Archive for August, 2006

Dachshund – The “Weiner Dog” Breed Description

Dachshund – The “Weiner Dog” Breed Description

By Josh Emsley

Dachshunds originated in Germany and are known to have existed as far back as the 16th century. Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers, wild boar and other types of small animals. In German, Dachs means badger and Hund means dog, showing the emphasis the breeding pattern had on the hunting of the badger.

Dachshunds have a fearless kind of attitude about them handed down from their ancestry of hunting. The original breed was quite large compared to the CKC/AKC standards of today, averaging 30 to 40 pounds. Eventually this size was branched off into smaller categories for individual hunting of smaller prey such as a fox or rabbit.

Dachshunds are unique in that they were used to actually hunt their prey under ground, following it into its hole – killing and retrieving it for their reward.

Today you will find two sizes of Dachshunds, the miniature and the standard. According to the Canadian Kennel Club and American Kennel Club miniatures are not a separate classification but compete in a class division for “11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older.” Weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds.”

There are three varieties to the coat that a Dachshund is bred with:

* Smooth
* Wire-haired
* Long-haired

The Dachshund is known for its huge variance in patterns and colours of coat – an explanation of which could be a lengthy discussion on its own. The two most common colours – popularized by modern day TV and books are the red(most popular) and the black and tan.

Dachshunds have enjoyed immense popularity over the years resulting in both the good and bad that comes with this. The only time that Dachshunds have fell into a lack of popularity was during World War I, when the Dachshund was used as a symbol of the Germans in Allied propaganda material.

Overall the Dachshund is a clever courageous dog that has added to humanities existence in uncountable ways. They have a unique personality that leans towards fierce loyalty and fearless friendliness, often leaving dogs of larger stature taken aback.

For more information on this breed, check out the Dachshund Info, Pictures and Puppies at BullandHund

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The Chihuahua Are Bred To Be A Companion Dog

The Chihuahua Are Bred To Be A Companion Dog

By Sandra Oberreuter

Chihuahuas are the oldest dog in North America and the smallest breed in the toy group. They only weigh 2-6 pounds and are only 6-9 inches tall.

These dogs are quite intelligent, alert but easily spoiled. They are not a meek dog as they will fight a larger dog. They are a wonderful dog guard and will take on human intruders as if they were bigger than they are.

They make good apartment dogs or for someone who travels or lives in an RV. They are perfect for the elderly or an individual because they make wonderful companions. They are loyal and have an affinity for being close to their master. These dogs enjoys exercising and playing outdoors on a warm day. They should be protected when outdoors in cool or cold weather with a sweater or coat.

They can ride inside of a pocket, tote bag and fit nicely in soft-sided pet carriers for an airplane or car ride. They enjoy these outings immensely.

Chihuahuas are slightly difficult to train and need positive reinforcement. They do have a mind of their own, they are stubborn and manipulative. You must show them consistency and that you mean what you say.

These problems can be minimized by buying from a reputable breeder who tests his breeding stock for inheritable problems and by careful management. A responsible breeder will want to find a good home for their dogs and they rarely place a Chihuahua in a home with children under the age of twelve. Buy a dog who will mature at 4 pounds and up.

If someone wants an outrageous price and says it’s because it’s a toy or miniature watch out. Avoid them because they are overpriced and could be unhealthy.

Sandy has a web site on small dog breeds plus most popular dogs, dogs good with children and seniors. Find articles on breeders, choosing the right dog, diseases and more.

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Characteristics Of The Rottweiler

Characteristics Of The Rottweiler

By Racheal Stacknick

The Rottweiler

Origin: Rottweil Germany

Colors: Black with clearly defined tan or mahogany markings

Bred for: Guard and cattle drover’s dog

Coat: Coarse, short coat

Head and skull: Head is medium length, skull broad between the ears

Temperament: Good natured, not aggressive, nervous, or vicious. Courageous, obedient, with natural guarding instincts.The rottweiler with strangers is generally aloof and most times will not come up to a stranger wagging his tail.

