Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

Kate | April 14th, 2008
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An adorable member of the toy dog group, the Yorkshire Terrier is a mixture of England’s finest terriers, made up of the Clydesdale terrier, English black and tan terrier, waterside terrier, and the Paisley terrier.

By the late 1800s, Yorkies had made their way to America but because there were so many variety of sizes, the Yorkshire Terrier did not make its exclusive name until the early 1900s. It was at this point that the majority of dog enthusiasts deemed the smaller sized Yorkshire Terrier was preferable.

The temperament of this dog breed is that of a bold, confident, and courageous animal. And the Yorkshire Terrier seems to be oblivious to its small stature. Always eager for fun and adventure, this dog can be a bit aggressive towards other small animals and strange canines. It definitely maintains that old rough-edged terrier spirit.

Upkeep And Maintenance

Like other toy dog breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier needs plenty of exercise but can get all of the physical activity it needs by running from room to room inside of the house or small apartment. Of course this does not mean that the Yorkie should not be outside. In fact, they love to take a brisk walk with their owner at any chance possible. Just be sure to keep your dog on leash to avoid problems with other small animals.

As far as living arrangements are concerned, the Yorkshire Terrier is not meant to live outdoors. This dog breed prefers the companionship of its family and human contact. If you must leave your Yorkie outside for any short period of time, just be sure that there is plenty of shelter and adequate bedding.

Yorkshire Terriers tend to grow very long hair. Whether or not you decide to keep your dog with this style will determine grooming needs. Most Yorkie owners keep their pets trimmed so that it only needs a thorough brushing three to four times per week. Long hair will need to be looked after a little bit more often so that it does not tangle and mat.

Health Information

The Yorkshire Terrier has a lifespan of up to 16 years when raised in a positive environment by a health minded dog owner. Fortunately, the Yorkie has no major health concerns that we know of. And the only minor health concern to look out for is patellar luxation. Veterinarians do suggest, however, that dog owners have their Yorkies specifically tested for eye problems, knee dysplasia, and have a liver ultrasound.

Whippet Dog Breed

Gemma | April 5th, 2008
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The Whippet is said to have come from a combination of Greyhound dogs mixed with smaller dogs during the 18th century in the attempt to create an animal that could be used by peasants for poaching small game such as rabbits.

With its direct roots from the Greyhound dog, which are genetically designed to race as fast as possible, Whippet dogs entertained people in contests called snap dog games. People would place bets on the Whippet of their choice who would snap up as many rabbits as they possible could before escaping from the game circle.

It is also theorized that these dogs were probably crossed with ratting terriers in order to increase speed and quickness. When the Industrial Revolution started, this was the time that the true Whippet breed started to emerge. Huge numbers of rural workers had moved their entire livelihoods to industrialized areas. Along with them came their Whippet pet dogs that was a good source of entertainment.

Even when there were no rabbits around for the people to watch their Whippets play snap dog competitions, they found out that these dogs were just as excited to race towards other objects, particularly a waving flag. This was the dawn of flag racing, which became very popular amongst coal workers. Referred to as the poor man’s race horse, Whippets grew in large numbers.

Whippets were not only used for entertainment, but also to help the poor earn extra income and helped procure food for the family. These dogs were loved, valued, and shared everything with its human companions.

Whippet racing is still somewhat popular at current times, but it never took off quite as commercially as Greyhound racing did. As a result, it remains an amateur sport. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1888 and through further mixing with the Italian Greyhound, many beautiful and aesthetically appealing Whippets have been born and raised in many family households.


Of all of the sighthound dogs, the Whippet is claimed by dog enthusiasts to be the most obedient and demonstrated. If you are looking for a quiet house dog that is a totally devoted and loyal companion, this dog will make the perfect pet. Whippets are extraordinarily gentle with kids and is on the overly-sensitive side, both mentally and physically. They do not fare well when treated harshly or yelled at.

