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Showing posts with label sporting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sporting. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Everything about your Irish Water Spaniel

Everything about your Irish Water Spaniel
  He may look and act like a curly-coated clown, but the Irish Water Spaniel is a serious water retriever with excellent hunting skills. Given plenty of exercise and training, he can also be a wonderful family companion. Choose him if you enjoy running, hiking, water sports, or other activities that he can do with you. His coat is high maintenance but sheds little.

Overview
  The Irish water spaniel is built like no other spaniel, being much taller and racier. The body is of medium length, the whole dog being slightly rectangular in appearance. The general appearance suggests both dash and endurance. The gait is smooth and ground-covering. The coat is one of the breed's distinctive features. The body is covered with a double coat consisting of crisp ringlets. This combination imparts water, weather and thorn resistance to the dog, enabling it to hunt in the harshest of conditions. The Irish water spaniel's expression says it all: alert, intelligent and quizzical.
  Like most dogs of the American Kennel Club Sporting group, the Irish Water Spaniel is essentially an active, willing and energetic companion. Because it has been bred from stock used to fetch game and return it to hand without a fuss, it has the natural instinct of wanting to please. Its keen sense of working as a team makes it a relatively easy dog to train and discipline. Because of its great intelligence and quizzical nature, it has the reputation of being the clown of the spaniel family and will do ordinary things in extraordinary ways to achieve that which is asked of it. Some individual dogs can be very wary of strangers and not every IWS can be trusted to get along with other pets. Early socialisation and training is a must.

Highlights
  • Can have life-threatening reaction to sulfa drugs, Ivermectin and vaccines especially the leptospirosis component.
  • This is a breed that is probably not suitable for the first time dog owner because he can be headstrong, and an independent thinker.
  • Irish Water Spaniels have lots of energy and need daily exercise.
  • Socialization — exposure to many different people, places, sights, sounds, and experiences — at an early age is needed.
Other Quick Facts

  • Among the distinguishing characteristics of the IWS are a topknot of long, loose curls; the crisply curled, liver-colored coat; and the smooth "rat tail," which is hairless except at the base where it is covered for two to three inches with curls.The face is entirely smooth and the feet are webbed between the toes.
  • When an Irish Water Spaniel’s feet are properly conditioned, the tough pads allow the dog to go over sharp saw grass or river rocks without injury.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dogs
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 45 to 68 pounds
Coat appearance: double coated,consisting of dense curls, sheds very little
Coloration: liver/puce
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with older children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, hunters
Temperament: Enthusiastic, energetic, mischievous, independent
Comparable Breeds: Portuguese Water Dog, Irish Setter

History
  The Irish Water Spaniel is a native Irish breed dating back at least 1000 years. It is believed in Irish folklore to be the descendant of the Dobhar-chú. It is probable that more than one ancient breed of spaniel has gone into its makeup. It is not known from which other breeds Irish Water Spaniels were developed. 
 The acknowledged father of the breed, Justin McCarthy from Dublin, left no breeding records. All manner of dogs have been suggested including: the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Barbet, generic old water dog, the now-extinct English Water Spaniel as well as the Northern and Southern Water Spaniels, but whether Irish Water Spaniels are antecedents, descendants, or mixtures of these other breeds is a matter of some speculation. What is clear is that the breed has ancient roots.   The modern breed as we know it was developed in Ireland in the 1830s.
The breed has retained type for over 150 years, and is very popular in Ireland. The Irish Water Spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1884.

Personality
  The individual personality of Irish Water Spaniels vary from dog to dog. Some are energetic and outgoing, others are shy and prefer to laze around the house. You can't really tell what your adult Water Spaniel will be like based upon his behavior as a puppy, either. However, all Water Spaniels are loving family companions who adore their families, have a zest for life and have a propensity for clowning around. 
  He can make a game out of just about any activity, and no matter what he's doing he appears to be having the time of his life. Water Spaniels are spirited companions and will want to be included in all family activities. They are polite to strangers and can be trusted around well mannered children.

Health
  The Irish Water Spaniel, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, is prone to otitis externa and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). It may also succumb to to minor health problems like distichiasis, and a major issues such as nail-bed disease, seizures, and megaesophagus. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip ear exams on this breed of dog. Be aware that the dogs of this breed may react negatively to ivermectin or sulfa drugs.

Care
  To properly care for an Irish Water Spaniel provide it daily mental and physical exercises such as running, playing, and obedience lessons (the earlier, the better). Otherwise, brush comb, and trim your Spaniel's coat regularly to prevent its hair from becoming coarse and twisting on itself.

Living Conditions
  Because he needs plenty of daily exercise and loves the outdoors, he does best in the suburbs or country. This breed does best with at least an average-sized yard.

Trainability
  Water Spaniels are fairly easy to train, but they do have a willful streak which can can make them inconsistent students. Positive reinforcement and lots of treats help the process along, as does mixing up training activities. Keeping training sessions light and fun is also helpful, as Water Spaniels will enjoy any activity he thinks is a game. Once leadership is established and basic obedience mastered, Water Spaniels should graduate on to advanced obedience or agility training to keep their bodies and minds active.
  Early and frequent socialization is important to building an even tempered Water Spaniel. While they adore their own family, they are often wary of strangers. Teaching him early on to accept new people and new situations can keep them from becoming shy or fearful.

