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Top 5 winter dog breeds


November 28, 2011
Peter

Chihuahua

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While most dogs, like us humans, prefer a warm climate, some of them thrive in cold weather and definitely don’t need to be dressed in winter. In this post, we are introducing 5 dog breeds that we think are best suited for cold climates.

1. Siberian Husky

Our number one breed must be the Siberian Husky, a dog made for enduring cold weather and harsh conditions. Huskies were bred in Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads over long distances, which made them indispensable to their people. Admiral Robert peary for instance trusted Huskies with his life in search for the North pole in the early 20th century. Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs, sporting a dense double coat and a peculiar pair of eyes in ice blue, dark blue, amber or brown colour. Heterochromia is quite common among Huskies, so don’t be surprised if you come across with a brown and blue eyed specimen. The Husky is a very intelligent and agile dog, which makes it the perfect candidate for obedience trials and sled-racing. Although a pair of glowing, ice blue eyes might seem irresistible to some potential owners, we only recommend the Siberian Husky to people who can provide the dog with lots of mental and physical stimulation.

2. Alaskan Malamute

Second on our list is the Alaskan Malamute, which is just as good at enduring cold weather as the Husky, but its working abilities are limited to pulling heavy loads over shorter distances. If you were looking to get an Alaskan Malamute as a pet dog, you should be aware that they are one of the most difficult breeds to train. Over the centuries of living in the harshest environments, they had to rely on their intelligence and resourcefulness to survive and are not so keen to obey orders. At the same time, Malamutes are particularly fond of people, which makes them great family pets, even if they get stubborn at times.

3. Bernese Mountain Dog

The only European breed on our list is the Bernese Mountain Dog. It is a heavy dog with a distinctive tricolor coat and a white “Swiss cross” on the chest. Berners have historically been used for guarding property and herding stock in the Swiss Alps, but today they are mostly sought for their friendly nature and good companion qualities. This easy going and kind hearted breed is recommended to any family with children, provided that they are prepared for loosing their pet in only 7 years, which is the average life expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

4. Akita Inu

The Japanese Akita is another great choice for a cold climate. A large and powerful dog, it is not recommended for the first time dog owner. However, they make perfect family pets: the breed is supposed to have a natural affinity with children, just like retrievers have one with sticks and balls. The best way to illustrate the Akita’s devotion and loyalty to its family is the story of Hachiko. Hachiko used to accompany his master to the train station every day and come back to meet him again in the afternoon. One day the master never came, but Hachiko waited and returned every day for the rest of his life.

5. Chow Chow

If you are looking to have a somewhat smaller dog, who still doesn’t need to be dressed in winter, the Chow Chow may be your best bet. Its dense double coat protects it from the coldest weather and gives it the look of a lion, which is probably why the Chinese call it Songshi Quan, literally meaning “puffy-lion dog”. Being extremely protective of their territory, Chow Chows make perfect guard and watch dogs, but may not be appropriate for the first time dog owner.

Many other dog breeds will do just fine in cold weather, but with the ones on this list, you’ll definitely save the money you’d spend on your Chihuahua’s winter wardrobe. 

Catgegory: Dog Facts

Dognapping on the rise


August 24, 2011
Peter

dognappingAccording to a recent article of USA Today, the number of dogs being stolen has risen dramatically in 2011.

Stealing dogs with the intention of demanding a ransom from the owner is not
a new phenomenon. In fact, the first ever dognapping case was recorded in 1934. The stolen Boston Terrier was returned to its
owner after 5 long months so the story had a happy ending.

Dogs become part of our families. They will be just like a small brother or
sister to the kids. And when they are kidnapped and there is a chance that
money can buy them back, we pay gladly – provided that we have the money
demanded, that is.

Over time, as conformation showing became more popular, show dogs became the
targets of thieves. It’s easy to see that if the owner of a regular dog is
willing to pay thousands of dollars in ransom, the owner of a valuable show dog
might pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his pooch back.

