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Showing posts with label lion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lion. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Everything about your Rhodesian Ridgeback

Everything about your Rhodesian Ridgeback
  The Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy to spot among a canine crowd: He’s the one with the tiny Mohawk running down his spine. Expressive eyes reflect the sensitive spirit of this large, intelligent dog who loves to run and play. He’s not a barker, but a Ridgie will protect his family.

Overview
  Derived from Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to guard and protect children and family when parents were away. Designed to hunt lions and retrieve needed objects, the breed does well hunting with humans when on horseback. Doing well in African climates, the breed was brought to America in 1950. With high endurance and the ability to outlast humans, this dog is a strong, smart and loyal breed.
  As a pup, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is active and exuberant, but he matures into a dog with moderate exercise needs. Give him a vigorous walk or game of fetch a couple of times a day, plus a chance to run in a safely fenced area a couple of times a week, and he'll be satisfied — at least in terms of physical exercise. This intelligent breed also needs mental stimulation: a bored Rhodesian Ridgeback is a destructive Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Highlights

  • The Rhodesian Ridgeback is tolerant of kids, but can be too rambunctious for toddlers.
  • Because of their size, intelligence, and power, Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren't recommended for first-time or timid owners.
  • If a Rhodesian Ridgeback is raised with other pets, he'll be accepting of them. However, he can still be aggressive toward strange animals outside the family, even if he's well socialized and trained. Males can be aggressive toward other males, especially if they're not neutered.
  • If bored, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can become very destructive.
  • The Rhodesian Ridgeback needs a high fence to keep him from escaping and roaming. An underground electronic fence won't contain him.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed little, and you can keep them clean with a weekly brushing and a wipedown with a damp cloth. They also need regular nail trims and tooth brushing.
  • Training can be difficult if you don't start at a very young age. Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be stubborn and strong willed, but if you're consistent, firm, and fair, you can train your Ridgeback to a high level.
  • The young Rhodesian Ridgeback is energetic and active, but with maturity and training, he generally becomes a calm and quiet dog. He needs at least a half hour of daily exercise.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks can adapt to a number of living situations, including apartments, if they're properly exercised. The ideal is a home with a large fenced yard.
  • Ridgebacks generally don't bark a lot. Many will bark to alert you to something unusual, and some will bark when they are bored, but for the most part, this isn't a yappy breed.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren't serious diggers, but they'll dig a large hole if they're bored or to escape the heat.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Ridgeback is the only dog who has a ridge of hair running down his spine in the opposite direction from the rest of his coat, though some purebred Ridgebacks do not have ridges.
  • The Ridgeback was created to help big game hunters go after lions, which is why he’s sometimes called the African Lion Hound.
  • Comparable Breeds: Bullmastiff, Great Dane

History
  The Rhodesian Ridgeback, once known as the African Lion Hound, was developed in South Africa by Boer farmers. The farmers needed a versatile hunting dog who could withstand the extreme temperatures and terrain of the bush, survive when water rations were low, protect property, and be a companion to the entire family.

  They started by crossing dogs they'd brought from Europe — such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, and Bloodhounds — with a half-wild native dog kept by the Khoikhoi, a pastoral people. This dog had a distinctive ridge of hair along its back, and breeders noticed that crosses who had this ridge tended to be excellent hunters.
  At first, the Boers primarily used the dogs to flush partridge or bring down a wounded buck. When big-game hunting became popular, they found that the dogs were well suited for accompanying them when they hunted lions from horseback. The dogs would hold the lion at bay until the hunters arrived.
  A hunter named Cornelius von Rooyen began a breeding program in what was then known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A breed standard — a written description of what the breed should look and act like — was set down in 1922, and it's changed little since then. In 1924, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was officially accepted by the South African Kennel Union.
  Some Rhodesian Ridgebacks may have made it to the United States as early as 1911, but it wasn't until after World War II that large numbers were imported to the U.S., Britain, and Canada. The first Rhodesian Ridgeback registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) was Tchaika of Redhouse, in 1955. The AKC recognized the breed that same year.
  Today, the Rhodesian Ridgeback ranks 54th in popularity among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC. The Ridgeback is quite popular in South Africa, where he first began his journey as a breed.

