Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Old English Sheepdog

Gemma | October 27th, 2007
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This dog breed originated in the western part of England and is said to be connected to the Russian Owtcharka or the Bearded Collie. At one time, the Old English Sheepdog’s sole purpose was to defend flocks and herds from being attacked by wolves.

By the middle part of the 19th century, Old English Sheepdogs were being used to drive sheep and cattle to market. They were considered working dogs, therefore the owners were exempt from paying dog taxes. And to prove that these dogs were actually used for work, their tails were docked as proof of occupation. This tail docking has remained a custom even into modern times, which is the reason for the dog’s nickname Bobtail.

The Old English Sheepdog was first shown sometime in the late 1800s and became a popular show dog exhibit by the early 1900s. They were officially recognized by the AKC in the year 1905.

Although it took some time for this dog to become popular as house pets, the 1970s proved to be a booming period for many households bringing the Old English Sheepdog in as an added member of the family. This thrust in popularity was mainly the result of commercials and other media outlets which depicted Old English Sheepdogs for various roles and in advertising.


The Old English Sheepdog is considered to be a happy-go-lucky canine that is both gentle and well mannered. They tend to be a bit comical and on the jolly side, especially when at home and trying to amuse members of the family. This dog thrives on companionship and loves to be around people.

Genetically gifted for herding flock, it brings the same attitude towards children in the house and displays high levels of loyalty and protection. Old English Sheepdogs are one of the highest rated in terms of affection, friendliness towards strangers, and friendliness towards other pets.

Taking Care Of Your Old English Sheepdog

Like all dogs, the Old English Sheepdog will need daily exercise through long walks or medium-paced jogs on the leash. This dog specifically enjoys herding so if you live on a farm or large area of land with other animals, it will make the perfect setting.

Old English Sheepdogs can live outside so long as the weather is cool, but should have access to the inside at all times. This is one dog that does not do well in hot weather. As far as grooming is concerned, their thick coat will need a thorough brushing about every other day or else it may form mats and attract dirt and debris.

Health Information

The average lifespan of the Old English Sheepdog is approximately 10 years, with some living up to 12 and 13 years. The only major health concern to worry about is CHD. Minor health issues that may come up include PRA, gastric torsion, hypothyroidism, cerebellar ataxia, otitis externa, deafness, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Sporting Group)

Gemma | October 22nd, 2007
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The sporting group of dog breeds would not be complete without the beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. This canine can spend hours running, retrieving, and playing outside. When it comes to fun and games with the Toller, throwing the ball a few times just won’t cut it. Be prepared to expend some energy because he’ll be back for more and more!

Whether they are playing, hunting, or just plain walking on the leash with you, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever does everything with gusto. Alert, yet calm, these dogs have the ability to adjust to any circumstances.

A Brief History Of The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Ever since the early 17th century, the Europeans had used canines to toll (which means to lure or act as a decoy). In order for these dogs to toll they would simply walk the shoreline, frolicking along, playing with sticks and such activities that attract ducks to the area. The properly trained dog would continue walking along, acting aloof and ignoring the ducks until the hunter would shoot at them.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was created during the early part of the 19th century, in Yarmouth County, located in the southern most part of Nova Scotia. Historians suggest that the dog may have been a descendant of the red European decoy dog with a mix of farm collies and various types of retrievers, setters and spaniels. One theory suggests that the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever came from the tolling American Indian dogs.

The breed was originally referred to as the Yarmouth Toller or the Little River Duck Dog before the official name of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever became commonplace. In 1915 the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed, which had fifteen Tollers registered for that year.

Sometime during the early 1960s, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was exported to the United States, and although their popularity grew, it was not until the year 1984 that a proprietary club was formed dedicated to the canine. The club’s name was the Duck Tolling Retriever Club (of the U.S.)

The purpose of this club was to offer a breed championship, requiring basic retrieving skills and tolling trials. In 2001 they became part of the AKC’s miscellaneous class and in 2003 the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was officially accepted into the Sporting Group.

