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Showing posts with label dream day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dream day. Show all posts

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.


Overview
  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.

Highlights
  • 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
History
  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.





Personality
  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.


Health
  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.

Exercise
  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.


Care
  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.

Grooming
  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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Everything about your Portuguese Water Dog

Everything about your Portuguese Water Dog
   The Portuguese Water dog breed once served as crew on fishing trips, retrieving lost gear, and herding fish into nets. Today, he's a fun-loving family companion — represented by Bo Obama, First Dog of the U.S. — who still retains the intelligence and love of the water (not to mention the webbed feet) that made him so valuable to his human family.
   A wonderful swimmer and diver, the Portuguese Water Dog is often referred to as "Cão de Água" (dog of the water). Bred in Portugal to accompany fisherman on trips, this intelligent dog dove for fish, swam messages back and forth and acted as a guard dog of the boat. The Portuguese Water Dog is known for having a lion's cut, which is to aid while swimming in colder temperatures to keep vital organs warm. Nearly extinct, a wealthy Portuguese man brought the breed back, and it is now mildly popular in Portugal and the U.S. as a fishing companion as well as a therapy and assistance dog.


Overview
  Portuguese fishermen ranged from the Atlantic coast of their own country to the frigid fishing grounds of Newfoundland in their quest for cod. Assisting them were medium-size, curly-coated dogs who drove fish into nets, retrieved lost tackle, and swam messages from boat to boat.
  Known variously as the Cao de Agua (dog of the water) and Portuguese fishing dog, these canine helpmeets developed into what we know today as the Portuguese Water Dog, a calm, intelligent, and — of course — water-loving breed. In fact, one of their distinctive characteristics is their webbed feet.
  Porties, as they're nicknamed, are fun-loving and friendly. For an active family, especially one with a swimming pool, nearby beach, or boat, they can be an excellent choice. They thrive with training and are well suited to dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally, therapy work, tracking, and water work.
  No matter what activity you choose, make sure your Portie gets daily exercise — without it they can become frustrated and destructive. Swimming is a natural choice, but they also make great walking or jogging buddies.
  Like his relative the Poodle, the Portie has a reputation for being hypoallergenic. It's not quite true — there's really no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. All dogs shed and produce dander to some degree. But the Portie doesn't shed much.
  With training, there's very little the Portie can't do. He's adaptable to many living situations — with enough exercise he can be an apartment dog — and tends to be quiet around the home.   Affectionate and loyal, fun-loving and hard working, the Portuguese Water Dog can be a treasured friend to the right person.

Highlights
  • Portuguese Water Dogs are energetic and need 30 minutes to an hour of vigorous exercise daily. They love swimming and make excellent jogging companions.
  • Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, Portuguese Water Dogs can become destructive. They especially like to chew.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent. They love learning new things, but they can also become bored easily, so make training challenging and fun.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs get along well with children and other family pets, especially if they're raised with them. They can be reserved toward strangers, but are never lacking in love and affection for their families.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs don't shed much and are often considered hypoallergenic. Keep in mind that all dogs shed hair and dander to some degree, and no dog is completely hypoallergenic. If you have pet allergies, the best way to see if you'll have a reaction to a particular dog is to spend time with him and watch for symptoms.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs love people and should live in the home with their family.
  • They can adapt to apartment life if they get enough exercise.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs tend to mature more slowly than other breeds.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working Group
UKC group: Gun Dog Group
Average lifespan: 11 - 14 years
Average size: 35 - 60 pounds
Coat appearance: Curly or wavy haired
Coloration: Black, white, brown, silver fox, gray or any combination with white markings
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Medium size with athletic build, black nose, dark eyes, heart-shaped ears, straight legs with webbed feet
Possible alterations: N/A

