Dog Breeds 101: Pembroke Welsh Corgi

 

Pembroke-Welsh-Corgi-On-White-01.jpgKEY INFORMATION

Lifespan

Height

Weight

12-14 years

10-12 inches

27 to 30 pounds

pembroke-welsh-corgi.jpgTEMPERAMENT

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is known for being a happy, loving and intelligent breed. However, they can have a stubborn and independent streak. Generally they are easy to train but they do like to think for themselves at times.

This breed loves food and it can be used as a great motivator during training, but as they love to eat they can easily become obese if their food is not regulated.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis make good watchdogs as they are suspicious of strangers and are quick to bark when their households or themselves feel threatened.

Like all dogs the Pembroke Welsh Corgi requires early socialisation to ensure they grow into healthy, happy and well-rounded adults.

prance-8.jpgGROOMING

This breed is double coated with a think undercoat and longer topcoat; because of this they shed continuously with heavy shedding twice a year. They are easy to groom but shedding can cause a problem is brushing isn’t kept up with. It is recommended to brush your Pembroke Welsh Corgi once a day while they are going through their heavy shedding.

CHILDREN AND OTHER PETS

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi will get on well with children but due to their natural herding instinct they are prone to biting children on the ankles and feet. This is a behaviour that can be trained out at a young age however.

Again, as long as they are socialised with other pets in the household they will get along well.

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Dog Breeds 101: Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Hi guys,

I know I’ve been missing for several months but the time has come to make my return, I have missed blogging and sharing my knowledge and connecting with people online, but I did completely lose my inspiration and motivation for the blog and I had got to a point where I wasn’t happy with the posts that were going up! A break was well needed so that I could get my head in the right place to continue delivering content that I am proud of and that people will enjoy.

With all that said I’m going to dive into this post!

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KEY INFORMATION

Lifespan

Height

Weight

10-12 years

65-82cm

36-54kg

TEMPERAMENT

Pyreneans although giant in stature, are gentle dogs particularly around children which has made them a family favourite for many years. However, like many large dogs Pyreneans are slow to mature and only reach full maturity between 3 and 4 years of age, and this must be taking into account when training them.

Also, Pyreneans contain a stubborn streak that can provide further challenges during training, but despite this they are extremely loyal and form unbreakable bonds with their families. They respond well to positive reinforcement training but don’t take too kindly to any negative reinforcement, which may lead them to more disobedient behaviour. Furthermore, they enjoy the sound of their own voices and will bark at any noise unless this behaviour is assessed early on in life.

Like all dogs the Pyrenean Mountain Dog requires socialisation from a young age to enable them to mature into well-rounded and happy dogs.

Also, due to their inquisitive nature Pyreneans are quite the escape artists and so a well fenced yard is required to ensure they don’t leave for their own adventures. They also contain a high prey drive so intense training is needed for off leash walking as they are generally unresponsive to a recall command when they are in that frame of mind.

pyrenean-mountain-dog-puppy.jpgFAMILY LIVING

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog loves being in a family environment and thoroughly enjoy being involved in things that go on around them, which includes playing with children. While most Pyreneans take care to be extra gentle around children, their large size and strength can be something of an issue and extra attention is needed around the children.

Pyreneans will get on with other pets in the house such as cats if they have been raised with them and if socialised correctly they will also get along with other dogs.

HEALTH

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog has some hereditary conditions such as:

  • Hip dysplasia (due to their size, risk factor can reduced by not allowing the dog to climb up and down stairs, and to use shorter walks until they have reached maturity to ensure that there is less stress on the joints while they are growing)
  • Epilepsy
  • Tricuspid dysplasia
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Entropion (eyelids folding inwards)
  • Bloat/Gastric torsion (the risk of this can also be minimised by using a raised feeder and ensuring the dog doesn’t eat too quickly)

Pyrenean-Mountain-Dog.jpgGROOMING

Pyreneans require a lot of grooming due to their double coat. Ideally, they need to be brushed everyday to remove dead and loose hair and prevent matting. As they have a double coat they shed a lot of hair, more so in the Spring and then Autumn.

