Dog Facts

The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed hailing from the Himalayan Mountains. Its origins are surrounded in mystery and its breed lineage is quite primitive. Though the breed has been around for thousands of years, it is only recently gaining recognition in the United States. Here are six things to know about the majestic Tibetan Mastiff. Maybe it’s the right dog for you!
 

  1. Originally Bred as Guard Dogs
    Though the Tibetan Mastiff has only been recognized by the AKC since 2007, the breed has a rich history intertwined in the Himalayan Mountains and the plains of Central Asia. In Tibet, Tibetan Mastiffs have always been highly prized for their strong guarding abilities.

    According to the American Tibetan Mastiff Association, most large working dog breeds can trace their ancestry back to the Tibetan Mastiff. But the TM is quite a mysterious breed, having no formal recordings of its existence before the 1800’s. This is partly due to the fact that few Westerners were even allowed into Tibet up until that time period. The Tibetan Mastiff remained a breed isolated to that region.

    Today they are still highly sought after in Tibet as guard dogs, though you’d be hard-pressed to find a purebred. Tibetan Mastiffs in Tibet are typically tied to gates during the day and let loose at night to guard the homestead. Others work with shepherds, guarding against predators that could threaten the livestock or their master. But they are best suited to guarding homes, since they are loyal and territorial by nature.

  2. They Don’t Shed
    This may seem crazy, but it’s true. They don’t shed! But that doesn’t mean they don’t lose all that fur. Once a year the Tibetan Mastiff “blows its coat.” This means that for a brief period of time during the warmer months, the TM will be shedding like crazy. But for the rest of the year? No shedding at all!

    The AKC still recommends plenty of brushing. The Tibetan Mastiff has a long, double-layered coat that can get matted and messy. Brushing their fur is important whether it’s shedding season or not! But during the time when the TM does blow its coat, brushing is extremely important. In fact, it should be a daily activity to ensure all the dead hairs don’t get tangled in the healthy ones.

  3. They Can Be Destructive
    Tibetan Mastiffs are bred to have strong jaws and teeth, ideal for a guard dog to properly perform its duties. On top of that, the TM is a very intelligent and independent dog. Without the proper training, a strong mouth and a bored mind can lead to some serious destruction in your home. This is especially true during the puppy years.

    The American Tibetan Mastiff Association repeatedly states that the key to combating unwanted behavior is lots of socialization. Keep things interesting by taking a TM on a variety of different walks. Bring your Tibetan Mastiff to the playground, to sports games, and other activities while they are still young and easily trainable. Exposing a Tibetan Mastiff to lots of new and different situations will keep their brain engaged and combat their tendency to be overprotective and find ways to entertain themselves.

    For those interested in a Tibetan Mastiff, rescue organizations such as Tibetan Mastiff Rescue work to adopt well-trained, adult Tibetan Mastiffs to new families. This can be a wonderful alternative for a family that doesn’t have the time to housebreak a puppy, and cannot afford risking all their things getting destroyed by a young TM puppy.

  4. They Don’t Like Competition
    Tibetan Mastiffs combine a fierce independence with a sensitive sweetness that doesn’t lend itself well to competition that other breeds might excel in. Though they can compete for the title of “Best in Show” in dog shows across the United States, Tibetan Mastiffs typically don’t do well.

    ATMA states that this is due to their stubbornness when it comes to basic obedience. Though they tend to be fast learners, it is not uncommon for a Tibetan Mastiff to challenge their owner when being given instructions. This is not because they don’t care for their owner. Tibetan Mastiffs are extremely devoted and sensitive to their families. However, they have a tendency to think they know best – and will avoid listening to their master to prove it.

    This is not to say it’s completely impossible! Many Tibetan Mastiffs have successfully learned and retained basic obedience and gone on to compete in obedience competitions.

  5. Tibetan Mastiffs Bark at Night
    As a guard dog, the Tibetan Mastiff’s instinct is to bark. Though this impulse is more subdued when the TM is indoors, the dogs especially take to barking in the evening.

    It is recommended that a Tibetan Mastiff owner bring their dog indoors for the night. When the TM is left alone outside, this is when their guarding instincts will take over. The slightest sound could be seen as a threat, and with no owner there to tell them otherwise, the Tibetan Mastiff will set their own rules.

    This night barking can be troublesome for neighbors, especially in close communities. But most Tibetan Mastiffs will be much more relaxed by their family’s side – during the daytime and the nighttime.

  6. They love children!
    Though many may find their guarding instincts troubling and their size intimidating, Tibetan Mastiffs are actually famously wonderful with children. Proper socialization is key to bringing out a TM‘s nurturing side. With plenty of exposure to children from puppyhood, the Tibetan Mastiff does very well.

    The guarding instincts drive them to keep children safe, and their sensitivity to humans ensures that they will always be gentle with those who they sense are vulnerable. Besides children, Tibetan Mastiffs are wonderful with their families. These dogs are extremely devoted to the family that cares for them – even if these dogs can be a bit stubborn! They always have their master’s best interest at heart.

Do you have a Tibetan Mastiff? Are you interested in owning one? Tell us about it!

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The Chihuahua is officially the smallest dog breed on earth. But that doesn’t mean these little cuties don’t pack a punch! Chihuahua lovers everywhere know that these pint-sized dogs are full of personality and fun. Check out these 6 facts about the tiniest dog breed on the planet.
 

  1. The Chihuahua May Have Origins in Asia
    Everyone thinks of the Chihuahua as a Mexican dog. But what if we could trace their history back to Asia?

