Dog Breed: Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkshire Terrier – Breed Information

Breed Information:The compact body of the Yorkshire Terrier is covered by a long, silky coat of tan and blue, tan and black for puppies. This coat should part down the middle and skim the surface of the floor. The small head is not round, being rather flat on top, the muzzle is not too long, the nose is black, and the ears are small and erect. 

  • Size: Dogs and bitches “ Height: 6-7 inches/Weight: 7-9 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Yorkies, as they are known, are prone to early tooth decay and some have trouble with anaesthetic. Many of this small breed suffer broken bones because they’ve jumped from a height that is too great. 
  • Life Expectancy:Life average life expectancy for the Yorkshire Terrier is 12-15 years.

Yorkshire Terrier – Breed Behavior


The Yorkshire Terrier is a very large dog trapped in the body of a very small dog. Yorkies have no idea that they are so small, nor do they care; they are very adventurous and easily excitable. This breed loves its family, but can be wary of strangers if not socialized well enough from an early age. Yorkshire Terriers should also be socialized with other dogs and other family pets to avoid any aggression. Although Yorkies can be stubborn, they are usually easy to train, and are great watchdogs – alerting their family whenever someone comes near the door with a bark (or ten!).

Activity Level:

Although Yorkies do not need a lot of exercise, they thoroughly enjoy playing and love to go for walks. They suit apartment life well as they do not need a backyard/garden and are active indoors.

Dog Breed: West Highland White Terrier


West Highland White Terrier – Breed Information

The West Highland Terrier is most recognized for its completely white coat which should be hard and roughly 2 inches long “ the undercoat should also be white. The eyes should be dark brown and the nose should be large and black. The small, erect ears are pointed and the tail is un-docked, thicker at the base, and carried gaily, but not curled over the back. 

  • Size: Dogs “ Height: 10-12 inches/Weight: 17-23 pounds Bitches “ Height: 9-11 inches/Weight: 13-20 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: A very healthy breed overall, though some suffer from liver disease, calcification of the jawbone, and skin disease. 
  • Life Expectancy: The West Highland White Terrier is known for living for 15 years or more. 
  • Grooming Requirements: This breed has a very easy coat to care for, needing only an occasional going over with a stiff brush. The hair around the eyes, mouth and ears can be trimmed with scissors and the whole coat should be stripped about twice a year.

West Highland White Terrier – Breed Behavior


The West Highland White Terrier is a very friendly breed that is also easy to train. They should be socialized towards dogs and other family pets from an early age, though they usually get along with other dogs fairly well. Children must be taught respect for these dogs because they can be snappy with children.

Activity Level:

Westies active indoors, and enjoys going for walks and playing in the park. Apartment living would suit this breed, as would living in the middle of nowhere with lots of exciting sights and smells. They do not require a backyard/garden.

Dog Breed: Spinone Italiano


Spinone Italiano – Breed Information

Breed Information:
The Spinone Italiano is rugged with a square body  the topline angles slightly upward from the withers towards the rump. They have a long head, elongated triangular ears, and intelligent eyes that are light brown with lighter colored dogs, and darker brown with darker coated dogs. The legs are long, straight and parallel. The Spinones coat is dense and stiff with the hair at the back of the legs forming a brush, while the face is covered with stiff eyebrows, moustache, and beard. The accepted colors of the coat are white, white with brown markings, white and orange, orange roan, which may or may not have orange markings, and brown roan. The most desired shade of brown is chestnut. 

  • Size: Dogs and bitches Height: 22 A½ – 27 A½ inches/Weight: 65-85 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Generally healthy, Hip Dysplasia has been found in them, like most other dogs of their size. 
  • Life Expectancy: The Spinone Italiano is a relatively long-lived dog with most living past 12 years. Grooming Requirements:
    The Spinone needs to its coat stripped about every two months pulling out the old hair to make room for the new. Between strippings, weekly brushing will suffice.

Spinone Italiano – Breed Behavior


The Spinone Italiano is very intelligent, loyal, playful, and enthusiastic. He is easily trained as long as the training does not get too repetitive and bore him. The training should start at an early age to keep this rather large dog from doing any inadvertent damage. This breed should also be well socialized with other dogs and many people as some tend to be shy. These dogs definitely are not for protection because they are too friendly. They would much rather play with their family than bark at strangers.

