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.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is an attractive, amazing, long-haired breed. This breed looks a lot like another dog we all know as the Shih Tzu. How do you tell the difference? Well, Lhasa Apsos are alightly larger than Shih Tzus are, and throughout history, the Lhasa Apso came before the Shih Tzu. In fact, when the Lhasa Apso is crossed with the Pekingese, you get a Shih Tzu.

This breed has a long double coat that protects it from harsh climates such as the ones in Tibet, where the breed originated. The Lhasa Apso has a short muzzle, but isn't brachycephalic. Brachycephalic breeds are dogs with nearly flat faces, such as Pekingese, English Bulldogs, Pugs, and French Bulldogs. The tail is carried over the back and is well feathered.

Lhasa Apsos can trace their origins back to Tibet. It was used to warn their owners of intruders if they could get past the Tibetan Mastiffs that were usually outside estates. They would only give a warning bark to alert their masters, though. The breed was even known as "Abso Seng Kyi", meaning "bark sentinel lion dog". Traders also used them for the same purpose, but to guard goods.

The breed is generally healthy, but can suffer some eye problems, but they are easy to take care of and less serious than other health issues. Kidney problems have also been found in the breed. They can be stubborn at times, so early training is the best way to go for this pooch. The breed is high maintenance when it comes to grooming. However, you can keep it in a puppy cut to make grooming more minimal, but you'll be spending lots of time grooming a Lhasa Apso if you're using one for show. Also brush it regularly to prevent matting and tangling in the coat. Also bathe it once every week or so. The Lhasa Apso may not be good in exteme heat. It may have a hard time breathing; the breed has a face flatter than most others. Always keep it in air conditioning in hot climates. Exercising the breed isn't too bad. A daily walk or romp in the yard will do. In fact, if you exercise it, he can be a good apartment dog. It can be good in families, but can be dominant with other pets about space at times.

In general, always remember that the Lhasa Apso is a great dog breed and that once you get a Lhasa Apso, you'll never regret doing it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

There are two types of Welsh Corgis. This is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. His cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is more popular. The two breeds look very similar, so how do you tell the difference? Well, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has full tail, not a short and stubby one that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has. Cardigans also have slightly longer and bigger bodies than Pembrokes. Also, Cardigans usually have a brindle coat with white markings on the paws, chest, face, muzzle, tail, and belly. They still come in other coat colors, though.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi comes from Cardiganshire, Wales. He's related to the Dachshund, and you might be able tell by his long body. They were kept as farm dogs; they would typically drive, guard, and herd cattle by nipping at their heels. All the way until 1934, Britain recognized the Cardigan and Pembroke as one breed. Around 1931 the breed was first introduced to America. The breed was admitted for AKC registration in 1935.

The dog has some health issues, like hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, autoimmune diseases, and cataracts. And because it has a long body, beware of spinal disc problems. Grooming the breed isn't too hard. This is because of his short coat, obviously. The hair between the toes need to be trimmed occasionally. This dog is a breed that needs daily exercise. It also excels at herding, agility, and show. And if trained properly, they can even be Therapy dogs. Training this breed is easy because he's always eager to please. He's intelligent and affectionate, and is a good family dog, but try to herd small children or other pets.

He may look small, but he has a big heart.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers really now how to make people smile, especially with that cute look on their faces. The West Highland White Terrier is known as the Westie for short.

This Terrier comes from Scotland, and is related to Skye Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and Scottish Terriers, too. It was bred to go underground to find small vermin for hunters. It was bred to dig underground in holes, and in fact, the "Terra" in "Terrier" means "earth". Legend says that a hunter named Colonel Edward Donald Malcom kept many terriers for hunting. However, one of the reddish-colored terriers was shot, being mistaken for a fox.

So, he bred a dog to have a white coat so he wouldn't be mistaken for a fox. This coat repels and sheds dirt, and is also double-layered. Some Westies also got stuck in holes while looking for small game underground. Westie owners would then have to dig them out. So many got stuck, that they bred for a Westie with a strong tail. This way, they could be pulled out of the hole by being grabbed on the tail. It doesn't hurt them at all, and if you tried to grab a Westie by the tail and lift it up, it wouldn't hurt the Westie at all. The breed gained AKC recognition in 1908.

