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Showing posts with label intelligent dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intelligent dogs. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Everything about your Belgian Sheepdog

Everything about your Belgian Sheepdog
  Elegant, sporting a lovely basic black coat, the Belgian Sheepdog is not only graceful but versatile as well. Don’t let his good looks fool you. This dog is a workaholic in disguise. His work ethic is second to none and he is happiest when he has specific duties to perform. This breed is incredibly intelligent and can learn to do almost anything, with proper training. The Belgium Sheepdog isn’t all work and no play. He is an active fellow and will keep the kids busy playing fetch or Frisbee for hours.

Overview
  The Belgian Sheepdog, known as the Groenendael in Europe, is the solid-colored variety of the four Belgian shepherd dogs. Elegant and graceful, he has a long black coat and an imposing appearance. He's athletic as well as beautiful and maintains the working ability for which he was originally known, making him an excellent choice for agility, herding, and obedience competitions.
  His high energy levels necessitates much more activity than a simple walk around the block. Choose this breed only if you are a high-energy person who enjoys active daily exercises such as running, bicycling, and hiking. He’s also well suited any dog sport or activity you can teach, including agility, flyball, herding, obedience, rally, search and rescue, and tracking.
  Loving and loyal, the Belgian Sheepdog will always protect "his" children, but it's important for parents to supervise play when neighboring children are around. The Belgian may mistake the noise and high spirits of play as an assault and try to nip at your child's friends. With proper supervision and corrections, you can teach him that this isn't appropriate behavior. Belgian Sheepdogs do best with children when they're raised with them from puppyhood or socialized to them at an early age.

Highlights
  • The Belgian Sheepdog is also known as the Groenendael. He is the long-coated black variety of the four Belgian herding breeds. In Europe, the four Belgian Shepherd breeds are also known collectively as Chiens de Berger.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs shed year-round and require 15 to 20 minutes of brushing weekly.
  • Although they are good-size dogs, they are very people-oriented and want to be included in family activities.
  • Shyness can be a problem in this breed. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one beating up his littermates or the one hiding in the corner.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs can get along well with other dogs and cats if they're raised with them, but they have a chase instinct and will go after animals that run from them.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are play-oriented and sensitive. Keep training sessions fun, consistent, and positive.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs require at least an hour of exercise per day. If you don't provide them with exercise and mental stimulation in the form of training or play, they'll find their own entertainment, and chances are it will be expensive to repair.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs will chase joggers, bicyclists, and cars, so they need a securely fenced yard.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are very intelligent and alert. They also have strong herding and protection instincts. Early, consistent training is critical!
  • When you look at a Belgian Sheepdog, you see an elegant dog with a square body, wedge-shaped head, triangular ears, dark brown eyes, and a long black coat with 
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding Dog Group
Average lifespan: 10–14 years
Average size: 60 to 75 pounds
Coat appearance: double-coated breed,long, straight hair that's moderately harsh to the touch, never wiry or silky
Coloration: depends on variety,completely black or black with a bit of white between the pads of the feet
Hypoallergenic: No
Shedding Propensity: Seasonally heavy twice per year, with light shedding year-round
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas

Temperament: Independent, watchful, protective, alert

History
  The earliest documentation of the true Belgian Sheepdog dates back to the late 1800’s, when people in European countries were developing individual spirits of pride and nationalism that included developing dog breeds that would be identified with their particular homeland. The Club du Chien de Berger Belge  was founded in 1891 for this very purpose, and it adopted the first Belgian Shepherd standard in 1893. The breed was registered by the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert in 1901. The long-haired Belgian Sheepdog was primarily developed and promoted by Nicolas Rose, a restaurateur and owner of the Chateau de Groenendael just south of Brussels. He established a thriving kennel dating back to 1893, and his stock became the basis of today’s beautiful black Belgian Sheepdogs, which were officially named the Groenendael in 1910.
  While originally prized as superior herding dogs and as representatives of their home country of Belgium, this breed’s versatility and skills as a working dog became apparent even before World War I, when they were used as police and customs dogs in Europe and the United States. During the war, Belgian Sheepdogs were distinguished as message carriers and ambulance dogs. The fame of this breed took off after the war. The Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was founded in 1919, and by 1926 the breed was ranked 42nd out of 100 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. During the Great Depression, the Belgian Sheepdog’s popularity in the United States declined dramatically, and the American breed club ceased to function. 
  During World War II, the breed resurfaced as a military assistant and guard dog. The current Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in 1949, and the breed standard was approved by the AKC in 1959. This breed continues to thrive in obedience, agility, conformation, tracking, schutzhund, herding, sledding, police work, search and rescue and as guide and therapy dogs. Perhaps their most profound accomplishment is being loving, gentle and devoted companions.

