Bernese Mountain Dog

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History:  

The breed was used as an all purpose farm dog for guarding property and to drive dairy cattle long distances from the farm to the alpine pastures. The type was originally called the Dürrbächler, for a small town (Dürrbach) where the large dogs were especially frequent. In the early 1900s, fanciers exhibited the few examples of the large dogs at Shows in Berne, and in 1907 a few breeders from the Burgdorf region founded the first breed Club, the Schweizerische Dürrbach-Klub, and wrote the first Standard which defined the dogs as a separate breed. By 1910, there were already 107 registered members of the breed. There is a photo of a working Bernese Mountain Dog, dated 1905 at the Fumee Fall rest area in Quinnesec, MI.

In the US, the Bernese Mountain Dog is growing in popularity, ranking in 32nd place by the American Kennel Club in 2013.

Color, Coat, and Grooming:

The Berner coat is gorgeous: a thick double coat with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. Characteristically tricolored, the majority of the Berner’s body is covered with jet-black hair with rich rust and bright white. There’s usually a white marking on his chest that looks like an inverted cross, a white blaze between the eyes, and white on the tip of his tail.

The Berner is a shedder. He sheds moderately all year and heavily in the spring and fall. Brushing several times a week helps reduce the amount of hair around the house and keeps the coat clean and tangle-free. Bathing, every three months or so, will maintain his neat appearance.

Brushing teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Trim there nail about once a month if they don’t wear them down naturally. If you hear them clicking on the floor they are to long.

Height and Weight

Height at the withers is 25–27.5 in for males, while it is 23–26 in for females. Weight is 80–120 lb for males, while it is 75–100 lb for females.

Temperament:

The breed standard for the Bernese mountain dog states that dogs should not be “aggressive, anxious or distinctly shy”, but rather should be “good-natured”, “self-assured”, “placid towards strangers”, and “docile”. The temperament of individual dogs may vary, and not all examples of the breed have been bred carefully to follow the standard. All large breed dogs should be well socialized when they are puppies, and given regular training and activities throughout their lives.

Bernese are outdoor dogs at heart, though well-behaved in the house; they need activity and exercise, but do not have a great deal of endurance. They can move with amazing bursts of speed for their size when motivated. If they are sound (no problems with their hips, elbows, or other joints), they enjoy hiking and generally stick close to their people. Not being given the adequate amount of exercise may lead to barking and harassing in the Bernese.

Bernese mountain dogs are a breed that generally does well with children, as they are very affectionate. They are patient dogs that take well to children climbing over them. Though they have great energy, a Bernese will also be happy with a calm evening.

Health Problems:

Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs in general, but Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than other breeds; in both U.S./Canada and UK surveys, nearly half of Bernese Mountain Dogs die of cancer, compared to about 27% of all dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs are killed by a multitude of different types of cancer, including Malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumer, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma. A four-year-old Bernese with lymphoma named Dylan was one of the first dogs to receive chemotherapy at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and it was successful.

Bernese Mountain Dogs also have an unusually high mortality due to musculoskeletal causes. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament rupture were reported as the cause of death in 6% of Bernese Mountain Dogs in the UK study; for comparison, mortality due to musculoskeletal ailments was reported to be less than 2% for pure-bred dogs in general.

Several inherited medical problems that a Bernese Mountain Dog may face are malignant histiocytosis, hypomyelinogenesis, progressive retinal atrophy, and possibly cataraacts and hypoadrenocorticism. The breed is also prone to histiocytic sarcoma, a cancer of the muscle tissue that is very aggressive, and hereditary eye diseases are common among larger dogs.

Lifespan:

Compared to breeds of similar size as well as purebred dogs in general, the Bernese is one of the short-lived dog breeds. The average life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 7 to 8 years. 

Exercise:

Berners are not suited to apartment or condo life. A home with a large, securely fenced yard is the best choice. Because the Berner is a working dog, he has plenty of energy. In addition to yard play, he needs a minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day; three times that amount keeps this sturdy dog in top condition.

With his thick, handsome coat, the Berner is a natural fit for cold climates. He loves to play in the snow. Conversely, with his black coat and large size, he’s prone to heat stroke. Don’t allow him to exercise strenuously when it’s extremely hot; limit exercise to early mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler. Keep him cool during the heat of the day, either inside with fans or air-conditioning or outside in the shade.

