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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Everything about your Pomeranian

Everything about your Pomeranian
  The Pomeranian is a cocky, animated companion with an extroverted personality. This compact little dog is an active toy breed with an alert character and fox-like expression. Today, the Pomeranian is a popular companion dog and competitive show dog. They can come in all colors, patterns, and variations although orange and red are the most popular.
   Pomeranians are little dogs with “big dog” personalities. While lively, friendly and fun, they can be slightly territorial. They grow very attached to their owners and can develop a protectiveness that makes them suspicious of strangers. This not only makes for a loyal, tried-and-true companion, it makes for a superb watchdog. Pomeranians, though small, can really deliver on the barks when a stranger approaches the house.
  Descended from large sled dog breeds, the now-tiny Pomeranian has a long and interesting history. The foxy-faced dog, nicknamed "the little dog who thinks he can," is compact, active, and capable of competing in agility and obedience or simply being a family friend.

Overview
  Pomeranians are the tiniest of the Spitz, or Nordic, breeds, but they have the courage of much bigger dogs. A perennially popular breed, the Pom weighs less than 7 pounds, but you won’t often find him in a puppy purse. That’s because Pomeranians think big. They know they have four feet and prefer to use them, just as larger dogs would.
  Everything about the Pomeranian is bright: his eyes, his temperament, and his intelligence. Though he’s very fond of his family and delighted to get some lap time, he’s also a busy little guy. You’re more likely to find him trotting around your house on an important mission than snoozing on the sofa.
  The Pom’s activity level makes him an ideal pet for someone who wants a small dog with the personality traits of the full-size sled and herding dogs from which this breed originates. Because he’s tiny, he can probably get enough exercise indoors, but he’s happiest when he gets to go on long walks, chase leaves, and play with other small dogs. He is athletic and frequently participates in dog sports such as agility, freestyle, obedience, rally, and tracking. Because of his diminutive size, he is suited to life in an apartment, but he is just as at home on a ranch or estate. However, he’s far too tiny to live outdoors. He needs to live inside with his family.
  Pomeranians have a profuse double coat that needs regular brushing but are otherwise easy to care for. And, make no mistake, Poms bark. It may not be deafening, but it can be annoying and difficult to stop, even with training. As with many small dogs, Pomeranians may be harder to housetrain.
  Ask your breeder about any behavior or health problems in dogs related to your prospective puppy. If she says there aren’t any, run. She should provide you with written documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) that the parents of the puppy had normal hips, elbows, and knees, as well as from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), certifying that they were free of vision problems.
  A Pomeranian can go to his new home at 8 to 10 weeks of age, but some breeders like to keep pups until they are 12 to 14 weeks old to make sure they are mature enough to go to their new homes and to see which ones will shake out as show prospects.

Highlights
  • Pomeranians often are suspicious of strangers and can bark a lot.
  • Pomeranians can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
  • High heat and humidity can cause your Pom to become overheated and possibly have heat stroke. When your Pom is outdoors, watch him carefully for signs of overheating and take him inside immediately. They definitely are housedogs and should not be kept outdoors.
  • While Poms are good with children, they are not a good choice for very young or highly active children because of their small size. Never let your small children and your Pom play without supervision.
  • Because they are so small, Poms can be perceived as prey by owls, eagles, hawks, coyotes, and other wild animals. Never leave them outside unattended, and be watchful if there are predatory birds in your location. If this is the case, stay close to your Pom to discourage birds from trying to carry them off!
  • Because they are small and attractive, Poms are targets for dognappers, another reason why you shouldn't leave them outside unattended, even in a fenced yard.
  • Although they are small, Poms don't seem to realize it and can have a "big dog" attitude. This can spell disaster if they decide to chase a bigger dog that they think is encroaching upon their territory, or if they jump from a high place. It's up to you to make sure that your little one doesn't harm himself due to not realizing his limitations.
  • When your Pom gets old, he may develop bald spots in his beautiful coat.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Breed standards
AKC group: Toy Dog
UKC group: Companion Dog
Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Average size:  4 - 6 pounds
Coat appearance: Harsh, thick, dense
Coloration: Varies
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Compact, square body frame; tiny pointed ears stand erect; high-set feathered tail
Possible alterations: None
Comparable Breeds: Papillon, Yorkshire Terrier

Other Quick Facts
  • The breed became popular in 1888 after Queen Victoria fell in love with a Pom while vacationing in Italy.
  • Pomeranians have a thick, beautiful coat that comes in many colors and patterns, and they are easy to groom.
  • Pomeranians get along well with other pets but should be protected from rambunctious children.

