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Showing posts with label cheerful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheerful. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everything about your Norwegian Lundehund

Everything about your Norwegian Lundehund
  This odd bird, er, dog is an energetic contortionist with a complex personality. He has the look of a typical Spitz breed — prick ears, wedge-shaped head and furry tail that curves over his back. His double coat ranges from beige to tan to reddish brown with black hair tips and white markings or white with red or dark markings.

   Also known as the puffin dog, this unique and acrobatic canine was discovered on a remote island in Norway, where he was used to scale cliffs and rob puffin nests of their eggs. With six toes on each foot, including two large, functional dewclaws, and an exceptional range of motion in his joints, he can climb just about anywhere in your house or yard and squirm through the narrowest of passageways. Heck, you might even see one trying his paw at Half Dome someday.
  Cheerful, inquisitive, and mischievous, this is a dog who needs close supervision to keep him out of trouble. He's a primitive breed who's difficult to housetrain and loves to bark and dig, so keep that in mind before deciding that it would be really cool to have a dog who can bend his head backwards, splay his front legs out to the side, and close his ears to keep out moisture and dirt. Provide him with plenty of early socialization to prevent shyness and noise sensitivity. And if you're a bird lover, well, just keep in mind this breed's original purpose.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Norwegian Lundehund’s thick coat is fallow (pale brown) to reddish brown to tan with black-tipped hairs and white markings or white with red or dark markings.
  • Lundehund vocalizations include barks, yodels and howls, with the occasional scream thrown in. It can be unsettling until you get used to it.
  • The Lundehund’s unusual anatomy makes him capable of getting into hard-to-reach places that most would not expect a dog to be able to go.
  • Lundehunds often enjoy collecting shiny objects and hiding them.
Breed standards

AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Working
Average lifespan: 11 - 13 pounds
Average size: 12 - 30 pounds
Coat appearance: Short and rough
Coloration: Red, reddish-brown with black tips
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Small, wedge-shaped head with deep brown eyes and double-jointed neck; ears are able to move back and forth, flip from side to side and close up; strong and flexible hind legs and shoulders; six toes on each paw and two dewclaws; tail curls onto back
Possible alterations: Older dogs may be darker in color
Comparable Breeds: Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Buhund

  The breed has a long history. They are the most ancient of the Nordic dog breeds, scientific research indicates that the breed has been in existence since before the last Ice Age, surviving by eating fish and sea birds. It is thought that the Lundehund is actually a descendant of the primeval dog, Canis forus, rather than the domesticated dog breeds, Canis familiaris. The Lundehund was a valuable working animal, essential in hunting puffin birds along the Norwegian coast for food as well as the commercial export of puffin down from the Viking Age through the 16th and 17th centuries. Its flexibility and extra toes were ideal for hunting the birds in their inaccessible nesting locations on cliffs and in caves. Interest for the breed declined when new methods for hunting puffins were incorporated and a dog tax was created. Around 1900, they were only found in the isolated village of Mostad , Lofoten. The breed was nearly extinct around World War II when canine distemper struck Værøy and the surrounding islands. In 1963, the population was further decimated by another outbreak of distemper. This time, only six dogs survived, one on Værøy and five in southern Norway, Hamar. The latter five were from the same mother. This created a population bottleneck. Due to careful breeding with strict guidelines, there are now an estimated 1400 dogs in the world (2010), with around 600 of the population in Norway and ~350 in the United States.
  The breed is being tested in Tromsø airport by the Norwegian Air Traffic and Airport Management as a solution to airplane bird strikes. The dog is used to search for bird eggs around the airport for disposal.
  The Norwegian Lundehund Association of America, Inc. is recognized by the AKC as the Breed Parent Club for the USA.

AKC recognition
  The Norwegian Lundehund was approved into the American Kennel Club's Miscellaneous Class on July 1, 2008, after a unanimous vote by the AKC Board of Directors on November 13, 2007. The Lundehund made its AKC conformation debut at the Roaring Fork Kennel Club show in Eagle, Colorado on July 12, 2008. It made its introductory premier at a major US event at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California, on December 13 and 14, 2008.
  On February 12, 2010, the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club voted to accept the Norwegian Lundehund into the AKC stud book on December 1, 2010. On January 1, 2011, it became a part of the Non-Sporting Group.

