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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Everything about your Shih Tzu

Everything about your Shih Tzu
  Shih Tzu are lively and energetic companions. Yet, they are also amazingly low-key and satisfied—assuming they get an adequate amount of attention. They like nothing better than to be held, stroked, petted and pampered by their owners, and are perfectly happy sitting on the couch with you for hours while you dote on them. This is a noble breed—sometimes translating into arrogance and haughtiness, other times into courageousness and politeness—but they are never too proud for a roll on the floor with a treasured squeaky toy.

Overview
  Compact, yet slightly longer than it is tall, the Shih Tzu hides a sturdy body beneath its mantle of luxurious hair. It has a smooth, effortless stride with good reach and drive. Even though its function is that of companion, it should nonetheless be structurally sound. Its expression is warm, sweet and wide-eyed, imparting the impression of trust and friendliness. The long, dense coat is double and fairly straight. 
  The spunky but sweet Shih Tzu is both a gentle lap dog and a vivacious companion. It has an upbeat attitude and loves to play and romp. It is affectionate to its family and good with children. It is surprisingly tough and does have a stubborn streak.


Highlights
  • There is no such breed as an "imperial" or "teacup" Shih Tzu. These are simply marketing terms used by unscrupulous breeders use to indicate a very small or large Shih Tzu.
  • Shih Tzus are difficult to housebreak. Be consistent, and do not allow a puppy to roam the house unsupervised until he is completely trained. Crate training is helpful.
  • The flat shape of the Shih Tzu's face makes him susceptible to heat stroke, because the air going into the lungs isn't cooled as efficiently as it is among longer-nosed breeds. He should be kept indoors in air-conditioning rooms during hot weather.
  • Be prepared to brush and comb the Shih Tzu coat every day. It mats easily.
  • While Shih Tzus are trustworthy with children, they're not the best choice for families with toddlers or very young children because their small size puts them at risk for unintentional injury.
  • The Shih Tzu tends to wheeze and snore, and can be prone to dental problems.
  • While all dogs eat their own or other animals' feces (coprophagia), the Shih Tzu seems especially prone to this behavior. The best way to handle the problem is never let it become a habit. Watch your Shih Tzu closely and clean up poop right away.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Shih Tzus are often called chrysanthemum dogs because of the way their hair grows up from the nose and around the face in all directions.
  • The Shih Tzu may have originated in Tibet, bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
  • The Shih Tzu is prized for his small size, sweet nature, flowing coat, and intelligent mind.
  • The name is pronounced SHEED-zoo.
  • Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Pekingese
History
  DNA analysis placed the ancestors of today's Shih Tzu breed in the group of "ancient" breeds indicating "close genetic relationship to wolves". Another branch coming down from the "Kitchen Midden Dog" gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another "Kitchen Midden Dog" branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu.
  It is also said that the breed originated in China, hence the name "Lion Dog", in 800BC. There are various theories of the origins of today's breed. Theories relate that it stemmed from a cross between Pekingese and a Tibetan dog called the Lhasa Apso. Dogs during ancient times were selectively bred and seen in Chinese paintings. The dogs were favorites of the Chinese royals and were so prized that for years the Chinese refused to sell, trade, or give away any of the dogs. The first dogs of the breed were imported into Europe (England and Norway) in 1930, and were classified by the Kennel Club as "Apsos". The first European standard for the breed was written in England in 1935 by the Shih Tzu Club, and the dogs were recategorised as Shih Tzu. The breed spread throughout Europe, and was brought to the United States after World War II, when returning members of the US military brought back dogs from Europe, in the mid 1950s. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 in the Toy Group.
  The breed is now recognized by all of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world. It is also recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale for international competition in Companion and Toy Dog Group, Section 5, Tibetan breeds. In the United States, the Shih Tzu ranked the 15th most popular breed in 2013, falling slightly in popularity since 2012, when it was placed in 11th position.



