Category Archives: Dog Breeds A-Z

DOG BREEDS: Doberman Pinscher

Featured DOG BREED: Doberman Pinscher.

The Doberman is derived from a mixture of breeds that include the Great Dane, the Greyhound, the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Rottweiler. They are powerful in the hindquarters and can sometimes be top-heavy because of their deep chest. The Doberman is traditionally a very athletic breed and many excel in agility and obedience trials. The muzzle is long, and so affords the leverage for an extremely strong bite. The Doberman stands on its toes (not the pads) and is not usually heavy-footed.
Doberman Pinschers are well known as intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companions and guard dogs. Personality varies a great deal between each Doberman, but if taken care of and trained properly they tend to be loving and devoted companions. The Doberman is driven, strong, and sometimes stubborn. Owning one requires commitment and care, but if trained well, they can be wonderful family dogs. Unlike some breeds (such as the German Shepherd), Dobermans are eager to please only after their place is established in their pack and that place is not as an alpha. With a consistent approach they can be easy to train and will learn very quickly. As with all dogs, if properly trained, they can be excellent with children. Dobermans adapt quickly, though they take their cue from their leader and value attention.

Size: Typically stands between 27 to 28 inches, the female is typically somewhere between 25 to 27 inches.
The male generally weighs between 88–99 lbs and the female between 71–77 lbs.

doberman natural

Life Expectancy: The Doberman’s lifespan is about 10–11 years, on average.

Health Concerns: They may suffer from a number of health concerns. Common serious health problems include dilated cardiomyopathy, cervical vertebral instability (CVI), von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder for which genetic testing has been available since 2000; the test enables both parents of a prospective litter to be tested for the carrier gene, thus preventing inheritance of the disease ), and prostatic disease. Less serious common health concerns include hypothyroidism and hip dysplasia. Canine compulsive disorder is also common. Studies have shown that the Doberman Pinscher suffers from prostatic diseases, (such as bacterial prostatiti, prostatic cysts, prostatic adenocarcinoma, and benign hyperplasia) more than any other breed. Neutering can significantly reduce these risks.
In multiple studies, more than half of the Doberman Pinschers studied develop dilated cardiomyopathy. Roughly a quarter of Doberman Pinschers who developed this condition died suddenly from unknown causes, and an additional fifty percent died of congestive heart failure In addition to being more prevalent, this disease is also more serious in Doberman Pinschers. Following diagnosis, the average non-Doberman has an expected survival time of 8 months; for Doberman Pinschers, the expected survival time is less than 2 months. Although the causes for the disease are largely unknown, there is evidence that it is a familial disease inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Investigation into the genetic causes of canine DCM may lead to therapeutic and breeding practices to limit its impact.

Photos: 1.) Doberman with classic clipped ears.
2.) Doberman natural.

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DOG BREED: Dachshund

Featured Dog Breed: Dachshund

The standard size dachshund was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the United States, they have also been used to track wounded deer and hunt prairie dogs.
A typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular with short, stubby legs. Its front paws are unusually large and paddle-shaped for extreme digging. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest that provides increased lung capacity for stamina when hunting prey underground. Its snout is long with an increased nose area that absorbs odors.
Dachshunds come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and kaninchen (German for “rabbit”). Although the standard and miniature sizes are recognized almost universally, the rabbit size is not recognized by clubs in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dachshunds are playful, but as hunting dogs can be quite stubborn, and are known for their propensity for chasing small animals, birds, and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. Many dachshunds are stubborn, making them a challenge to train.
Dachshunds are statistically more aggressive to both strangers and other dogs. Despite this, they are rated in the intelligence of dogs as an average working dog with a persistent ability to follow trained commands 50% of the time or more.
Dachshunds are burrowers by nature and are likely to burrow in blankets and other items around the house, when bored or tired. Mini dachshund displaying typical burrowing behavior
Dachshunds can be difficult to housebreak, and patience and consistency is often needed in this endeavor.

According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standards, “the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault.” Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small size. Like many small hunting dogs, they will challenge a larger dog. Indulged dachshunds may become snappy or extremely obstinate.