History
  The forerunners of today's Pomeranian breed were large working dogs from the Arctic regions. These dogs are commonly known as the Wolfspitz or Spitz type, which is German for "sharp point" which was the term originally used by Count Eberhard zu Sayn in the 16th Century as a reference to the features of the dog's nose and muzzle. The Pomeranian is considered to be descended from the German Spitz.
  The breed is thought to have acquired its name by association with the area known as Pomerania which is located in northern Poland and Germany along the Baltic Sea. Although not the origin of the breed, this area is credited with the breeding which led to the original Pomeranian type of dog. Proper documentation was lacking until the breed's introduction into the United Kingdom.
  An early modern recorded reference to the Pomeranian breed is from 2 November 1764, in a diary entry in James Boswell's Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland. "The Frenchman had a Pomeranian dog named Pomer whom he was mighty fond of." The offspring of a Pomeranian and a wolf bred by an animal merchant from London is discussed in Thomas Pennant's A Tour in Scotland from 1769.
  Two members of the British Royal Family influenced the evolution of the breed. In 1767, Queen Charlotte, Queen-consort of King George III of England, brought two Pomeranians to England. Named Phoebe and Mercury, the dogs were depicted in paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough. These paintings depicted a dog larger than the modern breed, reportedly weighing as much as 14–23 kg, but showing modern traits such as the heavy coat, ears and a tail curled over the back.
  Queen Victoria, Queen Charlotte's granddaughter, was also an enthusiast and established a large breeding kennel. One of her favoured dogs was a comparatively small red sable Pomeranian which she named "Windor's Marco" and was reported to weigh only 5.4 kg. When she first exhibited Marco in 1891, it caused the smaller type Pomeranian to become immediately popular and breeders began selecting only the smaller specimens for breeding.   During her lifetime, the size of the Pomeranian breed was reported to have decreased by 50%. Queen Victoria worked to improve and promote the Pomeranian breed by importing smaller Pomeranians of different colors from various European countries to add to her breeding program. Royal owners during this period also included Joséphine de Beauharnais, the wife of Napoleon I of France, and King George IV of England.
  The first breed club was set up in England in 1891, and the first breed standard was written shortly afterwards. The first member of the breed was registered in America to the American Kennel Club in 1898, and it was recognized in 1900.
In 1912, two Pomeranians were among only three dogs to survive the sinking of RMS Titanic. A Pomeranian called "Lady", owned by Miss Margaret Hays, escaped with her owner in lifeboat number seven, while Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild took her pet to safety with her in lifeboat number six.
  Glen Rose Flashaway won the Toy Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1926, the first Pomeranian to win a group at Westminster. It would take until 1988 for the first Pomeranian, "Great Elms Prince Charming II", to win the Best in Show prize from the Westminster Kennel Club.
  In the standard published in 1998, the Pomeranian is included in the German Spitz standard, along with the Keeshond, by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. According to the standard "Spitz breeds are captivating" and have a "unique characteristic, cheeky appearance."
  The Pomeranian has been among the more popular dog breeds in the United States, featuring consistently in the top 20 of registered AKC dog breeds over the last 10 years. The breed ranked 17 in the 2011 rankings, dropping two spots from the previous year.
It is not listed in the top 20 breeds in the UK in either 2007 or 2008. In Australia their popularity has declined since 1986, with a peak of 1128 Pomeranians registered with the Australian National Kennel Council in 1987; only 577 were registered in 2008. However, this is an increase from 2004, when only 491 dogs were registered.



Personality
 The Pomeranian has a proud and glamorous appearance with a personality to match. He’s an extrovert who is clever and lively. It’s hard to appear in public with a Pom and not attract attention. The adorable little dogs with the dark, almond-shaped eyes and alert, happy expression are tiny but intrepid. They have a take-charge temperament and tend not to be fearful of strangers or other animals. For more than a century, the Pom has had a well-deserved reputation for being a great watchdog. He may weigh only a few pounds, but he views himself as absolute guardian of his home and family.
  The perfect little Pom is calm and easy to live with. He enjoys sitting in your lap and giving kisses. He is busy but doesn’t bounce off the walls. That said, Poms do like to bark. Start early and be consistent if you plan to teach him the “No bark” or “Quiet” command.
  Poms may look like toys, but they are not good pets for young children. They are too delicate to be handled roughly, and they prefer the company of adults.
  Housetraining does not always come easy to Poms. They can be stubborn about going outside to potty, especially if it’s rainy or cold outside. As a compromise, consider paper-training a Pom so that you both have options when the weather is bad.

Right Breed for You?
  Pomeranians make excellent companions for all households. Due to the size and frame of Pomeranians, it's important to watch this breed around young children to ensure they are handled properly. Owners of this energetic breed must be able to provide time for daily exercise and playtime. Their pocket-size frames make Pomeranians very suitable for apartment dwellers provided they can get their pets out for frequent walks. Potential owners should be ready to love being surrounded by luscious locks of Pomeranian fur, as this breed is very prone to shedding.

Health 
Pomeranians are prone to dislocated patella (kneecap), slipped stifle, heart problems, eye infections, skin irritations and tooth decay and early loss. It is recommended that they are fed dry dog food or crunchy Milk Bones daily to help keep the teeth and gums in good condition. Newborn Pom puppies are very tiny and fragile. Three newborns can be held in the palm of one’s hand. Dams on the smaller side often need to deliver by cesarean section. When the dog is old it may become molted with bald spots.

Care
  Pomeranians are very active indoors and are good choices for apartment dwellers and people without a fenced yard. They have a moderate activity level and will enjoy several short daily walks or play times.
   They are remarkably hearty and enjoy longer walks, but always keep in mind that they are small and sensitive to heat. They love to play and can get bored easily, so be sure to give them lots of toys and rotate them frequently so there's always something new. They especially enjoy toys that challenge them.
  One activity that both you and your Pom will enjoy is trick training. Poms love to learn new things and enjoy being the center of attention, so teaching them tricks is a perfect way to bond with them while providing them with exercise and mental stimulation.
  They have a short attention span, so keep training sessions brief and fun. Reward your Pom with praise, treats, or play whenever he correctly performs a command or does something else you like.

