Archive for the ‘Breeds of Dog’ Category

American Eskimo Dog (Non-Sporting Group)

Gemma | January 11th, 2007
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The American Eskimo Dog has been a member of the AKC since 1994. With its spitz-like features, this white bundle of love makes an outstanding family companion. They have the physical makeup of your classic spitz, but come in all-white and maintains a double coat. The ears are adorably short and thick, which makes them cold resistant. This breed can be seen in the toy version, miniature, and standard.

A Brief History Of The American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog (also known as the Eskie) is often mistaken as a spitz breed. This common mistake is not without merit, however, as the breed descended from one of the spitz varieties that was created in Germany. Other influences that went into the making of the American Eskimo Dog was the Pomeranian, Volpino Italiano, and the Keeshond.

All of the other breeds mentioned above quickly became popular, leaving the Eskie to grow slowly in popularity. Essentially what happened was that the Keeshond dog came in a variety of colors but only the gray variety was accepted, excluding the white Keeshond. Then the Pomeranian standard excluded any dogs over 8 lbs.

So by the 1900s, there were these white spitz-like dogs, all white, and larger than the Keeshond breed, that had no home. It is said that European workers brought these dogs with them to the United States. In 1913, they began registering with the UKC. By the 1920s, the Americans called the dog the American Spitz, which could regularly be seen in circus shows. After World War I the American Spits had its name changed to the American Eskimo Dog, which did not gain AKC recognition until 1994.

Upkeep Requirements For The American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog needs plenty of daily exercise, but the amount of physical activity also depends on the type of Eskie. The standard versions need a good workout in addition to several walks on the leash each day. The miniature and toy versions can get by with just a few walks and a romp around the living room. All Eskies love to run and play, especially in the cold.

As its name suggests, the American Eskimo Dog is no stranger to cool temperatures and thrive in such conditions. These dogs are definitely not meant for warm climates. Eskies should also be considered house dogs, spending the majority of its time indoors with the family, where they make excellent watchdogs. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a thorough brushing of its double coat twice weekly.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the American Eskimo Dog is between twelve and fourteen years. There are no major health concerns in the breed. Minor health issues include PRA, CHD, and patellar luxation. Rarely seen is diabetes. Veterinarians suggest that the American Eskimo Dog get specifically tested for eye, hip, and knee problems.

Alaskan Malamute (Working Group)

Gemma | January 10th, 2007
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The Alaskan Malamute is a large, powerful canine that is strong-willed and independent, yet obedient and loving towards its owners. These dogs are at heaven when running around or pulling a sled outside. They are a family oriented dog breed that is sociable towards people but may be overly aggressive towards other animals, especially strange dogs.

A Brief History Of The Alaskan Malamute

As its name suggests, the Alaskan Malamute originated from Alaska, who’s original function was hunting large game and heavy sled pulling. Today the Alaskan Malamute is used primarily for sled pulling only.

Like other members of the spitz family, the Alaskan Malamute came from the Arctic regions and are at home in the cold climate. History tells us that the dogs were living with a people known as the Mahlemuts, whom lived in Alaska’s northwest coast along the Norton Sound. The term Mahlemut comes from Mahle, which is a tribal name, and mut meaning village.

The breed was used to hunt very large game, specifically seals and polar bears. They would then use their incredible size and strength to haul the carcasses back to their masters’ villages. The dog’s talent lied in their strength and size rather than speed, so the Alaskan Malamute would often hunt with several smaller, faster dogs to find the prey before attacking.

The breed has always been respected as one of the family. They were essential to the survival of the people. However, the Alaskan Malamute was not pampered like today’s common house dog. The weather was very unforgiving and if any dog was not up to the hunting requirements needed to be useful, they were often killed.

During World War II, the Alaskan Malamute was used as service dogs to help facilitate search and rescue missions, work as freight haulers, and pack animals. After the war their numbers continued to grow as the breed became more and more popular. The breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1935.

Upkeep Requirements For The Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is one dog breed that is at home in cold weather. They have a tireless need to haul heavy sleds in the snow and can run for miles without stopping. Without proper, daily exercise to work these high-energy levels the dog can become frustrated and destructive, so outside fun and games is a must.

Alaskan Malamute dogs are rated as being one of the most affectionate dog breeds we know of today. For this reason alone they need lots of human interaction. They are well-mannered and although can sleep outside at night in cold temperatures, prefer to be inside and close to the rest of the family until morning. Their heavy coat needs a good brushing twice weekly or every-other-day during shedding season.

Health Concerns

The Alaskan Malamute has an average lifespan of between ten and twelve years. The two main health concerns that run common in the breed are cataracts and CHD. Minor health problems that may show up are hypothyroidism and chondrodysplasia. Veterinarians suggest that Alaskan Malamute dogs get tested for potential hip, thyroid, and eye problems.

