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Showing posts with label guardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guardian. Show all posts

Monday, September 25, 2017

Everything about your Bracco Italiano

Everything about your Bracco Italiano
  Also known as the Italian Pointer, the Bracco Italiano is proud, athletic gun dog. With their strong muscles and long ears, it is easy to see why these dogs are the pride of Italy. Though this breed was originally developed for hunting, their gentle temperament makes them excellent family pets as well. Their droopy lips, soft eyes and loving nature makes them a great pet for any family.

Overview
  In his homeland of Italy, the Bracco (plural is Bracchi) is primarily a hunting dog, but people are starting to discover that this attractive dog with the noble appearance and pleasant  personality is also an excellent companion and show dog.
 The Bracco-or Italian Pointer- should be athletic and powerful in appearance, most resembling a cross between a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Bloodhound, although it is nothing like them in character. It has pendulous upper lips and long ears that create a serious expression. It should be "almost square", meaning that its height at the withers should be almost the same as the length of its body. It should not however be actually square as this would render its famous rear driving push off and front/rear extension to be compromised, thus losing much of its powerful grace. The tail can be docked, mostly due to the strong possibility of injury in rough/dense terrain when hunting, however there has been a sea-change in Italy, with some now working the breed with full tail.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Bracco’s short, shiny coat can be solid white; white with orange or dark amber; white with chestnut and may have roan (freckled) markings.
  • The Bracco often moves with an interesting extended trot.
  • In the field, the Bracco is often a versatile and efficient hunter with a strong ability to air scent; that is, he works with his nose in the air, following scents carried on air currents.
Breed standards
AKC group: Hound

UKC group: Gun dogs
Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Average size: 55 to 88 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Glossy, Hard, Short, Short-Haired, Silky, and Soft
Coloration: Bianco-Arancio - White-Orange and Roano-Marrone - Roano-Brown, chestnut, or amber coloured patches on the face, ears, base of tail, and body
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: houses with yards, singles, families with children, active singles, hunters
Temperament: Gentle, loving, obedient, intelligent
Comparable Breeds: English Pointer, Spinone Italiano

History 
  The Bracco Italiano can be found in paintings as early as the 4th and 5th centuries BC and frescoes of dogs resembling the modern Bracco date to 14th-century Renaissance Italy. The white-and-orange Bracco is believed to have originated in the Piedmont, while the roan-and-brown dogs may have come from Lombardy. The Piedmont dogs, hunting in mountainous terrain, were lighter and smaller than the Lombard dogs, which were bred for working in marshy lowland areas.
  Both types were popular hunting dogs and were bred by noble families such as the Medici and Gonzaga. Their original job was to drive game into nets or flush birds or other prey for falconers. Later, when hunters began using firearms, the dogs were used to point and retrieve game. Often given as gifts to noble and royal gentlemen in France and Spain, these dogs may have been the ancestors of European pointing breeds.
  By the early 20th century, though, the Bracco population had dwindled. Fortunately, an organization called Societa Amitori Bracco Italiano and an Italian breeder named Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc revived the breed, partially by uniting the two types to increase genetic diversity. The standard for the breed was released in 1949, and the Federation Cynologique Internationale accepted the breed in 1956. Today it’s not unusual to see the Bracco at Italian events for hunting and working dogs.
  The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2006. The Bracco Italiano Club of America was organized the next year and hopes to help the breed achieve full American Kennel Club recognition. The AKC added the breed to its Foundation Stock Service — a first step toward AKC recognition — in 2001, and the Bracco has been allowed to compete in AKC performance and companion events since 2010.



Temperament
  Braccos are very much a people-loving dog and thrive on human companionship, having a strong need to be close to their people. They are a particularly good family dog, and many have a strong love of children. They get along well with other dogs and pets, if trained to do so - it is, afterall, a hunting breed - and must be taught what to chase and what not to. They are very willing to please as long as they have decided that your idea is better than theirs. Obedience training is a must for a Bracco, and the more is asked of them, the better they do. Harsh reprimands do not work with this breed unless the reprimand is a fair one - and harshness must occasionally be used with some dogs to remind them who is actually in charge. Although not an aggressive breed, many Braccos will alert if there is a reason, and some will bark or growl if there's a good reason.
  The breed loves to hunt, and they excel at it - in fact, a non-hunting Bracco is not a happy Bracco, and will act out in various other ways. Hunting without a gun is an area in which the Bracco can excel and this can be a great opportunity for training the dog to connect with the owner. They are an active breed, but require more mental exercise than physical exercise to keep them happy. A Bracco owner can teach games like hide-and-seek which fits into the breed's original and current usage, and keeps them mentally active.

