2 New Dog Breeds Recognized by the AKC

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has recently accepted two dog breeds into their club. The American Hairless Terrier and the Arabian Greyhound. This brings the total number of dogs accepted into the club up to 189.

The American Hairless Terrier is similar to a rat terrier in looks and tends to be about 12 inches tall and weighing between 8 and 20 pounds. The dog does have some fur, contrary to its name, and may live up to 16 years. The breed originated from the rat terrier but has more refined features such as eye colors that differ, skin patterns and color, and of course, lack of fur. They are an energetic and loving dog with a hunting instinct. They will chase small animals, bark when alarmed, and can be a good watch dog.

The Arabian Greyhound is also known as the Sloughi and is a short-haired sighthound. They resemble a greyhound or whippet in terms of build but their muscles are flatter and long. They are known to be smart and sensitive to mood changes in their owners. They love to move around and go for walks, run, and check out new things which makes them great dogs if you’re a hiker or jogger. Their training should be positive reinforcement mostly since they are sensitive.

To read more about the AKC’s newest dogs, check out the article at USA Today.

5 Dog Breeds That Are Losing Popularity

It seems to be that dog breeds come and go. A movie with a dog as a main character may spark a surge in people adopting that breed. Sometimes an internet streaming camera of a breed of puppies or a favorite musician or movie star who owns a particular breed may influence the adoption rates of that breed.

However, some breeds may be losing popularity. According to Dr. Marty Becker, there are 5 breeds that he doesn’t see as often anymore and misses them. Each breed has wonderful qualities.

5 Breeds That Are Losing Popularity

  1. Irish Setters: an active breed that is a great hunting companion and gets along with children and other pets. They may want to hunt small pets, though, so… but they have silky coats, an average life span of 11 to 13 years, and are loyal and loving.

    Image from Animal Planet
  2. Scottish Terriers: strong-willed, determined, and sometimes stubborn but can also be cuddly and silly. They have hair instead of fur so they are great dogs for people who may have allergies to pet dander. Scotties are playful. Be aware that their terrier nature makes them hunters and they might go chasing that chipmunk through your neighbors’ yards regardless of how much training you’ve instilled.

    Image from Not In The Dog House
  3. Collies: great family dog, wonderful companions, and highly intelligent make the collie a great family dog. Yet, their size and maintenance of their fur may be a turn off to some people. Collies are active and agile. They are a herding dog and love their families. In fact, if you’ve ever owned a collie you might find that your children are “herded” into the center of the backyard and your collie is watching/guarding them.

    Image from Wikipedia
  4. Brittany: active and agile are two words to describe this breed. Originally bred as a hunting dog, the Brittany breed is great for active families and are easy to train. Their sensitive nature means you may never have to harshly correct them while teaching them manners. Compact in size they are easy to take on vacation with you and their fur is easy to maintain.

    Image from Bib.ge
  5. Cocker Spaniels: little bird dogs who are sweet, small, and loyal to their families have definitely lost popularity. I used to see many more of them when I was a kid. They are outgoing, active, playful, and do have a hunting nature. They are great companions and will gladly go on adventures.

    Image from Nice Wallpapers

Are you owned by one of these breeds? Tell us what makes them extra special!

Don’t Blame the Breed


A new study from the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences confirmed what many of us know: Dog breed is not a reliable predictor of aggression. In a survey conducted among dog owners, it was found aggression can be categorized into three realms, family members, strangers, and in or out of the house.

The research found that a small percentage of dogs are reported as lunging, barking, growing at family members (3%), while about 7% will show aggression towards strangers entering the house, and about 5% will display aggression towards strangers walking by or outside of a house. While some dog breeds may have more of a tendency to be protective or shy, it is the owners who can modify the behavior and teach their dogs what is appropriate behavior. It’s important for owners to acknowledge that any dog can be aggressive in one situation and not in another. It’s important for strangers to understand that dogs aren’t aggressive solely because of their breed.