Dognapping – not only for ransom but reselling, experiments and a number of
other purposes – has become widespread in the United States by the 60’s. So
much so that it had actually become one of the most talked about issues of the
time. The public dismay and the floods of letters demanding something to be
done put enormous pressure on the senate. As a result, the “Dognapping Law”,
which became the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was born.

Almost fifty years later, the situation seems to be getting out of control once
again. According to the AKC, reports of stolen dogs rose by 49% in the first 7
months of 2011. The numbers have been growing steadily since 2008, which is –
to a large extent – due to the economic turmoil the world is going through.

Fortunately, a Euro Puppy dog has never been stolen, but we thought a list
of breeds that are more likely to become the victims of theft could be useful
to our customers as well as any dog owner:

If you have a dog of one of the above breeds, your dog is a more attractive
target for a criminal than most other breeds because of its size, popularity or
both. You need to pay extra attention when going for walks and meeting
strangers. Never leave your dog tied to post in front of a store or alone in a
car.
Unless your dog is very obedient and always comes back when called, never
let him off the leash in public
.

If the breed of your dog is not listed above, that doesn’t mean you should
not be careful of course. Any dog that is left unattended will become an
attractive target of a thief looking for its next victim.
 

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Popular Paws # 24: Husky


July 12, 2010
ann

 

Huskies from the Movie: “Eight Below” ( 2006 )

Eight Below is a Walt Disney Pictures film which was released in 2006 in the US. It is the fictional re-imagining of the true events of the 1958 occurrence moved forward to 1993; the last year that sled dogs were used in Antarctica. Jerry Shepard is a guide at an Antarctica research base under contract with the National Science Foundation. UCLA professor, Dr. Davis McClaren arrives at the base and presses Shepard to take him to Mount Melbourne to find a rare meteorite.

Shepard does so against his own intuition, which tells him that it is too late in the season. Battling hypothermia, frostbite and near white-out conditions, it is the dogs’ stamina and keen sense of direction that gets Shepard and McClaren back to base. They are immediately evacuated, but with too much weight in the plane to carry both people and dogs, the human team plans to return later for the dogs. The dogs are temporarily left behind, but the storm is worse than expected. Five months later, Shepard decides to throw his all into rescuing the dogs. The dogs must struggle for survival alone in the Antarctic wilderness until Shepard and McClaren eventually return to rescue them, more than six months later. Six of the eight dogs survive.

Huskies are brave survivors. They are in their element when they can be free. They are a hardy and healthy breed.

Eight below: the movie

Huskies

Catgegory: Famous Dogs

Popular Paws # 5: Akita Inu


ann

Akita Inu: “Gin” from Silver Fang (1986)

This is a story of an Akita Inu pup called Gin (Japanese for “silver”) who leaves his owner, to join a pack of dogs. The pack gathers strong dogs from all over Japan to fight a deranged bear and his minions. The Japanese Cartoon: Silver Fang, was inspired by a news article which told of hunting dogs that had been abandoned by their masters and had begun living as wild animals…

Akita Inu:Gin

The dogs communicate with each other through speech, though it continues to be barks and whines to human ears. Other dogs from the film include: a German Shepherd, a Great Dane, A Weinmaraner, a Cocker Spaniel, a Japanese Kai Ken dog, a Rough Collie, a Siberian Husky, a Dachshund, a Japanese Tosa Inu fighting dog and a Japanese Kishu Inu dog. The Japanese Akita Inu has been declared a national treasure in Japan since 1931 and this breed was originally bred to fight, and hunt bears. No wonder an Akita Inu played the main character in this Japanese story that became famous all over the world.

Akita Inu: Gin

Akita Inu

Catgegory: Famous Dogs

Grabbing your dog when they bolt!


Sandor Fagyal

All of us have had the frustrating experience of our dog rushing out of the gate before we can stop them. More likely than not, your attempts at chasing him or her down will fail. They’ll just keep running further and further when they see you coming.

Running Loose
Image Credit: paul+photos=moody

What I have found, is that the best way to get them back, is to walk towards them, as if catching them is the last thing on your mind! Look at the sky, the trees…hum to yourself. If they bolt a bit, and look back, pretend not to have noticed. And when you catch up to them, don’t grab them…not yet.

