Friday, February 23, 2018

The LEONBERGER: Large Lion Dog

Deutsch: Leonberger Hündin
Leonberger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Leonberger is a breed which comes from the city of Leonberg near the foothills of the Black Forest of Germany. The Mayor of Leonberg, Heir Heinrich Essig, developed this dog for one reason only, he wanted to breed a dog that would resemble the lion depicted on the crest of his town. He accomplished this by breeding a Saint Bernard to a Newfoundland, then breeding the offspring to a Pyrenean Mountain dog, in 1907. He thus produced what the rest of the dog world considered a "crossbreed". 

However, the good looks and personality of the dog won over the hearts of many and it soon became popular not only in Germany but throughout Europe. The dog has the webfoot typical of the Newfoundland and the burly good humor of both the Newf and the Saint, while the Pyrenean Mountain dog contributed some herding and guarding instinct. The Leonberger very nearly became extinct during the World Wars. Great Britain and the United States imported dogs of the German strain and continued to breed this distinctly different dog. It has since become registered by all of the European Kennel clubs. Registry in the American Kennel Club has begun with the first step being recognition by the F.S.S. (Foundation Stud Service) of the A.K.C.

The Leonberger is a fairly healthy dog, the only consideration being that there may be a tendency to hip and elbow dysplasia. The United States Leonberger club recognizes that this is a breed that should be x-rayed before breeding and most of the breeders involved with this unique dog work hard at making sure that their puppies are sold on contracts to spay or neuter a pet dog.

The Leonberger indeed has the appearance of a lion to a certain extent. It is a large dog, weighing in at 80 to 150 pounds. The face has a distinguished looking black mask and the hairs of the body often have a black tip to the ends. The color is fawn to light golden to deep red. The coat is double in nature with a dense undercoat, however, it is a coat which does lie close to the body and should not be groomed to the appearance of a "stand-off" coat such as the Chow chow. The tail is long, extending to the top of the hock and is carried at "half mast" when moving. The breed sports a mane around the neck and the top of the back, although it is not as outstanding as the mane of an actual lion.

Truly the character of this dog is rather like that of a lion, being regal and somewhat aloof in nature, preferring his family "pack" to all others but accepting of strangers when properly introduced. He is gentle and congenial but makes a good watchdog, with a deep and resounding bark to warn of intruders. Strong enough to pull a cart and with the swimming characteristic of the Newfoundland, this is a versatile and enjoyable dog that brings faithfulness and a true working dog's sense of loyalty to his people.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Purdy, Berger Picard
Berger Picard - Photo  by Lil Shepherd 
Breed group: Herding
Weight: Male: 60-70; Female: 50-60 lbs
Height: Male: 23.5-25.5; Female: 21.5-23.5 inches

The Berger Picard is perhaps the oldest of all the French shepherd dogs. This breed arrived in Picardy in AD 800. These dogs have been named after the Picardie region in north-eastern part of France. Some experts believe this breed is connected to the more popular Briard and Beauceron. Other believe they share their origin with the Dutch and Belgian Shepherd dogs. The Berger Picard appeared at the initial French dog show in 1863, but the breed's appearance did not lead to popularity as a show dog. After the two World Wars, this breed was almost extinct and is still very rare. There about 3000 of these dogs in France, and about 350 in Germany.

It is advised that you should have some previous dog ownership experience before getting one of these dogs. The Berger Picard has a very sensitive and self-assured nature. You will find that these dogs are also extremely loyal and calm. They get along well with children, dogs, and other animals - especially if they have been raised with them. The Berger Picard is a very diligent, lively and alert dog. The Berger Picard will however not do well if they are cut off or uncared for - and this might lead to destructive behavior. This breed will do very well guardian of their families, livestock and their territories.

The coat of the Berger Picard should only be combed or brushed two times a month, especially when they are shedding during spring and autumn. The fur of these dogs should not be washed or trimmed. It can be cleaned off when dirty. This is a very light shedding breed, and they also have no doggie smell.

This breed is extremely intelligent, and also very quick to learn. The Berger Picard breed will need to be socialized and trained in obedience from very early on. These dogs also have a very stubborn streak, and can also be very temperamental. It is advised that their training sessions are short and diverse to avoid boredom. This is a breed that will not respond positively to cruel or unkind training methods. Training should be done in a patient, fair and firm manner.

Health problems
Some of the Berger Picard's suffer from hip dysplasia, but it is not very common as these dogs are not very heavy. Some of the puppies will also get eye infections because of wind and dirt that gets into their eyes. When older than one year, they will not struggle with this anymore. They also suffer from some genetic eye problems such as the PRA and RD.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How To Make Your MINI HUSKY'S Homecoming Fun And Stress-Free

Standard Size Male Alaskan Klee Kai black and ...
Alaskan Klee Kai (mini Husky)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Adding a new four-legged family member can bring a lot of fun and excitement to it. It can also bring a lot of stress and frustration, especially if a new canine companion is exhibiting unwanted behaviors. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure that the first few days your mini husky spends with your family are as calm, relaxed, and enjoyable as possible.

One thing you need to learn is the breed itself. Many people make the mistake of thinking that because these dogs are smaller than Siberian or Alaskan huskies that they need less care or exercise. This is a mistake. In fact, these diminutive canines need just as much exercise and attention as their full-size counterparts.

The problem with these dogs is that when they do not get regular chances to burn off energy, they can end up becoming hyper and anxious. This can lead to other negative actions and behaviors. You may want to consider choosing a home or apartment where there is access to a fenced yard so that your new pup can roam and burn off steam.

