Adopting A Saluki

History and origin: The Saluki is one of the most ancient breed of dogs and may very well be the oldest domesticated breed.  The Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Persians all have records of Saluki-type dogs used by the nobility as coursing hounds in hunting rabbits and small gazelles.  He was bred for speed and agility and has exceptional vision.

Description: The Saluki stands 23 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 40 and 60 pounds.  He has a lean, supple body, and a short, silky, shedding coat that is feathered on the legs, thighs, tail, and ears.  The coat needs to be brushed daily with a soft brush and a hound glove.  The color may be white, cream, tricolor (black, white, and tan), fawn, beige or red.

About the breed: The Saluki (Gazelle Hound) is a natural hunting dog, a great guarddog, an outstanding showdog, and a faithful house pet.  This breed is a sight hound, both behaviorally and physically.  He is fast, agile, and has excellent vision.  He is aloof and reserved with strangers and prefers not to interact with those outside his family.  Strangers should be advised not to pet a Saluki without giving the dog time to get accustomed to them.  Training can be difficult because this breed is somewhat stubborn and does not process information quickly.  The training technique must therefore be slow and precise, with no overbearing methods.  If you push too hard or too fast a Saluki will stop thinking and become passive-resistant or may become snappy.

The Saluki is naturally healthy, clean, and odor-free; a quiet dog that prefers a predictable,  environment with a space to call his own.  Too much hectic activity may stress him out.  This breed is reliable with children as long as no teasing or roughhousing is allowed.  Though affectionate with his owners, do not expect a Saluki to be as loving and desirous of touch as a Lab or a Golden.  If you prefer a clean, quiet dog that is not always at your feet begging for attention, then the Saluki might be the dog for you.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for the Saluki is 1 — 1 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 3 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The Saluki will adapt to an apartment living as long as he is exercised regularly.  A daily run is recommended. The owner of a Saluki should be an easygoing leader who is not looking for an extremely active, social dog, and who instead prefers a dog that is content to curl up on the sofa.  Overbearing, impatient persons should avoid this breed, as should pampering types and those with young children.  The elderly and the disabled will need to be able to exercise a Saluki if they are to own one.   The owner of a Saluki must find time to train and socialize the dog as often as possible early on in order to modify his aloof, suspicious nature.

Adopting A Standard Poodle

Origins: The Poodle was originated in Germany and was first used as a water retriever.  The breed’s name comes from the German word “pudelnass” or puddle.  He is now kept as a companion dog and a showdog.

Description: The Standard Poodle stands 15 inches or taller at the shoulder and weighs 50 to 65 pounds.  The coat is curly and non-shedding and needs to be clipped every two months. The English saddle clip and the continental clip are high-maintenance show cuts.  The sporting clip is easiest to maintain.  In this style the hair on the body is about an inch long, there is a pompom on the tip of the tail, a topknot of hair remains on the head, and the face, feet, and tail are clean-shaven.  Daily grooming includes using a wire-pin pneumatic brush and a wire-toothed metal comb.  The colors may be black, white, apricot, gray, chocolate, or cream.

About the breed: This breed is an obedient, intelligent, alert, agile dog that is always friendly and eager to please.  He has a good-temperament and is normally good with strangers and yet he makes an effective watchdog.  He has a character that is full of fun but sometimes gets him into trouble. The Poodle’s high level of energy is not for those who seek a lazy, easygoing dog.  He needs plenty or exercise, particularly retrieving which is a constructive, enjoyable exercise in which he can excel.

Poodles learn quickly.  Many are seen in the obedience ring and in agility competitions.  They will respond well to training as long as you avoid heavy-handed techniques.  The Standard Poodle can be one of the best family dogs around and can get along wonderfully with children.  Again, Poodles need regular clipping, and it will be wise if you begin the handling, nail-clipping, and brushing sessions early in the dog’s life.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for the this breed is about 1 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 3 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The Standard Poodle needs a house with a fenced yard.  The owner of this breed should be a patient, consistent leader who prefers a smart, happy, energetic dog capable of excelling in obedience.  This breed is very light on his feet and therefore makes a good jogging partner.  He enjoys the company of children.  Spoiling this dog could encourage stubborn, nippy behavior.  Time to train and exercise this breed should be available.  The elderly and the disabled may have a hard time controlling this big and active breed.

