Border Collie

border-collie

History:  The Border Collie was bred around the England and Scotland border.  Shepherds needed a companion that was hard-working, dedicated, and athletic.  After combining a few different traits, then end result was a Border Collie.  This breed is considered the best dog to have when herding livestock.

Description:  Border Collies are a medium-sized herding dog.  They have a space between their shoulder blades which allows them to get into their “stalking” position when hearing.  It almost reminds me of a cat trying to sneak up on its prey. Another notable characteristic is when they give you “the eye”.  You could almost call this a Border Collie’s tunnel vision.

border_collie_0064

Temperament & Exercise:  Border Collies are a very driven, focused and a high-energy breed.  Some even say that they are in the “Top 3” of intelligent dogs.  Border Collies were bread to herd animals and focus on the task at hand. These dogs can make a great addition to your family; but before you bring them home there a few things to consider.  Owner’s should probably live in a house with a fenced in back yard.  BC’s require lots of exercise and will need space to play.  Also, if you are new to owning a dog, this would not be the best choice on your first dog.

These dogs are very active and energetic.  As the owner, you need to make sure you spend time to play and give these dogs a good work out, and by work out, I don’t just mean a walk around the block.  It’s very important that you take time to train your Border Collie.  They are very smart and can become destructive if they get bored. Take some time to  research training methods or even enrolling in a class could be beneficial to your and your dog.

Health: Overall, the Border Collie is considered a healthy breed. They tend to have hip dysplasia and an eye disease, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA).  There is a test that can be done to determine if a breeder will have pups with this disease.

**The site below goes into more detail on CEA**

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/eyes/c_dg_collie_eye_anomaly

Life Span: On average, theses active dogs live up to 10-13 years.

Grooming:  Border Collies are ranked low on the maintenance scale.  They are double coated and require regular brushing. The two types of coats are medium- rough and the short- smooth coat.  The common coat color for Border Collies is white and black, but they also have a variety of other patterns.

Border-Collie-Dog-Pic-150x150Border-Collie-Dog-Pics-150x150

Fun Fact:  There was a Border Collie that played in the movie “Babe”.

Sources: 

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/border-collie/

http://www.dogzer.net/blog/3091-broken-city/ (image)

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

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Bloodhound

220px-Bloodhound_2

History:  It’s not for certain when or where the dogs originated.  There has been reports (legends) that Belgium monks developed this breed in a monastery around the 8th century.  The Bloodhound was first known as the Saint Hubert, named after the monastery from which they were born.  The Saint Hubert came in two colors, black or white.

The monks later sent a pair of black Saint Hubert’s to the King of France as a gift.  This is when they were bred with other dogs and began to get the brown/black color.

Bloodhounds weren’t recognized in the United States until the 1800’s.  They were known to be a great tracking and hunting breed.  They would help their master locate missing-persons, or  wild game.

Description:  These dogs are fairly large dogs with an elongated gait.  They have lots of saggy skin, which helps them pick up scents off the ground while tracking.  Their long ears are known to help gather scents too .  Their primary colors are black/tan or liver/tan.

Size:  Their average weight is 80-100lbs and they stand about 23-27 inches at the shoulder.

Temperament:  This breed can be a great family pet, but they are known to be stubborn.  Since the BH was bread to sniff and track, it becomes hard for them to listen when they find a scent.  You may find it hard to get their attention once they are on a trail.  Another trait is that they might overpower young children if they are left alone with them.  Otherwise, if you train them at a young age, Bloodhounds make great family pets.

Grooming:  The Bloodhound requires a little more time when it comes to grooming.  Since they are always outdoors sniffing around, they tend to get dirty.  You can brush them daily to remove dirt and excess slobber.  Their ears need to be cleaned daily because they can get into the food, water dish, and pick up all sorts of stuff off the ground.  If not taken care of, their ears can get infected from bacteria.

Health:  Bloodhounds are known to bloat. This is when the stomach fills with air from eating or drinking. It’s important to provide them with an elevated food bowl and feed them in two separate meals.

Like most large dog breeds, Bloodhounds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.  Bloodhounds also have been known to have a few eye issues.  Entropion, is when their eyelid forms inward, causing the eyelashes to scratch the eyeball.  The opposite would be ectropion, where the eyelid forms outward.  Then the last condition is keratoconjuntivitis sicca, also known as dry eyes.