It is also important to keep their ears clean to prevent a build up of wax that can cause ear infections.

EXERCISE

Although the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a low energy dog they still require a decent amount of exercising. The recommended amount is around 2 hours of exercise a day for these dogs to ensure they have enough physical and mental stimulation. However, as said earlier it is important to not overexercise a Pyrenean early in life while their bones and joints are still developing to avoid issues with their joints later in life.

 

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My Experience With A Difficult Dog

Happy New Year to my readers! I hope you had a good holiday season and you are now looking forward to the New Year like myself. For this post I’m going to be writing about my experience with my difficult dog.

IMG_0158.JPGJust over three years ago we got a new puppy who we picked because he was the runt of the litter, getting picked on by the other puppies in his litter and had an infection running throughout his tiny body. The breeder mentioned that he had growled at everyone who had been to see him. It was for all these reasons that we picked him, knowing that he was likely to be a difficult dog and that if he went to the wrong people disaster could happen.

Our little puppy found his home on my sister’s knee and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to come off. He was a scared little guy. Luckily he was introduced to all of my family while he was still extremely young and so was unable to physically do damage to us. Now that he is older however, it is almost impossible to introduce him to new people without him being muzzled. We don’t trust him to not try to attack and are responsible dog owners who would never allow that to happen.

IMG_1921.JPGOn walks he is perfectly fine with a head collar and a choke collar which allows us to move his focus and to also discipline him if necessary. It did take a lot of hard work to get to this point as he usually just cowered whenever a car went past and then refused to move any further.

Last year I got into a relationship and this caused some problems regarding our little psycho dog as we call him. It meant that for my other half to visit my house, the dog needed to be muzzled. Unfortunately muzzling him makes him much more aggressive than he is without.

IMG_1922.JPGOn Christmas, we made a big breakthrough on my puppy and partner’s relationship. Using a head collar and choke collar we were able to keep my dog under control and calm long enough for my partner to give him commands and reward him with a treat. It really was Christmas!!

Do any of my reader have experience with difficult dogs? Leave me a comment below or speak to me over at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

Snow Day Fun

The little town that I call ‘home’ experienced some snow this past week. Living up a gigantic hill isn’t always helpful when it snows resulting in several stuck vehicles and a bus blocking the road.

However, the snow did allow me to get out and take some pictures with the dog, so for this post I just wanted to share the pictures that I managed to capture before the snow melted.

I hope you enjoy seeing my photos as this is something different than normal for this blog.

Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Also let me know if you’d like to see more of my photography!

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Dog Breeds 101: Vizsla

Vizsla_SERP.jpgThe Vizsla or Hungarian Vizsla as it is sometimes known is a large sized breed in the Gundog group. They reach heights between 53-64cm and can weigh between 18-30kg; with a lifespan of between 9 and 15 years.

CARE
vizslasf2.jpgVizslas don’t adapt well to apartments and need a large sized house with plenty of garden space for them to explore. They are extremely energetic and need lots of vigorous daily exercise otherwise they can become hyperactive. Vizslas hate the rain and many will simply refuse to go out in it. In these instances, you could potentially use an indoor treadmill to help burn off some of their extra energy.

Grooming wise they are very low maintenance, just needed a brush once a week. The breed also is a low shedding breed so you are less likely to find hairs everywhere.

TEMPERAMENT
thumbs_1-forwardstance.jpgVizslas are a highly intelligent and loyal breed and so make great family pets and they are good around children of all ages. Their intelligence makes them relatively easy to train, however they are a sensitive dog so they can be easily hurt. They can also suffer from selective hearing and stubbornness so consistent training is key. Unfortunately, Vizslas hate being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety.

 
HEALTH
Vizslas are considered one of the healthiest dog breeds, with a long life expectancy for their size. However like all breeds they are prone to certain conditions.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Polymyopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Cancer
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Dwarfism

I hope this post helped you decide on whether you have what it takes to adopt a Vizsla into your home.

