Archive for September, 2006

What is a Bernese Mountain Dog?

What is a Bernese Mountain Dog?

By Ove Marcelind

A Bernese mountain dog is a large dog from the Swiss Alps near Berne, Switzerland. They are characterized by their distinct marking of white and rust like color with black all over. They are a very strong dog that is loved by many. They are used for many things like hard work. They are also very good pets that anyone can love.

Farmers because of their strength use Bernese Mountain dogs. They will drive the cattle to the market and warn the farmer of any strangers that enter the property. They are excellent watchdogs and loyal to their owners as well. Berner Sennenhund introduced this breed in 1937. They are indeed a beautiful dog and loved by many. The Bernese is not related to the Saint Bernard like some people assume.

The Bernese mountain dog has a temperament that is very important to making the dog what it is today. They are dogs that are sometimes shy and can be considered awesome. They are quiet, but they are also tough as well. They need to have the right obedience training so that they can be the best trained dog that they are expected to be.

The average life span is usually eight to ten years. There are some that live to fifteen years and then some. It is not a guaranteed fact that can be determined as with any one or any animal.

The Bernese mountain dog is a good dog but they can have their problems as any breed can have. They are large dogs so they will have growing problems from the time they are puppies. They may have bone problems like hip and elbow disorders. Another serious health problem may be the number of cancer found in different dogs. This may be related to the autoimmune problem that is relevant. Some of the dogs may also have flea allergies and can be managed with flea control on a regular basis.

The main thing to remember is that it is a great dog and one that can be loved by anyone. They need to have the proper diet and the right exercise to make them as happy and as healthy as they can be. They should be treated just like any animal and that is with love and care. Having a Bernese mountain dog is a big responsibility and a great honor as well.

Getting a Burmese mountain dog is going to be a great time as well. There is no other joy that can be found than having a great dog to love. This breed of dog is a great companion and a great friend as well. They are a lifetime friend and a great investment as well.

http://www.bernese-mountain-dog.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ove_Marcelind

The Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

The Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

By Michael Russell

The name of this dog is pronounced show-low-eats-queent-lee. An easier way to spell and say the name of this unusual breed is Xolo (pronounced Show -lo). In common everyday terminology, the dog is known as the “Mexican Hairless”. This name says it all. This is a breed that is born without hair. Consequently it is a breed that has particular difficulties with health which should be understood by anyone wishing to own one of these rare dogs.

First of all, a dog without hair is subject to temperature changes and should be protected from either extreme cold or heat. It will sunburn easily and needs to be kept out of the sunlight. It will become cold quickly and needs to wear an outer coat when it goes outside. The size of the dog is another health consideration for the small toy variety of this breed has a delicate bone structure. Children should be supervised and not allowed to play roughly. Also the dog needs to be protected from jumping off of surfaces which are high for its small leg bones will fracture easily.

The Xolo has a unique history. It is believed that this dog represents the very first association of mankind with the canine world. Representations of the Xolo breed in clay sculpture have been found dating as far back as 3000 years ago. The name “Xoloitzcuintli” comes from a combination of the ancient Aztec word for the Indian god Xolotl and Itzcuintli which is the Indian word for dog. This breed was believed by the Aztec peoples to posses strong powers against evil spirits. He also was supposed to have benevolent healing powers for such ailments as arthritis, toothache and insomnia. The dog was actually often used as a bed warmer, the modern world would call the dog a “heating pad”. Furthermore in ancient times the Xolo was often sacrificed in order to be buried with his master and quide him on his journey in the after life, as it was believed that the dog would faithfully protect his master in death as he had in life from the evil spirits of the world.

Like the Chinese Crested, there are two varieties of the Xolo, the hairless and the coated. There are also three sizes, the toy, the miniature and the standard. The dog comes in nearly every imaginable color. The hairless variety usually appears quite mottled and spotted and often wrinkled. The body type is similar to that of the Italian Greyhound. The breed was actually registered with the American Kennel Club from 1887 to 1959, when the A.K.C. voted to drop the breed from its stud book registry. At that time there appeared to be a lack of direction in the breed standard and a lack of quality in the breeding program, according to the A.K.C.

