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Showing posts with label shepherd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shepherd. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Everything about your Anatolian Shepherd

Everything about your Anatolian Shepherd
  The Anatolian Shepherd breed are a Mastiff dog bred originally in Turkey.
This dog was originally used as a guard dog for nomadic farmers and used to extremes of temperatures.
  In both Turkey and Australia, it has been found these dogs work in very well with goats and sheep. Farmers hold them in high regards. Although tough and hardy, they get on well with other dogs, not always good domestic pets, as their independent natures and devotion to their duties as a herder is such that they have been known to attack their owners if the dog thought one of the herd was to be hurt.

  The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a hard worker. Amazing guard dogs, you’ll find that this breed is very loyal to its owner. Easygoing and calm, the Anatolian loves kids and will happily spend hours playing with them. It’s been known under many names: Anatolian Karabash Dog, the Kangal Dog, the Turkish Guard Dog, the Turkish Sheepdog and the Karabash Dog. Even though the Anatolian is highly intelligent and obedient when trained, it is not a dog for everyone. Since this breed is powerful and has great endurance, it needs plenty of daily exercise.
  The Anatolian Shepherd Dog needs a large home with lots of space, and loves to be outside. A wonderful companion, this dog has many qualities that make it a great pet. Read on to learn more about this fascinating breed.

  • It is critical that the Anatolian Shepherd receive proper socialization and training so that he can learn what is normal and what is a threat. Untrained and unsocialized Anatolian Shepherds can become overprotective, aggressive, and uncontrollable.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are independent and less eager to please than other breeds. They won't not necessarily wait for instructions but will act if they think their "flock" is threatened.
  • As guardians of their territory, some can be barkers, especially at night.
  • Some Anatolians can be dog-aggressive.
  • Expect a challenge for leadership at some point with the Anatolian Shepherd. Owners must be willing to exercise pack authority consistently and kindly.
  • Because they are so large, expect high costs for boarding, medications, and food purchases; you'll also need a large vehicle for them.
Other Quick Facts

  • Once you’ve earned an Anatolian’s loyalty, he will guard you and whatever you have on your property with his life.  
  • In Namibia, Anatolians guard livestock from cheetahs, protecting the livestock from predation and the cheetahs from being shot by angry farmers.
  • The Anatolian’s double coat sheds heavily. Some people have given up the dogs to rescue groups because of it.
  • All color patterns and markings are acceptable, including white, fawn, brindle, or fawn with a black mask. Often, his coloration or markings echo that of the livestock he is guarding to help him blend in.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working dog
UKC group: Guardian Dog
Average lifespan: 13-15 years
Average size:80 to 150 pounds
Coat appearance: short, rough
Coloration: Red, Brown, White, Cream
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, farmers, rural/farm areas, guard duty
Temperament: Easygoing, protective, loyal, devoted
Comparable Breeds: Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz

  The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is named for his homeland of Anatolia in the central part of Turkey, where he is still a point of pride .
  It's thought that the working ancestors of the breed date back 6,000 years. Wandering tribes from central Asia probably brought the first mastiff-type dogs into the area that is now Turkey, and sight hound breeds from southern regions contributed to the Anatolian's agility, long legs, and aloof character.
  Due to the climate and terrain of the area, the local population developed a nomadic way of life, dependent on flocks of sheep and goats. The protection of those flocks, and of the shepherds themselves, was the job of the large dogs who traveled with them.
The dogs became known as coban kopegi, Turkish for "shepherd dog." The dogs stayed with the animals night and day, and they had to be swift enough to move quickly from one end of a widely scattered flock to the other. They also had to be large and strong enough to stand up to predators.
  Severe culling and breeding of only the best workers resulted in a dog with a uniform type, stable temperament, and excellent working ability. Dogs were often not fed once they were past puppyhood. They lived by killing gophers and other small animals, though never injuring their flock. They were fitted with iron collars with long spikes to protect their throats from assailants. You can still find working dogs wearing these collars in Turkey today.
Anatolian Shepherds got their most enthusiastic introduction in the U.S. in the 1970s, although prior to that the Turkish government had given Anatolians to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a gift, for experimental work as guardians of flocks.
  In 1970, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America was formed at the urging of Robert Ballard, a U.S. naval officer who had become fascinated by the dogs while in Turkey, and who began to breed them once back in California. The breed entered the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1996. It moved to the Working Group in August 1998.