Adopting A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

History and origin: The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon first appeared in late 19th century Holland and France.  He was created by mixing Otterhound and German Shorthaired Pointer bloodlines, which filled the need for a versatile hunter that could point and retrieve on land or in the water.  The rough coat served as protection against wet, cold weather and harsh thickets.

Description: The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon stands 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 65 pounds.  He has a solid, robust physique and a wiry, rough, medium-length shedding coat that requires regular brushing.  The color is gray with brown and some white markings. The tail is docked.

About the breed: This is an active breed that exhibits a pointer-like behavior with a terrier-like attitude.  He is easily distracted by scent and can be very resistant to obedience training.  This breed makes a good watchdog and may be suspicious of strangers.  He will accept older children, but may not tolerate younger children or any kind of teasing or roughhousing.  Early training is needed to counteract this breed’s passive-resistant attitude toward obedience.  The “Come” command is difficult to master because of the scent-distraction potential.  This breed must be socialized early on to minimize his fear of strangers, and he must be given plenty of exercise daily to keep him happy and fit.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal amount or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs a house with a fenced yard.  Hunters would find this dog a superb companion.  Older, respectful children are okay.  The owner of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should be a strong, active, confident, patient leader who desires a high-energy dog to use for hunting or some other outside activity.  Nurturing, cautious owners should stay clear of this breed, as should the elderly and the disabled.  This breed may become noisy and destructive if left alone for too long.  The owner must have time for training and exercise.  The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon would make a good jogging partner, but not in a hot climate.  This is not the breed for someone who is looking for an easygoing dog.

Adopting the Right Dog Breed – A Step By Step Guide

Did you know that there are several hundred dog breeds? With that large number of breeds to choose from, how do people manage to decide which breed is right for them?

Luckily, you can narrow down the choices and find the right dog breed by following a few simple steps. First, consider your available space. Do you live in an apartment? If so, you will want to rule out large dogs. Look for dogs in the Toy group, such as Yorkshire Terriers, or some of the smaller dogs in the Terrier group, like the Miniature Schnauzer.

If you have children, you will want to consider the size of your dog, as well. Very small dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Maltese, can be very delicate and are often accidentally injured by young children. On the other hand, very large dogs, such as Boxers or Saint Bernards, can be overly boisterous as puppies and can accidentally turn your child into a human bowling pin. Consider medium sized breeds, such as Fox Terriers or Lhasa Apsos, instead. Next, consider how much exercise you can give your dog.

If you have a home with a fenced yard, your dog will be able to get some exercise on his own. However, dog breeds in the Sporting, Hound, and Herding groups are very high energy animals and you will need to have enough time to provide them with more intensive exercise. Plan to take a lot of long walks with your dog or go for a daily romp in the park. After all, these dog breeds were bred to work hard and don’t do well unless they have a job to do or a way to burn off excess energy.

Finally, don’t forget to consider grooming needs. Some dog breeds only need a half hour or so of grooming a week, while others need to be groomed for an hour a day. If you are short on time, don’t buy a Standard Poodle or a Maltese, unless, of course, you plan to take your dog to a groom. Breeds like Boston Terriers or Whippets are good choices for people who don’t have time to do a lot of grooming.

Once you decide which breed of dog you want, you will need to consider the age of the dog. Many people opt to buy a cuddly little puppy instead of an older dog. While puppies have not developed any bad habits, it will be up to the new owner to be sure that the puppy becomes housebroken and obedience trained. Older dogs are frequently already housebroken and usually have some obedience training.

They are also more likely to be less hyper and less destructive. However, they can have behavioral problems or health problems that prompted the former owner to find them a new home. Do you want to buy a puppy? If so, you will need to find a reputable dog breeder who has a litter of the breed you are interested in. Often, a good breeder will have a waiting list for puppies. If you aren’t the patient sort, you may be tempted to buy a puppy from a pet store.