The Xolo is not especially attractive to many people and often the comment is made that it is an ugly dog. However owners of the Xolo will tell you that the sweetness of its character and the affection that it displays is much greater than its ugliness!

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Kooikerhundje: Dutch Decoy Dog

The Kooikerhundje: Dutch Decoy Dog

By Michael Russell

The Kooikerhundje has existed in the Netherlands since before the 1500s. The Kooikerhundje is a unique dog which is directly related to the dog which is known in the United States as the Nova Scotian Duck Toller. It is believed that the Toller is descended from the Kooiker. The body build of the Kooikerhundje is quite similar to the Duck toller but the coloring of the Kooiker is red and white. Like the duck toller, it is the heavily fringed white “feather” of his constantly moving tail which lures the ducks to the hunter, thus the term “decoy dog” is used to describe the function of the two breeds. In the case of the Kooikerhundje, the dog historically could be classified as a working dog rather than a hunting dog, for the Dutch people used the dog to lure the ducks into various blinds which a farmer would set up alongside the canals. A “decoy dog” would disappear into a blind only to reappear on the other side and the ducks would follow out of curiosity. Eventually the farmer and the dog would have captured a number of ducks which could then be taken to market. Gradually the industrial revolution took over and marketplaces which sold live animals became less plentiful. By 1939 the breed was nearly extinct in Holland but through the passionate work of Baroness van Hardenbroek the breed began to regain its former status and by 1966 the Dutch Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. Also it is interesting to note that the Kooiker of today is again performing its original function, being used by conservation organizations in Holland to lure the ducks into holding pens for the purposes of classification.

The Kooikerhundje history includes an interesting note that a Kooikerhundje belonging to Prince William of Orange saved his life by alerting him of an attack by the Spanish. He is a loyal and faithful dog as a pet in a household and is a useful and intelligent hunting dog for the duck hunter of today. In the F.C.I. this dog is registered within the gundog group. The Kooikerhundje breed is also recorded with the Foundation Stock Service of the A.K.C. The first litter of a Kooikerhundje was registered as recently as 1999 in the United States.

This medium sized dog is red and white in color and of a size similar to that of a Brittany Spaniel. He has proven himself to be a loyal and affectionate companion dog and is considered to perform well as a Therapy Dog and as an Assistance Dog. Search and rescue groups are also beginning to utilize this breed as a Search Dog and value him for his focus and easy trainability. The dog possesses a strong willingness to work. Historically it is the working breeds which seem to produce the type of dog which will function well in these areas.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Japanese Kai Dog

The Japanese Kai Dog

By Michael Russell

The Japanese have six native Spitz type dogs that are unique to their part of the world. Among these six, the Kai Dog or the Tora Dog is the Shika Inu which means “medium sized” as opposed to Shiba Inu which is smaller. The Kai Dog has the typical Spitz type of short stand-off brush coat and the tail curled tightly over the back, while the head has the wedge shaped look of a fox and the ears are prick.

In the early 1900s there was an influx of western dogs into Japan due to the opening of their borders after the first World War. The Japanese were impressed greatly by the larger size of the dogs and the unique hunting abilities. The two breeds in particular which made a big impression were the German Shorthair Pointer and the Alsatian. For some time the Japanese abandoned their own breeds in favor of the newcomers. In 1930 a Japanese breeder by the name of Haruo Isogai attempted to revive the interest in breeding of these dogs. At that time he developed the categorizing of the native breeds by size and somewhat by function.

The function of the Kai Dog has always been that of a hunter. It is recognized by the F.C.I. as a member of Group 5 (Spitz type). The Kai Dog hunts deer and boar and small game. The alternate Japanese name of this breed “Tora Dog”, which means “Tiger Dog”, signifies the common coloring of the coat, which is often striped like that of the Tiger. Some breeders will also say that the name implies the disposition of the dog also, for it is a strong willed and cunning hunter and will not pass up the opportunity to hunt independently of its master.

