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Showing posts with label sheepdog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sheepdog. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Everything about your Belgian Sheepdog

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

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

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

Temperament: Independent, watchful, protective, alert

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

Temperament

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

Health

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

Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Everything about your Icelandic Sheepdog

Everything about your Icelandic Sheepdog
  Thought to be companions to the ancient Vikings, the Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed was used to protect flocks, especially lambs, from birds of prey. They still retain the habit of watching the sky and barking at birds — as well as everything else they see or hear.

Overview
  It's thought that invading Vikings brought the ancestors of this breed with them to Iceland in the ninth century. Thanks to the isolation of Iceland, today's Icelandic Sheepdogs — also called the Icelandic Spitz or Icelandic Dog — probably look a lot like their ancestors.
   He's too friendly to be much of a guard dog, but you'll never be surprised by visitors.
  Affectionate, confident, and playful, the Icelandic Sheepdog gets along well with people and other dogs. Males tend to be more laidback and cuddly than females. Trained with consistency and patience, Icelandics learn quickly and willingly.

Quick Facts
  • The Icelandic Sheepdog’s thick, straight or slightly wavy double coat comes in two lengths and several colors — shades of tan, ranging from cream to reddish brown; chocolate brown; gray and black — all with white markings and sometimes with a black mask.
  • Icies typically have double dewclaws on their hind legs.
Breed standards

AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding Group
Average lifespan: 11-14 years
Average size: 20 - 30 pounds
Coat appearance: medium or longer, always with a thick, soft undercoat
Coloration: Tan, reddish-brown, chocolate, gray, black, white is a prominent required color
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Affectionate, confident, playful, loving
Comparable Breeds: American Eskimo Dog, Norwegian Elkhound

Miscellaneous
  The breed is sometimes denoted in Latin as canis islandicus, though it is a breed and not a species.
  As the name implies, it is a sheep dog, but is also used as a watch dog and general working dog. When herding, the Icelandic Sheepdogs were not mainly used to take the sheep from one point to another, but to prevent animals from straying. Additionally, the dogs were in charge of herding horses and other animals, as well. When herding failed, the dogs drove the animals by barking. Thus, they tend to bark when they want something, although this behaviour can be controlled by training.
The Icelandic Sheepdog often has
 two dewclaws on each hind leg.
  In the Icelandic landscape, sheep often get lost and it has historically been the dog's job to find them and return them to the herd. They are, therefore, used to working on their own and to figuring things out for themselves, so owners have to beware lest they learn things they should not. As a watch dog, their main task was to alert the inhabitants when somebody was coming, so these dogs tend to bark a lot when they see people approaching.
  The Icelandic Sheepdog is very loyal and wants to be around its family constantly. It follows its owner everywhere. Unlike most working dogs, these calm down when indoors and happily lie down at their master's feet.



History
  The Icelandic Sheepdog is native to, yes, Iceland — the only breed that originated there. It’s thought that Vikings brought the ancestors of this breed with them to Iceland in the 9th century. The dogs were used to protect flocks, especially lambs, from birds of prey.
  The breed has been brought from near-extinction in the 1950s, when only about 50 of the dogs remained, to a population of more than 800 in the United States alone. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed as a member of the Herding Group in 2010.

Temperament
  This breed is prone to separation anxiety, so it is not recommended as an outside-only dog. The breed is social, affectionate, playful and friendly, making it a great option for families.
  Icelandic sheepdogs are great with children, other dogs and smaller pets. The prey drive is not strong in this breed, so smaller pets should be welcomed by them. Always supervise your dog with smaller animals because the hunting instincts can vary depending on the individual dog. Calm but firm training is recommended.
  Icelandic sheepdogs bark when active, working or excited, so apartment residents should take this into consideration.

Health 
  The Icelandic Sheepdog generally has little health issues with an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. Main health concerns associated with the Icelandic Sheepdog include hip dysplasia and an eye disorder called distichiasis.

Care
  With such a thick coat, this dog breed does require weekly brushing. An active exercise plan is best for the Icelandic Sheepdog. It should never be left alone for too long as isolation may result in anxiety issues.