Activity Level:

The Spinone Italiano is not very active while indoors, but gets very excited outdoors. A medium backyard/garden is recommended with a high fence as these dogs can jump very high when they want to. Apartments would be fine for this breed, assuming they get enough exercise outside.

Dog Breed: Shih Tzu


Shih Tzu – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Shih Tzu is a small dog covered with a double coat the undercoat is thick and woolly while the topcoat is long and soft. The head is rounded and completely covered by hair, including a long moustache and beard. The nose is black except on liver-colored dogs where the nose is liver, and the ears are pendant-shaped, but also completely covered in long hair that blends into the coat of the body. The eyes are large and dark, though lighter on lighter colored dogs. Shih Tzus should have an undershot bite, though the teeth and tongue should not be visible when the mouth is closed. The tail curls over the back and is also covered in long hair which blends into the body. All colors are acceptable for the Shih Tzu.

  • Size: Dogs and bitches  Height: up to 11 inches/Weight: 9-16 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Problems with the teeth are most occurring among Shih Tzus they are often lost at an early age. Spinal problems are also occasionally seen as their bodies are longer than they are tall.
  • Life Expectancy: The Shih Tzu can live to be 15 years or more.
  • Grooming Requirements: When the coat is left long, this breed requires daily grooming with a brush with bristles. Some owners prefer clipping the coat short to make grooming easier. A topknot is used to tie back the hair from the face so the dog can see. Shih Tzus eyes can be sensitive so you must be sure to keep them clean and to keep hair out of their eyes.

Shih Tzu – Breed Behavior

Activity Level:

Shih Tzus will lay around all day if they are allowed to, so their activity level is low. Although when they are taken for walks, they are thoroughly enjoyed. As this breed can put on weight very quickly, it is advisable to take them for a walk morning and evening.

Because of their low activity level, this breed is well suited for apartment living. These dogs are quite active indoors, so a backyard/garden is not necessary.

Dog Breed: Saint Bernard


Saint Bernard – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Saint Bernard is a very large dog with a great head ending in a short, wide muzzle. The nose should always be black and the dog has large pendant ears. There are two coat types: short-haired and long-haired. The coat of the short-haired dog is very dense and tough while the long-haired coat is of medium length and slightly wavy, though never curly. The accepted coat colors include white with reddish markings, white with brown/yellow markings, or vice-versa – red with white markings or brown/yellow with white markings. There are certain necessary markings which can be found through the kennel club.

  • Size:Dogs and bitches Height: 25 ½ – 27 ½ inches/Weight: 120-200 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues:Hip Dysplasia, heart problems, and eye problems are the most common problems with Saint Bernards.
  • Life Expectancy: This breed has an expected lifespan of 10-12 years.
  • Grooming Requirements: Grooming the Saint Bernard is quite easy as it needs only a good brushing with a firm-bristled brush once a week or so. Bathe only when necessary as too frequent bathing removes essential oils from the dogs skin.

Saint Bernard – Breed Behavior


The Saint Bernard is an extremely loyal, loving, and gentle breed of dog. This breed does well with children and other dogs, assuming it has been well-socialized from an early age. Training should start at an early age as well because these dogs get so large and it if they are not trained they could easily do damage no matter that they would mean to. This breed is very intelligent and wants to please its owner, so training is quite easy.

Activity Level:

Despite its size, the Saint Bernard does not require very much exercise. A long walk morning and evening is enough to keep this breed happy. They are mostly inactive indoors, so an apartment would be suitable assuming it could cope with the dogs size. A small backyard/garden is ideal, but not necessary if the dog gets exercise in other ways.

Because of the strain that can be put on large breeds bones, puppies should not be overly exercised or allowed to play too roughly until about one year old.

Dog Breed: Rottweiler


Rottweiler – Breed Information

Breed Information:The Rottweiler has a large, athletic, muscular body which is topped by a broad head. Rottweilers have a black nose and very dark eyes. The legs are heavy and straight, and not too close together. Although the tail is docked in the USA, if showing internationally, kennel club regulations must be checked prior to docking. This breed has a short, hard dark coat with brown points ranging from orangey rust to deep mahogany.

