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Showing posts with label companion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label companion. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Everything about your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Everything about your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  The Greater Swiss Mountain dog breed was developed to be an all-around working dog, herding cattle, pulling carts, and standing guard. These days, the Swissy enjoys life as a family pet, but because of his working heritage, he enjoys being busy. This powerful breed excels in all sorts of dog sports, from agility to weight pulling.

Overview
  Switzerland has four varieties of farm dogs, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is the largest. On the farm, his jobs included guarding and herding livestock and pulling carts loaded with milk and cheeses. This is a giant breed, with males weighing in at 105 to 140 pounds and females at 85 to 110 pounds.
  These days, the Greater Swiss is primarily a family companion or show dog, beloved for his gentle, easygoing temperament. He has many good qualities, including an alert nature that makes him an excellent watchdog. But, like any breed, he’s not right for everyone. If you want a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, be prepared to do a lot of homework to find him and to put in plenty of effort training and socializing once you bring him home.
  Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs have a short, easy care coat. Weekly brushing — more often during shedding season — will help to keep loose hair under control. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Swissy when he’s dirty to keep his tricolor coat gleaming.
  While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs love people and will pine without human companionship. They should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home the Swissy should be with them. It’s also important to remember that the Swissy does not tolerate heat well, so during hot weather he needs to stay in a cool, shady place with ready access to fresh water.

Highlights
  • Due to his large size, the Swissy is not suited for apartment or condo living. A home with a fenced yard is ideal.
  • The Swissy was bred to work and likes to have a job to do. Obedience training can give him the mental stimulation he needs, and is essential for handling a dog of this size.
  • Although he's generally good with kids, the Swissy is a large dog who can accidentally knock over a small child.
  • The Swissy is prone to overheating. Keep him inside in air conditioning or in front of fans when the weather's hot, and wait until it cools off to exercise him.
  • Some Swiss Mountain Dogs will chase small animals. To keep the neighbor's cat safe — as well as your dog — make sure the yard is securely fenced, and keep him on leash when you're out and about.
  • The Greater Swiss Moutain Dog was an all-around farm companion who drove livestock to pasture, pulled milk carts to the dairy, and acted as a watchdog. They usually hauled the heavy cans of milk in pairs, so it was common to see two of them hooked up to a cart.
  • The Swissy is a large dog with a tricolor coat, a gentle expression, dark-brown eyes, triangular-shaped drop ears, and a long tail.
Breed standards

AKC group: Working
UKC group: Guardian Dog
Average lifespan: 7 to 11 years
Average size: 85 to 140 pounds
Coat appearance: short, double coat
Coloration: tricolor (black, rust or tan, and white)
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards
Temperament: Easygoing, gentle, bold, alert
Comparable Breeds: Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff

History
  The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is considered one of Switzerland's oldest dog breeds. There are several theories as to the Swissy's origins. The most popular is that he's descended from large, Mastiff-like dogs that were brought to the Alps by invading Roman Legions.
  The Swissy's ancestors served as herding, guard, and draft dogs. At one time the Swissy is thought to have been one of the most popular breeds in Switzerland. By the 1900s however, their numbers dwindled, probably because their traditional jobs on Swiss farms were taken over by other dog breeds or machines.
  In 1908, a canine researcher named Albert Heim spotted two dogs at a Swiss Kennel Club jubilee, listed as "short-haired Bernese Mountain Dogs." Heim recognized the dogs as being large members of the Sennenhund type, a family of four breeds that includes the Swissy.
Heim lobbied to get the dogs recognized as a separate breed and, in 1909, the Swiss Kennel Club listed the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog  in the Swiss Stud Book.
  Since then, the breed's popularity has grown slowly, but steadily. In 1968 the first Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs were brought to the U.S., and soon after, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America formed. The Swissy was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995, as a member of the Working Group.



Personality
  The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was designed as a draft dog and was often referred to as “the poor man's horse.” They are serious dogs who still enjoy pulling carts and sleds, but have grown to be faithful family companions. They are fiercely loyal to their families and require constant companionship to be happy. Families with children may shy away from such a large dog, but the Swissy gets along well with kids of all ages. 
  Small children should be supervised, as they can easily get knocked down by an excited Swissy, but the dog never means to harm. They are alert watchdogs, letting everyone in a three-block radius know that a stranger is approaching, but they are not aggressive guard dogs and can be trusted to be polite to house guests, once properly introduced.

Health
  The average life span of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus), epilepsy, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia.

Care

  As it is a traditional working dog, this breed is fond of spending time outdoors, particularly in cold weather. It can survive outdoors in cool climates, but prefers to spend more time with its human family. The dog is also fond of pulling.
  A vigorous romp or a good, long walk is sufficient to fulfill its daily exercise requirements. Indoors, the dog requires a lot of space to stretch itself. Coat care in the form of brushing once a week is enough, but the frequency should be increased at times of shedding.