    The British Chihuahua Club states that some authorities believe the breed’s origins can be traced back to China. One major reason to believe that Chihuahua’s may originate in Asia, is the ancient Chinese practice of breeding dogs to a miniature size. And while there is much evidence tracing early versions of the Chihuahua back to the Aztecs, some believe the modern version is a result of crossbreeding these ancient Aztec dogs with Asian, hairless dogs. The AKC states these hairless dogs were the Chinese crested breed. This breed crossed the land bridge between modern day Russia and Alaska to reach the North American continent, resulting in the cross-breed we now know as the Chihuahua.

    Despite these theories however, most evidence points to the Chihuahua’s major ancestor being the Techichi, a breed the Aztec’s used for religious purposes. Pictures resembling the Chihuahua can be seen in ancient Mexican artwork.

  2. They Are Far From Helpless
    It’s easy to assume such a small dog needs plenty of protection. Think again! Though they may be physically fragile, their temperament will tell you otherwise.

    The AKC lists “terrier-like qualities” as part of the Chihuahua’s breed standard. This makes the Chihuahua more fearless than perhaps they should be. A Chihuahua will bark at most anything, forgetting both their size and their manners. Because of this, it’s important to remember not to spoil a Chihuahua, but to remain firm in their training.

    A common thing for Chihuahua owners to do is to sooth and comfort the little dog when he or she is barking at something. The Chihuahua Club of America cautions that doing so will only reinforce the bad behavior. If a Chihuahua barks and gets upset, then hears a soothing and positive voice, they will associate the positive voice with the bad behavior and continue it. Don’t let their cuteness fool you! A solid training foundation is important, no matter the size.

    As such, positive training is your best bet. When a Chihuahua exhibits desired behavior, lots of praise should be given. Many Chihuahuas are alert, intelligent, and eager to learn. Training should be a fun, and relatively painless process.

    However, their small size can mean an owner needs to step in to protect the Chihuahua. When faced with a larger dog who is misbehaving, this is an appropriate time to scoop up a Chihuahua and not rely on training alone.

  3. There Are a Few Different Types
    Most people think of a Chihuahua as one thing: tiny. But there are actually a few different varieties of Chihuahua that all fall within the breed standard.

    One of the more obvious differences within the breed are the long-haired and the short-haired Chihuahuas. The AKC refers to these types as “long coat” and “smooth coat.” A long-coated Chihuahua should have thick fur to qualify for a dog show. The Chihuahua Club of America states that a coat that is too thin will result in disqualification. A smooth coat should be soft and glossy, and of course, shorter!

    The other variation found in Chihuahuas is the head shapes. Some Chihuahuas have a rounded head, or apple-shaped dome. Other Chihuahuas have a flatter head, and are called deer-head Chihuahuas because of the sleek nature of their appearance – resembling a deer. When showing Chihuahuas, the rounded, apple-shaped head is preferred, according to the CCA. But as far as we’re concerned, both are adorable!

  4. Hero Dog of the Year in 2015 was a Chihuahua
    The Hero Dog Awards, sponsored by the American Humane Association, are “an annual, nationwide competition that searches out and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.” In 2015 that hero was a rescued Chihuahua named Harley.

    According to Today, Harley lived out most of his life in a puppy mill, spending 10 years in a small cage before he was rescued. His time in the puppy mill left Harley with a broken tail, gnarled toes, infected teeth, heart disease, and a missing eye that had likely been lost when his cage was power-washed – with Harley still inside.

    After his time of healing, Harley spent his days raising awareness about the horrors of puppy mills. His campaign “Harley to the Rescue” raised over $500,000 to help free over 500 dogs from puppy mills across the Midwestern United States. Even at the ripe old age of 14, Harley traveled to schools and made other public appearances to educate people about the horrors of puppy mills.

    Sadly, Harley passed away on March 20th. But although he was small, he left the world with a big legacy.

  5. They Have Holes in Their Head
    It’s true. Unique to Chihuahua’s, this breed is often born with something called “molera” – a soft spot on their head, similar to that of a newborn baby.

    Molera can be felt on a Chihuahua by gently petting the top of its head in search of the soft spot where the skull parts slightly. Modern Dog Magazine states that the Molera is used to trace the ancestral origins of the Chihuahua.

    The CCA assuresthat molera is a normal occurrence in Chihuahuas and is not a cause for alarm. Though there is some concern that the presence of molera means the Chihuahua is predisposed to other health issues, these statements are not true. Chihuahuas can live out a normal life with the presence of molera. If and when it occurs, it will be found on the top of the head, in varying shapes and sizes.

  6. They are Excellent City Dogs
    Compact and lightweight, Chihuahuas are the perfect dog for the city-dweller on the go. Modern Dog Magazine calls them a “solidly built dog” which is perfect for the tough nature of a city.

    Because of their size and temperament, they do very well in apartments. Chihuahuas don’t need much space to live comfortably, and would much prefer to be on their owner’s lap than running through the woods. However, coyotes can be a common predator to dogs in the city, and Chihuahua owners should be especially wary. These little dogs can be feisty and may try to pick a fight! Always be vigilant of your dog’s safety.

    Besides being perfectly compact, the Chihuahua loves to dress up. More accurately, the Chihuahua needs to dress up! These little dogs are sensitive to the elements and will require a jacket in rainy and cold weather. This can be a lot of fun for the fashion-forward, city dweller and their Chihuahua.

Tell us about your Chihuahua! Do you dress them up? Are they long-haired or short-haired? We’d love to hear from you!

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  1. They are Italian

    In fact, their full name is “Cane Corso Italiano.” Though the breed has only been recognized by the AKC since 2010, their origins can be traced all the way back to ancient Roman times. The Cane Corso got its start on small, southern Italian farms. These early dogs can be seen in paintings from the time period.