Taking Care Of Your Whippet

Whippet dogs love to run but can also do very well in a small-sized apartment, so long as daily walks are given. While many dogs can sleep and live in standard conditions, Whippets need a very warm and soft bed to be comfortable in. It absolutely hates cold weather and is not meant to live outdoors. Grooming does not take much work, if any at all. The hair on their coat is extremely short and it rarely gets that musty doggy smell most dogs get.

Health Information

Whippet dogs have a lifespan of up to 16 years, with the average being 13 to 14 years. They are very healthy with only one major health concern to watch out for, and that is potential eye problems. There are absolutely no minor issues to worry about and veterinarians suggest that you have your Whippet tested for eye problems throughout its life.

West Highland White Terrier (Terrier Group)

Samantha | March 31st, 2008
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There is no other member of the Terrier Group that is more friendly and affectionate than the West Highland White Terrier, or Westie for short. These adorable bundles of joy are a happy breed, always curious, and thrives on being the center of attention. It makes the perfect house dog for all family types are are wonderful around children.

The fun-loving temperament of the Westie carries over to strange dogs and people, as they are always looking to make new friends. Somewhat reserved around other pets in the house, these dogs quickly bond, making them amiable with every member of the family. At night they make excellent watchdogs, and will bark at any approaching person, animal, or sound.

A Brief History Of The West Highland White Terrier

The roots of the West Highland White Terrier goes back to Scotland, during the 1800s. The breed actually shares its bloodline with various other terriers during that time, each with outstanding hunting abilities. Small animals such as badger, fox, and vermin were hunted by these efficient terriers.

At one point, various breeds were all considered to be one. The list included the Skye Terrier, the Westie, the Scottish Terrier, and the Cairn Terrier. Distinctive strains were produced through selective breeding, based on qualities such as color and coat type, which were easily maintained throughout Scotland and several islands to the west of the country.

The West Highland White Terrier first gained popularity in 1907. At the time it was named the Poltalloch Terrier. Over the years the breed went through several more name changes, including: Little Skye, Roseneath, Cairn, and the White Scottish. In fact, the breed was registered with the AKC in 1908 as the Roseneath Terrier, but soon changed in 1909 to the West Highland White Terrier.

Upkeep Requirements For The West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is not the kind of dog that should live outside. Although they do have tolerance to moderately hot or cool temperatures, they should be spend most of their time indoors. However, having access to a fenced-in yard during the day is ideal, with sleeping arrangements inside at night with the rest of the family.

Westies need daily exercise to take care of their high energy levels, but due to the small size of the breed, these requirements can be met with a few walks on the leash and some playtime in the yard or living room. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing of the dog’s wiry coat, two to three times weekly. A professional clipping is also recommended every few months to keep the coat neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the West Highland White Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed include CMO, Legg-Perthes, skin disease, and globoid cell leukodystrophy. Minor health issues reported are KCS, copper toxicosis, patellar luxation, and cataracts.

Welsh Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | March 29th, 2008
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The Welsh Terrier is a playful and adventurous member of the Terrier group, always on the lookout for fun games and entertainment. They are not quite as temperamental or feisty as most terriers are, which makes them a reliable house dog. They can be boisterous when running around outside, yet calm and mild-mannered indoors – making these dogs a joy to have around the home.

Welsh Terriers are also wonderful around children but may be a bit territorial when it comes to other pets in the house. They are weary and reserved when it comes to strange people, making them excellent watchdogs. Some Welsh Terriers can be a little stubborn and head-strong when it comes to training. They also tend to bark and dig when given the chance

A Brief History Of The Welsh Terrier

The history of the Welsh Terrier goes back to the 1700s in Whales. They are one of only two breeds of terriers that is native to Whales. It is said that the Welsh Terrier is a descendant from the Black and Tan Rough Terrier, which was a popular breed in Britain around the late 18th century.