Living Conditions
  The Icelandic Sheepdog needs a lot of activity and exercise and needs close contact to the family. Many of these dogs have "home-alone anxiety" problems, because they don't like to be home alone.

Trainability
  As a breed, Icelandic Sheepdogs are smart, willing and eager to please. This makes them pretty easy to train. However, because they are so intelligent and enthusiastic, they should be kept challenged with a variety of different training, exercise and play activities, so that they don’t become bored. It can be helpful to rotate their activities every few days, to keep them alert and happy.

Activity Requirements
  Icelandic Sheepdogs are active, athletic, energetic animals that need lots of exercise to  keep them in tip-top physical and mental shape. They enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, such as taking long rambling walks with their owners, romping at the dog park and frolicking at the beach or along a river. They love to play with other dogs. They also love to participate in obedience, agility, utility, flyball, herding and other competitive dog sports, at which they excel.

Grooming
  The Icelandic’s coat of many colors can be short or long, with both lengths having an outer coat and an undercoat.
  Brush the Icie’s coat once or twice a week to remove loose fur and reduce the amount of hair you find floating around the house or attached to your clothes. Be sure you have a good vacuum cleaner to keep your home tidy. Icie lovers say he doesn’t shed as much as you might think, but don’t get this breed thinking that he is a low shedder.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every three to four weeks or as needed. You may also want to clip the tufts of hair between the toes, but other than that, the coat needs no trimming. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is the Icelandic Sheepdog the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Professional trimming or stripping needed.
Moderately Easy Training: The Icelandic Sheepdog is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Not Good for New Owners: This breed is best for those who have previous experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Icelandic Sheepdog is also known as the Iceland Spitz.



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Friday, November 24, 2017

Everything about your Briard

Everything about your Briard
  Centuries old and beloved by the French since the Middle Ages, the Briard is busy, active dog that loves to protect his flock. And if he doesn’t have a flock to protect, he’ll be content watching over your family. Quite happy to move from the farm to a house, this breed is a wonderful companion for people who like to stay active. Also known as the Berger Briard, the Chien Berger de Brie and the Berger de Brie, the Briard is loyal to a fault and will love you with his whole heart, right from the start.

Overview
  Often called "a heart wrapped in fur," the Briard makes a great family dog. He is devoted to his owner, happiest following you around the house while you do chores or watching you watch television on a rainy day.
  With a strong instinct to herd, it's not unusual for him to try to gather or keep the children or adults in his family within certain boundaries. He may nudge, push, or bark at his "flock."
  The Briard is an intelligent breed and a quick study when it comes to training, though he can be stubborn and want to do things his own way. Owners must be prepared to establish pack leadership from an early age or the dog is likely to take a shot at the role himself.
  The Briard is an ideal companion for someone who wants a lovable, but not overly dependent, dog. A member of the Herding Group, he weighs in at around 75 pounds and lives comfortably in the country or city — as long as he's with his family and gets sufficient exercise.

Highlights
  • The Briard needs daily grooming. Although his coat is considered low- to non-shedding, it tangles and matts easily. If you do not have the time or patience for grooming, consider another breed.
  • The Briard is naturally independent, which is a wonderful quality if your puppy has been trained properly. However, without training, that independent, confident puppy can turn into an unmanageable adult.
  • The Briard must be socialized early to avoid aggression toward people or animals he doesn't know. Briards were bred to be guard dogs and still take this role seriously.
  • The Briard enjoys being with his owner. He does best when he is allowed to hang out with the people he loves.
  • 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 Briard’s long coat can be any color except white. It is usually black, gray or tawny.
  • In France, the breed is called the Berger (bair-zhay) de Brie (bree).
  • The Briard’s tail is in the shape of a J, like a shepherd’s crook. It’s known as a crochet hook.
  • Briards can be found participating in herding, agility and obedience trials, as well as flyball competitions.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 70 to 90 pounds
Coat appearance: Long and slightly wavy
Coloration: Uniform black, fawn, grey or blue
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas, watchdog
Temperament: Devoted, intelligent, protective, gentle
Comparable Breeds: Bearded Collie, Barbet