Grooming this breed is sometimes demanding. It needs a weekly brushing, and will be more demanding if you want to use a West Highland White Terrier for show. The breed has health issues, such as heart disease, hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, and allergy and lung problems. He can live up to about 14 years on average. The breed's double-layered coat makes it good for cold climates; and they are sensitive to extreme heat. It needs some time to romp in an enclosed yard to release that Terrier energy. It could be an apartment dog as long as you exercise it. Because it is so independent at times, training could be a challenge. Westies can be good family dogs for those who are looking for a cute and feisty companion.

However, if you devote yourself to your Westie, he will devote himself to you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Standing at only 17-21 inches, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or the Toller for short, is the smallest retriever. He may be small, but he had to do a big job when he was developed.

In the 19th century, the Toller was bred to lure, toll, and retrieve waterfowl, usually ducks and geese. The breed was bred in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was welcome into the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945, and in the 1960's, they were first introduced to the US.

The breed has heavily feathered tail that would help to lure ducks to shore, and then the dog's owners could shoot it once lured into gun range. Another thing that helped the breed do his job is his coat. The Toller was also used to retrieve ducks from icy waters, so the breed has a double coat medium in length that's water-resistant. It comes in any shade of red with white markings on the chest, muzzle, tail, and belly. He also has well arched toes with thick pads. The breed should always have tight scissors bite.

His coat needs regular brushing and grooming. If you put the breed on show, remember that his coat needs to have a natural appearance, not a barbered one. Breeders have been trying to breed out health issues of the breed. But be aware of hip dysplasia, eye problems, autoimmune deficiency, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed is best when given a job, even if he isn't told too. So if you live near a lake, and you Toller comes back with a duck in its mouth, don't be surprised; this instinct hasn't been bred out of the breed. As a result, the breed does best with more active families.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed of fun and work. He could be a great dog for you if you give him attention. It'll be worth it for sure.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a breed like no other. He can be protective of his family, loving, and an amazing pet. Aside from being a great pooch to have in your family, the Great Pyrenees has traits that will help you identify him. This isn't hard either. First off, he has dark brown eyes, with rims that match the color of the lips and nose. Another thing you'll notice about a Great Pyrenees is his coat. It's double-layered and weather resistant with a dense and woolly undercoat, and a flat and thick top coat. But the thing that is most recognizable about this breed is his size. This breed is certainly a massive breed, so if you have a small house or no way to exercise this breed, the Great Pyrenees is not for you.

The Great Pyrenees has descended from molossian hounds that Romans brought to Spain. Here, the breed was used to protect herds of sheep from predators, or they were used as guard dogs. Because the Great Pyrenees' physical characteristics were so important to help the breed be a great guarding and protecting dog, the Great Pyrenees hasn't changed much throughout history. This dog was introduced to the US in 1824. The AKC welcomed the breed in 1933.

This is a lovely dog to have, and are good for protecting herds of sheep, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to have it on a farm. But if he isn't in a farm, be sure he can get lots of daily exercise in a large yard, or maybe in an open field, as long as you can trust your Great Pyrenees off-leash. The breed has a short life span like many other big dogs. He is prone to hip dysplasia, bloating, cancer, and ear infections. The breed is also highly sensitive to anesthetics, and be sure to pay attention to in between his toes. Fungus can sometimes grow there. Grooming the breed can be a challenge. He needs to bathed regularly, and also a weekly brushing. The Great Pyrenees will also shed a lot in shedding season. The breed is trainable, but always use positive training methods. Don't let him become bored or not have much attention, otherwise, things can get out of hand. This breed can be a good family pet, but because of his large size, be sure to monitor small children, and don't forget about the guarding instincts in the breed; early socialization is a must.

Otherwise, the Great Pyrenees will become an amazing companion that you'll love. And the Great Pyrenees will certainly love you and the entire family back.