Grooming
  Pomeranians have what is called a double coat. The undercoat is soft and dense; the outer coat is long and straight with a course texture.
  Thanks to their small size, Pomeranians are easy to groom, even with all that coat. Brush the coat a few times a week to prevent mats or tangles. Use a medium to harsh slicker brush that will get down to the skin without hurting the dog.
  You may have heard that Poms don’t shed. Forget that. They do. Luckily, they are small enough that the amount of hair they lose is negligible. If you brush your Pom regularly, shedding shouldn’t be a big issue.
  Bathe a Pom every couple of months or more often as needed. If you use a gentle dog shampoo, you can even bathe a Pom as often as once or twice a week if you want.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every week or two. They should never get long enough to clack on the floor. Brush teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good dental health and fresh breath.

Living Conditions
  The Pomeranian is good for apartment living. These dogs are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. Be careful they do not overheat in hot weather.

Exercise
  Poms need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
Children and other pets
  The bold and active Pomeranian loves to play, but he's best suited to a home with older children who can be trusted to handle him carefully. Many breeders refuse to sell puppies to homes with very young children, for good reason. Sturdy though he is, the diminutive Pom is all too easily injured if he's accidentally dropped or stepped on by a clumsy child.
  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 to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Pomeranians can get along great with cats and other animals, especially if they're raised with them. Protect them from bigger dogs. Poms don't realize just how small they are, and they have no fear of challenging bigger dogs.

Did You Know?
  The original Pomeranians weighed 20 to 30 pounds — much larger than the Pom that we know and love today.
A dream day in the life of a Pomeranian
  The adorable Pom knows its own cuteness and demands constant pampering and attention, but one look at that face and you'll be happy to oblige. These petite partners are known for big, full and spunky hair, fit to match their equally boisterous personalities. Pampering a Pomeranian with weekly brushings and frequent trips to the groomer is a must to keep them happy. This happy-go-lucky pup loves socializing as much as she loves curling up on a warm lap, and a day of play and cuddles would make for time well spent.



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Everything about your Papillon

Everything about your Papillon
  Don't let the delicate package fool you — though the Papillon will fit on your lap, this extrovert is happiest romping around and making friends.  
  The Papillon dog breed descends from the toy spaniels that are frequently portrayed in paintings by the Old Masters, from as far back as the 16th century. He's highly active and is a wonderful competitor in agility and obedienc
   A favorite among the French royals of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Papillon was named after the French word meaning "butterfly." Appropriately named after its big, gracious and seemingly fluttering ears, this upscale pooch is many things but a lap dog. A highly active and energetic breed, the Papillon is the perfect lap size, but would much rather show off its athletic talents in front of a crowd.
   The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog with a fine boned structure. He is light and dainty, yet still lively, and is distinguished from other breeds by his beautiful, butterfly-like ears. They are known to be happy and alert little dogs that are not shy or aggressive. The breed must be either parti-color or white with patches of any color.

Overview
  Like a supermodel with a Ph.D in nuclear physics, the Papillon first catches your eye with his looks - trademark butterfly-wing ears, silky coat and dark eyes - his grace and his expressiveness. But packed inside that pretty purse-sized body is one of the smartest of all dogs, a clever, active little guy who excels at almost anything dogs do, from organized sports like canine agility to long walks in the park - and of course, companionship.
  His small size means he can live happily in an apartment, but only if he receives gentle, consistent training to prevent nuisance barking and potty accidents. This dog is sometimes nicknamed the yappy Pappy, and like many small dogs he has a casual attitude toward housetraining.
  The Papillon is not a good choice if you want a restful dog who doesn’t need much exercise. He is highly intelligent and needs the stimulation of activity and training. He needs time to run around safely and play with other small dogs, as well as long walks on leash every day. Daily activity is a good rule of thumb if you want to keep the Papillon from entertaining himself in ways you won’t like. He’s a natural at many dog sports, including agility, carting, flyball, freestyle, obedience, rally, and tracking. It's always a good idea to check with your vet before starting an exercise program with your pet.  
   However alert and active they are, Papillons are still extremely small, and need to be protected from rambunctious children and dogs. Since he has no idea he's as small as he is, he's likely to challenge much bigger dogs, as well as leap tall buildings in a single bound – potentially with broken bones as a result. Other than that, he believes in "the more, the merrier," and he likes to live in multi-pet homes. Many Papillons and cats have become fast friends.
  While the dogs are named for their distinctive ears like a butterfly wing – "papillon" is French for "butterfly" – they can have hanging ears as well. Although these dogs are usually referred to as "Phalenes" rather than "Papillons," the dogs are otherwise identical and in the United States are registered, bred, and shown as a single breed.

