Friday, September 22, 2017

Fast Friends - GREYHOUNDS Are Dogs for Adoption

More and more greyhounds -- retired racers -- are showing up at family homes to begin new lives as pets. This is the happy result of efforts by organizations like Greyhound Pets of America and changing attitudes of the public. People across the country are realizing that these stately animals actually make good pets.

About the Breed
The greyhound is an ancient breed, as evidenced by Egyptian tomb drawings that date back to 2900 BC. They first came to America with Spanish explorers in the 1500s. They are tall and lean -- the fastest breed of dog that can reach 45 m.p.h. in a few strides. Only one animal -- the cheetah -- can accelerate faster. Fully grown greyhounds reach 60 to 70 pounds and live about 12 years. Racing greyhounds usually retire after age two to six. They have a very short, smooth coat, are low-shedding and are counted among the favorite dogs for people with allergies.

Two brindle Greyhounds named Bonnie and Jimbo ...
Two brindle Greyhounds named Bonnie and Jimbo playing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Racer to Family Member
In the 1980s an organized greyhound-rescue movement began to take shape. The idea was to take dogs from the tracks when their racing days were over and adopt them out to good people who were looking for pets. The movement grew and today some 80,000 retired greyhounds have made the transition from athlete to a family pet. There are numerous organizations finding homes for these dogs, but Greyhound Pets of America, established in 1987, is the leader of the pack. Those interested in adoption should contact the GPA first.

The 45 m.p.h. Couch Potato
Most people are surprised to learn that greyhounds aren't nervous, hyperactive dogs that might spring into action at any moment. Quite the contrary. Since the dogs for adoption haven't had a "puppyhood", each one needs a bit of time to get used to home surroundings and even learn to play with toys. This process goes quickly and very soon the dog is a full-fledged member of the family. Greyhounds are known for being gentle, loving pets that enjoy the company of people and other dogs. Indoors, they are quiet, calm and extremely well-mannered. They get along well with children, but it's a good idea to supervise play at first. You might expect the world's fastest dog to be in constant motion. Far from it. Owners report that a greyhound can easily sleep for 18 hours if he's not disturbed. Hence the couch potato moniker.

Blood Donors
Another surprise about greyhounds is that their blood is special -- a quality that makes many of them eligible to be universal donors for veterinary blood services. Greyhound blood has a higher red cell count, lower white cell count, and lower platelet count. Vets often offer free care to these blood donors.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fact Sheet: FINNISH SPITZ

Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz
Finnish Spitz - Photo   by      Llima

Group: Non-sporting
Weight: 25 lbs
Height: 18 inches

Overview
The Finnish Spitz was originally brought from the area of the Volga River Area to Central Russia about 2000 years ago. This breed is the national dog of Finland, and the Finnish Spitz is referred to in quite a few Finnish patriotic songs. These dogs are now extensively acknowledged throughout the Scandinavian countries. The Finnish Spitz is fine at hunting birds, and they also make good family pets.

Temperament
You will find this breed to be lively and sociable, energetic and enthusiastic, devoted and courageous - but at the same time careful. The Finnish Spitz is tolerant of children and other animals in the household. They have a good hunting instinct so they may chase after smaller animals. This breed is very intelligent and likes to be a part of the family. On the other hand, this breed is not ideal for all families - especially in households with lots of tension or loud bickering.

Care
The Finnish Spitz has a coat that cleans itself seeing that these dogs are viewed as arctic dogs. This breed does not need a lot of overall maintenance, but if dead hair can be removed with a brush or a comb. The coats of the Finnish Spitz don't have a typical doggy odor. The Finnish Spitz sheds heavily on a seasonal basis. The coats of these dogs are very rich, and they can remain shiny and thick all year round if these dogs are maintained throughout the year.

Training
The Finnish Spitz is a very smart, self-assured and intelligent breed. They will learn new skills very quickly and are easy to train when the right training methods are used. This breed can, however, be stubborn when overly anxious or full of fear. It is imperative to work with the Finnish Spitz in a calm manner whenever possible. These dogs are willful and brave and will perform at a high level once they are comfy and have admiration for their owners. The Finnish Spitz has time and again been used in competitions as show dogs seeing that they have so many good qualities and virtues. This is an impressive hunting breed, and they can also be trained to be racers and rescuers from an early age onwards.