Size: Dogs 25-27 inches, 23-25 inches for females

Weight: Dogs 85-115 pounds females 80-100 pounds

health Concerns: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Aortic Stenosis, Cataracts, Diabetes Mellitus, and certain types of cancer.

If you are going to own a rottweiler it is important that you are prepared to do obedience training with your dog. Rottweilers are powerful and very smart dogs. They have been known to be pushy with their masters if they believe that they have taken a step up the “pack” ladder. It is very important that your rottweiler knows it’s place in the “pack”. This comes with proper training, and the time and patience to work with your dog.

Rottweilers are a great family dog. A person who wants to own a rottweiler needs to make sure that they have time to spend with the dog as a rottweiler is known to “stick like glue” to their family. They have big hearts and are very loving and attentive. They can’t stand to be away from “their people” for huge amounts of time. If you are going to be away for a long period of time during a day or night I suggest you at least have someone come over to let your dog outside to relieve himself and have some human contact. On that note, rottweilers should not be left alone all the time to their own devices, this is when things can become very dangerous, remember this is a powerful dog things can be destroyed including the relationship between you and your dog. If you are looking for a dog that will sit outside and guard your house please do not get a rottweiler. Although they are a very imposing dog, and most will protect if need be, it is not fair to have a dog if your only reason for wanting one is to protect you!

Rottweilers have a very strong gait when they run, there should not be any hinderance in their walk or run. When running a rottweiler should have a smooth front reach and their back legs should move forward towards the front of their body. They should not splay their legs in or out. A rottweiler will need an area where they can run and play, they love to be clowns and show off for anyone who will watch.

Owning a rottweiler is a big step, from the constant socialization to the obedience training it can be taxing on someone. Getting your rottweiler from a non reputable breeder may set you up for problems with your rottweiler (i.e. health problems). Although nothing is assured when you buy a dog, it is better to have a little bit of understanding about genetic problems. I personally suggest for anyone who owns a rottweiler or is thinking of getting one that they have OFA certifications done on their dogs hip, elbows, eyes, and heart once they have reached the age of 18 months. Again this is not a for sure thing but you can rest a little easier knowing if they have found any signs of possible future problems. Be thorough, your dog deserves it!

So, if you are thinking about getting a rottweiler these tips are just a few of the things you need to think about. If you have studied the breed (which i highly suggest) and you still want a rottweiler then remember. They are big loving dogs that need just as much attention and affection as we do…..and they will love you all the more for it!

About The Author
Racheal Stacknick – For more great info on the Rottweiler, visit

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The English Cocker Spaniel: Game Bird Dog

The English Cocker Spaniel: Game Bird Dog

By Michael Russell

The traditional sport of hunting the “gamecock” is the foundation of the word “Cocker”. The term “Cocker” denotes those spaniels which were used for hunting this bird. Many years ago hunting dogs were classified according to size. Those over 25 pounds were classified as Field Spaniels and those under 25 pounds were classified generally as Cocker Spaniels. Selective breeding of Spaniels and other hunting breeds in the nineteenth century began to distinguish and discriminate between the different types of Spaniels.

The Cocker spaniel was classified as a separate breed by the English Kennel club in 1892 and by 1946 in the United States two different “Cockers” were classified, the American Cocker spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. The two breeds diverged in several ways. the English Cocker is notably the dog which retains a strong hunting instinct. The muzzle of the English Cocker is longer with less stop than that of the American Cocker Spaniel. The body is square, in contrast to the American Cocker which presents a sloping back and exaggerated rear angulation.

The English cocker is essentially a hunting dog and the form reflects the function. The English Cocker’s body should present well sprung ribs for endurance in the field and a steady gait which is balanced and not overly “flashy” as is the picture which is presented by the American Cocker Spaniel’s exaggerated movement. The tail is docked and the tail set of the English Cocker is slightly lower than that of the American Cocker, another important distinction between the two breeds. The coat is longer and this can present a difficulty in the field, regular grooming and some trimming is necessary for neatness. The Spaniel ear is always long and heavily feathered, the hairs on the ear being much longer than the ear leather itself. The long drooping ears of the typical Spaniel are said to act as a means of sweeping the scent forward towards the muzzle when the dog is hunting.