If you need any more advice of information just leave me a comment and I will gladly get back to you.

If you’ve got a Vizsla I’d love to see some photos, you can leave them in the comments or send them to me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Click here for more Dog Breeds 101.

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Positive vs. Negative Training

DEFINITIONS

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Positive Reinforcement
The process of encouraging or establishing a pattern of behaviour by offering a reward when the behaviour is exhibited.
Providing a treat when a dog ‘sits’ when asked.


Negative Reinforcement
The process by which an animal learns a behaviour to stop an unpleasant experience.
A dog learning to walk to ‘heel’ to avoid being choked by their collar.

Positive PunishmentConfusion-About-Negative-Reinforcement-During-Dog-Training-1.jpg
Presenting an aversive or unpleasant consequence after an undesired experience is exhibited.
Pulling on a choke lead when a dog is walking too far in front. Sending a dog into their bed or other room after excessive barking, biting or other undesirable behaviour.

Negative Punishment
Removing a reinforcing stimulus after an undesired behaviour is exhibited.
Removing a dog’s toy if they are chewing instead of playing. 

BUT WHICH METHOD IS THE BEST?

puppy  play.jpgSeveral studies have compared these different training methods to test their effectiveness. Lalli et al, 1999 found than the compliance of participants was higher when it produced an edible item rather than a neutral response such as a break.

Blackwell et al. 2008 sent out a questionnaire survey to dog owners to discover which training methods they used. 16% only used positive reinforcement, 12% used a combination of positive and negative reinforcement. 40% used a combination of all methods and 72% used some form of positive punishment. The mean number of undesirable behaviours was 11.3 per dog and formal training classes didn’t significantly affect the total numbers of undesirable behaviours reported. However, dogs that attended puppy socialisation classes were less likely to exhibit undesirable behaviours suggesting that socialisation at a young age is much more important than training in order to reduce the incidence of undesirable behaviours.

Unknown.jpegHiby et al. 2004 found that owner’s ratings of dog obedience correlated positively with being trained using rewards. They also found that when dogs were training using punishment, they were more likely to exhibit problematic behaviours; because of this it was suggested that positive training methods are more useful for the pet owning community.

Judging from the above studies, it seems that the best training method is positive reinforcement as a way to reduce undesirable behaviours; but perhaps the best way to avoid undesirable behaviours developing is to ensure that puppies are properly socialised from a young age.

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Dog Breeds 101: Rhodesian Ridgeback

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog in the Hound class! They are also known as the Lion Dog, African Lion Dog or simply Ridgeback.

SIZE
Rhodesian Ridgebacks stand between 24-27 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh between 70-85 pounds.

HEALTH
five-fascinating-facts-about-the-rhodesian-ridgeback-dog-breed-58a1be552ceda.jpgRidgebacks are a relatively healthy breed with a lifespan of between 9-15 years. However, as with all dogs, the breed is susceptible to certain conditions. For Ridgebacks this includes elbow and hip dysplasia due to their size; and also dermoid sinus (which is a congenital skin condition and so is present from birth).

CARE
Ridgebacks are able to adapt to a variety of living situations as long as they get sufficient daily exercise. The minimum suggested amount of exercise is a couple of 15-20 minute walks daily. However, Rhodesians will try to escape if they become bored and they love to dig so that they can lie in the cool and comfortable dirt. The coat of Ridgebacks tends to be odour-free and they are very low maintenance in terms of grooming; requiring brushing with a wire brush once a week.

PERSONALITY
RhodesianRidgebackPurebredDogBrucePuppy14WeeksOld.jpgRidgebacks are intelligent and independent with a high prey drive meaning they need to be walked on-lead at all times and a high fenced yard is needed to avoid them going off hunting alone. They are extremely playful and exuberant during puppyhood but they mature into a quiet dog with moderate exercise needs. Ridgebacks are extremely protective of their homes and so are prone to excessive barking. They are also reserved with strangers but gentle and affectionate with family members. Although, they are very tolerate of children of all ages, they are still a large dog and so close care is needed around younger children.

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