Here's a great series that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim
Basic Breed Information – Part 1
The Collie is a lovely, active and agile, long-coated sheepdog made famous by the movie star, Lassie. The lean, blunted, wedge-shaped head gives an impression of lightness. The top of the head is flat. The face is chiseled, and the long, smooth, well-rounded, blunt muzzle tapers to a black nose. The ears are ¾ erect with the tips folding forward. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark, except in the case of blue merles that may have blue or merle eyes. The trim but muscular body is slightly longer than it is tall. The chest is strong and fairly wide, and the tailbone hangs down to the dog's hocks.
In the Rough variety (left), an abundant double coat forms a mane around the neck and chest. The coat needs regular weekly grooming to look its best. The Smooth variety (see picture below) has a one-inch coat that needs very little grooming. With both varieties, the hair on the head and legs is short and smooth. They both come in sable and white, tri-color (black, white & tan), blue merle or predominantly white with sable, tri-color or blue merle markings.
A noble, highly intelligent dog, the Collie is sensitive, sweet, kind, easy to train and loyal. She is usually good with other pets and friendly with other dogs, very devoted to and protective of his loved ones. One Collie travelled 2,000 miles to find his family after she became lost. Collies have received the Ken-L-Ration Hero Dog award five times. She is an excellent children's companion, playful and gentle. Without a firm, but calm, confident and consistent owner who sets the rules and sticks to them, she can become willful, stubborn and indolent.
This breed should be trained gently, but with an air of authority or she will refuse to cooperate. Some exhibit herding behavior as puppies, nipping at people's heels and need to be taught not to herd humans. Adult dogs generally outgrow this behavior if you are consistant with them. Collie puppies house train quickly, generally in about a week (after about 10-12 weeks old). They are good-natured, friendly, dogs. They are energetic outdoors. Socialize them well to prevent them from becoming wary of strangers. It has a fairly good sense of protectiveness for its master, especially for children. They are not aggressive, but they do tend to be suspicious of people they do not like. Daily pack walks are important.
Collies are generally healthy dogs. Some lines are prone to PRA, eye defects and hip problems leading to acute lameness and arthritis. Seeing your veterinarian is advisable for a clearance certificate before purchasing a puppy. The tip of a Collie's nose can be sensitive to the sun. The Collie is a very popular breed, resulting more recently in the sale of many inferior animals with poor health and/or temperaments.
The Collie will do okay in an apartment, as long as they are sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least an average-sized yard. They are sensitive to the heat and provide plenty of shade and fresh water in warm weather. The Collie needs plenty of exercise that includes a daily, long walk. In addition, they would enjoy some romps off the leash in a safe area.
The spectacular stiff coat sheds dirt readily, and a thorough weekly brushing will keep it in good condition. Take extra care when the soft dense undercoat is being shed. The Smooth variety has a one-inch coat that should be brushed every one to two weeks. If the long coated variety has a BIG matt, and the dog is not being used for show, the matt may need to be cut out, as opposed to combed out, to avoid pain to the dog. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. This breed sheds heavily twice a year.
For centuries, the Rough Coated Collie was hardly known outside Scotland, but it is now one of the world's most popular breeds. Descended from generations of hard-working herding dogs, it is a conscientious creature of immense intelligence. It is used as a water rescue dog and has served man as a sheepdog for centuries, guarding and herding flocks. The breed's name probably comes from its charge; the Scottish black-faced sheep called the Colley. Early Rough Collies were smaller, with broader heads and shorter muzzles.
The Collie is so intelligent that she has been trained for many purposes: as a rescue dog, guide for the blind, movie star and as a guard dog. Queen Victoria kept Collies at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and her interest launched the breed's subsequent popularity. J.P. Morgan and other members of the upper class have owned Collies. At this point, Collies were mixed with the Borzoi, and ALL show dogs had to have the Borzoi influence for them to win in the show ring. The working dogs separated, branched out and became the different breeds (with the Scotch Collie remaining) and the show type became what we see now, the large dogs with flatter faces.
The Collies' great beauty has made them a favorite show dog and family companion. The Smooth Collie is more popular as a companion dog in Great Britain than in the United States, though she is gaining popularity in the U.S. today. The Smooth Collie is the same as the Rough Collie, but without the long coat. The AKC considers the Rough and Smooth Collies as varieties of the same breed. They are judged by the same standard with the exception of the coat. The first Collie was presented at a dog show in 1860.
