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

Beagle

images

History: The actual origin of the Beagle seems to be obscure with no reliable documentation on the earliest days of development.  The modern Beagle can be traced in ancient Greece back in the 5th century BC. Then in 1888, the National Beagle Club was formed and held its first trial. Beagles are still used today hunting in packs and larger hare.

Description: Beagles are known for there colors they are usually Brown, Tan, and white. The beagles coat is  of medium length, close, hard, sleek and easy to care for.

Size: Males are 22-25 pounds Females 20-23 pounds Height is 13-16 inches

Temperament: Beagles are very happy go lucky dogs. They don’t have much of a temper. They are good family dogs and good with kids. 

Grooming: Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bath with mild soap only when necessary. Check the ears for signs of infection. They are a average shedder. 

Exercise: Beagles are very energetic dogs. They need lots of exercise. You should give them a brisk walk daily. Always use a lead when walking or you may just find yourself chasing after them. 

Health: Beagles are very healthy dogs. Some lines can be prone to epilepsy but can be controlled with medicine.

Lifespan: Beagles lifespan are 12-15 years

Sources: http://Www.wikipeia.org, http://www.dogbreedinfo.com, http://www.akc.org

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

Why do dogs mark their territory?

I’m sure this question has crossed every dog owners’ mind at least once. I decided to do some research on this question to see if there is a clear answer or a definite solution to the problem.

Dog Territory Marking by Cocking Leg

Urine-marking

The act of marking one’s territory is a natural instinct for all dogs.  Yet this behavior is not appropriate for one that lives inside.   We all need to remember that being territorial is a natural characteristic when it comes to dogs.  Dogs don’t usually mark their territory to “spite” their owners.  It is their way of saying “this is my house”, “don’t make yourself too comfortable”, or “this is my family”.  As human beings, we can just simply write our name on an object to let others know it belongs to us.  For dogs, on the other hand, it’s not that simple.

Anxiety

When your dog becomes anxious, this can also trigger excess territorial marking. For example; a new baby, remodeling the home, packing to move, adding a new piece of furniture, or even hearing another dog bark outside the window.  Change is a factor that can cause not only humans to be anxious, but dogs as well. As pet owners, we need to reassure our pets that everything is going to be okay and they are still wanted in our lives.

Soiling

There are easy ways to distinguish between the two. When a dog is soiling inside your home, you will notice a large urine stain from them emptying their bladder.  This could be due to the lack of house training, medical concerns, or even because your dog becomes scared and loses control of his/her bowls & bladder.

If your dog is house-broken & soiling becomes an issue, you may want to re-evaluate what  is going on not only in your home, but your dog’s life. Are there changes in your dog’s life that are scaring them? For example; construction in the area which can be very loud and frightening, or maybe your dog is having medical issues that you can’t see from their outward appearance.  Since dog’s can’t talk, it is our job as their owner to be their advocate and to pay close attention to signs they give us.

Urine-marking

Territorial marking (urine-marking) is a small amount of urine, that is generally on vertical surfaces.  Most dogs will lift their leg to mark their territory.  Some owners make take this marking to heart. For example, if you bring home a new baby or even a new significant other, your dog may make their mark on the intruder’s personal items. This isn’t their way of saying “I don’t like them,” it is just a way for your pet to reassure themselves that they still have boundaries in the home.  Let’s say you go to a friend’s house and play with their dog. When you arrive home, your dog smells the new sent and may mark their territory to reassure themselves that this is their home.

Marking His Territory

If you and your family move into a new home and there was a dog prior, your dog will want to mark their territory right away. As pet owners we need to be more understanding of certain situations for our dogs.  We put them in a new home full of the previous owners sent, not to mention the old dog’s sent as well. Your dog is going to be anxious not only because they are in a new house, but also because they can smell the old dog’s scent. Please be patient with your dog.  They are decorating their new home as most home owners do; except instead of picture frames and lawn ornaments, they use a more smellier tactic.

Solutions

There are no guarantees that dogs will stop territorial-marking permanently.  Hopefully after reading this post you may have learned some new ways to assist your dog in becoming  more comfortable, re-evaluating situations at home, or even taking them in for a check-up to make sure they are healthy.