  The Anatolian Shepherd dog was developed to be independent and forceful, responsible for guarding its master's flocks without human assistance or direction. These traits make it challenging as a pet; owners of dogs of this breed must socialize the dogs to turn them into appropriate companions. They are intelligent and can learn quickly but might choose not to obey.
  According to Turkish shepherds, three Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are capable of overcoming a pack of wolves and injuring one or two of them. These dogs like to roam, as they were bred to travel with their herd and to leave the herd to go hunt for predators before the predators could attack the flock. Therefore, it is recommended to microchip and tag pets.
  The Anatolian Shepherd is not recommended for life in small quarters. They do well with other animals, including cats if they are introduced while still a puppy and have their own space. They mature between 18–30 months. Due to their history, both puppies and adults seem to have little interest in fetching. Rather, they prefer to run and sometimes swim.
Presence of some Anatolian shepherd genes in Alaskan huskies positively correlates with husky work ethic.

The average life span of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is 10 to 13 years. Breed health concerns may include cancer, ear infections, entropion, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Otherwise, they appear to be healthy, hearty dogs.

  The Anatolian Shepherd requires minimal coat care, comprising of just once a week brushing session to clear the dear hair. A brisk run or long walk is all it requires for a daily exercise regimen. It is also fond of socializing with its family, but can live outdoors in cool and temperate climates.

Living Conditions
Anatolian Shepherds are not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large yard. This breed is very suspicious of strangers, and it is therefore necessary to provide a secure, fenced yard.

  Not for the first-time owner, Anatolian Shepherds need a confident leader. This breed is stubborn and dominant, and once this dog knows who is in charge, training should go smoothly. Trainers need a strong and consistent hand to establish leadership. If not, don’t be surprised if your Anatolian takes over your household.
  When it comes to a dog’s instincts, you can’t train it out of them. This holds true for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s innate sense to protect its family, which includes people and other animals in the household. You can train your dog to limit these behaviors, but don’t expect these habits to desist. Instead, you can use these protective instincts to protect your household and everyone in the family. Anatolians will be wary of strangers, so ensure that visitors to your home are introduced to the dog properly.

Activity Requirements
  This large breed should not live in an apartment. Though Anatolian Shepherds need less exercise than other breeds of comparable size, they still need plenty of walks and daily time to run. Organized games of catch or fetch don't interest this breed. If they don't have livestock to work with, their desire to work can be satisfied by pulling a sled or cart, or engaging in tracking activities.
  Farms are the ideal living space, as they have an inborn desire to work and protect flocks, and benefit from the open space to run. Families with small children should think twice about adopting an Anatolian. While they will bond well with members of their own family, they often don't react well to children they do not know.

  This is a double-coated breed that sheds heavily. Grooming the Anatolian requires at least weekly brushing -- daily during the twice yearly shedding season -- and dogs with a thick, plush coat may need to be brushed more frequently. That comes as an unpleasant surprise to some people. It’s even one of the reasons owners give up Anatolians to rescue. On the plus side, baths are rarely necessary. Brushing usually keeps the coat clean, and the dog has little odor.
  Anatolians have drop ears, so they can be prone to ear infections. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial or yeast infections from taking hold.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Anatolian Shepherd is loving with his family, including the children, with whom he's calm and protective. But because of his large size, he's probably better suited to families with older children. He's unlikely to respect young children as leaders, so all interactions between the Anatolian and children should be supervised by responsible adults.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs 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.
  The best chance of the Anatolian Shepherd accepting other dogs and pets is to raise him with them from puppyhood. As he grows, he'll naturally accept them as part of his "flock."

Did You Know?
While his protective nature is attractive, the Anatolian Shepherd is not an appropriate choice for a novice dog owner. He needs someone who can guide him with kind, firm, consistent training, never force or cruelty. He is an independent thinker but responds well to routine.

