2014 - LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Gifts for Your Dog

Christmas Gifts for Your Dog
  Don't forget your best friend this Christmas; even those with four paws deserve a special treat under the tree.



1. Pet Tipi
  Wondering what to get your four-legged friend for Christmas this year? This pet tipi is the perfect gift for stylish cats and dogs. This tipi also comes with a handmade wool pompom garland to add a festive touch to your pet’s new abode. If you want to make your gift extra-special, the tipi can also be monogrammed with your pet’s name. If only it were suitable for humans…




2. Eskimo Dog Tent Bed

  After working like a dog at the office, canines (and cats) need some serious downtime. With its igloo/tent construction and plush, 100% eco-friendly recycled poly-fiberfill, they'll enjoy de-stressing in this warm and cozy retreat. 






3. Doggie Cigars
  More personality than the standard fetch sticks, these “cigars” add a dose of humor to your dog’s next run.

  We LOVE the petite Doggie Stogie. Perfect for classy small dogs! They are extremely durable and functional fetch sticks. They are flexible, allowing for maximum distance when thrown and are great for the teeth as there is no filler inside, just solid rope through and through 6" long. 


4. Personalised Christmas Pet Blanket
  This personalised Christmas pet blanket is so soft, cosy and festive. Cheerful and seasonal red fleece blanket with a dotty trim. Perfect for cuddling up in the cold winter months. Beautifully personalised with your pet's name in clear lettering. Makes a great gift for your own cat or dog or an animal loving friend.
  Handmade in Yorkshire, beautifully edged and embroidered with your pet's name. Perfect for placing into your pet’s bed for extra winter warmth, on the sofa for TV cuddles, in the car etc...
  Price includes an embroidered name of up to 12 characters.
  Available in 3 sizes for cats, dogs, bunnies and any pet who wants a super soft cuddly blanket for Christmas.

  Machine washable and fast drying.

5. Personalised Christmas Dog Bandana

  These Christmas dog bandanas are so cute and personalised with your dog's name too. Choose from two designs - "Yappy Christmas" or "Santa's little helper". The perfect way for your dog to join in the festive fun without dressing up in uncomfortable Christmas outfits.
vailable in 2 sizes to fit most dogs as they can be folded over easily before being tied at the neck. Can be worn at the front, side or back of the neck. Remember to leave a two finger gap when tying .

  Most dogs  can wear a Regular size as you simply fold over to tie according to the thickness of your dog’s neck. For extra small breeds such as Chihuahuas or dogs with very skinny necks  please order the Teeny size.

6. Equafleece jumper

  British designed and made, these soft Polartec fleece jumpers are 100 per cent water repellent, keeping your dog dry on wet walks. They also transform a wet dog into a dry dog within minutes. Pop a jumper onto your soggy doggy after a muddy walk and any smells or
debris will be trapped inside, leaving your car, home and office clean and dry. Machine washable and available in 10 colours.

7. Silver Glitter Feeding Platter

  This feeding platter will have your pet eating in style. Washable silver glitter PU fabric. Keep feeding areas neat and organized.



8. Sunburst Crate Mat


  Sleepy pup? Add a layer to a hard bottom crate with  a cotton mat bursting in a vibrant sunburst print. Designed to fit snuggly into standard crate sizes, these handsome, reversible mats make a comfortable home out of any crate. Also perfect for the kitchen floor, back seat of a car or as a portable bed. Sherpa on one side and 100% cotton fashion fabric on the other. Machine wash. Hang dry.   Dimensions: Small - 17" x 24" Medium - 21 x 30" Large - 23" x 35" .

9. Personalised Pet Christmas Stocking
  This personalised pet Christmas stocking is the perfect way to store all your pet's Christmas presents ready for the big day. Choose from red, pink or blue fleece. Beautifully personalised with your pet's name.
  Price includes an embroidered name of up to 11 characters.

  These generously sized fleece Christmas stockings measure 45cm long so will accommodate lots of Santa’s surprises.

10. Christmas Rawhide Dog Chews
  The perfect Christmas dog gift - yummy Christmas rawhide dog chews in the form of a festive rawhide snowman, penguin or gingerbread man. Will keep your dog occupied for ages while you eat your turkey dinner.
  This incredibly well designed and crafted Xmas dog chew makes a great Christmas gift and yummy treat for your dog.

  These festive rawhide goodies by Reg & Ruby are all wonderfully crafted and presented, made from 100% rawhide. All colours used are EC and FDA approved. This means that the whole gift can be eaten by your dog, once it has been admired.