Personality
  Rhodesian Ridgebacks are dignified, athletic dogs whose expressive eyes always look deep in thought. Developed in Africa, this breed was used by lion hunting parties to track, corner, and hold lions. The breed is still used for hunting in some circles, but has come to be more of a family companion than anything else. As puppies they have energy to spare, but with proper exercise and training grow into quiet, dignified housemates. They are not for novice dog owners, as it takes a lot of time and energy to properly train this breed, but for those who are experienced and who are already committed to an active lifestyle, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be an ideal family dog.

Health Problems
  The biggest health concern for Rhodesian Ridgeback presents at birth. The condition is Dermoid Sinus, one that is closely related to Spina Bifida found in humans. Painful and sometimes fatal, most puppies born with this condition are put to sleep. If not, surgery is necessary and not always successful.

Care
  As a house pet, it is a wonderful family member. The Ridgeback prefers to sleep indoors, spending its days both out in the yard and indoors. The Ridgeback is a good hiking and jogging companion. Fond of running, the Ridgeback needs physical and mental exercise daily, to prevent boredom setting in. Coat care for the dog is minimal, requiring occasional brushing to get rid of dead hair.

Living Conditions
  Rhodesian Ridgebacks will do okay in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with a large yard.

Trainability
  Training a Rhodesian Ridgeback can be a challenge. They are independent thinkers who also have a tendency to exhibit dominance. They need to be trained with firmness to establish leadership, but never harshness. Strong discipline will cause a Ridgeback to shut down and ignore you completely. 100% consistency is also crucial when training because Ridgebacks will constantly test boundaries, especially in adolescence, and if you bend the rules just once, he'll take that as an invitation to rule the house.

Exercise Requirements
  It may not be able to chase lions in your neighborhood, but your Ridgeback needs daily exercise. To release pent up energy, take your dog for a long run or jog. Tire them out with play time – get your kids involved in the fun. You’ll need to put aside time every day in order to ensure your Rhodesian Ridgeback gets enough exercise.

Grooming
  Ridgebacks have an easy-care short coat. A Ridgie will shed a bit all year long, but it’s not bad. Run a brush over his coat once a week, and bathe him when you think he needs it. Brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste, clean his ears, and trim his nails regularly, and that’s it.

Children And Other Pets
  The Rhodesian Ridgeback is tolerant with children of all ages, but he's large and can be too rambunctious for a toddler.
  As with any dog, always teach children how to approach and touch your Rhodesian Ridgeback, and supervise all interactions between dogs and young kids to prevent any biting or tail pulling from either party.
  The Rhodesian Ridgeback does well with other pets if he's raised with them. Males tend to be aggressive to other males, especially if they're not neutered. It's important to properly socialize a Rhodesian Ridgeback to other dogs and animals — expose him to lots of other creatures beginning in puppyhood — because the tolerance he shows animals in his home is often not extended to animals outside his family.

Is this breed right for you?
  A strong and protective breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a great family pet. Playful and sometimes rough, he's best with older children. Athletic and in need of space, he does best living in a home with a large and spacious fenced-in yard. In need of exercise, he must be walked and jogged daily. If not given proper leadership from his master, he may become mischievous and begin to rebel. Best with cats when raised with them, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a natural hunter. An excellent jogging and hiking companion, this pup is extremely loyal and loving.

Did You Know?
  Ridgebacks are also known as the African Lion Hound. Big-game hunters found that the dogs were good at distracting a lion, allowing the hunters to take a shot.

A dream day in the life of a Rhodesian Ridgeback
  Waking up in the bed of his owner, he's ready for his morning jog. Back at the home, he'll eat breakfast with the family prior to taking a run in the backyard. After ensuring that all is well and in its place, he'll head back inside for playtime with the kiddos. A snooze on the couch and he'll be up for any type of love that you can give him. After a hike later in the day, he'll be happy to watch TV while snuggled on the couch with the family.





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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Everything about your Tibetan Mastiff

Everything about your Tibetan Mastiff
  An impressively large dog with noble bearing, the Tibetan Mastiff is an aloof and watchful guardian breed. They possess a solemn but kind expression, with an immense double coat it can be black, brown and blue/grey, with or without tan markings, and various shades of gold. Although seen in shows in the United States today, they may not enjoy participating in organized activities such as obedience or agility due to their highly independent natures.