Not all Bloodhounds are going to have these conditions.  If you are planning on getting your dog from a breeder, make sure you ask them if the parents of the pups have been tested, and always make sure that the blood lines are clean.

Exercise:  Bloodhounds were bread to track a scent for 100’s of miles; with that being said, it’s very important for them to get exercise.  If you are wanting one of these dogs, make sure you have a fenced in backyard, a sturdy leash/harness, and plenty of time to play with your dog.  When Bloodhounds get bored, they become destructive.  They love to eat and chew on anything.  Some owners have said they are great at remodeling your backyard. Remember, a happy Bloodhound make a happy owner 🙂

Lifespan: Around 8-10 years.

Trivia:  The Bloodhounds have been known to play large roles on the big screen. They have appeared in movies such as Lady & the Tramp, Aristocats, Shawshank Redemption, & etc.

Sources:

http://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_bloodhound

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/bloodhound

http://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_bloodhound

Weimaraner

WeimaranerGianni3Months

 

 History:  They originated in Germany around the late 1800’s.  This breed was developed for the Grand Duke, Karl August of Wiemar. These dogs were taught to hunt very large game such as boars, bears, and deer.  Both Germany and The Duke were very possessive of the new breed they had created.  It was said that the first Weimaraners to enter the United States were sterile that way no one could breed these dogs.  Unfortunately, The Dukes plan didn’t work out so well. A man from Rhode Island went to Germany and returned to the US with 3 dogs.  He bread the dogs and shared them with people across the US.

Description:  The Weimaraner is a medium sized dog.  Generally the owners will have the tails docked, but this has been banned in some countries.  Their coats are grayish-silver and can be long or short-haired.  Their eyes start out blue when they are pups, but then change to an amber or light gray color.  These dogs also have webbed toes, which helps them get around better in the water.

Size: For being a large dog, the Weimaraner doesn’t weigh that much. Females are 23-25 inches tall, weighing in around 55-70lbs.  Males are 25-27 inches tall, weighing 70-80lbs.

Temperament:  These guys have been called the dogs with a human brain.  Weimaraner’s are easy to train, but it’s best to start early when they are young.  This breed is very social and loves to be around their owners and other dog friends.  They are very active and athletic dogs.  If they don’t get enough exercise and attention, they can get into some mischief while their owners are away.  Weimaraner’s can live anywhere, but if you choose to get one & you don’t have a yard, make sure you take time to walk them and make daily visits to the dog park so they can exercise and put good use to all of that stored up energy.

Grooming:  Weimaraner’s have a short, flat coat, that sheds yearly.  It is recommended that you groom them in 4-8 week intervals. They need to have their ears cleaned and nails clipped. Weekly brushing is recommended also. Bathing can be done yearly and is only necessary when they are dirty.

Health:  While researching, I have found that Weimaraner’s have a few health issues.  Some may experience entropion, which is where their eyelids are inverted or folded inward.  This means the eyelashes scratch the eyeball and irritate it.  If this is not taken care of, the eye can have permanent damage.

A serious aliment among Weimaraner’s is tricuspid dysplasia.  This happens as the fetus is developing.  The right ventricle doesn’t form properly, causing the valve to not work as efficiently.  As a owner, you may not recognize the signs and symptoms.  Some dogs experience un-explained weight gain, their legs & tail feel cool to the touch, and some have a loss of energy.  Due to the lack of noticeable symptoms, the tricuspid dysplasia goes unnoticed until the dog experiences congestive heart failure. 

Exercise:  These dogs need more exercise than most breeds.  Some owners have reported that a two mile jog around the neighborhood might not be enough.  If you are considering this dog for a future pet, you may want to take some things into consideration.  As an owner, you need to make time to play and interact with your Weimaraner daily, and maybe ever more that twice a day.  Like a morning walk before you leave for work, and then another walk or jog when you return home in the evening.  If this isn’t enough exercise for them, an extra game of fetch might be needed.  These dogs require a lot of space to move around and stay mentally and physically engaged.  If not, they become bored and destructive.

Lifespan: 10-13 years

Trivia:  Due to the sleek silver and gray coat, the Weimaraner has been given the knick name “Gray Ghost”.

