Here's a great series that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim
Basic Breed Information – Part 2
There are two distinct varieties of the Chinese Crested dog: one is hairless except for its feet, head and tail (and called, not surprisingly, the Hairless; see dog on right side of picture); the other is called the Powder Puff (it has a coat of long soft hair; see dog on left side of picture). Both come in numerous colors, either solid, mixed or spotted all over. They have a broad skull and a long muzzle. Eyes are dark, and ears are erect. Strangely, the two types often come in the same litter.
The most popular of the hairless breeds, the Chinese Crested, is still very rare. These dogs are sweet, lively, playful and cuddly. They are exceptionally loving and affectionate with children. Children should be taught not to be rough with this breed, as it is friendly, but it does not have the protective hair that other breeds have and can get injured easily.
They are an entertaining companion, intelligent and very alert. Puppies should be well-socialized and exposed to loud noises when young to avoid potential timidity. If its owners do not baby them, these dogs can grow up to be a very well-adjusted dog. They have an ability to perform tricks and are generally good with other pets. They are generally not barkers.
Chinese Crested Dogs like to climb and dig holes. They tend to become very attached to their owners. These dogs enjoy constant companionship, and need constant human leadership. Do not let this wonderful breed fall into the "Small Dog Syndrome," where they lack a human pack leader. It is easy to baby a small dog, however doing this can cause many unwanted behaviors. If your dog growls, guards objects, snaps or bites, the dog has been allowed to take over and be pack leader to the humans. These behaviors can be corrected as soon as the human starts displaying proper leadership.
Exposed skin needs special care to prevent skin problems and irritations. The breed should be protected with sunscreen. The hairless dogs do get sunburn and a good sunscreen should be used if the dog is going to be out in the sun. Good for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They should wear a sweater in cold weather. Many Chinese Crested are allergic to lanolin and wool. Their teeth should be well cared for to prevent decay. Hairless dogs often lose many teeth as young adults. They should not be given bones to chew as they often have an incomplete set of teeth. The Hairless variety has the ancient forward-pointing canine teeth or "tusks" as they are called, but usually these are the first teeth to go.
Powder Puffs (the long-haired variety of the hairless) generally have normal teeth and breeders are hoping to improve the dentition of the hairless variety by interbreeding with Powder Puffs. Each hairless dog carries one gene for hairless and one gene for hair, as a combination of the two hairless genes is fatal. Therefore, Powder Puff and Hairless dogs often appear in the same litter. Do not overfeed this breed, as it will become obese if given the chance.
Although it is tempting to carry these dainty creatures about, these are active little dogs, who need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs; however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard. Don't think that just because he is small he should be confined to a small space.
Chinese Crested are very clean, with no doggie odor, and are not prone to fleas or ticks. Power Puffs need a lot more grooming. Daily brushing of the Powder Puff's long, fine double coat is recommended, taking extra care when the dog is shedding. The wooly undercoat becomes matted, if neglected. Bathe the Hairless frequently and massage a little oil or cream into the skin to keep it supple. These dogs shed little to no hair and are great for allergy sufferers.
The Chinese Crested originated in Africa where they were called "African Hairless Terriers." The ancient Aztecs kept them as bedwarmers, and believe it or not, did eat them. The Chinese trading ships stopped along Africa on their routes, and it was there that they picked up these dogs because they were excellent ratters for aboard their ships. They renamed the dogs "Chinese Crested" and the name stuck.
This unusual breed was first exhibited in the West in 1885, but the first American breed club was not established until 1979. Full AKC recognition was granted in 1991. The similar Mexican Hairless was formerly recognized by the AKC, but is no longer recognized. The Chinese Crested Dog has been gaining popularity as a cheerful companion dog in both the United Stated and England. The breed is a frequent competitor in rare breed dog shows.
For more in-depth Chinese Crested training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The two most distinctive features of the Chow Chow are its blue-black tongue and its almost straight hind legs that make it walk rather stilted. Its dense furry coat is profuse and comes in two varieties, smooth coat and rough coat. The most common colors are solid red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream, but it can also come in tan, gray, or (rarely) white.
The coat sometimes has lighter or darker shades, but is never parti-colored. The ears are small and rounded and there is a huge ruff behind the head, which gives it a lion like appearance. Its head is broad and its skull is flat. The muzzle is broad near the eyes and narrows toward a black nose without becoming pointed. The chest is broad and deep and the kidney area is short and strong. The tail is thickly covered with hair and is carried over its back.
