German Shepherd

April 3, 2010 3 comments
German Shepherd

German Shepherd

GERMAN SHEPHERD HISTORY

Roman historian Tacitus noted the ‘wolf-like dog of the country around the Rhine’ nearly 2000 years ago, but the German Shepherd is usually dated to the 1890s and credited to Max von Stephanitz. He owned Horand von Grafrath, the founding male, reputed to have a recent wolf cross in his parentage. Thuringian dogs gave the upright ears and wolf-like appearance, while Wűrttemburger dogs were used for their temperament and speed.

QUALITIES

German Shepherds are described as:

    Direct and fearless, and alert.

    Bold, cheerful, obedient and eager to learn.

    Calmly confident, courageous but not hostile.

    Serious, loyal and highly intelligent.

They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families, but can be wary of strangers.

This breed needs people and should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when they feel it is necessary. German Shepherds have a very strong protective instinct, so they should be extensively socialized. Aggression and attacks on people are due to poor handling and training.

Problems arise when an owner allows the dog to believe he is pack leader over humans and or does not give the dog the mental and physical daily exercise he needs to be stable. This breed needs owners who are naturally authoritative over the dog in a calm, but firm, confident and consistent way.

A stable, well-adjusted, and trained dog is for the most part generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family. They must be firmly trained in obedience from an early age. German Shepherds who have passive owners and or whose instincts are not being met can become timid, skittish and may be prone to fear biting and develop a guarding issue.

The breed is so intelligent and learns so readily that it has been used as a sheepdog, guard dog, in police work, as a guide for the blind, in search and rescue service, and in the military. The German Shepherd also excels in many other dog activities including schutzhund, tracking, obedience, agility, flyball, and ring sport. His fine nose can sniff out drugs and intruders, and can alert handlers to the presence of underground mines in time to avoid detonation, or gas leaks in a pipes buried 15 feet underground.

For more information on the German Shepherd

Links for German Shepherd Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups

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Siberian Husky

March 27, 2010 Leave a comment
Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

HISTORY

The Chukchi people of Siberia for sled pulling and reindeer herding used Siberian Huskies for centuries. DNA Analysis has confirmed it as one of the oldest breeds in existence. It was bought to Alaska by fur traders for Arctic races, and used by Peary in his trip to the North Pole in 1909, but won most publicity and popularity in the 1925 serum run to Nome, or Great Race of Mercy, when teams of sled dogs carried diphtheria antitoxin to the isolated town of Nome, traveling 1,085 km (674 miles) in a record-breaking five and a half days to halt an epidemic.

Although largely replaced in dog sledding by the more competitive Alaskan husky, the Siberian husky continues to be used as a recreational sled dog and companion. It also served as a sled dog with the US military during World War II.

TEMPERAMENT and QUALITIES

The Siberian Husky is lighter than most sled-pulling breeds and is characterized by a seemingly effortless gait and enormous stamina. These qualities mean it is a breed for the active, and left alone they can be destructive. They are generally cheerful dogs, gentle and friendly.

The Siberian Husky is described as:

  • Gentle and playful and very fond of his or her family.
  • Clever, sociable and loving,
  • Easy-going and docile.
  • Good with children and friendly with strangers.

Though they do generally have a lot of energy, especially as puppies, they are not watchdogs, for they bark little and love everyone. Huskies make an excellent jogging companion, as long as it is not too hot.

Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, but they have a mind of their own and will only obey a command if they see the point and if you do not display leadership, they will not see the point in obeying you. Training takes patience, consistency and an understanding of the Arctic dog character. If you are not this dog’s 100% firm, confident, consistent pack leader, he will take advantage if he can, becoming wilful and mischievous.

IDEAL OWNERS

This breed does well with an active family in a suburban or rural home.

For more information on the Siberian Husky.

Links to Siberian Husky Clubs, Rescue Groups and Breeders.

Newfoundland

March 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Newfoundland Reflection

BREED HISTORY

The ancestors of the Newfoundland remain largely unknown. Some claim the Vikings brought its forebears to Newfoundland in the 10th century, while others claim that it is a descendant of the Pyrenean Mountain Dogs that accompanied emigrating French fishermen. Whatever the truth, the breed evolved on Newfoundland into an outstanding sea-rescue dogs and draught animal.

In the 18th century Newfoundlands were imported into Britain and France and rapidly became popular with English sailors as ship dogs. The Scottish author JM Barrie based the dog NANA in Peter Pan on his own Newfoundland.

BREED QUALITIES

The Newfoundland is a dog with an outstanding temperament, good, courageous, generous and intelligent. A patient dog, mild with guests, and obedient with its master. He is noble, calm, gentle, loyal and trustworthy with a sweet temperament. Dignified and peaceable. Very devoted. Good and brave. Intelligent enough to act on his own when needed. Protective, but tends to place himself between the intruder and his family rather than bark or growl. Newfoundland’s can recognize a dangerous situation and will generally act if the family is threatened. Any dog, other animal, child, or visitor who has no evil intention will receive a friendly welcome.

