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The First Caucasian Ovcharka Rescue in the UK

Below is the story of how the UK’s only Caucasian Shepherd Rescue service began. Mark and his dedicated team have already done some fantastic work! Here, he explains a little more about the breed and what he does!

We started the Caucasian Ovcharka rescue Uk to help people with the breed here in the UK. Too many of these animals are ending up in shelters or being destroyed through vets/authorities not understanding this majestic animal.

If you need us find us @caucasianovcharkarescueuk on Facebook

CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA REAL LIFE FACTS.

caucasian shepherd garden

You can do all the research for this breed but you can’t beat real-life experience and talking to
owners of the Caucasian. Over the last ten years, I have seen a lot from this breed and have seen the good and bad that they can do.

The popularity of this breed is increasing at an alarming rate in the UK and backyard breeding
and cross-breeding is becoming a serious problem. Puppies are sold without papers and not being registered so the full amount in the UK is unknown.

Unfortunately, this has seen a massive increase in dogs being dumped on the roadside
and into shelters. Police have even shot abandoned Caucasians for no reason other than it was barking due to being scared, cold and wet.

After losing my boy Zeus Easter Sunday 2021, we were broken, even though our three Caucasian girls kept us going, we needed something to help us deal with the grief we were going through.

A post appeared on our Facebook feed of a dog requiring rescue as he was due to be PTS
through no fault of his own. His owner was moving into a one-bedroom flat and couldn’t take
him. In our eyes, this couldn’t happen.

caucasian ovcharka

The owners expressed he was good with everything except men. We couldn’t believe how much
he looked like our boy and contacted them. They brought him immediately to us to see him.

On his arrival, he was aggressive to absolutely everything, after doing a full assessment of him
we agreed he had a pure fear aggression drive to being only kept around three people for the last six months.

We asked them to keep him for a few weeks whilst we found a place for him as we were not
ready to take a dog with this aggression into our household. They said they couldn’t.

From this point, we were on a clock as he was being destroyed three days later and they refused to hold him. We contacted our friend Graham Macgregor and discussed our idea of the rescue and Graham quickly got on board and we started the Caucasian Ovcharka Rescue UK.

Having had these dogs for over ten years we wanted to give back to helping the breed with our
experience and knowledge. Looking into the background of Zeus, we found that he was related to our boy and this galvanized us to get this project up and running.

Since starting the Rescue we have already taken in four Caucasians in five weeks. Two males
with aggressive behaviour and two gorgeous females with slight puppy problems which were
quickly and easily got under control.

Zeus has been integrated into Grahams Caucasian pack and has settled into life brilliantly. He
now shows no aggressive behaviour towards people, dogs or livestock. He is loving life and
looking well.

Also, Seth has been rehomed to a family on a farm after we dealt with his aggressive behaviour at the rescue. We also help owners who can’t cope with behaviour issues or just life changes which mean the dog is at home alone through either advice, training or re-homing.

caucasian shepherd seth
Seth the Caucasian Shepherd

We have two sites in the UK able to take in dogs, we are currently building more kennels in our
Burnley site and two in the midlands. We hope to educate the UK market with real-life experiences and knowledge that will help future owners.

We want to stop this breed from being euthanized from vets that don’t understand the breed and their traits. This breed isn’t for everyone but in the right hands and with the right training, it can become a great guardian and companion for life.

A typical male should stand anywhere from 25 1/2 to 30 + inches at the withers and should
weigh 100 + pounds. Females are a bit smaller, 80 + pounds and a minimum of 24 1/2 inches.

WHAT COLORS ARE ALLOWED?

All colours except solid black and solid brown, black ticking and combinations of black and
brown. Most commonly seen are various shades of grey. Other colours described are rust, straw, yellow, white, brindle, earth, spotted and piebald.

WHAT KIND OF TEMPERAMENT DO CAUCASIANS HAVE?

The Caucasian Shepherd dog was developed to guard flocks and thus is naturally protective. Though their appearance may be fierce, in general, they should be a calm and steady dog with even temperament.

They should be well behaved with and accepting of all family members, but naturally wary of strangers. Although more eager to please than many flock guardians, they still can be quite independent and stubborn when compared to more easily trained breeds such as the German Shepherd dog or Golden Retriever.

It is important to “socialize” the Caucasian at an early age to properly adapt to different people and situations. If you are planning to use your Caucasian for flock guardian work, it is important to start exposing them to the livestock as early as possible. With proper socialization and training, you should have few problems.

ARE THEY GOOD WITH CHILDREN?

caucasian shepherd children
caucasian shepherd child

Yes. most Caucasians are good with children they know and would never hurt them purposely. However, it is imperative to establish the proper pecking order from the beginning, making the Caucasian understand that it cannot push the children around.

It is also essential to realize that they are large dogs and sometimes forget their size. This can result in a child accidentally being knocked down or stepped on. As with any pet, it is important that young children be supervised by an adult when playing with your Caucasian.

Also, as a dog bred to protect their flocks, Caucasians will substitute the family for its flock and may try to keep strangers or other threats away from the children. Older children with an active social life need to realize that although their friends may like dogs, it may not be appropriate for the dog to interact with every visitor.

ARE THEY GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS?

caucasian shepherd other dogs
caucasian shepherds

Most Caucasians are able to live with other dogs, cats and of course livestock. If you have other
pets, it would be best to get a puppy so everyone learns to get along. Females are more likely to be able to live together; two male dogs who have not been neutered can rarely be
expected to live peaceably. Issues arise between them due to dominance.

ARE THEY GOOD HOUSE DOGS?

Well, that depends on what you mean. If you have a pristine house with many precious and
breakable items, you may need to think twice. If you have a good vacuum cleaner, have moved
the crystal out of the way and are ready and eager for an adventure, then yes, the Caucasian can be a great house dog.

Any dog can be trained to behave in a house and the Caucasian is no exception. Puppies need to be housebroken and taught what is permissible behaviour and what is not. All puppies and young adults chew and crate training can be of great benefit to you and your dog.

In this regard, I do not like this, however. Talk with your breeder, trainer or experienced dog owners about the value of using a crate. Caucasians respond very well to steady and consistent training (Repetitive).

black and tan caucasian shepherd

Caucasians are not really that different from most other dogs, except that you can never forget
that they are a large dog and the problems or challenges may be correspondingly bigger. For
instance, you may find the crate for your dog is bigger than the kitchen table!

You may also want to buy stock in the company that makes rolling hair removers for clothes and furniture. Although large in size and requiring regular exercise, CO’S make excellent house or apartment dogs as they generally do a lot of lying around. Their activity level is quite low compared with many smaller breeds.

WHAT IS THEIR LEVEL OF ENERGY?

As with most livestock guarding breeds, the CO is generally a phlegmatic, low activity level dog.
Originally they were bred to lay around with the sheep all day and keep predators at bay. As
most predators are nocturnal, you may find your CO much more active at night.

If you are planning on keeping your dog outside, you must realize they are alarm barkers and will give warning to anything encroaching their territory. Do not be fooled by their habit of lying around, appearing to be dozing. The slightest disturbance will rouse them and most CO’S are surprisingly quick and agile.

WHAT ABOUT SHEDDING?

Although they lose hair all the time in small quantities, most CO’S “blow coat” at least once a
year. When this happens large tufts of hair are everywhere! Get out the rakes and combs and go to work.

With proper grooming, the mess can be minimized and save that fur! Clothing knit from
CO fur is said to bring good luck and longevity to the wearer.

caucasian ovcharka dog

AREN’T THEY MESSY DOGS?

Well, they do shed and like the mud. Pound for pound, they are no messier than most other dogs but since they are big dogs, any mess is correspondingly bigger.

DO THEY EAT MUCH?

For their size they are an easy keeper. While a growing puppy or a pregnant or lactating bitch
might consume as much as 8-10 cups a day, an unstressed adult dog will likely consume much
less. You should feed your CO a high-quality food that provides necessary nutrition.

Check with your breeder to see what they recommend. Some breeders supplement the diet with cooked meat, yoghurt, goats’ milk, etc. Young pups need to be fed 2-3 times a day, while adults 1-2 times a day.

HOW DO CAUCASIANS DO IN WEATHER EXTREMES?

caucasian shepherd dog breed

CO’s do well in all kinds of climatic conditions. They absolutely love cold weather and snow.
Under normal conditions a good solid dog house with plenty of bedding is sufficient. They
tolerate heat equally well with sufficient shade and water. Do not cut the hair due to high temperatures as the coat also keeps the heat out.

DO EARS HAVE TO BE CROPPED?

No. This is a personal option. Ear cropping is traditional (as a flock guardian, dogs are at an
advantage (if the prey has no ears to bite at) but not required even for show dogs.

Although a cropped ear is preferred, many European countries have banned cropping for humane reasons. The cropped ear does change the expression, however, and some feel it makes the look of the dog.

WHAT ABOUT OBEDIENCE TRAINING?

caucasian shepherd cropped ears

As soon as your pup is old enough, training is highly recommended (contact a local obedience or breed club to find one), followed by a basic obedience class. Caucasians respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and will enjoy short, fun, creative training sessions.

Obedience training also helps to establish the bond between you as pack leader and your dog as a respected member of the pack. Beyond the obvious benefits of having a well-trained dog, many people enjoy working with their dogs in obedience competitions.

With a Caucasian, it is particularly important to remember that obedience training is not for 1
hour a week for 8 sessions, it’s forever.

DO THEY GET HIP DYSPLASIA?

Caucasians, like any large breed, can be afflicted with hip dysplasia. Adult dogs should be x-rayed for signs of the disease. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, (OFA) issues numbers to
dogs with acceptable hips.

When buying a puppy, always try to find a breeder that is using x-rayed stock. Ask to see OFA
certificates or letters from a certified Veterinarian. Reputable breeders will guarantee their pups
against hip dysplasia and other severe genetic defects.

WHY WOULD YOU NOT RECOMMEND A CAUCASIAN?

CO’S are not a dog for everyone. Why not? They demand time, attention, frequent training and
handling. They are strong, willful and cannot be expected to like everyone. Without proper
training, they can be very aggressive to both people and dogs.

They do bark a lot and have a lot of hair. They require firm, steady and consistent training. A CO needs to learn manners well enough to be trusted to react as you would want and expect in all situations.

If you know you are totally confident in your ability to handle a large, dominant dog even in threatening situations and are able to supply the necessary time, energy, attention and money to raise and keep a dog for its full life, only then should you consider a Caucasian

SHOULD I GET A MALE OR A FEMALE?

As with many breeds, males are generally larger and can be more aggressive. Females may be a
bit easier in the house because of their smaller size. Also, females are usually less dominant and
can be easier with children.

The answer for you depends on personal preference, whether you’ve owned a Caucasian before, whether you have other male dogs in the house or whether you’ve had
experience with other flock guardians or large working breeds before. This should also be a point to discuss with your breeder.

SHOULD I GET A PUPPY OR AN OLDER DOG?

Some people prefer to acquire an older dog that has already been housebroken, has some
training and is no longer chewing. Some people are in seventh heaven around a pup and don’t
mind the trials and tribulations of puppyhood. Some are even crazy enough to have more than
one puppy at a time!

zeus caucasian shepherd

In loving memory of Zeus 2011-2021


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Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the world’s oldest sledge dogs. Still working in the Arctic circle today, we’re going to learn all about this magnificent dog!

Alaskan Malamute Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Alaskan Malamute Lifespan: 10-14 years
Alaskan Malamute Exercise: More than 2 hours each day
Height: Male 25 inches Female 23 inches
Weight: Male 38.5 kilograms Female 34 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Alaskan Malamutes closely resemble the Siberian Husky but are much bigger. Both breeds are completely different in behaviour to one another. These sledge pulling dogs still work in the freezing temperatures of Alaska and across the Arctic circle today.

Malamute dogs are also known by their nicknames Mal and Mally. The breed is closely related to the Samoyed, the Siberian Husky and the Labrador. Whilst Mally’s aren’t known to excessively bark they do like to howl once in a while.

malamute alaskan malamute

Characteristics

Below are the pros and cons of the Malamute dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Easy to train
  • Sociable and friendly with humans and animals
  • Doesn’t drool much
  • A breed with a sense of humour
  • Suitable for senior owners
  • Malamutes will clean themselves

Negatives:

  • Strong prey drive
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Sheds fur heavily
  • Not suitable for an apartment

The Alaskan Malamute is a giant breed that is often confused for the Siberian Husky. They shed copious amounts of fur throughout the year. Coat colour combinations are found in Grey & White, Sable & White, Red & White, Seal & White, Chocolate & White, and Black & White.

Malamute Temperament

Despite its intimidating size, the breed is super friendly with both animals and humans! They’re gentle and affectionate towards the members of their household and make fantastic family pets. These dogs are playful and loyal yet also independent.

This breed isn’t a one-person dog. He is dignified and has roughly kept the same personality over the thousands of years of its existence. On occasion, this canine can be dominant and willful so they aren’t recommended for first-time owners.

This breed isn’t a great watchdog or guard dog. They’re very friendly towards strangers, happily greeting visitors at the door. Some Malamutes may be a little standoffish but are generally sociable with humans. Unsocialized Malamutes will be shy.

When it comes to children this canine is an excellent companion. However, their size could accidentally injure smaller children. For this reason, homes with older children are better suited. They won’t intentionally harm a child and are typically patient and tolerant of kids of all ages.

Malamutes get along well with other dogs and animals. They easily make friends when walking through the dog park. Malamutes may also live with cats as well but it’s recommended the introduction takes place during puppyhood.

History

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest breeds of sledge dogs still around today, so of course, they hold a deep and enriched history! Malamutes descend from wolf type dogs that were domesticated and found alongside Paleolithic hunters.

This tribe came to North America over 4,000 years ago by crossing the Bering Strait. The breed’s name originates from the Inuit Mahlemiut tribe who lived in Northwestern Alaska. They were the ones who developed the Alaskan Malamute.

These canines are hard workers and were mostly used to pull sledges. They’d also detect seal breathing holes, and would distract bears on hunts! Unlike Siberian Huskies, Malamutes would pull heavier loads at slower speeds.

In 1959 the first three Alaskan Malamutes arrived in the UK. A grey and white male named Pawnee Flash of Northwind, and two females, Preston’s Cheechako and Ambara’s Nuviya. Preston was soon imported to the US but left behind her gene pool.

She is one of the beginnings of the UK’s Malamute foundation line. In the US the AKC recognises three Malamute bloodlines. These are Kotzebue strain, the Hinman, and M’Loot strains.

Exercise & Grooming

Alaskan Malamute dogs require more than two hours of exercise per day. Give them two, one hour walks with plenty of sniffing around time. Strong and powerful, this breed loves hiking, swimming and running.

Alaskan Malamute puppies should wait until their growth plates have closed before jumping or climbing stairs. Split their exercise time across four sessions as opposed to two. Mental stimulation is also important throughout their lives.

Malamutes shed copious amounts of fur throughout the year. Owners should brush them daily to reduce shedding. They’re definitely not hypoallergenic! Use a bristle or slicker brush. Deshedding rakes aren’t recommended. Check the fur for any mats as these can hide fungus and hot spots which could cause infection.

Bathe the Alaskan Malamute no later than every 6 weeks. Their double coat needs thorough washing to reach right down to the skin. For the best results, blow-dry their coat. The Mal likes to keep clean and will lick themselves in a cat-like manner.

Keep the ears debris-free by cleaning them weekly. Trim their nails fortnightly. Introduce all grooming methods during puppyhood so they become used to it. Brush their teeth multiple times a week to prevent dental disease.

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Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Alaskan Malamute below:

Hip Dysplasia: As a giant breed the Alaskan Malamute is affected by hip dysplasia. Poor development causes hip joint laxity resulting in pain, swelling, inflammation and arthritis.
Cataracts: A cloud appears in the lens. If large enough this will stop light from reaching the retina thus causing blindness.
Hypothyroidism: This health condition targets the dog’s thyroid glands and causes a reduction in its metabolic state.
Chondrodysplasia: The bone and cartilage don’t grow to their full potential. The condition is also known as canine dwarfism.
Day Blindness: Affected dogs are sensitive to bright light. The condition is also known as cone degeneration or hemeralopia.
Idiopathic Polyneuropathy: This health issue is genetic and affects the dog’s nervous system. Symptoms include weakness in the legs, lack of coordination, tremors and more.

Alaskan Malamute Training

Alaskan Malamutes are highly intelligent but can also be dominant, stubborn and wilful. Obedience is important to prevent this dog from overstepping its boundaries. Begin training and socialization as early as possible.

These canines are better suited to experienced handlers. It’ll take time, patience and lots of positive reinforcement to yield results. A Mal needs clarity so they can understand what is being asked of them.

Destructive behaviours are a result of boredom and separation anxiety. They shouldn’t be left alone for longer than four hours. Leave the Mal some toys and other puzzle games to keep them occupied whilst alone.

Although the Mally is a fairly sociable breed they still need to meet new people and dogs. Some Nordic breeds like the Malamute are prone to timid behaviour if they haven’t been socialized correctly. These canines aren’t renowned for aggressive behaviour.

alaskan malamute

Alaskan Malamute Interesting Facts

  • Philip, the Alaskan Malamute went viral after trying to hide behind a toilet and baby to avoid bath time! Owner Emma-Leigh Matthews decided a simple hose outside wasn’t enough to get rid of Philip’s bad smell. But Philip was less than impressed with the idea of a bath!
  • Thor, an Alaskan Malamute from Northamptonshire was thankfully given a second chance in life after having a bad start. The one year old dog was determined dangerous by police and seized after biting a neighbour. Instead of being put down officers realised the dog lacked basic training and socialization. Thor was sent to a rehoming center where he greatly improved. Owners Paul Underwood and Nicola Muca were banned from keeping dogs for 5 years.
  • Mushka, an Alaskan Malamute from Gravesend, Kent, is believed to be the first dog in the UK to develop coronavirus. Owner Mandy Hayes found her dog chewing her tissues after catching the disease herself. Two weeks later she says her ten year old Alaskan Malamute began developing the same symptoms. The Kennel Club has stated no dogs in the UK have contracted coronavirus but Mandy strongly disagrees.
  • In 2010, the Alaskan Malamute officially became the state dog for Alaska.
  • In World War I, 450 Alaskan Malamutes delivered supplies to French troops posted on the mountains. In World War II, Mallys would detect mines, carry supplies and would also work in search and rescue. Alaskan Malamutes are still used for search and rescue today.
  • In 1896 Alaskan Malamutes were in heavy demand to assist in the Gold Rush. They were vital in pulling sledges of food and supplies across mountains.
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Cane Corso

A formidable guardian and loveable member of the family. The Cane Corso is not yet recognised by the Kennel Club but is growing in popularity across the UK. Let’s learn all about the Italian Mastiff.

Cane Corso Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Cane Corso Lifespan: 9-12 years
Cane Corso Exercise: Two hours per day
Height: Male 25-27.5 inches Female 23.5-26 inches
Weight: Male 45-50 kilograms Female 40-45 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Italian Mastiff is one of the newer breeds gaining popularity in the UK. It hasn’t yet received recognition from the Kennel Club but is recognised by the AKC and FCI. There are two breed clubs in the UK, The Cane Corso Appreciation Society UK and the Cane Corso Kennel Club UK.

Cane Corsos typically have their ears cropped and tails docked. This practice has been banned in the UK since 2007. It is still practised in some parts of the world including America. The operation occurs during puppyhood and is done to prevent infection and injury in working Cane Corsos.

Characteristics

Learn about the pros and cons of the Cane Corso dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Excellent guard and watchdog
  • Easy to train
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Drafting dog, used for cart pulling
  • Low grooming needs

Negatives:

  • Drools heavily
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • May suffer from separation anxiety if left alone to often

The Cane Corso is a giant dog breed with a muscular body and long jowls. Their double-coated fur is short and sheds throughout the year. Coat colours are found in Black, Grey, Fawn, Red, Wheat, and Brindle.

Recommended: Check out the top 20 Dog Gifts by UK businesses here!

Temperament

The robust and powerful Cane Corso requires strong and firm leadership. They can easily become aggressive in the wrong hands. In the home, this breed is gentle and placid, defending their territory if needs be. Italian Mastiff puppies may be a little nippy growing up!

Italian Mastiffs are agile and require lots of exercise. They also need at least one member of their household to be home with them throughout the day. Cane Corsos are devoted and loving to their families but need thorough training and socialization to become well-rounded dogs.

This breed is naturally suspicious of strangers. If they’ve been socialized they’ll accept household visitors. If they sense a threat they will face it head-on. This guardian breed will be on the alert ready to protect its family.

Cane Corsos are excellent playmates for children. Their size is a risk for causing accidental injuries amongst smaller kids. Nevertheless, the Cane Corso is great with children thanks to the calmer side of its temperament. It’s best to introduce a Cane Corso puppy to a home with kids.

In the dog park, these canines can make friends but altercations could arise between those of the same sex. Early socialization is important to promote and maintain friendly behaviour. They can live with other dogs. Cats should be introduced during puppyhood so they aren’t viewed as prey.

History

The Italian Mastiff is a descendent of Roman Molossian dogs. Molossers came from Ancient Greece. During the Roman Empire’s invasion of the Greek islands, these dogs were transported to Ancient Rome. They were then bred with native Italian breeds.

The dogs produced from the breeding are ancestors to the Cane Corso and its closely related counterpart the Neopolitan Mastiff. Its name is taken from the Latin word ‘cohors’ which translates to ‘guardian’.

No surprise then, that the breed was an excellent livestock guardian and defender of its territory. These canines were also used for hunting large game such as badgers, lions, coyotes, wild boars, and even bears! Herding cattle was another one of their daily farm jobs too!

An intimidating and formidable dog, Cane Corsos were commonly found in farms across the Italian countryside. However, by the arrival of the mid-20th century, this breed was almost extinct.

In 1970 a group of Cane Corso breed enthusiasts sought to revive the breed. They created the Society Amorati Cane Corso in 1983 and ten years later were exporting Cane Corso dogs across Europe! In 1997 Capo and Nala were the first two Cane Corsos to be imported into the United Kingdom.

Exercise & Grooming

Italian Mastiff dogs require two hours of exercise per day. Cane Corso puppies should not be over-exercised until their growth plates are fully formed. Activity time should be split across the day as opposed to all in one go. Avoid exercise in hot weather to prevent heatstroke.

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These active canines aren’t exactly the quickest of runners but are definitely not couch potatoes! Due to their working past Corsos need mental stimulation. Puzzle games or hide and seek with treats are some ways to do this.

Cane Corsos have minimal grooming needs. Give them a brush once a week to remove dead fur. Increase this during the spring and autumn months. A rake, slicker brush, and rubber brush are all ideal tools to use.

Bath this dog every 6-8 weeks. No sooner as this will strip their coat of its natural oils. If the Cane Corso has kept its ears it’s vital they are cleaned weekly to prevent infections. Trim their nails fortnightly and brush their teeth daily.

Due to the breed’s long jowls, they drool heavily. Slobber is inevitable! Owners should keep a towel to hand to wipe their mouth after they eat and drink. Exercise will also naturally increase drooling.

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Italian Mastiff:

Elbow Dysplasia: Abnormal development of the elbow joint is a primary cause of lameness in young large breed dogs. Affected dogs will experience some pain, swelling, inflammation and eventual arthritis.
Hip Dysplasia: Similar to Elbow Dysplasia but targeting the hips. Also carries the same symptoms and will also lead to arthritis.
Entropion: The eyelid will roll inwards causing the eyelashes to scratch the surface of the eye. This will cause corneal ulcers, possible pigmentation development, discomfort, and can affect both the upper and lower eyelids.
Ectropion: The eyelid rolls outwards exposing the inner tissues of the eye. This will cause discomfort and dryness. Typically affects dogs with droopy skin such as the Cane Corso.
Cherry Eye: The tear gland prolapses causing the dog’s third eyelid to become inflamed. It isn’t painful but may be itchy.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: A life-threatening condition causing the stomach to twist trapping the contents inside and filling with gases. Immediate veterinary attention must be sought.

Cane Corso Training

A firm, strong leader is required for the powerful Cane Corso. They will quickly dominate any pushover and are not ideal for first-time owners. Their pack leader must be consistent with discipline.