Comparable Breeds: Poodle, Newfoundland

History
  The Portuguese Water Dog descends from dogs used for centuries by Portuguese fishermen to drive fish into nets, retrieve gear from the water, and swim messages from boat to boat. It's likely he shares an ancestor with the Poodle, who was bred in Germany to be a water retriever.
Known in his homeland as the Cao de Agua , the Portie served as a fishing crew member for trips ranging from off the coast of Portugal to Newfoundland.
  These hard-working fisherdogs almost disappeared in the early 20th century as fishing became more modernized, but a wealthy Portuguese dog lover, Vasco Bensuade, stepped in to save the breed. Fans formed a breed club and wrote a breed standard — a written description of how a breed should look and act — and Porties began to appear at dog shows.   A couple of decades later they made their way to England and the United States.
  The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America formed in 1972, despite the fact that there were only 12 known Porties in the U.S. Just 10 years later, their numbers had increased to 650, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) admitted the dogs to its Miscellaneous Class — sort of a way station for breeds awaiting full recognition.
  In 1983, the AKC recognized the Portie as a distinct breed. Today, the Portuguese Water Dog ranks 69th in popularity among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC.



Temperament
  Portuguese Water dogs make excellent companions.They are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. Once introduced, they are generally friendly to strangers, and enjoy being petted, which, due to their soft, fluffy coats, is a favour that human beings willingly grant them.
  Because they are working dogs, PWDs are generally content in being at their master's side, awaiting directions, and, if they are trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. They learn very quickly, seem to enjoy the training, and have a long memory for the names of objects. These traits and their non-shedding coats mean they excel at the various Service Dog roles such as hearing dogs (assistance dogs for the deaf), mobility dogs, and seizure response dogs. They also make unusually good therapy dogs.
  A PWD usually stays in proximity to its owners, both indoors and outdoors. Though very gregarious animals, these dogs will typically bond with one primary or alpha family member. Some speculate that this intense bonding arose in the breed because the dogs were selected to work in proximity to their masters on small fishing boats, unlike other working dogs such as herding dogs and water dogs that range out to perform tasks. In any case, the modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working dog, loves water, attention, and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out.
  As water dogs, the PWD's retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies.
  A PWD will commonly jump as a greeting. Owners may choose to limit this behavior. Some PWDs may walk, hop, or "dance" on their hind legs when greeting or otherwise enthusiastic. Some PWDs will stand upright at kitchen counters and tables, especially if they smell food above them. This habit is known as "counter surfing" and is characteristic of the breed.   Although it can be a nuisance, many PWD owners evidently enjoy seeing their dogs walking, hopping, standing up, or "countering" and do not seriously discourage these activities.
While they are very good companions to people who understand what they need, Portuguese Water Dogs are not for everyone. Because of their intelligence and working drive, they require regular intensive exercise as well as mental challenges. They are gentle and patient — but not "couch potatoes", and boredom may cause them to become destructive.


Health
  The Portuguese Water Dog, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, is prone to minor health problems such as GM1 storage disease, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), distichiasis, Addison's disease, alopecia, juvenile cardiomyopathy, and major health issues like progressive retinal atrophy. It also occasionally suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and seizures. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, DNA, and GM1 tests on this breed of dog.

Living Conditions
  The Portuguese Water Dog will be okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. It can live outdoors in temperate climates, but would be much happier living close to its family and spending days in the yard.

Exercise
  The Portuguese Water Dog is an active, working type dog with great stamina. It needs daily physical and mental exercise, which includes a daily, long, brisk walk or jog to satisfy its migration instinct. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. This breed does best with a job to do. They love to swim and there is nothing your dog would love more than if you threw a stick or ball in water for it to retrieve. It will also enjoy a vigorous romp. They make excellent jogging companions. They are high-energy dogs that need high-energy owners who can provide them with plenty of not only physical, but mental stimulation, along with strong leadership from every family member. Those dogs that are provided with this type of structure make excellent pets and working dogs and those that are lacking will tend to become problem dogs.

