Archive for October, 2006

The Stabyhoun

The Stabyhoun

By Michael Russell

The Stabyhoun is a dog with beautiful proportion and is well known for its skills as a water retriever and for a soft mouth which will bring in the birds undamaged. The function and origin of this breed is that of a gun dog breed native to the province of Friesland in Holland. It is noted for its propensity to be an excellent swimmer and water retriever, with a soft disposition and friendly character. It is sometimes of quite a heavy build and has been used also as a draft dog. The Stabyhoun is an all around farm dog and hunting dog and is treasured by the farmers of Holland for his ability to fill many roles on the farm, from hunting to watch dog to livestock protector and family pet. When he is a dog on a family farm he also fulfills the role of rodent killer, for he will go after moles and rats as well as flushing out wild game.

The Stabyhoun can be black and white, orange and white, or brown and white. It has a sleek single coat with long body hair and feathering on the front legs and breeches on the rump and rear legs. The entire coat can be speckled or “ticked” or the spots can be large and splashy. Tri color is not acceptable in the standard of the breed. The tail is bushy and has a distinctive feature in that the tip of the tail is covered with a short smooth coat. It is a medium sized dog, built much like a spaniel. Height at the withers is 21-23 inches. The dog is proficient at hunting and retrieving and will naturally point and flush. He retrieves from water as well as land. He is reliable, steady on point and is also an affectionate and calm family pet with an even and unshakably gentle temperament. This is a breed that can live as long as 13-15 years and appears to have very few health difficulties.

The Stabyhoun is little known outside of Holland, although it is becoming increasingly popular in Germany and England. In 1942 it was officially recognized by the F.C.I. as a member of the Gundog Group and has steadily gained in popularity from an all time low after the great World Wars. At the present time there are only about 3500 registered members of the breed and the Stabyhoun breeders are very aware of the necessity for careful breeding practices with such a limited gene pool. At the present time the Dutch Association for the Stabyhoun keeps very careful records on breeding and maintains a strict control over the breeding population of the dog. It is not uncommon in Europe for a Breed Club to maintain the records and require compliance with strict breeding regulations in order for any puppies to be officially registered.

Even the numbers of litters a bitch may have in a lifetime are regulated, as well as the numbers for a male. It is also of course of paramount importance that only studs and dams of superior quality and animals who have been x-rayed are used for breeding purposes and keeping a close track of this is part of the responsibility of the Stabyhoun Breed Club.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

The Sealyham Terrier: Otter Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier: Otter Terrier

By Michael Russell

The Sealyham Terrier has as its origin the region of Sealyham, in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is a cross of several different terriers and hounds, among them the Bull and the Dandie Dinmont and the Fox terriers and the Westy. Another important part of its genetic makeup is the Flandres Basset Hound. From the Basset the Sealyham acquired the short carriage and the heavy duty front legs capable of digging out burrows quickly and efficiently.

The Sealyham Terrier is a terrier which was custom designed by Captain John Tucker Edwardes, an Otter Hound enthusiast. Captain Edwardes desired to produce a dog which would be agile enough to rout out the Otters from between the rocks and crevices in which they hid, into his waiting pack of Otter hounds. Besides, he reasoned, the landowners of the Wales countryside needed a dog that could more easily get into the burrows of the animals which killed their chickens and destroyed their grain stores. His Sealyham Terrier fit the bill, being speedy enough to run with the hounds and small and agile enough to go to ground and less “scrappy” in nature so that he got along well with the pack. This terrier is by nature more of a pack dog than many terriers, this is perhaps due to the genetic addition of the Basset in the gene pool. Whatever the reason, this terrier, although “game” when it comes to the hunt, is more of a couch potato than other terrier types and is noted for being laid back.

