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Plott Hound

plott hound rescue

The Plott Hound is the official State Dog of North Carolina. This remarkable breed is prized for its hunting and tracking abilities. Today we’re going to look into the background of the Plott Hound.

Plott Hound Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Plott Hound Lifespan: 12-14 years
Plott Hound Exercise: Over 1 hour per day
Height: Male 20-25 inches, female 20-23 inches
Weight: Male 23-27 kilograms, female 18-25 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Plott Hound is not recognised by the Kennel Club here in the United Kingdom, however, they were first exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2008. This scenthound was initially bred for bear hunting over 200 years ago. The North American breed is rare in the UK but still used for hunting, typically in North America.

This scenthound is one of the few that doesn’t trace its ancestry back to the English Foxhound. Plott Hounds are also the only non-British Coonhounds. Most Hounds were primarily imported into the United States via England, France and Ireland for fox hunting. Unlike the Plott Hound which was developed in North Carolina.

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Characteristics

Below are the pros and cons of the Plott hound dog breed:

Positives:

  • Easy to groom
  • Low shedding coat
  • Doesn’t drool excessively
  • Loyal to their families, protective guard dog

Negatives:

  • Strong prey drive
  • Requires lots of exercise
  • Independent, strong wanderlust potential
  • Doesn’t tolerate cold weather well

Plott Hounds have an athletic build and are both agile and muscular. They hunt well independently or in a pack. The breed is found in all shades of Brindle and features a long tail and glossy coat. Unlike other scenthounds, this breed doesn’t have baggy skin.

Temperament

Plott Hounds are aggressive hunters and work in packs. So, it should be no surprise that this breed holds a strong prey drive. The Plott Hound is not recommended to first-time dog owners. They’re also unsuited to apartment living and do best when raised in the countryside as opposed to the city.

The Plott Hound has webbed feet making this breed an exceptional swimmer! They’re affectionate, loyal, and protective of their families. Like most members of the Hound family, the Plott Hound is independent and stubborn. They’re highly intelligent and won’t forget a dog or person that’s crossed them!

Plott Hounds are great guard dogs. They’re protective of their homes and territory and will bark at strangers approaching their domain. Plott Hounds won’t hesitate to protect their family if they sense danger. The breed is aloof towards strangers and will need early socialization to prevent fear-based reactions.

This breed is suited to families with older children. Plott Hound dogs will be affectionate and protective over the children in their household. This breed could become food aggressive so it’s important owners tackle this at the very beginning, especially when there are children in the home.

Plott Hounds that are bred to hunt large game are known to be more aggressive than those that hunt smaller game. As this breed hunts in packs, they do better in homes with other dogs. They are typically social with dogs outside their household but can be dominant towards those of the same sex.

Plott Hound History

The Plott Hound originates from Germany and is a descendant of the Hanover Hound. Their ancestors were initially bred for Boar hunting due to their stamina. Plott Hounds have the skills to hunt large game such as Boar, Mountain Lions and Bears. They’re also suited to hunting smaller game such as racoons.

In the late 18th century Georg (Johannes) Plott (1733-1815) migrated to North Carolina from Germany with his wife Margaret. He also brought with him five Hanoverian Hounds and although there are no official records stating where he lived, his son Henry settled in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Both the Plott Hound and the Plott Balsams (a mountain range in western North Carolina) were named after the Plott family. The breed was developed in North Carolina and trained to hunt bears by Johannes. The Hanoverian Schweisshund strain was kept pure until 1780.

It was in this year, that the pack of Hounds were passed down to Johannes’ son Henry Plott. He decided to breed the Hanover Hounds to local dogs, producing a large game hunter we now know today as the Plott Hound. Originally named ‘Plott’s Hound’.

There are six Coonhound members which include the Carolina Plott Hound. The only non-British member of the group and the last to be recognised in 1946. The breed is not registered with the Kennel Club but did receive its AKC recognition back in 2006.

Exercise & Grooming

The Plott Hound requires at least one hour of exercise each day, but they could definitely do with much longer! Thanks to their webbed feet this breed is a great swimmer. Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise! Plott Hounds also require lots of mental stimulation and this scenthound needs time to investigate the smells around them.

This breed requires a garden and is best suited to the countryside. Due to their strong prey drive, gardens must be securely fenced. Thanks to their intelligence and agility, this breed is an excellent escape artist. They’ll dig and even climb their way out of an enclosed space if they find a way!

Plott Hounds should also be kept on a leash unless in a remote area or enclosed dog pen. Despite their high energy levels, the Plott Hound won’t make a good jogging partner as their nose will easily divert them! A long walk twice a day will keep this breed satisfied. A lack of exercise will result in boredom leading to destructive behaviours.

A Plott Hound has a thick, yet smooth, fine coat. It’s low maintenance and requires a quick weekly brush once a week. The best tools to use are soft-bristle brushes or a Hound glove. To prevent doggy odour, the Plott Hound should receive a bath every 6+ weeks.

This breed has long ears that assist their tracking abilities. They’ll need frequent cleaning, especially after a wet and muddy walk. Debris should be removed from the ear canal weekly. Failure to do so could cause ear infections. Trim their nails fortnightly and brush their teeth at least three times a week.

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Plott Hound:

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat): A life-threatening condition typically caused by large meals that lead the stomach to dilate. The stomach twists trapping the contents and gases within.
Hip Dysplasia: One or both of the hip joints develop abnormally causing swelling, pain, lameness, and eventually arthritis. This condition is typically inherited.

Plott Hound Training

Although independent the Plott Hound is eager to please which helps ease training. Experienced dog owners are recommended for this breed. Their leader must be firm yet patient, a timid dog owner will quickly be dominated by the Plott Hound.

Positive reinforcement works best with this breed and early socialization is a must. Harsh training techniques will enhance this breed’s stubborn side. Plott Hounds are known to be forgetful so repetition is key. If there’s an older dog in the household, the Plott Hound will typically follow their lead.

Group puppy classes are a great way to socialize a Plott Hound puppy whilst learning basic commands. This guard dog can be wary of strangers so it’s important they are socialized with humans to prevent fear-based reactions. A lack of proper training will lead to dominance and aggression issues.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2014 Source: www.petsadviser.com

Plott Hound Interesting Facts

  • Plott Hounds have ‘a big bawl mouth’. This can be described as an exceptionally long bark. A trait often found amongst Hounds.
  • In 2007, Bob Plott the third great-grandson of Johannes Plott published a book on the breed. It’s called The Story of the Plott Hound: Strike & Stay. His website can be found here!
  • In 1989, the Plott Hound became the official State Dog of North Carolina!
  • In 2009 a champion show dog Hosker’s Georgie Boy was stolen! Joi Hosker left her Plott Hound with a kennel to visit her ill mother. Upon her arrival back home, she was told her dog had gone missing, something she did not believe. In actual fact, her Plott Hound was sold to a bear hunter. Georgie Boy was injured during a bear hunt, leading the man to look for a new Plott Hound in case he did not make it. Whilst searching, he came across a missing poster and suspected the dog he bought was stolen. After 8 months Joi finally had her dog back and Georgie Boy went on to become the third-best Plott Hound in America.
  • Things can go wrong when this breed is placed in the wrong hands. In 2020 Melaka, Malaysia a 7-day old newborn baby had her hand bitten off by her uncle’s Plott Hound after being left alone with the dog. Authorities state the uncle had no license to own the Plott Hound (as required for Plott Hounds under Malaysian law) and it’s believed action will be taken against the owner.
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Bichon Frise

bichon frise dog uk

The Bichon Frise is one of Britain’s most popular small breeds. Today, we’re going to learn all about the Bichon Frise personality, health, history, exercise needs and more!

Bichon Frise Breed Standards
Kennel Club Member?:
Yes
Bichon Frise Lifespan: 14-15 years
Bichon Frise Exercise: Up to 30 minutes per day
Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
Weight: 5-8 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Bichon Frise is known widely for its white curly coat. A member of the toy group, the Bichon is one of the most popular small dog breeds here in the UK. Thanks to their hypoallergenic and low shedding coat, this breed is better suited to those with allergies.

Bichons are also memorable after featuring in Belgian author Herge’s comic series The Adventures of Tintin. Snowy, the dog is a Bichon Frise but is originally known as Milou by the French. Bichons have a deep and enriched history featuring in many famous paintings across history including the works of Titian, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Francisco de Goya.

bichon frise puppy uk

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Bichon Frise dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Small breed, can live in an apartment
  • Hypoallergenic, better choice for those with allergies
  • Won’t require lots of exercise
  • Social, friendly with other dogs
  • Great with children
  • Low drooler
  • Suitable for older owners

Negatives:

  • Coat is high maintenance
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Gains weight easier than other breeds
  • Difficult to housebreak

The Bichon Frise dog is a small breed widely known for its remarkable white coat. Even their name Bichon translates to ‘white dog’! Frise describes the curls found on the Bichon. Their soft curls are often styled for presentation in the show ring.

Temperament

A Bichon Frise is loveable, affectionate and just as adorable as they look! This easy-going canine won’t require much exercise and can live in an apartment. Their sweet personality, lapdog status and sociable nature is a great choice for first-time dog owners.

Bichons require companionship and enjoy being the centre of attention. These dogs are energetic, cheerful, and gentle. A perfect well-rounded dog that’s easy to fall in love with! Their cuddly personality resembles their teddy like features.

This breed isn’t a great watchdog and won’t be on the alert ready to defend their territory. Bichons are polite and even playful with strangers. However, some Bichons may feel a little shy. Of course, this is dependent on socialization during a Bichons early years.

Bichons make excellent family dogs and are great with children of all ages. Their small size won’t be hazardous to kids and these social dogs enjoy playing interactive games with the younger members of their families. Affectionate and playful, a Bichon Frise is a fantastic companion for children.

Bichons love making new friends and get along well with other dogs! They’ll happily introduce themselves to other dogs in the park engaging in friendly play! Bichons are gentle and can live with other household pets including cats. It’s always best for house pets to be raised together as opposed to an introduction during adulthood.

Bichon Frise History

The Bichon Frise is an ancient breed believed to have been introduced to Tenerife by Spanish seamen. Bichons were a part of the Barbichon types which also included the Havanese, Bolognese, and the Maltese. Their ancestor the Bichon Tenerife was the most popular of the group amongst sailors.

Bichons were used by the Spanish as sailing and even herding dogs, whilst the French developed the breed into a lapdog. By the 13th century, the Bichon became popular with European nobles. They were prized by the Royal Families of Spain, Italy and France and were prominent during the Rennaisance period. Their coat was trimmed into a ‘lion style’ and the Bichon would be pampered and carried around in a basket.

In 1789 the arrival of the French Revolution saw many Bichons lose their privileged status. Many were put onto the streets. They soon found solace amongst street performers, earning their keep by performing tricks! Bichons would also perform at the circus and funfair.

During the reign of Napoleon III of France in the late 19th century, the Bichon was such a common dog, it’d be found wandering the streets. The Bichon Frise’s official breed standard was produced on the 5th March 1933. They were originally named the Bichon À Poil Frisé but this was then shortened.

In 1955, the first Bichon Frise was imported to America with the first US-born litter arriving a year later. Bichons quickly grew in popularity across the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2001 and 2018, a Bichon Frise won the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!

Exercise & Grooming

A Bichon Frise dog doesn’t require much exercise. Thirty minutes per day is usually enough. This small breed can easily wear itself out in the garden. Interactive games like fetch are both tiresome and mentally stimulating. Bichon Frise is also suited to living in apartments.

Other forms of mental stimulation include dog sports and despite the Bichon’s cute looks, they make excellent competitors. In particular, this breed excels in agility, rally, and obedience. Keep their brains ticking over indoors by playing games of hide and seek and treat puzzle toys.

This breed’s coat is high maintenance, of course! It’ll require daily grooming to keep it in good condition. A pin brush and slicker brush are the best tools to use. Ideally, a Bichon should receive a bath monthly, unless they’re exceptionally dirty. The fur is thick so wash right down to the skin and ensure all shampoo is thoroughly rinsed out.

To prevent tear staining, trim the fur around the eyes and nose frequently. Owners should remove any crust or dirt around the eyes daily. Use cotton wool and plain water. To remove tear stains already set in, some Bichon owners have found a baking soda paste to be of help.

Ears will need a weekly clean to prevent debris from building up. Nails should be trimmed fortnightly. Smaller breeds are prone to dental issues therefore teeth should be brushed daily.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Bichon Frise below:

Cataracts- An inherited condition that causes an abnormal cloudiness after a change in lens. If the opacity is large enough light to the retina will be blocked, resulting in blindness over time.
Luxating Patellas- The kneecap temporarily falls out of position before relocating back into place.
Bladder Stones- Minerals form into small rocks within the bladder ranging in both composition and size. Symptoms include straining when urinating, and blood in the urine.
Portosystemic Shunt- A liver shunt is caused by the abnormal connection between the systemic circulation and the portal vascular system. Blood vessels bypass the liver draining blood directly into circulation without being detoxified.
Diabetes Mellitus- The dog is unable to produce adequate amounts of insulin for the body’s cells. This will affect the dog’s fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
Allergies- A lifelong condition causing itchy skin. Owners will have to learn to manage the condition as there is no cure.

Bichon Frise Training

This intelligent breed picks up on training quickly. Bichons can live happily in apartments and respond well to crate training. They love performing so keep a Bichon mentally stimulated by teaching them new tricks. Training sessions should last up to 15 minutes to prevent boredom.

The Bichon Frise is notorious for being difficult to housebreak. It’s important owners establish a routine to help aid potty training. Ideally, they should be let out every 2-3 hours and every 15 minutes after eating and drinking. Use positive reinforcement methods as this breed won’t do well with harsh techniques.

Early socialization is important for all dogs, especially smaller breeds. Fear-based reactions could result in aggressive behaviour so a Bichon Frise puppy should be introduced to a variety of people, dogs, and environments. Puppy training classes will help socialize dogs whilst teaching them basic commands.