Care
  The Portuguese Water Dog is at its best when allowed to live as part of a human "pack." To prevent the dog from becoming bored and frustrated, provide it with daily mental and physical exercise, such as a jog, quick swim, long walk, vigorous romp, or playful game.
  The Portuguese Water Dog, like the Poodle, does not shed its coat. Therefore, coat care is a necessity for the breed, with combing on alternate days and clipping at least once a month.

Is this breed right for you?
  Extremely athletic, the Portuguese Water Dog does best in an environment that allows it to have high activity and possible swimming opportunities. If not provided with enough activity, it is likely that this breed will have behavioral problems. With a willingness to please, it is easy to train and will need it to keep a calm temperament. An average shedder, the Portuguese Water Dog is hypoallergenic and has simple grooming requirements. Affectionate with all members of the family, it does well with children and other animals if introduced to them young. This breed will do OK in an apartment as long as it is exercised, but it would most likely prefer a yard to romp around in.

Children and other pets
  Portuguese Water Dogs make excellent family companions, especially when raised with kids. They can be rambunctious, however, which is often scary or overwhelming for young children.
Always teach children how to safely approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and young kids to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling from either party.
Porties get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if they're raised with them. As with all dogs, you should keep an eye on Porties around small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters.


A dream day-in-the-life
  There is no doubt that the ideal day for the Portuguese Water Dog would involve some type of swimming. Whether in its own backyard pool or in a local pond or river, this dog will be the happiest pooch on the planet if it has the opportunity to perform the doggy paddle. Very loving, the rest of its day would happily be spent with its family and end with a jog, as it is known to be a wonderful running partner.




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Everything about your Cocker Spaniel

Everything about your Cocker Spaniel
  Famously known as Lady from Lady and the Tramp, this breed has a sweet temperament and a deep love for the human kind. Named after its preferred hunting game, the woodcock, the original Cocker Spaniel derived from England and was imported to the U.S. Now there are both the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Regardless of your choice, this dog is the most-popular Spaniel breed. No longer used for hunting in America (but still used for hunting in England), this breed makes an awesome family pet, wherever it resides.
  The Cocker Spaniel is primarily a beloved companion dog breed, though he remains a capable bird dog at heart. Beautiful to look at , the Cocker's amenable, cheerful disposition also makes him a treat to have in the family. Never more pleased than when he's pleasing you, he's as happy to snuggle on the couch with his favorite adults as to romp in the yard with the kids.

Overview
  The smallest member of the American Kennel Club Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel is the darling of many U.S. pet owners. Remember the female lead in Lady and the Tramp? It's no accident that the movie's model of an affectionate and pampered pet was a Cocker Spaniel. From the late 1930s to the 1950s, the Cocker was the number-one breed registered with the AKC. Then his popularity declined for almost 30 years, but he shot to the top of the charts again during the mid-1980s, and only in 1992 was his number-one status taken over by Labrador and Golden Retrievers. Today, the Cocker remains within the top 15 registered breeds.
  And no wonder — a well-bred Cocker Spaniel is a pleasure to own. He is known for a merry, sound temperament. His flowing coat is extremely handsome, he's loving and gentle, and he wants nothing more than to make his family happy.
Compared to other dogs in the Sporting Group, the Cocker is small (20 to 30 pounds), fitting comfortably into an apartment, condo, or a small home. He is primarily a companion but is easily trained for the conformation show ring, obedience and agility competitions, and field work. He is also an excellent therapy dog.
  The Cocker Spaniel resembles the English Cocker Spaniel, one of his peers in Sporting Group, and formerly the two breeds were considered one. However, a number of Spaniel fanciers noticed the different strains of Cocker and sought to preserve separate breeds and discourage the interbreeding of the English and American varieties. The American Kennel Club recognized the two breeds as separate in 1946.
  The typical Cocker Spaniel is gentle, a loving and trustworthy family companion who is good with children, other pets, and the elderly. Unfortunately, his extreme popularity leaves him open to the bane of all favorite breeds: unscrupulous people who breed with no regard for temperament, health, or conformation.
  As a result, some Cocker Spaniels have serious health and temperament problems. If you are considering a Cocker Spaniel, you must be extremely careful from whom you buy or adopt a puppy. Buy only from a reputable breeder. Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Reputable breeders breed with temperament in mind and perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don't pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases.