Famous Anatolian Shepherd Dogs
Butch, from Cats & Dogs 
  • Duke- animal ambassador at the San Diego Zoo.
  • Bart, from Kate and Leopold
  • Butch, from Cats & Dogs and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
  • Corky, from Road Trip
  • Marlowe, from Simon & Simon
  • Sam, from Shooter
  • Haatchi, a three-legged Anatolian Shepherd who has formed a special bond with Owen, a 7-year-old boy suffering from Schwartz-Jampel syndrome. Haatchi and Owen were the winners in the "Friends for Life" category at Crufts in 2013. Haatchi was also awarded The Braveheart Honour in the ceremony of The British Animal Honours in April 2013 (Haatchi the dog), and an Endal Medal.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Everything about your King Shepherd

Everything about your King Shepherd
  The King Shepherd is self-confident with a well-balanced personality and healthy nervous system. They should not exhibit any shyness or nervousness. They are extremely intelligent, easy to train and eager and faithful to please their owners. This breed makes a fine sheepherder and working dog. They are also a naturally courageous guard and watchdog, showing courage, strength, and hardiness in their role of protector.

  The King Shepherd is a large breed. The build of this dog is muscular, long, and robust; the structure is solid. The head is in good proportion with the body and moderately wide between the eyes. The forehead is slightly rounded. The cheeks are not too full and moderately curved when viewed from the top. The thick, firm ears are medium-sized and moderately wide at base. The eyes are medium-sized and almond shaped. The shades of the eyes can be varying shades of brown ranging from golden brown to almost black. The chest is broad and deep. Thickly feathered, the tail reaches at least to the hocks and is slightly curved.
  The King Shepherd is self-confident with a well-balanced personality and healthy nervous system. They should not exhibit any shyness or nervousness. They are extremely intelligent, easy to train and eager and faithful to please their owners. This breed makes a fine sheep-herder and working dog. They are also a naturally courageous guard and watchdog, showing courage, strength, and hardiness in their role of protector. They make very nice companions and are friendly to other animals and children.

Breed standards
Breed Group: Herding
Breed Type: mixed breed
Average lifespan: 10 - 14 years
Average size: 90-150 pounds
Coat appearance: Coarse and Long
Coloration: Sable, black saddle with tan, gold, cream, tan or silver markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Singles and families with children and other pets living in a house with a yard
Temperament: Intelligent, eager to please, energetic, protective, loyal, loving, playful
Comparable Breeds: German Shepherd, Shiloh Shepherd

  Two American dog breeders Shelly Watts-Cross, and David Turkheimer created this large breed from the Shiloh Shepherd (American and European German Shepherd Dogs and Alaskan Malamutes), additional American-bred German Shepherd Dogs and the Great Pyrenees. An organized dog breed club was started in 1995.

  The King Shepherd isn't solely valued extremely for its head turning good looks however the dog is gaining popularity for its working skills and glorious temperament similarly. Loving and loyal to their family, these excellent looking dogs will be trained simply as a result of their wanting to please nature and high levels of intelligence. Its protecting instincts, loyalty to its family and aloofness towards strangers create it a superb watch and working dog though' it's not hostile to strangers. As a mild, kind and playful breed, the King Shepherd makes a really smart fellow of kids and may be a trust worthy nanny for youngsters. 
  This simple to train dog is employed in search and rescue missions, as therapy dogs and in police work similarly as sheepherders. It gets on well with other dogs and pets within the family. it's not an appropriate dog for apartment living, not solely thanks to its giant size however conjointly thanks to its high exercise demands that decision for at least an oversized yard wherever the dog will look out of its exercise desires. The King Shepherd is a superb family pet, working dog and a trustworthy guardian of the family.

Health Problems
  As is the case with all other hybrid canine breeds, the King Shepherd might be susceptible to the health conditions that commonly affect its parent breeds. However, hybrid dogs can be surprisingly healthy and hardy, and you simply can’t predict an individual dog’s long-term health. Therefore, being aware of what to look out for, and working closely with your vet, will ensure you are able to give your pet the best care possible.
  King Shepherds may be prone to conditions that include Von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, joint dysplasia, eye issues, degenerative myelopathy, allergies, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, thrombopathia, and bloat.

  King Shepherds are very intelligent and energetic, and needs both challenging mental stimulation and plenty of exercise. The King Shepherd takes well to strenuous activity.

Living Conditions
  The King Shepherd dog is a large breed that requires more space. They are not recommended for apartments or other small living spaces. A large fenced in yard is ideal so the dog can get the exercise required to stay healthy and happy.

  Because King Shepherds are highly intelligent, training your pet will be a pleasure. Your dog will be eager to follow your commands in order to please you, especially if you use a positive, consistent, and firm approach. Start training your King Shepherd from an early age to ensure your dog will learn all of the rules and will grow up to be a fantastic family pet.