The common colors of the Kai Dog are brindled with black, red, or a generally dark brindle, sometimes with white markings on the legs. However the white markings should not extend above the knee on the legs. Size is usually about 18-22 inches at the withers. The dog should be rather square in appearance and without legginess or ranginess. The Kai has made only a few inroads into other parts of the world. It wasn’t until 1990 that there were the first imports into the United States. It is now recognized as a member of the United Kennel Club in the U.S.A. and is a member of the group of dogs which are listed in the F.S.S. registry of the A.K.C.

If its function is that of a household pet the Kai will be very affectionate and strongly loyal and requires a strong owner or it will take over the alpha position in the household. The Kai Dog in Japan is usually found in a hunting dog kennels but may be in the house as a pet more frequently in the United States, in which case it is very often a “one man dog”. This is a breed which gets along well with other dogs. The Kai Dog also functions as a guard dog, although it is usually within a fence for it will definitely run off and hunt if allowed to roam free. The Kai is a good household pet when introduced as a puppy to the household, being very affectionate and loyal.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Karelian Bear Dog

The Karelian Bear Dog

By Michael Russell

The Karelean Bear Dog is a close cousin of the Russian Laika and there is a very strong similarity between the two. However the Karelean Bear Dog is a native of Finland. The Finnish name for the dog is Karjalank Arhukoira. the earliest settlers of Finland had to survive in a rugged land and hunting rather than agriculture was their main source of food. They needed a dog that was strong and fearless to hunt and bring down the animals of the region, which included deer, elk, moose and bear. The Karelean Bear Dog has always been the hunting dog of Finland and has changed very little from the earliest times. Because it is of a limited genetic pool the lines are quite pure. It became a very popular hunting dog for large game and there was a considerable number of these dogs at the turn of the century in northern Europe and Scandinavia. However the two World Wars decimated the population. It is now a rare dog and today all of the Karelean Bear Dogs can be traced back to only forty dogs which were still in existence after the war.

The dog has exceptional hunting ability although not exceptionally large. The height at the withers is about 22-24 inches. It is always black with white markings . The body is of a Spitz type (short backed and squared off with a tail which curls over the back.) Some Bear Dogs are born with a bob tail. The coat is not profuse or long, but is quite dense and double in nature. He is a dog with good “substance” but not the appearance of massiveness. He needs to be an agile and speedy hunter and is therefore of moderate size and is slightly longer than he is tall. The ears are upright. He has a keen sense of hearing and smell and is considered a scenting dog rather than a sight hound.

The Karelean Bear Dog has today gained a popular following in Canada where it is used as a dog which does hunt and bring down the large game and especially bear, but this of course is only done during “bear hunting season”. However there is now another use for the Bear dog. Today there are resort owners who keep two or three of these dogs and use them on a regular basis to patrol their resorts and keep the bears away as a protection for the summer tourists. There happens to be an extremely interesting experimental program in progress at a place called the Wind River Institute in Canada which is utilizing the Bear Dog to “train” bears to stay away from populated areas. It is unknown at this time whether this program is effective but to all appearances it may very well be a new and quite useful application of the Bear Dog. The dogs are trained to bark and chase away ( rather than chase down and kill) the problem bears which raid the garbage dumps and so on…and correspondingly the bears are “trained” to stay away from the populated areas. This breed has a courageous and fierce natural hunting instinct, it will follow its game to the end and is persistent and unyielding. This is a breed which has never deviated from its original purpose and should not be owned by the casual pet owner.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Coton De Tulear

The Coton De Tulear

By Michael Russell

The Coton De Tulear is a Bichon type dog which is descended from the small white dogs of Madagascar which were believed to have been brought to the Mediterranean region by a shipwreck in 1665. These small white dogs existed in Europe as early as the 1500s according to written references of the time. Often these were the little dogs which were carried on ships as companions of the passengers and also as a ship’s dog to rid the ship of rats and vermin. These early Bichon type dogs, as they were dispersed around Europe by sailors and travelers, began to be named mostly after the region in which they flourished and each type, though basically from similar origins, developed along lines which were sufficiently different that most of these small white fluffy dogs are now compartmentalized as separate breeds and registered as such by the F.C.I. (the European counterpart of the A.K.C.)

