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Showing posts with label top. Show all posts

Saturday, July 8, 2017

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America
  Americans really, really love their dogs. And that’s in spite of dogs not being the easiest pet you could bring into your home. Training a dog is difficult, especially if you end up with a headstrong canine. Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle or your family can be a challenge. And owning a dog can be surprisingly expensive thanks to an assortment of hidden costs.
  So which dog breeds do Americans love the most? Take a look at the American Kennel Club’s ranking of the most popular dog breeds in America for 2016. Some of them might surprise you.

10. Boxers
  In 10th place is the boxer, part of the AKC’s Working Group. The boxer is a fun-loving dog that, interestingly enough, was one of the first breeds selected in Germany for police training. The AKC recognized the boxer in 1904. This breed is a medium-sized, square-built dog with an alert, curious face and a distinctive muzzle. Boxers move smoothly and gracefully. They’re related to practically all recognized breeds of the bulldog type. Boxers are patient and protective, which makes them great family dogs.
  Boxers were originally bred to be medium-size guard dogs. Today, although they are a part of the AKC’s Working Group, they mostly find homes as loving family companions.


  In ninth place is the Yorkshire terrier. The AKC first recognized this member of the Toy Group in 1885. Yorkies first became popular pets in the late Victorian era, and they have a distinctive coat and confident manner of carrying themselves. The AKC notes that Yorkshire Terriers “offer big personalities in a small package.” They’re brave and energetic, and most owners would say these dogs don’t know how small they are.
  Small in size but big in personality, the Yorkshire Terrier makes a feisty but loving companion. The most popular toy dog breed in the U.S., the “Yorkie” has won many fans with his devotion to his owners, his elegant looks, and his suitability to apartment living.

  In eighth place is the Rottweiler. This breed, a member of the Working Group, is one of the descendants of Roman drover dogs. The AKC recognized it in 1931. Rottweilers are powerful dogs, and the AKC notes that “the Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform.” The breed’s intelligence and endurance makes Rottweilers great service dogs and companions. And according to the AKC, “No one told him that he’s not a toy breed, so at some point he’s going to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.”
  If you want a Rottweiler, learn how to raise it first! If you don't get these dogs off to the right start, you may never be able to control them, and they will be a constant danger to you, your family, and others. With a bite strength roughly 25% greater than a German Shepherd, they must be trained - it isn't optional. If you do learn to do it right, you will own one of the best and safest pets it is possible to own.

  In seventh place is the poodle, a member of the Non Sporting Group. Poodles, officially recognized by the AKC in 1887, are a single breed commonly divided into standard, miniature, and toy sizes. Poodles are known for being very intelligent and active dogs. They excel in obedience training and are eager to please their humans. All sizes of poodles can be trained successfully. The standard poodle tends to be more outgoing.
  These fluffy dogs weren't always the delicate beauties they are today. Poodles were once natural-born hunters and were originally bred as water retrievers. These prim and proper pups are still excellent swimmers with a knack for anything that involves using their brains as well as their brawn. Named after the German word for puddle, this breed's webbed feet and water-resistant coat make them great lake and pool companions who love the challenge of obedience training at the highest levels.

  In sixth place is the French bulldog, which is included in the Non Sporting Group. The AKC notes that two distinctive features of this breed, which it recognized in 1898, are its bat ears and the unique silhouette of its skull. French bulldogs are affectionate and playful. And the AKC reports that this breed “is a great companion for single pet owners, as well as families with young children.” They’re a little bit stubborn in nature, so you’ll need to exercise some patience when training a French bulldog. But in general, Frenchies are intelligent and eager to please their family.
  The Frenchie will make you laugh. He's a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he's very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he's not the best choice for someone who'll be away long hours every day. It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That's doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or "flat-faced" breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.

  In fifth place is the beagle, part of the AKC’s Hound Group. The AKC first recognized the breed in 1885. The beagle was bred primarily for hunting rabbits and hares, and beagles are still excellent hunting dogs and companions. They enjoy the company of people and other dogs; however, they’re a challenge to train because they want to follow their noses. As the AKC puts it, “Beagles are at best temporarily obedient due to their independent nature, which is common among most hounds.”
   Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and they're never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scenthound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare. He is still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States.