However, many pet store puppies come from puppy mills and have genetic health defects, bad temperaments, or other problems. It is usually safest to buy a puppy directly from the breeder. If you are interested in an older dog, you may want to visit your local animal shelter or call a breed rescue. These groups evaluate the dogs’ health and temperament before adopting them out.

Once you’ve narrowed down the breed choices and have decided which dog is right for you, don’t get too relaxed. After all, you still have one more important decision to make, what to name your new companion!

Adopting a Dalmation

With the popularity of the Disney cartoons featuring Dalmations, it is no wonder that this breed is in demand.

However, few Dalmations act like the dogs in these movies, although Dalmation puppies can certainly get into plenty of mischief, just as their cartoon counterparts can. The Dalmation is a member of the American Kennel Club’s Non-Sporting group. These dogs first arrived in England during the 1700’s, where noblemen used them to guard their coaches. Dalmations were the ideal breed for this job, since they got along well with horses. In fact, Dalmations were so good with horses that they became popular with firemen, who used horse drawn fire wagons.

By the time fire engines replaced the horse drawn wagons, Dalmations and fire stations were inseparable. The Dalmation is a 45 to 65 pound dog that stands 19 to 24 inches in height. This dog is well muscled without being overly bulky or stocky. Its eyes can be brown, blue, or a combination of the two colors. The Dalmation’s long, graceful tail is extremely powerful. The sleek coat of this breed has a background of white that is covered with black or brown colored spots. As new born puppies, Dalmations have no spots. They are pure white until their spots begin to appear. Dalmations are extremely high energy dogs and are prone to hyperactive behavior and separation anxiety. You will need to be prepared to take your dog jogging or for a run in the park to burn off energy, as he may not burn off enough energy walking in the yard by himself. If possible, give your Dalmation a job to do.

Obviously, not everyone has a horse in the back yard, but you can always teach your dog to fetch the morning paper. Inexperienced dog owners may not be able to handle this wonderful breed, as Dalmations have a tendency to be a bit hard headed. If you buy a Dalmation puppy, be prepared to attend puppy obedience classes. Also, socialize your puppy as frequently as possible, as Dalmations tend to be fearful around people they don’t know. Since they are so active, Dalmations burn a lot of calories. You will need to feed your puppy a good puppy chow that has plenty of nutrition. Also, check with your veterinarian to see which vitamins and supplements you should give your dog. Also, ask about special diets that help reduce the chance of kidney or bladder stones, since this breed is prone to these problems.

Dalmations are also prone to deafness, hip dysplasia and allergies. Grooming a Dalmation is simple. Just brush your dog once a week to remove loose hair. If you don’t groom your dog, you will spend quite a lot of time cleaning up his hair, as Dalmations can be heavy shedders. If you love the look of the Dalmation’s spotted coat and enjoy living an active lifestyle, then the Dalmation may just be the perfect breed for you.

Adopting From a Good Dog Breeder

Have you ever purchased a car that was a lemon? Facing problem after problem robs you of the pleasure of enjoying your new car. Unfortunately, there are dogs that are lemons, too. A dog with health problems can lead to heartache and empty checkbooks.

A good dog breeder will stand behind health guarantees and do everything possible to set things right if you end up with a dog that has a serious health defect. There are several types of dog breeders. The first type is a person who shows dogs and works hard to maintain the breed standard. The puppies this breeder produces will often be more expensive than other puppies, but there are several advantages to buying one.

These breeders test their dogs for common genetic diseases and they only breed their best dogs, because they are breeding dogs to acquire a new generation of champions. This means that the resulting puppies that are not show quality are usually still quite nice. The second type of dog breeder is usually called a backyard breeder.

These breeders rarely show dogs and often have a litter of puppies just because they want other people to have a dog just like theirs. Unfortunately, few backyard breeders test for diseases or know how to look for traits that match the breed standard. The final type of dog breeder is often called a puppy mill breeder.