When hunting the English Cocker is a steady and reliable hunter, aggressive and thorough. Its small size allows it to get into the thickets and brambles with ease and scare up the birds. The movement of the cocker should be long and reaching, with incessant tail action. It is typically a flushing dog, although it can be useful also as a retriever.

Both Cockers have a merry disposition and happy character, however the English Cocker appears most often to have a more solid and stable disposition, less stubborn in nature and easily trained. This is a smart dog which is inquisitive by nature and should have no timidity. The dog is an eager hunter and very trainable, a faithful dog who works for his master as a companion and partner in the field and prefers the human companionship to that of other dogs. The English Cocker does not make a good kennel dog, needing to be with people is part of its nature and it is a reliable and affectionate pet and strong and capable hunting companion.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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The Alaskan Malamute, Dog of the North

The Alaskan Malamute, Dog of the North

By Michael Russell

When Jack London wrote the novel “Call Of The Wild”, the main canine character “Buck” was more than likely a dog which had at least some Alaskan Malamute in his bloodline. This dog is a native of Alaska, tracing his roots back to the Mahlemut tribe , an ancient Indian culture which is seldom mentioned without a mention also of their faithful dogs. These dogs helped them with almost every aspect of their daily living, from fishing and hunting to hauling in the hunt. The Alaskan Malamute is just one representative of the many different breeds which were used in the settling of the great territory of Alaska, a region whose vast reaches of inhospitable climate required a beast of burden who could live off the land, who had great speed and who could pull heavy loads. The fact that there were already large numbers of dogs being used for these purposes made it natural that the cold reaches of the northern territory would be mostly explored and populated with the help of the dogs.

There is a historical possibility that the Alaskan Malamute, one of the largest of the sledge dogs, owes some of his size and strength to the Arctic Wolf, a very large white animal nearly twice the size of the Alaska Malamute. This may be true or not. Crosses are routinely engineered today in captivity, but no one really knows whether such a cross would occur in the wild. If it is true that he descended from a cross with the wolves, this may account for his strong acceptance of being a “pack dog” in the sled dog teams and his willingness to be within such a group. There are few “societies” of animals which are as similar in their interactions to human society than the “society” of a team of sled dogs. In the animal kingdom, the society of wolves is very similar. Despite his “pack” mentality, the Alaskan Malamute possess an affinity to humans, loving not only to work for man, but loving humankind altogether and without reserve.

The Alaskan Malamute is a beautifully marked dog, with sharp contrast of white and black or white and gray, with the darker colors being grizzled with silvery tips on the ends of the hairs. He gives the impression of great strength and heavy bone, even though he is not particularly tall and is not considered a giant breed like the Mastiff or the Newfoundland. His height is 25 inches at the shoulder. The coat is double and dense and off standing, one or two inches in length all over the body with a large ruff around the neck of longer hair, providing weather resistant protection against the elements. Weekly brushing is required for good coat care and skin health.

The Alaskan Malamute has a long history of being a companion to man, so it is no wonder that he is so affectionate. He is one of the dogs that often excels as a Therapy Dog, seeming to have an understanding of people that is beyond the norm and many people react to this large, loving, bushy haired dog in the same way. He has gained popularity as a pet in the rural areas and loves to go on camping trips with his family, or jogging, or almost any outdoor activity. In the city this is a dog that brings admirers while out walking and can do quite well in a townhouse or apartment as long as he is exercised daily.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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Westie Puppies – Why Are They Sought After By Many Dog Lovers?

Westie Puppies – Why Are They Sought After By Many Dog Lovers?

By Jeff Cuckson

“Westies” or Westhighland Terriers are furry coated dogs, with dots for coal black eyes and button noses.

Why are Westie puppies sought after by many dog lovers? Because these friendly creatures are well-behaved, loyal and affectionate dogs, who may be pocket sized (average a 10-11 inches tall), but are highly intelligent animals.

