Dog Breed: Great Dane

Dog-Breed-Great-Dane

Great Dane – Breed Information

Breed Information:The largest of the dog breeds, the Great Dane has a long, slim head atop a long, muscular neck. The front legs of the Great Dane are straight, and he has round, compact feet for the size of his body. This breed has a short, close-fitting coat that comes in a variety of colors. These colors include brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin, and mantle and the nose of these dogs should be black, except in blue Danes where the nose can be dark blue-black, and in the harlequin where a black-spotted nose is acceptable.Although ears are often cropped in the USA, care should be taken if showing dogs internationally as cropped ears are an automatic disqualification under some circumstances in some countries.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 32-34 inches/Weight: 130-200 pounds Bitches Height: 30-32 inches/Weight 110-150 pounds. These are average weights for this breed as it can vary a lot between individual dogs.
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia is the most common health problem with this breed, so be sure to purchase your puppy from a breeder whose stock have good test scores. Other problems that occur are heart disease, and Great Danes are prone to bloat. As this breed takes a long time to mature, avoid any serious exercise until over one year old.
  • Life Expectancy:The Great Dane is not a long-lived breed, averaging around 10 years, though some do live longer.
  • Grooming Requirements:Because of their short coat, little grooming is required. Weekly grooming with a stiff brush is recommended. Some Danes love the water so baths can be fun, but many do not which makes it very difficult – weekly brushing helps eliminate the need for bathing.

Great Dane – Breed Behavior

Disposition:

The Great Dane is known as the Gentle Giant for a reason. They are very calm and caring and love to be with their family. Because of their large size training from an early age is very important, mostly to teach them manners such as not jumping or leaning against people. Socialization is also important at a young age as some Great Danes can be slightly dog-aggressive and if they are socialized, this will not be the case.

Activity Level:

Great Danes like nothing more than to lie on a sofa next to their owner, but they do need a good amount of daily exercise. Apartment living would be fine for this breed, as long as they get enough exercise. A large backyard/garden is recommended. As was previously mentioned, puppies should not be exercised too much as a young age because of the strain put on their growing bones.

Dog Breed: German Shepherd

Dog-Breed-German-Shepherd

German Shepherd – Breed Information

Breed Information: The German Shepherd should have a head that is in proportion to its body, which is muscular and elongated. The German Shepherd has a medium-length double coat with a very dense outer layer. These dogs must have a black nose or will be disqualified from showing, and although puppy’s ears will flop over, adults ears must be erect and point forward.While most coat colors are permissible in the show ring, sharp colors are most desired and blue and liver colors are serious faults in the ring white German Shepherds would be disqualified as they are not a recognized color of most kennel clubs.

Size:Dogs Height: 24-26 inches/Weight: 78-85 poundsBitches Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: 78-85 pounds

Breed Specific Health Issues: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is very common in German Shepherds, so be sure both parents have been tested before purchasing a puppy. Epilepsy, blood disorders, and eczema are also often found in this breed.

Life Expectancy:The German Shepherd has an average life expectancy of 12-15 years.Grooming Requirements:As German Shepherds shed hair year-round, it is important to brush them at least every other day to remove excess and keep the hair around the house to a minimum. German Shepherds will also shed heavily twice a year, during which time they should be groomed daily to help them lose their coat. German Shepherds should not be bathed often as this removes important oils from their skin.

German Shepherd – Breed Behavior

Disposition:

German Shepherds are very loyal and full of courage. Because they are so intelligent they are often used as Police dogs this breed loves to work. This breed is excellent at guarding its family, so early socialization must be done to prevent over-guarding when the dog gets older. Training is also important and helps this breed as they are very intelligent and love to please their owner. For German Shepherds to be truly happy they should have a job to do, such as practicing daily for agility trials, or working as a guide dog for the blind. German Shepherds love their family and should not be left alone for too long or else they can suffer from separation anxiety.

Activity Level:

German Shepherds are packed full of energy and love to use their energy for a reason. They are so intelligent they like to have a purpose. If you have the time, activities such as Flyball or obedience trials, or agility trials are perfect for this breed. These dogs could be suited for apartment life, assuming they get enough exercise. They should have at least a medium-sized backyard/garden as well as plenty of exercise on walks or in the local park.

