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Heatstroke in Dogs: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Noticing the signs of heatstroke in your dog can be the difference between life and death. But many owners aren’t aware of the beginning signs. With temperatures rising during the Summer months, these are the signs you need to be aware of.

belgian shepherd heatstroke

Causes of Heatstroke in Dogs

Dogs only have a few sweat glands in their feet and nose. So at times, it’s harder for our furry friends to regulate their body temperatures. Heatstroke also affects humans and is a form of hyperthermia. 

Exercise is the most common cause of heatstroke in dogs. The PDSA states that 74% of heatstroke cases in dogs are attributed to exercise. Some dogs are affected by just simply laying in the sun.

Brachycephalic dogs are more prone to heatstroke. The breeds that fall under this category are French Bulldogs, French Mastiffs, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Dogue de Bordeauxs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and English Bulldogs.  

Your dog’s nose plays a strong role in keeping them cool. This is why brachycephalic dogs are the most at risk. Older and younger dogs will also be more susceptible to heatstroke. Not to forget those that are overweight or have thick fur! 

It’s important your dog receives enough water, air ventilation, and shade. A lack of these things during hot periods could cause heatstroke. Even a short walk in the sun can be more than enough to trigger heatstroke, especially for a brachycephalic dog!

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Redness in gums
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Tremours
  • Lethargic 
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Death

When dogs become overheated their panting helps to cool them down. Their normal body temperature is 38.6 degrees. If a dog is unable to reduce its body temperature through panting, it’ll develop heatstroke which can be life-threatening. 

Dogs will begin to excessively pant, followed by signs of discomfort such as barking and whining. Excessive thirst and drooling are other beginning signs of heatstroke. 

If heatstroke is caught during the early stages your dog is expected to make a full recovery. Any longer and this could lead to a vet trip or even worse, a fatality. The RSPCA asks people to dial 999 if they witness any dogs trapped in hot cars displaying signs of heatstroke.

There are two forms of heatstroke, exertional and non-exertional. The first is caused by exercising during particularly hot days. The second is caused by laying in the hot sun or being trapped in a hot car or room.

dog heatstroke

Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs 

There are plenty of ways in which dog owners can prevent their dogs from contracting heatstroke. Below we’ve listed the ways you can prevent heatstroke in your dog during the hot weather.

  • Ensure your dog has access to fresh drinking water throughout the day. 
  • Have a cool ventilated area indoors that your dog can escape to. There should also be adequate areas of shade outside so your dog isn’t being pounded by the sun.
  • No dog should ever be left inside a car, especially during hot temperatures. 5 minutes is all it takes for your dog to begin suffering from heatstroke!
  • Walk your dog during the cooler periods of the day to prevent overheating. Avoid vigorous exercise. Floors become excruciatingly hot and can severely damage your dog’s paws. 
  • If your dog is brachycephalic you will need to keep a closer eye on them. Some dogs within this category are up to 14 times more likely to contract heatstroke compared with other non-brachycephalic breeds.
  • If your dog has a thick coat it may be best to give them a trim. Never completely shave your dog as this can leave them even more at risk!
  • Overweight dogs are more prone to heatstroke. Ensure your dog’s weight is healthy so they can regulate their body temperature better.
  • It’s better to use harnesses in the heat as opposed to collars. The pressure collars put on your dog’s neck can make it harder for them to breathe. Brachycephalic dogs will benefit the most. 

Treating Heatstroke in Dogs

If you have started to notice your dog suffering from the symptoms of heatstroke take immediate action. Move them to a cooler environment as soon as possible. Cool them down with water, but not too cold as a sudden change in temperature can cause shock.

Keep pouring the water until their breathing slows down. Not too fast as this could cause your dog to start shivering. Offer drinking water in small amounts to tackle dehydration.

A ventilated area with air-conditioning would be most ideal. If you don’t have access to this, fan your dog instead. The airflow will help with their breathing. Consult your veterinarian immediately. In some cases a trip to the vets is inevitable.

Vets have access to fluid drips that will help lower a dog’s body temperature. Oxygen and medication can also be supplied if necessary. Heatstroke can affect your dog’s organs so blood tests may also be undertaken. 

Dogs can still suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion even after they’ve cooled down. Keep an eye on your dog for the next 24-48 hours. It’s important to always consult with your vet after your dog has experienced heatstroke, even if they seem fine.

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Top 10 Natural Remedies for Itchy Paws

Is your dog constantly chewing at his paws no matter what you try and do to stop it? If he is, there’s a good chance that he has allergies. 

Every dog, no matter the breed, can be susceptible to allergies. As an owner, it’s upsetting to see your dog showing signs of discomfort. Canines with allergies tend to scratch or chew the affected areas on their body. When it comes to your dog’s paws, these reactions can lead to injury and secondary infections, which can affect the dog’s gait. 

While some canines are born with allergies, others pick them up later on in life. It’s important to identify what the actual allergy is, as opposed to blindly treating symptoms. 

You may notice the paws aren’t the only itchy part of your dog’s body. Some canines suffer recurring ear infections which in the long-term, could cause irreparable damage. 

What causes itchy paws in dogs?

Before you focus on allergies, it’s important to rule out any behavioural issues first. Some dogs, be it through boredom or anxiety will pick up compulsive habits such as paw licking when they’re anxious or bored. If you’re finding it hard in determining if this is the issue, you may want to contact an animal behaviourist. 

If it’s allergies, you want to find out what’s causing your dog to have an allergic reaction. Itchy paws are caused by a variety of different allergens. Below is a list of the usual culprits! The first three are the most common causes of allergies in dogs. 

  • Food Allergies
  • Pollen (Grass, Trees, Weeds)
  • Flea Saliva
  • Dust Mites
  • Moulds & Chemicals
  • Moulds

Dogs with food allergies display symptoms all year round compared to seasonal pollen.  Your dog may also experience gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

Pollen affects dogs seasonally. That means symptoms are at their worst during the Spring and Summer. Over time, continuous exposure to an allergen could cause a dog’s immune system to overreact. The antibodies and antigens attach to a mast cell which let out histamines. If too many histamines are released, your dog will produce symptoms such as swelling, itching, and redness. 

Dogs suffering from flea allergy dermatitis are sensitive to saliva. Just one bite is enough to trigger an allergic reaction. Typical signs include rashes, scabs, hair loss, and severe itching for up to two weeks.

A dog that has inhaled mould spores will show difficulty breathing and may discharge mucus or pus from the nose. Those that have ingested mould will experience a decrease in appetite, runny stools and vomiting. 

Other allergic reactions include itching, chewing, and dry and inflamed skin. Mould allergies typically emerge between the ages of twelve weeks to three years. 

Symptoms: What are the Signs?

Noticing the signs of allergies can prevent your dog’s discomfort from escalating. Below are the common symptoms experienced by dogs with allergies.

·  Red skin/inflammation

·  Excessive itching/chewing

·  Recurring ear infections (smelly dirty ears, head shaking, and scratching)

·  Hair loss

·  Flaky skin

·  Watery eyes/runny nose

·  Facial swelling

·  Vomiting/diarrhoea

Act fast! Excessive paw licking can cause bacterial or yeast infections resulting in even more discomfort!

How Can I Manage Itchy Paws?

There are several tests you can use to determine the root cause of a dog’s allergies. The two forms of allergy tests are blood tests and intradermal skin testing. The latter is highly effective, but you’ll need a veterinarian dermatologist to do it.

Once you’ve established your dog’s triggers it will be easier to avoid them! Don’t be shocked if your dog is allergic to more than one thing … ! Most dogs suffer from multiple allergies as opposed to one.

Food Allergies

To tackle food allergies a change of diet is needed. You can try an elimination diet to pinpoint the cause, but this can be time-consuming. Switching to a raw diet may help as it reduces the number of additives and common food allergens in your dog’s diet.  

You can also consult with your holistic vet to find out what they would recommend, as every dog is different. They may even suggest a food allergy test to narrow down the cause. 

And don’t forget about the treats you give your dog. Only treats approved by your vet should be given. One treat can easily trigger an allergic reaction landing you right back to square one.

Pollen

If you believe your dog is affected by pollen, take walks when the pollen count has lowered. It’s also best to avoid grass when pollen is high so stick to the pavements. Once inside, clean your dog’s paws with a damp cloth and dry with a towel. If they’ve had a walk or roll about in the grass, clean the coat and belly as you would with the paws. It’s important to thoroughly groom your dog as pollen and other allergens can stick to the dog’s fur.

Booties are a great way to protect your dog’s paws when out and about! It prevents contact with allergens such as weeds, pollen, and grass. Booties also protect your dog’s paws from hot pavements, rocky grounds, snow, and much more!

Flea Saliva 

When it comes to fleas, it’s the saliva that really irritates dogs. Prevention is the best way to manage fleas because once your dog has them, they’re hard to get rid of! Fleas can survive for months and you won’t be able to spot them in the cleanest of homes!

If you suspect fleas are the troublesome culprits be sure to check all of your pets. Ensure all household pets are up to date with their treatment. 

Dust Mites

To prevent issues with dust mites and/or fleas, daily hoovering will be needed. Your home might look clean, but there may still be particles lying around just waiting to irritate your dog’s skin!

Chemicals 

When washing your dog’s bed and blankets use non-biological products. It’s much better for sensitive skin. Many owners are unaware of the irritation biological washing products can cause to dogs. 

Household cleaning products are another cause for concern. Look for natural alternatives that are dog friendly and steer clear of chemical cleaners. Candles, air fresheners, and other artificial chemicals can also cause adverse effects.

Moulds 

It’s impossible to completely stop mould exposure but it is possible to reduce the contact. Wipe the dog’s fur with a damp cloth to remove any mould spores. Moisture is a breeding ground for mould so ensure your dog’s bed is kept dry.

Natural Remedies for Itchy Paws

Trying to find the cause of your dog’s allergies can take a lot of time, even with assistance from your holistic vet. Waiting for a trip to the vet can feel like months for a dog suffering from symptoms of allergies. The good news is there are natural remedies you can use to soothe your dog’s irritation. 

Cold Compress

A cold compress such as ice in a towel, or just simply cold water can provide up to half an hour of relief. Whilst it isn’t a long time, it can at least provide temporary assistance. Add Epsom salts to a paw soak to enhance the soothing qualities. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is prized for relieving itchy skin. It’s been scientifically proven to hinder candida and contains anti-fungal properties. Unlike the dog’s immune system, Apple Cider Vinegar obliterates the fungi’s protective barrier. Now, instead of fighting a losing battle, the body can effectively destroy the fungus. 

Get a spray bottle, create a solution of 50% Apple Cider Vinegar with 50% water. Once mixed, spray the affected areas. To better target the paws, soak them in this solution for up to 5 minutes. Do not use this on a wound or raw skin as this will be painful. 

Oatmeal Bath Soak

Oatmeal baths are one of the oldest natural remedies still used today! Oatmeal is anti-inflammatory and can reduce the dog’s swelling, itchiness, and redness. Simply fill the bath with lukewarm water. Crush the oats into a powder then mix into the bath. You will need one and a half cups of oatmeal. 

Colloidal Oatmeal is easier to use as it has already been turned into powder. While the dog is having a soak, massage the solution across their body. 

As opposed to baths an oatmeal paste can be created instead. Again, crush the oats and slowly add water until you end up with a smooth paste. This can then be placed on the affected areas where it can work its magic! 

Baking Soda

Rather unheard of in the healing department is baking soda! It’s great for autoimmune diseases such as skin allergies in canines thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It works to calm the dog’s immune system, slowing down its attacks on the body. The acid-neutralizing qualities also help balance out the PH levels. 

Use 50% water with 50% baking soda to create a paste. Once applied, leave on the skin for up to half an hour. The paste will dry out any rashes, decrease redness, and relieve any itching. As the solution dries out the skin, moisturize the area with Coconut oil. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for dogs suffering from dry, flaky skin. Not only this, but it also acts as a preventive barrier, blocking any irritants from reaching the skin. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. 

Simply massage the oil into the paws and let it get to work! Use at night or whenever the dog is asleep for better effectiveness. Ensure the coconut oil is chilled and solid by keeping it in the fridge. 

Probiotics Natural Yoghurt

Probiotics are known to balance the bacteria levels inside the gut microbiome. The probiotic contains Lactobacillus which produces Hydrogen Peroxide thus killing Candida. It can be a great remedy to combat yeast infections and even food allergies. Buy some plain yoghurt, sugar-free of course and place this in the dog’s meal. 

The daily intake should be one tablespoon for small dogs, two for medium, and three for large. Dogs suffering from lactose intolerance may experience an upset tummy if consumed. Natural Greek Yoghurt has the lowest levels of lactose. 

Probiotics enhance the number of good bacteria found in the gut. This increases the dog’s chance of fighting off those pesky pathogens! It’s also great for easing digestion and reduces the possibility of constipation. 

Chamomile & Green Tea Bath Soak

The anti-inflammatory and soothing effects of Chamomile and Green tea will work on both humans and dogs! The anti-microbial properties kill microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast. 

To combat itchy paws, create the solution with one tea bag for each cup of water used. Ensure the water has been boiled before adding the teabag. Allow this to cool down first before using it on the dog’s paws. You can also directly place the tea bags on the affected areas. If there are further itchy spots across the body a Chamomile and Green tea bath should be given. 

Did you know, Chamomile tea bags are also used to combat conjunctivitis in dogs? 

Aloe Vera

This plant is well-known for its healing powers! Cut the leaf to reveal the inner gel and apply it directly to the irritated paws. It’s harmless to dogs so don’t worry if it has been ingested. 

If there is still some gel left over, place the leaf in the fridge and use it within three days. Aloe Vera plants don’t need much looking after to grow so why not keep a plant at home? That way, you can quickly relieve your canine from discomfort. 

Regular Baths

Your dog may need regular baths to help stop the itch. Regular bathing is needed to care for the skin. Use natural shampoos that are soap-free or hypoallergenic. This will make sure you don’t strip your dog’s coat and skin of important oils and moisture. 

It’s best to consult with your vet first as they may be able to supply a medicated shampoo. If the allergy symptoms are severe wash your dog weekly. Remember, an allergy can’t be cured, just managed. Once you begin to see a difference in your pet, reduce washing to two weeks. 

Elizabethan Collar

If the itching and chewing are starting to cause injury you might need to resort to a pet cone (Elizabethan collar). This will prevent them from reaching the itchy areas, causing further damage. 

Itchy paws can be a big problem for you and your dog. Natural remedies can help ease the discomfort but it’s important for you to find the root cause. 

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Food Allergies in Dogs: Symptoms & Management

Dogs are allergic to a variety of things including food. If you’ve managed to attribute your dog’s allergies to their diet, you’ll need to find foods that won’t trigger a reaction.

Allergies can’t be cured but they can be managed. Food allergies are caused by an overreaction to one or more of the ingredients in your dog’s diet. Today, we are going to explain how you can prevent and manage your dog’s food allergies.

Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

Dogs will experience a variety of symptoms, some more than others. The typical allergic reactions seen in dogs with food allergies are as follows:

  • 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)

Anaphylactic shock is rare but can be fatal. Its the result of a severe reaction to an allergen and immediate treatment will be needed. 

Diagnosing a Food Allergy

Trying to determine your dog’s allergic triggers isn’t going to be easy! Their immune system is overreacting to something and it could be anything! Below you can find ways to try and pinpoint exactly what your dog is allergic to.

Process of Elimination

To diagnose a food allergy, use an elimination diet for 12 weeks. Your dog’s reactions will help pinpoint exactly what they are allergic to. Your dog’s immune system can overreact to anything including chicken and wheat! 

Add and remove ingredients slowly until you’re able to establish the root cause. Don’t forget to keep note of their feeding through a log. This way you won’t lose track of any progress.

Special Diet

Consult with your vet about a special diet for your dog. Again, they will similarly conduct a process of elimination to ensure they don’t overreact to the food. Your vet may be able to recommend specific dog food brands that could work wonders for your dog!