Living Conditions
  They will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They prefer cool climates. A small yard is sufficient.

Trainability
  Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are a challenge to train, even for experienced owners. They are willful and independent, and training should begin as early as possible. Once this dog hits adolescence, he will behave like a typical teenager, testing your boundaries whenever possible.
  Consistency and strong leadership is key, but a Swissy should never be treated harshly. Training should involve a lot of treats, as this is probably the only way to motivate this headstrong animal.

Exercise Requirements

  Although Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs require a good bit of exercise, they do not need to run for long periods of time like some other breeds. Several long walks will keep a Swissy happy. He will be even happier if he is allowed to carry a backpack or pull a wagon.
  The Swissy likes to feel that he is doing a job so incorporating work with fun will make your dog feel needed.

Grooming Needs
  Grooming the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is easy. Brush once or twice per week to keep shedding under control, though Spring and Fall will mean brushing several times per week. Bathe only as needed, which typically amounts to every four to six weeks.
  Check the dog's ears regularly for signs of irritation, infection, or wax buildup. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser. Brushing teeth weekly (or more), can keep tartar from building up, promote gum health, and keep bad breath at bay. If the dog does not wear down his toenails naturally, trim the nails once per month. If they make a clicking sound on hard floors, they are too long.

Children And Other Pets

  The Swissy enjoys the attention and company of youngsters if he's given plenty of exposure to them beginning in puppyhood, and the kids are taught to treat the dog with care and respect. However, young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog. Even if the Swissy means well, this is a large, strong dog, and a Swissy can easily knock over a small child by accident.
  As with every breed, 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 good-natured Swissy generally enjoys the company of other dogs and loves to play rough and rambunctious. This is especially true if he has been properly socialized with other dogs at an early age. As in any breed, dogs of the same sex who haven't been spayed or neutered may not tolerate each another.
  Swissy dogs vary in their prey drive: some will chase squirrels, cats, and other small animals, and some won't. As with any dog, you'll have a better shot at peace among the family pets if you expose your Swissy to other animals beginning at an early age, and are careful about the introductions.

Is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog the Right Breed for you?

Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Difficult Training: The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  In Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is known as the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, which means “large dog of the Alpine pastures.”


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Friday, September 15, 2017

Top 10 Dog Breeds For Seniors

Top 10 Dog Breeds For Seniors
  One of the best things a person can do at any age is to adopt a dog.  Dogs can provide a tremendous amount of love and joy, and are a great way to overcome loneliness or boredom, which sometimes can affect seniors in their retirement. There are so many different breeds that sometimes it can be difficult to decide which dog is best for you. Seniors need to think about how much exercise certain types of dogs need, and whether they can provide it. 
  Owning a pet has it's pros and cons, and you have to really think what type of pet, whether a cat or dog, and what type of breed is right for you.  For example, you have to factor in if you will have the time and energy for a larger dog, or whether a small lap dog is more your speed. There are an almost infinite amount of sizes and temperaments when it comes to dogs.  If you do choose to adopt a furry friend, they quickly become a loving and wonderful addition to any family.

1. Pug
  The short-faced pug is both gentle and quiet. But don’t let their laid-back nature fool you. These compact dogs have a lot of personality! They don’t need tons of exercise, but they love being social and definitely need to be a part of the group.
  Pugs are known as adaptable, charming, and eager to please — affectionate and playful without requiring a lot of exercise to maintain their health. They are small, so they generally meet the size requirements of assisted living communities. They can be a bit mischievous, and they tend to shed quite a bit, especially in warmer climates.

2. Bichon Frise

  Independent spirit, intelligent, affectionate, bold and lively. They are bright little dogs that are easy to train and love everyone. They need people to be happy and always love to tag along. They are competitive and obedient.

  The fluffy little Bichon Frise is a joyful and affectionate dog that makes an excellent companion. With an average weight of about 7-12 pounds, this small breed is extremely easy to handle for most people. Bichons are also relatively simple to train. The Bichon will need to be groomed periodically but is otherwise fairly low-maintenance. Many Bichon owners choose to take their dogs to a professional groomer every month or two. Moderate daily exercise is usually enough to keep the Bichon healthy and happy as long as he has your companionship.

3. Miniature Schnauzer

  Schnauzers come in various sizes, including miniature, so they offer a lot of choice to a senior trying to meet a community’s pet size requirements. They are energetic, playful, trainable, and good with children, although they can have strong guarding instincts. They can be quite active; the AKC notes that they have a medium energy level, so playtime with your schnauzer can help keep you active as well.

  Miniature Schnauzers are the smallest of the Schnauzers and they are intelligent, fun-loving dogs that are a great choice for a more active lifestyle. They are the perfect choice for an older individual looking to maintain a relatively active lifestyle, as they enjoy exercise but not so much as a larger breed. 


