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Borzoi

About the Breed

Borzoi are one of the oldest Russian sighthound breeds, and their development was to assist the hunter in pursuit of game animals like rabbits, fox, and even wolves.  In fact, the pursuit of wolves was an honored activity to test the skill of the dogs, and a hunter would release 2 or more borzoi to chase down the wolf and hold him by the neck until the hunter arrived.

The borzoi is a graceful and natural runner similar to other sighthounds.  He has a natural instinct to ‘course’ or chase after small moving objects and has a passion for free running in these pursuits.  He is surprisingly laid back in the home in between these times.

Today the borzoi can still be found in activities like lure coursing and less commonly in other performance sports.

Physical Characteristics

The borzoi is classified as a giant breed of dog, and he is a tall specimen at 28-32” tall.  He can weigh from 60-100 pounds, depending on the gender of the individual.  Although he is tall and appears large, he is very graceful in style.  He moves lightly on his feet and has long, lean legs.  He has a large rib cage and a tucked up stomach region in keeping with other sighthounds such as the greyhound, saluki, or whippet.

One of the most impressive parts of a borzoi is the breed’s soft and silky coat which is longer in length and ranges from wavy to almost curly in places.  Underneath is a softer undercoat.  Borzoi can come in almost any color combination.

Personality

The borzoi is a quiet breed of dog that moves almost silently through life.  He seldom barks.  This makes him not ideal as a watchdog.  He is friendly but reserved with new people, and many borzoi can be sensitive to having someone intrude in his space.  This can be an issue with some borzoi and children.  If raised with children, he can do well with them, but very young children who are not properly trained in how to behave around a dog may be too much for him.

As a whole, the breed is very gentle.  He gets on well with other dogs and animals.  He can learn to do well with a cat, depending on how strong his interest in chasing is and the personality of the individual cat.  Cats that are likely to not run are the best choice for a borzoi if mixing the two species.

Many are surprised to know that the borzoi is a relatively quiet and calm house companion who is content to lie around the house.  He has excellent house manners, particularly as an adult dog, if he is afforded the opportunity to exercise and free run.

Training

Borzoi, like many hounds, is not a natural at obedience.  He is not unintelligent, but it will require extra effort to teach him obedience skills.  He does best with positive reinforcement techniques and making the training all about games and fun.  He does not do well with constant repetition, harsh treatment, or loud voices.

He is sensitive in nature and wants to be with his human.  Harsh treatment will cause him to shut down.

Borzoi need the opportunity to run! As a sighthound, it is important that he is given this exercise opportunity regularly to stretch his legs and reach full sprinting running speeds.  This is important for both his physical and mental health.  Lure coursing is an excellent sport option for him.  That being said, he shouldn’t be in unfenced areas off leash as the desire to run and chase after small moving objects can easily take over him and he likely won’t return right away.

Shedding & Grooming

The borzoi coat is not difficult to groom and requires no trimming.  It does need to be combed out weekly to avoid tangles in his soft, silky hair.  At least once a year he will blow out his undercoat to avoid overheating in the summer.  This will require a heavier brushing to remove.

He does not need frequent baths.  He doesn’t have the odor that is sometimes attributed to other hounds, primarily the scent hounds.  Too many baths will dry out his skin and coat.  Otherwise, regular nail trims and tooth brushing are the primary grooming needs.

Health & Life Expectancy

The borzoi has a life expectancy of  7-10 years although some very healthy individuals may live longer.  Although a very healthy breed generally speaking, there are a few issues to be aware of:

  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Heart issues like cardiomyopathy
  • Skeletal development issues: If a puppy grows too quickly due to being fed a
  • food that is concentrated and too high in protein, growth issues can occur
  • with bones and joints.
  • OCD and sometimes hip dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Thyroid disorders

Airedale Terrier

About the Breed

The Airedale Terrier is the king of terriers, and he is the largest of the breed group.  He originated in England and was likely descended from a now extinct dog known as the black and tan type terrier.  There were likely other terriers and possibly Otterhounds in the mix as well.

This terrier breed was developed  to be one of the more versatile of the terriers.  He was bred for hunting skills and used to kill small vermin like rats, but he also assisted in hunts of other animals like otters, badgers, rabbits, among other animals.  The addition of the Otterhound in his heritage gave him more scenting ability than the common terriers, so hunters valued him greatly.  He not only could scent larger game and go after it, but many hunters also taught him to retrieve it.

In later years he found work in the military as a messenger dog, and he was widely used for police work by the English.  Today the Airedale Terrier is primarily a valued family member for people the world over.

