Archive for August, 2007

So You Want a German Shepherd

Ever since Rin Tin Tin became a famous television personality, the German Shepherd has gone from an already popular dog breed to one of the most well known breeds on earth. This versatile dog breed seems to be everywhere that a dog can be of help, from war torn countries to areas where natural disasters have occurred. The powerful German Shepherd will strike terror in the hearts of criminals one minute and endure the overly affectionate attention of little children the next.

German Shepherds were bred to be guardians and the breed still has a very strong protective instinct. A dog that is high strung or nervous should never be bred, as the resulting puppies can be untrustworthy. However, most German Shepherds are wonderful dogs and devoted to their families, including children and other pets.

The German Shepherd is a fairly large dog, weighing from sixty to seventy five pounds and standing twenty two to twenty six inches tall. This breed has erect ears, dark, intelligent eyes, and a graceful tail. The German Shepherd is most commonly black and tan, although gray and tan or black and gray dogs are also available. A striking all white dog, commonly called an Alsatian, is popular with many people. If you like the look of the Alsatian, be sure you meet the puppy’s parents, as these white German Shepherds can sometimes be a bit high strung.

Although German Shepherds are high energy animals, they can live in the city. Just be aware that you will have to exercise your dog frequently and that he will be miserable if you leave him alone for long hours without giving him a job to do. Of course, a house with a big yard in a rural area is ideal.

Since your German Shepherd will rapidly grow into a big, powerful dog, you may want to enroll him in obedience classes while he is a puppy. It is much easier to control a small puppy than a full grown untrained dog. In addition, puppy obedience classes also help provide another important benefit for your German Shepherd puppy, socialization to other dogs and people. Many people who own these intelligent dogs make the unfortunate mistake of thinking that their dogs need to be trained as guard dogs. However, this training can lead to aggression if your dog is not trained properly. Since German Shepherds are naturally protective, they do not need attack dog training to guard your home.

The German Shepherd’s coat requires little grooming. The dense coat is coarse and does not mat easily. Brush your dog once a week to remove dirt and debris. If you live in the city, concrete will probably wear down your Shepherd’s nails. However, if your dog lives in a rural area he may need to have his nails trimmed several times a year.

German Shepherds need to eat a nutritional food that is formulated for large breed dogs. If your Shepherd is a working dog, you may need to feed him a high protein food. A good dog vitamin is also a smart idea.

This loyal, smart breed commonly suffers from hip dysplasia or epilepsy. To see one of these dignified dogs suffering from either disease is heart breaking. Please be sure that your puppy’s breeder has had the parents tested to be sure they do not carry these diseases.

If you want a dog who will be protective and loyal, then a German Shepherd may be the right dog for you and your family.

Is a Doberman Pinscher Right For You?

Doberman Pinschers are a common sight in the movies. People are used to seeing people running for their lives as aggressive dogs lunge at them with demonic looking eyes. However, in real life, most Dobermans are actually loyal, intelligent family pets.

The American Kennel Club classifies the Doberman Pinscher as a member of its Working Group. These dogs were originally bred to be police dogs. They were also commonly used in the German military. The sight of one of these big, dangerous looking dogs coming toward them filled people with dread. After all, they are extremely powerful animals.

The Doberman Pinscher is a square dog with a powerful chest and a bullet shaped head. This breed weighs in at anywhere from 55 to 90 pounds and stands 24 to 28 inches tall. The Doberman’s short coat is black, red, blue, or fawn with tan markings. Occasionally, these dogs have a white spot on their chests. Its almond shaped eyes are dark in color. Most Dobermans have their tails docked. While this may sound cruel, a docked tail can prevent painful accidents in the future. More than one undocked Doberman has accidentally broken his tail.

Dobermans are not high energy dogs, but they have amazing endurance capabilities. These dogs do need exercise and do not do well in apartment settings. A fenced yard is a much better fit for them. Dobermans enjoy spending time with their owners, so even if you have a fenced yard, you should be prepared to take your dog for a daily walk.