The Bichon Frise is prone to separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. For this reason, they should be in a home where at least one person is indoors most of the day. Otherwise, they’ll resort to destructive behaviours. Bichon Frise owners must be consistent and dedicated to training.

bichon frise puppies uk

Bichon Frise Interesting Facts

  • In December 2021, Afro Ken, the Bichon Frise passed away two weeks after his 18th birthday. He is believed to have been Britain’s oldest Bichon Frise dog. He has beaten the record previously held by Nellie who passed away in Hastings aged 17! Afro Ken was born and raised in Minnesota, America before moving to the UK aged 12.
  • In 2021, Viovet conducted a stidy into the laziest dog breeds and the Bichon Frise made the list! The breed alongside the Maltese were deemed to require less physical activity compared to others.
  • Flynn the Bichon Frise, won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2018! Flynn beat almost 3,000 other competitors to the top spot!
  • Bella, a Bichon Frise from Willingdon, Eastbourne, has helped her owner Barry Coarse, a war veteran, overcome PTSD. Barry would suffer from night terrors and Bella would wake him up by licking his ear, then further calming him down by licking his neck. Bella is now an onwer-trained qualified assistance dog! She even won an award at the Soldiering On military event under the Animal Partnership category.
  • Bleu, a Bichon Frise from Uddingston is also referred to as Houdini after his disappearing act! It took searchers including local police more than three and a half hours to find him!
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Border Terrier

border terrier dog

Border Terriers are listed as one of Britain’s top 20 dog breeds! Hailing from the Anglo-Scottish Border, this loveable canine is also one of Britain’s oldest Terriers! Today we’re going to learn more about the Border Terrier.

Border Terrier Breed Standards
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Border Terrier Lifespan: 12-15 years
Border Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 12-15 inches
Weight: Male 6-7 kg, Female 5-6 kg
Hypoallergenic?: Yes

Border Terriers are the 2nd most popular members of the Terrier group. In the UK they ranked 12th with 4,587 Border Terrier puppy registrations in 2020. Staffordshire Bull Terriers take the top spot in the Terrier family with 5,010 puppy registrations that year.

Over the last decade Border Terriers have seen a steady decline in registration numbers with the Kennel Club. In 2011 there were 7,188 Border Terrier puppy registrations. However, the breed still hasn’t lost its spot on Britains top 20 dog breeds list!

border terrier puppies uk

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Border Terrier below:

Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic breed, low shedding
  • Suitable for apartment lifestyles
  • Ideal for first time owners
  • Family friendly dog, great with children
  • Great watchdog, highly intelligent

Negatives:

  • Stubborn streak
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Strong prey drive
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Vocal, likes to bark

The Border Terrier is a small breed with a rough coat and lots of personality. Their breed standard colours include Grizzle, Grizzle & Tan, Dark Grizzle, Dark Rizzle & Tan, Dark Red Grizzle, Light Grizzle, Red, Red Grizzle, Wheaten, and Blue & Tan.

Temperament

Small but mighty the Border Terrier won’t back down from a challenge. Like most Terriers, fearlessness is an inherited trait! Size means nothing to them but as the Border is smaller, it could land them in trouble with a much larger dog! However, this sociable canine is happy and friendly. Borders aren’t the type to instigate, but they’ll definitely finish it!

Loyal, loveable, energetic, and alert, the Border Terrier will make a fantastic companion. They have a unique personality and will keep their owner on their toes! Despite their stubborn streak this breed is intelligent and picks up on training well! Border Terriers are suited to first time owners.

Naturally, this breed is alert and will make a suitable watchdog, although their size isn’t suited for guard work! Borders will welcome strangers into their homes and will politely greet their guests. It’s important to socialize this breed well with strangers so they don’t resort to fear-based reactions.

Border Terriers are excellent family dogs and do well in homes with children! A child will find a forever friend in a Border! Although small this breed is sturdy, energetic, and a fantastic playmate for kids. Always supervise play in case things get a little too boisterous!

A well-socialized Border Terrier will enjoy being in the company of other dogs. They’ll quickly make friends in the dog park, politely introducing themselves to those who pass by. Border Terriers can live in homes with other dogs and also cats however, it’s best they’re raised together from puppyhood.

History

Border Terriers are one of Britain’s oldest Terrier breeds. They were developed along the border of Scotland and England by farmers and shepherds. An agile Terrier was needed to defend the sheep from the Hill Fox. Borders were small enough to fit into the dens of foxes but big enough to keep up with huntsmen on horses.

Their coat is wiry and weatherproof protecting them from the tough terrain. This breed was previously known as the Coquetdale and Redesdale Terrier the areas of which they originated. Their legacy, however, is attributed to Northumberland, where they became well-known fox hunters working alongside Hounds.

The Border Hunt is over 130 years old and covers the countryside from the River Rede to Jedburgh. It’s a controversial hunt that’s even seen members Timothy Allen and Shaun Anderson on trial for breaching Scotland’s fox hunting legislation.

The breed was also known to work as ratters on farms. Other prey included otters and badgers. Border Terriers were popular amongst the working-class and were typically used to hunt for work as opposed to sport. The breed will bolt after foxes and can also go to ground. Aggression is not a Border Terrier trait as they have to work alongside other dogs.

The Moss Trooper was the first Border Terrier to be registered with the Kennel Club in 1912. Unfortunately, the breed’s registration was rejected by the Kennel Club in 1914 but eventually granted in 1920. Their ancestry is shared with the Bedlington and Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

Exercise & Grooming

Energetic and playful, Border Terriers require up to one hour of exercise per day, but don’t be surprised if they want longer! Despite their small size, Border Terriers have fantastic stamina and can easily keep up with huntsmen on horseback! So they must participate in vigorous play.

Long walks across the countryside are thoroughly enjoyed but don’t forget they have a strong prey drive! Always keep them leashed unless in an enclosed space. Their gardens must be secure! Border Terriers love digging so ensure fences are fixed deep into the ground!

Border Terriers also require mental stimulation within their day. Otherwise, they could become bored and destructive. Dog sports is a great form of mental stimulation and the Border Terrier excels in a variety of categories. These include lure coursing, agility, tracking, flyball, and earthdog events.

As a hypoallergenic breed, the Border Terrier dog sheds minimal amounts. It’s advised to brush them once each day to remove any dead fur. Their coarse, short coats should never be clipped but hand stripped instead. Although some owners prefer a natural shaggy look.

Bathe Border Terrier dogs once a month minimum. Frequent washing can strip the coat from its natural oils. Every week the ears should be cleaned from debris. Nails will also need trimming. To maintain dental hygiene brush the teeth multiple times a week if not daily!

Health

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

Patella Luxation: The kneecap moves out of position temporarily before returning back into position just as quick.
Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome: Also known as Spike’s disease, this condition is hereditary and found in Border Terriers. It causes tremors, spasms, seizures and is similar to epilepsy.
SLEM Spongiform LeucoEncephaloMyelopathy: Shaking puppy syndrome has been seen in Border Terrier puppies since 2012. It’s a relatively new condition affecting the central nervous system.
Canine Gallbladder Mucocele: The accumulation of excessive and abnormal mucus in the gallbladder causing it to become enlarged.
Cushing’s Syndrome: This is caused by an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol produced by the adrenal glands found at the top of each kidney. Symptoms include excessive urination, thirst, lethargy, breathlessness, and an increase in appetite.

Border Terrier Training

Border Terriers may be one of the sweeter members of the Terrier family, but they still have a stubborn streak! Owners will need patience as a Border Terrier won’t be forced to cooperate. Luckily this breed is intelligent and a quick learner. They’re also eager to please, another bonus to training!

Keep training sessions to around 10-15 minutes and avoid constant repetition. Be firm but not harsh as Borders are sensitive. Positive reinforcement methods work best! First-time dog owners may benefit from professional training classes.

Borders are prone to separation anxiety and mustn’t be left alone for long periods of time. This breed will form a strong bond with its owner. If they feel anxious, worried, and lonely they’ll resort to destructive behaviours. At least one member of the household should stay home during the day.

Socialization is highly important for all members of the Terrier family. Their fearlessness and mentality of never backing down could cause behavioural issues if left untrained. Introduce a Border Terrier puppy to new people, dogs and places regularly throughout their lives.

border terrier for sale uk

Border Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Border Terriers have been featured on the big screen plenty of times! Some of their movie titles include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Return to Oz, There’s Something About Mary, Prometheus, A most Violent Year and Cheaper by the Dozen.
  • In the UK the Border Terrier Club was first established in 1920, making it Britain’s oldest breed club!
  • Alfie the Border Terrier from Derbyshire, is allegedly the oldest of his breed at 17! He was born in 2005 and has broken the previous title held by Betty aged 15! Aflie is still lively and his age isn’t holding him back.
  • Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick lost his Border Terrier named Keira on September 9th 2021. She lived until the age of 13. Keira almost lost her life last year after being ran over by a van, shattering her pelvis. Noel Fitzpatrick operated on her and gave her another year of life.
  • Bella the Border Terrier has been bringing smiles to the patients at Gateshead hospital! Bella is a Pets As Therapy Dogs and frequently visits the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to help lift the spirits of those during their stay.
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Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi

The Welsh Corgi is one of Britain’s most well-known dogs. They’re famously known as our Queen’s favourite breed, who is often surrounded by her faithful pack. Let’s take a look into Britain’s prized dog breed!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Lifespan: 12-13 years
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 10-12 inches
Weight: Male up to 14 kilograms Female up to 13 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is mostly recognized due to Queen Elizabeth II’s adoration of the breed. Since her accession to the throne in 1952, the Queen has owned over thirty Corgis! They’re often referred to as the Royal Corgis! Her fondness began after her father King George VI brought home Dookie, the Corgi.

There are two dog breeds listed under the name Welsh Corgi. The first is the Pembroke Corgi and the second is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Corgi is the youngest of the two. Both are achondroplastic breeds (dwarf) due to their long bodies and short legs.

pembroke welsh corgi
Welsh Corgi dog on a walk in a beautiful autumn Park with yellow foliage

Characteristics

Below are the pros and cons of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi:

Positives:

  • Welsh Corgis can live in apartments
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Easy to train
  • Family friendly dog
  • Therapy dog

Negatives:

  • This breed is vocal and likes to bark
  • Achondroplastic breed
  • Sheds fur heavily
  • Prone to weight gain
  • May suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a medium-sized breed with a fox-like head and pointy ears. Their fur is typically lighter on the sides as the withers reduce in thickness. Coat colours consist of Fawn & White, Sable & White, Red & White and Tricolour.

Temperament

Now the Welsh Corgi may be a dwarf breed but their size shouldn’t underestimate their personality! This breed holds a unique personality and is also incredibly loyal. As the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is eager to please, they’re a good breed choice for first-time dog owners.

High in energy, the Welsh Corgi will need some form of vigorous exercise during the day. However, Corgis can live happily in an apartment provided their activity needs are being met. As this breed loves to be around their owner they have a low wanderlust potential.

The Welsh Corgi is often reserved with strangers but generally polite with household visitors. Alertness is a trait found in the Corgi so they make great watchdogs. Socializing a Corgi puppy is highly important as it’ll enable the dog to be more trusting of strangers in adulthood.

A Corgi is one of the more low-maintenance dog breeds and makes an excellent family dog. They’re great with children and are easy to train. Due to their herding background, they may display these types of behaviours towards children. Households with smaller children must be aware of this before bringing a Corgi puppy into the home.

Corgis do get along with other dogs but are a little warier than other breeds. They can happily live alongside other dogs in their household. The breed can be around cats but should be introduced during puppyhood. Regular socialization during their early years will prevent fear-based reactions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi History

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of Britain’s most famous dog breeds and originates from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Solidified in British history as Queen Elizabeth II’s faithful companions, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is widely recognized across the world. The Royal Corgis even featured in a cover photo for Vanity Fair’s Summer 2016 Edition!

Legend has it that two children were playing in a field and stumbled across a pair of puppies. At first, they thought they were foxes but after taking them home, their parents quickly realised they were dogs! The parents told their children the dogs were gifted to them by fairies that lived in the field. The marks on the Corgis back represented the fairies saddle!

The foundation dogs of the Welsh Corgi arrived in Southwestern Wales in 1107. They were brought by Flemish Weavers from Northern Belgium who were invited to live and work in Wales by King Henry I. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a cousin of the Pembroke Corgi but is slightly bigger and longer. They also have smaller ears and straighter legs.

Welsh Corgis are herding dogs and were used for cattle, sheep and horses. They’d often be found working on farms. Traditionally, the Welsh Corgi was docked, however, since the ban, this is no longer being practised in the UK. This led to a drop in breed numbers landing the Welsh Corgi on the Vulnerable Native Breed list.

In 2020, Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies had their highest KC registration period of the last decade. There were 887 puppy registrations that year compared to 371 Welsh Corgi puppy registrations in 2011. The Kennel Club believe the Netflix series The Crown is one main reason for the increase in popularity.

Exercise & Grooming

Welsh Corgis need up to one hour of exercise each day. If their exercise needs are being met, they can happily live in an apartment. As the Welsh Corgi is an achondroplastic breed their legs are susceptible to injury. Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies shouldn’t be overexercised. Owners should be cautious of their joints until their growth plates are fully formed. This takes place around the ages of 9-12 months.

Due to their herding background, Welsh Corgis require lots of mental stimulation. Hide and seek with food treats, puzzle games and dog sports are some ways to do this. Welsh Corgis compete well in agility, showmanship, tracking, obedience, flyball and herding events.

This breed is used to hard work so some Corgis may still be high in energy. Although a dwarf breed, the Welsh Corgi can reach up to speeds of 25mph! They enjoy long walks or even a slow jog but aren’t quick enough to be a cycling partner!

Brush the Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a slicker brush once a day to remove any dead fur. During shedding seasons a rake will help remove the undercoat. The fur won’t need trimming and can be left natural during the summer months, despite the heat.

Corgis should be bathed every 4-8 weeks. Brush through the coat prior to it getting wet to avoid tangles. Ensure all shampoo is washed out of the fur to prevent skin irritation. Use a blow dryer to dry the coat as wet fur will pick up debris. Clean the ears weekly and trim the nails fortnightly.

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi:

Bladder Stones: A collection of minerals form in a dog’s bladder resulting in crystallised formations that could lodge in the urethra, preventing urination.
Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint develops poorly which will cause the ball and socket of the hip to rub and grind against each other. This will cause pain, lameness, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in dogs.
Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood platelet deficiency prevents the blood from clotting thus causing excessive bleeding.
Intervertebral Disc Disease: Discs separate the bones of the spine. IVDD is the degeneration of one or more of these discs. It’s an age-related condition that typically affects achondroplastic breeds such as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Lens Luxation: An inherited condition mostly seen in Terrier breeds. The zonular fibres holding the lens in place are weakened causing the lens to wobble or fall out of place. It’s painful and could cause permanent blindness.
Cataracts: An opacity (cloudiness) in the lens of the eye. If large enough, it will block light from reaching the retina, leading to blindness.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Training

Welsh Corgis are eager to please, an excellent trait that helps ease training. First-time owners are suitable for this breed. At 8 weeks a Welsh Corgi puppy can begin learning basic commands. Socialisation is another important part of training that should start at this age. Introduce Welsh Corgi puppies frequently to new people, places, and dogs.

Harsh training techniques won’t work on this canine! Patience, consistency and positive reinforcement methods are better suited to this breed. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are highly independent so it’s easy for them to break away from their training and display bad behaviours. Ensure they are never allowed to break the rules!