Never steer away from your dog’s diet and that means treats too!

Skin Specialist

Just to be on the safe side undertake some skin tests via a specialist. Many dogs that suffer from food allergies are also allergic to other things in their surrounding environment. So even if you do pinpoint your dog’s food allergy, they could still suffer from skin conditions.

Food for Dogs with Allergies

Your dog will need a change in diet if they’ve displayed symptoms of a food allergy. There are plenty of food brands out there that can help reduce your dog’s allergic reactions. Once you know your dog’s triggers you can start finding methods of prevention.

Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If your dog has a food intolerance to standard kibble, hypoallergenic food is a better option. There are no artificial colourings, preservatives or flavourings. It’s also free from allergens making it a healthier choice if your dog suffers from a food allergy.  

Of course, there will be a variety of brands out there. So it’s important you take a look at the ingredients of each before making a decision. Hypoallergenic food won’t produce immediate results but should be noticeable after 10-12 weeks of feeding.

Cold Pressed Dog Food

Another version of dog food known to be fantastic for dogs with allergies is cold pressed food. Most dry dog food brands use a method called extrusion. This heats the kibble to temperatures of up to 170 degrees which can destroy many of the vitamins and nutrients within.

Cold pressed food is cooked at lower temperatures so more goodness is contained. It’s the closest alternative to a raw diet and digests well as the food doesn’t expand in the belly. This reduces your dog’s chances of Bloat and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus.

Dog Treats 

It’s important you never steer away from your dog’s diet. Even the smallest treat is enough to trigger an allergic reaction. Ensure any dog treats are 100% natural. Even standard treats that don’t have colourings, flavourings, and preservatives can still be bad for your dog!

Managing your Dogs Food Allergies

There is no cure or magic pill for dogs suffering from food allergies. So owners will need to learn to manage their dog’s symptoms. Below are some ways you can try to manage your dog’s food allergy symptoms.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are highly recommended for both dogs and humans with allergies. It’s best to consult with your vet before purchasing antihistamines from over the counter. Your vet may even have their own supply as some antihistamines designed for humans could be dangerous for our pets.

The American Kennel Club recommends Benadryl for dogs suffering from food allergies. Despite it primarily being a medication for humans, dogs can also benefit. Symptoms of food, environmental, and seasonal allergies may be soothed with Benadryl. 

Probiotics

Probiotics can be added to your dog’s diet and can help relax symptoms. Many owners are seeking natural remedies for food allergies as opposed to medications. Probiotics are microorganisms that are also known as ‘good bacteria’. They help balance and support your dog’s gastrointestinal system.  

There are a variety of probiotics that can be given to your dog. Yoghurt is the most popular but please be aware some dogs are allergic to dairy. Other probiotics include kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh.

Coconut Oil

Please be aware some dogs could be allergic to coconut oil so test your dog with a small amount first. Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-yeast, and anti-bacterial properties. Mix a teaspoon/tablespoon (depending on your dog’s size) in their meal once a day. 

Coconut oil shouldn’t be given on its own or in large doses as this can cause diarrhoea. Coconut oil can soothe the skin thus reducing itching. It’s nutrient-dense and can settle tummy issues.

Muzzle & Elizabethan Collar 

In some extreme cases, your dog may require a muzzle to prevent him from picking up food on their outdoor walks. This will prevent them from triggering a potential allergy through scavenging.

Elizabethan collars are a great way to stop your dog from itching himself. Especially if you go out and don’t want them scratching and chewing away at their skin. The collars in turn will help prevent infections from developing as a result of excessive licking.

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Cold Pressed Dog Food: What is it?

Cold-pressed dog food is fairly new to the UK dog food industry. So what exactly is it and how can it benefit your pet?

cold pressed dog food

What is Cold Pressed Dog Food

Since the 1980s, Europe has been producing cold pressed dog food. But it’s only recently been introduced into the UK. Many dog owners have begun making the switch, yet thousands are still unaware of what exactly cold pressed dog food is!

Dry dog food is created through a method known as extrusion. The ingredients are mixed together, heated whilst under pressure, and then cut by a machine into shapes. The temperatures used are typically around 160 degrees. Around 95% of dry dog food brands use this method.

Cold-pressed dog food is made with lower temperatures ranging from 45-80 degrees. As a result, the food is cooked quicker without the need for excessive temperatures and steam. Ingredients are blended naturally and gently pressed together. The food shapes resemble their natural ingredients. Ingredients are pre-cooked to eliminate any bacteria from the food.

The cold-pressing method is the key difference between standard kibble brands. Nutrients are better preserved, allowing food to break down and digest quicker. Cold pressed dog food is the closest product you can get to a raw diet.

What are the Benefits of Cold Pressed Dog Food?

There are numerous benefits to switching your dog onto a cold pressed diet. Below, we have listed the positives of a cold-pressed dog food diet. 

Nutritional Value 

Due to the lower temperatures, cold pressed dog food preserves nutrients, fibres, enzymes and ingredients. Normal kibble brands destroy a lot of goodness due to the high temperatures used during the extrusion period.  

Cold pressed dog food uses all-natural ingredients. There are no preservatives, additives, colours and other nasties that will enter your dog’s body! Many of these things are attributed to causing food allergies in some dogs.   

Thanks to the higher nutritional value and high density, your dog can be fed in smaller amounts. This can save dog owners money as a result. 

Bloat & Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

As opposed to extrusion, the method of cold-pressing makes the dog food easier to digest. Kibble expands and floats in your dog’s stomach, which can leave your dog with an upset tummy. Cold-pressed dog food doesn’t expand and dissolves from the outside.

This can help prevent fatal conditions such as Bloat and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. Dogs that are fed pressed instead of extruded food are less affected by these two conditions. Kibble is known to be high in starch. A lack of fresh, raw food within your dog’s diet can contribute to Bloat. 

Improvement to your Dog

The nutrients, vitamins and minerals all contribute to a healthy coat and skin. It may also increase your dog’s activity levels, great for senior dogs! Skin and fur should appear healthier. Nails may also grow longer and faster so keep the clippers to hand!

Dogs suffering from food allergies will benefit from cold pressed dog food as it’s completely natural. It’s not easy pinpointing your dog’s allergies, but if it is food, then a cold pressed diet should reduce their symptoms.

Cold Pressed Dog Food & Raw Diets

Raw diets have been the centre of debate amongst dog owners, pet nutritionists and vets. Whilst there are many pros to a raw diet, there are a number of cons. Vets don’t recommend dog owners creating their own dog food as this may not be balanced nutritionally. 

Cold pressed dog food is created with natural minerals, vitamins, and ingredients. It is nutritionally balanced and can be fed alongside a raw diet. The low cooking and lack of processing make cold pressed food the closest alternative to raw food. 

Costs of Cold Pressed Dog Food

Price-wise, cold pressed dog food isn’t excessively pricey. In fact, some kibble brands are the same price! Although it is worth saying the best brands of cold pressed food will be on the pricier end of the scale.

The higher nutrient and density levels in cold pressed dog food mean smaller portions can be given. This in turn means you won’t need to restock on food as quickly as you would with standard kibble.

Recommended: Learn about food allergies in dogs here!

cold pressed dog food kibble extrusion extruded

What are the Negatives of Cold Pressed Dog Food?

Any food or brand will of course have negatives. After all, nothing in this world is perfect! Whilst this isn’t a long list, there are still downsides that dog owners should be aware of. 

Shelf Life

As cold pressed food retains more nutrients and natural ingredients, the food will go off quicker than standard kibble. The shelf life of unopened bags typically lasts around 6-9 months. It’s much shorter than extruded food which lasts up to 18 months.

Food Allergies

Your dog may still show signs of allergies if you haven’t pinpointed the exact cause. So in some cases, cold pressed dog food might not be a quick fix. Especially if they are allergic to products such as chicken. You will need to start the process of elimination to determine the culprit of your dog’s triggers.

Cold Pressed Dog Food Brands

In the UK, cold pressed food is new to the dog food industry. So new brands will be popping up here and there telling you how great their food is! It’s important to research the company and where its ingredients are sourced.

Some may source their supplies from third parties that preheat the food. This could damage the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals held inside. It’s always best to find a company that sources and produces its own food right here in the UK.  

Changing my Dog to Cold Pressed Dog Food

Every dog is different, so if you do decide to make the switch to cold pressed food, it’s important to transition slowly. Keep a close eye on your dog and consult with your vet if you feel this is necessary.

  • Introduce the cold pressed food in small portions, whilst still feeding your dog their original food. Increase the amount of new food each day, reducing their previous kibble simultaneously. 
  • During the change, you will need to keep an eye on their stools. Poo should be firm so if your dog experiences diarrhoea you will need to slow down the transition. Some dogs have more sensitive stomachs and a richer diet could trigger loose stools. 
  • Your dog may vomit if their food has been swapped over too quickly. This isn’t a very common side effect so you should always contact your vet just to be on the safe side.
  • Some dogs shed more fur than usual due to a poor diet. Cold pressed dog food should return the shedding to its normal form. It will also improve the coat so even the dead fur should be noticeably healthier and shinier.
  • If you are simply changing to a different brand of cold pressed dog food you can start using the food as you would the previous brand.
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Cockapoo

Britain’s most popular designer dog is the Cockapoo. Crossed between a Poodle and Cocker Spaniel, these dogs really are the best of both worlds! Take a look at our Cockapoo breed guide to learn all about the oldest hybrid! 

Cockapoo Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: No

Cockapoo Lifespan: 13-17 years 

Cockapoo Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day 

Height: 9-18 inches

Weight: 5-11 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament

Cockapoodle dogs are known to be even-tempered, sociable, affectionate, funny and just sweet all around! These outgoing, happy go lucky dogs will bring a smile to any face when they walk into the room. 

Bred as a companion dog, the Cockapoo temperament is prone to separation anxiety. The breed thrives off attention from their owners and can’t bear to be left alone for long periods. Active and super cuddly, British dog owners have been purchasing Cockapoo puppies in their thousands each year!

As a vocal breed, Cockapoos can make good watchdogs but are hopeless at guarding. They’ll happily greet strangers showing their friendly side. Of course, this is all dependent on early socialization.

Cockapoos make excellent family dogs and get along great with children! The breed is suitable for homes with both younger and older . These dogs fit well into active families but can be a little boisterous. Keep an eye on young children during playtime. 

Social and super friendly, the Cockerpoo is quick to befriend other dogs in the park. They just love clowning around with their doggy friends! Cockapoodles can live with other dogs and also cats but should be introduced during their puppyhood.

Cockapoo Characteristics

Take a look at the positives and negatives of the Cockapoo traits below.

Positives

  • Hypoallergenic, a better choice for allergy sufferers
  • Available in toy, miniature and standard sizes
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Suitable for living in apartments
  • Sociable and friendly
  • Fantastic assistance/service dog

Negatives

  • Requires high grooming maintenance
  • May experience separation anxiety
  • Vocal, may bark repetitively if unsocialized
  • Prone to weight gain

The Cockapoo size can be found in Teacup, Toy, Miniature, and Standard varieties. Coat colours can be found in red, white, silver, merle, cream, brindle, chocolate, apricot, black, beige, sable, and blonde. Mixtures of two or three of these colours may also be seen. A Cockapoo full grown will reach a maximum height of 18 inches and weight of 11 kilos.

History

The Cockapoo originates from the United States and is the oldest of the hybrid types. They’ve been popular since their creation in the 1950s and have quickly won the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide.  

This hybrid is a cross between an American Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. The miniature Cockapoo and toy Cockapoo is created by breeding the smaller Poodle varieties. English Cocker Spaniels may also be used as both are closely related.

English Cocker Spaniels are gundogs that were originally bred to hunt Woodcock but they quickly became popular family pets. Cocker Spaniels originated during the 14th century. All Spaniels were originally classed as one until they were distinguished as their own breed in the 20th century.

Poodles are an ancient breed that was used to hunt waterfowl. They originate from Germany but were developed in France. The breed is available in four sizes, standard, medium, miniature, and toy. Poodles are the National Dog of France. 

As a hybrid, the Cockapoo hasn’t been recognized by the AKC or KC, therefore is unable to compete in their competitions. Today UK Cockapoo breed enthusiasts have shown this canine isn’t just a cuddly companion. They make fantastic service dogs but are particularly popular as hearing dogs. 

Exercise & Grooming

Cockapoo puppies are super energetic and love being outdoors, so should receive at least an hour and a half of exercise each day. As an intelligent breed, Cockapoodles will greatly benefit from mental stimulation. 

The Cockapoo adult weight should be no higher than 11 kilograms. This breed is prone to weight gain so owners must keep up with their activity needs. Cockapoos love a good swim so take them to the water every once in a while. 

As a hybrid, these dogs are unable to compete in official dog sports as they aren’t recognised by any Kennel Club. But there are special events created by Cockapoo clubs to encourage owners into dog sports. Agility, flyball, and obedience are categories the breed excels in. 

Cockapoos have curly, low-shedding coats although some may take after their Spaniel side a little more. Brush them every 1-2 days to remove dead fur and prevent any knots and tangles. Combs, slicker brushes, and pin brushes will all work on their fur. 

Regular baths can be damaging to the skin, so give the Cockapoo a wash every two months. Don’t brush fur when wet as this could cause tangles. To prevent matting, blowdry their coat. 

The Cockapoos fluffy ears can be prone to ear infections due to a lack of airflow. Clean them weekly to remove any dirt and bacteria. Nails will need a trim every fortnight and teeth should be brushed at least 4 times a week. 

Health

As a cross-breed, Cockapoos are relatively healthy but they can still suffer from health issues. Check out some of the health conditions that could be seen in the Cockapoo dog breed below:

Luxating Patella: The kneecap will dislocate out of position temporarily before relocating back into place. Affected dogs may run on three legs before quickly returning back to four. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This degenerative disease targets the photoreceptor cells within the eye. The inherited disorder will lead to blindness. 

Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal growth of the hip joint will cause dogs pain, swelling, inflammation, and lameness. Over time arthritis will eventually occur. 

Glaucoma: Seen in their parent breed the Cocker Spaniel, this health issue is caused by a sudden increase of pressure in the eye. Redness and severe pain will be experienced followed by a loss of vision.

Cataracts: An abnormal opacity appears in the eye via a change of lens. This may interfere with vision if it’s big enough, which could lead to blindness. 

Phosphofructokinase Deficiency: A metabolic disorder causing a deficiency in red blood cells and glucose which may result in anaemia. 

Familial Nephropathy: 10% of English Cocker Spaniels carry a gene mutation that can cause Familial Nephropathy. It causes renal failure which can’t be cured, resulting in death.

Cockapoo Training

As an intelligent breed, a Cockapoo puppy will pick up on commands quickly. They’re fairly easy to train and can be a good choice for first-time owners. Cockapoos are eager to please but won’t take harsh corrections well. Positive reinforcement is the best training method for the Spoodle!

Housebreaking can be a bit of a challenge for the Spoodle, especially when living in a flat. Owners must be consistent with their boundaries and teaching if they want their puppy to listen. 

Crate training is a great way to prevent any accidents in the home. It’ll take time but the results are rewarding. Crates can also be used as a way to practice leaving the Cockapoo home alone. It’s a safe space, so the dog should feel comfortable and relaxed when on their own.

Cockerpoos are high in energy. Obedience training can be a massive help in getting these dogs to listen when all they want to do is play! Cockerpoodles are powered by motivation so include their favourite toy or food treat as a reward. 