Temperament

  Belgian Shepherd Dogs are described as highly intelligent, alert, sensitive to everything going on around them and form very strong relationship bonds. They are said to be loyal, intelligent, fun, highly trainable and well suited to family life.They should receive plenty of socializing as puppies and will benefit from regular activity and close interaction with people throughout their lifespan. Their herding heritage gives them a comparatively high energy level, and mental as well as physical exercise is necessary to keep a Belgian happy and healthy. In 2012, the North Wales Police force harnessed a Belgian Shepherd herding behavior, headbutting, in a novel approach to subduing criminals. The dogs are muzzled to prevent bites, and trained to forcefully headbutt targets at the midriff on command, knocking them off balance.
  Belgian Shepherds do well in sports such as obedience training and dog agility. They are used as assistance and search and rescue dogs, as well as police, military and narcotics dogs.

Health

  Both elbow and hip dysplasia are prevalent in the breed. Other health issues such as epilepsy, cancer and progressive retinal atrophy have been diagnosed as well. Belgian Sheepdogs often have sensitivity to anesthesia so caution should be taken when considering any kind of sedation.

Care

  The Belgian Sheepdog loves to live inside the house with its human family, although it can adapt to outdoor living. It also performs best when given access to the yard. Apart from that, exercise on a regular basis is essential for the breed and should ideally combine long hours of play and jogging. The Belgian Sheepdog's coat requires the occasional brushing to keep away dead hairs, even more so during times of shedding.

Living Conditions
  The Belgian Shepherd/Groenendael will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. The Groenendael can sleep outdoors, although he prefers to be with his people.

Trainability
  Though sometimes willful and stubborn, Belgians are highly trainable and thrive on advanced obedience, trick and agility training. They can read small movements and even changes in facial expression, and are famous for being so “in tune” with their trainers that they can literally stay one step ahead of the person giving commands. For this reason, Belgian Sheepdogs are often competitors in agility and herding competitions.
  Though easily trainable, Belgians are not for the first-time dog owner. They are highly intelligent and manipulative, and can easily walk all over someone who does not know how to remain consistent with training. Positive reinforcement is the best method to train a Belgian Sheepdog, as discipline can lead to avoidance behavior and stubbornness.

Exercise 
  This breed requires a lot of exercise and would not be suitable for a sedentary family. The Belgian Sheepdog loves to run and play and could do so for long periods of time. He’ll play fetch, ball and Frisbee with the kids or happily go jogging with one of the adults. As long as he is active, the Belgian Sheepdog will be happy.
  Without proper exercise, this breed can and will become destructive. They will bark incessantly and tear apart your furniture or chew up your shoes. All of this unwanted behavior can be avoided by keeping the Belgian Sheepdog physically active.

Grooming 
  Belgian Sheepdogs require a lot of brushing to maintain their year-round shedding and to keep the coat free of tangles and mats. Weekly brushing can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, but daily swipes with a brush or comb can make the weekly sessions easier. Twice a year they will blow their entire coat, which will require extra grooming time. A warm bath can help release the hair and cut down the seasonal shedding time. Regular bathing only needs to occur as needed, if the dog is dirty or begins to emit a doggy odor.
  Weekly teeth and ear cleaning can help promote health and keep harmful bacteria to a minimum. Active Belgians will naturally wear down their toenails, but if the nails click on a hard floor, they should be trimmed.

Children and Other Pets
  Belgian Shepherds are known to become devoted to their families showing a lot of affection to everyone in a household which includes children. They love nothing more than being involved in things that go on in a home environment and this includes playing lots of interactive games with the kids. However, any interaction between dogs and children should always be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too rough, which is especially true if the kids have any of the friends over.
  If a well-bred and nicely-socialised Belgian Shepherd grows up with other animals and pets including cats in the home, they generally get on well together. Some dogs may show aggression to other dogs which is why it's so important for puppies to be well socialised from a young age which must include them meeting other dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. Care should always be taken when a BSD is around any smaller animals and pets they don't already know just to be on the safe side.

Is this breed right for you?
 The Belgian Sheepdog is a loyal, friendly and affectionate friend. It may have a strong working-dog background, but it craves companionship and family time above everything else. Highly protective of its family, property and territory, the Belgian Sheepdog is a passionate but restrained watchdog. An alert and watchful companion to children, it flourishes when given a steady dose of good-natured play and affection.

Did You Know?
  If you are crafty — or know someone who is — you can save a Belgian Sheepdog’s hair, have it spun into yarn, and knit it into socks, sweaters, hats, or afghans.


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Friday, December 22, 2017

Everything about your Spanish Water Dog

Everything about your Spanish Water Dog
  The Spanish Water Dog is one of the lesser known breeds here in the UK, although their numbers are slowly rising with more pedigree puppies being bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. The SWD is a medium sized dog that boasts having a distinct and attractive corded coat that covers their entire body. 
  They are intelligent dogs with a tremendous amount of stamina which is one of the reasons they have always been so highly prized for their sporting abilities. However, the Spanish Water Dog is just as happy in the home environment and thrives on being part of family which makes them a great choice as a family pet thanks to their kind and loyal natures.