Upkeep Requirements For The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Any dog that is part of the sporting group is known to have high exercise requirements. And this couldn’t be more true when talking about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Be prepared for daily runs and time in the water with your Toller.

These dogs also score at the top when it comes to playfulness, affection, and friendliness to both people and other pets. But don’t let their kind nature fool you, as the Toller will show weariness of strangers if need be. And home living should be just that have your Toller living inside the house. This is one dog that, although needs plenty of time outdoors, does not fare well if put outside for the night.

Health Concerns

Healthy Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dogs have an average life span of between eleven to thirteen years. Amazingly healthy, there are no major health issues that run through the breed and the only minor problems that are seen are PRA and CHD. Veterinarians suggest that all Tollers get tested for potential hip and eye problems.

Norwich Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | October 21st, 2007
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The Norwich Terrier, just like its cousin the Norfolk Terrier, is a fun-loving feisty little terrier that thrives off of adventure and action. They are hunters at heart so chasing small animals, especially rodents, is all that is needed for the Norwich to stay happy. These are the type of dogs that are best suited to be with people always on the go and enjoys daily outside activities.

Norwich Terriers make excellent watchdogs and are great around children. With a robust, playful attitude these dogs have a friendly attitude towards other dogs and pets. They even welcome strange people so long as its owner is around.

A Brief History Of The Norwich Terrier

England is the area of origin for the Norwich Terrier and the breed dates back to the 1800s. The Norwich Terrier shares an identical history with the Norfolk Terrier. The Norwich Terrier’s biggest difference from its blood-brother is the ears – Norwichs have pricked-ears and the Norfolks have droopy ears.

During the early periods of these dogs, both were used quite extensively as excellent rat hunters and for fox bolting. In fact, all short-legged terriers were well respected in England. Sometime around the 1900s there was a small Trumpington Terrier that lived in a stable near Norwich.

The terrier’s name was Rags and he sired many offspring, which are considered to be the official base of today’s Norwich Terrier. One of the offspring, a male, made its way to the United States and was considered the first ambassador of the breed. The dog’s owner was went by the name of Jones and many people to this day still refer to the Norwich Terrier as the Jones Terrier.

The AKC recognized the breed in 1939, but as one breed with two varieties (droopy ears and pricked ears). In 1979 they were officially known as two separate breeds and since then the Norwich Terrier has made a loving companion and a popular contestant in earthdog trials.

Upkeep Requirements For The Norwich Terrier

Any proud owner of a Norwich Terrier will tell you that this dog must have plenty of daily exercise. While they can get all of the action they need from running around the house, it is always best to allow your Norwich to freely explore the outside, running and chasing small animals to their heart’s content.

The ideal living arrangement for the breed is to have access to a wide open (but safe) outside area during the day, such as a fenced-in yard, and to sleep indoors at night with the family. They can tolerate both moderately cool or warm temperatures. Grooming requirements for the Norwich Terrier’s wiry coat calls for a heavy brushing about twice weekly, with a full stripping about every three to four months.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Norwich Terrier is between thirteen and fifteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is CHD. Minor health issues include seizures, patellar luxation, cataracts, deafness, and cheyletiella mites. Veterinarians suggest that Norwich Terriers get specifically tested for hip and knee problems.

Norwegian Elkhound (Hound Group)

Gemma | October 16th, 2007
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The Norwegian Elkhound can be summed up as courageous, bold, independent, playful and with a boisterous attitude. These husky members of the Hound Group are a combination of spitz-like traits, mixed with that of the hound, and always looking for the next outdoor adventure. With its high energy levels and overly friendly personality, the Norwegian Elkhound makes an excellent house dog for any family that enjoys exploring the great outdoors.