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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Dog Safety Tips

Christmas Dog Safety Tips
   Christmas is a joyous time when we celebrate with family and friends. Those of us who have dogs include them in our holiday festivities. After all, they are part of our family and we want them to enjoy the holidays as much as we do.
  During the Christmas period we need to make sure that our dogs are able to cope with the festivities and that they stay healthy and happy.
   Like small children, dogs are curious, so it is your responsibility to puppy proof your home.

Christmas Tree Tips:

1. Prior to Christmas, when you are decorating your home and wrapping gifts, be sure to use caution.
2. Secure, hide or cover electrical cords and electronics. Holiday lights and decorations usually lead to many new cords being scattered around the house. Be sure all cords are taped down or completely out of reach for your pets as they can trip on them, chew them up, or even experience an electric shock.
3. Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet's wanting eyes. If this doesn't keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree's bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.
4. Dogs and Christmas Ornaments. Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel, or ribbon that fall on the floor. Your pet could experience serious internal injuries if any of these items are ingested. If you have a dog or cat that is tempted to play with the ornaments on your tree, decorate the bottom third of the tree with non-breakable, plastic, or wooden ornaments, or decorate only the top two-thirds of your tree. Make sure that your dog has plenty of dog toys available, so they do not become bored.
5.  Do not put lights on the tree's lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.
6.  No Feasting for the Furries . By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
7. Don’t forget Fido. In all the excitement of Christmas, don’t forget your dog. They will need the same amount of love, attention, grooming, walks and general care as they usually do. And don’t forget that pets are a great way for humans to de-stress, so stroking the dog has benefits for both of you.
  Many of us eat more than usual at Christmas and sit around a centrally heated house. But remember to take your dog for their usual walks. Enjoy the fresh air and time together. If you have visitors, why not ask them to come too. Everyone will come home rosy cheeked and refreshed.
8.  For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.
9. That Holiday Glow . Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
10. Careful with Cocktails . If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

!Children!
  If your dog is not used to children, take care if younger family members are visiting over the festive season. Older dogs especially can find young children hard to tolerate. Make sure any visiting children are told how to handle a dog and make sure they always show your dog respect. Do not leave children alone with a dog, any dog, at any time.

Remember the Dogs Trust mantra "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas". Never give a pet for Christmas, ever. Similarly, it is not a good idea to bring home a new family pet during the holiday season either. It is tempting to get a new pet during the holidays when everyone is home but bear in mind that Christmas is a hectic and noisy time of year, with lots of loud bangs from Xmas Crackers and lots of strangers going in and out of the house. This would not be an ideal time for any dog to settle stress-free into a new home.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Everything about your Boxer

Everything about your Boxer
  Boxers are silly, sweet and mischievous. They clown around with family and friends, are patient and playful with children, but show a deliberate and wary face to strangers, responding with unmatched courage to anything that threatens their loved ones. Those characteristics are why people love them.

Overview
  The Boxer is a breed of stocky, medium-sized, short-haired dogs developed in Germany. Their coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn or brindled, with or without white markings, which may cover the entire body, and white. Boxers are brachycephalic (they have broad, short skulls), have a square muzzle, mandibular prognathism (an underbite), very strong jaws, and a powerful bite ideal for hanging on to large prey. The Boxer was bred from the Old English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser, and is part of the Molosser group. The Boxer is a member of the Working Group.
  Boxers were first exhibited in a dog show for St. Bernards in Munich in 1895, the first Boxer club being founded the next year. Based on 2013 American Kennel Club statistics, Boxers held steady as the seventh most popular breed of dog in the United States for the fourth consecutive year.

