Tag Archives: breed

Skyes The Great Little Dog

They say a dog is man’s best friend, but we all know they are more like a family member. This is particularly true for Skyes.

Skyes The Great Little Dog

Picking a new pet is a joyous occasion, but also a difficult one. There are so many decisions to be made dog or cat (or even fish or bird)? Once you’ve decided that a dog is the right choice for your household, even more questions come into play. You need to decide what breed will be right for your temperament, location and family. Some people will choose a dog based on other characteristics, such as a specific breed or size. It’s important to learn as much as you can about your chosen dog before actually purchasing a puppy.

Few people can look at Skyes without finding them to be extremely cute. This member of the terrier family may not be the dog for everyone, but if you’ve got a big heart (and even bigger yard) they can grow up to be excellent family dogs. Skyes are a large dog, but have short legs. It’s generally around 20 inches in length, but has only 10 inch legs, making it look rather stumpy. Don’t let the height fool you, however, these dogs are tough they were originally used as farm work dogs. Skyes became popular as pets when Queen Victoria started breeding them during her reign, and she popularized the “prick ear” variety of the breed.

Skyes are born with a thick coat, which is actually two coats. A hard, straight and stiff topcoat covers the shorter, softer undercoat. Their fluffy faces often have the bearded look that most terriers have, and colors vary from cream to dark black. Luckily, their coats are resistant to tangling, so grooming is not a big issue for the Skye, and they are not expected to have any special grooming look (no poodle cuts for a Skye!).

The Skye’s temperament is somewhat reserved, and they are very discriminating. They will often choose to be around the calmest person in a household, as they crave this order and reserved attitude. They are very intelligent, and require little exercise, so for the right person, a Skye can be an excellent indoor dog.

Choosing the right dog for your family is important, so do your research. The American Kennel Club offers suggestions about breeds, as well as descriptions of the breeds’ characteristics, so they are a good reference point for people deciding whether or not to get a particular breed.

Choosing the right breed of dog for your family

There comes a time for most families to add a four-legged friend to the household. This decision is not one to be taken lightly. Choosing the right breed of dog can be the difference between complete happiness and absolute terror in your home. I have outlined the steps I walk through prior to bringing a dog into my home and I recommend these steps to my friends and family.

A good topic to discuss first is how much hair you are willing to put up with. You are going to have to deal with your dog’s hair in some fashion. He will either shed or require grooming. It’s a time vs. money question. You can always take the middle ground, though, and find a dog that sheds minimally a couple times of year.

The next thing to consider is how much time you have to devote to walks and playtime? Some breeds require a great deal of daily exercise. Without it, they can become very destructive. Choosing a breed with an energy level that fits your family’s time commitment can avoid a lot of behavioral problems.

Do you prefer a small or large dog? When considering the size of dog you must really think about the cost of maintaining the dog. It costs a great deal more to feed a St. Bernard than it does a Chihuahua. Medical expenses requiring anesthesia will also be greater as physicians charge by weight. Boarding kennels and groomers may charge by weight as well. The general rule is, the larger the dog, the more expensive it will be to care for him.

What type of temperament are you looking for? If you have kids, you will want to choose a breed that has a reputation for being good with children. If you want a good watch dog, choose a breed that has a natural guard instinct.

After answering these questions, you can look through any dog breed book and start comparing the qualities you’re looking for to the breeds listed. Write down at least 5 breeds that fit your needs. The next step is to research reputable breeders in your area (I recommend calling your local veterinarian first) and make contact with at least 3 for each breed. Yes, this will take time. But it is worth it to get the right dog. Interview each breeder thoroughly and share with them your list of qualities. Ask them if they would recommend their breed to you and if so, why. If not, why not? The breeder will be the expert on their breed and can prove to be a very valuable resource.

Once you have completed your research for all breeds, you will have a much clearer picture of which breed is right for you and your family. And, you have already interviewed breeders so you should have found at least one that you feel comfortable purchasing a dog from. If you don’t want a puppy, please consider going through a breed rescue organization or your local animal shelter. There are so many great dogs of all ages and breed type in desperate need of good homes. Your home may just be the perfect match!
I hope you find these tips helpful in your journey to finding the perfect dog. Take your time, do your research and you will find the companion best suited for your family. Best of luck!

Thinking Of Getting a Lhasa Apso Dog?