Many dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and many will growl or bark at them. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are sedate. This dog’s behavior is such that it is not the dog for everyone. A bored, untrained dachshund will become destructive.If raised improperly and not socialized at a young age, dachshunds can become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring, loving owner who understands their need for entertainment and exercise.

Dachshunds may not be the best pets for small children. Like any dog, dachshunds need a proper introduction at a young age. Well trained dachshunds and well behaved children usually get along fine. Otherwise, they may be aggressive and bite an unfamiliar child, especially one that moves quickly around them or teases them. However, many dachshunds are very tolerant and loyal to children within their family, but these children should be mindful of the vulnerability of the breed’s back.

Life Expectancy: 14-17 years.

Health Concerns: The breed is prone to spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage.[35] The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae. About 20–25% of Dachshunds will develop IVDD.
In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation which is where the kneecap can become dislodged. Dachshunds may also be affected by Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). The condition seems to be mainly limited to wire-haired Dachshunds, with 17% being carriers. A genetic test is available to allow breeders to avoid breeding carriers to carriers. In such pairings, each puppy will have a 25% chance of being affected.

In some double dapples, there are varying degrees of vision and hearing loss, including reduced or absent eyes.
Other dachshund health problems include hereditary epilepsy, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushing’s syndrome, thyroid[45] and autoimmune problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy,[45] corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, and cherry eye. Dachshunds are also 2.5 times more likely than other breeds of dogs to develop patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect. Dilute color dogs (Blue, Isabella, and Cream) are very susceptible to Color Dilution Alopecia, a skin disorder that can result in hair loss and extreme sensitivity to sun. Since the occurrence and severity of these health problems is largely hereditary, breeders are working to eliminate these.

Dog Breeds: Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Featured DOG BREED: Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard DogOr known as just Catahoula Leopard Dog, they have a short, single coat colored in a merle or black/tan pattern. Some coats can be coarse, but most are short and tight. Color is an especially notable feature in this herding breed: eye color is very unique in this breed and can be very complimentary with the coat color. The origins of the catahoula breed are unclear. One theory is that the Catahoula is the result of Native Americans having bred their own dogs with molasses makers and greyhounds brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century.

The breed may have “cracked glass” or “marbled glass” eyes (heterochromia) and occurs when both colored and glass portions are present in the same eye. Cracked or marbled eyes are blue or blue-white in color. Catahoulas with two cracked or marble glass eyes are often referred to as having double glass eyes. In some cases, a glass eye will have darker colored sections in it, and vice versa. Cracked eyes may be half of one color and half of another. They may just have a streak or spot of another color. Gray eyes are usually cracked eyes, made of blue and green, giving them their grayish appearance. The eyes may be of the same color or each of a different color. Eye color can also be ice blue, brown, green, gray, or amber. No particular eye color is typical of Catahoulas.

These dogs are outstanding bay dogs, or tracking and hunting dogs. They have been known to track animals from miles away, and have been used for hunting feral pigs, squirrel,deer, raccoon, mountain lion, and black bear. They often track silently and only begin to make their distinctive baying bark, eye to eye with the prey, once it is stopped, and hold it in position without touching the animal; using only posture, eye contact, and lateral shifts.
Catahoulas have been introduced in the Northern Territory of Australia where they have been found to be a superior hunting dog for pigs by breeders.[10] They have been introduced in New Zealand as well as Australia, but the number of Catahoulas there is unclear.

Catahoulas are highly intelligent and energetic. They are assertive but not aggressive by nature. Catahoulas in general are very even tempered. Males tend to be more obnoxious than females, but Catahoulas are very serious about their job if they are working dogs. They make a good family dog but will not tolerate being isolated, so interaction with the dog is a daily requirement. When a Catahoula is raised with children, the dog believes that it is his or her responsibility to look after and protect those children. Many owners will say that the Catahoula owns them and they can be insistent when it’s time to eat or do other activities. Catahoulas are protective and a natural alarm dog. They will alert one to anything out of the ordinary

Health Concerns: Not prone to many health issues, this is one of the more healthy breeds. Prone to hip dysplasia and deafness. Along with deafness (both ears or just one) this breed can have eye problems (tunnel vision, eye won’t open all the way, pupil is abnormal, etc.). As a breed they are relatively free of a lot of diseases. Some older dogs are known to have gotten cancer.

