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Archive for June, 2007

Purebred versus Mutt

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There are over a hundred registered breeds of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proven that mating two adult dogs of the same type would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.

You can choose either a specific breed otherwise known as pure bred as we discussed in the previous chapter or choose one that is if a mixed breed or a mutt. 

For people involved with professional breeding, there is a huge difference in purebreds and so-called “mutts.”  “Mutts” are of mixed breed.  Some are actually purebred but have no documentation proving that they are purebred.  If you are looking for a pet and have no interest in entering into competition with your dog, this might be a viable option for you.

Choosing a dog depends on many things. The size of one’s home, how much exercise is needed, does it shed often or if you wants a gentle or playful companion.

Deciding to own one whether it is large or small involves a lot of responsibility. It is not just about feeding it but includes other chores such as grooming, watching its health and diet, cleaning up after it and most importantly,  giving it some tender loving care.  There are many places you can get a dog such as a kennel or the pet store but if you want to get a pure bred animal, you must seek a reputable breeder to get the best results.

As we discussed in the previous chapter, breeding done in purebred dogs is done carefully. The pair is tested for every possible disease which includes having all the information regarding the pair’s ancestors and health records on file.  Should there be no problem in the history of the pair, then the breeding can begin. If in testing, the pair is not compatible due to diseases that are common in a specific breed, another dog will be selected to match with the other dog.

Since the demand for the breeder’s pure bred dogs are well sought after due to the selective nature of the breeding practices, the newborn pups will still have to be raised with the breeder and will only be released when a number of pre-screened homes have been found.  This is done for the welfare of the select few of owners and to control population growth.

If you opt for a purebred as we discussed previously and do meet the criteria that a responsible breeder will request, you stand a good chance of getting the dog you want.  The restriction may seem severe but responsible breeds care a great deal about how “their” offspring will be raised.

Mixed breeds on the other hand or mutts as people call them could have been bred out of experimentation to produce a breed which could be better and stronger than the two breeds. Most likely, these were the results of accidents. This is the reason why dogs of mixed breeds just like pure breeds must be neutered since millions of dogs every year that are not wanted by people die in animal shelters.

Health wise, pure bred dogs that come from a line of strong parents won’t have problems. This is because breeders screen the pair before the process happens.

Unfortunately, there are instances where certain breeders are more concerned about financial gain rather than the welfare of the animal.  This is especially true of those breeders who do not practice the strict guidelines of proper breeding thereby producing inferior dogs.

Mixed bred dogs on the other hand, will fall somewhere in the middle since proper screening was poorly done or never carried out. Certain dogs carry varied deficiencies common to the breed and mixing the two will just pass on to the mixed breed.

Some people prefer pure bred dogs than mixed bred ones. The primary reason is that it is easier to sell and carries a certain prestige with it. Mixed bred dogs are seen as inferior and since no one is interested, most of these are rounded up and die in an animal shelter.

Pure bred dogs are seen as a higher class which is why they are always featured at dog shows. Mixed dogs are not allowed to join. The reasons given have not been that clear which is why mixed breed owners still contest the rule.

Puppy or Adult?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Adopting a dog is an exciting event.  Truly a man’s best friend, you can rely on your pet to give you company, companionship and some can even guard your house. You need to review your personal lifestyle and needs when adopting a dog. It is a major decision whether or not you choose to have a puppy or an adult as a pet. Before deciding on which dog to adopt, here is some useful information that might help you decide.

Puppies

* Bringing up a puppy is an advantage because this means that you guide its growth and well being. You have the chance to raise it according to what you want. This means you can ensure that it is properly nurtured with the right dog food, ensure that necessary vaccinations are given and prevent heartworm at this early stage. Having your puppy personally trained is also a plus since you can teach him exactly what you want.

* You should adopt a puppy when it is at least 10 weeks old. Puppies need a lot of time to be cared for by their mothers. This is a crucial stage for them. They somehow gain a psychological advantage for both puppy and for the mother dog as well.

* A puppy can easily adjust to new surroundings as compared to an adult dog even though most puppies may cause minimal to major damage to your personal stuff while they are in the stage of teething. They need to be housebroken and house training needs a lot of time, effort and patience from the owner.

* There is no assurance of what a puppy will look like when it grows up; especially it is a mixed breed. Also, his temperament might change too when he grows up.

* Most pet owners love how puppies can be entertaining for the entire family.  They are very cute and adorable pets that is a hit for both children and grown ups. Puppies can be easily regarded as one of the family.

Adult dog

* You would have less of a fuss taking care of an adult dog. They already have this established behavior that you can easily adapt too. By being with the dog more often, you would have more or less an idea of what its temperament is.

* You need to get as much information as you can when adopting an adult dog. Take note of its habits and mood swings. Hopefully you can acquire this valuable data from the previous owners of the dog. Some adult dogs may have some behavior issues. It is important to take note of them.

