Monday, March 25, 2013

Airedale Terrier



Airedale Terrier




History:
Airedale, a valley (dale) in the West Riding of Yorkshire, named for the river Aire that runs through it, was the birthplace of the breed. In the mid-19th Century, working class people created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier (now known as the Welsh Terrier) with the Otterhound. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed.
In 1864 they were exhibited for the first time at a championship dog show sponsored by the Airedale Agricultural Society. They were classified under different names, including Rough Coated, Bingley and Waterside Terrier. In 1879 breed fanciers decided to call the breed the Airedale Terrier, a name accepted by the Kennel Club (England) in 1886.

Well-to-do hunters of the era were typically accompanied by a pack of hounds and several terriers, often running them both together. The hounds would scent and pursue the quarry and the terriers would "go to ground" or enter into the quarry's burrow and make the kill. Terriers were often the sporting dog of choice for the common man. Early sporting terriers needed to be big enough to tackle the quarry, but not so big as to prevent them from maneuvering through the quarry's underground lair. As a result, these terriers had to have a very high degree of courage and pluck to face the foe in a tight, dark underground den without the help of human handlers.
During the middle of the nineteenth century, regular sporting events took place along the Aire River in which terriers pursued the large river rats that inhabited the area. A terrier was judged on its ability to locate a "live" hole in the riverbank and then, after the rat was driven from its hole by a ferret brought along for that purpose, the terrier would pursue the rat through water until it could make a kill. As these events became more popular, demand arose for a terrier that could excel in this activity. One such terrier was developed through judicious crossings of the Black-and-Tan Terrier and Bull and Terrier dogs popular at the time with the Otter Hound. The result was a long-legged fellow that would soon develop into the dog we recognize today as the Airedale Terrier. This character was too big to "go to ground" in the manner of the smaller working terriers; however, it was good at everything else expected of a sporting terrier, and it was particularly adept at water work. This big terrier had other talents in addition to its skill as a ratter. Because of its hound heritage it was blessed with the ability to scent game and the size to be able to tackle larger animals. It became more of a multipurpose terrier that could pursue game by powerful scenting ability, be broken to gun, and taught to retrieve. Its size and temperament made it an able guardian of farm and home. One of the colorful, but less-than legal, uses of the early Airedale Terrier was to assist its master in poaching game on the large estates that were off-limits to commoners. Rabbits, hare, and fowl were plentiful, and the Airedale could be taught to retrieve game killed by its master, or to pursue, kill, and bring it back itself.
The first imports of Airedale Terriers to North America were in the 1880s. The first Airedale to come to American shores was named Bruce. After his 1881 arrival, Bruce won the terrier class in a New York dog show.
The patriarch of the breed is considered to be CH Master Briar (1897–1906). Two of his sons, Crompton Marvel and Monarch, also made important contributions to the breed.
The first Canadian registrations are recorded in the Stud book of 1888–1889.
In 1910, the ATCA (Airedale Terrier Club of America) offered the Airedale Bowl as a perpetual trophy, which continues to this day. It is now mounted on a hardwood pedestal base, holding engraved plates with the names of the hundreds of dogs that have been awarded Best of Breed at the National Specialties.
The Airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. There are numerous tales of Airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury. An Airedale named 'Jack' ran through half a mile of enemy fire, with a message attached within his collar. He arrived at headquarters with his jaw broken and one leg badly splintered, and right after he delivered the message, he dropped dead in front of its recipient.[10] [11]
Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson was responsible for the development of messenger and guard dogs in the British Army. He, along with his wife, established a War Dog Training School at Shoeburyness in Essex, England. In 1916, they provided two Airedales (Wolf & Prince)for use as message carriers. After both dogs proved themselves in battle, Airedales were given more duties, such as locating injured soldiers on the battlefield, an idea taken from the Red Cross.
Before the adoption of the German Shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.
In 1906, Richardson tried to interest the British Police in using dogs to accompany officers, for protection on patrol at night. Mr. Geddes, Chief Goods Manager for Hull Docks in Yorkshire, was convinced after he went saw the impressive work of police dogs in Belgium. Geddes convinced Superintendent Dobie of the North Eastern Railway Police, to arrange a plan for policing the docks. Airedale Terriers were selected for duty as police dogs because of their intelligence, good scenting abilities and their hard, wiry coats that were easy to maintain and clean.
At the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, the Russian embassy in London contacted Lt. Colonel Richardson for help acquiring dogs for the Russian Army, trained to take the wounded away from the battlefields. He sent terriers, mostly Airedale Terriers, for communication and sanitary services. Although these original imports perished, Airedale Terriers were reintroduced to Russia in the early 1920s for use by the Red Army. Special service dog units were created in 1923, and Airedale Terriers were used as demolition dogs, guard dogs, police tracking dogs and casualty dogs.
Two Airedales were among the dogs lost with the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Airedale "Kitty" belonged to Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, the real-estate mogul. The second Airedale belonged to William E. Carter of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mr. Carter was the owner of the Renault automobile in which Jack and Rose trysted in the movie "Titanic". Carter, his wife and two children survived the sinking.
During the 1930s, when airedales were farmed like livestock, American breeders developed the Oorang airedale.
Capt. Walter Lingo, of LaRue, Ohio, developed the Oorang Airedale strain. The name came from a line of bench champions, headed by King Oorang 11, a dog which was said to have been the finest utility dog. King could retrieve waterfowl and upland game, tree raccoons, drive cattle and sheep, and bay mountain lions, bears, and wolves. King even fought one of the best fighting bull terriers, and killed his opponent. He also trained in Red Cross work, and served the American Expeditionary Force at the front in France.
Lingo simply wasn't satisfied with the average strain of Airedale, and after an incredible series of breedings, for which he brought in great Airedales from all over the world, he created the "King Oorang." At the time, Field and Stream magazine called it, "the greatest utility dog in the history of the world." The Oorang Kennel Company continued until Walter Lingo's death in 1969. To help promote the King Oorang, as well as his kennels, Lingo created the Oorang Indians football team headed up by Jim Thorpe. The team played in National Football League from 1922–1923.[13] Jerry Siebert, an Airedale breeder in Buckeye Lake, Ohio, followed in Lingo's footsteps, and bred "Jerang Airedales." There is a kennel in Tennessee that claims to have original Oorang Airedales.