Once the pecking order has been clearly established this breed will become devoted to its owner. They are easy to train in the right hands and are eager to please! Positive reinforcement is the best way to get the Corso to listen. Avoid too many food treats as they’re prone to weight gain.

Socialization is very important in producing a confident friendly dog. An Italian Mastiff puppy should begin training from as early as 8 weeks. This is when they’re most impressionable. Attend group puppy classes to enhance socialization whilst learning basic commands.

As this breed is prone to separation anxiety they mustn’t be left for longer than 4 hours at a time. Start practising this at an early age so they can gather independence. Crate training is one suitable method as it’s often viewed as a safe space they can retreat to.

Cane Corso Interesting Facts

  • In Stoke, England July 2021 two Cane Corsos attacked a 12-year-old boy. The boy was playing in a garden and had interacted with the 16-month-old dogs before. Unfortunately, nobody is sure what caused the dogs to ‘flip’. It goes to show exactly why this breed requires an experienced handler. Both dogs were later put down.
  • Despite their size this breed is still prone to dog theft. Luna from Radford, Coventry was stolen from her home in a burglary at the age of 14 months old. She has never been returned to her family.
  • In Wales, Snowflake a Cane Corso is the longest staying resident at Manchester Dog’s Home. She has cropped ears and hip dysplasia which didn’t make her very appealing to prospective owners. As of September 2021, over 250 days later she is still looking for a new home! Local dog trainers have even offered free sessions to the adoptive owner to help boost applications.
  • The Rennaissance period is a famous era in Italian history. It should be no surprise that the Cane Corso also known as the Dogo Di Puglia (Dog of Puglia) was featured in the art. They are depicted in paintings by Andrea Mantegna and Bartolomeo Pinelli. A Cane Corso is also seen on the fountain of Diana and Actaeon at the Palace of Caserta.

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5 Best Dog Halloween Costumes by UK sellers

Does your dog like to get involved in the Halloween fun? Searching for the best dog Halloween costumes? Then look no further! We’ve found the top 5 Halloween costumes for dogs made by UK sellers! Take a look below.

Marvellous Creations: United Kingdom

Chucky Pet Costume Funny Pet Costume Chucky Dog Costume Pet image 0

All you have to do is look at the costume and you can see why it’s on our list! The Chucky Halloween dog suit is available in sizes small to large with free delivery. It’s seriously scary so make sure you take it off your dog before you go to bed at night!

You can find the Chucky Dog Halloween costume here!

Hello Beenie: Northampton

Fancy Dress  Cowboy image 0

Hello Beenie has a more light-hearted costume! Suitable for medium and large breeds, this Woody costume will easily bring a smile to any child’s face! Quick, be fast, this Northampton boutique doesn’t have many left!

Find the Woody dog Halloween costume here!

Bandana Bowtique UK: Leicester

Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bandana Cat Dog. Over the collar image 0

If you’re dog’s a little fussy then try these Harry Potter dog bandanas! Get your dog looking Hogwarts ready! Select your Hogwarts House and pick a size between XS-XL. The bandanas are handmade in Leicester by Bandana Bowtique UK!

Find the Harry Potter dog bandanas here!

Mamas Pets: Wigan

LARGE wicked witch tutu dog Halloween costume image 0

What a cute little witch! Mamas Pets creates costumes for dogs in Wigan. Their witch tutu dog set is suitable for large dogs with chest space measuring 26 inches and neck 16 inches. It’s strapped via velcro underneath. Created with a fantastic eye for detail!

Available in size large here!

Custom Pets Ltd: United Kingdom

PIRATE PET COSTUME  Pet Costume Sailor Costume Pet Cosplay image 0

Another design by Custom Pets Ltd is this dog pirate costume! Available in sizes S-XL so you can involve any dog in the Halloween spirit no matter their size! The kids are sure to love it, especially if you have any trick or treat visitors!

You can find the dog Halloween pirate outfit here!

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Turkish Kangal Dog

The Lion Dog of Anatolia, aka the Kangal, is prized for its guard dog status in Turkey. Quickly growing in popularity across the UK, we’re going to take a look into this wolf-fighting breed!

Kangal Shepherd Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Kangal Shepherd Lifespan: 10-13 years
Kangal Shepherd Exercise: More than 2 hours per day
Height: Male 29-32 inches Female 28-31 inches
Weight: Male 50-66 kilograms Female 41-54 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Turkish Kangal dog has recently been recognised by the Kennel Club. It was previously classed as an Anatolian Shepherd dog. Kangals are slightly bigger and faster than their cousins. These livestock guardians aren’t yet recognised as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club.

Kangal Shepherd dogs are used to living nomadic lifestyles. They’re an interesting breed native to Turkey and are slowly growing in popularity here in the UK. There is a handful of accredited Turkish Kangal breeders registered with the Kennel Club.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Turkish Kangal dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Independent, can be left alone
  • Great guard and watchdog
  • Drafting dog, used for pulling carts
  • Child-friendly
  • Highly intelligent

Negatives:

  • Heavy drooler
  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • High exercise needs
  • Sheds all year round, not hypoallergenic
  • Prone to weight gain

The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a large-giant breed with a muscular body and curly tail. The breed is double-coated with a thick undercoat and water-resistant upper layer. Coat colours are found in Sable, Cream, Dun and Fawn accompanied by a black mask and ears.

Kangal Temperament

Kangals are gentle, calm, friendly, alert, independent, and loyal. Over the years, they’ve grown popular as family companions. Intelligent but also stubborn these dogs are suited to experienced handlers.

This breed will typically form a close relationship with the leader of its household. They’ll be devoted, affectionate and deeply loyal members of the family. These powerful dogs won’t be shy or aggressive if well-socialized.

When it comes to strangers, this breed is aloof. They’re prized watchdogs in their native land and will happily defend their territory from any threat. This watchdog is always on the alert, nobody can get past him! Kangals will always give warnings before attacking.

Turkish Kangals are child-friendly and make excellent family pets. Due to their large size, Kangals are better suited to homes with older children. Despite its size, this breed is energetic and will make a great playmate for kids.

On occasion, this breed may be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. They can live with other dogs. Cats are welcomed provided they’ve grown up together. Some well-socialized Kangals won’t perceive small barking dogs as threats.

History

The Turkish Kangal dog originates from Kangal in the Turkish Sivas province. Unlike other Shepherd dogs, this breed guards the livestock as opposed to herding it. They’re closely related to the Anatolian Shepherd dog only recently being recognised as an independent breed.

This canine is used to guard and defend livestock from predators. They’d often work in pairs coming up against foxes, wolves, and bears. Kangals would alert sheep by erecting their tail and ears. The sheep respond by positioning themselves behind the dog.

In 1967, the first litter of Anatolian Shepherd puppies were registered in the UK. In 1970 two dogs, Eleif and Atak were imported from Kangal, Turkey by Mr Lloyd. These dogs were described as being more ‘superior’ than those he previously imported.

He decided to call them Kangal Dogs. In 2012, Kangals officially received their own recognition from the Anatolian Shepherd by the Kennel Club. This allowed the breed to compete in Crufts and the Westminster Kennel Club dog show by 2013.

In Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is no longer recognised as a breed. By 2018, the FCI published the Kangal Dog breed standards as a replacement to the Anatolian’s.

Recommended: Find out the 10 best natural dog treats by local UK sellers here!

Exercise & Grooming

Kangals are demanding on the exercise front! Owners will need to dedicate more than two hours a day. Some of this should include vigorous exercise. This breed enjoys long walks and is also a good swimmer!

Owners should be careful not to overexercise Kangal puppies. It’s damaging to their joints thus increasing the risk of hip dysplasia. Split exercise into half hour sessions across the day until their growth plates are fully formed.

Mental stimulation is incredibly important for this intelligent working breed. Boredom will lead to destructive behaviour and these jaws can quickly damage any home! Allow them to explore their surroundings, play some interactive games and hide things like treats for them to find!

Kangals shed all year round but heaviest during the spring and autumn. During these seasons its best to brush the Kangal daily. Their coats are short but thick and are better suited to a slicker brush and comb.

Wash this breed every 6-8 weeks. Due to its thick coat, they’re best blowdried as opposed to airdried, otherwise they’ll just pick up debris. Ensure the coat is thoroughly washed down to the skin. Long ears are prone to infection so clean them weekly. Trim nails fortnightly.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Kangal Shepherd dog below:

Hip Dysplasia: An orthopedic condition caused by the abnormal development of the hip joint. Pain, swelling, and inflammation will be experienced followed by arthritis.
Entropion: The eyelid folds towards the eye causing the lashes to rub against the cornea. It’ll cause scarring, ulcers, pain, and infection.
Lipomas: Fat cells beneath the skin form into fatty lumps or tumours. Although benign, they can cause discomfort and irritation. Multiple lumps are often seen.

Kangal Shepherd Dog Training

Turkish Kangals are intelligent, independent and stubborn. They’re not for the faint-hearted and require strong, firm leadership. Whilst they can deal with harsher forms of training no dog should ever be physically reprimanded.

Positive reinforcement is the best form of training. Rewarding and praising a dog when they’ve got something correct is the best way for them to remember. Kangals only need ten minute training sessions as they’ll probably get bored soon after!

Owners must be assertive. Every dog is individually different so alter training methods accordingly. This breed is a guard dog by instinct and won’t need extra training in this field. They’ll pick up on commands quickly and can be easy to train in the right hands.

Socialization is highly important for this breed. Enrol the Kangal puppy into group training classes where they can meet other dogs and humans whilst learning commands. Socialize them throughout their lives. They won’t get along with every dog but can learn to tolerate them!

Recommended: Learn all about the Ibizan Hound now!

Kangal Shepherd Interesting Facts

  • In Nambia, over 300 Kangal Shepherds have been given to farmers to prevent livestock attacks by Cheetahs. The Cheetah Conservation Fund has worked since 1994 to prevent the killings of Cheetahs. This strategy has been so successful it’s now been expanded to Kenya.
  • Kangals need to find a way to reduce their temperatures during the hot summer months in Turkey. They do this by digging a hole in the ground which they’ll lay in to keep cool.
  • This breed is often given a spikey collar. It’s used as a form of defence from predators that may attack.
  • In Croydon, London, Dannielle Morgan was viciously attacked by a loose Kangal. The dog’s owners stood by as the attack took place. These powerful dogs can cause serious damage in the wrong hands! Luckily two workmen were able to save the teenager. They described her entire body moving as the dog bit into her skin and shook her! No arrests were made.
  • In Germany, Raskon the Kangal was shot 8 times after it killed a 72 year old woman by ripping her throat out. The 13 stone dog then guarded her body. Owner Erika Schmidt had previously tried to sell the dog as she couldn’t control him. He had escaped when she was out and viciously attacked the pensioner. Her other two dogs, one of which was a Kangal, were also shot when police entered her property. These dogs should only ever be owned by experienced handlers.
  • Other incidents in the UK include Mia the Kangal from the prestigious Whittingehame Estate. She attacked a Reteriever and Terrier after being allowed to roam the communal grounds alone by owner Kevin Martin. Another incident involved Buddy the Kangal. He injured a member of the public in a Buckinghamshire Village. Owner Denise Cox was fined and must follow restrictions placed on her dog. If he is out of control again Buddy will be put down.
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10 Best Natural Dog Treats by Small UK Businesses

natural dog treats uk

It’s important to source natural, healthy treats for your dog. So why not buy local? Take a look at these natural dog treats by small UK businesses in no particular order.

Nellys Deli: Leeds, England

Natural Dog Treat Box  Great selection of 18 treats  Variety image 0

A selection box filled with 18, mouth-drooling natural dog treats. It contains Chicken, Beef, Venison, Rabbit, Duck, and Pork! The box can be personalised with a message so it’ll make a perfect gift. Nellys Deli is a small UK business based in Leeds, named after their adorable pooch Nelly!

Have a look at Nelly’s Natural Treat Selection Box here!

Pleased to Have Paws: Neath, Wales

Long Lasting Natural Split Antler Dog Chew image 0

Long-lasting natural antler chews tough enough for the most aggressive of chewers. The antlers are sourced from Fallow and Red Deer found in the Scottish Highlands. All sharp points have been removed for safe consumption.

Check out these antler chews by this small Welsh business here!

Pawsley Pet Supplies: St Helens England

Rabbit Ears 100% Natural Raw Treats For Dogs and Cats image 0

Pawsley Pet Supplies are offering these boxes of furry rabbit ears in packs of 10 and 15. Rabbit ears are low in fat and are fantastic natural dewormers! The box is easily posted and can fit through your letterbox. Just make sure your dog doesn’t get it first!

Interested in Pawsley’s rabbit ears? Then click here!

Post 4 Pets: Monmouth, Wales

Venison leg natural dog treats image 0

These venison legs are one of the more unusual natural dog treats on the market. The legs are 23cm long and will definitely keep your dog busy! Available in packs of 1 and 3 but be quick, they’re selling out fast!

Want these unique dog treats? Get them here!

Heath and Hound Co: Stowmarket, England

Sausage Box  Dog Treats  Food  Natural  Healthy  Pet Food image 0

A lovely sausage selection box perfect for any dog! A variety of flavours and textures, beautifully laid out so it’ll make a nice gift. Delivered by Heath and Hound Co, a small UK business based in Stowmarket.

You can find them here!

Olly & Me Designs: Wirral, England

Puppy Taster Natural Chew/Treat/Snack Box  100% Natural and image 0

Packed with goodies, this natural treat box contains 15 pieces at an amazing price! Dispatched by UK business Olly & Me Designs, boasting over 23,200 sales with a rating of 5 stars! You can’t go wrong with this starter box.

Want to know more? Check them out here!

Paws and Friends: Ramsbottom, England

Natural treats gift box. Dogs. Puppy. Dog treats. Healthy image 0

An all natural treat box available in medium or large sizes. These goodies are small enough for little dogs to enjoy. Bursting with flavour, Paws & Friends have created a box fit for Royalty! Your dog won’t hesitate to dive into this selection box.

Take a look in further detail here!

Jerk and Hyde: Bristol, England

15 chicken feet natural dog treat chew gift box image 0

This gift box contains 15 chicken feet. Chicken feet are great to give as rewards or simply just a tasty treat for your dog. Jerk and Hyde, a small UK business in Bristol have made sure their packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable!

Get them here!

The Liverpool Bakery: Liverpool, England

Dehydrated Fish Skin Cubes image 0

A box of dehydrated fish skin cubes freshly baked by The Liverpool Bakery. Available in sizes 50g and 100g with each treat containing natural oils, and minerals. Excellent for your dog’s coat and skin! Treats will last up to one year.

Visit The Liverpool Bakery here!

Enviromutt: Cambridge, England

Sprats natural dog treats in eco friendly packaging  healthy image 0

Enviromutt is packaging its products with environmentally friendly material. Contained within are sprats available in packs of up to 150g. These fish dog treats are perfect for dogs both big and small. An enjoyable, healthy snack.

Treats from Enviromutt are found here!

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Rico , the Kokoni Dog Rescuer!

Rico is a remarkable dog up for an award for simply being a Superdog! Vote for Rico, the Kokoni at the Superdog Awards here! This good boy definitely deserves it!

On Friday 26th March 2021, Clinical Animal Behaviourist Rachel Rodgers (age 31) was attending some professional development training with Conservation K9 consultancy at Erddig National Trust, in Wrexham with her dog Rico (6-year-old rescued Kokoni X from Portugal).

Photo shows Rachel Rodgers CAB with her dogs Maisy and Rico (the rescuer!)

The course was going well, then during one of Rico’s trials to find some missing
scent (truffle oil) all of the course attendees could hear the panicked cries of
“HENRY” “HENRY”.

Rushing out into the car park at the Felin Puleston Outdoor centre the course attendees found a local family, The Jones. Their recently rescued Tibetan Terrier, Henry, had run off on his walk around Erddig 3 hours earlier.

More family members had turned up to join the search, but poor, shy Henry was nowhere to be found. The family had already contacted Missing Dogs Team Wales (see poster above) and
Henry’s photo and information was all over social media and local networking groups.

Unfortunately, with Henry being rescued during lockdown the family hadn’t
managed to get his microchip details updated, which was adding to their distress. If
he was found, would anyone know he belonged to them?

Rachel who works as a professional dog trainer, and clinical animal behaviourist has
for the last 18 months been training her pet dog Rico in the fun dog activity of pet
trailing with Becky Smith, at Pet Trailer U.K.

This giant game of hide and seek teaches dogs to search for missing pets using their nose. However due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pair had not done any fun scent trails for months, and they have certainly never helped in the case of a genuinely missing dog before.

Rachel was watching the situation in front of her unfold, wondering if having never
done a search for a real missing dog before, and with 6-year-old Kokoni X, Rico
being tired from 2 days of training, could they help at all?! Was it worth trying?

Deciding that she couldn’t possibly just stay quiet and not help, the next hurdle to
overcome was finding a scent article of missing dog Henry. A scent article is what
the trailing dog, in this case, Rico, uses to establish who or what they are trying to
find.

With limited options available, Rachel picked Rico up and popped him in the
boot of the family’s car. The car doesn’t just smell of Henry though, it smells of the
whole family and their other dog, a beautiful Golden Retriever.

To try and reduce this problem, Rachel then let Rico sniff each of the 3 family members at the scene where Henry last was sighted, and their other dog so that Rico could eliminate them from his search.

Off the pair went – on the search for Henry, accompanied by one of his family
members to approach Henry if he was spotted, as he is nervous and would likely flee
if approached by a stranger.

Rachel tells us more:
“Pretty early on Rico indicated across a river twice but I couldn’t get across. It was
too deep and the other side of the riverbank was rocks enclosed in the metal mesh
which I could never scale.”

“So we had to go the long way round, we went back over a bridge and then Rico re-joined the trail at the point he had indicated to. He walked straight past a food bank where Rico literally ignored all the food, as he was focused on the task in hand.”

“He kept telling me to go through a broken-down, discarded lorry with the back down,
but I couldn’t get down there. Instead, I picked him up onto a 5ft wall. He walked
along the top to the end. Indicating again under a tunnel but there was no path, no
safe way for us to go.”

Rachel had to come up with another solution, so she took him off working and
walked round to the original search point. Again Rico had to rejoin the trail.

“This time he took us through some hellish undergrowth to the other side of where he
indicated before. Again, we couldn’t get through 6ft high green metal fencing. No
way under, over or round.”

Rico tried every route the group could find but sadly as the evening started to draw
in, Henry still wasn’t found. Rachel said “I was disappointed, but I also trust Rico implicitly and knew he was on to something. We just couldn’t find a point to re-join the trail.”

As there was nothing more the trailing duo could do, they headed home where
Rachel shared the story on her Instagram account (@NosetotrailUK) urging owners
to get a decent scent article for their pets by following @PettrailerUK’s step by step
guide.

You never know when your dog may go missing, and if Rico is going to help
your pet be found – he needs something to work from!

Hours later, the Jones family decided to go and have one more look for Henry.
Exactly where Rico had taken them, the family found their dog!

The owners contacted Rachel on her Facebook page @Nosetotrailpetservices
saying “Thank you so so so much for today!!! Please thank Rico for us!! We found
him exactly where Rico was taking us!!! He was spot on!!! xxxx”. Proud dog mum!

Quite right too don’t you think? Rico, originally a rescue dog himself who was due to be put to sleep in Portugal due to being without a home has saved the day. Getting shy Henry home and out of the horrible weather!

Since word of Rico’s amazing work finding Henry has spread, he has been
nominated for a Naturo Super Dog Award. The Awards highlight the incredible work done by dogs across the UK.

If you think Rico is a Super Dog then you can vote for him here;
Rico – Naturo SuperDog Awards
Don’t leave it too long to vote as this stage of the competition closes on the 30th of September 2021!

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Borzoi

The Russian Sighthound is a gentle, elegant and unique breed. Popular amongst Russian aristocracy and British Royals. Today we’re going to learn all about the Borzoi!

Borzoi Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member: Yes
Borzoi Lifespan: 9-14 years
Borzoi Exercise: Up to 1 hour
Height: Male 28+ inches Female 26+ inches
Weight: Male 34-38 kilograms Female 27-39 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

This breed is a member of the sighthound group. Their name Borzoi translates to ‘swift’ in Russian. A sensitive breed admired for its magnificent appearance, the Borzoi will turn the heads of those passing by.

Despite its slender build, the Borzoi is classed as a giant breed! The Kennel Club lists the breed under Category 2 as having Points of Concern. This is due to the shape of the Borzoi’s jaw and mouth, making them prone to dental issues.

Characteristics

Find out the pros and cons of the Borzoi dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Easy to train
  • Low weight gain potential
  • Calm indoors
  • Tolerant to cold weather

Negatives:

  • Prone to timidness if unsocialized
  • High prey drive
  • Sheds coat heavily
  • Strong wanderlust potential
  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • Better suited to countrysides as opposed ot the city

The Borzoi is a giant breed with a double coat. The undercoat is soft, thickening in the winter, followed by a straight upper coat with a slight wave. The fur feathers out on the tail and hindquarters. All coat colours are accepted apart from merle.

Recommended: Clean your dogs poo the environmentally friendly way here!

Temperament

The Russian Wolfhound is known for its sensitivity. This dog can’t live in a household with lots of conflicts as it will cause them serious distress. Borzois should live in the countryside as opposed to a city.

Graceful and placid, the Borzoi does have a strong wanderlust potential. He isn’t much of a barker but will chase anything that moves. They’re an incredibly smart breed with long memories!

Borzois are aloof of strangers. If they haven’t been socialized correctly they could feel timid and nervous. This canine does have a sense of alertness but isn’t a great watchdog. They shouldn’t respond aggressively towards strangers but that doesn’t mean they want to be touched!

Homes with young children are too loud and overwhelming for the Borzoi. A quiet household with older and more relaxed children is better suited. This canine will be affectionate towards its family but isn’t suited to rough play!

The Borzoi dog isn’t famous for its sociability with other canines. Whilst they shouldn’t be aggressive, they will view smaller dogs as prey. Borzois get along better with dogs their own size and can live with other canines. Cats are a no go zone!

History

The Borzoi dates back to the 17th century and originates from Russia. They were created by crossing Arabian Greyhounds with heavy-coated Russian dogs. Borzois would hunt game such as wolves, foxes, and hare on open ground.

Russian aristocracy would hold extravagant hunting festivals on their estates. Mounted hunters would follow the packs of Borzois. Guests would come from far and wide to be in attendance. After the hunt, a fancy meal is then provided.

A significant amount of money was spent on these festivals. The aristocrats of Russia would keep their packs of Borzois in kennels. After the Russian Revolution and the murder of the Romanov family, the Borzoi quickly went into decline. Borzois were being mass slaughtered.

Luckily, breed enthusiasts outside of Russia kept the Borzoi alive. Previously known as the Russian Wolfhound until 1936, Borzois were introduced into the UK during the 1800s. Their name change was at the centre of huge debate and still isn’t accepted by some!

Queen Victoria was sent her own Borzoi as a gift from the Russian Czar. King Edward VII was also gifted two Borzoi dogs named Molodetz and Oudalzka. His wife, Queen Alexandra exhibited and bred the Borzoi through her personal kennel Notts Kennel.

Exercise & Grooming

A Borzoi will need up to one hour of exercise each day. Although some won’t mind a little longer! Due to its strong prey drive, they must be kept on leads at all times in busy parks, unless in an enclosed space.

The countryside is where the Borzoi is at its happiest. Just acres of open space they can race across! Long hikes where they can explore nature at its finest! A place where they can have a good run and really let loose.

Although this breed is generally placid with somewhat low energy levels they still require mental stimulation. This can be done through exploring and interactive games that get the mind thinking.

To remove dead fur and prevent tangles brush through the coat a few times each week. A pin brush and comb is better suited for their coat. Borzoi shed copious amounts throughout the year but heaviest in spring and autumn.

To keep their coat looking luxurious wash the Borzoi fortnightly. Brush through the coat first before getting it wet as this will increase tangles. Give the ears a clean each week to remove any debris. Trim the nails every ten days to prevent overgrowth. As the Borzoi is prone to dental issues, brush their teeth daily.

Recommended: Check out one of Britain’s favourite racing breeds the Afghan Hound!