Highlights
  • Some lines can be nervous, high-strung, and timid. This is not appropriate for the breed. Avoid puppies with these characteristics or puppies from parents with these characteristics.
  • Papillons do not do well in environments where there is little time for the dog. They will choose to be never separated from their human companions.
  • Puppies are fragile and can be injured by rough and tumble play. They are not suitable for families with very small children.
  • Papillons are among the breeds sensitive to anesthesia. Keep this in mind when scheduling any surgical procedure.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • Comparable Breeds: Chihuahua, Pomeranian

History
  Look at any portrait of a beautiful lady or a young family from the 17th or 18th century and in pride of place you will often see a small spaniel who is just as much a part of the painting as anyone else. Those toy spaniels, which were popular in royal courts and noble homes, were the ancestors of today’s English Toy Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and, of course, Papillons. Papillons were favorites in the French royal court, but they almost disappeared after the French Revolution because of their association with the aristocracy. Fortunately for the people who love them, the breed was revived in the late 19th century. It was then that the Papillon was given the name that so perfectly describes him: “butterfly.”
  One of the best-known Papillons in recent times is a little dog named Kirby, more formally known as Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, who won Best in Show at Westminster in 1999 and Best in Show at the World Dog Show in Helsinki in 1998. Another Papillon shows just how versatile this tiny dog is. Am./Can. Ch. OTCh. Loteki Top Secret, TDX, Can. CDX, TD (Zipper to his friends) was the first Papillon and the first Toy dog to earn all American Kennel Club titles available at the time. Besides being a conformation champion in the U.S. and Canada, he was an obedience trial champion and a tracking dog.
   It’s no wonder that the Papillon’s popularity is growing. From 43rd in 2000, he currently ranks 35th among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.

Physical Characteristics
  The defining physical characteristic of the Papillon is its unique butterfly ears, but its sibling the Phalene is identical in all respects save for the ears, which drop down. They are registered and shown as the same breed, and are in fact born in the same litters. With this in mind, all of the breed descriptions given here are suitable for both the Papillon and the Phalene.
  The Papillon is a member of the toy group. A petite, fine-boned, delicate breed with an elegance that belies its frolicsome nature, the Papillon stands at less than a foot tall, with the average at 11 inches. It is longer than it is tall, with a weight that is proportionate to its height.    This breed should not be cobby or round, but should maintain an appearance of lightness. It moves with a graceful, quick, and free gait, with the ears spread out like the wings of a butterfly in movement. The Phalene's ears are similar in structure, but remain down even in movement.   The tail is arched over the back with a large, full plume.
  The Papillon can be found in any color, although the preferred pattern is a band of color across the nose, extending onto the ears, accentuating the butterfly effect, or an flash of white on the face with coloring of the ears. The soft, one layered coat is long and straight, with short hair on the muzzle and skull, but ample on the ears, chest and legs.


Personality
  The Papillon is happy, alert, and friendly. He should never be shy or aggressive. This is, however, a take-charge little dog with a moderate to intense activity level. He's very smart and highly trainable and is best described as a doer, not a cuddler.
  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, Papillons need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Papillon pup 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.


Care
  Mental stimulation is a must for the vivacious Papillion, as well as daily leash walks and a active obedience training and tasks. This breed especially needs to have tasks and games that will occupy its mind, and structured expectations for behavior in order to prevent this little one from becoming too big for its britches, so to speak.
  Its coat in one layered and fine, so it does not require much in the way of grooming. The exception is the ears, because they are tufted. Checking for dirt or objects that might have gotten caught in the ears during outdoor play should be part of a daily pat down. Otherwise, a brushing two times a week is enough to keep your Pap looking shiny and smooth.
It almost goes without saying that because of this dogs delicate structure and size, it is suited only for indoor living, but it does enjoy time spent outside immensely. One of the extra benefits of this breed is that it can be litter trained.

Health
  The Papillon, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, is susceptible to some health problems, such as dental problems that are particular to small breeds, patellar luxation, and seizures. In some dogs, open fontanel (a condition affecting skull formation), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), allergies, and intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) can also be seen. Knee tests and testing for the hemophilic disorder and von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) are standard for the breed. The Papillon may also be sensitive to anesthesia. This should be addressed with a veterinarian before surgeries or other procedures that require anesthesia are used on the dog.

Grooming
  Although the Papillon's long, silky coat looks like it needs frequent grooming, he's an easy-care dog. Just a little brushing a few times a week, brush his teeth  for good overall health and fresh breath, along with regular ear-cleaning and nail-trimming, and you're good to go with a Papillon.
  A few good tools will make grooming your Papillon a breeze. Get a pin brush - the kind with smooth-tipped wire pins instead of bristles - a stainless steel comb with fine and coarse teeth and some antistatic coat spray. The spray will help protect the coat as you brush it. Brush the body with the pin brush, then go over it again with the comb. Use the fine teeth on the ear fringes and the feathering on the tail.
  If you find mats, gently work them apart with your fingers. Mats that are too tight should be cut in half lengthwise using curved shears with blunt tips. That will make them easier to pull apart. You can also use the shears to trim the hair between the paw pads. Be careful to avoid accidentally cutting the skin.
   Depending on how dirty they get or how close they get to you in bed, Papillons can be bathed as often as once or twice a week or as little as two or three times a month.

Is this breed right for you?
  Among the smartest of the toy breeds, the Papillon is not your average pint-sized companion. If you're looking for a breed to nap and cuddle with you all day, think again. This breed excels at training and obstacle courses and loves to show off its talents. It may be a small breed but its big-dog personality requires lots of daily exercise. Despite its seemingly high-maintenance coat, this breed requires minimum grooming as its shedding level is minimal.

Living conditions
  Although they can be good city dogs, they are sometimes not good apartment dogs, because the dog has a strong instinct to protect their property, and many will bark excessively at nearby noises, not making the distinction between casual noises and those worthy of real alarm.