These breeders have many different breeds of dogs and often breed their females until the dogs become run down and die. Puppies are frequently very poor examples of the breed and may have genetic health problems as well as diseases such as Kennel Cough. Obviously, you want to find a good dog breeder. However, knowing the importance of finding a good dog breeder doesn’t always make it easy to locate one. Fortunately, if you look for signs of a good breeder and ask the breeder the right questions, you should be able to tell if you’ve found a good breeder. First, take a look at how the breeder is advertising.

Breeders who advertise in newspapers are not necessarily unethical. Some of them love their dog breed, but do not care for the show world. However, be wary of an advertisement that lists puppies from five different dog breeds and a few poodle mixes thrown in for good measure. Next, ask the breeder to allow you to stop in and look at the puppies. If the breeder refuses and offers to deliver the puppy or meets you outside with a portable pen full of puppies, it may very well be because of safety concerns. However, it could also mean that the breeder’s kennel is dirty and the dogs are not cared for properly. Once you’ve seen those adorable puppies, do not pull out your check book. Instead, ask the breeder whether they’ve been to a vet and ask about a health guarantee.

Some breeders vaccinate the puppies themselves, but there is a chance they did not give the vaccinations correctly and that the puppies are still vulnerable to disease. Also, the puppies could have serious hereditary defects, such as a severe heart murmur, that a preliminary health exam would have uncovered. Finally, ask for references from previous owners and get the name and phone number of the breeder’s veterinarian. Then, go home and call the references and ask them about their experience with the breeder and ask how their puppies turned out. If you are satisfied with the response of the references, call the veterinarian to verify that the breeder really did bring the puppies in. Now, you can finally buy your new puppy. Of course, first you will have to decide which of those little balls of fluff is the right dog for you!

Adopting a Greyhound

The Greyhound is a breed with the tragic ability to run fast. Many Greyhound owners use their dogs to compete in races and put them down when they loose too many races.

However, these dogs can also be wonderful pets and many of them are rehabilitated by Greyhound rescues. Before you open your heart and home to a displaced Greyhound, you should talk to the rescue about the problems new dog owners face. Racing Greyhounds are trained to chase down a mechanical rabbit. Unfortunately, they don’t always differentiate between a rabbit and a small dog or cat. They do better as single pets. In addition, these dogs are already full grown, but are not potty trained and do not have any idea of household etiquette. The Greyhound is classified as a member of the Hound Group by the American Kennel Club.

These dogs first appeared in ancient Egypt, where they were used to run down prey. When they came to England, they became common with British noblemen, who began racing them. Greyhounds traveled to America, where their owners continued this popular sport. Greyhounds are large, powerfully built dogs. They have long legs and narrow bodies. These dogs are all muscle. Greyhounds have dark eyes and a long, graceful tail. Unlike many other breeds, a Greyhound can be any color. Greyhounds are capable of developing an incredible speed, but they are not actually high energy dogs. In between races, these dogs are couch potatoes, conserving their energy for the next chase. They need a fenced yard so they have room to run, although dogs that live in apartments adapt to walking on a leash without too much trouble. Greyhounds are friendly, sociable dogs. They love to spend time with their family and are very playful. They like nothing better than snuggling up on the couch beside their owners all evening long. Greyhounds enjoy playing with children and are very gentle with them. They also play well with other dogs. You will need to keep a close eye on your dog if you have other pets, since the prey instinct may be too hard to resist. Greyhounds need plenty of fuel for their bodies. You will need to feed your dog a high quality dog food.

However, since these dogs are prone to bloat, do not allow your dog to overeat. Several small meals are better for his health than one large meal. Consult your veterinarian to find out how much you should feed your dog at each meal. A good vitamin supplement is also a good idea for these dogs. Grooming a Greyhound is simple, since these dogs have a short, sleek coat that does not shed heavily. Brushing your Greyhound once a week should be sufficient. You may also want to trim his nails if they are tapping on the floor when he walks. Owning one of these dogs can be overwhelming at first. However, if you are willing to persevere, you can end up with a wonderful, devoted family pet for many years to come.