4. Beagle

  Beagles are moderately active dogs that can do well with a daily walk. They are social dogs that enjoy spending time with their people and make an excellent choice for someone older looking for a companion. 

  Beagles are cute (think Snoopy), funny, loyal, and friendly, enjoying the company of other dogs and humans. They love to play and are excellent family dogs. They can also be independent, which may make training a challenge, and they do need plenty of exercise – which is great for fitness-minded seniors. They shed a lot, but their coat is relatively easy to care for with regular brushing.

5. Chihuahua
  If you live in a small assisted living apartment, why not consider one of the smallest dogs there is?Chihuahuas make a great choice for seniors because they are relatively low maintenance and small enough to be easily handled. They require minimal exercise and are perfectly happy being lapdogs. 
 Chihuahuas have a ton of personality for their size, and love being showered with affection; on the flip side, they are so loyal and protective that they might need a bit of training before dealing with children, and some Chihuahuas bark a lot. They can be active, but being small, they can often get sufficient exercise by playing indoors.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  Another dog bred for companionship, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great option if you want a dog that is as happy to snuggle in your lap as they are to be out exploring with you. They’re also great family dogs, and love nothing more than to be the center of attention.

  The Cavalier is a beloved puppy-like dog that is affectionate and adaptable. This is a small dog that is often happiest when snuggled up beside her owner. This breed typically weighs about 11 to 18 pounds and is easy to handle and train. The Cavalier has some grooming needs, such as regular hair brushing, ear cleaning, and possibly the occasional trip to a groomer. Overall, Cavaliers are favored among those who love small, snuggle companions.

7. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

  If you want a small to medium dog that makes a great companion, the Corgi might be for you. Weight 24 to 30 pounds, this breed is still small enough for most people to handle. Corgis are smart and fairly easy to train. They are also quite adorable with those short little legs! A herding dog by nature, your Corgi will need routine exercise, but daily walks will often be enough. The Corgi has minimal grooming needs, which can be very convenient. 

  The spunky corgi is the perfect companion for an active senior. Compact in size, this herding breed has the energy of larger dogs, but in a more manageable package. They’re the favored companions of Queen Elizabeth and are a loving—albeit stubborn!—breed.

8. Boston Terrier

  The Boston Terrier is a loving, gentle and clownish breed with an endearing personality. They make a great choice for seniors because of their outstanding temperaments and easy keeping. 
  Boston Terriers often make the list of top dogs for seniors because of their manageable size, friendliness, ease of grooming, and love of spending time with their owners. 

  Known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is lively, smart, and affectionate with a gentle, even temperament. They can, however, be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite musts when training.

9. Poodle

  Poodles are great companions. They’re easy to train, devoted to their families, and a low-shedding breed (though they still need to be groomed). 

  Coming in different sizes from large to tiny, there’s a poodle out there for everyone, even if you live in a small apartment. Smart, proud, and active according to the AKC, it’s no surprise that poodles are the 7th most popular breed overall. They’re easily trained and enjoy a variety of activities, which makes them very adaptable to different-sized living situations. Their coats require regular grooming, but they are also hypo-allergenic.

10. Greyhound

  The biggest dog on our list best dog breeds for seniors is also the laziest. Retired racing greyhounds are a great option for seniors because they are huge couch potatoes. If you adopt a greyhound from the track, you’re also getting a furry friend who has seen a lot and is well socialized.

  How can a racing dog be good for older adults? You may be surprised to learn that Greyhounds are not the high-energy dogs many think they are. Although Greyhounds will enjoy daily walks and the occasional chance to run, most tend to be "couch potatoes" that enjoy loafing around with their owners. They are usually very responsive to training and therefore easy to handle, even though most weight about 60 to 80 pounds. If you like larger dogs but worry about being able to handle one, the Greyhound is a breed to consider.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything about your Berger Picard

Everything about your Berger Picard
  The Berger Picard (pronounced ‘Bare-zhay Pee-carr’) also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is considered to be France’s oldest sheepdog. In fact, its scraggly, mutt-like appearance hides a rich and storied history that dates back to the 9th century. It is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog with a slightly elongated body. Its ears are pointy and erect, and its eyebrows are bushy, but not excessively so that they cover the dog’s eyes.   The Berger Picard’s outer coat is rough and scraggly to the touch and covers a soft, dense undercoat.

