LUV My dogs: Alaska

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Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Everything about your Alaskan Klee Kai

Everything about your Alaskan Klee Kai
  The Alaskan Klee Kai was developed fairly recently by a woman in Alaska who took a strong interest in a small dog resembling a Husky. Over time other breeders became interested in furthering the development of the Alaskan Klee Kai; however, it is still considered a rare breed.

Overview
  Small, smart, and energetic, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively new breed that looks like a smaller version of the Siberian Husky, and even the name “Klee Kai” comes from an Inuit term meaning “small dog.” While Alaskan Klee Kais may resemble larger Husky breeds, they have some key differences, especially when it comes to temperament, that distinguish it from its ancestor working class dogs of the north. 
  This breed is more suited to the life of a companion, though the Alaskan Klee Kai shares the high energy of the Huskies and demands plenty of exercise. They also tend to be shy around strangers and are prone to expressing their emotions with whines and barks. An inexperienced owner would find it difficult to take on the challenge of caring for an Alaskan Klee Kai, but for an owner that keeps up with training and physical activity, this breed is sweet, loyal, and happy to shower loved ones with affection.

Highlights
  • The words "Klee Kai" come from an Inuit term meaning "small dog," which is appropriate for this breed that is a smaller version of its Husky ancestors.
  • The breed hails from Alaska where it was developed in the 1970s and 1980s to be a companion dog, rather than a working sled dog.
  • Although it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, Alaskan Klee Kais are a recognized breed in the United Kennel Club and the American Rare Breed Association among others.
  • Solid white Alaskan Klee Kais do exist, but breed standards do not include this coat color.
  • Although they can shed a lot, Alaskan Klee Kais do not require much grooming and mostly take care of themselves.
  • Because they are skittish around strangers, these dogs require early socialization training that should last for the rest of their lives if they are to be friendly to unfamiliar faces.
  • The high prey drive of the Alaskan Klee Kai may make them ill suited for homes with other small pets such as cats, rabbits, hamsters, etc. Though they love their human families, small children that are not taught how to interact with dogs may inadvertently hurt Alaskan Klee Kais during play or provoke them to nip or snap.
Breed standards

Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
UKC group: Northern Breed
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 10 to 15 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coat
Coloration: red and white, black and white, or gray and white, though solid white 
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: families with older children, apartment, houses with/without yards, active singles and seniors
Temperament: Intelligent, energetic, loyal, curious
Comparable Breeds: Siberian Husky, American Eskimo Dog

History
  The breed was developed in Wasilla, Alaska, from the early 1970s to 1988 by Linda S. Spurlin and her family. The breed was developed with Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, using Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog to bring down the size without dwarfism. She bred these dogs in private until she released them to the general public in 1988. Originally called the Klee Kai, the breed split into Alaskan Klee Kai and Klee Kai for political reasons in 1995. 
  The breed consolidated as its current name in 2002. Though a relatively new breed the Alaskan Klee Kai has a rich history. They are extremely energetic and intelligent, and their northern heritage is evident in their appearance. In contrast to Siberian Huskies, which were originally bred as sled dogs, the Alaskan Klee Kai were bred as companion dogs. The Alaskan Klee Kai was officially recognized by the American Rare Breed Association  in 1995 and by the United Kennel Club  on January 1, 1997.



Personality
  Alaskan Klee Kais are intelligent, energetic, and loving to their families. They don't much care for strangers and require lifelong socialization training if they are to be friendly to new people. Their wariness of new faces does, however, make them excellent watchdogs. When it comes to training, Alaskan Klee Kais are quick to pick up on basic commands and may even find themselves at the top of the class. 
  They are eager to please and highly food motivated, and they are more than capable of taking on agility training, which can help burn off some of their high energy throughout the day. Once they have at least a good, long walk and a healthy play session, they're usually happy to spend the rest of the day being couch potatoes, but neglect their exercise needs, and they may become bored, anxious, and destructive. Be careful on walks, as these dogs have a high prey drive that may cause them to bolt if they see wildlife. Alaskan Klee Kais love to be the centers of attention in their families, but they will also be vocal when their needs are not being met. Though they do not tend to be overly mouthy and are generally quieter than their Husky forbears, they will bark and whine to express their displeasure, and they can be sensitive.

Health
  The Alaskan Klee Kai is considered to be quite a healthy breed with few genetic problems. However, owners should be aware that the breed is predisposed to certain conditions that they should keep an eye out for, including luxating patella, thyroid disease, heart conditions, liver shunts, factor VII deficiency, and cataracts. They may also keep their baby teeth, which can cause problems when adult teeth grow in. They may need to have these teeth removed.

Care
  When it comes to Alaskan Klee Kai care, it is very important to make sure their exercise needs are met, as they may become high strung and anxious if they do not have an outlet to burn off energy. Like any dog breed, they require regular teeth brushings, nail clippings, and ear cleanings. You should ask your veterinarian about your dog's specific needs.

Living Conditions
  Because of their size, these dogs can live in an apartment, but a house with at least a small yard is recommended.