Go a little ahead so that you cut off the escape route, THEN chase them down. They will run towards your home, where another member of the household awaits them!

Catgegory: Dog Tips

The Iditarod – The longest Dog race in the World!


Sandor Fagyal

The Iditarod looks really tough. You need to cover 1,161 miles with nothing but your dogs to you help you. What makes it worse however, it’s held in Alaska! With wind chill reaching 100 degrees Farenheit, I shudder (even without the cold) to think of the ordeal.

Iditarod
Image Credit: Travis S.

Breeds like the Siberian Husky and the Canadian Eskimo dogs are famous for being sled dogs are and most used in these kinds of races. The physical strength, speed, and endurance that are needed are truly remarkable and they have been known to travel 90 miles in a day pulling 85 pounds each!

The Iditarod is completed by teams of 12 to 16 dogs and managing them throughout the race requires skill and dedication, not to mention the ability to stay in the cold for so long. No wonder the winners of the race are celebrities!

Catgegory: Dog Facts

The Eyesight of Dogs


Sandor Fagyal

The eyesight of dogs differs from that of humans in various ways. It even varies from breed to breed. Some dogs have a field of vision that is wider than the 180 degrees of humans.

Dogs with long noses have something called a visual streak. This means that they are able to scan the horizon very quickly, the section of their retina that stretches from one corner to the other contains photoreceptors that are extremely sensitive.

Dogs Eyesight

However, dogs with short noses seem to have an area centralis. This means that like humans, they have a central area that contains sensitive nerve endings. This is thought to give them better depth perception, not unlike the eyesight of humans.

Catgegory: Dog Facts

Russian Airlines Develop a Super Sniffing Dog Breed!


ann

There cannot be too many airlines in the world which dabble in dog breeding. Well, the Russian Aeroflot Airlines has its very own dog breeding centre, and a new dog breed has been developed by them for the sole purpose of having a drug and bomb-sniffing hound at the Moscow Airport.

So what is this new breed like? They are a unique breed – a cross between a Siberian Husky and a Turkmen Jackal. Before you lift your eyebrows in shock, it is worth mentioning that this rather unique combination took 27 years to perfect and the result is amazing! The Russian Aeroflot claims it has managed to produce the world’s greatest sniffer dog, by combining the genes of a Husky with a Jackal. Their breeders claim that they are much more effective than the Labradors or German Shepherds that are more commonly used in the West.

At first sight, they look much like a normal Husky, although they are a bit smaller and have a Jackal’s thick black whiskers. The Husky and Turkmen Jackal were picked for the breeding project because of their extremely keen noses. The former has evolved to sniff out the faintest odors in Arctic conditions when the deep cold suppresses smells, while the jackal has a nose more sensitive than its cousin, the domestic dog. Siberian Huskies are known for their obedience, while pure Jackals make poor working dogs. They are too afraid of people and are hard to train and domesticate. They hail from the warmer climates of central Asia and suffer in the Russian winter.

Super Sniffing Dog Breed

According to Aeroflot’s chief dog breeder, Klim Sulimov: “The best thing about these dogs is their sense of smell. They can sniff out certain explosives which ordinary machines can’t trace. And they’re much cheaper. My dogs combine the qualities of Arctic reindeer herding dogs, which can work in temperatures as low as -70C, and Jackals which enjoy the heat up to +40C. They’re perfect for our country”.

Aeroflot says breeding super sniffer dogs has become a necessity. The rise of terrorism made all airlines look more tightly at security issues. Aeroflot, however, believes the dogs will eventually pay their way and is even planning to market them worldwide. There is already a great interest from other airlines for this new breed. Each of the dogs is worth about $5,000. So far, 40 of the dogs have been bred. Thirty are working at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo-2 international airport. A name for the new breed has yet to be chosen, although Huscal and Jacky have, apparently, been ruled out.

It may be unusual for an airline to breed its own sniffer dogs, but with Russia fearing attacks from Chechen militants and al-Qaeda, anything which helps passengers feel safer in the air must be worth the expense.

Catgegory: Dog Facts