LUV My dogs: Bichon

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Showing posts with label Bichon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bichon. Show all posts

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

Hypoallergenic dog breeds
  You wouldn’t disown a family member over allergies, but many families forego their puppy parenting dreams to keep the family allergy free. Not all dog breeds trigger watery eyes and sneezes, however: Some shed less, have less dander or don’t have any fur at all!
   In truth, no dog is completely hypoallergenic. All dogs produce dander (microscopic skin flakes that can be inhaled and potentially irritate the nose and eyes or cause sneezing) and of course saliva. Dander and saliva are the main causes of allergic reactions in some people. However, because the breeds in this list are low shedding it's thought they may also produce less dander and are better for people with allergies to dander. If you have allergies you should spend some time around the breed you are considering, before you buy, to see if the breed causes you to have an allergic reaction.

The myth
  Though some studies suggest the possible existence of hypoallergenic dog breeds, there is too much variability to conclude that such a breed exists. According to researchers, claims about the existence of hypoallergenic dog breeds may have been fueled by unsubstantiated articles on the internet.
  The significant allergens are proteins found in the dog's saliva and dander. Some studies have suggested that the production of the allergen, and therefore human allergenic reaction, varies by breed, yet more recent scientific findings indicate that there are no significant differences between breeds in the generation of these allergens.One study found hypoallergenic breeds to have significantly more allergen in their coats than non-hypoallergenic breeds although there was no differences in the allergen levels in the air or on the floor.

Effect of size
Size may be a factor in determining hypoallergenicity. It is possible that the total body surface area of the dog is more indicative of reduced production of allergens than its breed.
 Smaller dogs will also leave fewer environmental pollutants containing dog dander and dog allergens (reduced fecal matter, urine and saliva). Small hairless dogs may be less likely to cause allergic reactions "because it's so easy to bathe them and the dander falls off them." Dogs may leave behind urine, saliva and fecal matter as allergen sources. Dogs with access to the outdoors may introduce outdoor allergens such as mold and pollen with larger animals tracking in more of these allergens. It is well established that most individuals with dog allergy also suffer with additional environmental allergies. Individuals with dog allergy may also be at increased risk for human protein hypersensitivity with cross-reactivity of dog dander allergen and human seminal fluid.

Dog Breeds for People with Allergies
  These “hypoallergenic” dog breeds are popular among people allergic to dogs because they tend to shed less, and thus, disperse less dander. As important as these characteristics are for allergy sufferers, it’s equally important though to make informed choices by keeping into consideration other traits such as the breed’s personality and energy levels.

1.Bichon Frise
  As long as this pampered pooch is well groomed, he will shower his dog owners with love and affection rather than dander. The secret resides in this breed’s double coat: the top coat gives the bichon its signature powder-puff look, while the undercoat traps dead hairs preventing them from falling to the floor. This often means less sneezing and less sweeping, but it also means more grooming as the coat needs to be groomed to prevent the dead hair from getting tangled within the undercoat creating mats.

2. Schnauzer
  These shed-less pups are great for the owner who loves to be the center of attention -- or the kid who loves playing "Follow the Leader." The schnauzer loves his owners so much that he won't let them out of his sight, so expect to have a buddy by your side at all times. He does need a firm hand, though, to balance his stubborn, energetic and protective temper. Schnauzers come in three sizes: Standard, giant and miniature.

3 .Yorkshire Terrier
  What makes this breed a favorite among allergy sufferers? The fact that it grows hair, not fur. Hair has a longer growth cycle in this breed which means that it is shed less frequently. The drawback though is that these cute fellows require constant grooming to prevent their hair from becoming a matted mass. Having a groomer shave them in a “puppy cut” can provide a temporary low-maintenance solution.

4. Bedlington Terrier
  Although at first glance, he looks more like a lamb than a dog, the Bedlington terrier could be the perfect canine addition to a laid-back family. These do not shed and are very mild-mannered.







5. Shih Tzu

  Dog lovers with allergies shouldn’t be fooled by this breed’s long, silky locks; in reality, the shih tzu sheds very little. When it comes to coat care, dog owners have two different options: keeping the coat short into a cute “puppy” cut or keeping it naturally long. Keeping it long though comes at a price: the coat requires daily maintenance and frequent brushing.