Highlights
  • Boxers are high-energy dogs and need a lot of exercise. Make sure you have the time, desire, and energy to give them the play and activity they need.
  • Boxers are exuberant and will greet you ecstatically.
  • Early, consistent training is critical — before your Boxer gets too big to handle!
  • Although they are large, Boxers are not "outdoor dogs." Their short noses and short hair make them uncomfortable in hot and cold weather, and they need to be kept as housedogs.
  • Boxers mature slowly and act like rambunctious puppies for several years.
  • Boxers don't just like to be around their family — they need to be around them! If left alone for too long or kept in the backyard away from people, they can become ill-tempered and destructive.
  • Boxers drool, a lot. Boxers also snore, loudly.
  • Although they have short hair, Boxers shed, especially in the spring.
  • Boxers are intelligent and respond well to firm but fun training. They also have an independent streak and don't like to be bossed around or treated harshly. You'll have the biggest success in training your Boxer if you can make it fun for him.
  • Some Boxers take their guarding duties a little too seriously, while others may not exhibit any guarding instincts at all.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Boxers are big dogs with a big streak of mischief in their makeup. You’ll need a sense of humor to live with one.
  • Boxers are great watchdogs but not aggressive toward people unless the situation calls for it.
  • Boxers are athletic and excel in many dog sports, including agility and herding.
  • Boxers are lovers, not fighters, but they won’t back away from a showdown if another dog starts something.
  • Comparable Breeds: Bull Terrier, Bulldog
History 
  The Boxer was developed as a working breed in Germany in the late nineteenth century. He belongs to the family of bull breeds, which include the Bulldog, Bull Terrier and Dogue de Bordeaux, to name just a few.
  In his modern incarnation, the Boxer has existed for only about a century, but you can see hints of him in the dogs portrayed on old tapestries from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Those big Mastiff-type dogs may have been ancestors of the Boxer. They were known as bullenbeissers, a German word meaning “bull biter.” Bullenbeissers were used on great estates to bring down large game, and later they were employed by butchers and cattle drovers to keep livestock in line.
  The modern Boxer was born in the 1880s, when a man named George Alt, who lived in Munich, imported a brindle bullenbeisser named Flora from France. Her offspring became the foundation of the Boxer breed. It’s unclear whether the breed name comes from a corruption of the word “beisser” or is a reference to the breed’s habit of using his front paws in a fight. Boxers were trained for police work, were some of the earliest guide dogs and served in the German military during World War I as messengers and scouts.
  The American Kennel Club first registered a Boxer in 1904. The breed didn’t catch on right away, and the dislike for German breeds that occurred during World War I didn’t help matters any. It wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that the Boxer became a popular breed. In 1951, a Boxer named Bang Away won Best in Show at Westminster, the third Boxer to do so, and for the time, he was a rock star. You could see Bang Away’s photo in Lifeand Esquire, and when he flew to dog shows, he rode in the cabin of the plane, never in cargo. Only one other Boxer has won Westminster since the days of Bang Away, Ch. Arriba’s Prima Donna, who won in 1971.
  Boxers today are more refined and elegant than their ancestors, but they are still strong, smart, and fearless. The breed ranks seventh among those registered by the AKC.

Personality
  Boxers may look like imposing figures from afar, but up close and personal they are playful and loving family companions. Often dubbed the Peter Pan of dogs, Boxers are highly energetic, and as they grow into adulthood, they never lose the desire to romp and play like a puppy. Perpetual cuddle bugs, Boxers will try to wriggle into even the smallest spaces possible to get close to the ones they love. They love to be the center of attention and make a sound unique to their breed that some owners call a “Woo Woo.” When they want something they will make this “woo woo” sound to attract an audience.
  Protective of their family, Boxers are alert and reliable watchdogs, sounding the alarm that strangers are approaching. Their menacing, muscular appearance will deter anyone whose intent is not above board. Boxers get along well with other pets, including cats and make a loving and loyal addition to any active family.

Health 
  Some major concerns are cardiomyopathy and other heart problems, sub-aortic stenosis and thyroid. Can be prone to skin and other allergies. Sometimes prone to epilepsy. From age eight on they are more likely to get tumors than other breeds. Prone to cancer. Boxers are highly prone to mast cell tumors. Prone to arthritis, hip dysplasia, back and knee issues. These dogs may drool and snore. May have excessive flatulence, especially when fed something other than their own dog food. Some white Boxers are prone to deafness.

Care
  The Boxer’s coat needs just occasional brushing to get rid of dead hair. Daily physical and mental exercise is essential for the dog, which also loves to run. A long walk on leash or a good jog is enough to meet the dog’s exercise needs. It is not suited to live outdoors nor does it like hot weather. The dog is at its best when given a chance to spend equal time in the yard and home. Some Boxers may snore.

Living Conditions
  Boxers will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are fairly active indoors and do best with at least an average-sized yard. Boxers are temperature sensitive, getting easily overheated and chilling very quickly.

Exercise
  An active, athletic breed, Boxers need daily work or exercise, as well as a long brisk, daily walk. They also enjoy fetching a ball or other sessions of play.

Grooming
  The Boxer is an easy-care dog. His short, smooth coat benefits from weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush or rubber curry brush to keep it shiny and healthy and to remove dead hairs that would otherwise find their way to your clothes and furniture.
  Frequent baths are not necessary unless he gets dirty, but with the gentle dog shampoos available now, you can bathe a Boxer weekly if you want without harming his coat.
  Clean the ears as needed with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
   Trim the nails every couple of weeks or as needed. Don’t let them get so long that you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Children and other pets
  Boxers love kids and are great playmates for active older children. They can be too rambunctious for toddlers, however, and can accidentally knock them down in play.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Boxers can get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if they're raised with them.

