3 Breeds And What They Need

Dog’s are just like us, they come in lots of different shapes and sizes and have different temperaments. Some need to go for long walks, others only need a little exercise. Some dogs have long hairy coats which shed, and others don’t. There is a big difference between them depending on their breed. Make sure you’re taking into account your dog’s breed, and what it needs.

 

Dalmatian

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Dalmatians are beautiful spotty dogs made famous by the films. More people than ever want one, but you have to know how to look after them. Dalmatians are athletic dogs and have been bred for thousands of years.

These dogs are affectionate and interact well with other dogs as well as children. This makes them great for first-time owners. They also respond well to training. Dalmatians are incredibly playful and have lots of energy. They should be exercised in secure areas as they are capable of roaming for miles without tiring! Dalmatians need a lot of exercise so only get one if you can keep up. Running with your dog and lots of play will keep it fit and healthy.

Dalmatians have a short coat that doesn’t require much attention. Brush regularly to remove dead hairs, but other than that they’re fairly low maintenance.

Bulldogs

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There are three main types of bulldog, American, French, and English. They often get a bad rep but this is due to the owners rather than the dogs themselves

English bulldogs are small dogs which were bred for working with bulls. Despite their past, these dogs now make very loving pets if treated correctly. Bulldog area has some more information about these popular pets on their site. The bulldog’s temperament often surprises people. It is in fact very docile and obedient. The bulldog is a fiercely loyal dog which is stubborn but also willing to please.

Bulldogs also don’t need much grooming in terms of their coats. But be sure to clean between the fold of their skin so that infection doesn’t set in. Because of the size and power of their jaws, regular dental checkups are required. Take care to keep teeth clean and well maintained.

The American bulldog is muscular and larger than the English bulldog. Their temperament is similar to an English bulldog and they are loyal to their owners. Training is essential and they do need strong leadership. French bulldogs are fun-loving and free. They are more unrestrained than other types of bulldog and are a family favorite.

Labradors

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Labradors have a great reputation as loving lap dogs who love attention and fit right into a warm and loving family,

They are loyal and intelligent dogs and make great first time pets because they’re so easy to train. It doesn’t need excessive exercise, just regular trips to a park or field for walks. They’re also great with kids because they’re so playful and gentle.

 

 

Popular Dog Breeds: Rottweilers

The powerful Rottweiler makes a devoted companion but he is also renowned as a police dog, herder, service dog, therapy dog, and an excellent obedience dog. While these muscular, protective dogs can strike fear in the hearts of intruders, they are often clownish and fun-loving at home with their families.

 

History

The Rottweiler has a long and distinguished history. Their ancestors were the drover’s dogs that were used to herd the cattle and other herds the Romans brought with them into Europe 2000 years ago. The Germans recognized the superior herding and guarding instincts of the dogs and bred for these traits. The result was a dog developed to drive cattle to market in the Rottweil region of Germany. The dogs were also useful to butchers and were used to pull carts. This continued until the mid 19th century when cattle driving was outlawed. The number of Rottweilers declined drastically after this time since there was no work for them to do. After 1901 the Rottweiler began to be favored as a police dog and the breed’s fortunes improved again. The Rottweiler was admitted to the AKC studbook in 1931 and the breed parent club was formed in the U.S. in 1971. Today the breed is very popular in the U.S.

 

Temperament

Rottweilers are devoted to their owners and their families but they are a protective breed. They will protect their territory and they do not welcome strangers unless they are properly introduced. They are generally loving and even comical at home with their loved ones. It’s very important that Rottweilers are well-socialized from the time they are puppies so they will not be overly mistrustful of people. Obedience training is also recommended for Rottweilers. They are large, strong dogs and they should always be obedient to their owners.

 

These dogs are calm, confident and courageous with a self-assured aloofness. They are very self-confident.

 

Rottweilers do require regular daily exercise. They are active dogs and they need exercise and play as outlets. They love having a job to do and they like to work, so if you can do obedience, agility, or another activity with your Rottweiler, he will be very happy. Rottweilers are very intelligent dogs and they learn easily. They require a minimum of coat care.

