Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

Archive for July, 2013

The Worker – Belgian Sheepdog

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The Belgian Sheepdog, classified in the herding group, is a breed well known for its working role during World War I and its excellent work ethic, which often leads to the breed being used as guide dogs, tracking dogs, and even therapy dogs.

A brief history of the Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian_SheepdogThe Belgian Sheepdog can be dated back to the late 1800s, when a group of dog fanciers in Belgium and breeders decided to create a new breed of sheep dog. The official creation of the breed occurred in 1891, when it was known as the “Berger Belge,” although it later became known as the Belgian Sheepdog. The breed continued to be developed throughout the early 20th century, when many of the faults or inconsistencies with the breed were corrected. During World War I, the breed was frequently used in a variety of services, such as carrying messages, pulling machine guns, and for use as ambulance dogs.

Today, there are four different variants or types of Belgian Sheepdog. These are the Groenendael, Laekeonis, Tervuren, and Malinois. Some organizations consider each variety of Belgian Sheepdog to be its own separate breed, while others group all four variants under the same breed name. The American Kennel Club, for example, only classifies the Groenendael Belgian Sheepdog as a Belgian Sheepdog, while the Tervuren variant is known as the Belgian Tervuren. The Canadian Kennel Club, on the other hand, recognizes all four variations as the same breed of dog.

Characteristics

All varieties of Belgian Sheepdog are medium to large in size with a similar underlying body structure, which resembles a German shepherd except for their shorter hind legs. Their most distinctive feature is their tall, pointed erect ears and their equal, square-type body. The breed is typically about 24 to 26 inches in height at the shoulders and they generally weigh about 65 to 70 lbs. when they are fully grown. Generally, female Belgian Sheepdogs are lighter and smaller than their male counterparts. The breed has a thick double coat, which is found in all four varieties or types of Belgian Sheepdog. Colors range from browns, whites, blacks, greys, and sables.

The Belgian Sheepdog is considered to be a highly intelligent, alert and sensitive breed. They are known for intelligence, loyalty, and their ability to be sensitive to the people around them. They are often used as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and therapy dogs due to their intelligence and sensitivity. They can make excellent family companions, although they do require daily exercise and mental stimulation due to their energy level and their exceptional intelligence.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The breed is still known as the Chien de Berger Belge in many European countries.
  • The breed’s popularity waned during the Great Depression, but rose sharply after the end of the Second World War.
  • It is estimated that about nine percent of Belgian Sheepdogs have seizures or forms of epilepsy; it is not know why the breed is particularly susceptible to these issues.

The Shepherd – Bearded Collie

Friday, July 5th, 2013

The Bearded Collie, classified in the herding group, is a breed well known for its long body, shaggy coat, and its herding abilities. The word “Collie” is actually a generic Scottish word which is used for dogs which herd sheep.

A brief history of the Bearded Collie

Bearded_CollieThe Bearded Collie is believed to be one of Scotland’s oldest dog breeds. However, the exact nature of their history is unknown, as exact records of their development throughout the centuries were not kept. According to legend, the breed began to be developed in the early 16th century, after a Scottish shepherd traded with a Polish merchant for his Polish Lowland Sheepdogs. These Polish dogs are believed to have then been bred with local Scottish dogs, eventually producing what became known as the Bearded Collie.

The modern history of the breed is better documented. Olive Willison, a dog breeder, bred her Bearded Collie Jeannie with another Bearded Collie, owned by a man named David. The dogs from this line are considered to be the foundation of the modern Bearded Collie breed.

Characteristics

The Bearded Collie is typically about 21 to 22 inches in height at the shoulders and reaches 40 to 60 lbs. in weight as adults. There are particularly known for their long, shaggy fur as well as their lean and agile bodies. Their fur coat requires daily brushing and combing to prevent matting and tangling. Their coats come in a number of colors; the most common colors are grey and white, although variations of coats with tan, red and brown are also found in the breed.

Personality wise, the Bearded Collie is known to be an excellent pet for owners who are able to handle their high energy level and their need for extensive grooming. Because Bearded Collies were bred to herd sheep, they require daily exercise and do best with exercise that stimulates their mind as well as their bodies. They are loyal dogs who, when socialized properly, can get along with other dogs and animals as well.

The breed is especially prone to Addison’s disease, which is a disease that causes insufficient production of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in the adrenal cortex; it is believed to occur in up to 3.4% of Bearded Collies. Symptoms are often ignored because they are readily mistaken for symptoms of other conditions. Symptoms include lethargy, gastric disturbances that occur with frequency, and an inability to tolerate stress.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The Bearded Collie is still used by farmers to herd farm animals such as sheep and cattle; however, some farmers in Scotland and Wales have expressed dismay at the abilities of many modern Bearded Collies, who are usually bred with appearance–such as a magnificent coat–in mind, rather than their agility or hardiness.
  • The Bearded Collie has the nickname “bouncing Beardie,” due to its need to bounce up and down to see sheep when hiding in long grass or bushes.
  • In the original production of James Barrie’s play, Peter Pan, the role of Nana the nursery dog was played by a Bearded Collie.