Physical Characteristics

The Airedale Terrier is a sturdy dog, well built and muscular.  He stands about 23 inches tall with males being slightly taller than females.  His tail is normally held high but doesn’t curl or curve over his back.  Instead, it stands ready and at attention.  In the United States, his tail is docked to a shorter length, but in countries that no longer dock, it is left a slightly longer length.

His coat is very harsh and wiry to the touch.  There is a very short undercoat that is soft and lies close to the body.  The outer coat is dense and lies straight against the body although there may be some wave in it.  His coat comes in two color variations: black and tan or black and grizzle.

Personality

The Airedale Terrier presents himself with a curious, alert expression, and as with all terriers, he makes sure he is known to all.  He is friendly and outgoing and makes friends easily.  He is generally very good with all ages of people, but children should be taught to be respectful of him.  He loves affection and being with his family.

The Airedale Terrier is not one to start a fight, but he’s not one to back down from a confrontation either, as is the case with most terriers.  He can normally live peacefully with other dogs in a group, but opposite sex pairings often work best.  He may be able to live with other animals if socialized at a young age, but many terriers have a hard time living with small animals like cats, so how well he will do is really based on the individual dog.

The breed is generally quite joyous and likes to have a good time.  He makes an excellent companion for an active family who really likes including the dog in the fun.  He adapts well to a variety of situations and is a fairly easy going breed.

Training

The Airedale Terrier is a smart dog that learns quickly, but it must be remembered that he was bred to be an independent thinker that was tenacious.  This is a trait that appears in his training.  He can be strong willed or stubborn, and training that is very positive and fun normally works best for him.  He is not a breed of dog that enjoys never-ending training sessions or lots of repetition.  If one does this, the dog very well may find his own activities to do!

Consistency, patience, and respect are all important in training an Airedale Terrier.  It is important that he learn to listen to his owner and respect him, but his owner must also respect the dog.  He will not tolerate or appreciate harsh training methods.

Shedding & Grooming

The Airedale Terrier is not very hard to take care of.  He just requires a regular brushing of his coat for maintenance.  Two or three times a year he will need to have his coat plucked or stripped of the dead coat to maintain the texture of the coat and rid him of dead hairs that have been blown.  This can be done with a stripping tool or by hand, and your groomer can show you how to do it or do it for you.  Additionally, one may trim his coat or shape it.

The grooming routine should be introduced early on to an Airedale Terrier to help ensure that he will be okay with the process as an adult.  Otherwise, he might be more difficult to work with.

Otherwise, an occasional bath, routine nail trims, ear cleaning, and tooth brushing are the other requirements.

Health & Life Expectancy

The breed’s average lifespan is about 10-13 years of age.  While Airedale Terriers are an overall healthy breed of dog, there are a few health concerns to be aware of:

  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Skin issues and irritations
  • Allergies
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Hypothyroidism

Belgian Tervuren

About the Breed

The Belgian Tervuren is one of the herding breeds developed within Belgium.  He is very much like the other three breeds, the Belgian Malinois, the Belgian Sheepdog, and the Belgian Laekenois.  In fact, they are all considered basically the same breed of dog with minor differences such as coat length and color.

The Belgian Tervuren variation was traditionally used as a herding breed of dog, but as herding became less of a necessary institution, he (and the other versions) found work with the police and as family guardians.  Today he is an intelligent training companion able to compete in a variety of performance sports with high abilities.

Physical Characteristics

The Belgian Tervuren is a larger breed of dog at 22-26 inches tall.  Males are larger than females, and the average weight is about 40-80 or so pounds.  He is lighter boned like the other Belgian Shepherd dogs and is not a heavy or overly muscled breed of dog.  He should be square and evenly balanced.

The breed is double coated and has a soft, dense undercoat with a longer, straight-haired top coat.  The main difference between this breed and the Belgian Sheepdog is that the Tervuren is a rich mahogany with black overlay and black masking on the face, whereas the Sheepdog is black.

Personality

For those that love the breed, they find him to be a wonderful companion dog.  Belgian Turvuren are excellent family dogs and are good with all ages of people.  When raised with respectful children, he will watch the child as his own.  Indeed he is very loyal to all family members and is naturally protective with those he considers his family.

He wants to be with his family all the time and will follow them eagerly throughout the home.  He doesn’t do well with social isolation and craves family time.  He requires a good deal of exercise and playtime as he is an energetic breed that desires something to do.

The Belgian Tervuren can do very well with other animals in his family.  If he is raised with other animals like cats, he normally has no problems unless he has a higher prey drive instinct.  He generally does very well with other dogs as well although sometimes opposite sex pairings produce the fewest issues.