Health 
  The Bracco Italiano is generally a healthy breed but, like all dogs, they are prone to developing certain minor health conditions. Some of the most common health problems seen in this breed include hip dysplasia, entropion, umbilical hernias and ear mites. The Bracco Italiano is also sensitive to anesthesia, particularly to the drug Domitor.

Training
  The Bracco Italiano is a highly intelligent breed which is one of the many features that makes it a great hunting dog. Not only does this dog have great hunting instincts, but he is naturally eager to please. The best training methods for this dog are gentle but consistent – the gentle nature of this dog may make him stop trying if he is treated with harshness or cruelty. For the best results, use positive reinforcement training and start obedience training from a young age.
  Many fans of the breed will argue that a Bracco Italiano that is not trained to hunt will not be a happy dog. Not only is this the activity the breed was meant for, but the dogs truly enjoy the activity. Even if you choose not to train your dog for hunting, you should provide him with plenty of mental exercise in addition to physical exercise to keep him sharp.

Exercise Requirements
  As a hunting breed, the Bracco Italiano likes to be fairly active but they can do well in an apartment or house without a yard if given adequate exercise. A nice 30-minute walk once a day will be adequate for this breed, though he will gladly accept more exercise. The Bracco Italiano has a unique gait that you may see if you give him a chance to run – he starts out at a slow trot with long strides but is capable of a fast gallops. When hunting, the Bracco Italiano reduces his speed the closer he gets to his quarry, coming to a near crawl and ending in a non-moving “point”.

Grooming
  The Bracco’s coat is short, dense and shiny. The hair on the head, ears and front of the legs and feet usually has a finer texture.
  Spend a few minutes once or twice a week brushing the coat with a hound glove to keep it shiny and clean and remove dead hair.
  Bathe the dog as needed. He might not need a full bath very often, but you may want to clean the ends of his ears regularly. They often get wet when the dog drinks and may pick up dirt when he’s outdoors.
  These dogs can be droolers, although they don’t produce as much spit as a Mastiff or Saint Bernard. Keep a hand towel nearby to wipe your dog’s mouth after he eats or drinks.
  Check his ears weekly to make sure they don’t smell or look red or dirty, which could indicate an ear infection. Clean them only if they look dirty.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two or as needed. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Did You Know?
  In Italian, the plural of Bracco is Bracchi.

Is the Bracco Italiano the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep.
Constant Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Bracco Italiano is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.


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Friday, July 7, 2017

Everything about your Dogo Argentino

Everything about your Dogo Argentino
  The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar; the breeder, Antonio Nores Martínez, also wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and willingly protect its human companion. It was first bred in 1928, from the Cordoba Fighting Dog along with a wide array of other breeds including the Great Dane.

Overview
  Dogo Argentinos have powerfully built well-muscled bodies. Their large heads are equipped with extremely powerful jaws designed to bite and hold on to large prey. Their necks have an abundance of skin designed to protect their necks when hunting dangerous game. The Dogo’s coat is pure white and any colored markings are considered a fault.
  Despite their imposing appearance, Dogos are in fact extremely gentle and loving. They are highly devoted to their masters and will willingly risk their lives to protect their human owners. Unfortunately, they are banned in certain countries like Ukraine, Iceland, Australia and Singapore.

Other Quick Facts:
  • The Dogo Argentino can weight upwards of 80 pounds
  • This breed was traditionally used to hunt big game in Argentina. 
Breed standards
AKC group: Working

UKC group: Guardian Dog

Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Coat appearance: Short
Coloration: White
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas houses
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, protective, friendly
Comparable Breeds: American Bulldog, Boxer

History
  In 1928, Antonio Nores Martinez, a medical doctor, professor and surgeon, set out to breed a big game hunting dog that was also capable of being a loyal pet and guard dog. Antonio Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. 
  This breed is extinct today, but it was said that as a large and ferocious dog, it was a great hunter. Martinez crossed it with the Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux. Nores Martinez continued to develop the breed via selective breeding to introduce the desired traits.