Overview
  The Tibetan Mastiff, also known as the Tibetan Dog, the Thibet Dog, the Thibet Mastiff and the Tibetaanse Mastiff, is an ancient, heavily coated breed with a history shrouded in legend and lore. It was developed in the remote valleys and plateaus of the Himalayan Mountains, primarily to serve as a watch and guard dog protecting people and property from wild predators and wandering thieves. It is known for its impressive size, controlled strength and tremendous independence. The Tibetan Mastiff can appear aloof and is naturally wary of strangers. Its protective instincts are unparalleled. The Dalai Lama reportedly kept eight of these dogs to guard the gates to his summer residence. Females of this breed often only have one heat cycle annually much like wolves, rather than two as is normal with other domestic canine breeds. The Tibetan Mastiff was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 2006, as a member of the Working Group.
  The mature male Tibetan Mastiff stands a minimum of 26 inches at the withers; bitches must be a minimum of 24 inches in height. Adults typically weigh between 140 and 180 pounds, although the breed used to be bigger than it is today, with records of weights over 220 pounds. Its double coat is unusually thick, straight and hard, forming a mane about the neck particularly in males. The Tibetan Mastiff’s tail and legs are heavily feathered. It sheds its coat once a year and requires regular brushing. The preferred coat color is black-and-tan, although other colors ranging from black to golden also appear in the breed.

Highlights
  • Be mindful the your small, cute teddy bear of a puppy will grow into a 75 to 160 pound dog. The Mastiff's size makes him unsuited for apartment living.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs are usually active in the morning and evening. If your schedule doesn't allow you to exercise them during these times, this may not be the breed for you.
  • They are generally calm indoors.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff should not be left to live outside. He's a companion dog and thrives in the presence of his family.
  • Because of his protective nature, a Tibetan Mastiff should never be walked off leash. Vary his walks so he doesn't become territorial over a specific route.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs are highly intelligent, independent, and stubborn, yet sensitive to human moods. They will become upset if you yell at or discipline your children or argue with your spouse. They enjoy your company but are never fawning.
  • This is not the breed for people who wish to compete in dog sports such as agility or obedience.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs who are left outdoors at night will bark to let you know they're on the job — so don't leave them outdoors at night. On the upside, they are generally quiet during the day.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs shed little, except for once a year.  They require weekly brushing, except during their seasonal shed, when they should be brushed more frequently.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff needs early socialization that should continue throughout his life. Without it, he can be inappropriately aggressive toward dogs and people he doesn't know. Socialization helps him learn discrimination, which is essential for a guardian breed.
  • The Tibetan 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 Tibetan Mastiff is strong-willed and will test whether you really mean what you say.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs can become bored without proper physical and mental stimulation. This can lead to destructiveness, barking, and other negative behaviors. If you're interested in owning a Tibetan Mastiff, please bear in mind that you'll lose at least a few items to his sharp teeth before he reaches three years of age.
  • Tibetan Mastiffs can do well with children if they're raised with them, but they can mistake the yelling, screaming, and playing of children as a sign of aggression that requires action on their part. They may not warm up to neighborhood kids. They are not recommended for homes with young children.
  • Never buy a Tibetan 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 and of sound temperament.
Other Quick Facts:
  • The Tibetan Mastiff has a long double coat that comes in black, chocolate brown, or slate gray, with or without tan markings, or in various shades of red or gold.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff is a primitive breed. Unlike more domesticated dogs, he goes through a heavy shed only once a year.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working Group
UKC group: Guardian Dog Group
Average lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Average size: 140 - 220 pounds
Coat appearance: Very thick and heavy double coat
Coloration: Black, brown, blue-gray, gold and sable. May have cream, white or red markings.
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Large-sized dog with large bone structure; heavy, over-sized head that may present some wrinkling; strong muzzle; brown, deep-set eyes; pendant, V-shaped ears; cat-like feet; and feathered tail
Possible alterations: May have a silky or curly coat.
Comparable Breeds: Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees

History            
  Originating in Tibet , the Tibetan Mastiff came into being thousands of years ago. This breed was used to protect Tibetan monasteries, and guard villages and livestock from wolves, leopards and other predators. They lived comfortably in the Himalayan Mountains, thanks to their thick, heavy coat.
  This breed was kept hidden from most of the world, as Westerners weren’t allowed to visit Tibet. The first English recording of the breed is from 1828, when King George IV gifted a “Thibet Mastiff or Watch Dog” to the London Zoo. The breed’s appearance in North America was thanks to the Dalai Lama, who gave a pair to President Eisenhower in the late 1950s.
  Sadly, the Tibetan Mastiff almost became extinct when communist Chinese claimed control of Tibet. During this time, it was ordered that dogs be beaten to death by their owners, or else their owners would be beaten to death for disobeying. As a result, almost all native Tibetan breeds were lost. Fortunately, a few survived and were bred in secret. And now, across the world, fanciers of this noble breed are working to strengthen their numbers. 
  The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the oldest breeds, considered to be the progenitor of the other mastiff breeds in the world. He is a guardian breed from Tibet who either traveled with nomadic herdsmen, watching over their flocks, or served as the protector of villages and monasteries. Travelers often wrote of the dogs’ ferocity, which was encouraged by the inhabitants. Chinese documents dating to 1121 BCE make note of Tibetan guard dogs that may well have been the progenitors of today’s TM. The dogs were called Do-khyi, meaning “tied dog,” because they were restrained during the day but allowed to roam at night.

  Tibetan Mastiffs were first brought to the United States in the 1970s. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2006. He ranks 124th among the dogs registered by the AKC.

Personality
  The word "challenging" is frequently applied to this independent, stubborn breed. He's intelligent and has a strong sense of self, expecting to be treated as an equal, not as a pet.
  He wants to please his people, but he also has his own agenda and must often be reminded of what he's been asked to do. The Tibetan Mastiff is a loyal family guardian who takes his job seriously and is aloof or reserved toward strangers.
  Early socialization that continues throughout his life will help prevent him from becoming territorially aggressive. 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
  Many breeders claim a life expectancy of 10–14 years but these claims are unsubstantiated. Some lines do produce long-lived dogs. Other, more closely inbred lines, produce short-lived, unhealthy dogs. The breed has fewer genetic health problems than many breeds, but cases can be found of hypothyroidism, entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, skin problems including allergies, autoimmune problems including demodex, Addison's Disease, Cushing's Disease, missing teeth, malocclusion, cardiac problems, seizures, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, cataract, and small ear canals with a tendency for infection. As with most large breeds, some will suffer with elbow or hip dysplasia.
  Canine inherited demyelinative neuropathy, an inherited condition, appeared in one of the prominent lines of Tibetan Mastiffs in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, known carriers were bred extensively and are behind many lines still being actively bred. Because the mode of inheritance appears to be as a simple recessive, continued inbreeding can still produce affected puppies.
  Hypothyroidism is fairly common in Tibetan Mastiffs, as it is in many large "northern" breeds. They should be tested periodically throughout their lives using a complete thyroid "panel".However, because the standard thyroid levels were established using domestic dog breeds, test results must be considered in the context of what is "normal" for the breed, not what is normal across all breeds. Many dogs of this breed will have "low" thyroid values but no clinical symptoms. Vets and owners differ on the relative merits of medicating dogs which test "low", but are completely asymptomatic. Some researchers think that asymptomatic hypothyroidism may have been adaptive in the regions of origin for many breeds, since less nutrition is required for the dog to stay in good condition. Therefore, attempts to eliminate "low thyroid" dogs from the Tibetan Mastiff gene pool may have unintended consequences for the breed.

Care
  The Tibetan Mastiff is a companion dog who should live indoors, with access to a large, securely fenced yard where he can exercise. A small yard or dog run isn't sufficient for his needs.
  His heavy coat makes him unsuited to life in a hot, humid climate, although he can tolerate dry heat. During hot weather, he should always have access to shade and fresh water whenever he's outdoors.
  The Tibetan Mastiff's exercise requirements can be satisfied with 20 to 30 minutes of play in the yard or a half-hour walk. He'll enjoy having another dog to play with, preferably one who comes close to his size.
  Be patient, firm, and consistent to develop the strongest bond with your Tibetan Mastiff. Always look for behaviors you can reward instead of punishing him for infractions.
Housetraining comes easily to the Tibetan Mastiff. Crate training assists in this process and prevents your puppy from chewing on things he shouldn't or otherwise getting into trouble when you aren't around to supervise. A crate also gives him a safe haven where he can retreat when he's feeling overwhelmed or tired. A crate should never be used as a punishment.
  Socialization is a must for this breed. Not only can Tibetan Mastiffs be overly dominant toward other dogs, they tend to become overly protective of their home and family. Puppy socialization classes are a great start, but socialization shouldn't end there.
With the proper training, consistency, and socialization, your Tibetan Mastiff can be a wonderful family member who guards, protects, and loves you unconditionally.