For more in-depth Collie training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The familiar dapper black & white spotted dog of Disney fame, the Dalmatian is a symmetrical, muscular medium-sized dog with superior endurance. A picture of elegance, the Dalmatian has the lean, clean lines of the pointer, to which it may be related. It has a short, hard, dense coat of pure white with black or liver colored spots randomly splashed over it. The spots can be black, brown (liver), lemon, dark blue, tri colored, brindled, solid white (highly discouraged in show dogs) or sable.
The feet are round with well-arched toes, and the nails are either white or the same color as the spots. The nose can be either black, brown (liver), or blue or a dark gray that looks like black. The eyes are dark brown, amber or blue, with an intelligent expression. The ears are soft, narrowing toward the point, carried with a slight upward curve. The more defined and well distributed the marking, the more valued the dog. Puppies are born completely white and the spots develop later.
Dalmatians were bred to run under or along-side of horse-drawn carriages and therefore have a vast amount of stamina and energy. They do not like to just sit around all day with nothing to do. They are playful, happy-go-lucky, sensitive and loyal. The Dalmatian needs a lot of leadership, along with human companionship, in order to be happy. For this reason they do not make good yard dogs. The Dalmatian enjoys playing with children, but if they do not receive enough mental and physical exercise, they may become too rambunctious for toddlers. They get along well with other pets, but without proper human to dog alpha communication where the human clearly tells the dog that he is not in charge and fighting is an unwanted behavior, they may become aggressive with strange dogs. Without enough exercise and mental stimulation, they will become high-strung, and can be timid without enough socialization.
Quite intelligent, Dalmatians can be willful if they sense their owners are in the slightest bit meek or passive, and or if the owner is not properly communicating with the dog. Generally, they do well with firm, consistent training. The Dalmatian is trainable to a high degree of obedience. They can be trained for defense and are good watchdogs. Dalmatians often have large litters, sometimes up to 15 pups.
Fifty percent of people who adopt a Dalmatian puppy do not keep them past the first year. Young Dalmatians are very energetic, and need a lot of leadership and exercise. If you give them what they instinctually need, daily walks where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human (never in front of the person holding the lead) and very stern but not harsh leadership, they will make a wonderful pet and will calm down after a few years.
People who keep them long enough to get past their active stage tend to be very pleased. If you are thinking about adopting a Dalmatian puppy, be sure you have the time, are authority driven and have the energy for them. If you cannot provide this for them, they will become very high strung, hard to manage and destructive. If you are a very active person who has the time, and know what it means to be a pack leader, then a Dalmatian may be right for you.
Deafness affects 10-12% of Dalmatian puppies. Every Dalmatian puppy should be BAER-tested for deafness, and totally deaf puppies should be spayed or neutered. They should be checked as a puppy at about six weeks old. Deaf dogs are very difficult to raise and often become aggressive and snappish from fear. Urinary stones and skin allergies (especially to synthetic fibers in carpets and upholstery) are also sometimes inherited. Uric acid levels in Dalmatians are higher than in any other breed, sometimes causing urinary blockage. Veterinarians may recommend a low protein diet for this breed to prevent urinary tract problems.
A Dalmatian is not an ideal dog for apartment dwellers, unless it can be taken out for a brisk walk or run several times a day. They are very active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. This breed should not be kept outside in the cold.
This is a very energetic dog with enormous stamina. It needs to be taken on daily, long, brisk walks or jogs where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human holding the lead. Never allow it to walk in front, as instinct tells a dog that the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. In addition, it needs plenty of opportunity to run, preferably off the leash in a safe area. If this dog is allowed to get bored, and is not walked or jogged daily, it can become destructive and start to display a wide array of behavioral problems. Dalmatians love to run!
The Dalmatian sheds profusely twice a year. It is a hardy, easy to keep breed, though frequent brushing is needed to cope with constant shedding. It does not have a doggy odor and is said to be clean and even avoid puddles. Bathe only when necessary.