  • Size: Dogs Height: 24-27 inches/Weight: 95-120 pounds Bitches Height: 22-25/Weight: 85-110 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Rottweilers are notorious for having bad hips because of Hip Dysplasia, and also for ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) problems. The ACL is the ligament in the back knee which often gets torn with this breed.
  • Life Expectancy:The average lifespan for the Rottweiler is 10-12 years. 
  • Grooming Requirements:The smooth coat of the Rottweiler is easy to groom, needing only the occasional going over with a stiff brush and a bath when necessary.

Rottweiler – Breed Behavior


The Rottweiler has a reputation for being a vicious, aggressive dog and this simply is not true. As long as the dog is socialized well from an early age, it will get along with both dogs and people other than its family. This breed is intelligent, calm, and will defend their family very well if the situation arises. There seem to be two attitudes with Rottweilers – they are either big goofballs, liking nothing more than to play all day and lay across your feet to take a nap, or they are more serious, preferring to guard their family and property closely.

Activity Level:

Just looking at the Rottweilers muscular body should tell you just how much exercise they need a lot! It seems as though the Rottweiler can not get enough exercise, or do enough work. Rottweilers are very happy working in competitive obedience trials, and make wonderful police dogs.

Rottweilers are quite inactive indoors, preferring to sleep on or very near their family so could live in an apartment as long as they were given enough exercise outdoors.

Dog Breed: Poodle


Poodle – Breed Information

Breed Information: Although there are three official sizes of Poodle, the breed standards are the same for all three. These dogs have a long head and muzzle with a liver-colored nose acceptable for brown dogs, while black is needed for all other colors. The eyes should be dark, either amber or brown. The poodle should be as long as it is tall at the withers with straight, parallel front legs. The tail is normally docked to its original length, though if being shown internationally, kennel club standards must be checked prior to docking.There are three accepted types of cut for the poodle, the ‘Continental Clip which is the most well-known cut for a poodle the rear half of the dog is shaved, rings of fur are left around the ankles, and puffs of fur are left on the hips and end of the tail; the pet/ puppy clip short hair over the entire body; and the English Saddle clip though similar to the Continental, this clip does not shave the rear of the dog, and leaves two bands of fur on the rear legs. It is rarely seen in Standard Poodles at shows.

  • Size: There are three sizes of poodle, Toy, Miniature, and Standard.Toy: Dogs and bitches Height: up to 10 inches/Weight: 6-9 poundsMiniature: Dogs and bitches Height: 11-15 inches/Weight: 15-17 poundsStandard:Dogs Height: over 15 inches/Weight: 50-70 pounds Bitches Height: over 15 inches/Weight: 45-60 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia is common in poodles, as are eye problems, including glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy which can cause blindness. Poodles are also known for skin problems, though these are most often because of the excessive grooming required for show dogs.
  • Life Expectancy: Poodles are a long-lived breed, usually living for 12-15 years or longer in many cases.
  • Grooming Requirements: Poodles to be used for shows need extensive grooming: clipping every 4-6 weeks, regular bathing, cleaning of the ears. Lighter-coloured dogs must have their eyes cleaned regularly, and around their mouths after every meal to avoid staining of the fur. Many pet owners are much happier with the puppy clip which is one short length over the entire body. Much less grooming is needed for this clip. Poodles are very well-known as shedding little or no hair and producing very little dander which makes them the perfect pet for those with allergies.

Poodle – Breed Behavior


Poodles are very intelligent dogs and are one of the easiest breeds to train. Standard poodles are generally calmer than their smaller relatives, but all love people and hate to be left out of family activities. Smaller poodles, the Miniature and the Toy, can be shy and nervous, so early socialization is very important. Poodles are known for barking a lot, so early training is needed to curb this undesired behaviour. Smaller poodles can be snappy with children who are not careful enough, so they should be supervised at all times.

Activity Level:

The Miniature and Toy variety of poodle do not need much exercise and are happy with apartment living. They do enjoy going for walks, and love playing off-leash so a backyard/garden would be great for them, but not necessary. The Standard poodle is still suited for apartment life, though it does need more exercise than its smaller cousins. A small backyard/garden is ideal for this dog.

