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Showing posts with label italian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italian. Show all posts

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Everything about your Lagotto Romagnolo

Everything about your Lagotto Romagnolo
  If you’re thinking Italian sports car, think again. This curly-coated dog is an Italian truffle hunter who is generally smart, energetic and fun-loving. The medium-sized Lagotto requires regular trims at home or by a professional groomer.

  The appearance of the Lagotto can vary, and generally have floppy ears, and large round eyes in any shade color ranging from golden to a dark brown. Their water friendly coat is very thick and curly. Solid colors include off-white, golden, or brown. They can also be found white with brown or orange patches or roan. It is a medium to large sized dog that is hypoallergenic, which also means it almost never sheds. A Lagotto often displays white markings that grow out in adult status.
  The Lagotto is made to work. They generally have sharp senses, though their eyesight is more sensitive to motion than detail. They are very loyal and loving, making them the perfect family companion. Some are easy to train, and many get along with other animals quite easily if they're socialized as puppies.  Some Lagotti are excellent swimmers, but some will only paddle. Some will retrieve from lakes, streams and other bodies of water without hesitation. They are lovable family pets and tend to like attention. Lagotti love to dig; many owners give them a sandbox, or have a designated place to allow them satisfy their digging urges. They also love to play seeking games and have very active, and clever minds.

Quick Facts
  • A Lagotto’s coat can be off-white, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, various shades of solid brown, with or without white, or orange, with or without white. Some dogs have a brown mask or tan markings.
  • The Lagotto is the only dog specifically bred to hunt truffles.
  • Dogs resembling Lagotti appear in paintings dating to the 15th century.    
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 14 to 16 years
Average size: 24 to 35 pounds
Coat appearance: Long and Water-Repellent
Coloration: Solid colors including: off-white, golden or brown
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms and rural areas
Temperament: Loyal, loving, active, eager to please
Comparable Breeds: Portuguese Water Dog, Poodle

  It's thought the Lagotto Romagnolo has been around for centuries having been bred in Italy as a water dog and retriever. The breed has been well-documented throughout history with paintings depicting similar looking, handsome dogs dating as far back as the 1400's. As such, the Lagotto is considered to be one of the most ancient breeds with many other more recent water dog breeds being descendants of the Lagotto.
  The origins of the breed can be narrowed down to the lowlands and marshlands of Comacchio and Ravenna where they were highly prized retrievers and gundogs throughout the ages. Today, the Lagotto remains popular in their native Italy both as working dogs and family pets thanks to their charming looks and loyal, affectionate natures.
  The Lagotto Romagnolo was recognised as a breed in its own right by the Italian Kennel Club in 1991 and their popularity elsewhere in the world has led to more breeders producing good examples of the Lagotto in many countries which includes here in the UK. However, very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year which means that anyone who wants to share their home with a Lagotto would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list.

  Althougth the Lagotto is first and foremost a working dog, they do make wonderful family pets as long as they are given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them busy and happy both physically and mentally. They are known to be exceptionally good natured around children and love nothing more than to be part of a family.
  They are best suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like to have an energetic, intelligent canine companion at their side. They are not the best choice for first time owners because they need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with this type of dog’s specific needs. The Lagotto does boast having quite a high prey drive having extremely good hearing as well as a very keen sense of smell. They can also spot their prey in the distance which means that when they are being trained, particular attention has to be paid to the "recall" command right from the word go.
  They love being in and around water which means care has to be taken as to where and when they are allowed to run off their leads just in case a dog decides to jump in any of the more dangerous water courses. They also love to dig which can become a problem if dogs are allowed to roam around a garden which often sees a Lagotto happily digging up flower beds and lawns.
  Lagottos form very strong bonds with their owners and as such they like to be with them and are never happy when left to their own devices for any length of time which could see a dog developing some unwanted and destructive behaviours as a way of relieving their stress. They often suffer separation anxiety when they are left alone for long periods of time.

Health Problems
  Lagottos are a generally healthy breed and do not suffer from any major hereditary health issues. Some breeding lines are known to have problems with hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

  As with any other breed, Lagottos need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.