After the First World War, the Airedales' popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned Airedales. President Harding's Airedale, Laddie Boy, was the "first celebrity White House pet".[14] President Harding had a special chair hand carved for him to sit on at very important Cabinet meetings. In the 1920s, the Airedale became the most popular breed in the USA.
President Roosevelt claimed that "An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog, if he has to."

Description:


The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers and stands square in appearance. The skull is about the same length as the muzzle, with a very slight stop that is hard to see. The head is long and flat. The nose is black. The teeth should meet in a level, vice-like or scissors bite. The small eyes are dark in color. The V-shaped ears fold slightly to the side of the head and forward. The chest is deep. The topline of the back is level. The front legs are perfectly straight. The tail is set high on the back. The double coat has a hard, dense and wiry outer coat with a soft undercoat. Coat colors include tan and black and tan and grizzle. The head and ears should be tan, with the ears being a slightly darker shade of tan. The legs, thighs, elbows and the under part of the body and chest are also tan, sometimes running into the shoulder. In some lines there is a small white blaze on the chest. The back of the dog, sides and upper parts of the body should be black or dark grizzle in color.

Temperament:


The Airedale Terrier, the "King of Terriers," is brimming with personality. He has the trademark terrier temperament: energetic, curious, feisty, and boisterous. He thinks he is a comedian and will provide you with years of comic relief. He craves your attention and will act out to get it. They are intelligent, and quick learners, but they certainly think for themselves, so their idea of "trained" might differ from yours. They are notoriously unreliable on the recall. They seem to think everything over. They like to work with you, not for you. They seem to be born mischievous and act like puppies until they are about two years old. They like to destroy doggie beds, shred newspapers and eat rugs. They also love to dig. They will also steal laundry and food. They like to find their own adventures in life. To minimize their misbehaviors, it is imperative that you give your Airedale daily exercise. They enjoy doing most anything you do: hiking, jogging, backpacking, canoeing, camping, and agility. They are loyal, devoted, and protective, and will bark when someone approaches the door. They are excellent watch dogs! The Airedale will certainly stand his ground (one time that the stubbornness works for you). The Airedale is a terrier, and will chase small animals. They are not reliable with cats, unless they grow up with them, and even then, it's not a sure thing. Some Airedales are aggressive with other dogs. Airedales do wonderfully with children, but these are large, exuberant, high energy dogs with head-butting enthusiasm who like to roughhouse. They can injure a young child without ever meaning to, so many breeders recommend they don't go to homes with young children. Airedale parents need to keep a close eye on their dog's health, because Airedales rarely show pain. They can be seriously injured or really ill and still be wagging their tail. If an Airedale is for you, then you will need to be devoted to a high maintenance, high energy member of your family. They need your affection and attention and they will want to supervise everything you do. With careful, diligent, patient training and parenting, the Airedale can be the best family pet in the world, but you have to be the right family. You need to be okay with a rowdy, jolly joker helping you run your house!