Training
  Due to its high intelligence, the Alaskan Klee Klai typically responds well to training. These dogs are quick learners and they enjoy being given a task to complete. For this reason, Alaskan Klee Klais excel in obedience training as well as agility – agility training also gives the dog a way to exercise its brain as well as its body. Because this breed is prone to developing Small Dog Syndrome, it is essential that you start training early and that you maintain a firm and consistent hand.

Exercise Requirements
  The Alaskan Klee Klai is a very active and energetic breed that requires a significant amount of daily exercise. This breed can be adaptable to apartment life but you will need to take the dog for a long walk on a daily basis. Regular playtime is also encouraged to help this breed work off its energy.

Grooming
  Unlike many other breeds, Alaskan Klee Kais do not usually develop a dog odor, and they generally like to groom themselves, so they may not need to bathe as frequently as some other dogs. They will likely need regular brushing during the seasons in which their coats blow out, which happens before summer and winter. During this time, they tend to shed profusely, while they only shed moderately the rest of the year.

Children And Other Pets
  The Alaskan Klee Kai is a dedicated family dog that loves its humans, even children. However, they are small dogs, and children that are very young are not always taught how to interact with animals. They may injure or provoke Alaskan Klee Kais to nip. Children should always be supervised when playing with dogs, and the Alaskan Klee Kai is no exception to that rule. 
  Alaskan Klee Kais are usually good with other dogs, especially if they have been socialized early on, though they have a high prey drive. This makes them ill suited for homes that have smaller pets unless they are specifically trained to live with them.

Is the Alaskan Klee Kai the Right Breed for you?
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Alaskan Klee Kai is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Everything about your American Eskimo Dog

Everything about your American Eskimo Dog
  Charming, intelligent, warm and friendly, American Eskimo Dogs are also slightly reserved. Their loyalty to family and home can be intense: Some American Eskimo Dogs will keep strangers from entering the home until their master approves. This makes them a superb watchdog—they are protective without being aggressive.

Overview
  The soft, white, and fluffy American Eskimo is sometimes referred to as "The Dog Beautiful." The Eskie is clever, active and mischievous. If you don’t have those same qualities in equal or greater amounts, he’ll have you wrapped around his little white paw in no time flat. This Spitz breed has many excellent qualities, including three different sizes, but he’s not the right breed for everyone.
  The Eskie twinkles up at you with a keen, alert expression. He loves to have a good time and is always ready for an adventure. His curious and comical nature is sure to make you laugh several times a day. He is sensitive and dislikes discord among family members. Don’t argue in front of him; he won’t like it.
  He bonds deeply to his people, but he is not necessarily the best choice for a family with young children. He can be impatient with being hugged or manhandled and skittish at being approached too quickly. He’s wary of strangers and makes an excellent watchdog. Sometimes, he’s too good a watchdog. It’s not unusual for him to become a nuisance barker, so while his size is perfect for apartment living, his noise level might not be unless someone is home to control him.
  Train the Eskie with patience and consistency and he will be surprisingly responsive. For best results, use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards.
  Last but not least, it should go without saying that a people-loving dog like the American Eskimo needs to live in the house. It’s an unhappy Eskie who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.

Highlights
  • Eskies are happy, active, intelligent dogs. They thrive on activity. Plan on keeping your Eskie busy with training classes, games, romps at a dog park, or hikes. A busy Eskie is unlikely to become bored — a state you want to avoid with this breed, because boredom leads to excessive barking, inappropriate chewing, and other annoying behaviors.
  • The Eskie needs to be with his family, so don't plan on leaving him alone for long periods at a time, or he may develop separation anxiety.
  • If you are a confident leader, you'll enjoy life with an Eskie. If you're not, you're apt to have an Eskie that's leading you.
  • Do not trust even a well-trained and well-socialized Eskie with small pets such as birds, hamsters, and gerbils. Chances are, he will succumb to his instincts and give chase.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
Other Quick Facts
  • The American Eskimo was a popular circus dog in the early 20th century.
  • The American Eskimo comes in three sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard.
Breed Standards
AKC : Non-sporting
UKC Northern Breeds
Breed Group: Non-Sporting 
Height:
Toy: 9–12 inches and 6–10 lbs
Miniature: 12–15 inches and 10–17 lbs
Standard: 15–20 inches and 18–25 lbs
Weight: 7 to 10 pounds; 11 to 20 pounds; 20 to 40 pounds 
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Coat: The American Eskimo Dog has a two-layered coat. The undercoat is short and dense, and the outer coat consists of long straight hair. The coat is thicker and longer around the chest and neck, giving the appearance of a mane. American Eskimo Dogs must be white or biscuit cream--any other color is unacceptable. The American Eskimo Dog sheds twice a year.
Comparable Breeds: Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed



History
  The American Eskimo Dog undoubtedly descended from several European spitz breeds, including the white Keeshond from Holland, the white German Spitz, the white Pomeranian from Germany and the Volpino Italiano, or white Italian Spitz. During the middle part of the 19th century, small, white Nordic-type dogs were common in American communities of German immigrants. Collectively, these dogs became referred to as the American Spitz.   This spunky breed gained extreme popularity for use as trick dogs in traveling circuses across the United States. Supposedly, an American Eskimo named Stout’s Pal Pierre walked on a tightrope in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. The public loved seeing their sparkling white coats and quickness, while trainers prized them for these attributes along with their inherent intelligence, agility and trainability.
  Although the reason is not clear, the American Spitz was renamed the American Eskimo in 1917. This modern title mistakenly suggests that these are miniature versions of larger sled-pulling dogs developed in the far northern parts of this continent. The change from “Spitz” to “Eskimo” may be explained by the political climate in the United States during World War I. “Spitz” is a German work that means “sharp point” and was used to describe northern dogs with pointed muzzles, erect ears, curled tails and double coats, and it has been suggested that the name change was an attempt to distance the breed in America from its German origins.
   The national parent club for the breed, the American Eskimo Dog Club of America (AEDCA), was formed in 1985 and opened its studbook in 1986. The AEDCA transferred its studbook to the American Kennel Club in 1993, with more than 1,750 Eskies registered as foundation stock. The American Eskimo Dog became part of the AKC’s Non-Sporting Group and fully recognized in 1995. Eskies are competitive in obedience, agility, rally and the conformation show ring. They are used as narcotics detection dogs and even guard dogs. While popular in the United States, this breed is little-known in other countries.

Personality
  The Eskie is smart, friendly and a good communicator. His alert nature makes him an excellent watchdog, but beware! He is highly vocal. Train him from a very early age that excessive barking isn’t permitted.
  An American Eskimo will let you know what he wants through glances and barks. A look at the cookie jar, followed by a look at you and a look back at the jar sends a very clear message. Hypnotized by his dark eyes and smiling face, you’ll find yourself mindlessly handing him a treat.
  The Eskie gets along with most everyone he meets, but he’s not always patient with tight squeezes from children. Closely supervise interactions with young children, and teach them how to pet the Eskie gently. An American Eskimo should never be shy or aggressive. Say no thanks if a puppy or his parents aren’t approachable.
  Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines  to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines  have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
  Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Whatever you want from an Eskie, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

Health
  The American Eskimo is a hardy breed with an average life span of 12–15 years.This breed tends to become overweight easily, so proper diet and exercise is needed to maintain an overall well being. Health testing should be performed by all responsible breeders and anyone purchasing a puppy should be aware of the genetic problems which have been found in some individuals of the breed, such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), luxating patella, and hip dysplasia). None of these problems are common and the breed is generally very healthy. In addition to the rarer problems mentioned, the breed can have a tendency towards allergies and most commonly, tear-staining. This breed also is known in some cases to have dental issues.

Activity
  The standard American Eskimo Dog needs a good workout every day and should be taken for a long jog or walk. Provide plenty of water and shade during exercise to avoid overheating from the heavy coat. Eskies enjoy dog sports. Without interaction they may become bored and destructive.

Care
  All Eskies love cold weather. However, because they create close attachments to their human family, they should be allowed to live indoors. The Eskie's double coat must be combed and brushed twice a week, more during its shedding periods. The Eskie is also very energetic and requires a vigorous workout daily, although the duration of the workout is determined by the dog's size. For example, a larger Eskie requires a long walk or brisk jog, while short walks or a fun outdoor game are sufficient forms of exercise for smaller Eskies.

Living Conditions
  The American Eskimo will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.

Training
  There are a few reasons why the American Eskimo Dog was used in circuses. Easily trainable, the Eskie loves to learn tricks. You’ll need to take the leadership role fast, because when this breed senses it can take control over the situation, it will take it. And because it is so intelligent, it will sense when confident leadership is lacking. To get the best results out of training, use positive reinforcement. Once you’ve completed basic training, be sure to enroll your dog in more advanced courses – it will help to stimulate your dog’s mind.
  The American Eskimo Dog is a natural born watchdog, so there’s no training necessary. And even though this breed is a watchdog, it will not develop aggressive traits. Start training as soon as possible for the best results.

Grooming
  The Eskie has a double coat: a dense undercoat topped by longer guard hairs. He has a ruff around the neck, which is more prominent on males than on females. The backs of the legs and the tail are also furry.
  Brush the Eskie’s straight, thick coat a couple of times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles. Plan to brush it more often when he’s shedding to keep loose hair off your clothes and furniture. You’ll need a slicker brush, pin brush and metal Greyhound comb. Bathe the Eskie about every three months.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks, and brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Eskie is an excellent family dog who's affectionate with everyone, including kids of all ages, other dogs, and cats. Of course, adults should always supervise interactions between kids and dogs; the Eskie's high energy level can be overwhelming to extremely young children, so supervision is especially important.
  The Eskie does not receive high marks for living in peace with small mammals and birds, which he tends to chase.

Is this breed right for you?
  An active and intelligent breed, the American Eskimo Dog requires a lot of attention and firm training. Doing well with kids and animals, this working dog enjoys being busy. Not recommended for apartment life, the Eskie needs a lot of daily exercise and a yard to play freely in. 
  It's essential that he receives training, firm leadership and attention. If not, it's likely that the Eskie will act out and display negative behaviors. A true watchdog, he will protect the family from strangers but is happily friendly with family members and friends. In need of a lot of grooming, this breed needs twice-weekly to daily brushing.