Corgis are relatively easy to housebreak. Dogs, in general, don’t like to potty in their sleeping areas. This natural instinct eases housebreaking although some breeds are more difficult than others. It’s best to set up a routine across the day with regular toilet intervals so a Corgi learns to follow this.

This breed is listed by the Kennel Club under the pastoral group. Their herding background can cause Welsh Corgi puppies to become excessively mouthy. Stop a Corgi from nipping at the heels, chewing and herding by disciplining and redirecting these behaviours.

Its important Corgis are taught respect training first. This should then be followed up with obedience training. Corgis must acknowledge their owner’s leadership position. If this breed is allowed to run rings around its owner, its behaviour will quickly spiral out of control.

pembroke welsh corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Interesting Facts

  • The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is younger than the Caridgan Welsh Corgi which is around 2,000 years older making it one of Britain’s oldest breeds! Both have never collected the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
  • When translated the name Corgi means dwarf dog. In Welsh Cor stands for dwarf and gi for dog.
  • The Queen’s Corgi and Netflix series the Crown is believed to be responsible for the 25% increase of Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Caridgan Welsh Corgi puppy registrations.
  • Marcel, the Corgi from Greenwich, London boasts 140k followers on instagram and is growing in fame. He was once featured in a photo shoot with Helena Bonham-Carter. Even Queen Elizabeth II is a fan! Marcel is increasing in popularity and has even been stalked back to his own front door!
  • Across the world Corgi Cafes are quickly becoming a firm favourite! These dog themed cafes even have Corgi puppies customers can pet and meet!
  • Cinnamon, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi from Chicago hilariously tries to stop her owner from sneezing! The video quickly went viral with other Corgi owners stating theirs does the same thing!


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Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei dog is one of the worlds most renowned dog breeds. Check out the guide below as we delve into the background of this unique and interesting canine. 

Chinese Shar-Pei Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?:
Yes
Chinese Shar-Pei Lifespan: 8-12 years
Chinese Shar-Pei Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 18-20 inches
Weight: 20-27 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Shar Pei is a Chinese dog breed widely recognised for its wrinkles. However, despite their looks, many are surprised to know the Shar Pei is closely related to the Spitz family. They share the same genetic group as the Chow Chow, Shiba Inu, and the Akita.  

In Hong Kong the traditional, less wrinkly Shar Peis more common than the wrinkly version seen in the West. This breed is highly popular in the Western world although breed numbers have decreased in the UK over the last 10 years. In 2011 2,061 Shar Pei puppies were registered with the KC compared to 2020 at 714.

sharpei puppy uk

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Shar-Pei below:

Positives:

  • Ideal watchdog, protective of its family
  • Independent can be left alone
  • Minimal shedding
  • Low wanderlust potential
  • Quiet, not an excessive barker
  • Suitable for apartment living

Negatives:

  • Not very dog friendly
  • Attracts a doggy odour
  • Wrinkles need frequent cleaning
  • A brachycephalic breed
  • Tendency to chew, nip, and play bite more than other dogs

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium-sized dog that’s renowned for its wrinkly skin. Shar Pei also have blueish black tongues a unique characteristic also seen in the Chow Chow. Folded ears and a dark muzzle are also unique features of the Shar-Pei. Their double-coat is found in all solid colours with the exception of White.

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Shar Pei Temperament

A Chinese Shar-Pei is protective and devoted to its family members. They’re calm, independent and affectionate dogs but on occasion can be stubborn. This breed isn’t the best choice for first-time owners as a lack of training and socialization will lead to aggressive behaviour.

Shar Pei have a strong prey drive so may chase smaller dogs and animals. As an independent breed, the Shar Pei can tolerate being left alone and isn’t prone to separation anxiety. That being said, no dog can be left alone continuously as this is likely to lead to destructive behaviour.  

Shar-Pei are aloof and reserved around strangers. They prefer to keep their distance but Shar-Pei puppies must be thoroughly socialized with people to prevent territorial behaviour. The breed’s history plays a huge role in their natural suspicions of strangers and dogs today.

Introduce a Shar Pei to a family environment as a puppy. This breed is better suited to older children as they may nip and herd smaller children. It’s ill-advised to rehome an adult Shar Pei with children. This breed can tolerate kids and make loyal family pets. 

A Shar Pei isn’t prized for being sociable! Due to its fighting background, unless well-socialized, the Shar Pei isn’t too dog friendly. They’re not the sort to walk into the dog park on the lookout for playmates! Cats and dogs living in the same home as a Shar Pei should be raised together from puppyhood.  

History

The Shar-Pei originates from China with a history spanning over 2,000 years during the reign of the Han Dynasty. The breed was commonly owned by the working class as opposed to nobility. They’re versatile and were used for a range of jobs including hunting, herding, and guarding livestock.

At one time in the Shar Pei history, they were used as fighting dogs. The English even referred to them as the Chinese Fighting Dog. Their loose skin offered a form of protection against bites but the introduction of larger breeds saw them fall out of popularity in the fighting ring.

In 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formed and the Communist regime began slaughtering most of their purebred dog population. Back then and even today dog meat is still being consumed! This almost led to the extinction of the Shar-Pei. Thankfully a few specimens of the breed were saved in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The Guinness Book of World Records listed the Chinese Shar-Pei as the world’s rarest breed in 1978. At that time there were approximately 60 Shar Peis left in the world! After a magazine feature, interest in the Shar-Pei skyrocketed across America.

This led to cross-breeding with the Bulldog, Bull Terrier and Pug being introduced into the bloodlines. Thus establishing the creation of the Meat-Mouth Shar-Pei. The traditional breed before crossing is referred to as the Bone-Mouth Shar-pei but less than 100 of this variety remain today.

Much to the dismay of breeders, some Shar-Pei enthusiasts have set out to create the Miniature Shar-Pei. Their small size is caused by a recessive gene however this variety is uncommon to come across. Blue Shar Pei or Grey Shar Pei have become one of the more popular coat colours for this breed.

Exercise & Grooming

A Shar Pei should receive up to one hour of exercise per day. These intelligent canines need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom! Whilst this breed does have a low wanderlust potential they should still be kept on leads due to their temperamental nature with other dogs.

This breed can live in an apartment provided their activity needs are being met. They’re adaptable dogs but enjoy active lifestyles. Dog sports are a good way to keep this breed physically and mentally fit. The Shar Pei excels in categories such as rally, obedience, agility and tracking. 

Clean the wrinkles daily with a damp cloth followed by a dry one. Bacteria and dirt can build within the wrinkles resulting in infections and skin irritation. Shar Pei ears are also susceptible to chronic ear infections and must be cleaned weekly.   

Use a rubber or bristle brush to groom through the fur two to three times a week. The Shar-Pei is low shedding but will blow their coat during the spring and autumn season. It’s typically easy to maintain. To prevent overgrown nails trim them fortnightly. 

The Shar Pei bear coat acts as a natural barrier, repelling dirt from its body. However, this breed should still receive a bath every 4 weeks. Ensure the shampoo is thoroughly washed off from under the wrinkles. Prevent dental disease by cleaning the teeth daily. 

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Health

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

Familial Shar Pei Fever: A hereditary condition causing fever, pain and swelling of the tibiotarsal (hock) joints. This auto-inflammatory disease only occurs in Shar-Pei and is estimated to affect 23% of the breed’s population.  
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome: As a Brachycephalic breed the Shar Pei dog may suffer from breathing issues.  
Skin Problems: The wrinkles of the Shar-Pei are prone to inflammation and infection. Atopy, an itchy skin condition caused by allergies is also seen in this breed. 
Entropion: The eyelid rolls inwards resulting in the lashes scratching the surface of the eye. This will cause ulcers, irritation, possible pigmentation development, and excessive tearing. 
Glaucoma: An abnormal cloudiness appears in the eye after a change of lens. If the opacity is big enough to affect vision it will stop light from reaching the retina, eventually causing blindness. 
Amyloidosis: A condition causing the dog to abnormally deposit protein in the body, typically the liver or kidneys which could result in kidney failure.  
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Cobalamin Deficiency is seen more often in the Shar Pei than other breeds and it’s suspected to be hereditary. 

Shar-Pei Training

Aggression isn’t uncommon amongst the Shar-Pei breed. It’s typically down to a lack of socialization and training. As an ex hunting and fighting breed, the Shar-Pei is naturally ready to defend its family. It’s important a Shar Pei puppy experiences a variety of new places, sounds, sights, people, and dogs.

Never let the Shar-Pei break the household boundaries. This alpha dog will quickly try to take the top spot. First and foremost, it’s important to build a bond with a Shar-Pei puppy. Once this is established obedience training should begin right away. Within the first week of their arrival.  

Owners must be consistent and patient if they want to get anywhere with training. Positive reinforcement is always best. Use food rewards and toys as a form of praise. Instantly reward good behaviour just as quick as correcting bad. Keep training sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes and avoid repetition as this will bore the Shar Pei!   

Group puppy classes are a fantastic way to socialize a dog whilst learning new commands. These dogs are smart so once they’ve grasped the basics, move on to some advanced training. Teach them new tricks even if it’s just for fun. It’s a good way to keep the Shar Pei occupied.  

shar pei beach

Shar Pei Interesting Facts

  • In 1979 Life Magazine featured the Shar-Pei on their front cover! It included an earlier appeal by Hong Kong Shar Pei dog breeder Matgo Law to save the breed. After this publication, Shar Pei puppy sales increased dramatically!
  • The unique black-blue tongue sported by the Chinese Shar-Pei is also seen in the Chow Chow. Lavender is another tongue colour seen in this breed. Their unique tongues were historically thought to ward off evil spirits. 
  • The rough coat of the Shar Pei was another tool used in dog fighting due to its uncomfortability in the mouth. The name Shar Pei actually translates to sand-skin. 
  • Violet, the Shar Pei is a rescue dog from Yorkshire saved by Wrinkles Rescue Centre at the age of 6 weeks. Despite the odds being stacked against her, after seven months of treatment, Violet was now ready to meet her new family. On July 12th 2021 Violet finally got to meet her new owner! 
  • Harvey the Shar Pei is covered in deep wrinkles and resembles a blanket! Owner Teresa Arguimba has to keep the skin folds moisturized every day! Harvey has much thicker wrinkles than any of his siblings! 
  • Shar Peis are highly protective of their owners! In Middlesbrough, owner Ryan Blanchard’s dog attacked 3 police officers after arriving at his address looking for a different person. 
  • Tally the Shar Pei was rescued from Romania in 2021 after being found tied to a tree with both her paws cut off! Luckily, she was found and fostered before coming to the UK where she was to be looked after by Shar Pei Rescue Scotland. They’re hoping to purchase prosthetics for Tally to increase her limited mobility. Shar Pei Rescue Scotland and members of the public helped raise funds to supply Tally with wheels to improve her quality of life.
  • On the 24th March 2021 in Cheltenham Park, England, 3 Shar Pei puppies were discovered in a bucket! The ill dogs were suffering with sarcoptic mange and are being rehabilitated and rehomed by the RSPCA. 

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Cavapoo

cavapoo

The Cavapoo is one of Britain’s most popular designer dog breeds. A cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, we’re going to look into the Cavapoos personality, health, training needs and more!

Cavapoo Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: No
Cavapoo Lifespan: 12-15 years
Cavapoo Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 9-14 inches
Weight: 5-11 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Cavapoo is a popular hybrid and is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. The breed can be crossed with a miniature, standard or toy Poodle resulting in the Cavapoo’s varying sizes. Due to its crossbreed status, the Cavapoo might inherit more features from one parent than the other.

This designer dog also goes by the name Cavoodle or the Cavadoodle. Over the last 20 years, these teddy bear dogs have made long strides to establish their own breed. Yet still, the Cavapoo hasn’t been recognised by the FCI, Kennel Club or American Kennel Club.

cavapoo puppy uk

Characteristics

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

Positives:

Hypoallergenic, low shedding coat
Sociable and friendly
Suitable for first-time owners
Adaptable, can live in an apartment
Intelligent and easy to train
Good therapy dog

Negatives:

Prone to separation anxiety
High grooming needs
Not a great watchdog
Vocal, will bark for attention

The Cavapoo is a designer dog featuring long floppy ears and a wavy low shedding coat. A Cavapoo full grown will reach up to 14 inches in height and 11 kilograms in weight unless you own a smaller variety. The breed is found in a wide range of colours that include, tri-colour, bi-colour, Black, White, Apricot, Sable, Chocolate, Tan and Red.

Cavapoo Temperament

The Cavapoo dog breed is a happy go lucky dog. They’re highly friendly and sociable and make great companion dogs. This breed is good-natured, playful, and affectionate and isn’t known for aggression. Their cute appearance is matched to their gentle and sweet temperament.

Cavapoos thrive off their owner’s attention and don’t do well on their own for long periods. These lapdogs are better suited to homes where at least one person stays indoors.

This breed isn’t a natural watchdog or guard dog and won’t be a great defender of the home. They’re friendly to all including strangers. The most they’ll do is bark at the knock of a door. A Cavapoo shouldn’t be timid which is often an indicator of a lack of socialization.

All varieties of Cavapoo size are exceptional family dogs! These playful pooches get along well with children and enjoy the interactive games and extra attention! A miniature and toy Cavapoo is better suited to families with older children as they’re more fragile and prone to injury.

Cavapoos are highly sociable and love making friends at the park! They’ll play nicely with other dogs and can also live happily alongside them too! The Cavapoo is a lover of all animals and can also live with cats and smaller pets. Although it’s recommended they’re raised together from puppyhood.

History

The Cavapoo is a hybrid crossed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a poodle. Whilst they may have been around America during the 1950s, they weren’t bred under an official aspect until the 1990s by Australian breeders. It didn’t take long for these designer dogs to skyrocket in popularity across the world.

There are a number of different Cavapoo generations developed over the years. The first is the F1 type. This Cavapoo is the oldest generation and is 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & 50% Poodle. An F1B Cavapoo has been bred back to a Poodle making its parent percentage 75% Poodle and 25% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

An F2 Cavapoo is bred from two full-grown Cavapoos so their parentage background is still 50%. The same goes for an F3 Cavapoo as both of their parents are F2 Cavapoos. It gets slightly more confusing when the Cavapoo is bred back to one of their parent dogs but reputable breeders will keep thorough track of their bloodlines.

In the UK the Cavapoo isn’t an uncommon breed so it’s best to check any shelters or Cavapoo rescue centres before sourcing a Cavapoo breeder.

Exercise & Grooming

The standard Cavapoo requires up to one hour of exercise per day. A toy and miniature Cavapoo will need slightly less at around 30 minutes per day. All varieties of Cavapoo are suited to apartment living. Sometimes a game of fetch in the garden is enough to wear the mini Cavapoo out!