Other Quick Facts
  • Loving, affectionate and gentle, a well-bred Cocker is a terrific family pet and fits comfortably into any size home.
  • A poorly bred Cocker is snappy and afraid of people. This breed is one in which it pays to work with a responsible, experienced breeder.
  • The Cocker can compete in field trials, hunt tests, obedience, rally, agility, freestyle, and other forms of dog performance activities. He makes a good therapy dog.
  • The Cocker tail is typically docked, or cut short, when puppies are three or four days old. This is a point of controversy to some because it is a cosmetic procedure, although people in the breed note that it helps protect the tail from injury in the field.
  • Even well-bred Cockers are sensitive, so it’s important to use positive reinforcement and praise during training.
Highlights
  • Because Cockers are so popular, it is especially careful to research breeders and find one who is dedicated to improving the breed.
  • The sensitive Cocker Spaniel can be a bit nervous, even when he's from a good breeder and has been properly socialized. Don't be surprised if your Cocker exhibits submissive urination .
  • Cockers can be barkers, so response to a "Quiet" command should always be part of this dog's repertoire.
  • The Cocker is eager to please and likes to be close to his family. But remember, he was bred to be a hunting dog. Don't be surprised when he chases birds or other small animals when you're out on a walk. Keep your Cocker on a leash whenever you aren't in a fenced area.
  • The Cocker has a "soft" personality. Harsh training methods will make him fearful, so be sure to use gentle, consistent training to get the best results.
  • A Cocker Spaniel's long ears are both a part of his beauty and a potential health problem. Be sure to check your Cocker's ears every week for infections.
  • Keeping the Cocker coat beautiful is expensive and a lot of work. Plan on paying a professional groomer and on brushing the coat every day.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting Group
UKC group: Gun Dog Group
Average lifespan: 11 - 13 years
Average size: 14 - 30 pounds
Coat appearance: Silky, straight or slightly wavy
Coloration: Black, tan, black and tan, sable and various other colors
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Medium size, dark eyes, low-set feathered ears, docked tail
Possible alterations: Coat may be another solid coloration other than black.

Comparable Breeds: Brittany, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

History 
  References to "Spanyells" date to the 14th century. Different types of spaniels evolved over the centuries, some working on land and some retrieving from water. The Cocker, which flushes game and retrieves it under command, derives his name from his skill at hunting woodcock, a type of wading bird. He is the smallest dog in the Sporting Group.
  Spaniels used to be classified by size, and different types of spaniels might be born in the same litter. Eventually, the various spaniel types became individual breeds, and so it was with the Cocker. By 1946 the size and appearance of the Cocker and what is now the English Cocker Spaniel had changed enough that the two were split off into separate breeds.
  The popularity of the Cocker skyrocketed after the release of Disney’s classic movie “Lady and the Tramp” in 1955. The immense popularity fueled a rise in poor breeding that resulted in some bad temperaments, but Cocker breeders have worked hard to correct the situation. It is still important today, however, to find a responsible breeder who maintains the breed’s hallmark cheery disposition rather than continuing to put out the fearful and snappish dogs that nearly ruined the breed.
  Until 1990, the Cocker was the most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club. Today he ranks 25th, but he will always have a place among people who appreciate his moderate size, sweet nature and intelligence.