 

Appearance

Rottweilers are medium-large robust and powerful dogs with a compact and substantial build that denotes great strength, agility and endurance. They have a black, short-haired coat with rust to mahogany markings. They stand 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 77 and 130 pounds. They are double-coated and the coat is short, hard, and thick.

 

Health

Rottweilers are considered to be a relatively healthy breed. However, they are not an especially long-lived breed. According to breed surveys, the average lifespan of Rottweilers is approximately 9-10 years. There is currently research being done to learn more about the Rottweiler’s lifespan.

 

Rottweilers can be prone to hip dysplasia, like many larger, heavier dogs. Osteochondrosis Dessicans (OCD) which is a joint problem affecting the shoulder or elbow, can also occur in Rottweilers. Better breeders usually x-ray the hips and elbows of breeding stock before breeding.

 

Rottweilers can also have eye problems with entropion and ectropion (eye lid issues). Full dentition (having all of their teeth) and a proper scissors bite are also issues in the breed. If you are thinking of getting a Rottweiler you should talk to the breeder about these issues.

 

Rottweilers also seem to be prone to some kinds of cancer which is a common cause of early death in the breed. Rottweilers, along with other black and tan dogs, seem to be more susceptible to parvovirus. This is a highly contagious disease that occurs in dogs, especially puppies and young dogs. Vaccination against this disease is very important, starting when a puppy is a few weeks old.

 

Rottweilers usually enjoy eating and they can tend toward obesity. If you are getting a Rottweiler you should manage his meals appropriately and make sure that he gets plenty of exercise throughout his life. Do not overfeed your dog.

 

Training

Rottweilers are very smart dogs who like to work and enjoy having a job to do. They are usually easy to train. Early socialization and lessons in basic obedience are recommended. Many Rottweilers are also food-motivated which also helps with training. Rottweilers can excel at many activities including obedience, agility, herding, rally, and other dog sports.

Noble. Loyal. Courageous. German Shepherds (officially known as the German Shepherd Dog by the AKC) are all of these things and more. They’ve been one of the most popular dogs in the United States almost since they were developed, a little over 100 years ago.

 

History

The German Shepherd Dog is another rather young breed. They were intentionally created by Captain Max von Stephanitz and others who shared his vision around 1899 in Germany. The breed is derived from old breeds of herding and farm dogs but Capt. Von Stephanitz wanted to develop a new breed that would excel at police work, too. And he succeeded. The breed was still very young in World War I when an American soldier rescued a young German Shepherd pup from a battlefield and brought him back to the U.S. That dog would go on to became famous in early films as Rin Tin Tin. An even earlier German Shepherd film star had been Strongheart, one of the first dogs to star in the movies. Right from the start, Hollywood was fascinated with German Shepherds and the publicity gave a big boost to the new breed. They have remained popular ever since that time.

 

Temperament

German Shepherds are loving, energetic, and fun-loving. They are good family dogs and they get along well with children. They are exceptionally loyal and make a good guard dog for the family home. German Shepherds do require a good deal of daily exercise and they need to be groomed regularly. While we think of German Shepherds as police and military dogs, they are descended from herding dogs and they often have an innate desire to herd and organize other pets and family members. They like order and organization. They like to have roles and authority clearly defined in the home. The breed is extremely intelligent and usually easy to train. They tend to be reserved with strangers until they are certain the person is welcome in the home.

 

Appearance

German Shepherds stand 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. They can weigh between 55 and 95 pounds. Their coat can be a lot of different colors but the most common is tan and black or red and black. Most of the color varieties have black masks on the face and black body markings. These markings can range from the classic saddle to an all-over “blanket.” Rarer color variations include sable, all black, all white, liver, and blue varieties.

 

Health

The lifespan of the German Shepherd is about 11 years. Like other breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Hip dysplasia can be a problem in the breed. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 19.1 percent of German Shepherds which have been tested have some degree of hip dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia can also be a problem in the breed. German Shepherds rank 12th in the OFA database for elbow dysplasia with 19 percent of dogs tested having some degree of elbow dysplasia. Both of these problems can lead to arthritis as the dog ages.

 

Degenerative spinal stenosis can also be a problem with some dogs. Degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease, and Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder, also occur in the breed. In addition, bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus) and ear infections can also occur.