Below are some helpful sites that list products to help eliminate urine odor and tips/guides on how to clean soiled areas. 

Sources:

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: Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois Shepherd

Description: The dark brown eyes are slightly almond shape while the erect ears are in the shape of an equilateral triangle. The muzzle is slightly pointed and teeth meet in a level or slightly scissor bite. The body of the dog is muscular but not stocky and, viewed from the side, creates a square shape. The tail is curved but not in a complete hook shape. It has a dense undercoat and a rough weather resistant outer coat. The coat color can be anywhere from fawn to mahogany while the mask and ears are black and the underside and tail are more fawn or washed out.

History: In 1891, Adolphe Reul gathered together over one hundred Belgian Shepherds in order to devise a breed standard. The main difference between the Belgian Shepherds was the coat type and color. The veterinarian instructed the owners of these dogs to breed these dogs by their coat type. Before the outbreak of World War I, the Societe Royale Saint Hubert recognized four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd in one breed.

The Belgian Shepherd saw a dramatic decline in population during World War I and II and nearly became extinct during these times.

In 1911 the AKC officially recognized the Belgian Shepherd but in 1959 divided the Belgian Shepherd into four distinct breeds; the Belgian Malinois is one of four breeds that make up the Belgian Shepherd. In the United States, according to the AKC, the Belgian Malinois, Belgian Goenendael, and the Belgian Tervuren are all recognized as separate breeds. However, elsewhere in the world, these three breeds as well as the Belgian Laekenois – not recognized by the AKC – all make up the Belgian Shepherd. The only real distinction between these four types of dogs are their coat, ranging from short to long and wiry.

Belgian Malinois is a dog registered the least in the United States and thus, it is not nearly as popular in the USA as its country of their origin, Belgium. These dogs were named after the city Malines, Belgium.

Size: Males: 22–24 inches at the withers, weighing 70-100 pounds. Females: 20–22 inches at the withers, weighing 60-80 pounds.

Temperament: The Belgian Malinois is affectionate and protective around its family while reserved around strangers. This is a dog which needs firm training and may not be the best choice for inexperienced dog owners. The Belgian Malinois was bred for working hard and herding, so even today, this dog needs a job to do. Due to its high energy, this is a dog that is probably not going to want to hang out with you all the time. If properly socialized, they can do well with other dogs or small animals. They must be trained and socialized at an early age in order to deal with possible behavioral issues like excessive shyness and excessive aggressiveness. Protective, loyal, and possessing a good work ethic, this breed is very popular as a police and military dog.

Grooming: The Belgian Malinois is a heavy shedder and requires brushing every week. During the Spring and Fall the Malinois will shed more, so brushing will need to take place on a daily basis. Bathing is only required when necessary.

Health: The Belgian Malinois is a generally a healthy breed. However, some health concerns owners should be aware of are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and occasionally epilepsy.

Exercise: Being bred as a working dog, the Belgian Malinois has very high energy requirements. Like all dogs, this breed needs a daily pack walk to keep from getting bored. This breed is active and needs more than just a daily walk. Letting this dog run around off leash in a safe area as well as engaging him in play will be most beneficial.

Lifespan: About 12 to 14 years.

Trivia: The dog Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, worked with US Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 and assisted them in raiding Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Breed of the Month: English Bulldog

Bulldog

Description: The English Bulldog is a short, heavy, medium-sized, and muscular dog. The legs are short and straight and the shoulders are wide. The head is large with a flat face. Loose skin covers the face and neck. The jaw is undershot with the teeth having an underbite. Jowls are on either side of the face. The wide nose is black with large nostrils. Small ears are set high on the head. The dark colored eyes are deep set. The short tail is either straight or screwed. The coat is short and smooth and can some in a wide variety of colors such as, brindle, white, fawn, piebald, cream, and any combination of these colors.

History:  Believed by cynologists to be ancestors of the now extinct Alaunt, the first recorded use of the name “bulldog” occurred in 1632 when Prestwick Eaton wrote to a friend in England requesting bulldogs from a friend.