Modern breeds
   There are two modern breeds of cocker spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. They were bred as gun dogs; to use their sense of smell to cover low areas near the handler in order to flush birds into the air to be shot, and to use their eyes and nose to locate the bird once downed, and then to retrieve the bird with a soft mouth.The major differences between the English and American varieties is that the American is smaller with a shorter back, a domed head and a shorter muzzle, while the English variety is taller with a narrower head and chest.
   Cocker spaniel coats come in a variety of colors including black, liver, red and golden in solids. There are also black and tan, and sometimes liver and tan, as well as a variety of color mixtures of those solid colors including roans, roan and tans, tricolors and those solid colors with additional white markings.
   Rare colors can appear unexpectedly in certain lines, for instance while an all-white cocker is usually bred by selective breeding of very light golden strains, they can still appear very uncommonly to parents who are dark colored. A noted occurrence of this happened in 1943, when a grandson of My Own Brucie, Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1940 and 1941, was born all-white.
   In its native United States, the American Cocker Spaniel was ranked the 23rd most popular breed according to registration statistics of the AKC in 2009, a decrease in popularity since 1999 when it was ranked 13th. For twenty five years the American Cocker Spaniel was the most popular dog in America. It was ranked number one first in 1936 prior to the English Cocker Spaniel being recognized as a separate breed, and held onto the spot until 1952 when Beagles became the most popular dog. It regained the spot in 1983 and held on at number one until 1990. In the UK, the American Cocker Spaniel is far less popular than its English cousin with 322 registrations compared to the English Cocker's 22,211 in 2009.

Temperament and Personality
  Merry and lively, the Cocker Spaniel is also intelligent and trusting. Although he still retains a strong instinct to hunt, he is most often a house companion. With his family he is affectionate and docile. He can be a bit reserved at first with strangers, but he soon makes friends. Cockers can be good companions for children: not so big that they bowl them over and not so small that they are easily harmed by them. When raised together, they can buddy up with other pets, including cats, but birds may be an irresistible lure — and not in a good way.
  The Cocker is highly trainable, but he has a sensitive soul. Early socialization is critical, and even with it some Cockers will urinate submissively when their people come home or when they meet new people or dogs or go new places. Approach training with positive reinforcement methods, especially praise and food rewards.
  The Cocker can be good at field trials and as a gun dog, although for years he was thought of as "just" a companion. A Cocker is versatile and can do so much more than just hanging around the house, but he's quite content to do that too because he loves being with you.
  Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Cocker, the “teen” years start at six months and continue until the dog is about a year old. His barking can be a problem unless you curb it early.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
  Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.
  The perfect Cocker Spaniel doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Cockers have been overbred in the past, sometimes resulting in a fearful, slightly scary dog that in no way represents a well-bred Cocker. Look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

Health
  The American Cocker Spaniel generally lives between 12 to 15 years. Some of its serious health problems include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, patellar luxation, and glaucoma. Diseases like elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and epilepsy can occasionally affect the breed. Other minor health problems that the American Cocker Spaniel suffers from include cardiomyopathy, ectropion, urinary stones, otitis externa, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), hypothyroidism, seborrhea, phosphofructokinase deficiency, entropion, "cherry eye," liver disease, allergies, and congestive heart failure. In order to identify these conditions early, a veterinarian may recommend hip, knee, thyroid, or eye exams during routine checkups; DNA tests may be used to diagnose a phosphofructokinase deficiency, which may lead to anemia in the dog.

Care
  It is important that the American Cocker Spaniel receives regular eye, ear, and feet cleanings to keep them dirt-free. The dog also needs its coat brushed a minimum of two to three times a week, as well as a monthly hair trimming and nail clipping. Its exercise requirements, as with many other dog breeds, can be met with regular walks. And as the American Cocker Spaniel is a social dog that needs constant human companionship, it should be kept indoors to be closer with the family.