Did You Know?
  The American Eskimo breed was developed by 19th-century German immigrants in the United States and was known for a while as the American Spitz

A dream day in the life of a American Eskimo Dog
  An alert breed, it's likely the American Eskimo Dog will be awake before any other family members. Out the door to scour the yard for any intruders or to work the farm, this breed will be happy to trot around until he hears someone in the kitchen. After his daily walk, the Eskie will be happy to receive a bit of petting and praise. Playing around with the kids, he'll keep himself busy going in and out of the house. Lying at the foot of his master at the end of the day, the Eskie will keep his ears up all night for anything that doesn't sound right.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything about your Alaskan Malamute

Everything about your Alaskan Malamute
  A close cousin to the Samoyed, Siberian Husky and American Eskimo Dog, the Alaskan Malamute is a Nordic sled dog named after one of Alaska's native tribes. Not a racing breed, the Alaskan Malamute is built to pull heavy sled loads over lengthy distances. Very respected, this dog not only has a high endurance level and athletic ability, but a high willingness to work as well. A smart breed, the Alaskan Malamute enjoys any form of activity and has a deep love for its owner.
  The Alaskan Malamute features a powerful, sturdy body built for stamina and strength. It reigns as one of the oldest dog breeds whose original looks have not been significantly altered. This intelligent canine needs a job and consistent leadership to avoid becoming bored or challenging to handle.

Overview
  The Alaskan Malamute is a big, powerful dog who was bred to pull sleds in harsh terrain and brutal climates. Consider that fact carefully if you're at all unsure about your ability to walk a dog like that on a leash. And a leash is not optional equipment when it comes to a Malamute; not only does he roam, often for miles and days, but he’s usually ready to mix it up with other dogs and will hunt and kill wildlife and cats.
  Malamutes also extremely difficult to keep behind a fence, as they are expert diggers and climbers. If you want them back, Malamutes need to be microchipped and have an ID tag on their collars at all times. And while working Malamutes often live happily in kennel situations – because they get lots of exercise and plenty of interesting work to do -- relegating a Malamute to the backyard isn't a great idea, unless you like holes the size of a swimming pool, and your neighbors like howling. Not to mention that he'll probably not be there when you get home, since he considers fences to be interesting challenges rather than genuine obstacles.
  If none of that deters you, then you might be ready to consider some of the pluses to the Alaskan Malamute. He's handsome, with a primeval look that can make you feel the snowy winds of the tundra even when you're standing on a suburban lawn. And he absolutely adores children, although as with all large, powerful dogs, careful supervision is required.
  Malamutes can be affected by a few genetic diseases, and there are temperament problems in the breed, so be careful to get your dog from either an experienced breeder who does genetic screening and temperament tests on her dogs, or a reputable rescue group that evaluates them for temperament and suitability for your family and lifestyle.

Highlights
  • Not recommended for the first time dog owner as their intelligence combined with stubbornness can make them a challenge for someone not savvy in dog behavior.
  • Malamutes will challenge for alpha or top position in the household. Everyone who lives with the dog must be able to properly deal with this and clearly establish all family members as higher ranking than the Malamute.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are notorious diggers. Any fencing should be buried so they cannot dig out of their yard.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are a powerful, independent dog who, if not properly trained or exercised, can become destructive or bored.
  • With early socialization and training, Malamutes can learn to get along with other dogs and indoor cats. They'll view outdoor cats and other small animals as fair game.
  • Their high prey drive can cause a Malamute to stalk and kill small animals, including birds, squirrels, cats and even smaller dogs. They need to be properly socialized and introduced to other companion animals.
  • Alaskan Malamutes shed heavily twice a year. Their thick double coats are not suited for hot climates.
  • Generally a quiet breed, Malamutes rarely bark. They do hold conversations with you, vocally expressing themselves with "woo woo" sounds or loud, extensive howls.
  • 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
  • The Alaskan Malamute is a freighting dog, built to pull heavy loads for long distances. He is highly athletic with a well muscled body, deep chest, strong legs and a plume of a tail that waves over his back.
  • An Alaskan Malamute’s head is broad with prick ears and dark-brown eyes. He has distinctive markings: a cap over the head and a face that is either all white or marked with a bar or mask. The coat comes in several colors, including white , and gray, black, sable and red, all with white on the belly, legs, feet and face.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working group
UKC group: Northern Breed Group
Average lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Average size: 75 - 85 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coated with thick, coarse top coat and oily, wooly undercoat
Coloration: Wolf gray, black, black and white or sable with possible red markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Athletically built with strong frame, erect ears, almond-shaped eyes that are dark in color, large fluffy tail
Possible alterations: May be all white in color or have blue eyes.