During puppyhood, this breed may be a little nippy. Immediately correct this behaviour when it happens. Show the dog it hurts by letting out a high pitched noise. Don’t move your hand as they may interpret this as a game. Now their attention should be diverted onto something else.

cockapoo puppy uk

Cockapoo Interesting Facts

  • The Cockapoo price ranges from £900-£3,000. Teacup toy Cockapoo puppies are rare and aren’t the easiest to breed. Prices can be considerably high and owners will need to join a waiting list for this pooch. 
  • Did you know the Cockapoo can reach speeds of up to 20-25mph! These fast canines will keep any owner on their toes!
  • The breed is not recognised by the Kennel Club but this hasn’t stopped their lineage from being tracked. The Cockapoo Club of GB has a list of assured breeders who issue Cockapoo puppy Lineage Certificates.
  • Despite their companionship status, Cockapoos have proven to be excellent service dogs. They’re mostly popular as hearing dogs, assisting the deaf in their day to day activities. Cockapoos are highly intelligent and their popularity is constantly rising.
  • In west Kirby October 2021, Lucy the Cockapoo was rescued by the RNLI after becoming trapped in mud. She was quickly returned to her owners on the shore!
  • In Berkley, Gloucestershire on August 28th 2021 4 Cockapoo puppies were stolen from their mother. They were later seen being sold out of a car boot in Bristol fo £1000 each! Police are yet to recover the missing Cockapoo puppies.
  • This Morning on ITV interviewed Tiffany owner of Winnie the Cockapoo was stunned after her Cockapoo just kept on growing! Tiffany was led to believe her puppy was a miniature Cockapoo but Winnie wouldn’t stop growing!
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Chinese Crested Dog

The Hairless and Powderpuff Chinese Crested dog is famously remembered as Cruella de Vil’s faithful companion. Today we’re going to take a look at this remarkably unique breed!

Chinese Crested Dog Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Chinese Crested Dog Lifespan: 12-18 years

Chinese Crested Dog Exercise: Up to 30 minutes per day

Height: 11-13 inches

Weight: 4-5 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament:

Chinese Cresteds are sweet-tempered, happy, alert, affectionate, and playful. They bond strongly with their owners and are prone to separation anxiety. The breed is better suited to homes where at least one person of the household stays indoors.

Rarely aggressive, but on occasion stubborn, Chinese Cresteds are ok for first-time owners that have time for them. They may look sweet and delicate on the outside, but this canine can easily become the centre of attention in a busy room!

As a natural watchdog, Chinese Cresteds won’t be so trusting of strangers. Especially during a first meet. They’ll bark at a knock on the door and will need some time to get used to any unknown company. This toy breed will need lots of socialization to prevent fear. 

Younger children are too heavy-handed for Chinese Cresteds who can injury easily. These small dogs may also be nippy towards children that invading their space. Playful and friendly Chinese Cresteds fit well into family life with older children.

When playing with other dogs, Cresteds can injure easily. Owners will need to keep a close eye on play. The breed gets along well with other dogs and can also live alongside cats. Socialization is key to preventing fear-based reactions.

Characteristics

Find out the positives and negatives of the Chinese Crested dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Minimal exercise needs
  • Suitable for living in an apartment
  • Hypoallergenic, better breed choice for allergy sufferers
  • Great watchdog
  • Low wanderlust potential

Negatives:

  • Prone to separation anxiety 
  • Stubborn, can be difficult to housetrain
  • Skin is prone to dryness (Hairless variety)
  • Higher tendency to nip
  • Small dog syndrome

The Chinese Crested dog is a toy-sized breed that comes in two varieties, the Powderpuff and the Hairless. They can be found in colours Black, Apricot, Tri-colour, Chocolate, Blue and Cream. Unlike the Powderpuff, hairless varieties have crooked, even missing teeth.

History

The Chinese Crested dog is an ancient breed so not much is known about the beginning of their existence. What we do know, is the modern dog we know today, originated from China. Here they were developed and reduced in size. 

The breed shares the same genetic mutation as the Xoloitzcuintli so they could possibly share similar roots. Chinese Crested dogs sailed the high seas with their owners as early as 1530! Onboard they’d exterminate rats and became known as Chinese Ship Dogs. 

They were sold at ports across the world in places such as South Africa, Turkey, and Egypt. European explorers have documented a similar looking breed when visiting port towns in Asia, Africa, and South America. 

Debra Woods established Crest Haven Kennels in the 1950s where she bred and recorded her dog’s bloodlines. Gypsy Rose Lee a burlesque dancer also bred Chinese Crested dogs which were incorporated into the kennels upon her death.

Both women created the very foundation of every single Chinese Crested dog alive today! The Toy breed arrived in the UK during the early 1800s. They were eventually recognised by the Kennel Club in 1981, with the AKC following suit ten years later in 1991.

Exercise & Grooming

These petite canines can live happily in an apartment and only need 30 minutes of exercise each day. Although Chinese Crested puppies will need extra outdoors time for potty training. A run around the garden can be enough activity for this toy breed.

During the winter months, Cresteds are very susceptible to the cold, particularly the hairless variety. So they’ll need a coat when going outdoors! Apply sunscreen to hairless Cresteds during hot weather to prevent sunburn.

Hairless Chinese Cresteds will need extra care for their skin. Apply lotions to prevent dryness. Hairless varieties can be washed every 1-2 weeks. This breed is prone to blackheads and acne if their skin is dirty.

The Powderpuff should be brushed twice a week to prevent tangles. Never brush when dry, instead use a bottle to spray some water on their soft, straight coat. Fur should be left full length but can be trimmed, especially around the face.

Use cotton wool to clean debris from the ear weekly. Nails will need to be filed every ten days. Overgrown nails will cause incredible discomfort. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily.

Health

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

Glaucoma: A sudden increase of intraocular pressure in the eye will cause severe pain, redness and blindness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This inherited degenerative condition affects the photoreceptor cells within the eye. It progressively leads to blindness.

Lens Luxation: An inherited condition that weakens the threads holding the lens. This will cause the lens to shift out of position. It may be painful and can cause permanent blindness.

Legg-Perthes Disease: The diseased hip joint will crumble and collapse but an operation by removing the hip joint can prevent this.

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap shifts out of position temporarily before quickly relocating back into place. Affected dogs are unable to extend their leg properly.

Canine Multiple System Degeneration: A hereditary movement disorder affecting Chinese Cresteds and Kerry Blue Terriers. Symptoms include head tremours and gait abnormalities.

Atopy: A common itchy skin condition that is incurable. Owners will have to learn to manage the symptoms.

Chinese Crested Training

A Chinese Crested puppy is eager to please so begin training as soon as possible. It can be difficult to house train Chinese Crested puppies. Crate training is recommended, especially for those living in flats. Consistency and routine is key to housebreaking this canine.

Chinese Crested Powderpuff dogs are just like the hairless varieties. The only difference is their fur. Positive reinforcement is the best training method for these canines. Harsh corrections can upset this sensitive pooch!

Early socialization is key to having a well-rounded dog. As a toy breed, unsocialized Chinese Cresteds can feel intimidated by unusual sounds and sights. It may result in fear-based aggression. Socialization with other dogs, humans, and places will be important throughout their lives.

Don’t baby the Chinese Crested. They can quickly develop ‘Small Dog Syndrome’ which could land them in trouble when out and about. Growling, guarding items, snapping and even biting are all signs an owner is losing their pack leadership position.

Both Powderpuff and Hairless Chinese Crested dogs are highly intelligent. They can be taught unique tricks such as standing on their hind legs whilst balancing a treat on their nose! All thanks to their elongated feet!  Agility and obedience are excellent categories for Chinese Cresteds although their stubbornness can hold them back.

powderpuff chinese crested dog

Chinese Crested Dog Interesting Facts

  • A Hairless Chinese Crested was famously featured as Cruella de Vil’s companion dog in the 102 Dalmatian movies. Fluffy was given to Cruella as a present but the dog didn’t like her very much! The breed has appeared in numerous movies including Ugly Betty, Good Boy!, Hotel for Dogs, and The Young and the Restless.
  • Chinese Crested Hairless dogs can be elegant but there are many that just haven’t developed their… beauty. They regularly compete in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in California and have won the title more than any other breed! Sam, a blind Hairless Chinese Crested won the title three times in a row and is the most famous competitor.
  • The breed was developed as a companion dog, spending most of their time by their owner’s side. This is why some Chinese Cresteds can be a little overprotective of their owners. Especially if they lack socialization.
  • Both Hairless and Powderpuff Chinese Crested dogs are prone to wool allergies. Avoid this type of material when covering them in the winter months. 
  • Typically the Chinese Crested puppies price ranges from £850-£2,000 in the UK. They’re a rare breed in the UK so potential owners may need to join a waiting list. Both Powderpuff dogs and Hairless are born in the same litter.
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Hungarian Puli

The Hungarian Puli is distinguished by its unique mop-like coat. This ancient breed has been herding for centuries. Today we’re going to take a look into this peculiar canine!

Hungarian Puli Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Hungarian Puli Lifespan: 10-15 years 

Hungarian Puli Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day

Height: Male 17 inches Female 16 inches

Weight: 11-16 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament

The Hungarian Puli are loyal, obedient, agile, and intelligent dogs. For centuries they’ve herded livestock and were prized sheepdogs across Hungary. He can be a little mischievous and stubborn so firm leadership is required.

Puppy like behaviour should be expected for the first two to three years of a Puli’s life. These herding dogs like to bark and need lots of socialization. At times this loving breed can be a little sensitive. But they’re independent so can be left alone on occasion.

Wary of strangers but never shy, the Hungarian Puli is protective of their family and territory. These tough dogs are excellent guard and watchdogs. They aren’t usually aggressive but will growl as a warning if they sense a threat.   

If raised together, Pulik can be great playmates for children. As a herding breed, they may display these behaviours towards younger children. For instance a gentle pull by the nappy. They’re lively and energetic so may unintentionally knock over a small child.

A Hungarian Puli will get along with other dogs and can live alongside them. But some dogs may find the Puli a little pushy. Cats aren’t ideal to have alongside this breed. It may be possible if Hungarian Puli puppies are raised with felines during their early years.

Characteristics

Find out the positives and negatives of the Hungarian Puli below.

Positives

  • Hypoallergenic, better choice for allergy sufferers
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Great watchdog
  • Low drooling and minimum shedding

Negatives

  • High grooming maintenance required
  • Not stranger friendly could attack if unsocialized
  • High prey drive
  • May suffer from Shaggy Dog Syndrome
  • Not recommended for first-time owners

The Hungarian Puli is a small to medium-sized breed. Their coat colours can be found in Cream, Black, White, Silver, Brindle, and Brown. It features tight curls that sometimes resemble dreadlocks or even a mop! The Puli’s appearance is similar to the larger Komondor.

Recommended: Take a look at one of Britain’s Vulnerable Native Breeds today!

History

Hungarian Puli dogs originated during the 9th century. They were brought over by the Magyars during their westward invasions. The same nomads who brought the Vizsla to Europe. Although some believe the breed dates as far back as 4500 B.C.

Pulik are sheepdogs and have been herding across the plains of Hungary ever since their arrival. They would often work alongside the Komondor, a slightly larger Hungarian breed. The Pulik would herd and guard the livestock during the day while the Komondor would take over at night.

The breed is a descendent of the Poodle and potentially ancient Hungarian Sheepdogs. The Puli has a long corded coat designed to protect them from attacks and the harsh Hungarian winters. Shepherds were willing to pay an entire years salary for a Puli! 

During World War II the Hungarian Puli saw its breed numbers diminish. Nazi soldiers were slaughtering the farm dogs. Breeders had to work hard to try and restore their numbers. The first Pulik came to the United States during the 1930s.

Today the breed is still used as an active working dog although this is rare. In the UK Pulik are fairly rare, so potential owners will need to join a waiting list for a Hungarian Puli puppy. But they are still seen participating in dog events across the country.

Exercise & Grooming

Pulik need up to one hour of exercise each day at a minimum. Many Pulik can happily spend much longer frolicking outdoors! These canines have a high drive and need some form of vigorous activity each day. Avoid overexercising Hungarian Puli puppies. 

Some Pulik enjoy swimming. If he does enter the water, the dog should not be left unsupervised. The boisterous Hungarian Puli also requires mental stimulation. They love participating in dog sports and perform well in rally, herding, obedience and agility. A lack of activity and stimulation will cause the Puli to display destructive behaviours. 

It’s no surprise that this breed requires lots of grooming maintenance, but it’s not as bad as it may seem. Between 8-10 months of age, owners won’t need to do much to the coat. Once the undercoat begins to form, tease the soft fur from the skin, pulling it apart with your fingers.

These are the beginning of the cords. Repeat the process over a period of 9 months until the Puli develops its cords. Look through and separate them each day to remove dirt and tangles. It’ll help keep the coat in better shape. Baths should be given every 6-8 weeks. 

A Puli puppy won’t need as frequent bathing. Once the cords become overgrown they can be trimmed by around 4-6 inches. Clean the ears on a weekly basis and teeth brushed daily. Nails will need a fortnightly trim. 

Recommended: Check out these 5 Best Dog Cameras!

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions seen in the Hungarian Puli.

Degenerative Myelopathy: A progressive disease affecting the spinal cord typically affecting dogs above the age of 8 years old. It isn’t painful but will eventually lead to paralysis.

Bardet Biedl Syndrome: This inherited recessive condition has been found in the Puli. Over time vision loss will occur due to the deterioration of the photoreceptor cells within the retina. 

Hip Dysplasia: Joint laxity is caused by a deformity in the hip joint. It’s a common orthopaedic condition causing pain, lameness, inflammation and arthritis. 

Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia: An inherited condition causing the tissue of the retina to form clumps and folds. The dog’s vision can be seriously affected. 

Deafness: Some Puli bloodlines have documented hereditary deafness.

Cataracts: An abnormal cloudiness appears when the dog’s eye changes its lens. It’s called cataracts. If the opacity is large, it can cause vision loss. 

Hungarian Puli Training

The Hungarian Puli is intelligent which makes training that little bit easier. But they can be dominant and sensitive. Owners will need to learn how to balance firm leadership without issuing harsh corrections.

These headstrong dogs won’t hesitate to push the boundaries. Training should start as early as possible. An adult Puli is incredibly difficult to train. Because of their herding history, Pulik are independent and like to do things their own way!

Socialization should be regular throughout a Puli’s life. This breed does not like repetition and training sessions should last around 15 minutes maximum. The Puli enjoys obedience training, pleasing their owner by showing off their intelligence. Don’t forget to praise and reward all their good behaviours!

This active breed is easily distractable if they have pent up energy. Always walk the dog before getting them to focus. Owners are encouraged to enter their dogs into performance events. Pulik still have the desire to work and will greatly benefit from dog sports.

Some Hungarian Puli owners have sourced help from dog trainers. It’s important to source a professional that is experienced with herding breeds. Puppy classes are a great way to socialize a Puli whilst learning new commands. 

hungarian puli

Hungarian Puli Interesting Facts 

  • The thick mop-like coat can make it harder for the Hungarian Puli to regulate its body temperature. It makes them prone to heatstroke so owners should take caution during the hotter months. 
  • Did you know the plural for Puli is in fact Pulik! 
  • Ruby a black 5-year-old Hungarian Puli will be featuring in the Cruella film. She recently participated in a Dog-Beat-Dog sports contest in Warwickshire. She lost the prize for the fastest dog to ‘Paintbrush the Pumi’. 
  • Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook is a proud owner of a white Hungarian Puli. He visited the Ludas Matyi Puli farm in Kiskunhalas just south of Budapest, Hungary’s capital with his wife. Here he expressed an interest in the Komondor breed but eventually bought Beast, a Hungarian Puli born in California. Beast’s Facebook fan page has over 2.5 million followers! 
  • Bush, a British grunge-rock band featured a jumping Puli in their album booklet for Sixteen Stone. The Puli was owned by Bush guitarist and lead singer Gavin Rossdale. His Hungarian Puli was called Winston. 
  • The Auditor is presumed to be a Puli. He was a feral dog living around the Berkley pit, a copper mine.
  •  in Butte, Montana. He was first spotted in 1986 and always avoided human contact. He died 17 years later in 2003 on the 19th of November! His long dreadlocked coat was analysed and levels of arsenic were found 128 times above the normal level in dog fur! Three bronze statues were erected in tribute of Auditor across Butte. The Auditor foundation was also established in his memory. 
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Boston Terrier

The American Gentleman was the first non-sporting breed in the United States. These tiny companions have won the hearts of dog enthusiasts across the world! Check out this canine in our detailed guide below!