During that time, North Whales had produced a terrier strain known as the Ynysfor. At the exact same time period, Northern England had produced a breed that looked identical to the Ynysfor, known as the Old English Broken Haired Terrier. The two strains looked so much alike that when both were entered into the show ring many people mistook them for one another.

They eventually were grouped together and both became known as Welsh Terriers. The Welsh was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1886. Breeders wanted to further improve the breed and so crossed them with the Wire Fox Terrier. Today they can be found as loving companions and a regular contender in earthdog trials.

Upkeep Requirements For The Welsh Terrier

A fairly active dog breed, the Welsh Terrier needs a moderate amount of daily exercise. These requirements can be met with a few brisk walks on the leash and some time to run around the yard. These dogs quickly tire after vigorous exercise and enjoy relaxing just as much as they do playing. Welsh Terriers also tend to hunt so be sure to have them confined to a safe, fenced-in yard at all times when off-leash.

Welsh Terriers can tolerate moderately cool or warm temperatures, but should not live completely outside. Sleeping indoors with the family at night is ideal as they form very tight bonds with their owners and need as much human contact as possible. Grooming requirements for the breed’s wiry coat calls for a thorough brushing every two to three days. A professional shaping should also be done every few months to keep the coat neat.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Welsh Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. There are no major health concerns in the breed. Minor health issues include glaucoma and lens luxation. Rarely seen are seizures and allergies. Veterinarians suggest that Welsh Terriers get specifically tested for eye problems.

Welsh Springer Spaniel (Sporting Group)

Gemma | March 26th, 2008
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The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a laid-back, easygoing dog that is not quite as exuberant as the English Springer. They need plenty of daily exercise and has a large appetite for bird hunting so spending time in nature’s woodlands make the perfect setting for the breed.

Although independent by nature, Welsh Springer Spaniels are highly devoted to its family and make excellent house pets. They are very sensitive and may display a timid personality around strangers – but this shyness is what makes the breed an excellent watchdog.

A Brief History Of The Welsh Springer Spaniel

Mention of Welsh Springer Spaniels date back as far as the 1300s in early records of the Laws of Whales. However, there is still dispute whether or not these early dogs were directly connected with todays Welsh Springer.

There is some evidence to suggest that the Welsh Springer Spaniel may have developed from the English Springer or is a creation from the mix of English Springers and the Clumber Spaniel. Land spaniels have been used for a long time in Wales before the Welsh Springer became popular, but the land spaniels were more likely not a uniformed group of dogs.

During that time, both English Spaniels and Welsh Spaniels were shown alongside one another at dog shows because they were strikingly similar, with the only difference being color. The Welsh made a soaring boost in popularity and in 1906 was recognized by the AKC.

Upkeep Requirements For The Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniels are solid, all-purpose hunter dogs with a keen sense of smell and can flush and retrieve game in both land and water. Because of this genetic trait they need to have plenty of outside space to run and play each day. They especially like quick bursts on a field.

While needing to be outside roaming and hunting most of the day, Welsh Springer Spaniels are happiest when sleeping inside at night with the rest of the family. As far as grooming requirements, their coat is long and lustrous, which means heavy brushing about twice per week.

Health Concerns

Welsh Springer Spaniels have an average life span of between thirteen and fifteen years. A very healthy dog breed, they only have one major health concern CHD. Minor health problems that may show up are epilepsy, otitis externa, and glaucoma. Rarely seen are cataracts. Veterinarians suggest that Welsh Springer Spaniels get tested for potential hip and eye problems.

Weimaraner (Sporting Group)

Peter | March 22nd, 2008
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The Weimaraner dog breed is probably the most courageous and rambunctious of the sporting group. Always ready to hunt, play, and run, this dog literally has enough energy for an entire day roaming outside. If left inside the house too long they may become destructive.

The Weimaraner is top-rated on its training ability, protection, and watchdog status. They are also quite reserved with strange people and other animals. Small children in the house should be supervised with Weimaraners, as these dogs tend to play on the rough side.