    On these farms, Cane Corsos were hard working dogs. They would help hunt game, herd semi-wild animals, and guard livestock. The early breed did this for centuries, never moving out of southern Italy. They were considered very rare up until 1988 when they began to gain popularity, according to the International Cane Corso Federation.

    Today they are a very unique breed, not suited for every family. But they can make exceptional pets all the same.

  2. They are Bodyguards

    With their roots tracing back to livestock guarding, it’s no wonder that these dogs are often used as guard dogs. Cane Corsos bond very strongly with their families, considering them their pack, and will protect their pack at all costs. The Cane Corso Association of America cautions that these dogs have dominant personalities that must be kept in check.

    When presented with a new and strange situation, a Cane Corso has more fight than flight in them. This means the dog will typically bark at the door, and if left to their own devices, could harm a visitor. This is why they must view their family members as Alpha dogs.

    Anyone interested in getting a Cane Corso must be able to take on the role of Alpha consistently. A Cane Corso thrives on instruction and is quite eager to please. With the proper Alpha dog, their bodyguard nature can actually be a huge asset.

  3. Serious Training is a Must

    Keeping in mind their tendency towards dominant social behavior, serious training is essential for a Cane Corso, says the CCAA. The AKC states that they are “easily trained” due to their eagerness to please. Positive reinforcement works well with these sensitive souls. But they are equally sensitive to a weak-willed owner.

    Socialization is the essential place to start with a Cane Corso. They must have plenty of exposure to new situations, new people, and new dogs so that they are far less likely to lash out in a strange environment. During these socialization periods, a Cane Corso owner must remain firm and in control, reminding their dog who is boss.

    Basic commands have to be mastered. Sit, come, stay, lie down, and other simple comands are an extremely important foundation for these dogs. They love structure, so provide it! Basic commands should be practiced and reinforced daily to remind them of the household pack order.

    In addition to basic commands, household boundaries should be very clear. Is the dog allowed on the couch? Be consistent. Can they eat table scraps? Either yes or no. Don’t allow for any gray area with a Cane Corso. And don’t spoil them! They are quick to take advantage.

  4. They are Quietly Affectionate

    While much of their personality can seem a bit intimidating, there is a good reason why many people love them. Many dog breeds display affection in the stereotypical ways: extreme tail wagging, wiggling body, excitability, and overall infectious joy. The Cane Corso is much more reserved.

    The CCAA highlights the way that “they make remarkable eye contact with their favorite people.” In other words, the Cane Corso is not showy, but prefers to display their affections in subtle ways. Their dedication to work for you is how they express love. The way they quietly sit by your side is how they express excitement for your presence. Their ways of communicating affection are very different from a typical canine, but tend to feel much more meaningful.

    Many Cane Corso owners will claim their dog acts a bit goofy around their family. But if you were invited over for dinner, you would never see this side. The Cane Corso gets much more reserved around house guests, according to the ICCF. A well socialized Cane Corso will pleasantly greet visitors, but will hesitate to show their goofy side. They tend to remain serious when around anyone who is not in their pack.

  5. Traditionally, Their Ears Get Cropped

    A quick search of a Cane Corso will show two “different” dogs: one with floppy ears, and one with short, pointed ears. Of course, they are both the same dog. Cane Corsos are born with flopped over ears that typically get cropped at a certain age.

    Some dog owners find this practice unnecessary, but the CCAA considered it a great tradition in Cane Corso ownership. In fact, the CCAA makes the argument that upright ears are in fact more natural for a dog. Flopped ears are a result of genetic mutations by humans, and a pricked ear allows the dog to hear better as they naturally would.

    Another consideration is injury to your dog. If your Cane Corso is working in some capacity, a flopped ear is much more likely to get injured than a cropped ear. Ears tend to bleed a lot, causing quite a scene if out hunting or at a competition. Ears also tend to scar easily after injury.

    Cropped ears also have less chance of getting an ear infection. A flopped ear traps moisture, causing bacteria to grow. A cropped ear is able to dry out, and any issues are caught early due to the visibility.

  6. They Love to Work for a Family

    Above all, Cane Corsos are extremely devoted to their families. They consider their family to be their pack. Their guarding instincts, willingness to work, and sensitivity all stem from their love of family.

    In fact, the CCAA recommends giving your Cane Corso a job. This doesn’t mean you have to live on a farm to own a Cane Corso. Any job will do. Whether it’s assisting with taking care of the children, guarding the house, or greeting customers at a store front, they will take on whatever task they are assigned with gusto.

    For this reason, they should not be left alone for extended periods of time. Nor do they do well in dog daycare situations. They need constant stimulation and direction. Without something to do, they can become destructive.

    The entire family should be a part of training and instructing the Cane Corso. Young children need not worry about training, but a Cane Corso will love and protect them just the same. A Cane Corso is a truly devoted breed that is perfect for a family who is willing to devote just as much love and energy.

Do you know any Cane Corsos? What do you think of this extraordinary breed? Let us know!

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Shih Tzus, the 19th most popular breed in the United States, has long been considered an ideal house pet for their small yet solid stature, and overall pleasant demeanor. In fact, the origins of the Shih Tzu can be traced all the way back to the 7th century! So what exactly makes these pint-sized pups so much fun? And could they be right for you? These 6 facts about Shih Tzus should certainly help you decide!
 