Adopting a Miniature Pinscher?

If you love the sleek, muscled appearance of the Doberman Pinscher, but you don’t want a big dog, you may want to consider a Miniature Pinscher. These dogs are very similar in appearance to Dobermans, but are almost one hundred pounds lighter.

The Miniature Pinscher may look like a miniature Doberman, but these dogs are not actually directly related. In fact, the Miniature Pinscher was developed long before the Doberman. The Miniature Pinscher was created by breeding the German Pinscher to a smaller breed. The American Kennel Club classifies the Miniature Pinscher as a part of the Toy Group, but these dogs are not cute little lapdogs. The Miniature Pinscher was bred to be a tough, aggressive ratter.

The Min Pin weighs in at 8 to 10 pounds and stands 10 to 12 inches high. Miniature Pinschers have a compact, muscular frame. Their intelligent eyes are so dark brown that they look black. The Min Pin’s short coat can be red, stag red, black and rust, or chocolate and rust. This breed’s tails are docked. In addition, some people crop their Miniature Pinscher’s ears, but this is not necessary. Most of these dogs develop pricked ears as they mature. The high energy Miniature Pinscher does well in apartment settings, as long as you are willing to go for a long walk once a day. Of course, the Min Pin also enjoys the freedom of a fenced yard.

These dogs have a tendency to roam and they will search for ways to escape, so be sure your yard has a securely fenced exercise area. If you live in an area with busy streets, your dog’s escape could prove fatal, since the Miniature Pinscher is too small to be easily seen from a moving car. Miniature Pinschers are very loyal dogs, and are deeply devoted to their owners, but that loyalty does not always extend to small children. This breed has a tendency to be nippy with babies and toddlers. If you have family members with children who visit frequently, you may want to crate your dog while your guests are there to avoid problems. In addition, some of these dogs are quite high strung and will become aggressive to adults, especially mail carriers and deliverymen.

While Miniature Pinschers are small, most of them are a bit stubborn and hard to control. Your puppy should attend obedience classes and you should be careful to follow up on every command. These dogs enjoy agility training and attending competitions gives them a chance to shine. The Min Pin was bred to work and takes vermin seriously. If a mouse gets into your house, your dog will not rest until it is caught. Miniature Pinschers can have several serious health problems, such as heart conditions, thyroid conditions, and epilepsy. In addition, these dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, which is a rare thing in small breeds.

Miniature Pinschers do not consume huge quantities of food, but they have a tendency to be a bit gluttonous. You may need to switch to a food that controls weight gain if you notice your sleek Miniature Pinscher is starting to resemble a blowfish with legs. Min Pins require little grooming, but they do have problems with overgrown nails. Be sure to check your dog’s nails frequently. The Miniature Pinscher is not for everyone, but if you want a dog who is completely loyal to you, you may want to consider this breed.

Adopting a Boston Terrier

Do you want a dog that is as all American as apple pie? If so, you may want to consider the Boston Terrier, which is one of the few breeds developed in the USA.

These comical charmers originated in Boston in the 1800’s. The Boston Terrier was the first American breed accepted by the American Kennel Club, which classified it as part of the Non-Sporting Group. These dogs weigh 15 to 25 pounds and stand 15 to 17 inches tall.

These highly intelligent dogs have a square skull and a short muzzle. Their floppy jaws give them a slightly clownish appearance and their short tails can be straight or corkscrewed. The Boston Terrier’s coat can be brindle, seal, or black, with white markings. The ideal Boston has symmetrical markings, with a blaze of white between the eyes and a white chest and front legs. The Boston Terrier is a kind, friendly dog and rarely meets a person it doesn’t like.