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Wheaten Terrier

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History:  

In Ireland, the terrier was the poor man’s dog, a versatile farm dog who could rid the place of vermin, do a little hunting, and help guard the property against intruders, both animal and human.

Much of the Wheaten’s early history wasn’t recorded, but he probably shares a common ancestor with the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier. They also share a sign that they were working dogs: a docked tail, which told the tax collector that they were exempt from the tax on dogs.

The Wheaten wasn’t recognized as a breed by the Irish Kennel Club until 1937, on St. Patrick’s Day. To win a championship, he was required to qualify in field trials, with rats, rabbits, and badgers as prey, a rule that’s since gone by the wayside.

The first Wheatens arrived in the U.S. in November of 1946. A Boston Globe Post report listed seven of them among the cargo of the freighter Norman J. Coleman, which docked in Boston after journeying from Belfast. Two of the pups went home with Lydia Vogel of Springfield, Massachusetts. Vogel showed them the next year at the Westminster Kennel Club show, and they produced 17 puppies.

It wasn’t until 1962, however, that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America was founded in Brooklyn. Naturally, the first meeting took place on St. Patrick’s Day. Attendees included three canine pioneers of the breed: Holmenocks Gramachree, Gads Hill, and Holmenocks Hallmark.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1973, and Holmenocks Gramachree became the first Wheaten to be registered by the AKC. Today, the breed ranks 62nd in popularity among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC.

Description:

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. The moderately long head is rectangular in appearance and in proportion with the body. The strong muzzle is relatively short compared to the skull and has a defined stop. The black nose is large for the size of the dog. The teeth meet in a scissors bite and the lips are black. The wide-set eyes are almond shaped and come in a reddish brown to a medium brown color. Light or yellow eye color can occur but is a breed fault in the written standard. The V-shaped ears fold forward and are level with the skull. The medium-length neck gradually widens into the body. The back is straight, forming a level topline. The front legs are straight and the paws are compact and round with black toenails. The high-set tail is either docked or kept natural. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. Dewclaws are usually removed. The single, wavy coat comes in shades of wheaten. Puppies are born dark brown and lighten to the final adult wheaten color by age two. There are two coat varieties, the American and the Irish. The Irish coat tends to be thinner and silkier.

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Temperament:

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is strong, agile and well-coordinated. It is a happy, playful, spirited and friendly terrier. Alert, it makes a great watchdog and barks at the arrival of guests. It is usually very loving with children and gets along reasonably well with other dogs. An unsocialized dog with a meek owner who does not know how and when to correct negative behaviors may end up with a dog-aggressive dog. Some of these dogs that were not raised with cats may not get along well with them. All it takes is some fast movement on the part of the cat, and the dog’s instincts will take over and he will chase them. The dog needs to be corrected right before it takes off after the cat. These dogs have a puppy attitude that remains with them throughout their lives. They are sweet-tempered, docile and self-confident. This breed needs to be taught, preferably when young, but older dogs can learn what is and is not acceptable behavior. It is very intelligent, so it will generally grasp quickly what is required of it. It has a straightforward nature and needs to be handled in a straightforward manner. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers bond closely with their family. They seldom bark unnecessarily. The Soft Coated Wheaten should be well socialized with other dogs while it is a young puppy, but adults can learn what is unacceptable behavior if they have an owner who properly communicates with them. In order to have a well-behaved Wheaten, you must be firm, but calm, consistent and confident with the dog. Meek owners will find the dog will easily take over the home and will be hard to control. Do not allow this dog to jump on humans. Jumping dogs are not “greeting” the human. Jumping is a respect and a dominancy issue.

Size:

Height: Males 18 – 20 inches and Females 17 – 19 inches

Weight: Males 35 – 45 pounds and Females 30 – 40 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Health:   Prone to protein wasting disease and flea allergies.

Exercise:   Wheaten Terriers are very active dogs they need to go on daily walk.

Grooming:

 When grooming the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, the object is to achieve a natural look, and brushing can make the soft coat fuzzy. So using a brush is not recommended. Instead, frequent, even daily, combing of the long, profuse coat with a medium-toothed comb is recommended to keep it free of tangles—beginning when the dog is a puppy. Clean the eyes and check the ears carefully. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier does not shed in the spring and fall, but loose hair should be combed out of the coat from time to time. A well-groomed dog will shed very little. This breed is good for allergy suffers.

