepsy. Skin problems can occur and cancer can appear, especially in the mouth. Before buying any puppy or dog you should always talk to the breeder about health issues in the breed and inquire about what health tests the puppy/dog and his parents have had done.


German Shorthaired Pointers are exceptionally bright dogs and they are usually easy to train. They are also very active dogs. Smart, active dogs need something to do or they will find ways to entertain themselves that usually involve escaping from your yard or destroying your house. GSPs have a very strong urge to hunt. Left to their own devices, they can get out of your yard and go hunting on their own. They might return with your neighbor’s cat or start bringing you back other small critters that you don’t want. For these reasons, it’s absolutely essential that you provide training for your German Shorthaired Pointer (puppy kindergarten, obedience training). In addition to training, it’s also recommended that you provide regular activities that will keep him happy and tired. Whether it’s playing with you and your children until he falls asleep or getting involved in some dog sports or hunting or just taking him for regular runs several times per week, this dog needs something to keep him happy and busy.

Your dog may be your best friend, but he is also his own person, er, canine. He may snuggle with you in your bed, nuzzle you with his cold nose and give you plenty of love. But remember that he won’t do things just because you ask him to. There has to be something in it for him. Usually, it’s toys, food, dog treats, excitement in your voice etc.

This is particularly evident when you’re training your canine friend to move without you, during agility training. You may usually need a toy to motivate your dog during training. But some dogs don’t respond to toys, and respond to food instead. Other dogs are motivated by the sound of your voice. Figuring out what motivates him will make training much easier for you.

Motivation With Dog Treats

Many dogs respond to food, but not always their regular puppy food. Dog treats that your puppy chomps down and clears up in seconds will give you the best results. Treats can include sliced boiled eggs, turkey and chicken. These treats can be both a reward as well as a trigger for certain commands that you’re trying to teach your dog. For instance, if you are trying to teach him obey the command ‘leave it alone’, you can hold the treat in your hand so that he comes over and sniffs, in an attempt to find the treat. If you say ‘leave it alone’ and he draws back, then you can reward him with the treat. You will need a reward for all types of training, and dog treats work well.

How To Motivate Your Dog With Toys

Many dogs have their favorite toys – a rubber ball, a miniature rubber bone, a plush toy or even a chew toy. These toys can be both a trigger and a reward and get your dog to respond. Ignore the toys that your dog doesn’t feel particularly fond of. Focus instead on the toys that he gets excited about – not too excited though, or else he won’t be able to focus on the training.


If toys don’t get him excited at all but he loves food, then you could simmer a toy in chicken broth or with some liver. But be careful – don’t leave him alone with this delicious smelling object or he might actually eat it! You don’t want to have to surgically remove it from his gut.

Show That You Are Having Fun

If you’re stony faced and seem bored out of your wits when training your puppy, he will catch on and won’t want to join. Be sure to show lots of excitement during the session with your adorable pup, no matter how exasperating he can sometimes get with not responding to simple commands. Be motivational, not punishing. When he does what you want, give him plenty of applause. You could even exaggerate your excitement a little, but only depending on your dog’s temperament. Remember, he’s like a child. The more fun he has doing something, the more he’d want to do it again.

Some sensitive and shy dogs can get frightened by loud noises and sudden movements. With such dogs, you should adopt a friendly and even voice, speaking and clapping softly and not moving unnecessarily. Be gentle and you’ll find your dog responding positively to the training.

On the other hand, there are some dogs that are too excitable, and a single whistle or excited calls can set off a manic crazy-eyed race around the grounds. Be gentle with such temperamental dogs too or you could end up getting nowhere.

Other Tips To Motivate Your Dog

You should know when to stop. After some time, even the most motivated dog will get tired of playing games. When he starts getting distracted easily and keeps stopping, you should recognize the signs. Stop just before this point and give him a little rest. You can always go back to training in an hour or so after he’s rested.

Motivating your pet is about getting him to do what you want, something that he has fun doing and would do again. Never use treats and praises to get him to do something that he hates (such as getting into the tub when he hates water). And always be sure to have fun training your new, loving, loyal, furry friend!


Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a proud owner of her two dogs – german sheppard Billy and moody poodle Sam. She is interested in topics related to alternative medicine for pets. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by Stefmar.

Top Breeds For Winning Dog Shows

The AKC currently recognizes 178 breeds and varieties. Theoretically, every one of these breeds and varieties has an equal chance of winning Best In Show at a dog show. In practice, however, that’s not quite how things usually work out. Some breeds do tend to win BIS more often than other breeds.

Which Breeds Win The Most?

Top-winning dogs vary from year to year but some of the top winning breeds that consistently win Best In Show include Poodles (all three size varieties), German Shepherds, and some of the wire-coated Terrier breeds. Many of the Toy breeds, such as the Pekingese, are also favorites in the Best In Show ring. It’s probably no coincidence that these are all breeds that frequently attract top professional handlers, too. Owner-handled dogs can win Best In Show but the owners have to be very good handlers and the dogs have to be very good.

Top Breeds

According to Dog News magazine, the top dogs in the United States competing in conformation dog shows this year, through the end of August are:


GCH CH Afterall Painting The Sky (F)
Fox Terrier (Wire)
V Malzoni/T Steele/S Olund/M Olund/D Rya

GCH CH Claircreek Impression
De Matisse (M)
Portuguese Water Dog
M Lint/P Helming/D Gottdenker

GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare (F)
Miniature Pinscher
A Angelbello/L Monte

GCH CH Kenro’s Witching Hour (F)
Giant Schnauzer
R Greenslade/L Norton/D Hill

GCH CH Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box (F)
American Foxhound
E Charles/L Miller

GCH CH Clussexx Collaboration
With Traddles (M)
Spaniel (Clumber)
W Holbrook/B Dowd/
A Jaramillo/M Capone/J

GCH CH Mt. View’s
Ripsnortersilvercharm (M)
Pointer (German Wirehaired)
V Malzoni

GCH CH Goldsand’s Columbus (M)
Russell Terrier
M Ulrich/C Areskough

GCH CH Whistlestop’s Riley On Fire (F)
Spaniel (Irish Water)
T Urban/B Urban/G Siner

GCH CH Longo Miller N
Lore’s Diamond Lil (F)
Great Dane
T Longo/J Miller/
L Matherly/C Crawford

Rankings are based on how many dogs a dog has defeated at shows. When a dog wins Best In Show, he or she is credited with defeating all of the dogs that were entered at the show that day.

The Wire Fox Terrier, as a breed, is a frequent winner at dog shows from year to year but most of the other breeds on this list represent some of the less popular breeds. A good dog can really come from any breed. However, you could have the best dog in the country and if you don’t have the means to get him to dog shows on a regular basis, or if he isn’t shown or groomed well, it won’t matter. Most top-winning dogs attend dog shows nearly every weekend and they travel all over the country. There’s a lot of competition to be a top dog.


You can see many of the top-winning dogs over the years on the Westminster Kennel Club web site. The dogs and people listed there read like a who’s who in the sport of dog shows. Click on the Gallery for photos.