Living Conditions
  The Tibetan Mastiff can live in an apartment life if it is very well exercised. These dogs are not very active indoors.

Trainability
  Tibetan Mastiffs are a challenge to train and novice dog owners should consult with a professional dog trainer who understands how to handle large, dominant breeds. These dogs naturally assume they are the heads of the household and establishing leadership over them requires a lot of time, energy and patience. Training should begin very early and should be conducted with firmness, but never harshness. Tibetan Mastiffs will not respect a leader who resorts to physical correction. 100% consistency is also needed when training this breed, as on bend of the rules will be seen in his eyes as an invitation to take over.

Activity Requirements
  Tibetan Mastiffs are full of energy when they are young, but as they get older they mellow out considerably. Despite the fact that your dog may want to lay outside under a shade tree all afternoon, he needs to be walked several times a day. As puppies, you can run them and teach them to play catch, but don't expect an adult Tibetan Mastiff to be motivated to run around the yard.
  This breed is far too large to live in apartments, and they prefer to be outside during the day, where they can patrol the yard and do their duty as guardians. They get depressed and destructive when indoors all day.

Exercise Requirements
  As puppies, the Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t slow down – but not to worry, they will mellow with age. He needs a few walks a day, but don’t expect him to run around in the yard on his own. You’d much rather lounge in a favorite shady spot.
  This breed needs more room than an apartment or condo can offer – he needs a yard so he can spend most his time outdoors. Not only does this give them space to move about, but it also allows them to show off their skills as watch and guard dogs. Leaving them inside could lead to destructive behavior.

Grooming
  The Tibetan Mastiff has a long, thick double coat, with males having a more lavish covering than females. The heavy undercoat is soft and woolly; the topcoat is straight with a hard texture. The amount of fur on the neck and shoulders give the TM the appearance of having a mane. His tail and “britches”  are also heavily coated. There’s no need to trim any part of the coat unless you want to give the feet a neater appearance. With regular brushing, he shouldn’t need frequent baths.
  Brush the Tibetan Mastiff several times a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. During shedding season, you’ll want to brush him daily to keep the loose hair under control.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Tibetan Mastiff is suitable for families with older children, but he can be too large to safely spend much time around toddlers. He would never mean to hurt them, but he could easily knock them over or step on them.
  Make it a rule that children are never to run and scream in a Tibetan Mastiff'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 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.
  Tibetan Mastiffs get along well with other dogs and cats when they're raised with them. As adults, they may require more of an adjustment period before they welcome the advent of another dog.
Is this breed right for you?
  An extremely loyal breed, the Tibetan Mastiff will require good training techniques to understand who is the leader of the pack. If not provided with a strong and confident leader, the dog may growl and even bite if it does not understand its role or the rules of the household. Good with children, it makes for an extremely good guard dog that will stop at nothing to protect its family and home. With this in mind, it will need to be socialized with others to avoid problems when having visitors. Docile indoors, the Tibetan Mastiff is a very loud barker when left outside. Doing well in an apartment, it will still need to be walked daily with an experienced and strong owner to avoid any behavioral problems.

Did You Know?
  Tibetan Mastiffs and Lhasa Apsos worked as a team, with the little Lhasa sounding the alarm and the Mastiff going off to investigate and, if necessary, dispatch any intruders.

Popular culture
  • A Tibetan Mastiff named Max is the central character in the 1993 horror film, Man's Best Friend. At least five different dogs were used in filming.
  • A Tibetan Mastiff is the subject of the 2011 animated film The Tibetan Dog.
A dream day in the life of an Tibetan Mastiff
    The Tibetan Mastiff is very relaxed when indoors with its family. Devoted, it is likely to spend the brunt of its time wherever its owner is in the home. Going in and out to keep guard on the house, you won't hear much from this big dog unless there is some type of disturbance. Satisfied with an evening walk, it'll enjoy a day filled with commandments and order.




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