Overview
  The Spanish Water Dog (perro de agua español) breed dates back several hundred years and has its origins most likely in Turkey from where it was imported into Spain as a general purpose sheepdog and guard. It is also used sometimes as a gundog, and is skilled at retrieval from water. The SWD has strong genetic links to other ancient water breeds such as the Portuguese Water Dog, the French Barbet and the Irish Water Spaniel.
  If you were to imagine a medium-sized dog with thick, curly fur and a penchant for herding, you might be thinking of the Spanish Water Dog. These dogs are an old Spanish breed that has been used for herding for many centuries. The Spanish Water Dog is a highly intelligent breed that does best when given a job to do but, at the end of the day, they love nothing more than to spend time with family.

Quick Facts
  • Approximately 1,000 Spanish Water Dogs live in the United States and Canada, with most of them in the Northeast.
  • The SWD’s coat may be black, brown, beige, white or particolor (with the second color being white).
  • Spanish Water Dogs have webbed feet. On fishing boats, their jobs probably include retrieving nets and guarding the catch.    
Breed standards

AKC group: Herding

UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Average size: 30 to 50 pounds
Coat appearance: curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long
Coloration: solid black, beige, brown, or white; bicolour where the second colour is white; or particolour
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Hardworking, intelligent, loyal, friendly
Comparable Breeds: Portuguese Water Dog, Puli

History 
  Little is known of the SWD’s origins. Some dog experts theorize that they descended from African dogs or that they are related to other European water dogs, such as the Portuguese Water Dog, or to Turkish or Hungarian herding and flock-guarding breeds.
  Dogs of this type were hard-working aides on Spanish farms, at mines and in fishing villages, where they filled many roles, including herding, retrieving, rat patrol and protection. The breed’s curly single coat is thought to be an adaptation to the various climates found on the Iberian Peninsula, which range from dry to humid.
  With mechanization and the migration of people to cities from rural areas, the dogs were less needed for their traditional work, but people interested in the breed made efforts to preserve it, starting in 1975 by collecting a variety of the dogs from various areas, selectively breeding them to maintain their appearance and working ability, and turning their talents toward new jobs such as search and rescue and drug and bomb detection.
  Today, the SWD is recognized by European and American registries. The American Kennel Club classifies it as a herding dog and granted it full recognition in January 2015, paving the way for the SWD’s participation in conformation showing and other AKC events. 

Temperament
  The Spanish Water Dog boasts having a tremendous sense of smell, sight and sound. As such they are true working dogs that enjoy nothing more than being out and about in the great outdoors. They are intelligent and sensitive by nature being just at ease in a home environment as they are working in the field. They form strong bonds with their owners and families and are known to be even-tempered dogs which is just one of the reasons they make such great family pets.
  They are also known to have a very enthusiastic personality which sees these dogs being ultra-willing and eager to please. However, puppies have to be well socialised from a young enough age for them to mature into well-rounded, obedient adult dogs. They are a great choice for families where the children are slightly older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs. Spanish Water Dogs tend to be a little aloof and wary of people they don't already know, but rarely would one of these dogs ever show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards a stranger, preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone.
  They are not the best choice for first time owners because a Spanish Water Dog needs to be handled and trained by someone who is familiar with this type of sporting dog and their specific needs. However, in the right hands, these striking dogs can be trained to be obedient dogs with particular attention being paid to the "recall" command. They are never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. They also need to know what an owner expects of them which in short, means their training has to be consistent and always fair right from the start and then throughout a dog’s life.
  As their name suggests, SWDs love being in water and are naturally strong swimmers  which means care has to be taken when walking them anywhere near more dangerous water courses just in case they decide to jump in.    

Health Problems
  While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that it has, just like all other breeds. There are cases of hip dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully. All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam.
   A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing. Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

Living Conditions
  The Spanish Water Dog can adapt to almost all environments or circumstances, as long as it gets enough exercise. These hardy dogs can endure both extreme heat and cold with no problem.



Trainability
  The Spanish Water Dog is an intelligent character, but they do have a bit of a "wandering off" streak in them which is why it's so important to teach these dogs a strong "recall" command from a very young age. With this said, socialising them from a young enough age is extra important and their training also has to start too. It's best to teach a SWD the basics when they are still puppies and to start their training in earnest as soon as they have been fully vaccinated and slightly older.
  Being sensitive dogs by nature, a Spanish Water Dog does not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods. The key to successfully training them is to use positive reinforcement and to make a training session as interesting as possible. It’s best to keep things nice and short without too much repetition which helps keep a Spanish Water Dog more focussed on what is being asked of them which as a result achieves the best results.

Exercise Requirements
  Because the Spanish Water Dog is a herding breed it has fairly high requirements for exercise. These dogs require at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day plus some active play time, if possible. Training these dogs for herding or other dog sports is a great way to meet both their physical and mental stimulation needs.