Health

Find out the breed-related health issues of the Borzoi dog breed below:

  • Degenerative Myelopathy: A progressive condition targeting the spinal cord affecting dogs between the ages of 8-14 years. This disease isn’t painful.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: Commonly seen in large, deep-chested breeds, this condition is life-threatening requiring immediate veterinary attention. The stomach rotates and enlarges, trapping the contents and filling with gasses.
  • Osteocondritis Dissecans: A condition affecting the bone cartilege commonly in the knee. Caused by genetics and low vitamin D.
  • Progressive Retinaly Atrophy: A genetic condition affecting the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. It’ll eventually lead to blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia: When the ball and socket of the joint don’t fit together they rub and grind against eachother. It’ll cause pain, lameness, and inflammation follwed by arthritis.

Sighthounds, including the Borzoi, are more sensitive to anaesthesia.

Borzoi Training

Borzois may become aggressive if handled roughly. Whilst they’re intelligent and easy to train, Borzois aren’t suitable for first-time owners. Without the correct motivation, this breed will become stubborn.

Obedience isn’t a Borzoi’s strong point. This breed doesn’t like repetition or engaging in commands they feel are pointless! Sometimes even rewards aren’t enough to grab their attention!

Socialization is thoroughly important in preventing timid and shy behaviour. A sensitive breed like the Borzoi can spiral out of control due to anxiety and fear. Introduce them to new people, sounds, sights, and dogs all throughout their lives.

Be patient and consistent. There is no rushing a Borzoi! It’ll just send them into stubborn mode! Keep training sessions short, no longer than 15 minutes. Use a calm tone and praise them often.

Strong-willed and independent this breed will never be 100% obedient! However, despite their independence Borzois are still prone to separation anxiety. At least one person from their household should be home most of the day.

Borzoi Interesting Facts

  • Alfred Knopf Inc. was founded by Alfred Knopf Sr and Blanche Knopf in 1915. The Borzoi is the symbol of this publishing house.
  • Most British Borzoi bloodlines stem from Tasha a female Borzoi. She was born during World War II and was owned by vet Buster Lloyd Jones. He is the founder of Denes Natural Pet Foods.
  • Edward J Smith, Captain of the Titanic was an owner to a Borzoi named Ben. There is a picture of the pair of them on the Titanic. Ben was not onboard the fateful voyage.
  • The UK Kennel Club held its fourth temporary exhibition, The Borzoi in Art in 2004. It featured porcelains, paintings and bronze sculptures of Borzois from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Eris is a Borzoi from Virginia with over 88,000 folowers on Instagram. She became famous after a video of her trying to jump a fence went viral. Many believe she is the world’s longest dog but a Great Dane named Zeus holds this title. Eris is believed to have the world’s longest snout however at 12 inches. She’s been dubbed Queen of the Snoot!
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Top 20 Dog Gifts by Small UK Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us all hard especially for small UK business owners. Today we’ve selected the best 20 dog gifts in no particular order, made by sellers right here in the UK!

The Treat Boxes: UK

Natural dog treat box image 1

Nothing says I love you more than a natural dog treat box! At under £5 with free delivery, you can’t go wrong. Each box contains x1 Chicken Foot, x2 Chicken Sausages, x1 White Fish Finger, x3 Salmon Bites, and x1 Chicken’s neck! A great dog gift, that’ll be devoured instantly!

Check it out by clicking here!

DickiBows Dog Deli: Liverpool

Its all about variety Natural Dog Treats Box/Dog birthday image 0

DickiBows Dog Deli a small business based in Liverpool are receiving outstanding reviews for their dog treat box! The box contains x2 Furry Rabbit Ears, x2 Dried Rabbit Ears, x3 Chicken Necks, x2 XL sausages, chicken coin, and Sprats and Fish Cubes! Fantastic and all for under £10!

Check it out here!

LilyBee Naturals Shop: Dorset

Paw & Nose Balm 15 or 30g  100% Natural Beeswax Balm for image 0

LilyBee Naturals is handmade in Dorset and provides Natural Beeswax Balm for dogs. Excellent for sore noses and paws! It’s eco-friendly and under £6 with free delivery for 30 grams. Need a smaller tin? There’s 15g available too! All beeswax and honey is sourced from a local Dorset Beekeeper!

Take a look at the tinned beeswax balm here!

Rocky Coco Treats: Buckingham

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Just wow! Look at this magnificent dog cake. It’s described as ‘Fit for a Princess’ and we have to agree! It’s also available in blue and is made with natural dog treats. Choose a single cake or add a hamper for some extra birthday goodies!

Any special doggy birthdays coming up? Then click here!

KingsleyCanvas: UK

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Once you open a bag of dog treats, they can go stale rather fast. This personalised dog treat box is great for keeping them fresh! The box is handcrafted by Kingsley Canvas just add the text you want to be engraved!

Have a look at the treat box here!

Sustainapaws: UK

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Sustainapaws have a fantastic range of Spunky Pups Clean Earth Recycled Dog Toys. Their aim is to produce sustainable dog toys that are just as fun! This small UK business is new and already gaining popularity amongst eco-friendly dog owners!

Have a look at the recycled dog toys here!

Polly & Bell: UK

Personalised Engraved Dog Tag  Bone Shaped in Beautiful image 0

Did you know that it’s illegal to not have a tag on your dog? The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states a dog must have a tag with its owner’s name and address. The dog’s name doesn’t;t have to be included. Make sure your dog is following the law with these engraved dog tags.

Need a tag? Then click here!

The Dog Bowl Deli: St Helens

Yappy Birthday Hamper for Dogs by The Dog Bowl Deli image 0

The Yappy Birthay Hamper for Dogs is a lovely celebration gift. It contains a variety of food treats, doggy beer and toys for your pet to enjoy! Based in St Helens, England, this small busienss bakes their treats in-house. All of which are loved by Spud, Boo, Lyla, Tilly and Valerie their dedicated tasting team!

Take a look at the Yappy Birthday Hamper here!

The Dog Mixx: Sheffield

Dog Treats Box  Dog Biscuits & Dog Chocolate Selection / Dog image 0

This small UK business is based in Sheffield providing a cheeky dog chocolate box perfect for any occasion! Add a message inside the box if you’d like to send it as a gift instead! It contains 400 grams of delicious treats ready to be gobbled!

Find what’s inside the box here!

Petstoreo: UK

Bamboo Slow Feeder Bowl For Dogs  Large Size  Designed By UK image 0

Slow feeder dog bowls prevent a dog from scoffing down its food. This reduces the chances of contracting potentially fatal conditions such as Bloat and GDV. Made from bamboo fibre and cornstarch, designed by two vets, these eco-friendly bowls will last for years!

Check them out here!

The Dog Yard: UK

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There’s nothing a dog loves more than a snuggle. The Dog Yard Snuggle Bundle is great for reinforcing that affectionate bond with your pet. It includes a Dexter & Rufus snuggle blanket with two shampoo bars.

Have a look at the bundle here!

Mijopets Toy Box: UK

Personalised toy box  Dog box  Cat box  Gift box  Crate  image 4

One minute your home is tidy and then the next… toys everywhere! But where can you store the forever growing mountain of dog toys? A personalised dog toy box is your best option! This stylish, chic design will look great in any home!

Like what you see? Take a look at it here!

Benjis Place UK: Harrogate

Bottom Sniffer Dog Beer. Doggy Beer. Doggy Treats. Dog beer. image 0

There’s nothing better than a nice cold beer but it’s quite unfair your pooch can’t join the fun! Well, now they can with Bottom Sniffer dog beer by Benjis Place UK, a small business based in Harrogate. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this beer can be poured over food or downed in one!

Doggy beer can be found here!

Snowflake Sentiments: Rugby

dog lead hook  personalised with name and breed leash hook image 1

Ever thought how annoying it is for your dog when they have to wait for you to find its lead! Now you’ll never lose a lead again with this personalised dog lead hook! The hook can feature any breed and makes an excellent housewarming gift.

Get your personalised dog hook here!

Pretty Decor Home: Leeds

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Getting a new puppy is so exciting but after the novelty wears off, their destructive teeth can be overwhelming. Ensure your puppy has enough to chew through with this 12 piece puppy gift set! Toys are high quality, easy to clean, and improves your dog’s dental hygiene.

Check them out here!

Emiliou Design Shop: London

Knitted Miro Dog Jumper image 0

Aww just look at these handmade knitted jumpers by Emilou Design Shop based in London. Select from sizes XXS-L and the variety of available colours. It’s made from yarn and wool and includes free delivery!

Keep your dog warm with this cute gift right here!

Everest Pet Supply UK: London

2 Piece Medium Yak Chew Everest Dog Chew Original Yak Chew image 0

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious for your dog, then take a look at these medium Everest Yak chews! Produced by Himalayan farmers, these chews are made from the highest quality of ingredients and last for weeks!

Read more on this product here!

Phloki Pet Products: Stockton-On-Tees

Dog Treat Pouch Bag with PU Leather Belt Clip  Eco-Friendly image 2

Searching for treats in your bag is annoying, and your dog might ingest debris stuck to the treat. Keep all your rewards in one place with this stylish pouch. Its eco-friendly and made from waxed canvas, assisted with a leather tab and polished brass clip!

Find more on this dog treat pouch right here!

Gifts from Gloria: UK

Large Dog Bed Orthopaedic Support For Tired Joints & Muscles image 0

Gifts from Gloria have an excellent orthopaedic memory foam dog bed available! Great for supporting your dog’s joints and muscles. The cover is machine washable and the bed comes in sizes medium and large.

Learn more about the orthopaedic dog bed here!

Lyns Personalised Gift: Bournemouth

Personalised Dog Blanket image 0

All dogs love attention and affection from their owner. However, when they’re by themselves they can feel a little insecure. These personalised blankets are an excellent source of comfort! Great for cold winter nights!

Think it’ll be good for your dog? Then check them out here!

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Ibizan Hound

Dating back 5,000 years is the Podenco Ibiceno, one of the world’s most remarkable purebred dogs. These special canines have links to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Learn all about this breed in the guide below!

Ibizan Hound Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Ibizan Hound Lifespan: 11-14 years
Ibizan Hound Exercise: More than 2 hours per day
Height: Male 23.5-27.5 inches Female 22.5-26 inches
Weight: Male 23 kilograms Female 20 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Ibizan Hounds are commonly known by their nickname Beezers. In England, Beezers are still relatively uncommon. For this reason, owners will have to go on a waiting list for an Ibizan Hound puppy.

In 2020, only two Ibizan Hound puppies were registered with the Kennel Club. This noble canine is a member of the Hound Group and rarely suffers from hereditary illness. The Podenco Ibiceno unique breed that’s often described as clownish.

Characteristics:

Check out the pros and cons of the Ibizan Hound dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Child & Dog friendly
  • Not prone to gaining weight
  • Tolerant to hot weather
  • Easy to groom
  • Highly intelligent

Negatives:

  • Strong prey drive
  • Requires lots of exercise
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Doesn’t tolerate cold weather well

The Ibizan Hound is a medium-sized breed with an athletic figure. Its elegant appearance is assisted by its pointy ears. There are two varieties of Ibizan Hounds, short-haired and wire-haired with a length of around 5cm. Coat colours are found in White, Red, White & Red, and Fawn.

Temperament

The Podenco Ibiceno is an intelligent breed that’s easy to train for those with experience. They’re a little stubborn for first-time owners. This long-legged canine is demanding and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.

Ibizan Hounds aren’t known to bark a lot but they are a little mouthy in their puppy years. These dogs definitely have a one of a kind personality! Compared to other breeds, Ibizan Hounds can take longer to mature.

When it comes to strangers, Ibizan Hounds will be watchful and reserved. They should soon settle around visitors. As a watchdog, this breed will alert its owner to a knock at the door. Ibizan Hounds won’t be timid or aggressive.

Friendly by nature, these dogs are deeply affectionate to their families. They get along fantastically well with children thanks to their high energy levels! The Podenco Ibiceno dog is gentle and calm in the home.

This canine is great with other dogs and will enjoy making new friends at the dog park! Beezers are sociable and can live in households with other dogs. Cats are accepted if they’ve been raised together, but they’ll still chase other outdoor felines.

History

The Ibizan Hound originates from the Balearic Islands and dates back around 5,000 years! This ancient breed is remarkably similar to those depicted in tombs and hieroglyphs of Pharaohs during 3100 B.C.

Beezers were brought to the Spanish Islands by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and the Romans. They remained largely untouched making them one of the oldest purebreeds still around today!

Across the 8th century, Ibizan Hounds were regularly traded and travelled across the Mediterranean. They were key to the development of other dog breeds such as the Manchego Hound, Andalucian Hound and the Maneto.

In Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Formentera, this breed is known as Ca Eivissec. For centuries, Beezers would hunt rabbits and other small game, sourcing food for the Islanders. Today, these dogs are commonly found in Spain but are most popular in Ibiza.

Beezers were recognized by the AKC in 1978. Two years later their first showing took place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Despite being uncommon in the UK, there are a few breed enthusiasts. The English Ibizan Hound Club also run their own breed shows.

Recommended: Find out which breed is the Grey Ghost of Germany here!

Exercise & Grooming

Ibizan Hounds are demanding on the exercise front! They require more than 2 hours per day! A vigorous form of play should also be included. Potential owners must be able to dedicate this amount of time.

Long walks and hikes with plenty of off-leash time in open areas will be thoroughly enjoyed by the Beezer. Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise so take them to the water every once in a while.

Mental stimulation is highly important for the intelligent Ibizan Hound! Play games of hide and seek, teach them some advanced tricks, make them work for their food, even dog chews are mentally stimulating! A lack of this will lead to boredom.

Ibizan Hounds are moderate shedders and relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Both the wirehaired Ibizan Hound and shorthaired variety should be brushed once a week. Use a soft bristle brush or slicker brush.

Give the Ibizan Hound a bath whenever necessary. Check and clean their ears weekly to remove any debris. Nails should be trimmed every fortnight with teeth brushed a minimum of three times a week.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Ibizan Hound dog.

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis: This is one of the most common causes of Hypothyroidism in dogs. It is typically noticed between the ages of 2-5 years old.
  • Hip Dysplasia: The ball and socket of the hip joint/s don’t fit together properly. This will cause them to rub and grind resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling and arthritis.
  • Congenital Deafness: This health issue is typically caused by a genetic defect. Congenital deafness is present at birth.
  • Seizures: This is commonly caused by abnormal neuronal activity within the brain.
  • Allergies: This condition typically affects the skin and is caused by a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen.
  • Eye Diseases: Responsible breeders of Ibizan Hounds should ensure an ophthamologist exam is undertaken.

Ibizan Hound Training

Beezers are intelligent and easy to train in the right hands. However, obedience isn’t their strong point. Owners will have to practice this area of training regularly throughout their lives. They aren’t suited for first-time owners but can do well with an experienced senior owner.

Due to the breed’s high sensitivity levels positive reinforcement is a must! Ibizan Hounds will withdraw from harsh training techniques. Training should start as soon as possible alongside socialization.

These canines are versatile and adaptable. They’re also eager to please their owners. Given the right training, exercise, and socialization this breed will grow into a friendly, athletic and well-rounded pet.

Thanks to their intelligence Ibizan Hounds are great at dog sports. It’s also a good form of mental stimulation. Their best categories include agility, rally, tracking and lure coursing. Believe it or not, they can also do well in obedience!

Ibizan Hounds work best with routine. It’s also the quickest way to housebreak them. Take the dog to the same potty spot so they can recognise familiarity. Crate training is another ideal method for the Beezer.

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Ibizan Hound Interesting Facts

  • Bunny, an Ibizan Hound is America’s top winning Beezer. She won 133 titles under the Hound Group category, 43 Best in Show titles, and is a two-time IHCUS Specialty Winner.
  • In the UK, Rafa, an Ibizan Hound owned by Liz and Paul Egan won Best in Breed at Crufts three times in a row. He won the title in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, Rafa passed away in 2019 due to complications from a snakebite.
  • In 2020 British couple Sarah and Darren were travelling across Spain in a motor home. They came across two Ibizan Hounds, Lady and Lola. Little did they know Lady was pregnant! She gave birth to 8 puppies and all dogs were eventually rehomed with their forever owners.
  • Dog lover Kate Spicer drove over 3,000 miles to Spain to rescue an Ibizan Hound named Blanca! Unfortunately, after her arrival, this crafty pooch managed to escape! Luckily she came back to the great smelling meat left on the doorstep albeit covered in fox poo!

Recommended: Which dog breed resembles a mop? Find out here!

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Caucasian Shepherd

The exquisite Russian Bear Dog is a formidable giant breed, growing in popularity here in the UK. It holds an extensive history and fascinating background. Learn more about this dog in our guide below!

Caucasian Shepherd Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Caucasian Shepherd Lifespan: 10-12 years
Caucasian Shepherd Exercise: Up to 90 minutes per day
Height: 23-30 inches
Weight: 45-77 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Russian Bear dogs are giant livestock guardians still found working in the Caucasus region to this day. In Russia, the breed works as a prison guard! No criminal can slip past them! Over the years their need as a protection dog has risen but they still have natural herding instincts.

Slowly but surely, the Caucasian Shepherd’s popularity is slowly growing in the UK. Despite not being recognised by the Kennel Club, more and more UK dog enthusiasts are showing interest in the breed. However, only experienced owners are recommended for this canine.

Characteristics:

Check out the pros and cons of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog below:

Positives:

  • Exceptional watchdog
  • Drafting dog, can pull carts
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Child-friendly dog

Negatives:

  • Be prepared for drool!
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Sheds fur all year round
  • This herding breed will nip, chew & playbite more than others
  • High grooming maintenance
  • Not dog friendly

The Caucasian Ovcharka is a giant herding breed remembered mostly for its remarkable size. Their coat is thick and dense so this breed isn’t very tolerant to hot weather. Coat colours are found in Fawn, Black, White, Cream, Rust and Grey.

Recommended: Which dog is Britain’s favourite working breed? Find out here!

Temperament

A Caucasian Shepherd is a confident, fearless, powerful, dominant, yet calm dog. It’s not suitable for first-time owners and requires a firm, experienced leader. This guardian breed is protective of their families, facing any threat head-on.

At home, the Caucasian Ovcharka is gentle around the people he loves. Whilst the breed is devoted to its leader, it’s independent enough to stay on its own for a few hours. They’re intelligent canines and are still used as a working dog today.

Naturally distrustful of strangers, the Caucasian Shepherd is highly territorial. Regular socialization is needed to prevent strangers from being recognized as instant threats. Caucasian Shepherd dogs are excellent guard and watchdogs. They don’t need protection training!

Loyal to its family and calm in the home, Caucasian Shepherds are great for households with older children. Due to their herding background, they may display these behaviours to smaller children. Their size could also cause accidental injuries. Those that are unsocialized may take a dislike to children they don’t know in their home.

This breed doesn’t get along well with other dogs. They won’t be the first to make friends in the dog park! Caucasian Shepherd puppies should still be socialized with other canines. However, owners should take caution. This dog is better suited to single dog households.

History

The Caucasian Ovcharka is an ancient breed descended from Molossoid dogs. They originate from the Kavkaz (Caucasus mountain region). The countries found in this region include Georgia, Daghestan, Turkey, Osettia, Chechnia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria.

The breed is used for guarding and herding flocks. They’re a formidable breed, defending their livestock from predators such as wolves, bears, and jackals. They’d also assist hunters with bear hunting and are still active working dogs today.

Many countries across the world have found a need for the Caucasian Shepherd. In the 1960s Germany decided to use the breed to patrol the Berlin Wall. During the 1900s the USSR also began using Caucasian Shepherds for guarding those in prison. It’s a job they still do today!

The USSR is responsible for the modern Caucasian Ovcharka. In the 1920s, selection breeding took place. They developed its hearing, sight, and waterproof coat. Their rugged appearance and dense coat allow them to work in some of the toughest conditions.

In the UK, Caucasian Shepherd dogs are mostly used for companionship. They haven’t been recognized by the Kennel Club but were recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1984. The Caucasian Shepherd dog price in the UK is around £3000. Whilst popularity is growing there is still no official UK breed club.

Exercise & Grooming

Caucasian Shepherd Ovcharka dogs enjoy daily walks and should have access to a large garden. They shouldn’t be allowed off-leash unless in an enclosed space. Ideally, around 90 minutes of exercise across the day should suffice.

Caucasian Shepherd puppies shouldn’t be exercised as often. Their growing joints are susceptible to injury. Jumping and stairs should also be avoided. Interactive games such as a game of fetch are sometimes more than enough until they need a rest again!

As an intelligent breed, mental stimulation is needed to prevent boredom. Anything that gets the mind ticking over! Hide and seek or food puzzle games are some ways to do this. Caucasian Shepherds enjoy long walks and hikes where they can explore new environments.

It’s pretty obvious this breed is high maintenance on the grooming front. Some dogs are longer coated than others. They’ll require daily brushing. Caucasian Shepherds will blow their coats twice a year. Heavy shedding is to be expected. A grooming rake and slicker brush are ideal tools to use.

Bath this breed up to 5 times a year. Frequent bathing will cause a dull coat. Clean their ears weekly to remove debris. To prevent dental disease brush their teeth at least three times a week. Nails need to be trimmed fortnightly.

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Health

Below are the breed-related health issues of the Caucasian Shepherd dog.

  • Hip Dysplasia: A common orthopaedic condition seen in large breed dogs. The ball and socket of the joint don’t fit together correctly causing hip joint laxity. This’ll cause pain, inflammation, swelling and arthritis.
  • Cataracts: An opacity is found wthin the lens of the eye. If it is small, vision is only affected partially. Any larger and this’ll lead to blindness.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Heart disease is common in dogs but is asymptomatic in its early stages. Overtime it’ll progress to congenitive heart failure.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Training

Caucasian Ovcharkas need a firm leader that can handle their dominant and stubborn personality. This breed mustn’t cross the boundaries. They’re smart and will quickly work out who is a pushover! Spend time training the Caucasian Shepherd puppy each day in ten minute sessions.

Owners will need to spend considerable time on their obedience. It won’t be easy but they will get there in the end! This breed is highly protective and requires heavy socialization in its early years. They don’t take well to strangers in their territory.

With the right direction, they’ll learn their place in the pack! This breed isn’t difficult to housebreak and is smart enough to quickly pick up on basic commands. Training must start as early as possible. the older they get the harder it becomes!

Group puppy classes are highly recommended. It’s a great way to get the Caucasian Shepherd puppy exposed to new people and dogs. A routine is incredibly important for a working breed like the Caucasian Ovcharka. It’s something they can follow and look forward to throughout the day.

Recommended: Take a look at our breed guide on the Afghan Hound.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog interesting Facts

  • Caucasian Shepherds share a background with a number of other breeds. These include the Georgian Shepherd, Kars Dog of Turkey, and the Armenian Gampr Dog. Other variants of the breed include the Circassian Sheepdog, the Astrakhan type, and Dagestan dogs.
  • In North Devon, England, a Caucasian Shepherd puppy named Fluffy was found walking don’t the streets. She was then taken in by Dogs Trust after being handed in by a local dog warden. Luckily her past life didn’t leave her with any trauma so she is fit to be adopted. Unsurprisingly Dogs Trust received a flurry of applicants willing and ready to take this remarkable pooch!
  • In Liverpool, England, a Caucasian Shepherd dog named Simba escaped from its luxury home. It went on to attack 5 people including a 15-year-old girl. Owner Theodoro Tirimou explained the dog managed to escape after the gate latch blew open. Unfortunately, Simba had to be put down. It goes to show just how bad things can get when these dogs are placed in the wrong hands.
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Pyrenean Mastiff

One of the world’s lesser-known Mastiff breeds is the Pyrenean Mastiff. It’s rare to see this dog in the UK but they are still popular working dogs on the Pyrenees Mountains. Today we’re going to take a look into this canine’s background.

Pyrenean Mastiff Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Pyrenean Mastiff Lifespan: 10-13 years
Pyrenean Mastiff Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 30-31 inches Female 25-30 inches
Weight: 54-109 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Pyrenean Mastiffs are incredibly rare in the UK. Those interested in Pyrenean Mastiff puppies will probably have to get one imported! Currently, there are no breed clubs in the UK for this canine. It was only recently the Pyrenean Mastiff received its Kennel Club recognition.