Height, Weight:
Height: Males 22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)    Females 22 - 23 inches (56 - 58 cm)

Weight: Males 50 - 65 pounds (23 - 29 kg)  Females 40 - 45 pounds (18 - 20 kg)
Living Conditions:
The Airedale Terrier is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
Exercise:


The Airedale Terrier should have at least an average sized yard available. A very active breed, this dog loves to swim, jog, run, and play so this breed does require extensive exercise. Not recommended for apartment life as they are very active indoors and can become a tyrant if not sufficiently exercised.
Life Expectancy:
About 10-12 years.
Grooming:
The hair of this breed is hard and crisp making it rather hard to groom. Dead hair should be plucked at least twice a year. The Airedale Terrier can shed heavily or not at all depending on the cut of the coat. Washing the beard regularly is a must to keep it free from caking.
Conclusion:


The Airedale has a sweet disposition, but when challenged, is not afraid to stand up for himself. Obedience training is important for these quick learners, but make sure to keep it interesting - they can get bored easily! They also thrive with daily exercise. Although relatively easy to maintain, the Airedale coat needs regular brushing and stripping.
                                                




                                                 





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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Great Dane


                                              

                               Great Dane

    
                                               
History:
Dogs resembling the Great Dane have been seen on Egyptian monuments dating back to 3,000 BC. According to Barbara Stein, "The breed originated in Germany, probably from a cross between the English mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound." In the early 1700's, a French naturalist, Compte de Buffon first saw these dogs while traveling in Denmark. He labelled this breed "le Grande Danois" or Great Dane. For some reason, the name stuck - although only in English. (The Germans continued to refer to this breed as the "Deutsche doggen".) So, although Denmark has absolutely no part to play in the story of the history of Great Danes, the dog is nevertheless tied to it albeit in name only. According to Jacob Nicolay Wilse the Danes called the dog "large hound," a terminology continued well in to the 20th century. As late as in the 1780 Germany the hound is referred to as "Grosser Dänischer

Jagdhund" (English: Large Danish Hunting Hound). At the first dog exhibition, held in Hamburg 14–20 July 1863, eight dogs were called "Dänische Dogge" and seven "Ulmer Doggen."Most fanciers today credit Germany with the well-balanced, elegant Great Dane as we know it. It is known that German nobility imported these English Boar Hounds until the 17th and 18th centuries, by which time they had developed their own breeding stock and no longer needed the imports. In 1880, a Dr. Bodinus held a meeting in Berlin where judges and breeders agreed that the breed as developed by the Germans was distinctly different from the stockier English Mastiffs and would henceforth be known solely as the Deutsche Dogge, or German Dog. The Deutsche Doggen Club of German was founded, and the name Deutsche Dogge took hold in parts of Europe. The Germans had a hard time convincing other countries to accept the breed name, however. The Italians to this day call the breed Alano, which means mastiff. In England, the United States and other English-speaking countries, the dogs are called Great Danes

Description:


The Great Dane is a giant, powerful dog. Square in body, but females may be slightly longer than tall. The long head is rectangular in shape. The muzzle is deep, with a pronounced stop. The nose is black, blue/black on blue Danes or black spotted on the harlequins. The dark, deep-set eyes are medium in size. The medium sized ears are set high and either cropped or left natural. If left in their natural state they are folded forward, hanging close to the cheek. When cropped they stand erect and are large in proportion to the rest of the head. Note: cropping ears is illegal in most parts of Europe. The well arched neck is set high, firm and muscular. The front legs are perfectly straight. The feet are round with dark toenails. The tail is set high, thicker at the base and tapering to a point. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The coat is short and thick. Colors come in brindle, fawn, black, blue, mantle harlequin and sometimes merle. Although not a recognized color, chocolate does occur in a recessive gene. Merle is a common result of harlequin breeding, but it is not a recognized color.

Temperament:


Known as the "gentle giant" and the "king of dogs," the Great Dane was originally bred as a hunting dog but is now bred as an exceptionally large companion dog. And he makes a good one. He is a gentle, friendly, docile, peaceful, and a really, really big dog. He is exceptionally devoted to his owners, especially children. However, a six-month-old Great Dane puppy will outweigh a six-year-old child, so parents must be cautious that no one gets accidentally squashed. But the Great Dane is people-oriented and committed to pleasing them. They are playful, and will need to be walked daily, but their exercise needs are only moderate. They also love to nap with you, and will take over your couch. They might also go steal some food off the countertop before you wake up. They make good watchdogs, and are often reserved towards strangers, but in general, they don't bark much. They get along well with other animals. They are trainable and do well in the competition ring. They are also quick to housetrain. (I know, thank God, right?) So, if you are looking for a dog that honestly believes he is a part of the family ... if you are looking for a gentle giant to have in your home ... who will be able to sit and look you in the eye at the dinner table ... if you are looking for a peaceful, devoted companion who loves his family and home, then the Great Dane might be for you.

Height, Weight:
Height: Males 30 - 34 inches (76 - 86 cm) Females 28 - 32 inches (71 - 81 cm)
Weight: Males 120 - 200 pounds (54 - 90 kg) Females 100 - 130 pounds (45 - 59 kg)
Dogs of even larger size are more prized.

Living Conditions:
The Great Dane will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and does best with at least a large yard.

Exercise:


Like most dogs, Great Danes require daily walks to remain healthy. However it is important not to over exercise this breed, particularly when young. Great Dane puppies grow very large, very fast, which puts them at risk of joint and bone problems. Because of a puppy's natural energy, Dane owners often take steps to minimize activity while the dog is still growing.
Given their large size, Great Danes continue to grow (mostly gaining weight) longer than most dogs. Even at one year of age a Great Dane will continue to grow for several more months.

Life Expectancy:
The average is under 10 years, however some can live to be 12-13 years old.

Grooming:
Combing and brushing the short coat of this breed regularly is acceptable for this giant breed. Rubber brushing also does well in removing any loose hair. Bathing a Great Dane can be difficult due to his size, but is a relatively clean dog.
Conclusion:
This regal breed combines great size and power with elegance. It is square-proportioned and well-balanced. Its gait is strong and powerful with long, easy strides. These attributes are necessary in a dog required to overtake and then over-power relatively swift but formidable quarry. Its coat is short, thick and glossy. The Great Dane is most noteworthy for its majestic carriage and appearance — the "Apollo of Dogs."
The Great Dane is gentle, loving, easygoing and sensitive. It is generally good with children (although its friendly overtures may overwhelm a small child) and usually friendly toward other dogs and pets. It is powerful but sensitive and responsive to training. It makes a pleasant, well-mannered family companion.


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Saturday, March 16, 2013

American Foxhound

                                                                  

                                   American Foxhound




History:

In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed to Crown Colony in America with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the root of several strains of American Hounds. These dogs remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years. George Washington received French Foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, (which look much like an American Bluetick Coonhound) as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke's, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound. The American Foxhound is known to originate from the states of Maryland and Virginia, and is the state dog of Virginia."Code of Virginia". 1–510. Retrieved 28 March 2011.Though there has long been a rumor that the new breed was originally used for hunting Indigenous peoples of the Americas, this is not true. The breed was developed by landed gentry purely for the sport of hunting foxes. With the importation (or migration) of the red fox, Irish Foxhounds were added to the lines, to increase speed and stamina in the dog, qualities still prevalent in today's dogs. One quality that the American Foxhound is famous for is its musical howl that can be heard for miles. This is actually one reason that this breed does not do well in city settings. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Today, there are many different strains of American Foxhound, including Walker, Goodman, Trigg, July and Penn-Marydel. Though each strain looks quite different, they are all recognized as members of the same breed. Most show hounds are Walkers, many of the pack hounds (used with hunting foxes on horseback) are Penn-Marydel and hunters use a variety of strains to suit their hunting style and quarry



Description:
While standards call for the American Foxhound to be about 21–25 inches (530–640 mm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 45-60 pounds (29–34 kg), many of them are larger in structure (especially the show strains), with males standing 26–29 inches (660–740 mm) and females 25–28 inches (640–710 mm) and smaller in weight, typically between 40–65 pounds (20–29 kg). For years it was traditional to feed Foxhounds on a diet of "dog bread", a variation on cornbread. The legs of a Foxhound are very long and straight-boned. The foxhound's chest is rather narrow. It has a long muzzle, and a large, domed skull. The dog is a Virginia Common pet. The ears are wide and low-set. The eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide-set.
While similar to its English cousin, the American Foxhound has been developed by its breeders to be lighter and taller, to have a keener sense of smell, and to be even faster in the chase. A large, handsome hound, its front legs are long and very straight-boned. The head is long with a slightly domed, large skull. The ears are broad and pendant, framing the face. The eyes are large and wide-set, either brown or hazel, with a sweet, imploring expression. The ears are wide and flat to the head. The tail is set moderately high with a slight upward curve, but is not turned forward over the back. The short, hard coat may be any color.

Temperament:

The American Foxhound is bred to run. Foxhound owners need to make a commitment to ensure that their dogs get enough exercise. An American Foxhound who doesn't get to burn off his energy will become bored and destructive. He will probably use his teeth to destroy your house. He can be pretty rambunctious when he wants to be. The American Foxhound has an independent spirit and can be very stubborn, so obedience training is important for this breed, as is active socialization. Even though an American Foxhound is intelligent, training him requires a lot of skill, persistence, and patience. He has an incredible sense of smell, and if he picks up a trail that interests him, he will follow it, and will no longer be able to hear your voice. He needs to be kept on a leash or in a safe, fenced-in area. These dogs, like most dogs, are not car smart. In the home, the American Foxhound is sweet, kind, loving, and loyal. They thrive as members of a family. They are mild-tempered and easygoing and get along well with children and with most other pets. They usually do well with other dogs but can be aggressive toward dogs of the same sex. The American Foxhound has a special bark: a loud, deep bark followed by a high-pitched howl. Foxhound owners love it, but a Foxhound's neighbors might not feel the same way. Fortunately for the neighbors, Foxhounds are generally not nuisance barkers.

Height, Weight:
Height: 21 - 25 inches (53 – 64 cm)
Weight: 65 - 75 pounds (29 – 34 kg)

Living Conditions:
American Foxhounds are not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and do best with acreage.

Exercise:

This dog is extremely energetic and tireless. It is very important that it gets daily vigorous exercise to prevent extreme indoor restlessness. This breed should not be taken on as a family pet unless the family can guarantee plenty of vigorous exercise. They need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit door and gateways after the humans.

Training:
The American Foxhound is moderately easy to train. He learns new commands at the average rate. He is neither difficult nor easy to train.
Obedience training is essential for this breed due to their independence and natural instinct to follow a scent. A Foxhound who picks up a scent will follow it while ignoring commands; training requires patience and skill because of the breed's independence and occasional stubbornness. Because of its strong hunting instinct, American Foxhounds should not be trusted off-lead. Most scent hounds are bred to give "voice", but the Foxhound does not make a good watchdog.

Life Expectancy:
About 10-12 years

Grooming:
Regular combing and brushing should be done with a firm bristle brush. Bathing should only be done when necessary. It is important to frequently check the ears of this breed often for debris. The American Foxhound is a relatively healthy breed. They have a tendency to gain weight if overfed.
The American Foxhound breed has a coat that is of medium length, is weather-proof, hard in texture, and lays close to the body. The American Foxhound is an average shedder.



Conclusion:
The American Foxhound was bred to run, so they are an ideal pet for those who live in rural areas or on large farms. They can do well in smaller areas, however, with owners who provide them with adequate exercise. Hounds raised in the home tend to be mild tempered and easy going, getting along with children and most other pets. Their short coat is easy to care for, but owners will need patience and persistence in training, as the breed can be stubborn and independent.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog






History:
The Old English Sheepdog comes from the very old pastoral type dogs of England, but no records were kept of the dogs, and everything about the earliest types is guesswork. A small drop-eared dog seen in a 1771 painting by Gainsborough is believed by some to represent the early type of the Old English Sheepdog. In the early 19th century a bobtailed drovers dog, called the Smithfield or Cotswold Cor, was noticed in the southwestern counties of England and may have been an ancestor. Most fanciers agree that the Bearded Collie was among the original stock used in developing today's breed. Some speculate that the Russian Owtchar was among the breed's ancestors.



The Old English Sheepdog was at first called the "Shepherd's Dog" and was exhibited for the first time at a show in Birmingham, England, in 1873. There were only three entries, and the judge felt the quality of the dogs was so poor that he offered only a second placing. From that beginning, the breed became a popular show dog, and, although the shape of dog itself has changed very little over the years, elaborate grooming including backcombing and powdering the fur were recorded as early as 1907. The breed was exported to the United States in the 1880s, and by the turn of the 20th century, five of the ten wealthiest American families bred and showed the Old English Sheepdog. The breed continues to be a popular show dog today.

Description:

The Old English Sheepdog is a strong, compact, square dog. The topline is lower at the shoulders, sloping higher toward the back end. The chest is deep and broad. The head is large with a well-defined stop. The nose is black. The teeth meet in a level or tight scissors bite. Eyes come in brown, blue or one of each color. The medium sized ears are carried flat to the head. The front legs are very straight and the hind legs are round and muscular. The small feet point straight ahead and are round with well-arched toes. The Old English Sheepdog is either born tailless (as the name Bobtail implies) or is completely amputated. Note: it is illegal to dock tails in most parts of Europe. The shaggy, double coat is long and profuse with a good, hard, textured outer coat and a soft, waterproof undercoat. Coat colors include gray, grizzle, blue, blue gray, blue merle, gray with white markings or white with gray markings.


Temperament:

The breed standards describe the ideal Old English Sheepdog as never being nervous or aggressive. The New Zealand Kennel Club adds that "they are sometimes couch potatoes" and "may even try to herd children by gently bumping them." This breed's temperament can be described as intelligent, social and adaptable. The American Kennel Club adds that the breed has "a clownish energy" and "may try to herd people or other objects."
With wide open spaces being the ideal setting for an Old English Sheepdog, the breed is a natural fit in a rural setting, such as working on a farm; although, with proper exercise and training, they are perfectly comfortable with a suburban or urban lifestyle. Their remarkable, inherent herding instincts, sense of duty, and sense of property boundaries may be nurtured and encouraged accordingly, or subdued by their owners. Old English Sheepdogs should not be deprived of the company and the warmth of people.
An intelligent breed displaying no signs of aggression or shyness, the Old English Sheepdog is ideal for the home life. With an even disposition, this breed does very well in a herding or working environment. Natural herding instincts are present and would do exceptionally well in country life. Protective and sweet makes this the perfect household companion, and protector of family.
Even-tempered and faithful, the Old English Sheepdog has quite a presence about him. Excellent in a family environment, this breed does regularly bump, or sometimes push trying to herd the family. This trait can be trained out of this breed, however it is usually harmless. Great child's companion, and a wonderful teddy bear like appearance.

Height, Weight:
Males 22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)  Females 20 - 22 inches (51 cm)
Males from 65 pounds (29 kg)  Females from 60 pounds (27 kg)
Some can grow to over 100 pounds (45 kg)

Living Conditions:
The Old English Sheepdog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are fairly active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.

Exercise:

 
The Old English sheepdog needs daily exercise, either a moderate to long walk or a vigorous romp. It particularly enjoys herding. It can live outside only in temperate to cool climates, but it is strongly advised that this breed have access to the house or indoor quarters because it thrives on togetherness.
The Old English Sheepdog does best with a medium sized yard, however if given regular opportunities to exercise, no yard would be fine. This breed loves a long brisk walk, or a nice run as they were originally bred for working. Proper water must always be available as this breed has a long coat and can become heated quickly.

Training:
The Old English Sheepdog does wonderfully in herding, and is rather intelligent. This sheepdog requires a firm handler as they can be strong willed and stubborn. A variety of training methods is recommended as this breed tends to do things the way he sees fit. A range of training techniques will keep him interested and alert
The Old English Sheepdog is harder to train than most other dog breeds. He learns new commands more slowly than the majority of other breeds. You will need to be extra patient when Training him.