You won’t have a hard time training these westie terriers, whether solely as house pets, or for show. Their keen intelligence makes it seem like play. However, they learn better and best to training sessions that are done on a schedule.

Just like children, west highland terrier puppies learn through play. Playing games with your west highland white terrier pups creates an opportunity to train them to obey your commands, gives them valuable exercise, and helps to build their strength, coordination, and agility. It is also fun for everyone.

Before you start playing games, there are some rules you should know, and safety precautions you should take. Your pups need to really run, not just walk on a leash, but be sure any area you play in has a fence. If they are city dogs, try finding a fenced-in tennis court for play. As a last resort, keep the puppy on an extra-long line. You do not want them to wander free until you are certain they will return on your command.

Brush their white coats two to three times a week, to keep it shiny and clean. If you do intend to enter them for competition, make sure your pet is regularly trimmed, plucked and stripped of his or her coat.

Good and reputable West Highland Terrier breeders will tell you that a Westie lives an average of 15+ years and usually has a litter of two to five puppies.

What is the history behind the Terrier breed? This breed originated in Scotland developed in the high mountains of West Scotland, to hunt vermin. They claim a common ancestry to the Scotch Terrier.

References to the existence can be seen as early as the 18th century, like one painting done by Sir Edwin Landseer. The piece entitled “The Breakfast Party” clearly features the West Highland Terriers.

Another name is as the Poltalloch terrier. The name refers to the home of Col. E.D. Malkolm, the first breeder of these breed. In 1907, the breed then registered as the Roseneath terrier, little Skye and Cairn. Then in 1909, AKC officially changed the breed’s name to what it is known as today, West Highland White Terrier breed.

In the past White Terriers, were considered to belong to the one breed, with Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Cairn and Scottish Terriers. However, although they share common ancestors, selective breeding resulted in the differences between their coat type and colors.

A surprising fact about this breed is, given that it was originally bred to traipse the steep and rugged mountain sides, Westies are well adjusted to today’s living conditions. As long as they are walked several times a day, they are good apartment dwellers.

Have you ever held any Westie puppies? These tiny creatures are cuddly and white furry balls, at least 12-15 inches tall, possessing a pair of coal black eyes and snubbed nose. They look fragile and needful of your protection and care. This is deceiving, for they were initially bred to hunt vermin and are intelligent hunters.

Historically the “Westies” or Westhighland Terriers were bred in the high mountains of west Scotland and claims ancestry to the Scotch Terrier.

Is it easy to acquire any of these Westies’ pups? No, you’ll need to be mindful that West Highland Terrier breeders are selective with whom they’ll place their puppies. Only dog lovers with an extensive understanding of this breed’s need for extensive grooming and exercise are considered.

While many dog owners who own Westie pups know they don’t come cheap, the joy, loyalty and love these dogs have give are worth it.

In ending, it’s not that hard to see then that the Westhighland Terriers definitely qualify as one of man’s best friends.

Jeff Cuckson is Author of “Mad About Westies!!” Find out more about on how you can have the Healthiest and Happiest Westie You’ve Always Dreamed Of by going NOW to:

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How to Photograph Pets

Why It Is Important To Know How To Take Good Pictures Of Your Pet

Here is a picture of our Maxxie, taken in 2002 by a professional photographer.

We ordered pizza one night on my wife’s birthday, and I put my business card inside a “bin”. Next thing you know, $300.00 later with our ‘Free Pictures’ and other pictures, we finally had some family pictures .. me, my wife and Maxxie! Maxxie was the most photogenic of the lot, as if you can’t tell! I call this picture .. “Maxxie – Formal – Smiling”

May 2002 - Hello .. This is another formal picture of me, smiling

Here is a picture of our Sophie, with my current digital camera

I had a reasonable nice camera for taking pictures, but it wasn’t too clear on the detail and on the closeups. So, in 2005 I went out and purchased one of the Olympus Stylus 300 Digital camera’s at Future Shop and started to take pictures. Well, I forgot about those double-flashes the camera does (to prepare or reduce the Red-Eye effect) … and this is the picture I took. I call this picture .. “Sophie – Oops – Yawning”

Sophie Biiiig Yaaaaawn

Believe It Or Not ..