Exercise 
  Irish Water Spaniels are bundles of energy and quite athletic by genetics. They thrive when they are able to run, play, chase down game and retrieve fowl. They are not at all happy leading sedentary lives and can become destructive without regular activities that will enthrall and exert them. 
  They require at least an hour of playtime daily in order to keep them in tiptop shape. Of course, they love water so if you sit in your yard and have a hard plastic wading pool, they will happily retrieve dummies for hours. This is what makes Irish Water Spaniels awesome companions for families with sturdy kids.

Grooming
  The Irish Water Spaniel’s dense, tightly curled double coat is short and thick next to the skin, for warmth, and topped with a long outer coat for extra protection. The coat sheds slightly, but it doesn’t cling to the fabric of furniture and clothing quite as much as other types of hair.
  Comb the coat one to three times a week, as needed. Be sure you comb all the way down to the skin to remove any mats or tangles. Use a slicker brush to remove dead hair. For a neat look, the coat must be scissored every six to eight weeks, including trimming the fur around the foot pads. Ask the breeder to show you how to do this, or take your IWS to a professional groomer who is familiar with the breed or willing to learn how to achieve the proper look.
  Any time your IWS goes in a pool, lake or ocean, give him a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, algae, and salt, all of which can dry and damage the coat. He doesn’t need frequent baths, which could dry out his protective oily coat, but getting wet helps to ensure that the coat has those pretty ringlets that give the IWS his distinctive look.
   The rest is basic care. Keep the ears clean and dry, especially if your IWS goes swimming a lot. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Irish Water Spaniels do best with children if they are raised with them. Early socialization — exposure to a variety of peoples, places, sights, sounds, and situations — also helps. 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 to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left    unsupervised with a child.
  Irish Water Spaniels can get along well with other pets in the family if introduced to them at a young age. Otherwise, supervise them carefully. They are hunting dogs and may view smaller animals, especially birds, as prey. Protect pet birds even if you're sure your IWS understands they're off limits. Some spaniels can learn that, if they're taught from puppyhood, but don't assume that it will happen with every dog. You may always need to keep the two separated, if only so your IWS doesn't pull your parakeet's tail or your parrot won't take a bite out of your Irish Water Spaniel's sensitive nose.

Did You Know?
The Irish Water Spaniel’s coat is naturally oily to repel water and keep the skin underneath dry even after he has been in the water numerous times.

Famous Irish Water Spaniels
As an Irishman, I may be accused of having a chip on my shoulder, but the Irish Water Spaniel does not seem to get the credit it deserves when appearing in the media. Though the breed appears in the television series The Irish R.M. and in The Long Kiss Goodnight, starring Samuel L. Jackson, the names of the dogs involved have never been revealed.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Everything about your Gordon Setter

Everything about your Gordon Setter
  Originally deployed in Scotland to retrieve hunted birds that had fallen to the ground, the Gordon Setter’s strong hunter’s instinct, skill with scents, and general companion qualities have made it a very popular breed indeed, as well as an enduring one. Having been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884, it is far ahead of many modern breeds that could be considered more popular. Today, a Gordon Setter is known as an excellent, loyal, and obedient breed that looks great with a properly-groomed coat but is also an ideal exercise partner and friend in the outdoors.

Overview
  This Scottish breed has been established since the 17th century and takes his name from Gordon Castle, where he was developed by the fourth Duke of Gordon. Dressed in sophisticated black and tan, the Gordon Setter is the heaviest and most muscular of the three Setter breeds. In the field, his job is to find and point gamebirds, working at a slow, methodical pace. Hunters appreciate his intelligence and scenting ability, but his good qualities aren’t limited to the field. enjoys participating in dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally, and tracking.
  The gentle and protective Gordon can be a good choice for families with children. He’s tolerant toward toddlers and energetic enough to play catch for hours on end. He also gets along well with other pets such as cats if he’s raised with them. Gordon Setters are alert and will bark to let you know that someone is approaching. They are reserved toward strangers, preferring to save their affection for their families.
  The Gordon is smart and easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques. Be patient and gentle, and he’ll respond eagerly. He’s not necessarily a barker, but he is vocal, expressing himself with mumbling and grumbling to tell you about his day, what he thinks of his meals, and when it’s a good time to take him for a walk.
  Last but not least, it should go without saying that a people-loving dog like the Gordon Setter needs to live in the house. He'll grow despondent relegated to the backyard with little or no human interaction.