  Because the King Shepherd is a large breed, you will need to find time to exercise your dog every day. These canines thrive on physical and mental stimulation, and they have a lot of energy. They do best in homes with yards where they can run around and play off-leash, and they should have toys to play with while they are indoors as well.
  Use a combination of games, training, and outdoor activities to keep your King Shepherd active and healthy. Going for jogs or long walks, as well as hiking or bicycling, are great options. The key is to ensure your dog gets enough exercise to release his energy so he doesn’t become restless and potentially destructive. If you are not an active person, the King Shepherd isn’t the best choice for your lifestyle.

  The coat is highly weather-resistant. The King Shepherd should be brushed regularly. Bathe only when necessary.

Children and other pets
  Loving and loyal to their family, these excellent looking dogs will be trained simply as a result of their wanting to please nature and high levels of intelligence. Its protecting instincts, loyalty to its family and aloofness towards strangers create it a superb watch and working dog though' it's not hostile to strangers. As a mild, kind and playful breed, the King Shepherd makes a really smart fellow of kids and may be a trust worthy nanny for youngsters.

Is the King Shepherd Right For You?
Difficult Training: The King Shepherd isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
The chief qualities of this outstanding breed are : a well-balanced nervous system, readiness, lack of inhibition, vigilance, incorruptibility, combined with courage and cleverness in defense. It is known to be an excellent watch-dog and guard-dog. The King Shepherd is characterized by unsurpassed loyalty towards its master and eagerness to please.
Owing to its huge size, the King Shepherd is not recommended for apartment life. Though the King Shepherd can prove to be a good companion for kids, they should be allowed to interact with kids only under close supervision because of their stature.
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Friday, December 22, 2017

Everything about your Doberman Shepherd

Everything about your Doberman Shepherd
  The Doberman Shepherd is a hybrid breed where the Doberman Pinscher is crossed with the German Shepherd. The hybrid will be a large dog, with an average weight of 90 to 110 pounds. Very intelligent and having a lot of energy, this dog will need a family that can give him a significant amount of daily activity. The Doberman Shepherd can be stubborn, making it important that his owner be clear that he, not the dog, is in charge.

  The Doberman Shepherd is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd. The best way to determine the temperament of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses.

Breed standards
Breed Type: Crossbreed
Group (of Breed): Designer; Working
Other Names: German Shepherd Doberman Mix
Average lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Average size: 90 to 110 pounds
Coat appearance: Short-haired, Silky
Coloration: Tan, brown, black
Hypoallergenic: No

  Like all other designer breeds, this one too had evolved during the 1990s. Though not much is known about the history of its origination, breeders may probably have wanted to develop a kind of dog that would possess the intelligence, guarding instincts and hardy nature of both its parents, at the same time being attractive to look at.

  The Doberman Shepherd will inherit the loyalty, intelligence and observation skills of both of his parents, making him an excellent guard dog. He may be strong-willed and stubborn, though at the same time loving and affectionate. He is the kind of dog who prefers to be with his family and will suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Early socialization and training will be helpful for the Doberman Shepherd so that he will not try to dominate members of his family. The Doberman Shepherd tends to do poorly in cold weather and should be kept indoors in when temperatures are low.

  To avoid having health issues with your dog try to buy from a reputable breeder and avoid places like puppy mills and pet stores. You are more likely to get a dog with potential health issues from those kind of places. The kind of health problems he might inherit from his parents includes bloat, EPI, heart problems, joint dysplasia, allergies and eye problems.

  Maintenance of the Doberman Shepherd is minimal as they are low to moderate shedders. It is recommended that you brush your Doberman Shepherd three to four times each week with the slicker brush and bathe him when he gets dirty. It is a good idea to train your Doberman Shepherd to get in and out of the tub from a young age, so that you will have an easier time bathing him when he is full grown. Getting him used to having his nails clipped as a puppy will be advantageous, as will having his teeth brushed. The ears of the Doberman Shepherd should be cleaned each week, wiping off any parts that you are able to reach.

  He is easy to train for the most part as he is super bright, but he does have an obstinate streak and requires you to make it clear you are pack leader. Use a firm tone, be positive, reward with praise and treats. Make sure you train and socialize him from a young age so that you get a better behaved dog and one with his best traits enhanced, and is his worse ones dampened. He will probably train a little quicker than most dogs as he will need less repetition before he grasps one stage and you move on to the next. He will enjoy the training as it will keep him mentally stimulated.

