Archive for January, 2007

Nasty and Sweet: The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Terrier

By Kelly Marshall

The Truth About Terriers

Terriers are one of the most popular types of dogs around the world. There are seven different breeds of terriers in the top 50 most popular dogs in the world, and this isn’t by chance. Terriers as a group are lively, intelligent, playful and generally very hardy and stout little companion dogs. They do have their own specific quirks and personalities, just as all other breeds do. Most terriers are relatively easy to care for as far as grooming is concerned but the Yorkshire terrier is a bit of an exception to the rule. Its fine coat requires regular grooming to keep it tangle and mat free.

The Benefits to Owning A Terrier

As mentioned above most of the various terrier breeds are very social and friendly dogs that enjoy spending time with both familiar friends and even new people. Terriers are naturally fun and love to play, even well into their senior years. Some terriers almost seem to have a streak of mischief in them and delight in doing something that causes laughter and fun within the house.

Terriers generally enjoy sharing the couch or a chair with the owners. While not completely lap dogs they are always up for a bit of a cuddle, however will remain alert and ready to run and romp at a minutes notice. Most terriers require moderate levels of exercise and are known to thoroughly enjoy a game of fetch or a game of chase with the kids. Generally terriers love to be outdoors even in wet or snowy conditions. Their coarse outer coats are largely water resistant so they are able to tolerate rain or snow, but should not be expected to stay outdoors in extreme weather conditions.

As a smaller dog terriers are not as costly to feed as the larger or giant breeds. They are generally very hardy and have few genetic conditions that are problematic, provided they are purchased from a reputable breeder. Some lines of terriers have problems with allergies, Von Willebrand’s disease (a hemophilia type blood disorder), and some difficulties with giving birth, but careful screening by breeders can eliminate almost all of the conditions.

Generally terriers are a long-lived group of dogs often living for twelve to fifteen years. They are curious and interested in what is going on around them even as the move into their senior years.

The Challenges to Owning A Terrier

There are challenges to owning any breed of dog and terriers are no different. As a whole the group is more prone to problematic behaviors such as excessive barking, digging and chewing when left alone. They tend to prefer being with the family rather than by themselves and will quickly find ways to let you know they are unhappy with the current situation.

All terriers were originally from dogs that were bred to hunt and dig, and modern terriers still carry those traits. A terrier is a natural chaser and may have difficulty learning to live with other pets in the house, especially if the terrier is not socialized as a puppy. They may also be so absorbed in the chase they don’t listen to commands or may even run into traffic areas without paying attention, often with tragic results.

Terriers tend to aggressive towards other dogs and often will take on even very large dogs to protect their territory. They may also be aggressive even in parks and other public areas so should be kept on a leash for their own safety.

Some terrier breeds are somewhat snappish and difficult to train. It is generally not advisable to leave small children with terriers that are very possessive of toys or food as often this results in the child being bitten or nipped. Terriers, while very intelligent, often become bored of the same routines and may begin to simply ignore repetitive commands if obedience training is not consistent and firm.

As a breed terriers respond very well to positive rewards but not at all well towards punishment based training methods. Terriers may become overly aggressive or even hostile towards people through punishment-based training.

Terriers are great dogs for most people, but do require some special attention and care. They thrive best when provided with consistent training, lots of love and attention and high levels of socialization throughout their lives.

About the Author: Since terriers have such spunky attitudes, you don’t want to get them fired up by buying junky dog gear at the local megastore. Four out of five terriers prefer shopping at Oh My Dog Supplies for small dog couches

Early Shih Tzu Puppy Eye Development

By Connie Limon

The average puppy or Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes open between 12 and 15 days of age. The ear canals open soon thereafter, usually within a day or two. All puppies are born with their eyes and ears sealed shut. Do not try to open them. If you force or pry open the puppy’s eyelids during any development stage, you can cause the puppy irreversible injury. Shih Tzu puppies are unable to see or hear before this time. Shih Tzu puppies are receptive to the stimuli of light and dark, noise and quiet. Some Shih Tzu puppies will open their eyes before 12 days; some are even later than the 15 days.

