Michelle Paws

The Boston Terrier has been around since the mid-1800’s and has been recognized by the AKC for almost as long as the breed has been around. Today, the Boston Terrier is the 23rd most popular breed and for good reason! With wonderful personalities, low-maintenance fur, and a compact size, these little gentlemen make excellent companion pets. Read on for our six awesome facts about the Boston Terrier!

  1. They are Nicknamed the American Gentleman
    Boston Terriers are a distinctly American breed. These little dogs got their start as a cross between the English Bulldog and the English Terrier. The first known Boston Terrier was called “Judge.” William O’Brian of Boston sold the dog to Robert C. Hooper who was also from Boston, reports the AKC. This was the beginning of the Boston Terrier.

    They are called the American Gentleman not only because of their origins, but because of their gentle disposition. Their kind personalities make them fantastic house pets. Reputable breeders carefully select for these wonderful personality traits. It’s important to select a respected breeder if you are considering purchasing a Boston Terrier.

  2. They are a University Mascot
    Keeping their roots in the city of Boston, the Boston Terrier is the mascot for the well-known Boston University. As a large university with over 32,000 students, BU has a wide range of athletics that are all represented by their Boston Terrier mascot. Players and fans alike are simply called “Terriers.”

    The Mascot himself is named Rhett. This name is taken from the character from Gone With the Wind. The colors of BU are scarlet and white and as stated on the Terriers’ page, “no one loves Scarlet more than Rhett.”

  3. They are Extremely Playful
    Boston Terriers are well known for being playful and having plenty of energy. The type of exercise you give a Boston can vary widely, depending on where you live and what your housing arrangements are. Luckily, Boston Terriers aren’t too picky about their exercise, so long as they have a chance to put that energy somewhere.

    An ideal situation is to provide a fenced-in yard for a Boston Terrier, however due to their small size, the yard itself doesn’t have to be large. If there is enough room to throw a ball, that’s enough for a Boston! Because of their terrier ancestry and instincts, many Bostons will enjoy chasing balls, frisbees, and other dog toys.

    Access to a dog park can also be a great asset. Boston Terriers tend to be social creatures, and love to run and play off-leash with other dogs. It’s important to understand dog park etiquette before going to one. Try starting at the park when it’s quiet to see how your Boston Terrier does. Gradually increase visits and begin going at busier times. It’s important to remember that even though Boston Terriers are high energy and appear to have no fear, they are still quite small! Safety should always be an important concern.

    Due to their shortened muzzle, Boston Terriers are more likely to overheat quickly than some other dogs. Take precautions when playing outside in the summer months. Bring plenty of water to keep your Boston Terrier hydrated. Wherever you are, be sure to find a shady spot where your Boston can relax and cool down. If your Boston Terrier appears much overheated, it’s okay to cut play time short and find an air conditioned space. You can always make up for it later.

  4. They Excel at Agility
    Since they have a ton of energy, Boston Terriers make excellent agility competition dogs. The Boston Terrier is a smart breed, and will learn obedience and even agility courses quickly, with plenty of enthusiasm.

    Agility is especially fun for Bostons because of their love for running and playing. Courses that include jumping, climbing, and running through tunnels will be great for a Boston Terrier and a lot of fun for you to watch!

    If you are considering doing agility with your Boston Terrier, get ready for some exercise of your own! Despite their small stature and short legs, Boston Terriers are fast. Any owner planning to do agility with one will have their own fitness tested during the agility trials!

  5. Above All, They are People Pleasers
    A Boston’s playful spirit and excellence at obedience activities is all centered around one fact: they love people! No matter what activity a Boston Terrier is performing, they will do it to the best of their ability if they are with you. In fact, if no person is there, they may not do it at all!

    A Boston Terrier is certainly not an outside dog. They don’t possess the independent spirit of some breeds, and prefer to be with human companions as much as possible. Their social nature is what draws them to activities such as dog parks and dog day care. They love to interact with others!

    Because they are so people focused, Boston Terriers can make excellent therapy dogs. Their small size means they can visit with a human in need in almost any situation. They are often equally happy curling up in someone’s lap as they are playing with that person in the yard. Because they are so loving, they do well with almost anyone – from young children to seniors. They truly are a lovable dog!

  6. Despite Their Short Coat, They Do Shed
    Their short coat may seem appealing to a future dog owner with allergies, but the Boston Terrier does in fact shed. And they shed year round, so be ready to brush them about once a week. Choose a brush that is gentle on the skin, since the Boston Terrier has a short, single-layered coat. Weekly brushing and a basic vacuuming schedule can keep the hair under control.