He is reserved and aloof with strangers until he determines that they are a friend.  With family he is very affectionate.

Training

The Belgian Tervuren does best when trained using positive reinforcement techniques.  He is a sensitive breed of dog that doesn’t handle harsh or punitive training methods.  These can break his spirit.  With the right training methods, he is an eager worker that is highly intelligent and desires to please his handler.

The breed does require a lot of early and ongoing socialization.  This is needed as a sensitive dog but is also required because he is naturally protective.  He needs to have a lot of experiences that help him later make good decisions.

The breed is highly intelligent and responsive to training.  He makes an excellent choice for someone wanting a training companion and can compete successfully in a variety of sports.

Shedding & Grooming

The Belgian Tervuren doesn’t require as much upkeep as one might think, but he should have weekly brushings with a pin brush to avoid tangles forming in his coat.  Otherwise, he will have seasonal shedding, which is heavier, but if you brush every week, you should be able to keep it under control.

He doesn’t require frequent baths, but he does need routine nail trims and toothbrushing.

Health & Life Expectancy

The average lifespan for a Belgian Turvuren is about 10-14 years of age.  He is a generally healthy breed of dog with a few health issues to be aware of:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Epilepsy

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a smaller version of spaniel, often referred to as a toy version of spaniel.  The breed is an active sporting dog whose primary purpose is that of a devoted companion and lap dog.  He is directly descended from a variety of toy spaniels that can be frequently seen in painted works of famous artists such as Van Dyck and Titian.

King Charles II was quite found of his small spaniels and was often seen with several at all times.  So fond was he that he ordered by decree that all spaniels, then referred to as King Charles Spaniel, be allowed in all public places, including Parliament.  As the pug breed became more popular inEnglandin later years, he was incorporated into the spaniels.  This created a toy spaniel (known as the English toy spaniel) with a shorter muzzle and flatter face.  Breeders in the 1900s began to want to return the small spaniel to how he once resembled in paintings with a longer muzzle, and a quest was begun! This spaniel they produced with the slightly longer muzzle became distinct from the English toy spaniel and became known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Physical Characteristics

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel at only about a foot tall and 13-18 pounds in weight.  He should be well balanced in the body and free in his movement.  This makes him wonderful for tasks such as agility.

His coat is silky to the touch and can have a slight wave to it but not curly.  He has feathering that is longer on his ears, tail, and legs, but no trimming is required. He comes in four different color variations: ruby (which is a rich, deep red color), Blenheim (red and white), tricolor (red, black and white), and black and tan.

Unlike the spaniel he is often confused with, the English toy spaniel, he does not have a flat face and shortened muzzle.  This is one of the biggest differences between the two breeds.

Personality

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very affectionate, loving, people-person dog.  He loves to be with his family, and he is excellent with all ages of people from children to elderly.  He is patient which makes him a good little buddy, and he loves lying in laps.  This can make him an ideal dog for therapy work and overall companionship.

The breed is extremely outgoing.  They regard all people they meet as longtime friends.  This attitude also permeates into their relationships with other dogs and animals.  They crave the companionship of other animals, and it is highly recommended to have another dog or cat to keep him company.

As a sporting spaniel breed, he can have far more interest in small animals or birds, so this can pose some challenges if these are members of the same household.  It is often suggested that an owner have a fenced yard or keep the dog on leash in unfenced areas as the breed will still chase after small animals that might be seen due to their hunting instinct.

Training

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a delightful companion and is easily trained.  He enjoys being with his person and learning new skills.  He is often viewed in performance events such as agility.

His devotion to his family makes him easy to train as he is eager to attempt to please his owner. He enjoys playing games and is easily motivated by food or toys.

One primary challenge of training is his high degree of social nature.  He will approach all strange people and dogs in the hopes of making a friend.  Care should be taken, especially as a small puppy, with handling and around larger dogs.  Owners will also need to work on the dog listening in distracted or busy locations with people nearby so that he listens even when the chance for a pet from someone else is near by.

Shedding & Grooming

Because of the silky texture of this coat, the breed does require weekly brushing and combing.  His hair can tangle easily if not given this weekly maintenance.  He has a natural coat that doesn’t require any trimming, but often it is suggested that the hair on the bottom of the feet (on the pad) should be trimmed to avoid tangles between the foot pads.  He does shed, but weekly brushing will reduce the light shedding.

Care should be taken to routinely check his ears and clean when necessary to avoid possible ear infections.  Additionally, routine nail trims and tooth brushing should be done.

Frequent bathing is not necessary except when dirty so to avoid drying out his skin and coat.