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http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/softcoatedwheatenterrier.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft-coated_Wheaten_Terrierhttp://

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/soft-coated-wheaten-terrier/

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History:  

The Greyhound is an ancient breed that originated in the Middle East and North Africa and has won the admiration of many different cultures. Greyhounds have been mentioned by Greeks, depicted in art by Egyptians, praised by a Roman poet, and are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible.

Greyhounds found their way into Europe during the Dark Ages. They were so respected for their hunting prowess that the laws of the time protected royal game reserves by forbidding anyone living within 10 miles of the king’s forests from owning a Greyhound.

The Greyhound’s popularity continued to grow in England, thanks to the popularity of coursing (the sport of chasing prey) and racing. Spanish explorers and British colonists brought them to the Americas where they thrived as well, coursing jackrabbits and coyotes on the wide-open plains.

The Greyhound was one of the first breeds to appear in American dog shows, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885. The first official coursing race took place in 1886, and the National Coursing Association in the United States was founded in 1906. Greyhound racing took off and is popular today in many states, although it’s a controversial sport because so many dogs are abandoned, euthenized, or sold to laboratories if they don’t do well at the track.

Size:  The Greyhound is a sleek, athletic dog. There are two types, which vary somewhat in size: Racing Greyhounds are usually 25 to 29 inches tall, and show Greyhounds are slightly larger, at 26 to 30 inches in height. In both types, males typically weigh 65 to 85 pounds, females 50 to 65 pounds, with racing dogs tending toward the lower end of the scale.

Exercise: Greyhounds that are kept as pets should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground in a safe area, as well as daily long, brisk walks, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead. In a dog’s mind the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the human. Greyhounds love a regular routine.

Temperament:  The Greyhound is brave and devoted. Intelligent, laid-back, charming and loving, its character is often undervalued because of its reserved behavior toward strangers and even its master. Greyhounds are sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. Socialize well to prevent timidity. As a rule, they are gentle and even-tempered—both racing lines and show lines. Most Greyhounds have a definite prey drive. It is instinctive for these dogs to chase anything that moves quickly. They are extremely fast and some will kill cats and other domestic animals, although this is not the majority (only about 20% of ex-racers are too “keen” on chasing prey to ever be safe with small animals). About 10% are immediately okay due to low prey instinct, and the rest can be trained to leave cats and other small pets in the home alone. They seldom present difficulties with other dogs and are normally good with children, though they do not usually like roughhouse play, and would not be a good choice for young children who are looking for a playmate. Indoors, these dogs are calm and sociable to a point where they can even be considered lazy. They bond strongly with their own people, have tremendous stamina, and do not bark much. Show lines tend to be of a different body style than racing lines, and are often more angulated. Racing lines are bred for performance, but often a good by-product is that they are friendly, outgoing dogs that make wonderful pets when their racing days are over. Greyhounds are not particularly vigilant. Show lines tend to be a bit heavier and bred more for temperament than racing lines, which are bred for speed. However, racing lines also make wonderful pets. There are hundreds of adoption groups all over North America, Europe and Australia to place these gentle, loving dogs when they retire. Retired racing Greyhounds are not usually difficult tohousebreak. They are already crate trained from the track, so it doesn’t take them long to learn that they are not to “go” in the house. The Greyhound needs an even-tempered, gentle but firm loving owner who knows how to consistently communicate the rules of the home. A Greyhound that knows his place in his pack and what is expected of him is a happy Greyhound.

Health:  Prone to bloat. It is better to feed them 2 or 3 small meals rather than one large one. They are sensitive to drugs, including insecticides. They are also prone to hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, and Anesthesia Sensitivity.

Description: The Greyhound is a tall, slender dog. The head is long and narrow, wide between the ears, with a long tapering muzzle. There is no stop. The small rose ears are held back and folded, and are semi-perked when they are excited. The eyes are dark in color. The slightly arched neck is long. The legs are long with the front legs being perfectly straight. The chest is wide and deep. The long tail tapers with a slight upward curve. The short, fine coat comes in all colors. 