Dog Breed: Old English Sheepdog


Old English Sheepdog – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Old English Sheepdog is a large, square dog with an unusual topline the rump is higher than the shoulder. This is a very distinct characteristic and is very important to the breed look. The Old English Sheepdog has a plentiful, shaggy coat that is hard and shaggy, but not curly. The head is large and square and ends in a black nose the English Sheepdog may have brown or blue eyes, or one of each color. This breed has straight legs ending in small feet that point forward. This dog is born without a tail, though occasionally puppies are born with tails which are later completely amputated – be sure to check kennel club regulations on tail docking before international competition.The Old English Sheepdog coat can be any shade of grey or blue with or without white markings.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: Over 65 pounds Bitches Height: 20-22 inches/ Weight: Over 60 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: This breed is generally very healthy although Hip Dysplasia does affect some dogs, as do cataracts. 
  • Life Expectancy: The Old English Sheepdog lives, on average, 10-12 years
  • Grooming Requirements: This dog can be difficult to groom, as you must groom through the long, coarse outer layer to reach the soft, dense undercoat. This undercoat must be brushed frequently, three to four times per week, so it remains tangle-free if this layer gets matted it can cause much pain to the dog. Another option is for the dogs coat to be clipped short, thus eliminating the need to brush through a long overcoat, although even this length coat should still be brushed frequently. This should be done every few months to keep the coat at a manageable length.This breed of dog usually sheds their coat heavily once a year, usually in the Spring to get rid of its heavy winter coat.

Old English Sheepdog – Breed Behavior


This breed is very even-tempered and loving; they are often called teddy bears because of their love for children. As they were originally bred to herd sheep, they are still known to try to herd family members, especially children, by bumping or nudging them in the direction they want them to go. Because this breed can be stubborn, training from an early age is important as is early socialization with other dogs and people.

Activity Level:

Because the Old English Sheepdog was bred to work hard, they have a lot of energy and need a fair amount of exercise. This breed loves to play and has the energy of a puppy for most of their life, even as adults. Although they are quite active indoors, this breed would suit apartment life as long as they were given enough exercise, though they would do best with a backyard/garden.

Dog Breed: Maltese


Maltese – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Maltese is a small dog with long, silky white fur. The coat should be straight with no wave or curl, and it should skim the ground when the dog walks; the coat should fall over the body on either side of a center part down the dogs back. The tail is carried over the back and is covered by long hair, making the tail look like a small bump on the dogs rear. The Maltese also has pendant ears which are covered by the same long, white fur. The head of the Maltese should be made up of 1/3 muzzle which slightly tapers into a black nose with large nostrils. This breed should have very dark eyes with black rims around the eyes.

  • Size: Dogs Height: 8-10 inches/Weight: 6-9 poundsBitches Height: 8-10 inches/Weight: 6-9 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Maltese dogs must be kept dry and not allowed to get damp against their skin to avoid problems such as respiratory infections and skin problems. You must also be careful when taking your Maltese out on sunny days as they can get sunburned along the part on their back. This breed can also suffer from eye and tooth problems.
  • Life Expectancy: The Maltese life expectancy is around 12-15 years.
  • Grooming Requirements: Due to the long, silky coat of this breed, daily grooming is absolutely necessary. Bathing regularly is recommended to keep the coat from getting stained, as is cleaning around the eyes daily and around the mouth after every meal for the same reason. After bathing, be sure the dog is completely dry to avoid complications.Many pet owners choose to clip the hair of their Maltese short to make grooming easier. In this case, only occasional brushing is needed, although cleaning around the eyes and mouth frequently is still required as are frequent trips to the dog groomer for a haircut.

Maltese – Breed Behavior


The Maltese is very intelligent, loving, sweet, and playful, and they are very attached to their owners. This breed can snap at small children and those who are too rough with it, so early training and socialization are very important. It is also very important not to be over-protective of these dogs and pick them up every time they wish as they can become neurotic.

Activity Level:

Although the Maltese is playful, their activity level is quite low and they do well with a walk morning and evening. As they are very active in the house, this breed does not need a backyard/garden and would suit apartment life well.

Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retriever – Breed Information

Breed Information:The Labrador Retriever has a broad head, wide muzzle, pendant ears, and brown eyes with an intelligent expression.

Labradors have muscular bodies and straight front legs. They have short, thick, double coats that are water resistant. Labradors also have webbed toes which help it while swimming. This breed has three coat colors: black, yellow, and chocolate.

  • Size: Dogs Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: 65-75 poundsBitches Height: 21-23 inches/Weight: 60-70 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: The major problems associated with Labrador Retrievers are Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and other eye diseases.
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years is the average life expectancy for the Labrador Retriever.
  • Grooming Requirements: The Labrador coat is very easy to maintain, needing only the occasional brushing with a stiff brush.