As a hybrid, a Cavapoo is unable to perform dog sports in any official capacity. However, it is still a good idea to involve them in dog sports for fun. It’s a good form of exercise and mental stimulation. Bored dogs will display destructive behaviours, so it’s important to keep the Cavapoo occupied.

Cavapoo dogs have a hypoallergenic coat so they’re better suited to allergy sufferers. This breed hardly sheds so owners will need to brush through the coat every 2-3 days to remove dead fur. A slicker brush and comb is the most ideal tool to use on their coat.

Every 6-8 weeks the Cavapoo should receive a thorough groom and trim of their fur. This should include a wash and blowdry. Be careful not to over-dry the coat as this is damaging to the fur. Some owners do this from home whilst others use a professional grooming service.

A Cavapoo has long fluffy ears which are susceptible to infection. These should be cleaned weekly to prevent a build-up of debris. Dogs should also have their teeth brushed daily and their nails trimmed fortnightly. Introduce grooming techniques to a Cavapoo puppy as early as possible to prevent fear.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Cavapoo below:

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap moves out of position before quickly returning back into place. A dog may run on three legs before quickly returning back to 4.
Hip Dysplasia: The ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together correctly due to abnormal growth. This will lead to pain, inflammation, swelling, lameness, and eventually arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in affected dogs.
Mitral Valve Disease: This disease targets the heart valve tissue causing it to degenerate thus preventing the heart valve from fully closing.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative condition targeting the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. Over time this will lead to blindness.
Glaucoma: A painful condition caused by a build-up of fluid within the eye. Symptoms include redness, rubbing of the eye, a cloudy cornea, and eventual loss of vision.
Entropion: The eyelid rolls inwards causing the lashes to rub against the surface of the eye. This will cause ulcers, pigmentation development, irritation, and watery eyes.

Cavapoo Training

The Cavapoo might be a designer dog but they hold mountains of intelligence and are easy to train. This makes them a suitable breed for first-time owners. As a sensitive companion, the Cavapoo will become upset with harsh training techniques. Use positive methods, patience and a calm yet assertive tone of voice.

Crate training is beneficial to the Cavapoo as their crate becomes their safe space. This dog is prone to separation anxiety so if their owners were to go out for a couple of hours, they could use the crate as a source of comfort. It’s also a tool that can be used to housebreak a dog because they don’t like soiling their own spaces.

Cavapoos are essentially lapdogs but their cute teddy like faces can be a distraction to owners. Some may fall for the cute puppy eyes allowing their dog to push or even break the boundaries. This will lead to bad habits that may include excessive barking, jumping, digging, and hyperactivity.

Naturally, this breed is pretty sociable and will make lots of friends in the dog park. Cavapoo puppies should be thoroughly socialized with people, dogs and environments to nurture them into well-rounded dogs. Group puppy classes are an excellent way to do this.

cavapoo uk

Cavapoo Interesting Facts

  • In October 2021, Maisie the Cavapoo from Wales just couldn’t stand the rain anymore. She decided to protest by laying flat like a starfish refusing to walk out the door! As soon as owner Rachel grabs her raincoat, Maisie turns straight into a starfish!
  • On July 5th 2021 in Ripley Surrey, two Cavapoos Rockie and Marnie were stolen whilst their family were holidaying in Spain. They were notified after their dog sitter phoned the family to let them know they had gone missing. Naturally, the children Henry and Archie Beckett were distraught at losing their forever friends!
  • Tia the Cavapoo, was featured on Channel 4’s Supervet after she was facing being put to sleep. Tia fell down a ditch in Buckingham Green which resulted in her hip being dislodged from its socket. The operation was estimated to be around £8,000 but luckily Tia was referred to Fitzpatrick’s Supervet where they completed a life-saving operation that cost half the price!
  • In the United Kingdom, the Cavapoo is one of the most expensive dog breeds. The Cavapoo price ranges from £1000-£4000.
  • There are a list of different Cavapoo generations. F1 is the oldest being 50% Poodle and 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The other generations are F1B, F1BB, F2, F2B, and F3.
  • On September 12 2021, Rupert the Cavapoo puppy was mauled whilst walking in Hampstead Heath by an ex-racing Greyhound. Owner James Brillant had to rush his puppy for emergency veterinary care totalling a cost of £1,200.
  • Cavapoos are highly sought after dogs with many increasingly being the victims of dog theft. In Jersey, police opened an invesitgation after a nine week-old Cavapoo puppy was stolen in July 2021. An attempted dog snatching of a five month old Cavapoo puppy was luckily prevented after partially sighted owener Gary Harkins refused. The two men jumped out of the van aggressively but thankfully left without the dog.

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Cesky Terrier

cesky terrier

The Cesky Terrier is the National Dog of the Czech Republic. They’re a cross between the Scottish and Sealyham Terrier. Today the Ceskie is one of the world’s rarest breeds!

Cesky Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Cesky Terrier Lifespan: 12-15 years
Cesky Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: 10-13 inches
Weight: 6-11 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Cesky Terrier is an achondroplastic breed as he is longer than he is tall. Dog breeds that have dwarfism must wait until their growth plates are fully formed before jumping or climbing stairs. Over exercise is incredibly damaging to their joints. Other achondroplastic breeds include the Skye Terrier, the Swedish Vallhund, and the Glen of Imaal Terrier.

This breed is rare so potential owners will need to join a waiting list to register their interests in a puppy. It’ll be very hard to find a Cesky Terrier rescue centre in the UK. In 2020 there were 38 Cesky Terrier puppies registered with the Kennel Club. The second-highest total in a decade behind 2019 at 43.

cesky terrier UK

Characteristics

Below are the pros and cons of the Cesky Terrier dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic and a low shedding coat
  • More sociable than other Terriers
  • Family-friendly pet
  • Suitable watchdog
  • Low drooling
  • Adaptable, can live in an apartment

Negatives:

  • Rare breed, must join a waiting list
  • Prone to weight gain
  • Strong prey drive
  • Easily bored and holds a stubborn streak

The Cesky Terrier is a small-medium dog breed with a robust and muscular body. It’s short-legged with drop ears and a long soft coat. Hand stripping isn’t required for this coat, unlike other Terrier breeds. Their coat colours are found in Grey Blue, and Light Coffee Brown.

Cesky Terrier Temperament

The Cesky Terrier is a friendly canine that’s calmer than its other Terrier cousins. This breed isn’t known to show aggressive or nervous behaviour unless unsocialized. Quiet in the home and cheerful around the family, this dog makes a great companion!

Loving and deeply loyal, Cesky Terriers can’t be left alone regularly as they’re prone to separation anxiety. This breed is better suited to homes where at least one person is in during the day. Although lively, Cesky Terriers don’t require heavy amounts of exercise.

Contained within this small dog is a loud and powerful bark. As a natural watchdog, this breed will immediately alert its owner to a knock on the door or a trespasser. Cesky Terriers are typically reserved with strangers but never aggressive.

Ceskies are more fragile than other breeds as they’re achondroplastic. Homes with older children are better suited for a Ceskie. They’re lively characters and enjoy playing interactive games. The Cesky Terrier will be a great playmate and affectionate companion.

Well-socialized Cesky Terriers will get along well with other dogs. They aren’t known to court fights quite as much as others in the Terrier family! This breed can live happily in a home with other canines and even cats! Smaller household pets like rodents will be chased!

History

The Cesky Terrier originates from the Czech Republic and was created by breeder František Horák in 1948. Cesky Terriers are a cross between Sealyham and Scottish Terriers. They were developed for hunting in the forests of the Bohemia region found in the Czech Republic (previously Czechoslovakia). The Bohemian Terrier is another name they go by.

Horak started a breeding programme to produce a Terrier that could go to ground but could also work in packs. A dog with a temperament more obedient and gentle than other Terriers. He set up hunting kennels and had some of the best Scottie and Sealy Terriers in the country.

His kennel Lovu Zdar means Successful Hunter. Horak documented all of his dog’s bloodlines making the Cesky Terrier one of the most documented dog breeds alive. He developed the coat to be silky so it’s easier to look after and managed to reduce the aggression seen in Scottie and Sealy Terriers.

In 1949 Horak produced the first Cesky litter but only one puppy survived into adulthood. Unfortunately, this dog was accidentally shot by a hunter which caused a setback to the breeding programme. Nevertheless, Horak was still determined to progress the Cesky Terrier, the first National Czech breed. In 1963 the Ceskie received FCI recognition.

The first Cesky Terrier arrived in England in 1989from Lovu Zdar Kennels by Liz and Harold Gay. The couple were popular Glen of Imaal Terrier breeders. They were quickly recognised by the Kennel Club in 1990 but were handed a rare breed status by 2000. To this day the Cesky Terrier is still one of the world’s rarest dogs. Cesky Terriers arrived in America during the 1980s but weren’t recognised by the AKC until 2011.

Exercise & Grooming

Do not overexercise a Cesky Terrier puppy. Their growth plates will close at around 9-12 months. Around 10-15 minutes of exercise is suitable for Cesky Terrier puppies aged 4-6 months old. This breed is suitable for apartment living.

Ceskies will feel bored due to a lack of mental stimulation. Dog sports are a good way to keep them stimulated and exercised. This breed is a great competitor in agility, obedience, and earthdog trials. As this breed is prone to weight gain it’s important to keep them fit and healthy.

A Cesky Terrier should be brushed a couple of times a week to keep its coat tangle-free. Their coat texture is soft and silky. The leg and facial hair need daily brushing. Keep an eye on the underarms as this area is prone to matting. The coat will require occasional trimming as opposed to hand-stripping. Use a soft bristle brush, pin brush, and comb for their fur type.

Clean the ears weekly to remove dirt and debris from the ear canal. Introduce grooming techniques such as nail trimming during puppyhood. Nails should be clipped at least once each month. Vets recommend brushing a dog’s teeth daily to prevent dental disease.

Before putting the Cesky Terrier in the bath give the coat a thorough brush. This will prevent the fur from matting when wet. These canines don’t shed their fur naturally so debris often stays in the coat. Baths should be given around every 8 weeks or sooner if they’re very dirty.

Recommended: What exactly is a Xoloitzcuintli?

Health

Below are the breed-related health conditions of the Cesky Terrier:

Patella Luxation: The term luxating means out of place and the patella is a dog’s kneecap. Dogs can lead normal lives with this condition as the kneecap will go back into position as quickly as it fell out.
Scottie Cramp: A neurological condition that typically occurs after exercise or stress. Affected dogs will lose control over their limbs for approximately 10 minutes.
Primary Lens Luxation: (Hasn’t been detected in Cesky Terriers in the UK) The zonular fibres holding the eye in place disintegrate resulting in the eye falling out of position.
Cancer: Cesky Terriers can suffer from cancers such as lymphosarcoma.

Cesky Terrier Training

Respect training comes first for any Terrier! They must acknowledge the pack pecking order in their household. Cesky Terriers are calmer and less aggressive than other Terrier breeds, which makes them easier to train. First-time owners can be good for this dog.

Positive training methods work best for the Ceskie. Reward every good behaviour and reinforce household boundaries if they are broken. Avoid dishing out too many food treats as Cesky Terriers are prone to weight gain. Use toys, affection and praise.

A well-socialized Cesky Terrier will get along well with other dogs so they must be socialized during puppyhood! Join a group puppy class where the Ceskie can meet new canines and people all while learning new commands! Take them to new places where they can experience different sights and sounds.

Small Dog Syndrome is a behavioural condition primarily caused by fear. Dogs may lunge at other larger dogs, bark, and display dominant behaviour to humans. A lack of socialization and training will cause a small breed to develop this syndrome. Due to their size, this could land them in a lot of trouble!

Keep training sessions enjoyable to avoid boredom. Ceskies are independent and do have a stubborn streak so it’s important to be patient. If they’re showing disinterest move on to something new. Ceskies are intelligent canines and can even be trained into therapy dogs.

cesky terrier
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Cesky Terrier Interesting Facts

  • Did you know Cesky Terriers are born all black! It takes a couple of years for their coats to lighten into its permanent coat colour!
  • In Retford, Nottinghamshire Joss, a Cesky Terrier was stolen from a kennel during the day. Owners Harold and Liz Gay have been desperate to find the 11 month old dog. Harold & Liz weer the first people to introduce the Cesky Terrier into the United Kingdom back in 1989!
  • Loren Marino, owner of Hector the Cesky Terrier competed with her dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the last time after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hector previosly won Best in Breed in 2015 and received a merit the year before! She has been instrumental in the breeds success in America.

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Finnish Spitz

The National Dog of Finland is a prized hunting dog with a fox-like appearance! Let’s take a look into this breed’s health, personality, history, health needs and more!

Finnish Spitz Breed Standard:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Finnish Spitz Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Finnish Spitz Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Height: Male 17.5-20 inches Female 15.5-18 inches
Weight: Male 11-15 kilograms Female 9-13 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

A Nordic breed hailing from the Land of the Thousand Lakes, the Finnish Spitz is prized for its hunting abilities. Popular in its native land this canine is well suited to family life although their barking is a little bit of a downfall! The Finnish Spitz somewhat resembles a fox with its golden red coats and pointy ears.

The Finnish Spitz is often confused with the Japanese Shiba Inu due to their similar looks. Both are Spitz-type breeds but the Shiba Inu is smaller, has a shorter coat, and rounded ears. The Japanese Shiba Inu is the more popular choice in the United Kingdom.

Finnish Spitz

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Finnish Spitz below:

Positives:

  • Family-friendly pet
  • Ideal watchdog
  • Low drooling
  • Can be good for first time owners

Negatives:

  • Prone to separation anziety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Vocal, will bark… a lot!
  • Not an apartment friendly breed

The Finnish Hunting dog is a Spitz breed featuring pointy ears, a thick double coat, and a curly tail. Its breed standard has been revised 6 times! Finnish Spitz can grow dewclaws on their back paws so it’s recommended these are removed. Their coat colours are found in Gold, Red, and Golden Red.

Recommended: What is the history of the Glen of Imaal Terrier?

Finnish Spitz Temperament

The Finnish Spitz is a happy, intelligent, vocal, playful and independent canine. The breed is highly affectionate and deeply loyal, building strong bonds with its owner/s. A Finnish Spitz is vocal and will bark when they deem necessary. It should come as no surprise as in Finland this dog is heavily praised for its barking..

Determined first-time owners are suitable for this breed. On occasion, they can be strong-willed yet despite this the Finnish Spitz is a sensitive dog and will develop separation anxiety if left alone regularly. The Nordic breed is spirited, friendly and a great companion.

Alert and a natural watchdog, the Finnish Spitz will immediately inform their owners of trespassers. At first, they’ll react cautiously to strangers. This should never result in aggression unless a dog is unsocialized. After holding themselves back so they can assess the situation, they should settle down around visitors and may even show their friendly side.