Bulldogs received their name from the blood sport for which they were bred; bull-baiting. Bull-baiting involved tying a bull to an iron stake which allowed the bull to move in an approximately 30 foot radius. Bets were placed and the dog was then released to bite down on the nose of the bull. The dog would be declared the winner if it could bring the bull to the ground. Dogs were often gored, trampled, thrown, injured, and killed, thus; other dogs would be sent into the fight until the bull was taken down.

Bullbaiting was originally used as entertainment but later local legislation would proclaim that, before slaughter, bulls had to be baited due to the unproven notion that baiting increased nutritional value of the meat.

In 1835, parliament passed the Cruelty to Animals act which outlawed bull-baiting. Even though bullbaiting was now illegal, breeders managed to assist the Bulldog in adapting to new tasks. The Bulldog was exported to the United States where it was used to herd cattle and hogs. While in Germany, the Bulldog was crossbred to create the Boxer. In the United Kingdom, some breeders saw the value in the Bulldog and decided to breed out the bad qualities and keep the good ones. The taller, sporty, and more aggressive Bulldog was bred to be shorter, more relaxed, and congenial; the Bulldog we know today.

Size: Males: 12–16 inches at the withers, weighing 50-55 pounds. Females: 12–16 inches at the withers, weighing 45-50 pounds.

Temperament: While the Bulldog was originally bred for bull baiting, breeders have worked to remove its aggressive nature leaving a friendly and loving dog with the rough exterior. The English Bulldog is know to be patient with children. If socialized at an early age, Bulldogs can get along well with other dogs and other pets and will be welcoming of strangers and other dogs into the household. However, if they aren’t properly socialized, Bulldogs have been know to display dog aggressive behavior. While puppies are very playful and rambunctious, adult Bulldogs are rather inactive and, as such, do well in an apartment due to their inactive nature. Bulldogs are very affectionate, demand a lot of attention, and shouldn’t be left alone for long stretches of time. During training, this breed can be stubborn, and while they require firm yet gentle training, they don’t respond well to heavy-handed discipline.

Grooming: The coat of the Bulldog is relatively low maintenance. The Bulldog is an average shedding dog and should be brushed regularly and bathed when necessary. The Bulldog does require special care to keep the wrinkles and skin folds clean and free of foreign matter and bacteria. Skin folds arounds the nose, face, and tail should be cleaned everyday. Some owners even put ointments or tea tree oil in the folds to keep them free from irritation that can occur.

While not necessarily a grooming issue, prospective Bulldogs owners should be aware of the Bulldog’s uncouth farting, burping, snoring, snorting, and excessive drooling.

Health: According to a survey from the Kennel Club/British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee, among 180 English Bulldogs, 20% of the dogs died from cardiac issues, 18% died from cancer while nearly 9% died from natural causes. 4.4% of English Bulldogs died of respiratory failure and 3.3% died of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke.

Major health concerns of the English Bulldog include hip dysplasia, which nearly 75% of all English Bulldogs will be affected; patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap); congenital respiratory issues; allergies; dermatitis; and cherry eye. Bulldogs are bracycephalic, meaning their faces are smooshed in, and as a result, have difficulties breathing especially in hot and humid weather, causing Bulldogs to be more susceptible to heat stroke.

Exercise: If you are someone who wants to go on a daily run with your dog, a Bulldog is not for you. Due to the breeding of the animal, they have developed a less than ideal respiratory system which limits their oxygen intake. With the exception of a daily pack walk and play time, Bulldogs remain mostly inactive. Bulldogs are sensitive to high humidity and high temperatures and can overheat easily.

Lifespan: About 8 to 12 years.

Trivia: The Bulldog is the mascot of several universities including, Georgetown University, Yale University, and the University of Georgia. The United State Marine Corp have also adopted the Bulldog as their mascot.

Many famous celebrities own Bulldogs. Adam Sandler, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Howard Stern, Jason Aldean, Jessica Biel, Verne Troyer, Joe Jonas, John Legend, Miley Cyrus, Pink, Pete Wentz, Ozzy Osbourne, and Shia Labeouf are all owners or previous owners of Bulldogs.