Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Anatolian Shepherd (Working Group)

Gemma | January 16th, 2007
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The Anatolian Shepherd is best known as a serious family protector that was bred to be the ultimate security dog. As a serious watch dog, this breed is very suspicious around strangers and other animals. Highly devoted to its family, yet at the same time very easy going and affectionate, the Anatolian Shepherd makes the ideal family pet.

A Brief History Of The Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd has a long history as a working dog in the country of Turkey. The original function of the breed was to guard flock. Today still, the breed is used as a highly-dependable security dog.

Researchers claim that the canine’s roots probably go back 4000 years ago to the Roman Mollosian war dogs and the Tibetan Mastiff. These dogs were used to safeguard livestock against dangerous predators, such as bear and wolves.

By viewing various pictures of the breed you will notice that different Anatolian Shepherd dogs may vary in size, color and coat type. This is largely due to nomadic shepherds traveling a large geographical region while their Anatolian Shepherds would accompany them. The traits that have not changed, however, are the breed’s independence, loyalty, and toughness.

Anatolian Shepherd dogs made their way to the United States during the mid 1950s and although its usefulness was in the service of guarding livestock against coyotes, wolves, and other predators, the breed did not become popular until the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Dog enthusiasts who fancied large, devoted family protectors began to start raising Anatolian Shepherds. The AKC recognized the breed in 1996 as a member of the miscellaneous class before it was officially moved to the working group class soon after.

Upkeep Requirements For The Anatolian Shepherd

This breed needs plenty of daily exercise a chance to run with you as you jog in the mornings or a brisk walk on the leash will do the job. Anatolian Shepherd dogs can live outside if need be, so long as the temperature does not reach extreme cold or high heat, however, they are very connected to the family so sleeping inside at night is preferred. Grooming requirements consist of a weekly brushing to remove dead hair.

Health Concerns

The Anatolian Shepherd has an average life span of between ten and thirteen years. Quite a healthy breed, the only major health concern that runs common is CHD, with entropion showing up as a minor issue. Veterinarians suggest that Anatolian Shepherd dogs get tested for potential hip and eye problems.

American Water Spaniel

Gemma | January 14th, 2007
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The exact origins of the American Water Spaniel was never officially recorded. But most experts agree that a combination of the Irish Water Spaniel, Tweed Water Spaniel, English Water Spaniel, and the Curly Coated Retriever all had a part to play in the equation. This theory is based largely on the breed’s appearance.

Another theory is that the American Water Spaniel was created by American Indians who had tribes located in the Great Lakes regions. Whatever the origins of this dog are, it is irrefutable that the breed became hugely popular and established as a reliable hunting companion in the Midwestern section of the United States.

The American Water Spaniel is a small dog that has a waterproof coat and an amazingly keen nose, allowing it to hunt through rough terrain and retrieve a variety of game from both land and water. It is no wonder that this breed became a sought after hunting companion in America.

It wasn’t until after the year 1940, at which time it was officially recognized by the AKC, that the American Water Spaniel started to become the target of breeding enthusiasts. Before then, no one really had considered breeding American Water Spaniels for any other reason besides hunting.


As you can tell by its name, American Water Spaniels absolutely love water and have a natural ability to swim and hunt. This dog is a highly skilled retriever and is able to hunt a variety of animals.

At the same time, these Spaniels make great family companions. They are lovable and always willing to please. Some of them can be quite timid, yet other American Water Spaniels may be aggressive towards strange dogs. They are also known to bark loudly.

Taking Care Of Your American Water Spaniel

Like all dogs whose prime desire is to hunt and retrieve, American Water Spaniels must have a vigorous amount of exercise on a daily basis. Two or three long walks on the leash each day will suffice, but running outside in a safe area is best.

As far as living arrangements are concerned, American Water Spaniels should have access to the outside but remain indoors at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements tend to be a bit more work than other breeds, largely due to its long oily coat. Weekly brushing is a must and the hair may need to be clipped around the feet, ears, and the topknot.

Health Information

The average lifespan of a healthy American Water Spaniel is between 10 and 13 years. The only major health concern that may come up is mitral valve disease. Minor issues include CHD, PDA, and pulmonic stenosis. A few of these Spaniels may show signs of PRA and patellar luxation, but these occurrences are rare.