Temperament
  The Shih Tzu is an alert, lively, little dog. It is happy and hardy, and packed with character. The gentle, loyal Shih Tzu makes friends easily and responds well to consistent, patient training. It makes a very alert watchdog. It is courageous and clever.
  Playful and spunky, this affectionate little dog likes to be with people and is generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak. The Shih Tzu needs all of the humans in the house to be pack leaders, with the rules of the house made consistently clear.   Owners who allow their dogs to take over may find them to be snappish if they are surprised or peeved. Because of this dog’s small size and its adorable face, it commonly develops Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is the boss of humans. This causes a varying degree of behavioral issues, such as, but not limited to separation anxiety, guarding, growling, snapping, and even biting. These dogs may become untrustworthy with children and sometimes adults, as they try and tell the humans what THEY want THEM to do. They will be obstinate as they take their stand and defend their top position in the pack. They may bark obsessively as they try and TELL you what they want. These behaviors are NOT Shih Tzu traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way they are treated by people around them. Give this dog rules and limits as to what it is and is not allowed to do. Be its firm, stable, consistent pack leader. Take it for daily pack walks to burn mental and physical energy. Its temperament will improve for the better, and you will bring out the sweet, trustworthy dog in it.

Health
  The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 11 to 16 years. Some of the minor diseases that can affect this breed are renal dysplasia (abnormal growth of tissue), trichiasis (eyelash malformation), entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), otitis externa, patellar luxation, and inguinal (groin) hernia, as well as a major concern like canine hip dysplasia (CHD). This breed is also prone to cataract and dental problems. Eye, hip, and DNA tests can be good for preventive health care, or for management of non-preventive conditions.

Care
  The Shih Tzu doesn't really mind where he lives, as long as he's with you. He's a very adaptable dog who can be comfortable in a small city apartment or a large suburban or country home. He is definitely a housedog and should not be kenneled outside, though he enjoys a bit of backyard play.
  The Shih Tzu is content with short walks each day. He is not an extremely active dog; he's content to sit in your lap, wander around the house, play with his toys, or run to the door to  greet visitors.
  Like other breeds with short faces, the Shih Tzu is sensitive to heat. He should remain indoors in an air-conditioned room (or one with fans) on hot days so he doesn't suffer from heat exhaustion.
  No, the breed cannot fly; but owners commonly report that their Shih Tzu thinks he can. It not unusual for a Shih Tzu to fearlessly jump from a bed or a chair. While they may not seem high to you, these heights are towering to the small Shih Tzu. And, unfortunately, these jumps often end in injury. The breed is front heavy and crashes forward, causing injury or even a concussion to the head. Be very careful when carrying your Shih Tzu. Hold him securely and don't let him jump out of your arms or off furniture.
Even though he's naturally docile and friendly, the Shih Tzu needs early socialization and training. Like any dog, he can become timid if he is not properly socialized when young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Shih Tzus are often considered difficult to housebreak. Most important is to avoid giving your puppy opportunities to have accidents inside — you don't want him to become accustomed to using the carpet. (Some Shih Tzu owners teach their dogs to use a doggie litter box so they don't need to walk them in bad weather or rush home to take them out.) A Shih Tzu puppy should be carefully supervised inside the house until he has not eliminated indoors for at least four to eight weeks. Crate training is helpful for housetraining and provides your dog with a quiet place to relax. A crate is also useful when you board your Shih Tzu or travel.

Living Conditions
  The Shih Tzu is good for apartment life. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to the heat.

Exercise
  The Shih Tzu needs a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of its exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill its primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard. Do not overfeed this breed or it will quickly become fat.

Grooming
  These little dogs require a good daily grooming using a bristle brush. When kept in a long coat a topknot is usually tied to keep the hair out of the dog's eyes. Some owners prefer to have them trimmed to make the coat easier and less time-consuming to care for. Keep the ear passages and area around the eyes clean. Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that need to be kept clean. There are special drops you can buy to put in them if needed. Ask your vet what to use on your dog. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers if its coat is kept very well groomed, due to the fact that they shed little skin dander.

Children and other pets
  The Shih Tzu is a wonderful family pet. He gets along with other dogs or animals, and his docile personality makes him a good companion for children. Kids should sit on the floor to play with a Shih Tzu puppy, however, so there is no risk of carrying and dropping him. Children should also learn to keep their fingers away from the Shih Tzu's prominent eyes, which can be easily injured.