  Lundehunds are cheerful, alert, inquisitive, watchful and sometimes stubborn little dogs that make wonderful companions when placed into the right homes. Long-time Lundie owners treasure the breed’s intelligence and playfulness. These are free-thinking dogs that can be quite independent. Some Lundehunds are wary of strangers, although they are not known to be aggressive even when challenged. Generally, they are fun and easy to live with. Lundehunds get along quite well with children and other animals, especially when they are well-socialized from puppyhood.
  Early and extensive socialization is important for this breed. Lundehund puppies should be exposed to loud noises, unfamiliar people, animals of all ages and types, unusual environments, cars, motorcycles, new and potentially scary situations and as many other stimuli as possible starting at a young age. Lundehunds that are not well-socialized tend to become shy, hypersensitive to sounds and easily stressed by unfamiliar situations. It can be difficult to undo these traits once they become ingrained.

Health Problems
  Prone to Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lymphagetasia, Lundehund Syndrome (a series of digestive problems). This unique syndrome renders the lifespan of a particular dog almost unpredictable if not fed properly. It is reported that it is not a disease but an inability to digest grains of any sort. Fed a diet with no grains, the dogs do not get sick. They need only the same care that any dog should get and they live a long life. This syndrome or allergy is under research.

  The Norwegian Lundehund is known to shed a great deal, requiring daily coat brushing with a firm bristle-brush. It can also tend to be a shy breed, so the dog should be socialized at a young age. The Norwegian Lundehund enjoys just about any outdoor activity and is very energetic. A large yard is best for this dog breed; however the intelligent Lundehund is good at escaping, so a secure fence is suggested.

Living Conditions
  The Norwegian Lundehund would do best living in a house with at least a small, fenced-in yard.

  The Norwegian Lundehund is intelligent, but can prove to be stubborn when it comes to training. For the best results, use positive training techniques. A common complaint with the Lundie is house training, so this is not a dog for the novice owner. You’ll find that introducing crate training early on will help curb this problem. In fact, crate training can prove to be easier with this breed, as it likes to be in cave-like spaces.
  Because the Lundie is so agile, you should consider enrolling your dog in agility training courses. It’s a great form of exercise and it will allow them to use their natural agility abilities.

Activity Requirements
  Lundehunds are high-energy animals that love to participate in almost any outdoor activity. Lundehunds are especially happy when they can play and explore outside, with plenty of opportunities to find and proudly retrieve unusual treasures for their owners. They enjoy taking long walks and trips in the car. They like romping in the park and strolling along sandy beaches. They love to explore new terrain. Lundehunds are athletic, active and extremely agile, making them excellent hiking and backpacking partners. They excel at canine sports that require speed, intelligence, discipline and precision. Lundies can be escape artists, which makes a safe, secure, well-fenced yard an absolute requirement for owners of this breed. Regular exercise and a loving home environment are important for the Lundehund’s long-term physical and mental well-being.

  This is a Northern or Spitz breed with an undercoat that sheds heavily twice a year. He also sheds small amounts daily.
  Brush the Lundehund’s double coat once a week to keep it clean and remove loose hair. During spring and fall shedding seasons, daily brushing will help keep hair under control.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every 3 to 4 weeks or as needed. You may also want to clip the tufts of hair between the toes, but other than that, the coat needs no trimming. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath, and keep the ears clean.

  The Norwegian Lundehund puppy is a challenge to house train. You’ll have to keep a close eye on this little fellow when he’s not in his crate. Keeping up with a consistent routine will help the process go smoother, as will crate training. As well, early socialization is important to ensure he learns proper dog manners when meeting new people and animals.

Is this breed right for you?
  A loving and cuddly breed, the Norwegian Lundehund loves people of all ages and sizes and being very close to them. Kind, he is likely to love with all that he has. Requiring a yard to play and romp in, the breed is not ideal for apartment life. A natural-born hunter, the Lundie enjoys sniffing things out and is easy to groom. The breed does have an incredibly hard time becoming housebroken and will require a lot of patience and intelligent training. In addition, a Lundie needs a human who is able to provide leadership and discipline to avoid behavioral problems. In need of a lot of socializing, he is a watchdog and barker.

Did You Know?
  The Norwegian Lundehund is also known as the Norwegian puffin dog.

A dream day in the life of a Norwegian Lundehund
  Given the opportunity, the Norwegian Lundehund would wake up next to his owner and stay in bed with her all day. But if this is not an option, the dog will instead poke around the house looking for affection and play. After a few fun games of fetch, he'll head outside for a romp. Sniffing out any questionable smells, this natural-born hunter may chase a bird or two. As the day ends, the Norwegian Lundehund will love more cuddles and play before snoozing off to dreamland with his best friend at his side.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything about your Bichon Frise

Everything about your Bichon Frise
  When you first set eyes on a Bichon Frise, you might think, “that’s a cuddly looking dog,” but with some dogs, it doesn’t always work out that way. With Bichons, it does: These charming, friendly and intelligent companions are soft and sweet, naturally social and get along with the whole family—even other pets. Easily trained and eager to please, they have a gentle and affectionate manner. Just don’t forget to give them attention—and lots of it. They crave human companionship and can suffer emotionally if neglected.
  The playful, spunky and sweet Bichon Frise was bred to be the star of the show. This former circus dog still loves a spot in the limelight and with its adorable sparkling eyes and cotton-ball exterior, it's tough to ignore the adorable Bichon Frise. This breed loves to be hugged, loved and cuddled by everyone and anyone, making them excellent pets for families with young children.