A Brief History Of The Weimaraner

The origin of the Weimaraner come from Germany, which has always been a country known for its natural forests and wildlife. The breed was the result of the hunter’s need for a dog that was the perfect all-around gun dog. They wanted a canine that could not only hunt small game but also tale down larger animals such as bear and deer.

The first of these dogs that were bred were known as the Weimer Pointer, which came from the first breeding efforts by the court of Weimer. Several of the breed’s forebears include various early pointing breeds, the Red Schweisshund, and the Bloodhound.

By looking at the handsome Weimaraner you can clearly see its distinctive gray color throughout the coat. The exact origin of this trait is unclear, but we do know that it has been part of the dog’s physical appearance since very early in the development of the Weimaraner.

The German Weimaraner Club was responsible for strict oversight of the breed. Only members of the club could own one of these dogs and becoming a member was almost impossible. The leaders of the organization were very selective.

It wasn’t until the year 1929 that someone from the United States gained entry into the club and took two Weimaraner dogs back to America. This was the first time that the breed had been out of Germany and by 1943 it had become popular enough to become recognized by the AKC.

Upkeep Requirements For The Weimaraner

As stated earlier, the Weimaraner is a very active and rambunctious dog. Their energy levels are through the roof and therefore need an over-abundance of daily, vigorous exercise. They have an insatiable appetite to run and hunt so city living is out of the question.

Grooming requirements are minimal due to the short coat of the Weimaraner. Perhaps the occasional brushing now and again to remove any dead hairs is all that is needed. These dogs do not tolerate extreme cold or hot temperatures very well, so should sleep inside at night with the family.

Health Concerns

The average life span of a healthy Weimaraner is between ten and thirteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is gastric torsion. Minor health problems include hemophilia A, distichiasis, spinal dysraphism, entropion, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, and vWD. Veterinarians suggest that Weimaraner dogs get tested for possible hip, eye, and blood problems.

Vizsla (Sporting Group)

Gemma | March 18th, 2008
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The Vizsla is one sporting dog that not only enjoys hunting all day, but his physical attributes make him look the part. Always poised and ready to run, this breed makes an excellent close-working gun dog and a talented pointer.

Vizsla dogs are on the never-ending mission to sniff out birds and if left alone for long periods of time without room to run and play, they can become quite upset and destructive. Not all Vizslas have the same personality some are on the shy side, others are overly-anxious, while many have a stubbornness character.

A Brief History Of The Vizsla

Our research leads to writings on Falconry from the Middle Age period that describes dogs that very closely resemble the Vizsla. It is said that the breed were from groups of canines that were collected by the Magyars, people who traveled across Europe before landing and setting up villages in Hungary, over 1000 years ago.

The plains of Hungary were abundant with game and the local hunters needed a dog that was fast, could be a close-working dog, point and retrieve, and trail mammals over rough terrain. The breed further increased in popularity through the 18th century but declined in numbers by the end of the 19th century.

The Vizsla breed was then revived by dog enthusiasts through careful breeding. During World War II the dogs were seen in countries all over the globe. This was largely due to the Hungarians fleeing Russian occupation and had brought their dogs with them.

When the breed showed up in United States it did not take long for the Vizsla to become popular with American dog lovers. Their talented hunting abilities were quickly noticed, as well as the dogs strikingly handsome appearance. The Vizsla was officially recognized by the AKC in 1960.

Upkeep Requirements For The Vizsla

These canines were bred specifically to be a close-working dogs so the Vizsla has enough energy to literally run all day long. Therefore, they cannot be expected to be content with only a few short walks on the leash. It needs a large open field to roam during the day. Small apartment living is not meant for this dog.

