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


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.



Breed of the Month: Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Description: The Shih Tzu is a short dog with thick legs. The level body is longer than it is tall with the tail, covered with hair, held curled over the back. It has a double coat which comes in all colors including a blaze of white on the head being very common. It has large round dark eyes, a short muzzle with an under bite, and large pennant ears which hang low and are covered with hair.

History: There are many theories about where the Shih Tzu can find its ancestry but, what seems to be most agreed upon is that the Shih Tzu came from a cross breed of the Pekingese and Lhasa Apso.

It is largely unknown as to the exact date of when the Shih Tzu first emerged. Judging from evidence from various paintings and art of the Tang Dynasty in China, experts think the first Shih Tzus were bred in 624 C.E.

The Shih Tzu was a very famous house pet during the Ming Dynasty and popular among the royal court of the time.

Every Shih Tzu can trace its ancestry back to fourteen dogs that were being bred in England in 1930. At that time they were being bred as Lhasa Apsos but, in 1935 the English Kennel Club declared Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso as two different breeds. In 1969 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Size: Males: 8–11 inches at the withers, weighing 9–16 pounds. Females: 8–11 inches at the withers, weighing 9–16 pounds.

Temperament: As the Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion dog, these dogs are very happy, loyal, and spunky as they love to play and be with their human pack. The Shih Tzu is a very affectionate dog and is generally tolerant of other pets.

The Shih Tzu may require more patience when receiving training. This breed may also be slightly difficult to house-break.

This breed can become willful if they feel they are the pack leaders. They need consistent leadership from all humans to help them realize their place in the pack. Having a proper pack order in place will prevent behavior issues in the Shih Tzu such as snapping, guarding, biting, and constant barking.

Grooming: Shih Tzu’s have two coats and is usually styled in either a show cut or puppy cut. With a show cut, the fur is left to grow long and requiring a top knot tied on top of the dogs head to keep hair out of the eyes. A puppy cut is a practical style where daily brushing isn’t required. The Shih Tzu is a light shedder.

Shih Tzu’s also need their eyes to be cleaned regularly to avoid tear stains.

Health: The Shih Tzu is prone to many of the same congenital disease seen in all small dogs. Seen more commonly in the Shih Tzu are patellar luxation, also known as a dislocated knee cap, hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, and periodontal disease, due to a small mouth crowded with teeth.

Intervertebral Disk Disease is another ailment common to the Shih Tzu. Intervertebral disk disease is when the fibrocartilage cushioning between the vertebral bones of the spinal column breaks down. This degenerative disease can cause symptoms of mild pain to paralysis. 

Shih Tzus, along with other brachycephalic breeds (pugs, Boston terriers, bulldogs, etc), are susceptible to stenotic nares which are characterized by pinched or narrow nostrils. Stenotic nares is a congenital condition which can be remedied by a simple surgery to widen the nostrils.

Exercise: While play will alleviate most of the Shih Tzu’s exercise requirements, a daily pack walk is needed by every dog, regardless of breed.

Lifespan: About 11 to 16 years.

Trivia: While the breed was flourishing in Europe in 1930’s they were known as the “chrysanthemum dog” due to way the hair grows on the face, resembling a chrysanthemum flower. The Shih Tzu is also known as the “lion dog” as they were bred to resemble a lion. Famous owners of Shih Tzu dogs include the Hanson brothers, Nicole Richie, Queen Elizabeth II, Paula Dean, Bill Gates, and Judge Judy.

Breed of the Month: Maltese

Description: The Maltese has a single coat which can grow to be very long and parts evenly down the back of the dog. The coat is usually white but can come in other colors like cream and other off-white variants. This breed has a slightly rounded skull with a muzzle that tapers but not to a point. It has large black eyes and a black nose. It has pendent shaped low-set ears and short straight legs.

History: The Maltese has a rich and interesting past and its origins are thought to be traced back to 6,000 BCE from spitz type dogs of central Europe. The Maltese receives its name from the island of Malta where ancient Grecian and Roman people believed the dog originated. From the Mediterranean island, this breed was traded to all parts of the world, specifically the Middle East, Japan, Tibet, China, and the Philippines.

As the Maltese made its way across the globe, it gained popularity with many aristocrats, nobility, and monarchs. The Roman Emperor Claudius, Roman Emperor Publius, Queen Elizabeth I, and Mary Queen of Scots were all owners of Maltese dogs.

Size: Males: 8–10 inches at the withers, weighing 6-9 pounds. Females: 8–9 inches at the withers, weighing 6–9 pounds.

Temperament: The Maltese was bred to be a companion and, by nature, is friendly, lively, and eager to please. This breed is known to coexist well with cats and other dogs. If properly supervised, this dog is good with children. As the Maltese is very small, they are very fragile and can easily be harmed by children who play too rough. If not properly socialized, this dog can be snappy and can bark excessively if bored.

Grooming: The Maltese has a single coat of hair which is very soft, typically white, and which sheds minimally. Frequent brushing is required to keep the fur from matting. Some owners will give the Maltese a “puppy cut” where the dog is clipped at a length of 1 to 2 inches. Some owners who are interested in showing their Maltese will let the hair grow long.

Much like the Bichon Frise, the Maltese is likely to get ‘tear staining’ which is a brown or peach colored staining around the eyes. This can be reduced by daily washing of the hair around the eyes.