What was also interesting was the owners, themselves. Female owners were less likely to report aggression from their dogs towards visitors. Older dogs tended to be grumpier and show aggression than younger ones and dogs who had attended training classes did not show aggression as much as dogs who never went to puppy classes.

To read the report (you will have to sign in), check out the abstract and 11 page article here.

Image from Andrea Arden

Lennox, the lab-pitbull mix, euthanized after 2 year fight

This morning my twitter feed was loaded with tweets regarding Lennox, a dog who had become the focus of animal welfare advocates around the world in the last several months. He was euthanized due to his genetic makeup this morning. I found out shortly before 10am PST. Lennox was part black lab and part pitbull. In Belfast, pitbull and pitbull mixes are banned. 

According to MSNBC, the Belfast City Council said that despite a massive campaign over the internet, Lennox was deemed an illegal breed and could not go back to his owners. 

 I had been following the buzz about Lennox, a petition was created that gathered over 200,000 signatures, as well as a Facebook page that was liked by at least 100,000 people, and a twitter account named @savelennox that had over 13,000 followers, including well-known celebrities such as Victoria Stillwell and Ceasar Milan, both who openly called for Lennox to be released and breed bans to be lifted. Ceasar Milan even offered to take Lennox and have him become part of his pack.

Lennox had support. People did not want to see him euthanized based solely on his breed. Yes, his owners had broken the law and yes, he was not allowed to live in Northern Ireland, but it was not because he had acted aggressively towards any person or animal, it was because he was simply, the wrong breed mix. 

Backstory

Lennox was seized when he was 5 years old in 2012 and his owner had been fighting for the last 2 years to have him given back to her. Pitbulls and bully type dogs are banned in Britain. She had petitioned, begged, and testified in court that her dog has never bitten anyone. While he had sometimes shown some hostility, he had never bitten or attacked a person.

Lennox, like many dogs, did have a hesitation with new people and would tense up. His owner would muzzle him if he was in an environment that triggered him for his safety and the safety of those around him. Regardless of her efforts, the judgement was set even though in the last 2 years while Lennox lived in a shelter he had not tried to hurt anyone. 
 
Lennox is one of many dogs that have been euthanized solely based on their breed. Pitbulls were once revered as working dogs who made great guard dogs, were military dogs, and easy to train. The pitbull was so respected among the military in the early 20th century that they were used on the propaganda posters of the 1900’s. 

When did the mindset shift? 

I had to do a little hunting to find when the view of pitbulls went from respect to fear and why. In the 1980s, pitbulls began to be the dog of choice among those who participated in dog fighting rings. 

From an article about pitbulls on Ceasar Milan’s website, “It is also the preferred guard dog for drug dealers and gangs, with a hugely publicized attack in 1987 in which a pit bull guarding a marijuana crop in California mauls and kills a two-and-a-half year-old boy.” After this attack, laws began cropping up that banned the breed from some counties, cities, apartment complexes, and states. 

25 years later, the attitude has been shifting and some laws are being overturned. Dog daycares are starting to lift their ban on bully type dogs, apartment complexes are beginning to modify their list of banned breeds, and some places like Florida are working to overturn their ban. However, like any movement, there is always backlash. 

Lennox had become a spokesdog for the pitbull movement. He was a good dog who did not deserve to die. Hopefully, his story  will continue to raise awareness of the prejudice surrounding bully breeds.

Photo from Twoblackdoggies

The Australian Cattle Dog: The Drover’s Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a breed of dog developed in Australia in the 1800s by cross-breeding Dingos with Blue Merle collies, Dalmatians, and Kelpies. The result was a dog that has an identical build to a dingo but with a thicker body and speckled coat. By 1893, the Australian Cattle Dog was created and has been known by several other names such as Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler, and Australian Heeler.