Grooming the Vizsla is minimal due to its close-cut coat. The occasional brushing every couple of weeks to remove dead hairs will suffice. These dogs can live outside if the climate is warm but prefers to sleep inside with its family, especially if the weather is cold.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Vizsla dog can last anywhere from ten to fourteen years. The only major health concern reported in the breed is epilepsy. Minor issues include lymphosarcoma and CHD. Rarely seen is hypothyroidism, dwarfism, PRA, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and persistent right aortic arch. Veterinarians suggest that Vizsla dogs get tested for potential hip and thyroid problems.

Toy Poodle (Toy Group)

Gemma | March 15th, 2008
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Considered to be one of the smartest and intelligent (if not the most intelligent) dog breeds today, the Toy Poodle is an absolute loving and affectionate member of the Toy Group. They are easy to train, make excellent watchdogs, and sensitive to their owner’s needs. Lively and responsive, the Toy Poodle makes the perfect house pet for anyone looking for a devoted dog that is always eager to please.

A Brief History Of The Toy Poodle

The history of the Toy Poodle shares the exact same history as that of the Standard Poodle and Miniature Poodle – members of the Non-Sporting Group. The area of origins of the breed, although thought to be France, is actually Central Europe and Germany, dating back to the 1500s.

The Barbet dog is said to be the earliest versions of the Poodle. Also in the bloodline are various rough-coated dogs. The Barbet had made its way to Russia, France, Hungary, and several other countries. But it was the German version of the dog that had the greatest influence on the breed as we know the Poodle to be today.

Excellent water dogs, they were named after the word pfudel which is German for splashing. The French recognized their hunting abilities and referred to the dogs as caniche, which is in reference to the Poodle’s duck-hunting skills. They were also used as service dogs in the military for such jobs as guarding, pulling wagons, guide dogs, and herding.

Once the Poodle became popular it was named the official dog of France and was quite fashionable with women. Smaller versions of the breed were successfully created and, although by 1920 had declined in numbers, they made a comeback and today the Toy Poodle is one of the most popular house pets in our homes.

Upkeep Requirements For The Toy Poodle

This is one breed that is not meant to be sitting at home while the family goes off and leaves the house all day. These dogs need constant love and attention from their human owners. Lots of interaction is a must for the Toy Poodle to thrive happily.

Toy Poodles also need to have plenty of exercise. They have high energy levels so several brisk walks on the leash each day plus a few laps around the yard during playtime games is ideal. This is not a breed that is meant to live outdoors. Although it enjoys having access to a safe, fenced-in yard to play during the day, Toy Poodles should sleep indoors with the family at night.

Grooming requirements for the Toy Poodle call for more work than your typical dog. In fact, their coat should be thoroughly brushed every day if possible. When these dogs shed the hair does not fall out. Instead it gets caught up in the existing curls and may cause matting if left uncared for. Professional clipping should be done about three to four times per year. The dog’s face and feet should be clipped more often, about once per month.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan for the Toy Poodle is between twelve and fourteen years. Major health concerns that run common in the breed are patellar luxation, PRA, epilepsy, and Legg-Perthes. Minor health issues include lacrimal duct atresia, cataracts, entropion, and trichiasis. Rarely seen in the breed is urolithiasis and intervertebral disk degeneration. Veterinarians suggest that Toy Poodle dogs get tested for potential knee, hip, and eye problems.

Toy Manchester Terrier (Toy Group)

Kate | March 11th, 2008
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The Toy Manchester Terrier is a highly playful, loving, and affectionate member of the Toy Group. These dogs are excellent hunters and their spicy personality stays true to the terrier heritage. They are also one of the most kinder, gentler of dog breeds and thrive on human contact. Toy Manchester Terriers also tend to be reserved and almost timid around unfamiliar people, which makes them excellent watchdogs.

A Brief History Of The Toy Manchester Terrier

The history of the Toy Manchester Terrier dates back to around 1860 in England. At the time, one of the most popular dogs of the country was the Black and Tan Terrier. This breed was highly valued for its ability to hunt and kill rats, especially with the citizens of Manchester, England.