Exercise
  Papillons need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off-lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
Children and other pets
  Papillons love children, but the combination of a tiny dog and a young child can be a recipe for disaster. A Papillon may leap from a child's hands and injure himself if he's not being held correctly, and he won't hesitate to defend himself if he's being mistreated. Many breeders won't sell puppies to families with toddlers for fear that the dog will be injured.
  Make it a rule that young children can only hold or pet the Papillon if they're sitting on the floor. Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Papillons get along well with other pets in the family, including cats, if introduced at a young age. The fearless Papillon will often boss around dogs much bigger than he is, and this may or may not cause problems. It's not unusual for the smallest dog to be the one in charge.

Did You Know?
  Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber owns a Papillon named Sam, who he adopted from a shelter. Bieber told his pet rescue story in a PSA on animal adoption for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A Papillon named Bijoux appeared in the commercial with Bieber.

A dream day in the life of a Papillon
  Training, learning new tricks, practicing on a new obstacle course and showing off to friends makes this pup's day a great one. Papillons are sweet and active little dogs that must remain challenged on a day-to-day basis. Spend plenty of time playing and learning with this intelligent breed and you'll have a happy companion for years to come.






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Monday, June 16, 2014

Everything about your Australian Cattle Dog

Everything about your Australian Cattle Dog
 The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely intelligent, active, and sturdy dog breed. Developed by Australian settlers to handle herds of cattle on expansive ranches, he's still used today as a herding dog. He thrives on having a job to do and on being part of all family activities. He is loyal and protective of his family, though wary of outsiders. Besides herding work, the Australian Cattle dog does well at canine sports, including agility, obedience, rally, flyball, and flying disc competitions.
  This über-rugged and masculine breed is owned by some of Hollywood's hottest, including Matthew McConaughey and Mel Gibson. The Australian Cattle Dog was bred from a mix between a Blue Merle Collie and an Australian Dingo to create a herding dog with outstanding stamina and athleticism. A loyal and loving pup, this breed makes a wonderful companion for an equally active owner or family.

Overview
  The Australian cattle dog is of moderate build, enabling it to combine great endurance with bursts of speed and the extreme agility necessary in controlling unruly cattle. It is sturdy and compact, slightly longer than it is tall. Its gait is supple and tireless, and it must be capable of quick and sudden movement. Its ability to stop quickly is aided by the rudderlike action of its tail.  Its weather-resistant coat consists of a short, dense undercoat and moderately short, straight outer coat of medium texture. 
  Smart, hardy, independent, stubborn, tenacious, energetic and untiring — these are all traits essential to a driver of headstrong cattle, and all traits of the Australian cattle dog. This dog must have a job to do or it will expend its efforts on unacceptable jobs of its own. Given challenging mental and hard physical exercise daily, it is among the most responsive and obedient of dogs, an exemplary partner in adventure. It tends to nip at the heels of running children.

Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding dog
Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Average size: 44 - 62 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, straight, flat
Coloration: Blue healer and red healer
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Strong, medium-sized body frame. Tail is never docked. Pricked and pointed ears. 
Possible alternations: At times, black face mask over one or both eyes is present.
Comparable Breeds: Border Collie, Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Highlights
  • The Australian Cattle Dog is extremely active, both physically and mentally. He needs a regular job or activity to keep him busy, tired, and out of trouble.
  • Nipping and biting is the Australian Cattle Dog's natural instinct. Proper training, socialization, and supervision help minimize this potentially dangerous characteristic.
  • The Australian Cattle Dog is a "shadow" dog; intensely devoted to his owner, he does not want to be separated from him or her.
  • The best way to help the Australian Cattle Dog get along with children and other pets is to raise him with them from a young age.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.

History
  Australian Cattle Dogs were earlier known by the breed names Queensland Blue Heelers and Australian Heelers. They are often still referred to as Australian or Blue Heelers. Their beginnings can be traced to the 1800s, when cattle herders that had emigrated from Britain to Australia found that the sheep herding dogs they had brought with them were not adjusting to the harsher environment of the outback.
   The Smithfield dogs, as they were called, had thick coats that had suited them well back in London, but that weighed too heavy on them in Australia. Ranchers complained as well that the Smithfields bit too hard and barked too much, making their cattle anxious and prone to lower weights. The need for a dog that could survive under harsh conditions in the rough tracts and manage the cattle without getting too rowdy or rough with the cows led to a long period of breed experimentation, beginning with a man named Timmins who crossed the Smithfield with the native Australian Dingo. It was not a successful pairing, as the resulting progeny was too aggressive, but it was the beginning of the recreation of the Dingo as a working companion.   More successful was Thomas Hall, of New South Wales, who crossed the Dingo with the Blue Smooth Highland Collie. The offspring proved mush more useful here, and came to be known as Hall's Heelers.
  Along the way, subsequent cattlemen bred other dog breeds into Hall's Heelers in order to strengthen the breed and improve upon it, most notably the Bull Terrier, which lent its tenacious nature. Brothers Harry and jack Bagust bred the Dalmatian with one of Hall's Heelers, which added an affection for human companions, and further on added the Black and Tan Kelpie to the line, for its working ability. It was at this point that the Australian Cattle Dog breed truly took shape.
  The first breed standard was spelled out in 1902 by breeder Robert Kaleski. The best results were used to further the breeding program, until the breed could be considered pure. It is from this line of pure Australian Heeler's that today's Cattle Dog can be traced. It is the addition of the Dalmatian that causes Australian cattle Dog puppies to be born white, but otherwise, the breed bears little resemblance to this “blood relative.”
  Heelers gained popularity in U.S. very slowly, finally receiving recognition from the American Kennel Club  in 1980. Since then, the Australian Cattle Dogs have shown great merit as a show dog.