  In fourth place is the bulldog, a member of the Non Sporting Group. The bulldog originated in the British Isles, and the AKC recognized it in 1886. Bulldogs are thick-set dogs with short faces and sturdy limbs. The AKC describes these medium-sized dogs as “equable, resolute and dignified.” Despite a “well-earned” reputation for stubbornness, bulldogs are very intelligent and can be very successfully trained.
  Bulldogs originally were used to drive cattle to market and to compete in a bloody sport called bullbaiting. Today, they’re gentle companions who love kids. A brief walk and a nap on the sofa is just this dog breed’s speed.

  In third place is the golden retriever, a highly identifiable breed, which the AKC recognized in 1925. Golden retrievers are a member of the Sporting Group and are active, alert, and confident. As the AKC explains, “It’s not surprising that golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Along with being exuberant and friendly, they are strong dogs and hard workers.”
  The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. The breed's friendly, tolerant attitude makes him a fabulous family pet, and his intelligence makes him a highly capable working dog. Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out drugs, and as therapy and assistance dogs. They're also natural athletes, and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.
 This sporting breed has a sweet, gentle, people-pleasing personality. A well-bred Golden Retriever does not have strong guarding instincts, so don’t expect him to protect your home from burglars. He will, however, make friends with them and show them where the treats are.

  In second place is the German shepherd, a member of the Herding Group. The AKC recognized this breed in 1908. These dogs are smart and courageous, and they come from a long lineage of old herding and farm dogs. German shepherds are loyal family dogs and good guard dogs. According to the AKC, German shepherds are “considered dogdom’s finest all-purpose workers.”
 The German Shepherd Dog is a natural protector and so adaptable and intelligent that he has performed just about every job known to dog. If he had opposable thumbs, he would be unstoppable.
  The German Shepherd Dog is one of America's most popular dog breeds — for good reason. He's an intelligent and capable working dog. His devotion and courage are unmatched. And he's amazingly versatile, excelling at most anything he's trained to do: guide and assistance work for the handicapped, police and military service, herding, search and rescue, drug detection, competitive obedience and, last but not least, faithful companion.

  In first place is the Labrador retriever, a friendly and active member of the Sporting Group. The AKC recognized the breed in 1917. The Labrador retriever, the most popular dog breed in the United States, comes in three colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. These dogs are eager to please, which means they excel not only as family dogs, but also “as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams, or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.”
  Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds out there today. Loyal, easy to get along with, and easy to train, these retrievers could be considered a neighborhood classic all around the United States and even in other parts of the world. But what exactly makes them such popular, well-respected dogs… and does a strong breed always mean that a Labrador Retriever will be the right dog for you?
  The Labrador Retriever was bred to be both a friendly companion and a useful working dog breed. Historically, he earned his keep as a fisherman’s helper: hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish from the chilly North Atlantic. Today’s Labrador Retriever is as good-natured and hard working as his ancestors, and he’s America’s most popular breed. These days the Lab works as a retriever for hunters, assistance dog to the handicapped, show competitor, and search and rescue dog, among other canine jobs.



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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 5 Mountain Dog Breeds

Top 5 Mountain Dog Breeds
  More and more people are looking to large, mountain dog breeds to provide them with the companionship and protection that they need within their home.
  Here are the top 5 mountain dog breeds that more and more dog lovers are starting to become interested.

1.St. Bernard

  The breed that has been credited with saving more than 2,500 travelers lost in the snow was named for the Hospice du Grand St. Bernard in Switzerland, where the monks have bred these large dogs since the 17th century. The Saint needs lots of room indoors and out for regular daily exercise. This dog is great for children who won’t be bowled over by its size, and it’s an excellent watchdog.

  They’re known for copious amounts of drooling, but also for their wonderful sense of smell. They make excellent watchdogs and are quite gentle with children. Supervision should still be paid, however, as these dogs aren’t aware of just how big they are or how easily they can bowl over other people and children

2.Great Pyrenees

  Giant Pyrenees is a very gentle and elegant dog with long hairs all over their body. The nature of this dog breed is normally very calm and they are very social in nature. They have a great ability to sense the danger in advance and are great guard dogs. So because of their such beautiful qualities, they are regarded as one of the best mountain dog breeds. They have originated from France.
  They were also bred to be companion dogs, providing shepherds and livestock farmers with their friendly disposition once the work day was over. They’re a sturdy stocky dog, weighing anywhere from 100 to 125 pounds. Their double coat provides all the warmth that they need, and should be brushed at least once a week. Special attention should be paid to trimming their nails, especially if they’re not very active outside.