 Activity Requirements 

  The Doberman Shepherd is a very active dog with a lot of energy. Keeping him busy is important not only for his health but to ensure that he does not become destructive in the home. This hybrid is clever and was bred for work, so still likes to have a job to do or a mission to accomplish. Activities can include several long walks per day, accompanying you on runs and hikes, playing games, and visits to the dog park. He may enjoy obedience trials which serve to keep the mind stimulated. Not suited for apartment living, this large dog needs space. A rural environment or an urban home with a large yard are best for him.

  He does not need a lot of grooming really somewhere between low and moderate. He does not shed a lot usually but the Doberman Pinscher is a moderate shedder and it is possible he will shed a bit like that. He needs brushing at least three times a week but you may find once a day works better. Bath time is going to be tricky unless you have trained him from a young age how to get in and out of the tub. Just bathe when he needs it, go to a groomers parlor if it is a struggle to do it at home or use the garden hose! Since his nails need clipping occasionally you could ask the groomer to do that for you unless you know the correct way to cut a dog's nails. You should clean his ears weekly wiping just the parts you can reach, and brush his teeth each day too.

Children and other animals
  It helps if he has been raised with the children and the other pets, as well as being socialized and trained. But that is true of any dog. He should not be left alone with children if he has not been socialized certainly. If you have him and then have children he will be very good with them, and see them as part of his family because he will have grown as they grow together. The same for other pets and other dogs.

Is the Doberman Shepherd the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Easy Training: The Doberman Shepherd is known to listen to commands and obey its owner. Expect fewer repetitions when training this breed.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Not Good with Kids: In isolation, this dog breed might not be the best option for kids. However, to mitigate the risks, have the puppy grow up with kids and provide it with plenty of pleasant and relaxed experiences with them.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Everything about your Bergamasco Shepherd

Everything about your Bergamasco Shepherd
  The Bergamasco Shepherd, also known as the Bergamasco Sheepdog and the Cane da Pastore Bergamasco, is a large herding dog with incredibly long eyelashes. Here is what you need to know about these shaggy pooches.

  Patient and quiet, this ancient Italian sheepherder is protective and makes an excellent watchdog. He is not aggressive, but is alert and watches strangers keenly. His work ethic is second to none.
  The Bergamasco is gentle with his family, and, in the absence of a flock, his primary job is to protect them. He is alert, always ready to bark an alarm or to step in and protect if he feels it’s necessary. These are great qualities, but it’s essential to teach him from puppyhood when it’s okay to exercise his protective nature and when to let you take charge. Early socialization and training are a necessary part of his upbringing to prevent him from becoming overly suspicious or fearful of anything new or different.
  If you want a dog that will always obey you without question, the Bergamasco is probably not the right choice. He will respond to kind, firm, consistent training, but he can be independent and self-sufficient.
  The Bergamasco will accept strangers once he has been introduced to them. If raised together, he gets along well with other pets.
  While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Bergamascos are devoted to their people. They should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the Bergamasco should be with them.

Other Quick Facts
  • When you look at a Bergamasco, you will see a muscular dog with a large head whose slightly rectangular body is covered in a thickly matted coat made up of three types of hair. The hair on the head hangs over his large oval brown eyes, and he has a calm, attentive expression. His thick tail hangs down, curving slightly upward at the end.
  • The Bergamasco’s coat comes in shades of gray and, rarely, solid black.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding Group
UKC group: Pastoral
Average lifespan: 13-15 years
Average size: 55 to 85 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Fine, Harsh and Rough, Long, and Water-Repellent
Coloration: This breed comes in all shades of silver, black and gray, including merle.
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Comparable Breeds: Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Puli

  The Bergamasco is an ancient sheep herding dog breed with roots in the Middle East. Sheep and goats were first domesticated thousands of years ago near the Zagros Mountains, which straddle the present Iraq-Iran border. Herding dogs with long, thick coats worked alongside their masters to help move, guard and tend to those flocks. Eventually, some of these nomadic people moved west in search of greener pastures, settling in the foothills of the northern Italian Alps, near Milan, bringing their flocks and dogs with them. Probably the shaggiest breed in the world, the Bergamasco’s dense, disorderly coat protected it from the chilly alpine weather, and its natural herding and guarding instincts made it extremely valuable. 
  Bergamascos were – and are - courageous and fiercely protective of their flocks, working closely with their shepherds but requiring little direction from them. With just one person, a few dogs and hundreds of sheep, nomadic shepherds needed their dogs to be independent thinkers and the Bergamasco was perfect for the job. It undoubtedly contributed to several other shaggy European working breeds, such as the Bouvier, Briard and Polish Lowland Sheepdog.

