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Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Everything about your Brittany

Everything about your Brittany
  Brittanys are charming, gentle and personable members of the household. Except for the Golden Retriever, you would be hard-pressed to find a more personable family dog. Lively and fun, Brittanys are always up for a roll on the carpet, a game in the back yard or a cuddle on the couch.
  Brittanys were bred as gundogs, and they definitely have birds on the brain. Although they're often called Brittany Spaniels, the American Kennel Club dropped the word "spaniel" from this pointing breed's name in 1982. The energetic Brittany is a versatile family companion and hunting dog who works more closely to the hunter than other pointing breeds.

Overview
  Great balls of fire! Life with a Brittany is never dull. This breed is smart, active, agile and relatively easy to train. For an active home with room for an active companion, you can’t do much better than the Brittany, a moderately sized dog with relatively few health or temperament problems. This dog can hunt, if that’s what you’re into, but for most people, the appeal is that the Brittany is athletic, bright and people-oriented.
  If you want a dog that will do anything you want to do as long as it’s active, this is a great dog for you. His wash-and-wear coat can be kept in shape with a weekly brushing to keep shedding under control, and he's typically friendly with other dogs, cats and children.
But make no mistake: this is not a couch-potato puppy: The Brittany is a canine overachiever and needs daily, heart-thumping exercise to keep his high spirits from bounding off. Don't get a Brittany if you're not going to make him a part of your family, or if you're not going to give him mentally and physically challenging activities.
  That work doesn't need to be hunting, although the Brittany does remain very popular among people who value a good bird dog. The Brittany does well in all kinds of canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience and will be an active participant in any human-centered activity as well, from running and hiking to playing fetch with the kids.
  When we say you need to keep your Brittany busy, we’re not just thinking of the dog but of you. Left to his own devices and without sufficient exercise, the Brittany can become destructive and noisy instead of the happy family dog he was meant to be.

Highlights
  • Brittanys are high-energy dogs. They need at least an hour of intensive exercise each day. Without sufficient exercise, your Brittany may become neurotic and destructive.
  • Brittanys are smart and need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Training for dog sports is a great way to provide this.
  • Brittanys don't respond well to harsh treatment. Be gentle and consistent but firm — don't let them run the household.
  • Brittanys are people-oriented and don't like to be left alone for long periods of time without something to keep them busy. If you work outside the home, you should consider getting two Brittanys to keep each other company.
  • Although they are friendly and like children, it's not recommended that you let your small children play with your Brittany without supervision. Your Brittany has so much energy and enthusiasm, he may accidentally injure your child.
  • 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 Brittany is a French breed from the province of Brittany. He was developed to point and retrieve in different types of terrain.
  • Brittanies have a short coat with a little feathering on the legs and are easy to groom, but like all breeds they shed.
  • A Brittany’s coat is white and orange or white and liver. Some Brittanies have tricolor coats, but that’s not a popular pattern.
  • Comparable Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, English Setter
History
  The name "Brittany" is taken from the Brittany region in northwestern France where the dog originated. Images of orange and white Brittany-like dogs hunting and retrieving game were first seen on tapestries and paintings from the 17th century. The first written and verifiable record of Brittanys comes from a hunting description written by Reverend Davies in 1850. He described hunting with small "bobtailed" dogs who pointed and were excellent retrievers. It was around the same time that the modern Brittany is rumored to have been bred by mating with English Setters. The Brittany was first shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900.
  The Brittany was first recognized as a breed in 1907 when an orange and white male named "Boy" was registered in France. As a result, the first standards were outlined in the same year. America recognized the Brittany in 1931 and the breed was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1934. In 1982 the "Spaniel" was officially dropped from the name.


Personality
  Brittanys are happy and alert. As befits a pointing breed, they are curious and independent, but respond well to their people and want to please them. They can be singleminded when it comes to birds, but when they're not focused on their feathered prey, they enjoy spending time with their people, especially if they're doing something active. Brittanys are not just energetic, they're smart, so they needs loads of exercise and mental stimulation each day. When it comes to training, be consistent but never harsh.
  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, Brittanys need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Brittany 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
  Brittanys are generally healthy and hardy dogs. The median lifespan for Brittanys in France is 12.6 years.A UK Kennel Club survey puts the breed's median lifespan at 12 years 11 months, with about 1 in 5 dogs dying of old age at an average of 14–15 years.Brittanys have no undercoat and need minimal grooming or bathing. However, their floppy ears tend to trap moisture in the ear canal and should be cleaned regularly.
  Diseases found in the breed include Hip dysplasia, with 14.9% of Brittanys tested between 1974 and 2009 by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals displaying the condition, and a lesser rate of 10.3% for dogs born 2003-2004. The breed is listed among those commonly affected by Canine discoid lupus erythematosus. Epilepsy is also found, with owners of affected dogs encouraged to submit DNA to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab's ongoing project on Brittany and canine health.