3.Bernese Mountain Dog

  Regarded by many as the most beautiful of the four breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese is the only one with a long coat. Its ancestry traces to mastiff-type dogs of Roman times, which crossbred with local herding dogs to produce offspring smaller in stature but just as trustworthy and devoted.
  With very alert eyes and a playful smile, the Bernese mountain dog can be traced back to its Mastiff heritage during the times of the Romans. It was bred in Switzerland to be a herding dog, ensuring that the livestock never roamed too far from the rest of its herd to be taken by predators. They live for roughly 7 to 10 years, and can weigh up to 110 pounds.

4. Siberian Husky


  Believed to have descended from the Chukchi sled dogs of the Siberian Arctic, which had bred true for 3,000 years, these quick dogs were used to haul sleds and herd reindeer. They were able to travel great distances and work for long periods on little food.

  They come in a wide array of colors and live for longer than twelve years. They shed twice a year, and require extensive amounts of bathing and brushing in order to remove all of the fur. This is not a dog breed for those who are prone to pet dander allergies. Despite being a mountain dog breed, they don’t get much larger than sixty pounds, but that weight is typically all lean muscle.

5.Tibetan Mastiff

  This dog was bred in the Himalayan foothills to guard flocks, and it has remained relatively unchanged because of its isolation and the need to produce a large, strong working animal. Because of its inborn protective instincts, the Tibetan Mastiff was also used as a guardian for mansion and monastery.
  They have an extremely heavy undercoat that’s designed to keep them warm in winter, and can lead to extremely heavy shedding seasons when the weather becomes warmer. They can weigh up to 150 pounds, so they are quite stocky and sturdy dogs. They thrive best in large, open spaces and though are protective of children, can very easily knock them over.


If you’re still deciding whether a mountain dog breed is right for you, find someone you know or a breeder who would be willing to let you meet their dogs and get a feel for what being around one is like. Not a lot of people can appreciate the size of a large dog until they’ve met on in person. Taking the right steps to ensure both the safety and health of your mountain breed dog will definitely pay off in the long run, and you can both enjoy the years of fun and companionship together.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top 5 Pet-friendly hotels that ensure your dog won't be left out of travel in Britain

Top 5 Pet-friendly hotels that ensure your dog won't be left out of travel in Britain
  Gone are the days of sneaking your dog into your hotel room in the dead of night. With over half of U.S. households claiming a furry family member, the hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet for dogs, with a wide range of amenities and services from plush beds to canine room service and even spa treatments. 
 The good news is that in many cases, pet-friendly hotels are becoming easier to find as more vacationers include their fur-babies in their travel plans. 