Comparable Breeds: Akita, Siberian Husky

History
  In some accounts, the Alaskan Malamute is described as a descendant of dogs of the Mahlemut group of Inupiat in upper western Alaska. These dogs had a prominent role with their human companions – as a utilitarian dog, working, hunting, and living alongside humans.The dogs were renowned for their excellent hunting abilities and were used to hunt large predators such as bears. They also aided their owners in finding seals by alerting to seal blow holes. The interdependent relationship between the Mahlemut and their dogs fostered prosperity among both and enabled them to flourish in the inhospitable land above the Arctic Circle.
  For a brief period during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, the Malamute and other sled dogs became extremely valuable to recently landed prospectors and settlers, and were frequently crossbred with imported breeds. This was often an attempt to improve the type, or to make up for how few true Malamutes were available to purchase. This seems to have had no long-standing effect on the modern Malamute, and 2004 DNA analysis shows that Malamutes are one of the oldest breeds of dog, genetically distinct from other dog breeds. A study in 2013 showed that the Alaskan Malamute has a similar east Asian origin to, but is not clearly related to, the Greenland Dog and the Inuit Sled Dog (Canadian Eskimo Dog), but contains a possible admixture of the Siberian Husky.
(AKC) "Breed recognition came in 1935, largely through the efforts of Mrs. Eva B. Seeley. At that time many dogs were of unknown ancestry. Those who appeared purebred were used for breeding, others weeded out. After a few years the registry was closed." 
  "Losses from service in World War II all but eliminated the breed. In 1947 there were estimated to be only about 30 registered dogs left, so the stud book was reopened. Mr. Robert J. Zoller became involved in the breed and took this opportunity to combine M’Loot and Hinman/Irwin dogs with selected Kotzebues to create what became the Husky-Pak line. All modern Malamutes are descended from the early strains, and show combinations of characteristics in greater or lesser degree. Thus the natural differences we see today.
  The Malamute dog has had a distinguished history; aiding Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole, and the miners who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896, as well as serving in World War II primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland, although also used as freighting and packing dogs in Europe. This dog was never destined to be a racing sled dog; it was used for heavy freighting, pulling hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of supplies to villages and camps in groups of at least 4 dogs for heavy loads.
  The Alaskan Malamute is a member of the Spitz group of dogs, traced back 2,000 to 3,000 years ago to the Mahlemuits tribe of Alaska.
  In 2010 the Alaskan Malamute was named the official state dog of Alaska.

Temperament and Personality
  Alaskan Malamutes are friendly and love people. This makes them a wonderful choice for the active family who has an electronic burglar alarm and doesn’t need a Malamute for his watchdog abilities. That’s because he doesn’t have any.
  He is moderately vocal and will howl along with sirens or talk to you with expressive “woo-woos.” For a spitz breed, though, he’s pretty quiet and doesn’t typically become a nuisance barker.
  This dog is smart and curious, and he wants nothing more than to share his discoveries with his human family members. Discoveries like exactly how the sofa was put together, for example, or what the interior of your car would look like without all that carpeting and upholstery.
  The good news is that destructiveness in the Malamute is preventable and treatable. The cure is exercise, and lots of it, no matter what the weather is, or if you have the flu. Lots and lots of strenuous exercise. Hiking, pulling sleds in winter and carts in summer , competitive weight pulling and formal obedience are all good outlets for his brain and his brawn.
  The Malamute is smart, learns quickly and loves you, but he’s also strong-willed and independent.
  Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines  to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines  have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed. These experiences as a young dog will help him grow into a sensible, calm adult dog.
  Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Whatever you want from an Alaskan Malamute, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

Health
  The Alaskan Malamute, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, occasionally suffers from gastric torsion, seizures, hemeralopia, and polyneuropathy. The major health problems that can ail the breed are canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and cataract, while minor concerns include osteochondrodysplasia (OCD) and hypothyroidism. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may conduct eye, hip, and thyroid exams on this breed of dog, as well as tests for osteochondrodysplasia.

Living Conditions
  Alaskan Malamutes are not recommended for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and should have at least a large yard. If you live in a suburban area, a high fence is a must, but bury the base, because they are likely to dig their way out. The Alaskan Malamute likes to roam in what he considers to be his territory. The Malamutes coat allows them to withstand extreme cold, but be careful to keep the dogs cool in hot climates. Make sure they have shade and plenty of clean cool water.

Exercise
  Malamutes need a reasonable amount of exercise which include long daily walks. But be careful not to overdo it in warm weather.

Care
  As the dog can run for great distances, it needs adequate exercise daily, in the form of a good run or walk on a leash. The breed is fond of cold weather and loves to pull a sledge or cart through snow. It can be comfortable in cold or temperate climates, but should be kept indoors during summer. The Alaskan Malamute's coat, meanwhile, needs to be brushed weekly and even more frequently during the shedding season.

Grooming
  The Alaskan Malamute has a thick, coarse double coat. It’s not especially high maintenance — brush it a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils — but it sheds year-round and more heavily on a seasonal basis.
  A Malamute owner's best friend, after his dog, is his vacuum cleaner. Twice a year Malamutes "blow coat." Picture mountains of hair drifting all over the house and attaching itself to every surface. The rest of the year their shedding is much less – so much so that you might be able to get away with vacuuming only twice a day instead of every four hours.
If you can put up with that, the Malamute is a pretty easy-care dog. Bathe him every few months or whenever he’s dirty. He doesn’t need any special trimming to maintain his distinctive look.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once a month. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Introduce your Malamute to grooming at an early age so he will accept it gracefully.