Health & Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is about 9-14 years.  He is afflicted with a number of health issues.  This is likely due to the fact that the breed is not very genetically diverse and is derived primarily from very few dogs.  Common health issues include:

  • Heart problems, likely the #1 cause of death.  Mitral Valve Disease is the most prevalent.
  • Syringomyelia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating patellas
  • Eye issues like cataracts and retinal dysplasia
  • Episodic falling
  • Idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia
  • Dry eye
  • Congenital deafness
  • Ear disorders like Primary Secretory Otitis Media

Beauceron

The Beauceron is an entirely French developed breed that is a mixture of various herding breeds native to France.  There were no outside foreign breeds involved in his development.

He was bred to be a superior right-hand man for the shepherd.  While not an active herding or round up style dog, he acts as a living fence to maintain where the flock is.  He keeps them safe and enclosed in an area.  The shepherd could count on as few as 2 or 3 dogs to maintain 200-300 sheep at a time!

His natural guardian abilities have also made him useful to military and police forces.  The breed served in both World Wars, and he is known as a very versatile dog capable of protection work, high obedience, scent detection, and more.

Physical Characteristics

The Beauceron is a large, powerful breed of dog that commands attention when entering a room.  He weighs on average 70-110 pounds and stands 25-28 inches tall with males being larger than females.  He is a muscular dog that should be evenly balanced and not heavy in appearance but capable of long, strenuous work.

He is a no frills breed and is very natural.  His classic coloration that is most recognizable is black and tan, but he also comes in harlequin (gray, black, and tan).  Harlequin colored dogs are black and tan but have bluish gray patches that overlay the black and tan base coat.

His ears are seen most commonly as cropped (similar to Doberman Pinscher ears) in the United States, but since cropping is no longer allowed outside the States, his ears in the natural state flop downward.

Also interesting to note, the Beauceron has large, prominent rear dewclaws on each hind leg.  It is a disqualification to not have these dewclaws.

Personality

The Beauceron is not for everyone.  He is most desirable for those people looking for an intelligent, stable, natural guardian, but with those traits come the responsibility of lots of training.  He very naturally is protective of his home and family when warranted, but he shouldn’t be shy or aggressive.

These are active dogs that require being a part of the family and plenty of daily exercise and activity.  His breed was developed to have the stamina to herd and move with a flock for up to 30 or more miles a day! He is also slow to mature in body and mind.

He is a good family member, very loving and highly loyal to those he knows.  He enjoys being close to his people and can be considered a Velcro-like dog that will follow you from room to room.  He is highly affectionate with this family and isn’t afraid to physically show it either.

Although very happy with family, he can be reserved, aloof, or distrustful with strangers.

Training

This is not a breed for a first time dog owner.  It is recommended that an experienced dog owner and handler work with this breed.  He is very large and powerful, and he is a natural guardian breed.  Without early and ongoing socialization and training, he may be difficult to handle or downright problematic for the inexperienced.

He excels at a variety of sports and is known for his versatility.  He can do herding, obedience, agility, or a Schutzhund among other sports.

While highly trainable, he requires consistent training and leadership in his owner.  Beaucerons can have strong personalities so require someone capable of balancing that.  He will look to his handler for cues on how to respond around new people since he is normally aloof with strangers.

The breed also requires a good deal of exercise and stimulation.  Without it, he can be difficult to handle and destructive.  He needs something to do.

Shedding & Grooming

The Beauceron is doublecoated and does shed quite a bit.  You are likely to find short black hairs lying everywhere.  To avoid excessive shedding, weekly brushing is necessary to keep it in check.

The breed is fairly low maintenance, so just the occasional bath, regular nail trims, and toothbrushing are all that is required.  Make sure when clipping nails to also clip his dewclaws.

Health & Life Expectancy

The life expectancy for an average Beauceron is 10-12 years of age.  The American Beauceron Club (www.beauce.org) identifies the following as potential health issues with the breed:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Allergies
  • Osteochondrosis desiccans (OCD)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy

Belgian Malinois

About the Breed

The Belgian Malinois is a type of Belgian Shepherd dog.  The primary difference between the breeds is related to the coat.  The Belgian Turvuren is a similar color and long coated; the Belgian Sheepdog is long coated but black; the Laekenois is wire coated.  Otherwise the breeds are fairly similar in structure and type.

The Belgian Malinois is probably the most well known of the Belgian breeds around the world.  He has gained a reputation for being an exceptional working dog and is heavily relied upon for scent detection, patrol work, and protection work within the military, police force, and search and rescue.

In many working environments, he has become the dog of favor.  The breed hasn’t replaced German Shepherds, but many forces prefer the dogs for particular tasks due to its intensity, quick reacting nature, and lighter, more agile body.