A Brief History Of The Norwegian Elkhound

There is a bit of confusion over the history of the Norwegian Elkhound, mostly because its roots are tied to the spitz breed, yet is placed in the Hound Group. And anyone not familiar with the breed would immediately assume it was a spitz due to the Elkhound’s physical appearance.

The Norwegian Elkhound has always been an excellent scenthound, used to track large game. They have also served as trustworthy guard dogs, herders, and protectors. The Elkhound has been a breed to survive and evolve to performing a variety of jobs during the coldest of climates, the roughest of terrain, and the deepest of ice-filled mountains.

Above all, its most revered usefulness is in hunting Elk, as the breed’s names suggests. The job of the Norwegian Elkhound was not actually to kill the animal, but rather to locate the prey and keep it in place until the hunter arrived to make the kill. They made their way to England and the United States sometime during the late 1800s and recognized by the AKC in 1930.

Upkeep Requirements For The Norwegian Elkhound

This breed has an insatiable instinct to hunt, and was bred to do so during all types of harsh weather conditions. Therefore they need to live with a family that has access to the outside and with a passion for an active lifestyle. Running, hunting, jogging, and playing are all great ways to spend time with your Norwegian Elkhound. These dogs have endless amounts of energy and are not meant to be couped up inside the house.

Norwegian Elkhounds can live outside if need be, so long as the temperatures are not hot, as their heavy coat was made to withstand the cold. Like all loving companions they should be allowed to sleep inside at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about twice weekly. During shedding season a daily brushing will be necessary.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Norwegian Elkhound is between ten and twelve years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed are CHD. Minor health issues include sebaceous cysts, hot spots, and renal dysplasia (kidney disease). Rarely seen is intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma, PRA, Fanconi syndrome, and patellar luxation. Veterinarians suggest that Norwegian Elkhounds get specifically tested for Fanconi, eye, and hip problems.

Norfolk Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | October 12th, 2007
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The Norfolk Terrier is a true hunter at heart, always looking to chase small rabbits and fox. These dogs make up in boldness what they might not have in size. Being the smaller dog that he is, the Norfolk Terrier is quite scrappy and very strong-willed, making them excellent watchdogs.

One of the interesting aspects of the Norfolk’s personality is its friendliness towards other dogs and pets. The same goes for strangers. Most terriers have reservations around unknown people or animals but the Norfolk Terrier is always looking for a new friend to have fun with.

A Brief History Of The Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier share the exact same history. As they were being developed, these dogs could be found with droopy ears (which became the Norfolk Terrier) and others with high-standing, prick ears (which became the Norwich Terrier). No one of the two dogs could be claimed as having been originally created first.

Both types of Terriers were seen in the show ring during the 1930s. Breeders tried to cross both types but the results were not promising. By crossing the droopy-eared breed with the prick-eared type, the offspring had uncertain ear carriage, so the practice was stopped.

Both types of terriers were alive and well but the prick-eared type had grown to be more popular. The droopy-eared version (Norfolk Terrier) was all by wiped out during World War II. The only reason why they survived was due the efforts of a woman named Miss Macfie.

During the 1940s Miss Macfie helped breeders recreate the droopy-eared version and soon their numbers rose to great popularity. In 1964, the dogs were officially changed to two separate breeds, with the United States following suite in 1979.

Upkeep Requirements For The Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terriers must have daily exercise to take care of its high energy levels. Due to its small stature these requirements can be met with a few brisk walks on the leash or some playtime in the yard. They especially love to investigate and hunt so having access to the outside during the day is ideal.

With tolerance to moderately hot or cool temperatures this is not the type of breed to have living outdoors. At night they should be inside with the rest of the family. They form tight bonds with their owners and very family oriented. Grooming requirements for the Norfolk Terrier call for a heavy brushing twice weekly due to the wiry coat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Norfolk Terrier is between thirteen and fifteen years. The only major health concern in the breed is CHD. Minor health issues include allergies. Rarely seen is patellar luxation. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get specifically tested for hip and knee problems.