The Coton De Tulear is distinguished by it’s silky long single coat which is quite fine and cotton like in texture. The coat is white although there may be slight biscuit or lemon markings on the ears or feet and rarely one can find specimens which are black and white. The coat length is about three inches and the standards require that it not be scissored but left in a natural state. It is a small dog standing no higher than 10-11 inches at the withers. The head has a well defined stop and the untrimmed hair should be left in a “fall” over the eyes, often covering the eyes completely. The tail is not curled too tightly but should be loosely curled over the back.

The Coton is a breed which is quite friendly and has enjoyed a popularity amongst the upper classes of Madagascar as a status symbol. The small white dogs ran wild in packs on the island. When they became “socialized” they became favorites of the nobility. For many years it was outlawed for a member of the lower classes to own a Coton.

This little dog has a sweet but also playful demeanor and is a gentle and affectionate little dog. He would be considered a “lap dog” even though early in his origins he was also quite useful as a ratter. The Coton does have a distinctive growly “talk” which is unique. He is a good watchdog for setting up an alarm even though he is a small dog. Also this is a highly intelligent dog that is easily trained.

The Coton de Tulear is becoming more popular in the show rings of Europe. It has recently joined the list of dogs registered in Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel club, this is usually the first step towards eventual registration in the A.K.C.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Tosa Inu, Sumo Dog of Japan

The Tosa Inu, Sumo Dog of Japan

By Michael Russell

The formidable Tosa Inu is a dog that was bred by the Japanese to feed their desire for a very large and courageous silent fighting dog for the ring sport of pit fighting. The Japanese do not like to lose and when they opened their borders in 1854 and foreign European dogs began to enter the ring and the Japanese were being consistently beaten, they put their breeding expertise to work to produce the Tosa Inu. This breed was perfected from a combination of the Mastiff, the Bulldog, the Bullterrier, The German Pointer, the Great Dane and the indigenous fighting dogs already present in Japan, such as the Akita. The Tosa when trained properly is no different in temperament than any of the breeds which were used in its development….all of them are solidly gentle and affable towards people. The Tosa because of its thick skin and naturally heavy coat has a high tolerance for pain as do most of the dogs bred to be used in the sport of dog fighting. And the Tosa because of the breeds used in its development will not stand down when confronted although usually will not be overly aggressive unless confronted.

The rules of the pit ring in Japan require that the dog be a silent and steadfast fighter and the Tosa Inu lives up to that admirably, never giving in and continuing to fight to the death if necessary without uttering a sound or a bark of any kind. However fighting to the death is not part of the Japanese ritual of dog fighting and seldom occurs for the dogs are pitted together and judged on various standards which are nearly as stringent as the standards required of the Samurai swordsmen….the fight is discontinued after a period of time and points are awarded to the winning dogs with much pageantry and acclaim. The sport of dog fighting in Japan has precise rules and it is stylized nearly as much as the Sumo wrestling events. The Tosa Inu is considered to be the “Sumo” fighting dog of Japan, being large and powerful and persistent. Tradition requires that the Tosa Inu be led into the ring between two human handlers rather than just one as are most of the other breeds and it is possible that both people are actually needed for the Tosa Inu is a very strong and powerful breed. In weight pulls a single dog has been known to pull as much as 3,800 pounds.