Physical Characteristics

The Belgian Malinois is a larger breed of dog measuring between 22-26 inches with males being taller than females.  Females may weigh between 40-60 pounds; males are larger weighing between 60-80 pounds.  Even though he is considered a larger breed of dog, he is lighter boned than some larger breeds and is very agile for his size.

The breed comes in one primary color: fawn ranging into mahogany.  The variation in individual dogs comes down to how much black is on the dog as a complementary color.  The dogs have black masking on the face and ears and may have a variance of black tipping on the coat.

Personality

The Belgian Malinois is a wonderful companion dog for the person looking for an active dog.  They aren’t dogs for the first time dog owner as they require someone willing to be a leader and be consistent.  Additionally, they are usually high energy dogs with a higher than average prey drive.  While this makes them ideal for working environments, it doesn’t always work well within the family environment.

The breed is an intelligent breed that is easily trained.  They are eager to learn new tasks and work for a handler.  They are easily motivated to work and especially love the use of toys as rewards.

The downside for the average owner is that the breed needs a lot of exercise and it has a lot of stamina.  Daily exercise is a must, and plenty of activities to keep the dog busy are required.  You must desire a highly active dog.

Belgian Malinois love to be with their family.  They are excellent companions and protectors.  They can do well with other animals and children, if properly socialized at an early age.  But, because there is a herding instinct and higher prey drive in many individuals in the breed, it is important to note that some dogs will potentially attempt to herd young children that run, cats, or small dogs.

The average Belgian Malinois is more reserved with strangers, but after a few meetings will greet them as a friend.  He should not be excessively shy or aggressive towards strangers.

Training

For someone wanting a dog to train, the Belgian Malinois is a fantastic selection.  Not only are they intelligent, but they want to work with you and are easily motivated.  They do things precisely and well.  Additionally, they are light on their feet and agile making them ideal in competitive sports like agility.

This breed requires a lot of early socialization to new people, animals, places, etc.  It is highly necessary to avoid problems later on.  If not properly socialized, the dog may not be able to discern who is a friend vs. a threat.  With plenty of socialization, he does well with other dogs and people.

Belgian Malinois, although quick learners, can be sensitive in nature.  Harsh corrections are not appropriate, and the breed does well with positive reinforcement training and consistent leadership.

Shedding & Grooming

The breed has a fairly weather resistant coat made up of short, close lying hairs.  The hair will be slightly longer around the ruff of the neck, on the tail, and on the back of the thighs.  He has a dense undercoat underneath.

He will require regular brushing to maintain his coat and catch any loose hairs.  Once a week should suffice for maintenance brushing.  There will be heavier shedding twice a year when the undercoat is blown out, and this will require thorough brushing with a de-shedding tool.

Otherwise, routine nail trims and tooth brushing are what is necessary.  He only requires an occasional bath when dirty.

Health & Life Expectancy

For a larger breed, the Belgian Malinois is a healthy breed that can be expected to live around 10-12 years of age.  There are a few health issues to be aware of:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Anesthesia sensitivity
  • Epilepsy and seizures

Bouvier des Flandres

About the Breed

The large breed that is the Bouvier des Flandres, or Bouvier for short, is a natural herding breed that developed in Belgium in the late 19th century.  He was a multipurpose farm dog that excelled at herding, was able to pull carts because of his size and strength, and also could serve as a protective guardian.

The breed almost became extinct in his native land due to World War I and then World War II as the region was devastated.  Many dogs simply died and others were put to work in the wars for the military.  A few were exported out to other regions where his type was refined with these few dogs.

Today the breed can still be seen herding and working, but he has also found a niche in police work in some locations.  His natural abilities as a protector and ability to scent have proven to be useful.

Physical Characteristics

The Bouvier is a large, muscled, and compact dog.  He averages at about 25 or 26 inches tall and weighs a substantial 70-110 pounds.  His body is well muscled, which combined with body type is why he can make a very good cart pulling dog.

The typical coloration for the majority of the dogs is a dark steely grey or black, but there are some that do range more towards a salt and pepper look and even fewer that are fawn colored.  His thick coat is rough and highly weather resistant.

Traditionally his tail and ears have been cropped, but now this only exists in the United States.  In other parts where such things have fallen out of favor, he is seen in a more natural appearance with a longer tail and natural dropped ears.

Personality

The Bouvier is considered very even tempered by those that love them despite being a naturally protective dog.  This gentle, calm nature makes them excellent guardians as they normally think before reacting.  He makes for a wonderful family companion and normally is comfortable with all ages of people.