Finnish Spitz are excellent with children and make great playmates. They’re lively and active which is a great combination for children. Their size is also ideal and less likely to cause accidental injuries. Loving and loyal this canine will be a child’s forever friend.

In the past, the Finnish Spitz would work in packs. So they’re sociable and friendly with other dogs and can live happily alongside them. Due to their strong prey drive, they may view smaller household pets as prey. Felines should be raised with this breed from puppyhood.

History

The Finnish Spitz originates from Finland where it’s known in its native land as Suomenpystykorva. It’s believed the breed came to Finland after migrating from central Russia over 3000 years ago. They were vital to their human companions sourcing food with their excellent hunting abilities.

Their typical prey included small game squirrels and grouse although they were known to assist in hunting and tracking Elk, Moose and Bear. Over time, this breed adapted to hunting birds. Once they’ve spotted their prey, the Finnish Spitz will slowly wag their tails whilst simultaneously barking.

By moving their tails, hunters are able to find their dogs in the thick forest. Finnish Spitz also adapted to flushing and trailing gamebirds. During the late 1800s transportation improved across the world. This led to an influx of cross-breeding amongst the Finnish Spitz which almost led to its extinction.

Thankfully, two men from Helsinki, Hugo Sanderburg and Hugo Roos helped revive the breed from its near demise. By the beginning of the 1900s, the Finnish Kennel Club officially recognized the Finnish Spitz. They’ve been known as the National Dog of Finland since 1979.

In the 1920s the first Finnish Spitz arrived in England imported by Lady Kitty Ritson. She nicknamed the breed Finkie a term still used today. It wasn’t until 1959 when the first of the breed arrived in America from England. The breed is still relatively rare in the UK with only 5 Finnish Spitz puppies being registered with the Kennel Club in 2020.

Exercise & Grooming

A Finnish Spitz should receive up to one hour of exercise per day. Some of this must include vigorous play once they reach 3 years old. They enjoy interactive games with their families such as fetch and frisbee. It’s important not to over-exercise a Finnish Spitz puppy. Well-socialized dogs will enjoy playing with other canines at the park.

This breed is a great competitor in dog sports and does well in agility, lure coursing, and obedience. It’s also a good form of mental stimulation for this highly intelligent dog. Finnish Spitz have low boredom thresholds and will resort to destructive behaviour if their needs aren’t being met.

As hunting dogs, these canines will chase after prey. They also have a high wanderlust potential so may walk off on an exploration. Always keep them leashed unless in an enclosed space. Garden fences should also be secure. The Finnish Spitz isn’t suited to apartments.

To keep the coat in good condition brush it through weekly. It should never be trimmed. As a double-coated breed, the Finnish Spitz dog will shed moderately throughout the year. Shedding will increase in the autumn and spring. A pin brush, slicker brush and comb are ideal tools to use on their coat. Lightly spray the coat with water before brushing.

The Finnish Spitz is typically a clean dog and won’t require frequent bathing. Pop them in the bath once they begin to get dirty or smell. Brush through the coat before getting it wet. Give the nails a trim every fortnight. Clean the ears weekly to remove any debris. For good dental hygiene brush the teeth daily.

Health

The Finnish Spitz is generally a healthy dog but there are a few breed-related health conditions to be aware of:

Luxating Patellas: The kneecap moves out of position temporarily before moving back into place just as quick. Affected canines will run on three legs before returning to four.
Hip Dysplasia: Due to the abnormal growth of the hip joint, the ball and socket of the hip won’t fit together correctly. This will cause symptoms of lameness, pain, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
Elbow Dysplasia: The elbow joint grows abnormally resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling and eventual arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition causing unprovoked seizures in affected dogs.

Finnish Spitz Training

The Finnish Spitz can be a handful to train but determined first-time owners will prevail! This breed is sensitive and will withdraw from harsh training techniques. Use positive methods, rewarding every good behaviour. Whilst the Finnish Spitz is strong-willed they’re also intelligent and will pick up on commands quickly.

Finnish Spitz puppies have low boredom thresholds so make training fun! Keep the sessions short to around ten minutes and if they begin to show disinterest, divert their attention to something new. Remember, these dogs will pick up good commands just as quickly as bad habits!

Respect training is most important. Once authority has been established obedience will begin to follow. Training must begin as soon as the Finnish Spitz puppy arrives in its new home. They must be taught boundaries they aren’t allowed to break. Get them into a routine that includes regular toilet breaks.

Socialization is important to grow the Finnish Spitz into a well-rounded dog. Group puppy classes are a good way to meet new people and dogs whilst learning new commands. It’s important to introduce a puppy to a variety of sights, sounds, and places to prevent fear or anxiety.

Recommended: Check out the story of Staffy & Stray Rescue here!

finnish spitz uk

Finnish Spitz Interesting Facts

  • Kiko, a Finnish Spitz from New Zealand can twist her head back an entire 180 degrees! Owner Ashleigh MacPherson will say the command ‘Demon’ and Kiko will bend her neck backwards! When called by her owner as a puppy Kiko would bend her neck as opposed to twisting it. Now, its turned into a unique trick!
  • According to a recent DNA analysis of the Finnish Spitz, one of their ancestors has been identified as the Taimyr Wolf although not as strongly as found in the Siberian Husky. The now extinct Taimyr Wolf’s genome is the most recent ancestor of grey wolves and domesticated dogs.
  • In Finland a barking competition is held annually! The highest amount of barks recorded in a minute by this breed is 160! After proving their barking skills on the hunting field, one lucky dog will be crowned King Barker!
  • This canine has a number of names which include Finkie, Finsk Spets, Finnish Barking Bird Dogs and Suomenpystykorva in Finnish. Their Finnish name translates to Finnish Prick Eared dog.
  • Whilst there are no black Finnish Spitz, during puppyhood their coats are much darker. This will begin to fade completely after two years.



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Italian Spinone

The Spinone Italiano is a robust gundog used to track, hunt and point game. The breed will work in both land and water. Let’s take a look at this versatile and hard-working canine!

Italian Spinone Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Italian Spinone Lifespan: 10-12 years
Italian Spinone Exercise: More than two hours per day
Height: Male 23-27 inches Female 22-25 inches
Weight: Male 34-39 kilograms Female 29-34 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Italian Spinone is one of the world’s oldest hunting breeds. They’re prized in Italy for their versatility and are still popular gundogs today. The breed goes by several names including the Spinone Italiano, the Italian Griffon, the Italian Wire-Haired pointer, and the Italian Coarsehaired pointer. They were bred to hunt in thicker, bushier areas of the Italian countryside.

Spinoni are vocal and will let their owners know what they’re thinking! This dog has a lot of personality and expects regular cuddles! Their excellent sense of smell is a downfall in the kitchen as they’ll find just about anything! An intelligent, loving, active companion that has a growing community here in the UK.

Italian Spinone hunting

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Italian Spinone dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Intelligent & easy to train
  • Low shedder
  • Family-friendly dog
  • Multi-purpose gundog

Negatives:

  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Heavy drooling
  • Not ideal watchdogs
  • Strong prey drive

The Spinone Italiano is a medium-sized breed with a solid, muscular build. This single-coated dog has thick, rough fur. It’s designed to protect them from the thorny undergrowth in their native land. Their coat colours are found in Brown road, Orange Roan, White, and Orange & White.

Recommended: Check out the Wagging Tails Family rescue story here!

Temperament

Italian Spinoni are affectionate, loyal, patient, docile, and friendly dogs. This easygoing canine is easy to train in the right hands and can be a good choice for first-time owners. Spinoni do take longer to mature than other breeds so owners will require patience.

At times they can be stubborn but overall are pretty laidback individuals. This gundog is easily satisfied and mostly well-behaved although they do have a cheeky side! The Spinone Italiano makes a devoted companion and forever friend.

Spinoni are people-orientated and don’t make good watchdogs or guard dogs. They might be a little cautious at first but most are typically friendly towards strangers. Polite and sweet-natured the Italian Spinone is not an aggressive breed.

Family-friendly, this dog gets along well with children. Spinoni enjoy the extra love and attention received from kids! Some dogs can be boisterous in their puppy years so keep watch when around a young child. Energetic and robust, Spinoni are great playmates!

Sociable and kind, Italian Spinoni enjoy making lots of doggy friends! They can live with other dogs but should be raised with cats from puppyhood. Due to their strong prey drive, they could view small dogs as prey.

History

The specific origins of the Spinone Italiano are unknown. However, they’ve been a part of Italian history since their appearance during the Renaissance era. A mural painting by Andrea Mantegna of the Ducal Palace’s Camera Degli Sposi depicts the Spinone as early as 1470.

Traditionally used for hunting, tracking, pointing and retrieving, this multi-purpose gundog works on both land and in water. The modern Spinone we know today was developed in Italy’s north-western region, Piedmont.

The area of Piedmont contains an overgrowth of thorny bushes. Its referred to as Pino hence the name ‘Spinone’. The Spinone was developed to work in these difficult terrains including the hills of the Alps in Italy. They’re one of the most versatile gundogs in the world!

In World War II the Spinone Italiano was used for tracking enemies and carrying supplies. Of course, like most breeds, numbers dropped after the war. So, in 1949 the Famiglia dello Spinone was formed.

The breed first arrived in the UK in 1981 by Mrs Mary Moore. In 1994 the UK Kennel Club officially recognized the Italian Spinone. They’re most popular in Italy. In the UK 389 Italian Spinone puppies were registered in 2020.

Exercise & Grooming

Ideally, the Spinone Italiano should receive more than two hours of exercise per day. Some Spinoni aren’t as active and could do with 90 minutes instead. If they live in built-up areas, these gundogs should be kept on a leash unless in an enclosed space due to their strong prey drive.

Gundogs thrive off long explorations in the countryside! Allow plenty of sniffing time as this contributes to mental stimulation. The Italian Griffon is prone to weight gain so it’s important they’re kept active throughout their lives. Dog sports are a great way to keep them busy and fit!

The Italian Coarsehaired Pointer will need brushing twice a week. The fur between their legs and under their tail is prone to tangles. A pin brush, comb, and slicker brush are ideal tools to use. Long fur around the face should be trimmed.

The medium-length coat requires hand stripping to allow new fur to grow through the follicle. It’s a frequent grooming method for show dogs. Companion dogs are hand stripped around twice a year. Usually during the spring and autumn. Owners can hand strip their dogs themselves whilst others visit professional groomers.

As this breed is single-coated they won’t shed heavily. They’ll need their lip folds and beards cleaned regularly to prevent odour. Bath the Spinone leaving two-month intervals at a minimum. Their ears must be cleaned weekly to avoid infections. Don’t forget to trim nails fortnightly to prevent overgrowth.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Italian Spinone below:

Hip Dysplasia: The ball and socket of the hip joint develop abnormally. This causes them to rub and grind against one another. Pain and lameness are experienced which will eventually lead to arthritis.
Entropion: The eyelid turns inwards causing the eyelashes to scratch the surface of the eye. Symptoms include tearing eyes, squinting, red eyes, rubbing, conjunctivitis, infections and eye ulcers.
Atopy: A lifelong skin condition owners will have to manage as there is no cure. Frequent exposure to an allergen increases the dog’s allergic response resulting in itchy, inflamed skin.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach will twist filling with gasses and trapping the food inside. It’s a life-threatening condition commonly caused by fast-eating.
Panosteitis: This condition is also referred to as growing pains. It typically occurs between the ages of 5-18 months and puppies will grow out of it.
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid causes a reduction in the dog’s metabolic state. Lethargy, dull skin and fur, weight gain, and fur loss are some common symptoms.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition in dogs causing unprovoked seizures.

Italian Spinone Training

As a sensitive breed, this dog will withdraw from harsh training methods. Use positive reinforcement and always praise good behaviour with a reward such as a food treat or toy. A happy calm tone will attract the eager to please Spinone.

When it comes to hunting, Spinoni are pretty independent in the field. They aren’t favoured for their obedience skills! Sometimes their stubborn side shines through and can hinder training. If they become bored or simply don’t want to participate in training then try something new.

Be gentle and calm with his breed. Set a routine they will quickly learn to follow. Structure is one of the best ways to housebreak a dog. Keep training sessions to a minimum of ten minutes as Spinoni are easily distracted. Always exercise a dog so they aren’t built up with energy.

Socialization is vital to ensuring the Italian Spinone is confident in adulthood. It’s crucial to social and mental development. To prevent fearful behaviour and anxiety, introduce them to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and places.

An Italian Spinone puppy is easy to train in the right hands. Gundogs have natural instincts out in the field. The owner will need to work on their commands and recall. Confident Italian Spinone puppies should begin gundog training at around 7-8 months.

Recommended: This British native dog is facing extinction!

Brown Roan Italian Spinone
By Timberdoodle Kennels, Ron & Pat Rosinski (User:Rrosinski), CC BY-SA 2.5

Italian Spinone Interesting Facts

  • In Wickham, 2007, six dogs went missing from breeder Sue Shrimpton. A variety of dogs went missing including one pregnant Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Two of her dogs were found a few hours later, an Italian Spinone and a Mastiff, but she believes the rest were stolen.
  • It’s believed Sh Ch Riccini Caprice also known as Mia, gave birth to the largest ever Italian Spinone litter. The dog from Durham, England gave birth to 17 puppies! They were born in Leadgate at Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital. This special canine is also the only Spinone to win Best of Breed three times consecutively at Crufts!
  • Marconi the Italian Spinone has won awards for his therapy work in America! Ever since arriving home with his owner, Marconi was being well-trained. He even undertook two 6-week training courses to enhance his natural therapy skills. By his first year Marconi was handed an American Kennel Club Canine Excellence Award in recognition of his help to people.
  • Even the Italian Spinone is prone to fear-based reactions when unsocialized. Dudley, the Italian Spinone from Carlilse, England bit a girl in the head and face after she began stroking him. Numerous character references were submitted to court stating this was out of character for the dog. However, there will still be a court hearing to determine if Dudley will be destroyed.
  • Clyde the Italian Spinone, needed rescuing by the Happisburgh Lifeboat Crew. He got stuck at sea after chasing seagulls! Since then Clyde has been given his own life jacket and is now their mascot.
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Dalmatian

Dalmatians have been a part of British history since the 18th century. Today we’re going to find out why these dogs are just so popular in the UK!

Dalmatians are widely recognised after their big-screen debut in 101 Dalmatians. The novel was written in 1956 by Dodie Smith, a British author. Walt Disney later produced the animated adaptation in 1961 followed by a remake in 1996. Sequels soon followed.

This caused a jump in popularity which has remained even to this day. In 2020, the Kennel Club registered 1,126 Dalmatian puppies. A small rise from the previous year at 1,042 puppies. The Firehouse Dog just won’t budge from the hearts of British dog lovers!