  1. They Are A Royal Breed

    The precise origin of the Shih Tzu is unclear, but there is much evidence to support their ancestry starting in the royal courts in China. In 624 AD, during the Tang Dynasty, the King of Viqur gave the Chinese court a pair of small dogs as a gift. These dogs were said to have come from the Fu Lin – thought to be the Byzantine Empire. The AKC cites this as the first record of the existence of Shih Tzus. In fact, the name Shih Tzu means “lion” in Mandarin. Buddhists believe in an association between lions and their deity. Keeping a “little lion” in court would be good fortune for the Chinese royalty.

    Shih Tzus have never been used for anything except companion pets. Since the beginning of their breed’s long history, they have grown accustomed to the royal treatment. But when raised appropriately, a Shih Tzu should not exhibit “bratty royal behavior.” The AKC states that their natural demeanor should be lively, alert, and friendly towards everyone they meet. In other words, they are the epitome of well-bred, well-mannered royalty.

  2. They Aren’t Truly Hypoallergenic

    In fact, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Many dogs receive this classification as being “allergy friendly” because they have hair instead of fur, and – most importantly – they produce less dander. The American Shih Tzu Club cautions that while the Shih Tzu does have these qualities, owning a Shih Tzu does not guarantee that a person with allergies won’t experience a reaction. This is because a person could be allergic to a dog’s saliva or even a dog’s urine, in addition to high levels of dander.

    Despite this, a Shih Tzu can still be a wonderful choice for a dog lover with allergies, due to their small stature and the reduced levels of allergens produced. The only real way to know how a person might react to a Shih Tzu is to spend time with one. But some people develop allergies over time, even after their Shih Tzu puppy has grown into adulthood. In this case, the American Shih Tzu Club has a few recommendations. Keeping the fur short, frequent baths, and not allowing your Shih Tzu onto beds and furniture will greatly reduce the spread of allergens. It is possible to have allergies and still have a loving, canine companion!

  3. Shih Tzu’s Can Reverse Sneeze

    Not only is it possible for them to reverse sneeze, but it’s actually extremely common! The short snout and large eyes on a Shih Tzu are what causes this condition known as “reverse sneezing.” Though it doesn’t actually sound like a sneeze. What’s actually happening is the Shih Tzu appears unable to catch its breath, and will begin making honking and snorting sounds in an attempt to get enough air. Shih Tzu’s have a slightly elongated soft palate that occasionally “sticks” and makes it difficult to breath in through their nose. The only way to “un-stick” it is for the dog to catch a deep breath through their mouth.

    While this may seem alarming, the American Shih Tzu Club assures future Shih Tzu owners that it is quite common and not at all life threatening. In fact, they recommend bringing it to the attention of your veterinarian and discussing how best to handle reverse sneezing episodes. The American Shih Tzu Club suggests gently covering the dog’s nose when they are reverse sneezing, thereby forcing them to take a breath through their mouth. The breath through the mouth will end the reverse sneezing episode.

  4. There Is A Correct Way To Style Their Hair

    Perhaps the most famous feature of the Shih Tzu is their long, flowing locks. The hair is smooth, silky, and absolutely stunning when styled correctly. And yes, there is a correct way to style the hair! The grooming process itself can be quite lengthy, and must be introduced at an early age. But many Shih Tzu owners use grooming as a time to bond with their dog.

    The most common and practical way to style a Shih Tzu’s hair is using the topknot. This method is practical because as the Shih Tzu’s hair grows longer, it will need to be kept out of their eyes. The Shih Tzu Club in the United Kingdom suggests starting a puppy with a couple clips in their hair to keep it out of their face. As the dog grows older, they can graduate to rubber bands that will hold their hair back. It is important not to use rubber bands that are very tight – this could pull the hair and hurt! In addition to keeping the hair out of the eyes, whisker hair needs to be pulled back and kept out of their mouth.

    The topknot needs to be simple enough that it doesn’t curl the hair. This is important if a Shih Tzu is headed to a competition. JoAnne White gives a tutorial on the American Shih Tzu Club website on how to style a casual topknot.

  5. They Are Total Lovers

    Shih Tzu’s are born people pleasers. As the American Shih Tzu Club puts it, they are “likely to give even a burglar a guided tour.” With the great tradition as a breed intended to amuse royalty, they are certainly known to be charming, delightful, and just a tad feisty! But above all they are totally devoted to their owners.

    Because of their love for love, the AKC recommends positive and rewarding training methods for Shih Tzus. Though your Shih Tzu may try to convince you that they should be allowed to do things their own way, don’t be fooled! Shih Tzu owners must be patient with their pets who have royal bloodlines. Their eagerness to please and feel their owner’s love and devotion will win out in the end, making it relatively easy to teach a Shih Tzu basic manners.

    Their love and devotion also means they don’t like to be left alone. Shih Tzus crave the attention a royal dog deserves! The Shih Tzu Club of the United Kingdom suggests not leaving your Shih Tzu home alone for more than a couple hours at a time. With no supervision, they may bark, soil the house, or take up another bad habit out of restlessness. Shih Tzus have a lot of love to give and need a plenty of time to give it!

  6. A Shih Tzu Was Featured In The Film “Best In Show”

    In the year 2000, filmmaker Christopher Guest made a “mockumentary” film about a dog show entitled “Best in Show.” This film featured famous comedians such as Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, and many others. But the true stars of the movie were the dogs. And perhaps the brightest star of all was the Shih Tzu.

    Actually, there were two Shih Tzus in the film! Actors Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins portrayed the characters Stefan Vanderhoof and Scott Donlan, a couple who owned a pair of Shih Tzus named “Miss Agnes” and “Tyrone.” But it was Miss Agnes who was chosen by the couple to compete in the Mayflower Dog Show! At one point in the movie, the pair of Shih Tzus even dress up in adorable costumes.