Grooming
  The Spanish Water Dog has a single coat, meaning there’s little or no undercoat. He doesn’t shed heavily, although he does lose hairs, just as people do. The single, curly coat often leads people to believe that the SWD is hypoallergenic, but all dogs produce allergens to some extent in their dander, saliva and urine. If you have allergies, you should spend time with several Spanish Water Dogs to determine whether you react to them.
  Grooming the Spanish Water Dog is easy. Typically, the coat is clipped once or twice a year to approximately 1 inch over the entire body, including the head and ears. Between clips, there’s no need to comb, brush or blow-dry the coat, all of which can damage the texture and shape of the curls.
  When your Spanish Water Dog gets dirty, bathe him with a mild, pet-safe shampoo. Work it through the coat gently, as if you were hand-washing a cashmere sweater. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, then use your hands to squeeze out excess water. Blot the coat with a towel, being careful not to rub the coat roughly. Let your dog air-dry in a warm spot with no drafts.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two, and brush his teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.    

Children and Other Pets
  Spanish Water Dogs make great family pets in households where the children are older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs. With this said, any interaction between younger children or toddlers and an SWD should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm.
  If they have grown up with a family cat in the house, they usually get on well together, however, a Spanish Water Dog would not hesitate in chasing any other cats they don't know. Care has to be taken when they are around any other smaller animals and pet, just in case.

Is the Spanish Water Dog the Right Breed for you?
High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. No trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Easy Training: The Spanish Water Dog is known to listen to commands and obey its owner. Expect fewer repetitions when training this breed.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.

Did You Know?
  The Spanish Water Dog also goes by other names. In Spain, he’s known as Perro de Agua Español (Spanish water dog), Perro Rizado (curly coated dog), Turco Andaluz (Andalusian Turkish dog) and Barbeta.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Everything about your Bedlington Terrier

Everything about your Bedlington Terrier
  If you saw this dog walking down the street, you may do a double take. Was that a lamb or a dog? The Bedlington Terrier is most certainly a dog, even if it’s unusual looking. A true terrier in every sense of the word, this breed makes a wonderful family addition. He loves playing with the kids and enjoys a good cuddle session at the end of the day. He’ll also keep an eye out for people he thinks are unsavory and let you know if they’re getting a little too close for comfort.
  When he’s not vying to be the center of attention, the Bedlington Terrier is active and athletic, and does well in agility competitions, Earthdog trials and in the show ring. He gets along well with other dogs when raised with them and will give smaller outdoor animals a run for their money. Read on to learn more about this interesting dog.

Overview
  The Bedlington Terrier, also known as the Rodberry or Rothbury Terrier, the Northumberland Fox Terrier, the North Counties Terrier, the Gypsy Dog or simply the Bedlington, comes from a small mining village in the county of Northumberland, England. This lamb-like dog, with its pear-shaped head and arched back, looks like nothing else in the canine world. While the Bedlington’s body type and coat do not resemble that of the typical terrier, their personalities do. Bedlingtons have boundless energy and are intelligent, tenacious, friendly and bold. They are terrific family dogs and form strong bonds with their human companions. Despite its wooly cuteness, this is a tough breed with a strong work ethic – a terrier through and through. The Bedlington Terrier was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and is a member of the Terrier Group.

Highlights
  • Bedlingtons can be stubborn at times.
  • Early socialization with other pets is a must to prevent problems.
  • Bedlington Terriers need exercise and mental stimulation or they will get bored, which leads to trouble.
  • Males can be fierce fighters if challenged by another dog.
  • Bedlingtons are highly intelligent and moderately easy to train. They don't respond to harsh training methods.
  • Bedlingtons require grooming once or twice weekly to maintain the coat and prevent matting.
  • Bedlingtons can be one-person dogs.
  • Bedlingtons are terriers and like to dig.
  • Bedlingtons require a fenced yard. They will chase other animals and they are very fast.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. 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 that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Bedlington has a very different look than other terriers, with his unusual coat, roached back, arched loin, hare feet and distinctive, springy gait. The tail, shaped like a scimitar, tapers to a point.
  • The Bedlington has a narrow head covered with a topknot that is lighter than the body color, dark, small, almond-shaped eyes, triangular ears with rounded tips and a thin, velvety texture, and a mild, gentle expression, belying the fact that he is a terrier at heart.
  • In addition to backing off animals as wily as foxes and badgers, the Bedlington Terrier is an excellent water dog.
  • Bedlington Terriers often live for upwards of 17 years.
  • Borrowing form the dog's simultaneous pluck and likability, non-league UK soccer club the Bedlington Terriers have recently brought the breed's name to prominence in Hollywood.   
Breed standards
AKC group: Terriers
UKC group: Terrier
Average lifespan: 11-16 years
Average size: 17 to 23 pounds
Coat appearance: Corded, Harsh and Rough, and Short
Coloration: white, blue, liver, sandy, blue and tan, sandy and tan or liver and tan
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards, watchdog
Temperament: Playful, loyal, gentle, friendly
Comparable Breeds: Whippet, Dandie Dinmont Terrier