If all but one or two Shih Tzu puppies have their eyes open and functioning well, check with your veterinarian about the slower developing Shih Tzu puppies. A Shih Tzu brood matron’s eggs become fertilized during the breeding process at different times due to multiple inseminations. Some Shih Tzu puppies that develop later may be just simply because they were conceived at a later time.

Keep the Shih Tzu puppy area under subdued lighting conditions during the eye-opening period. Use heat lamps with caution once Shih Tzu puppies’ eyes have begun to open. If you need to continue using a heat lamp, construct a large aluminum foil “basket” or “hood” around the light. Punch numerous tiny holes in the fabric with a pin, thin, sharp pen or pencil tip.

Check the Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes as they first open to see if the ear ducts are functioning properly. Wash the eyes and keep them moist with a warm washcloth. The glands do not always initially function adequately. Well-functioning tear ducts are indicated by glisteningly bright “reflective” eyes. Sometimes if the Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes open early or if the Shih Tzu puppy is premature they do not have fully developed and functioning tears ducts. In these cases apply an ophthalmic ointment just under the eyelid, or consult with your vet for an appropriate routine to follow. If you use the ointment, apply it five or six times daily or according to your vet’s instructions. It is important to treat unproductive tear duct glands. Blindness can result if left unattended. Treatment is usually only a few days. A sterile 5 percent boric ophthalmic ointment solution can be purchased from your vet or pharmacy (under your vet’s instructions). The ointment can be applied every four hours. Treatment should continue until the Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes lose the dry “flat” (non-reflective) appearance.

Shih Tzu puppies’ eyes when first opened will have a protective film, bluish in color. If the Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes are white or solid blue consult your veterinarian.

By three weeks of age, Shih Tzu puppies’ should be able to focus fairly well.

Use extreme caution when photographing Shih Tzu puppies between 8 and 20 days of age. Prior and after this time a flash may be safer. Extreme and bright light can damage a Shih Tzu puppy’s delicate eye tissues.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies from top champion bloodlines. We have standard and smaller imperial/teacups. Sign up for our newsletter and purchase online at:

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Where Do Miniature Pinschers Come From?

By T C

If you own a Miniature Pinscher, you’re probably well aware of some of the characteristics that are attributed to this great dog. The various ways in which they communicate and act not only reveals a lot about the type of dog they are, but also gives some insight into the background of the dogs. If you really want to understand where your Min Pin is coming from, knowing the history is the place to begin.

The breed of Miniature Pinschers was first developed in Germany in the 1830s. They were bred with German Pinschers, Manchester’s, and Dachshunds in order to give them specific characteristics as a working dog as well as companion. They became so popular so quickly, that they were soon known as the king of toy breeds, a name they still carry today.

The idea behind Min Pins was to create a smaller breed of dog, mostly to be used on ships to catch vermin. As most would think, it would be better to use cats for this purpose. However, the cats that were used were not able to go onto the ships because of the way the wood from the decks affected them. The best solution was to breed a smaller dog that could take the place of the cats. When the changes in the dogs began to be made the breeders went after two things: a smaller size and a high amount of energy to help out on the boats.

The Miniature Pinschers quickly grew into a companion dog as well as a hunter of vermin. The size of the Min Pins became attractive to the women in Germany, as most saw them as good house companions as well as hunters. Because of this secondary thought, the dogs quickly moved into being bred to become even smaller in size. This is where the dogs were bred with Dachshunds in order to create a red color and small structure to the Min Pins. Of course, the concept of having a smaller dog is just as attractive to men now as it was to women then. Miniature Pinschers are known to have characteristics including being a more fearless and energetic dog, something that many men may like in a smaller dog.