History
  The Briard has a long history in France as a herding breed and guard dog, protecting flocks from wolves and poachers. His reputation is that of a brave and heroic protector. In addition, the breed has been used to track and hunt game, as a sentinel in war time and as a pack dog to carry items.
  The breed probably descends from rough-coated sheepdogs that came to Europe in the Middle Ages. Dogs that resemble the Briard are depicted in eighth-century tapestries, and the dogs are mentioned in 12th-century records. A breed standard was written for the dogs in 1867, and a French breed club was formed in 1909.
Both Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette brought Briards to the United States, but it wasn’t until 1922 that a litter of Briards was registered with the American Kennel Club.   The AKC recognized the breed in 1928. The breed currently ranks 125th among the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 110th in 2000.



Personality
  They can be clowns or be serious, but the one thing in common that all Briards have is they want to please you. Known to have hearts of gold that are wrapped in fur, the Briard makes a perfect family pet for those who like to keep active. If they don’t get enough exercise, this breed can become destructive. To keep your home and garden in one piece, you’ll need to be committed to daily activity.
  Even though he will be generous with his affection with the family, your Briard may be wary of strangers. You can thank their flock-protecting instinct for that. This makes him an excellent watchdog. To keep him from becoming aggressive with strangers, you should start socialization from an early age and keep up this practice throughout his lifetime.
  The Briard will get along with most pets, but can often be aggressive with other dogs. If you already have pets in your house when you bring your Briard puppy home, you should be fine, be avoid adding new animals into the mix once he has been established in the household.

Health
  With such a large breed, you can expect hip dysplasia and bloat to be an issue with the Briard. As well, they may also suffer from cataracts, central progressive retinal atrophy, congenital stationary night blindness, hereditary retinal dystrophy of Briards, hypothyroidism and lymphoma.

Care
  The Briard's coat must be brushed regularly to prevent the hair from tangling. Herding is its favorite activity, but it can also be taken for long walks or jogs in order to meet its exercise requirements. And though it is adaptable to outdoor living, it is most often considered an indoor dog. Just make sure you take it to large fields and let it play frequently.

Living Conditions

  The Briard will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. This dog is totally not suited for life in a kennel. They are happiest in the home as part of the family, but they do love to be outdoors.

Trainability
  Briards are highly trainable dogs and thrive on mastering new tasks. Training should always be done with a confident but gentle hand, as this breed is highly sensitive and boasts a long memory. A Briard isn't easy to forgive someone who treats him harshly. Establishing leadership should be done as early as possible, because Briards are dominant and will move quickly to take over the role of “pack leader” in the home, unless otherwise put in his place.
  This breed is fearless boasts excellent stamina. They can work all day alongside a farmer without losing steam and because of their versatility, trainability and endurance, Troops in WWI used Briards for a variety of tasks including, sentries, messengers and medic dogs.

Exercise 

  This is no dog for the lazy. This dog needs plenty of activity to keep him occupied – both physical and mental. Farms make an ideal environment for this breed, where he can herd sheep and protect against predators. If you don’t live on a farm, a large, fenced-in yard is necessary. Children will help tire him out, but playtime should always be supervised as he might herd the kids.
  Because they need a large area in which to move around, apartments and condos are not good living quarters for the Briard. They just won’t get the exercise they need in that small amount of space.

Grooming 
  The Briard's coat is long and very high-maintenance. While no stripping is required, two to three hours per week of brushing is required in order to keep their thick coats from matting.  When brushed properly, dirt and debris is easily removed from the coat. They shed lightly year round, but will blow their entire coat twice per year. The coat of a Briard can grow to about five inches in length, which is the acceptable standard, and in fact, clipping can lead to disqualification in the show ring. Retired Briards, or dogs who will not be shown, can have their coats trimmed in order to pear down the weekly maintenance schedule.
  As the Briard sheds, if the undercoat is not properly removed from the body, it will form mats.
  Briards need to be bathed about once every six weeks. Over-bathing this breed can lead to natural oils in the hair and skin being stripped away, causing skin irritation and even infection. The Briard's face and rear end may need to be washed more often, as their beards can hang into their food and water dishes, and their long hair can trap debris when the dog eliminates.
  In addition to brushing and bathing, Briards should have their ears cleaned on a weekly basis with a veterinarian-approved cleanser to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Weekly tooth brushing will keep teeth and gums healthy, and prevent bad breath.