The Sealyham is a small dog about 12 inches at the shoulder, with an appearance of stockiness to his body. The coat is the typical wire coat, being white with patches of badger on the head and ears. It is long and should be hand stripped, although pet owners are more likely to take it to the groomer and have it clipped. He is a dog whose form exemplifies his function. The body is deep chested and the back perfectly straight and while the front legs are short the hind legs have a well bent stifle. In layman’s terms this type of angulation means that the dog is exceptionally agile and suited to the type of terrain that is rough and rocky. It also means that he has endurance and speed, both necessary features for a dog meant to run the otter to the ground. Temperamentally he is a persistent dog and not likely to give in, stubbornness is a trait that can be difficult when it comes to training but is an excellent quality for a dog that hunts.

In modern day, this terrier is not such a hunter and has adapted himself well to civilized apartment life. He is gentle and affectionate and also adaptable. He prefers the indoor life and makes a great city dog, a short walk will suffice for exercise and he is quite happy spending the rest of his time with the family. If he is brought up with other dogs in the household, he gets along well with them.

The Sealyham is very popular as a show dog, having been registered with both the American kennel club and the British Kennel club since 1910.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

The Popular Labradoodle Dog

The Popular Labradoodle Dog

By Sandra Oberreuter

The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poole. They are the most popular “designer dogs”. They make a wonderful companion and family pet. They also make a good service animal if trained right. These dogs are friendly, energetic and loyal. They make good watchdogs.

HISTORY

Labradoodles were started in the 1970’s by Wally Cochran when a woman requested a guide dog that wouldn’t aggravate her husband’s allergies. He bred a low maintenance and temperament of a Lab with the allegen reduced coat of the Standard Poodle and the Labradoodle came to be.

The Labradoodles are compact dogs. Their bodies are a little heavier than the Standard Poodle. Broad heads, ears flat against their head, eyes sit well apart that are slightly round and expressive, nose is large and a low set tail. Their curly or wavy coats are 4-6 inches long and come in many colors:

* Chalk
* cream
* aprioct
* chocolate
* cafe
* black
* silver

They are a hypoallergenic dog with a low to non-shedding allergy coat. Plus they don’t have a doggie odor.

Labradoodles come in three sizes:

* Standard

Height: 23-26 inches

Weight: 45-77 pounds

* Medium

Height: 18-21 inches

Weight: 45-77 pounds

* Miniature

Height: 14-17 inches

Weight: 40-55 pounds

* Life Span: 13-15 years

GROOMING

Regular grooming to keep coat looking good with a trim 2-3 times a year to prevent matting of their coats.

EXERCISE

Labradoodles need exercise and to best with a yard. He love to takes walks and would make an excellent dog for someone who loves to be outdoors. He also love water and are natural swimmers.

These dogs are good with children if properly socialized and are loyal the “their” families. They are a very intelligent dog and are very trainable just like both the Lab and Poodle. Make training techniques fun to keep there attention. If training is consistent they should be easy to housebreak too.

CHARACTERTICS AND TEMPERAMENT

* Extremely clever

* Sociable

* Joyful

* Sweet temperament

* Very lovable

* Friendly

* Non-aggressive

* Loyalty of Lab

* Good watchdog

HEALTH

Check your Labradoodles breeding history because through good breeding your dog will have less health issues. Common labradoodles disorders are:

* Hip dysplasia

* Elbow sysplasia

* Hypothyriodism

* Retinal atrophy

* Patella luxation

These dogs cost between $895.00 – $2,195.00 depending on their coat and color. Look for a reputable breeder or adopt from a Labradoodle rescue.

Sandy has a web site on small dog breeds with articles on the most popular ones, plus dogs good with children and seniors, hypoallergenic dogs, most popular dogs, choosing a dog, choosing a vet and breeder and much more. http://www.small-dogbreeds.com

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

The South Russian Sheepdog (the Ovtcharka)

The South Russian Sheepdog (the Ovtcharka)

By Michael Russell

The South Russian Ovtcharka is also known as the South Russian Sheepdog. It resembles the Bearded Collie not only in looks but in natural tendencies and it is likely that the two breeds may have some common genetic background. There is dispute on that matter, for some historians believe that the South Russian Sheepdog is completely native to the Steppe country of Russia and that there is evidence to suggest that they were a well established presence by 1790. Others stick to the belief that the dogs originally were imported from Austria and Europe to serve as flock guards. However, the Austrian dogs of the present day are smaller and without the strong guardian tendencies which are part of the nature of the Ovtcharka.