These are the origins which have allowed Miniature Pinschers to gain some of their major attributes that some may notice today. The first of these attributes is that Min Pins are loyal companions to their owners, even more so than some other dogs. The second is that these dogs were bred in order to find and catch vermin, meaning that they will chase smaller animals and have also gained the attribute of being able to dig in order to find the rodents. This also means that your Miniature Pinscher has a higher amount of energy and will most likely need something to do even beyond the walks that you want to take them on.

Even though the Miniature Pinscher breed was created by combining breeds and ideas from men, these dogs have achieved some of the greatest attributes of dogs. If you like a higher energy animal and are also interested in one that you know will stay by your side as a companion, then Min Pins are the way to go. The beginnings of these dogs and how they came about has led to their greatness.

About the Author: Taylor Coburn is the Miniature Pinscher Aficionado. His Web site offers you information geared toward preventing health and behavior problems and to helping you have the happiest, healthiest Miniature Pinscher companion possible. Register today for his free tips and mini-course at

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Everything You Need To Know About Pugs

By Dane J Stanton

Pugs are one of the best breeds of dogs that exist on the planet. Why? Because I own one! Seriously now though, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about pugs and hopefully give you some reasons for buying one.

The First Great Reason For Owning A Pug

If you were wondering which breed of dog has the best personality, then yep, you guessed it, the pug. One of the best traits that pugs have is their amazing ability to constantly act cheerful even when they are being maltreated. Experts say they are the best dog to have for children because they will never attempt to injure a child in any way. Infact it’s usually the opposite! Another reason why they are so great for children is because they have a small and compact bodytype which enables them to be played with to a semi rough extent. My pug loves being thrown all over the place and if you lie on the ground she will attempt to jump on you and pick a fight! I usually let her win.

A Second Great Reason Why You Should Own A Pug

Pugs originated from China where they were officially named the Chinese lap dogs. The Emperor would sit at his thrown with a pug on his lap. So what’s the second great reason then? Because when you first buy your pug, you will be amazed at how much they love to just be with you and the great thing about this is that they can be around you all the time because they are indoor dogs with short fur and are very easy to manage. I mean if the emperor of China chose to have pugs in his company, then surely they would be good enough for the rest of us right?

The Third Great Reason Why You Should Own A Pug

The last reason for owning a pug is because of the low costs involved. My dog gets two small bowls of specially designed dog biscuits in the morning and the night everyday. This adds up to around about $15 a week. Other larger dogs can rack up huge food bills, some over $100 a week and I bet they get now where near as much pleasure from the company of their dog than what I do with mine.

In case you’re wondering how someone could feel so much love and compassion for a dog, then I tell you a little story. When I was younger, we had a male pug that we named ‘Lucky’. One day my father came home to find that he had fallen off our balcony and had died. Now my father was a very strong man that didn’t show his emotions all that often, but when this happened, he wept for a week. I doubt that he would have felt as badly if it had of been me who fell of that balcony. So what is the meaning of this story, it’s this. Pugs make you love them no matter what.

Dane Stanton is the owner of which is an extensive review of the top Pug Training courses on the internet. Find which course is best for you and your Pug!

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A Little Bit About The Italian Greyhound

By Connie Limon

The Italian Greyhound is known in its native land as Picooli Levrieri Italiani. It is an ancient breed that looks like a miniature version of the Greyhound with all the talents of the bigger Greyhound.

The ancestors of the Italian Greyhound probably came from Egypt, Turkey and Greece, where they later found favor with medieval European royalty. The Italian Greyhound became popular in southern Europe, especially in Italy, during the sixteenth century and eventually won the hearts of queens and princesses throughout Europe. This tin, personable miniaturization of the Greyhound probably was bred purposely as a lady’s companion but later gained a reputation for having sufficient speed, endurance, and determination for coursing small game.

The Italian Greyhound loves to run in pursuit of small game or just for the fun of it. Exercise requirements can be met by long walks, backyard games and play.