American Staffordshire Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | January 13th, 2007
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The American Staffordshire Terrier is an outstanding watchdog and will protect its family at all costs. Equally as efficient in being a fearless guardian, this terrier brings to its owners love and attention. They are generally gentle around children, but may be a bit too rough and dominant with smaller kids.

When it comes to strangers approaching, the American Staffordshire Terrier is bit reserved and may bark to ward off the unknown person. The same goes for other dogs and strange pets. They are true protectors at heart but can be friendly towards people so long as its owner is around. When it comes to training, this dog learns quickly but works best with an owner that has a more dominant personality.

A Brief History Of The American Staffordshire Terrier

As its name suggests the American Staffordshire Terrier originated from the United States, dating back to the 1800s. Although there is some confusion over how the dog received its name, this breed also shares the same bloodline as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It all started when breeders crossed an older Bulldog type with the English Smooth Terrier. The creation was a dog referred to as the Bull and Terrier, which was later changed to the Staffordshire bull Terrier.

These dogs’ number one road to fame was the ability to fight in the ring. Although illegal, these fights were very popular among people for placing bets and it was how the Bull and Terrier made its way to the United States, sometime during the late 1800s. They dominated the fighting pits and became known as three different versions in the U.S. – Pit Bull Terrier, Yankee Terrier, and the American Bull Terrier.

The Americans wanted a bigger version of the fighting dogs so they crossed the strains and the breed was officially known as the Staffordshire Terrier, recognized by the AKC in 1936. In 1972 the dog’s name was then changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Upkeep Requirements For The American Staffordshire Terrier

This breed must have plenty of daily exercise to keep up with its high-energy levels. Their ancestors were bred specifically to fight and this means that today’s Stafford still needs to expend enormous amounts of energy. Vigorous games outside and several brisk walks on the leash is ideal. Jogging with your Staffordshire is also a perfect activity.

These dogs can handle both moderately hot and cool temperatures and should be able to spend plenty of time outside. The ideal living arrangement is to have the American Staffordshire Terrier able to access a large fenced-in yard while being able to go inside the house whenever he pleases. Grooming requirements call for a light brushing every few weeks to remove dead hair, nothing more.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the American Staffordshire Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed is PRA, cerebellar, and CHD. Minor health issues include hypothyroidism, allergies, and cruciate ligament rupture. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get specifically tested for potential hip, elbow, thyroid, cardiac, and eye problems.

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.

How To Walk Two Dogs At The Same Time

Gemma | August 12th, 2006
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Considering that leash training one dog is quite a challenge, is there any way you can ever walk two dogs at the same time? Especially two large breeds? Even those feisty toy breeds can be a monumental challenge to control together!

The answer is… possibly, as long as the dogs get along well

First though, you must leash train each dog individually. Two dogs and two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a trip hazard for the owner trying to walk down the sidewalk. When each dog is singly walking reliably on a loose leash, they can then be trained to walk together.

Walking two dogs can be accomplished in more than one way. You can continue using separate leashes, which allows the dogs more freedom to sniff and move about. Or, you can train them on a coupler, which is two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.

Using a coupler is generally easier for the owner, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts each dog’s movement. Owners must also ensure that the smallest of the pair doesn’t just get dragged along if the larger dog decides to investigate something along the way.

Introduce a coupler slowly, with initial walks going no more than a few feet. As the dogs become used to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.

The same is true when using two leashes (instead of a coupler). Start by walking your dogs for a short distance to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Assuming you have taught some basic commands, such as sit and wait, work on these with the dogs together before stepping out on a walk.

You may find some interesting developments upon walking two dogs at the same time. The you must be talking to that other dog syndrome is common. Even the most obedient dog commonly suffers from this malady.

Then there is the competitive nature that surfaces, causing normally mannered dogs to suddenly start pulling as both dogs strive to reach that interesting smell first. The correct training response is the same as it is for one dog, to stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes taught.

Remember too that this can be a physical challenge – two dogs make up quite a force and not everyone can handle this situation without landing face down on the ground! If you don’t have the strength to thwart two dogs bent on a purpose, it might be safer to stick to one at a time.