Boston Terrier Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Boston Terrier Lifespan: 11-13 years

Boston Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day

Height: 15-17 inches

Weight: 5-11 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

A gentle dog, with a great sense of humour, the Boston Terrier is great for companionship. They’re lively, intelligent and on occasion, stubborn, so they’ll need a firm leader, not a pushover! Boston Terriers can be a little dominant and will try to push the boundaries.

Boston Terriers form strong bonds with their owners thus making them prone to separation anxiety. These intelligent dogs are easy to train if given consistency. Compared to females, male Boston Terriers tend to be a little more territorial. 

As a watchdog, the Boston Terrier will bark at the knock of the door. They’re protective of their owners but don’t make good guard dogs. Boston Terriers may be wary at first but are typically friendly towards strangers.

Energetic and playful, Boston Terrier dogs fit well into a family environment. They’re robust enough to enjoy play and their small size reduces the risk of injuries to children. The breed is suitable for families with babies, young and older children. 

Boston Terriers are more people-orientated. They’re not an aggressive breed but it’s not uncommon for males to get into scraps with other dogs. Regular socialization is needed throughout their lives to morph them into the friendly outgoing dog we know and love! Unlike other Terriers, this breed can live alongside cats.

Recommended:  Take a look at the wolf-killing dog here!

Characteristics

Below are the positives and negatives of the Boston Terrier dog breed.

Positives:

  • Adaptable, can live in an apartment
  • A suitable breed for first-time owners
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Minimal shedding and grooming maintenance
  • Boston Terriers can be used as therapy or emotional support dogs

Negatives:

  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • This Brachycephalic breed is more prone to respiratory issues and heatstroke 
  • Boston Terriers have sensitive stomachs

The Boston Terrier is a small to medium-sized breed. Their coat colours can be found in seal and white, black and white, and brindle and white. Boston Terrier tails are no longer than two inches. Their eyes are one of their more distinguishable features. They’re round, large, with a wide gap in-between.

History

Boston Terrier dogs originate from the United States however, their existence began in England. During the 19th-century dog, fighting became hugely popular in the UK. Terriers and bull-type dogs were crossed to create the best fighting and ratting dogs.

In Liverpool, during the 1860s the now-extinct White English Terrier and the Bulldog produced a litter. One specific dog born to this pair was called Judge. He was sold to William O’Brien, an American who took the dog back to Boston, his hometown.

Here, Judge was then sold on to Robert C. Hooper in 1870 who was also from Boston. The dog was then renamed Hoopers Judge. He is the common ancestor of nearly every modern Boston Terrier today!

Judge was then bred to a white female bulldog-type owned by Edward Burnett from Southboro, Massachusetts. From this litter, breed enthusiasts were able to refine the Boston Terrier into the dog we know today. The aggressive Boston Terrier temperament and stocky build soon became a memory of the past. Originally they used to weigh up to 20 kilograms!

In 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was formed but by 1893 the name was changed to the Boston Terrier Club. The breed was the first non-sporting dog to be recognised by the AKC. Since 1979 they’ve been listed as the official state dog of Massachusetts.

The first Boston Terrier, Mr Smith’s Brindle Beauty arrived in England in 1901. Four years later The Countess of Essex brought a few Boston Terriers back to England. She was responsible for the breed’s popularity in the UK and in 1935 created the Boston Terrier Club UK.

Exercise & Grooming

These small sturdy canines only need up to an hour of exercise each day. This can be in the form of a couple of brisk walks. As a brachycephalic breed, they’re susceptible to heatstroke. Owners should be wary when walking the Boston Terrier during hot days. 

Due to their size, they can happily live in flats but ideally, access to a small garden would be best. Boston Terrier puppies will need extra outdoors time for housetraining purposes. As a non-sporting breed, these canines have low exercise needs.

Boston Terriers are highly intelligent and will need mental stimulation. Puzzle games, hide and seek, interactive play, tricks, and even sniffing around are ways to mentally stimulate a pooch. Dog sports such as flyball, obedience, and rally will also keep the brain ticking over.

When it comes to grooming, Boston Terriers are on the lower end of the maintenance scale. Their coats shed moderately so use a bristle brush to go through their coat once a week. This helps to keep their coat healthy. 

Baths them every 1-6 weeks depending on how dirty the dog gets!  A Boston Terrier puppy should be introduced to grooming methods as early as possible. This will prevent fear, allowing the dog and owner to bond during the process.

The pointy ears of the Boston Terrier let air flow into the ear canal. But they should still have their ears cleaned once a week to remove any debris. Trim their nails every ten days and brush them daily.

Health

Check out the breed-related health issues found in the Boston Terrier dog breed.

Atopy: A common itchy skin condition caused by a dogs hypersensitivity to specific allergens. There is no cure therefore owners will need to learn to manage the symptoms.

Brachycephalic Syndrome: Flat-faced dogs like the Boston Terrier are more prone to upper respiratory abnormalities. 

Luxating Patellas: The kneecaps temporarily dislocate out of place before returning back into position. Affected dogs are unable to fully extend their leg.

Cherry Eye: The tear gland becomes inflamed resulting in a red swollen mass. This area is often referred to as the ‘third eyelid’ and is caused by a prolapsed nictitating membrane.

Dry Eye: Also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, dry eye occurs when the eye doesn’t produce the normal amount of tears. The dryness may cause ulcers or infections.

Cushing’s Syndrome: The Adrenal Glands produce a hormone named Cortisol, a chemical that helps dogs respond to stress. Cushing’s Syndrome is caused by the overproduction of this hormone. Increased thirst, urine, appetite, hair loss, and recurring skin infections are some of the symptoms.

Cataracts: When a dogs eye changes lens an abnormal cloudiness appears, known as Cataracts. If it’s large enough, the light will be prevented from reaching the retina thus causing blindness.

Glaucoma: An increase of aqueous fluid build-up will cause pressure in the eye. Symptoms include redness, intense pain, and a loss of vision.

Deafness: In Boston Terriers most cases of deafness are congenital and hereditary. Studies have shown dogs with blue eyes are at a higher risk of deafness.

Hemevertabrae: Also known as Butterfly vertebrae, this congenital condition causes the spine to develop abnormally. 

Most Boston Terriers require c-sections to deliver their puppies due to their small pelvic bones.

Boston Terrier Training

It’s important to socialize a Boston Terrier as early as possible. Smaller dogs can be anxious about loud sounds, and moving objects. These Terriers aren’t fearful of other dogs but need regular socialization to prevent dominant behaviours.

Owners should be firm but gentle. Leaders can’t be pushovers! Be mindful that Boston Terriers are sensitive and benefit best from positive reinforcement. Keep some treats to hand to praise the Boston Terrier puppy for good behaviour.

As the breed is eager to please, training is made so much easier! These intelligent canines pick up quickly on commands and make excellent therapy dogs! They’re also easy to house train and the quickest way to do so is by sticking to a routine. 

Persistence is key! Be strict with house rules as the Boston Terrier can be dominant and will quickly walk all over a pushover! When training the dog outdoors be mindful of the heat! These dogs are prone to suffering from heatstroke.

Recommended: Which dog was once prized by the Russian Aristocracy? Find out here!

boston terrier puppy

Boston Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Some Boston Terriers are unable to give birth naturally due to their small pelvic bones. In this case, the dog will need a cesarean section to deliver the Boston Terrier puppies safely. Approximately 92% of Boston Terrier births are delivered by c-section!
  • Bruschi a Boston Terrier from Texas was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012 by owner Victoria Reed. He took the title for the dog with the widest eyes! Each eye measured 1.1 inches in diameter!
  • Seargent Stubby (1916-1926), the Boston Terrier, joined the 26th (Yankee) Division during World War I. He participated in 17 battles during his 18 months of service. Stubby would find and comfort wounded soldiers and once saved his Regiment from a Sulfur Mustard attack! He is the most decorated war dog and the only dog to ever be promoted to Seargent during the war. In 2018 the movie Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero focuses on his life. His remains are held at the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Did you know that February the 19th is National Boston Terrier Day! Owners celebrate around the world although the day is more popular in America.
  • President Gerald Ford owned two Boston Terriers named Spot and Fleck. President Warren G Harding also owned a Boston Terrier. Other celebrity owners include Jack Gyllenhaal, Robin Williams, Louis Armstrong, and Denise Richards.
  • In 1922 at Boston University a debate was underway over a mascot. The choice was between a Boston Terrier or a Bull Moose. Some argued the Boston Terrier was too small to represent the university. But it seemed fitting to select the Boston Terrier, after all the University was chartered in 1869, the same year the Boston Terrier was first bred in the United States. The mascot is called Rhett the Boston Terrier. 
  • In the UK the Boston Terrier price can vary between £1,000-£2,500! Of course, Boston Terrier Kennel Club registered puppies will be on the upper end of this scale.
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Hungarian Vizsla

The Vizsla aka the Hungarian Pointer is a prominent sporting dog used to hunt fowl and upland game. In the UK they’re one of the top 50 dog breeds! Check out this guide to learn all about the National Dog of Hungary!

Vizsla Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Vizsla Lifespan: 12-14 years

Vizsla Exercise: Over 2 hours per day

Height: Male 21-24 inches Female 21-23 inches

Weight: Male 25-27 kilograms Female 20-25 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

The Vizsla temperament is loyal, energetic, affectionate, gentle and lively. The breed is very intelligent and makes a fantastic family pet. Known as the ‘velcro dog’, the Vizsla is famous for prying attention from its owners! But this can make them prone to separation anxiety.

These hunting dogs are eager to please and easy to train in the right hands. They are at their happiest when working, so companion dogs will need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

Hungarian Vizslas are typically friendly towards strangers but may bark if they feel their space is being invaded. This makes them a great watchdog. Focus on socialization during the Vizslas early years to build on their confidence. 

High in energy, the Vizsla makes an excellent playmate for older children. They’re a little too boisterous for smaller children and could accidentally knock them over. Vizslas form a deep bond with each member of their household, including the little ones!

Social and friendly, the Vizsla loves playing around with other canines at the dog park. Socialization is needed to prevent fear or timidness. A Vizsla puppy can be raised alongside cats but other smaller animals will be viewed as prey.

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Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Hungarian Vizsla dog below.

Positives

  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Likes water, can live on a boat
  • Low grooming maintenance 
  • Excellent therapy dog

Negatives

  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High exercise needs
  • Very anxious if they lack socialization 
  • High wanderlust potential, may wander off
  • Mouthy, may nip and chew more than other breeds

The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium-sized breed reaching its full size at around 6-8 months. They only have one coat colour but it comes in a few different shades. These are Golden, Red, Golden, and Golden Rust. They have a short single coat and a robust, athletic build.

History

The Hungarian Vizsla dog is estimated to date back to the 9th century. The first written recording of the breed was written by the Carmelite Friars in 1357 by order of King Louis I of Hungary. Their ancestors are thought to be the Transylvanian Hound and the extinct Turkish Yellow dog.

Over a thousand years ago similar-looking canines were featured in prints produced by the Magyar tribes. The Magyars left the Russian Steppes to travel Europe crossing their dogs with local canines. Their goal was to produce an effective skilled hunting dog.

The Finno-Ugric tribe eventually settled in Hungary. They often travelled on horseback and would attack other tribes, destroying villages and killing those in their way. The Magyar tribe needed a tough dog that could keep up with their horses, marking the beginning of the Vizsla’s creation.

Over time, the Vizsla grew in popularity. Warlords and Hungarian nobles took interest in the breed. They were responsible for the Vizsla’s development creating the modern breed we know today. The Hungarian name Vizsla translates to ‘pointer’.

In 1950 the first Vizsla arrived in America through a rather unconventional method. The dog, Sari and her two Vizsla puppies were smuggled from Communist Hungary with the assistance of a US State employee! 

During the 20th century, thousands of people across Hungary owned a Vizsla. They continued to grow in popularity and were eventually made the National Dog of Hungary. In the UK alone there are over 4,000 Vizsla puppy registrations each year!

It’s common practice to dock the tail of a Vizsla. Whilst this practice is banned in the UK, there are some exceptions in England and Wales. Some hunting, retriever, and pointer dogs may be eligible for tail docking including the Vizsla. 

Exercise & Grooming

A Hungarian Pointer is high in energy and will need more than two hours of daily exercise. An hour of this should be vigorous. They make great running partners and are perfect companions for out-going and active owners.

The breed has a great sense of smell but they may wander off! Keep them leashed or exercise the Vizsla in an enclosed space. It’s no surprise that these versatile sporting dogs are great dog sports competitors. They excel in agility, rally, obedience, lure coursing, and tracking.

Mental stimulation is essential for a Vizsla. This intelligent breed is destructive when bored so they need to keep their minds ticking over. Swimming, interactive games, sports, puzzles, and even just a sniff around can mentally stimulate a Vizsla.

On the grooming side, Vizlas are pretty low maintenance. A brush once a week to remove dead fur is all they need. Their short coat is protected by their natural oils so they stay rather clean. Baths should only be given when the dirt is visible.

The Vizsla’s long ears prevent air from reaching the canal. This makes them prone to ear infections, so they’ll need a weekly clean. Nails should be trimmed fortnightly, although these may file naturally when out and about. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily.

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Hungarian Vizsla dog breed.

Entropion: When the eyelid rolls inwards the lashes scratch the eyeball. This may cause pain, perforations, or ulcers. Sometimes pigmentation develops which could interfere with vision.

Hip Dysplasia: The socket and ball of the hip joint don’t fit together properly so they rub and grind against each other. It will cause lameness, inflammation, pain, and arthritis.

Epilepsy: This common neurological condition causes uncontrolled seizures in dogs. Fits are sudden and will stop on their own. 

Hyperuricosuria: This health issue causes high levels of uric acid in a dogs urine thus developing stones in their bladder or kidney.

Cancers: Some cancers have been seen in the Vizsla. These are Mast Cell Tumors, Lymphoma, and Hemangiosarcoma.

Autoimmune Conditions: In total, 16 autoimmune conditions have been documented in UK Vizslas. These include Atopy, Sebaceous Adenitis, Polymyositis, Steroid Responsive Meningitis/Arteritis, Thrombocytopaenia, and Immune-Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia. 

Vizsla Training

Hungarian Vizslas are eager to please their owners thus making them somewhat easy to train. They’re intelligent and will pick up on commands quickly. Untrained Vizslas are incredibly difficult to handle and some owners have simply given up on the dog altogether.

Throughout life, socialization is key to preventing fear, timidness, and anxious behaviour. These canines are sensitive and won’t respond well to harsh tones or training methods. Positive reinforcement is the best way to get a Vizsla to listen. 

Physical exercise and training go hand in hand. Trying to get a Vizsla to concentrate with pent up energy is near enough impossible! A lack of activity will lead to destructive behaviours. They’re prone to separation anxiety so training is needed before they can be left alone.

Vizslas are also retrievers so they nip and chew more than other breeds. Always have some toys to hand so they won’t chew the furniture or any prized possessions! Owners will need to dedicate a significant amount of time to create the gentle-mannered Vizla!

It’s important to channel this dogs energy! Vizslas love working so give them some tasks! These dogs aren’t called Velcro Vizslas for no reason! Set a daily routine so the Vizsla knows what to expect with their day.

To train a Vizsla to hunt they’ll need to get used to the sounds of gunshots. Allow them to play with prey, dragging it along the floor so they follow the scent. Now progress onto playing hide and seek with the game. Continue practising this and increase the difficulty.