Sources:

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/weimaraner/

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

https://www.espree.com/breedProfiler.asp?g=4&b=66

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/weimaraner#grooming

http://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/disease-information/tricuspid-valve-dysplasia.html

http://www.iowaweimrescue.org/weimaraner-characteristics/

http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds/sporting/weimaraner.html

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/weimaranerphotos4.htm (picture credit)

Breed of the Month: Vizsla

hungarian-magyar-vizsla2

History:  It has been said that the Vizsla originated in Austria and Hungary, dating back to the 14th century.  The ancestors were said to be hunters, part retriever and part pointer.  Back then, only noble or wealthy individuals owned these dogs.  This is how the blood line was preserved so well. Later on the Vizsla was mixed with a Weimaraner and a German Short-Haired Pointer.

Description:  The Vizsla is a medium size dog.  Their muscular bodies are built for activity and lots of running.  They are cinnamon in color throughout their entire body. Their coats are short, smooth, and dense.  An interesting fact about Vizslas, is that the iris of their eye is all brown.  You cannot see any white when looking in their eyes.

Size: The average male is 22-25 inches weighing up to 45-66 pounds.  The female is 21-24 inches and weighs about 40-55 pounds.

Temperament:  These dogs are very loyal and affectionate.  Vizslas form a strong bond with their owner and family.  The Vizsla has been given the nickname “velcro-dog”.  This because if they aren’t outdoors playing, they are by your side or sitting on your lap.  Yes, Vizslas make a good family dog, but you need to be careful when they are around young children.  This is due to their high level of energy and wanting to play a lot.  Vizslas were born with a natural instinct to hunt, but like most hunting dogs, they require training.  It is recommended to train them slowly, because they can become overwhelmed very easily.

Grooming:  The Vizsla is a very low- maintenance dog.  They are good at self-cleaning, and don’t have the ‘dog odor’ that some people tend to smell.  Some owners recommended wiping them down with a dry rag twice a week.  That way they stay clean and you should only bathe them 3-5 times a year.

Health: Vizsla’s are known to have a few common health issues.  The Vizsla Club of America participates in a canine health database.  Before a Vizsla can be registered for a number, they need to be tested for certain ailments, and the owner must provide all test results.  Most breeders are careful and monitor the bloodlines when considering a mate for their dog.  They can use the health database Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to gather information concerning a Vizslas health history.

Common health issues include:

  • hip dysplasia
  • Von  Willebrand’s disease
  • cancer
  • hypothyroidism
  • eye disorders

Exercise:  This dog requires about 30-60 minutes of  exercise daily.  And when I say exercise, I don’t mean just a walk around the block.  The Vizslas love to run and play.  If you live in town or in an apartment, you might want to reconsider getting a Vizsla.  They enjoy going hunting, running around outdoors, agility courses, and playing fetch.

Lifespan:  The Vizsla tends to live 10-14 years.

Keep in Mind:   Even though you have provided your Vizsla with lots of attention and exercise, they can still become bored.  Especially when they are home alone.  These dogs are known for chewing, so make sure they have toys  of their own to keep them busy and play with.

Sources:

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/vizsla.htm

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/vizsla.htm

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

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/vizsla

http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/vizsla

Breed of the Month: Doberman Pinscher

 

History:  The Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany around 1890.  A tax collector, named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann ‘designed’ the Doberman to be his guard dog.  Mr. Dobermann had to collect money from people in some pretty shady areas, he decided that having a guard dog would prevent people from stealing his money.

Description: Dobermans’ are a large, muscular dog.  Their bodies are built for endurance and stamina.  These dogs were first bread to guard and protect their owners, now they have the same look as their ancestors, but a more gentle personality.  The head is a wedge shape.  Doberman puppies are born with floppy ears and a long tail.  After they reach a certain age, most owners will have the ears cropped and the tails docked.

Size:  The Doberman is a large dog and averages 61-68 centimeters in height.  Male Dobermans weigh in at 34-45 kg and females at 27-41 kg. (1 pound is about 2.2 kilogram)

Temperament:  Originally, Dobermans were bread to be fearless guard dogs.  They were bred to be large, fearless, and ready to protect when commanded.  These traits have given the Dobermans a bad reputation.  Over the years, breeders have somehow altered the Dobermans’ personality traits.  They are still large and in charge, but are not as aggressive and intimidating.  Today, Doberman’s are still known to be protective of their owners, but they are also good-natured, intelligent, and loyal.

Dobermans’ are prone to separation anxiety. This is because the breed is used to spending a lot of time around humans.  If you work long hours, it would not be a good idea to adopt a Doberman. They can become anxious and destructive when left alone for long periods of time. These active dogs require attention and activity.  If this does not happen, the Doberman will become bored and search for their own source of entertainment; which might not be approved by any owner.