    Boston Terriers are also prone to dander, which is the real culprit when it comes to allergies. If you have your heart set on a Boston though, diet can keep the dander under control. High quality, fish-based dog foods are rich in omega-3s and healthy oils that keep a dog’s skin in good condition. If switching food isn’t an option, fish oil food additives can also be purchased to keep your Boston’s coat glossy and their skin healthy.

Share photos of your Boston Terrier with us! We’d love to see what kinds of activities your Boston’s love to do with you.

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Pugs are actually one of the oldest breeds of dog. The AKC officially recognized the Pug in 1885 – only one year after the organization was founded! The popularity of the Pug comes and goes. Currently these little balls of energy are the 34th most popular breed in the United States. But how much do you know about the Pug? Check out our 6 incredible facts about this ancient breed!

  1. They Used to be Guarded by Soldiers
    They Pug has a long and noble history. The breed can be traced back to ancient China during the pre-Christian era, according to the Pug Dog Club of America. The AKC dates their origins as far back as 400 BC – though their true origins are a bit of a mystery, as they were likely thriving before even the earliest known records!

    Many Pugs were pets in the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. But many were also the prized possessions of Chinese emperors. These royal dogs lived a luxurious lifestyle. And because they were such prized animals, they were sometimes even guarded by soldiers!

    Pug dogs weren’t the only dogs prized by the Chinese emperors however. Both the Pekingese and the “Lion Dog” were popular among Chinese royalty. What we know as the Pug today, was actually called the Lo-sze or “Foo Dog.” Today, we can see physical similarities between the modern Pekingese and the modern Pug, due to their common ancestry.

  2. Napoleon Bonaparte’s Wife Used a Pug to Deliver Secret Messages

    Before she was even married to Napoleon, Josephine Bonaparte used her dog to send secret messages. During the French Revolution, Josephine was imprisoned in the Les Carmes – one of the most brutal and terrible prisons in France. In order to communicate with her loved ones, she needed to do so discreetly. So she used her pet Pug named Fortune.

    Fortune had been her beloved pet for quite some time, and he was the only one who was permitted to visit during her imprisonment. Conflicting reports state that Fortune delivered messages to Napoleon himself, though it wasn’t until after Josephine was released from prison that she married Napoleon. Regardless of who the Pug was delivering messages to, it is certain that this brave little dog was the one real link to the outside world for Josephine!

  3. Pugs are ‘Pigs’

    One of the pugs favorite activities? Eating! Perhaps it is due to their royal heritage that they enjoy indulging themselves in the finer things. But whatever the reason, there is no doubt that Pug dogs love their food.

    The PDCA cautions that Pug owners must be very careful to monitor their feeding as they grow older. Due to their small stature and voracious appetite, it can be easy to overfeed a Pug. Young Pugs can eat three meals a day, but after 6 months of age this can be decreased. Some owners only feed their Pug once a day when they reach adulthood, which is sufficient.

    It can be very tempting to feed your Pug treats and table scraps when they give their owner the wide-eyed look – but it’s important to resist! Again, it’s easy to overfeed a Pug, so treats should be limited and table scraps should never be given to them. A healthy portion of dry dog food is really all they need! Consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Pug’s weight or eating habits.

  4. They Only Come in Two Colors

    Unlike some breeds that come in a vibrant array of colors such as the Australian Shepherd, Pugs only come in two colors: black and fawn. And no matter the body color, the “mask” on their face should be black. This is all according to the AKC breed standard. Any other color used in a competition will result in a disqualification.

    Any color that is not within the breed standard is a sure sign of poor breeding practices. Any breeder who is reputable will only breed healthy Pugs who meet the AKC standards.

    White, blue, or brindle Pugs may seem “trendy” or “rare” to potential Pug owners, but in order to achieve these colorations unethical breeding practices are often used. Pugs with non-standard colorings or markings often have genetic defects that could prove harmful. Dogs with these colorations may also experience increased health problems because of the defect.

    The PDCA urges anyone who is interested in “unique” colorings on pugs to consider an alternative breed – such as the French Bulldog – where high variations in colors are natural and healthy.

  5. They are Perfect House Dogs

    Pugs may be the largest breed that is classified in the toy group, but their compact size still has many advantages. Their weight should fall between 14 and 18 pounds. And their small but sturdy stature makes them equally suited for apartment or country life.

    These little dogs also really appreciate the comforts of home. Pug’s have a difficult time tolerating extreme weather conditions. They thrive as indoor pets in moderate climates. But with proper attention to hydration in the summer and proper outerwear in the winter, a Pug can live almost anywhere.

    In fact, they can live with almost any person too! As the AKC puts it, “they live to love and to be loved in return.” With their excellent people skills and less-than-intimidating appearance, they make a wonderful pet for people of any age. The PDCA also calls them “clowns at heart” making them wonderfully entertaining and fun for both children and adults.