Care
  Mental and physical exercise are very important for the Brittany, as the breed is strong and tough by nature. One need not spend a great deal of time on coat maintenance, though. Brushing a Brittany dog once or twice a week is all that is needed. Brittanys are also quite adaptable to living in temperate weather outdoors.

Living Conditions
  The Brittany is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed is resistant to cold and damp conditions.

Exercise
  Brittanys need and love extensive exercise and have great stamina. They should be taken on a long, brisk daily walk or jog and need an active owner.

Grooming
  The Brittany’s flat or wavy coat has a little feathering on the legs and belly, and it’s easy to care for with a weekly brushing. His coat sheds moderately, but regular brushing will keep loose hair off your floor, furniture and clothing. A bath is necessary only when he gets dirty.

  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every couple of weeks, and brush his teeth for good overall health and fresh breath.


Children and other pets
  Brittanys are a good choice for a family with active children, but their energy level might be overwhelming for toddlers.
  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.
  Brittanys enjoy the company of other dogs and can also get along fine with cats, especially if they're introduced at an early age.

Did You Know?
  Brittanies are hunting dogs, but don’t skip this breed if you’re not a hunter; they also excel at canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience, and enjoy running, hiking and playing fetch with their people.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Everything about your Maltese

Everything about your Maltese

The Maltese has been a treasured companion dog for more than 2,000 years.
  With shoe-button eyes framed by a glistening coat of silky white, the Maltese has earned enduring popularity by combining cute with a lively, bright, and bold personality. Weighing less than seven pounds, these charmers are popular with the purse-dog set.
  The Maltese is the quintessential lap dog. It is extremely lovable and playful, and enjoys nothing more than to be pampered and praised by its owner. The breed is easily distinguished by its straight and long white coat, making it appear like it has just stepped out of a doggie hair salon.
  This breed is known for retaining its sweet-natured puppy tendencies through adulthood. Loving, social and loyal, the Maltese is an excellent companion dog in every sense of the word.

Overview
  The small, spunky Maltese is known for retaining his puppy-like attitude throughout his life. The Maltese is one of a handful of similar breeds whose job has always been that of “companion.” They are specifically designed to love and be loved.
  If you want a smart little dog to run you and your home, then this is your breed. Maltese pack a lot of love into their tiny bodies, and are never happier than when cuddling in their owners' laps. That doesn't mean these dogs don't need exercise and training. Resist the impulse to simply carry them everywhere and pluck them out of trouble, and let your dog be a dog. In particular, the Maltese excels at learning tricks and loves to show off.
  While the Maltese's happy, courageous natures make him a wonderful pet for many, this may not be the right dog for families with young children. Maltese are tiny and can easily be injured if play is too rough, or they may snap at a child in self-defense if frightened or hurt.
  This is also the wrong breed for someone who wants the look of a show dog with little effort. Those gorgeous creatures floating around the show ring with their gleaming white coats and perfect topknots are the product of endless hours of washing and combing, followed by keeping the coat in wraps for protection. Most pet Maltese are kept clipped short, which means frequent professional grooming. Neglected coats become tangled and matted, which is painful and can lead to serious skin infections.
  Those shoe-button eyes may look adorable against the white coat, but that look requires a lot of time spent cleaning away tear stains, which cause a rust discoloration that most people find unsightly even though it’s harmless.
  Allergies aren’t harmless, but those who sneeze and wheeze may find this breed more tolerable than others, although Maltese are fully capable of causing an allergic reaction in the most sensitive of sufferers. The size of a Maltese helps limit the amount of dog hair – and dander -- to trigger allergies, and a coat kept clean and clipped short will help further. But don’t believe the hype: there’s no such thing as a dog that doesn’t cause allergies at all.
The Maltese was developed exclusively as a companion dog, so he needs to live in the house and never outdoors.