  Bergamascos are smart, strong but docile dogs that have a deep desire to please their people, but are not submissive animals. They are independent thinkers and usually act more as partners than subordinates within a family unit. Bergamascos share their time and attention equally with all family members, treating each of them as individuals rather than bonding tightly to only one. They are extremely loyal and protective of their owners, affectionate with family and friends and suspicious of strangers. Bergamascos have a reputation for being dominant around unfamiliar dogs. Owners who respect and return the Bergamasco’s intelligence, loyalty and affection will have a rare, steadfast companion.

  As a relatively rare breed, the Bergamasco has not received the same genetic scrutiny as some others, making information about its health somewhat limited. Because this is a very old breed that hasn’t changed much over centuries, it is generally very healthy. Bergamascos reportedly are not prone to any specific disorders or diseases, major or minor.
  Their typical life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Because of its dramatic dense coat, this breed does not thrive in hot or humid climates. Cutting or shaving the Bergamasco’s shaggy locks can cause irritation and predispose it to skin infections.

  Contrary to what many think, the Bergamasco's coat is not too difficult to maintain. For the first year, the dog will have a soft puppy coat. The coat will gradually become coarser and fuzzy "wool" will begin to appear. Around the age of one, the coat must be "ripped" into mats. This process can take a few hours, but once it is done, it is done for life. A weekly checkup to make sure the mats have not grown back together is all that is required for the next months. After that, the mats will become dense enough that few things will get caught in them.
  Bathing is not required more than 1-3 times a year. Though, as the coat gets longer it does take longer to dry. Fortunately, there is no brushing required.

Living Conditions
  The Bergamasco Sheepdog is best suited for seasonal to cold climates. Given its dense coat which provides protection from the elements of the climate, it is not uncommon to find the Bergamasco spending its nights sleeping outdoors. The Bergamasco Sheepdog would not do well in apartment living, rather a house with a yard to provide for daily exercise.

  These are bright, obedient dogs that bond deeply with their owners and want to please. However, they won’t follow orders blindly. A Bergamasco wants to know why it is being asked to do something. Once it figures that out, it usually will happily comply, on its own terms. Bergamascos respond best to firm, consistent, patient training using positive reinforcement and rewards rather than harsh corrections. They are quickly learners and have a terrific work ethic.

Activity Level
  Bergamascos are fairly large dogs that require regular exercise in order to maintain health, happiness and an even temperament. They like having a job to do and love stretching their legs outside. Most enjoy playing fetch and participating in other outdoor activities, such as Frisbee. They perform well in athletic competitions, such as herding, agility and obedience. While these are not overly rambunctious dogs, long daily walks are always a good idea. Bergamascos are not suited for apartment living. They need plenty of room to romp and do best in rural settings with large, securely fenced yards.

  The Bergamasco’s coat is unusual in having three different types of hair in it  that weld together and felt into mats. After five or six years, the coat reaches the ground. Some of the hair acts like the visor on a baseball cap to protect his eyes from the sun, but he can see past it. That coat helps protect the Bergamasco against everything from wolf bites to mosquitoes. Most people with dog allergies do not react to the Bergamasco's coat, but some who are allergic to wool or lanolin do react.
  Caring for the Bergamasco’s coat is not necessarily difficult, but it does call for some specific approaches. Ask the breeder to show you how to care for the coat. Trim the hair around the mouth and clean the dog’s face after meals to help reduce the odor.
  A common misconception is that the coat should not be brushed, but once the coat is formed, nothing will change it. Brushing is necessary to remove dirt.
  The Bergamasco can have as many baths as other dogs, but shampoo is not recommended because it dissolves natural oils in the coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial and yeast infections. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall health and fresh breath.