If you find that your new puppy seems anxious or upset, there is a good reason for this. Remember that everything about the dog's world has changed. He or she no longer has littermates around them. They are getting to know you just like you are getting to know them. It can be helpful to have a product such as a pheromone product on hand. This help relax a new dog and may make the transition into your family easier and more stress-free.

You also need to remember that puppies experience everything with their mouths. They will also be teething and this means that they will be apt to chew anything they can get their teeth on. If you want to be successful at training them not to chew, make sure that you have toys that the dog can use to work out their chewing urges on. Then make sure you are watching them and are on hand to quickly correct any unwanted chewing sessions.

Another thing to think about is a crate. This can help keep your new dog from getting into things while you are not around to watch them. You should also choose bowls that the dog can eat or drink out of easily. Grooming tools can help you keep your dog looking its best as well.

If you are considering grooming tools, you may want to speak to a professional before buying anything. You should buy a good quality brush as well as a pair of canine nail clippers. By trimming nails frequently, you will get your dog used to having its feet touched and keep its nails in good form. Brushes can help keep this breed's coat from tangling and it will keep looking its best.

Remember that there will always be an adjustment period when bringing home any new canine companion. By making sure you are prepared for its arrival you can increase the chance that your dog will become comfortable and settle in quickly and easily.

    About the Author: Leslie Ball

Monday, February 19, 2018

The HIMALAYAN CAT - A Hybrid Breed?

Himalayan Cat
Photo by Joseph.Morris
When you first lay eyes on a Himalayan cat, it is pretty tough not to fall in love with it. After all, how could you not? The short bodies, sweet attitude, and colorful blue eyes all contribute to making a Himalayan an eye-catching breed. Such cats can certainly bring a smile to the eyes of their owners and this is a good thing. One of the odder facets associated with this cat, however, it the confusion surrounding what type of breed it is. Various cat associations even possess different perspectives on the breed.

The American Cat Fancier Association has opted to designate the Himalayan cat as a unique breed all its own. Yet, the members of the International Cat Fancier Association reneged its agreement on this designation sometime in the 1980s. Basically, they reclassified the Himalayan as a variety of the Persian cat. The confusion regarding this breed further expanded when the International Cat Association decided to label the Himalayan as a version of the Siamese cat. Which one of these organizations is correct? Are Himalayans Siamese cats or Persian cats? The truth will depend on your own perspective since all of these cat associations are correct to a degree.

The Himalayan cat was first bred in the 1930s by Dr. Clyde Keller of the Harvard Medical school and a cat breeder by the name of Virginia Cobb. The two decided to breed Persian and Siamese cats together because they wished to develop a new cat breed that had the long hair of a Persian along with the eyes and markings of a Siamese. After several years of tries, they were eventually successful.

The cat that is now known as the Himalayan maintains the short body and legs of the Persian. It also has the many color points of the Siamese as well their blue eyes. The show quality Himalayans also maintains a flat face and a snub nose of the Persian. However, there are a great many Himalayan owners that do prefer the longer nosed doll faces look on their pets.

If there was one fact that all the owners of the breed would agree upon it would be the fact that Himalayans are high people oriented. They truly do enjoy being with their owners as opposed to being off on their own. Yes, these cats are known for being very playful and even enjoy playing catch. But, they are also known for their love of lap time and being brushed and petted. Actually, brushing these cats is very important because it ensures their long coats remain beautiful.

One thing that separates the Himalayan different from the various other cat breeds is that the Himalayans will not jump all over the house in a hyperactive manner. Himalayan cats have a tendency to be a lot calmer. They enjoy living in households which are equally calm. You could sit down in your home with a Himalayan in residence and be sure that your cat will be jumping on your lap in a relatively quick manner. These are cats that LOVE people and they assume all people will reciprocate the love as well.

Once again, Himalayans make for excellent pets and all owners of these breeds will tell you of such a fact. It does not matter what designation the Cat associations provide for these felines. The Himalayan remains an outstanding breed and a wonderful cat to own.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Skin Disorders in Cats

Eosinophilic granuloma in a cat - Photo: Wikimedia
Most cats are covered with a thick, protective fur. This makes it extremely difficult to tell if a cat has a skin problem before it becomes extreme. It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine your cat’s skin closely for anything that may be wrong.

Run your hand gently over his body and explore the skin for any unusual patches. If you find any, part the fur by brushing it slightly, so that you can see beneath the fur and have a better look at the skin. If you do this often enough and understand your cat’s body, you should be able to spot any irregularity easily. You will learn to know what looks normal and what doesn’t.

Cheyletiellosis is a skin disorder in cats is caused by skin mites and is particularly contagious between cats as well as humans. In cats, the symptoms are itching and it usually results in heavy scaling and flaking of the skin, which is why Cheyletiellosis in cats is often known as “walking dandruff”. This skin condition is usually not deadly and can be easily treated with the right medication once the condition has been diagnosed and confirmed.

Alopecia is a skin disorder in cats that will cause hair loss due to endocrine disturbances, localized infections, or generalized illnesses. The condition can also be a result of stress. The symptoms included bald patches on the skin and can be accompanied by a reddened or inflamed skin. Not a deadly skin disease, and with proper treatment, the fur would most likely grow back. 

While most skin conditions are caused by allergies to food and pesticides bite and can be easily managed and treated, early detection is still important. A few minutes each day could very well prevent days of discomfort later.