Wednesday, August 15, 2012


   Need a bold, fearless dog that is unrivaled as a livestock guard dog?  Or a brave dog loyal to his family?  Consider getting a Kuvasz as your kind of dog.  This dog's name derives from the Turkish word "kawasz".  This word means "armed guard of nobility", which signified the unmatched guarding capabilities. Another cool fact about the breed is that the plural of "Kuvasz" is "Kuvaszok".  There are a bunch of other assorted traits that make the Kuvasz unique.  In fact there was one point in history that only those within the favor of the royal circles could own this breed.  In the end, it is really conclusive to say that the Kuvasz is already an astonishing breed.

   The Kuvasz has possibly descended from the Tibetan Mastiff and may be related to the Great Pyrenees and the Maremma.  Mentioned before, this breed has been a great guarding dog.  There is almost no doubt that the Kuvasz has played a role in the history of kingdoms and empires which flourished throughout Europe five to eight centuries ago.  It was the constant companion of several rulers.  Though it has originated in Tibet, it developed into today's Kuvasz in Hungary.  Though he is still a big dog, the Kuvasz isn't the giant of ancient times.  King Mathias I, whom ruled from 1458 to 1490, had at least one Kuvasz at his side and developed a large pack of them for hunting purposes.  Later, the dog was under the hands of commoners, and shepherds found it useful to work with livestock.  In World War II, the breed was almost lost.  However, breeders managed to revive it in time.

  Owning a Kuvasz shouldn't be an impulse decision, as there are some responsibilities that come with it.  It needs plenty of daily exercise, and a highly active lifestyle.  This keeps his tendency to chew things and dig.  Therefore, this isn't a dog equipped for city life.  Weekly brushing is advised because the breed naturally sheds dirt.  Frequent baths are also a recommendation to rid the coat of its natural oils that are responsible for the dirt-shedding function.  One useful cleaning method is to apply corn starch to the coat and then brush it out.  The breed is a good worker and companion dog.  However, the strict nature of his work makes the Kuvasz independent and strong-willed, so training it is hard.  For that reason, the Kuvasz should be under the care of an experienced dog owner.  Don't harshly train the Kuvasz; early socialization and firm, consistent training is the key.  The dog is relatively healthy but does is prone to issues such as osteochondritis disecans, hip dysplasia and bloating.  Bloating can be fatal and happens when the dog has a full stomach and goes for a run.  This causes it to flop over.  Let your dog rest for about 20-30 minutes after his meal before exercising.  The breed needs to be monitored around children and family and friends but is other than that he is loyal and devoted to his master.  It doesn't do well in hot conditions, so it needs shady places, air conditioning, and plenty of water if it is in a hot environment.

   Overall, this is a breed that comes with responsibilities, but if you want a trustworthy and loyal working and guarding dog, the Kuvasz could be the right dog for you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Irish Terrier

  This breed was used as a messenger and sentinel during World War I.  This breed is one of the oldest terrier breeds.  This breed- is spirited and good-tempered, and great as a hunting, guarding, or companion dog.  Loyal and affectionate, this is the Irish Terrier, a breed that boasts a gorgeous red coat.  Every single Irish Terrier has this beautiful characteristic.  A longer body and longer legs make it even a better sight to see.  Irish Terriers sport long heads and dark brown eyes.  The AKC breed standard describes them to be Full of life, fire and intelligence, showing an intense expression.  These kind of traits make for a graceful and bold-looking dog that means business.

  The Irish Terrier is probably the oldest of all the terriers to be native to Ireland.  However, records of this breed are scarce and therefore, the fact that it is the oldest terrier from Ireland isn't easy to prove.  Small-to-medium-sized terrier-like dogs were invaluable to Irish farmers, thus they were common out in the countryside.  In the late 19th century, this was the first Irish Terrier breed recognized by the English Kennel Club.  Before the 1880's, the color of the breed hadn't been settled.  Some were red, but not all of them.  Efforts were made to breed out colors like black, tan, and brindle.  By the 20th century, all Irish Terriers were red.  During the century before they had docked ears, which is a certain sign that shows they were  used for fighting.  Wow!