Regardless of the origin, the chief responsibility of this large and fierce dog is protect the flocks from predators. These predators include the wolf and bear and mountain lions. The territory that it will establish for itself is as great as the distance within its range of scent and surrounding the flock of sheep, usually Merino Sheep. The Merino Sheep tend to maintain themselves together in a flock or group, the Ovtcharka will patrol the outer edges of the flock ceaselessly and with great persistence. It is a large and active breed with punishing jaws and great strength of body. For many centuries the South Russian Sheepdog has maintained a presence amongst the sheep herds almost without intervention or human training of any sort. Often the dogs were born within the flock and grew up within the flock, brought up by the dam and taught by the dam the job of flock guard. Human shepherds were there for the necessary food and care but other than that the dogs took the job of sheepdog or more accurately flock guard quite seriously and quite on their own.

The dog at a minimum is 26 inches tall at the withers and there is no limit or maximum to the height as far as the standard of the breed. Weight is usually 110-130 pounds. The Ovtcharka has a dense woolly coat which is usually quite unkempt. They are impervious to extremes in the temperatures and the coat is quite weather resistant. The coat is long and of equal length on all parts of the body including the legs and tail, which hangs down to below the hock and curls slightly at the end. The face also has long hair and is bearded with a heavy fore lock which will cover the eyes if not groomed. Ears are relatively short and lop and also covered with a dense coat. The dog has a muscular and athletic body, massive but not coarse, well angulated for extra agility and speed. It is indeed a dog which can run nearly as fast as the wolf and has great power.

The Ovtcharka is not a family dog. They are strongly independent and behaviorally are much like a wolf. They are protective and wary of strangers when living within a family and will treat their human family much as if they were the flock. This is a dog with a restless nature, a dog with an alert attitude and extreme sense of loyalty which will naturally translate into very protective behaviors if it is a member of a human family. Consequently anyone who owns a South Russian sheepdog must be an alpha person and capable of being the pack master. For some years the Ovtcharka was on the list of the dogs registered as members of the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club but this was not continued for lack of interest. However the South Russian still has many admirers in the United States and there are several breed clubs which hold their own events. The Ovtcharka is on the registry of the F.C.I. and the Kennel Club of Great Britain.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

Labrador Retrievers – Beloved Companion and Therapy Dogs

Labrador Retrievers – Beloved Companion and Therapy Dogs

By Melanie Bosano

By far the most common use of today’s Labrador is as a home companion, a role at which he excels. Surprisingly, the Labrador Retriever was rarely kept strictly as a house pet until several decades after the breed’s introduction to the united States. The initial fanciers of the breed became acquainted with him through knowledge of the shooting game. When the breed was well established as a sporting companion, his docile, brainy nature won his way out of the kennel and into the home.

The Labrador Retriever’s ability to quickly adapt and respond to instruction made the transition quite easy. Today, puppies raised in the home actually become so entwined in the lives of their owners that they often suffer when relegated to the kennel life. (If you are planning to keep a kennel of Labradors, select puppies that are properly socialized but still familiar with kennel life.)

As a companion, the Labrador Retriever is good-natured and gentle enough to accept the roughhousing of youngsters without returning it. If properly socialized while young, a Labrador will share his “home with another dog, providing there is enough affection for all. It is more common for a Labrador to misbehave out of jealousy than out of dislike for another animal.

Labrador Retrievers are long on self-control and loyalty, but they do not make the most avid watchdogs. As a rule, they are not overly suspicious of strangers or highly protective of loved ones, and when natural instincts are not stimulated they can be inattentive to such a task. Always keen for a scent or sound, a Labrador Retriever would certainly give voice at the approach of an intruder, but he might be won over by a friendly gesture or a luscious piece of sirloin. If left on duty, a Labrador Retriever may wander off in search of a scent that has caught his attention. In short, he is a people-dog. If you really need a watchdog, get your Labrador a German Shepherd friend!