Size: Catahoulas may range greatly in size with males averaging slightly larger than females. Typical height ranges from 20–26″ and weight between 40 and 90 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-13 years.

Looking for a Catahoula Dog? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.


DOG BREEDS: Dalmatian

Featured DOG BREED: Dalmatian.

Its roots trace back to Croatia and its historical region of Dalmatia. Dalmatian puppies are born with plain white coats and their first spots usually appear within three weeks after birth. After about a month, they have most of their spots, although they continue to develop throughout life at a much slower rate. Spots usually range in size from 30 to 60 mm, and are most commonly black or brown (liver) on a white background.

The Dalmatian coat is usually short, fine, and dense, although smooth-coated Dalmatians occasionally produce long-coated offspring, which shed less often. They shed considerably year-round. Due to the minimal amount of oil in their coats, Dalmatians lack a “dog” smell and stay fairly clean.

Health Concerns: Dalmatians are a relatively healthy and easy to keep breed. Like other breeds, Dalmatians display a propensity towards certain health problems specific to their breed, such as deafness, allergies and urinary stones. Reputable breeders have their puppies BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) tested to ensure the status of the hearing on their pups. Hip dysplasia (which affects only 4.6% of purebred Dalmatians[11]) is not a major issue in this breed. The Dalmatian Club of America lists the average lifespan of a Dalmatian at between 11 and 13 years, although some can live as long as 15 to 16 years.[12] Breed health surveys in the US and UK shows an average lifespan of 9.9 and 11.55 years, respectively. In their late teens, both males and females may suffer bone spurs and arthritic conditions. Autoimmune thyroiditis may be a relatively common condition for the breed, affecting 11.6% of dogs

Dalmatians, like humans, can suffer from hyperuricemia. Dalmatians’ livers have trouble breaking down uric acid, which can build up in the blood serum (hyperuricemia) causing gout. Uric acid can also be excreted in high concentration into the urine, causing kidney stones and bladder stones. These conditions are most likely to occur in middle-aged males. Males over 10 are prone to kidney stones and should have their calcium intake reduced or be given preventive medication. To reduce the risk of gout and stones, owners should carefully limit the intake of purines by avoiding giving their dogs food containing organ meats, animal by products, or other high-purine ingredients. Hyperuricemia in Dalmatians responds to treatment with orgotein, the veterinary formulation of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.

Size: When full grown, according to the American Kennel Club breed standard, it stands from 19–23 inches (48–58 cm) tall, with males usually slightly larger than females.
Lifespan: 10-13 years.

Looking for a Dalmatian? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

DOG BREEDS A-Z: Smooth Collie.

Featured DOG BREED: Smooth Collie.

Collie-SmoothIn last month’s issue of Pet Circkles, we described the Rough Collie, so refer to that article for comparison to the smooth collie.

The Smooth Collie is generally a sociable, easily trained family dog. Although not an aggressive breed, they are alert and vocal, making them both good watchdogs if well trained and potential nuisances if allowed to bark indiscriminately. Collies are agile and active dogs and need regular exercise in some way. This breed is easy to train, due to its high intelligence and eagerness to please its owners. Training this breed requires a light touch, as they are sensitive to correction and shy away from harsh treatment. They get along well with children and other animals, usually getting along with other dogs. Smooth Collies are used both as family pets and in obedience competition, agility, herding trials, and other dog sports. Some are still used as working sheepdogs. They are also very useful as assistance dogs for the disabled.
The Smooth Collie is slightly longer than it is tall, with a level back and a deep chest. The features of the head, particularly the “sweet” expression, are considered very important in the show ring. The breed has a long muzzle, flat skull, and semi-erect ears (although, in practice, the ears typically must be folded over and taped in puppyhood, or they will usually be fully upright in the adult dog).

Size: The Smooth Collie is a large dog, ranging in size from 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) for females and 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) for males at the shoulder; weights vary from 40 lb (18 kg) for females up to 66 lb (30 kg) for males.