One of the cutest looking dogs around is the Lhasa Apso. The puppies especially are just irresistible but before one decides to purchase a Lhasa just because the kids are begging for one, there are some things that should be known about this particular breed. Historically, Lhasa Apsos were kept by the monasteries and nobility in Tibet as indoor watch dogs. They would sleep by their masters and with their high intelligence plus keen sense of hearing, would warn of any intruders. Lhasa Apsos were never bought or sold in Tibet. Instead, the Dalai Lama sent Lhasa Apsos in pairs to the emperors of China as gifts. High ranking visitors to Tibet also received them as gifts.

They are also referred to as the little bark sentinel lion dogs since fully grown Lhasa Apsos could resemble small lions with all their hair. Lhasa Apso dogs can also behave very much like lions exhibiting no fear when confronted by strangers or even larger dogs. Despite its small size with adult females reaching 12 to 16 pounds and adult males ranging from 14 to 18 pounds, they are extremely hardy as well as rugged. Having existed in the extreme temperatures of Tibet for centuries, they are well suited for and actually enjoy romps in the snow. They are also long lived. Both of my Lhasa Apsos lived past the age of fifteen years. I have heard reports of others living even longer. In appearance, the Lhasa Apso is very similar to the Shih Tzu breed. The face of a Lhasa Apso is not as flat as that of the Shih Tzu. It is believed
that the Chinese crossed the Lhasa Apso with the Pekinese which resulted in the Shih Tzu with its flatter face.

One thing that all prospective owners should definitely know is that having a fur ball like a Lhasa Apso will require lots of maintenance. The long hair of this breed requires constant care. If left unattended even for a few days, the Lhasa Apso hair will mat up in clumps that cannot be untangled. Their floppy ears are also prone to infections and their eyes can develop problems. If a prospective owner is not willing to make a commitment to the high maintenance of a Lhasa Apso, a shorter hair breed is recommended.

The Lhasa Apso is considered by some breeders to be more stubborn and difficult to train than other dogs. Do not let all that cuteness give you the wrong impression as they are the little lion dogs after all. This breed has been revered and highly regarded for centuries in Asia. The genetics may have resulted in some arrogance in them. One must be assertive in the proper training of the Lhasa Apso as this breed will test the new master. Lhasa Apsos are completely loyal and affectionate with their masters but many will not be fond of strangers no matter how obedient they are. This may be part of their watch dog tendency. One of my Lhasa Apsos was quite friendly with visitors but the other one wouldn’t even acknowledge their presence.

The breed may also not be appropriate with small children. Small children may get clumsy and accidentally poke Lhasas in the eyes or squeeze them too hard. Lhasas will not take this behavior lightly as they are not as patient with kids compared to say Labrador retrievers. Some Lhasas have been known to bite clumsy kids. Lhasa Apso dogs can be very good with children as long as they are treated with respect and care.

Despite these characteristics of the Lhasa Apso, they are excellent dogs to have as they can be one of the most loyal companions as long as it is recognized that they are high maintenance and may not be suitable for some families.

Evaluating Dog Breeders

Before you can determine whether or not a particular dog will be of value to you there are two basic items that must be addressed. One, you must know the breed of dog you want. Are you after a German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain dog, Newfoundland, Yorkshire Terrier or other type? If it’s a German Shepherd that you want you should be looking for german shepherd dog breeders. And two, you must be aware of some specific information about that breed. The information you need to be versed on includes the correct size for your dog breed, how often it needs to be brushed, how much activity or exercise it needs daily, if there are genetic diseases that are common with this type, have there been tests performed that have ruled these diseases out in this pup, and what else is required in maintaining it’s health such as clipping its nails.

There is a lot of additional information that is important for you to know as well. Some dog breeders don’t actually do the breeding themselves, but buy their animals from other areas. You should stick with a breeder that breeds and raises the pups on site. The reason for this is because you can better determine if this puppy was raised in a clean environment. Without examining its place of birth you have no idea what sort of environment it was raised in. Puppies can end up with mental or physical deficiencies if brought up in a cruel or unkempt environment.

Another item for concern is the age of the puppies that you are interested in. The puppies should be at least seven weeks old before they are placed. Their parents should be at least two years old before breeding and should have been tested for any possible genetic diseases.