Gemma | October 9th, 2007
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The Newfoundland dog breed comes from the coast of, you guessed it, Newfoundland. There is absolutely no disagreement about this fact between dog historians, but quite the opposite is true in reference to its genetic ancestry.

We do know that the Newfoundland dog can be traced back to the Tibetan Mastiff dog breed. However, there are no live records that report Tibetan Mastiffs being brought to Newfoundland. Many experts agree that they came from Tibetan Mastiffs in part by Great Pyrenees dogs which were crossed with Black English retrievers. The Husky may have had a part to play in the mix as well.

Whatever the true mixture of dog breeds that went into the making, the result was an extremely massive bear of a dog that loves water, is resistant to cold temperatures, and comes in either black or black and white mixed.

The Newfoundland distinguished itself by being a reliable human companion that was capable of a large variety of tasks. These dogs would do the job of hauling very heavy fishing nets through cold water which otherwise had killed many human workers on-the-job, due to the extreme temperatures. They also served as pack animals and as draft dogs.

When the Europeans visited and were introduced to the Newfoundland dog, they were immediately impressed and returned back to Europe with many specimens. It was at this time that the breed first entered show ring competitions.

Because so many of the dogs were exported out of Newfoundland to other parts of the world, along with strict local laws that forbid any one household to have more than one of these dog breeds, their numbers dwindled. Fortunately, the English and the Americans took great notice of the breed and drove its numbers back up. Today the Newfoundland is one of the most popular of the large dog breeds.


The one personality trait that many dog enthusiasts appreciate about the very intimidating Newfoundland is its calmness. Despite its size, this dog is extremely gentle and patient. They are sweet, amiable, and get along with just about any human and animal. However, if crossed the wrong way they will jump to the devotion of protecting its family.

Taking Care Of Your Newfoundland

Large dogs like the Newfoundland can have its physical requirements taking care of by walks on the leash or a short romp through a field. Living next to water is ideal for anyone that wishes to own a Newfoundland, as these dogs go crazy for water fun and retrieving games.

Hot weather is not a friend to the Newfoundland but it can fare well outside during cold temperatures. It is always best to allow access to both the outdoors and inside of the house. Grooming requirements consist of a thorough brushing approximately twice per week, more so during times of shedding.

Health Information

The average lifespan of a healthy Newfoundland dog is approximately 10 years. Major health concerns that may come up are gastric torsion, cystinuria, SAS, CHD, and elbow dysplasia. Minor health issues include vWD, OCD, ectropion, cruciate ligament ruptures, and cataracts.

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

Gemma | October 5th, 2007
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This is one dog that is extremely heavy-bodied and has a strong, powerful grip. These types of dogs have been traced back to the Middle East and Asia where they functioned as war dogs. Their jobs were to guard homes, control livestock, and even fight men and large animals in battle, such as elephants and lions.

The modern day Neapolitan Mastiff is said to be connected to giant Macedonian war dogs that Alexander the great mixed with short-haired dogs of India. The time was approximately 330 BC. The resulting bloodline was called the Molossus, which is considered to be the progenitor to many large dog breeds of today.

The history then becomes a bit more interesting. The Romans took over Greece and at the same time took all of their Molossus dogs. Then in 55 BC the Romans invaded and conquered Britain. The British had large and imposing Mastiff dogs that the Romans admired. These dogs fought valiantly during war.

As you can probably guess these two dogs were bred together and created a super breed of giant war dogs that were called Mastini which is the Italian word for Mastiff. The breed continued to expand its members and were perfected over centuries of well functioning guard dogs. However, they were quite isolated and remained unknown to much of the rest of the world.

In 1946 they were introduced to the world at a Naples dog show. A man named Piere Scanziani saw the dog and immediately recognized what type of breed it was. He started a campaign to influence other dog fanciers to help bring out the breed from obscurity. They went as far as drawing up a petition so that the Italian Kennel Club would recognize them under the name of Mastino Napoletano.

