Archive for the ‘Breeds of Dog’ Category

Sussex Spaniel (Sporting Group)

Gemma | February 24th, 2008
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The Sussex Spaniel is one of the more easy-going members of the spaniel family, so long as they receive plenty of affection. A bit aloof and laid back, yet always ready for the chance to go bird hunting, this breed can live quite comfortably in both large properties or small city apartments.

When hunting, the Sussex Spaniel can be very noisy, which is one of the biggest reasons they are less popular among hunters than other spaniels or members of the sporting group. They also need a lot of attention. Without it the Sussex Spaniel tends to bark and howl.

A Brief History Of The Sussex Spaniel

You can find the first mention of these dogs back in 1820 in an article about The Spaniels of Sussex was written for a sporting editorial. Their name was also adopted from Sussex, England, which is known as the home of the first largest kennel in 1795.

In time the breed became widely popular among many of the estates in Sussex County. The dogs were outstanding hunting dogs, although slow-working, but had a great sense of smell when on the trail. Some Sussex Spaniels would get a bit noisy when a scent was picked up, which although works well for the hunter, hurt the breed’s score during field trials in the early 1900s.

Sussex Spaniels did not become as popular among American hunters. The main reason being is that the Americans preferred a dog that had more speed. And although these spaniels were one of the earliest breeds to be recognized by the AKC, as well as to compete in dog shows, they became close to extinction throughout the 20th century.

A cross of the dog was made with a Cumber Spaniel in 1954 to help expand the breed’s gene pool as one breeder put it. However, the Sussex Spaniel gene pool remains in low numbers because it is, and probably always will be, one of the rarest members of the American Kennel Club.

Upkeep Requirements For The Sussex Spaniel

Like all sporting dogs the Sussex Spaniel must have plenty of daily exercise. However, being a slow-moving spaniel, this breed can get its exercise requirements with a few laps around the yard or several brisk walks on the leash each day.

Sussex Spaniels can live outside, but does best when allowed to play in the yard all day then sleeping inside the house at night. They are very affectionate canines, both towards people and other pets, which means they enjoy lots of interaction with the family. Grooming the Sussex Spaniel calls for thorough brushings several times each week.

Health Concerns

Sussex Spaniel dogs have an average life span of between eleven and thirteen years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed are intervertebral disk disease and CHD. Minor problems that are seen are heart murmurs, otitis externa, and enlarged heart. And there are no suggested health tests that need to be done for the Sussex Spaniel.

Standard Schnauzer (Working Group)

Peter | February 20th, 2008
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The Standard Schnauzer is one of the most dependable watch dogs a family could own. Extremely bold and very intelligent, this breed also makes the perfect pet for any dog owner that has a firm grip on training and lives an active lifestyle. The Standard Schnauzer tends to be on the dominant side and quite head-strong, which shows clearly when they are presented with strange people and other animals.

A Brief History Of The Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer bloodline dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s area of origin of the breed is Germany. The original function of the dogs were as guardians and catching rats. Today the breed is simply regarded and owned as a loving, protective house dog.

The oldest of three Schnauzer breeds, the Standard version dates back to the 14th century. And even during those times, when dogs were only as useful as their services, this breed was appreciated for simply being a good companion and a hunting dog.

The Standard Schnauzer is a genetic mix of working dogs, terriers, and hunting stock. Researchers claim that the most likely combination to create the breed came from the gray wolf spitz, black German poodles, and the Wire-Haired Pinscher. The result was a capable guard dog that was amazingly proficient at catching rats.

By the turn of the 10th century, the breed was the most popular dog used by farmers who needed protection against rats getting into their carts while they were left unattended. Soon the Standard Schnauzer was seen in the show ring, entered as the title of Wirehaired Pinschers at the 1879 German dog show. Dog enthusiasts were drawn to the dog’s look of intelligence and were entered in many dog shows by the year 1900.

The first Schnauzers were already in America by the early 1900s but the popularity of the breed did not take off initially with dog fanciers. At first it was classified as a terrier, then a working dog. They were used extensively during World War I as police dogs.

Upkeep Requirements For The Standard Schnauzer

To keep the Standard Schnauzer happy, daily exertion is a must. They have very high energy levels and without action to accommodate this need, these dogs tend become bored and destructive. Vigorous outside games, running around nature’s hills, or several brisk walks on the leash will do the job.