  6. Be Careful How Much You Exercise Them

    It’s easy to think that the more exercise a dog gets the better. For some breeds this may be true, but for the Pug it couldn’t be further from the truth.

    This is primarily due to the Pug’s brachycephaly. Brachycephaly simply refers to the shortened skull and flattened muzzle found not only in Pugs, but in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs as well. This physical trait is sometimes accompanied by changes to the upper respiratory tract, according to The Pug Dog Club of the United Kingdom. These changes are known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).

    Symptoms of BOAS can include snoring, panting, and yes, even exercise intolerance. If you exercise your Pug to hard, it could lead to difficulty breathing. Always start small with a Pug’s exercise routine. Some Pugs will have a higher tolerance than others, so it’s important to go slow and watch for signs such as snorting or breathing difficulties. For some Pugs, short walks around the block is all they will need to stay healthy and happy.

We’d love to meet the Pug in your life! Share a photo, tell us a story, or leave a comment about these fun, and lively little dogs!

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With a large frame, thick fur, and striking colors, a Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t an easy dog to miss. But who would want to? This adorable breed has the look and temperament of a true gentle giant. Though they may be quite sweet, and are certainly beautiful to look at, the Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t rank as high on the popularity list as other sweethearts like the Golden Retriever. Think you might like to know a thing or two about the Bernese Mountain Dog? Read on for our six fun facts about this noble breed.

  1. They are One of Four Types of Swiss Mountain Dog

    The Bernese Mountain dog may be the 30th most popular breed in the United States, but it has three other cousins who have deep roots in Switzerland. In fact, the first of these breeds were brought to Switzerland two thousand years ago when Roman soldiers invaded the area. Once they gained popularity in Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog were all bred as drovers, draft dogs, and watchdogs for Swiss farmers.

    In Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is known as the Berner Sennenhund, according to the AKC. All four of the Swiss Mountain Dogs have similar coloring, but the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one of the four to have thick, long fur.

  2. Cold Weather is their Friend

    With all that thick, gorgeous fur it’s no wonder farmers in the Swiss Alps loved these dogs! Bernese Mountain Dogs thrive in cold climates. Their double coat keeps them warm in the frigid weather. But with so much fur, they have a tendency to shed a quite a bit. Fortunately for any future “Berner” owner, these dogs don’t require much grooming. The AKC recommends just a small amount of daily brushing to get rid of tangles. A daily brushing like this is generally enough to maintain their beautiful fur!

  3. They are Skilled Farm Dogs

    Originally, the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred to be an all-purpose farm dog. And to this day, they still shine in many areas of farm work. In fact, according to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, they are able and willing to do most any task that is sent their way.

    Traditionally, the Bernese Mountain Dog was best known for their drafting abilities – or more commonly called “carting.” The Bernese used to pull carts full of milk products from farms all the way to villages for selling. Today, Berners can still participate in drafting – either on a farm or in a competition! The BMDCA hosts a Draft Test Program for Bernese Mountain Dogs and their owners. These competitions offer up a chance to test out the traditional skills and abilities the Bernese are still so great at.

    Another traditional farming skill that Bernese Mountain Dogs continue to compete in is herding. Though they are not as strongly inclined towards herding as a Border Collie might be, Bernese Mountain Dogs still display strong herding instincts. Many of them were traditionally used to herd cattle, which was very suited to their calm and gentle personalities.

  4. But They Also Excel At Modern Activities

    Did we mention that Bernese Mountain Dogs can do almost any task? Well here is further proof! Not only to Bernese Mountain Dogs continue to perform traditional farming activities, but they compete in modern-day skill competitions as well.

    You may be surprised to learn that one area the Bernese Mountain Dog excels in is agility. Weighing upwards of 100 pounds, you may not expect a Berner to be particularly agile. But as we said, they love to work! The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America states that agility competitions can be exciting for dogs and their handlers who want the challenge of racing against the clock and navigating obstacle courses.

    But not everything a Bernese Mountain Dog participates in is athletic. Many Bernese are being trained as therapy dogs, and excel in this area. Berners are naturally affectionate towards humans, which makes them excellent candidates. The BMDCA encourages anyone who wants to train their Bernese Mountain Dog in therapy work to give their puppy early and frequent socialization. Some Bernese have a tendency towards shyness, and it’s important for a therapy dog to be social with people.

  5. They are Extremely Easy-Going

    With all this talk about how hard-working the Bernese Mountain Dog is, you may think it’s all work and no play for a Bernese owner. Think again! In addition to being strong, “calm” and “good-natured” are two of the chief personality traits the AKC looks for in a well-bred and healthy Bernese.