The value of companionship with this breed should not be underestimated. In recent years, obedience-trained Labradors as well as other breeds are being used as Therapy Dogs to enrich the lives of nursing home residents and even emotionally disturbed children. The process is simple: a group of experienced dog handlers, such as those trained by Therapy Dogs International, bring their dogs to visit, perhaps put on an obedience performance for the audience, and then let animals and humans mingle, if conditions permit. The dogs are all obedience trained and have proven themselves to be extremely gentle and outgoing. Their job is to make people feel wanted, and it works wonders for alleviating the loneliness and depression that often burden such lives. Labradors love people and the few hours Therapy Dogs share with others enrich both dog and man.

Written by Melanie Bosano:

With years of experience in both caring for dogs and training dogs, Melanie is a great dog lover! She also writes for http://www.all-about-labradors.com

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

The Sloughi, North African Sighthound

The Sloughi, North African Sighthound

By Michael Russell

North Africa is home to the Sloughi, a sighthound believed to be one of the ancient breeds still in existence today. The Sloughi was the most treasured dog of the Northern African Bedouin tribes, kept within their tents and cherished for their steadfastness and speed on the hunt. For many centuries this is the dog that supplied the Bedouins with their food supply, for they are skilled hunters of the gazelle and the ostrich. This breed also served as a protector of the Bedouin flocks, warding off the hyena and jackals. The nature of the sighthound is that of a dog that will give chase to anything that moves and the Sloughi is no exception. Consequently they have good vision and exceptional speed besides of course the sense of smell which also plays some part in their hunting skill.

The Sloughi is a desert dog with a smooth dense coat that is the color of the desert, thus he is naturally camouflaged. He may be brindle or solid color in sandy or tawny variations and darker colors such as deep blue black or red black. His ears are fold over “lop” ears and the muzzle is long and triangular with only a slight stop. The Sloughi has what is known as a straight shoulder which means that there is not a lot of angulation in the front shoulder and this allows the dog to move with an easy loping gait and corner tightly. This is a breed that will extend his movement at the full gallop but can also cover a lot of ground at a lope. He is a tall dog carrying very little fat, presenting a streamlined appearance. The standard calls for a height at the shoulders is 27-29 inches. The breed is recognized by the F.C.I. and is a member of the F.S.S. service of the American Kennel Club, which is the precursor to the breed being admitted as a member of the Miscellaneous Class in A.K.C. shows. In the United States there are two groups which are eligible to register and keep the stud book, the American Sloughi Association and the Sloughi Fanciers Association of America.

This is a breed that loves to be outdoors and experience the joy of a good run but also loves to be a house dog and can turn into a real couch potato if given the opportunity. He is good with children, wary of strangers, alert and yet calm, energetic but also mannerly. As a general rule he gets along well with other dogs and when in a “pack” situation the Sloughi tends to develop a hierarchy of behaviors and rituals similar to that presented in wild packs of wolves or jackals. It is never wise to own a sighthound such as the Sloughi without also maintaining a well fenced property for the dog will immediately give chase to distant running or moving creatures and he will not respond to commands to stop when he is in the mood.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

The Billy: Aristocratic French Hound

The Billy: Aristocratic French Hound

By Michael Russell

The Billy is a French hound that is believed to have been the product of careful line breeding in the 19th century between the three ancient breeds of French hounds which are now extinct, the Larye, Ceris and Montembeufs. He is unique in that these breeds of which he is the descendant were true French Hounds and there is no Foxhound blood in the mixture. The other breeds which bear the stamp of the ancient extinct French hounds include the Poitevin and the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. His creator, M.G. Hublot du Revault wished to produce a packhound that would run deer exclusively. The resulting hound, the Billy, is a packhound but not of the type which will pursue the fox, for he on the taller side (23-26 inches at the shoulder) with a lean appearance and quite swift and has the instinctive desire to give chase to the deer. The breed bears the name of the Castle Billy, the domicile of his creator, in Poitou.