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hungarian pointer

Hungarian Vizsla Interesting Facts

  • The Wirehaired Vizsla is considered to be a separate breed from the short-haired Vizsla. They were created via cross-breeding the Vizsla with the German Wirehaired Pointer. 
  • Hungarian Pointers have been around for centuries, so it’s no surprise they contributed to the creation of other breeds. The German Shorthaired Pointer and Weimaraner are two descendants of the Vizsla. 
  • When they’re born the Vizsla will have beautiful blue eyes. As they grow up these will change to other colours such as amber or brown. Their blue eyes are caused by a lack of melanin. 
  • Vizsla dogs are one of the fasted dog breeds in the world. They’re joint third with the Afghan Hound and can reach speeds of up to 40 mph! The Saluki takes second place whilst the Greyhound proudly holds the top spot for the world’s fastest dog!
  • As the breed lacks an insulating undercoat, they’re more susceptible to the cold. Especially when swimming! They have webbed feet which help power them through the water. 
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Berger Picard

The Picardy Sheepdog is one of France’s oldest living sheepdogs. This rare breed has a scruffy appearance and almost became extinct during World War I & II. Today we’re going to take a look into this rather unknown canine.

Berger Picard Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Berger Picard Lifespan: 12-13 years 

Berger Picard Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day

Height: Male 23.5-25.5 inches Female 21.5-23.5 inches

Weight: 23-32 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

Berger Picards are a herding breed so they have a high-spirited, energetic personality. The Berger Picard temperament is on occasion headstrong. They’re highly intelligent, picking up on commands quickly, but an experienced leader is needed to handle that stubborn streak. 

A Picardy Shepherd isn’t very vocal but they are observant. They’ll protect their families if they feel it’s necessary. When meeting strangers, this breed will be reserved and possibly standoffish. Regular socialization is important for a Berger Picard puppy as it impacts their adult behaviour.

Playful, tolerant, and affectionate, the Berger Picard dog gets along well with children. As a sheep herding dog, this breed may display herding behaviours. So families with older children are recommended.

When it comes to meeting new canines, the Berger Picard won’t be everybody’s friend. Sometimes they just won’t take to a dog’s personality. But they can be friendly and playful, again early socialization will have an impact on this.

The Berger Picard likes to hold eye contact. To some dogs, this can be seen as aggression. It can also make strangers feel uncomfortable. These dogs are used to being around livestock. So they can live with cats and other animals provided they’re introduced to one another during their early years. 

Characteristics

Check out the positives and negatives of the Berger Picard dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Great watchdog
  • Lower tendency to nip, chew, and herd than other herding breeds
  • Adaptable to lifestyle changes
  • Doesn’t drool much

Negatives:

  • Not an ideal breed choice for a first-time owner
  • Unsuitable for apartment living
  • Wary and standoffish with strangers
  • Has a stubborn streak

The Picardy Sheepdog is a medium-sized breed sporting a shaggy, tousled coat. They can be found in the colours fawn and grey. Their ears are naturally upright and their low-hanging tail resembles the letter J. 

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History

The Berger Picard is one of the oldest sheepdogs native to Picardy, France. They’ve been depicted on artwork dating back to the Middle Ages but were only recognised as a breed in 1955.  

Pronounced bare ZHAY Pee CARR, this breed is closely related to the Beauceron and the Briard. Picardy is the centre of French agriculture, boasting acres upon acres of pastureland. To this day they are still proudly used as working dogs in the fields of France.  

Farmers took pride in their native sheepdog with the breed attending France’s first-ever dog show in 1863! Ancestors of the Berger Picard were brought to Northern France in 400 B.C by the Celts who invaded Gaul.

Berger Picard dogs almost became extinct during World War I and II. Picardy was hit hard. The Battle of the Somme, The First Battle of Picardy, and The Battle of the Amiens are just some of the battles that took place in the region. 

Today, the Berger Picardy is still relatively rare. Worldwide, there are thought to be around 5,500 Berger Picards, 3,500 of which are in France. However, they have been making a comeback in America after the Berger Picard Club of America’s acceptance into the AKC.

Exercise & Grooming

Aim to give the Picardy Shepherd dog up to one hour of exercise each day. Rambunctious Berger Picard puppies may benefit from a little extra outdoors time. These canines enjoy swimming and also make excellent jogging partners!

The breed is incredibly intelligent and requires mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Dog sports are a good form of activity and stimulation. The Berger Picard excels in rally, agility, tracking, flyball, obedience and herding.

Picards have a rough, double coat that’s fairly low maintenance. The shaggy fur will need a weekly brush to keep it in tip-top shape. Occasionally the breed will need hand stripping around the ears but Picards should never be trimmed.

Ideally, baths should be given every 6-8 weeks but this can be left longer. Their coat should naturally have a tousled appearance. Only show dogs should be bathed frequently. Picardy Shepherds love a swim so give them a quick rinse once indoors.

Ears will need a weekly clean to removes any debris within the ear canal. Nails should be trimmed every fortnight. Picardy Shepherd puppies should have their paws handled regularly so they’re comfortable around nail trimmers. Don’t forget to brush their teeth!

Health

Picardy Shepherds are a relatively healthy breed but there are still some health issues owners should be aware of:

Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint develops abnormally causing the ball and socket to grind against one another. This will cause pain, lameness, inflammation and eventually arthritis.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This degenerative disease targets the photoreceptor cells within the eye. It is an inherited condition that over time, will cause blindness.

Retinal Dysplasia: The retina develops abnormally causing lumps within the tissue. If the retina is badly affected it could detach from position causing blindness.

Berger Picard Training

A Picardy Sheepdog puppy should begin training immediately upon its arrival. Positive reinforcement works best so always praise the puppy when it does the right thing. They can be sensitive so avoid harsh corrections. 

The Berger Picard puppy needs lots of socialization including in their adult life. Whilst they can be easily trained thanks to their intelligence, they are still better suited to experienced owners. 

Picards have a stubborn streak and could lose interest so keep sessions short. Ten minutes should be fine. This energetic canine should be exercised before to prevent any unnecessary distractions.

Due to the breed’s basic herding instincts, they can be trained to herd livestock. They aren’t as nippy as other herding breeds but nevertheless, owners should still lookout for these behaviours.

House training the intelligent Berger Picard is relatively simple. Take them out every few hours and every 15 minutes after eating and drinking. Whilst the breed can happily live in an apartment, ideally, they should have access to a small garden.

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

Berger Picard Interesting Facts

  • The Berger Picard was propelled to fame after the movie Because of Winn-Dixie (2005). This breed isn’t a stranger to the big screen. They were also featured in Daniel and the Superdogs (2004), and Are We Done Yet (2007).
  • Since 1955 the Berger Picard has been recognised by the Fédération cynologique international (FCI). Only recently were they accepted by the AKC in 2015. The Kennel Club recognised the breed a year earlier under the name Picardy Sheepdog.
  • There are approximately 500 Berger Picards in Germany. Joker is arguably the most famous Picard in Germany. He has been featured in 6 comedy films all of which were adaptations of Rita Falk’s novels. 
  • The name Berger translates to Shepherd. It was given to them due to their farming background. Picardy is the name of the historical region found in Northern France. The breed is still an active working dog, especially in its native France.
  • These canines don’t come cheap. The Berger Picard puppy price can range between £1,800-£2,500! Whilst reputable breeders and health tested dogs will be on the higher end of this scale, dogs that have been badly bred could cost an owner thousands in vet bills.
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Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a cowboy’s dream herding dog! Noticed by their mesmerizing eyes and distinct coat, this active working dog is filled with energy! Let’s take a look into the AKC’s 12th most popular breed.

Australian Shepherd Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Australian Shepherd Lifespan: 12-15 years

Australian Shepherd Exercise: More than 2 hours per day

Height: Male 20-23 inches Female 18-21 inches

Weight: Male 25-32 kilograms Female 16-25 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

Australian Shepherds are intelligent, affectionate, energetic, versatile, loyal and adaptable. When working Aussies are incredibly focused on completing their job efficiently. They’re packed with energy and require an outgoing owner that can dedicate the time they need.

As active working dogs, the Aussie is at their happiest when carrying out a task. They’re very smart and trainable in the right hands. Aussies are obedient thanks to the strong bond they build with their owner. They’re also eager to please!

These incredible canines aren’t just popular herding dogs, they also save lives! Aussies make fantastic Search and Rescue dogs. They even work alongside the law by sniffing out drugs!

This breed is typically reserved and sceptical of strangers. With socialization, they may become more tolerant of those they don’t know. Although some Aussie’s simply won’t accept them. They aren’t the best guard dogs but make great watchdogs and will instinctively protect their family.

Australian Shepherds do well in family environments with older children. Due to their strong herding instincts, they may display this behaviour towards smaller children. Chasing and nipping are some things they may do. 

Aussies are very social and get along with other dogs well. They’ll happily interact with other pooches in the park, making friends wherever they go! An Australian Shepherd puppy will be more accepting of cat companions than adults. 

Characteristics

Check out the positives and negatives of the Australian Shepherd dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Intelligent and hard-working
  • Easy to train and eager to please
  • Exceptional dog sports competitor
  • Great watchdog
  • Search & Rescue dog
  • Drug sniffing dog

Negatives:

  • High exercise needs
  • Strong herding instincts
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Not an ideal breed choice for first-time owners

The Australian Shepherd size is classed as medium. They have a low centre of gravity and a solid build. Their coat colours include merle, blue merle, red merle, black, red tri-colour, black tri-colour, and red. 

Australian Shepherd History

Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd actually originates from the Western United States. They’re descendants of the Pyrenean Shepherd a herding breed used by the Basques, a group of indigenous people.

During the 1800s the Basques set sea arriving on the Australian continent. Here they bred their Shepherds with the British Collies who were already imported there. After crossing the canines they set sail again to land in California. 

Here American ranchers automatically assumed the breed was native to Australia. This is how they were landed with the name Australian Shepherd. In America, the breed’s development continued. Quickly becoming a firm favourite in the ranch and cowboy world. 

Soon after, breed enthusiasts worked to create a smaller version resulting in the Miniature Australian Shepherd. Only the standard size is used for livestock herding, whereas the miniature is used for solely companionship. Teacup Australian Shepherds have also been created.

Even though the breed has a long history in the United States, they were only accepted into the AKC Herding Group in 1993. Australian Shepherd dogs are more popular in the US than in the UK. They only arrived in England during the late 1980s. 

Exercise & Grooming

Australian Shepherds need an incredible amount of daily exercise. They’ll need over two hours each day. A lack of activity could lead to destructive behaviour. The Aussie dog should receive off-leash time where they can sniff around, explore, and let off some steam!

It should be no surprise that the Aussie makes an excellent dog sports competitor. He particularly excels in obedience, dock diving, agility, flyball, and herding. These intelligent canines need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom. So, get the doggy puzzles out!

Aussies have a double-layered, waterproof coat that requires a brush every couple of days. They shed their heaviest during the spring and autumn months. A rake and wire brush are the best tools to use on their coat.

These canines won’t need regular bathing. Every 3-4 months should be fine as their natural oils will look after the coat. Overwashing this breed can lead to skin irritation. Their fur will need a thorough cleanse to ensure the undercoat gets wet.

Vets recommend a dog’s teeth are brushed daily. Ears will need to be cleansed weekly too. Remove any debris or fur blocking the ear canal. Trim their nails fortnightly to prevent overgrowth.

Health

Have a look at the breed-related health conditions of the Australian Shepherd dog.

Hip Dysplasia: The abnormal development of the hip joint leads to pain, inflammation, swelling, lameness, and eventual arthritis.

Collie Eye Anomaly: This inherited congenital condition is caused by a mutated chromosome. The Australian Shepherd is predisposed to this health issue. Some dogs keep their vision, whilst others lose partial or complete vision. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative condition targeting the photoreceptor cells in the eye. PRA is inherited and will eventually lead to blindness.

Cobalamin Malabsorption: A gastrointestinal disease preventing the dog from absorbing cobalamin resulting in low energy levels. Cobalamin is responsible for a variety of metabolic processes.

Multi-Drug Sensitivity: Dogs that inherit this condition will be sensitive to some drugs.

Elbow Dysplasia: The most common cause of lameness in adolescent dogs is elbow dysplasia. Poor development of the elbow joint will cause pain, inflammation, swelling, and arthritis.

Australian Shepherd Training

Australian Shepherd dogs are intelligent and eager to please so in the right hands, they’re easily trainable. But they can also pick up bad habits just as fast as good. An Australian Shepherd puppy requires an experienced owner that clearly establishes their leadership role.

Aussies are relatively easy to housetrain. Consistency is key. Take them outside every 3 hours including after every nap and meal. During this stage, basic commands should also be taught. Australian Shepherds work best with positive reinforcement.

Socialization should be continuously practised around strangers. It’ll help them become more accepting of visitors in the future. Australian Shepherd puppies should be socialized as early as 7 weeks old.

Those using the Aussie as a companion will want to prevent herding behaviours. The trick is to notice the signs before they carry out the behaviour. At this moment their behaviour should be intercepted. 

Training a working Shepherd dog will take months of work but it’ll reap great rewards! Owners will need to establish a form of communication with their pets. The most popular form is whistling. 

A small flock of livestock, a pen, and a leash will be needed. Slowly introduce the Aussie to the livestock on a leash, practising commands and rewarding the dog when they obey. Once the dog follows a pattern of listening to the commands, the Aussie can now be tested off-leash. 

Australian Shepherd Interesting Facts

  • Many Australian Shepherds have two different coloured eyes. It’s referred to as ‘wall eye’ and is caused by a gene that is passed onto the puppy by their parents. The unusual eye colouring often influences the coat too. 
  • Native American tribes considered the Australian Shepherd sacred. They called them the ‘Ghost Eye dog’ because of their blue ‘ghostly’ eyes. 
  • Dogs holding the double merle gene can face health issues such as deafness and blindness. So it’s important that Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppies are obtained by a reputable breeder. 
  • Docking is common for the working Australian Shepherd. Yet somehow along the years, the tails have slowly been bred out of the dog! Today, around 1 in 5 Australian Shepherds are born with naturally bobbed tails.
  • Hyper Hank was an Australian Shepherd owned by Eldon during the 1970s. He was a popular frisbee champion performing in states across America. His biggest performance was at the Super Bowl XII. Hyper Hank’s popularity even saw him spend some time with the Carters at the White House! 
  • To this day the Australian Shepherd popularity ranking is growing. In 2016, the AKC listed the breed as 17th on the Most Popular Dog Breeds list. In 2020, they’ve climbed to the 12th spot! 
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Maltese Dog

The Maltese dog is noticed by its strikingly white coat! A member of the toy group, these little canines are packed with personality. Today we’re going to take a look at the Maltese Lion Dog! Learn about their temperament, history, training, health, and more!

Maltese Dog Breed Standards

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Maltese Dog Lifespan: 12-15 years 

Maltese Dog Exercise: Up to 30 minutes per day

Height: 8-10 inches 

Weight: 3-4 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Maltese puppies

Temperament

Small but lively, these little dogs will quickly become the centre of attention! They’re intelligent, gentle, playful, fearless, and easygoing. The Maltese dog breed is charming and has grabbed the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide!

A Maltese will be friendly and accepting towards strangers. They shouldn’t bark or be fearful unless they lack socialization. They’re typically brave and fearless so with the right socialization, size won’t intimidate them.

Owning a Maltese puppy can be a risk in a family household. Maltese puppies are incredibly fragile and can become injured if they’re mishandled by a child. Some breeders won’t even release puppies to families with young children! 

Growing up they can be a little snappy but do settle well into family environments. They love to play and adore the attention of children. Toy breeds can become yappy when coming across other dogs. 

So it’s important they receive the right socialization to prevent this behaviour. Maltese dogs can get along well with other canines but could be injured during rough play. They can live with cats but should be introduced during their early years. 

Characteristics

Check out the positives and negatives of the Maltese Dog breed below.

Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic, better breed choice for allergy sufferers
  • Adaptable, can live in apartments
  • Minimal shedding
  • Friendly with humans and animals

Negatives:

  • High grooming needs
  • Yappy, likes to bark
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • This toy breed is prone to injury

The Maltese is part of the toy group and a member of the Spitz family. They have a curly tail with dropped ears that sometimes features long flowing fur. Their silky white fur is single-coated but sometimes pale ivory is seen. They have a small black nose with brown eyes.

