American Foxhound

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History: When the first European settlers arrived in the American colonies, some of them brought their hounds with. In the late 1700’s, the descendents of these dogs were bred with imported Irish, English, and French hounds. The American breeders were aiming to develop a Foxhound that would be lighter, taller and faster than his English cousin, with a keener sense of smell, to better suit the game and terrain of their new country.

George Washington was among the early American breeders. He kept a pack of American Foxhounds at Mount Vernon and tried to improve his dogs by breeding them to imported British hounds.  He also bred them to French foxhounds given to him by a friend.

These days, there are four types of American Foxhounds: field trial hounds, which are known for their speed and competitive spirit; slow-trailling hounds, which are known for their musical baying and used for hunting foxes on foot; drag hounds, also known as trail hounds, which are raced or hunted using as artificial lure instead of real prey; and pack hounds, used by hunters on horseback in packs of 15 to 20 or more.

Description: Similar to its English cousin, the American Foxhound has been developed by its breeders to be lighter and taller, to have a keener sense of smell, and to be even faster in a chase. A large handsome hound, its front legs are long and very straight-boned. The head is long with a slightly domed, large skull. THe ears are broad and pendant, framing the face. The eyes are large and wide-set, either brown or hazel, with a sweet, imploring expression. The ears are wide and flat to the head. The tail is set moderately high with a slight upward curve, but is not turned forward over the back. The short, hard coat may be any color.

Size: Height: 21-25 inches

Weight: 65-75 pounds

Temperament: The American Foxhound is sweet, affectionate, gentle and loving at home, but they are also brave and intense warrior in the hunt. They are excellent with children and get along well with other dogs because of their pack-hunting background, but should not be trusted with non-canine pets. Friendliness to strangers varies widely. They are very friendly dogs, however if a particular dog is allowed to see himself as a pack leader to humans he may become protective. The American Foxhound will take off after an interesting scent if it gets a chance. They like to bay and have a melodious bark; so in fact, that its tones have been used in popular sogns. Foxhounds don’t always make good house pets due to their history as outdoor pack kennel hounds. Make sure to provide plenty of exercise.

Grooming: The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.

Lifespan: About 10-12 years An average litter size is 5-7 puppies.

Health Problems: This breed doesn’t have much for health problems. its a fairly healthy breed. They are free of many genetic diseases, such as hip and bone problems, that plague other large breeds. Gains weight easily; do not overfeed.

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Beagle

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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: 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 – 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.

References:

http://www.foxterrierrescue.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=4

http://www.akc.org/breeds/wire_fox_terrier/breed_standard.cfm

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

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

http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/fox-terrier