Despite the bad publicity this breed receives, most Dobermans are great with children and other pets. These devoted family dogs will do anything to please their owners and are highly trainable. However, you do need to be careful if you have young children and a Doberman puppy. Puppies can accidentally knock your children down, since they do not realize their own strength and are very energetic.

You will need to begin training and socializing your Doberman as soon as you bring him home to avoid problem behaviors. Dobermans are very intelligent and can get into quite a lot of mischief if they are left to themselves. Puppy obedience classes are a good idea, since the classes will help you train and socialize your puppy while he is young and easy to control. After all, who wants to wait until their dog weighs almost as much as they do before they try to teach him to sit.

Dobermans are big, muscular dogs and need a substantial amount of dog food. Be sure to feed your dog a food formulated for large breeds to be sure he gets the nutrition he needs.

Doberman Pinschers are prone to hypothyroidism and a hereditary condition called von Willebrand’s disease. They also can develop heart problems. As they age, these oversized lap dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so you may want to check with your veterinarian to find out about special foods for older dogs.

It is easy to groom a Doberman. You may want to brush your dog once a week to remove dirt and loose hair and you should check his nails to be sure they are not too long, but they rarely need any further grooming.

Doberman Pinschers may look like hardened killers, but they are actually crème puffs around their family. If you want a dog that will protect your home but still loves to snuggle up beside you at night, then a Doberman may be the right breed for you.

So You Want a Dalmation

With the popularity of the Disney cartoons featuring Dalmations, it is no wonder that this breed is in demand. However, few Dalmations act like the dogs in these movies, although Dalmation puppies can certainly get into plenty of mischief, just as their cartoon counterparts can.

The Dalmation is a member of the American Kennel Club’s Non-Sporting group. These dogs first arrived in England during the 1700’s, where noblemen used them to guard their coaches. Dalmations were the ideal breed for this job, since they got along well with horses. In fact, Dalmations were so good with horses that they became popular with firemen, who used horse drawn fire wagons. By the time fire engines replaced the horse drawn wagons, Dalmations and fire stations were inseparable.

The Dalmation is a 45 to 65 pound dog that stands 19 to 24 inches in height. This dog is well muscled without being overly bulky or stocky. Its eyes can be brown, blue, or a combination of the two colors. The Dalmation’s long, graceful tail is extremely powerful. The sleek coat of this breed has a background of white that is covered with black or brown colored spots. As new born puppies, Dalmations have no spots. They are pure white until their spots begin to appear.

Dalmations are extremely high energy dogs and are prone to hyperactive behavior and separation anxiety. You will need to be prepared to take your dog jogging or for a run in the park to burn off energy, as he may not burn off enough energy walking in the yard by himself. If possible, give your Dalmation a job to do. Obviously, not everyone has a horse in the back yard, but you can always teach your dog to fetch the morning paper.

Inexperienced dog owners may not be able to handle this wonderful breed, as Dalmations have a tendency to be a bit hard headed. If you buy a Dalmation puppy, be prepared to attend puppy obedience classes. Also, socialize your puppy as frequently as possible, as Dalmations tend to be fearful around people they don’t know.

Since they are so active, Dalmations burn a lot of calories. You will need to feed your puppy a good puppy chow that has plenty of nutrition. Also, check with your veterinarian to see which vitamins and supplements you should give your dog. Also, ask about special diets that help reduce the chance of kidney or bladder stones, since this breed is prone to these problems. Dalmations are also prone to deafness, hip dysplasia and allergies.

Grooming a Dalmation is simple. Just brush your dog once a week to remove loose hair. If you don’t groom your dog, you will spend quite a lot of time cleaning up his hair, as Dalmations can be heavy shedders.

If you love the look of the Dalmation’s spotted coat and enjoy living an active lifestyle, then the Dalmation may just be the perfect breed for you.