Personality
  The Dogo Argentino is an amiable, outgoing, powerful breed that should never be aggressive towards people. It was bred to be gentle and protective of family members, especially children. However, it also was bred to be a strong, tenacious, fearless hunter of large, dangerous prey. These qualities are sometimes in conflict, although this breed has a remarkable instinctive ability to separate its ferociousness from its friendliness. Dogos can make excellent companions for active, experienced dog owners. Some Dogos – especially intact males – are assertive, overbearing and territorial around other dogs.   However, the breed generally has a kind and loving disposition and is gentle at home, easily making the transition from hunter to companion. Dogos are terrific watchdogs, being protective and loyal to their family without showing overly-aggressive behavior. A properly-socialized Dogo Argentino makes friends easily but reacts instantly to threatening or challenging behavior from friend or foe. This breed will usually try to assert itself as Alpha over other animals and people. It is important that a clear hierarchy be established within the household so that all people and pets can coexist harmoniously.

Health
  As in the Dalmatian, white Boxer, and the white Bull Terrier, the dogo may experience pigment-related deafness. There is possibility of an approximate 10% deafness rate overall with some dogos afflicted uniaurally (one deaf ear) and some binaurally (deaf in both ears). Studies have shown that the incidence of deafness is drastically reduced when the only breeding stock used is that with bilaterally normal hearing.

Hunting and legality
  While the Dogo Argentino was bred primarily from the extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog, it was bred to be a cooperative hunter, i.e. to accompany other catch dogs and bay dogs on the hunt without fighting with the other dogs. Aggressive traits inherent in the Cordoban Dog were specifically bred out to enable a stable cooperative nature in a pack. However, in areas where illegal dog fighting continues, the Dogo Argentino has been used for fighting due to its fearless nature and great stamina. Dogos of these lines are not suited for big game hunting, unlike the original Dogo Argentino.
  The Dogo Argentino is banned in certain countries including Ukraine, Denmark, Iceland, Fiji,Australia, Singapore and the Cayman Islands. In the United Kingdom, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is illegal to own a Dogo Argentino without lawful authority.

Living Conditions
  This breed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised and does best with at least an average-sized yard. Be sure to bring the Dogo inside when temperatures drop below freezing.

Training
  Dogos are incredibly intelligent and are quick learners. They respond well to training when it is done consistently, gently and with positive reinforcement. When given praise, rewards and affection for proper behavior, Dogos quickly learn what is expected of them. When scolded, yelled at or punished harshly, Dogos tend to withdraw and become stubborn or unresponsive. They can also become unruly with rough treatment, and sometimes turn dangerous. Basic obedience training and socialization must start at an early age for this breed. Delaying socialization can create a fearful, aggressive dog instead of the friendly yet imposing watchdog that the Dogo Argentino was bred to be. Dogos are competitive in dog sports such as obstacle coursing and disc-catching. Obedience training is fun for these dogs. They are natural heelers and want to please their owners. If bred and raised properly, they have a steady temperament and seem to adjust themselves quickly to different situations.

Exercise Requirements
  Dogo Argentinos are highly energetic dogs and are unsuitable for owners that cannot provide them with daily, rigorous exercise. They are able to navigate various types of terrain and make excellent jogging partners. As a working breed of dog, they are also at their happiest when given a ‘meaningful’ task which they can devote themselves to.

Grooming
  Grooming the Dogo is easy because of his short coat, though his large size means it’s a big job. A bath every three months  in a mild dog shampoo is a good idea. Brush his sleek coat with a natural bristle brush or mitt once a week. Use coat conditioner/polish to brighten the sheen.
  The rest is basic care. His ears need to be checked every week and cleaned if needed and toenails trimmed once a month. Regular brushing with a soft toothbrush and vet-approved doggie toothpaste keep the teeth and gums healthy. It is essential to introduce grooming to the Dogo when he is very young so he learns to accept the handling and fuss peacefully.