The Tosa Inu is not a breed for everyone. It goes without saying that any dog that is that large and that formidable as an adult needs proper bringing up as a puppy. They are naturally a dog aggressive breed but should never be aggressive without provocation. They are affectionate and gentle with their human families and are loyal yet quite tolerant of strangers if brought up correctly. Unfortunately there have been instances where Tosas have been bred irresponsibly and sold to owners who desire to use them as guard dogs or attack dogs and who do not posses knowledge and skill in training such dogs. This has led to some serious problems and ownership of Tosas is outlawed in some parts of the world because of these incidents.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Rough and Ready Scottish Terrier

The Rough and Ready Scottish Terrier

By Michael Russell

Scotland is a rugged land and the dogs which lived in the country centuries ago grew up as rugged and crusty as the land. There was no established Scottish Terrier for many years but there has always been a “Scottish Terrier type” of dog. It is just that there was no attempt at developing type and so dogs that lived and worked as the rodent catchers and tough little watchdogs of the farmers simply were born looking like their sires and dams. The Terriers of the Aberdeen region were the most well established type but were generally just dubbed the “Aberdeen Terrier” without any real attempt at development of a pure strain. Although there was a preponderance of this Aberdeen Terrier type it was not an established breed until 1879, when Captain Gordon Murray decided to establish type in the numerous terriers that were present in the Aberdeen region. He began with the terriers who had the long hair and a long face and a square jaw and within five years he had perfected a true to type terrier which he then called the Scottish Terrier. The Scottish Terrier Club was established in 1882 and the first of the Scotties began to enter the Show ring at that time.

The Scotty is not a “toy” dog. Although it is a small terrier, reaching a height of 11 inches at the shoulder, it is a sturdy dog with much substance. The head is impressive, for he has long jaws and a blocky appearance to the skull. The nose has a bit of a roman look to it and the fore face hair falls well down over the eyes in prominent eyebrows and covers the top of the nose, he also has a long beard. The neck is well muscled and trimmed of long coat but the rest of the body has a stiff and flay lying wiry coat. Many people think that the Scottish Terrier is always black, however, grizzled, wheaten, gray and brindle are allowed. The Scotty should present the appearance of strength and determination both in its structure and in its temperament.

Scotties have a particular health problem known as “Scotty Cramp” , a sort of a short seizure which remains a problem with the breed although studies relating to this problem have been done and progress is being made. It is important that when breeding, dogs with this familial tendency not be used for breeding.

Scotty Terriers have enjoyed a continuing popularity over many years. They have belonged to many famous people, among them President Roosevelt. It is known that Hitler presented Eva Braun with two Scotties. The Scotty possesses the typical terrier attitude and does not bow to any other dog when it comes to a confrontation. However they should never show aggression to people without just cause. They are inquisitive and active, not the sort of dog to lie around much until they actually reach an older age. The Scotty is suspicious of strangers and needs to make overtures on its own time, but when it has found favor with a person, it will remain that persons faithful friend for life. They are often a “one person” or “one family” breed. They are generally very willing to go anywhere and do anything…the sort of dog that will settle in wherever it is as long as it is with its human companion to whom it gives its total and true devotion.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise

By Michael Russell

The words Bichon Frise actually mean “fluffy little dog”. This was the name given to the breed in 1933 by the European Kennel club (Federation Cynologique Internationale) when there was a huge discussion as to what to name the breed, which had applied for registration in the stud book. There had existed since before the time of Christ several varieties of the small white fluffy dog, throughout Europe and South America. The little dog had been called by many names, including the Dog of Havana, the Dog of Holland, the Dog of Bologna and others. Actually it is most likely that these original names represented variations of this breed and later these variations did receive their own designations of the Bolognese and Havanese. At any rate, the “fluffy little dog” that was always white became known as the Bichon Frise, usually just designated the “Bichon” .

The coat of the Bichon as it is presented in the show ring is usually quite rounded and trimmed and fluffed so that in the end one can hardly distinguish the actual bones or muscling of the body. If groomed as for the show, the little dog has a large squared off appearance to the head and the entire body is covered with fine soft coat about 3 inches in length, curly and “fluffy” all over. The coat is always white. However when one has a pet Bichon this is not an easy task to keep this appearance. One drawback as far as this type of grooming is that folks who want to have it look that perfect must devote a portion of their time nearly every other day to brushing the dog “to the skin” to keep the coat fluffy and mat free and giving baths as necessary to keep the coat clean. Many “pet” owners elect to keep the coat short and trimmed for ease.