Health: While the Maltese is generally very hardy breed with few medical issues, it is very susceptible to extreme weather conditions. The Maltese has no undercoat to protect its light colored skin from the sun, so a Maltese that spends too much time in the sun is likely to sunburn. With the lack of an undercoat, this breed is also susceptible to getting very cold and should avoid extreme cold and damp weather.

The Maltese is prone to retinal atrophy which can lead to loss of vision in low light. Retinal atrophy can eventually progress to complete loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Lifespan: 15 or more years.

Trivia: Famous owners: Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Anna Nicole Smith, Halle Berry, Ashely Tisdale, Britney Spears, Billy Ray Cyrus.

Breed of the Month: Bichon Frise

Description: The Bichon is a small and sturdy dog. It has two coats, a soft undercoat and curly outercoat. The color of their coat is white, cream, or grey, with white being preferred among show dogs. The Bichon’s tail is long and curly and held over the back. The Bichon has dark round eyes and a black nose. The ears and tail are seldom, if ever, cropped or docked. Dewclaws are typically removed.

History: Bichons were bred from Poodles and Barbet Water Spaniels and date back to the 13th century. Due to their waterdog and sailor companion ancestry, modern Bichons enjoy the water and retrieving. In the 14th century they were popular with Italian nobility at the time and often groomed in the “lion cut”. The Bichon was popular during the renaissance and gained even more popularity in the court of King Henry III. The famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya was known to include a Bichon in several of his paintings. The Bichon finally made its way to the US in 1956 and during that time became popular in Australia in 1960’s due to a popular television mini-series, Meweth, where a Bichon appeared on the show. In 1933 the breed was accepted into the French Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club in 1972.

Size: Males: 9–12 inches at the withers, weighing 7–20 pounds. Females: 9–11 inches at the withers, weighing 7–20 pounds.

Temperament: The Bichon is affectionate, lively, sociable, and excellent with children. While play usually takes care of all the exercise requirements, the Bichon still needs a pack walk like any other dog. Like all small dogs, if not properly trained they will develop small-dog syndrome and have behavior issues. The Bichon is not prone to excessive barking and is not likely to be aggressive. This breed will generally get along with other dogs and animals. As the Bichon was bred to be a companion dog, it loves human interaction and can be demanding of your attention. It’s all-around friendliness and sociability makes this dog a perfect lap dog.

Grooming: Bichons need daily brushing to prevent matted fur. They need professional grooming about every eight weeks and require a bath every month.

Health: The Bichon is prone to cataracts, epilepsy, and watery eyes. These dogs are also sensitive to flea bites. Bichons are also susceptible to hematological diseases.

Lifespan: 15 or more years.

Trivia: Famous owners of the Bichon include Barbara Streisand and Kathy Lee Gifford. A Bichon made an appearance in the movie Shrek 2.

Breed of the Month: Cairn Terrier

Description: The Cairn Terrier has small erect ears, dark hazel eyes, a shaggy weather resistant coat that comes in a variety of colors like, red, brindle, sand, black, and grey.

The Cairn Terrier is double coated with a thick soft undercoat and a tough water resistant exterior coat. The Cairn is considered hypoallergenic and sheds very little.

History: The Cairn Terrier finds its ancestry in the Highlands of Scotland and the Isle of Skye. I had a hard time coming up with an exact date when the Cairn Terrier, as we know it, came to be. It appears that there were dogs similar to the Cairn, the short-hair Skye Terrier, running around the Scottish Highlands around the seventeenth century. The Cairn Terrier first made its appearance in the United States in 1912.

The Cairn Terriers gets its name from the Irish word carn (plural cairn) for the man-made stone piles that were erected for various purposes such as the marking of paths, borders, and graves. The Cairn Terriers were used as ratters, chasing and hunting vermin from the cairns.

Size: Males:10-13 inches at the withers, weighing 14-18 pounds. Females: 9-12 inches at the withers, weighing 13-17 pounds.

Temperament: Cairn Terrier are alert, fearless, and curious by nature. Although Cairns are little, looks are deceiving; this isn’t a dainty lapdog. The Cairn has large teeth, a strong jaw and big paws with claws for digging up prey. Since Cairn Terriers were bred for ratting, they have a strong prey drive and are prone to chase small animals like squirrels, rabbits, cats, and other dogs.

The Cairn has proved itself at being a master hunter, but they also have a soft side and love their families dearly. Cairn Terriers are notably exceptional with children as the Cairn has a tolerance for being stepped on and played with by children but, it should be noted that they do not tolerate mistreatment.

Cairn Terriers are very curious and intelligent dogs and have the ability to learn quickly. While Cairns are smart, they are strong willed and have a propensity to test the boundaries with their owners so, obedience school is highly recommended.

Cairn Terriers do not typically have issues barking incessantly but, will bark if bored or lonely.

Health: The Cairn Terrier is generally a very healthy dog with few health issues compared to other dogs. Cairn Terriers tend to be susceptible to cataracts, allergies to fleas, and they can gain weight easily so, daily exercise is a must.

Lifespan: The Cairn lives an average life of 13-15 years with relatively few health issues.

Trivia: A Cairn named Terry played Toto in Wizard of Oz. Also, in the TV series, I Love Lucy, Little Ricky had a Cairn Terrier named Fred.