Despite receiving this recognition, there is no official KC breed standard. This means the Pyrenean Mastiff is not allowed to be exhibited at KC licensed breed shows. They’re not to be confused with the Pyrenean Mountain dog or the Pyrenean Shepherd.

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Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Pyrenean Mastiff dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Child & dog friendly
  • Great watchdog
  • Drafting dog used to pull carts
  • Highly intelligent
  • Won’t bark excesively

Negatives:

  • Heavy drooler
  • Needs to be in a large home
  • Sheds throughout the year
  • Prone to weight gain

The Pyrenean Mastiff is a giant, strong and muscular breed yet in spite of this, they’re not known to be sluggish. In fact quite the opposite! Their double-coat is thick with a basic colour of white. Patches of a darker colour such as Grey, Gold, Brown, Black and Beige is found across the body.

Temperament

The best term to describe this breed is as a ‘Gentle Giant’. They really are kind and affectionate dogs that’ll form strong bonds with their family. Due to its independent nature, Pyrenean Mastiffs aren’t easily affected by separation anxiety.

Intelligent and easy to train, this dog will excel in the hands of an experienced owner, even if they’re a senior. As this Mastiff has a stubborn side, first-time owners should steer clear. This guardian was bred to protect both humans and animals, so it’s important they don’t develop any possessive habits over their family.

Pyrenean Mastiffs are naturally suspicious of strangers but they won’t show aggression. Unless they feel threatened of course. They’ll keep their space from strangers but this will change as they get to know them. As a watchdog Pyrenean Mastiffs will bark to alert their owner of somebody entering their territory.

This guardian does exceptionally well in a family environment. Growing up, they’ll be a little boisterous and their size could accidentally injure smaller children but never intentionally. For this reason, homes with older children are better suited. They’ll protect every member of the family, young, old, human, or animal!

Sociable with other dogs and friendly towards all animals, this canine is great at making friends! They can live in households with other pets including felines. Despite their intimidating size Pyrenean Mastiffs are a placid and calm breed.

Recommended: Learn about the English Setter, a Vulnerable Native Breed.

History

The Pyrenean Mastiff dog dates right back to the Middle Ages and is a descendent of the Mollosser dogs. Mollosoid breeds were brought from Assyria and Sumeria to Spain over 3,000 years ago. They came with the Phoenicians, an ancient civilization, from what we now know as Lebanon.

During the Middle Ages, there were two Christian kingdoms Castille and Aragon, an area today known as Spain. The Pyrenean Mastiff was developed in the Aragon region in the rugged terrain of the Pyrenees Mountains. Here they would protect and guard livestock alongside shepherds.

As the herd would migrate through the mountains, the Pyrenean Mastiffs, who often worked in groups, would have to defend the livestock from bears and wolves! Spiked collars were worn to protect them from these predators.

In 1659, the Pyrenees Mountains were split between France and Spain. France obtained the northern area and Spain the South. The French worked on refining their Mastiff into the modern Pyrenean Mountain dog we know today. By the 1940s bears and wolves declined in numbers across the Pyrenees Mountains.

Sheep were transported by rail and the Spanish Civil War and World War II was taking place. This almost wiped out the Pyrenean Mastiffs entire existence. By 1970 wolves had returned to Aragon which resulted in a breeding programme for the Pyrenean Mastiff. They increased their size and numbers, which allowed the breed to spread into different countries.

Exercise & Grooming

Pyrenean Mastiffs need up to one hour of exercise each day. Pyrenean Mastiff puppies are more boisterous but care must be taken to ensure they aren’t over-exercised. It’ll be damaging for their growing joints. Split their walks across the day as opposed to one long walk.

Mental stimulation is important for a smart canine like this one. This working breed is at its happiest when it has something to do! Teach him some advanced tricks and get his mind to work! A bored Mastiff can quickly destroy any home in seconds!

Take the Pyrenean Mastiff to a big open space where they can enjoy some off-leash time. They love exploring and it’s also a form of mental stimulation. Thanks to its relatively low prey drive, Pyrenean Mastiffs won’t dart off to chase a small animal.

Pyrenean Mastiffs shed copious amounts of fur throughout the year. Brush through their coat every three days to prevent matting and reduce shedding. A wide-toothed comb, grooming rake and slicker brush are all ideal to use on their fur type.

Baths should be given every 6-8 weeks but the longer the better. Trim the fur in between their toes as this can form into mats. Clip their nails every fortnight to prevent overgrowth. The long floppy ears of the Pyrenean Mastiff are prone to infection so ears must be cleaned weekly.

Health

Below are the breed-related health issues of the Pyrenean Mastiff:

  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach twists trapping the contents within, gasses fill the tummy with no means of escape causing it to expand. It’s a life-threatening condition.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Poor development of the hip joint causes the ball and socket to rub and grind against each other. This will cause pain, lameness, inflammation and arthritis.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Poor development of the elbow joint will cause lameness, pain, inflammation and arthritis.
  • Entropion: The eyelid rolls inwards causing the eyelashes to scratch against the surafce of the eye. It could lead to ulcers, eye infections, conjunctivitis, and weepy eyes.
  • Ectropion: The eyelid rolls outwards exposing the eye’s inner tissues. Treatment may be needed depending on the severity.
  • Glaucoma: Intra-ocular pressure within the eye will cause redness, severe pain and a loss of vision.

Pyrenean Mastiff Training

In the right hands, these intelligent canines are easy to train. However, they can be stubborn so an experienced owner is recommended. This breed will quickly pick up on commands but can also grasp bad habits just as fast.

Socialization is deeply important to raise the Pyrenean Mastiff into the even-tempered breed we know and love. These canines are renowned for being gentle and placid. They’ll only resort to aggression when pushed. But it’s still important to socialize the breed due to its natural suspicions of strangers.

Positive reinforcement works best for this canine. If the Pyrenean Mastiff doesn’t want to do something it won’t do it. Keep training sessions to around ten minutes long. If they begin to lose interest divert their attention to something new.

As this breed is prone to weight gain, avoid dishing out too many food treats. Toys are a good replacement. Training goes hand in hand with exercise. If their activity needs aren’t being met, they’ll resort to destructive behaviours.

Recommended: Enjoying this guide? Then check out the Caucasian Shepherd.

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Pyrenean Mastiff Interesting Facts

  • The Pyrenean Mastiff is closely related to the Pyrenean Mountain dog. Despite the dogs being developed near one another, they’re a completely separate breed. Both are descendants of ancient Molloser dogs.
  • Although their popularity has risen and expanded into other countries across the world, Pyrenean Mastiffs are still rather rare. It’s estimated there are around 4,000-6,000 Pyrenean Mastiffs left in the world.
  • This breed isn’t allowed to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as it doesn’t have a KC breed standard. They’re also unable to participate at Crufts!
  • There is no official Pyrenean Mastiff Club in the UK.
  • The Kennel Club lists the Pyrenean Mastiff as an IMP. This means its currently on the Imported Breed Register as its a newly recognised breed that isn’t officially established in the UK. Eventually they’ll be transferred onto the breed register.
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5 Best Dog Cameras

Ever wondered just exactly what your dog gets up to when you’re not around? Well, now you don’t have to! We’ve compiled the best-rated pet cameras tried and tested by dog owners themselves! Take a look!

Wansview WiFi IP Camera

This 1080p full resolution pet camera is the perfect way to keep a watchful eye on your dog when you’re out. Its night vision provides a viewing range of 5 meters in total darkness! So even in your sleep, you can find out exactly what you’re dog’s been up to.

Over 12,100 people have collectively rated the Wansview camera 4.5 out of 5 stars! At under £30 it’s fantastic value for money. The camera features live video, 2-way audio, and it works with Alexa! It also takes a snapshot and ten-second video when detecting movement.

Pros
  • Night vision
  • 2-way audio
  • Pan tilt zoom
  • Works with Alexa
Cons
  • Won’t work to its full ability with poor WiFi

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery by Amazon

This stick-up camera is a slightly more expensive option by the well-known brand Ring. However, the quality of the product is fantastic as over 10,000 reviewers gave Ring 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s compatible with Alexa and can be mounted anywhere in your home.

The two-way audio is perfect for speaking with your pooch when you’re out! You can view exactly what they’re doing live from you’re home. Sign up for the Ring subscription to easily record, review, and share your footage. A 30-day free trial is already included with your purchase.

Pros
  • Mount anywhere in the home
  • 30-day free trial for the Ring Protect Plan
  • Powered via a battery pack
  • Live view via the Ring app
Cons
  • Motion detector won’t work through a window

NETVUE Wi-Fi Pet Camera

Featuring over 2,500 reviews at 4.5 out of 5 stars, the Netvue Wi-Fi Pet Camera is quickly growing in popularity! Its vision is crystal clear at night with a viewing distance of 32 feet in pitch black! Netvue’s camera will instantly detect motion, triggering a notification direct to your phone!

Stream live video direct from the feed via the Netvue app. You can also share the stream with any family and friends to keep an eye on your dog! With 2-way audio, you can talk to your pet through the camera as if you’re right there with them!

Pros
  • Night vision
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Remote viewing
  • Receive alerts immediately
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a memory card

Blink Mini Compact Indoor Security Camera

Another excellent choice at a great price is the Blink Mini Compact Camera. At under £35, boasting 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 13,000 reviewers, you can’t go wrong! The wired camera will instantly send alerts to your phone when motion is detected. Now you can see, hear, and speak your dog 24/7!

Simply arm and disarm the device via your voice. There’s a two-way audio system that also works with Alexa. The purchase includes a free trial of the Blink Subscription Plan where you can record and save footage via the Blink app.

Pros
  • Receive alerts when motion is detected
  • Speak to your dog through the Blink app
  • Includes a stand for functionality
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • Live view isn’t continuous
  • Camera must be plugged in

YI Home 1080P Security Camera

If your dog likes to walk around your home then check out this twin camera set. Over 5,600 reviewers gave this product a 4 out of 5-star rating. Unlike the other cameras on this list, you can schedule the operating times for each day. The status light is easily deactivated via the YI Home app for uninterrupted sleep.

The YI Home camera can also compress 6 hours of video into a 5-30 second clip! Its built-in microphone and speaker allows for two way audio and is compatible with Alexa Echo Show! The YI Cloud allows for secure storage and loop records all the videos featuring detected activity.

Pros
  • Twin camera set
  • Ability to deactivate status light
  • Night vision
  • Human & sound detection
Cons
  • Cloud storage requires subscription

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Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a Vulnerable Native Breed with fewer than 100 KC registrations each year. Once owned by Queen Victoria herself, today, we’re going to take a look into this long, low, and hardy Terrier!

Skye Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Skye Terrier Lifespan: 12-14 years
Skye Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 10 inches Female 9.5 inches
Weight: 16-20 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

One of Britains native breeds, the Isle of Skye Terrier, partially helped in the development of all Terrier breeds from Scotland. Unfortunately, this dog has now found itself on the Kennel Club’s Vulnerable Native Breeds list as of 2004. In 2019, there were only 53 Skye Terrier puppies registered with the KC.

To combat its ever-declining numbers the Skye Terrier Club created a DNA bank in 2006. Skye Terrier enthusiasts are hopeful the more they expand the breed’s gene pool and DNA base, the less chance the breed will fall victim to extinction.

Characteristics

Find out the pros and cons of the Skye Terrier dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Easy to train
  • Suitable for apartments
  • Great watchdog
  • Low exercise needs

Negatives:

  • High wanderlust potential
  • Skye Terriers aren’t very cat or dog friendly
  • Stubborn streak
  • High prey drive

The Skye Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed typically remembered by its long fringe of fur. The Kennel Club describes the breed as ‘elegant and defined’. Eyes are typically dark brown and coat colours are found in Black, Grey, Cream, and Fawn, with black noses and ears.

Temperament

Skye Terriers are confident, feisty, active and robust dogs who are deeply loyal to their owners. So much so, if they’re left alone for long periods of time, they’ll develop separation anxiety. This breed has a stubborn streak and on occasion will have a mind of its own!

As a member of the Terrier family, courage and fearlessness are embedded into its personality. Skye Terriers are now used as companions but still share traits related to their working background. They can be a handful at times but are still suitable for determined first-time owners and seniors.

This breed is distrustful of strangers but shouldn’t react aggressively. He won’t like being touched by somebody he doesn’t know! The breed is an exceptional watchdog as they’re always on the alert. Socialize the Skye Terrier puppy with people to prevent its suspicious nature from resulting in aggression.

Family homes with children above the age of 6 are better suited for the Skye Terrier. This breed may feel overwhelmed by smaller children constantly invading their space. Skye Terriers are feisty and will snap if they’re being teased. As an active breed, they’ll be a great playmate and loveable companion for older children.

Skye Terriers aren’t super dog friendly. They’re not the sort to run into the dog park making friends here there and everywhere! This breed is a little dominant and won’t back down if challenged. They can live alongside other dogs but aren’t a cat-friendly breed.

Recommended: Interested in the Terrier family? Check out this guide on the Scottish Terrier.

History

The Skye Terrier dates back to the 14th century and originates from the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Their name is derived from the Island of Skye but it isn’t possible to trace their exact roots.

Some believe the breed came to Scotland as survivors of a shipwreck with the Spanish Armada. These dogs were then bred with local canines thus producing the Skye Terrier although today’s modern breed is heavier coated. But many think the breed’s creation is attributed to the dogs brought over by Vikings.

Initially, this canine was bred to hunt vermin, patrolling the land of farmers. By the 1600s Skye Terriers. who were already working farm dogs, became popular with island farmers as fox and badger hunters. It’s also a popular sport amongst British aristocracy so it’s no wonder why they were greatly loved by the upper class.

In the 19th century, Queen Victoria took a fancy to the breed and became a proud owner to a Skye Terrier named Islay. This of course increased its popularity amongst the circles of the Victorian elite. A statue of the dog is found outside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia.

Due to their Vulnerable Native breed status, potential owners interested in Skye Terrier puppies will have to join a waiting list. Despite once being popular in the UK and USA, even receiving their AKC recognition in 1887, their numbers just haven’t increased.

Exercise & Grooming

Skye Terriers require up to 1 hour of exercise each day. If their activity needs are met, this breed can live happily in an apartment. Due to its strong prey drive, Skye Terriers should only be allowed off-leash in enclosed spaces.

Owners must take great care when exercising their Skye Terrier puppy. As an achondroplastic breed, excessive exercise will damage their growing joints. This will affect their growth plates leading to further health issues.

Mental stimulation is important for the intelligent Skye Terrier. They love to explore so take them to new environments where they can discover new smells! Dog sports is also a form of mental stimulation and Skye Terriers excel in obedience, agility and earth dog events.

A brush twice a week with a pin or soft bristle brush is all this coat needs. It should be left in its natural state with no trimming or clipping of the fur. Skye Terriers should be hand-stripped several times a year to keep their coat healthy.

Baths will be needed twice a month as their coats quick up dirt and debris quickly. Don’t be rough when shampooing as this can cause the coat to mat. Their ears need a weekly clean and nails trimmed fortnightly. Brush teeth weekly to prevent dental disease.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Skye Terrier dog below:

  • Puppy Limp: This condition is also know as Skye Limp and is caused by overexercising a Skye Terrier puppy. The limp is caused by premature closure of the growth plates.
  • Hepatitis: This health issue is linked to copper storage dysfunction which in its early stages will cause enlargement of the liver. Unfortunately, a hepatitis gene mutation has remade its appearance in Skye Terriers since it was first noticed in 1988. Researchers are working closely with the Kennel Club to swab as many Skye’s as possible to eradicate the disease.
  • Renal Dysplasia: Abnormal development of one or both of the kidneys. It’s a hereditary condition present at birth.
  • Cancers: Skye Terriers may be affected by cancers such as Hemangiosarcoma and Mammary cancer.
  • Hypothyroidism: An endocrine disorder affecting a dog’s metabolic state. Symptoms include hair loss, dull coat, weight gain, and lethargy.

Training

Strong-willed and stubborn, yet sensitive, the Skye Terrier won’t take well to harsh correction. Positive training methods and rewards will quickly grab this eager to please Terriers attention! Thanks to its intelligence, they’ll quickly grasp commands.

For a Terrier, respect training is deeply important. They’re a dominant family and must understand whose boss, otherwise they’ll take that position themselves! Never let them break the boundaries without correction as these smart canines will quickly learn their bad behaviours are accepted.

Although this breed is more open to training than their other Terrier counterparts, they may need some extra help along the way. Group puppy classes are a great place for Skye Terrier puppies. Here they can learn new commands whilst learning to socialize with other people and dogs.

Unsocialized Skye Terriers can quickly develop Small Dog Syndrome. This behavioural condition is also caused by mollycoddling a small dog. It could land them in a lot of trouble with a dog much bigger in size. A Skye Terrier will need extensive socialization with people, dogs and sounds to grow into a well-rounded dog.

Skye Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Greyfriars Bobby (4th May 1855-14th January 1872) is a famous Skye Terrier from Edinburgh. He shot to fame after it was revealed he spent 14 years sitting by his owners grave until the day of his death. A number of books and movies have since been created telling the story of this loyal dog’s undying love for his owner! A monument was also constructed in his honour at Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh.
  • At one point in history, the name Skye Terrier was used to describe a variety of dogs. They also had a number of other names which include the Clydesdale Terrier, the Paisley Terrier, the Fancy Skye Terrier, the Glasgow Terrier, and the Silky Skye Terrier.
  • Sir Edwin Landseer, popular for his lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, regularly painted the Skye Terrier. He helped boost the breed’s popularity in the Victorian era.
  • Did you know Skye Terriers are found with both prick and drop ears. The prick-eared variety became a more popular choice after Queen Victoria displayed her Skye terrier, Islay.
  • Skye Terriers are an achondroplastic breed. This means they have a large body but smaller legs. It’s important they aren’t over-exercised as a puppy because this will be damaging to their growing limbs.

Recommended: All done reading? Then have a look at the Japanese Shiba Inu!

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Kokoni Dog

The Small Greek Domestic dog is slowly growing its popularity outside of Greece. Most Kokonis in the UK are rescues imported from shelters in countries such as Cyprus and Greece. Let’s take a look into this hardy breed!

Kokoni Dog Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Kokoni Lifespan: 13-20 years
Kokoni Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 4-8 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

In Greece, the Kokoni won’t be hard to spot. Yet elsewhere across the world, they’re incredibly rare. These companions dogs have been a part of Greek history for hundreds if not thousands of years. They’re typically found snuggled up in the beds of their owners!

Slowly more dog enthusiasts have started taking notice of the breed. Most potential owners must register their interests with shelters in Cyprus and Greece for a chance to own this remarkable pooch. Although Kokonis are a typically healthy breed there hasn’t been much study into their background or breed-related health issues.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Kokoni dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Intelligent & easy to train
  • Small enough to live in an apartment
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Not prone to separation anxiety
  • Suitable for first-time owners

Negatives:

  • Not hypoallergenic
  • If unsocialized may pick up Small Dog Syndrome
  • Not recognized by any major Kennel Clubs
  • Rare in the UK

The Small Greek Domestic Dog also known as the Kokoni features almond-shaped eyes and triangular ears. Their double coat is of medium length and is found in a variety of colours such as Tricolour, Black & Tan, Blonde, Rust, and Black. White is often seen around the middle of the face.

Temperament

Kokonis may be small but have an almighty loud bark. Thankfully they aren’t excessive barkers. Despite their size, this breed is fearless and can be territorial. It’s not unknown for them to become possessive of their owners.

Intelligent and easily trained, the Kokoni is a great choice for first-time owners. They’re eager to please and form a strong bond with their human companion. On the other hand, Kokoni’s are also independent so won’t suffer easily from separation anxiety. A rather rare trait in a small breed!

As an ideal watchdog, Kokonis will bark at strangers entering their territory. They may be standoffish at first but should settle down. This is of course is dependent on their socialization growing up. A rescue Kokoni may be warier of strangers depending on their history.

In their past, this breed would often be kept with women and children. So naturally, Kokonis are great companions for kids. They’re pretty robust and enjoy the extra playtime and attention but children should still be careful of their small stature.

The Kokoni is sociable and will happily greet other dogs in the park. They can live with other canines but due to their strong prey drive, owners should be aware of bringing felines into the home. Small animals are definitely a big no no!

History

Despite only receiving Greek Kennel Club recognition in 2004, the Kokoni has a lengthy history. Native to Greece, although some debate he’s from Malta, the Kokoni name translates to ‘little dog’! Their other name is the Small Greek Domestic Dog.

The Alopekis is closely related to the Kokoni and at one point were classed as the same breed, just different varieties. Although their heritage hasn’t been documented, similar-looking canines have been depicted on vases, coins, wall art and pottery. It points to some sort of timeline of the ancient breed’s existence.

Popular amongst the aristocracy, this breed would often accompany women and children. These multi-purpose canines were also ideal for those of a lower-class background. They could hunt small mammals and birds, catch vermin, and herd livestock!

It isn’t uncommon to find the Kokoni living on the streets of Greece. Over time unrestricted breeding created these adorable, independent dogs with few health issues. In their native land, Kokoni’s are highly popular but are rare across the world.

Kokonis are typically imported to the UK through rescue shelters. The breed is only recognized by the German Kennel Club. It’s incredibly difficult to locate Kokoni puppies in the UK. Unlike some hybrids and other unrecognized breeds, the Kokoni does not have an established dog club.

Recommended: Which dog is one of Britain’s favourite Designer Dogs? Find out here!

Exercise & Grooming

Kokoni’s might be small but they’re pretty energetic. Ideally, they should receive up to one hour of exercise each day. Whilst a play in the garden can be satisfactory, Kokonis still need to be walked outdoors. As an unrecognized breed, it won’t be possible to participate in any official dog sports shows.

Due to their high levels of intelligence, mental stimulation is important. A bored dog will quickly cause havoc and destruction. Simple brain games of hide and seek, sniffing around on a walk, and puzzles with treats are some ways to mentally stimulate a dog.

At some point in the day, their exercise should be vigorous. Even though Kokonis don’t have a strong wanderlust potential, it’s always safer to keep them leashed. Especially since they have a strong prey drive. If their exercise needs are met, this breed can live happily in an apartment.

The Kokoni is an average shedder so it’s best to brush them daily. A firm bristle brush and comb should do the trick. The fur on their tail feathers out and is prone to tangles. Extra care should be taken when brushing this area.

Leave a minimum gap of 6 weeks between each bath. This prevents damage to their natural oils. Ears will need a clean weekly to remove any debris. Nails need a trim every 10-14 days. Kokonis are prone to dental issues so it’s best to brush their teeth daily.

Health

The Kokoni dog is one of the few breeds with relatively low health issues. This canine only recently received its Greek Kennel Club recognition. So there hasn’t been enough research to identify any breed-related health issues.

Kokoni dogs live long into their teens and over the years the Kokoni mix has provided variety to its genetic background. It’s one of the main reasons there are hardly any inherited health issues. As a smaller breed, the Kokoni is prone to suffering dental issues. To prevent dental disease brush their teeth daily.

Kokoni Training

Thankfully, this little canine is easy to train making them an ideal choice for first-time dog owners. Intelligent and eager to please, Kokoni dogs will quickly pick up on commands and sail through their training.

Smaller dogs have smaller bladders and require more frequent toilet breaks. It’s best to set a routine as this smart dog will quickly learn to follow it. Return to the same potty space so they recognise the area. Crate training is another ideal way to housebreak smaller dogs.

The small domestic Greek dog is a fantastic companion and lacks stubbornness, so he’s easygoing. Throughout its heritage, this breed has been a multi-purpose working dog. Their smart mind needs to be put to use so teach them advanced tricks, set up obstacle courses and test their brains!

Small dog syndrome can affect any little dog. A lack of socialization often results in fear-based reactions. It’s important the Kokoni is introduced to a variety of people and dogs. Especially since the breed is known to have a protective streak for its owner.

Exercise, mental stimulation and training go hand in hand. Time must be given to all 3 throughout the day. Training won’t work if a dog is stuck indoors with pent up energy. Kokonis are fast learners and will grow tired of repetition so once they’ve got the hang of a command, move on to something new!