Appearance and Characteristics:

The Australian Cattle Dog is sturdy, compact, agile, and strong. They are proportionately slightly longer than they are tall and their heads are broad with wide set ears that are triangular and erect. Their necks are long and become broader towards the body. Their mouth is often tight, clean, and their eyes are oval shaped.

When this breed moves, they are quick and sudden without making much sound. They are focused and intense in their actions which are important when herding. Their coat is a smooth double coat that helps protect them from the rain, sun, and keeps them warm during the winter and cool during the summer. The coloring should be speckled with blue or red throughout the body. The head often has black and tan or darker red markings and many have a diamond of white on the forehead.

Australian Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and active minds. They do best if they have space to run and romp. They need plenty of exercise and thrive when they have a job or an activity to participate in such as a sport, training sessions, or any activity that engages their mind and body. Just going for walks around the neighborhood aren’t enough for this breed. They will need to be engaged in games of fetch, frisbee, and if they are well-socialized, dog daycare to burn off energy and fight off boredom.

This breed is a great family dog and loves spending time with people. They are often protective of their “pack” and will bark and alert their family if a stranger approaches the door or if any foreign object comes within the realm of their home such as a bike, car, or another dog walking by. It’s important to train them well and to establish leadership so they know what is ok and isn’t. This breed can be stubborn but learns quickly.

Health:

The average lifespan for Cattle Dogs is 12 to 14 years. The Australian Cattle Dog is one of the breeds that can be affected by progressive retinal atrophy, which causes the cones and rods to deteriorate later in life and lead to blindness. Hip and knee problems are not that common but can develop as well as arthritis and cataracts.

Not sure if you’ve ever seen an Australian Cattle Dog? Mad Max 2 featured one as well as in Babe and Brokeback Mountain.

Photo courtesy of Eva Holderegger Walser

3 New AKC Breeds for 2011

The American Kennel Club has once again expanded its list of registered breeds. The new dogs are the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Norwegian Lundehund, and the Xoloitzcuintli.

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs

The Entlebucher (pronounced Ent-lay-boo-cur) Mountain dog, a member of the Herding Group of the AKC, is named after a small town in Switzerland, Entlebuch. It is the smallest of the Swiss Mountain dogs and a sturdy dog with lively eyes and a drive to work. They are believed to have descended from Roman mastiffs. This breed is bred to work, so daily exercise is absolutely needed. They need a firm but calm pack leader and are very eager to please. They are small and often do not exceed 60 lbs.

How are they as pets?

Entlebuchers are very social and love being around people and other dogs but can be aloof with strangers. Socialize them and they will be more receptive to meeting strangers. They do require a lot of exercise and can live from 11 to 15 years. Grooming them is not tough, just brush them regularly to remove debris and build up of dander. They need space to run and play. An apartment is not ideal for this breed unless you jog a lot and can take your pup with you! Entles thrive when they have a “job.”

Norwegian Lundehund

Also known as the Norwegian Puffin Dog, the Lundehund is a spitz and one of the world’s oldest breeds. They have six toes on each foot, 2 dewclaws and is an excellent climber. Their unique vertebral structure allows them to look virtually 180 degrees over their heads, able to practically rest their heads on their backs. They have very animated ears that can point in more directions than most other dog breeds. They are friendly by nature and like meeting people and do not have aggressive tendencies if bred correctly. They are curious and will explore the world about them so being on leash outside is a must.

How are they as pets?

These are quite affectionate, playful dogs that love people and other canines. Norwegian Lundehund make an excellent family pet but tend to be difficult to housebreak. Some owners say they have never been able to housebreak this breed. A doggie door may be an option along with consistent crate training. It is important to properly socialize and behavior train this dog. Otherwise, they can become wary of strangers and will bark to alert you to any strangers near your house incessantly. Without proper training and a good pack leader, these dogs may take over the house and bark at you incessantly. They will demand things and bark and bark telling you what HE wants YOU to do. Consistency is the keyword with this breed.

Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Show-low-its-queen-tli), or Xolos for short, are an ancient dog breed that evolved in the jungles of Colima, Mexico. They are considered the first dogs of the Americas. They come in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard and can be coated or hairless. Xolos were developed as guardians, hunters, and companions. Xolos are in the Non-sporting Group in the AKC.

These are smart, hearty, and healthy dogs. They can be wary of people, a bit aloof, or aggressive toward other dogs if they are not properly socialized and trained at a young age.

How are they as pets?

Xolos can be fine with children but must be introduced to them at a young age and trained appropriate behavior. They thrive on attention, so if you have a busy life, they will not be happy and will become depressed, aloof, and won’t bond with their owners. This is a strong-willed dog. Puppies need lots of hands-on attention. They must be socialized and trained, starting at a young age. Once they are fully grown, if the proper foundation has been laid, then they are very easy to train and maintain. They can live up to 20 years and have great survival skills due its primitive roots.

photos courtesy of Dog Breed Info Center

Three Dog Breeds Officially Recognized by the AKC

Back in June, three new dog breeds were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. This means these breeds can now compete in dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. To become a recognized breed there must be an official organization for the breed as well as standards for temperament, color, and size.

Currently, there are 167 recognized dog breeds in the AKC registry and the newest ones have been around for centuries.

Iceland Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed that originates in Iceland when the Vikings settled there over 1,000 years ago. It is part of the spitz family which includes the American Eskimo. The Icelandic Sheepdog is often described as a large dog in a small dog’s body. They are tough and energetic, agile, alert, and were used for herding. The breed’s skeletal build resembles those of dogs found in graves that date back to 8000 B.C. Icelandic Sheepdogs have a good disposition and are friendly to new people and can make great family pets.

Leonberger

This dog is named after the town of Leonberger, Germany where it originates from and dates back to the 1800s. It is thought the breed was created from a Newfoundland and St. Bernard and later a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added. The result is a large dog with long white fur and a knack for being a great farm dog. Modern day Leonbergers have dark fur and black masks on their faces. They were nearly wiped out during the two World Wars due to breeders fleeing for their lives or being killed in battled. It is recordered that only five Leonbergers survived World War One and were being bred again till World War Two came around which again caused many dogs to be lost. Leonbergers that we see today can be traced back to eight dogs that survived World War Two.

Cane Corso

This is a rare breed that was brought back into existence in the 1980s and is a member of the mastiff family. The dog is from Italy and was used to hunt boar and fought alongside soldiers in ancient battles. They are a descendant of the Roman War Dogs and were guardians. The name is derived from “Cane Da Corso” which is an old term for dogs that worked as hunters. Modern day Cane Corsos are still huge, muscular, and intimidating looking but they are intelligent, easy to train, and make great family pets. Cane Corsos are known to be strong, bonded to their families, and protective at the same time they are gentle and delicate and are extremely tolerant of children playing and tugging them.

Meet the Chesapeake Bay Retriever: State Dog of Maryland

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is easy to recognize due to its coat. They have a waterproof double-coat that is wavy but not curly, slightly oily to the touch but not greasy, and musky smelling but not dirty. “Chessies,” as they are often called, also have very clear, bright eyes that are the color of amber or yellowish. This breed was used to hunt fowl on water and land and are able to swim in rough and icy water.

Brief History

The chessie history was well documented and can be traced back to 1807 when an English brig shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland. There were two Newfoundlands that were rescued and later bred with the retrievers in Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was developed shortly after.

In 1885, the AKC recognized the breed and in 1964 was declared the official state dog of Maryland.

Appearance

Aside from their distinctive coat and captivating eyes, the chessies also have a body that is made for hunting. Their hindquarters are as high or sometimes a tiny bit higher than their shoulders and the head is round and broad with thin lips and ears that are medium length. Their front legs are straight and have a dense look to them due to their bone density. The chessies all have webbed toes which help make them excellent swimmers.

They do not require much maintenance other than regular brushing. Bathing them can take away some of the natural oils of their coat and dry out their skin and should only be a few times a year.

Personality

The personality of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is often described as happy, bright, and affectionate but like all dogs they need lots of socialization to ensure they do not become overly protective of their family or fearful of strangers. They are known to be intelligent and easy to train but they may also be strong willed and resistant to certain methods or become bored. Finding what motivates a chessie to learn is key and often training sessions should begin and end with some play time.

They make great family pets and can be taught commands and tricks pretty easily once you recognize what works best. Chessies are loyal to their family, like to be included in many activities, and can be sensitive to their owners changes of mood. Chessies are sometimes used as therapy dog and often thrive as a “working” dog.

If you’re looking for a dog that may enjoy playing on the beach and running through the water catching a frisbee, or want a dog that you can teach to do an agility course, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever may be the one for you. If you would like to adopt a Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief and Rescue Organization has several beautiful dogs available.

Doberman Pinscher Clubs in the United States

Doberman Pinschers are popular domsetic dogs who are known to be intelligent and alert.

There is a centralized American club that is dedicated to this breed, along with many different charter clubs around the country.

Doberman Pinscher Club of America

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America is a national club under the American Kennel Club that has over 2,000 members from all 50 states, as well as in some foreign countries. Their main mission is to promote the qualities of the breed and bring them to perfection. They are also involved in national specialty shows.

People who want to join the Doberman Pinscher Club of America should check out their Membership page.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Sacramento

The Doberman Pinscher Club of Sacramento was established in 1966, and is involved in local education, contacts, resources, training, events and guidance regarding the breed. They take part in many activities, such as specialty shows, sweepstakes, obedience trials and workshops.

Los Angeles Doberman Pinscher Club

The Los Angeles Doberman Pinscher Club was founded in 1953, and holds specialty shows and puppy sweepstakes. They also hold educational programs around Los Angeles, as well as club meetings. This club welcomes new members to join.

Quaker City Doberman Pinscher Club

This Pennsylvania club holds meetings six times throughout the year, along with an annual Doberman specialty show, Working Aptitude Evaluation and Cardio Clinic. They are also welcome to new members applying.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Memphis

This Tennessee club holds monthly meetings, as is open to new members. They also list Dobermans that are up for adoption.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Nashville

The DPC of Nashville holds a specialty show every year, and welcomes members who have all sorts of interests in this breed, from conformation to fly ball to judging to breeding. They also organize meetings that provide educational resources.

Doberman Pinscher Club of the Rocky Mountain Area Inc

The DPCRMA has been around since 1960, and is today very active with monthly meetings, breed showcases, seminars, all-breed shows. They also host an annual specialty for Dobermans with puppy sweepstakes and conformation. Some of their members also provide local litter listings, when available. Those interested in joining should read this.

Atlanta Doberman Pinscher Club

The ADPC has members around Georgia who are involved in meetings, two annual specialty shows and temperament testing. This club also puts on educational activities like dog massage lessons, acupuncture lectures, Canine Good Citizenship Tests, agility fun days and other related things. They are also involved in local rescue resources, as well as breeder referral.

Click here for further information on membership with the ADPC.

Metropolitan Baltimore Doberman Pinscher Club

The MBDPC is a group of Doberman lovers and owners who sponsor trials and matches, obedience trials and temperament tests. They hold monthly meetings that welcome visitors.

Pilgrim Doberman Pinscher Club

The Pilgrim Doberman Pinscher Club is based in Massachusetts, and dates back to its establishment in 1973. They hold general meetings about every other month, some of which have educational seminars on topics like acupuncture and evaluating Doberman puppies. They also are connected with breeder referral.

New England residents who are interested in this club should read their Membership Information.

Puget Sound Doberman Pinscher Club

This Washington club was founded in 1962, and holds bi-monthly meetings, along with specialty shows and other events. They also list breeders around the state, and support rescue efforts in the area. People in this area who wish to join should read the membership process.

Doberman Pinscher Club of the Tappen Zee

The DPCTZ is a small club based in New York State, and they are involved with events like specialty shows, obedience trials and puppy sweepstakes. They also organize educational seminars regarding dogs.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Charlotte

The Doberman Pinscher Club of Charlotte has members around this metro area in North Carolina. They host an annual Doberman Pinscher Show and Obedience Trial each fall, and do working aptitude tests every other year. They hold monthly meetings as well. Anyone interested in becoming a member should read the Application for Membership.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Columbus Ohio

The Doberman Pinscher Club of Columbus Ohio holds activities like organized events and members meetings. People in the area who want to become part of this club should look at their application.

Miami Valley Doberman Pinscher Club, Inc

This Ohio club now holds agility trials, as well as meetings, specialty shows, holiday parties, picnics, and Combined Working Aptitude Evaluation tests. They also do breeder referral.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Dallas

The DPCD is involved in monthly club meetings, conformation shows, national specialties, educational seminars and Working Aptitude Evaluations.

Doberman Pinscher Club of Houston

The Doberman Pinscher Club of Houston hosts two annual specialty shows and sponsors Working Aptitude Evaluations. They usually do an annual spring picnic and holiday party. This club also provides breeder referrals for around Texas, and support some local rescue resources.

Utah Dobes

Utah Dobes is a combination of the Salt Lake Doberman Pinscher Club and the Utah Doberman Rescue. Many of its members are very active, taking part in parades, fun days, fundraisers and specialty shows. They list dogs for adoption, and give tips on adopting puppies and dogs.

Click here to read a membership application.

Cavalier Doberman Pinscher Club

This Virginia club was established in 1949, and has since been involved in member meetings, specialties, summer pool parties, Christmas parades and award banquets.

Shih Tzu Clubs of America

Shih Tzus are cute little dogs that originated in China hundreds of years ago. Since then, this breed has spread throughout the world, and there are a handful of clubs dedicated to this type of dog throughout the United States.

American Shih Tzu Club

The American Shih Tzu Club was established in 1963, and is recognized by the American Kennel Club. They dedicate their efforts to “preserve, support and promote the quality” of Shih Tzus. Their website is full of all sorts of information regarding Shih Tzus, with anything from Breed Standard to grooming information to advice on training your Shih Tzu.

People should read this if they are interested in becoming members of the American Shih Tzu Club.

Shih Tzu Club of Southeastern Wisconsin

This club was established in 1966, and is mostly based around the greater Milwaukee area. They hold a multitude of programs and activities throughout the year, as well as meetings almost every month. These meetings are usually at members’ homes and feature potluck meals. They also know of breeders who have available Shih Tzu litters. New members are welcome to join this club.

Golden Gate Shih Tzu Fanciers

This San Francisco Bay Area club has been around since 1969, and is around to encourage and promote purebred Shih Tzus. They put on meetings and specialty matches. Click here for information on joining this club.

Shih Tzu Club of Central Florida

The Shih Tzu Club of Central Florida conducts some AKC-sanctioned matches and dog shows, and offers breeder referrals. They are also involved in some rescue networking.

Metropolitan Atlanta Shih Tzu Club

This Georgia club is involved in some activities, and does breeder referrals. They also welcome new applicants to join the club.

Shih Tzu Club of Wisconsin’s Fox Valley

This Shih Tzu Club is centered in the counties of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waushara, Waupaca and Greek Lake. They hold monthly meetings in restaurants or in members’ homes. They also update available Shih Tzu litters. Membership applications for this club are available online.

Twin Cities Area Shih Tzu Club

This Minnesota club was founded in 1973, and has a few members in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska. They occasionally put on shows, and know of rescue resources. Midwest Shih Tzu lovers should read this if they want to join the Twin Cities club.