The Billy is an elegant and naturally quick hound, built for speed and with a more delicate look to his body than that of the Foxhound. He was nearly extinct after the World Wars but a pack was revived with the few remaining Billies and the addition of the Poitevin Hound and Harrier blood to keep the gene pool strong. The resulting breed continues with the original name but is still quite rare even in France and is seldom seen on the International dog show circuit. The Billy is a member of the Gundog Group of the F.C.I.

The color of the Billy is a lovely pale lemon yellow with some mottling of deep orange. He carries a short dense coat. He is aristocratic in appearance, not at all coarse. The nose is long and the muzzle is not as deep as the Foxhound. Although he has the typical hound drop ears, they are set higher on his head so he does not have the droopy or mournful expression so often associated with hound breeds. The temperament of the Billy is that of the packhound, always eager to give chase. He is said to have a light and melodious trumpeting quality to his baying which will change in tone and nature according to the proximity and size of the game he is after.

The Billy standard requires a height of 23-26 inches and a weight of 55-60 pounds. From this description one can assume that the dog is not a heavyweight in appearance. He is rather a dog which should appear elegant in stature. Like many hounds of the pack type, this dog is content to be an outdoor dog. He is not a breed which is kept as a pet but is rather housed as a pack dog and is quite happy to be in a kennel situation.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

The Southern Black Mouth Cur

The Southern Black Mouth Cur

By Michael Russell

The southern tier of the Eastern United States is a popular hunting area for big game such as wild boar and black bears. Throughout these states there are a number of regional areas where particular breeds are or have been developed and have built a reputation for their formidable hunting skills. Among these breeds is the legendary Black Mouth Cur. This particular breed of dog has become solid enough in its bloodline and true enough in type to have “made a name” which has spread beyond its original territory and can be recognized as a breed by its markings and structure. It is recognized by the United Kennel Club. This Black Mouth Cur is noted for its proficiency at hunting but also is quite useful as a cattle dog and actually is registered as a member of the Herding Group. When hunting, the dog is apt to catch and kill the medium sized and small game on his own and will hold the large game at bay successfully. When after coon, he will trail them and tree them silently, alerting the hunter of his success with only one or two deep and resounding barks.

The color of the Black Mouth Cur is usually yellow. Often he is called the Yellow Black Mouth Cur. As a matter of fact, the Disney Movie “Old Yeller” used a black Mouth Cur as the dog in the movie. A black muzzle is the reason for his name and is the preferred marking. He also will have low hanging black ears. The coat can be of two types, double or single but must be yellow. The tail if not docked is quite long. When the Black Mouth Cur hits a scent and moves out he can spring from a walk to a full out ground covering stride easily and has the stamina to continue this for many miles. Many of his admirers feel that he is among the swiftest of the trailing scent hounds of the Southern States.

This is a breed with strong protective instincts. He is affectionate and quite loyal to the children in his human family and often lets it be known that he is displeased if they are disciplined. He is more inclined to be familiar and loveable to the women in the household, being aloof with the men and wary of strange men. For all of his strength and persistence on the hunt, he is still a gentle and loyal dog and has what is known among dog folks as a “soft temper”. Words spoken harshly to this dog are not nearly as effective as gentle tones, for he will do anything to please his master. He has a stable temperament and although he is exceedingly loyal and protective he will not attack any human without severe provocation. However animals are another thing entirely and he is not be trusted with other non-dog pets in the household, as he may seriously consider them for his dinner.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

The Grand Bleu De Gascogne: King of Hounds

The Grand Bleu De Gascogne: King of Hounds

By Michael Russell

This large and leggy hound is well known outside of France, its country of origin, even though there are few examples of the breed elsewhere except in the dog shows of Europe and Great Britain. This breed is often termed the “King of Hounds” because of its remarkable stature and great beauty. Furthermore this hound is noted for its tenacity on the hunt and its deep and melodious voice. The Grand Bleu is tall but proportionate in size and is marked with black patches on a mottled roan background with tan. The black patches on the head must always cover both ears and the sides of the head and the entire body is so mottled as to leave the impression of blue roan coloration.