 

Before getting a German Shepherd puppy you should talk to the breeder and inquire about the health of the parents. Make sure the breeder has tested them for hip and elbow dysplasia. Health tests recommended by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and those which are considered optional but suggested, are listed here: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=GS

 

Training

German Shepherds are one of the most versatile of all dog breeds. With their intelligence and physical abilities, these dogs can excel at nearly every kind of canine sport and activity. They are terrific at obedience, rally, agility, herding, police and military work, Schutzhund, scent work – you name it, German Shepherds can learn how to do it. If you are willing to take the time to train your dog, a German Shepherd will love to learn what you want to teach him. These dogs love to work and learn.

 

Popular Dog Breeds: Boston Terriers

The dapper Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds that was entirely developed in the United States. He is a true All-American. Gentle, lively, and highly intelligent, the Boston Terrier makes a wonderful companion. He is particularly well-suited to apartment life and being a house pet.

History

Although they may not look like it today, the Boston Terrier was originally developed to be a fighting dog. Bostons were originally bred in the stables of Boston, Massachusetts after the Civil War. Almost all modern day Boston Terriers trace their lineage back to an imported dog known as “Hooper’s Judge” who was sold to a man from Boston in 1870. The breed was the result of a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. They took the name of Boston Terrier in 1891. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1893. Much of the progress in developing the Boston Terrier came in the 20th century and the breed became well-loved as a smaller companion dog instead of a fighting dog.

Temperament

In temperament Boston Terriers are very gentle and they love to be with their owners. They are lively in the home and they typically get along with other dogs and pets. They get along well with children. They are friendly dogs so don’t expect them to act as guards or watchdogs. They don’t usually bark very much which makes them a good choice for people who live in apartments. They are somewhat cat-like in their habits and actions. They are very clean and like to stay that way. They can be stubborn at times but they usually like to please their owners. Boston Terriers are known for having naturally good manners and they are considered to be easy to train. Bostons only need a moderate amount of exercise and grooming is minimal.

Appearance

Boston Terriers come in three sizes: Under 15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds. The appearance is the same for all sizes. They are short-headed and have a compact body. They have erect ears, short tails and a short muzzle that is usually free of wrinkles.

The coat is short, smooth, bright and fine in texture. Colors include brindle, seal, or black with white markings. Bostons typically give a clean-cut, striking appearance and are easily recognizable.

Health

There are a number of health issues that can affect Boston Terriers. Eye problems such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and cataracts can be common in the breed. Mitral valve disease, heart murmurs, epilepsy, and allergic dermatitis can also occur. You can find out more about genetic health issues in Boston Terriers here: http://www.bostonterrierclubofamerica.org/boston-terrier-health/Boston-Terrier-Health-Links.htm

Boston Terriers are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have a shortened muzzle like some other breeds. This means that they may not be able to tolerate heat or humidity very well. You should not leave a Boston Terrier outside in the heat or allow them to over-exert themselves, especially in warm weather. Bostons may also need special care if they need anesthesia.

Boston Terriers have an average lifespan of 12-13 years but many of them live even longer.

Training

Boston Terriers are considered to be very intelligent dogs and are usually easy to train. Owners say that they can be stubborn at times but they usually have a strong desire to please. While Bostons are not usually the most athletic dogs, you can train them to learn anything you would like to teach them. They are friendly dogs and they will enjoy going out with you, taking classes, and participating in dog events for dogs their size.

Popular Dog Breeds: Australian Shepherds

Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd probably originated in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France and then they were brought to Australia – and then to America – by Basque Shepherds in the 1800s. The breed is known for being intelligent and versatile as well as very energetic.

 

History

The Australian Shepherd is something of a world traveler. Despite their name, the breed as its known today was developed in the United States, though it originated in Europe. There are a number of herding breeds in the Pyrenees region of Spain and France and these dogs probably contributed to the early gene pool. Dogs were brought along to Australia with Basque immigrants in the 19th century. Later, these Basque shepherds immigrated to the United States and brought their dogs with them. The name “Australian Shepherd” stuck, although the breed had a number of other names through the years such as Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, Blue Heeler, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd. Because of their herding ability and versatility, the breed proved to be an asset on farms and ranches, especially in the western U.S. They became especially popular after World War II when Western riding became popular through rodeos, movies, and TV shows. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1991. The kennel club in Australia does not recognize the breed as a native breed.