The Chow is usually well-mannered. Quite good with children. If they get to know cats and other household animals when they are young, they will get along with them when they are adults. They must be extensively socialized preferably when they are young. They need firm authority and training right from the start. Whether you are adopting a puppy or an adult dog, owners need to set the rules in which the dog must follow and stick to them. This very dominant breed requires a dominant owner. The owner of this breed of dog should be a calm person who is naturally firm, confident, and consistent. With such a handler, the Chow can develop well. The problems arise when the dog lives with owners who do not understand how to be, and stay in the alpha position.
If you allow this dog to believe he is the boss of your house he can be willful, protective, bossy, serious and will independently work at keeping his alpha position in your human pack. He is not being mean, he is instinctively telling you in the way dogs communicate with one another that he gets to decide when and how things are done.
He will be self-willed to the point of obstinacy and may be over-protective. When you have a Chow Chow who believes he is the ruler of humans, and strangers push themselves on this dog, he may become aggressive, telling the humans he would like to have his space. Space means a lot to a dog. It is respect in the dog world. Alpha Chow Chows will often be a one-person dog, very loyal to his family, though he may act reserved, even with them. Alpha Chows like to dominate other dogs. A Chow who is not 100% convinced humans are the boss, will be harder to obedience train.
The Chow will feel HE needs to be deciding what and when, to do things, not the human, as humans must listen to him. These are NOT Chow traits, they are instinctual behaviors, resulting in meek human authority over the dog. If you would like to own a dog, make sure you, and the rest of your family know how to be alpha. All family members, and other humans around the dog must be higher in the pecking order, than the dog. This breed can be quite a handful with passive owners, but take the very same dog and put him with an owner who has natural authority and he will be polite, patient and well rounded, making an excellent family dog.
One owner told me that their Chow can do tricks, and learns them quite easily at that. Here is a quote from the owner who has three children and three cats: "My 8 year old white Chow performs a variety of 'tricks,' ranging from dancing on her hind legs on command to rolling over, and jumping from her hind legs into the air on command. She even knows the difference between 'shake hands' and 'shake,' as in shake her mane to dry or fluff after a bath/brushing.
"After the first 'trick' was learned at a very early age, she usually learns new activities through a process of three examples from her human friends, then she readily attempts the feats until successful. Her eagerness to learn from and please her two masters comes from her love of people. She loves being around people, even strangers. When threatened, or unsure of the circumstances she is facing, she quickly becomes protective of her family and home."
Chow Chows can be lazy, but need to be taken for a daily walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems.
Beware of hip dysplasia. They are prone to suffer eye irritation called entropion, caused by eyelid abnormality; this can be corrected with surgery. Also prone to stomach cancer. The Chow Chow will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Sensitive to heat, but can live in or outdoors. Regular brushings of the long coat is important to maintain the lifted, standing-out look. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and extra care is needed when the dog is shedding its dense undercoat. Dry shampoo when necessary.
The Chow's structure is very similar to that of the oldest known fossilized dog remains, dated to several million years ago. The Chow has been known for thousands of years in China, where the breed was put to work as a hunter, cart puller, temple guard and boat guard. One Emperor is said to have kept 2500 Chow pairs. One was given to the Prince of Wales, the future Edward Val. Over history, the Chow has been used to hunt wolves, sable and pheasant, and to pull sleds.
Their fur has been used to trim coats. The flesh of these dogs was considered a delicacy in China. Dog is still eaten in China today. This beautiful dog was first brought to England by merchants in the late 1800's. The name probably originated from the pidgin English word "chow-chow," a term used to describe all sorts of miscellaneous stuff brought back from the Far East. The Chow has become very popular in the United States as a companion dog. Some of the Chow Chow's talents still remain as watchdog and guarding.
For more in-depth Chow Chow training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The Greyhound is a sleek, contoured dog built for speed with a very deep chest and an extraordinarily flexible, curved spine. The head is long with almost no stop and the muzzle tapers. The skull is wide between the ears. The small rose ears are folded back. The eyes are dark and the neck is long and graceful.
The front legs are absolutely straight. The hindquarters are very powerful and muscular with an arched loin. The long tail is carried low and has a slight upward curve at the end. The short, smooth coat comes in all dog colors.
Sensitive, sweet and elegant. Brave and loyal. With meek owneres it can become willful. The Greyhound is very intelligent, but its character is often undervalued because of its reserved behavior toward its master and toward strangers. Socialize them at an early age to prevent timidity. As a rule, they are gentle and even-tempered – both racing lines and show lines.