Overview
  The breed’s appearance in the film catapulted it to, well, not stardom, but it did put it on the path to American citizenship. In the nine years since the movie’s release, fans of the Picard imported dogs for themselves, formed a breed club, and began breeding and exhibiting the dogs. The Berger Picard achieved AKC recognition in 2015.
  If the Picard looks familiar and you haven't watched "Winn-Dixie," it may be because you've seen the breed in the Animal Planet show “Treehouse Masters,” the movies “Daniel and the Superdogs” or “Are We Done Yet?” or in J. Crew advertisements or a Verizon commercial.
  People who live with the Picard describe him as comical, smart and athletic. He’s often described as having a humanlike gaze — one that says “I love you.”
  These active dogs tend to have lots of stamina. Once you get the go-ahead from your veterinarian, this dog may be the ideal companion for jogging, hiking or running alongside your bicycle. Many love to swim and can hardly be dragged out of the water. At a minimum, the Berger Picard needs several brisk walks daily. He does have an "off switch," though, and will lie quietly in the house once you’re back from your outing.

Quick Facts
  • Berger is the French word for shepherd, and Picardy is the region in France where the breed originated.
  • One of the Picard’s distinctive characteristics is his J-shaped tail, reminiscent of a shepherd’s crook.
  • Picard puppies typically go to their new homes at 12 weeks of age, but breeders may place them earlier depending on the individual puppy and family situation.
  • The Berger Picard’s coat may be fawn or brindle. Some fawn-colored dogs have charcoal-gray trim on the outer edges of the ears and gray shading, or underlay, on the head and body. Brindle dogs can be any base color, ranging from light gray or fawn to black, with stripes or small patches of black, brown, red, gray or fawn.

Breed standards
AKC group: Herding

UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 12-14 years
Average size: 55 to 70 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Double layer, Harsh and Rough, Long, Shaggy, Short, Soft, and Wire
Coloration: fawn or brindle
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Vigilant, assertive, lively, energetic, intelligent
Comparable Breeds: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pyrenean Shepherd

History
  Imagine going to a movie theater and falling in love with Brad Pitt, then going home and finding out that you can actually buy Brad Pitt. That’s how Betsy Richards, president of the Berger Picard Club of America, describes her introduction to the breed, which first came to her attention when she saw the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie.
A woodcut of a Berger Picard.
  Using the Internet, she tracked down a breeder in France and flew there in September 2005 to pick up her new dog. Almost as soon as she arrived home, she realized she needed a second one because her three sons monopolized the new puppy. That was the beginning of the breed’s formal history in this country. Although some Picards had been imported earlier, no one had ever made a successful effort to establish them here.
  But long before the Picard immigrated to America, he herded sheep in northern France and is thought to be the oldest of the French sheepdogs. The concept of pure breeds didn’t exist until the mid-19th century, but dogs resembling the Picard have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts.
  The Berger Picard made an appearance in a French dog show in 1863 and participated in herding trials but was not especially popular. The French Shepherd Club did not officially recognize the breed until 1925. The American Kennel Club began registering the breed with its Foundation Stock Service in 2007 and recognized the Picard as a member of the Herding Group in July 2015.
  Many of the dogs did not survive the ravages of two World Wars and approached extinction, but dog lovers in the 1950s worked to bring them back. Picards are now found not only in their native France but also in other European countries, Canada and the United States.



Temperament
  The Berger Picard's attributes include a lively, intelligent personality and a sensitive and assertive disposition that responds quickly to obedience training. By and large, Picards are laid back and mellow but they are known for having a stubborn streak and being reserved towards strangers. They require a lot of socialization during the first two years of their lives.
  Picards are energetic and hard working, alert and are not excessive barkers. Some Picards are notoriously picky eaters, and it may be difficult to decide on a diet that you and the dog agree on.
  The breed also has a well-developed sense of humor, making them an endearing companion, and they continue to be used very effectively as both sheep and cattle herder in their native land and elsewhere.
  Like many herding breeds, Picards require human companionship and lots of it. Since they can be demonstrative to their owners and enthusiastic friends towards other animals, formal obedience training and plenty of positive socialization is a must. Athletic, loyal and filled with a desire to work a long day, the breed excels in any "job" as long as enthusiasm and praise is a part of the task.

Health
  Berger Picards are generally a very healthy breed of dog. They can sometimes have problems with hip dysplasia. Certain hereditary ailments such as progressive retina atrophy and retinal dysplasia can occur in certain lines.
  The breed's life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

Living conditions
  Despite being able and ready to work outdoors, Picards can do surprisingly well in city life provided they are given enough energy-releasing exercise. However, the Picard always tries to stay close to its owner and family, so when given a choice between being alone in a big yard or inside with its master the Picard would rather be with his "shepherd." Inside the house the Picard is usually a very quiet dog, waiting for its time to go out to run, play and sniff around. They are very loyal and enjoy a lot of attention and may suffer from separation anxiety . This is not a breed created to live outside year round. They lack the layer of body fat that even a lean Livestock Guardian Dog has and their coat is not dense enough to withstand fridge winter conditions of many areas.

Training
  Like most other shepherding breeds Berger Picards are highly intelligent and responsive to obedience training. However, they can be willful and stubborn when faced with a lack of leadership. Therefore it is important that owners display a calm and assertive style of leadership consistently.