Did You Know?
One of the more ancient breeds in existence, Shih Tzus are believed to have been bred by Tibetan lamas to be a tiny replica of a lion, which is associated with Buddhist mythology.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Everything about your Lowchen

Everything about your Lowchen
  The Lowchen’s German name means “little lion.” He is a cute, charismatic little dog who loves to clown around and be the center of attention. When he encounters other dogs he sometimes thinks he’s as big as a lion and must be prevented from taking them on. His long, dense coat is soft and comes in any color or combination.
  The Lowchen is a toy dog breed that was developed as a companion dog and still finds itself in this role today. Active and smart, they do very well in dog competitions such as obedience and agility, and surpass the expectations that many have for a family companion.

Overview
  With a name that translates to "lion dog," you might expect the Lowchen to have a fierce demeanor, but with people he's lionlike only in his looks. Playful and gentle, the Lowchen is a great companion for children and adults alike.
  He is surprisingly robust and loves to roughhouse with his people. The Lowchen generally gets along well with everyone, but he can be shy of strangers. With proper socialization, this trait can be overcome, however. Generally, Lowchen will fit into any household whether there are dogs before they arrive or not. They also get along well with other pets.
  The Lowchen is affectionate and loving. They thrive when they are with their people and can fit wherever that person is living, be it an apartment or a large estate. They should not be left outside or in a kennel, and doing so will not only lead to ill health for the dog but also to many temperamental problems. 
  Lowchens are not known for their high activity levels, but they enjoy their role as watch dog and will bark an alert whenever they see something they think merits a response. Some can also be partial to digging, and this habit can be difficult to break.
   The name "lion dog" comes from the traditional Lowchen clip, with close-cut hindquarters and a full, natural mane, but the nickname applies to the little dog's big personality as well. Lowchen have the "small dog...big personality" down pat, and that can be a joy and a frustration.
  They are lively and energetic, sweet and affectionate, and they will challenge any dog or rule if they decide to. They will take over the homes and lives of the people they love, and with their fierce determination and wonderful even temperament they will take over their owners' hearts as well.

Highlights
  • The Lowchen was not developed to be an outdoor or kennel dog. They are companion dogs and are happiest when they are in the company of the people they love.
  • Barking is a much-enjoyed pastime for the Lowchen. They make excellent watchdogs with their alarm barking but they may become a nuisance to neighbors.
  • Lowchen make wonderful apartment residents as long as their exercise requirements are met. Expect to spend at least 20 minutes per day exercising him. He makes an excellent walking companion and will go for long walks with his people.
  • Although the Lowchen doesn't shed much, he still requires regular brushing and grooming to prevent tangles and mats and keep him in good health.
  • Although not all Lowchen exhibit this trait, many enjoy digging and the habit may be difficult to discourage.
  • Lowchen can be shy of new people, and it is important to socialize them at a young age to discourage any fearfulness or timid behaviors.
  • Lowchens are companion dogs and may suffer from separation anxiety whenever their companions leave for the day. They are not the best breed for people who work long hours.
  • 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
  • Except to achieve the distinctive “lion” look, the Lowchen’s coat should not be trimmed. It comes in all colors and combinations of colors.
  • The Lowchen can vary in size. European dogs may stand only 10 to 13 inches, while American dogs can range from 12 to 14 inches.
  • The lion cut probably originated as a sanitary measure, but a more romantic story is that court ladies would warm their feet on the dogs’ warm, exposed skin.

Breed standards
  • AKC group: Non-sporting
  • UKC group: Companion
  • Average lifespan: 12 - 14 years
  • Average size: 9 - 17 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Wavy and long
  • Coloration: Black, white, lemon and speckled
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Small and compact body with proud head held high; short skull and muzzle with dark, round eyes; high tail and feathered ears
  • Possible alterations: Clipped into a lion trim
  • Comparable Breeds: Bichon Frise, Havanese
History
  The Lowchen’s name comes from German words meaning “little lion.” Paintings and woodcuts give evidence that dogs resembling the Lowchen have existed since the 15th century. A painting by Jan van Eyck, The Birth of the Baptist, which dates to 1422, depicts one of the curious-looking little dogs and is perhaps the earliest visual proof of the breed’s age. The expressive woodcuts by German artist Albrecht Durer also provide Lowchen lovers with a glimpse of their breed’s past.
  During the Renaissance, a period rife with symbolism, the little lion dogs represented courage. Knights who were killed in battle were buried with the statue of a lion at their feet, but if they died of natural causes, the statue of a lion dog was substituted. The little lion dogs were also popular with court ladies, who kept them as lap dogs, flea catchers, and foot warmers.
  As the centuries passed, the Lowchen’s popularity waned. By World War II, the breed was   considered rare and came close to disappearing. A Belgian woman, Madame Bennert, managed to revive the breed with just two females and one male. She worked closely with German breeders to increase the Lowchen’s numbers and maintain its quality. English breeders began importing the dogs in 1968, and three Lowchen were imported by an American couple in 1971.
  The first Lowchen to achieve pop culture stardom was an untrimmed dog who starred as Freeway, the popular canine co-star of the 1980s television series Hart to Hart. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1999. Lowchen currently rank 147th among the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 131st a decade ago.