    We don’t want to spoil the movie for you, so let’s just say with a great comedic cast, and two adorable Shih Tzus, how could you go wrong?

We’d love to hear about your Shih Tzu! Let us know of any cute quirks or charming traits that a Shih Tzu in your life has.

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Rottweilers are the 9th most popular breed in the United States, according to the AKC. They are an ancient breed with a strong work ethic and an even stronger devotion to their families. But sometimes these beautiful dogs may be a bit misunderstood. While it’s true that this breed isn’t for everyone, they can make some of the best pets you’ll ever have. Here are 6 things you should know about Rottweilers – before you get one, or before you write them off completely.
 

  1. Their History Traces Back to Ancient Rome

    The Rottweiler has only been formally recognized by the AKC since 1931, but the breed’s history can be traced back to ancient times. Though there are no formal records to indicate the Rottweiler’s lineage, reasonable logic and other historical records indicate that “Rotties” are likely descended from drover dogs. These ancient Roman canines were used to herd cattle. The drover dogs worked while Roman troops marched long distances, guarding the cattle along the way. Drover dogs were hard-working, intelligent, and possessed a strong guarding instinct – all qualities that match the AKC standards for modern Rottweilers

    Early drover dogs also had to be very strong and powerful to manage herds of cattle. Rottweilers today use their bodies to push cattle to follow their instruction. This requires immense strength and drive, two qualities that modern Rottweilers still possess.
    These Roman marches traversed all over Europe, including southern Germany, where a new town was founded by the Romans called Rottweil. It was there that people with their drover dogs began to settle, and the dogs continued working as cattle herders and guard dogs.

  2. Rottweilers Nearly Went Extinct

    Rottweilers were a hardworking breed for centuries, working diligently at many jobs for their masters. Until suddenly, they weren’t needed anymore.

    For years the town of Rottweil depended on these dogs to keep their industry booming. They pulled carts and most importantly, herded cattle. But then in the mid-19th century, the rise of railroad transportation was beginning to take over. Cattle driving was outlawed to make way for the new trains and railways. On top of that, donkeys began to replace dogs for cart-pulling work. Suddenly the Rottweilers had no jobs to do. No one needed them.

    At the end of the 19th century, the Rottweiler population was declining so sharply that by 1905 there was only one female of the breed in the entire town of Rottweil. Something had to be done.

    In 1907 a Rottweiler club was formed in Germany, and they began to protect the breed. Members started to keep records of breeding, and outlined breed standards for the Rottweiler’s appearance and temperament. Breeding became more planned and well thought out in an effort to save the breed and preserve the lineage. If it hadn’t been for this club’s devotion, the Rottweiler might have never existed in modern times.

  3. They Aren’t Afraid to Be the Boss

    Modern Rottweilers are members of the “working group” of dogs, and still have that drive in them that has existed since ancient Rome. In the modern world, the Rottweiler expresses this trait by always looking for someone to be their boss. They enjoy being in a working environment, and thrive when they are given direct and firm commands.

    However, if a Rottweiler has an owner who is more timid, the Rottweiler will give the title of “boss” to itself. This can lead to unwanted aggressive encounters if the dog doesn’t have the proper guidelines for behavior. As the American Rottweiler Club puts it, Rotties “have strong territorial instincts.” These instincts can be useful when a Rottweiler is trained properly and knows who is boss, but detrimental if your Rottie is making their own rules.

  4. Socialization is Extremely Important

    So how do you make sure your Rottweiler doesn’t turn “bad” when they grow up? Plenty of socialization! The AKC states that early and frequent socialization coupled with training is “mandatory” for Rottweilers. It’s also not something you can stop doing once your Rottweiler grows up. Training and socialization should be a lifelong endeavor.

    When a Rottweiler has proper socialization and a firm hand to look to for guidance, they can often be found following their favorite human from room to room. They are an extremely loyal and loving breed, and crave attention and direction from people. Leaving your Rottweiler home alone or chained outside for extended periods of time is a big mistake. All that hard work and training you put in won’t do a bit of good if your Rottie is left to their own devices. Being alone can make a Rottweiler behave very destructively.

    While this all may seem a bit high maintenance, Rottweilers truly love people and often express themselves in a goofy manner with the people they love. This “clownish” behavior is a lot of fun and can be extremely rewarding for the Rottweiler owner who puts in the time and effort to diligently socialize their dog.

  5. Rotties Love to Work!

    Rottweilers haven’t lost the work ethic that they learned herding cattle in ancient Rome. But herding isn’t the only thing Rotties excel at. In fact, they are so driven to follow directions and do good work, the breed is now used for many other jobs. Rottweilers can be found pulling carts, performing agility, tracking, working as police dogs, working with the military, and even working as therapy dogs! They certainly are a multi-talented breed.

    This is thanks to their intelligence and willingness to be trained. But as the American Rottweiler Club emphasizes, consistent and early training is important! A common mistake with Rottweilers is believing that they need to be trained using physical force. Their size and their reputation for aggression can sometimes make people believe this. However, forceful training methods can actually be the cause of aggressive behavior.

    The need to please and work hard is deeply ingrained in Rottweilers. Firm but patient obedience training is the best place to start. Once a Rottweiler understands want their master wants of them, they typically catch on quickly – and even love it!

  6. A Rottweiler Was the Star of a Popular Children’s Book

    Published in 1985, the illustrated classic “Good Dog, Carl” features a Rottweiler and his human baby getting themselves into antics. The book contains very few words, and almost every page features only illustrations. The book follows the dog Carl and the baby as they play and go on adventures – while the baby should be napping!