It was not until the 1970s when this dog breed was documented in the United States. There were of course a few of these dogs that were already in the U.S. from Italian immigrants, but nothing was official until the 70′s. It did not take long for the breed to become popular and gain interest from dog enthusiasts. They were recognized by the AKC in 1996 and were official numbers of the AKC working group by the year 2004.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is duly noted for its loyalty and devotion to its family. As a result of being bred for centuries as a family guard dog, it is extremely reserved and suspicious of strangers. Needless to say, it is one of the highest rating watchdogs that can equally protect its family due to its size and fighting ability. The Neapolitan Mastiff is affectionate towards children but may be dominant towards other dogs and house pets.

Taking Care Of Your Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff dogs will need a lot of space. This is one dog that is literally huge in size and must have enough room to roam around without being squeezed in. As far as exercise and physical requirements to, they do not need much. A simple walk on the leash will do just fine. Consider also that the large size of the Neapolitan Mastiff will require higher expenses in terms of food and veterinarian visits. They also tend to drool a lot and can be quite messy with its food and water.

Health Information

The average lifespan of a healthy Neapolitan Mastiff is approximately 9 to 10 years. Larger dogs tend to have shorter life spans than smaller ones. Major health concerns that could arise are demodicosis, CHD, and cardiomyopathy. Minor issues include elbow dysplasia and cherry eye.

Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed

Gemma | October 2nd, 2007
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The Miniature Schnauzer is considered to be the most popular of the Schnauzer family dog breeds. This animal was created through breeding in Germany during the late 1800s. The mix came from the combination of the original Schnauzer and the Affenpinscher. By the year of 1899, the Miniature Schnauzer was exhibited as its own distinct breed from the standard. However, it was only in the year of 1933 that the American kennel club finally separated the two versions into their own breeds.

Even though the standard Schnauzer was in the United States and recognized as a popular dog breed long before the miniature version came into existence, the miniature became more popular through the years and outpaced its larger version, especially after World War II was over.

The temperament of the Miniature Schnauzer is considered to be spunky, inquisitive, alert, and they make great companions. These animals love being around action and playtime just the same as they are well mannered in the house during calm moods. They are less domineering and not as aggressive as the standard Schnauzer when it comes to other people and strange dogs (or other pets). This is what makes the Miniature Schnauzer an excellent house pet that is both great with children and a fantastic watchdog.

Upkeep And Maintenance

Like all dogs, Miniature Schnauzers need plenty of exercise. However, a nice long walk on the leash or a romp in the yard is plenty of physical movement for this dog each day. They are also best to live indoors with the family even though they could survive outside just fine. Emotionally, these animals need to be part of its pack at all times.

Grooming work for the Miniature Schnauzer will need to be in the form of heavy brushing at least once per week. These dogs have a thick wiry coat that may need professional scissoring and clipping every two to three months. This will help soften the texture of the coat.

Health Information

Miniature Schnauzer dogs have a lifespan of up to 14 years when in good health. Veterinarians recommend that all new owners of the Miniature Schnauzer have their pets DNA tested specifically for myotonia congenita, type A PRA, and vWD.

Major health concerns with this dog breed are known to be PRA and urolithiasis. Minor issues include the possibility of myotonia congenita, vWD, allergies, and Schnauzer comedo syndrome.

Miniature Pinscher Dog Breed

Gemma | October 1st, 2007
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The Miniature Pinscher has been said to be the world’s most energetic dog breed. Of course opinions vary, but if you have ever been the proud owner of one of these adorable animals then you would have to agree that the statement can ring very true. The Miniature Pinscher received its recognition by the AKC in the year of 1929 and is now one of the most popular toy dog breeds in the United States.

This king of the toy dogs, as some dog enthusiasts would call it, is a nonstop energy machine, staying busy and active at all times during the day. Accurate descriptions of this dog’s characteristics would be playful, inquisitive, bold, and a bit stubborn, as it likes its independence. Although the Miniature Pinscher can be a little aggressive with other animals, especially canines, it is extremely affectionate and playful with its family.