Usually gets along with other dogs, but should be socialize well with them, giving a correction at any sign of aggressiveness to insure this behavior. Generally good with other animals. Patient, playful, and loving with children. Very sociable. Enjoys the outdoors, but also requires companionship. The Newfoundland drinks a lot of water and may be messy about it, as he loves to get wet. They tend to drool, though not as much as some other giant breeds.

Although puppies require a lot of food, an adult Newfoundland eats only about as much as a retriever. They love to swim and if backpacking near water, don’t let the Newfoundland carry your sleeping bag – or you may spend a very damp night! They love water and enjoy laying in it.

This breed may be slightly difficult to train. Training must be conducted in a calm and balanced manner. In order to achieve a well balanced dog one must be calm, but firm, confident and consistent with the dog. Giving the dog rules he must follow and sticking to them along with a daily pack walk where the dog must heal beside or behind you. No pulling head. These dogs are very sensitive to the tone of your voice. Their huge body tends to move rather slowly. Take this into account during training.

BREED TIPS

The Newfoundland is very robust and needs to run and swim at will. It does not like the heat. Brush its coat with a curly comb; shampooing is not recommended. A puppy’s bone development should be monitored closely.

More information on the Newfoundland.

Links to Newfoundland Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

German Pinscher

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment
German Pinscher

German Pinscher

BREED HISTORY

The German Pinscher originated in Germany and were shown in dog books as early as 1884.  These medium-sized dogs descended from early European herding and guardian breeds and were not related to the superficially similar terriers of Britain.

Following both World wars, the breed was nearly lost. There were no new litters registered in West Germany from 1949 to 1958. Werner Jung is credited with single-handedly saving the breed. He searched the farms in Germany for typical Pinschers and used these along with 4 oversized Miniature Pinschers and a black and red bitch from East Germany. Jung risked his life to smuggle her into West Germany. Most German Pinschers today are descendants of these dogs. Some pedigrees in the 1959 PSK Standardbuch show a number of dogs with unknown parentage.

BREED QUALITIES

A dog of superior intelligence. They are a handsome, robust, squarely built, medium size dog with aristocratic bearing.  They are not excessive barkers. Noted for guarding the home and family.
They are a high commitment dog: very intelligent, determined, manipulative and assertive. The German Pinschers make a wonderful companion with firm yet gentle and consistent discipline. They keep their playfulness well into adulthood.

As a home guardian, the German Pinscher excels. It readily accepts friends of the family, but warns away strangers with a strong voice which it saves for such occasions. And woe unto the attacker or intruder!

The German Pinscher is not the breed for those who want a slow, placid dog, or a dog that can be “fed and forgotten”, for they insist on being a part of the family activities and develop best when treated in this manner. For this reason, most German Pinschers are house pets. They are outstanding companions, known for their devotion and love of the family. However, they are not recommended for families with small children (9 years or younger). Because of their strong will, intelligence and independent nature, early socialization and obedience training is a must. If the owner is too casual about dog training, the strong willed, highly intelligent, independent, spirited German Pinscher will not be a good choice as a family dog.

The German Pinscher is not for everyone. They need leadership tempered with patience, respect, intelligence and love. Realize the German Pinscher will not tolerate much physical or mental abuse from the family children.

BREED TIPS

The Pinscher adapts easily to life in a home but must receive adequate exercise; frequent walks or romps in the park are essential. While the Pinschers’ short coat needs little care, it provides poor protection from the elements in cold climates. Regular grooming with a soft brush will make its coat glossy. Unless its nails are used often, they should be trimmed with clippers.

For more general information on the German Pinscher.

For links to German Pinscher Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

Whippet

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment
Whippet

Whippet

BREED HISTORY

The Whippet is not considered an old breed, having evolved in England a hundred or so years ago. It was developed by miners in Northern England who, unable to afford the upkeep of the Greyhound for coursing hare and rabbit, developed this dog which costs less to feed and groom.

The dog’s terrier blood, and presumed source of courage and stamina, has long since been bred out of the Whippet. Emphasis, instead, has been placed on the dog’s prowess in straight racing, a sport which had its inception in Lancashire and Yorkshire. This sport was introduced in North America by the Lancashire textile workers who took jobs in the mills of New England early in the 20th century.

The British Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1892.


BREED QUALITIES

The Whippet is intelligent, lively, affectionate, sweet, and docile. This very devoted companion is quiet and calm in the home. The Whippet should never be roughly trained, for they are extremely sensitive both physically and mentally. Be sure to introduce plenty of variety when training them. The best results will be achieved by including games and running.

They are good with children of all ages as long as the children do not roughhouse or tease the dog. Whippets are clean, virtually odor free, easy to care for and easy to travel with.