  The Irish Terrier actually has practically no health problems and isn't prone to many diseases.  Exercising the breed isn't as easy as keeping it healthy.  Being bred for active work, the Irish Terrier requires a lot of  exercise.  Make sure you have a secure leash, as the breed can be quarrelsome with other dogs.  For this reason, Irish Terriers don't do well with other pets.  The breed is also difficult to housebreak.  Irish Terriers like to dig, chase things, and explore.  It is wise to have a secure yard the dog can't escape from.  Early socialization is recommended.  The Irish Terrier doesn't shed a whole lot, but it needs dead hair to be removed with a fine-toothed comb and a stiff bristle brush.  Bathe the dog only when it's necessary.  It makes for a good companion dog as well as a hunter and/or guarding dog.  This is a dog that's loyal to its master and it goes well with children if raised with them.

  To recap, the Irish Terrier requires exercise and makes a great family dog.  It is healthy, so you'll have years of fun with this dog.  It is also difficult to housebreak, but given energy and effort, it could be worth it.  It has a graceful appearance and can be the best pet for somebody who only plans on having one pet, as they breed is feisty around other pets.  See if you've got what it takes to be the rightful owner of what could be your next friend, an Irish Terrier!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


   When one thinks of the description of "Sweet, large, and a gentle giant", the Leonberger may come to mind.  It's a combination of elegance and power.  According to the AKC, its closest relative is the St. Bernard.  They are "dimorphic", meaning that males look distinctly more masculine and bigger than the females.  He is muscular and very big.  Males are described to carry "lion-like manes".  The breed standard describes the Leonberger's head to be "rectangular shaped" &; "deeper than it is broad".  Its body is has a broad and deep chest and its forequarters and hindquarters are well-muscled.  As for its colors, it ranges from lion yellow, red, reddish-brown, sandy, and all combinations in-between.  He also sports a black face.

   At around the 1830's, Heinrich Essig, the Town Councillor of Leonberg, Germany bred a dog with a female Newfoundland that was black and white and a St. Bernard from the monastery hospice.  Other large breeds were added to the mix, such as the Great Pyrenees.  Heinrich Essig was aiming for a powerful dog that could be used for draft work and a flock guardian.  It is rumored that Essig also went for a lion-like appearance as the town crest for Leonberg had a lion rearing up on its legs.  Earlier Leonbergers were born 1846 and a short time later, Leonbergers were sold as status symbols from Leonberg.  During the World Wars, the Leonberger was almost lost.  But today, there are plenty of Leonbergers to go around.

   Due to strict breeding guidelines set by Leonberger clubs the breed doesn't have as many health issues as one may think it would.  However, it is advised that you watch out for panosteitis, osteosarcoma, Addison's disease, and hypothyroidism.  Leonbergers are also prone bloat, which happens when the breed is running with a full stomach and the stomach flops over.  This can be fatal if not treated right away.  To prevent this, don't let a Leonberger run on a full stomach.  Wait 20-30 minutes to let it digest the food.  Adult Leonbergers need 40 minutes to an hour of exercise daily.  This can be made up of long walks with opportunity for the dog to run and play.  Puppies need limited exercise during the growth stage, when the bones will start to develop and the exercise time can gradually increase.  It has a fairly long coat that will shed.  Brush and groom the coat once every week to remove loose and dead hair.  A brave and loyal dog that isn't aggressive, the breed makes a great pet for families.  It mostly gets along with other pets, but due to its large size, the Leonberger should be supervised around small children.  It is a gentle giant and is obedient, having a great learning capacity and being able to remember things easily.  In fact, they have great potential as seeing-eye dogs.