Pet-friendly hotels in Britain

1. Goodwood Hotel, West Sussex
  Dogs gain access to their very own private members' club, The Kennels, at this sporting estate in West Sussex. There are tasty treats available on request, which may include organic pig's ear, and walking maps outlining the estate's most dog-friendly routes. Your four-legged friend will also be granted access to the hotel's dining room and be permitted to sleep in your room. Regular guests may want to consider The Kennels' Dog Membership package, which at £50 per year - 70 per cent of the fee is donated to The Kennels' chosen charity, Canine Partner - ensures that a personalised dog bowl will kept at The Kennels for the personal use of your pampered pooch.
  • On the Goodwood estate, next to the pay and play Park golf course and the Waterbeach health club and spa, both available to hotel guests. The estate’s key elements (motor racing, horse racing, flying, golf, health club) each have their own private membership and hotel guests effectively become members for the duration of their stay, also of The Kennels, a sophisticated, beautifully decorated private members club where the Dukes of Richmond’s fox hounds used to be housed (in great luxury), with show-stopping views across green fields to Goodwood House. There’s also a strange Sculpture Park lost in the woods, and a superbly stocked farm shop, including the estate’s own meat. At the historic ex-RAF wartime aerodrome, two people, for a little over £100, can take a half hour flight in a Cessna.
  • Five of the 93 bedrooms, some of which are in anodyne 1970s annexes, have also been redesigned and are classy, luxurious and full of personal touches. The rest of the serviceable, if dreary Marriottesque bedrooms are to be revamped in waves.
  • Formerly a Marriott hotel, it is now run by the estate. Public rooms and restaurant are already in good, stylish order.
2. Trigony House, Dumfries & Galloway
  Dogs receive a warm welcome at this pet-friendly hotel in Scotland. Fido will receive a welcome pack on arrival, which includes gourmet doggy treats and a welcome note from Kit and Roxy, a miniature dachshund and golden retriever respectively, who live at Trigony House. There's lots of countryside to explore from the hotel's doorstep and in the evening dogs are invited to chow down on dinner with their owners in the bar.
  • The Trigony House Hotel is located just north of Closeburn before the village of Thornhill, in the beautiful Nith Valley, surrounded by the rolling hills & woodland of Dumfriesshire in south west Scotland. The Hotel is situated about 200 yards from the Main Road. Some traffic noise is audible though it is not obtrusive.
  • Because of the age of the house the 9 hotel rooms are all very different from each other in size and layout but all are en-suite with their own bathroom & enjoy their own character, and all have hand sprung mattresses with fine Egyptian linen and are individually furnished providing you with an excellent choice for accommodation in Dumfries.
  • The larger of the hotel rooms have a small comfortable seating area and the Garden suite has it’s own conservatory.  With comfort and relaxation in mind, a butlers tray is supplied with homemade shortbread and real coffee, and the toiletries are made specially for the hotel by the Caurnie Soaperie at the Organic Herb Garden in Kirkintilloch.
  • Most of the rooms have views over the gardens and the Lowther hills to the east while others look over the Kier hills to the West. One of the rooms is at the back of the hotel and looks over the woodland which now covers an old Roman Fort.
3. The Milestone Hotel, London
This Kensington hotel has a dedicated Pet Concierge and on arrival your cute canine will be presented with a hamper of treats, including toys and a Milestone collar tag. Dogs also receive a special welcome letter, with tips for travelling around London and details of places to visit. After a day's sight-seeing, your pooch can bed down on custom-made cushions, duvets or a floor mat and there's a 'Do Not Disturb: Pet Sleeping' sign. There's also a special pet menu and the hotel can arrange a special turndown-treat for your animal.
  • The hotel, opened in the 1920s, takes its name from the old cast iron milestone that stands outside and comprises three tall Victorian townhouses, the first of which, No 1 Kensington Court, has fine original features, including carved window frames and a black-and-white tiled floor. It stands on busy Kensington Road, near where it becomes Kensington High Street, with views of Kensington Park opposite.
  • There are 57 rooms, plus six apartments. Some are dazzling in their lavishness, but only one made me long to stay the night in it, style wise: the striking red and grey Art Deco Mistinguitt suite. Generally, ornate gilt mirrors and old-fashioned carved wooden bedheads predominate an everything is beautifully cared for. In terms of amenities, nothing has been forgotten and there are generous extras.
