Archive for the Saint Bernard category

A Look at the Saint Bernard

More than one traveler stranded in the snowy Swiss Alps owes the ponderous Saint Bernard his life. Monks in the Alps actually developed this massive dog to be used as a rescue dog. The Saint Bernard breed is quite an old one, going back as far as the 1700s.

The American Kennel Club places the Saint Bernard in the Working Group. These big dogs weigh from one hundred twenty to two hundred pounds and stand twenty six to twenty eight inches tall. This breed can be short haired or it can have a long haired coat. Originally, all Saint Bernards had a short haired coat, since snow did not stick to the short hair easily. However, when these dogs became popular as pets in Victorian England, Saint Bernard fanciers bred them to have longer hair. They also worked to make them bigger and bigger.

Unfortunately, some breeders today still are more concerned with appearance than they are with personality. Before buying a puppy, make sure that your prospective Saint Bernard’s parents are outgoing and sweet tempered dogs. Otherwise, you may end up with a fearful or aggressive dog. Please don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a puppy with a good temperament.

The Saint Bernard is usually a gentle giant and plays well with children and other dogs. However, a young Saint Bernard and small children is usually a bad combination, since these dogs make awkward, clumsy puppies. More than one toddler has been accidentally knocked down and injured when trying to play with a Saint Bernard puppy. Older dogs are usually more graceful and are careful not to knock children down.

The Saint Bernard does not do well in apartments or town homes. These dogs need a lot of room and are not happy without a home that has a fenced yard. If they do not have enough exercise, Saint Bernards tend to get into a lot of trouble. A bored puppy of this size can sure make a lot of damage.

Saint Bernards are loyal, loving dogs with a strong desire to please. However, their enormous size means that they can be hard to control. You may want to consider enrolling your puppy in obedience classes while you still outweigh him. These classes will help you train him, but they also play another important role, socializing your puppy. He will meet plenty of strangers and their dogs in the classes.

Saint Bernards eat a sizable amount of food, so it is no surprise that feeding a Saint Bernard increases the grocery bill. Since this breed suffers from hip dysplasia, you may want to use a food that is formulated to help large breed puppies grow healthy and strong. Saint Bernards are also prone to heart disease and tumors.

Short haired Saint Bernards need very little grooming. Even long haired dogs don’t require too much work, since they are not heavy matters. Just be sure you brush through your dog’s hair once a week.

The Saint Bernard is a wonderful companion dog. As long as you don’t mind having a dog who is bigger than most people, a Saint Bernard may be the right choice for you.

Puggle Dogs and Designer Dog Facts – The Truth About Puggles

Puggle Dogs and Designer Dog Facts – The Truth About Puggles

By Jenny Smith

Puggle Dogs are a fairly new mixed breed. They’re a half breed combined with a pug and a beagle. They are one of the cutest mix breed dogs out there today. They have a very mellow, loving temperament. Puggles are ideal family pets, because they do so well with young children. They’re all around lovable, and not normally a one person dog as are pugs. Puggles become attached to anyone that will give them the time of day and feed them. This breed is also very easily trained. This makes it great for that always terrible training period in a young pups life.

Anyone that has experienced raising a dog from infancy knows that you go through a period of potty training. Some dogs are better than others during this stage. Some breeds are very easily trained and you never have much of a problem with them, while others are not always so. Puggles learn to obey commands well, while many breeds never seem to grasp this key concept. This makes the chewing stage a little more easy to cope with as well. They will most certainly go through that chewing stage like any puppy, but they seem to learn the word “no” very well, and obey commands earlier than most.

Puggles don’t posses the eye’s that pop out or the completely flat noses that make breathing often times difficult for the pug. They seem to be the perfect cross between two dogs with several flaws. They also don’t have the miserable howl, like beagles do. They’ve got the perfect combination of good looks and great characteristics. All this combined is the ingredients of the perfect companion. There are so many breeds of dog out there today, that it can be hard to choose the one for you. As time goes on there is continually more and more breeds being discovered and created. The first known breed of dogs stemmed primarily from the wolf in the northwest region. In Egypt one of the first dogs was the basenji. The basenji is a compact hunter whose ancestry is depicted in Egyptian tombs dating around 5,000 years old. The interesting thing about this dog is that it doesn’t bark. It makes little chortles and yodels, and snarls. This dog, like the wolf can only be bred once a year. Most dogs can be bred twice a year. Here are a few of the older breeds known to man;

• Saluki
• Afghan Hound
• St Bernard
• Alaskan Malamute
• Lhasa Apso

Many modern day cross breed dogs stemmed from one or more of these older dogs. After these dogs came some more breeds that pushed the evolution of dogs a litter further. They are as follows;

• Miniature Poodle
• Pembroke Welsh Corgi
• Mountain Cur
• Australian Shepherd

And so began the cross bred dog. Some say that cross breed dogs are not a good thing. They believe that these designer dogs are a fashion statement to many. In turn, this excludes all other breeds from having homes. The majority of people nowadays want some sort of cross breed. Whether it be a puggle (pug & beagle mix), a labradoodle (Labrador retriever & Poodle mix), or a Schnoodle (Miniature Schnauzer-Poodle mix). Many dog owners argue that these mixed breeds aren’t a real breed, merely overpriced mutts. Many press the point that before you go buying a designer dog to go down to the local shelter and see what’s available. Although these mixed breed dogs are adorable, you don’t always have to pay that designer price. Often times these mixed breeds can be found at shelters as well, and for less than half the price! There are hundreds to thousands of dogs each year that are homeless, and are taken to these animal shelters in hopes of finding homes for them. Just because they aren’t a purebred mix doesn’t mean they won’t be the best companion ever! The puggle is a recognized purebred mix.

A man by the name of Gary Garner is the president of the American Canine Hybrid Club. His company offers certificates of authentication for a mere price of $20. These are available to anyone who can prove that they are owners of the offspring of two different breed purebred dogs. He gets letters upon letters of hate mail coming from many purebred owners. Although this seems to angry many, hundreds are getting this done every day.

The best piece of advice for anyone considering getting a dog as a pet, is to do the research. Research each dog you think you may want, and compare them to one another. Here are a few key things to consider when shopping for the breed that’s right for you:

• Size?
• Easily trainable?
• Shedding? (little, average, constant.)
• Coat? (Wire, thick, long, short, etc.)
• Grooming? (weekly, daily, moderate.)
• Aggressive characteristics?
• Family dog?
• Good with everyone, or one man dog?
• Common characteristic habits with this breed?
• Health issues common to breed?

Many celebrities have taken a liking to the puggle as well. Here are a few new owners of the breed; Jake Gyllenhaal, James Gandolfini, Sylvester Stallone and Julianne Moore. Anyone who discovers this new furry friend can’t control the urge to get one of their own. Time to get out there and find the perfect breed for you! Oh wait, you already found it…….The PUGGLE!

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Saint Bernard Complete Profile

Saint Bernard Complete Profile

Saint Bernard

Key Facts:

Size: Giant
Height: 69 – 86 cm (28 – 34 inches)
The taller the better.
Weight: 50 – 75 kg (110 – 165.5 lb)
Life Span: 7 years
Grooming: Medium – demanding
Exercise: Medium
Feeding: Demanding
Temperament: Patient & docile
Country of Origin: Switzerland
AKC Group: Working
Other Names: Alpine Mastiff

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Massive, powerful with a kindly expression.
Colour: White with shades of red or brindle. The white colouring is on the chest, forelegs, tail tip, muzzle, feet, collar and blaze.
Coat: Rough coat – Flat, dense, smooth or slightly wavy. Smooth coat – Close, dense and flat.
Tail: Long, heavy, carried low when at rest and raised when active.
Ears: Set high, lying close to the cheek and of medium size.
Body: The body is well-proportioned with a broad straight back and a deep, wide chest. The shoulders are wide, oblique and muscular and the ribs are rounded.

Easy-going, kind, trustworthy, reasonably lethargic and patient. Saint Bernard’s are wonderful with children and extremely loyal to their families. They generally get along well with other dogs and household pets. These gentle giants are easily trained and early training is important so that they don’t pull on the lead, as they quickly become very strong. As adults they are not overly active and will defend their owners and property if necessary, however this is not their primary role.

Daily grooming is needed with a brush and comb to remove the loose hairs. The ear canals need to be kept clean and if the dog has drooping eyelids then these should also be checked regularly.

Saint Bernards should not be over-exercised as puppies to prevent any damage to their rapidly growing bones and muscles. They are much more active when younger, but tend to slow down once fully grown and don’t need as much space for exercise. They need an average amount of exercise and will be happy with regular walks and opportunities to run freely of the lead.

These dogs descended from the Asian Mastiff family and travelled from Greece to Italy and then into Europe. Around 1000 AD the breed had established a reputation for assisting lost travellers, due to the Swiss monk Bernard de Menthon (from whom they got their name). They were never given formal training, but these dogs had an amazing ability to scent out stranded people in the snow. They would often keep the victim warm by lying on each side of the body, while another dog would go back for help. Inbreeding occurred over the centuries and it became necessary to outcross to Newfoundlands and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs. However these crosses brought in rough coated varieties whose coat collected snow and weighed them down in icy weather.

Additional Comments:

Saint Bernards need plenty of bone forming additives, vitamins and minerals when growing, for them to develop the muscles needed to carry their large frame.
Saint Bernards tend to drool a fair amount, due to their lower lips drooping at the outside corners. It is especially noticeable when they are eating and drinking.


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