Children And Other Pets
  A loving and playful companion, the Briard makes an excellent family dog. He is protective of the children in his family, and has been known to "defend" them when parents discipline.
  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.
  If the Briard is raised with other dogs and pets, and learns they are members of his pack, he gets along fairly well. However, his prey drive is strong, so training is necessary for him to learn not to chase the family cat or quarrel with your Beagle. Supervision is a good idea, as animals outside his immediate family are likely to trigger his instinct to give chase. Keep him on a leash when you are in public.

Is the Briard the Right Breed for you?

High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. No trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Briard is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
Sam and Ralph clock

  Briards have made a variety of big and small-screen appearances, most notably in the series “Married With Children” and the soap opera “All My Children,” as well as the movies “Top Dog” and “Dennis the Menace.”

Briards in popular culture

  • Dennis the Menace - "Ruff"
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - "Stevie"
  • Bachelor Father - "Jasper
  • Get Smart - Agent K-13 "Fang
  • Dharma & Greg - "Stinky"
  • Addams Family - "Them" 
  • Top Dog - "Reno"
  • Dennis the Menace (1993) - "Rosie"
  • The Karate Dog 2004
  • Tell No One 2006
  • Sam Sheepdog of Looney Tunes fame

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everything about your Old English Sheepdog

Everything about your Old English Sheepdog
  Beneath that shaggy coat and gentle disposition, the Old English Sheepdog is an independent thinker with his own agenda and a powerful herding instinct. He loves people and is an excellent watchdog, but proper care of his coat requires a serious time commitment.

Overview
  The exact origin of the Old English Sheepdog is unknown; however, there are traces of its heritage in the western counties of England. Bred by farmers as fast and intelligent sheep and cattle herders to take animals to the market, their tales were docked for identification purposes. When sheering the sheep, farmers would often do the same to the Old English Sheepdog for blankets and warm clothing. Known also for herding deer due to its dense coat and cold-weather durability, the breed makes a great working and guard dog.
  In reality, the OES — nicknamed "Bobtail" because of his docked tail — is an easygoing, fun-loving, intelligent dog. He's a member of the American Kennel Club Herding Group. He's certainly a large dog at 60 to 100 pounds, but his profuse coat of blue-gray and white makes him appear even larger. Known for his wonderful temperament, he's powerful, sturdy, and hardworking.

Highlights
  • Training and proper socialization is essential for Old English Sheepdogs. They are large, bouncy and enthusiastic, but when they are young they can be especially rowdy. Patient, consistent training is must.
  • Old English Sheepdogs are not for clean freaks. They tend to drool and are heavy shedders. Also, their heavy coats trap debris and dirt, which ends up on your furniture and floor.
  • Originally bred for driving cattle and sheep, the OES is an active breed that requires a lot of exercise.
  • The Old English Sheepdog coat is high maintenance. Keeping it clean and tangle-free is time-consuming and expensive.
  • Separation anxiety is common in Old English Sheepdogs. They live for their families, and they can become destructive if they're left alone too much.
  • 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

  • The Old English Sheepdog has a shaggy double coat that comes in any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings.
  • Besides herding, the Old English can be found competing in agility, obedience and rally.
  • His bobtail is a distinguishing characteristic of the Old English. Working dogs had their tails docked so their owners wouldn’t be taxed for them.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding Group
UKC group: Herding
Average lifespan: 10 - 12 years
Average size: 60 - 100 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coat with hard and coarse hair; textured outercoat; and waterproof, soft undercoat
Coloration: Gray, grizzle or blue with or without white markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Strong, square body with deep chest; black nose; flat ears close to the head; brown or blue eyes; short tail
Possible alterations: Can have one brown- and one blue-colored eye; born tailless
Comparable Breeds: Bearded Collie, South Russian Ovtcharka