Dalmatian Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?:
Yes
Dalmatian Lifespan: 11-13 years
Dalmatian Exercise: More than two hours each day
Height: 19-24 inches
Weight: 20-32 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

dalmatian jumping

Characteristics

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

Positives:

  • A sociable & family-friendly dog
  • Intellgient & easy to train
  • Suitable for first-time owners
  • Excellent service and therapy dog
  • Ideal watchdog

Negatives:

  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Susceptible to weight gain
  • Sheds its coat heavily
  • High exercise needs

The Dalmatian is a medium to large dog breed recognized for its white spotted body. This single-coated breed sheds all year round and is found in colours Liver & White and Black & White

Dalmatian Temperament

The Dalmatian is sociable, friendly, sensitive, active and playful. These dogs are suitable for first-time owners but may experience separation anxiety if left alone. Dalmatians have eccentric personalities and make loving and affectionate companion dogs.

Outgoing and high in energy, the Dal requires an outdoorsy owner. These dogs are deeply loyal and eager to please, looking to their leader for direction. On occasion, they will be stubborn but overall Dals are easygoing.

Dalmatians are natural watchdogs and will alert their owners to a knock on the door. Some Dals are polite and friendly when greeting strangers whilst others are more reserved. A lack of socialization could lead to timid or even aggressive behaviour.

This breed is known to be an excellent family dog! They’re playful and filled with energy. However, their personality can be a little too boisterous for younger children. The Dal will enjoy playing fetch with the kids and can easily keep up with them!

A well-socialized Dal will get along well with other dogs. As sociable dogs, they’ll easily make friends at the park. Dalmatians aren’t known for aggression. They can live happily alongside other dogs and cats.

Recommended: Check out the 5 Best Dog Water Bottles here!

History

The beginning of the Dalmatian history is relatively unknown. Researchers have studied artefacts to indicate the Dal’s start in life. They believe Asia, Africa, Europe, and the British Isles to be the first countries they appeared in. Spotted dogs were even engraved on the tombs of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt!

The FCI lists the Dalmatians country of origin as Croatia. The first written reference to the Dalmatian was in 1370 by the Bishop of Đakovo. He came across a white-spotted hunting dog in Dalmatia, Croatia and named the dog Canis Dalmaticus.

In their early years, Dalmatians would travel alongside Romany gypsies. This explains why the breed was found in numerous places across the world. Dalmatians would work hard and were used for a variety of jobs.

Their jobs include hunting, drafting, guarding, acting as a shepherd, and even working in the circus! He is also used as a ratter, a sporting dog, and a retriever! But they aren’t great gundogs! At one time in history, they were used as war dogs on the borders of Dalmatia.

Dalmatians were introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 1800s. They were often found trotting alongside horse-drawn carriages. It earned them the name the Coach Dog. England is where the development of the Dalmatian took place.

Vero Shaw created the first breed standard in 1882. The first official Dalmatian Club was established in England, 1890. By the 1920s, Dalmatians were booming in popularity across Europe. Today, they’ve kept their popularity as a companion and working dog.

Exercise & Grooming

Dalmatians should receive more than two hours of exercise each day. Mental stimulation will also need to be factored into their day. When playing in the garden, ensure it is completely enclosed as the Dal may wander off.

A Dalmatian puppy shouldn’t be excessively exercised due to their growing joints. Once they reach adulthood, the Dal will make a lovely hiking, biking, and jogging partner! Dog sports such as flyball and agility are great forms of exercise and mental stimulation.

High in energy, these canines should receive at least two long walks each day. Include some form of vigorous play. Teach the Dal new tricks, let them explore, try out some puzzle games and keep their brains ticking over. Boredom will only lead to destruction.

Dalmatians shed copious amounts of fur throughout the year. To reduce shedding brush through their coat weekly. A slicker or rubber brush will do the trick. Their ears should also be cleaned weekly to remove any debris from the canal.

This breed should be washed with a minimum of 6-week intervals. Their short fur is easily air-dried. Nails will need a fortnightly trim to prevent overgrowth. It is recommended teeth are brushed daily to prevent overgrowth.

Health

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

Atopy: A lifelong skin condition that’ll need to be managed as there is no cure. Repeated exposure to an allergen will cause allergic symptoms such as itchy, inflamed skin.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition in dogs causing uncontrollable seizures.
Deafness: This is a serious health issue affecting Dalmatians. In America, 8% of Dalmatian puppies are deaf compared to 5.4% in the United Kingdom. Blue-eyed Dalmatians are often linked to deafness. It isn’t recommended to breed blue-eyed Dalmatians and they’re rarely shown here in the UK.
Hyperuricemia: Some Dalmatians have liver’s that are unable to break down uric acid resulting in gout. This could lead to kidney and bladder stones.

Dalmatian Training

Dalmatians are highly intelligent and breeze through their training so they’re a good choice for first-time owners. This breed does have a sensitive side and requires positive reinforcement. Avoid handing out too many food treats and instead use their favourite toy as a reward.

Socialization is important to prevent fear and anxiety in adulthood. Introduce the Dal to new people, dogs and places. They’re naturally sociable but Dalmatian puppies still need exposure to new sights and sounds.

This breed is an excellent service and therapy dog. They pick up on emotions better than other dog breeds. At the minute it’s rather unusual to see a Dalmatian working as a service dog. But they are beginning to be recognised for their ability as assistance dogs.

Dalmatians are great tracking dogs. They can easily be trained to follow scents. It’s a great form of mental stimulation and many Dalmatian owners participate in this non-competitive sport. Tracking requires the assistance of others and is greatly rewarding.

Dalmatian sitting

Dalmatian Interesting Facts

  • In Nottingham 2021, Digby, the Dalmatian became the first of his breed to qualify under the National Scheme as a disability support dog! Owner Katie Baldock has nemaline myopathy which causes weakness to the muscles. After contacting a charity, her Dalmatian Digby undertook a six-week training course. Katie then spent two years perfecting his skills before he eventually received his qualification!
  • Dalmatians have a variety of nicknames these include The Firehouse Dog, The English Coach Dog, Spotted Dick, The Plum Pudding Dog (a dessert traditional in England), and The Carriage Dog.
  • In 1968 Fanhill Faune owned by Mrs Jean Woodyatt won Best in Show at Crufts! The Dalmatian hasn’t won this title since.
  • Molly the Dalmatian from Middlesborough, England received emergency care from the PDSA after eating 36 dog chews, buns with sultanas and chocolate! After being sick and frothing at the mouth owner Kerry Bruck immediately rushed her to the vets. Luckily, Molly made a full recovery!
  • A victorian home in Primrose Hill, London, was put up for sale at £8.95 million. The home inspired writer Dodie Smith when writing her novel 101 Dalmatians! Much of the homes original features were displayed in illustrations across the book. Dodie lived around the corner in Dorset Square and was a proud owner to 9 Dalmatians!
  • In 2019, Melody the Dalmatian gave birth to 19 puppies! Owner Melissa O’Brien stated her dog put on 15kg of extra weight during the pregnancy! Luna a Dalmatian in Texas gave birth to 16 puppies on June 24th 2021.
  • Marshall the Dalmatian is owned by Pete in Medway, Kent. This dog does not like being told to go to bed and will even argue with his owners! In September 2021, Marshall’s owner spoke to the Mirror about this dog’s bedtime routine!

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as the African Lion Hound. A unique breed hailing from Southern Africa, today we’re going to learn all about this canine!

Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Rhodesian Ridgeback Lifespan: 10-12 years
Rhodesian Ridgeback Exercise: More than two hours each day
Height: Male 25-27 inches Female 24-26 inches
Weight: Male 38.5 kilograms Female 32 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

The Ridgeback’s distinct ridge of fur running down its spine is the breed’s identifying feature. It’s caused by the duplication of a mutation of the length of DNA coding for three growth factor genes. This causes the fur to grow in the opposite direction resulting in the ridge.

Not all Ridgebacks are born with this mutation but Ridgeless Ridgebacks are disqualified under the AKC breed standards. Dogs without ridges were even culled! This practice was also exposed by BBC One in a documentary. (Scroll down to the bottom of this article to read more on that!)

rhodesian ridgeback swimming

Characteristics:

Find out the pros and cons of the Rhodesian Ridgeback below:

Positives:

  • Low grooming needs
  • Great watchdog
  • Family-friendly dog

Negatives:

  • Not suitable for first-time owners
  • Requires a lot of exercise
  • Strong prey drive
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Prone to separation anxiety

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed dog featuring a distinct ridge of hair along the spine. Its breed standard has remained unaltered since 1922. Their short coat is found in the colours Wheaten, Light Wheaten and Red Wheaten.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

The dignified Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent companion with a mischievous personality! Although strong-willed and independent Ridgebacks are prone to separation anxiety. They require early socialization and training which could be a little overwhelming for inexperienced owners.

Some are intimidated by the Ridgebacks appearance and are unaware of its sensitive side. These dogs are highly affectionate and intelligent. They’re versatile hunters but are calm and relaxed in the home, once they reach adulthood of course!

This breed is an excellent watchdog, quickly alerting its owners to anything out of the ordinary. Whilst the Ridgeback is aloof of strangers they shouldn’t be aggressive. Ridgeback puppies must be socialized well to prevent territorial behaviour.

Family-friendly and deeply affectionate, Ridgebacks make excellent playmates for older children. As they’re a little boisterous in their puppy years they can be a bit overwhelming for smaller children. They may also knock them over accidentally. Ridgebacks are great playmates filled with just as much energy as kids!

The gregarious Ridgeback will get along well with other dogs provided they’ve had the right socialization. Issues caused by dominance may arise between those of the same sex. Due to their strong prey drive, they may chase small dogs. Cats should be raised alongside a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

History

The Rhodesian Ridgeback originates from Southern Africa and dates back to the 16th century. The ridged Khoikhoi dog, a native breed, mated with European breeds brought by Dutch colonists. These included Greyhounds, Boerboels, and Terriers. They created the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Unlike the European dogs, native breeds offered the Ridgeback a form of defence against pests like the Tsetse fly. They also inherited their hunting instinct and versatility allowing them to navigate around the African terrain.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fantastic hunters originally bred to pursue lions. They can also track and hold the quarry in place until their hunter arrives. However, they will chase and catch animals such as antelope, sourcing food for their family

It’s unsurprising the athletic Ridgeback holds masses of stamina. Their background of hunting lions in the Savannah even earned them the name African Lion Hound. These dogs were also great at warding off predators such as leopards and baboons.

In the early 1900s big game hunting reduced in popularity and so did the Ridgeback’s breed numbers. In 1922 Cornelius von Rooyen created a breeding programme in Zimbabwe (previously known as Rhodesia).

This led to the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed standard in 1922. It wasn’t until after World War II that their popularity began to increase across the world. Particularly in Britain, Canada and the United States. Rhodesian Ridgebacks received UK Kennel Club recognition in 1954.

Exercise & Grooming

Rhodesian Ridgebacks need over two hours of exercise each day. They’ll become bored and destructive if their activity needs aren’t being met. Vigorous play such as swimming is a great way to tire this breed out!

Dog sports such as tracking and agility are excellent forms of exercise and mental stimulation. Despite its large size, this canine can turn quickly and sharply, a hunting feature from their time in the Savannah. The intelligent Ridgeback will breeze through an obstacle course!

The Ridgeback is a moderate shedder with a short yet dense coat. It doesn’t require much effort on the grooming front. A quick brush once a week with a slicker dog brush is all they need. Brush the ridge in the same direction the hair grows.

Baths should be given monthly at a minimum. Ridgebacks are typically clean and don’t have a strong doggy odour. Remove debris from the ear canal by cleaning the ears weekly. Nails need trimming every fortnight. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily to prevent dental disease.

Health

Check out the breed-related health condition of the Rhodesian Ridgeback below:

Hip Dysplasia: The abnormal growth of the hip joint causes the ball and socket to rub and grind against one another. This will cause lameness and pain leading to arthritis.
Elbow Dysplasia: The abnormal growth of the elbow joint will cause lameness, pain, and eventually arthritis.
Hypothyroidism: This disorder affects a dogs metabolism which will cause changes in the skin, weight and energy levels.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus: The stomach twists trapping food and gases within. It’s a life-threatening condition typically caused by fast eating.
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy: JME will cause uncontrollable seizures during a dog’s sleep.
Dermoid Sinus: A cyst underneath the skin is found on the spinal cord. It’s an inherited and painful condition.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Training

Ridgebacks are strong-willed so aren’t the best breed for first-time owners. In experienced hands, this breed is easy to train thanks to its intelligence. Once the owner’s leadership is established the Ridgeback is eager to please.

This breed is sensitive and requires firm leadership not harsh. Instead, use positive reinforcement methods. Ridgebacks are smart and learn fast. Daily socialization, training and exercise will nurture the Ridgeback into a well-rounded dog.

Like most smart dog breeds, Ridgebacks bore easily. Keep training sessions short and fun. It’s best to exercise a dog before training so they can get rid of any pent up energy! Use food rewards and toys as rewards.

Remain patient and don’t let them break household boundaries. Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are boisterous and can be frustrating! But if they’re allowed to break the rules this will have an effect on how the household’s pecking order is perceived.

rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Interesting Facts

  • In 2008 Jemima Harrison produced a BBC One documentary called Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It uncovered breeders who advocated culling the Rhodesian Ridgeback simply for being ridgeless here in the UK! Even the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club stated in their code of ethics that “Ridgeless puppies shall be culled”. Despite Ronnie Irving, Kennel Club Chairman at the time, denying knowledge of the practice, the club stated their code of ethics is approved by the KC yearly. The documentary drew intense criticism of the Kennel Club and Crufts.
  • In the 1930s actor Errol Flynn purchased a Rhodesian Ridgeback from an English breeder, returning to America. He was one of the first to breed Ridgebacks in America. Unfortunately his bloodline no longer exists.
  • In Germany, Etana the Rhodesian Ridgeback gave birth to 17 puppies! She had eight females and nine males. Owner Rasmona Wegemann, an animal psychiatrist, had to help rear the puppies as the strain on Etana’s nipples was immense!
  • In Newport, South Wales, Rhodesian Ridgeback owner Sam Gordon was jailed for 28 months. He is also banned from owning dogs for 6 years. The man ordered his Ridgebacks to attack Cordell Roberts after biting the same man in a previous incident in 2020.
  • In Billericay, Essex a Rhodesian Ridgeback was put down after biting a family friend 7 times. Astrid Plamer rung the doorbell, greeted the owners in the driveway, and went round the back of the house. After entering the rear of the property with the owner’s wife, the Rhodesian Ridgeback began to attack Ms Palmer leaving her with severe injuries.
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Swedish Vallhund

The Little Viking Dog has an intriguing history. Today we’re going to take a look into this rather unknown breed. Learn all about the Swedish Vallhund below!