Living Conditions
  Thanks to its small size, the Lagotto would do fine in an apartment if properly exercised. Where you live doesn’t matter, as long as you can walk the dog and keep it active, at least 3-4 times a day. If you do have a yard, and like your flowers…well, then you have to fence in your flowers. In the Lagotto’s nature lies a desire to dig. It loves to dig big holes and then stick its head in the hole. These dogs can dig a big hole in matter of seconds!

  The Lagotto is an intelligent dog and one that thrives on being around people loving nothing more than to please. As such, in the right hands and environment, they are easy to train and thoroughly enjoy the one-to-one attention they are given during a training session.
It's important to teach puppies the "basics" as soon as they arrive home and to start their training in earnest once they have had all their jabs. Socialising puppies early in their lives helps them grow up to be more outgoing, confident characters and enrolling them into puppy classes is the best way to get their training off to a good start in a safe and controlled environment.
  The key to successfully training a Lagotto is to make their training sessions as interesting and as diverse as possible and to indulge their natural retrieving instincts rather than to try and curb them. Younger dogs find it hard to stay focussed if there is too much repetition in a training session and the same can be said if the session lasts for too long. As such, shorter more interesting training sessions are much better than longer and more repetitive ones.

Exercise Requirements
  Lagottos are born to work hard and require rigorous, daily exercise. They make excellent hiking and jogging partners. Lagottos also love to swim and often take to the water naturally given the opportunity. It is also important to remember that as a working breed, Lagottos require a “meaningful” and mentally stimulating task that they can engage in each day to live happy and fulfilled lives. This can be something as simple as a game of fetch or a session of hide and seek.

  There are conflicting ideas on how to groom this breed. Some say they should be brushed regularly and others believe their coat should be allowed to grow to a naturally fluffy coat.   The lagotti coat gets matted easily, and the mats should be carefully pulled apart without tearing the coat. It is recommended that the coat be cut down at least once every year.
If the coat is kept trimmed to approximately 1.5 inches all over the body and slightly longer on the head, it will be easier to maintain. Hair on the ears should be trimmed around the edges to the leather. If the ears show irritation or buildup of dirt and earwax, the hairs from the ear canal should be gently plucked out regularly. Some coats matt more easily than others. If left untended, Lagotti hair will grow to cover the eyes, meaning the hair around their eyes should be clipped periodically to ensure that they can see.

Children and Other Pets
  The Lagotto Romagnolo forms very strong bonds with their families and this includes the children in a household. They thrive in a family environment and thoroughly enjoy being involved in everything that goes on around them. They are very gentle and good natured around children although any interaction between toddlers and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not end up getting too boisterous.
  When well socialised from a young enough age, the Lagotto generally gets on with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together. However, if a Lagotto meets any other cats, they would think nothing of chasing them off. As with other breeds, it's best to be careful when they are around smaller animals and pets just to be on the safe side.

Is the Lagotto Romagnolo 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.
Easy Training: The Lagotto Romagnolo 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.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  True to his truffle-hunting heritage, the Lagotto loves to dig. Be prepared to have him “help” you with your landscaping efforts.
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Everything about your Italian Greyhound

Everything about your Italian Greyhound
  The Italian Greyhound dog breed was a favorite companion of noblewomen in the Middle Ages, especially in Italy. But this small hound was more than a lap dog, having the speed, endurance, and determination to hunt small game. These days, he's a family dog whose beauty and athleticism is admired in the show ring and in obedience, agility, and rally competitions.