Is the Bergamasco right for you?
  If you love spending time outside, enjoy working with an intelligent dog, want a low-maintenance grooming routine and have experience with herding breeds, then the Bergamasco could be the perfect dog breed for you.
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Difficult Training: The Bergamasco isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
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 Bergamasco’s matted coat is meant to protect him from bad weather and the predators he might have to drive off in defense of his flock.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything about your Berger Picard

Everything about your Berger Picard
  The Berger Picard (pronounced ‘Bare-zhay Pee-carr’) also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is considered to be France’s oldest sheepdog. In fact, its scraggly, mutt-like appearance hides a rich and storied history that dates back to the 9th century. It is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog with a slightly elongated body. Its ears are pointy and erect, and its eyebrows are bushy, but not excessively so that they cover the dog’s eyes.   The Berger Picard’s outer coat is rough and scraggly to the touch and covers a soft, dense undercoat.

  The breed’s appearance in the film catapulted it to, well, not stardom, but it did put it on the path to American citizenship. In the nine years since the movie’s release, fans of the Picard imported dogs for themselves, formed a breed club, and began breeding and exhibiting the dogs. The Berger Picard achieved AKC recognition in 2015.
  If the Picard looks familiar and you haven't watched "Winn-Dixie," it may be because you've seen the breed in the Animal Planet show “Treehouse Masters,” the movies “Daniel and the Superdogs” or “Are We Done Yet?” or in J. Crew advertisements or a Verizon commercial.
  People who live with the Picard describe him as comical, smart and athletic. He’s often described as having a humanlike gaze — one that says “I love you.”
  These active dogs tend to have lots of stamina. Once you get the go-ahead from your veterinarian, this dog may be the ideal companion for jogging, hiking or running alongside your bicycle. Many love to swim and can hardly be dragged out of the water. At a minimum, the Berger Picard needs several brisk walks daily. He does have an "off switch," though, and will lie quietly in the house once you’re back from your outing.

Quick Facts
  • Berger is the French word for shepherd, and Picardy is the region in France where the breed originated.
  • One of the Picard’s distinctive characteristics is his J-shaped tail, reminiscent of a shepherd’s crook.
  • Picard puppies typically go to their new homes at 12 weeks of age, but breeders may place them earlier depending on the individual puppy and family situation.
  • The Berger Picard’s coat may be fawn or brindle. Some fawn-colored dogs have charcoal-gray trim on the outer edges of the ears and gray shading, or underlay, on the head and body. Brindle dogs can be any base color, ranging from light gray or fawn to black, with stripes or small patches of black, brown, red, gray or fawn.

Breed standards
AKC group: Herding

UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 12-14 years
Average size: 55 to 70 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Double layer, Harsh and Rough, Long, Shaggy, Short, Soft, and Wire
Coloration: fawn or brindle
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Vigilant, assertive, lively, energetic, intelligent
Comparable Breeds: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pyrenean Shepherd

  Imagine going to a movie theater and falling in love with Brad Pitt, then going home and finding out that you can actually buy Brad Pitt. That’s how Betsy Richards, president of the Berger Picard Club of America, describes her introduction to the breed, which first came to her attention when she saw the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie.
A woodcut of a Berger Picard.
  Using the Internet, she tracked down a breeder in France and flew there in September 2005 to pick up her new dog. Almost as soon as she arrived home, she realized she needed a second one because her three sons monopolized the new puppy. That was the beginning of the breed’s formal history in this country. Although some Picards had been imported earlier, no one had ever made a successful effort to establish them here.
  But long before the Picard immigrated to America, he herded sheep in northern France and is thought to be the oldest of the French sheepdogs. The concept of pure breeds didn’t exist until the mid-19th century, but dogs resembling the Picard have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts.
  The Berger Picard made an appearance in a French dog show in 1863 and participated in herding trials but was not especially popular. The French Shepherd Club did not officially recognize the breed until 1925. The American Kennel Club began registering the breed with its Foundation Stock Service in 2007 and recognized the Picard as a member of the Herding Group in July 2015.
  Many of the dogs did not survive the ravages of two World Wars and approached extinction, but dog lovers in the 1950s worked to bring them back. Picards are now found not only in their native France but also in other European countries, Canada and the United States.

  The Berger Picard's attributes include a lively, intelligent personality and a sensitive and assertive disposition that responds quickly to obedience training. By and large, Picards are laid back and mellow but they are known for having a stubborn streak and being reserved towards strangers. They require a lot of socialization during the first two years of their lives.
  Picards are energetic and hard working, alert and are not excessive barkers. Some Picards are notoriously picky eaters, and it may be difficult to decide on a diet that you and the dog agree on.
  The breed also has a well-developed sense of humor, making them an endearing companion, and they continue to be used very effectively as both sheep and cattle herder in their native land and elsewhere.
  Like many herding breeds, Picards require human companionship and lots of it. Since they can be demonstrative to their owners and enthusiastic friends towards other animals, formal obedience training and plenty of positive socialization is a must. Athletic, loyal and filled with a desire to work a long day, the breed excels in any "job" as long as enthusiasm and praise is a part of the task.