Lifespan: The Smooth Collie is a long-lived breed for its size, usually living 12 to 14 years. Like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain inherited or partially inherited health problems. Those problems currently include:

Health Concerns: Collie eye anomaly (CEA): A collection of eye problems ranging from minor blood vessel abnormalities to blind spots to severely deformed or detached retinas. This problem is so widespread in collies that completely unaffected dogs (called “normal eyed”) are uncommon, although conscientious breeders have been able to gradually increase the normal population. The problem and its extent can be determined through an eye exam conducted before six weeks of age, and does not get worse over time. Mildly affected dogs suffer no impairments, and are fine pets or working dogs.
Progressive retinal atrophy: Gradual degeneration of the retinas of the eyes, eventually leading to blindness. This disease is less common than CEA in Collies, but more difficult to breed away from, as symptoms are not usually detectable until the affected dog is middle-aged or older.
Multi drug sensitivity: Sometimes fatal reactions to a class of common drugs, particularly ivermectin, used as a heartworm preventative and treatment for mites. The gene that causes this sensitivity has recently been identified, and a dog’s susceptibility can now be determined through a simple blood test.
Gastric torsion (“Bloat”): A painful and often fatal twisting of the stomach occurring in large or deep-chested breeds. Bloat can usually be prevented by feeding small meals and not allowing vigorous exercise immediately before or after eating.
Epilepsy: Seizures of unknown origin. Frequency of the seizures can often be significantly reduced through medication, but there is no cure for this disease.

Looking for a Smooth Collie?

Use our Pet finder tool on our Pet Circkles page and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now. Also read about Think Twice about Turtles for Pets and The Best Christmas Gifts for Pets  in this month’s archived articles.

DOG BREEDS A-Z: Rough Collie.

Featured DOG BREED: Rough Collie.

collie,roughRough Collies, also known as long-haired collies generally come in shades of sable, merles, and tri-colored, and recently the Blue Merle Rough Collie is popular. This breed is very similar to its smaller cousin the Shetland Sheepdog which is partly descended from the Rough Collie.
Rough collies should show no nervousness or aggression, and are generally good with children and other animals.[6][7] However, they must be well socialized to prevent shyness. They are medium to large sized dogs, but can be well suited to live in small apartments because of their calm disposition. Like many herding dogs, collies can be fairly vocal, and some are difficult to train not to bark. The amount of herding instinct varies, with some dogs being quite drivy and others calmer.
Rough Collies are very loyal and may be one-family dogs (although most make exceptions for children), but are very rarely aggressive or protective beyond barking and providing a visual deterrent. They are typically excellent with children as long as they have been well-socialized and trained. They are eager to learn and respond best to a gentle hand.
The rough collie’s long coat has made the breed successful on northern Midwest farms as an able herder and guardian of the farm during the winter. The dog needs to be gradually acclimated to the cold and a suitable insulated outdoor shelter must be provided for the dog along with ample quality food and a source of unfrozen water. The rough collie also relishes playing in the snow with children during the winter months. They guard the farm while the owner is away and are naturally protective of small children.

Health Concerns: Canine cyclic neutropenia is a cyclic blood disorder that is usually fatal to affected puppies. The disease is also referred to as “gray collie syndrome”, due to affected puppies having a pale gray, pinkish/gray or beige coloring, none of which are normal Rough Collie colors. Puppies that survive through adulthood are plagued with immune disorders throughout their lives and rarely live more than three years. DNA testing can help detect carriers of the recessive gene that causes the disease.
As with most of the larger breeds, hip dysplasia is a potential concern for Rough Collies. Although this disease appears to be “multigene”, careful selection by many breeders is reducing this problem.
Collie eye anomaly (CEA), a genetic disease which causes improper development of the eye and possible blindness, is a common ailment in the breed.[8] More rarely, Rough Collies can be affected by progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), another genetic disease in which bilateral degeneration of the retina results in progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.
Other concerns with this breed are epilepsy, bloat, a tendency towards allergies, and thyroid disorders (primarily hypothyroidism.)

Life span: 14 – 16 years

Size: Male: 22–24 inches high, Female: 20–22 inches (51–56 cm)
Weight: Male: 45–65 lbs , Female: 40–55 lbs (18–25 kg)

Looking for a Collie?