Coat, color, and Grooming: 

Greyhounds have a short, smooth coat that’s easy to care for. Despite their name, they can be any color, including fawn, black, red, blue, gray, or white. They can also be various shades of brindle, a striped pattern that gives them the look of having just streaked across the African savanna, or white with at least one other color, known as particolor.

Despite their short coat, Greyhounds shed. Brush them daily to keep shedding at a manageable level. Your Greyhound will love being massaged with a rubber curry brush, also known as a hound mitt. Use a dry dog shampoo when you bathe him to keep his coat clean and smelling great.

Keep ears clean and free of debris with a moist cotton ball. Never insert anything into the ear canal; just clean around the outer ear.

This breed’s teeth need the most dedicated care. Greyhounds tend to have poor dental health, so regular brushing is a must if you want them to have sweet breath and no ugly tartar buildup.

Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you’re not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.

His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog’s ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don’t insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

Begin accustoming your Greyhound to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Lifespan: About 10-12 years.

Pug

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History:  The early history of the Pug is not attested to in detail, it is accepted that modern Pugs are descended from dogs imported to Europe from China in the 16th century. Some historians believe they are related to the Tibetan Mastiff. They were prized by the Emperors of China and lived in luxurious accommodations, sometimes even being guarded by soldiers.

In the latter 1500s and early 1600s, China began trading with European countries. Reportedly, the first Pugs brought to Europe came with the Dutch traders, who named the breed Mopshond, a name still used today.

Pugs quickly became favorites of royal households throughout Europe, and even played a role in the history of many of these families. In Holland, the Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange after a Pug reportedly saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving him a warning that the Spaniards were approaching in 1572. When William of Orange (later called William III) went to England in 1688 with his wife, Mary II, to take the throne from James II, they brought their Pugs with them.

Size: Pugs weigh between 14 and 18 pounds (male and female). Generally, they are 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder.

Description:

While the Pugs that are depicted in eighteenth century prints tend to be long and lean,[2] modern breed preferences are for a square cobby body, a compact form, a deep chest, and well-developed muscle.[4] Their smooth and glossy coats can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn or black.[4] [5] The markings are clearly defined and there is a trace of a black line extending from the occiput to the tail.[4] The tail normally curls tightly over the hip.[2]

Pugs have two distinct shapes for their ears, “rose” and “button”. “Rose” ears are smaller than the standard style of “button” ears, and are folded with the front edge against the side of the head. Breeding preference goes to “button” style ears.[6]

Pugs’ legs are very strong, straight, of moderate length, and are set well under. Their shoulders are moderately laid back. Their ankles are strong, their feet are small, their toes are well split-up, and their nails are black. The lower teeth normally protrude further than their upper, resulting in an under-bite.

Personality: Don’t expect a Pug to hunt, guard or retrieve. Pugs were bred to be companions, and that’s exactly what they do best. The Pug craves affection — and your lap — and is very unhappy if his devotion isn’t reciprocated. He tends to be a sedentary dog, content to sit in your lap as you read a book or watch a movie. 

Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, andsocialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who’s beating up his littermates or the one who’s hiding in the corner.

Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who’s available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you’re comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

Like every dog, the Pug needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Pug puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Temperament: The breed is often described as multum in parvo, or “much in little”, alluding to the Pug’s remarkable personality, despite its small size. Pugs are strong willed but rarely aggressive, and are suitable for families with children. The majority of the breed is very fond of children and sturdy enough to properly play with them. Depending on their owner’s mood, they can be quiet and docile but also vivacious and teasing. Pugs tend to have a lazy nature and spend a lot of time napping. They are often called “shadows” because they follow their owners around and like to stay close to the action.

Health: Since Pugs lack longer snouts and prominent skeletal brow ridges, they are susceptible to eye injuries such as proptosis, scratched corneas, and painful entropion. They also have compact breathing passageways, leaving many prone to breathing difficulties or unable to efficiently regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue by panting. A Pug’s normal body temperature is between 101 °F (38 °C) and 102 °F (39 °C). If this temperature rises to 105 °F (41 °C), oxygen demand is greatly increased and immediate cooling is required. If body temperature reaches 108 °F (42 °C), organ failure can occur. Their breathing problems can be worsened by the stresses of travelling in air cargo, which may involve high temperatures. Following the deaths of Pugs and other brachycephalic breeds, several airlines either banned their transport in cargo or enacted seasonal restrictions.