Akita (Working Group)

Gemma | January 9th, 2007
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The Akita is a proud member of the working group. This dog has a bold, independent personality, and is highly devoted to its family. Rated as one of the best watchdogs a man can own, the Akita will protect its family members at all costs, which makes it highly reserved around strangers and other animals.

A Brief History Of The Akita

The Akita dog breed has its origins from Japan. In fact, the breed’s roots can be found on ancient Japanese tombs, which show us that today’s Akita is the result of concerted efforts of the 19th century to recreate seven of Japan’s native breeds. The dogs used for these breeding efforts were mostly fighting breeds, some purebred and some mixed.

In time, Japanese breeders worked hard to separate many of the traits from these fighting dogs out of the Akita, specifically the pinto pattern, black mask, and the dog’s incredible size. However, American breeders were enthusiastic about these traits and actually encouraged them. To preserve the original Akita, the Akita-inu Hozankai Society of Japan was formed in 1918. Just over a decade later, in 1931, the Akita was declared an official monument in Japan.

The most recognized story of the Akita breed us about a dog named Hachiko. Hachiko had met his owner each and every day at the train station after work. When the owner died at work one afternoon, Hachiko waited for him to return, at that very spot, until the dog died 9 years later!

The first Akita dog made its way to the United States in 1937. The famous Helen Keller was the woman who brought this Akita to America when she returned from Japan that year. When World War II was over, many Akita dogs also came back to the U.S. with members of the armed forces when returning home from battle. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1972.

Upkeep Requirements For The Akita

The Akita dog enjoys living with owners that have an active lifestyle. They need mental and physical exercise on a daily basis, preferably having the chance to run long distances in a safe area or a moderate jog on the leash. So long as they have ample amounts of exercise, Akita dogs remain well-mannered when indoors.

These dogs have an unusual tolerance for cold weather and can live outdoors in colder climates (they do not fare well in hot temperatures). But like all house pets, they are most happy when sleeping inside with the family at night. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about once per week to remove dead hair, especially during shedding season.

Health Concerns

Akita dogs have an average life span of ten to twelve years. The two major health problems that run common in the breed are PRA and CHD. Minor health concerns include gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, sebaceous adenitis, hypothyroidism, lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, pemphigus, and cruciate ligament rupture. Veterinarians suggest that Akita dogs get tested for potential eye, hip, elbow, and thyroid problems.

Airedale Terrier

Gemma | January 5th, 2007
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The Airedale Terrier is not called the King of Terriers for nothing. This dog is the tallest terrier from the entire breed family. One of its primary progenitors are the Black and Tan and the old English Terriers. They were medium-sized dogs whom highly admired by Yorkshire hunters that would go after all sorts of prey, ranging from small rabbits to fox.

Not only were they reliable hunters of land animals, these Terriers were also prized as great bird retrievers. Sometime during the mid-1800s, many of these Terriers were bred with Otterhounds. The goal was to create a dog that had increased water hunting skills as well as a stronger sense of tracking. The result was a sharp looking dog that became excellent otter hunters.

These otter hunting dogs became the breed that we know of today referred to as the Airedale Terrier. Their name was actually called Waterside Terriers at first, but was changed to the Airedale in 1878.

Terrier enthusiasts began to show these dogs in ringside competitions. To further the appreciable beauty of the Airedale Terrier, they were mixed with both Irish and Bull Terriers. By the early 1900s, the well-known Terrier and champion Master Briar became the father of today’s Airedale Terriers.

Master Briar produced dogs that highly influenced the breed in the United States. They picked up popularity as strong hunters, proving themselves to be worthy at hunting big game. However, after the end of World War I their numbers declined and today they are a rare breed to come across, yet their great reputation remains the same.


The Airedale Terrier is considered to be the most versatile of the Terrier dog breed group. They are adventurous, bold, and love to play. Highly intelligent and a bit stubborn, training may take some time. However, with the right amount of training time, these dogs are obedient, loyal, and make excellent watchdogs. And so long as the Airedale Terrier gets plenty of mental and physical stimulation, they can make obedient house pets.

Taking Care Of Your Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier dogs require a lot of exercise. Without enough physical exertion, they tend to get bored easily and can be quite destructive, if left alone inside the house. Long walks or active games should provide plenty of stimulation to can take care of these needs.

Airedale Terriers are able to live outside during cold climates but like all house dogs, it’s always best to have them sleep inside with the family. Grooming takes a bit of extra work than most breeds, due to its long wiry coat. A thorough combing 2 – 3 times per week is ideal. Clipping and scissoring is also recommended about every eight weeks or so.

Health Information

The average lifespan for healthy Airedale Terrier dog is between 10 and 14 years. They are a very healthy breed in which CHD is the only major health issue that may come up. Minor concerns include gastric torsion and hypothyroidism.