Standard Schnauzers tolerate both hot and cold climates moderately and can live outdoors so long as there are no extremes in temperature. At night these dogs should be allowed to sleep indoors with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements for the breed calls for heavy combing twice per week. Their coat will also need trimming and shaping every four months or so.

Health Concerns

The average life span of the Standard Schnauzer is between twelve and fourteen years. A very healthy breed, there are absolutely no major health concerns that run common and the only minor issues that may come up are follicular dermatitis and CHD. Veterinarians suggest that they get tested for potential hip problems.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | February 15th, 2008
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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most playful members of the Terrier Group. They are a fun-loving breed that look tough on the outside but thrive on love, attention, and lots of human affection. These dogs are amiable, easy to train, and are typically responsive to its owner’s commands.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers need constant human companionship. They are a devoted breed, loyal to its family and although friendly towards other dogs, pets, and strange people, will protect its loved ones at all costs. This dog is generally good around children but may prove to be a little too boisterous with smaller kids.

A Brief History Of The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These dogs have roots that go back to England during the 1800s. Around this period of time one of the most popular sporting uses of man’s best friend was to chase and kill rats. The common working class found great entertainment with these events which eventually led to dog fighting, otherwise known as bull baiting.

In their need to create a better fighting dog, one that had more strength, agility and speed, breeders crossed the Black and Tan Terrier with the Bulldog of that time. The result was the Bull and Terrier. Through further selective breeding, a dog had emerged that not only was smaller and had more jaw strength, but one that was less aggressive towards humans, known as today’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

England had eventually banned dog fighting but these dogs were still adored by their fans as companions. Of course there were always illegal dog fights going on which still used the breed, but more of them were starting to pop up in the show ring instead. This helped the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to gain recognition by the English Kennel Club in 1935 and by the AKC in 1974.

Upkeep Requirements For The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This is a fairly active breed that needs daily exercise. Several walks on the leash each day plus a few vigorous games of catch or chase is perfect. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not good swimmers therefore playing next to water is not recommended. The ideal living arrangement is to provide the dog with access to a safe outside area during the day.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not meant to live outdoors completely so they should sleep inside at night with the family. They can only tolerate mild temperatures. It is best suited to be a house dog. Grooming requirements for the dog’s short coat are minimal, only calling for a brushing every couple of weeks to remove dead hair.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is CHD with no minor health issues to worry about. Rarely seen are cataracts. Veterinarians suggest that Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs get specifically tested for eye and hip problems.

Spinone Italiano (Sporting Group)

Alan | February 13th, 2008
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A member of the sporting group, the Spinone Italiano is most popular in Italy (as its name suggests). Not quite as popular in the United States, this wonderful dog breed is gentle, always willing to please, and gets along well with people and other pets. You could sum up the Spinone Italiano in two words: courageous and loving.

A Brief History Of The Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is said to be one of the earliest of dog breeds used for pointing. There is evidence that suggests wirehaired dogs were used as early as 500 B.C. Italian artwork from the fifteenth century shows depictions of dogs that had a remarkable resemblance to the Spinone Italiano.

Even with the above research facts, the exact origin of the breed remains a mystery to this day. Some dog enthusiasts claim that the Spinone Italiano came from the Celtic wirehaired stock while others suggest that the breed came from Greece during the reign of the Roman Empire.

Unfortunately, there is not enough real documentation on the breed to pinpoint its actual bloodline and development. Principally speaking, however, todays Spinone Italiano can be traced back to the Piedmont region of Italy.

The breed became well-known for its ability to hunt through thorny brush with vigor and relentlessness while retrieving small game. In World War II, these dogs further made progress in their usefulness by tracking German Patrols.

When the War came to an end, so did the popularity of the breed. Its numbers declined rapidly and the remaining few canines that were left had been crossed with different breeds. Practically instinct, the Spinone Italiano came back to life during the 1950s with the help of enthusiastic breeders who wanted to recreate the breed. Their efforts worked, as the Spinone is one of Italys top breeds of today, being recognized by the AKC in the year 2000.

Upkeep Requirements For The Spinone Italiano

Upkeep of a healthy Spinone Italiano means daily vigorous exercise, like all sporting dogs need. This can be from a romp out hunting the fields or a long walk on the leash several times each day.