… I try to take pictures every day of our two pet papillon dogs Maxxie and Sophie, and of our cat Zeussie Pussy
Cat .. so I can upload pictures onto our Pet site .. . Unfortunately, not all of them come out okay and I’ve been either neglecting to put up ANY pictures at all on the site, or I have been posting some nice pictures of Papillon dogs found on Flickr or YouTube.

You can see all the pictures of our pet Papillon dogs over at

So Why Not Learn How To Take Great Pictures Yourself?

Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School writes some great tips on How to Photograph Pets.

Of his Top 10 tips … I like his last tip the best…

10. Catch them Unawares – Posed shots can be fun and effective but one thing I love to do (whether it be with animals or people) is to photograph them candidly paparazzi style. I have very fond memories of stalking a friend’s dog as he played in a back yard one day. I took shots while he dug up flowers, as he buried a bone, as he fell chased a bee around and ask he sat contentedly with his head sticking out of his dog house. The whole time I photographed him he was barely aware of my presence so the shots were very natural without me distracting the dog from his ‘business’.

If you have a camera .. I suggest that you browse the Digital Photography School for many tips and techniques how to get better pictures out of your camera .. so you don’t have to hire a professional to take good pictures of your pets. And .. does it really help? Well, I still have a pretty basic camera, and I’m still a lousy picture taker .. but, it’s not that I don’t recognize a good photo opportunity if I see one!

For instance, if I want to take pictures of Maxxie and Sophie .. all I have to say is .. “Papillon Pictures, Papillon Pictures” .. and, then they stop and pose for me, most likely looking away from the camera and the flash. Using Darren Rowse’s “Paparazzi” style tip .. I sometimes get cool pictures .. like, the following – watching our dogs roll over!

Maxxie puts on a great show and rolls over on command!

Sophie rolls over on command, but is so fast it’s hard to take a great picture!

An Introduction to Pet Photography

An Introduction to Pet Photography

By Stan Beck


Photographing your pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Done well, it will allow you to immortalize Fluffy or Spot – that significant member of your family – the pet that shared you food, chewed your shoes, and brought you the newspaper. In fact, the act of seriously photographing your pet will bring you both closer because the process opens you to noticing the small, wonderful things that you might have missed before – the way he wags his tail, etc. This is a grand adventure.


As with anything, it’s best to proceed with a goal in mind so you know where to start. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to capture your pet’s playful side? Are you trying to setup a funny photo using a prop such as a birthday hat? Is this an interactive portrait between your pet and your child? Sit down and put on paper this goal, because it will help you in preparing properly. Nothing is worse than spending an hour going to your favorite scene with equipment in hand and realizing your forgot a favorite toy – do your self a favor, do not skip this step.


Now that you have decided on your goal, it’s now time to decide the proper setting. Indoors vs. outdoors. Near the fireplace with an open fire in the background, or in a studio. At the beach or in the woods. As you think about the proper setting, think about how your pet will respond to that setting. If you decide the public park is the perfect place, you must think about your pet’s resistance to distractions. Is he/she able to resist running after another animal or person? The more you know your pet and look through his/her eyes, the better off you will be.


Now you are at the critical preparation stage. You’ve set your goal, you’ve decided on the appropriate setting – let’s try to anticipate all that can (and will) go wrong. I use the word ‘wrong’ loosely – try not be too rigid and to have fun – we will talk more about that in a minute. Write out on paper every possible thing you can think of. Here are some suggestions: • Exercise your pet – just enough so they are still alert, but not hyper

• Lighting – outdoor is best, but flash will work too – should be natural lighting

• Grooming – only if it doesn’t adversely affect your pet’s mood – then do it days beforehand

• Props/Toys – favorite of the pet

• Food – favorite of the pet

• Be prepared for sudden movement – shutter speed about 1/125th and use iso 400 or 800 film (if indoors)

• Watch the scene clutter

• Have pet at least 6 feet away from background to reduce shadows

• Bring an assistant to help manage your pet

• Zoom Lens

• Camera, Film, Tripod, Equipment, etc.