    After the success of the first book, fourteen other illustrated books featuring Carl the Rottweiler were released. The author Alexandra Day based her illustrations of Carl off of her own family Rottweiler named Toby.

    The story of Carl and the baby that he takes care of is a lovely representation of how protective and caring Rottweilers can be. They truly are social, lovable dogs.

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  1. Australian Shepherds Have Been Known to Change Color 

    That’s right, as Australian Shepherd puppies grow older, it isn’t so uncommon for them to change color as they age! Similar to how some human babies can be born blonde and grow to have brown hair; Aussie pups can sometimes change their colors with age.There are 4 standard colors and 3 standard markings on Australian Shepherds, according to the AKC. Those colors are black, blue merle, red, and red merle, with blue merle being the most common.

    In addition to these colors, there are the standard markings of tan points, white markings, and tan points with white markings. And don’t forget, these colors are just the standards.There are other color combinations that aren’t even officially recognized by the AKC! This rainbow of color makes for a wide variety of beautiful dogs.

    In addition to the many color variations in on and Australian Shepherd’s coat, their eyes come in an amazing array of hues as well. The Australian Shepherd Health and Genetic Institute identifies several different variations in color, including blues, browns, and even marbled eyes! In fact, it’s not uncommon to see an Aussie with two different colored eyes.With so many variations in the genetics of Australian Shepherds, it can be quite daunting when trying to determine what the puppies will look like. Imagine the surprise when an owner’s dog changes its color tones!

  2. Australian Shepherds are a Distinctly American Breed 

    Though their name may tell you otherwise, the Australian Shepherd is actually a breed that is about as American as it comes. In fact, these dogs got their start in one of the most quintessentially American time periods: the Wild West.The earliest Australian Shepherds trace their ancestry to the western part of the United States, in the 1800’s and 1900’s. It was there that shepherds and ranchers were using “little blue dogs with bob tails” to herd their sheep and other livestock. These livestock were being imported from many other countries, including Australia. Hence the name!

    The Australian Shepherd Club of America states that although other breeds may exhibit similar characteristics to Aussies, there is no doubt they got their start in the old west. Ranchers loved how great they were at herding cattle, and the breed continued to evolve as the cattle ranches did. These dogs were very loyal to their families, and made great homestead guardians and pets, in addition to working as herding dogs. And as the AKC says, their popularity in American culture only continued to soar as years passed:

    “The Aussie’s popularity boomed with Western culture and horse-riding after WWII, and was often featured in rodeos, horse shows, movies, and TV.”With these distinctions, the “Australian” Shepherd is truly an American breed.

  3. But They Have Only Been An AKC Breed for 25 Years! 

    It may seem incredible, but even though the Australian Shepherd can trace its roots back to the 1800’s, they have only been an officially recognized AKC breed since 1991.This is not unusual since the Australian Shepherd has been a working breed for so long. When dogs are bred to work, factors such as lineage, coloring, specific body shape, and other AKC standards are not taken into consideration. When breeding a good working dog, ranchers would take into account personality, trainability, and work ethic before appearance and bloodlines. Because of this, it could be difficult for the AKC to pin down exactly what the standard for an Australian Shepherd should be.

    And even now there is still so much variety! As we mentioned before, Aussies come in a wide range of colors. So with so much variety, it’s no wonder it took so long!

  4. Aussies Have a Shy Streak 

    Though Australian Shepherds are known for being devoted and wonderful family pets, they are often shy around people they first meet. Though friendly, they tend to be cautious when they interact with a new person. This isn’t necessarily a detriment, but there are steps a responsible Aussie owner should take to ensure their pup grows to be well-socialized.The ASCA cautions that a poorly socialized Aussie can become overly protective of the family they care about. While a guard dog may be beneficial in some situations, in others it can be downright harmful. It is important to have your dog meet many new people. Introduce them with patience and enthusiasm. But don’t force anything. Calmly show your dog they have no need to fear strangers.

    In order to ensure that your Aussie is well socialized, be certain to begin training from day one. Your Australian Shepherd is alert and smart, and will respond well to stimulation and direction. A solid training foundation will remind your Aussie that they are safe with you, their master. And though they may be a bit shy around strangers, they will have nothing to fear knowing you are in control.

  5. You Can Exercise You Aussie With Herding – On Someone Else’s Farm! 

    As we learned, the Australian Shepherd has deep roots in the cattle herding history of the United States. And though that was several hundred years ago, their herding instinct has not gone away. Many Aussie owners state that their pup will attempt to herd birds, house cats, and even the household children! But there is a solution that benefits both of you.Some farms and ranches such as Fido’s Farm provide an opportunity for dogs with a strong herding instinct to play and burn energy in the best way they know how – herding! Many city dwellers who own Australian Shepherds and other herding dogs are paying farmers to give their pet dog an opportunity to herd sheep and other livestock.

    Australian Shepherds do well when they have a job to do, so providing that outlet for an Aussie can be extremely beneficial. If their intelligence is left unchecked, the Australian Shepherd can certainly out-think their owners. This can be frustrating for a first time Aussie owner, so it is important to begin training early. Tapping into their natural herding instinct can be a great way to let your Aussie use their talents and energy in a constructive way.

    Many farms offer a full day experience herding sheep as an alternative to daycare. They also feature herding classes if you and your Australian Shepherd are interested in getting serious.