With strangers he is most likely to be aloof until he gets to know them on a more personal level.  He is naturally protective of his family and home, so proper training should be undertaken early to curtail any issues from developing.

He is quite social and loving with his family and prefers to be with you.  He does not do well with social isolation and in fact craves being near.

Bouviers are intelligent dogs that train well and they enjoy working with their person.  He is always alert, an attribute desirable in a guardian.  His agility makes him fast and capable and very good in performance sports like agility and herding.

The breed is generally good with other animals but as with any herding breed may chase small animals like cats that run from him.  He can do well with other dogs too, but some individuals can be more dominate in nature with other dogs.

Training

Although very trainable and intelligent, the Bouvier is likely not the best dog for a first time dog owner.  He requires a firm but not harsh, consistent leader to guide him.  He also requires early and on going socialization to ensure he has a good barometer of dealing with new people in order to keep his natural protectiveness and territorialness in check.

The Bouvier does well with consistent training, and if so desired, can be an eager participant in numerous competitive sports.

Shedding & Grooming

The Bouvier actually doesn’t shed very much at all, but this is only because of the nature of his coat.  The dead hair that is shed out becomes trapped within his thick coat rather than falling out all over your home.  He must be brushed out thoroughly each week otherwise his coat will mat terribly.

The breed can be kept in a more natural look with simple brushing, but if you desired the look that is most recognized with the breed, this will take more advanced grooming techniques that you can either learn or have a professional groomer do.

Many individuals also pluck any hairs that are growing within the ear so as to improve air flow.  This is likely more important in those members with natural dropped ears.

Overall the Bouvier is a fairly clean breed that doesn’t require frequent baths, but you should include regular nail trims and toothbrushing into the grooming routine.

Health & Life Expectancy

The Bouvier has an average life expectancy of 10-12 years.  The American Bouvier des Flandres Club (www.bouvier.org) lists the following health issues to be aware of in the breed:

  • Heart disorders like Subaortic stenosis
  • Eye issues like Glaucoma
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Thyroid problems
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Bedlington Terrier

About the Breed

The Bedlington Terrier is like no other dog breed and is known for his distinctive wooly coat, tassled dropped ears, and arched back.  He is often referred to as a little lamb or sheep, but he is far from meek as a lamb.

Like many terriers, the breed originated in Northern England as a capable and agile hunting dog.  He was fast and spry enough to catch small prey animals, and he found a purpose as a ratter.  In fact, he was so good at the task that coal miners used the breed to go into mines to rid them of the rats that were inside.

While no one is entirely sure of the breeds that went into his development, it is likely several different terrier breeds like the Dandie Dinmont and Soft Coated Wheaten played a role.  His arched back and high degree of speed and agility may be attributed to Whippets in the mix as well.

Today he is largely viewed as a happy companion breed.

Physical Characteristics

The Bedlington Terrier is a lightweight, medium sized terrier that stands about 15-17 inches tall at the shoulder with males being slightly taller than females.  He has an unusual arch shape to the back.

His body shape gives endurance to the breed that can gallop at full speed yet appear bouncy or springy at more of a gaiting speed.

The preferred grooming style of the Bedlington Terrier provides tassles on their naturally dropped ears, a slight topknot of hair atop the head, and a lamb-like quality to the body coat.

His coat is a mixture of hard and soft hairs that easily curl.  It stands away from his body but is springy to the touch.  The coat comes in a variety of colors including liver, sandy, blue and tan, blue, sandy and tan, and tan.  The Bedlington Terrier’s coat color generally lightens as he ages.

Personality

The Bedlington Terrier is one of the more amiable and reliable terriers who is joyful to be around.  He is energetic and enjoys a variety of activities with his family.  He is smart and attentive and can be trained for a variety of sports like agility, which makes use of his speed and ability to make quick turns.

He does well with all ages of people including children and is very outgoing in spirit and even clownish at times.  His personality endears him to many.  He can also do well with other dogs or other animals is socialized or raised with them.

He is adaptable to a wide variety of living situations from apartment to home so long as he is provided with daily exercise in the form of walks or playtime.  The breed is often quieter than some of the other terrier breeds and can be calmer as well which makes him okay for smaller spaces or close living.

He is sometimes listed as a potential hypoallergenic dog, but those with allergies should spend time around the breed because those that are particularly sensitive may still be bothered.

Training

The Bedlington Terrier is a smart breed of dog that likes learning new tasks.  He can be more trustworthy than other terrier breeds.  He is curious by nature and generally eager to please.  This makes him easier to train than some other terrier breeds, and he is usually easy to housetrain as well.