There are four dogs which come from the region of Gascogne in France, all have the Gascogne designation in their name; they are believed to be among the purest of the hound dogs since they are directly descended from the original Phoenician hounds crossed with the Gallic scenting hounds. The Grand Bleu lays claim to being the direct descendant of the now extinct Chien Courant, a hound of legendary strength and size. The Grand Bleu was known to bring down wolves in the early days, now it is a hound that is used primarily for hunting deer and wild boar.

The Grand Bleu is nearly as tall as the larger Giant breeds such as the Newfoundland or the Great Pyr but does not carry nearly the weight. It can be 29-29 inches at the shoulder but the weight is that of the Labrador retriever or other large dogs weighing about 80 pounds. This gives him a lean appearance but this is deceiving for he is a well built dog and has considerable endurance for the hunt if he is conditioned. These hounds have a slow gait and a methodical approach to the hunt, which is a useful trait in the hot climate of southern France, where everything seems to move at a relaxed pace. This is a typical hound in manner and affability, being gentle and accepting of people and quite comfortable as a house dog or a kennel dog. His greatest joy is to go on the hunt however and since he is independent as most hounds are he needs to be in a fenced area if kept outside.

This is a hound that is quite strong physically. His natural playfulness as a puppy and his large size can make him a real nuisance to have in a household until he learns to be mannerly. Because of his large size he needs early training in obedience as do all large dogs. Generally the Bleu De Gascogne is little used as a hound today and he is more of a dog that is shown . He is registered by both the F.C.I. and the Kennel Club of Great Britain but is not recognized by the A.K.C. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has become a breed that is admired as a home or farm companion of great gentleness and affection. Yet the dog has a voice that will intimidate the strangers on the property and consequently he makes a reliable watchdog also.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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

Border Collie – Is This The Dog Breed You Want?

Border Collie – Is This The Dog Breed You Want?

By Michael Russell

Are you thinking about getting a border collie? This dog makes a great pet as long as he has lots of work to do. The border collie was bred to herd animals and that is what it will want to do. It may even start herding your kids or your other pets!

The border collie originally comes from Northumberland which is on the English/Scottish border. It is a descendant of the old British droving breeds but also has some spaniel in it. This dog is an incredible herder; it can handle any type of herd. The border collie will crouch down on the ground and give the animals an intense stare. Herding isn’t all this dog is used for though. It is used for drug and bomb detection as well as search and rescue. Some are even used as seeing-eye dogs.

The border collie is one of the most trainable dogs out of all the breeds. They commonly perform in obedience, Frisbee, flyball and agility trials. If you get this dog, physical exercise will not be enough. They need something for their mind to do as well as their body. They want to work and carry out tasks. This is an extremely energetic dog.

This dog is also one of the most intelligent breeds. They are really easy to train and do the best if you give them lots of praise. When the dog is young it needs to be socialized a lot so that it doesn’t become shy. Most border collies will get along fine with children and other dogs. If you get this dog it will need almost constant attention, lots of daily exercise and a task for it to do. This dog lives for serving its owner and will not just lie around the house all day doing nothing. If this breed gets bored, they can become destructive while it looks for something to do.

If you live in an apartment you definitely should not get this dog. They need to have lots of room to run and play. Also, this dog should never be left alone for a long time or they can become neurotic. You can’t just ignore this breed; they need attention all the time.

Border collies are usually pretty healthy but some are prone to PRA, hip dysplasia, eye disease, allergies to fleas, epilepsy and deafness. Most live to be around twelve to fifteen years old.

The border collie needs to be brushed and combed regularly to keep its coat healthy. You have to be careful though when their undercoat sheds. They are considered to be an average shedder. Only give them baths when it is necessary.

The most important thing to remember with this dog is that it must have something to do. If you don’t provide activities for the dog, you will run into problems. If you give the dog a task, make sure it gets lots of exercise and give it plenty of attention, you will have a great pet. The border collie absolutely loves to make its owner happy.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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