  One foot lifted from the ground, ears perked, eyes fixed on the horizon -- the Italian Greyhound neither knows nor cares that he's small enough to tuck under your arm. A Greyhound in miniature, he's nonetheless a somewhat fragile toy dog who needs to be protected from larger dogs, rough children, and his own impetuous nature.
  He's a smart dog, but somehow didn't get the memo that he's very, very tiny and his legs are very slender. Broken bones seem to be a fact of life with some Italian Greyhounds, and while some dogs' bones are sturdier than others, it's something every IG owner needs to be prepared for, and prevent if possible.
  The IG can live happily in an apartment, and while he needs to be given enough exercise to keep him tired out when he's young, he'll settle into a comfortable routine once the puppy years are behind him.
  Grooming couldn't be easier: an occasional soft brushing to keep shedding from becoming a problem, along with keeping the nails trimmed and the ears clean, and you're done. Regular teeth brushing is a good idea, too.
  Training is another story. While Iggys, as they’re nicknamed, are tractable and loving people-magnets, they're also stubborn and a bit defiant – and very creative at showing their displeasure. Unlike some very small dogs nipping and barking don't tend to be big problems, but housetraining can be. Use gentle, consistent training and establish acceptable routines from the very beginning, or you might find yourself with a problem.
  Although the Italian Greyhound is extremely small and needs to be protected from rambunctious children and dogs larger than he is, he usually gets along well with other dogs and with cats.

  • Italian Greyhounds were bred to hunt and still have the hunting instinct. They'll chase anything that moves, including cars, so when you're outside keep them on leash or in a fenced area.
  • This breed is sensitive to drugs such as anesthetics of the barbiturate class and organophosphate insecticides. Make sure your veterinarian is aware of these sensitivities, and avoid using organophosphate products to treat your home and yard for fleas.
  • Italian Greyhound puppies are fearless and believe they can fly. Broken bones are common in pups between four and 12 months old, particularly the radius and ulna.
  • Although they're clever, Italian Greyhounds have a short attention span and a "what's in it for me?" attitude toward training. Keep training sessions short and positive, using play, treats, and praise to motivate your Italian Greyhound to learn.
  • This breed can be extremely difficult to housetrain. Even if you follow a housetraining program religiously, your Italian Greyhound may never be totally trustworthy in the house. It helps to have a dog door, so your dog can come and go as he wishes. And if your dog gives you the signs that he needs to go outside, take him out that instant — they're not good at holding it.
  • Italian Greyhounds need lots of love and attention, and if they don't get it, they'll become shy or hyper.
  • 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 IG is a true hound and enjoys outdoor activity as well as the luxuries of home.
  • The Italian Greyhound can be difficult to housetrain, which means he is not always a perfect candidate for apartment living unless you can stay on top of his need to go out or teach him to use a litter box or papers.
  • The Italian Greyhound has fine, short coat that is simple to groom and comes in most colors and patterns. The coat sheds very little.
  • The IG is highly athletic and is capable of jumping onto tables and countertops.
  • Italian Greyhounds enjoy dog sports such as lure coursing, agility, rally and even weight pulling.
Breed standards
AKC group: Toy
UKC group: Companion Dog
Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Average size:  6 - 10 pounds
Coat appearance: Short, smooth, fine
Coloration: Varies
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Slender, delicate bone structure; elegant and graceful demeanor
Possible alterations: None
Comparable Breeds: Greyhound, Whippet

  The name of the breed is a reference to the breed's popularity in Renaissance Italy. Mummified dogs very similar to the Italian Greyhound  have been found in Egypt, and pictorials of small Greyhounds have been found in Pompeii, and they were probably the only accepted companion-dog there. Dogs similar to Italian Greyhounds are recorded as having been seen around Emperor Nero's court in Rome in the first century AD.
  The breed is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in the countries now known as Greece and Turkey. This belief is based on the depiction of miniature greyhounds in the early decorative arts of these countries and on the archaeological discovery of small greyhound skeletons. By the Middle Ages, the breed had become distributed throughout Southern Europe and was later a favorite of the Italians of the sixteenth century, among whom miniature dogs were in great demand. Sadly, though, 'designer' breeders tried, and failed, to make the breed even smaller by crossbreeding it with other breeds of dogs. This only led to mutations with deformed skulls, bulging eyes and dental problems. The original Italian Greyhound had almost disappeared when groups of breeders got together and managed to return the breed to normal. From this period onward the history of the breed can be fairly well traced as it spread through Europe, arriving in England in the seventeenth century.
  The grace of the breed has prompted several artists to include the dogs in paintings, among others Velázquez, Pisanello, and Giotto.
  The breed has been popular with royalty. Among the royal aficionados are Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Anne, Queen Victoria, Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great and Maud, Queen of Norway.
  The breed is also represented in the film Good Boy!. Nelly is an Italian Greyhound played by "Motif" and "Imp".