Pugs can suffer from necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), also known as Pug dog encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain andmeninges.[36] NME also occurs in other small dogs, such as the Yorkshire TerrierMaltese, and Chihuahua.[36] There is no known cure for NME, which is believed to be an inherited disease.[37] Dogs usually die or have to be put to sleep within a few months of onset, which, in those susceptible to this condition, is typically between six months and seven years of age.[38]

This breed, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g., boxersbulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The curled tail of a British bulldog is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs not in the coccygeal vertebrae but in other areas of the spine, it can cause paralysis. The condition occurs when two parts of a spinal vertebra do not fuse properly while a young Pug is still growing, resulting in an irregularly shaped spinal cavity which can put pressure on the spinal cord.

Lifespan: Pugs can live up to 13 years from birth.

Coat, color, and Grooming: 

Even though the coats are short, Pugs are a double-coated breed. Pugs are typically fawn-colored or black. The fawn color can have different tints, such as apricot or silver, and all Pugs have a short, flat, black muzzle.

The coat is short and smooth, but don’t be deceived. Pugs shed like crazy, especially in summer. The wise Pug owner accepts this, and adjusts her wardrobe accordingly, wearing light-colored clothing that better hides hair.

Following that, regular brushing and bathing helps keep the coat in good condition and shedding to a minimum. A monthly bath is sufficient, though some owners bathe their Pugs more frequently. The Pug’s small size is handy: you can drop him right in the kitchen or utility sink for a bath.

Regular nail trimming is essential, since these housedogs don’t usually wear down their nails outdoors like active breeds do. It’s a good idea to clean the Pug’s ears every few weeks, as well.

What requires special attention is the Pug’s facial wrinkles. These folds are hotbeds for infection if allowed to become damp or dirty. The wrinkles must be dried thoroughly after bathing, and wiped out in-between baths. Some owners simply use a dry cotton ball; others use commercial baby wipes to wipe out the folds.

Additionally, the Pug’s bulging eyes need special attention. Because they protrude, the eyes are vulnerable to injury and irritation from soaps and chemicals.

Like many small breeds, the Pug can be susceptible to gum disease. Regular brushingwith a small, soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste helps prevent this.

Begin accustoming your Pug to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Chihuahua

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Description:  Chihuahuas are very small dogs, and are the smallest breed recognized by some kennel clubs.[9] There are two main varieties recognized by kennel clubs, the short-haired and the long-haired.[9] There is a second varietal split as well, having to do with the shape and size of the dog’s head. These two descriptive classifications are “apple head” and “deer head”, but only the apple head is conformationally correct. The body is longer than it is tall. The head is well-rounded, apple in shape and the muzzle is short and pointed with a well-defined stop. Puppies have a soft spot on the top of the skull called a “molera,” which usually closes by adulthood. The large, round eyes are set well apart and are dark, ruby, and may be lighter in white dogs. The erect ears are large. Dewclaws may be removed. The tail is long, sickle-shaped and either curled over the back or to the side. The coat can be short, long and wavy or flat. All colors, both solid, marked or splashed are accepted. Colors include, but are not limited to, black, white, chestnut, fawn, sand, silver, sable, steel blue, black & tan and parti-color.

Temperament:  Chihuahua’s enjoy affection. Brave, cheerful and agile, Chihuahuas can be strong-willed without proper human leadership. They are loyal and become attached to their owners. Some like to lick their owner’s faces. Tempered Chihuahuas can be easily provoked to attack, and are therefore generally unsuitable for homes with small children. The breed tends to be fiercely loyal to one particular guardian and in some cases may become over protective of the person, especially around other people or animals. They do not always get along with other breeds.

Health: This breed requires expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. Chihuahuas are also prone to some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones, such as epilepsy and seizure disorders. Many Chihuahuas have molleras, or a soft spot in their skulls, and they are the only breed of dog to be born with an incomplete skull. This is not a defect; it is a normal adaptation facilitating the passage through the birth canal and growth and development of the domed type of forehead. The molera is predominant in the rounder heads often and is present in nearly all Chihuahua puppies. The molera fills in with age, but great care needs to be taken during the first six months until the skull is fully formed. Some moleras do not close completely and if particularly large will require extra care to prevent injury. Many veterinarians are not familiar with Chihuahuas as a breed and mistakenly confuse a molera with hydrocephalus. 