Grooming: Doberman’s could be classified as a ‘low maintenance’ dog when it comes to grooming. These dogs do shed year round, but brushing them weekly is enough to keep it under control.  When it comes to the ‘dog smell,’ most owners have stated that their Dobermans’ rarely smell and don’t bathe that often.  You can get away with bathing these dogs 3-4 times a year.

An important thing to keep up on is checking the Doberman’s ears.  They sometimes have wax build up, which may lead to an ear infection.  If you have noticed issues with your Doberman’s ears, ask your veterinarian if they can recommended an ear cleansing solution.

Health:  Doberman’s have a few serious health issues that their owners should pay close attention to.  The first and most common is Dilated cardiomyopathy.  This is when your heart is an abnormal shape and there are problems pumping blood efficiently throughout your body.  This then causes the rest of your organs to have problems, due to the lack of blood flow. 

Wobbler disease affects most large-breed dogs.  It is a neurological disease that causes a wobbly gait in most animals.  Some dogs will walk with their head hung low, this is a sign that they are in pain.  Their spinal cords are under pressure whether from a herniated disc, or a small spinal canal.

Von Willebrand disease is where the blood has a hard time clotting after a blood vessel becomes injured.  This means after a Doberman becomes injured, they might have excessive bleeding even if the sustained injury is minimal.

Exercise:  Due to the Doberman being bred with an active, athletic nature; they require a large amount of daily exercise and mental activities.  After looking around at a few different sites, most current Doberman owners suggest that you not only have a large fenced-in back yard, but that you also have the time to spend exercising your Doberman.  You might think that putting them out back gives them plenty of time to run around, but playing by yourself can get boring.  This is where a companion would come in.  Not every Doberman owner recommends that you get 2 at once, it is just something to think about.

Lifespan: On average, the Doberman can live 10-13 years.  This also depends on the health of your animal and how well it is taken care of.

Trivia:  Dobermans have also been known for making appearance on the big screen. Zeus and Apollo were owned by Higgens in the television show Magnum PI.  In the movie Resident Evil, there were a few Doberman Zombies.  Also in Disney’s movie Up, there was a Doberman by the name of Alpha.

Sources:

http://www.akc.org/breeds/doberman_pinscher/index.cfm

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

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Doberman-Pinscher/Personality.aspx

http://dobermansden.com/most-famous-dobermans/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dilated-cardiomyopathy/basics/definition/con-20032887

Breed of the Month: Jack Russell Terrier

wishbone jack russell tv show

History:  The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England during the 18th century.  Records show that the JRT was a descendent from the White terrier, which is now extinct.  A man named Reverend John Russell, who was an avid fox hunter, purchased a white and tan terrier from his local milk man.  Trump, as he was named, was Reverend Russell’s dream dog.  Trump had high stamina, was courageous, and aggressive.  These traits were looked highly upon by fox hunters.  Reverend Russell was also very proud to say that his dogs had never tasted blood.  They were known for locating fox holes, sniffing out the fox, and then chasing them so their owners could make the kill.  Other’s had heard of his breed and would ask to take his dogs out hunting.

Description:  This breed is what some may refer to as a “compact” dog.  They are pretty proportionate in size having short legs and a small chest.  Another desired trait of the JRT is flexibility. Hunting foxes can be difficult and challenging.  JRT’s can use their flexible bodies to chase their prey into or out of their holes.

Size:  Jack Russell Terriers measure in at  15-18 inches and weigh about 14-18 pounds.

Temperament: This breed is known to be very vocal, athletic, intelligent and courageous.  JRT’s were bred to hunt, therefore they require a lot of mental and physical stimulation.  These dogs can become bored very easily and cause mischief if let alone for long periods of time.

JRT’s are also stubborn and aggressive at times. Owners recommend that you start socializing this breed at a young age.  This will help their social skills & getting them used to being around strangers without becoming hostile.  If you are considering a JRT for your future family pet, they are not recommended for young children.  Even if they are socialized, this breed does not take lightly to abuse, even if it is an accident. This type of ‘abuse’ would come from younger children due to their young developing minds, and lack of understanding.

Grooming:  JRT’s can have a short or long-haired coat.  It has been said that the shorter the hair, the more your dog will shed.  It is important to brush them, but not bathe them often.  It’s recommended that you rinse them off with warm water only, and use shampoo if necessary.  Too much bathing can lead to skin irritations and more shedding. Then long-haired JRT sheds as well, but not as much as the short-haired.  Same rules apply for bathing, and they can also shed more when the seasons start to change.