Current function of the Italian Greyhound is mainly just as a classic companion pet, although the Italian Greyhound has sporting qualities. He is equally at home in the comfort of apartment living and a soft bed as he is seen speeding across a yard or field in pursuit of imaginary or real game.

The Italian Greyhound has virtually no fat insulation on its body which does make him a little more sensitive cold. His tiny size and scant, slick coat does not help in this area, but also adds to this dog’s sensitivity to the cold. He probably is best kept in warmer climates.

The Italian Greyhound is affectionate, cheerful and intelligent. Avoid rowdy dogs and children when housing the Italian Greyhound. Older children should be taught not to try and carry around the Italian Greyhound. He is definitely not a pocket puppy breed, or one that enjoys being carried around. He is not known as a watchdog, although the bark of this breed sounds like a much larger dog. The Italian Greyhound is often timid around strangers. When properly introduced to visitors the Italian Greyhound warms up quickly.

The Italian Greyhound has an elegant beauty that pleases the eyes of those who meet this charming little dog. He stands about 13 inches tall and weighs about 8 pounds. He is quite similar to the Greyhound only smaller. The Italian Greyhound has a single coat that is fine and lies flat. It is seen in almost every color pattern and hue much like the Greyhound.


As you might guess grooming requirements of the Italian Greyhound are quite minimal. The coat is easily taken care of by regular, daily attention with velvet pad or a piece of silk. Equipment needed is a hound glove, velvet glove or pad. Bathe this breed in a good-quality protein shampoo. Use a purifying shampoo and mask on occasions or a condition to enhance the gleam of the coat.

About the Author: Author: Connie Limon. Visit us online at and sign up for our newsletters. About Toy Dogs is a guide to the selection and care of toy dog breeds. We feature articles, dog training resources, dog books, dog toys and supplies, and a toy dog breeder directory. Purchase a full page ad with up to 3 pictures, 12 picture video and advertising in our newsletters for one full year at the rate of $25 per year.

Getting To Know The Newfoundland

By Dan Stevens

Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the Newfoundland:

This over-sized breed falls within the working class dog and while massive, it is actually a very sweet and well-behaved breed. The Newfoundland is an extremely devoted dog, which has been used over the years for water rescue due to its natural strength, endurance, and swimming abilities. Originally bred in Newfoundland, thus the name, this breed was taken along by fishermen as they traveled the banks.

Interestingly, there are two distinct varieties of the Newfoundland. Although most are black in color, one is a stockier and larger breed with a long coat while the other variety of the same breed has a smooth coat and is more active. Both varieties have been and can be used by helping fishermen pull in heavy nets and equipment needed to make a living on the banks of Canada.

Without doubt, the Newfoundland has a wonderful character and takes great pride in loving and protecting its family. Typically, you would look at this large breed, expecting to see something more clumsy and aloof but in actuality the Newfoundland is a strong but graceful animal. Its expression is sweet and gentle and its stature regal. Unfortunately, some people misunderstand this particular breed, expecting a dog that is high maintenance when nothing could be closer to the truth.

Physical Appearance

The Newfoundland is large and usually black in color. However, you will see some with a brown coat, along with gray, black with white markings, and a black head, white body, and black markings, which are far rarer. As with a Labrador Retriever, the feet of this breed are webbed and the coat water-resistant, making it an outstanding swimmer. The males of this breed can weigh anywhere from 130 to 150 pounds and the females just slightly smaller, around 100 to 120 pounds.

The one breed with the black head, white body, and black markings is known as a Landseer, which gets its name from the famous Sir Edwin Landseer, an incredibly talented artist. Additionally, the variety with a black coat and white markings is called the Irish Spotted Newfoundland. Depending on the kennel club where you want to show your dog, some will accept the Landseer although it could be deemed a breed other than the Newfoundland. However, the Irish Spotted variety is not allowed for show, being determined a “defective” or “invalid” color combination.

