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.

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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.

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