Is this breed right for you?
  Couch potatoes look away now! This breed not only requires daily exercise, but also hours of rigorous activity on a constant basis. The Australian Cattle Dog can easily adapt to most environments but is best suited for open land and room to roam. Apartment dwellers might want to opt for a less-active breed, unless hours of daily physical activity can be arranged. This breed is very low maintenance in the grooming department and has little-known health issues. With this pup by your side, you'll have a longtime running partner you can depend on.

Temperament
  The Australian Cattle Dog is a loyal, brave, hardworking, herding breed. One of the most intelligent breeds, it is not the kind of dog to lie around the living room all day or live happily in the backyard with only a 15-minute walk. It needs much more exercise than that and something to occupy its mind daily or it will become bored, leading to serious behavior problems. It needs action in its life and will do best with a job. This alert dog is excellent in the obedience ring and will excel in agility and herding trials. Can be obedience trained to a very high level. Firm training starting when the dog is a puppy and a lot of daily leadership, along with daily mental and physical exercise will produce a wonderful and happy pet. Protective, it makes an excellent guard dog. It is absolutely loyal and obedient to its master. It is sometimes suspicious of people and dogs it doesn’t know. It can be very dog aggressive if allowed to be pack leader, for its dominance level is high. Teach your Australian Cattle Dog that you are alpha and you will not tolerate him fighting with other dogs. Well balanced Cattle dogs are good and trustworthy with children. Some will nip at people's heels in an attempt to herd them; an owner needs to tell the dog this is not acceptable behavior. If you are adopting a pet, avoid working lines, as these dogs may be too energetic and intense for home life. Australian Cattle Dogs are very easy to train. Problems can and WILL arise with meek owners and/or owners who do not provide the proper amount and type of exercise. This breed does best with a job to do. If you do not have time to extensively work with and exercise your dog, or do not fully understand canine instincts and their need to have leadership, this is not the breed for you.

Care
  Australian Cattle Dogs can survive under both cool and temperate climatic condition. They were bred especially for the sometimes harsh environment of the Australian outback. They can live in a secure shelter outdoors, but they also do well inside the house with the family. Ample physical and mental exercise, perhaps long sessions of walking or jogging, or specially designed agility exercises, such as Frisbee or course runs, will help the Heller to stay fit and to spend its excess energy. Grooming is easy enough, with the occasional combing and brushing to encourage hair turnover, along with weekly baths.
The importance pf obedience and intellectual challenges for keeping the Australian Cattle Dog fit cannot be stressed enough. A Heeler without a job will be frustrated and unhappy. They are unsuitable for living an apartment life, or living in an environment that restricts their movement.

 Health
  Australian Cattle Dogs have a lifespan of about 10 to 13 years. Some of the major health concerns include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, deafness, and Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD). Apart from these, some of the diseases that can be occasionally seen in them are lens luxation, cataract, con Willebrand's Disease (vWD), and Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM). Therefore, it is advisable to have regular tests on eyes, hips, elbows, and ears.

Exercise
  These animals have incredible stamina and will enjoy all the activity you can give them. Exercise is of paramount importance—without enough they can become bored and destructive. Exercise cannot simply be tossing a ball. While they will enjoy this ball play, their brains need to be stimulated daily. Does best with a job. They need to be taken on long daily walks. Makes an excellent jogging companion. Do not allow this dog to walk ahead of you on the walks. He needs to be beside or behind you to re-enforce the human is alpha.

Children and other pets
  The Australian Cattle Dog is good family dog, but he does best with children if he's raised with them and accepts them early on as members of his household. In such cases, he's very playful and protective. The breed's tendency to be mouthy — even to nip and bite — can be a problem with kids, however. He may want to herd them with sharp nips, or bite when youngsters play too roughly.
  An adult Australian Cattle Dog who has had little exposure to children will not know how to treat them and may be too rough. Some dogs are suspicious of children; because they don't act like adults, dogs sometimes perceive them as threatening. Most problems can be solved by carefully socializing the Australian Cattle Dog puppy to children, and by teaching him bite inhibition.
  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.
  The Australian Cattle Dog gets along with other dogs in his household, especially if he's been raised with them from puppyhood. However, because he is so devoted to one person in a family, there can be jealousy or squabbles between the Australian Cattle Dog and other dogs.
   Now, about cats and other small animals that the Australian Cattle Dog usually thinks of as prey: if he is raised with a cat or other animal from the time he's a puppy, he'll probably consider it a member of his houseshold and leave it alone. If not, he's likely to chase, catch, and even kill.


A dream day-in-the-life
  Running, hiking, herding and jogging would be an excellent warm-up to a perfect day for the active Australian Cattle Dog. If yours is a puppy, start training early. This smart breed loves to learn and does best adapting to a family with children if training begins early. Loving and loyal by nature, the Australian Cattle Dog is happy being with you as long as downtime is reserved only for bedtime.