6. Poodle
  For a good reason, many allergy sufferers cherish the poodle. This breed is blessed with a non-shedding coat. In this case, dog owners need to thank this breed’s tight, curly locks that shed very little and retain dander rather than dispersing it in the air and on the floor. The bad news is that since the dead hair doesn’t make it to the ground, it remains trapped within the curls causing a need for frequent grooming to prevent matting.



7. Italian Greyhound
  Perfecto! This little Italian has a thin coat, so he barely sheds, and it's easy to keep him clean of allergens. The breed is very playful and loyal, and does not need a big yard. They're extremely sensitive to cold, though, so this isn't a good breed for a family living in a chilly climate.


8. Portuguese Water Dog
  For a good reason the Portuguese water dog made its way to the White House. After extensive research the Obamas had to find a breed that wouldn’t trigger Malia’s allergies. Like the poodle, this pooch has a low shedding rate because of his “curly hair-do, which prevents dander from collecting on the floor, clothes, upholstery and furniture.



9. Chinese Crested
  Going bald at times is the best way to prevent hair problems. This breed comes in two varieties: the hairless, which is virtually hairless unless you count the tufts of hair found on its head, feet and tail, and the Powder-puff, which has a complete coat with soft hair. While Chinese crested obviously shed less and have less dander, as with other “hypoallergenic” dog breeds, there will be allergy sufferers doing fine with this breed, and others having problems.



10. Basenji
  No, not Benji from the movies, but even better. These pups don't shed or bark, they have very little dander and they're darling, so they're a great choice. They do sometimes make an odd yodelling noise, and they can be hard to train, like most hounds). But this stubborn demeanor comes packed with a lot of lovable personality.





11. Samoyed
  The Samoyed is a sneezing owner's dream come true. This breed does shed, but you'll find no doggie odor or dander, making these dogs the perfect option for people with allergies. They're known for being laid back, gentle and "smiley," so they're great around kids.


12. Airedale Terrier
  Also known as the “king of terriers” because it’s one of the largest specimens within the terrier category, the Airedale has also the potential to be allergy friendly. Like several other breeds, the wiry coat in this breed reduces the amount of shedding which minimizes the release of dander. The coat though needs careful grooming because the hard, wiry hair doesn’t make room for the undercoat to grow through. There are two ways to solve the problem: pulling out the top coat though a method known as ”stripping,” or opting for twice-a-year clippings.


13. American Hairless Terrier
  This breed seems to have been purposely created with allergy sufferers in mind. It all started in 1972 when among a litter of rat terriers, a hairless puppy was born. The owners liked this puppy so much that once mature, they decided to breed her in hopes of passing down the hairless trait. They were lucky and the breed was recognized in 1998 by the American Rare Breeds Association. According to Woman’s Day, allergy sufferers who had reactions to dogs known for being allergy friendly did just fine with the American hairless terrier.


14. Maltese
  At a first glance, this breed may not look like a dog recommended for allergy sufferers. It has a long, silky coat that may make an allergic person’s nose tickle just at the mere sight. However, as mentioned, it’s not the length of a dog’s coat to make allergy sufferers people sneeze. The Maltese breed sheds very little, and because this breed requires loads of grooming, the number of allergens is often kept to a bare minimum.


15. Bouvier des Flanders
  The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, compact, short-coupled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. He gives the impression of great strength without any sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup. He is agile, spirited and bold, yet his serene, well behaved disposition denotes his steady, resolute and fearless character. His gaze is alert and brilliant, depicting his intelligence, vigor and daring. By nature he is an equable dog. His origin is that of a cattle herder and general farmer's helper, including cart pulling.

Expert recommendations
  Researchers have shown that frequently bathing dogs reduces the amount of allergen related protein on the fur or hair of the dog and the amount of airborne allergen. Bathing a dog at least twice a week will minimize or even eliminate the reaction of an allergic person to a dog.
  Frequent cleaning and vacuuming of the home, using air filters, restricting the dog to certain rooms, and adopting a small dog that can easily be given frequent baths are all recommended by the Humane Society of the United States to control allergens. Scientific research has repeatedly shown that good cleaning practices in the home remove allergens from the environment.
  Many allergists suggest that a dog not be introduced to the environment of a dog allergic individual. While "allergy shots" can reduce many individuals' dog-allergic reactions, the most common approach remains avoidance.
  There have been recent studies suggesting early introduction of pets to home may reduce the likelihood of developing sensitization. There are reports of individuals who will become less sensitive with continued exposure to a pet in the environment. But allergists warn that pet owners cannot rely on a breed being non-allergenic just because a particular allergic pet owner can tolerate a specific dog of that breed.