Dog Breed: Doberman Pinscher

Dog-Breed-Doberman-Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Doberman Pinscher is a very muscular and powerful dog which has a hard, short coat that can be black, red, blue, or fawn with copper points (see Kennel Club for specifics). While white Dobermans are being bred, they are still not recognized by most kennel clubs. The Doberman has a short back and a muscular neck leading to a head that bears a resemblance to a blunt wedge. The eyes should be dark with an intelligent expression. Although in the past ears were cropped and tails docked, if dogs are hoping to compete internationally the owner should check current specifications on these details.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 26-28 inches/Weight: 66-68 poundsBitches Height: 24-26 inches/Weight: 66-68 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Although this breed is generally healthy, Hip Dysplasia and heart disease must be looked out for.
  • Life Expectancy: The lifespan of the Doberman Pinscher is 12-15 years on average.
  • Grooming Requirements: As the Doberman has a short, hard coat, not much grooming is required, although wiping their coat with a damp cloth to remove dirt and excess hair is recommended.

Doberman Pinscher – Breed Behavior

Disposition:

Because the Doberman Pinscher was bred to be a guard dog, it is essential that they are socialized from a very early age to avoid over-guarding. Dobermans must also be well-trained well-trained and well-socialized Dobermans are the safest and happiest type. All members of the family should know how to treat the dog to remain higher than the dog in the pack because Dobermans can become pushy if they feel they are higher in the pack class than someone else.

Activity Level:

Dobermans are very energetic and need a lot of exercise. For this reason they would not do well in an apartment, unless it was large and had a large backyard/garden for the dog to spend time in. This being said, Dobermansmust not be left outdoors for long periods of time in the winter as they are not able to stand it.

Dog Breed: Cocker Spaniel

Dog-Breed-Cocker-Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel – Breed Information

Breed Information:The Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a beautiful silky coat. There are many coat color variations of the Cocker Spaniel which are: Black; ASCOB (Any Solid Color Other than Black) which can range from very light blonde to deep red; Parti-Color any two or more solid colors, one of which must be white; and Tan Points – black or ASCOB with tan points in specific locations. Please check with the Kennel Club for specifics on tan point locations.The Cocker has a round head with a square muzzle which has upper lips completely covering the lower jaw. The nose of the black Cocker Spaniel must always be black, though may be brown on other color variations. The body should be solid and the topline should slope slightly from front to back. Although the tail is normally docked in the USA, dogs that are to be shown internationally must conform to new standards on tail docking.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 15 inches/Weight: 15-30 poundsBitches Height: 14 inches/Weight: 15-30 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: The biggest health problems associated with Cockers are eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, although patellar luxation (when the knee slips out of place) is common as well. Problems occasionally seen include Hip Dysplasia, liver disease, and skin allergies.
  • Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy for the Cocker Spaniel is 12 to 15 years.
  • Grooming Requirements: The amount of grooming required depends on the length you choose to leave the dogs coat. Some owners, and especially those who show their dogs, choose to leave the coat long which requires almost daily brushing and bi-weekly bathing. A long coat also requires trimming and clipping occasionally. A more functional way of keeping the coat is trimmed much shorter, although this requires occasional brushing and updated clipping as well.

Cocker Spaniel – Breed Behavior

Disposition:

Cocker Spaniels were bred to be gun dogs and many are still very happy to be so, although they make wonderful house pets as well. As with all dogs, Cockers should be socialized from a young age to ensure they get along with people and other dogs, as well as other pets if you have them. Cockers can be difficult to potty train, although with patience and much positive reinforcement, they eventually get it. There is hardly ever a fight for dominance between dog and owner with the Cocker Spaniel, and they are very loving and loyal.

Activity Level:

Cocker Spaniels need regular exercise as they have a fair amount of energy. For many, a long walk twice a day will be enough, although for many others this wouldn’t be enough exercise.

Cocker Spaniels should have a medium-sized backyard/garden and could live in an apartment, assuming they have enough room to play fetch!

Dog Breed: Border Collie

Dog-Breed-Border-Collie

Playing With Your Dog

No matter what breed of dog you have, your pup is going to want to have some love, affection, and play from its owner. Of course, you need to take your dog out for its daily walks to get it exercise. But it’s also fun to play a game of fetch just to blow off some steam. Hey, playing with your dog is free too, and given that we may be going into one of the worst recessions in years, anything that is free is especially nice right now!

Besides playing fetch, you can teach your dog tricks. Generally, the easier tricks are the ’sit,’ ’shake,’  and ’speak,’ followed by ‘rollover’ which may be a little more difficult to teach your dog. After you teach your dog these tricks, it gets a bit tougher to tackle the higher end tricks.