Did You Know?
  White Boxers are not albinos and their coloration is not the result of a genetic mutation. In Boxers, white is just a color. But white dogs tend to burn in the sun and may be at increased risk of skin cancer.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Activities That Are Fun for Your Dog

Winter Activities That Are Fun for Your Dog
  The nights are colder, the days are shorter and your dog's favorite chew toy is buried under ten inches of snow. What a perfect day to play with your dog. While not all dogs care for snow in the same way, they all still need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy for life. Here are few games you can try to help boost your dog's energy and fitness level over the next few winter months.

  Winter weather shouldn't be an excuse to hibernate. There are tons of fun winter activities you can do with your dog - inside and out. If you want a happy dog, give him regular exercise, after all it will be good for both of you! 

Snowed in? Keep your pup stimulated

  Dogs are meant to be outdoors, love being outdoors, live for being outdoors. Keeping your dog well-exercised will help you both keep your sanity. Regardless of the season, professional dog behaviorist Nicola Anderson, suggests daily stimulation for your pet. I often recommend doing some basic obedience exercises with your dog – just about 10 minutes a day.

Play a game with your dog.

  Hide-and-seek is a wonderful way to get your dog up and moving and mentally engaged. You can hide a treat or her favorite toy, but it’s better to make her come find you. Start by throwing a treat to get her to go away from you, and then hide in another part of the house. This game can really tire your pup out as she rushes around searching, and it’s good for reinforcing the “come” command.

Treasure Hunt

  Try burying a stick, toy or even a treat in the snow. Then sit back and watch his natural tracking instinct kick in. For dogs that require a bit of help finding their reward, try hiding the object closer to your dog at first, then slowly burying it further away the better your dog gets at the game.

Skijoring

  Another fun activity is Skijoring, an activity where all that is required is you, your dog, and a pair of skis. Even small dogs will enjoy this outdoor activity.

Cross country skiing is a popular activity all throughout the snowbelt. Bring your dog along to enjoy the experience, and you’ll find he’s just as excited to help pull you along the trail. That’s what Skijoring is all about!

Challenge your dog’s nose.

  Dogs have incredibly powerful scenting abilities, so exercises that require your pal to use her nose are especially stimulating. Make her work for her dinner by creating an obstacle course she has to get through to find her food. Hide her meal in a box, or, better yet, put it in a Kong Wobbler or a Buster Ball.

Fetch, Catch and Beyond

  If your dog loves to fetch or catch rubber balls chances are he will love trying to do the same with snowball. Fair warning dogs really love this game so be prepared to make a large stockpile of snowballs, and be careful not to pack the show too much.

Tracking - Sniff in all that cold winter air and train your dog to track scents.
  Tracking is like a game for dogs...hide-and-seek. Tracking challenges a dog's problem solving skills and keeps their keen sense of smell active. It also rewarding when they successfully track a scent. Call a local trainer or find a good tracking training book to get started.

Tracking - Sniff in all that cold winter air and train your dog to track scents. 
  Tracking is like a game for dogs...hide-and-seek. Tracking challenges a dog's problem solving skills and keeps their keen sense of smell active. It also rewarding when they successfully track a scent. Call a local trainer or find a good tracking training book to get started.

Snow Shoe
  If the snow isn't outrageously deep, you can always have your dog join you for a snowshoe walk. Keep in mind you may have to leash your dog so be aware of the local park or trail bylaws.

  Some popular people activities are simply too dangerous to try to include your dog. While cross-country skiing seems passive and relaxing enough, skis are fun to chase for dogs and your pet may end up injuring himself.


Don’t be a wimp…get outdoors!

  Most bigger dogs love snow, and they can get a great workout by plowing through it. Spend 30 to 40 minutes in the snow, and your dog will get a workout that leaves her exhausted—and her muscles toned. When you come in, be sure to wash your dog’s paws to clean off any salt.