The Bottom Line
   Too many dogs are abandoned each year because of allergies. It is estimated that about 14 percent of dogs are relinquished because of allergies. This could have been avoided by conducting more research prior to adopting the pet and taking steps to better manage the allergies.
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Everything about your Havanese

Everything about your Havanese
  The Havanese dog breed has won many admirers with his long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and cuddly size. Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, he's earned the nickname "Velcro dog" because he sticks so closely to his owner's side. But don't write him off as just a lapdog; the Havanese is trainable and surprisingly energetic, and has excelled in dog sports and canine careers ranging from circus performer to assisting the handicapped.

History
  The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs. The progenitors of the breed are believed to have come from Tenerife. Ship manifests from Tenerife bound for Cuba list dogs as passengers brought aboard, and these dogs were most probably the dog of Tenerife. Some believe the entire Bichon family of dogs can be traced back to the Tenerife dog, while others theorize that the origins are in Malta, citing the writings of Aristotle, and other historical evidence of the early presence of such dogs in Malta. Whatever the actual origins of Bichon dogs, these little dogs soon became devoted companions to the Spanish colonists in Cuba and were highly admired by the nobility.
  As part of the Cuban Revolution, upper-class Cubans fled to the United States, but few were able to bring their dogs. When American breeders became interested in this rare and charming dog in the 1970s, the US gene pool was only 11 dogs.
  With dedicated breeding, and the acquisition of some new dogs internationally, the Havanese has made a huge comeback and is one of the fastest growing breeds of dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Breed standards
AKC group: Toy
UKC group: Companion
Average lifespan: 14 - 16 years
Average size: 8 - 13 pounds
Coat appearance: Soft and silky double coat
Coloration: White, black, chocolate, gold, cream, silver and blue
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Dropped ears; large dark eyes; scissor bite; body is longer than dog's height; long tail; strong legs and neck.
Possible alterations: Longer coat may resemble dreadlocks; some are born with a shorter coat, causing them to be non-hypoallergenic; chocolate-colored dogs may have green or amber eyes.
Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Papillon
Overview
  The Havanese shines his affectionate personality on everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and even cats. But his family will get the lion's share of his love; given the choice, he'll stick like glue to his owner's side. The potential downside to all this devotion is that, when left alone, the Havanese can become anxious. This is definitely a housedog, and a Havanese who's left in the backyard — or anywhere away from his family — is not a happy dog.

  His Velcro personality isn't so surprising, considering he was bred to keep the wealthy families of his native island of Cuba company. Since then, however, the Havanese has proven that he's good for much more than warming laps. Havanese dogs are quite trainable, and they've worked as therapy and assistance dogs, sniffed out mold and termites, and shown off their clownish antics as performing dogs.

  They've also got a surprising amount of energy for their size, and for the family looking to compete, the Havanese will happily tackle such sports as agility, freestyle, obedience, and flyball.

  As with many small dogs, it's common for adoring owners to overindulge their Havanese. They'll probably regret it — bad habits, such as eating only people food, can form very quickly. This breed is a sharp con artist, and you may find that your Havanese is training you, rather than the other way around.
  In spite of his quirks, or maybe even because of them, the Havanese is a wonderful and versatile pet.

Is this breed right for you?
  Sweet and loving, this loyal watchdog makes the perfect companion for singles or families with children. Getting along with other pets, especially other Havanese, the breed is very social and enjoys constant companionship with his family members. Curious, he's likely to check things, and is easily trained. Great for apartment living, he does enjoy playing indoors but will need a good amount of regular exercise. Requiring regular grooming, he does best with a family that can give his coat much-needed attention. With good brushing, he is unlikely to shed. A good watchdog, he'll greet every guest that walks through your door.

Personality
  The Havanese is a gentle and affectionate breed that thrives on human companionship. Your Havanese will often follow you from room to room throughout the day, and he can get very anxious when left alone.
  He's intelligent as well, and will enjoy making you laugh with goofy antics, or simply sitting on your lap watching the world go by.
  Temperament is 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, the Havanese needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Havanese 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.