Kokoni Interesting Facts

  • In 2005, a Kokoni dog was featured in the movie Bewitched alongside Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman. The blonde dog named Satchel was the first of its breed to hit the big screen!
  • Their official name is the Small Domestic Greek Dog however others believe the breed actually originates from Malta. What is agreed is the Kokoni’s ties to Ancient Greek history.
  • Rico, a Kokoni cross rescued from a shelter in Portugal, is up for a Superdog Award! Due to behavioural issues caused by his past, Rico undertook pet trail training with his owner in sessions run by Pettrailer UK. In March 2021 a dog named Henry was missing. Rico sniffed the owners and quickly got to work on locating Henry’s trail. As the day drew to a close the search was called off. The owners returned later to the areas indicated by Rico and luckily found their dog right there!
  • On Wednesday 3rd June 2020 a video of a Spaniel Kokoni mix named Bagel went viral. He was a rescue dog from Cyrpus, dumped at the airport by its previous owner. Adoptive mum Kate Taylor welcomed Bagel at London Heathrow where he lovingly jumped into her lap! A lovely ending for this pooch!

Recommended: Which dog has links to the Roman Mastiffs? Find out here!

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Hypoallergenic Dog Food: What is it?

When you walk into your typical supermarket, very rarely do you come across a hypoallergenic dog food brand. Dog owners mostly source hypoallergenic food from their local pet store. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit your pet?

What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Hypoallergenic dog food is a specially formulated diet for dogs that suffer from food-related allergies. Conventional dog food isn’t bad for your pet if they don’t have food allergies. But if your dog does, its immune system will trigger an allergic reaction to the proteins or glycoproteins found within.

The immune system develops antibodies and continuous overexposure to the allergen will cause a hypersensitive reaction. Hypoallergenic dog food uses unique proteins that haven’t been introduced to your pet. Meaning the likelihood of an allergic reaction is reduced.

Should my Dog be on a Hypoallergenic Diet?

A Hypoallergenic diet particularly benefits pregnant dogs and those with allergies. It’s an all-around healthier option when compared to the conventional dog foods out there. Whilst raw diets are also beneficial some owners aren’t aware of what constitutes a nutritionally balanced meal.

The most common causes of food allergies are grains, chicken, beef, soy and wheat. However, it’s best to do a process of elimination diet to discover the exact cause. Hypoallergenic food provides novel proteins your dog hasn’t been exposed to before thus reducing the chances of an allergic reaction.

If you’ve noticed the following symptoms in your dog below, they may have food allergies.

  • Scratching & chewing at skin
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Redness/rashes on the skin
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Hot spots
  • Yeast or bacterial infections
  • Farting
  • Hair loss
  • Facial swelling
  • Anaphylaxis (rare)

Before switching your dog’s entire diet always consult with your vet. They’ll be able to help identify your dog’s triggers and which hypoallergenic dog food brand is better suited to your dog.

What are the Benefits of Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

There are a number of lifelong benefits related to the usage of hypoallergenic food. It’s known to reduce colitis, ear infections, itchy skin, reduce the risk of heart issues, and digestive problems. Ever had to squeeze your dog’s anal glands? You won’t forget that pungent smell!

Thankfully Hypoallergenic dog food reduces the risk of filled anal glands. This is because it’s high in complex carbohydrates and is easily digestible. Therefore it’s also recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs. There are also a variety of extra ingredients beneficial for your pet, that isn’t found in conventional dog food.

Below is a list of nutrients found in hypoallergenic diets:

  • Vitamin A: Improves hair growth and skin maintenance. It also helps with the function of your dog’s nerves and muscles. Fish oils, liver, and egg yolks contain Vitamin A. It’s highly important vitamin for pregnant females and their puppies.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant bettering the immune system. It’s found in trout, salmon, eggs, avocado, spinach, sunflower oil and soybean oil. Vitamin E defends your dog’s body from free radicals (reactive molecules that damage cell membranes).
  • Novel Carbohydrates: Some dogs are sensitive to specific carbohydrates. Novel carbohydrates haven’t been introduced to a dog’s digestive system thus reducing the risk of an allergic reaction. Sweet potato and brown rice are two examples of novel carbohydrates.
  • Zinc: Reduces immune and inflammatory reactions whilst benefiting your dog’s skin and coat. Zinc is found in fresh meat, dairy, seafood, and even vegetables.
  • Fibre: Reduces the negative effects of digestion such as gas and loose stools. Fibre is found in beef pulp, flaxseeds, apples, carrots, brown rice, and pumpkins.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Treats inflammation related to allergic reactions by changing the levels of eicosanoids. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in fish oil.

How Does it Work?

Hypoallergenic dog food won’t have an immediate effect on your pet. It can take between 10-12 weeks for owners to notice a difference. No dog is the same so you’ll need to research into the variety of brands available to determine which is best for your dog.

Unlike conventional dog food, hypoallergenic food removes all the bad stuff! So, you won’t find any artificial colours, flavourings, or preservatives. Some people believe a hypoallergenic diet will be the key to curing their dog’s health issues. This isn’t always the case so it’s always best to identify the root cause of your dog’s allergic reactions.

Whilst no food is ever 100% hypoallergenic, it still contains fewer allergens. Using ingredients that aren’t recognized by your dog’s antibodies is less likely to cause allergic reactions.

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5 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls for Large Breeds

You probably know by now, that large and giant dog breeds are prone to conditions such as Bloat and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. These are fatal health issues and fast eating is one of the main triggers. Below is a list of the 5 Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls rated by owners themselves!

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

At the top of our list is Outward Hound’s large slow feeding bowl designed to reduce fast-eating by 10x. The product has an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 32,100 dog owners! It’s also mentally stimulating as your dog has to work their way around the grooves in order to get its food!

Underneath, the bowl has a non-slip base to prevent it from sliding. It can hold up to four cups of kibble and is also suitable for wet and raw food. Although the grooves may take longer to clean manually, the bowl itself is dishwasher safe.

Pros
  • Great for large breeds
  • Slows down eating
  • Mentally stimulating
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Grooves take longer to clean manually

PET IMPACT Slow Feeder Dog Bowl

This large slow feeder is made from natural bamboo fibre and corn starch! Pet Impact use renewable sources for their product and don’t use any excess packaging. Just the recyclable box your bowl will be delivered in!

Interactive and fun, your dog won’t be able to gulp their food down in one thus significantly reducing the risks of GDV. It extends eating by 12-15 times longer! Built with durability in mind, Pet Impacts slow feeder also has a non-slip base and is approved by vets. Over 300 reviewers rated this product at 4.7 out of 5 stars!

Pros
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made from natural resources
  • Uses less packaging
  • Mentally stimulating
Cons
  • Only available in one colour

Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulp Dog Bowl

A simplistic bowl designed for large breeds that eat too quickly. Durable and dishwasher safe the Dog-it bowl can be used for both food and water. It’s already gaining popularity and boasts 4.5 stars by over 800 dog owners!

The slow feeder is BPA and PVC free so it’s safe for your dog’s use. There are anti-skid rims to keep the bowl in place and a capacity for 5 cups of kibble. This bowl will slow down the fastest of eaters and is available in a range of sizes.

Pros
  • 1.2L capacity
  • PVC & BPA free
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Non-slip rims may wear down over time

Neater Pet Brands Slow Feed Bowl Stainless Steel

A stainless steel slow feeder with a 1000ml food capacity that’s perfect for larger breeds! The bowl is suitable for most elevated feeders but the Neater pet brand does supply their own. Easy to clean and dishwasher safe you can’t go wrong with the Neater slow feeder bowl!

Over 5,000 dog owners have rated this bowl 4.5 out of 5 stars! The reviews are filled with ecstatic reactions from happy buyers. It features a stylish paw in the middle and thanks to the stainless steel material, is highly durable!

Pros
  • 1000ml capacity
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Fits most elevated feeders
Cons
  • No anti-slip base

Iokheira Dog Slow Feeder Bowl

A puzzle slow feeder bowl that’s a fantastic form of mental stimulation for your dog. The suction cup underneath keeps the bowl firmly in place, unlike traditional feeders. Over 200 dog owners have rated this product at 4.5 stars and the numbers just keep on growing!

This bowl is completely safe for your pet and is made from food-grade silicone. It’s also BPA free and recyclable! Increase your dog’s eating time by up to 10 times be it a puppy or adult. Dishwasher safe and easy to clean for repeated use again and again!

Pros
  • Mentally stimulating
  • Suction cup underneath
  • Slows feeding by up to 10x
  • BPA free
Cons
  • Puppies may chew on the bowl as a toy

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5 Best Environmentally Friendly Dog Poo Bags

Poo cleaning! It’s probably one of our least favourite things we as owners have to do, but it’s got to be done! Nowadays many of us are more aware of our environmental footprint. The accumulation of plastic bags thrown away daily by dog owners is mind-blowing!

So we’ve found the best-rated dog poo bags that are safer for the environment. Below are the top rated poo bags as reviewed by dog owners themselves.

Moonygreen Biodegradable Dog Poo Bags

These vegetable-based dog poo bags are miles better for the environment than the average plastic bag. They even meet the British (EN 13432) and EU Home Gardening standards for garden manure. Moonygreen bags contain zero microplastics and decompose within 90 days.

Made from cornflour and environmentally friendly polymers, the dog poo bags won’t leave any toxins or nasties in the soil! 100% compostable the Moonygreen dog poo bags sit firmly at the top of our list! Dog owners also thought the same with over 1,300 reviewers leaving an average of 5 out of 5 stars!

Pros
  • Comes with a dispenser
  • 100% compostable in 90 days
  • Vegetable-based
  • Leak-proof
  • No microplastics!
  • Meets British (EN 13432) standards
Cons
  • None!

ANWA 100% Compostable Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags

Another EN13432 certified compostable bag is from ANWA. Their poop bags are made from corn starch material and will decompose within 90 days! Leak-proof and tear resistant, although they’re one of the more expensive options the ANWA poo bags are fantastic for the environment.

The bags are easy to tear, won’t stick together, and have easy to peel stickers! They’ll fit any standard sized dispenser and are on average 50% thicker than average poo bags! Reduce the impact of your pet’s carbon footprint with ANWA’s biodegradable poop bags. A newer product but already holding 5 out of 5 stars by 90 buyers.

Pros
  • EN13432 & ASTM D6400 certified
  • Decomposes within 90 days
  • Leak-proof
  • No microplastics!
Cons
  • No handles
  • Brand doesn’t supply dispensers

Earth Rated Dog Poo Bags

Earth Rated are one of the biggest names around when it comes to environmentally friendly dog poo bags! Leak-proof and lavender scented, their extra thick bags ensure your hands don’t fall victim to any spillages or smells! Over 93,200 dog owners gave these poo bags an outstanding 5 out of 5 stars!

All packaging and roll cores are 100% recyclable. Earth Rated’s compostable range is BPI certified and plant-based. It’s made from starches and vegetables. Despite being unscented the bags are good enough to contain odour within. This Canadian company invest in numerous rescues and shelters across North America.

Pros
  • Leak-proof
  • Lavender scent available
  • Compostable , plant-based bags available
  • All packaging & rolls are recyclable
Cons
  • Thick poo bags range isn’t compostable
  • Contains microplastics

Greener Walker Poo Bags

Another well-known brand is Greener Walker. Over 11,400 pet owners have given them 4.5 out of 5 stars! These brown biodegradable dog poo bags are 100% leak-proof. The bag measures 13×9 inches, a great size for even the largest of poos!

For just over £15 you can receive approximately 7 months supply of dog poo bags. Excellent for dog walkers and those of us with multiple dogs! All the packaging and roll cores are recyclable. Made from corn starch the bags themselves are a great alternative to plastic!

Pros
  • Bulk buy, 540 dog poo bags
  • Made from corn starch
  • Biodegradable, better for the environment
Cons
  • Sticker may rip first bag when opening a pack
  • Brand doesn’t supply dispensers
  • Contains microplastics

Bonre Life Dog Poo Bags

Another fantastic price that’s again, just over £15 for 540 dog poo bags. Made from corn starch, these bags are designed to quickly degrade. A much better choice for the environment. Although they’re delicate to nature, the bags are still strong enough to prevent leaks.

Easy to open and tear, you can quickly tend to poo without difficulty! The bags are unscented and can fit any standard dispenser. They’re great for even the largest of poos and measure 23×33 cm. Available in yellow and green these biodegradable dog poo bags are rated 5 stars by over 2,000 reviewers!

Pros
  • Made from corn-starch
  • Biodegradable
  • 100% leak-proof
Cons
  • No brand dispenser
  • Unscented

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Boxer

Britains most favourite working dog breed is the Boxer! A firm favourite sitting on Britains top 20 dog breed list for over a decade! Learn all about the Boxer dog in our comprehensive guide below.

Boxer Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Boxer Lifespan: 10-12 years
Boxer Exercise: More than 2 hours per day
Height: Male 23-25 inches Female 21.5-23.5 inches
Weight: 29-36 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Boxers are one of Britain’s favourite dogs. In 2020 there were 3,202 Boxer puppy registrations which listed them as Britain’s 14th favourite dog breed! However, they came top of the list for Britain’s favourite working dog breed, with Rottweilers taking second place at 2,050 registrations.

The Kennel Club lists Boxers under Breed Watch Category 2. Their points of concern are pinched nostrils which interfere with breathing. Boxers are flat-faced so they’re a Brachycephalic breed which puts them at risk of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. Due to its hunting heritage, they’ve been classed under the Working Group.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Boxer dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Low grooming maintenance
  • Ideal watchdog and guard dog
  • Child-friendly & family orientated
  • Excellent service dog

Negatives:

  • High exercise needs
  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Brachycephalic breed

Boxers are a medium-large dog breed featuring a distinct square head and muscular body. Their single-layered coat is short and doesn’t shed large amounts of fur. The coat is easily maintained and is found in colours fawn and brindle both of which may include white markings. White Boxers aren’t unheard of and the American Boxer Club estimates 25% of Boxers are born white.

Temperament

Boxers are known for having a rather comical and humorous character. Goofy and on occasion clumsy, the Boxer dog is often referred to as the clown of the dog world! They are boisterous and bursting with energy so require lots of outdoors time.

This breed is demanding and if their needs aren’t met, destruction and bad behaviour will be their outlet. Deeply intelligent, this dog wants to live life to the fullest so it’s unsurprising they come with a stubborn side! A firm, experienced owner is recommended.

As a watchdog and guard dog, Boxers are wary of strangers but given the right socialization, will be friendly. They’ll become aggressive if they sense a threat so it’s very important Boxer puppies are thoroughly socialized.

This brave, confident, and fearless canine is a great addition to families with older children. Due to their bubbly, energetic nature, they could accidentally knock over a smaller child. Affectionate, playful and loving towards all members of the family, the Boxer will instinctively protect those it loves!

Boxers aren’t exactly trusting of other dogs and can go head to head with those of the same sex. Their dominant and territorial behaviour is a contributing factor to disagreements. A Boxer puppy needs lots of socialization to ensure friendly behaviour with other canines.

Recommended: The Basenji is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. Learn all about it here!

History

The Boxer is another popular German protection dog developed during the 1800s. Descended from the extinct Bullenbaisser, Mastiffs and Bulldogs, this breed was initially bred to chase and pin down large game. Their prey included Wild Boar, Bison, Deer and even Bears!

As a working breed, the Boxer also undertook a variety of other jobs. They were used for bull-baiting, a bloodsport popular in its heyday. Boxers would also assist butchers in the slaughterhouse by controlling the cattle. Later down the line, they found a new position alongside the police and army.

Just three years later in 1954, Boxers had risen to Britains 4th most popular dog breed! Decades later although their position has slipped down the line, they’re still in the UK’s top 20 dog list! The working breed is still used by police, and has since ventured into guide dog and therapy work!

In World War I & II the Boxer was found on the frontline. They were widely used as messengers, pack carriers, and attack dogs. After the end of World War II, returning soldiers brought back Boxers. It wasn’t long before they became one of the world’s most famous dog breeds.

In 1895 the Deutscher Boxer Club was established with the first breed standard issued in 1904. That same year, the breed received recognition from the AKC. In the UK, 1936 the British Boxer Club was formed. By 1951 there were 4,500 KC registered Boxer puppies that year!

Exercise & Grooming

Boxers require an active owner that can dedicate over 2 hours of exercise each day. They’re high in energy and will display puppy-like behaviour longer than other breeds. Split up their exercise time across the day as opposed to all in one. A bored boxer will quickly get into mischief!

It’s important they have some off-leash time so they can really let loose. This should take place in an enclosed area. Given enough time and training Boxers can participate in dog sports. Agility, rally, obedience, and even herding are their best categories.

Mental stimulation is important for the intelligent Boxer dog. Simple games, for instance, hiding food treats around the home, are great ways to keep their minds ticking over. Teaching them new tricks, letting them sniff around, even a small garden obstacle course is mentally stimulating.

Boxer dogs are low maintenance on the grooming front and only need a weekly brush to remove dead fur. Whilst they don’t moult consistently, shedding will be heavier in the spring and autumn as their single-layered coat grows thicker due to colder weather.

Give them a bath every 2-3 months as frequent bathing is damaging to the skin. Ensure their facial creases are regularly wiped to prevent skin fold dermatitis. Wipe their ears weekly to remove any debris. Trim their nails every ten days and don’t forget to brush their teeth!

Health

Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Boxer dog below:

  • Hip Dysplasia: The abnormal development of the hip joint will cause pain, lameness, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
  • Epilepsy: A neurological conditon causing repeated seizures. Boxers are prone to idiopathic epilepsy.
  • Aortic Stenosis: Congenital aortic stenosis is a heart disease caused by a narrow aortic valve which reduces blood flow to the body. It’s typically seen in large breeds.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A genetic condition typically seen in large and giant breeds. The disease affects the cardiac muscle decreasing its ability to pump blood around the body.
  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: Flat-faced dopgs have excess tissue in their upper airway system which obstructs air flow. Depending on the severity a dog may need an operation to open their airways.
  • Degenerative Myleopathy: A degenerative and progressive condition targeting the spinal cord. Typically seen from the age of 7 years and onwards.
  • Corneal Ulcers: A painful wound on the eye that is damaging to the surface. If no treatment is sought the dog could loose its eye.
  • Hypothyroidism: An endocrine condition affecting a dogs metabolism.
  • Cancer: The Kennel Club indicates 38.5% of Boxers die from cancer. Mast Cell Tumours is more common amongst the breed.
  • Skin Fold Dermatitis: An infection found within the folds of the skin caused by yeast and bacteria build up.
  • Gingival Hyperplasia: A dental disease prone to Boxers which target the gums. Click this link for further information in our Dog Dental Care guide.

It’s been estimated that 22% of Boxer puppies die due to stillbirth (dystocia).

Boxer Training

Boxers will need thorough and consistent training throughout their lives. As they hold onto their puppy years for longer, it’s important owners don’t give in or dismiss bad behaviour. Boxers are extremely demanding and do best when one person from their household is at home for most of the day.

First-time owners aren’t recommended for this breed. Despite their high level of intelligence, they’re still a handful to train! Positive reinforcement methods work best for these fast learners but remember, they can pick up bad habits just as fast as good.

Socialization is very important for Boxers, especially since their instinct is to guard their family. They’ll need to learn that not every stranger is a threat and dogs of the same sex can be their friend! Group training classes are good ways to teach commands whilst also socializing with both humans and canines!

The breed is relatively easy to housebreak and is naturally clean. Take a Boxer puppy for a toilet break 15 minutes after they’ve eaten or drank. Reward them once they go potty outdoors. It’s best to take a dog to the same potty spot as repetition is key.

Boxer puppies are boisterous so it’s worth teaching them the ‘Down’ command. It’s essential this breed is being given the correct amount of exercise. Training will be meaningless if a Boxer puppy is filled with pent up energy.

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Boxer Interesting Facts

  • Boxers have a distinct head shape which was designed for an interesting purpose. Their short snouts and undershot jaws is great for hunting. It enabled them to maintain a better latch on their prey when waiting for the huntsman to make the kill.
  • Some Boxers have very long tongues. In fact, the dog with the Worlds Longest Tongue belonged to Brandy the Boxer! It reached an enormous 17 inches! As of 2021, this Guinness World Record hasn’t yet been beaten! Brandy lived with owner John Schneid in Michigan, USA until her death in 2002.
  • At the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the Boxer has taken the Best in Show title 4 times. The years were 1947, 1949, 1951, and 1970. Unfortunately, Boxers still haven’t won this title at Crufts.
  • One rather unusual trait of this breed is its ability to stand on it’s hind legs, producing a boxing motion with it’s front paws! Some believe this lead to the name ‘Boxer’ although this is highly disputed.
  • A female Boxer named Tasha gave her DNA dog genome sequencing. The Boxer dog is the first breed to complete this. The US National Genome Research Institute is aiming to better understand human diseases via genetics. The project cost around $30 million and began in 2003.
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Dog Dental Disease & Care

In the UK dental disease is the most common health issue observed in dogs. We’re going to show you ways to look after your dog’s teeth and the signs that indicate you should take your dog to a vet.

Dental disease is painful with many owners unaware it can lead to further health issues such as heart, liver and kidney disease. It affects the teeth, gums and even the jaw bone! It’s estimated that in the UK over 80% of dogs and cats display signs of dental disease!

Symptoms of Dental Disease

Bad breath is often the first sign owners pick up on. After all, it’s pretty hard to ignore! But there’s a number of other signs that also show your dog could be suffering from the first stages of dental disease. They are as follows:

  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Plaque & tartar build up
  • Increased drooling
  • Gums that are red and inflamed (Gingivitis)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Weight loss
  • Signs of difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Swollen face, lumps in the mouth (Tooth root abcess)
  • Blood in saliva
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth loss and broken/cracked teeth

If your dog is displaying any of the above signs it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your vet. Signs of pain will warrant an urgent appointment.

Breeds Most Prone to Dental Issues

If your dog is brachycephalic (flat-faced) they’re more susceptible to dental issues. Dogs have 42 teeth and those with smaller jaws and shorter muzzles tend to have overcrowded mouths due to the smaller space. The most common breeds affected are as follows:

  • Greyhounds- Periodontal Disease
  • Yorkshire Terriers- ‘Yorkie Breath’, Periodontal disease
  • Dashchunds- Gingivitis & Periodontal disease
  • Collies- Overbites
  • Boxers- Gingival Hyperplasia
  • Bulldogs- Gingivitis & Periodontal disease
  • Pugs- Gingivitis & Periodontal disease
  • Shetland Sheepdogs- Underbites
  • Chinese Crested- Fragile teeth
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel- Gingivitis
  • Labrador- Tooth fractures

According to the research by Royal Veterinary’s Colleges VetCompass programme, 39% of Greyhounds surveyed suffered from dental issues. A statistic that is significantly higher than any other breed. The study has piqued the interest of Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Greyhound Trust and previous Chairman of the Kennel Club.

Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Periodontal disease, also known as Periodontitis, is the most common dental issue seen in dogs. Bacteria is the prime cause of this disease which often results in infections to their oral cavities. It targets the gums, teeth and bone.

Your dog uses its mouth for a variety of reasons but after they eat, plaque is most likely to form. It’s made up of protein from food, bacteria, and saliva but if it isn’t removed it will accumulate, forming into a brown hard substance known as Tartar.

A further build-up of bacteria and tartar will cause gingivitis, an early sign of gum disease. Symptoms include inflammation and receding gums. If the disease continues to progress an infection will occur spreading into the tooth socket thus destroying the bone. Such damage is often irreversible and will lead to tooth loss.

The first signs of Periodontal disease in dogs aren’t normally noticed by owners. Your dog should be examined by its vet for any dental issues once or twice a year. Early treatment is key to preventing health complications. Vets can give a full dental clean or an X-ray if they suspect something more sinister.

Periodontal Disease Health Complications

Many dog owners are surprised to learn just how badly dental disease can affect their dog’s health. Including in areas of the body that are nowhere near the mouth! If bacteria is able to enter your dog’s bloodstream it could damage their major organs.

Dental disease harbours large quantities of bacteria in the mouth if enough enters the bloodstream it could lead to Systemic disease. Three organs most at risk include the heart, liver and kidneys. Bacteria in the mouth is the same as that found in endocarditis, an infection targeting the inside of the heart.