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Everything about your Afgan Hound

Everything about your Afgan Hound
  The Afghan Hound is considered an aristocratic sighthound. Tall and slender with a long, narrow, refined head, silky topknot and powerful jaws, the back part of the head and skull are quite prominent. The muzzle is slightly convex and the nose is black. The Afghan has little or no stop, which is the transition area from backskull to muzzle. The teeth should meet in a level or scissors bite. The dark eyes are almond shaped. The ears lie flat to the head. The neck is long and strong. The height at the withers should be almost level and the abdomen well tucked up. The hipbones are quite prominent. The front legs are strong and straight and the feet are large and covered with long hair. The tail has a curl or ring at the tip, but is not carried over the back. The long, rich, silky coat is most often the color of sand with a darker face and ear fringes, though all colors are permitted. White markings, however, are discouraged.

Overview
  The Afghan is built along greyhound-like lines, enabling it to execute a double-suspension gallop and run-down fleet game. The comparatively short back and steep pelvis helped it to leap great heights and to turn almost in place, essential attributes for coursing in rocky mountainous terrain. The large feet gave it a better foothold and were more resistant to injury on rough ground. The silky coat protected the dog from cold nights at high altitudes.   The Afghan appears dignified and aloof, with an exotic expression and proud carriage. This dog's gait shows great elasticity and spring; the Afghan moves with its head and tail high. 
  Despite its glamorous reputation, the Afghan hound is a hunter at heart, bred to chase down game over rugged terrain. While it maintains its regal bearings inside, it needs a daily chance to stretch its legs in a safe area. Its worst trait is a reluctance to come when called. It will chase small animals outside; inside, it will coexist peacefully. Though gentle with children, it may not be playful and interactive enough with them. Described by some as "catlike," it is independent yet sensitive and not overly demonstrative. It is reserved with strangers; some can be timid. It has a gay, clownish side.

Highlights
  • Grooming is essential. Only those who really enjoy grooming, or are willing to pay a professional groomer to do it, should consider an Afghan Hound.
  • The Afghan's natural hunting instinct prompts him to chase prey (the neighbor's cat, your son's rabbit, the third grade class hamster, etc.).
  • The Afghan Hound can be challenging to train due to his independent nature. Training can take a long time and requires patience. House training can be difficult. This breed can continue having accidents in the house up to about six months of age.
  • The Afghan Hound has a low pain tolerance. A minor wound is more bothersome to this breed than to other breeds, and this dog can sometimes seem whiny or babyish.
  • Afghan Hounds are sensitive and high-spirited and do not respond well to rough handling-so be gentle.
  • Although this particular breed is usually good and even loving with children, it is best if the puppy grows up with the children he'll live with and the children are mature enough to understand the importance of being considerate of this dog's sensitive nature.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Afghan’s coat can be any color or combination of colors, including black and tan.
  • The comedic actor Zeppo Marx was an early fan of the Afghan, importing two from Britain in 1931.
  • The Afghan Hound stands out for his distant gaze; long, silky topknot; beautiful coat; prominent hipbones; large feet; and ring tail.
  • Afghan Hounds won Best in Show at Westminster in 1957 and 1983.
Breed standards
AKC group: Hound
UKC group: Sighthound and Pariah
Average lifespan: 12 - 14 years
Average size: 50 - 64 pounds
Coat appearance: Thick, fine, silky
Coloration: Red, off-white, black
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Tall and slender with long, thin heads and defined skull bone; powerful jawline with black nose and long, outward muzzle; black, almond-shaped eyes; strong neck and flat ears; scooped abdomen, elongated tail, thick, furry and slick coat; lengthy front and hind legs
Possible alterations: May have white markings; coat is kept long with face exposed
Comparable Breeds: American Foxhound, Anatolian Shepherd Dog



History 
  The Afghan Hound is from Afghanistan, but little is known of his early history or how long he has existed. A drawing of one of the dogs, sent home by Thomas Duer Broughton while he was in India in 1809, was published in a book of letters in 1813, so the breed has certainly been around for more than 200 years and likely very much longer. Studies of the canine genome indicate that the Afghan descends from one of the oldest types of dogs.
The dogs in Afghanistan were found in several different types, depending on the region they were from. Dogs from mountainous areas were more compact with darker, heavier coats, while desert-dwelling dogs were more rangy, with coats that were lighter in both color and volume. They were used to course fast-running game such as deer and antelope, as well as hares, wolves and jackals. Hunting in partnership with falcons, they flushed quail and partridges for the falcon to bring down or the hunter to shoot.
  British military officers brought the dogs to the West after being posted to the India-Afghanistan border. The dogs died out in Europe during World War I because food shortages limited the breeding and keeping of dogs, but breeding began again in 1920 when some desert-type Afghans were imported to Scotland by people who had been stationed in Baluchistan. Some of the mountain-type dogs were sent from Kabul to England in 1925.   During the same decade, Americans imported some of the Afghans from Britain. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1926, but the Afghan Hound Club of America wasn’t formed until 1937. Today the Afghan ranks 86th among the breeds registered by the AKC.