Highlights
  • Adult Gordon Setters require one to two hours of daily exercise. This can be a game of fetch in a field or backyard, a run, or a couple of long walks.
  • Being an intelligent, hardworking breed, the Gordon Setter can become destructive if his needs for exercise and mental stimulation are not met. Boredom and extra energy are not a great mix to have, and the best way to avoid any destructiveness is through proper exercise and training.
  • Gordon Setters are not backyard dogs. They are much happier when they are with their families and should not live away from them. They enjoy personal attention and family activities.
  • Strong temperaments are well known in the breed and many owners have the feeling that they are "owned" and not owner. Gordons are independent and determined, qualities that can translate to stubbornness to some.
  • Gordon Setters can suffer from separation anxiety and may become destructive when they do.
  • Although Gordon Setters are known for their stubbornness, they can be sensitive and easily cowed with abuse and neglect. Never treat your dog harshly but instead give him firm, fair, consistent training without the use of anger or physical force. If Gordon Setters aren't trained they may become destructive, wilful, and dominant.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Gordon is the largest of the three setter breeds.
  • The Gordon dresses to the nines in a silky black coat with rich mahogany markings and feathering on the legs and tail.
  • The Gordon is an uncommon breed. You may have a wait of a year or more before a puppy is available.

Breed standards

AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 45-80 pounds
Coat appearance: Long, Silky, and Thick
Coloration: black and tan coat, with the tan markings being a rich chestnut or mahogany 
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards
Temperament: Devoted, gentle, affectionate, enthusiastic
Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Irish Setter

History
From a painting - Gordons Working
  Black and tan setting dogs were known in Scotland as early as 1620, but it was their presence in the kennels of the fourth Duke of Gordon 200 years later that brought them to prominence. The Castle Gordon Setters had first-class hunting skills and were beautiful as well.
  The early Gordons also came in black and white, tricolor, and red, but the Duke was said to favor the dogs with black and tan coloring, and that's what has prevailed over the years. When the Duke died in 1827, his heir, the Duke of Richmond, carried on his kennels.
  Between 1859 and 1874, England's Kennel Club listed 126 Black and Tan setters in its studbook. In June of 1859, at the first official dog show, a Black and Tan Setter by the name of Dandie, took first prize for setters, who could trace his pedigree back to the kennels of the Duke of Gordon. The breed officially took the name Gordon Setter in 1924.
  The first Gordon Setters imported into the United States came from the kennel at Gordon Castle. The dogs, Rake and Rachel, were purchased by Daniel Webster and George Blunt in 1842. They were the foundation of the breed in the United States.
  The American Kennel Club recognized the Gordon Setter in 1892, and the Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc., was formed in 1924. The club is still in existence today and boasts a membership of more than 1,000. Today the Gordon Setter ranks 88th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.

Personality
  The loyal Gordon Setter is intensely devoted to his family but wary of strangers, characteristics that make him an excellent watchdog. He's mannerly and eager to please, but like any dog he'll take advantage of lax leadership and can become dominant, wilfull, and stubborn if not provided with firm, fair, consistent training.
  A Gordon Setter expert once wrote of the breed that if he acts sorry for a misdeed, he's probably more sorry that he got caught than that he misbehaved. In the field or in any competitive situation, he's alert, fearless, intelligent, and capable. He's a personal hunting dog, in the sense that he works nearby rather than ranging far afield. Gordons aren't fast, but they have a lot of stamina.
  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, Gordon Setters need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Gordon Setter 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

  The Gordon Setter, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, is prone to major health issues such as gastric torsion and canine hip dysplasia, and minor problems like cerebellar abiotrophy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hypothyroidism, and elbow dysplasia. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend regular eye, hip, thyroid, and elbow exams for this breed of dog.

Care
  Regular combing, which should be done every two to three days, is a must for the Gordon Setter, though an occasional trimming may also be required. A thorough daily exercise regimen is also essential for the breed. And although it is adaptable to temperate climates outdoors, it should be given plenty of human companionship.

Living conditions
  The Gordon Setter is not recommended for apartment life. It is relatively inactive indoors (if a Gordon Setter gets enough outdoor activity it will be calm when it is indoors) and does best with at least a large, safely fenced yard where it can run free. Their hunting instincts lure them to roam, so a good fence around your property is essential.

Trainability

  Gordons have a mind of their own and do not like to be bossed around. Training can be difficult and takes a strong, steady leader. Sessions should be conducted with an abundance of positive reinforcement and very little harsh discipline. Though establishing leadership can be a challenge, Gordons actually pick up on tasks quickly and have excellent memories. Once basic obedience is mastered and the Gordon Setter knows his place in the family hierarchy, he should be graduated on to advanced obedience or agility training to keep his mind active.
  Housebreaking takes anywhere from four to six months with a Gordon Setter. They do not like to be told what to do or when to do it, so this process can be quite drawn out. Crate training is the best method for housebreaking a Gordon.

Exercise Requirements
  These are voracious exercisers and will require plenty of it to keep from bouncing around the walls indoors. For this reason, it’s not recommended that you keep a Gordon Setter as a city pet. They’re more suited for plenty of space to have their “outdoor” itch scratched on a daily basis, and they generally require plenty of activity to feel calm at the end of a day.