Exercise and activities
  Bred to work the fields, Picards are very athletic and revel in exercise. A good deal of exercise is therefore a must for this breed. Otherwise boredom will give way to destructive behavior and rowdy play. They enjoy swimming, running beside a bike, and nice long walks.   The Berger Picard makes an excellent jogging companion. The breed's intelligence and sensitivity have made it increasingly popular in dog sports such as agility trials, Tracking, obedience, showmanship, Schutzhund, Flyball, Lure coursing, French Ring Sport and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berger Picards exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

Grooming
  The Picard’s coat stands out for its tousled appearance and rough texture. It’s 2 to 3 inches long, enough to protect the dog but not so much that it hides the outline of his body. Completing his distinct look are rough eyebrows, a beard and mustache and a slight ruff framing the head. Together, these accents are known as “griffonage.”
  Even a shaggy dog needs grooming. Brush the coat weekly to keep it clean and remove dead hair. You’ll need a coat rake to remove the undercoat during the twice-yearly shedding seasons in the spring and fall. Ask your dog’s breeder to show you how to pluck or strip the long hair edging the ears.
  Frequent baths aren’t necessary unless you show your dog, but if you have a water-loving Picard, give him a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, algae or salt after a dip in the pool, lake or ocean. When you bathe him, use a dog shampoo formulated for a harsh coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two, and brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is the Berger Picard the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Berger Picard 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 for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Picard has large, naturally upright ears. The ears may droop while a puppy is teething, but they will regain their erect appearance once the permanent teeth are in.

Interesting facts
  • Sheepdogs resembling Berger Picards have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts. One renowned painting, in the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet, the National Sheepfold of France, dating to the start of the 19th century, shows the 1st Master Shepherd, Clément Delorme, in the company of a medium-sized, strong-boned dog with mid-length crisp coat and naturally upright ears, resembling in many ways a Berger Picard of today.
  • The first Berger Picards were shown together in the same class with Beaucerons and Briards in 1863 but it was more than 50 years later in 1925 that the Picard was officially recognized as a breed in France.
  • Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up, and attached to the dog's shaven back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.
  • Berger Picards can be seen in at least three movies: Daniel and the Superdogs (2004); Because of Winn-Dixie (2005); and Are We Done Yet? (2007). Picards are often mistaken for another canine actor, the wire haired Portuguese Podengo Medio.
  • In 2012, BPCA member and Picard owner Christina Potter wrote a book, Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star (Aperture Press), based on her weekly blog about the antics of her Picard Chester's life and ambitions. Chester has appeared in advertisements for The Company Store, J. Crew, and Verizon. Potter donates 10% of royalties to Picard DNA collection and health projects.[citation needed]
  • In 2016, Gabby, Guess V.D. Bovendijkse Hoeve, owned by Beverly Conroy and bred by Hanny Terburg of the Netherlands became the first Berger Picard to win best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Everything about your Yorkipoo

Everything about your Yorkipoo
  A Yorkipoo is a mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle, or more rarely the offspring of two Yorkie/Poodle mixes. At his best, the Yorkipoo is friendly, playful, smart, and cute as all get out. His small stature makes him best suited to a home with adults or older children.

Overview
  The Yorkipoo loves people and fun, not necessarily in that order. He will delight his family and is always willing to perform tricks or show off for any visitor. His confidence keeps him from being overly snappy or aggressive; he's happy in his own skin. The Yorkipoo can be an excellent companion to anyone looking for a small, confident dog with ample energy and even greater love.
  Like most of the Poodle hybrids, the Yorkipoo was originally designed to be a companion dog who could reside with allergy sufferers. 
  The Yorkipoo has low-dander, a low-shedding coat, and the small size of a toy breed. He's happy in many different types of homes and can make an excellent companion for the elderly. With his gentle and loving disposition, the Yorkipoo has proven that he can be a successful therapy dog.
  The Yorkipoo enjoys barking just a little too much  and generally makes an excellent watchdog. He'll alert bark when someone comes to the door or when he sees anything suspicious. Some Yorkipoos can be trained to only bark once or twice, but many cannot.