Personality
  The Afghan Hound is typically a one-person or one-family dog. Do not look for this hound to eagerly greet your guests. More likely, he will offend them by being indifferent to their presence. While some hounds may bark once or twice when a stranger enters the home, this breed is not known to be a good watchdog.
  The independent thinking of the Afghan makes it a challenge to train. This hound is generally not motivated by food and does not possess as strong a desire to please as many other breeds . Though the Afghan makes a stunning presentation in the show ring, for example, more than one professional handler has been embarrassed in the ring by a refusal to cooperative. Even so, this breed is known for outperforming other breeds when the decision to do so is his own.
  Rough handling can cause this dog to become withdrawn or mildly antagonistic. Gentle handling, kindness, and patience work best with this breed, along with an understanding that there will be times when the dog simply will not cooperate.

Health
  The Afghan Hound, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, is not susceptible to any major health concerns. It should be noted that the breed can suffer from tail injuries and reacts to barbiturate anesthesia. Health ailments like canine hip dysplasia (CHD), cataract and necrotic myelopathy are also occasionally seen in the breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip and eye exams on the dog.

Care
  This perfect house dog requires careful brushing and combing of its coat. Special care should be given at the time when the dog sheds its puppy coat. The Afghan Hound also requires daily exercise such as a long walk or a short sprint. In fact, this hound loves to run at a fast pace in small areas. Afghan Hound lovers should make it a point to provide the dog outdoor access and a nice, soft bed.

Living Conditions
  The Afghan Hound is not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with acreage. This breed can live in or outdoors, although it would be happier sleeping indoors.

Exercise
  The Afghan Hound needs to be taken on a long daily walk or jog. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. Teach them to enter and exit door and gateways after the humans. They will also enjoy running free in an open, fenced, safe area.

Grooming
  The Afghan Hound has long, thick, silky hair with a fine texture. The coat does not need to be clipped or trimmed; the dog wears it in all its glory. The finishing touch is a topknot of long, silky hair.
  Grooming is an essential part of living with an Afghan. Plan to brush and comb the Afghan Hound’s thick, silky hair three times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles, and bathe him as needed. You may want to invest in a professional dog blow dryer if you bathe him frequently.
  The Afghan sheds moderately. The more often you brush him, the less hair you will have falling off the dog and onto your floors, furniture and clothing.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails at least monthly, and keep the long, hanging ears clean and dry to prevent infections. At mealtime, you’ll probably want to put the ears up in a snood to keep them from dragging in the food dish. Good dental hygiene is also important. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is this breed right for you?
  The Afghan Hound is a playful pup who needs and loves a lot of exercise. Great companions with a love of the outdoors, Afghan Hounds need a home that will give them plenty of space to stretch their legs. Best as one person's pet or as the only pet of the family with older children, Afghan Hounds will need an owner that can devote plenty of time to grooming their long, beautiful, thick coat.

Children and other pets
  The Afghan's independent nature and large size make him best suited as an adult companion. The Afghan is not likely to want to follow around and play with children. In fact, a child's quick movements and noise level can startle the Afghan. With proper socialization, though, the Afghan can adjust to life in a family with children and be loving and with them.
  The Afghan tends to most enjoy the company of his own kind-other Afghan Hounds. The Afghan will tolerate, even be indifferent, to other pets in a household. Not surprisingly, the Afghan's hunter's instinct leads him to chase small animals, especially if they run away.

In popular culture
  Because of its distinctive appearance, the Afghan hound has been represented in animated feature films and TV shows, including Universal Pictures' Balto (Sylvie), Disney's Lady and the Tramp II (Ruby), and Brainy Barker from Krypto the Superdog, an Afghan hound also appeared on 101 Dalmatians as well as in 102 Dalmatians as one of the dogs in Cruella De Vil's party and the television series What-a-Mess (Prince Amir of Kinjan; based on children's books by Frank Muir) and, as Prissy in the 1961 Disney animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians and 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure. Afghan hounds have also been featured in television advertisements and in fashion magazines. The Afghan hound is represented in books as well, including being featured in a series of mystery novels by Nina Wright (Abra), and a talking Afghan Hound in David Rothman's The Solomon Scandals (2008, Twilight Times Books). In the novel Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf uses an Afghan hound (named Sohrab) to represent aspects of one of the book's human characters.
  On August 3, 2005, Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk announced that his team of researchers had become the first team to successfully clone a dog, an Afghan Hound named Snuppy. In 2006 Hwang Woo-Suk was dismissed from his university position for fabricating data in his research. Snuppy, nonetheless, was a genuine clone, and thus the first cloned dog in history.
  The Afghan Hound features prominently in the avant-garde music video of popular French band M83's, "Set in Stone ."