Grooming

  The Gordon has a long, thick coat with feathering on the ears, legs, belly, and tail. Depending on the type of terrain your Gordon is out in every day, you will probably need to brush and comb him one to three days a week to prevent or remove tangles and mats, remove dead hair, and distribute skin oils. In addition to brushing, you’ll need to trim the hair on the bottom of his feet and between his toes.
  The Gordon Setter sheds moderately. The more often you brush him, the less hair you will find on your floor, furniture, and clothing.
  Gordons love swimming and playing in water. Be sure to 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
  Gordons are fond of and protective toward children. They'll put up with a lot, and when they've had enough teasing or roughhousing, they'll walk away. They may be a bit much for toddlers, though, being large enough to accidentally knock them down.
  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.
  Gordons get along with other dogs and cats if they're raised with them, but they might not be so friendly toward strange dogs.

Is the Gordon Setter the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Professional trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Gordon Setter 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?
  Developed by the Dukes of Gordon, the black and tan dogs were originally known as Gordon Castle Setters.


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Friday, November 24, 2017

Everything about your Pointer

Everything about your Pointer
  He’s one of the earliest Sporting breeds, used as far back as the 17th century to point hares and later birds for the new 18th century sport of “wing shooting.” The lithe and muscular Pointer is full of “hunt,” and he has a competitive spirit that makes him tops in field trials. He’s handsome, dressed in a short, smooth coat of liver, lemon, black or orange, with or without white.

Overview
  The Pointer is instantly recognizable. From long head to finely pointed tail, his entire body suggests his purpose: to point game for the hunter. When a Pointer scents game birds he stands tall and still, one foot raised off the ground, pointing the hunter in the right direction. Before the development of guns, this was an essential skill, as birds were netted rather than shot. When shooting birds became popular, the Pointer was still needed to point and then retrieve them.
  Today, the Pointer is known as the Cadillac of bird dogs, prized for his speed, ability to go all day in the field, "stand steady to wing and shot" — meaning that he holds his position as birds rise into the sky and the guns go off — and his personable nature. His love of people and short, easy-care coat make him an excellent candidate as family companion as well.
  Thanks to his sporting dog heritage, the Pointer runs hard and fast and is a super companion for a runner or cyclist. His competitive nature also makes the Pointer a natural at dog sports such as field trials, obedience, rally, and agility. This is a dog who loves to perform in public. His flashy looks and love of attention make him an excellent show dog as well.

Highlights
  • Pointers are very active and require vigorous exercise every day. If you do not have the time or energy to exercise your Pointer at least one hour each day, then you should not purchase a Pointer.
  • Pointers can be very destructive when they are bored or don't get enough exercise, especially when young. This can result in chewing, digging, and many other negative behaviors that can lead to expensive vet bills and replacement costs.
  • Pointers are wonderful family dogs who thrive when they can spend time with their people. A Pointer should not live outdoors but should enjoy the same comforts as his family.
  • Pointers are not suited for apartment dwellings; they do much better in homes with a large fenced yard where they can expend some of their energy.
  • Pointers generally do well with other dogs and other pets, especially if they're raised with them. They may, however, be very interested in pet birds, and the two should be protected from each other. You don't want your Pointer injured by a parrot's beak, and you don't want him trying to retrieve your parrot, canary or finch.
  • Pointers are strong and energetic with a mind of their own. They're not a good choice for first-time dog owners or people who aren't strong enough to handle them and give them the exercise they need.
  • Training is a must with this breed because he has a will of his own. Training can take time, but once the foundation is there, there is no limit to how far Pointers can go in various dog competitions.
  • Pointers are average shedders and require only minimal grooming.
Other Quick Facts
  • Three Pointers have won Best in Show at Westminster: Ch. Governor Moscow in 1925, Ch. Nancolleth Markable in 1932 and Ch. Marjetta National Acclaim in 1986.
  • The Pointer’s coat comes in liver, lemon, black, or orange and can be solid or combined with white. The breed standard says that a good Pointer cannot be a bad color.
  • A Pointer’s hunting instincts develop early, and he retains what he learns throughout his life.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dogs
Average lifespan: 11-14 years
Average size: 45 to 75 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense and Short
Coloration: They are generally white with either liver, lemon, orange or black markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, hunters, active singles, houses with yard, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, energetic, protective

History
  The history of the Pointer, like many breeds, is a reasonably debatable topic.Records of Pointers in England trace as far back as 1650. According to one source, the Pointer came to be in the 16th and 17th centuries, when pointing breeds, including the Old Spanish and Portuguese pointer, were brought from the European mainland to England.
  Through both history and anatomical evaluation, at least four breeds appear to have been instrumental in Pointer crosses: Greyhounds, Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and Bull Terriers. Each of these were established breeds with unique qualities the Pointer could use to do its job.
  Pointers were brought to the United States, where the breed flourished in the abundant open hunting land. At that time (late 1800s), the Setter was considered to be the bird-hunting dog and pointers were not even permitted to compete in field trials with setters.   Around 1910, however, the Pointer began to beat the Setter at its own game. The Pointer has dominated the pointing breed field trials since then.
  One of the earliest dogs to exert influence on the breed in the US was a dog imported from England in 1876 – "Sensation". He is well known as the dog on the emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club.
  One modern American kennel, established in 1936, and known for breeding large quantities of Pointers, Elhew Kennels produced a popular and successful line of gun dogs. Elhew pointers were well-known competitors at field trials for several decades.
  In the southern United States, where the dog is so dominant it is often simply referred to as the "bird dog," Pointers are found in abundance. The bobwhite quail is the primary game bird there, and is considered classic English Pointer game, as the bobwhite will hold well for a pointing dog. Pointers also work game birds such as the pheasant, grouse, and woodcock with success.