Health
  Havanese are generally healthy and sturdy with relatively few serious health issues. They typically live 14 to 16 years. Havanese organizations, such as the Havanese Club of America, monitor genetic issues to prevent propagation within the breed.
  Havanese suffer primarily from luxating patella, liver disease, heart disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Havanese sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains, especially noticeable on white or light coats.
  The Havanese Club of America developed a system to encourage widespread participation of seven recommended tests for eye disease (CERF), congenital deafness (BAER), patella luxation, cardiac diseases, hip dysplasia, hip joint disorder (Legg-Calve-Perthes), and elbow dysplasia. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program promotes testing and reporting of health test results for the Havanese breed. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Testing required for a Havanese to receive a CHIC certificate includes OFA BAER, OFA Hips, OFA Patellas, and annual CERF exams. This provides an outstanding research tool for performing searches on individual dogs and also links health testing results of the dog's related pedigree information (parent, offspring, and sibling), when those related dogs have been health tested.

Care
  Although the Havanese is a small breed, he has a fair amount of energy to burn. A lengthy walk or an active game of fetch each day will keep him happy.
  The Havanese does well in a variety of homes, from apartments to large homes with yards — as long as he's an indoor dog. This breed isn't suited for life in the backyard. He is happiest when he is with his family. Although they're not overly yappy, they do bark at passersby, so if your home has noise restrictions, this may not be the breed for you.
  His eagerness to please his owners makes the Havanese fairly easy to train in most cases. Basic obedience, beginning with puppy classes, is recommended. Housetraining, however, can be particularly challenging for a Havanese, so you'll need to be especially patient during this process. You'll get there, but crate training is a must.
  Separation anxiety can be a serious concern for the Havanese and his owner. The best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it altogether. Don't leave the dog alone for long periods of time and, when you do leave, put him in a crate with plenty of sturdy toys to keep him occupied.
  Though he's small and fuzzy, a Havanese isn't a toy. Like all breeds, he needs to learn good canine manners. Don't spoil him with table scraps or by carrying him all the time he'll get fat or become overly possessive of you.

Havanese at work
  Because of the cheerful and readily trained nature, they are used for a variety of jobs involving the public, including:
  • Therapy dogs
  • Assistance dogs, such as signal dogs for the hearing impaired.
  • Performing dogs
  • Mold and termite detection
  • Tracking
Havanese also compete in a variety of dog sports, such as: dog agility, flyball, musical canine freestyle and obedience training.

Coat, Color and Grooming
  The Havanese coat is thick but silky, soft, and light, and it doesn't shed easily. The coat is long and ranges from straight to curly, although wavy is considered the ideal for the show ring. It comes in white, black, black and tan, sable, gray, and a myriad of other colors and markings.
  Many owners clip the Havanese coat short to make it easier to care for. But if you show your Havanese — or just want to look like you do — you'll have to keep it long, and should expect to do a lot of grooming.
  When kept long, the coat needs daily brushing to prevent mats from forming, and frequent baths to keep it clean. In general, it's wise to keep the hair above the eyes tied up to prevent irritation — it looks cute, too.
  Unless you're highly motivated and skilled, you're probably better off with a professional groomer. Owners can learn to groom their dogs, but it takes a dedicated person to keep this breed's coat in good shape.
  Watery eyes and resulting tearstains are common in the Havanese. Keep in mind that excessive tearing can signal an eye problem and should be checked by a veterinarian. However, most tearstains are not serious, and the cause is simply unknown. You can improve the stained look by keeping the hair around the eyes clean (wipe daily with a damp cloth). There are whitening products on the market made specifically for lightening the stains, which some owners find helpful.
  Brush your Havanese's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
 Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition and prevent your legs from getting scratched when your Havanese enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.
  Begin accustoming your Havanese to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
  As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Children and other pets
  The Havanese is an excellent family dog who's affectionate with everyone, including kids of all ages and other dogs and pets. But because he's so small, he could easily get hurt by accident, so it's especially important to teach kids how to treat the dog.
  You should 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, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

A dream day in the life of a Havanese
  It is likely that your Havanese will wake up long before you to check the perimeter of your home. Ensuring that everyone is safe, he'll patiently wait for his human pack to wake up before joining them for breakfast. After a well-balanced meal, the Havanese will follow the members of the family, occasionally engaging in a bit of play. Once he has his daily walk, he'll be happy to spend the remainder of the day indoors with the people he loves most.


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