 

Today the Aussie is still used by ranchers for herding livestock and working as an all-purpose farm and ranch dog.

 

Temperament

Australian Shepherds are described as animated, adaptable and agile and they live to have a job to do. They love to work which, in their case, means herding. These dogs needs lots of activity and they generally need a purpose in order to feel happy. They are very intelligent, versatile dogs but they are usually not happy if they are left home alone all day with nothing to do. They have strong herding and guarding instincts and they need a job. They also require vigorous daily exercise. Simply taking an Aussie for a walk a few times a day will not be sufficient.

 

Australian Shepherds love to be with their families but they can be reserved with strangers as you would expect with a dog who is able to guard the farm. Some dogs “smile” by showing their teeth. They are very loving, loyal dogs to their owners. They tend to form very close, intense bonds with one or two people. Aussies are usually playful at home. Since they are very intelligent dogs, they learn quickly and they are usually easy to train. However, if they are left alone or not trained, they can become destructive and get into trouble. This is also true if they don’t get enough exercise. They love to learn tricks and perform. They usually get along well with other dogs and other pets and they are good with children, although they may try to herd other pets and kids.

 

Appearance

Aussies are medium-sized, solidly-built dogs. Male Australian Shepherds are 20-23 inches tall and females are 18-21 inches tall. Males usually weigh 50-65 pounds and females weigh 30-45 pounds. The breed is somewhat distinctive for the fact that many dogs are born with a naturally bobbed tail. Historically, tails have always been docked in the breed and they still are in the United States. Eyes can be brown, blue, amber or any variation or combination thereof, including flecks and marbling. The coat is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length. Aussies come in a variety of colors: black, blue merle, red merle and red with or without white markings.

 

Health

According to the United States Australian Shepherd Association, the AKC parent club for the breed, the most common health problems found in Aussies are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hereditary eye defects, MDR1 [Multi-drug sensitivity], thyroid disease, cancer, and epilepsy. The club encourages testing for these issues where tests exist. There is ongoing research into many of these issues in the breed. http://australianshepherds.org/health-genetics/usasa-health-genetics-program/

 

There is some discrepancy about how long Aussies live. Some owners report dogs that live 12-15 years on average. Small Internet samples asking about the longevity of the dogs have found lifespans between 11-13 years.

 

One issue that does occur in the breed is the merle allele. Merle is the mingled or patchwork coat pattern. When two merle dogs are bred together the resultant offspring have a 25 percent statistical chance of having two copies of the merle allele. Such puppies are more likely to be deaf or blind. For this reason, many breeders avoid merle to merle breedings.

 

Training

Aussies are considered to be very easy to train. They have natural herding ability so if you’re interested in a herding/working dog, you should find your dog to be easy to train. According to experts, Aussies are a loose to medium-eyed dog in the way they work stock – “eyed” referring to the way they control other animals with their gaze. They do not stare at the animals as intensely as some other dogs.

 

But Australian Shepherds are very versatile and they can learn to do many things. They have been used as guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, therapy dogs, narcotics detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs, for example. They also excel at sports such as agility, flyball, and frisbee.

Popular Dog Breeds: Chihuahuas

Saucy and alert, the popular Chihuahua originally comes from Mexico. They are right at home in the city or cuddled up beside you wherever you may live. Don’t let their small size fool you though. Chihuahuas are quite feisty and can easily take charge of your home.

History
The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of the same name, where the earliest examples of the breed were discovered in modern times. The small dogs were used in religious ceremonies and were pets for the upper classes at one time. The dogs are probably descended from the Techichi, ancient companion dogs of the Toltecs. Records of these dogs date to around the 9th century but it is possible that the dogs were also present during earlier Mayan times. Dogs similar to the Chihuahua have been found in materials from the Pyramids of Cholula and at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula. Chihuahuas were first recognized by the AKC in 1904.