People had enjoyed the rat-killing talent of these dogs since the 16th century. Not only were hunting rats a needed service, people would also place bets on how many rats a specific Terrier could hunt down, providing plenty of entertainment in the process.

A cross was made with these efficient ratter Terrier dogs with that of the Whippet racer, resulting in the Manchester Terrier we know of today. For a time, however, the dogs were still referred to as the Black and Tan Terrier because they were practically physically identical. In 1923, Manchester Terrier became the official name of the breed.

The Italian Greyhound is also said to have been part of the bloodline, probably mixed in during the late 1800s, which explains why so many of the dogs varied in size. The smaller version was the most sought after type and breeders answered this demand by creating a miniature version – the Toy Manchester Terrier.

Upkeep Requirements For The Toy Manchester Terrier

Caring for the Toy Manchester Terrier is simply a matter of providing lots of love and affection. Add to that daily playtime and a few brisk walks on the leash and this dog is in heaven. They have high energy levels and are always up for a good time.

Toy Manchester Terriers should not live outside. They absolutely hate cold temperatures but can tolerate heat well (due to the short coat). Grooming requirements for the breed is minimal, with an occasional brushing every two weeks or so to remove dead hairs.

Health Concerns

The average life span of Toy Manchester Terriers is between fourteen and sixteen years. There are no major health issues. Minor concerns include cardiomyopathy and vWD. Rarely seen in the breed is deafness, patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes, PRA, and hypothyroidism. Veterinarians suggest that Toy Manchester Terriers get tested for DNA for vWD, eye, and hip problems.

Toy Fox Terrier (Toy Group)

Gemma | March 7th, 2008
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The Toy Fox Terrier is a fun-loving dog with endless amounts of energy. They love to investigate the great outdoors and are rated as one of the most affectionate and playful members of the Toy Group. These dogs enjoy life most when playing with members of the family or other pets in the house. Great around kids, as well as the one-person household, Toy Fox Terriers make an outstanding house pet for anyone, at any age.

A Brief History Of The Toy Fox Terrier

Although the breed enjoys a high popularity rating among households in the United States, their origin only dates back to the beginning of the 1900s. Farmers had always fancied the Smooth Fox Terrier dogs in the U.S. They were useful not only as companions but for also chasing small rodents away. And for entertainment, there was nothing funnier than watching these scrappy little terriers go at it over fun and games.

Eventually these little dogs were crossed with various toy breeds. Included was the Chihuahua, Toy Manchester Terrier, and the Italian Greyhound. The resulting dog was a smaller-sized version of the Smooth Fox Terrier with a few physical differences than its larger version. The feisty temperament subsided a bit through breeding.

Although these dogs were registered with the AKC as Smooth Fox Terriers, the name was officially changed to the Toy Fox Terrier in 1936 when the organization granted them their own breed status. In 2003 the dog made its first entrance into the show ring.

Upkeep Requirements For The Toy Fox Terrier

Owning and keeping a Toy Fox Terrier happy takes a combination of attention, love, exercise, and plenty of playtime. These dogs are like a bundle of firecrackers going off all of the time so daily activity is a must. They should have mental stimulation as well as physical play. This makes them easy to train for obedience or simple dog training routines.

Toy Fox Terriers love to dig and bark, so having access to a safe, fenced-in backyard is ideal. Living outside is not recommended. They must sleep indoors at night. They also do not tolerate cold weather well and may need extra warm bedding during the winter months. Grooming requirements call for a quick brushing about once every week or two, nothing major as their coat is short and the breed does not shed often.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Toy Fox Terrier is between thirteen and fourteen years. A truly healthy breed, there are no major health concerns to worry about. Minor health problems include demodicosis, congenital hypothyroidism with goiter, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes. Rarely seen is vWD. Veterinarians suggest that Toy Fox Terriers get tested for DNA for congenital hypothyroidism, vWD, knee, and thyroid problems.