Most Greyhounds have a definite prey instinct. It is instinctive for these dogs to chase anything that moves quickly. They are extremely fast and some will kill cats and other domestic animals, although this is not the majority (only about 20% of ex-racers are too "keen" on chasing prey to ever be safe with small animals). About 10% are immediately okay, due to low prey instinct, and the rest can be trained to leave cats and other small pets in the home alone.
They seldom present difficulties with other dogs and are normally good with children, though they do not usually like rough-house play, and would not be a good choice for young children who are looking for a play mate. Indoors, these dogs are calm and sociable to a point where they can even be considered lazy. They bond strongly with their own people, have tremendous stamina, and do not bark much. Show lines tend to be of a different body style than racing lines, and are often more angulated. Racing lines are bred for performance, but often a good by-product are friendly, outgoing dogs, who make wonderful pets when their racing days are over.
Greyhounds are not particularly vigilant. Show lines tend to be a bit heavier and bred more for temperament than racing lines, who are bred for speed. However racing lines also make wonderful pets. There are hundreds of adoption groups all over North America, Europe and Australia to place these gentle, loving dogs when they retire. Retired racing Greyhounds are not usually difficult to housebreak. They are already crate trained from the track, so it doesn't take them long to learn that they are not to "go" in the house. The Greyhound needs an even tempered, gentle but firm loving owner who knows how to consistently communicate the rules of the home. A Greyhound who knows his place in his pack and what is expected of him is a happy Greyhound.
May be prone to bloat. It is better to feed them two or three small meals rather than one large one. They are sensitive to drugs, including insecticides. The Greyhound will do okay in an apartment if they get enough exercise. They are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will do. Greyhounds are sensitive to the cold but do well in cold climates as long as they wear a coat outside. The smooth, short-haired coat is very easy to groom. Simply comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
Greyhounds that are kept as pets should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground in a safe area, as well as daily long, brisk walks, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead. In a dog's mind the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the human. Greyhounds love a regular routine.
This very ancient breed is the fastest dog in the world and can reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour (65 km/h). Its greatest gift is its speed. They are thought to have originally descended from the Arabian Sloughi and brought to England by traders before 900 A.D. Centuries ago it was used in the hunting of deer and wild boar. It could catch them and pull them down without stopping. It is also an incorrigible enemy of domestic animals, especially cats and geese.
Today Greyhounds are used primarily in dog racing (where they chase mechanical rabbits). This sport is especially popular in Anglo-Saxon countries. After retiring from a racing career, these dogs are often destroyed. Greyhound Rescue groups select the most even-tempered, gentle racers for placement into homes, with excellent success. Their talents include hunting, sighting, watchdog, racing, agility and lure coursing.
For more in-depth Greyhound training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized, rugged, robust dog with bushy eyebrows, whiskers and a beard. The head is long and rectangular, with a strong muzzle and a pronounced stop. The nose is black and the eyes are oval and dark brown. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The feet are small and cat-like, with arched toes.
The tail is generally docked at the fourth vertebra, but cropping the ears is optional. The forelegs are very straight. Any dewclaws should be removed. The topline slopes slightly downward from the withers to the rump. The front legs must appear straight from every angle, while its rear legs and thighs are oblique and very muscular. He has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. The coat comes in salt & pepper or solid black.
The Standard Schnauzer makes a great watch and guard dog. It is lively, but not restless. High-spirited and affectionate, it has a personality of a terrier. Clever, intelligent, and playful, Standard Schnauzers need companionship and are good dogs to travel with. This breed has a high learning rate. If the owner does not display a confident demeanor, with firm and consistent rules the dog must follow and limits to what the dog can and cannot do, he can be quite willful, demanding and may begin to act fearless.
The Schnauzer may become untrustworthy with children. He may become very protective and dominant, guarding objects, places and people from other people. Along with being this breeds pack leader, socialize and train him well, and be sure to take him for a daily pack walk to release mental and physical energy. These energetic dogs need energetic and dominant owners, one who has the ability clearly demonstrate that they are the boss and not the dog.
The Standard Schnauzer is generally a very healthy breed, and is a good dog for apartment life. It is very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. These energetic dogs will take as much exercise as they can get and they just love play sessions during which they can run free. At very least, they need to be given a daily, long, brisk walk. Do not overdo it with very young pups, though, until their body frames are strong and mature. Pups still need to walk, just a shorter distance.