  • The hotel is small scale: with minimal outside space, cosy public rooms, including a very pretty Victorian style sitting room, and bedrooms on five floors. The decoration, in the style of Red Carnation’s owner and chief designer, Beatrice Tollman, is expansive, generous and elaborate, spilling over into fussiness, especially in such a small space, with flowing fabrics, cushions, patterned carpets, collections of pictures on patterned walls, reproduction Stubbs paintings and a life-size jockey in the Stables Bar. For a hotel that markets itself as one of London’s greats, it feels, to me, overwrought, over the top, not very real and extremely cloying.
4. Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
  This former Victorian schoolhouse-turned-inn is as stylish as Beau Brummell inside. The glorious carved oak bar dominates the main hall and apart from the malted charms of Cholmondeley Best Bitter and Merlin’s Gold, there are a staggering 200 varieties of ruinously good gin to discover. Your faithful friend will not go thirsty either, as dog beer (made from meat stock) is readily available. Food is hearty and delicious and rooms in the old headmaster’s house behind the inn are calm, civilised and comfortable. Three of them are dog-friendly, and dog beds are supplied too.
  • Cholmondeley Estate is a sits on the busy A49, surrounded by rolling farmland and prosperous Cheshire villages. Cholmondeley Castle itself has beautiful gardens; there are fabulous views from nearby Beeston Castle; and pootling around the local countryside you’ll find plenty of diversions, from reclamation yards and farm shops to nature trails, fisheries and falconries. Chester is 30 minutes west; Crewe 20 minutes east.
  • The shabby-chic charm continues in the six bedrooms, next door in the old headmaster’s house. This cute Victorian cottage has listed casement windows, steep pitched roofs and a vintage vibe to the rooms, with antique furnishings, Farrow & Ball paints, retro-style fabrics and deep beds topped with Egyptian cotton linens and a hot water bottle. The finishes are a little worn in places, but it just seems in keeping with the homely feel.
  • Anyone who went to a Victorian school will feel instantly nostalgic when they walk into the pub, with its lofty ceilings, huge windows and chunky iron radiators. This, though, is school gone shabby chic, all big log fires, oriental rugs on stripped wooden floors, and giant mirrors reflecting the flames from countless candles.
5. Russell's of Clapton, London
  Be in the thick of edgy, vibrant, multicultural London in this pink Victorian b & b, bang on the high street. Owner Annette gives you imaginative breakfasts, there is a funky guest sitting room with vintage furniture and a resident whippet called Reggie, happy to share his treats. Annette is on hand for advice on dog walks, pubs and places to eat with your dog. The attractive, uncluttered bedrooms have good art on the walls including great Sixties and Seventies pieces. Two of the rooms are suitable for pets. There are very good cafés on the doorstep and nearby Hackney Marshes for walks.
  •   Russell's of Clapton is on Chatsworth Road, a 10-minute walk from Homerton Overground station. The street is definitely more "traditional east London" than "gentrified for tourists": I walked past council estates, kebab shops and a "sauna and massage" shop on my way from the station. But I did not feel unsafe and sensed that visitors wishing to stay here would get a better sense of living like a local than those opting for a more central, tourist-focused area.
  • Russell's has six rooms: two twin/superking rooms, one medium double, and three smaller rooms; four have en-suite shower and the others share facilities. All have covetable vintage furniture and quirky touches: the fireplace in my room held a miniature piano and a spider plant, and I loved the retro plastic-and-leather spherical chair. The essentials were spot-on: a full-throttle power shower, a supremely comfortable Sealy bed, Egyptian cotton towels, and high-thread count linen. There are no toiletries in the bathroom but a hamper on the landing is full of the necessaries, including shower gel, shampoo, shaving gel and earplugs. On the downside, the bathroom was minuscule and there was some traffic noise from the street outside.
  • G-Plan side boards, a red leather sofa, and piles of books on art and travel in the guest living room help create a cool and cosy artist's studio vibe. Thought had also been put into the smaller details, such as the tulips in a jug in the entrance hall, and the b&b immediately felt like somewhere guests would wish to return after a day pounding the streets of central London. Given that the bed was more comfortable, the decor more stylish, and the breakfast better cooked than in my own flat, it felt like more than a home from home.
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Monday, June 13, 2016