Is this breed right for you?
  Requiring a lot of activity, this affectionate and athletic breed requires and enjoys a lot of physical play, including hiking, swimming, sledding and more. Friendly, it does best in a family rather than being a one-to-one dog. Due to its thick coat, it is best that the Alaskan Malamute receive regular grooming and live in a cooler climate where it is provided a lot of water and shade in warmer months. Not good for apartment life, this breed needs a yard to roam, play and spend the majority of time in. Without proper training and respect for its owner, the Alaskan Malamute may become temperamental and destructive.

Children and other pets
  Malamutes are patient with children and love the attention they get from them, but fast-growing, energetic Alaskan Malamute puppies can easily overpower a young child under age 5. In their exuberance, they can knock a child over.
  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 sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  With early socialization and training, your Malamute should get along well with other dogs. He may chase small animals such as cats unless brought up with them and taught not to. It's vital to properly introduce him to other animals in the household and supervise their interactions. He'll consider outdoor cats and other small animals fair game.

Did You Know?
  The Alaskan Malamute is perhaps the oldest and definitely the largest of the Arctic sled dogs. The breed is named after the Mahlemut, an Inuit tribe from Alaska’s Kotzebue Sound area.

A dream day-in-the-life
  The Alaskan Malamute will likely sleep outside and come in to greet its family. After a brisk walk around the yard, he will come inside and hang out with those that it loves most. After a few rubdowns and games of catch, the Alaskan Malamute would love to engage in some type of sport before the end of its day. Once it gets the brunt of its energy out, it will settle in with its favorite humans.
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Everything about your Siberian Husky

Everything about your Siberian Husky
  The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog breed with a thick coat that comes in a multitude of colors and markings. Their blue or multi-colored eyes and striking facial masks only add to the appeal of this breed, which originated in Siberia. It is easy to see why many are drawn to the Siberian's wolf-like looks, but be aware that this athletic, intelligent dog can be independent and challenging for first-time dog owners. Huskies also put the "H" in Houdini and need a fenced yard that is sunk in the ground to prevent escapes.

Overview
  The Siberian husky combines power, speed and endurance, enabling it to carry a light load at moderate speed over a great distance. It is moderately compact, slightly longer than it is tall, and of definite Northern heritage. It is quick and light on its feet, with a smooth and effortless stride exhibiting both good reach and drive. It has a double coat of medium length, with a soft, dense undercoat and a straight, somewhat flat-lying outer coat. Its expression is keen but friendly, interested and even mischievous. 
  Fun-loving, adventurous, alert, independent, clever, stubborn, mischievous and obstinate — all describe the Siberian husky. This breed loves to run and will roam if given the chance. It may be aggressive toward strange dogs, but it is generally good with other household dogs. In fact, it is a very social dog that must have human or canine companionship. It may chase strange cats or livestock. Some howl, dig and chew.


Breed standards
AKC group: Working
UKC group: Standard
Average lifespan: 12 - 14 years
Average size: 35 - 60 pounds
Coat appearance: Thick and dense, can withstand -58 to -76 degrees F
Coloration: Black to pure white, variety of markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Strong, compact body; head proportionate to body; erect, triangular ears; oval-shaped eyes vary between blue, hazel and brown depending on coat color; nose is black or pinkish depending on coat color; curved tail; snowshoe paws have hair in between pads for protection from cold
Possible alterations: May have a long-haired, wooly coat; some dogs have one blue eye and one brown
Comparable Breeds: Akita, Alaskan Malamute
Highlights
  • Depending on your climate, Siberian Huskies are generally low shedders except during the times of year when they blow their coat, meaning they drop large amounts of hair all at once. This happens roughly twice a year, more if you live in warmer climates, and when it does, the breed becomes a heavy shedder for about a three-week stretch.
  • Siberian Huskies are not recommended for apartment living, but some do quite well in apartments if they are properly trained and exercised.
  • Siberian Huskies are known escape artists and have been known to wander away and disappear. They can jump fences, break tie-out chains, slip collars and find any other way to escape. They need a high fenced yard and the fence should also be buried several inches below ground to prevent the Husky from digging his way out.
  • Siberian Huskies can be very destructive both inside and out. If they are left uncrated inside, the breed can destroy a house and cause a wide variety of damage. Outside, they enjoy digging and will dig up yards and flower gardens alike. A dog that is given a place to dig in the yard is much happier and so are you.
  • While they enjoy howling, Siberian Huskies rarely bark and they will not alert bark if someone comes onto your property. This makes them an unsuitable watchdog. The rap on Huskies is that they would aid a burglar before posing any threat.
  • Siberian Huskies are not a breed for the new or timid owner. They need a strong owner who will maintain an alpha position in the home. They need obedience training from a young age and can be a difficult and stubborn breed to train.
  • Siberian Huskies are very curious and can become injured or lost while they are exploring something new.
  • Affectionate and good natured describes the Siberian Husky. Generally, they do well with children although young children should never be left alone with any breed. They also get along with people and do well in homes with multiple dogs.
  • Siberian Huskies were bred to need very little food to survive. This still applies today and the Siberian Husky does not need a high level of calories per day. It is important to ask your Siberian Husky's breeder what they recommended for a serving helping and to follow their advice.
  • Huskies cannot be allowed to run off leash during walks. They will run away and will also chase other small animals.
  • Due to their beauty, Siberian Huskies are one of the most wrongly purchased breeds around. Many do not take into consideration their temperaments and particular quirks and are often left with an unruly, albeit beautiful, dog. Many Siberian Huskies are either lost, killed, or given to shelters due to uninformed owners. If you are thinking of purchasing a Siberian Husky, take a lot of time learning about the breed. Visit some Siberian Husky breeders or shelter dogs, read books, talk to other owners and possibly foster if you feel you can. If after all your experiences, you feel you still want a Siberian Husky, take the time to decide on whether you should adopt a rescue or a puppy. Follow your breeder's advice and remember that this beautiful dog will make your life an adventure and not always a good one.
  • 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.
Did You Know?
  The Disney adventure movie “Eight Below” is based on the true story of the 1957 Japanese expedition to the South Pole and stars six Siberian Huskies.