These dogs can live outdoors if need be, even in colder climates, but is most happy when sleeping inside with its family. They are highly affectionate and is rated as one of the most friendliest of breeds, both towards strangers and other pets.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of Spinone Italiano ranges from twelve to fourteen years. The only major health concern with the breed is CHD and minor problems that may occur are otitis externa, ectropion, cerebellar ataxia, and gastric torsion. Rarely seen are allergies and elbow dysplasia. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get tested for potential hip and eye problems.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | February 9th, 2008
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The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an athletic and playful member of the Terrier Group. Fun-loving and an outside adventurer, these dogs are more gentle than most terriers. They are sensitive and a joy to have around the children. Families that want a house dog that will be well-mannered inside yet on the go when outside playing will enjoy the Soft Coated Wheaten as a family companion.

This one one terrier that is overly friendly towards other dogs, pets, and even strange people. Always on the lookout for a new friend, be it human or canine, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is amiable and easy to train. They also have a tendency to jump and dig when given the chance.

A Brief History Of The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has its roots from Ireland and is documented as being around since the 1700s. This breed is one of only three types of large terriers coming out of Ireland. It’s usefulness back then was as a trusted herding dog, a hunter of vermin, and an all-around great farming dog.

Although the breed’s early history is without documentation, experts say that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a progenitor of the Kerry Blue Terrier. For years, the Irish admired this dog as not only a winner in the show ring, but also a dog that kept up with its accountability as a hunter of rabbit, badger, and rodents.

The breed gained recognition by the English Kennel Club in 1943. By 1946, the first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier made its way to the United States. At first they did not gain much public attention, taking almost thirty years to become recognized by the AKC, which happened in 1973.

Upkeep Requirements For The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Wheaten is the type of dog that must have the best of both words: time to play and roam outside, yet spend as much time indoors as necessary. They are moderately active dogs that can get the exercise it needs from a few brisk walks each day and a safe area to run around in. They have a tendency to hunt and chase so the outside area should be safely fenced in.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can tolerate moderately cool temperatures but cannot stand the heat. The ideal living arrangement is to allow access to the yard during the day and to sleep indoors at night with the family. Wheatens thrive on human contact and are devoted to its human masters. Grooming requirements call for a combing every two to three days. Shedding is not a problem with the breed but loose hair may mat up if not kept neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed are PLN and PLE, both of which are protein losing diseases. Minor health issues include Addison’s disease and renal dysplasia. Rarely seen is CHD and PRA. Veterinarians suggest that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier get specifically tested for hip and eye problems.

Skye Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | February 4th, 2008
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The Skye Terrier is one member of the Terrier Group whose small size does not equal its feisty personality. Although soft and adorable in appearance, these dogs are as fearless as they come and an equally ferocious rodent killer. However, when indoors, the Sky Terrier is mild-mannered and devoted to following the commands of its owners.

While the Sky Terrier can be a bit stubborn and bold, they are also a sensitive breed, thriving on human companionship and are overly affectionate with members of its family. They also love to play and enjoy the mental stimulation of dog training. Sky Terriers also make excellent watchdogs as they are very weary of strangers and other pets.

A Brief History Of The Skye Terrier

The history of the Skye Terrier dates back to the 1500s, with Scotland being the area of origin. Developed throughout the west coastal area, many of these little terriers were used to hunt otter and fox. The purest of the breed was found along the Isle of Skye, which of course is how they received the name Skye Terrier.

Although the exact history of the breed is still a puzzle, there was mention of these dogs sometime in the 16th century in reference to its beautiful coat. At one point there were several breeds of small terriers which were all grouped under the same name, but the Skye we admire today became the official version when Queen Victoria became intrigued by breed in 1840. This caused a rise in popularity for the dogs among the wealthy and commoners alike.

The Skye Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1887 and quickly became a popular show dog. But despite its distinctive looks and hunting abilities, the breed declined in numbers and is one of today’s least popular terriers found in common households.

Upkeep Requirements For The Skye Terrier

This is one dog breed that enjoys the best of both words – exploring the great outdoors while having plenty of time relaxing in the comfort of the home. They are hunters at heart so providing time each day to explore nature is ideal, but should not live outside completely.

Not an overly active dog, they can also get their exercise requirements from a few walks on the leash each day and some time running around the house. They make great companions in small spaces if need be. Sky Terriers have long-haired coats so grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about twice weekly to keep the coat neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Skye Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. There are no major health concerns in the breed and the only minor health issue commonly seen is premature closure of distal radius. A truly healthy bloodline, there are no medical tests recommended by veterinarians.