Life Expectancy:
About 10-12 years

Grooming:

Coat of this breed must be brushed down to the undercoat to prevent tangles or matting. Brushing and combing regularly will keep the coat soft and tangle free. The Old English Sheepdog is a heavy shedder during warmer seasons which makes clipping this breed ideal if not being used for show. Trimming is necessary.
 Unless it is combed and brushed right through to the dense, waterproof undercoat at least three times per week, it will become matted and the dog may develop skin problems, making it prone to host parasites. Clip out any tangles carefully so as not to nick the skin. A grooming table will make the whole job easier. If the dog is not being shown, the coat can be professionally machine-clipped every two months or so, about one inch all the way around. In former times these dogs were shorn along with sheep. Trim around the eyes and rear-end with blunt-nosed scissors. This breed sheds like a human—not a lot, but in small amounts.

Conclusion:
The OES is an athletic animal, filled with clownish energy, and therefore requires regular exercise or a job to do. Although affectionate with his family, he may try to herd people or other objects. If the coat is of the correct texture, the breed should not be any more difficult to groom than other long-haired dogs, provided a dog is introduced to it early.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Belgian Shepherd

                                  BELGIAN SHEPHERD 





History

The Belgian sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois began as three local variations of one breed, which was known as the Belgian shepherd or Continental shepherd. The dog that was heir to the name Belgian sheepdog was originally known as the Groenendael variation of the breed. Like all the Belgian shepherds, it was a working farm dog expected to both herd and guard. It differed from the others because it had a rather long, black coat. In 1910 these dogs were officially dubbed Groenendael after the kennel that had selectively bred the black dogs since 1893 (just after the Belgian shepherds were recognized as a breed). By this time, the breed had gained some repute as a police dog and was already employed in this capacity in America. In World War I, they continued to shine as sentry dogs, messengers and even draft dogs. It was here that they captured the attention of the public, and they soon enjoyed a fair amount of popularity after the war. In 1959, the three Belgian shepherd breeds were divided into separate breeds, with the Groenendael subsequently known as the Belgian sheepdog. With its shimmering black coat, it is the most striking of the Belgian breeds, and that fact, along with its versatile abilities, has won it many faithful supporters.

Description


The body of the Belgian Sheepdog is well muscled, with tight skin and a squarely proportioned body. The overall size of the head should be in proportion with the body. The top of the skull is flattened rather than rounded. The muzzle is moderately pointed with a moderate stop. The lips should be tight. The dog's bite should be either even or scissors. The medium sized, almond-shaped eyes are brown. The erect ears are triangle in shape and in proportion to the head. The legs are parallel, straight and strong. The feathered tail is strong at the base with the tailbone reaching the hock. The dewclaws are usually removed. The feet are cat-like in shape. The weather-resistant coat is moderately long, with a ruff of fur around the neck and extra feathering on the legs, tail and underneath the body. The coat color is black, either solid or with a small amount of white on the chest, chin or toes.


Temperament

The Groenendael is (very) intelligent, active, loyal and quietly affectionate. Groenendaels are not a breed for the faint of heart. However for those who have plenty of time, energy, confidence and love, they are wonderful friends. Attentive, alert, loving, and smart, the Belgian Sheepdog requires firm socialization at an early age as they tend to be very protective of their owners and territory. Nipping at ankles is a common trait for this breed, as they still possess a strong herding instinct.

Training and socializing is essential. They are wary of strangers and protective. They love children as long as they are introduced to them at an early age. The Groenendael bonds deeply to its people and cannot live outdoors or in a kennel. It needs to spend time with its family every day and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time


Height, Weight
Height: Males 24 - 26 inches (61 - 66 cm) Females 22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)
Weight: Males 65 - 75 pounds (29 - 34 kg) Females 60 - 70 pounds (27 - 32 kg)

Living Conditions
The Belgian Sheepdog would do best with at least an average sized yard but is given proper exercise, can do well without one. Long brisk walks are required if this breed is to live without a yard. This breed does best when off lead in a safe and fenced in area.

Exercise
Belgian Shepherds can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Groenendael exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials. One of the basic activities of the Belgian Shepherd was guarding the flock. This make that the Belgian shepherd is extremely useful for protection purposes. The Malinois is famous for its IPO or Policedog performance, but the Groenendael can also be used for this purpose.

Life Expectancy
About 13-14 years

Grooming
The medium-length coat of the Belgian Sheepdog only requires an occasional brushing. But because he sheds excessively you may find yourself brushing him daily to remove loose hair. (What you get out with a brush doesn't fall out in your home!)