Etc., etc. Are you getting the idea? The first time you make out your list, the process will be a little tedious, but the beauty is that once the list is made, all you need to do is modify it slightly for the next sessions.

On Location

Whew, you’ve made to shooting location – congratulations. Hopefully, you’ve brought everything you are going to need, right? Right! Now, it’s time for setup. Be organized; get everything laid out in a logical fashion. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with equipment when you need to be shooting pictures – an animal has a zero attention span and you have got to be ready to snap that picture when the moment is there. How is you animal’s demeanor? Is he/she super wound up? If yes, then perhaps some light exercise would be in order – nothing too heavy, but just enough to help him/her calm down. How are you? Are you stressed? Relax, and go with the flow – animals are super sensitive to your mood. Give your pet some last minute grooming – just touch-ups. If you are outdoors, how is the wind? Is it too strong? Is the sun too bright? Remember, overcast is much better for exposure. Make sure that your pet is far enough away from your background so as to not cast any shadows.

The Photographer’s Mindset

Your mindset should be one of peace and serenity. I can’t overstate that enough. Also, you need to climb into the mind of your pet as best you can. What are they thinking and feeling? Align your expectations properly. If you have never done this before, don’t expect perfection the first time out – that will just raise your anxiety level and will stress out your pet.


One of the most important things to remember is to get down on your pet’s level, physically, as much as possible. A shot from above doesn’t portray intimacy. In addition, when you are at your pet’s level, it’s easier for you to empathize with it. If you’ve never crawled around on the ground before, you might feel a bit foolish, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. Make sure that you and your handler work with each other – you have got to be in charge, but also try to be flexible – you have a lot of variables that you are managing.

Be patient, and have a lot of fun!!!

Stan Beck is a self-proclaimed animal lover. He also runs the website

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Standard Poodles – The People Pleaser

Standard Poodles – The People Pleaser

By Sandy Riordan

I did a lot of research before getting another dog after our English Cockers passed away. I was attracted to Standard Poodles because of their intelligence, temperament and ease of training. They are known to be good family dogs as well as a good watchdog. They also seem to get along very well with other animals as well, sometimes even to the point of being protective of smaller animals.

I have the honor of being owned by three Standard Poodles at the moment, Meg, Bob, and Charley. All three of them have excellent personalities, although they are three totally different personalities.

There is a misconception that females make a better pet and have better personalities, which I too thought was the case at first! Meg, our female Poodle, is very calm, reserved and dignified. She is very loving, but on her own terms. She also tends to be somewhat stubborn at times! Sometimes she acts like, “I can’t be bothered doing that!”

Our males, Bob and Charley, are real clowns! They are more exuberant and want to play all the time. They are more of a “get in your face” type of dog, always looking for attention and affection.

Our Standard Poodles have excellent temperaments and seem to get along with everyone, kids and adults. My husband and I have made it a point to start socializing them at a very early age, to get them used to people, places, sounds and riding in the car.

Whenever there is a festival or outdoor event in town, we always take them and they are always a big hit. Everyone wants to pet them, take pictures and ask us all about them. They love the attention! They’re not afraid of crowds or loud noises.

They seem to be able to read your body language and emotions and I swear they can tell when you are sad or happy and react accordingly! When I’m sad, they come and put their head on my lap and look at me with those big sad eyes! When I’m happy, they jump around smiling and wagging their pompom tails.

They can also be quite humorous at times as well. Our male Bob’s favorite spot is sleeping on the couch (not a good thing I know), but Meg and Charley were already on the couch. He looked at them as if to say, “Hey, that’s my spot,” and thought about climbing in between them for a moment. He then looked at a small 16 x 16 inch pillow that Charley had thrown off the couch and decided to try and lay down on it. Now this is a 75 pound large male poodle! He went round and round in circles on top of this pillow and finally tried to curl up in a ball on top of the pillow. It was hilarious!