History

The Maltese dog is one of the most ancient toy breeds and is believed to be from South-central Europe. Their exact origin remains unknown. One of the earliest recordings of the breed is written by Publius, a Roman Governor from 1st century Malta. 

At one point in time, the Maltese are thought to have been owned by the Egyptians. Even Greek tombs dating back to the 5th century features art strongly resembling the Maltese. Some believed these tiny canines could cure diseases so they’d be placed on pillows of the ill. This earned them the nickname ‘The Comforter’.

Over the centuries Maltese dogs were prized by aristocracy and nobility. The arrival of the 15th century saw the popularity of the Maltese increase amongst French aristocrats. Soon after England took a fancy and Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Victoria were all mesmerized!

Unfortunately, in the 17th and 18th-century breeders tried to make the Maltese even smaller. This almost ruined their existence! Poodles, Spaniels, and other miniature breeds were bred back into the Maltese to save them. This lead to the creation of a variety of new breeds.

Throughout time the Maltese have had a hefty price tag. In the 1500s the Maltese price was around £1500 in today’s currency! Nowadays the Maltese dog breed is one of the most popular in the world!

Exercise & Grooming

A Maltese only needs up to 30 minutes of exercise each day. They’re perfectly suitable for apartments, but can be difficult to housetrain so of course, a garden would be a bonus. Maltese dogs are active and enjoy vigorous play but can become injured so keep an eye out.

Sometimes a play around the garden is enough to satisfy their exercise needs. The Maltese intelligence levels aren’t very high but they will still need some mental stimulation. These canines are very attached to their owners and are prone to separation anxiety.

Due to their silky white, non-shedding coat, the Maltese dog has high grooming needs. Daily brushing is needed to prevent and remove any knots and tangles. A comb and pin brush is the best tools to use on their coat.

Ideally, a bath should be given every 1-2 weeks. Always brush through their coat before wetting the fur as tangles are much harder to remove when wet. Blowdry their fur to prevent debris from sticking when drying. 

Maltese dogs are prone to dental disease and will need their teeth brushing daily. Stains around the eyes and mouth may appear so it’s important to give these areas regular wipe downs. Their nails grow fast so give these a trim every ten days. Clean their ears weekly.

Health

Check out the health conditions linked to the Maltese dog breed below:

Portosystemic Shunt: Blood bypasses the gastrointestinal tract going straight to the systemic circulation. This stops the blood from being detoxified. It’s typically caused by a birth defect and is also referred to as a Liver Shunt.

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap dislocates out of position temporarily before returning to normal. Affected dogs won’t be able to fully extend their knee.

Chiari Malformation Syringomyelia: This neurological condition is painful. It’ll fill the cavities of the spinal cord next to the brain with fluid. It may damage the nerves transferring messages to the brain.

Entropion: As the eyelids start to roll inwards the lashes will scratch the eye. This will cause pain, ulcers, and possible pigmentation development which could affect vision.

Cataracts: A cloudiness will appear in the eye after a change in lens. The abnormality if large enough could prevent light from reaching the retina, leading to blindness.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus: PDA is a common congenital heart defect in dogs. The ductus arteriosus muscle is constricted resulting in left-handed heart disease and possible failure.

Microvascular Dysplasia: This inherited condition affects the liver. An abnormality of the liver’s microscopic blood vessels will decrease blood flow to the liver causing atrophy.

Maltese Training

First and foremost, potential owners must understand the Maltese dog is not a teddy. By coddling this canine you risk causing behavioural issues. Whilst owners do fear their Maltese puppy becoming injured, they still need intense socialization to prevent anxiety.

Housebreaking a Maltese isn’t the easiest of tasks. It’s estimated to take around 1-4 months so persistence is key! Due to their small bladders, they’ll need to go outdoors more often than other breeds. 

These canines are sensitive and won’t deal with harsh training techniques. Be firm but calm and use a variety of tones so they can differentiate between good and bad behaviour. Make sure they’ve had a run around before training so they aren’t easily distracted.

A Maltese puppy will test the boundaries and behaviour can quickly become unruly. Training should start the second they walk into their new home. Sessions should be kept to around ten minutes, split across the day. 

Treats and toys work well as rewards. Out of the toy breed group the Maltese dog is the easier member to train, but it won’t be a breeze! The more relaxed an owner is the more stubborn a Maltese will be!

Maltese dog

Maltese Dog Interesting Facts

  • In England, the Maltese’s feisty personality saw breed enthusiasts add Terrier to the end of their name. This name however was hotly debated and just didn’t stick. Their other names throughout history include Maltese Lion Dog, The Comforter, Roman Ladies Dog, and Spaniel Gentle.
  • Some of the most memorable Queen’s in the UK have proudly owned a Maltese. Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria are both featured in paintings holding their beloved Maltese dog. Mary, Queen of Scots was also a fan of the breed.
  • Did you know the black buttoned nose of a Maltese can change colour in the sunlight! It might even turn pink!
  • In Ancient Greece, the Maltese were highly treasured. So much so that after their passing, a tomb was erected in their honour.  
  • A Maltese named Lucky is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records. Lucky made the list after sitting on the most celebrity laps! 363 to be precise! Kim Kardashian, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant and Kristen Stewart are just some of the celebs that have been graced by Lucky’s presence!
  • Trouble the Maltese dog was owned by real estate developer Leona Helmsley. In 2007 she died leaving $12 million to her beloved dog leaving some of her human family out! The government cut this down to $2 million but Trouble was still able to lead a life of luxury until her death in 2011 at the age of 12. 
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Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is one of Britain’s most recognised breeds! Originally bred to hunt hare, these canines are still controversially used in hunting packs on Britain’s estates today. Learn all about this unique breed in our guide below!

Basset Hound Breed Standards

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Basset Hound Lifespan: 12-13 years 

Basset Hound Exercise: Up to an hour each day 

Height: 11-15 inches

Weight: 20-29 kilograms

Hypoallergenic?: No

basset hound

Temperament

Basset Hounds were bred as pack dogs which is why they’re highly sociable and friendly. The breed is a hard worker and devoted to its owners. They hate being left alone and can develop separation anxiety. Some Basset Hounds can’t even handle 20-45 minutes alone!

These canines don’t make very good guard or watchdogs. They’re peaceful, gentle and calm. Basset Hounds may bark at first when hearing the doorbell go, but they will be friendly towards strangers.

Basset Hounds make excellent family pets and are particularly tolerant of children. The happy go lucky Basset Hound temperament is great for kids! Due to their short legs and long bodies, children must be careful of the dog’s back. Sitting on them could lead to serious injuries.

This breed gets along well with other dogs. As pack dogs, they prefer to live with other canines. They won’t feel so lonely if they have a furry friend to keep them company. Basset Hounds are friendly with cats and other animals.

It’s not all good! Occasionally, this even-tempered breed will display its stubborn side. This is why Basset Hounds are recommended for experienced owners. These scenthounds are easily distracted and will go wherever their noses take them!

Basset Hound dogs have a distinctive bark that is normally used in the field. They also like to howl and will use it to communicate with their pack on a hunt. When left to their own devices Basset Hounds may also be rather vocal. It’ll be worth teaching them the Quiet command!

Characteristics

Below are the positive and negatives of the Basset Hound dog breed.

Positives

  • Ideal family pet, great with children
  • Sociable and friendly with dogs and other animals
  • Good breed choice for senior owners
  • Excellent detection/sniffer dogs
  • Fantastic search and rescue dogs

Negatives

  • Due to their long ears, Basset Hounds are prone to ear infections
  • The breed is known to have a doggy smell due to their skin folds
  • Can develop separation anxiety if left alone regularly
  • Known to be stubborn
  • Prone to weight gain and will steal food!

Basset Hounds are a medium-sized breed although some do tip over into the large breed scale. They are short-legged with very long ears that direct smells to their face! Their short, naturally oily coat can be found in tri-colour, black & white, lemon & white, red & white, black & brown, and white & chocolate.

History

It’s believed Basset Hounds were bred during the Middle Ages by French Monks. Friars of the Abbey of St Hubert, Belgium, crossed strains of French hounds from the 6th century creating the Basset breeds. The word ‘Bas’ means ‘low’.

Basset hounds are thought to have originated via a mutation from Norman Staghounds. These were then re bred with the Norman Staghounds ancestor the St Hubert Hound. The need for these Hounds grew greater after the French Revolution when hunting on foot became more popular. 

Emporer Napoleon III had bronze sculptures of the Basset Hound displayed at the Paris Salon. It was during his reign popularity for the Basset type Hounds boomed! They were soon imported into England around 1870.

English painter Sir John Everett Millais bought a Basset Hound from Paris named Model. He attended a dog show in Wolverhampton in 1875 who was the first Basset Hound to do so! Millais was determined to improve the dog’s gene pool. So he crossed one of his Hounds with a female Bloodhound.

It was done through artificial insemination so a c-section was required. A rare procedure during this time period. The litter was then crossed with pure-bred Basset Hounds creating the modern-day canine. The Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1880 not long after its creation.  

Exercise & Grooming

Basset Hounds will need up to one hour of exercise a day. These scenthounds must be kept on leads unless in an enclosed space. They’ll easily wander off on an exploration! As the breed is prone to weight gain, it’s important to keep up with their daily activity needs.

The Basset Hound intelligence level is fairly high, so they can become bored quickly. Mental stimulation should be factored into their daily routine. Try some hide and seek games that require them to use their incredible sense of smell!

Basset Hound puppies will want more outdoors time than adults. Take multiple short walks each day. Despite their short legs, the breed has stamina. So be careful not to overexert their growing limbs. 

Basset Hound ears are long and don’t get much airflow. Bacteria and debris will build in the ear canal so they’ll need to be cleaned weekly. Basset Hounds are prone to ear infections. The symptoms include warm, inflamed and a red ear canal, bad odour, and discharge.

These canines have a short-haired, water-resistant coat that should be brushed once a week. Basset Hounds shed all year round but most heavily during the spring and summer months. 

Due to their naturally oily coat, this breed can be washed every 2-6 weeks. Remember, their skin folds will need a quick wipe every other day. It’s one of the main causes of their doggy odour. Nails should be filed or trimmed fortnightly.

Health 

Below are the following health conditions that have been found in the Basset Hound breed.

  • Mallazeia Dermatitis: The Basset Hound is one of the breeds listed as predisposed to Mallazeia Dermatitis. This common itchy skin condition causes redness, inflammation, lesions, and bad odour. It can affect the toes, ears, lips, neck, facial folds, and armpits.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This condition is the most common cause of lameness in young dogs. Symptoms can be seen between 5-18 months of age and include pain, swelling, lameness, and eventual arthritis.  
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: This condition is often fatal and immediate veterinary attention is required. As the stomach twists trapping the food inside and filling with gases. Eating large meals quickly is one-way GDV is triggered. 
  • Open-Angle Glaucoma: Over a long period of time the eye will develop blind spots or possibly a loss of vision. It’s a painless condition.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: This degenerative health issue is more common amongst chondrodystrophic dogs such as the Basset Hound. It’s an age-related condition caused by a ruptured disc in the spine. IVDD is the most common cause of spinal injury in canines.
  • Luxating Patella: A luxating patella describes the temporary dislocation of the dog’s kneecap. It’ll quickly relocate back into place.
  • Thrombopathia Basset Hound Type: This is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by abnormal platelet function. It prevents the production of blood clots resulting in excessive bleeding.
  • Hypothyroidism: A common endocrine health issue seen across multiple breeds. An abnormality of the thyroid glands affects a dog’s metabolic state causing hypothyroidism.

Basset Hound Training

When it comes to training a Basset Hound, it’s safe to say they won’t be a walk in the park! This stubborn, independent breed is a scenthound that’s used to going off to hunt on its own. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that sometimes commands will fall on deaf ears!

Be persistent, relaxed, and patient. Whilst it may be a challenge, it is possible to train these intelligent canines. Leash training will need lots of time. Basset Hounds like to pull and draw their own path, so they’ll need to learn to follow their owner’s leadership. 

Housebreaking a Basset Hound puppy is another tricky stage. Some owners have found it took them up to six months until they had a fully housebroken Basset Hound! This dog should have regular access to a garden.

These canines can at times be troublesome! They’re known as thieves, stealing food from anywhere they can! Some particularly crafty Basset Hounds have even broken into fridges! Always discipline these bad behaviours as soon as they occur. Never let them get away with being naughty as the behaviour could quickly spiral out of control.

basset hound dog

Basset Hound Interesting Facts

  • Chrissy Teigen is the proud owner of a new Basset Hound puppy named Pearl. In a statement, she said, “I grew up with Basset Hounds so I can’t wait for John to see this bouncy, no-bones, jello mold of skin grow into the stubborn logs of love I love so much. Excited for this new little heart to add love to our home.” 
  • Basset Hounds are known as the ‘Hush Puppy’ dog. These dogs used to bark and howl when hunting. Owners would throw cornballs which turned into a food brand called hush puppies as it would silence the Basset Hounds. Shoe brand Hush Puppy took inspiration from this and uses the Basset Hound as their mascot.
  • On July 1st 1986 Elvis Presley performed the song Hound Dog to a Basset Hound in a top hat. Although the dog didn’t seem too impressed by his performance! The song isn’t Elvis Presley’s but it quickly became a hit.  
  • Basset Hounds have featured in a number of films over the years. These include The Christmas Dog (2004), A Bird of the Air (2011), Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008), The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Castle (1999), Maxie (1985), Maybe Baby (2000), The Pursuit of Unhappiness (2012), and more!
  • Basset Hounds have over 220 million smell receptors! Their sense of smell is closely behind the Bloodhound. The scenthounds have ears that sweep the smell to their face. Making them excellent for isolating any scent trails or particular smells.
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Great Dane

Great Danes are widely regarded as the largest dog breed in the world. They’re quite literally the size of a small horse! But don’t let their size put you off this remarkable breed. Great Danes are friendly giants!

Great Dane Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Great Dane Lifespan: 8-10 years

Great Dane Exercise: Over 2 hours per day

Height: 28-34 inches

Weight: 45-90 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

Great Danes are bubbly characters and make affectionate companions. Despite their huge size, Great Dane dogs are gentle and will play nicely with both adults and children. But they will protect their family if they feel it’s necessary.

As a natural watchdog, the Great Dane won’t hesitate to bark at an intruder. At first, they will be aloof, possibly standoffish with strangers. Their intimidating size and bark are normally enough to ward off unwanted visitors. Great Danes aren’t typically guard dogs but can undergo protection training.

A Great Dane puppy should grow up with children in the home. Whilst they are relatively gentle, their big size could accidentally knock over smaller children. They are well-natured, gentle and sweet. Provided they have the space they need, this breed can fit happily into family life.

It’s best for Great Dane puppies to be raised in households with other dogs and cats from an early age. Some Great Danes may show aggression and dominance, especially to dogs of the same sex. They need lots of socialization to prevent an out of control dog!

Characteristics

Check out the positive and negative characteristics of the Great Dane below.

Positives:

  • Friendly & affectionate. Can make a great family dog
  • Fantastic watchdog, can be trained into a protection dog
  • Minimal grooming requirements
  • Drafting dog, can be used for cart pulling
  • Great Danes make excellent therapy dogs

Negatives:

  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • Needs lots of daily exercise
  • Will drool… a lot! 
  • Doesn’t like to be left alone and may develop separation anxiety
  • Might nip, chew and herd during play more than other breeds

This giant breed has a single coat that’s short and smooth. They’re relatively easy to groom but will shed moderately. Their coat colours can be found in brindle, black, fawn, mantle, blue, and harlequin.

History

The Great Dane dog originates from Germany and dates back to over 400 years ago. They were typically owned by German nobility and would protect their country estates. Great Danes were originally bred for hunting wild boar

Hybrids of Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs were exported from England to Europe around the 16th century. They were called the ‘Englische Dogge’. In 1878 the name of these hybrids was changed and replaced with ‘Deutsche Dogge’. It stands for German mastiff.

Many countries, however, have not adopted the new name. The name Great Dane came about after French Naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon saw the breed and named them ‘Grand Danois’. Despite the name Dane, this breed is not from Denmark. In Italy Great Danes are called Alano.