There is total disagreement about the origin of this breed. Traces of it are found in Egyptian Bas-reliefs and Hellenic friezes, so it certainly is an ancient breed. In 1700, a dog known as the Bengal pointer, similar to the Dalmatian, existed in England, calling into question the Dalmatians Yugoslavian origin. Some claim the Dalmatian is a Croatian breed. Efforts to have it recognized as an indigenous Croatian breed had been aggravated by this state of affairs, at least up until 1993, when the FCI did finally recognize the Croatian roots of the Dalmatian, although they continue to deny Croatia standard patronage rights over the breed.
In the Middle Ages, the Dalmatian was used as a hound. The breed became popular as a carriage dog in the 1800s. They trotted beside (and even among) the horses and then guarded the carriages and horses while the master was occupied elsewhere. It followed its master with exceptional reliability and hardiness, whether its master was on foot, on horseback or in a carriage. The versatile Dalmatian has seen many uses, before and since, as a mascot for firemen, war sentinel, circus performer, vermin hunter, hound, shepherd and guard dog. Today, this beautiful breed is primarily a companion dog.
For more in-depth Dalmatian training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The Pug has a square, thickset, stocky, compact body, with a sleek, soft coat that comes in apricot, fawn, black and silver – all with a short, flat, black muzzle and velvety ears. Rose shaped ears are preferred. Moles on the cheeks are considered beauty spots. The eyes are prominent, expressive, dark and lustrous. The teeth should meet in a slightly undershot bite. The back is short, with a level topline. Their tail lays in a tight curl, or in the best specimens, a double curl on the back. Their limbs are straight and strong, which gives them a jaunty, rolling gait that is quite distinctive.
A Pug is "a lot of dog in a small space." It is perky, rambunctious and loyal, affectionate and loving, with a happy disposition. It is playful and charming. Clever and mischievous – with a heart-winning personality. It can be a bit willful if it senses it is stronger-minded than the humans around it. Highly intelligent, it bores easily with repetitive training practices. Pugs are sensitive to the tone of your voice, so harsh punishment is unnecessary. They need an owner who is calm, yet firm, confident and consistent with the rules. The dog is neither excitable nor dull. They are good watchdogs, very devoted, and are not yappers.
Pugs get along well with other dogs and pets, and they behave impeccably with both children and visitors. Be sure to be your Pug's pack leader. Pugs who do not have strong human leaders can become jealous, and begin to display guarding behaviors, such as guarding furniture, food, toys or other spots in the house. This behavior only happens when the dogs are allowed to take over. These behaviors can be corrected when the owners start displaying proper leadership. Dogs who feel they need to run the home are not as happy as dogs who know they are human followers, as it is very stressful for a dog to need to keep "his" humans in line.
Pugs catch colds easily and are stressed by hot and cold weather. They are prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes to chronic breathing problems. (Pugs suffer from poor ventilation.) They are not the easiest whelpers. Expect a Cesarean Section, if breeding. There is a chance of keratites (inflammation of the cornea) and ulcers on the cornea. The delicate eyes are prone to weeping. This breed tends to wheeze and snore, but on the whole is a very easy-care dog. Do not overfeed a Pug, as it will eat more than is good for it, quickly becoming obese and living a much shorter life. Pugs are prone to skin problems and Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), an inflammation of the brain that strikes adolescent Pugs usually between the ages of two and three. The cause is unknown.
The Pug is good for apartment life. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard. It cannot withstand hot or cold weather, and should be kept indoors at a comfortable temperature.
Pugs are strong dogs with short straight legs. They need to be taken on daily walks. Never allow the dog to walk in front, as instinct tells them that the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They enjoy energetic games and will keep in better health if given regular exercise. But be careful not to over do it, especially if you see them start to wheeze.
The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush and comb with a firm bristle brush and shampoo only when necessary. After bathing, dry him quickly and thoroughly to prevent a chill. The creases on the face must be cleaned regularly. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder.
One of the older breeds, the Pug is believed to have originated before 400 BC in Asia. There is somewhat of a debate over the origin of the Pug. Some experts think it came from the Lowlands, brought back from the Far East by Dutch traders. It is possibly of Oriental stock, descended from a short-haired Pekingese, but another theory is that it is the result of crossing a small Bulldog. Yet another school of thought is that it is a miniature form of the rare French Mastiff called Dogue de Bordeaux.