Silky Terrier

Peter | February 2nd, 2008
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The Silky Terrier has an interesting point of origin. During the late 1800s, many Yorkshire Terrier dogs from England were brought to Australia. Most of these dogs were colors of tan and steel blue. They were then bred with Australian Terriers whom had tan and native blue colors. These breeding efforts were designed to create a dog with improved coat color while maintaining its robust conformation.

Many of the descendents from crossing these breeds started to appear with a slightly different look and were named the Silky Terrier because it was thought that an entirely new breed was starting to emerge. They were medium in size and coat length, as compared to its parental stock.

Silky Terriers started to interbreed and within a very short time had produced its own strain. There were two breeds standards that were drawn up since the dog had originated from two different areas of Australia. One standard was created in 1906 and the other in 1910.

The major disagreement was the difference in weight. Finally in 1926, a standard was revised which encompassed all areas from both sides. Compromises were made and the name Austrailian Silky Terrier became official in 1955.

During that same year, the Americans had officially named this breed the Silky Terrier, dropping the Australian description. And soon after it was recognized by the AKC. Although this dog breed is not rare, its popularity has been slow to grow as common household pets.


Although small and considered to be a lapdog, the Silky Terrier is not as mellow and quiet as you might think. It is feisty, playful, and quite bold when it comes to taking action. This dog can be a bit aggressive towards other dogs and house pets. Most Silky Terrier dogs tend to bark a lot and can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training.

Taking Care Of Your Silky Terrier

Silky Terrier dogs tend to require a bit more exercise than other toy breeds. Like most dogs, they love to take plenty of walks on the leash and prefers to have an area outside in which they can roam free (fenced in of course). This dog breed is not meant to live outdoors. Grooming requirements should consist of a thorough brushing every other day to keep the long coat from matting.

Health Information

The average lifespan of the Silky Terrier is approximately 12 to 13 years, with some living as long as 16 years. Considered to be one of the healthiest of dog breeds, there are absolutely no major health concerns to worry about and the only two minor issues include Legg-Perthes and patellar luxation.

Siberian Husky Dog Breed

Gemma | January 28th, 2008
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The Siberian Husky was originally developed in Northeast Asia by the Chukchi people, and at that time was named the Chukchi Husky. Although its ancestry is not known, this dog is definitely related to the Spitz family. Way back during the Alaskan Gold Rush, these dogs were extremely important to life in the Arctic regions. It was at that time that dog racing became an enjoyable pastime as a standard source of entertainment.

The popular Alaska Sweepstakes Race, which covered over 400 miles in the distance from Nome all the way to Candle, became an entrance for the Chukchi Huskies in 1909. These dogs did not really fare well in popularity at that time, however, there was one racer that was impressed with these animals and imported 70 of them to train for winning the 1910 race. Amazingly enough, his three teams of Huskies did indeed win first, second, and fourth-place. As you can probably guess, this immediately set the stage for the Siberian Husky to become the dominating winner for future races.

In 1925 the Siberian Husky started to show up in Canada and then soon after the United States. The AKC recognized this dog as an official breed in 1930. In World War II, a fair amount of Huskies served with soldiers for the US Army’s search and rescue missions. This further helped its popularity among dog enthusiasts. Eventually it became a common household pet and of course remains the most popular of any Arctic dog breed in existence today.

Upkeep And Maintenance

The Siberian Husky can be described in so many ways. They are alert, independent, clever, and extremely adventurous. These dogs absolutely love to run long distances and unless thoroughly trained may tend to roam if left unattended. Siberian Huskies are well behaved around other house pets but may be a bit aggressive towards strange dogs outside.

Physical upkeep for this dog breed must require plenty of daily exercise, preferably with long jogs or better yet, off-leash running where it is safe for them to roam. A person with an active lifestyle will enjoy the companionship of a Siberian Husky. These are perfect pets to have if you live in an area where the weather is cold. They also enjoy pulling exercises, such as sleds and other objects.

Grooming requires just a thorough brushing once or twice per week. Their coat runs short, but may need daily brushing when experiencing times of heavy shedding.

Health Information

The Siberian Husky is a lucky dog breed in that it is generally very healthy with absolutely no major health concerns. Minor issues which may pop up, but are rare, include hypothyroidism, PRA, corneal dystrophy, and cataracts. Dog enthusiasts who become the proud owner of a Siberian Husky have a fortunate lifespan of 13 years to enjoy its companionship.