Highlights
  • The Yorkipoo is a designer dog and is the result of Yorkshire Terrier to Toy or Miniature Poodle breedings. There's been an increase in multigenerational breeding (Yorkipoo to Yorkipoo), and also in Yorkipoo to Poodle or Yorkipoo to Yorkshire Terrier breeding; but many litters are first generation, the result of breeding two purebred parents.
  • A Yorkipoo is active and energetic, as are both Poodles and Yorkies. He requires daily exercise and does well with a good walk or romp in the yard.
  • Barking is a favorite pastime. Occasionally a Yorkipoo can be trained to bark less, but expect to hear the noise whenever someone comes to the door. He has no clue that his bark doesn't terrify anyone.
  • He is a non- to low-shedder and can make an excellent companion for people with allergies.
  • Daily brushing is needed to keep his fine, silky coat free of tangles and mats.
  • Loving and gentle, the Yorkipoo can make an excellent companion to older, more considerate children. Like most toy breeds, he's not recommended for homes with very young children.
  • He's easy to train if you use positive reinforcement. He's got a stubborn streak, though, so expect some occasional resistance.
  • The Yorkipoo can live very happily in an apartment.
  • A companion dog, he may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods at a time.
Other Quick Facts

  • Yorkipoos can be many different colors and patterns, from the blue and gold of the Yorkie to the many solid colors of the Poodle to a color plus white, known as particolor.
Breed standards
AKC group, UKC group: Not Applicable,Not recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
Coat appearance: Medium, Silky, and Slightly Wavy
Coloration: Varies
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
Temperament: Energetic, lively, playful, good-natured
Comparable Breeds: Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier

History
  Like many designer breeds, the Yorkipoo is quite a young hybrid — he's been popular for about a decade. He was originally developed to create a toy-sized dog who had a hypoallergenic coat and was free of the genetic disorders that affected the parent breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Toy or Miniature Poodle.
The success of crossing the Poodle with the Yorkshire Terrier has had mixed results, as with any hybrid; but the popularity of the Yorkipoo has grown. Today, most Yorkipoo litters are still the result of first-generation breeding, but some breeders have concentrated on multigenerational crosses in an effort to see the Yorkipoo produce offspring who confirm more consistently to the desired traits.
  There are no breed groups or registries for the Yorkipoo, but efforts have begun to create a direction for all Yorkipoo breeders.

Temperament
  If bred from parents of sound temperament and adequately socialized in puppyhood, the yorkipoo is likely to be a confident, loving, playful companion combining terrier boldness and poodle intelligence. Yorkipoos require mental stimulation and social interaction, and enjoy activities like dog agility and learning tricks.
  For their size, yorkipoos are rather energetic. However, their energy is easily expended within the confines of an apartment. Therefore, they do not require the sort of exercise regime that larger dogs need. Yorkipoos are very social dogs. Unlike yorkies and other purebred toys, however, they do not long for constant physical contact. Yorkipoos have no objections to cuddling up on a lap but are also content to simply be nearby. Yorkipoos are generally not aggressive and tend to "greet strangers as if they were long lost friends."
  Yorkipoos are smart enough to be trained and take marked pride in learning new commands. They respond best to positive reinforcement, as opposed to negative reinforcement or punishment. When faced with negative reinforcement or punishment, yorkipoos respond with stubbornness. The greatest hurdle to training a yorkipoo is barking.   Although they do not tend to sit and yip for no reason, they will almost unfailingly bark when someone knocks at the door. It is unknown if this is to warn that someone is approaching or out of sheer glee to encounter another person.

Heath 
  A newly developed crossbreed, the Yorkiepoo is predisposed to the health problems that effect both Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles. These can include cataracts, retinal detachment, dry eye, corneal dystrophy, keratitis, hypoglycemia, progressive retinal atrophy and endocardiosis.

Care
  The Yorkipoo is equally at home in a house or an apartment. He's far too small to live outside; he must live indoors for both his physical and emotional well-being. He requires daily exercise, since he has a surprising amount of energy . A daily walk or romp in the yard will provide enough exercise to keep him healthy and happy. The Yorkipoo can also burn off steam by playing a game of fetch down a hallway.
  Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Yorkipoo doesn't have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn't. A crate is also a place where he can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Yorkipoo accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized.
  Never stick your Yorkipoo in a crate all day long, however. It's not a jail, and he shouldn't spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when he's sleeping at night. Yorkipoos are people dogs, and they aren't meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.

Training
  An easily trainable dog, the Yorkiepoo is eager to please his owners. Positive training methods should always be used while working with this crossbreed. Excided praise and delectable tidbits will produce better results than harsh words or aggressive methods.   Yorkie-Poos can quickly learn basic commands but can also learn typical parlor tricks such as crawl, play dead and dance. His enthusiasm and desire to entertain will keep your family and friends entertained and laughing!
  This crossbreed has the potential to become great obedience prospects as well as agility and therapy dogs. There is no doubt that the Yorkie-Poo can be highly competitive in a variety of dog sports.

Exercise Requirements
  Yorkie-Poos do not require an excessive amount of exercise. They are lively and are happy to play but a brisk walk around the block is really all he needs to keep him fit, trim and healthy. A fenced yard is also great and the Yorkie-Poo will happily chase a ball or other toy and run like a little maniac! His minimal need for exercise makes this crossbreed an excellent pet for many living situations.