There are other fun ways to play with your dog. Posing your dog in funny pictures is always fun. There are some really cute pet costumes you can get for your dog. Lots of people like to dress up their dogs in their favorite football team’s jersey and have their dog root for their team on Sundays. There are also lots of cute costumes out there online, such as an Indiana Jones costume. Hey, who knows, maybe your dog will be fighting Nazis and discovering ancient artifacts!

Border Collie – Breed Information

Breed Information: The body of the Border Collie is slightly longer than it is tall, and has a long tail that should never be carried over the dogs back. There are two coat varieties that are permissible for the Border Collie. One type, the coarse type, has longer, straight hair of about 3 inches long, while the sleek type of coat is about 1 inch long. While white should never be the main color of the coat, it is very often seen paired with black, red, and a combination of the three, or tri-colored. Border Collies can also be black and grey, or solid black. The nose should be black, and all colors, except Merles, must have dark eyes. Merles can have one or both blue eyes.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 19-22 inches/Weight: 30-45 pounds Bitches Height: 18-21 inches/Weight: 27-42 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Although generally a resilient dog, some in the breed may experience Hip Dysplasia, and a Collie-specific eye disease called Collie Eye Anomaly. Many Border Collies are also allergic to fleas and great care should be taken to keep these dogs flea-free.
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years is the average life expectancy for the Border Collie.
  • Grooming Requirements: Border Collies need regular, at least weekly, brushing or combing to keep its coat from getting tangled or matted. This breed does not require regular bathing, though it should be checked often for fleas and ticks, especially if it is a working dog.

Dog Breed: Beagle

Dog-Breed-Beagle

Playing With Your Dog

No matter what breed of dog you have, your pup is going to want to have some love, affection, and play from its owner. Of course, you need to take your dog out for its daily walks to get it exercise. But it’s also fun to play a game of fetch just to blow off some steam. Hey, playing with your dog is free too, and given that we may be going into one of the worst recessions in years, anything that is free is especially nice right now!

Besides playing fetch, you can teach your dog tricks. Generally, the easier tricks are the ’sit,’ ’shake,’  and ’speak,’ followed by ‘rollover’ which may be a little more difficult to teach your dog. After you teach your dog these tricks, it gets a bit tougher to tackle the higher end tricks.

There are other fun ways to play with your dog. Posing your dog in funny pictures is always fun. There are some really cute pet costumes you can get for your dog. Lots of people like to dress up their dogs in their favorite football team’s jersey and have their dog root for their team on Sundays. There are also lots of cute costumes out there online, such as an Indiana Jones costume. Hey, who knows, maybe your dog will be fighting Nazis and discovering ancient artifacts!

Beagle – Breed Information

Breed Information: Beagles are compact, square dogs with a short, sleek coat. There are no disqualifying colors for the Beagle, though they tend to be white with patches of red, black, or lemon. Beagles have broad, slightly rounded heads, with a straight muzzle that ends in a black nose with large nostrils. The tail must not curl over the back. Beagles are very well-known for their bark, which sounds like a cross between a bray and a howl.

  • SizeDogs Height: 14-16 inches/Weight: 22-25 pounds Bitches Height: 13-15 inches/Weight: 20-23 pounds. There are two height classes for Beagles. The first class is for dogs between 13-16 inches, and the second is for dogs under 13 inches.
  • Breed Specific Health IssuesSome dogs can have heart disease, back problems, eye disease, and epilepsy in their lines, so a full health test should have been performed on the parents of any puppy you are considering. Chondroplasia, dwarfism, can also be found in Beagles, resulting in warped front legs. Life Expectancy:The life expectancy for the Beagle is between 12 and 15 years.Grooming Requirements:As the Beagle has a short, glossy coat, very little grooming is required. Brush with a stiff brush once a week. Bathing the Beagle should only be done when necessary, and the ears should be cleaned monthly.

Dog Breed: Basset Hound

Dog-Breed-Basset-Hound

Playing With Your Dog

No matter what breed of dog you have, your pup is going to want to have some love, affection, and play from its owner. Of course, you need to take your dog out for its daily walks to get it exercise. But it’s also fun to play a game of fetch just to blow off some steam. Hey, playing with your dog is free too, and given that we may be going into one of the worst recessions in years, anything that is free is especially nice right now!