  A lapful of charm in a cotton-ball cloud of curly white hair, the Bichon Frise is one of the sweetest and most affectionate of dog breeds. He loves to be the center of attention, which isn't surprising given that he used to be adored by royalty and performed tricks to the roars of the circus crowds. His dark eyes sparkle with mischief, but like his cousins the Havanese, the Maltese, and the Coton de Tulear, he pretty much uses his powers for good. Letting his have the softest bed and just one little bite of your dinner makes you both happy. But don’t expect a Bichon to be “perfect” from birth – the Bichon is not a wind-up toy: he can be a challenge to housetrain and needs to learn his place in the family.
  The fact that Bichons were born to cuddle doesn't mean they don't need exercise and training; they do. Suggesting that you never indulge your Bichon is pointless, but make sure that your training on the important matters - such as nipping, snapping and barking - is gentle and consistent. Don't turn your bold, happy dog into a yappy tyrant.
  While the Bichon can be a wonderful family pet, this may not be the right breed for families with young children or rambunctious older ones, especially if you have one of the smaller Bichons. They can easily be injured if play is too rough, or even snap at a child if they're frightened.
  You may have heard that the Bichon’s non-shedding coats make him a "non-allergenic" breed, but that's not true. It's a dog's dander – flakes of skin – that triggers allergic reactions, not the coat. The non-shedding coat means less dander in the environment and sometimes fewer allergic reactions. But Bichons still produce dander, and can still cause an allergic reactions. Any breeder who tells you their dogs are "non-allergenic" should be avoided.

  • Bichons can be difficult to housebreak. Crate training is recommended.
  • Bichons don't like to be left alone for long periods of time.
  • Bichon Frise puppies are tiny and should only be handled by children under careful adult supervision.
  • Bichons are intelligent and cunning. To help your Bichon be the best companion possible, obedience training is recommended.
  • Grooming is a must! Be prepared to pay for professional grooming. Highly motivated owners can learn the technique, but it isn't easy and requires a lot of time.
  • Bichons can be prone to skin problems and allergies.
  • Because they're cute and small, you might be tempted to overprotect your Bichon Frise. This is a mistake and can lead to your dog becoming spoiled, shy, and fearful. Be watchful for dangerous situations, but teach your Bichon confidence by acting confident about his ability to cope with people, other animals, and situations.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Bichon belongs to the same family of dogs as the Maltese, Havanese, Bolognese and Coton de Tulear, but he differs because he is the only one with a double coat.
  • The name is pronounced BEE-shawn FREEzay. The Bichon’s name is French and means “curly coated,” certainly an apt description.
  • The Bichon’s white cloud of a coat needs daily grooming, plus professional styling, but it doesn’t shed.
  • The Bichon can be difficult to housetrain.
Breed standards
AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Companion Dog
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 10-16 pounds
Coat appearance: Thick, curly, dense
Coloration: White
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Small and compact body, sparkling dark eyes
Possible alterations:  May have a tan or gray coat coloring near the ears.
Comparable Breeds: Poodle, Maltese
  The Bichon is one of the few breeds that truly has existed for at least 2,000 years, although, of course, he was not always known by that name. Little white dogs were found throughout the Mediterranean and made their way throughout the known world as popular trade items. They flourished because of their small size and charming personality. During the Renaissance they could be found at the royal court of France, and they are often seen in portraits as the companions of fine ladies.
  By the 19th century, Bichons had come down in the world. They accompanied organ grinders and performed on the street for the amusement of passersby. Some were popular circus dogs. With the Bichon’s love of attention and clownish personality, he probably was just as happy with this life as he had been when he was a royal favorite. A few Bichons held important jobs, leading people who were blind. And they still had a reputation as excellent companion dogs.   French breeders took them in hand in the early 20th century, wrote a breed standard for them, and gave them their new name: Bichon Frise, meaning “curly coat.”
  A French family who moved to Michigan in 1956 brought their Bichons with them, and that was the start of the breed in the United States. The Bichon Frise Club of America was formed less than 10 years later, in 1964. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1973. The Bichon is currently ranked 37th among the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 25th in 2000, but he is sure to remain among the most beloved of dogs.