Is the Dogo Argentino 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!
Moderately Easy Training: The Dogo Argentino is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  You may have heard that the Dogo Argentino is hypoallergenic. That is not true. No breed is. Allergies are not caused by a particular dog coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs.

In popular culture
  • Bombon (film) Carlos Sorín's, a 2005 film starring a Dogo Argentino named Gregorio
  • On Animal Planet's Pit Boss episode "Shorty's Top Dog", Shorty Rossi and Hercules adopted a Dogo Argentino puppy named Mario.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Everything about your Dogue de Bordeaux

Everything about your Dogue de Bordeaux
  A powerful and muscular French breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a molossoid , "dogue" meaning Mastiff in French. A massive head and stocky body are trademarks of the breed. Americans became aware of the Dogue de Bordeaux when he appeared as drooling, messy "Hooch" in the 1989 Tom Hanks' film,Turner and Hooch. The breed's short, fine coat is fawn-colored, ranging from a dark red to a light fawn.

Overview
  The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient French breeds. He is a typical brachycephalic molossoid type. He is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. Built rather close to the ground, the distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground is slightly less than the depth of the chest. A massive head with proper proportions and features is an important characteristic of the breed. His serious expression, stocky and athletic build, and self assurance make him very imposing. Bitches have identical characteristics, but less prominent.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Dogue de Bordeaux is a member of the mastiff family and originated in France.
  • The Dogue de Bordeaux can get along with cats and other dogs if he is brought up with them, but he has a strong prey drive and is likely to chase animals who stray onto his property.
  • The Dogue has thick, loose-fitting skin covered in fine, short hair. His coat can be any shade of fawn from light to dark-red, with or without a black or brown mask.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working Group

UKC group: Guardian Dog Group
Average lifespan: 8 - 10 years
Average size: 120 - 145 pounds
Coat appearance: Short and fine
Coloration: Fawn or mahogany with black or red masking
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Powerful, muscular body with thick skin; wrinkled face; hazel to brown eyes; muscular legs; and thick tail
Possible alterations: May have white markings on the body.
Comparable Breeds: Bullmastiff, Mastiff

History
  The translation of Dogue de Bordeaux could perhaps be described as “Bordeaux Mastiff,” but it is also known as a French Mastiff in areas outside of the country, particularly in America. As for its historical origins, the translations are not so clear. Many think the Dogue de Bordeaux could have descended from the Tibetan Mastiff and the Bulldog – which would certainly make the nickname “Bordeaux Bulldog” more appropriate. Dogs in the Middle Ages in the Aquitaine region may have also been ancestors to the modern Dogue de Bordeaux, and by the end of the Middle Ages, its use as a companion and guard dog was more frequent.
  Although the Dogue de Bordeaux took a heavy hit during the French Revolution, it regained its numbers throughout the years and a man named Raymond Triquet helped it to survive by taking the breed under his wing.
  The dog’s very tough history includes use in war, guardianship, and even training in hunting large game like bears, bulls, and jaguars. It was only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2008.

Temperament
  The Bordeaux has a good and calm temperament. It is extremely loyal, patient and devoted to his family. Fearless and confrontational with strangers, he is a first class watch and guard dog. Socialize very well with other animals, preferably starting from an early age to avoid him being aggressive with other dogs. 
  The Dogue de Bordeaux snores and drools. Despite his fearsome appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux is gentle with children and family members.   However, this is a powerful animal, and is not suitable for an inexperienced dog owner. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. This breed needs a calm, but firm owner who displays a natural authority over the dog. One who is confident and consistent.

Health
  Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip, elbow and cardiac disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Dogue de Bordeaux are healthy dogs.
  Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Dogue de Bordeaux can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Care
  The dog is quite well groomed however sheds seasonally. Brushing twice a week during shedding season and once a week in rest of the year is comfortable for its grooming. The apartment living is not suitable until you accept its drools and snores; generally you will have everything covered in drool. Additionally wide area is required for exercise requirements.

Living Conditions
  This breed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are very inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard.