History
  The Bedlington Terrier was developed in the north of England, but where he came from is anybody's guess. One theory has it that he traveled with Rom, or gypsies, who used him to poach game on the estates they passed by. His talents in ridding the land of rats, badgers, and other vermin drew the attention of the local squires, who acquired some of the dogs for themselves.
An image of a Bedlington Terrier, circa 1889.
  One of their noble fans was Lord Rothbury, whose estate was located in Bedlington in the county of Northumberland. For a time, they were known as Rothbury terriers, but eventually the name Bedlington stuck. The first dog to actually be called a Bedlington Terrier, in 1825, was Ainsley's Piper, owned by Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington. Piper went up against his first badger when he was only 8 months old, and he was still showing other dogs how it was done when he was old, toothless, and nearly blind.
  There is speculation that the Whippet was added to the breed at some point to increase the dog's speed and agility. He also has similarities to the Dandie Dinmont, Soft Coated Wheaten, and Kerry Blue Terriers, so he may share common ancestors with them.
  The popularity of Bedlingtons crossed all social boundaries. They were favorites of factory and mine workers, who used them to rid the premises of rats and then raced them in their off hours, against each other and against Whippets.
  Bedlingtons joined other dogs in the show ring in the mid-1800s, and the National Bedlington Terrier Club was formed in England in 1877. The first Bedlington Terrier to be registered by the American Kennel Club was Ananias in 1886. Today the Bedlington ranks 128th among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC.

Personality

  Alert, energetic, and intelligent, the Bedlington is an excellent companion and watchdog. He enjoys being the center of attention and likes to entertain his people. He can be aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex and will chase small furry animals.
  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, Bedlingtons need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Bedlington 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 
  This is a healthy breed, but the Bedlington Terrier has a few health problems owners should be aware of. One of the most common issues in the breed is copper toxicosis, a hereditary disease where the liver can’t expel dietary copper, which leads to a buildup in the body that result in illness and death. Be sure to have your Bedlington tested. Other issues include renal cortical hypoplasia, retinal dysplasia, patellar luxation and distichiasis.

Care
  Bedlington Terriers are a hardy breed with moderate activity levels. They are capable of running at high speeds, so a safely fenced area is important. They are not suited to living outdoors. They are small enough to be appropriate for an apartment as long as they have a safe place to exercise.
  Exercise for the Bedlington can mean a nice walk or a vigorous game of fetch. He can jog with you or go on a hike. You can also train him for agility, obedience, or tracking. He's quiet in the home, happy to relax on the sofa with you.
  The Bedlington is intelligent, and that intelligence makes him only moderately easy to train. He does best when you can persuade him that doing what you want is really his idea or benefits him in some way. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards. Harsh words and physical force will not work with this breed, as they will only bring out his stubborn streak and begin a battle of wills that you will probably lose.
  Like all dogs, Bedlington puppies can be destructive. Crate them to prevent them from getting into trouble if you're not around to supervise.

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

Training
  Even though this is an intelligent breed, he’s still a terrier. You may have a challenge on your hands, especially if you haven’t had much dog-training practice. Bedlington Terriers tend to have a mind of their own, so they may not take kindly to your commands. For the best results, treats and positive reinforcement will garner what you want. If you let him think that the training benefits him, he’ll be more likely to pick up good behaviors.
  Once basic obedience has been taught, you may want to enroll your Bedlington Terrier in agility or Earthdog training. He loves to dig, so Earthdog will help him tap into these instincts. And with his lithe body, he’s a natural for agility courses.

Activity Requirements
  This breed requires moderate exercise and has been known to tailor their activity level to that of their owner. Older people can raise an active, happy Bedlington just by taking daily walks just as a young person who brings their Bedlington on jogs can, too. Apartment living is OK for the Bedlington, so long as daily walks are part of his schedule.
  Bedlington Terriers enjoy playing with children, however they can be counted on to set their own boundaries. Children should be cautioned not to play too roughly with this breed, as they won't hesitate to nip or bite when pushed too far.

Grooming
  The Bedlington coat is a mixture of hard and soft hair with a texture that is crisp but not wiry. It tends to curl, especially on the head and face.
  The distinctive look of the Bedlington, with the Mohawk-type head style and shaved ears, doesn’t come naturally. It is achieved through regular grooming, including bathing, brushing and styling. The Bedlington’s coat must be trimmed every six to eight weeks to maintain its look. Brush it once or twice a week. Frequent bathing and heavy conditioners are not recommended because they will soften the coarse coat.
  The Bedlington’s unique hairstyle may look simple, but it is not for beginners. It is best to take him to a professional groomer who is familiar with the breed unless you are extremely ambitious and skilled. If you want to learn how to create it, apprentice yourself to a Bedlington breeder or show dog handler. The Bedlington Terrier Club of America gives a detailed explanation on its website of how the dog should be groomed for the show ring.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once a month. Brush the teeth frequently 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 ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Watery eyes and tear stains are not uncommon with the light-colored Bedlington. Wipe around the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to minimize staining. Introduce your Bedlington to grooming at an early age so he will become accustomed to it and accept it willingly.

Children And Other Pets
  When he's raised with children, the Bedlington can be an energetic playmate. He's probably best suited to homes with older children. While a Bedlington will tolerate a certain amount of rough handling, he will set limits when things get too rough, and he doesn't understand that a child's skin isn't as tough as another dog's.
  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 sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Bedlingtons can get along with other dogs, especially if they're raised with them, but they may be aggressive toward dogs of the same sex. And like most terriers, they might not start a fight, but they won't back down from one. Bedlingtons can be fierce fighters if aroused, so be cautious when introducing them to new canine companions, especially other adults of the same sex. Male Bedlingtons especially will persist in a fight until major damage is done. A Bedlington might learn to get along with your indoor cat if he's raised with him, but outdoor cats and other animals will be fair game for him to chase.

Is the Bedlington Terrier the Right Breed for you?
High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Bedlington Terrier 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 for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  Bedlington Terrier puppies are born black or brown. As they mature, the coat lightens to blue, sandy, liver, blue and tan, sandy and tan, or liver and tan. The tan markings are found over the eyes, inside the ears, under the tail, and in traces on the inside of the legs.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Everything about your Cirneco dell'Etna

Everything about your Cirneco dell'Etna
  The Cirneco dell’Etna is a small and slender dog, similar in appearance to the Greyhound but with larger ears and a chestnut/tan coat. These dogs are an ancient breed native to the island of Sicily where they were valued for their intelligence and for their natural hunting ability. If you are looking for a small, active breed – especially one that takes well to dog sports – the Cirneco dell’Etna may be the right breed for you.

Overview
  The outgoing Cirneco (the plural is Cirnechi) weighs between 18 and 27 pounds, making him suitable for just about any home. Thanks to his innate athleticism, he’s a natural at agility and lure coursing, and he also does well in obedience, rally, and tracking. The Cirneco has a reputation for being easier to train than some other sighthounds — as long as you keep the training sessions short.
  Like most dogs, the Cirneco can become bored, noisy, and destructive if he doesn’t have other dogs to keep him company or if he doesn’t receive enough attention from his people. Despite his chase instinct, if a Cirneco is raised with other pets from an early age, he can live amicably with cats and small dogs.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Cirneco dell’Etna is a rare breed not readily found outside Italy — there are only 200 or so Cirnechi in the United States.
  • Although they are mainly companion dogs today, Cirnechi are known for their silent method of hunting, which allows them to catch animals off guard.
  • Since the breed is so uncommon, little is known about the health history of the Cirneco.
  • Like most sighthounds, Cirnechi aren’t too keen on having their feet touched.

Breed standards
AKC group: Hound Group
UKC group: Sighthound & Pariah
Average lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Average size: 18 to 27 pounds
Coat appearance: Close-Fitting, Long, Sleek, Smooth, Stiff, and Straight
Coloration:  tan- to chestnut-colored coat
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards
Temperament: Gentle, alert, independent, playful
Comparable Breeds: Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound

History
  The Cirneco dell’Etna, also known as the Sicilian Greyhound, may resemble a small Pharaoh Hound, but he’s a distinct breed of Italian origin, with his own color markings, tail shape, and triangle-shaped ears. He gets his name from Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, where his ancestors hunted rabbit and hare. He stalks silently — so much so that he can even sneak up on birds. Today, this rare breed is predominantly a family companion.
  The Cirneco was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006. The breed is also part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, the first step toward AKC recognition. In 2012, the Cirneco dell’Etna will be admitted to the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class.

Personality
  The Cirneco dell'Etna has a strong, inquisitive, independent temperament, which is important in keen hunting dogs. It is also outgoing, friendly, affectionate and smart. Cirnechi are loyal and loving with their owners and friends. They are willing and eager to please and love to receive pets and praise. They usually make great family pets, although they can be reserved around strangers. 
  The Cirneco is an extremely adaptable breed that can thrive in a wide variety of environments. However, these are house dogs that definitely need to live indoors due to their short coats, thin skin and absence of body fat. They like to nestle on warm soft furniture, blankets and bedding, almost as much as they like to snuggle with their favorite people. 
  Cirnechi typically are tolerant of children, although this is not a bomb-proof breed and probably isn’t the best choice for families with very young kids. Cirnechi are social animals that tend to get along well with other dogs. They rarely cause problems in multiple-pet homes and, unlike most sighthounds, get along remarkably well with familiar cats. Of course, the earlier any dog is exposed to other household pets and small children, the more likely it is to get along with them as they age.

Health
  Since there are so few of these dogs, little is known about the health of Cirnechi. In general, they appear to be a hardy breed, but they can get muscle and toe injuries while running. A reputable breeder will discuss potential health problems with you, including any conditions that she has noticed in her own lines.
  As an ancient breed that has been largely unmanipulated by man, the Cirneco dell’Etna is hardy and healthy. The main health concerns to which this breed is prone include injuries that can occur while running. Responsible breeding practices and genetic testing can help to reduce the risk for inherited conditions in this and other breeds.
  Careful breeders screen their dogs for genetic disease, and only breed the best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy can develop a genetic condition. In most cases, he can still live a good life, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine. And remember that you have the power to protect your Cirneco from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping him at an appropriate weight is a simple way to extend your Cirneco’s life.


Trainability
  The Cirneco dell’Etna is an intelligent breed so they typically respond well to training. For the best results, start training early while your puppy is still young – that is when they will soak up the most training. Socialization is also important for this breed to help introduce them to new things and situations. Positive reinforcement training methods are recommended and you should be prepared to maintain a level of firm consistency with your dog to prevent him from becoming too strong-willed or independent. These dogs do very well when trained for hunting, lure coursing, agility, or other dog sports.

Exercise Requirements
  Cirnechi are high-energy animals that need quite a bit of regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. They love taking long daily walks and having a chance to stretch their legs in safely-enclosed areas. It is important for Cirneco owners to have well-fenced yards, so that their dogs can run freely and burn off excess energy, which usually happens in short bursts. While they can be gregarious and playful, Cirnechi usually are calm and quiet, both indoors and out, as long as their exercise needs are met. They are great fans of toys of all sorts. A Cirneco can play with a single toy for hours, keeping it out of mischief. Cirnechi are active contestants in lure coursing and agility competitions. Participation in these and other canine sporting events provides a great opportunity to showcase the Cirneco’s athleticism, while at the same time giving him a chance to get physical exercise and canine socialization.
  Because the Cirneco dell’Etna was bred for hunting it is a fairly active breed with fairly high exercise requirements. This breed requires at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day in the form of a walk or jog – active play time is also appreciated. Training your dog for hunting, lure coursing, or other dog sports can help to meet its daily exercise requirements while also providing plenty of mental stimulation.


Grooming
  The Cirneco dell'Etna is a low-maintenance breed. Its short coat only needs an occasional brushing to keep it tidy and clean. A rubber curry brush or hound glove, or even a warm damp cloth, work well to keep its coat looking shiny and lustrous. Frequent bathing is not necessary and really should only be done when the dog is obviously smelly or dirty. Other routine maintenance is the same as for most breeds, including dental care to keep teeth clean, reduce plaque build-up and prevent bad breath. Regular nail clipping is also important. 
  Many sighthounds, including many Cirnechi, are sensitive to having their feet handled. Nail care should start at a very young age, so that it does not become a struggle. Owners should do their best to avoid cutting into the quick of the nail, which is quite painful for the animal. For those who are not comfortable clipping nails, a quick trip to a professional groomer can be a godsend for both owner and dog.

Did You Know?
  It’s believed that the Cirneco dell’Etna descended from dogs who were left behind by the Phoenicians along Sicily’s coast. The breed was depicted on Sicilian coins minted as early as the 3rd century B.C.


Is the Cirneco dell'Etna the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Cirneco dell'Etna 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.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Everything about your Thai Ridgeback

Everything about your Thai Ridgeback
  Few people in the United States have heard of the Thai Ridgeback, let alone met one in person. This breed was naturally developed in Thailand and has been a favored companion of those needing a loyal companion and watchdog. This breed is strong-willed and not for the novice dog owner.
  With proper socialization and training, the Thai Ridgeback can make a wonderful family pet. Of course, he needs a lot of exercise but older kids can keep him exercised by playing ball or fetch. Running is essential to this breeds physical and mental health, so a fenced yard, dog park or owner who is an avid runner is necessary.

Overview
  Primitive dogs, sometimes known as pariah dogs, have distinctive physical traits, such as a moderate size, prick ears, wedge-shaped heads, wrinkled foreheads, squarish bodies with long legs, and smooth coats. The Thai Ridgeback is a classic example of one of these dogs. He comes in four colors — red, black, blue (gray), and yellow (fawn) — and he has pigmentation or spots on his tongue, similar to the Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar-Pei. Most (but not all) members of the breed have the signature ridge of hair running down their back with up to eight different ridge patterns.
  A Thai Ridgeback needs plenty of companionship and activity to be happy. Bear in mind that he will need at least a good hour of strenuous exercise daily. Overall health permitting, a couple of long walks or runs should satisfy him. He is also eligible to compete in lure coursing competitions.
  Better yet, keep him indoors, especially if the weather is rainy or cold. Because he's from Southeast Asia, he’s not one to appreciate that type of climate.