Temperament
  The English Pointer is an active and friendly breed that is affectionate with family. The Pointer is an active and friendly breed that is affectionate with family. These dogs love to spend time with family and they typically do very well with children when they are raised together from a young age. It is important to note, however, that Pointers can be rambunctious so supervision around children is recommended. 
  This breed is not suited for apartment-style or urban living because they require a great deal of daily exercise and plenty of time outdoors. English Pointers generally get along well with other dogs and household pets when raised together, though they may be a little too interested in pet birds so keep the two apart.

Health
  The Pointer has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. It is prone to tail-tip injuries and will occasionally suffer from deafness and cataracts. Some minor health conditions affecting Pointers are hypothyroidism and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), while entropion is a major health issue which can affect the breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, thyroid, and exams on the dog.

Care
  Pointers enjoy the great outdoors, and they enjoy being with their families. They should not live outside but instead should enjoy the same comforts as their families. They do well in active homes where hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities are enjoyed by all. They do need a large fenced yard where they can run. When they're given the exercise and training they need, they are quiet and mannerly house dogs.
  The Pointer is an active, intelligent dog who needs daily exercise and stimulation. He was developed to be a hunting dog who could work all day long, and his exercise needs don't change just because he's a family companion. Give him at least an hour of exercise per day and more if possible. A vigorous walk isn't enough. Take him running, teach him to run alongside your bicycle, play Frisbee in the backyard, or train him for agility, flyball, or other dog sports.
  A Pointer puppy is still growing and doesn't need the hard exercise that an adult can take. Let him play and nap on his own schedule throughout the day, and restrict jumping until he's reached his full growth at about 18 months of age. Jumping and running on hard surfaces at an early age can stress his joints and cause orthopedic problems.

Living Conditions
  These dogs are not recommended for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and do best with acreage.
  A fenced yard is essential.Keep your Pointer inside a securely fenced yard or dog run for his safety and your peace of mind. Some Pointers have been known to do well with underground electronic fencing as long as training isn't rushed, but keep in mind that these fences don't keep out other animals or human intruders.

Trainability
  The English Pointer can be somewhat strong-willed, so it is important that you start training from an early age. Pointers are very smart, so they pick up on training quickly but they may test your resolve from time to time. The Pointer breed can be trained for pointing, honor, and retrieving though, in reality, they will enjoy any sport or game you teach them.
  House training a Pointer is a long process and many breeders and trainers recommend crating a Pointer until he gets the hang of it, which can unfortunately be several months.

Exercise Requirements
  Because the Pointer was bred for hunting, it is a naturally high-energy dog that requires a good deal of daily exercise. A simple walk will not do for this breed – they require vigorous exercise on a daily basis or they will become destructive in the home. Other behavioral problems may develop as a result of insufficient exercise.
  English Pointers are rowdy and rambunctious and need a lot of exercise; and just when you think they've had enough, they'll probably want more. This breed was not designed to be a household pet, but rather to be a sturdy, reliable hunting companion in the field, and the modern Pointer has not lost this desire. For owners who do not hunt, a commitment should be made to enroll their pointer in tracking or agility activities in order to satisfy their need to run and think. If a Pointer does not get enough exercise, they will resort to barking and chewing which may develop severe anxiety.

Grooming
  A Pointer has a short, dense, smooth, shiny coat. There’s just about nothing easier to groom. Give him a quick going over weekly with a rubber curry brush or hound mitt to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. A rubdown with a chamois brings out shine. 
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two, or less often if your Pointer wears down his nails naturally with all the exercise he gets. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Pointers are usually good with children and other animals, particularly if they are raised with them. 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. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Pointers can also get along well with other pets, including cats, if they're raised with them, although they may be a little too fond of birds, if you know what I mean.

Is the Pointer the Right 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.
Moderately Easy Training: The Pointer 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.
Judy on the deck of HMS Grasshopper
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 emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club is a Pointer named Sensation, who was imported from England by club members in 1876. He was a handsome lemon and white dog who lives on as the cover dog for the WKC’s show catalog.

Famous pointers
  • Judy, awarded the Dickin Medal
  • The first Pointer was entered at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1877. Three Pointers have won "Best in Show" there, the first being Ch. Governor Moscow in 1925, second being Ch. Nancolleth Markable,  and the most recent being Ch. Marjetta's National Acclaim in 1986.



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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Everything about your Spinone Italiano

Everything about your Spinone Italiano
  Gentle and docile, this ancient all-purpose hunting breed can be good with kids and other dogs. The Spinone Italiano is affectionate, devoted and has a sense of humor. He can rock as a family dog or jogging companion. The downside: a wet beard in your lap after he drinks.
  We’re not talking an Italian dessert here. The Italian Spinone is a pointing breed with versatile hunting skills and a calm, easygoing temperament. He works slowly and methodically and is noted for his wiry, bramble-repelling “spino” coat, from which he takes his name. This is a large dog, weighing 60 to 85 pounds.