The 10 Best Apartment Dogs

The 10 Best Apartment Dogs
  There's a breed of dog for every person and lifestyle. But just because a certain breed is a match for your personality, it doesn't necessarily mean that breed is a good choice for you. If your home is a small apartment in a big city, it's not a good idea to adopt a breed that needs a lot of time and space outdoors. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options to fit your life.
  Size does matter – especially if you live in compact quarters. Whether you live in a cramped condo, an adequate apartment or closeted quarters, there’s a dog that will fit into your living space.

1. Basenji

  The Basenji is a great option when you have close neighbors and thin walls. This barkless dog rarely gets taller than 18 inches or over 25 pounds. But beware, when left unattended for long periods of time, the Basenji can be a mischievous companion.

2. English Bulldog

  This medium-sized dog doesn’t like to move around much, so an English Bulldog makes a wonderful dog for an apartment (as long as you don’t mind a little extra drool and snoring!). If this breed could talk, he would tell you he’d much rather hang on the couch than at the dog park. And if you don’t like to move about much, good news – the English Bulldog is just as lazy as you!

3.Boston Terrier

  The Boston terrier's nickname is "the American Gentleman," and it's not just for their black-and-white, tuxedo-like coats. They are also polite as a dog can be, and therefore ideal apartment pets. They're quiet, so they won't annoy your neighbors, and they bond closely with their owners, showing undying affection and loyalty. They're also conveniently small, and require only moderate amounts of exercise. Brisk city walks should be enough; no sprawling backyards necessary.

4.Bichon Frise

  Even at their largest, the Bichon Frise  won’t get taller than a foot. These little furballs are energetic, which means they love to play, but also need daily exercise. Bichons also shed less than similar breeds, making them ideal to leave with in close quarters or for people with allergies.


5. Great Dane
  “Huge dog” doesn’t seem like it fits with “great apartment dog,” but the Great Dane (at a majestic 100 to 130 pounds) is such a natural loafer that, though your couch will probably be fully occupied, he’ll take up far less space than you might think. Add to that his calm demeanor, friendliness, trainability, and quiet nature, and the Great Dane makes an excellent choice among apartment dogs.

6.Bulldog

  The Bulldog is perhaps most well-known for his laziness, making them a perfect dog for apartments. A short walk is all these guys need to keep them happy. Otherwise, they’re content to just laze around and snooze. They’re an incredibly gentle dog breed and rarely get taller than a 18 inches high.

7.Shih Tzu

  This regal-looking companion is small in size and maintenance. She doesn’t need much room to move around in. As long as she’s pampered, she’ll be happy. Shih Tzus aren’t a high energy dog, so you won’t need to make many daily trips outdoors for walks. If you don’t mind grooming all that hair, this may be the perfect apartment dog for you. 

  Years of being toted around in starlets' purses may have given this breed something of a privileged diva reputation, but they're actually quite gentle and low-maintenance. After all, how many other breeds are patient enough to tolerate being kept in a purse in the first place? Their tiny size means they can make it in even the most closet-y of New York studio apartments, and even longhaired chihuahuas require only moderate grooming. Keep in mind, though, that Chihuahuas can be a bit loud, so think twice if your pad has thin walls.

  Dachshunds love to be active, but luckily you’re the just the person to take them to the dog park twice a day. Right? Although they can be a little bit stubborn and tend to adapt better to adults and older children than small children, they are extremely affectionate and protective of their loved ones.

  Havanese dogs are small and adaptable to any kind of living situation, including apartment life. They're playful, but they'll burn enough calories charging around your home that gobs of outdoor time won't be necessary. That said, they're relatively quiet, so they won't disturb your neighbors with lots of yapping. One caveat: Of all the breeds on this list, the Havanese is the most high-maintenance in terms of grooming.

As always, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. While every breed has a general personality and disposition, there will always be variations. Do your research carefully and be sure to pick a pet that will fit your home, lifestyle, and personality.
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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?
  Sometimes known as working dogs, guardian dogs were bred to guard homes, people and valuables, as well as livestock. While they might sound like a useful sort of dog to have around, these dog breeds are not for everyone. Large and reserved in nature, the guardian breeds are gentle with family and friends but fierce when provoked.

  Some, such as the Rottweiler and the Doberman, were bred to live closely with people as personal guards. Although their guarding instincts can work for you, they can also work against you if your dog is poorly bred, poorly socialized or untrained.
  Throughout history, one of the main jobs of the domesticated dog has been to protect its owners and guard against unwanted people or animals. While many modern dogs will instinctually act as home guardians, there are specific breeds that are known for possessing the characteristics needed to best ward off unwanted intruders.


1. Bullmastiff 
  A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper's dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he'll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives.
  Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed. 
  This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.
  The quiet and docile Bullmastiff is patient and gentle with friends and family, especially children. Bullmastiff's will, however, be protective and territorial. This breed can weigh 100 to 130 pounds. They have a low activity level, but needs socialization and training. The Bullmastiff does well with a family and can adjust to most living situations but may be too large for apartment life.
  As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.

