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.


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**

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.


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

Sources: (image)



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





 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: (picture credit)

Breed of the Month: Vizsla


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.


Breed of the Month: Brittany

Brittany spaniel pointing

Description: Body Structure:  Is described as leggy. Brittanys have a square shape as they are as tall as they are long. Head: Round and wedge shaped but, not as wide as it is long. Ears:  Short and triangular, the ears are set high on the head. Eyes: Expressive eyes come in multiple colors depending on the color of the coat. Dark brown, amber and hazel are the colors for eyes with a preference towards dark brown. Muzzle: Medium length and slightly tapered. Tail: Naturally short or docked at around 4 inches. Feet: Small with well arched toes and thick pads. Legs: Front legs are longer than the rear legs. Coat: The single coat is dense and wavy. Comes in white and orange, or white and liver are common in clear or roan.

History: Named after the French province, Brittany, the Brittany is likely the result of smaller spaniels and larger setters. The first Brittany was registered in France in 1907 after it first appeared in a dog show in Paris in 1900. The Brittany was recognized by the AKC in 1934. Some places in the world refer to this breed as the ‘Brittany Spaniel.’ In the United States in 1982, the ‘spaniel’ part was dropped due to its hunting nature being more like that of a setter; now the dog is simply called a Brittany. As their origins come from bird hunting dogs, Brittanys are still one of the most popular bird hunting dogs even today.

Size: Males: 17–20 inches at the withers, weighing 30-40 pounds. Females: 17–20 inches at the withers, weighing 30-40 pounds.

Temperament: The Brittany is alert, friendly, a good watch dog, and loyal to their family. These dogs can be sensitive, are very loving, always want to be with their family, and are always up for playing. If the owner is firm, consistent, and calm in teaching the Brittany, the dog will train easily as it is eager to please. If raised with them, Brittanys will coexist well with others animals and small children. Since the Brittany is very active indoors and has very high energy requirements, these dogs are not well suited for apartment life. Brittanys also have a tendency to roam when off leash.

Grooming: The Brittany is a light shedding dog with relatively few grooming requirements. After a Brittany has been outside, its a good idea to check their ears and clean them if necessary. These dogs only need to be brushed approximately every other week.

Health: The Brittany is a fairly hardy dog but, still has ailments common to the breed. Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are major health concerns for this breed.

Exercise: The Brittany has very high exercise requirements and needs at least an hour of exercise a day. Brittanys would benefit, not only from a daily pack walk but, a long jog or run. Mental and physical exercise is very important for this breed due to ability to become destructive if bored. Sufficient exercise is vital for having a happy and well behaved dog.

Lifespan: About 12 to 15 years.


Breed of the Month – Fox Terrier

Smooth-Coated Fox Terrier

Description: The Fox Terrier is a medium sized dog. The skull of the Fox Terrier should be nearly flat and the face should gradually taper from eyes to the muzzle. Ears are small, V-shaped, and held close to the cheeks. Feet are round and small with long legs. The strong tail is carried high but, not curled. In the United States, where it is legal, the last 1/4 of the tail is docked; this practice is illegal in the United Kingdom. The Smooth Fox Terrier has a short and smooth coat while the Wire Fox Terrier has a very thick, wiry, double coat. The coat of both variations are predominately white with brown and black markings.

History: The development of the Fox Terrier was due to the popularity of fox hunting during the 19th century. Fox hunters favored a dog with high energy and an ability to chase foxes out of their dens. The breeding history of the Fox Terrier was not well documented so, little is known today. However, it is speculated that Dalmatian, Beagle, Pointer, Old English Bulldog, and English Toy Terrier all played a roll in the development of the breed. Old Jack, a Fox Terrier born in 1859, would become an ancestor to most Fox Terriers today. Around 1870 the breed standard of the Fox Terrier was established and remained virtually unchanged until the end of the 19th century. At that time, breeders felt the need to make the Fox Terrier have longer legs to better keep up in the hunt. However, their now longer legs impeded the Fox Terrier from their original task of going into fox dens. This resulted in the Fox Terrier’s fall from favor amongst fox hunters.

In 1876 the Fox Terrier Club of England was established and the American Fox Terrier Club was formed in 1886.

A Wire Fox Terrier named Asta appeared in the film series, ‘The Thin Man’ during the 1930’s. Asta’s appearance in this series caused a sharp rise in the breeds’ popularity in the USA. The Fox Terrier has out performed other breeds of dogs in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show but, is a mostly a rare breed in America. The Fox Terrier eventually helped produce popular terrier breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, and the Rat Terrier.

In 1985 the AKC recognized the Fox Terrier as two separate breeds, the Wire Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier.

Size: Males: 14–16 inches at the withers, weighing 15-20 pounds. Females: 13–15 inches at the withers, weighing 13-18 pounds.

Temperament: Fox Terriers are energetic, playful, smart, and loyal companions. They were bred to be independent thinkers so this breed needs a firm pack leader and someone who can be the alpha. These dogs can be easy to train and excel at doing tricks. While very intelligent, they can be difficult to housebreak. These dogs were bred to hunt foxes and small game so they have a naturally high prey drive. Fox Terriers have a tendency to chase and even kill small non-canine animals including neighborhood cats. Fox Terriers wouldn’t be a good choice for households with small children as Fox Terriers do not have patience for being teased and rough play. Fox Terriers also have a low tolerance for other dogs. Unless properly socialized, this is not a dog that would enjoy a trip to a dog park to be with other dogs. Fox Terriers have very high energy requirements and remain active indoors. Prospective owners who think their Fox Terrier will eventually calm down with age should keep in mind that this breed maintains its puppy like energy into its teens.

Grooming: Both the Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers are relatively easy to groom. Both can be brushed with a firm bristle brush and bathed when necessary. However, Wirecoated Fox Terrier should have its coat hand stripped. Hand stripping is done by pulling out loose outercoat hairs which allows new hairs to grow in their place. Wirecoated Fox Terriers are light shedders while the Smooth Fox Terriers are average shedders.

Health: Fox Terriers can be susceptible cataracts. This breed can also be susceptible to Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, which is a deformity of the hip joint resulting in arthritis. Surgery can be used to correct this condition. Deafness is also more common among Fox Terriers than some other breeds.

Exercise: As mentioned above, the Fox Terrier has very high energy requirements. An hour of exercise a day should be enough to keep this breed from becoming destructive and over rambunctious. If not properly exercised, your Fox Terrier could make his own exercise by digging holes in the yard, running away, or chewing up your belongings.

Lifespan: About 13 to 15 years.

Trivia: Rear Admiral Richard Byrd’s Fox Terrier, Igloo, accompanied him on the first journey to the south pole. A Fox Terrier named Chester was in the film Jack Frost. The logo for RCA pictures a Fox Terrier looking at a phonograph. The Fox Terrier, Caesar, was a companion of King Edward the VII.


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.