Temperament and Personality

Do not be fooled by the size of the Newfoundland. Though large, this breed is loving and gentle. In fact, some will go as far as saying its personality is placid. No matter what, the sweet disposition of this dog is unmistakable. If you have small children, the only concern would be size, possibly knocking a child down. However, absolutely cherishes small children.

For training, the Newfoundland is easy to work with in that it wants to please. Most of these dogs will go through life with a nice balance, meaning they are neither overly excited or laid back. In fact, while still a puppy, the Newfoundland is actually calm. You do want to make sure that your new dog receives proper training, setting you as the master from day one. With such a great size, having an obedient dog will make life much easier.

Typically, it takes two to three years for the Newfoundland to reach complete maturity, the perfect time for training. In addition to being great with kids, this breed is also very patient and loving to other animals. For instance, you could easily own a six-pound Chihuahua and a 150-pound Newfoundland only to find the two of them best friends. While the breed serves well as a watchdog, warning people with a deep, vicious-sounding bark, they are actually not very good guard dogs.

Because this breed of dog is so loyal to family, if its master should have to give the dog up for any reason, he or she could suffer from separation or grief anxiety. If you were to talk to Newfoundland owners, they would probably all tell you what an exceptional breed this is but remember this may not be the right breed for everyone. The Newfoundland needs a lot of space and exercise. Because puppies are growing so much, they need more rest than other breeds do.


One of the primary problems seen with large breed dogs is a hip disorder called Hip Dysplasia. In this case, the hip socket wears away, causing the joint to become loose. When this happens, the dog experiences pain and inflammation. The result is walking, or climbing stairs becomes difficult. With the Newfoundland being one of the larger known breeds, Hip Dysplasia along with Elbow Dysplasia are real concerns.

Other possible health considerations include Calculi Stones within the bladder resulting from a hereditary defect known as Cystinuria, as well as a heart condition called Sub-aortic Stenosis. If you were planning to show your Newfoundland or use it for rescue, we recommend you receive a heart and Cystinuria certificate first.

About the Author: Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of SitStayFetch, a leading dog training guide having sold over 21,000 copies. See for more on dog breeds.

Getting To Know The Poodle

By Dan Stevens

Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the Poodle:

The Poodle is considered one of the smartest dogs in the world. In addition, this breed is exceptionally easy to train. What many people do not know is that the Poodle has been around for centuries, originally being a large dog used for hunting. The exact origin is controversial, some historians believing this breed comes from Germany while others believe it comes from Denmark, France, or even Piedmont. Regardless, the French are now considered the official claim to fame regarding this breed, which is why sometimes the dog is referred to as the “French Poodle”.

The Poodle, being a descent of the Hungarian Water Hound and Barbet, loves water. Therefore, the actual name is a derivative of the German word “Pudel, which translates to “one who plays in water.” With exceptional swimming and retrieving skills, this breed was at one time used to fetch waterfowl. To keep the dog from becoming waterlogged, giving it more flexibility to swim, the hunters would clip the coat, leaving only hair around the legs as protection from the environment. Today, we still see the Poodle clipped in this traditional fashion.

Realizing just how smart the Poodle was, the French began using the breed to perform in the circus, which led even further to popularity. The large, Standard Poodle was eventually bred down to what we see more of today as the Miniature and Toy Poodle. Keep in mind that the Standard variety is still available although not as widely chosen for a pet. In addition to excellent family additions, the Poodle is a great show dog and performer. When showing, all three varieties are scored the same.

The Standard Poodle is the largest of the three varieties, followed by the Miniature version and then the Toy version. All three are graceful, lively, and elegant. The Poodle is also shaped much the same, only different according to size. This breed is also a part of many hybrids to include Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle) and the latest, the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle).