History
Ch. Slumber, best in show at the
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1914
  The Old English Sheepdog comes from the very old pastoral type dogs of England, but no records were kept of the dogs, and everything about the earliest types is guesswork. A small drop-eared dog seen in a 1771 painting by Gainsborough is believed by some to represent the early type of the Old English Sheepdog. In the early 19th century a bobtailed drovers dog, called the Smithfield or Cotswold Cor, was noticed in the southwestern counties of England and may have been an ancestor. Most fanciers agree that the Bearded Collie was among the original stock used in developing today's breed. Some speculate that the Russian Owtchar was among the breed's ancestors.
  The Old English Sheepdog was at first called the "Shepherd's Dog" and was exhibited for the first time at a show in Birmingham, England, in 1873. There were only three entries, and the judge felt the quality of the dogs was so poor that he offered only a second placing.   From that beginning, the breed became a popular show dog, and, although the shape of dog itself has changed very little over the years, elaborate grooming including backcombing and powdering the fur were recorded as early as 1907. The breed was exported to the United States in the 1880s, and by the turn of the 20th century, five of the ten wealthiest American families bred and showed the Old English Sheepdog. The breed continues to be a popular show dog today.

Personality
  The Old English Sheepdog is a playful, affectionate clown who delights in frolicking with his family and neighborhood children. In fact, adolescence in the OES often extends to about age three, and an adult OES will retain his playful demeanor well into his golden years.
  An intelligent breed, the OES is a quick learner, always looking for something interesting and fun to do. He's capable of performing numerous tasks, including herding, agility, obedience, and search and rescue.
  This breed requires significant physical and mental exercise. He doesn't enjoy being left alone for long periods of time and much prefers — in fact needs — to be in the company of his family.
  A properly bred OES is good-natured and kind, and this is what makes him an excellent children's companion and a super family dog. He's sometimes called a nanny, a term of endearment that arises from stories surrounding the role he sometimes takes on within his family.
  However, the OES is not known for being an assertive watchdog. He may bark when strangers come to his home — or he may not. Some OESs are highly protective, while others aren't.

Health
  The Old English Sheepdog, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, is prone to minor health conditions like deafness, cataract, gastric torsion, otitis externa, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cerebellar ataxia, retinal detachment and hypothyroidism, or major health issues like canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues a veterinarian may run hearing, hip, thyroid, and eye exams on the dog.

Care
  The Old English Sheepdog can live outside in temperate or cool climates, but it should have access to indoor quarters or the house, as it seeks constant companionship. A moderate or long walk or an energetic romp can fulfill its daily exercise requirements. And the Old English Sheepdog's coat needs combing or brushing on alternate days to prevent it from getting matted.

Living Conditions
  The Old English Sheepdog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.

Training
  As with many assertive and sometimes strong-willed breeds, the training will be crucial. Old English Sheepdogs come from a clear hierarchy both in dog packs and in the farming structure in western England, which means they need to feel like they have a place within your home’s own hierarchy. Good training, setting boundaries, and even giving your Old English Sheepdog a job to perform are all good ways of establishing this hierarchy.
  A particularly weak-willed owner can sometimes find the Old English Sheepdog to be a handful, especially as the dog gets older and becomes more set in its ways.

Activity Requirements
  Apartment dwellers may be drawn to this breed because they have a reputation for being well-behaved indoors but Old English Sheepdogs are not city dwellers and should not be kept in apartments or condos. They are country dogs, who do best in the suburbs or on a farm where they can herd livestock. At least one hour of vigorous activity per day is required for Sheepdogs to maintain health, happiness and an even temperament.
  Sheepdogs make excellent walking, jogging, biking and hiking companions and should be included in these activities. Their heavy coats can make them prone to overheating, so most owners keep their long coats cropped short.