The spirited Dog – Australian Terrier

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Australian Terrier, classified in the terrier group, is a small dog while known for its confident personality, versatile abilities as a companion and working dog, and the alert expression often found in their eyes.

A brief history of the Australian Terrier

Australian_TerrierThe Australian Terrier breed is one of several terrier breeds which are descended from rough-coat terriers which were initially brought to the United Kingdom in the early 19th century, primarily by sailors and others traveling from Australia. These earlier rough-coat terriers were usually bred and kept in order to kill vermin, such as mice and rats, living in farms, kitchens and other areas of a home or property. The Australian Terrier first began to be developed around the 1820s by Australian breeders. The breed was first recognized in 1850, when it was known as the Rough Coated Terrier. In 1892, it was renamed the Australian Terrier. Although the breed was first shown in 1906 in Australia, it was only recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Kennel Club in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, the breed is sometimes still used as a working dog due to its ability to adapt to a number of versatile working behaviors. It is also commonly used as a companion dog.

Characteristics

The breed is small and typically reaches about 8 to 10 inches at the shoulders. Australian Terriers typically weigh about 14 lbs., with the female of the breed usually weighing less than the male. The breed has a double coat and rough fur, which is typically shaggy unless trimmed or cut short. They come in several colors, including red, tan, and shades of brown. The tail of this breed was traditionally docked throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, but today the practice is not as common and, in some areas, is illegal. They have dark eyes which have an alert expression, showing their underlying energy and liveliness.

Personality wise, the Australian Terrier is known for being alert, energetic, and according to the breed standard, has a “natural aggressiveness of a ratter.” Although they are naturally aggressive to vermin and other types of unwanted prey, they were also bred for companionship and are known to enjoy social interaction and the company of people. They are especially well known for enjoying the company of children and the elderly—this is potentially because children and the elderly bring out the natural protective nature of the Australian Terrier, who is a loyal and protective family dog. The breed has the tendency to become aggressive around other dogs, however, and needs special training and care to ensure a harmonious relationship with other dogs in a home.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The Australian Terrier was the first dog to be both bred and shown in in Australia, its ‘native land.’
  • Their double coat and harsh fur allows them to be adaptable to many different types of climates.
  • The Australian Terrier breed is known to be susceptible to cancer and endocrine problems, such as diabetes.

Great Japanese Dog – Akita

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The Akita, classified in the working group, is a working breed with Japanese origins. It is well known for its curled, plush tail and its hard-working personality.

A brief history of the Akita

AkitaThe Akita is one of the oldest dogs native to Japan. The ancestors of the Akita, the Matagai, were used as bear hunting and deer hunting dogs. The Akita, so named because they were developed in the Akita prefecture, was initially used almost solely as hunting dogs. However, they were also bred to be family companions and–in some particular strains–fighting dogs as well.

In 1931, the Japanese government declared the breed a “Japanese Natural Monument.” The first Akitas to travel to the United States were owned by Helen Keller, who received them as a gift during a 1937 visit to the country. During World War II, the Japanese war time government ordered that all non-military dogs be culled from the population. The breed was pushed nearly to extinction during this time period, for several reasons. Many dogs died due to a lack of food, whileothers were killed in order to be eaten by the starving civilian population–especially those in rural areas, with little to no access to government rations. Finally, thousands of dogs were killed on sight due to the Japanese military order to cull all non-military dogs from the country. Some owners were able to save their dogs by letting them loose in remote mountain areas, breeding them with German Shepherds, or otherwise hiding them from government authorities.

After the war, the population once again began to stabilize due to the efforts of Japanese breeders and pet owners. Today, there is some controversy over whether or not the two styles of Akita, Japanese and American, are considered separate breeds. Traditional breeders tend to categorize the two styles as separatebreeds; however, most American and Canadian breeders consider them separate styles rather than two different breeds.

Characteristics

The Japanese style Akita is smaller than its American counterpart, which typically reaches about 24-28 inches in height at the shoulders and can weigh anywhere from 70 lbs.–although this lower weight is usually restricted to females–to 130 lbs. the Japanese type Akita is usually smaller and lighter. They have a bear-like head with triangular ears which are erect and are at a slight angle, which follows the overarch of the dog’s neck. They have thick coats and a curled tail which curls over the top of their back.

The Akita is a very territorial breed which is usually cold around strangers but loving and affectionate with family members. They are physically powerful and dominant and, if trained properly, should be protective of family members during a situation which is threatening but accepting–and not aggressive–around strangers who are not threatening.

Did you know? Trivia

The most famous Akita is arguably Hachiko, a dog who would travel to and from a train station every day with his owner. His owner, a professor, suffered a stroke one day at work and did not return to the train station to get Hachiko. The dog was eventually cared for by the man’s relatives, but every day he returned to the train station and kept vigil for his master’s return. A statue, which was melted down in WW2 and remade after the war, was erected in his honor.