2.Doberman Pinscher 
  All that you need to know about a Doberman’s instincts to protect its master is that they were originally bred to be dogs that accompanied a tax collector around as he made his rounds. Today, Dobermans are considered some of the very best guard dogs in all the world, with an aggressive nature that often makes them stereotyped as dogs that are harmful to strangers and children.
  If you're looking for the ultimate guard dog, the highly intelligent, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. This intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds.
  This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.
  In reality, Dobermans only ever attack on the command of their owner, having been bred to have great restraint and personal discipline, even in the face of a new threat. Over the years their ability to obey a command in a high-stress situation made them invaluable as military or police dogs, although they’ve become less used in recent years since they do not have the size or raw strength of some other large dog breeds.
  These are some of the smartest dogs out there, however, and an owner needs to carefully exercise their Doberman’s mind as well as its body to keep it fit, happy, and obedient to their commands, or else the dog will grow restless and end up chewing whatever’s in the vicinity.



  A dominant and loyal breed, the Giant Schnauzer is a high-energy dog that craves companionship and is quick to defend its humans. Just make sure you have enough time to give your Schnauz plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep it from getting bored and becoming destructive.
  These are dogs that  require strict training.  They need constant attention and need to know who is in charge otherwise they might take over.  Giant Schnauzers are powerful, compact, and intimidating.  But what makes them such exceptional guard dogs is their loyalty to their owners.
  A giant schnauzer can weigh as much as 100 pounds and the breed has been put to practical use for centuries as work dogs capable of helping farmers take their livestock to the market, helping to guard homes or buildings, and working with police to smell out narcotics or explosives. Their thick, shaggy coat has been grown out over the years in order to make them more difficult to grab onto, whether by an intruder or by another dog or by a bigger animal.

  With an intelligent disposition, furthermore, they grow bored easily and may be less interested in learning new tricks if the tricks do not change up. Any person interested in attaining a giant schnauzer for watching over their home needs to ensure that they are not left alone often, since their energy can lead to destructive behavior like chewing objects within the home. If properly trained and well-mannered, however, they have a calm demeanor even in the presence of new people, and that makes them very friendly and dependable.




  Don't let the friendly appearance of the Kuvasz fool you. This large, strong-willed herd dog is extremely protective and territorial. Even if you don't regularly need to defend your home against wolves or bears, the Kuvasz, who was bred to fend off animal predators, will fiercely guard your property.
 This breed is very territorial and has a strong instinct to guard its family and home. The Kuvasz tends to be aloof with strangers but craves affection from its family.  You need to train these guys from a very young age.  But they are most awesome when it comes to family protection.  Don’t mess with these guys.
   The owner has to be firm, confident and calm.  All family members need to learn how to handle the dog from puppyhood.  It is also important to stress that the Kuvasz does not respond well to harsh discipline – it must not be humiliated or confused with contradictory commands and rules.
  This overly protective dog breed will not let any harm happen to you or your property.  They are extremely loyal and devoted and would give their life for you.
  If you want your Kuvasz to work as a flock guard, remember that special training is needed and you might want to hire an expert to help you with the training.

  If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.
  The Akita is a dominant and independent dog breed that requires obedience training from puppyhood.  Although they are very affectionate towards their human family, they have strong guarding instincts and will not be friendly towards strangers.
  However, if someone tries to break into your house, be sure that the Akita will react and protect both you and your property.
  The Akita has to be firmly and properly trained from an early age and needs to be aware that humans are pack leaders.  The dog needs to understand the rules of behavior and follow them at all times.  If the dog becomes the alpha, the Akita will become willful, stubborn and aggressive.
  Akitas are extremely loyal and devoted pets that thrive on proper human leadership.  Apart from the training, Akitas need to be provided with enough daily exercise.  They become easily bored, so it’s important to keep them active.  They are not recommended for first time dog owners and inexperienced trainers.

Other guardian dog breeds include: 
  Those who don’t want to deal with the added responsibility of owning a guard dog but are looking for a dog to alert them of intruders should consider a watchdog. Several breeds are known for their persistent barking and ability to alert their owners and scare away trespassers.