Overview
  Also known as the Spinone, Italian Spinone or Italian Griffon, the Spinone Italiano looks more like a tired old man than the rugged pointer that it is. Bred in Italy as a specialist hunting dog, the Spinone is as intelligent as it is strong and has almost human-like eyes which lend to its gentle and almost pensive appearance.
  Spinones are strong boned and solidly built with powerful muscles which allow it to navigate almost any terrain. Its body is covered in a thick, wiry coat which enables it to tolerate a wide range of environments. These characteristics make the Spinone Italiano an ideal hunting dog, a purpose which the breed is still used for today. The Spinone is also a highly versatile breed and can be used in showing, agility, obedience and therapy work.
  Spinones are a very gentle and devoted breed of dog and live to please their owners. They are highly affectionate and get along extremely well with children and other pets. Their temperament is also fairly easier going that other hunting breeds.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Spinone is a muscular dog with a squarish body, solid and powerful. He has a unique profile with a long head; yellowish-brown or darker eyes depending on his coat color; a bulbous and spongy looking nose with large, open nostrils; triangular ears that hang down; and a gentle, intelligent expression. His docked tail is carried horizontally or down, flicking from side to side  while he works.
  • The Spinone’s skin is protected by a dense, wiry, weather-resistant coat. The same coat protects his face, with stiff hair forming eyebrows, a mustache and beard to help prevent lacerations from briars and bushes. The coat comes in solid white, white and orange, orange roan, with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, and brown roan, with or without brown markings. The brown color should be a chestnut shade, described as “monk’s habit.”
  • This breed likes to jump and dig, so he needs a securely fenced yard with an area he can call his own.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dog Breeds
Average lifespan:  10 to 12 years
Average size: 61 to 85 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Thick, and Wire
Coloration: Acceptable variants  are solid white, white with orange markings, orange roan with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, and brown roan with or without brown markings. 
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, hunters
Temperament: Gentle, docile, loyal, friendly
Comparable Breeds: German Wirehaired Pointer

History
  The breed is believed to have been developed in the Piedmont region of Italy. As the Spinone is a very ancient breed , it is not known exactly what the origins of the breed are; there are many different theories. Some of these claim that the Spinone could have originated in Italy, France, Spain, Russia, Greece, or Celtic Ireland.
  Some people familiar with the history of the breed claim that the Spinone descended from the now-extinct Spanish Pointer, whilst others claim that it was the ancient Russian Setter that is responsible for the breed we know today. An even more popular theory is that Greek traders brought coarse-haired setters to Italy during the height of the Roman empire, where the dogs were then crossed with various others and the modern Spinone eventually emerged.
In his Camera degli Sposi (15th century),
Andrea Mantegna depicts a Spinone,
 Rubino, as a symbol of loyalty. 
  The French claim that the Spinone has descended from crosses of several French pointing breeds, whilst the Italians believe the Spinone is the ancestor of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, the German Wirehaired Pointer, and the Pudelpointer. Any one of these claims could be true; perhaps several of them are correct.
  During the Second World War, the Spinone became close to extinct. Both the war and the fact that Italian hunters had begun using other breeds  in the hunt, whereas before it was primarily the Spinone. Many breeders had to resort to crossing the Spinone with other wire-haired breeds, such as the Boulet, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and German Wirehaired Pointer.
  The breed was not officially known as "Spinone" until the early 19th century. Before then, some areas knew the breed as the "Spinoso". The breed may have been named after an Italian thorn bush, the spino, which was a favorite hiding place for small game because for larger animals it was practically impenetrable. Only thick-skinned, coarse-haired animals could fight through the branches unharmed to locate the game. The Spinone was the breed most capable of doing so, and, perhaps, therefore the name was formed.
  Today the Bracco Italiano is the most popular hunting dog in Italy, although the Spinone is still common. The Bracco is a racier, higher energy dog, while the Spinone excels at hunting close or in dense cover, and in retrieving from water.
  The Duchess of Northumberland has a spinone, called Fuzzy.



Personality
  As puppies, Spinone Italianos are rowdy, rambunctious and full of energy. As adults, they mature into quiet, dignified companions who generally make themselves seen and not heard. They are reserved around strangers, but come to life in the outdoors. Spinones are sturdy hunting companions and make excellent hiking and jogging buddies. They get alone well with children, when raised alongside the little ones and don't mind other family dogs. For families who have experience with dogs and love the outdoors, Spinone Italianos make excellent pets.

Health
  The Spinone Italiano, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, is susceptible to major health concerns such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and minor issues like otitis externa, ectropion, cerebellar ataxia, and gastric torsion. Allergies and elbow dysplasia may also be seen on occasion in these dogs. Routine hip exams are recommended as the dogs grow older.

Care
  Brushing and combing the Italiano is important, and occasional hand-stripping helps to clear the feet and face of dirt. The breed is adaptable to both temperate and cold weather. Regular exercise in the form of running or long hours of walking is essential for the Italiano breed. It also loves to spend time with its human family.