Chihuahuas can also be at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which is especially dangerous for puppies. Left unattended, hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death but can be avoided with frequent feedings, especially for chihuahuas who are younger, smaller or leaner. Chihuahua guardians should have a simple sugar supplement on hand to use in emergencies, such as Nutri-Cal, Karo syrup and honey. These supplements can be rubbed on the gums and roof of the mouth to rapidly raise the blood sugar level. Signs of hypoglycemia include lethargy, sleepiness, low energy, uncoordinated walking, unfocused eyes and spasms of the neck muscles or head pulling back or to the side, fainting and seizures. Chihuahuas have a tendency to tremble or shiver when stressed, excited or cold. Chihuahuas, especially the short-coat variety, are less tolerant of cold than larger breeds, and may require a sweater or boots in cold weather. They will seek warmth in sunshine, under blankets, or on furniture, human laps or the back of a larger dog. Chihuahuas have a notorious problem with dental issues. Dental care is a must for these little creatures. Over-feeding and insufficient exercise can result in an overweight Chihuahua. Overweight Chihuahuas are susceptible to increased rates of joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened life span. 

Size: Weights ranges 2-6 pounds for both Male and females

Height ranges from 6-10 inches tall for both male and females

Grooming: The smooth, shorthaired coat should be gently brushed occasionally or simply wiped over with a damp cloth. The long coat should be brushed daily with a soft bristle brush. Bathe both types about once per month, taking care not to get water in the ears. Check the ears regularly and keep the nails trimmed. This breed is an average shedder.

Lifespan: Chihuahua usually live to be about 15-20 years old

Exercise: Although it is tempting to carry these dainty creatures about, these are active little dogs that need a daily walk. Play can take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems, as well as neurotic issues. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

Dog Longevity

One thing about dogs that fascinates me the most is the differences in lifespans between dog breeds.

At 29 years of age, the Australian Cattle Dog name Bluey is the oldest living dog, passing away in 1939. However, a study regarding longevity in Australian Cattle Dogs showed that most Australian Cattle Dogs live, on average, 13.41 years. Although Australian Cattle Dogs live longer than average, it’s not the longest living breed of dog.

As for the longest living dog breeds, these breeds are amongst the average longest living: Toy Poodle 14.67 years, Miniature Dachshund 14.4 years, Canaan Dog 14.67 years, Swedish Vallhund 14.77, Border Terrier 14 years, and Cairn Terrier 14 years.

The Dogue de Bordeaux, or French Mastiff, has the shortest life span of 5.29 years. Other breeds like the Irish Wolfhound and Bloodhound have an average lifespan of around 7 years.

The British Veterinary Association compiled results of a survey by dog owners who gave information about their deceased dogs, resulting in information from 3,000 dogs.

From the abstract of the article: “The mean age at death (all breeds, all causes) was 11 years one month, but in dogs dying of natural causes it was 12 years eight months. Only 8 per cent of dogs lived beyond 15, and 64 per cent of dogs died of disease or were euthanased as a result of disease. Nearly 16 percent of deaths were attributed to cancer, twice as many as to heart disease.”

If you are interested in more information regarding breeds and their average life spans, you might want to check out Dog Longevity created by Dr. Kelly M. Cassidy. On the site you will find information on life spans of dog breeds, including information from the US, Canada, and the UK. You will probably notice some variance in breed life span between the different countries. I would attribute this to statistical noise and probably not habits of dog owners by nation. None of the differences in life spans between the countries seems to be statistically significant.

I realize there is so much more information that could be covered but, I just wanted to give you all a brief overview of dog breed longevity and some interesting facts. There is just an overwhelming amount of information and a multitude of variables when it comes to the life spans of all the different breeds of dogs. Selective breeding has given us a wide variety of dogs and a wide variety of health concerns for these dogs. Future posts about health issues, selective breeding, designer dogs, diet and other posts will hopefully provide more information about the life spans of our dogs.

Do you have any stories about the life span of your dog or a dog you know? Any anomalies you have witnessed in the age of a dog?