Personality
  The Lowchen is the personification of an even-tempered breed. He is lively and active, affectionate and gentle. He is an intelligent dog who learns quickly and easily. Lowchen are fearless watchdogs and will often alert bark if they see something or someone suspicious. They don't seem to mind that they are small and will challenge larger dogs if they feel the need.
  They take control of their home, and their people may feel as if they've become a beloved possession of their sweet little dog. There is no doubt that the Lowchen is a wonderful breed with a cheerful disposition who has many people opening their hearts and homes to not just one but to many Lowchen companions.
  The Lowchen is a wonderful breed to train. They are intelligent and take to training very quickly. Like many toy breeds, they can have issues with housetraining, but this can be overcome with patience and consistency. Socialization is a must for this breed, which can be shy around people. Lowchen that are not properly socialized can become fearful or timid. They generally get along well with other pets, but socialization with other dogs is important for all breeds.

Health
  The Löwchen, which has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, may suffer from minor health problems like patellar luxation or be prone to serious heart conditions. To identify some of these issues early, a veterinarian may recommend knee and cardiac exams for dogs of this breed.

Care
  Although the Löwchen is not meant for living outdoors, it loves access to a yard during the day. Short daily walks or a vigorous game is sufficient to satisfy the exercise needs of the Löwchen, but it is especially fond of mental challenges.
  Its dense coat requires combing or brushing on alternate days. Clipping, meanwhile, should be done once or twice a month, in order to preserve the lion trim, the preferred choice among pet owners.

Living Conditions
  The Löwchen is good for apartment life. It is very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.

Exercise
  The Löwchen needs a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of its exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

Grooming
  The Lowchen hallmark is the lion trim he wears: basically a mane of hair extending to the last rib, poufs of hair forming “cuffs” around the ankles, a bare rear end, and a bare tail with a plume of hair left at the tip.
  The hair on the Lowchen is long, dense, and soft to the touch. Expect to spend 10 minutes a night removing tangles and mats from his single coat, and give him a more thorough brushing at least weekly. Take him to a professional groomer for his lion trim every two months. If the lion trim doesn’t appeal to you, keep him in a cute and simple puppy cut.
  The rest is basic care. Trim his nails as needed, usually every week or two. Small dogs are prone to periodontal disease, so brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall good health and fresh.

Is this breed right for you?
  An active breed that requires daily activity, the Lowchen is kind to children, family members and other furry friends. A cheerful breed, the Lowchen is very easy to train and is devoted to his family and home. A good watchdog, he does bark a lot. Although small, he believes himself to be quite the mighty pup. Without proper leadership or activity, the Lowchen will misbehave. Requiring some grooming, he's easy to maintain with daily walks and socializing.

Children and other pets
  Lowchen make excellent dogs for families with either children or other pets. They generally do well with children and enjoy playing with them. They are surprisingly robust and exceedingly gentle.
   Lowchen are also very sociable and will do well in homes with other pets and dogs. Unaware of their small size, they often have a desire to challenge larger dogs that they meet in public, so it's important to protect them from themselves.

Did You Know?
  Very popular in parts of Europe in the 1500s, the Lowchen was nearly extinct by World War II. A Belgian woman managed to revive the breed with just two females and one male.

A dream day in the life of a Lowchen
  A happy guy, the Lowchen may be your own private alarm clock. Waking you up with a bark, he's ready for breakfast and his daily walk. After sniffing out the neighborhood, this spirited breed will return home ready to socialize with his family. Playing with the kids and romping with the other animals, he'll be sure to keep watch on your home from morning to night. Barking at even the mailman, all of the neighbors are sure to know where the Lowchen lives. Going to sleep at the foot of his owner, he'll be as happy as a lamb to have spent the perfect day with those he loves the most.
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