Health problems
The Finnish Spitz is a relatively healthy and has one of the lowest occurrences for health issues. There are however a few conditions that potential owners should be aware of and these include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and deafness.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I Love BASSET HOUNDS

The Basset Hound, a sad-eyed, slow-moving dog, has maintained through the years a popular high level, due to its keenness to the hunt and its docility in the home. Whether the Basset Hound you buy is intended for a household pet or a trailer, this is a breed not to be ignored. Indeed, it is not ignored as the Basset Hound's popularity is ever growing.

Basset hound
Basset hound (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 
Serious huntsmen have long been aware of the merits of this most deliberate scent hound, who tracks his quarry with sureness, in his own way and in his own time. Whether he is tracking rabbits, foxes, or pheasants, the Basset Hound can be depended upon to make his way easily through heavy ground cover and give plenty of alerts to the hunter.

If one member of the household is to hunt or train with the Basset, spending a lot of time with him, an unstoppable bond will develop between the two, only the master will receive the same enthusiastic response from the dog. The Basset Hound is an exceptionally loyal dog, and while some may view his ways as being sluggish and stubborn, it may well be that he only reacts with a special intensity for his beloved master. They always bark with that rich vocal tone and sling themselves around when the master returns after being away. As the excitement mounts higher, the Basset will grab a toy and sling it around wanting to get all of the attention.

The Basset Hound has a European origin. The St. Hubert hound was the forerunner of our Basset Hound and many other kinds of scent hounds which appear all over the world. The St. Hubert hound is reported to have been developed bearing that name and located in the French forest region of Ardennes. St. Hubert founded his order during the early years of the sixth century. Legend has it that before he became an abbot, St. Hubert was a happy go lucky, carefree young nobleman, who loved to hunt, and who was miraculously converted one Sunday by seeing a vision of a deer with a cross between its horns.

With a deep love of the hunt, he set out to develop a new strain of hound dog in his kennel at the France-Belgium border and indeed the hounds of St. Hubert was of a very distinct type. All early accounts describe them as being tan and black with long ears, long bodies, heavy heads, and comparatively heavy and short legs. There was also a longer legged, a white variety developed. Both types had wonderfully keen noses and deep voices. The long ears of the breed assisted them, then as now, in their hunting, capturing the scent and forcing it up from the ground toward the dogs' noses. Of course, the original purpose of these hounds was somewhat different than it is today- the superior of a monastery for men who worked to create this breed used the longer-legged strains to hunt wolves and boars, and required a dog of incredible stamina and fearlessness. While these traits are still retained in the conscientiously bred Basset Hounds, the game that is now pursued by the breed is of a less ferocious type-small woods animals such as raccoons.

When St. Hubert bred small-legged one's of the breed, to each other, it was because when they hunted small game, the thick ground cover of the Ardennes required a hunting dog to keep his nose steadily to the ground. In longer-legged dogs, this was a physical impossibility; as the dog's back and neck would no doubt begin to ache if he were stopped for long periods. Thus, as the legs of the Bassets got shorter, so too did they get more crooked until they arrived at the seemingly gnarled, stumpy type we see today.

The temperament of the hounds was described as being gentle, obedient, and mild and that they were not useful for killing the game but only for trailing it. It is now believed that the Basset Hound as we know it today was developed over the years by careful selection and breeding of the short-legged variety, and by the inclusion in the breeding program of "sports" or dogs with very short legs. Many early accounts refer to the Bloodhound and give rise to the idea that somewhere there was a cross between it and the Basset Hound.



The St. Hubert hounds became scattered over various parts of France and were crossed with local types until all the different colors were developed. The name "Basset," was derived from the French and bas, means low set.

The American Kennel Club registered its first Basset Hound in 1885. In 1935, a group of Michigan breeders met at the Detroit dog show and formed the Basset Hound Club of America. In addition to those present, 12 breeders from throughout the country were invited to become charter members. By 1950, a Basset Hound had become a world-famous television star, and "Mr. Morgan," is what he was called, caused the breed to become very popular. Since this time, the adoration of Basset Hounds has grown and the registrations listings put out by the American Kennel Club is proof of this.

Will this breed continue its upward surge and move into say, the top ten? If the past is any indication, we can be assured that our beloved Basset Hound will become ever more prominent on the show circuit, tracking fields, and a spot he readily and lovingly occupies in the family home. I can attest to this because I have two Basset Hounds in my home, a female, black, brown and white named Sally Mae and a male, black, brown and white named Cletus. If I can tell you anything from experience about these dogs, they are the sweetest natured and very loyal dogs! When they get excited or when lazily stretching, they become very vocal, I think sometimes our female can say "Mama". They know how to get their way and they have kept us laughing as they do the craziest things. Our male, Cletus drinks water from the water bowl with his nose propped up on the side. Sally Mae is our professional rester, she loves to eat and sleep, but when awake she demands your attention. We love our Basset Hounds, that is why I have my website and want to learn all about them.