Health:  JRT’s are known to be fairly healthy, living an average of 14-21 years.  Due to having such strict breeders, the bloodlines have stayed fairly clean and the percentage of incest is very low.

There are a few ailments that a pet owner should research before getting a JRT.  Not all dogs are affected, but these diseases listed below are hereditary.  I have provided links below, that can give you more information on each disease/syndrome.

  • Ataxia
  • Primary Lens Luxation
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Congenital deafness
  • Hereditary Cataracts
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Exercise:  This breed is a working and hunting dog.  They need exercise daily! This is very important for both the owner and their pet.  If you are not able to stimulate your JRT, they will become restless and start to act out, or may even cause destruction in your home.  If you live in an apartment or condo, please realize you will need to make lots of time to exercise your dog.

 Trivia: Due to this breed’s hard-working life style, they have been featured in many television shows and movies. Just to name a few, Wishbone, Fraiser, The Mask, & My dog Skip.

Sources:

 

Breed of the Month: Shetland Sheepdog

*Description: Shelties have a short body structure. Their legs are also relatively short as well, dew claws are removed sometimes. The tail is long and feathered and may lay flat or have a slight curve. The head is blunt and resembles a wedge shape. Shelties have almond shaped eyes which are usually brown but can also be blue. The ears are fairly tall and generally bend slightly at the tip. Some owners will brace or bend the ears to get this desired “Sheltie” expression.
*History: Shelties were originally bred as a farm dog. They were used to guard and herd livestock, chase rabbits and mice from gardens, and acted as a guard dog. While the Shetland Sheepdog looks very similar to the Rough Collie, the Sheltie is not selectively bread to be a miniature version of the Rough Collie. A spitz-like sheepdog of the Shetland Isles was bred with with Rough Collies, Border Collies, King Charles Spaniels, and Pomeranians, which produced a dog that resembles the Shetland Sheepdog. In the early 1900’s the Shetland Sheepdog was bred with the Rough Collie to maintain the breeds’ appearance. The Shetland Sheepdog was originally named the Shetland Collie but, due to discrepancies with with Rough Collie breeders, breeders of the Shetland Collie changed the breeds name to Shetland Sheepdog. The Shetland Sheepdogs first came to the US in 1908 and became recognized by the AKC in 1911.
Size: Males: 13–16 inches at the withers, weighing 16-20 pounds. Females: 13–16 inches at the withers, weighing 16-20 pounds.
Temperament:  The Shetland is a good watch dog. These dogs are known for their intelligence and how easy they are to train. Shelties love their family, are playful, and  loyal. The Shetland Sheepdog has a strong herding instinct, and will herd people and other animals. These dogs love their families but are wary of strangers. Need a calm yet firm and consistent pack leader. These dogs have a tendency to chase cars and should be trained to not to do so. These dogs can live in an apartment but will need sufficient exercise. They are active indoors. Has a tendency to bark a lot. Okay with children if raised with them but, they are typically wary of children with whom they are unfamiliar. All interactions between dogs and children should be supervised. Shelties are small and can easily become injured by a child who plays too rough. Excels at agility. May bark excessively if it doesn’t have mental and physical energy requirements fulfilled.
Grooming: The Shelty has a double coat. The outer coat is longer and water resistant while the undercoat is short, fluffy, and acts as insulation in colder weather. The Shelty needs to be brushed frequently to avoid mats that can appear in their fur. These dogs shed two times a year; once in the spring and again in the fall. However, they will still shed year round.
Health: A major health concern for Shetland Sheepdogs is dermatomyositis, which is characterized by hair loss on the head and face as well as muscle atrophy. Other concerns include Transitional Cell Carcinoma, which is a cancer of the bladder; patellar luxation, or dislocated knee cap; von Willebrand disease; hypothyroidism; and hip dysplasia.
Exercise: Having been bred as a working dog, the Shelty is a fairly active dog and requires a daily walk or jog. A big yard to run around as well as training sessions are also good for exercise.
Lifespan: About 12 to 14 years.
Trivia: President Calvin Coolidge was gifted a pure white Shetland Sheepdog named Calamity Jane.

http://www.assa.org/SheltieHistory.html

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201210/the-president-and-the-sheltie