Living Conditions
  Content within a fenced yard, this large dog is nevertheless capable of jumping very high. The occasional one is a tunneler. Talk to breeders about secure fencing.

Trainability
  For experienced trainers, Spinones are fairly easy to train. They are not dominant or overbearing, but can be quite stubborn. Novice trainers may grow frustrated or be inclined to resort to harsh treatment or discipline – which is the wrong approach to training this breed. Spinones need strong, consistent leadership but should never be punished or physically corrected, as this will cause them to shut down and become even more resistant to training and boundaries.
  Spinones are reserved dogs who need extensive socialization as puppies to help them come out of their shells. If not properly introduced to new people, new situations and other animals, a Spinone can be very difficult to live with. When properly socialized, he may still be cautious around strangers, but will always be polite and dignified.

Activity Requirements
  Spinone Italianos need a lot of vigorous exercise to remain healthy, happy and even-tempered. They are built for hunting and can withstand harsh terrain, hours in the sun and sopping wet conditions. Couch potatoes should not consider this breed, as they are much better suited for hunters and people who enjoy the outdoors. In the hunting field Spinones are versatile, tracking pointing and retrieving on land and water. When not hunting,   Spinones enjoy walking, jogging and long hikes.
 Spinones are far to large and need too much exercise to be cooped up in an apartment.   These are country dogs who need plenty of room to run, roam, romp and whenever possible, to swim.

Grooming
  The Spinone has a dense, wiry coat that resists weather and protects him from brush and debris. As he has no undercoat, he needs only occasional brushing and hand stripping to remove dead hair. For stripping your Spinone’s coat, you can use either a stripping knife  or your bare hands. Your breeder can show you proper technique, and how to tell how much hair needs to be stripped. Because of his harsh coat, he will only need a bath if he gets into something really gross.
  You may want to keep a hand towel close by when your Spinone gets a drink, because afterward his beard will drip water all over the place.
  Keep your Spinone’s ears clean and dry, and trim his nails and brush his teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. Good dental hygiene promotes general health and will also give your Spinone good breath. Start grooming him at an early age so he becomes used to the process and accepts it willingly.

Is the Spinone Italiano the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Spinone Italiano is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
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 Spinone is a versatile Italian pointing breed with stamina and patience. He excels at hunting on any terrain, including being an excellent retriever, but given enough exercise can be perfectly happy as a companion dog.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything about your American Water Spaniel

Everything about your American Water Spaniel
  The American Water Spaniel was bred to be an all-around hunting dog. Specializing in waterfowl, he’s a skilled swimmer who will retrieve from small boats and has a water-resistant double coat. The dog breed has the high energy of a dog born to chase and retrieve game, but given enough exercise, he can also make an great family companion.

Overview
  Known as the "little brown dog,” the curly-coated American Water Spaniel is the classic “big dog in a small package.” With a weight range of 25 to 45 pounds, he looks small and cute, but he’s a tough hunting dog who’s known for having a stubborn streak. Although he’s called a spaniel, the AWS is primarily a water retriever and has a fine reputation as a hunting dog among those in the know. His claim to fame is that he is the state dog of Wisconsin, where he was developed in the mid-19th century in the Wolf and Fox River Valley region.
  Like any retriever, he’s tireless and needs daily exercise. A long walk will do, but you can also channel his energy into dog sports such as agility and flyball. He’ll love anything that involves getting wet and is an excellent choice for boaters, including canoers and kayakers, seeing as how he was developed to hunt from a boat.

Highlights
  • American Water Spaniels are active dogs and require daily exercise. Give him one to two hours a day of walks, runs, or games of fetch. You can break up exercise periods throughout the day — an hour here, a half hour there. Without it they may express their pent-up energy with recreational barking and excessive chewing.
  • The American Water Spaniel is a highly versatile hunting dog on land and in water. His job is to hunt, flush and retrieve all kinds of game.
  • The American Water Spaniel stands out for his solid liver or dark chocolate-colored coat.
  • American Water Spaniels can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them that you mean what you say by establishing rules and being consistent in enforcing them.
  • American Water Spaniels like to roam and may leave your yard or your side to go hunting on their own if they're not confined by a fence or restrained by a leash.
  • Some American Water Spaniels are territorial and aggressive with strange dogs, although they get along with other family dogs and pets.
  • They have a natural tendency for chewing, digging, and jumping, but you can overcome these behaviors with training.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 10–15 years
Average size: 25 to 45 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coated, curly exterior layer
Coloration: Shades of brown
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, hunters, rural/farm areas
Temperament: Energetic, sensitive, willing to please, alert
Comparable Breeds: Curly-Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel

History
  The history of the American Water Spaniel is somewhat of a mystery. The breed supposedly was “created” sometime in the late 1860s, when it accompanied settlers to remote but developing areas of the Midwestern United States.
American Water Spaniels, pictured in 1913
  They were bred as hunting dogs that would be capable of flushing and retrieving game in all conditions and terrain, including water. The early American Water Spaniel was primarily a duck and waterfowl retriever, but it actually became a unique combination between the true hunting spaniels and the hunting retrievers. The breed works equally well in water and on land. He has an excellent nose and is a sound swimmer. According to an American Kennel Club publication: “As a retriever the American Water Spaniel leaves little to be desired. He will watch the huntsman drop perhaps four or five birds, then work swiftly and merrily until every one is brought in. Rabbits, chickens, grouse, quail, pheasant, ducks – he handles all with unfailing dispatch and tender care. He swims like a seal, hence few wounded waterfowl escape him; his tail serves as a rudder to aid him, especially in turbulent water.” While the actual ancestors of the American Water Spaniel are unknown, it is suggested that they descend from crosses of the Irish Water Spaniel, the Old English Water Spaniel, the Curly-Coated Retriever, the Field Spaniel and the Poodle. The breed was well-established by the end of the 19th century and was particularly popular among sportsmen in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The American Water Spaniel Club was founded in 1937. The breed was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club Registry in 1940, as a member of the Sporting Group.

  The American Water Spaniel’s small size still endears him to hunters, especially those using canoes or other small boats to hunt waterfowl on inland lakes. Despite its rarity, this truly American breed also thrives as a family companion and makes an especially good watch dog.


Temperament 
  Friendly and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is a good-natured dog that will keep your children entertained. It can play all day long, and at the end of the day, curl up on your lap for extra cuddles. It will partake in all kinds of activities, on land or in water. This breed loves to be around people and will want to follow you around no matter where you go.
  The AWS is not a dog for people who spend a lot of time away from their home. This breed develops separation anxiety if let alone for alone periods of time, and will bark or howl. This dog needs plenty of companionship, exercise and play time to combat boredom.
  A vocal breed, it’s an understatement to say that the American Water Spaniel likes to bark. When they are happy, need attention or left alone, the breed will bark… just to hear the sound of its own voice. Start training to avoid this behavior when your dog is a puppy.

Health
  The lifespan of an AWS is between 10 and 15 years, and they do have a higher risk for developing some health conditions than do other dogs in their size range. Breed health concerns include diabetes; epilepsy; eye problems; heart problems; hip dysplasia; and hypothyroidism. They have a medium length curly coat which requires regular grooming.   They do well in both cold and in warm climates. Other breed health concerns include pattern baldness, cataracts, focal retinal dysplasia and adult-onset growth-hormone responsive dermatosis.

Care
  If he gets lots of exercise and playtime, the American Water Spaniel can do well in smaller living situations such as an apartment or condominium, but he's a country dog at heart, and is happiest when he's got plenty of open space to run off his natural energy.
  Smart and trainable, the AWS responds best to short, motivational training sessions. Avoid heavy-handed techniques that use punishments for getting it wrong instead of rewards for getting it right — they could make him sulky or withdrawn. And train him yourself rather than sending him off to be tutored by a stranger. He'll work much better for someone he knows and loves.
  He may chew when his people aren't home, so crate training is a must to keep your possessions safe and your AWS out of the doghouse.

Living Conditions
  American Water Spaniels will do okay in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. Like to roam in search of quarry.

Trainability
  Intelligent and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is easy to train. Harsh discipline can cause them to distrust people, so a confident, but gentle positive-reinforcement strategy works best.
  There is no need to train the American Water Spaniel to fetch. They are born with the innate desire to chase, hunt, and retrieve, and can spend hours engaged in this activity. Once basic obedience training is completed, this breed should be enrolled in advanced training, or agility training to keep them challenged and mentally stimulated.
  Unlike other breeds of spaniels, the American Water Spaniel is wary of strangers. They will bark to alert a stranger's arrival, but can can grow to be distrusting of strangers, if not properly socialized. The earlier this breed is exposed to new people and new situations, the more easy-going they will be in adulthood.

Exercise Requirements
  Because this is a hunting breed, the American Water Spaniel needs plenty of exercise. Running, hunting, swimming, hiking and bike rides – these are just a few of the ways you can tire your dog out. The AWS needs room to run, so you’ll need to have a fenced in yard. If you have a swimming pool, even better! And even though this is a smaller breed, the American Water Spaniel doesn’t do well in apartments. Because of the lack of space to run around, this dog may become destructive.
  Great with children, the American Water Spaniels are patient and will put up with boisterous kids. However, the AWS will snap if startled, so children need to be taught to never sneak up on a sleeping dog or approach from the rear.

Grooming
  Expect to comb and brush this breed’s curly double coat two or three times a week.  Comb it first to prevent or remove mats and tangles. Do this every time your dog has been outside and picked up burrs or other debris. Use a slicker brush to remove dead hair. You may need to trim the coat every once in a while to give it a neat appearance. The AWS rarely needs a bath, but be sure to give him a thorough freshwater rinse after he has been in saltwater or a lake or pond with algae.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every couple of weeks. Clean the foot pads, and keep the ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial or yeast infections. More tips on grooming are available from the American Water Spaniel Club.

Children And Other Pets
  The American Water Spaniel is gentle with children. Nonetheless, 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.
  Some American Water Spaniels are territorial and aggressive with strange dogs, but they generally get along well with family dogs and cats.

Is the American Water Spaniel the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Professional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The American Water Spaniel is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
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 American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin, where he was developed in the mid-19th century in the Wolf and Fox River Valley region.


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