Other Quick Facts:
  • Some Thai Ridgebacks are born with a plush coat instead of a smooth coat. This is considered a flaw, and the dogs are spayed or neutered and sold as pets.
  • The Thai Ridgeback’s tail tapers to a point. He carries it up or curved like a sickle.
Breed standards

FCI group: Primitive Hunting Dogs 
AKC group: AKC Foundation Stock Service
UKC group: Sighthound & Pariah
Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Average size: 35 to 55 pounds
Coat appearance: short, hard, and straight
Coloration: solid colors of blue, black, red or fawn with a black mask being acceptable on reds
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with older children, active singles, experienced owners, houses with yards
Temperament: Strong-willed, loyal, energetic, brave
Comparable Breeds: Rhodesian Ridgeback

History
  The Thai Ridgeback was first noted more than 350 years ago in Thailand, but he is thought to be far older. One theory suggests that he is a descendant of the now-extinct Hottentot dog, which may have played a role in the development of the Rhodesian Ridgeback
 Ancient artifacts show that the Thai Ridgeback originated in the isolated islands of Eastern Thailand an estimated 4,000 years ago. Because this area was secluded from others, with poor transportation methods, this dog breed has remained very pure with little to no crossbreeding.
  The Thai Ridgeback was an all-purpose dog, kept to guard property and serve as an alarm dog,  escort or pull carts, hunt small and large game, and keep cobras at bay. He lived mainly in eastern Thailand, as well as on the island of Dao Phu Quoc, near the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. His relative isolation ensured that he maintained his distinctive look.
  Today the Thai Ridgeback is considered a very rare breed outside of Thailand, with only an estimated 300 in the United States. The breed has been in the United States since 1994. The United Kennel Club recognized the Thai Ridgeback in 1996, and it was recorded in the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in 1997.

Temperament
  Thai Ridgebacks are an intelligent breed. The energy level is typically medium to high, with most of the day spent lounging and activity periods occurring in sporadic bursts. Well bred and properly socialized Thai Ridgebacks make loyal, loving family pets. They are naturally protective of their home and family and can be aggressive or shy when not properly socialized.
  They are best kept by consistent owners who have a thorough understanding of dog behavior. Because of prior geographic isolation and lack of human contact, the Thai Ridgeback remains independent minded and much of the original natural instinct and drives remain intact, particularly prey drive. Due to its nature, the Thai Ridgeback is not recommended for the novice dog handler. They have an excellent jumping ability and may seek to roam if not properly contained.

Health
  Thai ridgebacks are a hearty, overall healthy breed with few inherent health issues. The breed has reproduced in Thailand almost exclusively by natural selection until the very recent past. The domesticated population is small. Inbreeding depression has not been observed in the breed. Thai Ridgeback Dogs are prone to dermoid sinus. Modern lines of    Thai Ridgeback, resulting from interpopulation crosses, may also be prone to hip dysplasia and other genetic disorders.

Care
  Because this dog breed originated in a tropical climate, the Thai Ridgeback generally does not do well in colder climates and should be kept as an indoor dog. The coat of a Thai Ridgeback requires little maintenance, however daily exercise is suggested to keep a healthy lifestyle for this breed.

Living Conditions
 Thai Ridgebacks will do okay in an apartment if it sufficiently exercised. These dogs prefer warm climates and cannot withstand the cold.

Training
  An independent breed, the Thai Ridgeback requires an experienced owner who can assert himself to be the leader of the family. Manhandling and harsh discipline is counter-productive to training this breed. The Thai Ridgeback responds well to positive training methods and learns rather quickly when delectable treats are involved. Repetitive training sessions will prove to be worth the time.
  One of the things that the Thai Ridgeback was bred to do was to pull carts in Thailand. Nowadays, he is well-suited for draft trials, obedience and agility. Of course, the Thai Ridgeback can be an incredible watchdog.

Exercise Requirements
  Thai Ridgebacks were bred to work and they require a lot of exercise. Long walks or jogs are great but this breed also needs room to stretch out and run. He can tolerate living in condos or apartment buildings provided there is a dog park nearby that he can use.
  Without enough exercise, the Thai Ridgeback can become incredibly destructive and disruptive. Although not a barker, the dog will become frustrated and try to communicate his need for activity vocally. He will also tear up furniture and chew whatever he can get his teeth on if he is bored. Exercise is essential to living peacefully with a Thai Ridgeback.

Grooming
  The Thai Ridgeback has a short coat that is easily cared for with a weekly brushing. Use a rubber curry brush to keep it gleaming. He sheds year-round, but not heavily. Give him a bath when he is dirty, maybe once or twice a year.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Keep the ears clean and dry, and check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that could indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Introduce your puppy to grooming from an early age so that he learns to accept it with little fuss.

Is the Thai Ridgeback the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Difficult Training: The Thai Ridgeback isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Thai Ridgeback can have as many as eight different ridge patterns formed by hair growing in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat. Patterns include whorls, circles, and even the shape of a guitar.
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