  A cheerful attitude is the outstanding trait of the Bichon's personality. This dog loves to be loved, enjoys being the center of attention, and is adept at charming his family, neighbors, groomer, or veterinarian with his winning personality.
The Bichon has a playful, independent streak, but that doesn't mean he likes to be alone. In fact, this breed hates being alone and commonly suffers from separation anxiety if left alone for many hours. In such situations, Bichons may become destructive, chewing and tearing up anything in sight. Obviously the Bichon is not a breed of choice for people who are away from home for long periods of time .
  The highly intelligent Bichon needs to be taught proper canine manners, so it's essential to sign up for obedience training, beginning with puppy classes. Bichons are quick studies, so taking them to such classes can be very satisfying. They're also good at tricks and some canine sports.
  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 Bichon needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Bichon 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.

  The Bichon, with a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years, is prone to some serious health problems like hyperadrenocorticism, allergies, and patellar luxation, or from less serious conditions like cataract and canine hip dysplasia (CHD); Legg-Perthes and liver disease may also affect the breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, knee and eye exams on the dog.

Living Conditions
  The Bichon Frise can live in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.

  These are active little dogs that need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds play will not fulfill their 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.

  The Bichon is an indoor dog that should not be allowed to live outdoors. It may be small, but it requires exercise daily, which can be easily fulfilled with a nice romp in the yard, a lively indoor game, or a short leash-led walk. The powder-puff white coat requires combing, as well as brushing on alternate days, to keep it dirt-free. It also needs trimming and scissoring once a month. Although the Bichon does not shed, its loose hairs tend to get knotted and may even mat in the coat. In addition, the coat's whiteness may be difficult to maintain in certain areas.

  When left to itself, the Bichon coat is long and curly. The breed’s distinctive look is created by the artistic scissoring of a professional groomer or a practiced owner.
  Those perfect little dogs you see in a show ring get that way with non-stop attention to that whiter-than-white coat. Even in a pet home, the Bichon’s curly coat requires daily brushing and occasional professional grooming. A neglected coat becomes matted, which is painful and can lead to serious skin infections.
  The Bichon’s coat doesn’t fully develop until he is about one year old. Until the outer coat comes in, you don't really need to brush daily, but if you don't, you will have a lifelong problem on your hands because your puppy won’t be used to being groomed. Train him to sit for daily brushing or combing so that both of your lives will be easier. Use a pin brush.
  If you fell in love with the Bichon because of the way their pure white coat sets off those dark eyes, you'd better be prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning away tear stains, which cause a rust discoloration that most people find pretty unsightly.
  Tear stains can have several different causes, including blocked tear ducts, an overproduction of tears from irritants such as eyelashes rubbing against the eye, eyelids that turn inward (entropion), or just allergies. If allergies are causing the problem, the staining might be seasonal. Whether tearing can be treated medically or not, it should always be managed to keep your Bichon comfortable. Keep the hair around your Bichon's eyes trimmed. Look for a product meant to remove tear stains, but avoid the ones that contain antibiotics. Your Bichon doesn’t need to be overmedicated simply for cosmetic reasons.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial or yeast infections. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease, so brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is this breed right for you?
  This breed needs infinite amounts of love and attention in order to thrive. Bichon Frises live for companionship and if you travel often or work extensive hours, this breed may not be the right choice for you. Families with time to frolic and play are best suited for this attention-loving breed. This breed's all white, non-shedding coat is ideal for cleanly families and those sensitive to allergies. Due to its elaborately coarse coat, owners must be prepared to handle regular brushing and cleaning to maintain a healthy appearance.

Children and other pets
  Bichons are good family dogs and wonderful companions for children. They enjoy palling around with kids, joining in their games or sitting in their laps. They're very tolerant of the noise and commotion associated with children.
  As with every breed, however, 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.
  The Bichon enjoys the company of other dogs, as long as he receives his fair share of attention from his owner. With proper introductions and training, the Bichon can get along with cats and other animals.

Did You Know?
  In 2001, a Bichon named JR (full name: Champion Special Times Just Right) was named Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. It was the first such victory for the breed.

A dream day in the life of a Bichon Frise
  Being the star of any household makes this pup smile. A day spent making you laugh makes a perfect day for any Bichon Frise. This breed knows no strangers — a day at the park making new friends would also make this friendly pup happy. After an afternoon of stealing the spotlight, a long grooming session to maintain that fluffy coat is a must. Finish up the day with hugs, kisses and cuddles and you’ll have the happiest Bichon Frise on the block.
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