They are good watchdogs and may be reserved with strangers. They will pursue and kill cats and other small animals if given the opportunity, but are good with other dogs. Household cats that they are raised with and have become accustomed to will be left alone. The Whippet’s sweet personality makes him a fine companion dog.

The Whippet is the ultimate sprinter, unsurpassed by any other breed in its ability to accelerate to top speed and to twist and turn with matchless dexterity. They can be used to hunt. Some can be difficult to housebreak while others housebreak quickly.

Something of a couch potato.

BREED TIPS

Care must be taken to ensure that the Whippet is given a balanced diet. Too much starchy or liquid food may cause stomach problems. Avoid overfeeding. Daily walks are essential and the animal should be allowed to run free in an open area whenever possible. Brush the coat daily with a soft brush and polish it with a chamois.

For more information on the Whippet.

Links to Whippet Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

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Borzoi

February 27, 2010 2 comments
Borzoi

Borzoi

BREED HISTORY

Sighthounds had arrived in Russia from their original home in southwestern Asia by the Middle Ages. Here they developed into the Borzoi, a Russian term for all sighthounds, including some rarities virtually unknown in the West, such as the Taigan and the Chortaj. The Borzoi had spread westwards into Europe by the 19th century, where it became favored as a high-status pet and an aristocratic household dog, and was bred for companionship rather than hunting.

BREED QUALITIES

The Borzoi is a sweet, intelligent dog. They are proud and are extremely loyal to their family. They are quite affectionate with people they know well. They can be trained in obedience, but it should be remembered that they are hounds, and as such are more free-thinking, and less willing to please humans than some breeds. They are, however, very intelligent, and capable learners. The training of this breed needs to be gentle but firm and consistent.

The Borzoi needs an owner who displays a natural authority over him making the rules of the home clear and confidently sticking to them. Borzoi often appear to be cat-like in that they keep themselves quite clean.

They are quiet dogs, rarely barking. Like all other sight hounds, they are very fast, and have little-to-no territorial instinct. Therefore, they cannot be trusted off leash, unless in a securely fenced or very safe area. If they get sight of a small animal they may take off after it and not even hear you calling them back. Good with other dogs but should be supervised with small non-canine pets such as cats and rabbits. Spending time outdoors with small animals is not advised. Socialize them very well with cats and other pets at as young an age as possible, but remember the Borzoi will always be a hunter that may race after a fleeing animal.

His lightening snap can kill a small animal in a second. The Borzoi is a noble dog that gets along fairly well with children, but it is not ideally suited for being a child’s companion as it does not take well to rough-housing play.

During the growing stage, these dogs need a highly nutritional diet.

For more information on the Borzoi.

Websites relating to Borzoi Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

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Greyhound

February 20, 2010 3 comments
Greyhound

Greyhound

BREED HISTORY

Tombs of Egypt from the Fourth dynasty, between 4000 and 3500 BC, show drawings of dogs similar to Greyhounds and Salukis, making it obvious that dogs of this type were much esteemed during this era. During the ensuing centuries, Greyhounds proved to be in great demand as an item of barter, and spread through the Near East and Europe.

They were developed as a standard in England, where they became a status symbol. The dog was a favorite of English nobility, who limited ownership by the common folk under the Laws of Canute formulated in 1016. “No mean person may keepe any greyhounds, but freemen may keepe greyhounds so that their knees be cut before the verderors of the forest, and without cutting of the knees also, if he does abide 1 miles from the bounds of the forest.”

In wide flat spaces, a hunter was handicapped – no brushy forest to conceal the human presence or to hamper the animal as it attempted to bolt. With its powerful eyesight and great speed enabling him to overtake the quarry, the Greyhound proved an invaluable aid.

When dogs became more than a means to fill a cooking pot, the Greyhound excelled in coursing, and later, track racing, hitting a speed of 45 mph, maintaining its reputation as the fastest dog on Earth. Only the cheetah tops him for speed in that animal world.

His track abilities have given him an advantage over all other breeds. The racing Greyhound is the only recognized breed in America not afflicted with the curse of hip dysplasia.

BREED QUALITIES

Modern Greyhounds make gentle, well-behaved, graceful pets, elegant showdogs or thrilling competitors. They are affectionate with their families and, like many sighthounds, aloof with strangers.

Despite their speed in pursuit, the Greyhound at home can be a relaxed and relaxing companion, although not ideal for city life and families with young children. It tends to forget its training when it sights potential prey,, but is otherwise tractable.

BREED TIPS

The Greyhound should be neither too thin nor too fat. Watch its weight and diet carefully, particularly if the hound is a racer. Dive the dog thick, solid food, including semi-fat meat. Avoid liquid or fatty mash, and starchy foods. Two or three light meals a day are preferable to one heavy one. The diet should be rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

Use a soft brush on the coat. To give the coat its luster, use a piece of chamois. Take the Greyhound for daily walks on a leash or, better still, use a bicycle. Let the mature Greyhound gallop freely once or twice a week.

For further information on the Greyhound.

Websites relating to Greyhound Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

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