Swedish Vallhund Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Swedish Vallhund Lifespan: 12-15 years
Swedish Vallhund Exercise: Up to 1 hour each day
Height: Male 12.5-13.75 inches Female 11.5-12.75 inches
Weight: 9-16 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

Swedish Vallhunds are an achondroplastic breed. A term used to describe dwarfism. Their body is longer than their short legs. Some Swedish Vallhunds are born without tails whilst others vary in length. This confuses people into thinking the tail has been docked!

In Sweden the breed is called Västgötaspets and is also referred to as the Swedish Cow Dog. Their name Vallhund means herding dog in English. Although rare in the UK these dogs are well-loved in their native land.

swedish vallhund

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Swedish Vallhund dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Highly intelligent and easy to train
  • Tolerant of cold weather
  • Ideal watchdog
  • Low drooler
  • Sociable and friendly with humans dogs, and cats

Negatives:

  • Susceptible to weight gain
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Strong prey drive
  • Vocal
  • High level of grooming maintenance

The Swedish Vallhund is a medium-sized breed with short legs and a long body. Their ears are pricked and tail length varies per individual dog. Their medium-length coat is found in colours, Reddish Brown, Greyish Yellow, Reddish Yellow, Steel Grey, Greyish Brown, with dark hairs along the back, side of the body and neck.

Swedish Vallhund Temperament

Swedish Cattle dogs are alert, energetic, friendly, and fearless. They’re deeply loyal towards their families and are adaptable, making them suited to a variety of different environments. Humorous and intelligent, Swedish Vallhunds are an intriguing breed!

These dogs are eager to please and make excellent companion dogs as well as herding dogs. Swedish Vallhunds aren’t aggressive or shy. They do have an independent side but that doesn’t prevent them from developing separation anxiety.

The Little Viking dogs are alert and will keep a watchdul eye on their territory. They won’t be afraid of strangers but their size doesn’t make them ideal guard dogs. At first they may be wary but should soon settle down with visitors.

Vallhunds are great with children but they may display herding behaviours. This commonly includes nipping at the feet but they’ll quickly learn its wrong. They’re playful and easygoing around children but are better suited for older kids.

In their past this breed used to drive away strange dogs. So it’s no surprise that some Vallhunds are wary of other dogs. Although their sociable nature is easy to make friends with! Socialization will help encourage friendlier behaviour.

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History

Hailing from Västergötland, Sweden, the Swedish Vallhund settled in Britain from the 8th century. They arrived with the Vikings who raided and conquered parts of Britain including the British Isles.

The Vallhund is thought to have been developed by Scandanavian Spitz breeds mating with Welsh Corgis. Their ancestry is also linked to larger spitz types and moose-hunting dogs from Scandanavia. These canines were used as all-purpose farm dogs and cattle herders.

In the 1930s the breed almost became extinct. Thankfully, breed enthusiasts Count Bjorn von Rosen and Karl Gustaf Zettersen decided to establish a breeding programme. They travelled across Västergötland, looking for the best of the breed.

Their work led to the recognition of the Vallhund by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943. The ancient Vallhund is now listed as the National Dog of Sweden. To this day they still work alongside Swedish farmers.

The modern breed arrived in England in 1974 by Lady Elizabeth Cartledge. Soon after, in 1983, they were imported to the United States. In 1984 the Swedish Vallhund received its UK Kennel Club recognition.

Exercise & Grooming

This breed requires up to one hour of exercise per day. Some adult Vallhunds could do with a little longer. As this breed is achondroplastic it’s important they don’t jump or climb until their growth plates have closed. This will usually take place around 9-12 months of age.

The Swedish Vallhund is great at dog sports and excels in agility, flyball, showmanship, rally, obedience, tracking and herding. Don’t forget to factor other forms of mental stimulation into their exercise routine.

As active herding dogs they’ll need exercise sessions across the day as opposed to all in one go. Vallhunds won’t make great jogging partners and sometimes a game of fetch in the garden is enough activity.

Vallhunds shed heaviest during the spring and autumn months. Their coats won’t need a trim but will need a brush once or twice a week. The best tools to use are slicker brushes, pin brushes, deshedding rakes and metal combs.

Clean their pricked ears from debris weekly. Baths should be given every 3 months or longer. Ensure their thick coat is washed thoroughly and blow dried after. Give the nails a fortnightly trim and brush the teeth multiple times a week.

Health

Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Swedish Vallhund below:

Persistent Pupillary Membrane: The pigmented tissue remnants in the eye usually disappear before birth. If this doesn’t happen tiny strands may be noticed across the pupil.
Cataracts: A genetic disorder causing an abnormal cloudiness in the eye due to a change of lens. If the opacity is large enough it’ll lead to blindness.
Distichiae: A few eyelashes grow abnormally and touch the surface of the eye. This can cause irritation but affected dogs typically live normal lives.
Swedish Vallhund Retinopathy: A hereditary eye condition damaging the rod and cone cells of the retina. In 2017, a genetic test was developed for this disorder.
Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal growth of the hip joint will cause hip joint laxity. Symptoms include pain and lameness which will develop into arthritis.

Swedish Vallhund Training

Deeply intelligent and eager to please, the Swedish Vallhund quickly learns new commands. Although they’re strong-willed these dogs thrive off attention from their owners, so in the right hands Vallhunds are relatively easy to train.

Repition is a turn off for this quick learner. Make their training sessions short and different each time. Practice in new environments and venture outdoors after developing a level of trust. But remember these herding dogs aren’t pushovers!

Whilst the breed is better for experienced handlers, determined first-time owners are welcomed. Begin socialization as soon as the Swedish Vallhund puppy starts its new life. Join puppy classes where they can meet new people and dogs.

Clicker training is a good method for herding dogs like the Vallhund. Press the click the moment the dog perfects a command. Give a food reward alongside this click. Repeat this and eventually, the click will become the reward. Avoid too many food treats as Vallhunds are prone to weight gain!

Recommended: Check out the 5 Best Dog Water Bottles here!

swedish vallhund UK

Swedish Vallhund Interesting Facts

  • Sweden released a documentary on the breed in 2014. It’s called Swedish Vallhund: A Big Dog in a Small Body. Originally filmed in Swedish, the documentary is also available in English.
  • Across the world the Swedish Vallhund has been featured on stamps. These countries include Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Nicagarua, Mali, and Tajikistan.
  • Locki from Cannock, England won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2018. Despite the two-year old dog lacking show experience he managed to win the highly sought after prize at one of the world’s most well-known dog events! Loki is owner Lynn Pallatina’s first show dog. It was her first time entering him into a competition!
  • Swedish Vallhunds have an impeccable sence of smell and are used as Search and Rescue dogs!
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Otterhound

The Otterhound is a scenthound dating back to medieval Britain. They’re currently classed as a Vulnerable Native Breed. Let’s take a look into this rare and special canine.

Otterhound Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Otterhound Lifespan: 10-13 years
Otterhound Excercise: More than 2 hours each day
Height: Male 27 inches Female 24 inches
Weight: Male 52 kilograms Female 36 kilograms
Hypoallergenic: No

In 2020, only 7 Otterhound puppies were registered with the Kennel Club. Now it’s estimated there are under 2000 Otterhounds left in the world! Today, this breed is seriously at risk of extinction.

As of January 2021, all imported Otterhounds must be DNA tested for Glanzmann Thrombasthenia, a blood-clotting disorder. Due to the small number of Otterhounds left, it’s important this genetic disorder isn’t passed through the remaining few bloodlines.

otterhound history
Date: 1879

Characteristics

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

Positives:

  • Independent, not prone to separation anxiety
  • Family friendly dog
  • Likes the water and can live on a boat
  • Not a barker
  • Low drooler

Negatives:

  • High wanderlust potential
  • Not an ideal watchdog
  • Requires lots of daily exercise
  • Strong prey drive
  • Moderate shedding, high grooming needs

The Otterhound is a large dog breed with a rough coat and long floppy ears. Their double coat is waterproof and their feet are webbed, excellent for swimming. Coat colours are found in Liver & Tan, Black & Tan, Blue & Tan, Red, Wheaten, Blue, Black & Cream, Tan & Liver, and Tan & White.

Otterhound Temperament

The even-tempered Otterhound is an endangered hunting breed so naturally, it has a strong prey drive. This dog can be suitable for a determined first-time owner. Otterhounds are affectionate, loving but a little boisterous during their puppy years.

Independent by nature, this canine isn’t prone to separation anxiety. But this trait does require a patient owner. Playful and amiable, the Otterhound is a pleasure to have in the home, provided their exercise needs are met!

Otterhounds aren’t watchdogs or guard dogs. They’ll probably bark at the knock of the door but that’s about it. Aggression and nervousness aren’t found in the Otterhound personality. Some will be friendly and welcoming to visitors whilst others are a little more reserved.

Children will find a forever friend in the Otterhound! An excitable playmate with buckets full of energy! This large breed dog could accidentally knock over smaller children but won’t harm them intentionally.

When it comes to other dogs, the Otterhound is friendly. However, they’ll probably view small dogs as prey so keep them leashed. They can live in a home with other canines. An Otterhound puppy should be reared with a cat for the best possible outcomes.

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History

The Otterhound is native to Britain and dates right back to the medieval era. The earliest mention of a similar dog to the Otterhound is in 1360! Otters would eat lots of fish, a source of food for humans too. So, a dog was needed to reduce the number of otters.

Over time, the Otterhound was developed. The breed was first officially noticed in the 1800s. Many believe the Otterhound’s ancestry is linked to French and English Hounds. It’s confirmed the Grand Griffon Vendéen, Bloodhound and Griffon Nivernais was bred into some Otterhound lines.

Otterhounds are excellent hunters both on land and in the water. These scenthounds have a remarkable tracking ability and can follow scents for hours. Their stamina is something the breed has retained to this day.

In 1978, Otter hunting stopped. Whilst it hasn’t been banned, the drastic drop in otter numbers meant the animal was now listed as protected species. As a result, this meant the need for Otterhounds lessened and breed numbers took a hit.

Today there are only two pure Otterhound packs left. They’re known as the Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire Minkhounds. However, their hunting bloodlines aren’t ideal for those looking solely for a companionship dog.

Exercise & Grooming

Otterhounds require an incredible amount of daily exercise. They’ll need over two hours each day some of which needs to include vigorous play. A run around the garden isn’t enough for this dog!

Unless in an enclosed space the Otterhound shouldn’t be allowed off-leash. Their strong prey drive isn’t worth the risk. This dog loves the water and their webbed feet and oily coat makes them great swimmers. Aim to take them swimming every now and again.

Mental stimulation is hugely important for this intelligent dog. Puzzle games, exploring, and interactive play are some forms of mental stimulation. Dog sports such as obedience, agility, and tracking are also good for the Otterhound.

Brush through their coats twice a week to remove dead fur. Use a slicker brush or comb. Their fur won’t require trimming and should be left as natural as possible. Keep their beards clean by wiping their mouths after eating.

Baths them every 1-3 months depending on how dirty the Otterhound gets! Their long, floppy ears will be prone to infection so clean them weekly. Be sure to trim their nails every ten days and don’t forget to brush their teeth!

Recommended: What are the signs of dental disease?

Health

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

Hip Dysplasia: Hip joint laxity is caused by the abnormal growth of the hip joint. Lameness and pain will be experienced which will eventually lead to arthritis.
Epilepsy: A common neurological condition in dogs that causes uncontrollable seizures.
Bloat: Typically seen in large, deep-chested breeds, this condition causes the stomach to enlarge and twist. It’s a life-threatening condition.
Glanzmann Thrombasthenia: A bleeding disorder caused by the abnormality of specialized cells use for blood clotting. It’s a genetic disorder.
Panosteitis: Also known as growing pains, Panosteitis is commonly seen in dogs from 5 months to 12 months. Dogs will outgrow this condition but shouldn’t be exercised until symptoms are gone.

Otterhound Training

Otterhounds have an independent side that can put a strain on training. However, they’re also highly intelligent and will quickly pick up on commands. They can be a little sensitive so use positive training techniques.

Recalling this dog is one of the harder commands to practice. If this dog gets a whiff of something, they’ll be off! It’s important to begin training the second the Otterhound puppy enters its new home.

Routine is great for both humans and dogs. Set a daily schedule so the dog can learn to follow it. It’s also an ideal way to housebreak the Otterhound. Exercise goes hand in hand with training. A dog pent up with energy is easily distracted.

Clicker training is a good method for Otterhounds. Use the click at the exact moment the dog perfects the command. Offer a reward at the same time as the click. Repeat this and over time the click will eventually become the reward.

otterhound show dog
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Otterhound Interesting Facts

  • 8 week old, twin Otterhounds Ronnie and Reggie (named after the Kray twins of course!) are just some of the remaining Otterhound puppies that could help pull this breed away from extinction. Their names are temporary until they find their new homes but it’s hoped they’ll continue the Otterhound bloodline.
  • The film adaptation of Annie in 1972 saw Bingo the Otterhound cast as Sandy, the street dog. The 6 year old canine was treated to beef and steak every night of filming!
  • Whilst the Otterhound isn’t much of a barker it isn’t uncommon to hear them sing. These dogs are packed with personality and some love to sing!
  • Otterhounds are problem solvers so don’t be surprised if they can open a fridge, drawer or door!
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Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the world’s rarest dog breeds. We’re going to take a look into this breed’s temperament, history, exercise needs and more!

Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Glen of Imaal Terrier Lifespan: 10-15 years
Glen of Imaal Terrier Exercise: Up to 1 hour each day
Height: 12.5-14 inches
Weight: 14.5-18 kilograms
Hypoallergenic?: No

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is an achondroplastic breed. It’s a genetic disorder also described as short-limbed dwarfism. Whilst most wiry coated Terrier breeds are hypoallergenic, the Glen of Imaal Terrier isn’t one of them.

This hardy and robust canine isn’t easily scared. In fact, they’re fearless just like the other members of the Terrier family! They are one of four Irish Terrier breeds and also go by the name the Wicklow Terrier.

glen of imaal terrier

Characteristics

Check out the pros and cons of the Glen of Imaal Terrier dog breed below:

Positives:

  • Quieter than other Terrier breeds
  • Independent, can be left alone
  • Low shedder and easy to groom
  • Easy to train and intelligent
  • Alert, makes an ideal watchdog

Negatives:

  • Not a hypoallergenic Terrier
  • Strong prey drive
  • Vulnerable Native Breed, harder to find Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies
  • Prone to weight gain

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is described as a ‘big dog with short legs’. This achondroplastic breed is remembered for its bowed legs and half-pricked ears. Their wiry coat is found in the colours Wheaten, Brindle and Blue (all shades).