Physical Appearance

All poodles have long ears that are flat and wide. The eyes are almond-shaped and the face generally has an alert expression. On this particular breed, you would find the head to be slightly rounded and the teeth have a scissor type bite. The Poodle’s feet are oval and webbed, making it a powerful swimmer. Depending on the owner, some will have the tail docked and dew claws removed.

A great benefit to owning a Poodle is that this dog does not shed. Therefore, people with allergies, respiratory problems, or even people with a disability that would find cleaning up after a dog difficult would love owning this breed. The hair of the Poodle is another important aspect. The hair is curly and therefore, must be brushed and clipped on regular schedules.

Typically, a Poodle would be one color such as brown, black, white, blue, apricot, or gray but you will also find parti-colors, sometimes referred to as “phantom colors”, which means black and red markings. While the hair on the Poodle’s body is tightly curled, you may find your dog’s ears curly or straight. When visiting a dog groomer, you will find there to be many different cut options. However, for show purposes, just three cuts are acceptable. These include:

1. Puppy Clip
2. Continental (Lion Clip)
3. English Saddle Clip

If you plan to use your Poodle as a working dog and not a show dog, then you could go with any clip you like. However, most often, the hair would be kept short as a means of reducing tangles and water remaining on the animal if used for fishing or hunting. Unfortunately, if a Poodle is not properly clipped, the hair can cause serious problems. As the hair grows, it begins to cord. When this happens, it can pull on the skin, causing lesions, sores, infection, and so on. At this point, the only solution is to have the coat completely shaven off.

To give you an idea as to size, the original Standard Poodle would measure more an 15 inches at the withers, the Miniature Poodle 11 to 14 inches, and the Toy, less than 11 inches. Additionally, a Toy Poodle must be 10 pounds or less to qualify for this class. Keep in mind that the FCI and AKC have slightly different regulations so you would need to follow closely to the one you wanted to use for show.

Temperament and Personality

The Poodle is an exceptionally bright dog. The breed is active and alert, loving, and loyal. In addition, the Poodle does very well with children if socialized when young and in most cases, handles other animals quite well. This particular breed will often go to great lengths to please its master and many times, is a one-person type dog. Although the Poodle is typically mellow, they can become bored and mischievous. Therefore, it is important to exercise your pet and spend some quality time playing.

You will also find the Poodle to be a sensitive dog. In fact, when caught chewing on something or getting into something he or she is not supposed to be in, you may even notice slight embarrassment. This breed is comical and makes a great watchdog. The one thing to remember is that if you find your particular Poodle is a little on the high-strung side, proper training, and socialization will reduce the risk of sapping dramatically. Then, if you have smaller children, they would need to be taught how to respect this breed, meaning no sitting on the dog, and no pulling of the ears or tail, etc.


Poodles will often have hyperactive tear ducts, meaning they have streaks of brown running down the eye area. Sometimes, keeping the eye clean with a cotton ball dampened with water is enough but if you find the problem to be constant, your veterinarian may prefer to check for a clog, which can be corrected. Then as mentioned, it is imperative that a Poodle have proper grooming. When buying this breed, the expense and time associated with grooming should be considered.

Most Poodles will live to around 14 to 16 years of age. Although typically a healthy breed, you should know that some health risks exist, which vary depending on the variety. For instance, things such as Entropion, Cataracts, Intervertebral Disc Degeneration, Epilepsy, Legg-Perthes, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Luxating Patella, Urolithiasis, and Trichiasis are all possibilities for the Miniature and Toy Poodle.

Then for the Standard Poodle, the above-mentioned risks exist along with small potential for Canine Hip Dysplasia, Addison’s Disease, Gastric Torsion, Sebaceous Adenitis, and Von Willebrand’s Disease, a hereditary protein deficiency. In addition, all varieties of the breed are predisposed for mammary tumors. With good care and regular checkups, a Poodle should live a long, healthy life.

About the Author: Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of SitStayFetch, a leading dog training guide having sold over 21,000 copies. See for more on dog breeds.