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Top Dogs for Cold Weather

Top Dogs for Cold Weather
  Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Those with thicker coats and more body fat fare much better when temperatures drop. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
  
1. SAMOYED
Origin: Siberia
Fun Facts: This ancient breed was originally developed by the indigenous people of northwestern Siberia to herd reindeer, pull sleds and keep their owners warm. Early polar explorers used these dogs to traverse the harsh landscapes of the North Pole and South Pole. Because of their remote origins, Samoyeds developed independently of any other breeds, and are considered one of only four dog breeds in the world descended directly from wolves.

2. AKITA
  An Akita is truly a royal pup—hailing from Japan, this breed was once only owned by the Imperial family. Statues of the Akita were also given as gifts to new parents to bring health, happiness, and a long life. This dog, originally bred as a cold-weather hunting companion with a dense undercoat and harsh outer coat, can often be independent and stubborn, but will remain protective and loyal to its family.

3. BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
Origin: Switzerland
Fun Facts: The hardy, long-coated Bernese Mountain Dog is most at home in cold weather. It's mainly used for hauling and driving herds of cattle in the mountainous region of Canton of Berne in Switzerland. Ancestors of the modern-day Bernese are believe to have been brought to Switzerland 2,000 years ago by Roman soldiers. 

4. ALASKAN MALAMUTES
Thanks to its dense, double fur coat with a rough outer layer and a thick and woolly, oily undercoat, the Alaskan malamute is able to survive extremely cold temperatures. The breed was famously used as a utility dog during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800’s; members of the breed also accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his expedition to the South Pole in 1928 and the breed also served primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland during World War II.


5. GERMAN SHEPHERD
The breed's popularity grew with Rin Tin Tin, the abandoned German Shepherd pup found during WWI who went on to star in TV shows and movies. Known for their herding, guarding, and police work, German Shepherds are strong, agile, hard workers that have a lot of energy and learn quickly. This breed commonly suffers from hip dysplasia, which can likely be avoided by buying from a credible breeder.


6. GREAT PYRENEES
Origin: Central Asia and France/Spain
Fun Facts: This large, gentle breed is named after the Pyrenees mountain range in southwestern Europe where these dogs were used to guard herds of sheep. The breed has a weather-resistant double coat to protect it from the elements out on the slopes. The Great Pyrenees were first brought to the U.S. in 1824.

7.  KUVASZ
To be considered a true Kuvasz, this dog must always sport white fur, according to the American Kennel Club. Originating in Tibet, the Kuvasz—which means "armed guard of nobility" in Turkish—was later owned by the royal family in Hungary before finding a more "common" lifestyle as a light-footed hunter and herder. The Kuvasz's double coat makes it a perfect mountain dog, and its trainability and fearless protective instincts provide a perfect four-legged companion. A fenced-in, open yard works best for this energetic, yet possibly destructive, breed.

8. NEWFOUNDLAND
Origin: Canada/England
Fun Facts: The Newfoundland's thick, dense coat makes it the perfect dog for the snowy winters on the Canadian island for which it's named. The breed is also strong enough to haul drowning victims ashore, with the additional ability to swim long distances. A Newfoundland was the chosen pet of numerous United States presidents, including Grant, Buchanan and Hayes.

9. SIBERIAN HUSKY
Origin: Siberia
Fun Facts: The quintessential sled dog, Siberian Huskies have a thick, layered coat made up of a dense undercoat for insulation and a coarse top coat. They're an ancient breed, believed to have been bred by the Chukchi tribe of northeast Asia. With strong hunting instincts, it is advised to keep Huskies away from small animals.

10. TIBETAN MASTIFFS
 DNA studies have revealed that the Tibetan mastiff—which isn’t technically a “mastiff” by breed—genetically descended from the wolf more than 58,000 years ago, as compared to common dog breeds who trace back to wolves 42,000 years ago. Used maily as a guard dog for nomadic cultures in Central Asia to protect herds, flocks, tents, villages, monasteries, and even palaces, the Tibetan mastiff can have one of two “looks”: Lion head or tiger head. One resembles an oversized chow while the other looks like a super-sized Bernese mountain dog. The breed has a thick double coat which requires routine care in order to maintain good health.
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