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.