Breed standards
AKC group: Toy Dog
UKC group: Companion Dog
Average lifespan: 15 - 18 years
Average size:  2 - 4 pounds
Coat appearance: Silky, straight, flat
Coloration: Pure white
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Small, compact body frame; dark brown round eyes and black button nose
Possible alterations: Long coat standard for show dogs; puppy cut popular for non-show dogs
Comparable Breeds: Miniature Poodle, Shih Tzu
Highlights
  • Although your Maltese will want to please you, he can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
  • Maltese are prone to chills, especially if they are damp or walking in damp areas.
  • If your Maltese has long hair, he can get sunburned on the skin where the hair is parted on the back.
  • Because of their small size and delicate structure, Maltese generally aren't recommended for households with toddlers or small children.
  • Some Maltese have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Maltese has teeth or gum problems as well. If your Maltese is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.
  • 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.

History
  The Maltese dog is one of the most ancient of the toy breeds, with a history that can be traced back at least two millennia. Artists, poets, and writers immortalized this small dog in the early great cultures of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. They even were mentioned by Aristotle. The Greeks erected tombs for their Maltese dogs, while representations of Maltese-like dogs on Egyptian artifacts suggest that they were prized by that ancient culture. The Egyptians and, centuries later, many Europeans, thought that the Maltese had the ability to cure people of disease and would place one on the pillow of an ill person. This inspired one of its names — "The Comforter." Even before the Christian Era, the breed was widespread in Mediterranean cultures.
  Despite his prominence in history, the exact origin of the Maltese dog is uncertain. Many believe the breed was developed in the Isle of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea from Spitz- or Spaniel-type dogs. Others believe he was developed in Italy, and still others believe that he was originally from Asia and had a part in developing many of the smaller Asian dogs.
Wherever he came from, the Maltese thrived. By the 15th century, he had found a secure place in the arms and hearts of French aristocrats. During the reign of Henry VIII, Maltese arrived in the British Isles. By the end of the 16th century, the Maltese had become a favorite pet for noble and royal ladies. The little dog was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Victoria. Numerous painters, including Goya and Sir Joshua Reynolds, included these small dogs in their portraits of beautiful women.
Although he survived the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, the Maltese was nearly destroyed in the 17th and 18th centuries when attempts were made to breed him to be the size of a squirrel. After this nearly disastrous experiment, breeders mixed poodles, miniature spaniels, and East Asian miniature dogs with the breed to save it. This resulted in the Maltese becoming so varied that several new breeds were formed. It is thought by many that Maltese are the direct ancestors of the Bichon Frise, Bolognese and Havanese breeds.
  English breeders developed the Maltese as we know him now. Many of the Maltese in the U.S. today trace their heritage back to English imports. Maltese were first seen in the U.S. in the late 1800s. They were entered in the earliest Westminster Kennel Club shows in the 1870s.
The number of Maltese dogs registered with the AKC grew very slowly until the 1950s. Since then, the breed has become quite popular. Maltese are one of the most popular breeds among spectators at dog shows, and frequently win the Toy Group. They also have an excellent record in the "Best in Show" competition.





Is this breed right for you?
  If you're looking for a pint-sized best friend to bring with you everywhere, the Maltese is right for you. Allergy sufferers rejoice! This breed's luxurious coat of hair means no dander, which will keep sneezing and sniffling to a minimum. The Maltese is a small and fragile breed, especially in its puppy years, and therefore must be supervised around little kids. A perfect companion dog, this adorable breed gets along with just about anyone — canine, feline and human.



Temperament and Personality
  Despite his tiny size, the Maltese is a lively and vigorous dog. He loves nothing more than to spend the day with his family.
  Because Maltese are so focused on their people, they take well to training. Attention and the ability to please are all it takes to get a Maltese to learn. He’s a ham who will show off tricks at home and excel in dog sports, including agility, obedience, rally and, believe it or not, tracking. A Maltese can also be a super therapy dog.
  Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. He is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
  Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.
The perfect Maltese doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Whatever you want from a Maltese, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

Health 
  Prone to sunburn along the hair parting, skin, eye issues, respiratory, and slipped stifle. Some may be difficult to feed with weak, upset digestion. They may get the chills, and they experience discomfort in hot weather. Maltese should be kept out of damp areas. Also prone to teeth problems. Feeding dry dog biscuits in addition to their normal food can help the teeth stay clean and healthy.