   Overall, the Leonberger is a large dog that does need space, but makes up for it in intelligence, loyalty, and being obedient.  Great with families and only needing weekly brushing and grooming, it isn't as high maintenance as other large dogs.  With responsibilities taken, he can be a great pet for just about anybody.  The Leonberger could be the your next best friend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

  The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a good companion canine.  It was named after a funny character in the book Guy Mannering written in 1814 by Sir Walter Scott.  The character's name?  Dandie Dinmont.  Queen Victoria had a Dandie Dinmont Terrier.  It was once popular with gypsies and the highly wealthy.  It was originally bred to go to ground, and so it possesses a long body.  It is also low to the ground.  It has an easy-to-identify large head with a silky topknot.  Its eyes are dark and have a soft and wise expression.  For a small dog, it has powerful teeth, especially his canines, which are bigger than that of the average small dog.  They give the Dandies to hone great holding and punishing power with its teeth.  It comes in two colors- pepper and mustard.  According to the AKC, the pepper color ranges from dark-bluish-black to a light, silvery grey.  Mustard varies from a reddish-brown to a pale fawn color.  Its overall appearance makes it look like a great dog.

  It was first recorded as a distinct type of breed at about 1700.  It was bred from selected specimens of the rough native terrier of the border country between Scotland and England.  It was distinguished by its skill in hunting otters and badgers.  Since the entire original purpose of the Dandie Dinmont is hardly needed at all today, so it is more of a companion and house dog.

  An independent, stubborn, and determined breed of great intelligence, they are a challenge to train.  It may not be the best for first-time dog owners, but some can cope.  A loophole is to start training a Dandie Dinmont Terrier at an early age.  It can be a good family dog and devotes himself to his family.  It's very sociable, so as long as it's introduced to other pets and family members at a young age, it is a family-friendly pooch.  Being a long and lowly-set breed, it is susceptible to some intervertebral disc problems.  To lower the risk of this happening, it's best to make sure it avoids stair climbing and jumping on and off furniture.  If you want it upstairs, downstairs, or on the couch, pick it up yourself and place on the couch or basement or upstairs.  Its other health problems include hip dysplasia, kneecap luxation, torn ligaments, arthritis, and glycoma.  As far as grooming goes, you're in for a lot of work or a pricy grooming bill.  Because it never sheds, its hair just keeps getting longer and longer.  As a puppy, it will need combed daily to avoid the coat from matting.  Adults need to be hand-stripped, preferably by an expert, 2-3 times a year.  Let the coat mat to much, and it'll be required to be hand stripped close to the skin.  It'll take months for the beautiful Dandie Dinmont coat to grow back.  Its feet also need regular trimming.  The Dandie is ideal in most environments, but needs about twenty minutes of exercise daily.  Since it was originally bred as a hunting dog, it is best to make sure the breed is supervised and secured in a fenced in area, since it might run after a squirrel or other small animals.

Though stubborn, it is a magnificent dog breed that gets along well with the people it knows, and has a serious side in its personality as well as a playful one.  If you're looking for a dog thats brilliant, intelligent, and fun, and as long as you don't mind putting in effort grooming and training this breed, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier could just be the right breed for you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brussels Griffon

  The Brussels Griffon- a cute pooch known to have a human-like expression.  One was featured in a 1997 hit, "As Good As It Gets".  It is intelligent and sensitive, and is self-conscious around strangers.  It has an adorable flat face.  There are two coat types. There's the rough coat, which is wiry and dense.  According to the AKC the hardy and wiry the coat is, the better.  The second is the smooth coat, which is straight, short and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair.  The smooth-coated Brussels Griffon are sometimes called "Brabancons".  Their bodies are square-shaped and their tails are set and held high. Their whole structures make for a lovable dog with a tail facing up as if showing pride, a cute and convincing flat face and lovely coats.  

  The breed's origins are traced back to Belgium in the 19th century.  Belgian coachmen kept small, wire-coated terrier-like dogs in their stables as ratters.  The dogs developed from the Affenpinscher and general street dogs.  Other breeds have apparently been used in the mix, such as the Pug, King Charles Spaniel, and the Ruby Spaniel.  This resulted in two different varieties of coats.  The smooth and the rough coats.  The smooth ones were named Brabancons.  This term honored the Belgian national anthem, "La Brabonconne".  These eventually became the Brussels Griffon breed.  Today, the breed doesn't have much use as a ratter.  Instead, they make spectacular companion dogs.