Did You Know?
  British military officers brought this breed to the West after being posted to the India-Afghanistan border.

A dream day in the life of an Afghan Hound
  Waking up early in the morning with a bowl of chow, the Afghan Hound is ready and waiting for his morning grooming session. After a good brushing, he's yearning to get out and explore the outside world. He'll chase squirrels right off the property while his owner applauds, and after a few laps around the backyard, he'll engage in a wonderful game of play with his master. Going inside for a nice nap, he'll sleep at his owner's feet as he's lovingly brushed down for the second time that day. Another few runs in the yard and the Afghan Hound will happily snuggle down in his dog bed.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Everything about your Shih Tzu

Everything about your Shih Tzu
  Shih Tzu are lively and energetic companions. Yet, they are also amazingly low-key and satisfied—assuming they get an adequate amount of attention. They like nothing better than to be held, stroked, petted and pampered by their owners, and are perfectly happy sitting on the couch with you for hours while you dote on them. This is a noble breed—sometimes translating into arrogance and haughtiness, other times into courageousness and politeness—but they are never too proud for a roll on the floor with a treasured squeaky toy.

Overview
  Compact, yet slightly longer than it is tall, the Shih Tzu hides a sturdy body beneath its mantle of luxurious hair. It has a smooth, effortless stride with good reach and drive. Even though its function is that of companion, it should nonetheless be structurally sound. Its expression is warm, sweet and wide-eyed, imparting the impression of trust and friendliness. The long, dense coat is double and fairly straight. 
  The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is both a gentle lap dog and a vivacious companion. It has an upbeat attitude and loves to play and romp. It is affectionate to its family and good with children. It is surprisingly tough and does have a stubborn streak.


Highlights
  • There is no such breed as an "imperial" or "teacup" Shih Tzu. These are simply marketing terms used by unscrupulous breeders use to indicate a very small or large Shih Tzu.
  • Shih Tzus are difficult to housebreak. Be consistent, and do not allow a puppy to roam the house unsupervised until he is completely trained. Crate training is helpful.
  • The flat shape of the Shih Tzu's face makes him susceptible to heat stroke, because the air going into the lungs isn't cooled as efficiently as it is among longer-nosed breeds. He should be kept indoors in air-conditioning rooms during hot weather.
  • Be prepared to brush and comb the Shih Tzu coat every day. It mats easily.
  • While Shih Tzus are trustworthy with children, they're not the best choice for families with toddlers or very young children because their small size puts them at risk for unintentional injury.
  • The Shih Tzu tends to wheeze and snore, and can be prone to dental problems.
  • While all dogs eat their own or other animals' feces (coprophagia), the Shih Tzu seems especially prone to this behavior. The best way to handle the problem is never let it become a habit. Watch your Shih Tzu closely and clean up poop right away.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Shih Tzus are often called chrysanthemum dogs because of the way their hair grows up from the nose and around the face in all directions.
  • The Shih Tzu may have originated in Tibet, bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
  • The Shih Tzu is prized for his small size, sweet nature, flowing coat, and intelligent mind.
  • The name is pronounced SHEED-zoo.
  • Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Pekingese
History
  DNA analysis placed the ancestors of today's Shih Tzu breed in the group of "ancient" breeds indicating "close genetic relationship to wolves". Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.
  It is also said that the breed originated in China, hence the name "Lion Dog", in 800BC. There are various theories of the origins of today's breed. Theories relate that it stemmed from a cross between Pekingese and a Tibetan dog called the Lhasa Apso. Dogs during ancient times were selectively bred and seen in Chinese paintings. The dogs were favorites of the Chinese royals and were so prized that for years the Chinese refused to sell, trade, or give away any of the dogs. The first dogs of the breed were imported into Europe (England and Norway) in 1930, and were classified by the Kennel Club as "Apsos". The first European standard for the breed was written in England in 1935 by the Shih Tzu Club, and the dogs were recategorised as Shih Tzu. The breed spread throughout Europe, and was brought to the United States after World War II, when returning members of the US military brought back dogs from Europe, in the mid 1950s. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 in the Toy Group.
  The breed is now recognized by all of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world. It is also recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale for international competition in Companion and Toy Dog Group, Section 5, Tibetan breeds. In the United States, the Shih Tzu ranked the 15th most popular breed in 2013, falling slightly in popularity since 2012, when it was placed in 11th position.