The breed does best when training is fun and positive, and then he is eager to play along.  He excels in a variety of performance sports including obedience, agility, and earth dog.

Shedding & Grooming

The Bedlington Terrier does require a good deal of routine maintenance for his coat.  It continually grows and will require regular maintenance care in the way of brushing and trimming.  Without regular brushing, the wooly hairs can easily tangle.

The easiest way to maintain coat shape is to have your dog groomed by a professional every 4-6 weeks, but you can learn how to maintain it yourself too.

His soft coat is generally very clean, but an occasional bath is required.  His coat may be blown dry by a hair dryer.

In addition to coat maintenance, routine nail trims, ear cleaning, and toothbrushing round out the routine.

Health & Life Expectancy

The Bedlington Terrier is an overall healthy breed of dog with an average life span of 11-16 years of age.  There are only a few health issues that may occur:

  • Copper toxicosis
  • Eye issues like retinal dysplasia and cataracts
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Hyperkeratosis (corny feet syndrome)

Is Your Dog Bred For You?

Small dog breeds and large dog breeds fit all types of personalities and behaviors. Learn more about the dog in you and how you communicate your love for dogs through our dog breed information.

Is Your Dog Bred For You?
Over 500 dog breeds exist in the world today varying in shapes and sizes and exhibit unique habits and personalities. These dog breeds are quite distinctive, most possessing characteristics inherent to their particular breed type. There are small dog breeds, small mixed breed dogs and large dog breeds in each breed type. Breed types include Hounds, which are bred to hunt and work with humans; Toys, which are great adult companions; and Terriers, which are excellent dogs for training. After your research of dog breeds, you may find that small mixed breed dogs suit you. Essentially, researching a variety of dog breed information is the way to find the animal that best fits your needs and ensures that the dog you choose will have a loving home.

All too often, pets and pet owners personalities are not compatible, resulting in relinquishment, abandonment and/or abuse.  If you are in the market for a dog, research dog breed information to see which breed fits your lifestyle and personality best. Once you’ve welcomed a new pet or dog breed into your home, all you have to worry about is finding the right pet name.

If you are in the market for a dog, research dog breed information to see which breed fits your lifestyle and personality best. Save an animal, and search here for local pet adoption agencies. Once you’ve welcomed a new pet or dog breed into your home, all you have to worry about is finding the right pet name.

In Search Of Your Lost Love, Soul Mate, Companion And Best Friend? 
Choose your favorite small dog breeds, small mixed breed dogs and large dog breeds here and learn to love all over again with a loyal, committed companion who loves to be at your side and support you through good and bad times.

Is the Bernese Mountain Dog your type of large dog breed? Your heart goes out to a good-hearted, people-lover. Down-to-earth and loyal, no one works or plays harder than this large dog breed. They put their nose to the grindstone when it really counts, but they never neglect their social calendar. Simultaneously strong and sweet, they’re very tuned-in to the feelings and needs of the other dogs with which you run. Without having to be asked, they always have a helping paw to lend and a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. “Communication” is their middle name, and when that’s paired with unswerving devotion, you get a breed that everyone respects and trusts.

Do you love to be in the presence of Pug-types? No bones about it, they’re an intelligent, playful, small mixed breed dog. Witty and charming, they’re a lot of dog wrapped in a small package. People just love them—wonderful approachability and sense of humor put them at the top of everyone’s list. And because they’re smart and quick-witted, they attract a crowd wherever they go. (Generally, this personality-type manages offices or has their own company—they’ve got the charisma for either.) But that doesn’t mean this small mixed breed dog can’t be a little naughty or mischievous when opportunity knocks—they’ve definitely got a nose for fun!  A happy, optimistic breed, they’re admired and respected by all dog breeds.

Are you an elegant pooch? They are the Adonis of all dogs—a Great Dane. They’re the perfect mix of brains and brawn winning them legions of fans wherever they go. Just snap your fingers and the crowd of dog breeds come running. Everyone wants to bask in their glory. Sophisticated and friendly, their laid-back temperament makes them popular and easy to talk to. And they’re capable nature helps keep their head in a crisis, so people know they can count on them. Classy and smooth, cool and confident, they are the top large dog breed in town.

Does your body language communicate to the traditional, loveable Retrievers? No bones about it, Golden Retrievers are a popular and fun loving large dog breed. Adored by all and too cool for training school, they’re extroverted and enthusiastic. Their magnetic personality makes them the life of any bash. Since they’re a true people-dog, they genuinely love all kinds of social gatherings. Going to parties, dinners and other shindigs is the best way to add to their constantly growing circle of friends. But besides being on the social A-list, they’re confident and well rounded—definitely worth the chase. Pretty accomplished at anything they set their mind to, their sunny nature and winning ways make them one of everyone’s favorite large dog breed, so don’t be jealous.