Glen of Imaal Temperament

These energetic canines are much easier than other Terriers and tend to be more relaxed. Glens are independent so can be left alone without much risk of separation anxiety. These loyal dogs are fairly quiet and are placid in the home.

This dog wouldn’t be a Terrier if it didn’t like to dig! Avoid placing out any nice flower beds until this trait can be suppressed! Due to their independence, this breed does have high wanderlust potential so it’s important they have a securely fenced garden.

Glens are great watchdogs but not guard dogs. They’ll bark to alert their owner to any strangers entering their territory. Socialized Glens may be wary at first but are typically polite to new visitors.

When it comes to children, this dog is a great companion and playmate. Due to their fragile body, they should only be around children that know how to handle them. Despite its size, this dog plays rough so keep younger children at bay.

Glens aren’t the friendliest with other dogs. It’s not uncommon for them to get into a scrap at the dog park! These little dogs just won’t back down. Avoid cats and smaller household pets due to the breed’s strong prey drive. They can live alongside other dogs.

History

Hailing from County Wicklow, Ireland is the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The breed is believed to share its ancestry with the Kerry, Soft Coated Wheaten and Irish Terrier. They were developed in the Glen of Imaal and have resided in this area since the 17th century.

These canines were primarily used as badger hunters but could also do other jobs on farms. In the old days, Glens were called the Turnspit dog. This is because they would turn the meat over in the kitchens by running inside a wheel (like a hamster).

Glens had to be quiet when going to ground so they wouldn’t scare off their prey. In Kennel Club championships a Glen would be disqualified if it made noise at the quarry. This silent trait has stayed with them, making the breed one of the quieter Terriers.

In 1966 badger trials were banned in Ireland. So it’s no surprise that during the 20th-century breed numbers dropped significantly. Two breeders in particular Willie Kane, Tipperary and Paddy Brennan Tinahely, Co Wicklow are attributed to reviving the breed.

Glens were recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934 but the Canadian Kennel Club kept Glens on the miscellaneous list until 2017! Today this Terrier is rare and is listed as a Vulnerable Native Breed by the UK Kennel Club.

Exercise & Grooming

Spend up to one hour each day exercising the Glen of Imaal Terrier. Don’t be surprised if they can go on for longer! This energetic breed will need some form of vigorous play throughout the day. But don’t be too harsh on their short legs as this can be damaging.

Glen Imaal Terrier puppies should avoid jumping, climbing stairs, and even getting on a couch. It’ll be too much stress for their growing joints. Allow the growth plates to close. This will take place around the age of 9-12 months.

Mental stimulation is important for this exceptional working breed, especially if they’re used for companionship. These canines are intelligent and can become destructive if bored. Glen of Imaal Terriers excel in agility, earthdog trials, obedience, barn hunting, and tracking.

Brush their coat every few days with a pin or slicker brush. Combs may also be used too. The fur is water-resistant and has a shaggy look to it. Keep the ears cleaned weekly and trim their nails fortnightly.

Their outer coat is rough and requires hand stripping 2-3 times a year. As opposed to clipping, hand stripping will remove the dead fur from the root completely, allowing a new coat to grow through.

Bath the Glen of Imaal Terrier every 3 months, unless he gets dirty before then! Frequent bathing will result in a softer coat and will strip the fur of its natural oils. If necessary use a blow dryer to dry the coat.

Health

Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Glen of Imaal Terrier below:

Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint grows abnormally resulting in the ball and socket of the joint not fitting together correctly. This will cause pain, lameness and eventually arthritis.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (crd3): A degenerative health condition targeting the photoreceptor cells. Over time this will cause blindness.
Allergies: Skin issues, particularly with the paws can affect the Glen of Imaal Terrier.
PCDU: Premature Closure of the Distal Ulna is a limb disorder causing the distal growth plate to close prematurely.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Training

The Glen of Imaal Terrier can be a little stubborn so they’re better suited to experienced owners. They need a firm leader that won’t let them push the boundaries. Despite their small size, these canines can be very dominant just like the rest of their Terrier family!

Glens pick up commands quickly so be careful they don’t pick up bad habits just as fast! They have a special character and are versatile by nature. These dogs learn better in short 5-minute training sessions. Anything longer will begin to bore them.

Early socialization is important in order to raise a well-rounded dog. Try some local group training classes. Here, the Glen of Imaal Terrier puppy can interact with humans, dogs and learn new commands!

Be positive as harsh corrections won’t work on the Glen! Avoid dishing out too many food treats as they’re prone to weight gain. It’s important this dog acknowledges its owner’s authority so focus on respect training first.

glen of imaal terrier UK

Glen of Imaal Terrier Interesting Facts

  • The Glen Sit is a term to describe the odd way the Glen of Imaal Terrier sits down. They sit on their backside so their back is vertical and upright!
  • In 2020 only 36 Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies were registered with the Kennel Club. For more than a decade this breed has been rare and in 2008 it was reported that there were less than 1000 Glens left in the world!
  • It is thought the beginning of the Glen of Imaal Terrier started during Elizabeth I reign. They’re the product of the Irish Rebellion. French mercenaries were sent to Ireland to quash the rebels. Soon after they settled in Wicklow it’s thought their hounds with low-slung bodies bred with local Terriers thus creating the Glen!

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Xoloitzcuintli

The Mexican hairless dog is hard to miss! Its unique hairless trait makes them easily identifiable. Today we’re going to look into this intriguing dog breed!

Xoloitzcuintli Breed Standards:
Kennel Club Member?: Yes
Xoloitzcuintli Lifespan: 13-18 years
Xoloitzcuintli Exercise: Up to 1 hour
Height: Standard 18-23 inches Miniature 14-18 inches Toy 10-14 inches
Weight: Standard 14-25 kg Miniature 7-14 kg Toy 5-7 kg
Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Xoloitzcuintli is found in three varieties standard, miniature, and toy. Whilst they may not be one of the purest dogs in the world, the Xoloitzcuintli temperament has roughly remained similar. Their name is pronounced ‘sho-low-eets-QUEENT-lee’

Like the Chinese Crested dog, the Xoloitzcuintli also shares the hairless trait. However, some are born coated and both varieties can be born to the same litter! The hairless trait is often linked to dental abnormalities such as missing teeth.

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Characteristics

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

Positives:

  • Hypoallergenic, better breed for allergy sufferers
  • Xolos can live in apartments
  • Requires minimal grooming
  • Highly intelligent
  • Affectionate with their family

Negatives:

  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Strong prey drive
  • High wanderlust potential
  • Hairless dogs may suffer from skin conditions
  • Low tolerance for hot and cold weather

The Xoloitzcuintli is a medium-sized dog. The breed resembles the Pharoah Hound in appearance. Xolos have upright ears and long necks. There is great variety in colour and skin is often spotted. Common colours include Bronze, Black, Red, Blue, Blonde and Grey.

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Temperament

The Xoloitzcuintli personality has kept to its primitive roots. So, they’re better suited to experienced owners. This breed is affectionate, protective, sensitive, calm, and alert. They don’t like being left alone and could develop separation anxiety if this becomes repetitive.

Xoloitzcuintli dogs will express themselves through barking but only when they have something to say! These dogs are definitely one of the more unique breeds out there. But they do make excellent companions.

When it comes to strangers, the Xoloitzcuintli will be aloof. They’re keen watchdogs and are always on the alert but aren’t great guard dogs. Some Xolos prefer not to be touched by strangers. It’s important to encourage friendly behaviour through training and socialization.

Xolo dogs like a calm environment so they’re better suited to older children. Smaller varieties should keep away from younger kids due to their fragility. This breed is loving and will make a great family dog.

Sociable and friendly the Xoloitzcuintli loves meeting new dogs on their walks. It’s often better to get a Xoloitzcuintli puppy in pairs as they prefer the company! This canine is a pack animal and is also able to live with cats.

History

The Mexican Hairless dog is estimated to be at least 3,500 years old. Their ancestors migrated from Asia with some of the earliest human migrants. Their name derives from, Nahtul, a language mostly spoken in Central Mexico by Aztecs.

Xolotl is an ancient God of fire and lightning. He’s a dog-headed man acting as a soul guide for the dead. Itzcuintli stands for dog in Nahtul. The Aztecs believed the Xoloitzcuintli was sacred. If their owner passed away, they’d be sacrificed and buried alongside them.

It was thought the Xolo would guide spirits in the afterlife. Aztecs also thought the Xoloitzcuintli could protect the home from evil spirits. Yet despite their sacred status, these domesticated dogs were eaten! Those that settled from Spain enjoyed eating the Xolo so much, it almost became extinct!

Many European explorers recorded the Xoloitzcuintli in their journals. Christopher Columbus was one of these explorers. They were also depicted in Ancient Mesoamerican art. Archaeologists have estimated 75% of burials during 300 B.C and A.D 300 contained a small ceramic statue of the Xolo.

Xolos were one of the first breeds to be recognised by the AKC in 1887. Yet by 1959 they’d been deregistered due to a significant drop in breed numbers. Breed enthusiasts have worked hard to re-establish the Xolo. The Xoloitzcuintli is the National Dog of Mexico.

Exercise & Grooming

The standard Xoloitzcuintli should receive one hour of exercise per day. However, they won’t refuse more! The miniature Xoloitzcuintli and toy variety can be exercised slightly less. Due to their strong prey drives, keep them on leash unless in an enclosed space.

Whilst they may not look like it, this breed is actually a great dog sports competitor! They do well in obedience and agility categories. Mental stimulation is also important for a Xoloitzcuintli. Keep their brains busy!

A coated Xoloitzcuintli should be brushed lightly with a rubber brush once a week. Hairless varieties don’t require brushing. These canines are prone to dental issues so teeth should be brushed daily.

Don’t overwash the Xolo as this could damage their skin. Hairless varieties should be moisturised but not excessively. Their sensitive skin is prone to acne and sunburn. Clean the ears weekly and trim their nails fortnightly.

Health

The Xolo is generally a healthy breed but there are some health issues you should be aware of. Check out the breed related health problems found in the Xoloitzcuintli dog below:

Hip Dysplasia: The hip joint develops abnormally causing the ball and socket to rub and grind against one another. This will cause pain, swelling, inflammation and eventually arthritis.
Patellar Luxation: The kneecap temporarily dislocates out of place before relocating back into position just as quick.
Skin Issues: Hairless Xolos are prone to skin issues. This can include blackheads, plugged hair follicles, chronic allergies, and bacterial infections.

The Xoloitzcuintli may also suffer from minor eye problems and dental issues.

Xoloitzcuintli Training

Xolos take a little longer to mature so owners should keep this in mind during training. Sessions shouldn’t last longer than ten minutes as the Xolo will soon lose interest. Positive reinforcement is the only way forward as this sensitive breed won’t do well with harsh corrections.

Structure is important for the Xoloitzcuintli. A routine helps a dog establish what is expected of them. It’s also a great way to easily housebreak a dog. Return them to the same potty spot outdoors and eventually, the repetition will sink in.

To ensure a well-tempered dog early socialization is vital. Meeting new people and dogs will prevent fear-based reactions. Take the Xoloitzcuintli to different environments where they can experience new sights and sounds.

Barking can be a downside to this breed. To prevent this from becoming an excessive trait teach the Xolo the quiet command. As soon as the Xoloitzcuintli puppy enters its new home boundaries should be set. Be consistent with discipline.

Xoloitzcuintle dog UK

Xoloitzcuintli Interesting Facts

  • In Essex Park, England two Xoloitzcuintli puppies were abandoned. They were found by a dog walker in a cardboard box and were soon handed over to Dogs Trust in Basildon. The dogs were now in safe hands and were named Dandelion and Burdock.
  • In Liverpool, a giant robotic dog paraded around the city. He is called Xolo, the Giant Dog and naturally attracted crowds of people. The robotic dog was created by French theatre group Royale de Luxe.
  • In 2009, E.T the Xoloitzcuintli was known as Britain’s ugliest dog. He was stuck at the RSPCA centre in Waltham Abbey, Essex for months. At the time he was one of only 27 Xoloitzuintli dogs in the UK!
  • The Ancient Mexican Hairless dog featured in Pixar’s animated production Coco. Lee Unkrich, director of Coco, was inspired by the Xoloitzcuintli after a trip to Mexico. The local Mexican Xolo dogs were invited to interact with filmmakers so they could be studied in greater detail.
  • Throughout its thousands of years existence the Xolo has been depicted in may art forms. Xolos were also found in pre-hispanic art. Today Mexican artists are still mesmerized by the breed. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo even owned the Xoloitzcuintle.
  • Did you know for centuries the Xoloitzcuintli has been used as a human water bottle. They’d often be found in the beds of their owners keeping them warm. The warmth from their body is soothing especially for those who are ill.
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Alaskan Malamute

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

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

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

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

malamute alaskan malamute

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Malamute Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

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Health

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

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

Alaskan Malamute Training

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

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

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

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

alaskan malamute

Alaskan Malamute Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

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Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Cane Corso Training

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

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

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

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

Cane Corso Interesting Facts

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

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Turkish Kangal Dog

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Kangal Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Kangal Shepherd Dog Training

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

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

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

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

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Kangal Shepherd Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

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Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

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Health

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

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

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

Borzoi Training

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

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

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

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

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

Borzoi Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics:

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Ibizan Hound Training

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

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

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

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

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

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Ibizan Hound Interesting Facts

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

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Caucasian Shepherd

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

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

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

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

Characteristics:

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

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Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

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Health

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

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

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Training

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

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

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

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

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Caucasian Shepherd Dog interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

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Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Pyrenean Mastiff Training

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

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

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

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

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

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Pyrenean Mastiff Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

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History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Training

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

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

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

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

Skye Terrier Interesting Facts

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

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Kokoni Dog

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Kokoni Training

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

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

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

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

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

Kokoni Interesting Facts

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

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Boxer

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

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History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

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

Boxer Training

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

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

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

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

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

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Boxer Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

Check out the West Highland White Terrier health issues below:

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

Westie Training

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

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

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

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

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

Westie Interesting Facts

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

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Weimaraner

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

Below are the breed-related Weimaraner Health conditions:

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

Weimaraner Training

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

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

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

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

Weimaraner Interesting Facts

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

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Labradoodle

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

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

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

Labradoodle Training

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

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

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

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

Labradoodle Interesting Breed Facts

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

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Basenji

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives

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

Negatives:

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

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History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

Check out the Basenji health conditions below:

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

Basenji Training

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

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

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

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

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

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litle puppy basenji on green grass

Basenji Interesting Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Temperament

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise & Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

Health

Check out the Bernese Mountain dog health issues below:

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

Bernese Mountain Dog Training

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

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

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

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

Bernese Mountain Dog Interesting Facts

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