Training
  Like all large dogs, training with the Dogue de Bordeaux should be handled with care. You will undoubtedly notice the fierce guardian instincts in this dog, and you’ll feel quite safe in its presence, but care should be taken so that the dog does not become suspicious of all strangers and all other dogs. Calm leadership that places clear boundaries on the Dogue de Bordeaux will be important, as will ensuring a pecking order that includes the dog in the family, but makes sure the dog understands its place below every human.

Exercise
  The two major issues are concerned with these dogs during puppyhood which necessitate regular exercises. Firstly, it is a healthy eater and gains weight rapidly, secondly it possesses high energies, it may be boisterous if not satisfied by its physical activities. Adult dog are more prone to get clumsy and fat. Healthy amount of daily exercises including long walks and accompanying in running and jogging are mandatory. Remember an unsatisfied dog would become too rambunctious to romp all over your house. They need any partner to exercise their activities, if left alone they would avoid exertion and would result in destructive dog instead.

Grooming
  The Dogue’s short coat is easy to groom. Brush him once a week with a rubber curry brush to remove dead hairs.
  But there’s more to grooming than coat care. The Dogue has wrinkles and they need special care so they don’t become infected. Wipe them out using a damp cloth or a baby wipe, then dry the folds thoroughly to prevent skin infections.
  Carry a hand towel for wiping his wrinkled face after every meal or drink of water. When he shakes that big head, he slings gobs of drool everywhere. He also sheds heavily, so you’ll be spending plenty of time sweeping and vacuuming.
  The rest is basic care. Check the ears weekly and clean them if necessary, brush the teeth as often as possible, and trim the nails regularly, usually every few weeks.

Children and other pets
  The breed is protective to family and remains curious to strangers, this breed needs to be introduced with your friends to accept them. The dog is sensible to differentiate between friendly and threatening elements. The Dogue de Bordeaux are excellent with children of 8 years and above. They may knock over young kids unintentionally due to their massive physique. Young kids should be governed when around them. This breed is aggressive to other dogs, some of them are more aggressive to same sex while some do not like opposite sex in the pack. They are healthy chaser of small animals including cats and other creatures. A demanding socialization from their early age is extremely needed to adapt the dog in multi-pet house

Is this breed right for you?
  Extremely family-friendly, the Dogue de Bordeaux has a much tougher exterior than it does demeanor. Calm and content, the dog will only be aggressive if its home feels threatened or if it is not socialized with other animals as a puppy. Requiring training and a good leader, this breed will become rough out of instinct if not taught how to behave properly. Relatively calm indoors, it will do OK with apartment life but will need regular exercise. A loud snorer and big drooler, the Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to many health problems, including epilepsy, heart problems and hip dysplasia.

Did You Know?
  The Dogue de Bordeaux, related to the Mastiff, starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1989 comedy “Turner and Hooch.” The canine star’s name was Beasley, and although he stole nearly every scene he was in, this was his first and only film.

A dream day in the life
  This affectionate breed will likely wake up in one of its family member's room, although it will probably spend most of the night ensuring the home is safe from any harm. Enjoying a long walk, it'll settle in close to the ones that it loves. A calm and easygoing dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux will enjoy occasional rubdowns and play sessions while it keeps alert for anything out of the ordinary outside of the home.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Everything about your Neapolitan Mastiff

Everything about your Neapolitan Mastiff
  The Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.

Overview
  With its massive size made even more imposing by its abundant loose skin and dewlap, the Neapolitan Mastiff may have the most alarming appearance of any dog, and some say this look was purposefully bred in order to scare away intruders without the dog having to act. However, when forced to act, the Neo can spring into action with surprising speed. Its massive muscular body can knock down almost any intruder. Its huge head with short, powerful jaws and large teeth can crush or hold an opponent. The skin is tough and hanging, adding to the imposing impression of size as well as formidable expression. 
  The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred for centuries to guard its family. As such, it is incredibly loyal and devoted to its family, watchful and suspicious of strangers, and tolerant of acquaintances. It is a stay-at-home-type dog. Although it is loving toward children, its sheer size can make accidents possible. It may not get along well with other dogs, especially domineering-type dogs. Because of its size, it should be carefully socialized at an early age.