When purchasing puppies it’s important that the pups have had some interaction with other animals and children. This is to help ensure that the dogs will be friendly and sociable. It’s also a good idea to get your puppy from a dog breeder that will allow you to call him later with any questions or concerns you may have about your animal.

There is a lot to know about breeding dogs and it’s very hard to find a competent experienced dog breeder who raises more than 4 or 5 different breeds. If he raises 6 or 8 or more it’s probably a good idea to look else ware for you puppy. Also, most experienced breeders belong to one or more breed clubs so ask them if that’s true with them.

As you are concerned about the specific breeder he should also show some concern with you as well. If he asks you questions about they type of environment that you will raising the pup, your family, and your experience with animals it’s usually a good sign that the animal has been raised with love. The breeder should have concern for the placement of his puppies.

Once you have made a decision to buy a specific dog there are few other items that should be addressed. A suggested diet should be provided for your animal. You should receive a registration certificate with your purchase. You should also require the seller to give you a 3-generation pedigree chart for the dog, a health record of the animal that includes dates the puppy was inoculated or received other veterinary care. Another important item is a health guarantee and you should require one. If it’s later discovered that the dog suffers from a genetic disease, for example, you should have some recourse. Along these same lines you should have in writing that you are allowed, within a reasonable amount of time, to have the puppy examined by a veterinarian at your own expense. And if it is found that the dog you have purchased has any defects, as determined by the veterinarian, you can return it for a full refund.

Finding the perfect dog can be a long and tedious process, but with a little preparation, education and effort it’s possible to obtain a quality animal that you will be proud to own.

Good Dogs for Children

Copyright 2006 Emma Snow

The big day has finally arrived, a new member of the family will be joining your ranks. When you bring the little one home, you want to know you have made the right decision, are they going to fit in well with the other family members, will they be kind to everyone, will they be too rambunctious or too big? Of course by little one I am referring to a new dog in the family. These are questions that often come to mind when bringing home a new pet. While there are no guarantees that whatever dog you choose will connect instantly with your family and most important your children, considering a few different things will better ensure a proper match.

The first item to consider is the size of the dog you want to bring home. Canines vary in size from miniature two pound Chihuahua’s up to three hundred pound English Mastiffs. While it seems like a very small dog might be best for very small children, think again. If the dog is too small it has a greater likelihood of being stepped on or hurt even by small children who are ten times their size. Huge dogs are not taboo when it comes to children, they can work well, but now the child’s size gives them the disadvantage. Other things to think about are where you live; will the dog have enough room to stay active? Large dogs in a small apartment or tiny dogs on a huge plot of land may not pose problems, but do you want to take the risk?

Another item to think about when choosing a family dog is personality. While mean dogs are generally that way because of training, there are breeds that are more likely to be bad with children. Of the 279 deaths caused by dogs between 1979 and 1994, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepards were the most commonly reported dog breed involved. Other dogs that have a tendency to be biters are Dobermans and Dalmatians. Along with thinking about how vicious a dog is, dog activity is another thing to consider. Even if a certain breed is known to be less vicious, it may be too rambunctious for small children. There are many things about a dogs personality that lend themselves to being good with children, one that is docile, loving, patient, and willing to be tugged at. Finding a dog that has these characteristics is the key.

There are other things that will make having a dog and children easier as well. Children take a lot of your time, having your daily walks with your dog may not be as easy as it once was, especially in cold climates where it is difficult to take children out at the same time. Dogs that require a lot of exercise such as larger terriers, spaniels and most dogs over 50 pounds may not be able to have the attention required to keep them healthy and active. Other considerations in choosing a dog is how easy it is to clean up after, does it shed a lot, or does it require regular grooming? While they may seem small considerations now, constantly having to vacuum or pull dog hairs off you baby or child will eventually become very tedious.

The last item to think about when it comes to dogs and children is timing. What do I mean by this? Many dogs do much better when they are raised at the same time as the children. It is more difficult for an older dog to adjust to infants or small children than one who has grown up with them. When a dog is accustomed to children from the time they are puppies, it can tolerate the hair pulling, hitting and tugging with more patience. It might even be more willing to be dressed up for a tea party or two.

There are no guarantees when it comes to choosing a new dog for your family, but when certain things are researched first, it can increase the likelihood of a good match. A family dog will be a member of your clan for years to come, hopefully some of the information here can help them fit in and become a loving part of any family.