Afghan Hound

Gemma | January 1st, 2007
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The Afghan Hound has its origins from Middle Eastern Sighthounds with roots that date back to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Most of these dogs were used by nomadic tribes in order to hunt the ground for gazelles, hare, and other small animals to bring back for food. For centuries, the Afghan Hound breed remained isolated in the Afghanistan Mountains. These mountains were practically impenetrable.

Afghan Hounds often hunted with the partnership of falcons, which were trained to swoop at the quarry. These dogs spent generation after generation hunting through rough conditions in harsh mountains.

They developed great stamina, strength and speed from such hard labor. The Afghan Hound’s most striking physical capabilities were its leaping distance and nimbleness. These great hunting dogs were able to work with great success in the frigid mountain climate by the aid of their thick, long coat.

It wasn’t until sometime during the early 1900s that the very first Afghan Hound made its way to England. At that time these dogs were referred to as Barukhzy Hounds. Others called them Persian Greyhounds.

The Afghan Hound was quite a diverse breed so in order to draw up a breed standard that was based on perfection, a model dog was used that best illustrated the elegant look of today’s Afghan Hound. That dog was named Zardin.

The breed’s popularity grew at a snail’s pace, but eventually made a name in the show ring. In fact, the Afghan Hound quickly made a name for itself as one of the most glamorous, yet competitive dogs in the rings. The 1970s proved to be a booming time for the breed amongst the public, but since then their status as a common household pet has dwindled.


By viewing the glamorous, striking look of the Afghan Hound, those people unfamiliar with its history would never guess at how skillful its hunting abilities are. This dog is a hunter at heart, capable of finding its prey through rough terrain, yet is peaceful and gentle, especially with children. It needs exercise on a daily basis and can be somewhat shy and reserved around strangers.

Taking Care Of Your Afghan Hound

Daily stimulation, both mentally and physically, will keep the Afghan Hound in a happy state of mind. This dog loves the opportunity to run at full speed if you can do so in a safe area. They should live indoors with the rest of the family but have access to an enclosed, outside area during the day. Grooming does take a little extra work with the Afghan Hound. Its coat is long and may need to be brushed thoroughly every other day.

Health Information

The average lifespan of a healthy Afghan Hound is between 12 and 15 years. These dogs are considered to be very healthy with absolutely no major health issues, and the only minor concerns that may spring up are cataracts. Occasionally seen are CHD and necrotic myelopathy, but these health problems are extremely rare.

Affenpinscher (Toy Group)

Gemma | December 28th, 2006
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The Affenpinscher, whose name literally means monkey, certainly lives up to that name because it loves to monkey around, so to speak. With its bold and independent personality, this dog is always clowning and having fun. They love to stay busy, and unlike most members of the Toy Group, Affenpinschers tend to get along well with other dogs.

The breed is certainly a favorite among families that love to have an entertaining pet that can make everyone laugh. But don’t get the idea that the Affenpinscher is only good for smiles – they are also excellent watchdogs!

Brief History Of The Affenpinscher

With its spunky attitude and lively personality, the Affenpinscher certainly acts in accordance with its name. The word Affen means monkey and Pinscher means terrier. The French refer to the dog as the diablotin moustachu, which means mustached little devil.

Although we know that the area of origin of the breed is in Germany, it’s exact specific origins are still obscure. One of the oldest toy breeds, its history has been traced back to the 1600s in paintings from the old Dutch Masters who displayed dogs that resembled the breed.

By the 17th century, the Europeans used small terriers to help catch rats. The Germans also used the little dogs to keep rodents away from kitchens and other areas where food was stored. There were even smaller versions of the dogs that were bred as lap dogs and mice killers. It was these smaller versions that became the Affenpinscher.

As time passed, the dogs were refined through crosses with the German Silky Pinscher, Standard German Pinscher, and the Pug. The Germans claimed the breed as its creation due to the high popularity it had with the people at that time. The AKC recognized the dog in 1936. After World War II the breed’s numbers declined, making them one of the rarer toy breeds seen today.

Upkeep Requirements For The Affenpinscher

Although this dog can be a bit boisterous and seem to have an endless amount of energy, the exercise requirements for the Affenpinscher can be met with daily playtime and a few brisk walks on the leash. They love playing outside but these little guys should not stay outdoors, but rather sleep inside at night.

Affenpinscher dogs need lots of love and attention. They thrive off of human contact and absolutely love to be the center of the action. They make great watchdogs because of their need to bark at any unknown sound, but should not be counted on for protection ability. Grooming requirements consist of a thorough combing, three times per week (due to the harsh coat). Clipping should be done about four times yearly.

Health Concerns

The average life span of the Affenpinscher is between twelve and fourteen years. They are a healthy breed with absolutely no major health concerns. Minor issues may include corneal ulcers and patellar luxation. Rarely seen are respiratory problems, open fontanel, and PDA. Veterinarians suggest that Affenpinscher dogs get tested for potential cardiac and knee problems.