Grooming
  Yorkipoos usually have a slightly scruffy coat, although it can also, like the Poodle’s coat, be curly. A Yorkipoo’s grooming needs will vary depending on his coat, but all Yorkipoos need regular, even daily, brushing. Those with the curlier Poodle coat require grooming every four to six weeks. Some owners learn to use the clippers and do the job themselves, but most rely on professional groomers. Either way, it’s essential to take proper care of the coat, because without regular grooming it will quickly become a matted mess that can cause painful skin infections at the roots of the hair.
  Your Yorkipoo’s ears need to be kept clean and dry to help minimize wax, so clean them regularly with an ear cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Yorkipoo is a gentle and loving dog who can do well with children. He's not recommended for homes with very young children, since he can be easily injured when improperly handled. A Yorkipoo can make an excellent companion for an older, more considerate child.
  As with every breed, 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.
  In general, he does well with other dogs and pets. He may display prey drive due to his Yorkie parent, however. That may lead him to chase smaller pets and cats, but usually it's in good fun.

Is the Yorkiepoo the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  Crossbred puppies like the Yorkipoo — even within the same litter — can look very different from each other and can look the same as or different from their parents. The Yorkipoo is usually extremely small, but his size, color, coat, temperament, activity level, and health risks can vary depending on the traits an individual puppy inherited from his parents.




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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Everything about your Komondor

Everything about your Komondor
  The dreadlocked Komondor tends to be gentle and affectionate with family but wary of strangers. Intelligent and loyal to no end, he will give his life to protect his family - his flock - and property. An independent thinker with physical strength, he needs a firm, consistent leader. His corded coat requires daily grooming but sheds little.

Overview
  The Komondor is a sneaky flock-guarding dog. With his long, heavily-matted white coat, this dog blends right in with the sheep, so predators have no idea what’s in store for them! But even if he’s not guarding sheep, the Komondor is a wonderful companion for the right family. Also known as the Hungarian Komondor, the Hungarian Sheepdog and the Kom, this breed likes to be put to work. Whether it is guarding sheep or guarding your family, the Komondor is happy to be watching your back.
  He may look like a mop, but the Kom is known for his dignity, strength and courage. Even though this dog is generally reserved and serious with strangers, he’ll be open to showing his love to his family. His coat takes some time and energy to care for, so this is not a breed for anyone looking for low-maintenance grooming. Read on to learn more about the Komondor.

Highlights
  • Komondor are rare, but unethical backyard breeders and puppy mills do breed them. It's important to find a good breeder to make sure you don't get a puppy who will develop health or behavior problems.
  • Although an apartment or condo is not the ideal living space for a Komondor, he can adjust to that lifestyle if he receives daily exercise and is trained not to bark excessively.
  • This strong-willed dog needs a confident owner who can provide leadership the Komondor will respect. This isn't a good choice for the first-time dog owner.
  • Although Komondor shouldn't be brushed, their coat needs extensive care to keep its white color and to stay free of dirt, debris, and parasites. If you want your Komondor's coat to stay clean, he should sleep indoors.
  • Komondor are barkers and suspicious of most things they see or hear. The breed is an excellent watch dog for both home and livestock and was originally developed for this role.
  • Komondor can be aggressive to other dogs.
  • Komondor aren't high-energy, and are happy just watching and following you around the house. But they still need daily exercise of at least a few walks per day to keep them healthy and at their proper weight.
  • A high fence is required to prevent the Komondor from attempting to expand his territory, a common habit of guard dogs.
  • The Komondor is happiest when he's working. He's ideal for guarding livestock, but any job will give him the mental exercise he needs.
  • Although Komondor historically spent their time outside protecting the flock, they do need time inside with their family. Like any dog, a Komondor can become aggressive, fearful, or aloof when deprived of human company.
Other Quick Facts
  • When you look at a Komondor, you see a dog with a large head; dark brown eyes; hanging ears that are shaped like an elongated triangle, slightly rounded at the tip; and a long tail.
  • The Komondor has a dense, protective coat that starts to fall into cordlike curls when the dog is a puppy. The adult Komondor has a dense, soft, woolly undercoat and a coarse outer coat that is wavy or curly. Together, the outer coat and undercoat form tassel-like cords that lengthen as the dog grows older. The coat is always white, but not necessarily a pure white.
  • Comparable Breeds: Kuvasz, Puli
History
  The Komondor is the largest of the native Hungarian breeds and has guarded  sheep and cattle for ten centuries or more. It is considered to be an almost direct descendant of the Aftscharka (or Ovtcharka), a dog found by nomadic Huns on the southern steppes when passing through Russia. However, the earliest known written record of the breed appeared in 1544. In 1673, there was a report that “the Komondor guards the herd.” The first know illustration of the Komondor dates back to 1815 and is virtually identical to the dog today.
  His corded white coat is unique in the dog world, although the related but much smaller Puli has a similar coat, but in black. This coat provided an armor of sorts against the vicious predators the Komondor met and fought in the course of his daily work , many of which were his superior in size and weight. The Komondorok coat also kept it warm in the winter and prevented sunburn in the hotter seasons. Finally, it served as camouflage when the dog mingled with its wards, adding an element of surprise during a predator’s attack.
  The Magyars bred the Komondor for more than a thousand years, focusing on his performance, vigilance and courage rather than his pedigree. The Komondor was a prized worker and guardian, and was never thought of for commercial purposes. However, these dogs were not cross-bred with other dogs, so their pedigree remains essentially pure. The Hungarian Kennel Club and the Hungarian Komondor Club, while they have records of this breed only going back maybe a century or so, are committed to controlling and maintaining the purity, soundness and historical characteristics of this ancient breed and worked together to create the existing Hungarian standard for the Komondor.
  The Kom has been in North America since the 1930’s. They are routinely seen in flock-guarding programs and in the conformation ring. The American Kennel Club has adopted a translation of the Hungarian standard as its own. Today’s Komondor retains its strong protective nature, intelligence and self-reliance. It still is used in the United States and elsewhere to protect sheep flocks from coyotes. It is distinctive in the show ring and can make a loyal companion, although it is not a particularly affectionate breed.