   Though it is somewhat healthy, it is advised that you watch out for hereditary eye defects, patella luxation, and hip dysplasia.  Intelligent and naughty, as well as curious, training isn't too hard, but try to start at an early age.  Let the breed know who strangers are and who aren't strangers, as the breed is sensitive around them. It is a playful and enjoyable breed.  It enjoys playing and like to have walks on a leash.  Its small size makes it suitable for apartment-living, though they still need some exercise and daily walks. Whether the coat is rough or smooth, the coats need brushing twice a week and shaping every three months.  If the dog is going to be shown, hand stripping is essential for the rough coat.  The smooth coat is easier to maintain, but during shedding season, regular brushing and baths are required.  It gets along well with children, and therefore, they make for good family pets.

  The Brussels Griffon is a delightful breed that's curious, adorable, small, mischievous, and great with children and pets alike.  They do enjoy some exercise and are really keen canines!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

This breed is the largest and oldest of the four Swiss mountain dogs. He has a study and robust appearance. Confident, loyal, and huge, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a dog like no other. He's powerful, heavy-boned, and strong. This helped him pull heavy carts. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog also has a double-layered coat with a rich rust color and white colored markings in specific parts of the body. The rest is black.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog's ancestors were molossers brought to Switzerland by Romans. He was developed from Mastiffs and Rottweilers, and other breeds. It was bred for all-purpose farm jobs, such as herding, guarding, and pulling carts. The breed's history doesn't end here. Later on, the breed's numbers started to decrease. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog's services were no longer needed. Their jobs were replaced by either other animals or dog breeds, or machines. Then, a dog expert named Dr. Albert Heim convinced people to try and save the breed. It worked, and now, the breed is recognised by the AKC, which first happened in 1995. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was first founded in 1968.

Due to the breed's large size, he's prone to some health issues like bloat. He's also susceptible to eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, and cancer. The breed is best in colder climates, for if you over-exercise one in hot temperatures, he may get a Heat Stroke. Give him daily exercise, like a daily walk or romp in a yard. Also ensure you have enough space for one; a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog takes up a lot of space. Due to the double coat, he sheds twice annually, and in other occasions. Brush it regularly to keep the coat and skin healthy. Since these dogs are eager to please, training can be fun. He can be a good family pet, but early socialization is a must. Introduce to your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog the people that are not bad, and people that are, as he can be protective of his family. But due to this, they make great watchdogs.

If you give him love he'll devote himself to you and your family. You'll be great friends for a long time!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one out of four Swiss mountain dogs. Second only to that Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the biggest out of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs.

This dog has a weather-resistant and double-layered coat. It's always jet black with white markings on the chest, muzzle, belly, tail, and in the middle of the face. There are also russet markings on the ankles, cheeks, and even on top of the eyes. Like Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and other breeds, the russet markings on top of the eyes resemble eyebrows.

The Bernese Mountain Dog descended from Mastiffs. Some were taken to Switzerland over two-thousand years ago. They were bred with local farm dogs to create this breed. It was originally used to pull carts and herd cattle, mainly in the town of Berne. They even do this today. However, remember to always make sure that if your Bernese Mountain Dog pulls carts, he doesn't pull carts that are too heavy. The breed first arrived in America in around 1925. The breed was officially recognised by the AKC in 1937.

The breed is a great family pet. He's loyal, affectionate, and even trustworthy. He may be aloof around strangers, but is never shy or aggressive. Because of his sheer size, make sure that the Bernese Mountain Dog is monitored around small children, as he may accidentally knock them down. The Bernese Mountain Dog is large, so make sure you have enough space for him. Give him daily exercise in a large yard or with daily walks. This breed also needs to be with a family that understands that they don't live that long. With an average lifespan of 7-8 years, the breed has many health issues, including bloat, cancer, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, skin and coat problems, and eye diseases. However, some have been known to live a decade and longer. The Bernese Mountain Dog is loyal and eager to please, so training is easy. But keep in mind that the breed has a double coat, so the breed will shed. Brush it regularly and give it occasional baths.

When you meet the Bernese Mountain Dog, you'll have a hard time resisting this friendly dog.