Breed of the Month: American BullDog

Description: American Bulldogs are a large muscular breed. They are generally stalky, with long muzzles and a square-shaped head.  The coat color is usually white with red, black, or brindle patches.

Size: Males are 20-27 inches and females are about 20-24 inches tall.

History: The origin of the American Bulldog is not very clear. Some believe it was brought over to America by colonists and used as a farm dog. They helped heard livestock, guard the farm and protect its families from vermin.

A second theory is that this so-called breed is made up.  The ABD is a mixture of multiple breeds put together over a long period of time.

The third theory is that the English Bulldog was bread with other breeds to create or develop the American Bulldog that we see today.

Temperament: This breed is known for its stable temperament. The American Bulldog is loyal and protective to its family.  They are alert, curious, bold, and fearless. The ABD can work well with other breeds and live with them too, but it works best if they are raised with them.

Grooming: The American Bulldog doesn’t require much care when it comes to grooming.  The ABD sheds short coarse hair that should only be washed once every two months.  Due to allergies, this breed can also have sensitive skin. The most important thing to remember is their ears. They need to be cleaned regularly or they can contract yeast infection.

Health: This breed has been known to be generally healthy.  Like all other breeds, the American Bulldog has certain health concerns. Due to the selective breeding, not all ABD are affected. You should research the blood lines before purchasing a puppy from a random breeder.

It has been said that American Bulldogs tend to have hip and elbow dysplasia. Allergies are also common in this breed. Most veterinarians will tell you to give your dog a specific daily dose of Benadryl.  ACL tears, bone cancer & problems with the kidney and liver have also been reported.

Exercise: Due to the American Bulldogs high energy and muscular build, these dogs require daily exercise. They were bread to work, so getting outdoors for a walk or jog will make them very happy.

Lifespan: The ABD has a lifespan of 10-15 years.

Trivia: This working breed not only shows its skills outside on the farm, but also has talents on the big screen.  You can watch famous American Bulldog actors on the movies Homeward Bound, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Little Rascals.

Sources:  https://www.akc.org/breeds/bulldog/breed_standard.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Bulldog

http://www.bulldoginformation.com/american-bulldog-history.html

http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/dog-grooming/article_4865.aspx

Breed of the Month: Dalmation

 

Dalmatian_liver_stackedDescription: Dalmatian’s are a mid-sized muscular dog. Their bodies are as long as they are tall. The ears set high on the head, and are tapered toward the tip.  Dalmatians have arched toes and round paws.  This breed is generally white with black spots, this is the trait that the Dalmatian breed is known for.

Size: When full-grown, Dalmatians weigh between 35-70lbs. Males are slightly taller than females, measuring in at about 19-24 inches tall.

History:  The origin of the Dalmatian breed has been an unsolved mystery. After centuries of research, they found paintings portraying this breed that date back to the early 1600’s.  A written description of the Dalmatian was found from the early 18th century. Some think they first appeared in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In 1791, a man named Thomas Bewick declared that this breed would be called Dalmatian.  Even though there were no Dalmatian’s currently residing in the country of Dalmatia.

In 1930, an England ship owner, sailed with his Dalmatians to the country of Dalmatia. He wanted his dogs to live and breed in the country for which they were named after. 

Temperament:  When the 101 Dalmatian movie was released, parents all over wanted to get one for a family pet. The high demand over this breed led to a malpractice in breeding.  Puppy mills, and other careless breeders were producing Dalmatian’s with bad blood lines. It had been noted that pups from bad blood lines tend to be much more aggressive, stubborn, bite, and are very hyper.

When getting a pup from a responsible breeder, Dalmatians tend to be obedient, intelligent, loyal and athletic.  Due to being such a loyal breed, Dalmatian’s can have separation anxiety. When left alone, they can become upset and in time, start destroying things.

Grooming: The Dalmatians’s coats are very fine and short. They shed year-round and the hair can weave itself into clothing, carpet, and upholstery. It is recommended to groom them weekly, using a curry comb or a hound mitt. Due to the small amount of oil on a Dalmatian’s coat, they stay fairly clean and tend not to have the “dog smell”.

Health: Dalmatian’s are generally healthy dogs,  but they do have their share of aliments. The most common health issue among Dalmatian’s is deafness.  Only about 70% of them have regular hearing.  Some breeders’ have stated that they believe blue-eyed pups have a greater chance of becoming deaf than brown-eyed pups.  This theory isn’t valid due to the lack of scientific testing.

Some Dalmatian’s suffer from Hyperuricemia.  This is when there is too much uric acid in the blood. The liver then has trouble breaking down the uric acid, which results it then entering into the blood and urine stream. When one suffers from Hyperuricemia, they tend to have kidney and bladder stones.  This tends to affect middle-aged males around 10 years of age.

Another side-affect of Hyperuricemia, is Gout.  When high uric acid levels are in the body, they tend to crystallize on joints and tendons. When diagnosed with Gout, a human would have symptoms of acute arthritis and swollen joints in the feet. Most commonly the big toe is always affected.

If you are looking to medicate your pet, some people have recommended asking your veterinarian about a medication called Allopurinol.

Special Diet:  Multiple sources have suggested to have your Dalmatian on a fatty acid diet, using raw eggs. This can help with the Gout.  Also keep them off of vitamin C & B. Both vitamins have been known to increase the amount of acid produced. Some owners also switch their dogs to a low purine diet and include whole-grain cereals with no yeast.

Exercise:  Due to their athletic traits, Dalmatian’s require daily exercise and mental stimulation.  They enjoy being outdoors, going for a run, hiking, and even competing in agility activities.  The key to raising a happy Dalmatian is proper exercise and daily activities.

Life Span: One source listed the average life span of a Dalmatian to be 15-16 years.  Then another source stated the average was 9-11 years.

Trivia: Dalmatian were first used as carriage dogs. They ran along side horse-drawn carriages and acted as a guard dog. Later they rode along side fire fighters in horse-drawn fire trucks. This is how they became the fire house mascot.

Today you might see the Dalmatians as they run along side the Anheuser-Busch Draft horse carriage.

 

 

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatian_(dog)

http://www.ufaw.org.uk/hyperuricosuria.php

http://www.gout-aware.com/canine-gout.html

http://www.1800petmeds.com/Allopurinol-prod10042.html

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Dalmatian/Personality.aspx

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Dalmatian/Overview.aspx