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Everything about your Mastiff

Everything about your Mastiff
  One of the biggest dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, the massive Mastiff loves being around people and is known to bond closely with his 'family.' A combination of grandeur and good nature as well as courage and docility, he was bred in England and used as a watchdog for more than two thousand years. The breed's short coat can be fawn, apricot or brindle.
   The Mastiff is one of the most ancient types of dog breeds. His ancestor, the molossus, was known 5,000 years ago. Then, he was a ferocious war dog, very different from the benevolent behemoth that he is today. He makes a fine companion for anyone who can accommodate his great size and doesn't mind a little drool slung here and there.
  The Mastiff is the classic gentle giant, loving but sometimes stubborn. His size alone is enough to deter troublemakers. At heart, he is a peaceful dog, but he is always protective of his family and will step in if danger threatens.
   ​For the uninitiated, a face-to-face encounter with these black-masked giants can be startling. Standing as high as 30 inches at the shoulder and outweighing many a full-grown man, Mastiffs make an immediate and lasting impression. The rectangular body is deep and thickly muscled, covered by a short double coat of fawn, apricot, or brindle-stripe. The head is massive, and a wrinkled forehead accentuates an alert, kindly expression.

Overview
  Among the largest and most-impressive breeds in the world, Mastiffs have other breeds beat in the size department. Other breeds may be taller and bigger, but in sheer mass, the Mastiff is as big as it gets. Very protective by nature, this breed has guard-dog instincts to protect, although its massive build is often intimidating enough to deter even the boldest trespasser. Easygoing and laid-back, Mastiffs make good family pets and love social atmospheres.


Highlights
  • Mastiffs need daily exercise, but take into account the age of the dog and the temperature. Mastiffs can overheat easily.
  • Without exercise and stimulation, Mastiffs can become bored and destructive.
  • The Mastiff is considered a breed with a short lifespan, but some Mastiffs have lived to 18 years of age. A dog is a lifelong commitment, and if you are drawn to the breed because of the chance of a short lifespan, you may want to reassess your choice.
  • Mastiffs drool and are prone to gassiness, but other than that they are fairly clean. If their drool would bother you in any way, this may not be a breed for you.
  • Mastiffs are not the best choice for families with very young children or frail senior citizens. A Mastiff can easily knock down a child or adult who's unsteady.
  • Mastiffs can do quite well in apartments and homes with small yards if they are exercised properly, but they are not really recommended for smaller dwellings because of their size. The ideal living environment for a Mastiff is a house with a large yard.
  • Mastiffs can have strong protection instincts and need to be properly socialized with both people and animals. If they are not properly socialized they can become fearful of new situations and shy of strangers, which could lead to biting.
  • Socializing your Mastiff to other animals will help ensure that your Mastiff has a happy, healthy life. If Mastiffs are not properly trained and socialized they may develop aggression toward other animals, and their size and strength makes them dangerous if they don't know how to interact with them.
  • Mastiffs have an easy-care coat, but they shed heavily.
  • When Mastiffs reach adulthood and overcome their clumsiness and energy, they are wonderful companions who are calm, quiet, well mannered, and self-assured. They make excellent watchdogs, although they tend to not bark as much as other breeds.
  • Mastiffs need training so they can be easily managed in spite of their size. Mastiffs are not recommended for new or timid owners. They respond best to positive reinforcement, especially if it involves lots of hugs and praise.
  • Mastiffs snore, snort, and grunt — loudly.
  • Mastiffs tend to be lazy and need daily exercise to keep from gaining too much weight.
  • All dogs thrive when they are with their family in the house, and the Mastiff is no exception. He should sleep and live in the house, not in the yard. A Mastiff who is tied up in a yard away from his family will pine away or become destructive.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
History
  The ancestors of the Mastiff probably originated in the mountains of Central Asia several thousand years ago. The name Mastiff probably comes from the Latin, either “massivus,” meaning huge, or “mastinus,” meaning house dog. The early Mastiffs were called molossers and were used for hunting, guarding and fighting. From Tibet or northern India they accompanied traders and nomads throughout the world, making their way to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, China and Russia. Ancient Egyptians depicted massive dogs on the walls of the pyramids, and in Greek mythology the three-headed canine guardian of the underworld is a mastiff-type dog. Greeks, Romans and other peoples all used mastiffs in battle.

   In medieval times, Mastiffs patrolled estates at night, ever on the alert for poachers or other intruders. Through the 16th century they were still used as war dogs in Europe. One famous line of English Mastiffs descends from a female Mastiff belonging to Sir Piers Legh of Lyme Hall, who was injured at the battle of Agincourt in France in 1415. She guarded him until he could be removed from the field and cared for and was later returned to his estate in England. The Lyme Hall line of Mastiffs lasted into the 20th century.

   Mastiffs as we know them today began to be developed in England in 1835. That was the same year that dogfighting was outlawed, making it a turning point in the breed’s temperament. If Mastiffs were to survive, they needed to have a more peaceful nature. The breed continued developing through the end of the 19th century, but World War I, with its food shortages, almost led to the demise of the Mastiff. The same thing happened during World War II. Fortunately, the breed was rebuilt and is moderately popular today.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Mastiff in 1885. The Mastiff ranks 28th in AKC registrations, up from 39th in 2000, showing a steady increase in popularity.