  The Italian Greyhound is sensitive, alert, smart, and playful. He's affectionate with his family, and loves to snuggle with you and stick close to your side all day. Strangers may see a more shy, reserved side of his personality.

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, needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your IG 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.
  When treated harshly, the Italian Greyhound can become fearful or snappy. Like other hounds, he can have a "what's in it for me?" attitude toward training, so you'll do best with motivational methods that use play, treats, and praise to encourage the dog to get it right, rather than punishing him for getting it wrong.

  The Italian Greyhound, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, is prone to minor health conditions such as patellar luxation, leg and tail fractures, epilepsy, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), or major ones like periodontal disease. This breed is sensitive to barbiturate anesthesia and susceptible to portacaval shunt, Legg-Perthes, color dilution alopecia, cataract, and hypothyroidism on occasion. Regular knee and eye tests are advised for this breed of dog.

  Italian Greyhounds are active little dogs who need a good, daily walk. In addition, they love to run free and play. Be sure to make them heel on the lead. Dogs not only have an instinct to migrate daily, but to have a leader leading the way. Humans should enter and exit all door and gateways before the dog. In order for your dog to fully respect your authority you need to be their leader rather than the other way around.

  Even though the Italian Greyhound hates the cold and is not suited to outdoor living, it likes daily romps outdoors. Its exercise needs are perfectly met with a nice on-leash walk or a fun-filled indoor game. It likes a sprint and stretching out in an enclosed area. It is very important to brush this dog’s teeth regularly. Minimal coat care is required for the fine, short coat, comprising primarily of occasional brushing to get rid of dead hair.

Living Conditions
 The Italian Greyhound is good for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They are sensitive to cold weather. Owners will often put a shirt on them.

  This breed learns quickly. It may wish to have its own way and occasionally will be naughty, so consistency is necessary.

  An Italian Greyhound has a short, smooth, fine coat that gleams when it has been cared for. Luckily, that is an easy task. The IG is one of the easiest breeds to groom. Brush him when he gets dusty, or once a week, whichever comes first. Bathe him when you are taking him to a dog show or on a therapy visit or whenever he has rolled in something stinky. He sheds very little.
  The rest is just basic care. Trim his nails as needed, usually every week or two, and brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Italian Greyhounds can do well with children, but because they're small and delicate, it's especially important to teach kids that the dog is living animal, not a toy, who must be treated with love and respect. Many breeders will not sell a puppy to a household with children younger than ten years old.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Italian Greyhounds usually get along well with other pets, although you may need to keep an eye on them when they're cavorting about with bigger dogs, who could accidentally hurt them while playing.

Is this breed right for you?
  Due to their small body structure and fragile bone density, it's best to keep this breed away from young children. Also, Italian Greyhounds only thrive with mounds of attention and therefore do better in a quiet environment where one-on-one time is spent cuddling and napping. Not a fan of cold weather, this breed must be provided with ample winter coats and booties if you live in a cold environment. This breed can be skittish and aloof; owners are encouraged to begin socialization and training early on.

Did You Know?
  One of the true companion breeds - dogs bred for the sole purpose of being your best friend - the Italian Greyhound excels at his work. His dark eyes, sleek lines and affectionate nature will earn him a favored place in your lap.

A dream day in the life of an Italian Greyhound
  Whether out in the country or in the city, this breed loves to be alongside a loving human counterpart. They're incredibly fast runners and a day that includes light exercise would suit this breed's activity needs. On a cold day, an Italian Greyhound would prefer a warm coat and booties to stay comfortable but would rather be indoors, quietly enjoying a nap on a loving owner's lap.

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