Highlights
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs do best in homes with a yard they can patrol. They are calm indoors however and can do fine in an apartment or condo big enough to accommodate their sprawl.
  • Neos are generally clumsy dogs who have trouble navigating more than a few stairs, especially as puppies.
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff is an average shedder and requires weekly brushing, plus close attention to cleaning his skin wrinkles and folds.
  • He's an excellent deterrent to intruders, but rarely aggressive without cause. Socialize him early and often so that he learns how to behave around other people and animals.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs can be lazy and will become obese if he doesn't get much exercise. Make sure your dog maintains a healthy weight to avoid diseases that can significantly reduce his life span.
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff is not recommended for a timid or first-time owner. This breed needs a confident trainer who is consistent and firm but also loving. The Neo is strong-willed and will test whether you really mean what you say.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs have a fearsome appearance and a deep bark, both of which are usually more than enough to deter even the most foolhardy criminals.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs have a number of what some consider offensive habits: slobbering, drooling, wheezing, grunting, snorting, and flatulence.
  • This affectionate dog is not aware of his size and will happily cuddle up to you or on you. 
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs love the outdoors, but they also love being with their family. They should live indoors with their people, not alone in the backyard.
  • Young Neapolitan Mastiffs are rowdy, but it's important for their orthopedic development to prevent a lot of jumping or stair climbing until they reach physical maturity.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs can be destructive if bored. Give them regular exercise, social interaction, and training to keep life interesting.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs are good with older children, but can be too large for a toddler. They can knock over or step on small children without meaning to hurt them.
  • Never buy a Neapolitan Mastiff 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.
Other Quick Facts
  • Everything about the Neo is massive. His face is deeply wrinkled and his body is covered in loose skin with a coat that is gray, black, mahogany or tawny, giving him the appearance of a scowling executive in an ill-fitting suit. He walks with a rolling, lumbering gait.
  • Many of the Neo’s unique traits — the wrinkles, loose skin, massive bone and lumbering gait — are the result of generations of selective breeding in the Neapolitan countrywide with little to no influence from other breeds. The result is an assortment of recessive genes, which can make breeding this dog successfully a challenge.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working
UKC group: Guardian
Average lifespan: 8 to 10 years
Average size: 110 - 154 pounds
Coat appearance: Short, smooth and glossy
Coloration: black, gray, mahogany, tawny, or tan brindle
Hypoallergenic: No
Comparable Breeds: Bullmastiff, Mastiff

History
  The Neapolitan Mastiff’s roots go deep into Italian soil. He descends from Roman war dogs who, already big, were crossed with giant British mastiffs after the Roman invasion of Britain. The powerful dogs with their seriously protective nature were turned to new careers as estate and farm guardians after their masters had finished conquering the known world.   For 2,000 years, they were “the big dog of the little man,” but wars and industrialization nearly brought an end to them.  After World War II, however, Italian dog lovers made a concerted effort to save the breed. They were exhibited at a dog show in Naples in 1946, and a breed standard was written by Piero Scanziani in 1948. The Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed in 1949, and the breed standard was rewritten in 1971 to be more precise.
  By the early 1970s, the dogs were known in other European countries as well as in the United States. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2004. It ranks 113 th among the dogs registered by the AKC.

Personality
  Steady and solid as an oak tree, the Neo is a guardian rather than an attack dog. He's always alert and aware, even if it looks like he's relaxing.
If you aren't home, they simply won't let anyone onto your property. And really, who's going to argue with them?
  When you welcome someone, though, your Neo will accept that person as well, although he'll probably remain aloof. This isn't a "hail fellow, well met" kind of dog.
  The Neo is affectionate toward his family, but he's also strong-willed — and big enough to have his own way. Begin training early, be firm and consistent, and use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and food rewards.
  As with every dog, Neapolitan Mastiffs need early socialization or exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences. Socialization helps ensure that your Neo puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The average life span of the Neapolitan Mastiff is 8 to 10 years. Breed health concerns may include entropion, ectropion, cranial cruciate ligament rupture , eversion of the cartilage of the nictitating membrane, cataracts, vaginal hyperplasia, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, panosteitis, prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid  and halitosis . This breed is especially sensitive to halothane gas anesthesia; owners should discuss this with their veterinarian and suggest that isoflurane be used if their Neapolitan Mastiff needs to be put under general anesthesia. This breed does not tolerate hot weather well.