    Bernese Mountain Dogs love their families. For complete happiness, being near them is all they need. When they are in the home, they tend to be quiet, gentle, and eager to please. And they do well with children! Since they were traditionally bred as drovers, pulling children in carts or wagons is a common (and fun!) activity Berners can do with their family.

    The BMDCA notes that Bernese Mountain Dogs do not do well in isolation. They need to be with their families to remain calm and happy. Without proper training and socialization, a Berner can become stressed or even act out.

  6. Berners Don’t Bark Much

    You might think a loud booming bark might be a common thing to hear from such a large and strong breed. Not so! The Bernese Mountain Dog is actually a relatively quiet breed, and rarely barks or makes noise.

    The AKC notes that to prevent any sort of barking or stress, it’s important to properly exercise your Bernese Mountain Dog. As a working breed, this dog will have a lot of energy. And as a dog of a large size, it’s important to put that energy to good use! Fortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs love to work and love to be outdoors. Hiking, cart pulling, running, or any other physical activity will suit them fine – so long as they are doing it with you!

    The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America also notes that a Bernese may become noisy or even destructive if left alone for long periods of time. They are very social and attached to their families. For a calm and happy dog, it’s important to spend quality time with them.

Do you know a Bernese Mountain Dog? Do they work? Do they play? Perhaps they do a bit of both! Let us know!

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Golden Retrievers are perhaps one of the most recognizable breeds of any dog. Their friendly personality and happy disposition are the standards by which many pets are judged. We see these dogs in movies, on television, working jobs, and of course, living comfortable lives with loving families. But how much do you really know about the Golden Retriever? Check out these 6 facts about one of America’s favorite breeds!

  1. The First Ever Golden Retriever was a Mistake (Sort Of)

    In the early 1800’s, Retrievers were a popular breed in Scotland and England. According to the AKC, this was due to the prevalence of game that could be hunted. Hunting was still a popular way to get meat and a popular sport as well.

    The first Golden Retriever was a small yellow puppy – the only yellow dog in a litter of black Wavy-Coated Retrievers. Though his yellow coloring was a bit unusual, the dog was still purchased in 1865 by a Scotsman named Dudley Marjoribanks, first Lord of Tweedmouth.

    It was Lord Tweedmouth who decided to breed this funny yellow puppy. The puppy, which he named “Nous” was to be bred with a female Tweed Water Spaniel named “Belle” – a breed that is now extinct. According to the Golden Retriever Club of America, Lord Tweedmouth was interested in developing a breed that was well-suited to the Scottish climate.

    Nous and Belle produced two litters and four yellow puppies, which became the foundation for the Golden Retriever as we know it today.

  2. They are Equal Parts Smart and Silly

    Golden Retrievers today are known to have one of the best temperaments of any dog breed. It’s no wonder they are ranked by the AKC as the 3rd most popular dog breed in the United States! The AKC lists friendly, reliable, and trustworthy as the chief traits of the breed. In fact, their personalities are so agreeable, that the official breed standard states that, “quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character.” In fact, if a Golden Retriever demonstrates these unwanted characteristics in a show ring, that could be grounds for deduction in points!

    Along with their agreeable personality, the Golden Retriever is known for being playful and silly and probably why the AKC refers to them as “the Peter Pan of dogs!” But they aren’t just golden goofballs. These retrievers are naturally very intelligent and eager to please.

  3. But They Still Need Training!

    Just because they have a wonderful personality by nature, doesn’t mean you can forget about training! The AKC cautions that they are an active breed, and need to be given proper exercise and attention. Golden Retrievers are also big people pleasers, and love to have a job to do! Train your Golden on basic commands, and practice them every day. They will love how happy it makes you to see them perform even the simplest of jobs. And it will definitely be a job well done.

    It’s also important to socialize your puppy from the start. Goldens are naturally very adaptable to many situations, but it’s essential to start this from a young age.

  4. They are Pretty Much Good at Almost Everything They Do

    When you think of any job a dog can have, you’ve probably seen a Golden Retriever doing it. Whether it’s search and rescue, hunting, being a therapy dog, or being the guiding eyes for a blind person, Golden Retrievers are excellent at any job they set their mind to. The AKC states that they are incredibly hard workers whose physical strength aids in their ability to perform their duties well.

    Though their capabilities certainly have a lot to do with intelligence, their excellent job performance can also be credited to their amazing adaptability. As the GRCA puts it, a Golden Retriever is “equally comfortable with a hike, swim, romp in the snow, snuggle on the sofa, or taking up most of your bed at night!” Any situation a Golden is presented with they will adapt to comfortably and eagerly – so long as a devoted human is by their side!

  5. Being a Guard Dog is the Exception

    Perhaps the only job a Golden Retriever might be bad at is being a guard dog. After all – they are super friendly! You may not want to trust your Golden Retriever to protect your home.