The Standard Poodle temperament is that of a people pleaser. They will go out of their way to make their humans happy. They generally bond to everyone in their human family instead of one person exclusively.

As long as you have a sense of humor and don’t mind a dog that outsmarts you once in a while, a Standard Poodle may be a good choice for you!

Sandy Riordan
Creator of Standard Poodles USA
Everything you need and want to know about Standard Poodles!

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Some History of Designer Breeds and The Problem

Some History of Designer Breeds and The Problem

By Steve Allison

Although the concept is by no means new; many people are discovering that some of the latest breeds of super dogs are not as great as their breeders would have you believe.

Of the “designer dog club” the ‘Labradoodle’ is probably the most well known. The ‘Labradoodle’ was originally bred for sight impaired individuals who had severe reactions to dog’s fur. This new hybrid aimed to combine the intelligence of the Labrador with a non-shedding poodle. However you may or may not have a puppy that will be non-shedding. Labradoodles have been around for over 20 years and are gaining recognition.

But the term ‘designer mutts’ can be used to describe any number of endless combinations of dogs who have been bred for particular valued qualities. Ever thought about owning a Dorgi? That’s a cross between a Corgi and a Dachshund. How about a Puggle? That’s a cross between a Beagle and a Puggle. There are many variations on breeds with poodles now too. This often results in comical names – the Corgi Poo; or the Shih Poo, the variations are endless.

Hypoallergenic, intelligent and some say healthier than average – these dogs are becoming popular throughout the world. Yet the American Kennel Club refuses to accept these new breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 153 breeds at present; and says that these dogs don’t meet their criteria.

The American Hybrid Club seems to be the answer for the breeders who are rallying to have their new combinations recognized. They argue that in fact all dog breeds exist as a result of some kind of experimentation with mixing breeds.

There are many inherent dangers associated with mixing breeds that would never have bred naturally. The main problem is that you never really know exactly what you will be getting. Most often you can learn a great deal about a dog by the look and temperament of their parents – but with these dogs there is no way to tell if you will end up with a mouse sized dog – or a dog the size of a small donkey.

And it’s not just looks. You might be unpleasantly surprised to find that your new puppy has the temperament of a hostile dictator; or worse is very aggressive. These are serious faults; especially if you intend to introduce your cute new ‘Schnoodle’ (a mixture of a Schnauzer and a poodle) to your kids you never know what might happen.

Is that really a chance you want to take?

Also, these new breeds are by no means considered cheap. You could get an equivalent mix at a shelter for free. But some breeders are charging thousands of dollars for dogs they cannot personally guarantee. They claim these dogs take the best of both breeds. But there is an equal risk that the dog can end up with the worst from breeds. This seems like a staggering chance to take.

In an attempt to create super dog these breeders are using breeding techniques that seem strangely unnatural. Certain Bulldog combinations always require artificial insemination for successful mating to occur. And you can’t count on Caesar section. Many of the crossbreeds are bred for profit. Unscrupulous practices which lead to fashion item dogs will create a host of problems for future generations.

If you have your heart set on a designer dog bear in mind you might end up paying more in vet bills. Your puppy will need a vast array of tests.

There are many well-established variations. Purebred dogs have a proven track record. You can say with greater certainty what your Labrador will look like. You will also have a greater idea of what kinds of health problems to expect in your Dachshund.

You can also find adult crossbreeds in a number of places. Adult dogs are often a good choice for families who have children or who need to be sure of the dog’s temperament. And of course giving a loving home to a homeless dog is always a good thing. If you have your heart set on one of the new crossbreeds; try to learn what you can before deciding on the particular dog or cross.

Steve Allison is a third generation of professional dog breeders along with his brother Gary. It all started with his grandparents in 1970 with the Boston Terriers and has expanded to Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Shih Tzu’s and Pomeranians. He is also actively involved with dog rescue and has a website that showcases the puppies they occasionally has for sale at All My Puppies Online Steve is also the co-author of two consumer guides, Carpet Secrets and Moving Secrets Guide

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