Besides playing fetch, you can teach your dog tricks. Generally, the easier tricks are the ’sit,’ ’shake,’  and ’speak,’ followed by ‘rollover’ which may be a little more difficult to teach your dog. After you teach your dog these tricks, it gets a bit tougher to tackle the higher end tricks.

There are other fun ways to play with your dog. Posing your dog in funny pictures is always fun. There are some really cute pet costumes you can get for your dog. Lots of people like to dress up their dogs in their favorite football team’s jersey and have their dog root for their team on Sundays. There are also lots of cute costumes out there online, such as an Indiana Jones costume. Hey, who knows, maybe your dog will be fighting Nazis and discovering ancient artifacts!

Basset Hound – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Basset Hound has a short, shiny coat, and while there are no specifications on coloration, they usually have a white base with reddish-colored markings and or red and black markings on white, and occasionally lemon and white. The skin of the Basset Hound is loose and hangs in folds behind the head. They have long ears that will meet past the end of the nose if pulled forward, sad-looking eyes and lips that hang down past the lower jaw. The Basset Hound also has a very deep chest that extends past his front legs, and a pronounced dewlap.

  • Size: Dogs Height: 12-15 inches/Weight: 50-65 pounds Bitches Height: 11-14 inches/Weight: 45-60 pounds
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: The only problems usually associated with Basset Hounds are the strain on their legs and back because of their very long body and very short legs. These problems can be kept to a minimum if a proper diet is fed allowing a Basset Hound to become overweight will put unnecessary strain on their bodies.
  • Life Expectancy: Basset Hounds average life span is around 10 to 12 years.
  • Grooming Requirements: The Basset Hounds coat is very easy to care for, needing only the occasional, once weekly, grooming with a stiff brush. Bassets do shed year-round, but not as heavily as other breeds. Also, due to the long-hanging ears, cleaning inside the ears is very important to keep them clean.

Dog Breed: Alaskan Malmute

Dog-Breed-Alaskan-Malmute

Breed Information:

Alaskan Malamutes are large and strong, and as they originate in the cold climate of the Arctic, they have a very thick double coat. This coat can be black and white, red, white, or they can be wolf marked in grey or sable. This means the dogs have the markings of a grey wolf, or have a reddish undercoat covered by a grey topcoat. Malamutes have furry feet and tough foot pads to protect them from the ice and snow. The eyes must be of a dark colour as blue eyes are a fault that will disqualify dogs from being shown, and their tails must be carried curled over the back.
Size: Dogs Height: 24-26 inches/Weight: 80-95 pounds

Bitches  Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: 70-85 pounds

  • Breed Specific Health Issues: There are few health problems associated with the Alaskan Malamute. Hip Dysplasia is occasionally seen, though this is common with many larger dogs. Some dogs carry the gene for chondrodysplasia, or dwarfism, so you must be sure a puppys parents have been tested prior to purchase.
  • Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy for the Alaskan Malamute is 12-15 years. Grooming Requirements:Due to the heavy coat this breed has, a lot of grooming is required. It should be brushed at least three times a week, and more frequently during their moult which happens twice a year. During this time the dogs’ coat will be shed in large clumps and it is most beneficial if you help the dog lose his coat faster by brushing it out. There is no need to give Malamutes a bath, though, as their coat naturally rids itself of dirt naturally.

Alaskan Malmute – Breed Behavior

Disposition:

Malamutes are very intelligent, friendly, and loyal dogs. As they are so friendly with people they do not make especially good guard dogs. It is usually very easy to train Malamutes because they want nothing more than to please their owner, though housebreaking can prove difficult in some situations. Because Alaskan Malamutes have a high prey drive, it is very important to supervise them around all small animals, although if socialized from an early enough age, Malamutes can be very friendly to other animals.

Activity Level:

Malamutes do well with a mid-level amount of exercise, although less is required in warmer months so they do not get too hot. Although they do not need a large amount of exercise, Malamutes do well with a large amount of space. Apartment living is definitely not recommended for this breed of dog, and a large backyard or garden is a must, as is a high fence that extends into the ground as Malamutes are known for jumping over fences and digging their way out of backyards.

Dog Breed: Airedale Terrier

Dog-Breed-Airedale-Terrier

Breed information: Airedale terriers are the largest breed in the terrier family. They have a bristly, wiry top coat that is tan with black or dark grey markings and a soft undercoat. The legs, belly, sides, head and ears should all be tan, though a small white patch on the chest is allowed, as are dark markings on either side of the head. Airedales have a back where the shoulders are even with the hips, called a level topline, their tails are usually docked, though with new standards being introduced in the UK and Europe, undocked tails are acceptable so long as they do not curl over the back. The front legs must be straight and whole body should appear square.