    Golden Retrievers are first and foremost devoted to their families. If an immediate threat was obvious, they may certainly step in. But when a stranger comes to the door, the typical reaction of a Golden is to bark until the new person comes to greet them. And before you know it, the new person has quickly become a new friend – no matter who they are!

    This is in part due to the fact that Golden Retrievers do not do well alone. It is recommended that Golden Retrievers never be left home alone for more than 7 hours at a time. In fact, for all the positive rankings Golden Retrievers receive on the AKC website, only 53% of owners agree that they do well left alone.

  6. They Have a Face for Fame

    With their wonderful personalities – and good looks too! – it’s no wonder we are constantly seeing Golden Retrievers on the big screen. Movies like Homeward Bound or Air Bud and television shows like Full House all feature lovable Golden Retrievers.

    In fact, one Golden Retriever in particular stole the hearts of America for a time. Buddy was perhaps the most famous Golden Retriever in the United States during the mid 1990’s. Buddy famously played Air Bud in the original “Air Bud” film and also played Comet the dog on the tv show “Full House.” Sadly, Buddy has since passed away. But his legacy lives on in these timeless stories.

Do you have a beloved Golden Retriever in your life? Share a photo or a story with us!

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Perhaps you’ve seen the famous “Doge Meme” and thought you might like a playful Shiba Inu of your own. With their fox-like appearance, compact size, and spirited personality, this Japanese breed can be hard to resist. But how much do you know about the Shiba Inu? And do you truly think they could be the right dog for you? Check out these six facts about the Shiba Inu that any potential owner or fan of the breed should know!

  1. Shiba Inus are the Number One Most Popular Dog in Japan
    As a distinctly Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu has been popular in Japan for thousands of years. Shibas are just 1 out of 9 “monument breeds” to Japan, and are in fact the oldest of the Japanese breeds. But today, even after increasing popularity in the United States, it remains the number one companion dog in Japan.

    This is partly because they make excellent watchdogs, according to the AKC. In fact, they are so important to the Japanese, that in 1936 the Shiba Inu was named a “precious natural product” through the Cultural Properties Act. This helped the Shiba Inu to gain official recognition throughout the world.

    The Shiba Inu’s name, though certainly Japanese in origin, is something of a mystery. There is no certain answer as to where the name came from exactly. Some believe it received its name because of its skills in navigating through the brushwood. Other stories suggest that the name is meant to suggest its size – since another meaning for the Japanese word “Shiba” is “small.” Regardless, no true evidence has been found as to why the Shiba Inu carries its name to this day.

  2. They Nearly Went Extinct
    Though their popularity spans across centuries in Japan, the Shiba Inu nearly went extinct during World War II. Many dogs perished during bombing raids in that period. Those that did not die during the raids often took sick and died from distemper after the war was over. The National Shiba Club of America states that it was nearly a disaster for the breed. Had it not been for a few devoted breeders, we may never have known the modern day Shiba Inu.

    After the war, breeding programs were established to boost the Shiba Inu population. Shibas from remote areas in Japan were brought to these programs to begin the breeding process. Three distinct bloodlines remained that were being used to re-establish the breed. These were the San In Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and the Shin Shu Shiba. The AKC says that it is from these three distinct bloodlines that we get the Shiba Inu of today.

  3. They are Not Good at Sharing
    Shiba Inu owners will warn you that this dog breed is not for everyone, and their inability to share is one of the reasons why. In fact, the National Shiba Club of America says that “if a Shiba could only utter one word, it would probably be ‘mine.’” The food nearest to a Shiba Inu? It all belongs to them. The dog toys you brought with you to the park? Sharing with other dogs will not be tolerated. And a Shiba Inu’s owner? Well, the dog will often get possessive of their owner as well.

    Sometimes a Shiba Inu can become aggressive if the behavior is left unchecked. It is important for the Shiba Inu to have a well-established training and socialization foundation so these behaviors can be minimized and controlled. When in the presence of other dogs, it’s wise to remove the Shiba’s favorite toys. Shiba Inus might exhibit resource guarding behavior which can lead to aggressive interactions.

    And this “mine” attitude applies to everything in a Shiba Inu owner’s house as well! The bed, the couch, the shoes, the food, and anything the Shiba Inu get it’s mouth on could be in danger. Crate training is strongly encouraged.

  4. Though They are Small, They are Feisty
    The Shiba Inu should remain relatively small throughout its life. The average male Shiba should weigh 23 pounds, and the average female should weigh 17 pounds. Though many small breeds of dog don’t need extensive exercise, the Shiba Inu is not one of them. Size does not stop the fire in this active dog’s spirit.

    The National Shiba Club of America suggests that any traditional walking routine is best for the Shiba Inu. Shiba’s were traditionally bred to be hunting dogs, and will love exploring any neighborhood, big or small, with their owner. For this same reason, a Shiba should never be off leash unless they are in a fenced in area. If a future Shiba owner wishes to let their new dog run free in the yard, fencing is a must.

    The Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue also warns that Shibas will go wherever their nose leads them, sometimes regardless of training. Though a solid training foundation is important for a Shiba, they still may not always listen. This feisty behavior can be quite frustrating, but the true Shiba Inu fan finds it charming and embraces the quirks as part of a lifestyle.

  5. They are “Cat-Like”
    One reason many future dog owners become interested in the Shiba Inu is their cat-like nature. The Shiba is a very clean breed and they can often be found cleaning themselves and each other, similar to a cat. Their cleanliness even extends to their bathroom habits. Shiba Inus tend to be very easy to house train, often becoming house broken in as little as a few days. They even have very little doggie odor, which could be appealing for those who like to keep a fresh and clean household.

    Shibas are also very agile, similar to a feline. While most dogs seem to find themselves in all kinds of silly mishaps, the Shiba is more coordinated giving it a natural resistance to injury. Shibas also have a tendency to perch, similar to the way a cat might. Due to their hunting instinct, it is not uncommon to find a Shiba sitting atop the back of a couch or perched on top of a table, scouting for prey.

  6. The Famous “Menswear Dog” is a Shiba Inu
    “Menswear Dog” is a famous canine that models menswear clothing – human clothing that is! And the breed of Menswear Dog is none other than the Shiba Inu.

    Bodhi is a five-year-old Shiba Inu earning a living as a menswear model. And a hefty living it is! According to Fast Company, Bodhi earns $15,000 a month through various modeling jobs. Those jobs include photo shoots for Coach, Victorinox Swiss Army, Ted Baker, American Apparel, Brooks Brothers, Salvatore Ferragamo, ASOS, Hudson Shoes, Revlon, Todd Snyder, The Tie Bar, Polyvore, and Purina to name a few!

    It’s clear that Bodhi has a natural talent for the modeling industry. In addition to having an adorable face, he is wonderfully capable of sitting still – even with many layers of clothes on. Such talent!

  7. Are there any Shiba Inus in your life? Have any fun stories about their fun and willful personality? Let us know!

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Anyone familiar with Pomeranians knows what a joyful bundle of energy they can be. And cute on top of that! These little fluffs have been charming dog owners since 1888 when they were first recognized by the AKC. Today they are the 22nd most popular dog breed in the United States. Not bad for such a little thing! Think you know everything about Pomeranians? Check out these 6 facts about the sweetest puff-balls on all fours!

  1. They are Related to Huskies
    While all dogs are related to some extent, the Pomeranian is a member of a specific group of dogs known as the Spitz family. These dogs are characterized by their thick fur, pointed ears, and pointed snouts. Dogs in the Spitz family include Samoyeds, Keeshonds, the Chow Chow, and yes, even the Siberian Husky.

    Pomeranians and Huskies share similar origins and features, and the Pomeranian is descended from sled dogs in Iceland and Lapland, according to the AKC. Their name comes from the region of Pomerania however, where they were bred to a smaller size than their ancestors. However, Pomeranians did retain that thick, warm fur that is a feature of any dog in the Spitz family.

  2. They Require Minimal Exercise
    Because of their small size, Pomeranians don’t need the same amount of exercise a larger dog might need. A quick walk around the block or run around the house typically does the trick. The AKC recommends a fenced-in area for these little dogs if you plan to bring your Pomeranian outside to run laps in the yard.

    More than exercise, these dogs need attention. They are extremely affectionate, all-around people pleasers and will want to be with their family as often as possible. They are typically at their most energetic when they are around people due to their love of family.

    Since the Pomeranian is so outgoing, they can make excellent family pets when trained correctly. With consistency and positive reinforcement, teaching a Pomeranian basic manners will usually suffice. And with minimal exercise requirements, and such a small stature, Pomeranians can be an excellent choice for families living in the city.

  3. They are Fearless
    Above all, Pomeranians are extroverts. The American Pomeranian Club states that they demonstrate “great intelligence and a vivacious spirit” making them excellent companions. But it also makes them completely fearless. Pomeranians seems to be born with the idea that the world is their oyster, and they will not hesitate to explore it. Just like the AKC, the American Pomeranian Club recommends never allowing your Pomeranian to run loose. They could easily get themselves into trouble.

    A Pomeranian is shockingly fast for it’s size. If it does get loose, it’s very possible it will run straight towards a car or larger animal without hesitation. A Pomeranian is totally fearless and has no concept of the danger either of these things might present. Thankfully however, this breed is extremely devoted to their family and far less likely to run away from home.

  4. There is No Such Thing as a Teacup Pomeranian
    Pomeranians are already considered a toy breed, and should weigh no more than 7 pounds and no less than 3, according to the AKC breed standard. In fact, the American Pomeranian Club states that a tell-tale sign of a poorly bred Pomeranian is one that weighs in the 10 to 15 pounds range.

    The Pomeranian Club UK cautions that any breed described as “teacup” is likely bred irresponsibly. In order to breed a dog so small, it often means depriving a dog of essential nutrients, taking the dog from it’s mother before 8 weeks of age, or breeding the mother at the beginning or end of her cycle to increase the chances of the babies being born prematurely. Occasionally, a breeder might be breeding healthy Pomeranians, but is marketing them as “teacup” to attract buyers who like the idea of very small dogs. Anyone who is considering buying a teacup dog should be extremely cautious and consider buying a healthy toy dog from a reputable breeder.

  5. Their Fur is Not Supposed to Be Soft
    You might think all that beautiful fur on your Pomeranian should feel like a gentle cloud. Not according to the AKC breed standard! It’s true, the Pomeranian is supposed to have a thick, double coat with a short undercoat and long outer coat. The longer fur is actually meant to be “harsh-textured guard hair” that stands up from the body. And if you are competing with your Pomeranian in a dog show, a soft coat is considered a “major fault.”

    This does not mean a Pomeranian owner should forgo caring for their dog’s coat entirely. It’s important to maintain a healthy coat and skin no matter what. Because Pomeranians have a thick double coat, regular brushing is important to keep tangles away. The AKC recommends brushing their coat weekly. It’s also important to give your Pomeranian the occasional bath to keep it clean and healthy.

  6. The “World’s Cutest Dog” is a Pomeranian Named Boo
    Perhaps you’ve seen this face before. If not, that’s the face of Boo the Pomeranian – the World’s Cutest Dog.

    Boo’s rise to stardom began with a Facebook fan page started by his owner – a page that now has over 17 million likes. With an adorable haircut and personality to match, it’s no wonder this little Pom became such a star! Now in addition to Facebook, fans can keep track of Boo’s adventures via both Instagram and Twitter. Boo even has a website made by a fan! You can also follow Boo’s two best friends – a Pomeranian named Buddy and a Golden Retriever named Blue.

    And if you’re a mega-fan? Boo even secured his own book deal! Read all about him in Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog. Jealous that you can’t have a Boo of your own? Well actually you can! Boo plush toys are available for those fans who want the World’s Cutest Dog for themselves. In classic Pomeranian fashion, Boo has managed to charm the hearts of millions of humans across the world.

Do you have a Pomeranian of your own? Know a sweet, little Pom that has won your heart? Share it with us!

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A Great Dane. Everyone knows one when they see one. They are the biggest, most impressive dogs on the block. Though many people can recognize them, how much do you really know about them? Check out these 6 facts about the Great Dane.

  1. They Aren’t Danish At All
    Great Danes aren’t “Danes” at all – they are German! In fact the AKC states that there is “no known reason” for calling these large, German, working dogs Danes.

    The breed itself is very old, and has a long history as a boarhound in Germany. The Great Dane’s large head and stature is particularly well suited to fighting and hunting. As a breed, they have actually gone through many different titles before being called “Danes.” Dogue Allemand, Mastiff, Dogo, and Dogge are just a few of the names Great Danes have been called in a variety of languages. But as the Great Dane Club of America states, it was in Germany where the Great Dane truly rooted itself.

    Workers in the meat industry in Germany used to have to sell one day’s worth of meat per day. This was before the days of electric refrigeration, and it had to be done to prevent meat from spoiling. Butchers had to travel to a central meat storage facility in their city, and travel back to their shop with a day’s worth of meat loaded onto a cart in the summer – or a sled in the winter. But who was pulling these carts?

    Butchers found that the Great Danes were perfectly suited to the daily labor of carting meat. It was because of this that workers in the meat industry began breeding the dogs for work, and setting standards for the breed to yield the best possible working dog. Thus the modern Great Dane was born!

  2. Great Danes Used to be Circus Dogs
    Yes they used to work for the Circus, but maybe not in the way you think. Great Danes didn’t perform tricks the way lions did or carry humans the way horses did. In fact, they were used for protection.

    As you can imagine, training lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) is a dangerous business. Circus ringmasters were putting themselves in harm’s way every day attempting to tame these beasts. So what would happen if the training took a turn for the worst? Enter the Great Dane.
    Many circus trainers had a Great Dane by their side at all times while training lions and tigers. If the big cat decided to lash out, the Great Dane would react immediately, attacking the cat in defense of it’s master. This gave the lion tamer a few moments to run to safety – even if it meant harm for the dog.