The Bichon Frise is very healthy. There are no genetic conditions known and except for keeping up to date with the inoculations there should be few vet visits. The Bichon learns tricks easily and loves to perfume them. It is a friendly and affectionate dog and loves to be a lap dog but also loves to play and is no stranger to begging for attention. The Bichon usually has a consistent temperament of gentleness, a clownish playful attitude and is affectionate to everyone it meets. It is easy to see why this dog has become a favorite as a pet. It is small enough for elderly folks to hold in their lap, it is friendly and usually non aggressive in nature, so it is a safe dog for a family with children. The size is appropriate for apartment living and the intelligence of the breed is undeniable, the dog has been used historically as a circus dog to perform tricks and entertain the public. However, when allowed to, the Bichon can become spoiled and it would be well for the owner to remember that all dogs, regardless of their size, do need training and an occasional reminder of who is boss. Unfortunately as a breed becomes more popular, it is also true that it can be “overbred” by unscrupulous breeders who are only out to put money in their pocket. When this happens it can be possible that poor temperament can be bred into a bloodline and sometimes this has happened with the Bichon, as it is becoming apparent that more and more of these little dogs are becoming “tyrants” of the household. Responsible owners will buy from responsible breeders and will take their little puppy to an obedience class. If attention is paid at the beginning, the little puppy will grow into a great little dog rather than a spoiled rotten little brat.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

The Havanese, Dog of Cuba

The Havanese, Dog of Cuba

By Michael Russell

It seems that every country has its own history when it comes to dogs and which dogs become the particular dog which has flourished in that country. Cuba is no exception, for it is the native country of the Havanese. Although the Havanese most probably originated with the Spanish settlers of Cuba many centuries ago as descendants of the Bichon Barbichon of Southern Spain , it became apparent after many years of development that the dog was destined to become a unique breed. Because at first there seemed to be many of these little toy dogs that carried a distinctive coat color of a deep brown similar in color to that of the cigar, it is theorized that the name “Havanese” came from the name “Havana Brown” which is the first known name of the dog. Eventually this name was popularized into the name “Havanese” and it is under this name that the dog is now recognized as an A.K.C. breed.

This little dog is similar in many respects to the Bichon Frize. However the coat color can be of any blend or combination, whereas the Bichon is always white. The coat of the Havanese is long and shaggy and the standards for the show ring require that the coat not be clipped, altered, or tampered with in any way. The coat is double. However, since this is a bred that has lived for years in the tropics, the double coat is not “hard” or woolly but is soft and silkyin appearance and texture, rather like that of a single coat. The guard hairs of the top coat are long and rather wavy. The A.K.C. also allows for the mature Havanese to be shown in a “corded” coat. A Corded coat will happen naturally if, as the dog is maturing, the coat is allowed to separate itself into parted clumps of hair which gradually will wrap around themselves over time (usually with human interference) and develop into cords. This type of coat is seldom seen on a pet Havanese for it takes a lot of patience to “train” a coat in this manner. The head is furnished with a beard and hair which is long over the eyes. This long hair is believed to protect the eyes of the dog from the hot Cuban sun and because of this it has become tradition for this breed to leave the hair in a loose fall over the eyes rather than pulling it back into a topknot. The Havanese is not a large dog, at the withers the height should not be over 11 and a half inches, the minimum being 8 inches.

This little dog should be jaunty and happy in appearance and of course should have a temperament to match. It is a dog that has been used through centuries as a family pet and also a herder and protector of the family chicken flock, a task which it can perform quite well. It is an active breed and not one to remain quiet for long, as some small lap dogs do. This little dog is quite intelligent and does well at tricks and also excels in such ring sports as obedience and agility and flyball.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell