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The Shetland Sheepdog is a Great Pet

Author: MayaAndPierson
March 14, 2009

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When I was 10 years old, my mom was given a 1 year old Shetland Sheepdog name Cassie. Cassie fit right in with the our family. She got along with us kids and the other pets very well. And even though Cassie was not originally considered my dog, she chose me to be her best friend. Cassie was the best dog I have ever had. She comforted me when I was sad, she followed me around everywhere I went, and she eagerly let me train her. I would highly recommend a Shetland Sheepdog to any family.

Check out this article written by Alex De La Cruz for more information on owning a Shetland Sheepdog:
Why Should You Own a Shetland Sheepdog?

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Great Information on Basset Hounds

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 16, 2009

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Thinking about getting a Basset Hound?  If so, check out the following for great information on Basset Hounds including description, temperament, and informative health information.

Description Information on Basset Hounds
Basset Hounds are well-loved for their adorable soft sad-looking eyes, short stature, and funny feet. They wrinkled skin falling over their brow when their head is lowered and their sensitive nose to the ground. The wrinkles are also seen on their forelegs. Basset Hounds have a short coat, long hanging lips, big long ears, and a gaily curved tail. Basset Hounds are short in stature but they’re sure not lacking in size. They are generally not more than 14” tall but can weigh 40-60 pounds! Like most hounds, they are the standard hound colors of black, tan, and white.

Temperament Information on Basset Hounds 
If you think the looks of the Basset Hounds are adorable, you will love their personality. Basset Hounds are quite affectionate, even-tempered, and friendly with everyone, including children. They are also good with other pets. Even though they have a great lovable personality, they can be stubborn and difficult to train. They enjoy sniffing and it is sometimes hard to distract them from an interesting scent. Because of their love for sniffing, they also have a tendency to wander as they track a scent. Baying is also a common issue the Basset Hounds as they are big communicators. Basset Hounds are not very playful, but their affectionate nature more than makes up for it.

Exercise & Grooming Information on Basset Hounds 
Basset Hounds can be great indoor dogs. They require only a little leisurely exercise and their short smooth coats need only minimal brushing. However, their face may need regular cleaning as they are inclined to drool. Also, their ears should be checked regularly and their toenails should be kept trim – especially if they are primarily indoors.

Health Information on Basset Hounds
Common health issues associated with Basset Hounds include elbow and hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems such as misshapen eyelids and glaucoma. Gastric torsion which is a digestive problem can be an issue with Basset Hounds. If left untreated, gastric torsion, also called bloating, can lead to death. Another possibly fatal health issue connected with Basset Hounds is von Willebrand’s Disease. This disease is a blood disorder where the blood does not clot well and excessive bleeding can occur through even minor cuts.

Brief History Information on Basset Hounds
Basset Hounds originated in France with common ancestry with the Bloodhound. The word Basset comes from the French word bas which means low thing. Basset Hounds became popular in France after the French Revolution and were brought to England and America in the late 1800’s.

Cute gifts of Basset Hounds, click here.

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January 18, 2009

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The word, “griffon” is a general term used to describe dogs with wiry hair and certain facial features. In fact, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred to recreate an extinct griffon hunting dog breed. The modern Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a hardy and all-around hunting dog. His brown nose is highly sensitive to smell. He can be trained to hunt both birds and mammals; he can both point and retrieve game; he will eagerly retrieve from both land and water; and he is well adapted to hunt under almost every weather condition. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a great swimmer and his stiff, harsh, double-coat helps to protect him from the colder elements.

Even though the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred to be a hunting dog, he also makes a great family dog. He is a loyal people-oriented dog who is easy to train because he is eager to please. Positive reinforcement works best with this dog as he can be rather sensitive to harsh methods of training. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is great with older children and good with other pets. A dog like this, though, needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may take his time to be thorough when on the hunting ground but his overall nature is to be sociable and always raring to go. If he is not properly exercised or stimulated he tends to be destructive.

If you are considering a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, keep not only their high energy level in mind, but also be aware of certain health issues. Like most large-dog breeds, you need to be concerned about hip dysplasia. Make sure both parents are certified with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (www.offa.org). Wirehaired Pointing Griffon also tend to get ear infections. This is more due to the ear-type than the breed.

Grooming requirements need to be considered as well. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons need their coats brushed regularly. And twice a year they may need to have the dead hairs of their coat removed with hand-stripping. Hand-stripping, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “process of pulling the dead hair out of the coat of a non-shedding dog, either by using a stripping knife or the fingers”. Hand-stripping is not necessarily a requirement unless you plan on showing the dog.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon colors are generally a mixture and can be described as gray or silver or white with splashes of brown or chestnut or orange. The standard size and weight of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is approximately 19-23 inches and 50-70 pounds. He has a long head and muzzle with long eyebrows and a mustache. His nose is brown and he has a straight tail which is sometimes docked to about a third of its length.

For more information on dogs, visit http://dogbreedinfo.synthasite.com.

References:

Angela Sayer (1985). The Complete Book of the Dog. New York City: Gallery Books.

AWPGA Web Team. (2000-2008). To the Point. Available: http://www.awpga.com. Last accessed 18 January 2009.

D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. (2007). The Dog Breed Bible. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.

Ernest H. Hart (1968). Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.

Wikipedia. (Last updated 12 January 2009). Dog Grooming. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand-stripping. Last accessed 18 January 2009.

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September 18, 2008

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Are you considering getting a puppy? If you have never owned a dog before, it is important that you understand the responsibilities involved in raising a puppy so you will be more prepared to handle what is to come. It may also help some of you realize that perhaps a puppy just isn’t right for you. You may want to consider an older dog instead, or perhaps even a cat. Puppies take a lot of time and patience. There are going to be difficult times and many messes to clean up. But if you are prepared, you and your puppy will be much happier. And eventually the task of taking care of a puppy becomes easier as he learns the routines and rules of the house.

The first step before getting a puppy is to do research. You need to know what breed or breed mix is best for you and your family, whether your living situations can accomodate a pet, and finally, where you are going to get your puppy. Today’s article is about doing the research on what kind of dog or puppy to get. Later in the week we will talk about the other research that is needed. And later still, we will talk about the responsibilites involved in owning a puppy.

Research – What kind of dog or puppy to get
Before you decide on a breed, research dog breeds for their temperament, grooming requirements, and size. This will give you a lot of information on what to expect if you want a purebred dog. Don’t select a certain breed for superficial reasons until you have done your research on the breed and you are certain you can handle the responsibilities involved with that particular breed. You can get information on breeds from books, vets, various rescue groups and shelters, and from online sources such as blogs, articles, and forums. This will also help you learn about certain genetic diseases and health issues that are associated with certain purebreeds.  JustDogBreeds.com is an excellent on-line source for getting information about specific breeds.

Most dog breeds can learn to get along with children and other pets, but some breeds tend to get along with them better than others. So if you have children or other pets, researching dog breeds will be very helpful.

You also need to condider if you can handle a dog which requires special grooming. If your dog is going to be mostly indoors, do you care if it is a breed that sheds? Do you want a dog that requires a periodic hair-cut? Will you take the time to periodically brush a long-haired dog?

The size and activity level of the dog your puppy is going to grow into is another thing to consider. You don’t want a large or highly energetic dog if you live in an apartment unless you plan on regularly taking the dog out for exercise. If you have children, the size and energy level of the dog may also be considered. Small children may not be good with a small dog and a large energetic dog may not be good for small children.

If you don’t care if your puppy is a purebred or not, knowing about breeds is still helpful. Sometimes it is easy to tell what sort of breed-mix a puppy is and this could help you in making your decision. Mixed breeds can also be good because your dog will most likely not have the genetic issues involved with purebreeds.