List of Mastiff breeds
Breed standards
AKC group: Working
UKC group: Guardian dog
Average lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Average size: 120 - 230 pounds
Coat appearance: Short, sleek, close
Coloration: Silver fawn, dark fawn, brindle and apricot
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Massive and powerful body frame and head. Black face mask and wrinkled forehead.
Possible alterations: None
Comparable Breeds: Bullmastiff, Great Dane

What are they like?
  ​It’s been a long time since Mastiffs have been employed as warriors or hunters. Modern Mastiffs are steady, sweet-tempered, patient family companions and guardians who take best to gentle training. Eternally loyal, Mastiffs are protective of their loved ones, and their natural wariness of strangers makes it essential that they be trained and socialized in early puppyhood. They are droolers and hearty eaters, and acquiring a dog of such colossal size and strength is a weighty commitment.




Temperament
  The Mastiff is a very massive, powerful, muscular dog. Dominance levels vary, even within the same litter, but it is often called a gentle giant. A born guard dog, the Mastiff rarely barks, but it is in its nature to defend its territory and family, and is more a silent guard rather than a barker. When an intruder is caught the dog is more likely to hold them at bay, either by trapping them in a corner or lying on top of them rather than an all-out attack. You do not need to train your Mastiff to guard. No matter how friendly it is, if it senses danger it will naturally guard on its own unless the owners are there to tell it otherwise. Self-confident and watchful, these dogs are patient and considered excellent with children. Intelligent, calm, even-tempered and docile, this breed is very large and heavy. They respond well to firm, but gentle, patient training. They love to please and need a lot of human leadership. Socialize them well to prevent them from becoming aloof with strangers. Owners need to be firm, calm, consistent, confident with an air of natural authority to communicate to the Mastiff that dominance is unwanted. If socialized with proper leadership it will get along well with other dogs. The Mastiff tends to drool, wheeze and snore loudly. It can be somewhat difficult to train. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.



Health Problems
Beware of hip dysplasia. As these dogs are prone to bloat, feed two or three small meals a day, instead of one large one. Also prone to CHD, gastric torsion, ectropion, PPM, vaginal hyperplasia, elbow dysplasia and PRA. Occasionally seen is cardiomyopathy.



Is this breed right for you?
  With big dogs come big responsibilities. Mastiff owners must be financially prepared to take on the equally massive bills required to raise this extra-large breed. Neat freaks may want to steer clear of this breed as their huge paws track in dirt by the mounds, and they are known to slobber excessively. Due to its large size, you can bet this breed has an appetite, meaning more yard cleanup than for an average dog. If your life motto is "bigger is better," you can't go wrong with a Mastiff. Loving, sweet and instinctively protective, this breed makes a great family pet and guard dog. Just be very aware of this huge breed around small children. Room to roam is ideal for a gentle giant like the Mastiff; however, this pup tends to adapt well to a smaller household with proper exercise.
Exercise
  Mastiffs are inclined to be lazy but they will keep fitter and happier if given regular exercise. Like all dogs, the American Mastiff should be taken on daily regular walks to help release its mental and physical energy. It's in a dog’s nature to walk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They should always be leashed in public.Mastiffs are inclined to be lazy but they will keep fitter and happier if given regular exercise. Like all dogs, the American Mastiff should be taken on daily regular walks to help release its mental and physical energy. It's in a dog’s nature to walk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They should always be leashed in public.

Grooming
  The Mastiff’s short coat is easy to care for. Brush it with a rubber curry brush at least weekly -daily, if you want. The brush removes dead hairs that would otherwise end up on your floor, furniture and clothing.
  Mastiffs shed moderately to heavily. Some dogs shed heavily only during spring and fall shedding seasons, while others consistently shed throughout the year. The more you brush, the less hair you’ll have flying around.
  To keep your Mastiff’s facial wrinkles clean and infection-free, wipe them out as needed using a damp cloth or a baby wipe. Then dry them thoroughly. Moisture left behind can create the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
  Bathe your Mastiff only when he’s dirty. If you’re lucky, that won’t be very often. But if you want to bathe him every week, you can. Just use a gentle shampoo made for dogs.
  The rest is basic care. Trim his nails as needed, usually every week or two, and brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  Mastiffs love children. That said, they are large, active dogs and can accidentally knock a toddler down with a swipe of the tail. They're best suited to homes with older children. Bear in mind as well that Mastiffs are not ponies, and children cannot ride them. Your Mastiff can be injured if children try to ride him.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  In general, Mastiffs will tolerate other dogs and cats, especially if they've been raised with them. If you're adding a second adult Mastiff to your family, you may want to consider getting one of the opposite sex to avoid any arguments over who's top dog.

Did You Know?
The Mastiff is the classic gentle giant, loving but sometimes stubborn. His size alone is enough to deter troublemakers. At heart, he is a peaceful dog, but he is always protective of his family and will step in if danger threatens.

A dream day in the life
  With a gentle heart and a calm disposition, Mastiffs are simply happy just being with their human families. A very loyal breed, their main purpose is to protect their caretakers, but if given the chance, Mastiffs will take a short break from standing guard for cuddles and snuggles. A moderately athletic breed, the large pooch will gladly join you on daily walks and playtime at the park.

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