Pugs were a favorite of the artist Hogarth, who included his pet Pug, "Trump," in several of his works. From the sixteenth century, it became a fashionable adornment of the European Courts, reaching its peak of popularity in Victorian times. He was a pet at Tibetan monasteries and later traveled to Japan. The Pug then came to Europe, where the endearing little dog was the pet of royalty in several countries and even became the official dog of the House of Orange in Holland.
A Pug saved William, Prince of Orange's life by alerting him to the approaching Spaniards in 1572 at Hermingny. Napoleon's wife, Josephine, sent secret messages to her husband under the collar of her Pug while she was in prison. When the British overran the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860, they discovered several Pugs and Pekingese, and brought the little dogs back to England with them. The AKC recognized the Pug in 1885, and the breed has since become a popular companion dog. Some of the Pug's talents include being a watchdog and performing tricks.
For more in-depth Pug training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.
The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, muscular dog, with a powerful head. As long as the weight stays in proportion with the height, the taller the dog, the more prized. There are two types of coat: rough and smooth, but both are very dense and come in white with markings in tan, red, mahogany, brindle and black – in various combinations. The face and ears are usually shaded with black and the expression is intelligent and gentle.
In the rough-coated dogs, the hair is slightly longer and there is feathering on the thighs and legs. The feet are large with strong well-arched toes, making the St. Bernard's sure-footed in the snow and ice. They have a highly developed sense of smell and also seem to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches.
Saint Bernards are extremely gentle and friendly and very tolerant of children. They are slow moving, patient and obedient. Extremely loyal, this breed wants to please. Since this dog is so large, be sure to socialize it very well at a young age with other people. It is highly intelligent and easy to train; however, training should begin early, while the dog is still a manageable size. Teach this dog not to jump on humans, starting at puppy-hood. Bear in mind that an unruly dog of this size presents a problem for even a strong adult, if it is to be exercised in public areas on a leash, so take control from the onset.
The St. Bernard is a good watchdog. Even its size is a good deterrent. They drool after they drink or eat. Be sure you remain the dog's pack leader. Dogs want nothing more than to know what is expected of them, and the St. Bernard is no exception. Allowing a dog of this magnitude to be unruly can be dangerous and shows poor ownership skills.
Thay have general good health, but some are prone to "wobbler" syndrome, heart problems, skin problems, hip dysplasia and extropion – a folding outward of the eyelid rim, usually on the lower lid. Also, watch for twisted stomachs. As these dogs are prone to bloat, it is best to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal.
Saint Bernards will do okay in an apartment, if they are sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. They can live outdoors, but would much rather be with their family. They have a low tolerance for hot weather, warm rooms and cars.
A long walk each day is needed to keep the Saint Bernard in good mental and physical condition. Puppies should not have too much exercise at one time, until their bones are well formed and strong. Short walks and brief play sessions are best until the dog is about two years old.
Both types of coats are easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. Shampoo may strip the coat of its oily, water-resistant properties, so use a mild soap. The eyes may be inclined to water, and need special attention to keep them clean and free of irritants. This breed sheds twice a year.
This is a very ancient breed. It was founded in AD 980 by St. Bernard de Menthon as a refuge for travelers through the perilous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. It is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff, and therefore, must have originated with the Mastiff brought to the Alps by the Romans around the year 1000. The monks probably crossed the ancient mastiff with the Great Dane and the Great Pyrenees. Its use and popularity as a rescue dog began in the middle of the seventeenth century.
The Saint Bernard was used as an avalanche and rescue dog in the snowy passes near the Hospice. More then 2,000 people were saved by this amazing servant of mankind. The dogs search out and find the lost or injured traveler, and then lick him and lie next to him to give him warmth. Then, one dog from the party heads back to the Hospice to get a full rescue team. The St. Bernard's sense of smell is so excellent that he can find a person even under many feet of snow. This breed is also known for his ability to foretell storms and avalanches, perhaps because he may hear very low frequency sounds that are beyond our ability to hear.
There are two varieties: short-haired and long-haired. The short-haired variety is more often used for mountain work because he can tolerate cold temperatures. The long-haired variety's coat tends to collect icicles. Some of the St. Bernard's talents are search and rescue, watchdog and carting.
For more in-depth Saint Bernard training info, check out: Secrets to Dog Training.