Great Danes are renowned for their cropped ears. In the past, they’d hunt Wild Boar. To prevent their ears from being mutilated, owners would crop them. Great Dane puppies would have their ears cropped between 7-10 weeks of age. Under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, ear cropping is listed as illegal in England and Wales.

This breed is described as the ‘Apollo of dogs’. The Great Dane temperament is much calmer than their ancestors. During their development, breeders set out to create a calmer version of the canine for family and home environments. In 1883 the first Great Dane breed club was established in the UK.

Exercise & Care

Great Dane exercise needs are high. Owners will need to dedicate more than two hours a day to outdoors time. A lack of activity will lead to destructive behaviour and those large jaws will quickly destroy any home! 

Don’t overexercise Great Dane puppies as it could damage their fast-growing joints. Ideally, this breed should have access to a large home and garden. Make sure the fencing is secure so they can’t escape! Great Danes need to let off steam every once in a while.

An adult Great Dane could do less exercise but will still need more than one hour a day. These intelligent canines also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Even a game of hide and seek with food can be a great way to get their minds ticking over!

Great Danes are moderate shedders but this will increase during the spring and autumn months. Brush through their fur with a rubber brush weekly to keep their coat and skin healthy. 

Baths should be given every 6-8 weeks. Whilst a Great Dane has low grooming needs, baths can be a challenge due to their size. It may be easier to wash them outdoors but only if the weather permits! Air drying is fine but a blow dryer will speed up the process. 

Health Issues

There are a variety of Great Dane health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Below are the health conditions that have been noticed more frequently in the breed.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The AKC reports GDV to be the number one killer in Great Danes. These large, deep-chested breeds are perfect targets for GDV and Bloat. The stomach twists trapping gasses and food inside which often leads to death. Emergency veterinary attention is required.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This disease affects the cardiac muscle thus reducing a dogs ability to create enough pressure to pump blood around the body. The condition is typically fatal and may progress quicker in some breeds more than others.  

Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint develops poorly causing the ball and socket to rub against one another. It will lead to pain, inflammation, lameness, and eventually arthritis.

Autoimmune Thyroiditis: This is the primary cause of hypothyroidism in dogs. Autoimmune Thyroiditis causes the immune system to attack the thyroid glands. 

Hypothyroidism: An abnormal thyroid gland will affect a dog’s metabolic state. Symptoms include hair loss, thin and dull coat, weight gain, low energy and a lack of tolerance to the cold.

Wobbler Syndrome: Dogs with Wobbler Syndrome will take shorter steps and have a wobbly gait. It affects the spinal cord in the neck which is under some form of compression.

Entropion/Ectropion: The eyelid turns inwards causing the lashes to rub against the cornea. This will cause pain, ulcers and possible cornea pigmentation which could affect the dog’s sight. Ectropion is when the eyelid turns outwards exposing the inner tissues resulting in dryness.

Cherry Eye: This condition is common in Great Danes, Pugs, Beagles and French Bulldogs. The tear gland becomes inflamed resulting in a red mass popping out. It isn’t painful but will be uncomfortable.

Glaucoma: A build-up of fluid will cause an increase of pressure in the eye. It will lead to severe pain and eventual loss of vision. 

Inherited Myopathy of Great Danes: This rapidly progressive muscle disorder affects Great Danes from the ages of 6 months. It’s estimated only 20% of affected dogs reach adulthood. 

Great Dane Training

It’s especially important Great Danes are adequately socialized. A dog this size can be a total menace if they lack socialization. Training should start as soon as you bring your Great Dane puppy through the door.

The Great Dane intelligence level is average. So housebreaking should take around two weeks to perfect if this is done correctly. Great Danes can be crate trained provided the crate is big enough to accommodate them.

This breed is relatively easy to train if they’re in the right hands. Respect training is most important. Great Danes will push the boundaries so a strong leader is required. They may be a little destructive in their younger years so it’s important to be firm but not harsh.

Great Danes are known to chew, nip, and herd a little more than other breeds. This can quickly spiral out of hand if these behaviours aren’t corrected. Time outs, removing toys, and ignoring them are some ways to discipline your Great Dane.

A lack of exercise can hinder training and will leave a Great Dane with pent up energy. They will find other mischievous ways to tackle their boredom. Great Danes require a great deal of care and attention to raise them into the well-natured Gentle Giants we know and love.

great dane

Great Dane Interesting Breed Facts

  • The world’s largest dog is the Great Dane. The tallest living dog listed in 2016 by the Guinness Book of World Records is Freddy the Great Dane. He measured an impressive 7ft 5.5 inches when standing on his hind legs. The Essex native, unfortunately, passed away in 2021 at the age of 8. 
  • In America, there’s a basketball team known as the Albany Great Danes. They represent the University at Albany, a state university based in New York. Their mascot features a Great Dane with cropped ears. Mrs Earle’s class of ’67 chose the breed because of its “size, weight, character, courage, speed, and stamina”.
  • Ancient Egyptian carvings dating back to 3000BC resemble the Great Dane. However, the breed we know today was developed in the 1800s producing a calmer and friendlier dog to their hunting ancestors.
  • Great Danes are excellent dog sport competitors. They particularly excel in flyball, weight pulling, obedience, tracking, and agility.
  • Great Danes have been competing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since 1887. Yet they have never won a Best in Show Title nor have they done so at Crufts. They have won five Best of Group titles with the most recent win in 1983!
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Scottish Terrier

Once listed as a Vulnerable Native Breed, this sturdy pooch just wasn’t ready to become extinct! Recently, their popularity has increased and they’ve lived up to their nickname the Diehard Breed! Check out this guide to learn more! 

Scottish Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Scottish Terrier Lifespan: Approximately 12-15 years
Scottish Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour a day
Height: 10-11 inches
Weight: 8-10 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament

Scottish Terrier dogs will display the typical Terrier temperament! They may be small but they are certainly mighty! A small dog with a big personality. Despite their size, Scottish Terriers are sturdy and more robust than other small breeds.

Independent, strong-willed, and stubborn, this canine needs a pack leader, not a pushover! They are alert and can be fiesty so it’s important they’ve been well-socialized. Scottish Terrier dogs are vocal and will make themselves known.   

Part of the Scottish Terrier temperament is their wariness of strangers. It’s a trait that makes them excellent watchdogs. Scotties will immediately bark at the door to any unknown visitors. They won’t be the first to happily greet a newcomer. Scotties will be reserved.

Some Scotties are suited to one person as opposed to sharing the same bond with each family member. They are playful and energetic but have been known to snap at younger children. For this reason, only homes with older children should consider the Scottish Terrier breed.

Dominant by nature, the Scottie can easily cause a brawl in the park. They can be aggressive and won’t back down especially with those of the same sex. To them, the size of their opponent doesn’t matter! If raised together Scotties can live alongside another dog or cat.

Characteristics

What are the positives and negatives of owning a Scottish Terrier?

Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic, a better choice for allergy sufferers
  • Independent and can be left alone for a few hours
  • Adaptable, suitable for living in flats
  • Low exercise needs

Negatives:

  • Potentially dog aggressive, not very social
  • Might be snappy towards younger children
  • Their coats need lots of maintenance.
  • Loves digging in the garden

The Scottish Terrier coat colours are found in black, wheaten, and brindle. Grey and mixtures of black and brown have also been seen. They are short-legged and are classed as a small breed. 

History

Scottish Terriers originate from the Scottish Highlands and were previously classed as Skye Terriers. The breed dates back to the 1700s although the development of the Scottie didn’t take place until the late 18th century. 

Scotties were bred to hunt vermin on farms. These earth dogs would hunt rabbits, foxes, otters, rats and more! The dogs would ‘go to ground’ an expression that describes a dog who follows its prey into its den!

It was common practice for working Scottish Terriers to have their tails docked. It makes it easier for owners to drag their dogs from the dens of their prey. This prevents the Scottie from potential injury once in the burrow. 

It is thought Scottish Terriers are one of the oldest native dog breeds in Britain. King James I was mesmerized by the breed and used to give Scotties as gifts. He helped boost their popularity. 

In the early 1900s ‘Skye Terriers’ were separated into separate breeds. The Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Skye Terrier, and Cairn Terrier were now independently recognised. Other names for the Scottie include the Cairn, the Highland, the Aberdeen Terrier, and Diehard.

Exercise & Care

Ideally, Scotties will need up to one hour of exercise each day. Scottish Terrier puppies will need more outdoors time split across the day. They love being off-leash provided they’re in an enclosed space. Remember, this breed still has a high prey drive and will chase smaller animals.

Scottish Terriers are highly intelligent and will need mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Hiding treats in the garden, playing interactive games, and puzzle toys are just some ways to do this. 

The Scottish Terrier dog breed is low shedding and hypoallergenic. It’s a feature that makes them suitable for allergy sufferers. High grooming maintenance is required to remove dead fur. Brush through the coat once every couple of days. 

The Scottish Terrier coat is hard and wiry. Baths should be given every 6-8 weeks. Part of their weekly grooming routine should include ear cleaning. Nails will need a trim fortnightly. Oh and don’t forget dental hygiene! Vets recommend this is done daily although three times a week should suffice!

Hand stripping is a grooming technique commonly seen in Terriers. Owners will remove the dead fur by hand using a stripping knife. This keeps the coat healthy and tidy. Show dogs must be hand stripped before entering the ring!

Health

Some dogs are more predisposed to health issues than others. Below are the conditions that are seen in the Scottish Terrier.

  • Scottie Cramp: This inherited condition will cause spasms, hyperextension/hyperflexion. A serotonin deficiency is the cause and will develop in the early years of a Scottish Terrier puppy.
  • Von Willebrand Disease: Another inherited condition is this bleeding disorder. It is also common in humans! Affected dogs will experience excessive blood loss. A deficiency in von Willebrand factor protein will prevent the platelets from clotting the blood.
  • Luxating Patellas: The kneecap dislocates out of position before returning back into place. Luxating Patellas is mostly seen in smaller dog breeds. Dogs may experience some pain but can live pretty normal lives. 
  • Cardiomyopathy: The heart muscle becomes weaker and thinner, struggling to pump blood around the body. This will cause irregular heartbeats and is often fatal.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome: Overproduction of the Cortisol hormone will lead to Hyperadrenocorticism/Cushing’s Syndrome.  Symptoms include excessive panting, reduced activity and an increase in thirst, appetite, and urination.
  • Lens Luxation: This inherited condition is mostly seen in Terrier breeds. The threads holding the lens in place weaken thus dislocation out of position.
  • Cataracts: A hereditary or genetic defect that will cause a cloudiness to appear after a change in lens. If the opacity is large it will interfere with vision eventually causing blindness.
  • Atopy: A common condition causing itchy, red, inflamed skin. There is no cure and owners will need to learn to manage the symptoms.

Scottish Terrier Training

Scottish Terriers are stubborn, a trait that can hinder training. Owners will need to be firm but patient. Keep training sessions short. These intelligent canines will pick up on commands quickly and will challenge your alpha position. 

The tone of your voice matters! Your dog will pick up on whether you are happy or angry with them. Always use a softer more excited voice when rewarding your pet. A firm and deeper voice should be used for corrections.

Housetraining Scottish Terrier puppies should be pretty simple. Just make sure they have enough outdoors time and offer rewards whenever they go potty. Training should start as soon as you bring your Scottish Terrier puppy through the doors!

It’s important your Scottie understands exactly whose boss! Respect training is highly important for this breed. Socialization is another aspect owners will need to focus heavily on. 

Scottish Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Fala the Scottish Terrier was owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He is America’s most popular and famous presidential pet to have ever lived in the White House. He was gifted by the President’s cousin Margaret Daisy Suckley in November, 1940. He was named after John Murray of Falahill, an outlaw and Scottish ancestor of the President!
  • Queen Victoria owned a variety of breeds during her reign including the Scottie! It’s name was Laddie.
  • The Scotties pelvic bone structure can prevent females from giving birth naturally. Veterinarians will need to intervene via surgery. It’s estimated around 60% of Scottish Terrier births require assistance. 
  • The breed was given the name ‘Diehard’ by George, the Fourth Earl of Dumbarton in the 19th century. It inspired the nickname ‘Dumbarton’s Diehards given to The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment).
  • Most modern Scotties are descendants of Splinter II. This female Scottish Terrier was owned by J.H Ludlow the founder of the Scottish Terrier Club of England. 
  • You may notice this pooch from Monopoly! The Scottie dog is one of the preferred players used on the board since its addition in the 1950s.
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Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds are prized in the dog racing industry. Hailing from Afghanistan, these canines can reach speeds of up to 40mph! Today, we are going to look into the background of this magnificent breed! 

Afghan Hound Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member: Yes

Afghan Hound Lifespan: 12-14 years

Afghan Hound Exercise: Over 2 hours per day

Height: 24-29 inches

Weight: 26-34 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Temperament

Afghan Hounds are deeply loyal and will form exceptionally strong bonds with their owners. These sighthounds are known to be aloof and will need intense socialization with people. Different noises can be frightening so it’s important they are introduced to a variety of places. 

Naturally, the Afghan Hound will be suspicious of those they don’t know. Whilst they will be alert and wary of strangers, they make poor guard and watchdogs. They will bark at those knocking on the door which is enough to scare away unwanted visitors!

Afghan Hounds can live in a family environment with older children. A loud and busy household can be overwhelming for this sensitive canine. It is always best to raise an Afghan Hound puppy with a family so they can better adapt to a busy lifestyle.

These long-haired canines will socialize with other dogs. Due to their strong prey drive, they will view smaller dogs and animals as prey. Afghan Hounds don’t get along well with cats and because of their hunting background, it’s still a risk, even if they’ve been raised together.

Loyal and affectionate, yet also independent, the Afghan Hound certainly has a mind of its own! Noble, dignified, and elegant are just some of the words that can be used to describe these canines. 

Characteristics

Take a look at the pros and cons of the Afghan Hound dog

Positives

  • One of the fastest dog breeds
  • They are hypoallergenic, a better choice for those suffering from allergies
  • Tolerant to being left alone thanks to their independence
  • Hardly drools so you won’t be covered in slobber

Negatives

  • Sensitive and emotional
  • Can be fearful, timid, and suspicious in everyday scenarios without socialization
  • Their long, regal coat will need lots of grooming attention
  • Listening to your recall isn’t their strong point
  • Not a great guard or watchdog

Afghan Hounds are a medium-large breed with a long, extravagant coat. This pooch will turn the heads of any passer-by! They are typically found in black, red, and cream, but the Kennel Club does accept all colours. White markings on the head are considered ‘undesirable’. 

History

Afghan Hound dogs are estimated to pre-date 8,000 BC, making them one of the oldest pure breeds still alive today! They originate from Afghanistan but it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact development of the Afghan Hound breed. Here they are called ‘Tazi’.

Cave paintings have been found in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan. Images of dogs were found which strongly resemble the Afghan Hound. It provides some indication of how enriched and far back the Afghan Hound’s history goes. 

The closest relative of this sighthound is the Saluki. Another breed that shares similar features to the Afghan Hound is the Taigan from Kyrgyzstan. 

Eventually, Afghan Hounds were introduced to England in the 1800s. Soldiers returning from British India brought home a variety of sighthounds. They referred to the Afghan Hound as the Persian Greyhound due to their similarities. 

Zardin, an Afghan Hound imported to the UK in 1907 became a key figure for the breed. Standards were drawn up based on Zardin in 1912, although breeding came to a halt by World War I.

There are two main strains of the modern-day Afghan Hound. The lighter coated Bell-Murray strain was introduced to Scotland by Miss Jean Manson, Major and Mrs G-Bell Murray. The Ghazni strain was imported from Kabul by Mrs Mary Amps. 

The Ghazni strain had a heavy influence in America. Most of the Afghan Hounds descended from this strain! Mrs Amps’ dog Sirdar won the Best in Show title at Crufts in 1928 and 1930.  At Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show the title was given to the breed in 1957 and 1983.