Is this breed right for you?
  Sweet by nature and friendly to all people, the Siberian Husky isn't much of a watchdog, but he is a gentle soul. Requiring cool weather due to his winter coat, it's best that he does not live in warm climates. Shedding only twice a year, the Siberian Husky makes for a good inside dog. He requires a good amount of physical activity and does best with a larger fenced-in yard. Doing best with specialized training, he requires a master that is firm with him. Needing a lot of attention and socialization, a lonely Siberian Husky is known to howl and become destructive. Avoid any such issues by partaking in physical activity prior to leaving him alone. Excelling with other Siberian Huskies around, he can learn to enjoy other breeds if he is raised with them.


History  
  The Siberian Husky is not a dog-wolf hybrid. The original dog was developed about half a million years ago by the Chukchi people in Siberia. He was a working dog who pulled heavy sleds over long distances. The Chukchi tribe lived inland and had to travel to the sea to hunt. They needed a way to get a full sled of walrus meat back home. A sledding dog was just the answer. The Chukchi women took care of the dogs, so the dogs were always around children.
  In the early 1900s, the dogs were brought to Alaska to compete in long-distance races, notably the All-Alaska Sweepstakes. Known as Siberians after their homeland, they gained fame for their sledding capabilities and began to be used to deliver mail as well as race.
  The Siberian Husky’s greatest feat came in 1925 when people in Nome, Alaska, suffered a diphtheria epidemic in the middle of winter. Antitoxin was needed desperately. A long-range relay of about 20 mushers brought the antitoxin from Anchorage to Nome in six days, nearly 700 miles in temperatures that hovered around 40 degrees below zero. The run brought fame to the breed.
  Siberian Huskies were used on the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions, as well as in the U.S. Army’s arctic search-and-rescue efforts during World War II. Many Siberian Huskies were assembled and trained at Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire for use on the Byrd Antarctic Expedition beginning in 1928. Siberians also performed gallantly in the Army during World War II as part of the Air Transport Command’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit.
  Today the Siberian is still famous as a great sled dog who can win races, but he’s also a terrific family pet and companion. He ranks 18th among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.

Personality
  Siberian Huskies are pack dogs, and they need an owner who is the clear leader of the pack. This makes training easier because you will find that your dog respects you, but don't be surprised if he tests the limits of your position in the pack and tries to take control from time to time.
  When this happens, it's important not to give into their pushiness. Assert yourself as leader — not by bullying or hitting — but by confirming the ground rules with clarity and consistency.
  Making your dog wait to eat is one of the best ways to establish your leadership role. The Husky will view you as the keeper of all valuable resources — food, treats, toys and other canine assets.
  This high-energy breed can be destructive both indoors and out — especially when bored or not given adequate exercise. They will demolish a house if they are left alone and there has even been a case of a Siberian Husky chewing through a cement wall.
  They will dig up flower gardens and yards alike, but they can be trained to dig in a specific spot in the yard. It is better for everyone if you merely teach your dog to dig in one spot instead of trying to break him of that habit.
  Nonetheless, they can be quite charming with their mischievous and playful nature. They are also quite social and love to show off their talents.
  Siberian Huskies do not bark — that's the good news. Here's the bad: they do enjoy howling, which can be very frustrating for your neighbors. Unless you have a properly trained and well-exercised Siberian Husky, they do not make ideal pets for apartments.
  Another caution: although Huskies are adored for being friendly and gentle, they make lousy watchdogs. Unfortunately, they are not overly suspicious of strangers, including burglars. The fact is that they tend to love everybody.
  Temperament doesn't occur in a vacuum. It's affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.
  Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, Siberian Huskies need early exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Siberian puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Children and other pets
  Huskies make great pets for households with children. They can be very tolerant of children, but like all other dogs, should be supervised when around young children.
  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 to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Siberian Huskies do get along with other dogs but it is still important to take your puppy to socialization classes. This gets them used to other dogs and also to people, although they are also very affectionate to strangers. Socialization teaches puppies how to behave and greet other dogs and their owners.
  Keep in mind the history of this breed. The harsh conditions in Siberia created a strong prey drive in this breed because food was often hard to find. As a result, many Huskies today maintain that prey drive toward small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, and cats. Some Huskies, however, thrive in multi-pet households, especially when they are raised with other pets from puppyhood.