So You Want a Collie

Almost every child wants to own Lassie, the wonder Collie. Unfortunately, if the child really expects one dog to be that incredible, a Collie puppy may be a bit of a disappointment. After all, in real life, Lassie is actually played by several hard working Collies.

The Collie was originally bred to herd sheep and still has a strong protective instinct, which makes the breed an excellent choice for a family dog. Of course, not every Collie is a highly intelligent, diligent protector. Some of these dogs are high strung and nervous, but most are wonderful with children. The American Kennel Club classifies the Collie as part of the Herding Group. These dogs weigh 55 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 26 inches tall.

The Collie is strong and graceful and has plenty of endurance. This dog’s almond shaped eyes seem to sparkle with intelligence, whether they are brown or blue in color. The Collie’s prick ears give it an alert appearance. The Collie can be rough or smooth coated. The rough coat is longer and fuller than the smooth coat. This breed can come in sable and white, tricolor, or blue merle colors.

The Collie enjoys living in the midst of an active family. This breed is not a good choice for apartment living, since it loves to spend time outside. A home with a large yard is ideal for the Collie breed.

Although the Collie is friendly and outgoing, this dog is protective of its family and takes its duties as a watchdog seriously. Your Collie will bark at intruders, whether they are people, cats, squirrels, or pieces of trash blowing around the yard.

The Collie can be quite headstrong and can get into quite a lot of mischief as a puppy. You should consider attending puppy obedience classes with your Collie, since it is easier to train a small puppy who hasn’t developed bad habits than a sixty pound dog that has. Also, be sure to be firm with your puppy about staying on the floor if you do not want Collie hair on all of your furniture. Once you allow your dog on the furniture, he will feel that he has a right to be there any time you leave the room.

The Collie breed has very few health problems. Eye diseases and PRA are the most common problems these dogs face. In fact, you are much more likely to take your puppy to the veterinarian because he has injured himself while jumping from a moving vehicle or exploring his surroundings than you will for a health problem.

Collies are quite happy to pack away plenty of food. These dogs have a tendency to overeat, so it is best to give them three small meals a day. If your Collie develops a bulge around his middle, talk to your veterinarian about switching to a food that promotes weight loss.

Although a rough coated Collie has long hair, the Collie does not need extensive grooming. Brush through your dog’s coat several times a week to avoid mats, paying close attention to the hair around his face, behind his ears, and around his legs.

The Collie is an intelligent family dog. If you want a dog who will protect your family and will play with the kids, the Collie may just be the perfect pet for you.

Is a Cocker Spaniel Right for You?

The Cocker Spaniel is such a pretty, graceful dog in the show ring that it is hard to imagine that this breed was developed to be a working dog. However, before Cocker Spaniels were bred for their long, flowing coats, these bouncy little dogs were developed to be able to work tirelessly alongside hunters and sportsmen. Today, the spunky little Cocker has few of its former hunting instincts. Instead, this breed has become popular as a family pet.

Cocker Spaniels are small dogs and weigh in at twenty four to twenty nine pounds. They stand fifteen to sixteen inches tall. This breed is known for its feathery, long leg hair, its floppy ears, and its soulful dark eyes. The Cocker comes in a wide range of colors, including black, cream, roan, black and white, orange and white, tan tricolor, and black with tan points.

For several years, Cocker Spaniels were so popular that some breeders allowed dogs with bad temperaments to reproduce. The resulting puppies with bad traits were bred back to other dogs with bad traits. Suddenly, the Cocker Spaniel breed was filled with dogs who suffered from inexplicable episodes of rage or were extremely high strung. Luckily, breed enthusiasts stepped in to rescue the breed and have been breeding dogs with sound temperaments. Now, most Cockers are once again wonderful family pets and are good with children and other animals. To be sure you buy a Cocker Spaniel with a good temperament, only buy from a reputable breeder and make certain you meet both parents.

Since Cocker Spaniels are not high energy dogs, they do well in apartments, town houses, or single homes. However, your dog will still need to be exercised daily. If you have a child who likes to throw balls or sticks, your Cocker will be blissfully happy, since these dogs love to play fetch.