  6. Australian Shepherds Excel at Agility Challenges Too 

    With their high level of intelligence, herding isn’t the only thing they can be great at. Many Australian shepherds are fantastic at a variety of agility courses and stunts. In fact, some even compete! At this year’s Westminster Dog Show, an Australian shepherd took home first prize for agility.With their intense focus and devotion to their handler, Aussie’s truly excel at agility trials. At ASCA official competitions, there are six required obstacles on every course. Competing dogs should be able to conquer an a-frame ramp, a teeter-totter, a dog walk, weave poles, an open tunnel, and a minimum of 16 jumps. Luckily for anyone interested in competing, there are different tiers of experience you can compete in: Junior Handlers, Standard Handlers, and Veterans. The ASCA even welcomes other dog breeds to their competitions!

Australian Shepherds are a fun, high energy breed that is great for anyone with an active lifestyle and devotion to training. Tell us about an Australian Shepherd you know!

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The Pomsky has been causing a bit of a stir on the Internet in the past couple of years. A cross between a Siberian husky and a Pomeranian, this “little wolf” appears to be an ideal breed for dog owners who want the charm of a large dog with the convenience of a small dog. But the breed is very new – only a few years old! – and there is a lot of misinformation that can get thrown around about these adorable little pups. So are Pomsky’s really everything they are cracked up to be? Well the Pomsky Club of America certainly thinks so. And they have all the information you need to set the record straight. Here are six things you should know before you consider purchasing this designer breed.

 

  1. There are two different types

Pomskies can actually be purchased in one of two varieties: the 50/50 variety or the 25/75 variety. The 50/50 variety of Pomsky is pretty straight forward. Puppies that are born 50/50 have a purebred Siberian husky parent and a purebred Pomeranian parent. This is the variety most people think of when they think of a Pomsky.

The trouble with a 50/50 Pomsky is that their characteristics cannot be fully guaranteed. Certain traits such as height, weight, coloring, and temperament can show up differently in different puppies – even within the same litter! It’s important to consider this when purchasing a 50/50 Pomsky. Be open to fun surprises!

The other variety of Pomsky is a 25/75. These puppies are bred using one 50/50 parent and one purebred Pomeranian parent. A litter born from these parents will display Pomeranian traits more dominantly, while still exhibiting the desirable traits found in a husky. Breeders have a bit more control over what the puppies will grow up to look like and behave like.

 

  1. There is No Way to Guarantee Their Size

That perfectly petite Pomsky photo you saw isn’t always what your dog will grow up to be. Because the breed is so new, breeders are still working diligently to create that ideal Pomsky look. But as stated before, puppies can express the traits of parents very differently.

50/50 Pomskies tend to vary much more than the 25/75 variety. A 50/50 Pomsky will grow up to be between 15 and 25 pounds, though some can be bigger or smaller than that. A 25/75 Pomsky will grow up to be between 10 and 15 pounds. Even with these typical weight ranges, puppies can still grow up to be bigger or smaller than the given range. These variables are typical when perfecting a new dog breed. It’s important to understand the size differences before purchasing a Pomsky. Choose the variety that will best suit your lifestyle and capabilities.

 

  1. Their Temperament Can Also Vary

As with size, the personality traits of a Siberian husky and a Pomeranian can be expressed differently in their offspring. A Siberian husky is traditionally very independent and full of high energy. These qualities are a lot of fun for the active and experienced dog owner. On the other hand, a Pomeranian is very much a lap dog. They are family oriented and don’t need much exercise.

An ideal Pomsky will express these traits equally, displaying a moderate amount of energy and independence, while still being loving and devoted to their family. When the traits express themselves in this way, Pomskies make great family dogs, being ideal for older children and their families.

Since they are still perfecting the breed, sometimes the Pomsky personality can really vary. A Pomsky may behave very similarly to a Siberian husky, acting very independently and needing lots of training and exercise. Or they may swing the other way, and be very attached to their family like a Pomeranian. It’s important to invest in a good training program for your Pomsky right from the beginning. This will ensure you develop a good relationship with your dog, helping you get to know you Pomsky’s personal quirks.

 

  1. They are expensive

With all this work going into the creation of a perfect Pomsky, the price tag is very high. While the price can vary depending on lineage and other factors, most Pomskies cost at least $1,000, and typically fall in the $2,000-$4,000 range.

While this may seem pretty steep, it’s important to remember that when perfecting a new dog breed there are a lot of safety concerns a breeder must stay aware of. A lot of money goes into safely and healthfully breeding puppies – from vet bills, to feeding and beyond. As more is learned about proper breeding of a Pomsky, the price tag may very well go down.

 

  1. All Pomsky’s have a Pomeranian Father and a Husky Mother

When breeding two very different dogs, it’s always important to consider the safety of the parents. If a female Pomeranian was used to carry the puppies, the potential size of the babies could endanger her life. This is why breeders only use Siberian husky mothers. Their large stature ensures that they can safely carry the puppies through to term.

More discerning dog lovers may be wondering how two very different dogs breed together at all! Well the answer is artificial insemination.

For the safety of both dogs, artificial insemination should be the only way the mother gets pregnant with her puppies. This method is also the only way to ensure the mother actually does get pregnant.

 

  1. Finding a Reputable Breeder is Extremely Important

It’s clear that a lot of thought and effort goes into properly breeding Pomskies. This is why it is extremely important to only choose the most reputable breeder when considering buying a new puppy.

See our list of pomsky breeders that are trusted and respected. Any Pomsky breeder you consider purchasing from should never be a first time breeder. Pomskies are such a new breed, that only the experienced breeder should be selling them. Any breeder that has little or no experience and is not registered with the Pomsky Club of America could potentially be doing harm to the dogs in their care. For the safety and health of the dogs, always choose a trusted breeder.

 

It’s always very exciting to plan for a new dog. If a Pomsky is high on your list, be sure to consider all these factors before purchasing. Good luck!

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Think you know everything about the cutie-pies we call “Frenchies?” Think again!