Grooming
  The glory of the Old English Sheepdog is his coat. The most difficult part of caring for an Old English is also his coat. Expect to spend at least a half hour to an hour a week keeping it groomed. Along with time devoted to coat care, be prepared for dog hair around the house and on your clothes, as well as dirt, mud and debris tracked in on the dog’s furry feet.
  One of the advantages of buying an Old English from a breeder is the opportunity to learn how to groom him from a master. Even if your dog’s breeder does not live nearby, she is only as far away as an email or phone call if you need advice on how to groom the dog.
  Get a puppy used to grooming from day one. Comb and brush him gently but thoroughly so that he learns to welcome the attention. If you neglect the coat, it will get so tangled, dirty and smelly that it will have to be shaved. Grooming tools that will come in handy are a dematting comb, a shedding rake and a wide-toothed comb. Use shears to trim the hair between his paw pads and to trim the hair around his rear end to keep it free of fecal matter and urine stains.
  The Old English also needs the basic care that all dogs get. 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
  The well-bred and well-socialized Old English Sheepdog is a trustworthy children's companion. Some say he will supervise and herd young children, keeping them in a particular area. Others say the OES acts as a means of support to the toddler learning to walk.
  Unfortunately, there are some exceptions to the Old English Sheepdog's role as a loving nanny, due to poor breeding that has resulted in ill-tempered and neurotic dogs. Buy only from a reputable breeder and ask to meet the puppy's parents. And it is extremely important to note that children should never be left unsupervised with any dog, regardless of breed or temperament.
  The good-natured OES is friendly with other dogs and pets, provided he is properly socialized and trained.

Is this breed right for you?
  Friendly and active, the Old English Sheepdog is a lover of family and children. A gentle and loyal breed, it requires training to avoid herding humans. A natural-born worker, it does best when it has a job to do. Since it is active indoors, the breed needs a large yard to roam in and may not be satisfied with apartment living. Requiring a sufficient amount of exercise and an owner with strong leadership, the Old English Sheepdog can easily become distracted and troublesome. In need of brushing and regular grooming, the dog is not considered to be a large shedder.

Did You Know?
  There is no upper limit for the height of the Old English Sheepdog. Females are typically 21 inches and up, males 22 inches and up. That’s because sheep varied in size, so the dogs used to herd them also varied in size.

Famous Old English Sheepdogs
The Colonel in One Hundred and One Dalmatians

  • Ambrosius
    in Labyrinth (film)
  • Barney in Barney (TV series)
  • Barkley in Sesame Street
  • Barry in The Tale of Edward
  • Bebe in Captain Kangaroo
  • "Big Dog" in 2 Stupid Dogs
  • Boot in The Perishers
  • Broo in The Raccoons
  • Chiffon in The Shaggy Dog (1959)
  • The Colonel in One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Digby in Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World
  • Drooler in Krypto the Superdog
  • Edison in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Elwood in The Shaggy D.A.
  • Lat in The Brady bunch
  • Farley in For Better or For Worse
  • Hot Dog in Archie Comics
  • Martha, Paul McCartney's Old English Sheepdog was said to be the namesake of Martha My Dear.
  • Max in The Little Mermaid and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
  • Mooch in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure
    Sam in Cats & Dogs
  • Muffin Mclay in Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy, the first book in a series of children's picture books featuring Hairy Maclary
  • Nana in Hook (film)
  • Nate in Open Season 3
  • Niblet, Giblet, and Rebound on Pound Puppies
  • Sam in Cats & Dogs and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
  • Samson in Samson en Gert (TV series)
  • Shag in Road Rovers
  • Schaeffer in The Raccoons
  • Tiger in The Patty Duke Show
  • Wordsworth in Jamie and the Magic Torch
A dream day in the life
  The Old English Sheepdog loves to be around its family members. Waking up surrounded by children and other people, it will happily greet each with a smile. Running outside for a bit, it'll guard the home as its number-one priority. Coming inside for a bit of play, this breed will be ready and waiting for its daily run. After its daily brushing, the Old English Sheepdog will engage in a game of fetch before snoozing at the foot of its favorite owner.
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