Bostons love family gatherings, which mean they get tons of attention and some tasty treats. This breed absolutely adores children, although puppies may be too rough and rowdy for toddlers unless they are closely supervised. The Boston is known for its high energy and slightly boisterous behavior. Since Boston Terriers are such intelligent dogs, they enjoy learning. Puppy classes are important for this breed, since without something to occupy, your Boston’s energy will get him into a ton of mischief. Once you see how quickly your Boston Terrier masters basic obedience, you may want to start competing in obedience and agility trials with him. Most of these dogs love the chance to put on a performance for a crowd and genuinely enjoy competing in these trials. Despite its high energy, the Boston Terrier can thrive in an apartment or small house. However, if you do not have a fenced yard, you will need to take your dog for a long walk or a romp in the park each day. If you cut your dog’s exercise routine short, don’t be surprised if he is bouncing off the walls the next day, especially if he is a young dog. For many years, the Boston Terrier breed was in serious danger of being destroyed by irresponsible breeders, who did not care breeding dogs with genetic problems. With hard work and careful breeding, fanciers have brought this breed back from the brink. However, the breed still suffers from a few common health problems. These dogs are prone to cataracts, deafness, hypothyroidism, heart murmers, and bad knees. In addition, many Bostons have a weakened immune system, especially when they are under six months of age.

This can lead to a serious case of Demodectic mange, which is a non-contagious condition that results in bald spots. A bad case of Demodectic mange can leave your dog completely bald and covered in sores. Most dogs grow out of the condition with treatment, but some never recover and have to be put down after developing massive skin infections. Boston Terriers are chow hounds, but still do not eat nearly as much as bigger breeds. While they are young and active, these dogs burn through all of those calories fast, but you will need to keep a close eye on your dog’s weight as he ages. If he starts to bulk up around his chest, ask your veterinarian about a diet for overweight dogs. Unless your Boston Terrier develops Demodectic mange, you will not need to groom him more than once a week. If he does have mange, you will need to give him a daily bath and you will need to take him to the veterinarian frequently for additional treatment. The Boston Terrier can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but if you don’t mind a little noise and rowdy behavior, why not let this dog charm you with his loving, affectionate nature.

Adopting a Chow Chow

Normally, a blue tongued dog would be a cause for concern. However, when that blue tongue belongs to your Chow Chow, it is completely normal.

Chow Chows have a black tongue with a distinctive bluish tint. The Chow Chow originated in China, where it was used as a hunting dog. Asian sailors brought these dogs with them to England, where their exotic appearance quickly made them popular. This breed is classified by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Non-Sporting group. The Chow Chow is a 45 to 70 pound dog that stands 17 to 20 inches high.

Its down turned lips can give this breed a deceptively angry appearance. This unfriendly impression is offset by the tail curling over the dog’s back and its thick double coat. The red Chow Chow is most common, but these furry dogs also can have black, blue, cinnamon, or cream colored coats. Chow Chows are not high energy dogs, but they do need a bit more exercise than an apartment provides. A small fenced yard is adequate for this breed. If you do live in an apartment, be prepared to take your Chow Chow for a daily run. However, do not allow him to run loose in the park, as Chows are prone to aggressiveness toward other dogs. While Chow Chows are devoted to their families and usually love children, they do not often do well with other pets.

New owners should concentrate on socializing their puppies to be sure they do not grow up to be dangerous or aggressive to strangers. Puppy obedience classes are a good way to socialize your puppy while being sure it receives thorough obedience training. Besides their tendency to be aloof and unfriendly to people outside the family, these dogs do have a few other drawbacks. They have a tendency to dominate people if they can get away with it and they can bully inexperienced dog owners. You will have to be firm with your dog and should always be sure to follow through on commands. Since they are not extremely active dogs, Chows do not eat a lot. You should feed your dog a nutritious puppy food while he is young and a good adult dog food when he grows older. While they are easy to feed, they do require quite a lot of grooming. Their thick coats are hard to brush because they are so dense. While they are big dogs, Chow Chows should not spend too much time outside during the summer, since their thick coats do not protect Chows from heat sensitivity. These dogs also can suffer from hip dysplasia and often have problems with their knee joints.

If you don’t mind that Chow Chows have a bit of an attitude problem when they are dealing with strangers or other animals, then this might just be the right breed for you. After all, there is nothing quite like hugging one of these fuzzy, bear like dogs on a chilly winter night.