Exercise Requirements
  The Neapolitan Mastiff doesn’t require a ton of exercise. With a fenced yard, his patrolling duties will give him all of the exercise he needs. Brisk walks early in the morning or late in the evening will be beneficial as Neos can overheat in extreme temperatures.
  Although this breed makes a great companion for families with older kids, he is not the type of dog that will be out playing fetch or Frisbee. Neapolitan Mastiffs prefer lounging on the couch or sleeping in the bed with their families to doing anything athletic.

Care
  Even though the dog does not need a great deal of physical exercise, it requires plenty of space to live. One cannot expect the giant Neapolitan Mastiff to force itself into small living quarters. The breed is fond of the outdoors but does not do well in warm weather.
  Just like other giant breeds, its veterinary, boarding, and food bills can be quite high. Obsessive house cleaners should also think twice before getting such a dog, as the breed often makes messes with its food and drink, and tends to drool.

Living Conditions
 The Neo will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will do. Take extra caution in warm weather to provide shade, water and a cool place to lie.

Training
  The Neapolitan Mastiff can be a stubborn dog. He needs a trainer who is confident and assertive. The Neo does not respond to aggressive training methods. Only positive techniques should be used and treats such as cookies or tidbits of meat are welcomed for a job well done. Obedience classes are beneficial as the Neo will become more socialized with other people and animals, which is necessary for this protective breed.

Grooming
  The Neapolitan Mastiff has a short, dense coat with oily skin that has something of a musky odor. You may want to bathe your Neo regularly to keep the scent at bay. Brush or comb him daily to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Wipe out his wrinkles often with a damp cloth and dry them thoroughly to prevent skin fold infections.
   The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once every few weeks. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.

Children And Other Pets
  The Neo is suitable for families with older children, but he can be too big and clumsy to spend much time around toddlers. While he'll never intentionally hurt them, he can easily knock them over or step on them.
  Make it a rule that children are never to run and scream in a Neo's presence. The noise and activity can excite him, and he's simply too big to be allowed to chase children or play roughly with them.
  He may also feel the need to protect "his" children from other kids, especially if they're wrestling or otherwise appear to be fighting. Always supervise play so that he knows you're in charge.
  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 to never approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  The Neo is not fond of dogs he doesn't know, although he can learn to get along with those he's raised with. He can also get along with cats if he's raised with them.

Did You Know?
  The Neapolitan Mastiff is sensitive to heat. Don’t leave him outdoors in hot weather unless he has access to plenty of shade and cool, fresh water. Limit exercise to cool mornings and evenings.

In the media
  • Alan from the film Babe: Pig in the City.
  • Fang from the Harry Potter films .
  • Pansy from the Burke series of novels by Andrew Vachss.
  • Sweetie from Robert K. Tanenbaum's Butch Karp novels.
  • A Neapolitan was featured in the movie American Gangster as a domestic pet belonging to an Italian Mafia Boss Dominic Cattano.
  • A Neapolitan Mastiff appears in a scene in the movie DragonHeart.
  • A Neapolitan Mastiff appears in a scene in the movie "Belly".

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?
  Sometimes known as working dogs, guardian dogs were bred to guard homes, people and valuables, as well as livestock. While they might sound like a useful sort of dog to have around, these dog breeds are not for everyone. Large and reserved in nature, the guardian breeds are gentle with family and friends but fierce when provoked.

  Some, such as the Rottweiler and the Doberman, were bred to live closely with people as personal guards. Although their guarding instincts can work for you, they can also work against you if your dog is poorly bred, poorly socialized or untrained.
  Throughout history, one of the main jobs of the domesticated dog has been to protect its owners and guard against unwanted people or animals. While many modern dogs will instinctually act as home guardians, there are specific breeds that are known for possessing the characteristics needed to best ward off unwanted intruders.


1. Bullmastiff 
  A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper's dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he'll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives.
  Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed. 
  This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.
  The quiet and docile Bullmastiff is patient and gentle with friends and family, especially children. Bullmastiff's will, however, be protective and territorial. This breed can weigh 100 to 130 pounds. They have a low activity level, but needs socialization and training. The Bullmastiff does well with a family and can adjust to most living situations but may be too large for apartment life.
  As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.