Although Cocker Spaniels are small enough to be easily controlled when they are full grown, it is still a good idea to train your dog. Puppy classes will help him learn to get along well with other dogs and people. These classes are also a good idea for new dog owners, since owners are actually learning alongside their dogs.

The Cocker Spaniel’s coat requires a fair amount of grooming, especially if you want your dog to have that beautiful feathery leg hair. If you do not keep your Cocker’s coat clipped short, be prepared to brush his coat at least three times a week. Keep a close eye on your dog’s ears, since those hairy floppy ears don’t always get enough air circulating to keep them healthy.

Cocker Spaniels have a bit of a reputation for being gluttonous. When feeding your dog, be sure you use proper portion sizes. You may also want to consider avoiding the use of treats as training rewards. The charming Cocker can suffer from other health problems besides obesity. They include hip dysplasia, bad knees, epilepsy, eye problems, heart disease and allergy problems.

If you want a small family dog with a playful spirit, then a Cocker Spaniel just may be the right breed for you.

Is a Chow Chow the Breed for You?

Normally, a blue tongued dog would be a cause for concern. However, when that blue tongue belongs to your Chow Chow, it is completely normal. Chow Chows have a black tongue with a distinctive bluish tint.

The Chow Chow originated in China, where it was used as a hunting dog. Asian sailors brought these dogs with them to England, where their exotic appearance quickly made them popular. This breed is classified by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Non-Sporting group.

The Chow Chow is a 45 to 70 pound dog that stands 17 to 20 inches high. Its down turned lips can give this breed a deceptively angry appearance. This unfriendly impression is offset by the tail curling over the dog’s back and its thick double coat. The red Chow Chow is most common, but these furry dogs also can have black, blue, cinnamon, or cream colored coats.

Chow Chows are not high energy dogs, but they do need a bit more exercise than an apartment provides. A small fenced yard is adequate for this breed. If you do live in an apartment, be prepared to take your Chow Chow for a daily run. However, do not allow him to run loose in the park, as Chows are prone to aggressiveness toward other dogs.

While Chow Chows are devoted to their families and usually love children, they do not often do well with other pets. New owners should concentrate on socializing their puppies to be sure they do not grow up to be dangerous or aggressive to strangers. Puppy obedience classes are a good way to socialize your puppy while being sure it receives thorough obedience training.

Besides their tendency to be aloof and unfriendly to people outside the family, these dogs do have a few other drawbacks. They have a tendency to dominate people if they can get away with it and they can bully inexperienced dog owners. You will have to be firm with your dog and should always be sure to follow through on commands.

Since they are not extremely active dogs, Chows do not eat a lot. You should feed your dog a nutritious puppy food while he is young and a good adult dog food when he grows older. While they are easy to feed, they do require quite a lot of grooming. Their thick coats are hard to brush because they are so dense.

While they are big dogs, Chow Chows should not spend too much time outside during the summer, since their thick coats do not protect Chows from heat sensitivity. These dogs also can suffer from hip dysplasia and often have problems with their knee joints.

If you don’t mind that Chow Chows have a bit of an attitude problem when they are dealing with strangers or other animals, then this might just be the right breed for you. After all, there is nothing quite like hugging one of these fuzzy, bear like dogs on a chilly winter night.

Should You Buy a Chihuahua?

If you watch television, you’ve probably seen celebrities like Paris Hilton toting around tiny dogs with big poppy brown eyes. These dogs, called Chihuahuas, are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. The Chihuahua first appeared in Mexico and does well in warmer climates. Of course, a doggy sweater can make one of these small dogs feel warm and cozy during winter months.

The Chihuahua weighs in as a lightweight at one to six pounds and stands only about five inches high. These little dogs come in a wide range of colors, although tan or black and tan dogs are most common. They have prick ears, an alert expression, and big, slightly poppy eyes. This breed has both short haired and long haired varieties.

The American Kennel Club considers Chihuahuas to be part of the Toy Group. These dogs were bred to be companion dogs and they excel at this task. This breed hates to be alone and thrives when it is in the thick of things.

Chihuahuas are ideal apartment dogs, since they do not take up much room and do not need a ton of exercise. Some people even train these little guys to use a litter box. This doesn’t mean that a Chihuahua won’t enjoy living in a house with a yard, though. This breed enjoys exercising and playing outdoors on warm days.

The Chihuahua can sometimes be nippy with small children, especially if it is accidentally injured and has reason to fear being handled by them. This breed also tends to be bossy and easily spoiled, especially if the dog’s owners allow it to get away with aggressive or angry behaviors. If you have other dogs, you will need to be sure that your Chihuahua does not bully them. These dogs will pick a fight with much larger dogs, since they sincerely believe that they have the size and strength of a Rottweiler. In fact, the Chihuahua is a wonderful guard dog and will also take on human intruders.

Because they have a tendency to be self centered and badly behaved, Chihuahuas should receive puppy obedience training. After all, even a tiny tyrant can be unpleasant to be around. Puppy classes will help your dog to learn basic obedience, but they also have another important purpose, socializing your puppy. He will learn at an early age to get along with people and other dogs. Despite their size, these dogs are quite intelligent and do well with obedience training. Some of them even go on to take agility classes.

Chihuahuas eat very little, but feeding costs can still be a bit high, since these dogs are often picky eaters. Also, this breed is so delicate that some dogs have trouble eating hard, dry food. Chihuahuas are prone to dislocated jaws, fractures, epilepsy and rheumatism.

Short haired Chihuahuas require very little care. Long haired Chihuahuas need a bit more grooming, but still do not need to be brushed more than once a week. With their tiny jaws, it is no surprise that some of these dogs have dental problems, so you may also want to brush your dog’s teeth daily.

If you want a dog who is small enough to tuck into your pocket, but has the heart of a much bigger dog, then a Chihuahua may be the right dog for you.

Advertiser Appreciation: July 2007

I have been posting each month a “THANK-YOU” post, like this one, to all the advertisers from the previous month listed as at month end. That’s a permanent link in this blog, under the category heading which I call .. “Sponsor Appreciation”. I know it’s hard out there trying to figure out where to spend your advertising dollars .. and well .. THANKS for considering the DogLvr Blog.

I have compiled a new advertising page for the HART-Empire Network of sites for your perusal.

Please Support Our Sponsors From July 2007

Fun Dog Collars and Clothing

DOG BEDS

Interviewing Interesting Bloggers

T D Hedengren’s Blog

All things MMORPG

Everything Xbox Live Arcade

Raise Capital in 90 Days Online – Now!

Thank-You Sponsors!

So You Want a Bulldog

A Bulldog is much more than a pair of sad eyes and droopy jaws, but this dog’s appearance is a major reason for its popularity. The other reason these dogs are so popular is that they have a sweet and gentle nature.

This breed was originally created to help butchers slaughter bulls. Some people used the tenacious nature of the Bulldog to turn their dogs into bull baiters. When this ugly sport was outlawed, people that loved the breed began breeding only the sweetest dogs. Today, these dogs are sociable, friendly animals.

The Bulldog is a medium sized dog, but is still very powerful. These dogs weigh 40 to 50 pounds and stand 12 to 16 inches high. A Bulldog has a squat body, a flat forehead, and large jaws. This breed has dark, gentle eyes. Some Bulldogs have corkscrew tails, but they can also have straight tails.

The American Kennel Club classifies this breed as a member of the Non-Sporting Group. These odd looking dogs have one purpose, to be devoted companions. Luckily, they are well suited to their role.

Bulldogs are the ideal pets for apartment owners. They are very low energy and do not need to spend a lot of time exercising. Of course, they still enjoy taking a leisurely evening walk with their owners.

Of course, like any breed, the Bulldog does have a few flaws. When you live with a Bulldog, you may feel as though you are living in a frat house, since this breed will snore, drool, and pass gas frequently. Sometimes, one of these normally sweet natured dogs will bully other dogs, especially if there is food involved.

Despite their size, Bulldogs can be quite powerful. Because of this, it will be much easier for you to start training your dog as a puppy. Luckily, these dogs are eager to please their owners, although they are not always quick learners. In fact, some Bulldogs cannot understand even the simplest commands until they are six months old.

A Bulldog has a bit of a reputation as a chow hound. This breed likes to eat. However, you will need to be sure that you do not let your Bulldog overeat, since obesity can lead to serious health problems. Other health problems these charmers face are allergies, hip dysplasia, eye problems, and breathing problems.

Bulldog owners need to be especially careful to keep their dogs out of the sun. These dogs can overheat easily, which can prove fatal. Also, since this breed is prone to breathing problems, Bulldogs should never be walked using a choke collar. A harness will help you prevent their already small tracheas from being damaged.

With their short coats, Bulldogs need very little grooming. However, the wrinkles on their face require careful cleaning. If you do not keep your Bulldog’s wrinkles clean, he could develop skin infections, not to mention a nasty odor.

If you want a loving family pet and can overlook the fact that your little guy is a bit odoriferous, then a Bulldog may just be the right breed for you.

So You Want a Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is a good dog that has developed a bad reputation. This dog was created to fight and when a Bull Terrier is mistreated, it can be made into a dog that is quite aggressive, even vicious. With proper care and training, a Bull Terrier puppy can grow up to be a sweet and loving dog. In fact, at times this breed is even slightly silly. However, an older dog who has been mistreated may never be truly trustworthy and should not be placed in a home where it has access to children.

The Bull Terrier is a member of the American Kennel Club’s terrier group and most commonly comes in pure white or brindle. Brindle dogs can have white markings, but they cannot be predominantly white. Don’t confuse this dog with its relative, the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Bull Terrier is a solidly built, muscular animal, weighing in at fifty five to seventy pounds. The dog’s broad chest and bullet shaped head are distinctive identifying characteristics for the breed.

The Bull Terrier is content living in an apartment as long as it receives plenty of exercise. However, these dogs prefer living in a home with a roomy, securely fenced yard. No matter where or how you exercise your dog, be sure he cannot escape, as some Bull Terriers and cats or small dogs can be a deadly combination.

The Bull Terrier loves family life and often is quite good with children. These dogs love to play and will spend hours playing frisbee. However, if you do not have children of your own, and your Bull Terrier isn’t used to small children, never leave your Bull Terrier with visiting children unattended, as infants and toddlers are sometimes mistaken for other animals instead of people.

If you’ve never owned a dog before, then the Bull Terrier is definitely not for you. These dogs are not a good match with inexperienced dog owners. In addition, if you are a shrinking violet instead of an assertive person, your Bull Terrier will sense this. He will quickly dominate you and rule your household.

Since Bull Terriers are such powerful animals, you will need to be sure your dog is thoroughly trained before he gets too big for you to control easily. It is a good idea to enroll your dog in puppy obedience classes, so you can be sure he is correctly trained while he is small. In addition, obedience classes are an important step in socializing your puppy.

Bull Terriers can put away quite a bit of dog chow. While they don’t eat as much as a Great Dane, these dogs can make a noticeable difference in the grocery budget. You may want to ask your veterinarian about feeding your Bull Terrier a dog chow that alleviates kidney problems. Besides being prone to kidney disease, the Bull Terrier can develop heart disease or deafness.

Your Bull Terrier needs very little grooming. You may want to brush him weekly to remove loose hair and dirt to keep his coat looking smooth and healthy. You may also want to brush his teeth and trim his nails.

If you are an experienced dog owner and are willing to work with your dog to turn him into a good citizen, then you may want to take a look at the Bull Terrier.