Upkeep And Maintenance

If you are the kind of person that does not enjoy being outdoors and experiencing times of playful activity, the Miniature Pinscher may not be the best choice for your pet. This dog needs an extraordinary amount of daily activity with long walks and short, but intense sprints. However, because of its tiny size, he can be easily exercised indoors so long as there is enough room to run around.

Although running outdoors is a favorite pastime of the Miniature Pinscher, this dog is best suited to living inside the house with its family. Like other toy dog breeds, he needs to be away from the cold and cannot stand chilly weather. In fact, you’ll find that the Miniature Pinscher loves to snuggle up underneath pillows and blankets when he is resting.

Grooming the Miniature Pinscher is very easy. Because of its short coat, he only needs to be brushed occasionally. As far as bathing is concerned, once a week or every two weeks is ideal.

Health Information

Most dogs have major health concerns which are typically seen throughout the breed. But when it comes to the Miniature Pinscher, there are no major worries. There are however, a few minor concerns which may need to be addressed: heart defects, cervical disk, MPS VI, patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes, and hypothyroidism.

The Miniature Pinscher has a very long life span, living up to 15 years, sometimes longer. If you own one of these amazing dog breeds or plan on purchasing a Miniature Pinscher puppy, make note that veterinarians recommend that you get specific health tests for hip dysplasia, eye problems, knee issues, and DNA for MPS.

Miniature Bull Terrier

Gemma | September 29th, 2007
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The Miniature Bull Terrier is a member of the Terrier family, the Mastiff family, and the Bull family. Its original area of origin is the country of England and the date of origin can be traced back to the 1800s. This dog’s original function was nothing more than to be a companion. Today, many Miniature Bull Terrier dogs are also used at Earthdog trials.

This dog breed was created directly from the regular sized Bull Terrier so it shares the same history in the early days. Back then, the standard drawn up for Bull Terriers allowed for all size ranges and poundages. This diversity reflected all of the breed’s ancestry, including the Black and Tan Terrier, Bulldog, and the White English Terrier.

Miniature Bull Terriers have been in existence for a long time. There have been some Bull Terriers reported to weigh as little as 4 pounds. One of the first groups of smaller toy Bull Terriers were white in color and referred to as Coverwood Terriers. This name was a reflection of the kennel that produce them.

In time, a better and more healthier group of small Bull Terriers were created. Their size was somewhat larger than the toy version and so became known as miniatures. These Miniature Bull Terriers were bred and their popularity rose to such a point that the English Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1939.

This recognition created a few problems at first. Because it was its own separate breed, Miniature Bulls could not be interbred with the regular-sized Bull Terriers. Unfortunately, the numbers of miniatures were so small that inbreeding was forced to happen. The numbers rose slowly and in 1991 the Miniature Bull Terrier was recognized by the AKC.


Most miniature and toy dog breeds are considered lapdogs. However, the Miniature Bull Terrier does not have the same characteristics as these other small dogs. As far as personality is concerned, these dogs are literally just smaller versions of the standard-sized Bull Terrier. They are rough, playful, mischievous, yet sweet and friendly, all the same time. Miniature Bull Terriers are considered to be very stubborn but when trained properly become excellent watchdogs.

Taking Care Of Your Miniature Bull Terrier

Miniature Bull Terriers should not live outdoors. Playtime in the yard and a few walks on a the leash will provide plenty of exercise for this dog. They also make excellent pets for small apartments or condominiums.

Health Information

The average lifespan for a healthy Miniature Bull Terrier is between 11 and 15 years. The only major health concern that may show itself is deafness. This issue is mostly seen in the all-white color versions of the Miniature Bull Terrier. Minor issues include lens luxation and glaucoma. Kidney disease is sometimes seen with this breed, but is extremely rare.