  1. “Frenchies” are Not Actually from France
    They actually come from England! The French Bulldog Club of America gives a detailed history of this “French” breed’s origins. French Bulldogs can trace their roots back to the older English bulldog. This early bulldog breed was used for the sport “bull-baiting” until the sport was outlawed in 1835. With many dogs left unemployed (and safe from this dangerous sport!) breeders began experimenting to create a smaller version of the bulldog as a companion pet.
    These smaller dogs weighed between 12 and 25 pounds and were some of the earliest versions of the French bulldog.These first French bulldogs were popular among the lace-makers in England. During the Industrial Revolution, the lace-makers left their homes seeking work. They traveled to France, taking their tiny bulldogs with them. The people of France became so enamored of these precious little dogs, that a successful trade business was sparked between England and France.So while the little bulldogs originated in England, it was in France that they truly gained popularity. Wealthier French citizens made the dogs fashionable and desirable. Their first major boom in popularity was due to this high demand – christening the dogs with the name French bulldog. Finally, in 1898 the French bulldog became an officially recognized breed with the AKC.
  2. French Bulldog History Can be Traced Back to the Titanic
    The French bulldog continued to remain popular among wealthy citizens in the early 20th century. Their owners absolutely adored them. So much in fact, one wealthy French bulldog owner was willing to pay for his pup to ride on the Titanic!Gamin de Pycombe was a French bulldog who had the honor of riding aboard the Titanic with his owner Robert Daniel. Gamin was one of twelve dogs aboard the ship – and was the only French bulldog. The ticket price for a dog to ride the Titanic was equivalent to that of a small child. But that price must have been worth it for Daniel. According to the French Bulldog Club of America, Gamin de Pycombe was purchased in England for £150 – that equals $17,000 today!Gamin the Frenchie was only two years old when he set sail on the Titanic in 1912. Unfortunately, Gamin did not survive the sinking. But the little French bulldog’s legacy lives on. James Cameron intended to include images of the dog aboard the ship in his film Titanic. He even filmed a scene of the French bulldog boarding the ship with the other canine passengers. These scenes were cut from the final version of the film.
  3. French Bulldogs Don’t Love the Heat
    You may think that because of their short coat, French bulldogs would thrive in warm weather. While the short coat certainly helps with heat tolerance, long periods of outdoor activity in warm weather are not the best way to spend quality time with your Frenchie.The French bulldog has a short (and utterly adorable) face and nose. This short face shape makes a Frenchie’s breathing less efficient than their longer-nosed canine cousins. The AKC states that because of this, your Frenchie may experience difficulty breathing in stressful conditions. These conditions can include intense exercise, high stress situations or agitation, and – you guessed it – heat.This doesn’t mean a French bulldog can never set foot in the warm sunshine! It’s important to keep your French bulldog happy and comfortable in warm weather. Don’t leave them out in the heat for too long. Avoid high-intensity exercise when the weather is hot. After playing outside in the heat, provide your Frenchie with access to an air conditioned environment. And of course – drink plenty of cool water!
  4. They are a Lazy Person’s Dream
    It’s true, that cute-as-a-button nose can cause a few breathing difficulties in a French bulldog, particularly in high heat. But the other culprit? Heavy exercise. By no means should you never exercise your French bulldog. But let’s face it: not every dog owner wants to be going on long trail runs every day. And truthfully, French bulldog’s don’t need or want it!Due to their small stature, a short walk once a day is typically enough to keep your Frenchie fit and happy. This is great for those dog owners who like to take a slow walk in the park or a quick stroll around the block. And if you have a sociable Frenchie, a quick visit to the dog park is a great way for your little bulldog to stay healthy and happy. Joggers need not apply!But besides requiring only light exercise, French bulldog’s really love to snuggle! The breed standards that they are known for include being affectionate, loyal, and eager to please. Want to binge on your new favorite television show tonight? No problem! Your Frenchie will be happy to spend hours on your lap any time of day.
  5. They are Cute Enough to be in a Museum
    We’re not talking about one or two paintings featuring a Frenchie. No, we’re talking about an entire exhibit devoted to the one and only French bulldog! At the AKC Museum of the Dog an exhibit entitled “Send in the Clowns” was on display, featuring artwork that depicted the French bulldog in many different styles. The exhibit ran from February 18th to May 13th, 2012 and was the first of its kind.The museum displayed porcelain statues, bronze figurines, paintings, and even jewelry – all depicting either the face or the full form of the French bulldog. Many of these items were on loan from generous collectors.While the French bulldog exhibit is now closed, you can still visit the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri. Their permanent exhibit features works of art showcasing multiple dog breeds. And the museum is dog friendly! If your dog is well-behaved on leash, you can bring your pup with you to view the artwork.
  6. The Popularity of Frenchies Shows No Sign of Slowing Down
    It seems that ever since the people of France took a liking to the little bulldogs, their popularity has only increased over the years. In fact, a year before the breed was even recognized officially by the AKC, the French bulldog was featured on the cover of the Westminster catalog. Since then, the French bulldog has been honored through various organizations such as the French Bulldog Club of America and the French Bulletyn, a magazine devoted to Frenchies. Today the AKC ranks the French bulldog as the 6th most popular dog breed in the USA! And it’s no wonder! French bulldog’s are extremely adaptable to apartment and city living, making them an excellent choice for densely populated areas. This is due to their small stature and low-maintenance daily care. They are also hugely popular in Hollywood. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Carrie Fischer, Hugh Jackman, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson each call at least one French bulldog their furry companion. Who knows? Maybe one day these lovable little bulldogs will reach the number one spot for the most popular dog breed.
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