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About the Terrier Dog Group

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 7, 2008

scottie.jpgDefining the terrier group by the look of the dog may not be as easy as you think. Most of us think of terriers as having wiry hair but not all terriers in this group share this trait – Consider the Bull Terrier, for example, which has a short dense coat. Another difficulty is that all kennel clubs do not agree on which dogs belong or don’t belong in the terrier group. For example, the United Kennel Club (UKC) in the United States includes the Jack Russell Terrier but the American Kennel Club (AKC), also in the United States, does not.

So what defines a terrier? The origin and occupation of the breed play a large part in defining the terrier. Most terrier breeds originated in Britain and the surrounding areas. Terriers were bred to track down and pursue prey from their holes or lairs. In fact, the terrier group gets its name from the Latin word, terra, which means earth. The character of a terrier, however, is its most defining trait. But note that the terrier’s character is probably what made the original occupation of terriers so successful. For a dog to be able to pursue animals from the ground, they had to be brave and tenacious. As a result, most terriers are defined as being courageous, feisty, and relentless, often to the point of being single-minded and head-strong. Terriers generally do not tolerate other dogs and have a tendency to fight. (This particular trait is what unfortunately makes the American Pit Bull Terrier be used in illegal and inhumane dog fighting.)Terriers range in size, most having a wiry coat which requires special grooming. They tend to be vocal dogs and are well-known for being eager and alert, as well as intelligent. Dogs in this group include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Fox Terrier (Smooth), Fox Terrier (Wire), Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Border Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and more.

This article was inspired by a customer who saw our ad for PetAutoSafety.com in the Metro Pet magazine in Kansas City. She has two very lively Cairn Terriers who will not hold still while in the car, making it very dangerous for her to drive since the dogs provide a huge distraction.

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August 11, 2008

cassie.jpgShetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. They are affectionate, intensely loyal, and an all-around great family pet. They are good with children if they are raised with them from an early age and they do well with other pets. They tend to be a little wary of strangers, sometimes to the point of being skittish or snappy but their loyalty to their family more than makes up for it. They require regular brushing but their size makes them great for any sized home, including a farm or even an apartment.

The Shetland Sheepdog is also known as a Sheltie or a Miniature Collie. They originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland where the Shetland Pony and Shetland Sheep also come from. It is possible that the Shetland Sheepdog was bred to herd those smaller sheep but it is more likely that they were used on the farm to scare off birds, rodents, and garden pests such as rabbits.

With a few differences, the Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature version of the Collie. The dominate color of the Shetland Sheepdog is either black, blue-merle, or sable. The dominate color is accompanied by varying amounts of white and/or tan. Their hair is long and needs regular brushing. Their weight ranges anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds. Their height according to AKC standards should be 13 to 16 inches to the shoulder but can be shorter or taller with the height proportionate to the weight.

If you consider adopting an adult Shetland Sheepdog, do not be concerned if the dog does not warm up to you right away. Since Shetland Sheepdogs tend to be wary of strangers, bonding time will be needed. If you are considering purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog puppy be aware of several inherited and/or susceptible diseases common to the breed. These health issues include Dermatomyositis ( a genetic disease of the skin), Von Willebrand Disease (a bleeding disorder), malformation of the eyes, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and various skin allergies. Before you purchase from a breeder make sure the breeder has clear bloodline records. A breeder should have vet records showing that they eyes were checked for the eye disease and that DNA tests were done for the Von Willebrand Disease. Some of the symptoms for the diseases listed above do not show up until about age two so adoption of an adult dog is a safe way to go but will require some bonding time.

The image above is an artistic rendition of Cassie. Cassie was adopted at age 1 and quickly bonded with the adopter’s 10 year old daughter. Cassie became the 10-year-old’s dog and spent the remainder of her life with her. Cassie died at age 13 when her owner was 23. She can attest that Cassie was the best dog she has ever had.  Cassie was extremely loyal, knew over 30 commands, and very lovable.  If you want to read more about Cassie and the owner, visit the Pet Pals page of PetAutoSafety.com. To view other pet art from the artist of Cassie, visit www.NatureByDawn.com.

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