Periodontal disease undoubtedly increases the risk of heart disease. The liver and kidneys filter the blood, so bacteria is easily able to infiltrate and damage these organs. Signs of infection and inflammation include a decrease in appetite, weight loss, and fever.

Other Dental Issues

Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue in dogs but there are other issues you should be aware of. These are as follows:

Fractured & Worn Teeth

Your dog’s mouth goes through a lot and play can also cause dental issues. Tooth damage is common in dogs, especially since some of the objects they chew and play with are stronger than their enamel. Constant chewing will wear the teeth down and could end up revealing the pulp (nerve) causing a great deal of pain. The pulp may also be exposed through fractures that mostly occur via rough play with hard objects.

Unerupted Teeth

Smaller dogs like the Maltese, Havanese, Shih Tzu and flat-faced dogs are susceptible to unerupted teeth. These teeth lay below the gumline and are unable to breakthrough. They may form into a cyst resulting in the destruction of the jaw. Unerupted teeth must be extracted if they begin to cause issues.

Improper Bite

Abnormal development may cause under and overbites. Signs of an elongated upper or lower jaw can be seen in puppies as early as 8 weeks. In severe cases, tooth extraction is needed. Collies are particularly prone to overbites whilst Shetland Sheepdogs are commonly affected by underbites.

Tooth Discolouration

Death of the nerve inside the tooth will cause a darkish yellow, pink or even grey discolouration. It’s typically caused by blunt trauma but may also be due to abnormal development. The pulp’s tissue is bruised leading to a haemorrhage in the canal. If the blood supply to the pulp stops, it will die.

Endodontic Disease

As a result of trauma to the tooth, inflammation and infection affect the pulp. This is known as Endodontic disease. Visible fractures, pain, facial swelling and a decrease in appetite are common symptoms. A tooth extraction or root canal operation will be needed.

Gingival Hyperplasia

The tissue of the gum surrounding the teeth becomes overgrown. It’s commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. Gums become inflamed and thickened as a result of plaque left along the gumline. If left untreated it’ll lead to periodontal disease. Breeds commonly affected are Boxers, Great Danes, Dobermanns, Dalmatians, and Collies.

Dental Care Routine

It’s important you establish a regular dental routine for your dog. Vets recommend daily brushing for the best oral hygiene results. Always use a doggy toothpaste as human toothpaste could hold ingredients harmful to your pet. A number of factors also contribute to dental health and these include your dog’s diet, playtime and genetic factors.

Brushing of course is the most ideal way forward but not all dogs are so accepting. If this is the case dental wipes for dogs can be used to remove plaque. If you feel your dog will benefit more from a deep clean contact your veterinarian.

Dog chews and dental treats are also great ways to remove plaque. They can be found in a variety of textures and flavours so your dog is more likely to prefer these to brushing. Chewing scrapes off the plaque, cleaning teeth as a result. The enzymes contained in all-natural meat chews also promote your dog’s dental hygiene.

Toys such as rubber and nylon are also beneficial to your dog’s dental health. Again the chewing removes the plaque from the teeth. It’s excellent for dogs prone to weight gain as there is no calorie intake. Some owners apply doggy toothpaste to the toy for a better cleaning effect.

Top Rated Dog Dental Health Products

Below we’ve listed the most highly rated dog dental health products that have been tried, tested reviewed by dog owners!

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West Highland White Terrier

Westies are one of Britain’s most famous native breeds. As of 2020, they’re the 4th most popular Terrier breed with 1,460 Westie puppies registered with the KC. We’re going to take a look into this popular dog in today’s guide below!

West Highland White Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member: Yes
Westie Lifespan: 13-15 years
Westie Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 11 inches Female 10 inches
Weight: 7-9 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The West Highland White Terrier is native to Scotland known widely for its distinct white coat and cuddly appearance! These loveable little dogs may be small but they’re certainly mighty! Still highly popular today, the Westie is one of Britain’s most loved Terriers!

Unfortunately, a quarter of surveyed Westies were affected by allergies. Potential owners should make themselves aware of the breed’s health issues so they know what to possibly expect. There are plenty of Westie rehoming centres looking for adopters so why not check them out first before getting a Westie puppy.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the West Highland White Terrier dog breed below:

Positives:

  • May live in small homes including apartments
  • Westies are intelligent & easy to train
  • Hypoallergenic, a better choice for allergy sufferrers
  • Ideal breed choice for first time owners

Negatives:

  • This breed likes to bark
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Independent & stubborn
  • Susceptible to weight gain

The Westie dog is a small breed easily distinguished by its white coat, dark eyes, and a black nose. It has a double coat with the harsh upper layer acting as a form of protection. They have a tight scissor bite with the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom.

Temperament

West Highland White Terriers are friendly, courageous, hardy, active, and alert. A small canine that’s packed with personality! A true Terrier at heart but one of the easier members to own! Tough and a force to be reckoned with, the Westie is full of life and fun to be around.

On occasion, the breed can be stubborn. They like their independence, therefore, require a firm leader that won’t let them rule the roost! They will snap if they feel annoyed. Whilst they can be naughty they’re deeply affectionate and make fantastic companions.

Westies are vocal so they’ll quickly alert their owner to any stranger approaching their home. They may be a little reserved at first but should relax and be friendly. Due to their small size, they won’t be good guard dogs. A lack of socialization will cause a Westie to exhibit aggressive behaviours.

This breed is an excellent family pet and great for children of all ages. Despite their small size, their sturdy and robust build prevents them from being easily injured. Westies are lively little characters that make good playmates and companions for children. Play should always be supervised in case it becomes too boisterous.

Westies get along with other dogs and are one of the more sociable Terriers. They can live with other dogs but it’s best if they are of different sex. Felines should only be introduced during puppyhood as the Westies natural instinct is to chase.

History

The West Highland White Terrier is a Scottish breed developed from the Cairn Terrier. Records of small white Scottish Terriers date back to the late 1500s during the reign of James VI of Scotland. The King would send these dogs from Argyll to France as a gift.

A variety of white Scottish Terriers were produced in the past. George Campbell 8th Duke of Argyll created his version known as the Roseneath Terrier. Dr Americ Edwin Flaxman of Fife developed his own line named the Pittenweem Terrier. He actually drowned over 20 puppies trying to obtain darker coats!

Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of Poltalloch is credited for his development of the modern Westie we know today. They were originally named the Poltalloch Terrier until 1903 when Malcolm stated he no longer wanted to be known as the breed’s creator. In 1907, Westies were handed their Kennel Club recognition.

The Westie’s white coat prevented them from being mistaken for a fox when working on the moors. Their typical prey included foxes, otters, and rodents. During the early years, Westies were commonly found on farms where they’d act as ratters catching any rodent that dared run past!

In 1907/8 Robert Goelet imported two Westie dogs into the United States. Their names were Ch. Kiltie, and Ch. Rumpus Glenmohr. At this time they were known as Roseneath Terriers and were recognized as such by the AKC in 1908. Soon after the Canadian Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1909 and the Westie had firmly established its presence across the world!

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Exercise & Grooming

Westies need up to one hour of exercise per day. Due to their strong prey drive, they should only be allowed off-leash in an enclosed space. Although small, the breed is energetic and thrives off interactive play. They can be a little mischievous so it’s important to keep them active.

Thanks to their intelligence, Westies are great competitors at dog sports. Their best categories include agility, obedience, earth dog trials and rally. Mental stimulation must be factored into their exercise routine as these curious canines pick up bad habits when bored!

Gardens must be secure as Westies will venture off on an exploration. Given the right training and exercise, they can happily remain home by themselves for around 6 hours. Don’t overexert Westie puppies as it may damage their growing joints.

Brush them once a day with a slicker brush or steel comb. Trim the fur around the face once it appears overgrown. Some Westies will need to be hand stripped depending on the texture of their coat. It should be done every 8 weeks to remove dead fur although show dogs will need this more frequently.

Baths should be given every 4-6 weeks and they’ll probably need their fur clipped around the same time. Clean the ears weekly to remove any debris. Nails should be trimmed fortnightly but these may file naturally during walking. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily.

Health

Check out the West Highland White Terrier health issues below:

  • Luxating Patellas: The kneecap moves out of position temporarily before going back to the normal position. Dogs are unable to fully extend the affected leg.
  • Westie Lung: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis targets the lungs causing them to become inflamed, thickened and scarred.
  • Abdominal Hernias: The abdomen causes a tear in the muscle wall by pushing through. Over 90% of cases are genetic and it’s typically common in puppies.
  • Westie Jaw: Craniomandibular Osteopathy is a developmental condition that affects the jaw. Symptoms include swelling, pain, reduced appetite, and drooling.
  • Atopic Dermatits: An allergic skin condition causing intense itching. It must be managed as there is no cure.
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome: A stress related condition causing muscle tremors, rapid eye movements, and a lack of coordination.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease: This painful health issues will cause the hip joint to crumble and collapse. An operation will be needed to remove the diseased joint.
  • Drye Eye: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca causes pain and irritation due to a lack of tears being produced by the tear glands.

Westie Training

Westies are naturally intelligent and easy to train but on occasion are a little stubborn. Owners will need to be firm yet patient. Like most Terriers, this pooch will test the boundaries, so it’s important he is disciplined whenever he does.

A strong personality is what gives the Westie its sense of character but this can be a setback when it comes to training. Food rewards are a great way to grab any dog’s attention! Westies will quickly grasp basic commands and do best in short training sessions around 10 minutes long.

Socialization is important for any Terrier breed, especially the smaller ones! Westies are a little bossy and this could all go wrong in the dog park if they aren’t well-socialized! Even though they’re one of the more calmer members Westies will still snap if they feel they’ve been pushed too far.

Distractions are so easy for the Westie to fall victim to. Always on the alert, this breed is best trained in quiet spaces. Build on this slowly before venturing outdoors. Recall is one of the harder commands to teach. A smell in the air or a darting squirrel is too tempting to resist!

Crate training is great for small dogs especially the Westie. It’s a space of comfort a dog can retire to when they simply want a break. Westies are independent so having a section they can call their own is important. Crates are also great for housebreaking.

Westie Interesting Facts

  • Dog food brand Caesar have used the Westie as a mascot for their brand ever since its creation! Black & White Whisky also used the Westie and Scottish Terriers for the face of its brand.
  • It’s no surprise the rich and famous have also taken a fancy to this breed. Some celebrity Wesite owners include J.K Rowling and her pooch Brontë, Muhammad Ali Jinnah founder of Pakistan, Whoopi Goldberg and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge!
  • Westies are a prominent breed on our tv screens and have been featured in a number of movies and TV shows. These include The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby (2006), Gamenight (2018), Widows (2018), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), A Boy & His Dog (1975), and many more!
  • In 1942, Westie Ch. Wolvey Pattern of Edgerstoune won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The title was won again in 1962 by Ch. Elfinbrook Simon. At Crufts the breed won Best in Show in 1976, 1990 and most recently in 2016 by Berneze Geordie Girl!

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Weimaraner

The Grey Ghost of Germany has a deep history stretching back centuries. Today we’re going to take a look at this mesmerizing hunting breed.

Weimaraner Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Weimaraner Lifespan: 10-13 years
Weimaraner Exercise: Over 2 hours per day
Height: Male 25-27 inches Female 23-25 inches
Weight: Male 32-41 kilograms Female 25-34 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Weimaraner is an elegant hunting breed that’s found a new role as a loveable companion. These gundogs are highly popular in the UK but are also one of the most expensive. Deeply intelligent, Weimaraners are also used as search and rescue dogs thanks to their impeccable sense of smell!

There are plenty of organisations looking to rehome blue Weimaraners. The Weimaraner Club of Great Britain also offers this service. It’s always best to rehome unwanted dogs. Some people are just unprepared for the amount of care a Weimaraner requires hence the increasing number of dogs looking to be rehomed.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Weimaraner dog breed below:

Positives

  • Weimaraners are intelligent & easy to train
  • Minimal grooming needs
  • Police dog and Search & Rescue dog
  • Adaptable to lifestyle changes & environments

Negatives:

  • High exercise needs
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Not ideal for first time owners

The Weimaraner is a large dog breed that traditionally has its tail docked, something that’s part of the AKC breed standard. Their coat is short and sleek although long-haired Weimaraners aren’t unheard of. Their correct colour is grey but these are seen in different shades.

Temperament

The Weimaraner temperament is intelligent, alert, energetic, steady and on occasion stubborn. This gundog has a strong prey drive and is highly strung. Owners will need to dedicate a lot of their time to raising their Weimaraner puppy. For these reasons, experienced owners are better especially those with gundog experience.

Affectionate, loving and sometimes possessive, the Weimaraner will form a deep connection with their owner. So they don’t like being left alone and could develop separation anxiety as a result. An active lifestyle is a must for this breed and the source of their happiness!

Weimaraners are aloof and suspicious of strangers. In some cases, they’ve even responded aggressively but this is mainly due to a lack of socialization. Always on the alert, the Weimaraner makes a great watchdog. They’re also territorial so may display guarding traits.

This breed is great for active families with older children! They make excellent companions but are a little too boisterous for smaller children. Exuberant and filled with energy, this breed can make a great playmate and forever companion, bonding deeply with the children in their family!

This breed is cautious of dogs they don’t know and might be dominant, even aggressive towards those of the same sex. Given the right socialization, they’ll be tolerant and even friendly! They can live with other dogs but owners should always be cautious around cats due to the breed’s high prey drive.

History

Native to Germany, the Weimaraner was developed in the 1800s as a hunting dog. Their typical prey consisted of large game such as bears, wolves, boars, deers, and even mountain lions! They were mostly used by Royalty but quickly established themselves as a popular gundog across the world!

The Weimaraner history begins with Grand Duke Karl August, a Noble from Weimar. His mission was to develop an avid hunting dog. He began crossing Bloodhounds with German and French hunting dogs thus creating the Weimaraner who was also known as the Weimar Pointer.

Over time large game hunting reduced and so did the need for the Weimaraner. As a result, the breed found a new line of work as an all-purpose hunter which points and retrieves gamebirds. The breed can hunt on both land and in water!

German aristocracy did their best to keep the Weimar Pointer a secret so there is still a shroud of mystery surrounding their history. Non-members who were lucky enough to obtain a Weimaraner would receive a sterilized one so it couldn’t be bred! Despite its development in the 1800s, many believe a dog similar to the Weimaraner is featured in Van Dyck’s portrait back in the 1600s!

In 1952, the breed finally made it to British shores thanks to Major R.H Petty. He managed to smuggle two Weimaraners out of Germany in exchange for goods. Their names were Cobra Von Boberstrand and Bando Von Fuhr. Weimaraners were exported to America a little while earlier in 1937.

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Exercise & Grooming

Weimaraner dogs need more than two hours of daily exercise. Due to their strong prey drives, they should remain leashed in busy areas unless in an enclosed space. Ideally, these dogs should have access to large spaces and are better suited to the countryside.

The Weimaraners webbed feet make them excellent swimmers so they enjoy frolicking in the water! They benefit from long walks and hikes where they can explore the nature around them. Mental stimulation is so important in the breed as a lack of this will lead to destructive behaviours.

It’s no surprise that Weimaraners make excellent dog sports competitors. It’s a fantastic form of exercise and mental stimulation. They excel in tracking and agility. Puzzle games, hide and seek, and interactive play, are other great brain exercises!

Weimaraners have short, smooth coats which are low maintenance. A quick weekly brush to redistribute their natural oils and remove dead fur is all they need. Bristle brushes, slicker brushes, and grooming mitts are ideal tools to use on their fur.

Frequent bathing is damaging for the skin so baths should be given every 3 months unless they’re very dirty. Their long ears are susceptible to harbouring bacteria resulting in infections so clean these weekly. Nails need a trim fortnightly but regular walks can file these naturally. Don’t forget to brush their teeth daily!

Health

Below are the breed-related Weimaraner Health conditions:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: An often fatal condition that targets the cardiac muscle causing it to become weaker and thinner thus reducing its ability to pump blood around the body.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: Typically caused by fast eating, GDV occurs when the stomach twists trapping the contents inside. Immediate veterinary attention is required as it is often fatal.
  • Mast Cell Tumours: Mast cells live within the skin and become cancerous via malignant transformation.
  • Hip Dysplasia: As the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together correctly, they’ll rub and grind against one another. It’ll cause pain, inflammation, lameness, and arthritis.
  • Districhiasis: The extra eyelashes grow abnormally causing damage and irritation to the surface of the eye.
  • Steroid Responsive Meningitis: An auto-immune condition caused by inflammation in the blood vessels that line the nervous system.

Weimaraner Training

Training must start as early as possible whilst the Weimaraner puppy is at its most impressionable. They’re strong-willed so positive reinforcement works best. Never let a Weimaraner break the boundaries as these intelligent canines will pick up bad habits just as fast as good!

Some owners prefer the help of a professional trainer. It’s important to find someone with gundog experience. Group training classes are a great way to learn basic commands whilst socializing with other people and dogs.

Prone to separation anxiety, the Weimaraner requires at least one member of the household to be at home during the day. A lack of exercise will lead to boredom and destructive behaviours. No matter how much training is given without exercise, it’s meaningless.

This breed needs direction and guidance otherwise they’ll instinctively take the lead. Extensive socialization is needed throughout their lives to prevent behavioural issues. If they aren’t nurtured correctly Weimaraners can become aggressive and will bite.

Weimaraner Interesting Facts

  • President Eisenhower brought Hedi, a Weimaraner back to the White House in the 1950s. She’s depicted in numerous photographs strolling around the grounds and inquisitively peering back at paparazzi! Grace Kelly also owned a Weimaraner dog that was given to her just before her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco.
  • The Weimaraner is incredibly fast and can reach a top speed of up to 35mph. This puts them in the running as one of the world’s fastest dog breeds!
  • Did you know, Weimaraner puppies are born with tiger stripes and light blue eyes! These will eventually fade a few days later but are certainly cute!
  • Weimaraners instinctively mask their smell when hunting. So don’t be surprised if he’s rolling around trying to cover himself in dirt and mud!
  • In June 1974 a London Metropolitan Police officer and his police dog, a Weimaraner were involved in a missing person search. Thanks to the Weimaraner’s tracking abilities they were able to find the person. Further details on this story are held with The National Archives, Kew.
  • In Loughborough, UK, 2011, police were on the hunt for two Weimaraners that killed a Terrier. It goes to show that their prey drive and personality can lead to aggressive behaviour in the wrong hands.

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Labradoodle

A popular designer dog created by the Poodle and Labrador. Fast-growing in popularity across the UK the Labradoodle has become one of Britain’s favourite hybrids along with the Cockapoo. In today’s guide, we’re going to learn all about this pooch!

Labradoodle Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Labradoodle Lifespan: 12-16 years
Labradoodle Exercise: 2 hours per day for standard, 1 hour for smaller varieties
Height: Standard 21-24 inches, Medium 17-20 inches, Minature 14-16 inches
Weight: Standard 23-30 kg, Medium 13-20 kg, Miniature 7-13 kg
Hypoallergenic: Yes

Labradoodle dogs were first introduced by the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia. Since then, they’ve taken the UK by storm quickly becoming one of Britain’s favourite designer dog breeds. Although they didn’t quite match the standard for a working guide dog they’re adored as companions!

As a hybrid, these dogs aren’t recognized by any Kennel Club. Whilst many Doodles are hypoallergenic, some take more of their Labrador side which won’t be ideal for allergy sufferers. Their coat is, however, suitable for both hot and cold climates. The Labradoodle size is found in miniature, medium, and standard.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Labradoodle dog breed below:

Positives:

  • They’re Intelligent & easy to train
  • Ideal watchdogs
  • Won’t omit typicaly doggy odour
  • Child & dog friendly
  • Great therapy dog
  • Boat dog, can live on boats

Negatives:

  • Prone to weight gain
  • May suffer from separation anxiety when left alone
  • Vocal, will communicate to owners through barking
  • Labradoodle price is expensive

The Labradoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador. Their coat colours can be found in Caramel, Cream, Chocolate, Parchment, Apricot, Red, Black, Blue, Silver, Chalk, Cafe, Lavender, phantom, and Parti. Their coats are typically curly although some may feature more of a wave.

Temperament

The Labradoodle temperament is highly sociable, intelligent, alert, affectionate, and comical. They’re easy to train and will become deeply attached to their owners. As a sensitive breed, the Doodle will quickly pick up on emotions, a trait that makes them excellent therapy dogs.

Gentle and happy, these canines are a pleasure to be around. Labradoodle puppies can be a little boisterous but are typically eager to please. Given the right socialization and training, they’ll grow to be fantastic well-rounded dogs.

Whilst Labradoodles are alert and make good watchdogs they are terrible at guarding! They’ll bark at the knock of a door but will greet strangers politely. Labradoodles will soon request cuddles and enjoy human contact.

The medium, standard, and miniature labradoodle are excellent family pets. They get on well with children of all ages but a standard Labradoodle could pose more of a risk due to their size. Labradoodles aren’t aggressive and make playful, loving companions for any child!

Sociable and friendly, Labradoodles love making new friends at the dog park. They’ll initiate play with anybody and can happily live alongside other dogs. Cats are fine but should be introduced during puppyhood.

Recommended: Have a look at Britain’s other favourite hybrid, the Cockapoo!

History

The Labradoodle history starts in Australia during the 1980s. Wally Conron, an employee at the Royal Guide Dogs Association Australia, received a letter from a blind woman in Hawaii. She needed a guide dog but her husband was allergic to dogs! Wally quickly got to work.

Mr Conron decided the Poodle would be great especially for their hypoallergenic purposes. A trial commenced but after testing 33 standard Poodles they just didn’t have what it takes to assist the blind. He spent a period of three years trying to figure out a solution until it dawned on him to crossbreed!

Wally had a male Poodle named Harley which he bred with a female Labrador named Brandy. Together, they produced a Labradoodle puppy litter! Of course, the breed has been crossed previously but not in an official aspect. After testing the saliva and fur of the dogs only one came back suitable for the Hawaiian couple.

The dog named Sultan undertook guide dog training before being shipped to his forever home. Unfortunately, other families didn’t want to use the remaining Labradoodles as service dogs. Instead, the Association was swamped with queries about the breed for companionship reasons.

This of course attracted unethical breeders. Some Australian Labradoodle breeding lines have included the Spaniel into the mixture. In the UK, Labradoodles quickly became one of the most popular hybrids alongside Cockapoos.

Exercise & Grooming

Standard Labradoodles should receive 90 minutes of exercise each day. Medium and miniature Labradoodles can settle for an hour per day. As a hybrid, these dogs are unable to compete in official dog sports.

The bigger the Doodle the more exercise they require! However, mental stimulation is just as important for all three varieties. Both Labradors and Poodles are incredibly intelligent so it’s no surprise the Labradoodle has picked up this trait.

Labradoodles are low shedders and need a brush every couple of days to keep them tangle-free. Of course, this is dependent on the texture of the dog’s coat. Every few months overgrown fur will need a trim but should never be shaven.

The Labradoodle’s coat is designed to repel dirt, so frequent baths aren’t necessary. They should be given baths every 4-6 weeks or whenever they smell! Introduce grooming techniques during puppyhood to prevent anxiety.

Long furry ears are prone to bacteria and debris build-up. This in turn will lead to recurring ear infections. Weekly cleaning is essential. Trim the nails every fortnight. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily to promote dental hygiene.

Health

Below are the health issues that may be seen in the Labradoodle dog breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Poor development within the hip joint will lead to issues such as lameness, pain, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
  • Addison’s Disease: A dog’s immune system destroys the adrenal glands resulting in a decrease in the hormone Cortisol. Lethargy, increased thirst & urination, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea are all common symptoms.
  • Retinal Dysplasia: An inherited condition caused by the abnormal development of the retina. Some dogs have no symptoms whilst others can end up blind.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative condition targeting the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. Overtime blindness will eventually occur.
  • Elbow Dysplsia: Poor development of the elbow joint will cause pain, inflammation, lameness, and eventually arthritis.
  • Cataracts: A change of water balance in the eye’s lens will cause an abnormal cloudiness which could lead to blindness.

Labradoodle Training

Labradoodles are intelligent and easy to train which makes them suitable for first-time owners. Training should start as soon as a Labradoodle puppy arrives at its new home. Form a bond first as these dogs are sensitive and won’t take well to harsh corrections!