Shih Tzu Dog Breed

Gemma | January 26th, 2008
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The Shih Tzu is a member of the toy dog group which got its name from the Chinese, meaning Lion Dog. However, even though this dog breed is typically associated with China, research shows that the Shih Tzu’s original origins actually date back to the 17th century in the land of Tibet.

Most dog breeds become listed as official members of the American kennel club as far back as the 1800s and into the early 1900s. However, the Shih Tzu was not officially recognized by the AKC until the late 1960′s. That decade dawned an explosion of Shih Tzus as household pets and as its popularity grew, the AKC took notice and registered the breed.

Shih Tzu dogs are known to be a bit on the spunky side, yet extremely friendly and sweet. They are very lovable lapdogs who enjoy playing and running around with their owner. These animals are wonderful house pets and are great with children. In fact, the Shih Tzu scores high on the friendliness scale when it comes to other dogs, other pets, and even strangers .

Upkeep And Maintenance

Even though the Shih Tzu is a fairly small dog, it still needs a good dose of daily exercise. A 15 to 20 minute brisk walk on a leash is ideal, yet because it is so small, a good romp around the house from room to room is also an excellent way for the Shih Tzu to get his daily physical requirements.

Like most toy breeds, Shih Tzus are not meant to live outside. These animals are house dogs who cannot stand hot, humid weather. And because of its long, luxurious coat, grooming the Shih Tzu should be done on a daily basis.

Health Information

Shih Tzu dogs that are in good health have a lifespan of up to 14 or more years. The only major health concern that seem to be common with this dog breed is CHD. Minor concerns include PRA, renal dysplasia, otitis externa, patellar luxation, KCS, entropion, portacaval shunt, and inguinal hernia.

Veterinarians recommend that all Shih Tzu dogs be specifically tested for hip dysplasia, eye problems, and DNA for renal dysplasia. Occasionally, the following health problems may occur: dental problems and cataracts.

Shiba Inu (Non-Sporting Group)

Gemma | January 23rd, 2008
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The Shiba Inu is a strikingly handsome and courageous member of the Non-Sporting Group. With tis beautiful variety of soft colors, this dog is physically compact with adorable short ears, a thick coat of fur, and a muscular body. They have an expression of peace and alertness, always ready for the next adventure.

The temperament of the breed is best described as bold, independent, literally brimming with self-confidence. They are one of the best all-around house dogs to have because they are active and adventurous outside, but once indoors become calm and mild-mannered. The Shiba Inu tends to bark a lot, especially at the presence of intruders, making them excellent watchdogs.

A Brief History Of The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is one of six native Japanese breeds. In fact, these dogs are said to be the most ancient of them all. They were used to hunt and flush out small game, gaining the nickname little brushwood dog in reference to its red coat which blended in with the local brushwood trees.

The precise origin of the Shiba Inu is not known, but we do know that they share common blood with the spitz. The breed may have its roots dating as far back as 300 B.C. as hunting companions throughout Japan. From hunting small game and flushing out birds, these dogs were also used to help hunt wild boar.

At one point there were three variations. They were known as the Sanin Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and Shinshu shiba. All were named after their locality. Unfortunately, they were all but wiped out during World War II, then further numbers lost by distemper during the early 1952.

In order to keep the Shiba Inu from becoming completely extinct various types were interbred. Lighter boned dogs were crossed with heavy boned dogs from the mountain areas. These breeding efforts were a success and the United States saw its first Shiba Inu dog in 1954, gaining AKC recognition in 1993.

Upkeep Requirements For The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu cannot live a happy lifestyle without plenty of daily exercise. Although they are a small-sized breed, this dog has a never-ending amount of energy to burn. Several long walks on the leash plus laps around the yard each day is ideal. They especially love to chase and hunt small animals.

With a moderate tolerance to heat and a high tolerance to cool temperatures, the Shiba Inu can spend lots of time outdoors, but is not meant to live outside completely. If allowed to access a fenced-in yard during the day be sure to provide warm shelter as well. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a brushing once or twice weekly.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Shiba Inu is between twelve and fifteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is patellar luxation. Minor health issues include allergies and cataracts. Rarely seen is PRA, CHD, PPM, and distichiasis. Veterinarians suggest that the Shiba Inu get specifically tested for eye, hip, and knee problems.