The wiry coat is reasonably easy to look after, but the undercoat is dense and it will become matted unless it is combed or brushed daily with a short wire brush. Clip out knots and brush first with the grain, then against the grain to lift the coat. The animal should be clipped all over to an even length twice a year - in spring and fall. A person can easily learn how to do it. Trim around the eyes and ears with blunt-nosed scissors and clean the whiskers after meals. They have no doggie odor and shed little to no hair.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, squarely-proportioned dog with a long head, bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows. The thick, prominent eyebrows and long mustache are often trimmed to accentuate the dog's square cut shape. The front legs are very straight. The tail is usually docked. The oval eyes are dark colored, and the v-shaped ears fold forward when left natural or are cropped to a point and stand erect.
It has a long head, strong muzzle, a well-developed black nose and a scissors bite. Coat colors include salt and pepper, black, white or a harsh black & silver outer coat with a soft undercoat. The wiry coat is reasonably easy to look after, but unless it is combed or brushed daily with a short wire brush, it will become matted. Clip out any knots.
The animal should be clipped all over to an even length twice a year, in spring and fall, but this is a job best left to an expert. Trim around the eyes and ears with blunt-nosed scissors and clean the whiskers after meals. On pet dogs the coat is usually clipped short on the upper body and left somewhat longer on the under-parts, legs and head. Show dogs require trimming and hand stripping instead of clipping. This breed sheds little to no hair and is a good dog for allergy sufferers.
This is usually a healthy breed. Although some are prone to suffer from kidney stones, liver disease, skin disorders, von Willebrand's disease, diabetes, liver ailments and cysts. Also, watch for hereditary eye problems. Eyes of breeding stock should be checked for this. Do not overfeed the Schnauzer, for he tends to gain weight easily.
The Standard Schnauzer is probably the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds. They are originally a German breed, named after the German word for muzzle, "Schnauze." They were used to accompany coaches, as messengers in World War I, and as vermin hunters and guards in stables and on farms. The breed was used to watch children, and even given the name "kinder watcher." Schnauzers have also been successfully trained as livestock guardians and as retrievers.
The breed has been portrayed in paintings and tapestries of several European artists, including Rembrandt and Durer, who owned one. Today, it is esteemed as a watchdog and body guard, but above all, as a very lovable, spirited, loyal, intelligent companion. Some of the Standard Schnauzer's talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, guarding, military work, agility, competitive obedience and performing tricks.
Very perky and bright-eyed. Loving and intelligent. Energetic, affectionate, and obedient. Playful, happy and alert, they like children. The Miniature Schnauzer enjoys time and companionship from its owner. Without the proper leadership, it can be feisty and fairly dog-aggressive - putting on a show of superiority without necessarily intending to fight. This can be fairly dangerous for the Miniature Schnauzer, who will challenge even large dogs, sometimes bringing more trouble on himself than he really wanted. Socialize this breed well with other dogs when it is still a puppy. If properly introduced, and if the dog does not see himself as pack leader, the Miniature Schnauzer will get along with another dog. They make good companions and family pets.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a good dog for apartment life. It is fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. These energetic little dogs need daily, long, brisk, walks and love play sessions off the leash.
The Miniature Schnauzer is reportedly a result of crosses between the Standard Schnauzer, the Affenpinscher and perhaps the Poodle. He is originally a German breed, named after the German word for muzzle, "Schnauze." The Miniature Schnauzer excels at killing rats, but today it is mostly a popular and esteemed companion. Some of the Schnauzer's talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdog, competitive obedience and performing tricks.
Schnauzers tend to bark a lot, but it does not have a yappy bark it sounds like a low carried-out voice, howl of a voice. They make good guard dogs and mouse catchers. They are excellent watchdogs and are great to travel with. Some can be reserved with strangers, but most love everyone. Socialize well. Do not allow this little dog to developed Small Dog Syndrome, a human induced behavior where the dog feels he is pack leader to humans. This can cause a varying degree of behavior problems, including, but not limited to separation anxiety, willful, nervous, barky, guarding, bold and sometimes temperamental, not hesitating to attack much bigger dogs.
A mentally stable dog, who gets enough mental and physical exercise will have a totally different personality. These are not Miniature Schnauzer traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way the dog is treated by the people around him. It is all up to the humans. As soon as the humans start being true pack leaders, the dogs behavior will change for the better.
For more in-depth Schnauzer training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
This article was brought to you by Dog Breed Info Center (Standard) and by Dog Breed Info Center (Miniature) (©2009 Dog Breed Info Center®). For more information on Schnauzer Obedience Training, visit Miniature Schnauzer Training or the Dog Training Zone!