  Berger Picards are generally a very healthy breed of dog. They can sometimes have problems with hip dysplasia. Certain hereditary ailments such as progressive retina atrophy and retinal dysplasia can occur in certain lines.
  The breed's life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

Living conditions
  Despite being able and ready to work outdoors, Picards can do surprisingly well in city life provided they are given enough energy-releasing exercise. However, the Picard always tries to stay close to its owner and family, so when given a choice between being alone in a big yard or inside with its master the Picard would rather be with his "shepherd." Inside the house the Picard is usually a very quiet dog, waiting for its time to go out to run, play and sniff around. They are very loyal and enjoy a lot of attention and may suffer from separation anxiety . This is not a breed created to live outside year round. They lack the layer of body fat that even a lean Livestock Guardian Dog has and their coat is not dense enough to withstand fridge winter conditions of many areas.

  Like most other shepherding breeds Berger Picards are highly intelligent and responsive to obedience training. However, they can be willful and stubborn when faced with a lack of leadership. Therefore it is important that owners display a calm and assertive style of leadership consistently.

Exercise and activities
  Bred to work the fields, Picards are very athletic and revel in exercise. A good deal of exercise is therefore a must for this breed. Otherwise boredom will give way to destructive behavior and rowdy play. They enjoy swimming, running beside a bike, and nice long walks.   The Berger Picard makes an excellent jogging companion. The breed's intelligence and sensitivity have made it increasingly popular in dog sports such as agility trials, Tracking, obedience, showmanship, Schutzhund, Flyball, Lure coursing, French Ring Sport and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berger Picards exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

  The Picard’s coat stands out for its tousled appearance and rough texture. It’s 2 to 3 inches long, enough to protect the dog but not so much that it hides the outline of his body. Completing his distinct look are rough eyebrows, a beard and mustache and a slight ruff framing the head. Together, these accents are known as “griffonage.”
  Even a shaggy dog needs grooming. Brush the coat weekly to keep it clean and remove dead hair. You’ll need a coat rake to remove the undercoat during the twice-yearly shedding seasons in the spring and fall. Ask your dog’s breeder to show you how to pluck or strip the long hair edging the ears.
  Frequent baths aren’t necessary unless you show your dog, but if you have a water-loving Picard, give him a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, algae or salt after a dip in the pool, lake or ocean. When you bathe him, use a dog shampoo formulated for a harsh coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two, and brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is the Berger Picard the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Berger Picard 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?
  The Picard has large, naturally upright ears. The ears may droop while a puppy is teething, but they will regain their erect appearance once the permanent teeth are in.

Interesting facts
  • Sheepdogs resembling Berger Picards have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts. One renowned painting, in the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet, the National Sheepfold of France, dating to the start of the 19th century, shows the 1st Master Shepherd, ClĂ©ment Delorme, in the company of a medium-sized, strong-boned dog with mid-length crisp coat and naturally upright ears, resembling in many ways a Berger Picard of today.
  • The first Berger Picards were shown together in the same class with Beaucerons and Briards in 1863 but it was more than 50 years later in 1925 that the Picard was officially recognized as a breed in France.
  • Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up, and attached to the dog's shaven back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.
  • Berger Picards can be seen in at least three movies: Daniel and the Superdogs (2004); Because of Winn-Dixie (2005); and Are We Done Yet? (2007). Picards are often mistaken for another canine actor, the wire haired Portuguese Podengo Medio.
  • In 2012, BPCA member and Picard owner Christina Potter wrote a book, Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star (Aperture Press), based on her weekly blog about the antics of her Picard Chester's life and ambitions. Chester has appeared in advertisements for The Company Store, J. Crew, and Verizon. Potter donates 10% of royalties to Picard DNA collection and health projects.[citation needed]
  • In 2016, Gabby, Guess V.D. Bovendijkse Hoeve, owned by Beverly Conroy and bred by Hanny Terburg of the Netherlands became the first Berger Picard to win best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
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