Grooming
  The beautiful, silky Cocker coat that you see on dogs in the show ring doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work to keep it shiny and tangle-free. For good reason, most people keep their pets in a short cut all over, known as a puppy cut. Even that requires a fair bit of maintenance. Dogs with puppy cuts should be bathed, brushed and trimmed about every two weeks.
If you want the flowing long coat, more care and time must be taken, and typically the bathing, brushing and trimming happens once a week. Most people choose to take their Cocker to a professional groomer, but you can learn to do it yourself. The cost of the equipment is equivalent to only a few grooming sessions, you won’t have to schedule appointments and you will find that you increase your bond with your Cocker. However, grooming isn’t for everyone, so if you don’t want to do it, find a groomer you like because it’s an absolute requirement for a Cocker.
  Because Cocker ears are prone to infection, check them weekly to make sure the inside is a healthy, vibrant pink and doesn’t have a foul odor. If not, get to the vet quickly before the ear infection becomes a major issue. Be particularly careful to check the ears of a puppy as there is a significant wax buildup while the ear canal develops. Clean the ears using a solution recommended by your veterinarian.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every few weeks. They should never get long enough that you hear them clacking on the floor. Long nails can make it uncomfortable for the Cocker to walk, and they can get caught on things and tear off. That’s really painful, and it will bleed a lot.   Brush the teeth frequently for good dental health and fresh breath.

Is this breed right for you?
  Often used as a therapy dog, this breed is very intelligent and easy to train. Friendly and extremely affectionate, the Cocker Spaniel makes the perfect companion or family dog. Extremely active, the dog requires daily exercise and play. A luxurious and thick coat, it will need to be groomed regularly. A social animal, it is best that the Cocker Spaniel isn't left alone much, and although apartment life may be OK if exercised regularly, it is best if it has space to play inside and outside.

Children and other pets
  One of the reasons the Cocker Spaniel is so popular is that he makes a good family dog. He gets along well with children — as long as he is raised with them and the kids are kind and respectful to animals. But because he is a sensitive dog, all interactions between the Cocker and children should be supervised by a responsible adult.
  The Cocker Spaniel also gets along with other family pets (given proper training and introductions), including dogs, cats, and small animals.

Did You Know?
Former talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey owns two Cocker Spaniels, Sophie and Solomon. In 2010, designer Ralph Lauren custom designed a cashmere sweater the color of Oprah’s Cockers, which she gave away to audience members at her “Favorite Things” extravaganza.

A dream day-in-the-life
  The Cocker Spaniel will likely sleep in or around its owner's bed. Following you around wherever you may go, your shadow will likely be ready for some early-morning game of catch or at least a short walk around the neighborhood. Keep it busy throughout the day with a lot of conversation and breaks for play. Take it for a long walk at the end of the day, and show it lots of love before you turn in for the night.



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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Everything about your Cane Corso

Everything about your Cane Corso
  This Italian mastiff was bred to hunt wild boar and today acts as a guard dog. Fiercely devoted to his family, he doesn't care for strangers or small animals. More athletic and agile than other mastiffs, he’ll sit at your feet with impressive weight.
  With its large, athletic build and massive head, the Cane Corso is an impressive looking dog that may conjure up fear in those who have never met the Italian breed.
  Alas, while the Cane Corso was originally bred to be a guard dog, the breed today is well known as a lovable family companion. In fact, due to its increasing popularity, the American Kennel Club recently welcomed the breed to join its registry.
  Born to Perform! The Cane Corso Italian Mastiff is the Ferrari of the Canine world, a fine Italian high-performance machine! Magnificent Style, Sleek Muscular Lines, Tremendous Drive and more. The Cane Corso strikes the perfect balance between Family Companion & Protection. All this, in a Compact Powerful body with the heart of a lion, and the gentleness to watch over a child.