Positive reinforcement is the best way forward. Avoid too many food treats as Labradoodles are prone to weight gain. Toys are ideal replacements. Use a variety of tones that a dog will be able to differentiate between.

This breed is vocal and will bark a lot so it’s worth teaching them the Quiet command! Keep sessions around ten minutes long and make them fun! Start them indoors before venturing outside once they begin listening more. A Labradoodle puppy is eager to please, a trait that’s excellent for training.

Timeouts are one way to discipline a dog. By refusing them attention they’ll learn what they did was wrong. Redirecting bad behaviours is a good way to get a dog to refocus its attention. A lack of consistency is confusing so it’s important they’re told everytime they’re misbehaving.

Labradoodle Interesting Breed Facts

  • In 2019, Labradoodle creator Wally Conron said introducing the Labradoodle was his ‘life’s regret’. This is down to unethical breeding with people simply using the dogs for quick cash. He said, “I opened Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster”!
  • Fang was a Labradoodle and control agent on the television show ‘Get Smart’. He also filmed for ‘Bachelor Father’ under the name Jasper. His real name however was Red. He was owned by Rudd and Frank Weatherwax who also trained Old Yeller and Lassie!
  • Celebrities have also fallen in love with the Labradoodle dog! Some famous owners include Jenifer Aniston, Tiger Woods, Graham Norton, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Bradley Cooper’s Labradoodle Charlie also featured in the 2018 film ‘A star is Born with Lady Gaga!
  • Royalty have also taken an interest in the Labradoodle. Prince Sverre Magnus and Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway are proud owners to Milly Kakao. They even brought their beloved pooch to the Constitution Day in Norway celebrations.
  • In 2010 a Labradoodle named Jonnie was the first to graduate his guide dog program by the Association for the Blind of Western Australia. A sign that Labradoodles do have a future assisting those who are visually impaired.

Recommended: Finished reading? Then check out our guide on the Chinese Crested dog!

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5 Best Soft Dog Toys

You may have a dog that just loves to carry its favourite toy! Ever so gentle, they move it around the house wherever they go! We’ve found the best cuddly dog toys that have been tried, tested and reviewed by other dog owners! Check out the list below!

Toozey Squeaky Dog Toys 5 Pcs

This 5 piece dog toy set is highly rated by dog owners featuring an impressive 4.5 stars by over 1,800 reviewers! The giraffe, zebra, and squirrel are unfilled but squeaky. Whereas the duck and doughnut are filled and squeaky! Each toy contains crinkle paper which releases entertaining sounds.

The filler is made from non-toxic plush and cotton so it’s safe for dogs. Its reinforced seams increase durability and prevent snagging. As it’s machine washable you won’t have to worry about smelly toys! Great value for money, good quality and loved by dogs! You can’t go wrong with the Toozey Dog Toy set!

Pros
  • 5 pack of toys, value for money
  • Non-toxic and safe to use
  • High quality and durable
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Not suitable for large or giant breeds
  • Aggressive chewers avoid!

KONG Wild Knots Bear

KONG is well-known for its quality toys in the dog industry. So it’s no surprise they’ve made this list. The Wild Knots Teddy Bear has proven to be another hit with over 14,000 reviews giving an impressive 4.5 stars! A soft, cute toy hiding an internal knotted rope skeleton!

It holds minimal stuffing producing less mess in the home. Available in sizes extra small to large the KONG bear is great for play and comfort! Dog owners have raved about the strength and longevity of the toy with some dogs simply refusing to part from their favourite bear!

Pros
  • Internal knotted rope
  • Minimal stuffing equals less mess
  • Available in other sizes
Cons
  • Not suitable for aggressive chewing
  • Doesn’t make sounds

Petface (Little Petface) Puppy Dog Toy

Designed for smaller dogs and puppies, the Little Petface range has been a huge hit at 4.5 stars by over 6,700 reviews! Cute and cuddly, this toy features a fleece cord texture, filling, and an internal squeaker. It’s great for comfort and playtime!

The Freddi Cord toy is stylish and entertaining for any dog that loves a soft toy. It’s perfect for puppies to sink their teeth into! Available in a variety of other designs, the Little Petface provides companionship and is simply adorable!

Pros
  • Great for playful pups
  • Ideal companion toy
  • Stylish
Cons
  • Suitable for puppies and small dogs only
  • Not to be used for aggressive play

Petface Latex Onion Soft Chew Dog Toy Large

A rather unusual dog toy is Petface’s latex Onion chew toy! Just one out of their variety of vegetables, the onion is a great toy for both younger and older dogs. Fantastic for interactive play this product has earned itself 4.5 stars by over 2,600 viewers. Dogs seem to love these vegetable toys!

The onion features different textures designed to stimulate your dog’s sense. It can also be used as positive reinforcement during training. Created for chewing, the onion contains a squeaker inside! Your dog will gain hours of fun out of this simple vegetable!

Pros
  • Under £5!
  • Available in small and large sizes
  • Durable with a variety of textures
Cons
  • No aggressive chewing
  • Not ideal for giant breeds

Peteast Dog Squeaky Toys

Peteast have resembled all of your dog’s favourite foods into toys! Over 1,100 dog owners have already rated these toys at 4.5 stars! The Peteast bundle contains 12 squeaky toys made from soft, durable cotton materials all completely safe.

All toys are machine washable and even clean your dog’s teeth during use. There’s more than enough to keep your dog company if you need to pop out for a few hours. Great for puppies and small-medium breeds. A dog can never have enough toys!

Pros
  • Pack of 12 toys, great value
  • Realistic food shaped toys
  • Cleans teeth during use
  • Chew toys reduce anxiety
Cons
  • Not suitable for large dogs
  • Throw away immediately if broken
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Basenji

One of the world’s oldest dog breeds with historical links to Ancient Egpyt, Babylon and Mesopotamia. Find out everything you need to know about this mysterious and intriguing canine!

Basenji Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Basenji Lifespan: 13-14 years
Basenji Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 17 inches Female 16 inches
Weight: Male 11 kilograms Female 10 kilograms
Hypoallergenic?: Yes

Characteristics

Learn about the pros and cons of the Basenji dog breed below:

Positives

  • Hypoallergenic, a better breed choice for allergy sufferers
  • Independent, can be left alone
  • Minimal grooming needs, Basenjis clean themselves!
  • Vigilant watchdog

Negatives:

  • Low tolerance to the cold
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Not very easy to train
  • Strong prey drive
  • Natural fear of the dark

The Basenji dog is a small-medium sized hunting breed. Their short coat colours as stated by the Kennel Club are found in Black & White, Black, Tan & White, Red & White, and Brindle & White. The white areas are typically seen on the feet, tail tip, and chest.

Temperament

The Basenji temperament is curious, quiet, affectionate, energetic, and alert. Unlike other dog breeds the Basenji doesn’t bark but instead, produces its own unique sound due to its narrow larynx. Often described as cat-like, this breed will clean themselves and won’t omit typical body odour.

Due to their high-spirited nature and stubborn personality, Basenjis are better suited to experienced owners. They’re independent and are one of the few breeds that can be left alone for up to 12 hours! Of course, this is dependent on their training and activity needs being met.

This vigilant watchdog will alert their owners to strangers. They may be aloof and stand-offish therefore ongoing socialization is needed. Basenjis prefer to approach humans themselves as opposed to being approached. Some have even shown timidness to hands going in for a stroke!

Basenji dogs are excellent family pets and get along great with older children! Toddlers can be a little too invasive for this breed. They’re also rather mouthy growing up and have a higher tendency to nip and chew but their energy levels do make them good playmates!

Given the right socialization, this breed will be friendly towards other canines. On occasion, Basenjis can be a little hard to get along with and are likely to be dominant towards the same sex. They can live with other dogs and possibly cats provided they are raised together from puppyhood. Due to its strong prey drive, cats and smaller animals are generally viewed as prey.

Recommended: The Berger Picard is fairly unknown. Learn all bout the breed here!

History

The Basenji dates back to 6,000 B.C and originates from Central Africa. In Ancient Egypt, similar dogs have been depicted in artefacts and on the walls of Pharaoh’s tombs. They’ve also been featured in Ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian art.

During their early years, these semi-wild dogs would live by the tributary of the River Nile and Congo. They’d hunt prey amongst the African grasslands powered by their high speed and incredible sense of smell. To get a better view Basenjis will jump up over the grass. It’s how they earned their nickname the ‘jumping up and down dog’, or ‘M’bwa M’kube M’bwawamwitu’ in Afrikaans.

For thousands of years, Basenjis lived with little human intervention. The dog that arrived on British shores in 1895, is the same the Pharaohs would’ve laid eyes on. That same year the breed was shown at Crufts under the name African Bush Dogs.

Many of these early arrivals died from diseases. Lady Helen Nutting brought 6 Basenjis back to England from Sudan in 1923 but all died from distemper shots issued during quarantine. Finally, by the 1930s a successful foundation stock was established.

The Basenji Club of Great Britain is the oldest established club for the breed. It was formed on the 9th of February 1939. Due to the disruptions of World War II, an application for registration with the Kennel Club was filed in 1946. Today, Basenjis aren’t very popular in the UK.

Exercise & Grooming

Basenjis require up to one hour of exercise each day. These dogs have a high wanderlust potential and should always be kept on leads unless in an enclosed space. All spaces and gardens should be completely secure because Basenji dogs are excellent escape artists.

Due to its high prey drive, Basenjis may take off on a chase! They’ll benefit from two 30 minute walks as opposed to just one but will happily enjoy extra outdoors time! The breed can live in a flat provided their activity needs are being met but their curious nature prefers a garden.

This intelligent canine is great at dog sports! They particularly excel in obedience, tracking, agility, and lure coursing. It’s also a great form of mental stimulation, perfect for the Basenji who is bored easily! Boredom will of course lead to destructive behaviours.

Thanks to their cat-like qualities, Basenjis are rather clean and don’t require much grooming. Give the short, hypoallergenic coat a weekly brush to remove any dead fur. A soft bristle brush or rubber grooming mitt is best for their coat and will help redistribute their natural oils.

Regular bathing won’t be necessary as Basenjis don’t omit typically doggy odour. Only bathe when the dirt is noticeable. Some dogs only have a bath once or twice a year! Skin problems will arise from frequent bathing. Give the ears a clean weekly and a nail trim fortnightly. Teeth should be brushed daily.

Health

Check out the Basenji health conditions below:

  • Fanconi Syndrome: This kidney disease causes glucose in the urine. The kidney tubules are unable to re-absorb electrolytes and nutrients such as potassium and glucose.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A condition targeting the photoreceptor cells within the eye. It’ll cause blindness progressively affecting night vision first.
  • Anaemia: The dog’s body doesn’t produce enough haemoglobin (red blood cells) resulting in fatigue, weight loss, laboured breathing, a faster heart rate, and a loss of appetite.
  • Luxating Patellas: The kneecap slips out of position temporarily before returning back into place.
  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency: Affected dogs have a mutated pyruvate kinase an enzyme that plays a vital role in cellular metabolism. This will cause the red blood cells to die resulting in severe hemolytic anemia. It was first documented in Basenjis in the 1960s.
  • Urolithiasis: Bladder stones form in the urinary tract which often causes lower urinary tract disease.
  • Persistant Pupillary Membrane: A puppy’s eyes develop incorrectly in the womb . Fine iris strands can be seen across the pupil.
  • Hypothyroidism: A common endocrine disorder affecting a dogs metabolic state.

Basenji Training

Training needs to start as early as possible and owners will need to exercise understanding and patience. Strong-willed and stubborn, the Basenji can be difficult to train. For this reason, they’re better suited to experienced owners.

Sessions should be around ten minutes long. This intelligent pooch learns quickly. It’s all about finding the right time! Crates are recommended for toilet training. As typically clean dogs with feline qualities, the breed isn’t prone to soiling its personal space!

Reward-based training is the best method for this sensitive breed. They won’t take well to harsh ownership. Always praise good behaviour and when using food, keep portions minute! Basenjis need an encouraging atmosphere as they may display nervousness which may hinder training.

Clicker training is a good method for Basenjis. The idea is to mark good behaviours with a click and a treat. Eventually, the click will become the reward. It may be tricky but once they get the hang of it, the benefits are rewarding!

Socialization is deeply important for a Basenji puppy as timid behaviours will lead to behavioural issues. they’ll need ongoing socialization with dogs and strangers to promote friendly behaviour. A lack of this could result in aggression.

Recommended: Have a look at one of Britain’s most famous breeds, the Westie!

litle puppy basenji on green grass

Basenji Interesting Facts

  • In 2001, Ch Jethard Cidevant a Basenji owned by Mr Paul Singleton won the Best in Show title at Crufts. Unfortunately, the breed hasn’t won this title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
  • Anubis is the Ancient Egyptian God of the afterlife and mummification. It has the head of a dog and the body of a human. Many believe the Basenji inspired the God due to the similar snout and pricked ears.
  • In Africa, tribes would hang bells around the necks of the Basenji. Because they don’t vocalise much, hunters would follow the bell sounds as the Basenji tracked its prey.
  • In countries like Kenya, Basenjis are used to lure lions out their caves. A number of dogs and hunters work together by surrounding the lion in a circle.
  • Basenjis have a natural fear of the dark! It stems from their African history. In their native land the night is particularly dangerous and predators could be lurking anywhere! Some dogs may completely refuse a night time walk or will show great reluctance.
  • This breed is an exceptional runner and can reach speeds of up to 25 mph. An important feature for this versatlie hunter.
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Bernese Mountain Dog

A loveable friendly giant with roots to Roman Mastiffs, the Bernese Mountain dog has a deep history! Learn all about this breed in our guide below!

Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Standard:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Bernese Mountain Dog Lifespan: 7-10 years
Bernese Mountain Dog Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 25-27.5 inches Female 23-26 inches
Weight: Male 36-52 kilograms Female 32-43 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog and one of four Sennehund-types found working in the Swiss Alps. The others include the Appenzeller Sennehund, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Entlebucher Sennehund.

Thanks to their friendly, laid-back personality, the breed is suitable for first-time owners. A large garden and home will be needed to accommodate them. Most Berners have a dry mouth and won’t drool everywhere, although this isn’t always the case.

Temperament

Bernes are a versatile, placid, docile breed and should not display aggression. Unless of course their owner is being attacked! This canine is the definition of a Gentle Giant! Typically well-behaved, the Bernese Moutain Dog is a pleasure to have in the home!

Affectionate, calm, and intelligent, Berners are eager to please and sweet by nature. As a working dog Berners love a challenge and enjoy learning new things! The breed is slow to mentally mature and owners should expect to deal with puppy type behaviours, even if their dog has reached full size!

Bernese Mountain dogs are generally calm around strangers. Some may be aloof at first but should settle down quickly. They are watchdogs and will alert their owners to strangers approaching their territory. Aggression isn’t a normal response.

This breed makes a perfect family dog! They’re gentle with children of all ages, although their size can pose a risk to younger children. Playful, friendly, and loving, Berner’s are excellent companions for children.

Some Berners have a stronger prey drive than others are typically peaceful with other dogs. They can live with both dogs and cats if raised together. Well-socialized Berners will be tolerant, sociable and patient.

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Bernese Mountain dog traits:

Positives:

  • Excellent family pet
  • Great watchdog
  • Intelligent & easy to train
  • Suitable for first time owners
  • Ideal search and rescue/service dogs

Negatives:

  • Short lifespan
  • More prone to cancer than other breeds
  • Slow to mature
  • Heavy shedders throughout the year
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Their thick coat is better suited to cold weather

The Bernese Mountain dog is a large breed and the only of the Sennehund types to have a long coat. Their coat is only found in black tri-colour. It’s a distinct feature that makes them instantly recognisable to dog enthusiasts!

History

Hailing from the Swiss Alps, the Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the Canton of Bern. Here they were developed as all-purpose farm dogs. Some locals would refer to the breed as Dürrabachhund after the town Dürrabach, an area these canines were commonly found in.

Their jobs would typically consist of driving cattle from farms to alpine pastures, cart pulling, and watching and protecting livestock. They would often accompany dairymen and alpine herders. The canton of Bern is an agricultural region with over 12,000 farms.

Over 2,000 years ago the breed was brought to Switzerland by the Romans. They were produced by crossing Roman Mastiffs with other guarding breeds. Romans ruled the region from 58 B.C for hundreds of years. The Berner worked as a farm dog from this period onwards.

Sennehund breeds, like the Bernese Mountain dog, are still popular in Switzerland and are listed under the Working Group by the AKC. However, they almost became extinct in the 1800s. Thankfully, Professor Albert Heim helped found a Swiss breed club for the Berner. The breed was redeveloped and their popularity increased.

They were first imported into America in 1926 by a farmer from Kansas where they quickly became popular. By 1937, the AKC officially recognised the Berner. A little while later in 1968, the first American breed club was created. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain was formed in 1971.

Exercise & Grooming

Ideally, a Berner will need up to one hour of exercise each day. A lack of activity will lead to boredom. Bernese Mountain dogs make excellent hiking partners and enjoy long walks. This breed is prone to weight gain which can lead to obesity so exercise is highly important.

Mental stimulation is also required. These dogs are bred to work and enjoy completing tasks. Hand out some chores, play hide and seek, teach them new tricks, play puzzle games or even just some interactive play. All of this will help keep your dog mentally happy.

Dog sports is an excellent way to mentally stimulate a dog. It’s also a good form of exercise. Berners excel in agility, herding, rally, obedience, tracking, and drafting. Be careful not to overexert Bernese Mountain dog puppies as this could damage their growing limbs.

A BMD has a long, double coat that sheds copious amounts. Comb through the coat each day to keep it free from tangles. Trimming or clipping isn’t necessary. Baths should be given every 2-4 months or whenever they start to smell.

Their floppy ears need a weekly clean to prevent infections. Even moisture from a bath is enough to cause an issue. Nails grow quickly so should be trimmed every 10-14 days. Dental hygiene is also important and teeth should be brushed several times a week.

Health

Check out the Bernese Mountain dog health issues below:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition is commonly seen in large breed dogs. Abnormal development of the hip joint will cause inflammation, swelling, lameness, and pain. It’ll eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: GDV is commonly caused by fast eating and is mostly seen in large, deep-chested breeds. The stomach bloats and twists trapping the contents within. It is often fatal.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: The elbow joint doesn’t fit together correctly resulting in pain, lameness, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
  • Degenerative Myleopathy: A nonpainful degenerative condition targeting the spinal cord. Affected dogs will gradually lose control of their limbs. Onset typically occurs from 8 years of age.
  • Hot Spots: Bernese Mountain dogs may be affected by patches of sore skin. It’s inflammed and sometimes infected. Other names include moist dermatitis or summer sores.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An inherited condition that targets the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. It’ll progressively cause blindness.
  • Cruciate Disease: A common orthopedic condition that affects the cruciate ligament in the knee. Damage to this will cause a wobbly knee joint and pain.
  • Certain Cancers: Malignant Histiocytosis has a slightly higher prevalence in the Bernese Mountain dog. This breed is more likely to develop cancer than others.

Bernese Mountain Dog Training

The BMD has a sensitive side that doesn’t take well to harsh corrections. Positive reinforcement is a great motivator for the Bernese Mountain dog. Avoid too many food treats as this may affect their weight. Training isn’t too difficult as this intelligent canine is eager to please!

Obedience training and early socialization are important for large dogs. An untrained dog as big as the BMD can cause havoc! Thanks to their intelligence, Berners pick up on commands quickly but can also pick up bad habits at the same pace! Be consistent, kind, and patient.

Prone to separation anxiety, this breed can’t be left alone for long periods. Only four hours maximum otherwise, destructive behaviours may arrive. They need lots of affection and are suited to homes where at least one person is in during the day.

A Bernese Mountain dog puppy is impressionable but these early years last longer than other breeds. Constant training throughout their puppyhood moulds them into the well-rounded, friendly giant we all know and love. As a sensitive breed, owners will need to build on their confidence levels.

Bernese Mountain Dog Interesting Facts

  • Melvin is a rare red Bernese mountain dog. It’s believed his parents both carried a recessive red gene, something that’s very uncommon in Berners! He is the only one of his kind as there haven’t been any other reports of other red BMDs.
  • A number of Bernese Mountain dogs have been involved in some brave rescue stories! In 2015, Nico saved two swimmers after they were swept out by a Californian rip current! In 2014, Oakley sat on her owner’s head to alert him of a fire in their ski condo in Vermont. Bella also saved her owner Chris Larocque from a fire in their home by dragging him out!
  • Berners have a variety of nicknames, one of which is the ‘cheese dogs’! They earned this name by pulling carts of cheese and milk. The Alpine Herding dog is still found working hard on the mountains of Switzerland to this day.
  • The Bernese Mountain dog price ranges from £1500-£3000 with KC registered Bernese Mountain dog puppies topping the higher end of this scale!
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Dobermann

The Tax Collector’s Dog has a very interesting history. Despite being a relatively new breed, Dobermanns have quickly become a firm favourite in the dog world. Check out our guide below for an in-depth analysis of this breed.

Dobermann Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Dobermann Lifespan: 10-12 years
Dobermann Exercise: Over two hours per day
Height: Male 26-28 inches Female 24-26 inches
Weight: Male 34-45 kilograms Female 27-41 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Doberman Pinscher is a demanding breed that requires a great deal of care. But the results are rewarding for those that give this dog the time, training and love they need. This breed is highly intelligent and is well-known for its work with security, military, and police.

Over the years, Dobermanns have built up a fearsome reputation, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking 18th place on the AKC breed rankings as of 2020. Their elegant appearance attracted many, with author Marguerite Henry describing the Dobermann as ‘the true aristocrat of dogdom.’

Temperament


The Dobermann temperament is deeply loyal, protective, alert, fearless, and obedient. Although the breed is regularly stereotyped as aggressive, they actually have a gentle and loving personality. Compared to other breeds, Dobermanns will tolerate being left alone.


Given the right training, socialization, and exercise this breed will be even-tempered. Studies have shown the Dobermann is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Experienced owners are recommended for this canine.


This watchdog is reserved with strangers and used to have their ears cropped to enhance their hearing ability! Dobermanns are great guard dogs and will protect their family against any threat. It’s important they’ve been well-socialized with strangers as they may become overly protective.


For this breed, older children are better suited. Doberman puppies are boisterous and could accidentally injure smaller children. Devoted to their family, this breed is affectionate, sweet and protective of the kids in their household. The energetic side of the Doberman personality makes them great playmates for kids.


Dobermanns are wary of other dogs and may interpret them as a threat. Early socialization is the key to developing healthy friendships with other canines. Well trained Dobermans will get along well with other dogs. Male Dobermanns have a natural instinct to assert their dominance over other males. This could spark a fight.

Characteristics


Take a look at the positive and negative Dobermann traits below:


Positives:

  • Great watchdog & guard dog
  • Minimal grooming maintenance required
  • Suitable for police, military and search and rescue work
  • Independent and can be left alone
  • Hihgly intelligent & easy to train


Negatives:

  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • High exercise requirements
  • Sensitive to the cold
  • Dominant, requires a firm owner

The Doberman is a medium-large breed featuring a muscular, athletic build and a long, narrow head. Their coat colours as listed by the Kennel Club Breed Standards are found in Black & Rust, Blue & Rust, Brown & Rust, and Fawn & Rust. Colour Dilution Alopecia is commonly seen in blue and fawn coats. This can cause bald spots and a dull and thin coat.


History


The Doberman Pinscher originated from Germany in the 19th century. They were created by Karl Friederich Louis Dobermann, a dog breeder and tax collector from Apolda. His goal was to produce an intimidating protection dog that would assist him in his jobs.


It’s no surprise that tax collectors faced a large amount of hostility when on their rounds. During their initial creation, the Dobermann dog was prized for its ferociousness and aggression. But it’s also poised and trained to react upon command, a priceless trait.


After Karl Dobermann’s death, Otto Goeller created the National Dobermann Pinscher Club. He refined and perfected the breed during the 1890s. Soon after, their status as a working dog propelled and it didn’t take long for the police and military to notice the breed.