    It takes a certain type of dog to attack a lion or tiger on behalf of their master. The Great Dane Club of America notes that Great Danes have always been bred for three major traits: loyalty, spirit, and courage. These qualities make Great Danes fierce protectors of those they love – in the circus and in daily life.

  3. Call Them the “Gentle Giants”
    There’s no doubt about it: Great Danes are huge. The AKC puts their maximum height at 32 inches at the shoulder. And when a Great Dane stands on it’s hind legs, it will be taller than most humans!

    “A Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, never timid; always friendly and dependable,” is a quote from the AKC breed standard. A Great Dane is bred to be loyal and trustworthy with their human companions. In fact, they are known for being excellent with children of all ages.

    Though they are prone to gentleness, that doesn’t mean a Great Dane owner should forgo proper training. A poorly trained Dane could result in some serious mishaps due to their size. Supervision around children is also essential. Due to their sweet nature, positive reinforcement training should always be used. And be sure to start training early while your Great Dane is still small enough to be easily controlled!

  4. They Make Excellent Therapy Dogs
    It’s no surprise that with such a great disposition, these sweethearts make fantastic therapy dogs. To be a successful therapy dog, the canine in question must first be disposed to such traits as patience, sweetness, and friendliness – all of which the Great Dane possesses.

    Many therapy dogs work on a volunteer basis, traveling to different locations with their owner. These dogs all must be certified to work closely with people of all types, and in all situations. Therapy dogs must be comfortable around children, the elderly, and also around certain medical equipment. An owner and dog team can volunteer through a variety of organizations such as Therapy Dogs International or Pet Partners.

    The GDCA has a collection of photos of Great Danes doing therapy work in many different capacities. Too cute!

  5. Great Danes Also Make Excellent Cartoons
    Some of the most beloved Great Danes the world has ever seen aren’t even real – they are cartoons!
    I. Marmaduke – In 1954, Brad Anderson published the newspaper comic strip “Marmaduke.” The comic followed a Great Dane named Marmaduke and all the trouble he would get himself into. The charm of Marmaduke came from the fact that he was a dog behaving like a dog, not a person. The inspiration was drawn from Anderson’s own pet Great Dane. In 2010, a live action film version of the comic strip was released. Though it was not well received, the Great Dane who plays Marmaduke is certainly adorable!

    II. Astro – In 1962 the world was introduced to the Jetson family and their dog Astro. The Jetsons was a hit, and after success in the 60’s made a comeback in the 1980’s. Astro was a Great Dane who could talk to his family – though he replaced many of his consonants with the letter “R” (ruh-roh, Reorge!).

    III. Scooby Doo – Probably the first famous Great Dane people think of, Scooby Doo has become an icon. It all began with the hit TV series in 1969, and has since inspired spin-off shows, cartoon movies, live action movies, and even video games! Scooby Doo and his best friend Shaggy are a dynamic duo. Scooby talks similarly to Astro, saying “ruh-roh, Raggy!” any time they find a ghost!

  6. The Only Dog Ever Enlisted in the Royal Navy was a Great Dane
    The Great Dane Just Nuisance was born in April of 1937 near Cape Town, South Africa. When he was just a puppy, he was purchased by a man named Benjamin Chaney. Chaney soon moved to Simon’s Town where he was to run the United Services Institute. In those days, the USI was full of Royal Navy Sailors at the Simon’s Town Naval base. Just Nuisance’s destiny was set in motion.

    The Navy Sailors adored him. They loved to spoil the Great Dane with pies, treats, and even beer! He in turn adored all the sailors and took to following them around. Often the dog could be found laying on the deck of a ship, completely in the way. Sailors would tell him he was “just a nuisance” and thus his name was created.

    Just Nuisance also liked to follow the sailors when they traveled via train. The sailors loved it and attempted to hide him on the trains, smuggling him onboard without a ticket. Of course since he was a Great Dane, this didn’t work so well. When a conductor would come by to protest the dog’s presence, Just Nuisance would jump to his hind legs, put his front paws on the conductor’s shoulders, and growl in his face.

    This wasn’t going to work for long, so the Commander in Chief came up with a solution. Enlist the dog into the Navy! His enlistment as a volunteer would allow him to ride the trains for free. Just Nuisance went through a medical examination just like a Navy Sailor and even signed the proper forms with his paw print.

    Though he never went to sea, Just Nuisance was always there to boost morale for the sailors. They even held a wedding for him to a Great Dane named Adinda. The marriage resulted in five puppies.

    Just Nuisance was put down at the age of 7, after surviving a car accident that was slowly paralyzing him. His legacy lives on in the form of a statue that stands in Simon’s Town today.

Is there a Great Dane in your life that you love? Let us know!

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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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