Care
  Maltese have no undercoat, and have little to no shedding if cared for properly. Like their relatives, the Poodles and Bichon Frisé, they are considered to be largely hypoallergenic and many people who are allergic to dogs may not be allergic to the Maltese. Daily cleaning is required to prevent the risk of tear-staining. Many owners find that a weekly bath is sufficient for keeping the coat clean, although it is recommended to not wash a dog so often, so washing your Maltese every 3 weeks is sufficient, although if the dog keeps clean even longer than that. They need to get professionally groomed about once every month and a half.
  Regular grooming is also required to prevent the coats of non-shedding dogs from matting. Many owners will keep their Maltese clipped in a "puppy cut," a 1 - 2" all over trim that makes the dog resemble a puppy. Some owners, especially those who show Maltese in the sport of conformation, prefer to wrap the long fur to keep it from matting and breaking off, and then to show the dog with the hair unwrapped combed out to its full length. Some Maltese need to be blow-dried in order to prevent mats because drying is ineffective to some dogs.
  Dark staining in the hair around the eyes, "tear staining", can be a problem in this breed, and is mostly a function of how much the individual dog's eyes water and the size of the tear ducts. To get rid of tear staining, you can get a solution or powder specially made for tear stains, which can often be found in local pet stores. A fine-toothed metal pet comb, moistened with hot water and applied perhaps twice weekly, also works extremely well. The antibiotic, Cephalexin has been shown to completely clear up "tear staining" in some cases.
  Maltese are susceptible to "reverse sneezing," which sounds like a honking, snorting, or gagging sound and results often from over-excitement, play, allergies, or upon waking up. It is not life-threatening or dangerous, it will go away after about a minute.
  They are ranked 59th out of 69 in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs . which indexes obedience and the ability of a dog breed to follow commands, with very light focus on skills seen outside of working breeds, such as emotional intelligence.
  Maltese tend to have many or several tooth problems usually resulting in cavities, without proper care the infected teeth may fall out as the dog gets older. Maltese might need additional care, and have their teeth brushed with soft-bristled toothbrush and special dog toothpaste every week to avoid tooth problems.

Living Conditions
  The Maltese is a good dog for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.

Exercise
  Maltese need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their 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. They remain playful well into old age. They are very active indoors.

Grooming
  The glamorous Maltese is a high-maintenance dog. The Maltese has a silky single white coat that should be groomed daily with a pin brush or a stainless steel comb to prevent or remove any mats and tangles. Maltese who are allowed to become matted will probably need to be trimmed short because it will be too painful to comb or brush out the mats.
  As you comb or brush your Maltese, spray the coat with a mixture of coat conditioner diluted with water. This will help protect the hair from breakage and prevent the buildup of static. When your Maltese is dry and beautiful, pull up the hair around his face into a cute topknot or trim it so it doesn’t fall into his eyes.
  Bathe your Maltese whenever his coat starts to look dingy. With the gentle pet shampoos available, you can bathe him weekly if you want without harming his coat.
Before bathing, comb the coat out thoroughly to remove all tangles. Use a whitening shampoo, followed by a conditioner for dogs with long hair. Rinse thoroughly, and then rinse again to make sure you’ve removed all the shampoo and conditioner. Use a towel to soak up as much moisture as possible, then blow dry the coat until it is completely dry. Never let your Maltese air-dry, or his coat won’t look pretty at all.
  If all of this sounds like too much work, take your Maltese to a professional groomer who can give the coat the care it needs or trim it into an easy-care puppy clip that you can manage at home.
  Of course, a Maltese also needs the same basic care as other dogs. Trim his nails every week or two, short enough that they don’t click on the floor, and brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  Most Maltese breeders will not sell puppies to families with young children. It's just too easy for a toddler to injure a tiny Maltese by dropping him, stepping on him, or holding him too tightly. He does much better in a home with quiet older children or adults only who will treat him with the care he needs.
  Maltese can get along with other dogs and cats if they are socialized to them at an early age. They're unaware of their tiny size, however, and must be protected from taking on dogs that are ten or twenty times their size.

Did You Know?
  The sweet little Maltese is a favorite of celebrities, including Halle Berry, Heather Locklear, and Eva Longoria. Could it be because they’re so darn cute in photographs? We think so.




A dream day in the life of a Maltese
  Looking adorable while sitting on your lap is all in a day's work for the Maltese. Compact and friendly as can be, this breed loves to go anywhere with you. More than just a beautiful face, this pooch has brains and loves to show them off. A day of learning new tricks and showing off would keep this pup's tail wagging. Resist the urge to coddle your Maltese — yes, it makes them happy, but in the long run it's best to teach them a little independence.





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