Does the Cocker Spaniel small dog breed suite you? No bones about it, they’re perky and loving like a Cocker Spaniel. (Think Lady from Lady and the Tramp .) Playful and energetic, they’re a real people person—er, dog. People can’t help but fall hook, line and sinker for their friendly, well-rounded personality and natural charm. It’s a subtle thing, though—being outgoing and flirtatious, not showy, is the name of their game. Friends, co-workers and potential dates can’t help liking this dog whether small or mixed dog breed. How could they not? Their winning-yet-humble ways make them popular, admired and a joy to be around.

Who can keep up with your energy? Chihuahuas are energetic and devoted—a small dog breed. For their breed, size definitely doesn’t matter. After all, sometimes the best things (diamonds, car keys, Godiva truffles) come in small packages. Honest and straightforward, they’re never afraid to speak up for what they believe in, especially if it’s a cause near and dear to their heart. Having such a passionate personality can come with a few drawbacks, though. They can be moody at times, and people often find it hard to live up to their high standards. But once they make a friend, it’s for life. Saucy and intense, their energy and unfailing loyalty make this small dog breed or small mixed dog breed a great companion.

Training with Dog treats

“If he ever grows into those paws!” how many times have you heard this about your puppy, or said it to someone else about theirs? You need to train your dog when he’s young…and there is no better way than to use Dog Treats to do this.

Don’t wait until he is so large that he takes you for a walk instead of the other way around! There aren’t enough Dog Supplies in the world to deal with that problem! It is necessary to establish charge when they are small. It is imperative to train a dog at least the basics before he gets too large, a dog can start his dog training as soon as he is weaned. If you can’t control him at 2 months and 6 pounds, how can you expect to when he is nine months and 50 pounds, you may end up with your arm out of joint every time you try to walk him. Never underestimate the importance of dog training.

These are the dogs that usually end up relegated to the back yard on a chain, and become aggressive and mean. Start training your pup by putting a backing on him, he will scratch and try everything he can to inspire it off. When he has become used to the collar, add the leash, allow him to drag it around for a few minutes at a time until he no longer objects to it. When you begin walking him on a leash he leave pull against it, this is to be expected. When you can get him to pace on the leash without pulling him along you can start his training. Dog obedience is a series of small steps complimented by dog treats. You don’t need to be a dog whisperer to be successful – you just have to have dog supplies and must know what your dog likes. All Dog Breeds are different, so do some research.

Leash dog training should never be longer than 15 minutes at a time, 3 or four times a day. To begin his training approach on the right portion and attach the leash, get his attention and begin to walk slowly, keep his right shoulder close to your left leg. If he pulls ahead, give a sharp tug on the lease with the command heel, bringing him back to the shoulder to knee position. When he obeys the understanding properly give him praise. Don’t get frustrated, if he doesn’t take course the pioneer time always end the training session with a command you know he will come from.

Research Different Dog Breeds
Training your dog also involves training yourself on the different methods used for dog training different dog breeds. You need to be consistent with the method of dog training, changing in the middle will only confuse him – you need to THINK like a pro dog trainer. Having your peevishness join force your outdoor activities is a great deal of fun when your dog remains obediently at your side. It may be easier for your puppy to heel without a lead at first, only you will know which method is best for your dog.

Puppies love to be with you and will be eager to follow you in most situations. Dog care always involves dog obedience training. They will also be easy to lead with the smell of food, so carry dog treats at all times during you dog obedience training. Keep the puppy on your left side at all times to heel, holding his collar attract his attention with his name. While walking in a straight line, hold the dog treat out in front of him, keep your left relief close to the collar, and give the command heel. Stop, kneel down and give him the understanding to wait, place your left arm under his belly directly in front of the hind legs to keep him from moving forward.

Speeding up you walk and slowing it while you train him will teach him to remain at heel. Continue until he has learned the heel and wait commands, pronto you can teach him to turn with you as you walk. To teach him to turn right, bend your knees and hold the food near his nose, turn right and repeat the command heel, he will be required to speed up to follow you and will follow the smell of the treat with little or no resistance.

Dog Training him to turn left is a little different; use your left hand at his collar to guide him to the left use the command steady hold the treat low and in front of his nose, the puppy will follow. While training, if he looses concentration, put your bummed out hand inside his collar and bring him back to the correct position. To avoid his jumping up when you stop, hold his collar with your left hand and the dog treats low in front of him.