Overview
  The Cane Corso is a mastiff breed from Italy. He is a complex, powerful dog with special needs. For starters, he is a giant breed, weighing up to 120 pounds. He was created to hunt big game and guard property. The Cane Corso has a massive head, heavy rectangular body, and a short coat in black, gray, fawn, or red.
  The Cane Corso is not an appropriate choice for an inexperienced dog owner. First-time dog owners and people who have had only “soft” breeds such as retrievers, spaniels, or toy breeds need not apply. This dog is large, powerful, intelligent, active, and headstrong.
  A Cane Corso needs a leader who can guide him with firmness and consistency without using force or cruelty. The Cane Corso loves his family, but he’s not demonstrative about it. He will want to be near you, but he’s not demanding in terms of attention or physical touch.
  Early, frequent socialization is essential. Purchase a Cane Corso puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home and ensures that they are exposed to many household sights and sounds. Continue socializing your Cane Corso throughout his life by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, introducing him to friends and neighbors, and planning outings to local shops and businesses. This is the only way he can learn to be discriminating between what is normal and what is truly a threat.
  That said, no amount of socialization will make him friendly toward people other than his family. The Cane Corso is first and foremost a guard dog, and he takes his responsibilities seriously.
  Begin training as soon as you bring your Cane Corso puppy home, while he is still at a manageable size. Institute a nothing-in-life-is-free program, requiring puppies to “work” for everything they get by performing a command before receiving meals, toys, treats, or play. It’s always a good idea to take a Cane Corso to puppy kindergarten followed by basic obedience class, especially if you are working with a trainer who understands the Cane Corso mindset.
  The Cane Corso has a moderate activity level and needs a job to do, which can be anything from being your on-leash walking companion to daily training activities. Expect to walk or jog him at least a mile daily, in addition to 20 minutes or so of training practice. He will not be satisfied to lie around and do nothing all the time.
  He must also be prevented from chasing and killing cats or small dogs belonging to the neighbors. The Cane Corso has a high prey drive and a territorial nature, so he needs a strong, solid fence at least six feet high to keep him on his own property. An underground electronic fence is never appropriate for this breed.
  Like any dog, Cane Corso puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size can do a whole lot of damage. Don’t give them the run of the house until they’ve reached trustworthy maturity. And keep your Cane Corso puppy busy with training, play and socialization experiences. A bored Cane Corso is a destructive Cane Corso.
  The Cane Corso should spend plenty of time with his family. Chaining a Cane Corso out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior.
  The Cane Corso has a smooth coat that sheds. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Cane Corso on the rare occasions that he’s dirty.

Other Quick Facts:

  • Despite a multicentury legacy, the Cane Corso nearly went extinct during World War II.
  • The Cane Corso is a fiercely intelligent animal and requires an equally savvy owner.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working group
UKC group: Guardian Dog group
Average lifespan: 10 - 12 years
Average size: 90 - 110 pounds
Coat appearance: Waterproof, shiny, short and dense, similar to a cow
Coloration: Black, various to all shades of gray, fawn, red and brindle
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Medium-sized but large-boned and strong muscular body; thick skin; broad muzzle; muscular jaw; black nose; cropped or chin-length ears; long legs; black paws and nails
Possible alterations: May have pink nose, fringed or longer coat.
Comparable Breeds: Bullmastiff, Rottweiler
History
  The Cane Corso is a descendant of the canis pugnax, dogs used by the Romans in warfare. Its name derives from cane da corso, an old term for those catch dogs used in rural activities (for cattle and swine; boar hunting, and bear fighting) as distinct from cane da camera which indicates the catch dog kept as a bodyguard. In the recent past, its distribution was limited to some districts of Southern Italy, especially in Basilicata, Campania and Puglia.
  The Cane Corso is a catch dog used with cattle and swine, and also in wild boar and cougar hunters. It is also used by night watchmen, keepers, and, in the past, by carters as a drover. In the more distant past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify.
  The American Kennel Club first recognized the Cane Corso in 2010. The popularity of the breed continues to grow, ranking in 50th place in the United States in 2013, a jump from 60th place in 2012.