* It may take some time and effort for an adult dog to be completely comfortable with a new owner.

* You need to introduce an adult dog to your children and other household members before bringing him into the home. This would help the dog be familiar with them and helps them refrain from biting or barking thinking that they maybe strangers.

* Adult dog may not need your full attention unlike puppies need and would require lesser trips to the vet.

* For a fully grown dog physique and behavior is basically not a variable anymore. What you see is basically what you get.

* Most dogs are housebroken already so they would cause lesser damage to your belongings and don’t wake up at night like most puppies do. They have usually overgrown the impulse of chewing things that strike his fancy.

* An older dog can easily adapt to other pets, like other dogs or cats, if you have a group of them at your household.

Adopting a dog is not an easy task and choosing which one to adopt can be a little tricky too. Everyone loves sweet looking puppies, but not everyone can stand up to the tiresome house training although most appreciate the bonding shared with them. Adult dogs need no great amount of guidance but can still turn out to be a lovable pet.

Whichever you think is the right pet for you, just keep in mind that taking care of them needs a lot of time and effort. In return, they would always keep you company and has ready smile with an excited wag of tail waiting for you everyday. 

Overview of Different Breeds of Dogs

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

If thinking of adopting or buying a pet dog for yourself, it is important to know which type of dog you want. Here are a few popular dog breeds for your easy reference:

Labrador
Labradors are very outgoing dogs that have yellow, black or brown furs. Labrador are versatile dogs that has a wide rang of functions. Most of them are known as retrievers and are utilized as guide dogs for the blind. They enjoy holding different objects in their mouth and are prone to chewing things. Labradors are observed to be hypersensitive and have a high regard for their territory. Their fur is water repellant thus making them perfect for waterfowl hunting. They make an excellent family dog.

German Shepherds
Germans shepherds are also known as Alsatian. Originally, they were intended to aide for a farmer in herding their sheep or cattle. They are incredibly intelligent and very trainable. Because of their build they are often used as working dogs in the military or police community.  Most of them are also guide dogs. German shepherds are large and strong dogs with varied fur colors. Most come in cream, gray, white or black.

Boxer
Boxers have pointed ears that are tilted forward. They have a distinguishable white underbelly and white parts at the tip of each foot. These white regions are often called ‘flashiness’ which sometimes extends to other parts of the body. These usually appear on the shoulders and face. Boxers are playful and an energetic breed. They are perfect as a pet for children because they have an extended puppy hood, meaning they are not considered as an adult dog until they reach the age of three. Training would not be a problem. Boxers are known to be obedient and possess a strong personality. It is advisable to train a boxer at an early age. They can sometimes be a substitute as guide dogs or police dogs.

Rotweiller
Rotweillers’ origin traced back on ancient times. Their existence has been associated with the Roman Empire as watchers for groups of cattle. Since then, their incredible strength and intelligence have been recognized. They are used as police dogs and military aides during wars. Rotweillers are black with tan spots on its cheeks, legs, chest, face and you find tan underneath their tails as well. They are marked with  upside down triangles that can be found on the chest area. Each eyebrows have a unique spot. Rotweillers are intelligent and fearless dogs. You can notice their foreheads getting a little wrinkly when they are alert. Rotties are very active and playful and are fast on learning tricks.

Poodle
Poodles can be a very good companion and are very loyal to their owners. They belong to a quiet breed of dogs that has a naturally curly fur. Their color ranges from black, grey, white, blue, apricot or brown.  Training a poodle tends to require more effort compared to other breeds. They are considered a “hypoallergenic” breed.  They are very famous for their very nice coats. Maintenance proves to be a tedious job. Owners have to keep their hair in a manageable length so that matting and tangling is prevented.

Dachshund
Dachshunds are also referred to as sausage dogs because of their elongated built. They have short legs and pointed facial framework. Chasing and hunting are their favorite past times. Most dachshunds have crooked legs and chest compared to a barrel. Dachshunds are playful and loyal dogs that loves to chase small animals like birds. Their senses are very keen and well-developed though they often exhibit shyness.

Beagle
Beagles have acquired a strong sense of smell. Because of this quality they are used for hunting animals like rabbits. They have big ears that are low-set giving them that gentle look. Their furs are commonly white, black, brown or a combination of both. Beagles are known to be very good tempered. Training might prove to be a tricky task because these dogs are strong willed that makes them quite stubborn. Beagles travel in pack, being a pet dog might cause them to have anxiety.

Above is a simple overview of popular breed of dogs. In choosing a dog for you consider each breeds’ physical appearance, temperament and health issues. Of course, each dog should fit your lifestyle. Remember dogs should be given proper attention and care but in exchange you can have the best companion ever.