Conclusion
A member of the herding group, the Belgian Sheepdog does exceptionally well in herding and guarding. An intelligent and affectionate breed, the Belgian Sheepdog does best in a country environment, but can do well in home life. This breed has very strong protective instincts and does well as a guard dog.
The Belgian Sheepdog is happiest with an owner who can give him plenty of jobs to do. This breed gets along with gentle children, and will thrive in either country or suburban living if exercise is readily available. This is also a protective breed, and his intelligence and trainability make him an excellent watch dog. His long coat should be brushed weekly.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Afghan Hound




The Afghan Hound


History

Sighthounds are among the oldest recognisable types of dogs, and genetic testing has placed the Afghan Hound breed among those with the least genetic divergence from the wolf on some markers. This is taken to mean that such dogs are descended from the oldest dog types, not that the breeds tested had in antiquity their exact modern form. Today's modern purebred breed of Afghan Hound descends from dogs brought in the 1920s to Great Britain, and are a blending of types and varieties of long haired sighthounds from across Afghanistan and the surrounding areas. Some had been kept as hunting dogs, others as guardians.

One dog in particular, Zardin, was brought in 1907 from India by Captain Bariff and became the early ideal of breed type for what was still called the Persian Greyhound. Zardin was the basis of the writing of the first breed standard in 1912, but breeding of the dogs was stopped by World War I.

The spectacular beauty of Afghan Hound dogs caused them to become highly desirable showdogs and pets, and they are recognised by all of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world. One of the Amps Ghazni, Sirdar, won BIS at Crufts in 1928 and 1930. An Afghan hound was featured on the cover of Life Magazine, November 26, 1945. "Afghan Hounds were the most popular in Australia in the 1970s…and won most of the major shows". An Afghan Hound won BIS (Best in Show) at the 1996 World Dog Show in Budapest. Afghan hounds were BIS at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1957 and again in 1983. That win also marked the most recent win at Westminster for breeder-owner-handler, Chris Terrell.

The Afghan Hound breed is no longer used for hunting, although it can be seen in the sport of lure coursing.


Description


The Afghan Hound is considered an aristocratic sighthound. Tall and slender with a long, narrow, refined head, silky topknot and powerful jaws, the back part of the head and skull are quite prominent. The muzzle is slightly convex and the nose is black. The Afghan has little or no stop, which is the transition area from backskull to muzzle. The teeth should meet in a level or scissors bite. The dark eyes are almond shaped. The ears lie flat to the head. The neck is long and strong. The height at the withers should be almost level and the abdomen well tucked up. The hipbones are quite prominent. The front legs are strong and straight and the feet are large and covered with long hair. The tail has a curl or ring at the tip, but is not carried over the back. The long, rich, silky coat is most often the color of sand with a darker face and ear fringes, though all colors are permitted. White markings, however, are discouraged.



Temperament

Courageous, dignified, spirited, very sweet, loyal, affectionate and sensitive, with a low dominance level, the Afghan can be somewhat aloof, but socialize well. They must be trained kindly yet in a calm and firm manner. The Afghan has been described as "a king of dogs"—noble, majestic and elegant. They tend to be suspicious of those they do not know, but not hostile. Although tough, they will pine if they are deprived of proper gentle leadership. They will do best with older, considerate children who understand how to be a gentle pack leader. Amenable to training and discipline, they can be disobedient if an owner does not give the dog clear guidelines and consistency with what is expected of their dog. This breed can be difficult to housebreak. It can also be timid and high-strung if it does not receive enough mental and physical exercise.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 27 - 29 inches (68.58 - 73.66 cm); slightly less for females.
Weight: 50 – 64 lb. (22 – 34 kg)



Living Conditions

The Afghan Hound is not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with acreage. This breed can live in or outdoors, although it would be happier sleeping indoors.


Exercise

The Afghan Hound needs to be taken on a long daily walk or jog. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. Teach them to enter and exit door and gateways after the humans. They will also enjoy running free in an open, fenced, safe area.


Life Expectancy

About 14 years


Grooming

The long, thick coat demands a great deal of attention. Bathe the dog when necessary. Do not brush in between baths in order to keep coat long and shiny. Brushing a dry coat will damage the coat and even make it more easily matted.  Weekly baths are not as important if your Afghan is a pet and will not be shown, but doing so will make the coat less matted and will save you time in the end. Many wear snoods indoors to protect their ears from food bowls. Some owners like to use a special air-cushioned brush called a pinbrush. This breed is an average shedder.



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