Temperament
  The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively, little dog. It is happy and hardy, and packed with character. The gentle, loyal Shih Tzu makes friends easily and responds well to consistent, patient training. It makes a very alert watchdog. It is courageous and clever.
  Playful and spunky, this affectionate little dog likes to be with people and is generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak. The Shih Tzu needs all of the humans in the house to be pack leaders, with the rules of the house made consistently clear.   Owners who allow their dogs to take over may find them to be snappish if they are surprised or peeved. Because of this dog’s small size and its adorable face, it commonly develops Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is the boss of humans. This causes a varying degree of behavioral issues, such as, but not limited to separation anxiety, guarding, growling, snapping, and even biting. These dogs may become untrustworthy with children and sometimes adults, as they try and tell the humans what THEY want THEM to do. They will be obstinate as they take their stand and defend their top position in the pack. They may bark obsessively as they try and TELL you what they want. These behaviors are NOT Shih Tzu traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way they are treated by people around them. Give this dog rules and limits as to what it is and is not allowed to do. Be its firm, stable, consistent pack leader. Take it for daily pack walks to burn mental and physical energy. Its temperament will improve for the better, and you will bring out the sweet, trustworthy dog in it.

Health
  The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 11 to 16 years. Some of the minor diseases that can affect this breed are renal dysplasia (abnormal growth of tissue), trichiasis (eyelash malformation), entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), otitis externa, patellar luxation, and inguinal (groin) hernia, as well as a major concern like canine hip dysplasia (CHD). This breed is also prone to cataract and dental problems. Eye, hip, and DNA tests can be good for preventive health care, or for management of non-preventive conditions.

Care
  The Shih Tzu doesn't really mind where he lives, as long as he's with you. He's a very adaptable dog who can be comfortable in a small city apartment or a large suburban or country home. He is definitely a housedog and should not be kenneled outside, though he enjoys a bit of backyard play.
  The Shih Tzu is content with short walks each day. He is not an extremely active dog; he's content to sit in your lap, wander around the house, play with his toys, or run to the door to  greet visitors.
  Like other breeds with short faces, the Shih Tzu is sensitive to heat. He should remain indoors in an air-conditioned room (or one with fans) on hot days so he doesn't suffer from heat exhaustion.
  No, the breed cannot fly; but owners commonly report that their Shih Tzu thinks he can. It not unusual for a Shih Tzu to fearlessly jump from a bed or a chair. While they may not seem high to you, these heights are towering to the small Shih Tzu. And, unfortunately, these jumps often end in injury. The breed is front heavy and crashes forward, causing injury or even a concussion to the head. Be very careful when carrying your Shih Tzu. Hold him securely and don't let him jump out of your arms or off furniture.
Even though he's naturally docile and friendly, the Shih Tzu needs early socialization and training. Like any dog, he can become timid if he is not properly socialized when young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Shih Tzus are often considered difficult to housebreak. Most important is to avoid giving your puppy opportunities to have accidents inside — you don't want him to become accustomed to using the carpet. (Some Shih Tzu owners teach their dogs to use a doggie litter box so they don't need to walk them in bad weather or rush home to take them out.) A Shih Tzu puppy should be carefully supervised inside the house until he has not eliminated indoors for at least four to eight weeks. Crate training is helpful for housetraining and provides your dog with a quiet place to relax. A crate is also useful when you board your Shih Tzu or travel.

Living Conditions
  The Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.

Exercise
  The Shih Tzu needs a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of its exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill its primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard. Do not overfeed this breed or it will quickly become fat.

Grooming
  These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. When kept in a long coat a topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog's eyes. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time-consuming to care for. Keep the ear passages and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that need to be kept clean. There are special drops you can buy to put in them if needed. Ask your vet what to use on your dog. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers if its coat is kept very well groomed, due to the fact that they shed little skin dander.

Children and other pets
  The Shih Tzu is a wonderful family pet. He gets along with other dogs or animals, and his docile personality makes him a good companion for children. Kids should sit on the floor to play with a Shih Tzu puppy, however, so there is no risk of carrying and dropping him. Children should also learn to keep their fingers away from the Shih Tzu's prominent eyes, which can be easily injured.

Did You Know?
One of the more ancient breeds in existence, Shih Tzus are believed to have been bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
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