2.Doberman Pinscher 
  All that you need to know about a Doberman’s instincts to protect its master is that they were originally bred to be dogs that accompanied a tax collector around as he made his rounds. Today, Dobermans are considered some of the very best guard dogs in all the world, with an aggressive nature that often makes them stereotyped as dogs that are harmful to strangers and children.
  If you're looking for the ultimate guard dog, the highly intelligent, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. This intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds.
  This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.
  In reality, Dobermans only ever attack on the command of their owner, having been bred to have great restraint and personal discipline, even in the face of a new threat. Over the years their ability to obey a command in a high-stress situation made them invaluable as military or police dogs, although they’ve become less used in recent years since they do not have the size or raw strength of some other large dog breeds.
  These are some of the smartest dogs out there, however, and an owner needs to carefully exercise their Doberman’s mind as well as its body to keep it fit, happy, and obedient to their commands, or else the dog will grow restless and end up chewing whatever’s in the vicinity.



  A dominant and loyal breed, the Giant Schnauzer is a high-energy dog that craves companionship and is quick to defend its humans. Just make sure you have enough time to give your Schnauz plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep it from getting bored and becoming destructive.
  These are dogs that  require strict training.  They need constant attention and need to know who is in charge otherwise they might take over.  Giant Schnauzers are powerful, compact, and intimidating.  But what makes them such exceptional guard dogs is their loyalty to their owners.
  A giant schnauzer can weigh as much as 100 pounds and the breed has been put to practical use for centuries as work dogs capable of helping farmers take their livestock to the market, helping to guard homes or buildings, and working with police to smell out narcotics or explosives. Their thick, shaggy coat has been grown out over the years in order to make them more difficult to grab onto, whether by an intruder or by another dog or by a bigger animal.

  With an intelligent disposition, furthermore, they grow bored easily and may be less interested in learning new tricks if the tricks do not change up. Any person interested in attaining a giant schnauzer for watching over their home needs to ensure that they are not left alone often, since their energy can lead to destructive behavior like chewing objects within the home. If properly trained and well-mannered, however, they have a calm demeanor even in the presence of new people, and that makes them very friendly and dependable.




  Don't let the friendly appearance of the Kuvasz fool you. This large, strong-willed herd dog is extremely protective and territorial. Even if you don't regularly need to defend your home against wolves or bears, the Kuvasz, who was bred to fend off animal predators, will fiercely guard your property.
 This breed is very territorial and has a strong instinct to guard its family and home. The Kuvasz tends to be aloof with strangers but craves affection from its family.  You need to train these guys from a very young age.  But they are most awesome when it comes to family protection.  Don’t mess with these guys.
   The owner has to be firm, confident and calm.  All family members need to learn how to handle the dog from puppyhood.  It is also important to stress that the Kuvasz does not respond well to harsh discipline – it must not be humiliated or confused with contradictory commands and rules.
  This overly protective dog breed will not let any harm happen to you or your property.  They are extremely loyal and devoted and would give their life for you.
  If you want your Kuvasz to work as a flock guard, remember that special training is needed and you might want to hire an expert to help you with the training.

  If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.
  The Akita is a dominant and independent dog breed that requires obedience training from puppyhood.  Although they are very affectionate towards their human family, they have strong guarding instincts and will not be friendly towards strangers.
  However, if someone tries to break into your house, be sure that the Akita will react and protect both you and your property.
  The Akita has to be firmly and properly trained from an early age and needs to be aware that humans are pack leaders.  The dog needs to understand the rules of behavior and follow them at all times.  If the dog becomes the alpha, the Akita will become willful, stubborn and aggressive.
  Akitas are extremely loyal and devoted pets that thrive on proper human leadership.  Apart from the training, Akitas need to be provided with enough daily exercise.  They become easily bored, so it’s important to keep them active.  They are not recommended for first time dog owners and inexperienced trainers.

Other guardian dog breeds include: 
  Those who don’t want to deal with the added responsibility of owning a guard dog but are looking for a dog to alert them of intruders should consider a watchdog. Several breeds are known for their persistent barking and ability to alert their owners and scare away trespassers.



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