Temperament
Chihuahuas are alert, highly intelligent dogs and they make excellent companions. Although they are small in size, they should not be underestimated. The breed has many Terrier-like qualities, although they developed on their own, in a different part of the world from the Terrier breeds. They are smart, curious, often bold and confident, and they don’t always listen to commands. The breed standard describes them as having an attitude of “self importance, confidence, self-reliance.” Chihuahuas make good family pets but they are usually better in homes with slightly older children. Their small size means they can sometimes be injured by very young children who play too roughly or who might fall on them.

Chihuahuas often become very attached to one person in a home which may or may not be a problem. In some instances they can become overly jealous of their favorite person. They can also have problems getting along with other pets.

Appearance
Chihuahuas come in both longcoats and smoothcoats. Any color is acceptable – solid, marked, or splashed. The dogs have a well-rounded “apple dome” skull and the body is a little off-square in shape. The breed is not supposed to weigh more than 6 pounds but many pet Chihuahuas weigh more than this. Chihuahuas typically stand 6 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

Smoothcoated dogs require very little grooming. Longcoated dogs need to be brushed a little more often.

Health
Chihuahuas are a very long-lived breed. It is not unusual for a Chihuahua to live well into his teen years. Some Chihuahuas live to be 18 or 20 years old. The lifespan for the breed is estimated to be 10-18 years. However, like all dogs, they can have some health issues. Teeth can be a problem in the breed, as with many Toy dogs. They may not fit properly or some may be missing. They can also have more problems with tooth decay and losing teeth than larger breeds.

Hydrocephalus can occur in Chihuahua puppies. Molleras occur in Chihuahuas but this is normal for the breed. The skull is not fully formed at birth and there is a soft spot that continues to fill in during the puppy’s first six months. Owners need to be careful during these months so the puppy’s head is not injured.

Hypoglycemia can also be a problem for Chihuahuas, especially for puppies. This is not unusual with Toy breed puppies or very small dogs. It refers to low blood sugar. You should make sure to feed Toy puppies several small meals per day until they are older and can better regulate their blood sugar.

Since Chihuahuas have very large eyes they can be at risk of eye injury. Be sure to clean their eyes and face regularly and check for any wounds or scratches.

Other possible health problems include issues that can affect many Toy breeds such as luxating patellas (slipped kneecaps) and collapsed trachea (a weakness in the tracheal wall that can be exacerbated by pulling against a leash). Heart murmurs and pulmonic stenosis are also possible concerns.

Regular visits to the veterinarian will catch many problems before they become serious. If you are interested in getting a Chihuahua, you should talk to a breeder and be sure to ask about health issues in the breed.

Training
Chihuahuas are very smart dogs but that doesn’t mean they are always easy to train. Like many Toy breeds, they can be hard to house train. Allow extra time for house training and lots of patience. Be sure to praise and reward your Chihuahua when he potties where you want him to go. Like other dogs, Chihuahuas respond well to positive reinforcement. Chihuahuas can be very strong-willed dogs and it’s important that you remain in charge. Even though they are small dogs, you should continue to treat them like dogs and not like small children. If you don’t maintain your authority with your Chihuahua, it’s very likely that he will take control. There is such a thing as Small Dog Syndrome where small dogs are spoiled to such an extent that they no longer respect their owners. In these cases the dog can become very hard to live with. You can avoid this problem by socializing your Chihuahua from a young age. Take him to puppy kindergarten classes. Attend a basic obedience course with him. Make sure he has good manners at home and when you go places with him. You and your Chihuahua will both be happier if you know which one of you is in charge.

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.

Popular Dog Breeds: Beagles

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.

 

History

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.

 

Temperament

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.

 

Appearance

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: http://www.akc.org/breeds/beagle/color_markings.cfm) 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.

 

Health

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.

 

Training

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.

Popular Dog Breeds: Poodles

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.

 

History

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.

 

Temperament

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.

 

Appearance

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.

 

Health

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: http://www.poodleclubofamerica.org/health.htm 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.

 

Training

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.

cavalierkingcharlesspaniel

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.

 

History

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.

 

Temperament

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.

 

 

Appearance

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.

 

Health

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. http://www.ackcsc.org/index.php/health/hearts and http://www.ackcsc.org/index.php/health/sm

 

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. http://www.ackcsc.org/index.php/health/psom-189

 

Training

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