  • Size: Dogs Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: 50-65 pounds.

Bitches Height: 22-23 inches/Weight: 40-45 pounds

  • Breed Specific Health Issues: Overall a healthy breed of dog, though hip dysplasia is occasionally a problem. Eye diseases are also seen in the breed as well as dry skin being an issue.Life Expectancy:10-12 years is the average life expectancy for the Airedale Terrier.Grooming Requirements:As Airedales have a short, wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat, they need to be groomed often. Regular brushing, weekly if not daily, is needed to keep shedding to a minimum. Stripping of the coat is also recommended for the Airedale to keep their skin in top condition.

Airedale Terrier – Breed Behavior

Disposition:
Airedales can be very strong-willed so training and socializing with both humans and other dogs should start at a very early age. Airedales will also get along with cats and other small animals if introduced and socialized very early. These dogs are very loyal and love their owners, and do well with strangers if socialized well enough. Airedales are easily distracted by exciting things in their environment, meaning that they may not listen to your call if the neighbours cat goes racing by!

Varied training is recommended for Airedales as they quickly tire of repetitive tasks, and they also do well with a person who has had dogs in the past and knows how to be the dominant one in the pack. Airedales are known to try and assert their dominance over anyone they see as submissive, so all members of the family must know how to treat the dog.

Activity Level:
As Airedale Terriers were bred to work, they require a fair amount of exercise to keep them happy. As Airedales are so intelligent, they can be trained to do Agility courses or Obedience Trials which will use a lot of their energy, although simply taking them for long walks and playing fetch can achieve the same results. Like most dogs the Airedales activity level will go down after the first two years or so, though not by a vast amount.

As Airedales are so active, it is not recommended that they live in apartments unless it is a very large apartment with a lot of room. Airedales also require outdoor space, so a medium to large-sized back yard/garden is ideal.

A Pet Dog for a Healthier You

Looking for a new way to make yourself exercise no matter how resistant you may seem to occasionally be and also get the benefits of a wonderful companion? How about getting the healthy side effects of loving touch as an added bonus? Dogs provide a lot more than just fun companionship. They are a truly healthy way to enhance your life in many other ways also. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a dog can really enhance your health and fitness!

Love is something that is hard to explain scientifically, but loving touch actually produces chemicals that relieve stress and as a result make a person much happier. When your pet licks or nuzzles you lovingly it produces a very positive reaction. Specifically, in scientific terms, a chemical called “oxytocin” is produced and sent into your body to sooth and relax. This chemical causes a significant reduction in stress levels which is rather obviously great for your health as it relieves tension which is the only real issue. Anyone who is kind to their pets and has a good relationship with them will almost definitely benefit from their affectionate touch.

Taking care of pets is an exercise in loving kindness when done appropriately. Your pets are as children, or at least should be. To take care of a pet is in and of itself a healthy activity as it provides an inward feeling of elated satisfaction. Seeing an adorable puppy jumping for joy, one can’t help but feel happier and more energetic. Imperviously happy children make for happy parents even when the parents are tired from their day or similar. This can also act as a motivational aspect for getting some exercise.

Exercising with your pet can be a wonderful way to get out in the world and get some fitness into your daily schedule. Running or walking along side your pet is a wonderful way to spark an enjoyable purpose for your otherwise potentially mundane jog or walk. The fact that your pet likely requires that you go outside for a walk, in order to answer its proverbial call of nature, is an amazing motivator for getting the exercise you should already be getting.

Another way to exercise with your pet is play. Playing ball or Frisbee or some other similar game with your four legged friend can really be a lot of fun for both of you! You likely will be chasing the ball around for quite a while depending on the breed of puppy and how new the game is.

Yet another healthy perk that dogs love is the great outdoors and you really benefit from the fresh air and other natural wonders involved in enjoying it with your puppy. A trip to the park is a whole new adventure and a walk along the lake is a new treat for your pet.

One day you will possibly look back and wonder how you ever stayed as fit before your puppy came along. So if you don’t have one yet, and have a big enough house and yard for a playful puppy to enjoy, then consider adopting one from a local public facility for stray dogs. You will likely be very happy you did!