By Linda McRae - Article Source: EzineArticles


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The German POINTERS Dog Breed History

The Origins of the German Pointer breed
As the name suggests the German Pointer dog, also known as the German Shorthaired Pointer comes from Germany. Even though researchers do not have many details about the origin of this breed, they all concluded that the German Pointer breed is a mixed breed that developed in time from mixing breeds like the Spanish Pointer, the Foxhound, the Bloodhound and other hunting dogs and later the English Pointer.

German Shorthair Pointer
German Pointer - Photo   by     Rexness
The German Pointer breed belongs to the European pointer dogs. There are records about the pointer dogs as well as the hunting dogs from Europe ever since the 13 the century. Todays German Pointer is an elegant and versatile hunter both in the water and on land. He is a specialist in bird hunting and is admired for his great personality.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is related to the German Wirehaired Pointer, a breed of dog mostly common in Germany and less in The Great Britain or The United States. Though they are both mixed breeds and have related predecessors, the German Wirehaired does not have any Bloodhound or Foxhound predecessors. The Wirehaired Pointer, however, originates from the Pudel pointer, another mixed breed between the German Pudel and the English Pointer amongst others.
Past records of the German Pointers breed

Even if there aren't many records that talk about the German breed but mention the hunting dogs for their proficiency in finding and tracking large and small animals as well as their dexterity in both water and on land, the breed got some recognition after it was crossed with the English Pointer in the late 1800s. The German breed was recognized as a breed and recorded by the German Kennel Club in 1872.



In the 1920's the German Shorthaired breed was taken to the United States where it became a popular breed. Not too long ago the American Kennel Club, that formally recognized the breed in 1930, stated that the German Pointer reached the 20th place in a list of most popular breeds in the US. In 2005 a German Shorthaired Pointer dog won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the first show where a German Shorthaired Pointer participated was held in 1941 in Chicago



Monday, September 18, 2017

WHIPPET - Fastest Dog For the Size of It

A Whippet is a mid-sized dog that belongs to the sighthound group of dogs. They have short hair and look similar to the greyhounds. It is the fastest of all domesticated creatures of the same weight often traveling as fast as 35 miles per hour.

English: "Fireworks Whippets" at NAW...
"Fireworks Whippets" at NAWRA 2008 Nationals and WWD.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

History of the Whippet Breed

The Whippet breed was originally bred to use its sight to hunt and chase game at fast speeds. During the 19th century, the Whippet first appeared in the Northern section of England. These dogs came from two different types of greyhounds being mixed with small terriers to produce a hound fast enough to go after a small game like rabbits.

The Whippets were owned by the common laborers. These Whippets became the poor man's racehorse in fact because they would race them. They would have them race down the roads or across the fields for about 200 yards.

The AKC recognized the breed in 1888 and it is in the Hound Group. The English Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1891. Today, the Whippet is extremely popular in the dog shows and has won many championships in various sections.

Temperament for the Breed

Whippets are gentle dogs that are very loving and enjoy getting and giving affection. The breed is calm and sweet and very rarely even barks. They will bark when they need to, but they do not make good watchdogs though. They can get snappish at times so they are not recommended for your kids. They are friendly enough though to be used around the elderly in nursing homes.

If they are not raised around cats they will chase them. Both male and female Whippets are equally easy to housebreak. They are very loyal to their owners and love to be with them. They will stay close when they can. Whippets are quiet enough for even apartments.

Health Issues for the Breed

This breed is an extremely healthy one compared to other breeds. With correct care and nutrition, the dogs can live to as old as 15 years with very little health issues. The second leading reason for death is heart disease with the Whippets. Sometimes a genetic eye problem can show up in this breed, but this does not happen that often. Undescended testicles are one problem the Whippets can commonly have.



Grooming Requirements for the Breed

The Whippets are fairly low-maintenance with their coat of short, smooth hair. They shed two times a year the fall and the spring. Brushing one to two times a week will alleviate the shedding. This will be good for the dog year round though. To add a bit more shine to the coat use a chamois cloth and rub the dog down. Only bathe the Whippets when necessary of course followed by brushing and maybe some conditioner.

Their nails need clipping to prevent overgrowth. The ears need to be checked to see if they need cleaning on the outside. Brush their teeth periodically. Also, examine the skin to make sure there are no skin problems.