Health
  A 1999 ASPCA publication gives the life span of the Siberian Husky as 12 to 14 years. Health issues in the breed are mainly genetic, such as seizures and defects of the eye (juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, canine glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy) and congenital laryngeal paralysis. Hip dysplasia is not often found in this breed; however, as with many medium or larger-sized canines, it can occur. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals currently has the Siberian Husky ranked 155th out of a possible 160 breeds at risk for hip dysplasia, with only two percent of tested Siberian Huskies showing dysplasia.
  Siberian Huskies used for sled racing may also be prone to other ailments, such as gastric disease, bronchitis or bronchopulmonary ailments ("ski asthma"), and gastric erosions or ulcerations.
  Modern Siberian Huskies registered in the US are largely the descendants of the 1930 Siberia imports and of Leonhard Seppala’s dogs, particularly Balto. The limited number of registered foundational dogs has led to some discussion about their vulnerability to the founder effect.

Care
  Siberian Huskies need to be exercised 30 to 60 minutes daily to keep them from becoming bored. They make excellent jogging companions, but should not be exercised in hot weather. Surprisingly, they need only a small (but secure) backyard to expend their energy.
  Bottom line: Siberian Huskies need to be working to stay happy. Usually just maintaining your own active life through hiking and other outdoor sports will keep you Siberian Husky healthy, happy and out of trouble.
  As mentioned earlier, training is a must with this breed and you may want to invest in more advanced obedience classes. This can be difficult for many owners and trainers as the breed is very intelligent and will determine the difference between classes and home.
  They will behave wonderfully at class, following all instructions and commands, but at home they may revert back to the stubborn dog that stole your heart. This can be frustrating, but you will find that patience, time, and a little of your own stubbornness will pay off.
  Crate training is an important tool that is often recommended by breeders. It keeps you dog and puppy safe and also gives them their own safe haven to retreat to when they are feeling overwhelmed or tired. A crate should never be used as a punishment.
  Leash training is also a must as Siberian Huskies should never be left off leash when they are not in a fenced area. They love to run and will do so without any thought of how far away you are. You can easily lose your Siberian Husky if he decides to chase something or simply enjoy a heartfelt run. Siberian Huskies do have a high prey drive and that is another reason why they should be leashed during walks.

Grooming
  The Siberian should look “well furred” according to the breed standard, and indeed he does. He has a medium-length double coat. The soft, dense undercoat is topped with straight guard hairs that lie smooth. That double coat means that the Siberian sheds. Oh, yes, he sheds. He sheds throughout the year; once or twice a year he undergoes a process called “blowing coat,” which is just what it sounds like. During this period you may feel that it is snowing gray and white hair. A shedding blade or coat rake will become your best ally.
  That said, the Siberian is actually pretty easy to groom. Outside of shedding season, brush him occasionally with a slicker brush to remove dead hair. Trim the hair between the foot pads. That’s all. A bath is almost never necessary. The Siberian is a very clean dog with little to no odor.
  The rest is basic care. Trim his nails as needed, usually every week or two if he doesn’t wear them down naturally with all his running around. Brush his teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Famous Siberians
  Siberians gained in popularity with the story of the "Great Race of Mercy," the 1925 serum run to Nome, which made dogs Balto and Togo famous. Though Balto is the more famous of the two, and was the dog to deliver the serum to Nome after running the final 53-mile leg, it was Togo who made the longest run of the relay, guiding his musher Leonhard Seppala on a 91-mile journey that included crossing the deadly Norton Sound to Golovin.
  Several purebred Siberian Huskies portrayed Diefenbaker, the "half-wolf" companion to RCMP Constable Benton Fraser, in the CBS/Alliance Atlantis TV series Due South.
  In 1960, the US Army undertook a project to construct an under the ice facility for defense and space research, Camp Century, part of Project Iceworm involved a 150+ crew who also brought with them an unofficial mascot, a Siberian Husky named Mukluk.
  Siberian Huskies are the mascots of the athletic teams of several schools and colleges, including Northern Illinois University (Northern Illinois Huskies), the University of Connecticut (Connecticut Huskies, Jonathan) and University of Washington (Washington Huskies, Harry).

A dream day in the life of a Siberian Husky
  The Siberian Husky loves to wake up at the crack of dawn ready for action. Bred to work, he's ready to pull sleighs and tromp in the snow for hours on end. Needing only a moderate amount of food, he'll continue engaging in play or running with his master until the day has ended. Visiting with neighbors and anyone who comes to the house, the Siberian Husky enjoys socialization. Ending his day cuddled at the foot of the bed, he'll be happy to have spent his day with his master.

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