Temperament and Personality
  The Cane Corso is a naturally strong-willed dog with a dominating personality. Those characteristics are what make him an exceptional protector of his family and home. However, his natural tendency to take charge can be troublesome to an owner who is unable to establish his or her role as pack leader and control this behavior. While the Cane Corso is loving and affectionate with his family, including children, he will try to rule the roost. Anyone considering this breed must be prepared to set boundaries with confidence because this dog will surely test them.
  The Cane Corso is highly intelligent and athletic, and he needs plenty of activity to keep him fit physically and mentally. Take him jogging or on strenuous hikes to help him burn off his energy.
The Cane Corso may be best suited to a family with older children (age 9 and up) rather than a family with babies and toddlers due to his large size and the time and effort required to closely supervise interactions between the dog and young children.
  Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
  Don’t let him get away with behaviors such as growling or snapping when he is touched or moved, or when he doesn’t want to go outside or go in a certain direction on leash. Nor should he be allowed to behave that way when someone gets too close to his toys or food. Mounting family members is also inappropriate. Quick, decisive action is needed to reassert your authority as pack leader in such cases. To prevent these types of behaviors in the first place, work closely with a trainer or behaviorist who understands the mindset of guardian breeds.
  Ask yourself why you are interested in this breed. Talk with a reputable, experienced Cane Corso breeder. Describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Choose a puppy whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized by the breeder from birth.

Health 
  Life expectancy for a Cane Corso is 10 to 11 years. As a large and robust dog, it has the typical bone and joint problems of giant breeds. These can include hip dysplasia and degenerative joint disease. Providing proper nutrition and preventing obesity from occurring can help reduce the risk of degenerative joint disease. Hip dysplasia is more genetically based.
  Cane Corso’s are also prone to common eye defects, such as entropion, ectropion, and glandular hypertrophy, or "Cherry eye."

Living Conditions
  The Cane Corso will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. They will be content to live outdoors provided they have adequate shelter.

Exercise
  This very athletic breed needs a lot of regular exercise. They make excellent jogging companions, and if not jogged daily, should be taken on at least one long, brisk daily walk.

Care
  The Cane Corso is quite simple to care for. As a short haired breed, it does not require much grooming; just a bath and a brush now and then. Shedding is minimal. It is also flexible when it comes to living arrangements as the Cane Corso can settle just as happily into apartment dwelling as outdoor living. If left outdoors, adequate shelter needs to be provided. If dwelling in an apartment, owners need to make sure to provide enough daily exercise. The Cane Corso can make excellent jogging companions, but for daily exercise needs it need at least one long, brisk walk.

Grooming
  Grooming the Cane Corso is quite easy due to his short coat, though his large size means it’s a big job. Brush his sleek coat with a natural bristle brush or mitt once a week. Use coat conditioner/polish to brighten the sheen. Bathe him every three months (or when he’s dirty) using a mild shampoo.
  The rest is basic care. Check his ears every week and clean if needed. Trim his toenails regularly, usually once a month, and brush his teeth regularly using a soft toothbrush and doggie toothpaste to keep his teeth and gums healthy. It is essential to introduce grooming to the Cane Corso when he is very young so he learns to accept the handling and fuss peacefully.  
Is this breed right for you?
  Active, the strong Cane Corso requires a lot of exercise. An excellent family dog, it gets along well with children but has a serious instinct to chase other animals, including cats. While it does well living in an apartment if it receives adequate fitness, the Cane Corso would also be satisfied living outdoors. Loyal to its owner and extremely gentle, it is best that it has an owner that is well-versed in the breed and is stern in its training. Typically, it is best that the Cane Corso is taught to be submissive to its owner and family. In addition, this breed should be socialized young to avoid its protective instinct kicking in with invited guests. Requiring only an occasional brush, the Cane Corso is very easy to groom and only lightly sheds. However, it is known for drooling, especially when overheated.

Did You Know?
The Cane Corso is also known as Dogo di Puglia, which means "dog of Puglia."

A dream day-in-the-life
  A simple breed, it does not require much to make the Cane Corso happy. An affectionate dog, it will be happy to be surrounded by its family throughout the entire day. Going for a quick walk or run, it is likely to guard the home while keeping on the trail of its owner. Around the home, it will be docile and go nearly unnoticed, until it gets into bed with its owner at night

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