Exercise & Care

If you want to bring an Afghan Hound into you’re home, you must be able to provide over 2 hours of daily exercise. Whilst this breed is no longer used for hunting, they still have a strong prey drive. Exercise them off-leash in enclosed spaces. 

The Afghan Hound intelligence doesn’t rank very high. But they will still need mental stimulation to prevent boredom. This can be through interactive games and other activities that make the brain think.

Be prepared to dedicate a couple of hours each week to grooming. Their coat should never be trimmed or clipped. To avoid knots and tangles brush through the long silky fur every 1-3 days.

Baths will be needed monthly. Blow-dry their fur whilst brushing through with a pin brush to prevent any tangling. Remember to cleanse their ears weekly as debris will form within the canal. Nails should be trimmed fortnightly.

Show dogs are typically bathed weekly. Owners spend considerable amounts of time ensuring they have the best looking Afghan Hound dog in the ring! Stick to a grooming routine as this will be key to keeping your canine’s coat in tip-top condition!

Health Issues

Some dogs are more predisposed to specific health issues than others. Below are the conditions that affect the Afghan Hound dog breed.

  • Medial Canthal Pocket Syndrome: The Afghan Hound’s eye shape could cause this conjunctival condition.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid will affect the dog’s metabolic rate. This will lead to symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain, and low energy.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: This condition is commonly seen in large breed dogs. It is life-threatening and usually caused by fast eating.
  • Panosteitis: Also referred to as growing pains, Panosteitis is the inflammation of the long bones within the legs.
  • Laryngeal Paralysis: Paralysis prevents the Larynx from expanding thus restricting the dog’s breathing.
  • Necrotic Myelopathy: This condition will progressively cause spinal degeneration. Paralysis will affect the rear legs first.

Afghan Hounds are sensitive to anaesthesia. Consult with your veterinary for other solutions.

Afghan Hound Training

Afghan Hounds aren’t the easiest to housetrain but with perseverance, you will achieve results! Some Afghan Hound puppies struggle to control their bladders so ensure they are taken outdoors more regularly.

This canine doesn’t have very high intelligence levels, so training will need to be consistent. They are sensitive and need intense socialization to prevent anxiety and fear in adulthood. Despite this, Afghan Hounds are highly independent which may bring a sense of stubbornness. 

One of the toughest commands to teach is recall. Many Afghan Hound owners struggle to perfect this. Due to the breed’s background, it’s important they have time off-leash to really let loose. This must be in a sectioned off area where they can’t escape. 

Harsh correction won’t work with this canine. A firm, calm approach is better suited. Training can begin as early as 8 weeks. Ensure this energetic pooch has been exercised before getting them to concentrate! 

black afghan hound

Afghan Hound Breed Facts

  • Afghan Hounds are also known as ‘the dog of Noah’s Ark’. Legend states that two Afghan Hounds were saved from the Great Flood by Noah!
  • Did you know Afghan Hound can reach speeds of 40mph, making them as fast as some racehorses!
  • Picasso was the proud owner of several Afghan Hounds. One of which, Kabul, was a companion to his infamous Dachshund Lump!
  • Afghan Hounds have Dolichocephalic heads which gives them 270 degrees of vision! Unfortunately, their head shape does make them prone to Medial Canthal Pocket Syndrome.
  • In the past, Afghan Hounds were used to hunt large prey! This would consist of antelopes, falcons, hares, and even wolves! The Pashtun Tribes and the Afghan Royal Family would use these sighthounds for wolf hunting. 

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Japanese Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is treasured as a National Monument in Japan. Originally bred for hunting, this breed has quickly become popular worldwide. They’re one of the most ancient dog breeds still around today!

Shiba Inu Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

Shiba Inu Lifespan: Approximately 12-15 years

Shiba Inu Exercise: 1 hour per day

Height: 13-17 inches

Weight: 8-10 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

Shiba Inus have a ‘good nature’ and ‘spirited boldness’ as described by the Japanese breed standards. Unlike most dogs, the Shiba Inu is fairly cat-like, often licking themselves to keep clean. Thankfully, this helps to reduce an owner’s time spent on grooming!

Independence is a strong trait of the Shiba Inu which often leads to stubbornness. Sometimes they just like their own space which is why they can be left alone for up to 8 hours. Strong-willed is a great term to describe this canine!

Shiba Inus can make great family dogs but are more suitable for homes with older children. The constant attention from under 6s can be overwhelming for a dog that likes its own space.

Strangers won’t be welcomed with open arms. Typically a Shiba Inu will be suspicious of strangers. Although the breed isn’t an effective guard dog, their alertness makes them a great watchdog. 

Dominance can be an issue for the Shiba Inu, especially when socializing with dogs of the same sex. They can live with other canines and cats provided they are the top dog and were reared together. Avoid smaller animals as these will be viewed as prey.

Characteristics

Learn about the positive and negative characteristics of the Shiba Inu

Positives

  • Maintains its cleanliness
  • Easy to housebreak and high intelligence
  • Independent and can be left alone
  • Their alertness makes them great watchdogs
  • Doesn’t drool much

Negatives

  • Will shed fur all year round
  • High wanderlust potential so shouldn’t be off-leash
  • They may look like a teddy but aren’t overly cuddly or affectionate
  • Produces a noise called the ‘Shiba scream’ when unhappy
  • Doesn’t like water

The Shiba Inu dog is a medium-sized Spitz breed. They have a thick short double coat with a fox-like appearance. Shiba Inus also feature a curly tail that has slightly longer fur. Apart from the typical Red Sesame, Shiba Inus can also be found in Black and Tan, Black Sesame Sesame, Red, and Cream.

History 

The Shiba Inu is a Spitz breed hailing from Japan. They’re one of the oldest dog breeds dating back to the 3rd century BC and were originally bred for hunting purposes. Their typical prey consisted of small game such as birds and rabbits.  

Different regions in Japan had their own versions of the Shiba Inu. The three main breeds were known as the Shinshu Shiba, Sanin Shiba, and Minu Shiba. The Shiba Inu is Japan’s smallest native breed.

They are deeply treasured in their homeland and were listed as a National Monument of Japan in December 1936. This happened shortly after the Japanese breed standard was released in 1934. Unlike the Kennel Club, the Japanese standards see the Cream colour as a major fault. 

World War II almost marked the end of the Shiba Inu. Thankfully breeding programmes were established to help improve the Shiba Inu breed numbers. Today they are popular across the world. 

The Shiba Inu was first introduced into the UK in 1985 by Gerald and Kath Mitchell. Roy Mulligan and Ann Shimwells shortly followed suit. They became the main founders of the Shiba Inu breed in the UK. 

Exercise & Care

A Shiba Inu needs up to one hour of exercise each day. Some may be suitable to live in apartments although a small garden is recommended. Shiba Inu puppies will benefit from longer exercise time split into multiple walks. 

To prevent boredom play some interactive games with your pets. These are great forms of mental stimulation. Never trust this pooch off-leash. They may wander off trying to explore the world! They’re also great escape artists so ensure gardens are completely secure.

Thanks to the breed’s cat-like qualities you have a helping hand on the grooming side! But they do shed all year round, particularly in the Summer and Autumn months so regular brushing is a must! 

Baths can be given every 1-6 weeks. You will need to wash through the coat thoroughly to ensure you reach the skin. A blow dryer will be needed for the best coat results. Air drying will take too long. 

Introduce your Shiba Inu puppy to grooming as soon as possible. This helps them feel more comfortable with the process. Ear cleaning and nail trimming will be needed every week.

Health Issues

Some breeds are commonly affected by specific health conditions more than others. Below are the health issues seen in the Japanese Shiba Inu dog. 

  • Allergies: The most common health issue affecting Japanese Shiba Inus are allergies. Symptoms include skin irritation, redness, itching, and chewing. It’s impossible to predict which Japanese Shiba Inu puppy will have allergies, but those that do should not be bred. 
  • Luxating Patella: This condition will cause the kneecap to temporarily move out of place. It will then relocate back into position just as fast. 
  • Hip Dysplasia: It’s important breeders undertake a hip evaluation for their canines. Hip Dysplasia is a common orthopaedic condition that causes laxity of the joint. 
  • Ear Infections: The Shiba Inu has a narrow ear canal which makes them more prone to ear infections.
  • Glaucoma: A painful eye condition that also affects humans! If left untreated the increase of pressure within the eye will rapidly lead to a loss of vision.
  • Cataracts: A change in the lens of a dogs eye will cause a cloud. This is known as cataracts and is seen in the later part of a Shiba Inus life. If the opacity is big enough to block light from the retina, it will cause a loss of vision.  

Shiba Inu Training

One trait that describes this breed is stubbornness. Unfortunately, this can hinder training. Training lessons should be ten minutes each, multiple times a day. Rewards are a great way to grab this canines attention! Ensure you have some food or their favourite toy to hand!

Clicker training is a great form of positive training. To begin you will use the click at the exact moment your dog gets their command right. Give them a food treat to show them the click is positive. Eventually, over time the click will turn into a reward and no food will be needed.

Whilst the Shiba Inu dog breed is intelligent, owners will need lots of patience to tackle their stubborn side. They’re free-spirited which is why first time owners aren’t recommended. Shiba Inu puppies should be trained as early as possible. 

Some owners find recalling their Shiba Inu puppy is best done in a high pitched voice. The difference in tone makes it easier for your dog to understand. Shiba Inus love to vocally communicate with their owners so they may even respond!

shiba inu price

Shiba Inu Breed Facts

  • Remains of the Shiba Inu have been found in known locations where the Jomon-jin people lived. They inhabited Japan during 14,500BC-300AD. This gives us a rough timescale to show just how ancient the breed really is!  
  • If you’ve been around a Shiba Inu you may have heard the infamous Shiba Scream. Whether anxious, sad, uncomfortable or just excited the Shiba Inu will let out a loud scream to let you know exactly how they feel!
  • Yamakoshi, Japan was hit by an earthquake in 2004. Mari, a Shiba Inu got to work instantly to remove her puppies from danger. She then alerted her elderly owner, who had his life saved as a result. The owner was airlifted to safety and upon his return two weeks later, Mari and her puppies were safe and well. The Japanese movie ‘A Tale of Mari and Her Three Puppies’ documents this story.
  • The Shiba Inu price ranges from £1,200-£4,000 depending on a variety of factors. The average cost of a Shiba Inu is roughly found within the middle of these figures. KC registered Shiba Inu puppies will be on the higher end of this scale. 
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English Setter

English Setters are native to Britain, assisting hunters for many years. Now, they are classed as a Vulnerable Native Breed. Read on below to learn all about this canine!

English Setter Breed Standards:

Kennel Club Member?: Yes

English Setter Lifespan: Approximately 12 years

English Setter Exercise: 2 and a half hours per day

Height: 23-27 inches

Weight: 20-36 kilograms

Hypoallergenic: No

Temperament

The English Setter temperament is ideal for those looking for a family pet! They’re friendly and energetic which makes them fantastic playmates for children. Whilst the English Setter is known for its tolerance, play should always be supervised.

A natural watchdog, the English Setter dog will bark to alert owners to strangers approaching their territory. Since they aren’t guard dogs, barking is the most they will do. English Setters will happily greet strangers into their homes. 

Due to the breed’s strong prey drive, they shouldn’t be kept with cats, unless reared together. Stay away from small animals! Dogs on the other hand can live alongside the English Setter. The breed enjoys socializing with other canines when out and about! 

English Setters are highly intelligent and make excellent working dogs. They have a strong prey drive thanks to their hunting background and are still used for this type of work to this day. Strong-willed yet gentle, this mischievous pooch will make a great addition to a family.

Characteristics 

Learn about the positive and negative characteristics of the English Setter.

Positives:

  • All-round family-friendly pooch
  • Playful & energetic, great for kids
  • Very intelligent
  • Dog friendly

Negatives:

  • Strong prey drive
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Fairly prone to gaining weight
  • Likes to bark

This medium-sized breed is white with a speckled coat. The speckles can be found in blue, orange, liver, black, and tri-colour. Their coat is long and silky but typically straight. Some English Setters may have a slight wave to their fur, but it should never be curly. 

History

Dating back over 500 years, the English Setter is one of Britain’s oldest gundogs! They were used to hunt upland game and can be found in artwork as early as the 15th century. The old term for Setters was ‘Setting Dogues’.  

It is believed they originated from the Spanish Pointer, English Springer Spaniel, and the large Water Spaniel. This mix provided the English Setter with a set of skills perfect for hunting upland game such as grouse and pheasant!

The modern English Setter dog we know today owes tribute to Edward Laverack. In the early 19th century he carefully bred litters, thus creating his own strain. R. Purcell Llewellin began outcrossing Laverack’s litters looking to further benefit the bloodlines. 

In 2012, English Setters were listed as a Vulnerable Native Breed by the Kennel Club. Only 234 English Setter puppy registrations were noted that year. They were later removed from this list after registration numbers increased but unfortunately returned in 2016.   

In America, one English Setter became particularly famous. He is known as Jim the Wonder Dog! This special pooch could apparently predict the gender of unborn babies! He made such an impact so in his honour, a bronze statue was erected in a memorial garden in Marshall, Missouri. 

Exercise & Care 

English Setters need a great deal of exercise. The Kennel Club recommend more than two hours each day. Any potential owner must be able to devote this level of time. Without the right activity level, English Setters will become destructive and could develop behaviour issues. 

As an intelligent, working breed, the English Setter can become bored rather quickly. Some form of mental stimulation will need to be factored into their daily routine. English Setters love their human companions and don’t like being left alone for long periods. 

Potential owners should also have time to dedicate to their canines grooming needs. The breed’s long, silky coat will need a weekly brush. English Setters are moderate shedders so grooming will help prevent fur from covering your home!

English Setter puppies should be introduced to grooming as early as possible. This will allow them to feel comfortable and relaxed during the grooming process. Baths should be given every 3 weeks unless you have a show dog who requires more frequent bathing.

Occasionally, the English Setters coat will need a trim. Thinning scissors can be used for this. Trim only the outline of the coat, maintaining its natural appearance. Coats should never be shaven down unless there’s a medical issue.

Health Issues

Its important owners are aware of the potential health conditions typically seen in the English Setter. These can be found below:

Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid will cause a dogs body functions to slow. This is known as hypothyroidism. Obesity, lack of activity, dull coats, and excessive shedding are all common symptoms. 

Elbow Dysplasia: This common condition is caused by the varying growth rates of the bones in the elbow. It will cause joint laxity leading to lameness and eventually arthritis. Your vet may be able to recommend medication for the discomfort. Some dogs may benefit from a surgical procedure.

Hip Dysplasia: Another condition caused by differentiating bone growth rates is hip dysplasia. This health issue commonly affects large breed dogs. Affected dogs will experience pain, inflammation, and lameness, eventually followed by arthritis. 

English Setter Training

First-time owners will struggle to train the English Setter. They need an experienced owner, particularly one with gundog knowledge. Harsh training is a big no no for the English Setter. This kind-hearted dog will switch off, sometimes a harsh tone is all it takes to upset this sensitive canine.

Basic commands and housebreaking won’t be difficult for an English Setter. They’re deeply intelligent so aim to begin training as early as possible. Potential working English Setters must adhere to recall and basic commands before being allowed into the field. 

These impressive canines will hunt by nature. The hunting techniques used have been embedded in the breed for centuries. Unlike Spaniels, this breed will venture up to 300 yards away from its owner, on the hunt for upland game.

English Setter Breed Facts

  • English Setters are the oldest gundog breed still around today! Their history dates back as early as the 14th century!
  • In Italy, English Setters are still widely popular as working dogs. There were 14,501 English Setter puppy registrations in Italy in 2011!
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a proud owner of an English Setter named Winks. 
  • In the 17th century, English Setters were only allowed to be owned by Nobles. It was illegal for a commoner to own this breed. 
  • Three English Setters have won Best in Show at Crufts 1964,1977 and, 1988. Only one English Setter, Daro, won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show back in 1938.