A number of breeds are thought to have contributed to the Dobermann’s creation. These include the Rottweiler, German Pinscher, Weimaraner, Greyhound, and the Manchester Terrier. The AKC also list the Black and Tan Terrier and the Old Shorthaired Shepherd as contributors.


By World War II the United States Marine Corps began using the Dobermann as their official war dog. They were used as sentries, messengers, search and rescue dogs and guard dogs. Their excellent sense of smell could also detect mines and enemy locations.


Nowadays modern breeders have reduced the heightened aggression that was once seen in the Doberman. Despite being under 150 years old, the breed has already won four Best in Show titles at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1939, 1952, 1953, and 1989.

Exercise & Grooming


Dobermann dogs need an incredible amount of daily exercise. Owners will need to dedicate over two hours per day to their activity needs. They’ll resort to destructive behaviours if their exercise requirements aren’t being met.


This breed makes a great hiking and jogging partner. Dobermanns are fantastic companions for active owners or families. They’re also good dog sports competitors and excel in Schutzhund (protection dog), agility, obedience, rally, tracking, and flyball.


Many owners don’t realize that mental stimulation is just as vital as exercise. Dog sports are one way of getting a dog’s mind ticking over. Interactive games, puzzles, hide and seek, toys, and even a sniff around the park are some ways to mentally stimulate a dog.


Doberman Pinschers are fairly low maintenance on the grooming scale. Their short coat sheds moderately and only needs a quick brush once a week. A rubber grooming glove will remove the dead fur whilst redistributing their natural oils.


Baths should be given every 6-8 weeks. Their short fur can air dry naturally. Due to their long floppy ears, bacteria and debris build up quicker. Clean the ears weekly to prevent infection. Nails need a trim fortnightly and vets request teeth are brushed daily.


Health


Find out the breed-related health issues of the Dobermann Pinscher below:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Poor development of the hip joint will cause joint laxity. Affected dogs will experience pain, lameness, and inflammation followed by arthritis.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach twists trapping gas and food inside. This can be fatal and urgent veterinary attention is required.
  • Wobbler Syndrome: This disease affects the spine within the neck thus affecting the nerve signals from the brain to the body. There may also be issues with the bones inside the neck. A wobbly gait is the first noticeable sign of this condition.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: A bleeding disorder caused by a lack of Von Willebrand Factor (vWF) protein. vWF is used to create platelets that clot blood, as a result, excessive bleeding is experienced.
  • Hypothyroidism: A metabolic disorder affecting the dog’s bodily functions. Symptoms include hair loss, weight gain, lethargy, lack of tolerance to the cold, and hair and skin changes.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This disease thins and weakens the heart muscle. As a result, it is unable to effectively pump blood around the body. Typically fatal.
  • Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous: This eye condition occurs prior to birth and is concurrent with Retinal Dysplasia

Dobermann Training

Dobermanns require a firm owner that won’t let this dog push them around! In a family setting, this breed will be inclined to listen to the person that gives them the most attention. As an intelligent breed, training is relatively easy for those with experience.

Protective by instinct, Dobermanns will always be on the lookout for a threat. Owners will need to reassure their dog that not every person knocking on the door is trouble! A Dobermann can quickly spiral into overreactive behaviour due to a lack of socialization.

Dobermann puppies can be highly destructive in their early years. Owners will need to manage this behaviour by giving their dog enough toys and exercise to unleash their energy. A lack of exercise will lead to destructive behaviours.

Crate training is an effective method for a Dobermann puppy. It’s a separate space that feels both safe and comforting. It should be big enough to hold their bed and toys. This breed takes well to crates as they enjoy having a space of their own. To speed up housebreaking, crates may also be used!

Dobermans are impeccable guard dogs and should begin obedience training at 8 weeks old. These fiery canines aren’t for the faint-hearted and have even intimidated unprepared owners. Reward-based training works well with this breed and consistent owners will quickly earn their respect.

Dobermann Interesting Facts

  • Stanley Coren, a psychologist and neuropsychological researcher wrote on the history, mental abilities and intelligence of dogs. Under the obedience command training category, he listed the Doberman Pinscher as the 5th most intelligent breed!
  • During the Second Battle of Guam in 1944, Cappy, a Dobermann saved 250 U.S Marines by alerting them to Japanese soldiers. He and 24 other Dobermanns have had their names inscribed on America’s first official war dog monument. Kurt, another Dobermann was the first dog to be mortally wounded, and the first to be buried in what we know today as the War Dog Cemetary. Kurt is the bronze dog sat on top of the World War II War Dog Memorial.
  • In Karnataka, India, a female Doberman Pinscher named Tunga has revealed over 60 thefts and 50 murders! In one case, she ran over 12 kilometres to catch a murderer! At the age of 10, Tunga is a proven legend and local hero!
  • Dobermans are regularly seen on the big screen! Some of their most famous movies include The Doberman Gang(1972), Alex & the Doberman Gang (1980), The Daring Dobermans (1973), Ruthless people (1986), Suburbia (1983), They Only Kill Their Masters (1972), and many more!
  • Ch. Borong the Warlock is the most successful Dobermann, winning Championship titles in three countries. Some of his winnings include 30 Speciality Show bests, 230 Best of Breed, 6 all-breed Best in Shows, and 66 working groups. He won first place in a Top Ten competition judged by five Dobermann breed specialists. He is also the only Dobermann to win three times at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America National Specialty Show.
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5 Best Indestructible Dog Toys

Trying to find a toy your dog won’t rip to shreds can be a total nightmare! Not to mention a waste of money. Whilst no toy is truly indestructible, some are pretty close. We’ve compiled a list of the 5 Best Indestructible Dog Toys based on durability, value for money, and customer satisfaction.

Benebone Durable Wishbone Dog Chew Toy

Wow! With over 39,000 reviews and 4.5 stars, this toy is a firm favourite with dog owners! Made with nylon and real bacon for flavour, these chew toys are guaranteed to last weeks. Available in sizes small to giant, the toy is suitable for any breed no matter their size. Other flavours include chicken and peanut butter.

The paw-friendly curve of the bone gives dogs a better grip. Sourced and made in the USA the Benebone chew toys can keep a dog occupied for hours! Benebones are durable and won’t destroy easily. A super-strong toy that’s excellent for ferocious chewers.

Pros
  • Ideal for any dog any size, including Giant
  • 100% real bacon used for flavour
  • Great for aggressive chewers
  • Paw-friendly design
Cons
  • Bone may be too strong for puppies & older dogs
  • Some dogs may simply not take to the bone
  • Always supervise nylon bones during use
  • Bin at the first sign a deep crack/break

HETOO Indestructible Tough Squeaky Dog Chew Toy

Suitable for small to medium-sized dogs, this HETOO Indestructible dog toy is great for aggressive chewers! Boasting over 600 reviews with an impressive rating of 4.5 stars this toy is a hit amongst dog owners. It bounces and squeaks making it fun to play with.

The toy is made from natural rubber featuring a milk flavour! Its material is designed to clean your dog’s teeth when chewing, perfect for dental hygiene. The skull-shaped toy is great at preventing boredom and relieving stress.

Pros
  • Great for dental hygiene
  • Relieves anxiety and boredom
  • Made from natural rubber
  • Milk flavoured
Cons
  • Not suitable for dogs over 36 kg
  • Squeaky toy

Apasiri Durable Tough Dog Toy

Made from non-toxic natural rubber, this chew ball is fantastic for interactive play! Similar to a rugby ball, the squeaky toy has an appealing beef flavour that’ll enhance your dog’s interest in the ball. Super easy to clean and dishwasher safe, Aspasiri’s ball toy is ideal for teething puppies.

Available in sizes extra small to large this toy has been tried and tested by Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers and Labradors. Boasting 4.5 stars with over 750 reviews, British dog owners are very happy with the quality, and value for money the Apasiri dog toy has to offer.

Pros
  • Safe to use, non-toxic natural rubber
  • 100% real beef used for flavour
  • Can also be used for interactive play
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Sturdy & durable for aggressive chewers
Cons
  • Let’s off a squeaky noise
  • Hard to squeeze down on at first
  • Squeaker may stop working after consistent chewing

Feeko Dog Toy Interactive Bone

Perfect for tug of war, the Feeko interactive toy is great for sole use or friendly play. Relieve your dog’s anxiety and boredom with a durable toy they just can’t shred! Over 3,000 dog owners have given this product 4.5 stars with many praising its strength, longevity and durability.

It acts like a toothbrush, promoting dental hygiene during its usage. At 15 inches in length, the toy is designed for use amongst medium to large breeds. The non-toxic natural rubber is safe to chew on and also contains an attractive beef smell. If your dog isn’t satisfied receive a replacement or refund for up to a year!

Pros
  • Safe & made of 100% natural rubber
  • Promotes oral hygiene
  • Up to 1 year replacement or refund offer
  • Great for interactive tug of war games
Cons
  • Very heavy, not suitable for smaller breeds
  • Tough material may be too strong for puppies
  • Uses beef flavourings

Peteast Dog Chew Bacon Flavoured Bone

Peteast are so confident in their product they’re offering a Lifetime Guarantee! They do advise small pieces may chip off but the Smooth Scrape technology will prevent the toy from splitting during use. The small spikes are designed to increase friction, thus removing plaque from the teeth, promoting dental hygiene.

Chewing relieves stress and reduces boredom, great if you need to step out for a couple of hours. The non-toxic natural rubber is tough yet harmless for teeth. It also features bacon flavouring which will naturally attract your dog to the bone. Another top-rated chew toy given 4.5 stars by over 1,700 reviewers

Pros
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Ideal for small to large breeds
  • Promotes dental hygiene
  • Relieves anxiety & boredom
Cons
  • Dogs may dent the bone & chew off small pieces
  • Always supervise during use
  • Bacon flavouring
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Shih Tzu

The Little Lion dog is Britain’s 17th most popular breed as of 2020! An Asian toy breed that’s prized for its lapdog status. Learn all about this vivacious breed in our guide below.

Shih Tzu Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Shih Tzu Lifespan:
10-18 years
Shih Tzu Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 9-10.5 inches
Weight: 4-7 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament


Shih Tzu dogs are lively little companions that have made it into Britains Top 20 Dog Breeds! These confident characters won’t be intimidated easily! They just love being involved in a busy household and can even be described as a clown!

As a lap dog, this breed doesn’t like being by itself. They could develop separation anxiety if alone for long periods. Despite their somewhat arrogant appearance Shih Tzus are incredibly sweet-tempered and are better suited to households where at least one person is home during the day.

Due to their small stature, these canines don’t make great guard dogs. However, they do make ideal watchdogs. They’ll bark at strangers knocking on the door but will typically be polite and even friendly. They’re a people-oriented breed that loves attention.

In a family environment, the Shih Tzu fits in well. They’ll bond with all members in their household although may follow one particular person around. Younger and older children are suitable for this breed but their small size could put them at risk of injury. Children must be taught how to handle small animals.

When it comes to other dogs, the Shih Tzu personality is welcoming and playful. They just love socializing with other canines and thrive in homes with other dogs. As one of the more cat-friendly breeds, Shih Tzu can get along well with a feline counterpart!

Characteristics


Have a look at the pros and cons of the Shih Tzu traits below:


Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic, ideal breed for allergy sufferers
  • Suitable to live in apartments
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Great for first-time owners
  • Excellent therapy dogs


Negatives:

  • High grooming needs
  • Prone to weight gain
  • May experience separation anxiety when left alone
  • High tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite
  • Brachycephalic breed (flat-faced)
  • Stress can cause cophrophagia (ingesting feces!)


The Shih Tzu is a toy breed recognised by its distinct eyes, short snout and long coat. Their coat colours can be found in black, brindle, white, liver, dark brown, blue, gold, black & white, liver & white, and light brown. Combinations of these colours may also be seen.

History


The ancient Shih Tzu breed originated from Tibet, China and has been documented in history over the last 1,000 years. It’s believed they’re a cross between the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese, two other Tibetan breeds.
Shih Tzu were developed in the palace of the Chinese Emperor and their name stands for ‘Lion Dog’.

Kept in monasteries, these little canines were prized by Tibetan monks for their loyalty and use as a watchdog. In 1928 the Shih Tzu arrived in England by Lady Brownrigg, wife of General Douglas Brownrigg. They brought over a black and white male named Hibou and a female named Shu-ssa.

Together they produced a litter. Hibou went on to have further litters. One of which with Lung-fu-ssa, a Shih Tzu brought back to Ireland in 1933 by Mrs Hutchins. Many small oriental breeds were classed together until receiving individual recognition in 1934.

The Brownriggs were responsible for creating the first breed standard and named the canines Tibetan Lion Dogs. In 1940, the breed received their Kennel Club recognition. Unfortunately, World War II hindered their popularity with Shih Tzu puppy registrations dropping to their lowest ever.

In 1951, to pressure the AKC into recognizing the Shih Tzu, breeders were told not to import to the USA! Today, however, they are one of the top dog breeds in both American and the United Kingdom. Not only are they great companions but are also popular as therapy dogs.

Exercise & Grooming


Small and petite this toy breed doesn’t need an excessive amount of exercise. An hour a day will do the trick! Sometimes a run around the garden is enough to satisfy them. Outgoing and lively, this breed loves walking through the park and meeting new friends.


Split their day into two brisk walks. Let them sniff around as this is a form of mental stimulation. Puzzles and toys are other ways to keep their minds ticking over. Without stimulation and exercise, destructive habits can quickly arise.


Their long, silky, double coat is hypoallergenic and low shedding. An ideal choice for any allergy sufferers. To prevent knots brush their coat daily, although most owners prefer their Shih Tzus to have short coats.
Trim the overgrown fur around their eyes, nose, and mouth.

Food and debris can easily build-up which could lead to infections. Aim to give them a bath every three weeks. Long fur should be blowdried whereas short coats can be patted down with a towel.
Due to their heavy coat and downward ears, the breed is prone to ear infections.

Clean debris from the ear canal weekly. Be sure to trim their nails every 10 days although these may file naturally themselves. Vets advise daily brushing for good dental hygiene which is important for a small Brachycephalic dog like the Shih Tzu.

Health


Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Shih Tzu dog breed below:

  • Renal Dysplasia: This hereditary disease is caused by the abnormal development of one or both of the kidneys. Some dogs may suffer more severely than others. Typical symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, weight loss, muscle weakness, dilute urine, and poor coat quality.
  • Cataracts: When the eye changes lens, an abnormal cloudiness appears. If big enough this can block light from reaching the retina, resulting in blindness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This genetic condition is degenerative and affects the photoreceptor cells. Gradually, the dog will eventually lose sight.
  • Dry Eye: The eye doesn’t produce enough tears causing the eye to become dry. It will now become prone to infections and ulcers. This condition is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
  • Retinal Detachment: In the eye, the retina becomes loose and is separated from its normal position. This could cause blindness.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: A degenerative condition caused by a ruptured disc in the dog’s spine. It’s the most common cause of spinal injury in dogs and is age-related.
  • Rostral Bite Problems: As a brachycephalic breed the Shih Tzu is prone to having misaligned incisors. It could be harmless but could also cause health issues.
  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: Due to their flat faces Shih Tzu can experience a variety of breathing issues.
  • Umbilical Hernia: After birth, the umbilical ring doesn’t close correctly. Owners may notice a soft protrusion just below their ribcage.
  • Cushing’s Disease: Hyperadrenocorticism is a hormone disorder caused by the overproduction of Cortisol. This chemical helps dogs respond to stress. Symptoms can include increased hunger, thirst and urination.

Shih Tzu Training


Shih Tzu puppies are relatively easy to train and work best with positive reinforcement. For this reason, they’re an ideal choice for first-time owners. They can be a little stubborn but are generally eager to please. Intelligent and quick to learn, it won’t take long for the Shih Tzu to follow basic commands.

These canines need early socialization to develop them into the friendly, sociable breed we know and love. Dogs typically react aggressively out of fear and the Shih Tzu is too small to defend itself in a fight!
Although they have an independent streak, because of their lapdog status Shih Tzu don’t like being left alone.

They will need training and should never be left for longer than 4 hours. Crates can be used as a safe space and is a place the dog can retreat to for comfort. Crate training is also great for housetraining. The Shih Tzu can be a little difficult to housetrain, especially if they don’t have access to a garden.

By setting up a routine, the dog will know what to expect of their day and when to expect their potty breaks. It can take between 4-8 weeks to fully housetrain a Shih Tzu puppy. By providing some form of structure a dog can settle and adjust to its new life easier.

Training classes are a fantastic place to learn commands whilst socializing. Training requires patience and sometimes a busy life can hinder this. Dogs are highly impressionable during puppyhood so it’s important they receive all the necessary training during this period.

Shih Tzu Interesting Facts

  • Smokey is the oldest Shih Tzu to have ever lived! He died at the age of 23 and lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. Although he’s the oldest he isn’t the most popular. Marnie the female Shih Tzu died at the age of 18 and had over 2 million Instagram followers!
  • Did you know the plural word for this breed is also Shih Tzu, not Shih Tzus!
  • In November 2017, new Kennel Club regulations state: “It is strongly recommended that the hair on head is tied up without adornment”. Crufts officials quickly followed suit by banning the bows, even disqualifying rule-breakers from competing for the Best in Show title! Naturally, furious dog owners expressed their dismay at the change in rules but it is still in force.
  • Queen Elizabeth II owned her own Shih Tzu after falling in love with the breed. Although she never renewed her interest as some of these little canines have a habit of eating their own poo! Her father King George VI was a Shih Tzu lover himself but unfortunately, the Queen didn’t renew this tradition. The Shih Tzu just couldn’t take the Corgis top spot!
  • Another name for this canine is the Chrysanthemum faced dog. During their puppy years, their fur grows in different directions. It is said to resemble the Chrysanthemum flower.
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Brachycephalic Dogs: What you Should Know

A Brachycephalic dog has a shorter nose and flatter face compared to other breeds. In the UK flat-face dogs have seen a stark rise in puppy ownership. The Kennel Club has seen a 2,747% increase in French Bulldog puppy registrations since 2004!

Yet many owners are simply unaware of the health problems associated with brachycephalic dog breeds. We’re going to tell you the signs to look out for and when you need to seek veterinarian help. 

french mastiff brachycephalic

The Dutch Kennel Club have now banned English Bulldog puppy registrations. This is in response to the government ban on broad skulled dogs due to the health and breathing issues associated. 

Whilst many organisations have championed the move, others are worried this could increase backstreet breeding. Other dogs included in the ban is the French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, King Charles Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Brussels Griffon, Affenpinscher, and the Boston Terrier.

What is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome?

Brachycephalic dogs already have flat faces, but some can suffer abnormalities in their airways. Mastiffs and Staffordshire Bull Terriers have slightly longer noses than Pugs and Bulldogs. So they aren’t as likely to suffer from Brachycephalic related health conditions. 

Flat-faced dogs have a standard amount of tissue in their faces that’s all been squished together. This could cause your dog to suffer from narrow nasal passages, narrow windpipes, elongated soft palates, and even laryngeal collapse. These breathing problems are known as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome).

The word Brachycephalic derives from Ancient Greek and means ‘short head’. BOAS is a result of selective breeding. Dog enthusiasts wanted to create a canine with a shorter skull, reducing the size of the nose and lower jaw. But this has caused flat faced dogs to have tongues that are too big for their mouths.

In 2020 the UK Kennel Club recorded 39,266 French Bulldog puppy registrations and 11,594 Bulldog puppy registrations. This is a cause for great concern with the Brachycephalic Working Group asking dog enthusiasts to ‘Stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog.’

The Kennel Club has estimated around 70% of Britain’s dogs are unregistered. Puppy farming and irresponsible breeders contribute heavily to the increase of physical exaggerations in Brachycephalic dog breeds.

Symptoms of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Below are the following symptoms of BOAS owners need to be aware of:

  • Loud breathing and snoring
  • Snorting/Snoring when resting or exercising
  • Low exercise tolerance
  • Low tolerance to heat
  • Difficulty breathing during exercise
  • Restlessness during the night
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • High-pitched wheezing
  • Extended recovery time after exercise or being exposed to warm weather
  • Retching or vomiting
  • Collapsing as a result of a lack of air

If you notice your dog experiencing any of the signs above, seek immediate veterinary advice.

english bulldog puppy brachycephalic

Other Health Issues 

Your Flat faced dog may also experience a variety of other health issues. They are as follows:

Mating & Birthing Problems

Research has shown a link between Brachycephalic breeds and dystocia (birthing difficulties). In the UK over 86% of English Bulldog puppies are born via caesarean section. Only slightly higher than French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers at 80%. 

The puppies heads are larger than the mother’s narrow birth canal. Without medical intervention, this can be fatal. Vets refer to this as ‘Dystocia due to foetal-pelvic disproportion.

French Bulldogs also require artificial insemination as they can’t mate naturally. The male genitalia is unable to reach the female’s vulva as it’s much higher within their body. It’s also safer for English Bulldogs to be artificially inseminated.   

Heatstroke

Dogs thermoregulate through their noses. For Brachycephalic dogs, it’s harder to keep cool in hotter temperatures. This places them at a much higher risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Older, overweight flat-faced dogs are particularly vulnerable. 

The scrolls of nasal tissue in the passage are known as turbinites. These filter and cool down the warm air entering the nasal passage. Brachycephalic dogs have a short, compact nasal passage, so the turbinites are crowded and will touch one another. These obstructions cause breathing difficulties. 

Flat faced dogs also have narrow windpipes and elongated soft palates. These abnormalities restrict the amount of oxygen inhaled with each breath. Panting is the most effective way for dogs to cool themselves down. So it’s no surprise these dogs are unable to effectively cool down. 

Heart Problems

Laboured breathing reduces the amount of oxygen entering the bloodstream. Over time this will cause a strain on the affected dog’s heart which could result in secondary heart problems. Brachycephalic breeds are more susceptible to heart issues and should be monitored by their vet regularly.

Ear & Skin Problems

An increase in deep facial folds prevents air from reaching the skin. Bacteria trapped between the skin folds will eventually cause yeast infections. Chronic infections and skin irritation are common amongst extreme brachycephalic dogs.

Narrow ear canals are another result of selective breeding. It reduces the airflow entering the passage. Bacteria and debris will build up quicker resulting in ear infections. Regular ear cleaning is needed to reduce the risk of chronic or recurring infections. 

Eye Problems

Prominent eyes are a feature in many brachycephalic breeds. But these can prevent tear film from spreading and efficiently lubricating the eye. Other abnormalities such as imperfect eyelids, nasal folds, and shallow eye sockets can also have an effect.

Corneal ulcers are very common in brachycephalic dogs as a result of the above anatomical changes. As a result of the poor corneal sensitivity, signs of corneal ulcers may not be so apparent. If this goes undetected further complications can arise.

Dental Issues

Brachycephalic dogs have 42 teeth, just like any other breed! However, their smaller skulls, don’t provide enough space for all their teeth leaving them overcrowded. As a result, flat-faced breeds are more prone to dental issues.

Check your dog’s teeth regularly to avoid serious dental problems. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily. Teeth may grow at an angle, so debris is easily trapped. In some cases, teeth might need to be extracted.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Flat-faced dogs can also face a number of musculoskeletal disorders. These include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, cruciate disease and spinal deformities. Ingrown tails and corkscrew tails have also been documented in flat faced dogs. 

Treatment

Surgery is the only treatment that will make a difference to your dog’s breathing. Stenotic nares are corrected by surgically removing the excess tissue within the nostrils. A soft palate resection can be undertaken to reduce the elongated palate to normal size. 

Everted laryngeal saccules that obstruct the larynx can be surgically removed. Surgery should be undertaken as early as possible for the most effective results. Swelling may occur after the operation so keep a close eye on your dog.  

Your dog is also prone to weight gain which will put further strain on their breathing. It’s important to regularly exercise your dog without causing them discomfort. Take multiple short walks during cooler periods of the day and use a harness as opposed to a collar. Applying pressure to their neck can make breathing more difficult. 

french bulldog brachycephalic

List of Brachycephalic Dog Breeds:

There are 24 Brachycephalic dog breeds in the UK, they are as follows:

  • Affenpinscher 
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chiuahaha (apple-headed)
  • Chow Chow 
  • Dogo Argentino 
  • Dogue de Bordeaux 
  • English/American/French Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Neopolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Rottweiler
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel