I just couldn’t resist posting this… Though,if you plan on dressing up your pets please read my advice in the previous post first.Related Websites
The German Shepherd Dog is a large breed dog that originated in Germany around 1899. German Shepherds belong to the herding dogs classification and were originally bred to herd sheep. They are a popular breed.
After World War II they were given the name Alsatian (Wolf Dog), due to negative connotations to the word: German. The breed was called “Alsatian” (named after the German-French border Alsace-Lorraine) until 1977 when the name German shepherd could be used again.
They are highly intelligent and are most commonly used as police dogs. Alsatians are also used as search dogs, guide dogs and service dogs. According to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs; they are the third most intelligent dog breed.
They are fairly large dogs. Males measure 60-65 cm in height and weigh 30-40 kg. Females are about 55-60cm high and weigh 22-32 kg. They have pointed ears, a dome-shaped head and long muzzle. The nose is black. They have long bushy tails, which are not docked (cropped).
Alsatians are most commonly black and tan in colour, but can also have other colours like all-white, all-black and sable. Coats consist of two layers and come in either medium- or longhaired. The outer coat will shed year-round.
German Shepherds have a life span of 7-10 years. Like many other big dogs they can have issues with hypdisplasia. They can also be prone to arthritis, Degenerative Myelopathy (a neurological disorder), Von Willebrand disease (a bleeding disorder) and ear infections.
Alsatians are very active, obedient and highly trainable. They can be prone to aggression, being over-protective and being very territorial. They make good guard dogs.Related Websites
The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog breed. It is of Mexican origin and got its name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The State borders the USA, which is how Chihuahuas got introduced to the US.
Chihuahuas are delicate little dogs and are very popular among lovers of miniature pets. They have become somewhat of a fashion accessory amongst celebrities; Paris Hilton carries her Chihuahua in her designer handbag.
The modern Chihuahua breed is thought to have originated in the 1800s. They breed was recognized by the American Kennel club since 1904.
Chihuahuas can vary in size, but on average are 15 – 25 cm heigh. The show-standard for weight is 1.5 –3 kg, but pet Chihuahuas can weigh more.
They have thin legs and may at times appear shaky. They have larger pointy ears and sharp noses giving their heads a deer (bokkie) like appearance.
Coats come in longhair or shorthair and a variety of colours. Some kennel clubs disqualifies the Merle (spotted) colour pattern, since it was not traditionally accepted for the breed and is possibly related to genetic problems. The longhair variety surprisingly sheds less than the shorthair and requires less grooming than other longhaired dogs.
The breed requires special veterinary care and is the only dog breed to be born without a complete skull. The gap in the skull will close, as the dog grows older. The breed is also prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), epilepsy, seizures, hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and eye infections. To combat hypoglycemia your doggy should eat small regular meals.
Chihuahuas are alert, energetic and territorial dogs. They usually choose one person to bond with and will be protective and jealous if others get attention from their human. They prefer the company of their own kind above other breeds. They are not usually well suited for little children.
A Chihuahua can be a good choice if you have limited space, but they require special care. They are well-suited to the South African climate. Be responsible when buying (or adopting) a dog and remember that they are living creatures; not fashion accessories!
Just because your dog will eat it or seems to like the taste, it doesn’t mean these foods are good for them. Dog also love attention, so they might eat certain foods when you feed them, but not when they see them lying on the ground. Human food can be unhealthy for dogs and even toxic. Here are some foods to avoid feeding your dog:
*Chocolate (also coffee or anything with caffeine)
The chemical stimulants in these human foods are too much for your doggy’s system. They can lead to heart-irregularities, bleeding, hallucinations, seizures and death.
*Beer (the hops in beer is also harmful to dogs), alcohol, marijuana or drugs:
Can result in intoxication, heart-irregularities and death.
*Onions or garlic:
Can cause anemia
*Grapes and raisins:
Can cause kidney damage.
*Macadamia nuts and walnuts:
Poisonous to dogs.
*Bones – especially fish or chicken bones.
Might obstruct breathing or pierce organs.
Can obstruct digestion. Some pips when chewed release a substance poisonous to dogs.
*Xylitol (A sugar-alcohol used in sugar-free gum and candy)
Might cause liver damage. But don’t give your pet a lot or sugar either because it might cause diabetes.
*Raw dough containing yeast.
It will swell up in the dog’s stomach
Contains too much protein and fat for a dog’s system
Dogs and cats are lactose intolerant.
*Raw eggs and fish (especially salmon))
Can spread salmonella. Fish also has other parasites which are harmless to humans, but bad for dogs.
Ask your vet for medicine suited to your dog.
Some people say raw meat is dangerous (salmonella etc), whilst other seem to believe that dogs should be eating raw meat, since that is what they would eat naturally
In general if you’re not sure about a human food, don’t give it to your dog. Don’t give your dog junk food. Ask the vet about human foods that are okay for dogs. Don’t give your dogs foods that are off or mouldy that you wouldn’t eat yourself.
Stick to a good quality dog food that is especially formulated to give dogs the nutrients they need. You could also look at dog food labels to see what ingredients they contain. For instance some dog foods contain rice, so you can in most cases give your dogs rice. They can also eat peanut butter, which is useful for keeping them busy. Don’t overfeed your dog. Ask your vet about proper nutrition.
Sources: Wikipedia, Pet education
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, commonly know as the Staffy, was first bred in the early 1900s in England as bull-bait. Hence the term bull terrier
Bull bating is a savage blood sport where a bull is tied to a stake in an arena. The bull only has a range of about 10m to move around in. The bull is then angered by having pepper blown in its face, or by having a dog bite it. After bear- and bull biting was outlawed in the UK in 1835, staffies were used in dog-fights, since dog fights were easier to keep “underground”. (In Jock of the Bushveld, Jock is used for dog-fighting by a gambler and trick into fighting a baboon)
The Staffie is related to the American Staffordshire bull terrier and American pit bull terrier, but are much smaller than its American relatives. After Pit bulls were banned in the UK, some breeders deceptively labled their pit bulls as staffies. This might have led to reports of staffies attacking people. Staffies are sometimes confused with pit bulls. However, many kennel clubs make a clear distinction between staffies and pitt bulls.
The Staffordshire bull terrier was accepted into the UK kennel club in 1935 and the American Kennel club in 1976
Staffies are small-medium sized dogs measuring about 36-41 cm in height. Females weigh about 11-5 kg and males can weigh up to 20kgs. They have short-haired coats and can be brown, brindle, black, red, white or a combination of white and another colour.
They are quite robust and a healthy breed, but like many other dog breeds they can develop hipdysplasia and cataracts. Staffies love to “tan” and excessive sun exposure can lead to melanomas especially on areas like the tummy where there is less hair.
Staffies are friendly, loyal, intelligent, hardy and persevering. Due to their amicable nature (and despite the original intent for their breed), they are not considered to make good guard dogs or attack dogs. They love people and make good family pets.
Personally I think Staffies have been quite popular in South Africa in the past thanks to Jock of the Bushveld and a Dunlop (tyres) TV commercial where a staffie (accompanied by the theme music from Chariots of Fire) runs through obstacles.
Picture: Bao H (flickr).
General source: Wikipedia
Before you consider buying a puppy, make sure that the breed will be suited to your family. Give some thought to adopting an older dog from a rescue organization (they do also have puppies). You could also find dogs in the classifieds where you can get a dog from its original owner before it has to go to a shelter. Dogs should be treated like family members and not like commodities.