Temperament
  The Komondor is built for livestock guarding. The Komondor's temperament is like that of most livestock guarding dogs; it is calm and steady when things are normal, but in case of trouble, the dog will fearlessly defend its charges. It was bred to think and act independently and make decisions on its own.
  It is affectionate with its family, and gentle with the children and friends of the family. Although wary of strangers, they can accept them when it is clear that no harm is meant,but is instinctively very protective of its family, home and possessions.The Komondor is very good with other family pets, often very protective over them, but is intolerant to trespassing animals and is not a good dog for an apartment. The dog is vigilant and will rest in the daytime, keeping an eye on the surroundings, but at night is constantly moving, patrolling the place, moving up and down around the whole area. The dogs usually knock down intruders and keep them down until the owner arrives Hungarian Komondor breeders used to say that an intruder may be allowed to enter the property guarded by a Komondor, but he will not be allowed to come out again.

Health
  The Komondor, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, is susceptible to minor health issues like canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and gastric torsion, as well as otitis externa, hot spots, and entropion. To identify some of these issues early, your veterinarian may recommend hip tests for dogs of this breed of dog.

Care
  This breed is not fond of warm weather but can live outdoors in cool and temperate climates. Though the dog does not shed, its cords (which begin to develop at 2 years of age) must be separated regularly to prevent matting and excess dirt from becoming trapped in the coat. This also makes bathing and drying quite the difficult task, often taking up an entire day. Its exercise requirements, meanwhile, may be met with a few short romps in the yard or a long walk around the neighborhood.

Living Conditions
  This dog does best in a clean country environment where he can receive extensive daily exercise, but it will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. It does well in most climates, for the Komondor lives for many months outdoors in all kinds of weather.

Training
  Since this is a large dog, you must ensure that your Komondor receives obedience training. Start as early as possible for the best results. This breed becomes obstinate when bored, so it’s in your best interest to keep training sessions interesting and upbeat. Use positive reinforcements for a job well done.
  Because the Komondor can be wary of strangers, socialization skills must be introduced when your dog is a puppy. Take your dog to new places and introduce him to new people as often as you can. As a natural guard dog, the Kom will be aggressive if he is not socialized properly as a puppy.

Exercise Requirements
  Komondors do well with moderate exercise needs. These can consist of two or three short walks daily or adequate playtime in the yard. If you have a yard, it needs to be securely fenced so they can define their territory. As well, it will keep other animals from entering that territory.

Grooming
  The coat of the Komondor begins to cord when he is eight months to a year old. The coat doesn’t shed much, but the cords must be separated regularly to maintain their look, and the coat does attract dirt. Once a Komondor is past young puppyhood his coat will probably never have its earlier pristine whiteness. The coat should never be dirty, matted, or bad smelling.
  To prevent problems, ask the breeder to show you how to care for the coat. Trimming the hair around the mouth and cleaning the dog’s face after meals is one way to help reduce odor.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Keep the ears clean and dry. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Komondor can be good companions to children in their own family, but may have difficulty accepting visiting children. They're best suited to homes with older children who understand how to interact with dogs. Always supervise Komondor when they're with children, and never leave them alone with young children. They're livestock guardians, not babysitters.
  Even when exposed to them often, Komondor are generally not fond of other dogs. They do best in a single-dog home but can learn to get along with cats. They're always pleased to have livestock to guard. That is, after all, their purpose in life.

Did You Know?
  The Komondor’s coat helps him blend in with his flock and protects him from weather extremes and the attacks of predators. The cords should develop by the time the dog is 2 years old.



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