Use our Pet finder tool on our Pet Circkles page and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now. Also read about Pumpkin for Pets and Thanksgiving for Pets in this month’s archived articles.

DOG BREEDS A-Z: Chow Chow

Featured DOG BREED: Chow Chow

chowIt is believed that the Chow Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces. The Chow is a unique breed of dog thought to be one of the oldest recognizable breeds. Research indicates it is one of the first primitive breeds to evolve from the wolf. DNA analysis suggests that Chow is one of the ancient dog breeds that probably originated in the high steppe regions of Siberia or Mongolia, and much later used as temple guards in China, Mongolia and Tibet. A bas-relief from 150 BC (during the Han Dynasty) includes a hunting dog similar in appearance to the Chow.
Chow Chows tend to display discernment of strangers and can become fiercely protective of their owners and property.
Chow Chows are not excessively active, meaning that they can be housed in an apartment. However, a Chow Chow living in an apartment will need daily exercise to prevent restlessness and boredom. Upon realizing that exercise is a daily occurrence, Chow Chow will tend to be more assertive with owners in anticipation of such activities.

This breed of dog has many strong loyal bonds with friends and family, but not infrequently becomes overly protective of one or two main family member(s). In a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Chow Chow were responsible for 8 out of 238 fatalities related to dog bites from 1979 to 1998. For this reason, owning a Chow Chow could raise your homeowners insurance.

Chow Chows were bred with mastiffs to produce the Shar-pei breed, which is riddled with health problems.

HEALTH CONCERNS:

The Chow Chow can suffer from…

entropion of the eye,
glaucoma,
juvenile cataracts,
lymphoma,
hip dysplasia,
diabetes mellitus,
canine pemphigus,
and gastric cancer.
Chow Chows are a high risk breed for autoimmune disease
and are at a predisposition for skin melanoma.

Due to the Chow Chow’s thick coat, fleas can be a problem.

Chow Chow dogs should eat 2 smaller meals twice a day to avoid stomach problems. Due to the Chow Chow’s heavy build, it is important that this dog never be overweight which can lead to injuries of the hip.

Looking for a Chow?

Use our Pet finder tool on our Pet Circkles page and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now. Also read about Why Dogs Howl and Caring for Old Dogs in this month’s archived articles.

DOG BREEDS A-Z: Chinook

Featured DOG BREED: Chinook

chinook-rare-dog-breed-americas-596x350This extremely hard working breed nearly became extinct and today it is estimated that there are only 500 in existence. The breed is considered to be rare and is difficult to obtain.

Although still used for recreational dog sledding by some owners, the Chinook is a rare breed of sled dog, developed in the state of New Hampshire during the early 20th century. Chinooks today appear to be used largely as family pets. Individuals are also used for dog-packing, search and rescue, skijoring, and obedience and dog agility trials.

This dog breed is loyal, clever, calm and friendly. The Chinook is excellent with children, other dogs and non-canine pets. This dog breed is somewhat cautious of unfamiliar surroundings and strangers, but is never aggressive or timid. The breed is reliable, versatile, devoted and tolerant. This dog breed is an excellent worker and family companion. The breed is not recommended for watchdog purposes as they are not prone to bark. This breed is sensitive and do not like to be left alone for extended periods.

The medium-length double coat is “tawny” in color, with darker shadings on muzzle and ears

An affectionate and playful family companion with a special devotion toward children. It is a willing worker who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn. The Chinook is highly trainable, adaptable, and versatile in his abilities. Gregarious with other dogs, the Chinook works well in teams and within family packs. The Chinook is a dignified dog; some may be reserved with strangers but should never appear shy or aggressive.

Health Concerns: Health issues include normal hereditary problems such as epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and atopy. Also common is cryptorchidism, which occurs in about 10% of all male dogs.

Size: Standing 21 to 27 inches (53 to 69 cm) in height at the withers and weighing 55 to 90 pounds (25 to 41 kg), the Chinook is balanced and muscular.

Looking for a Chinook?

Use our Pet finder tool on our Pet Circkles page and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now. Also read about The Evolution of the Dog and Cat in this month’s archived articles.

DOG BREEDS A-Z: Chihuahua

Featured DOG BREED: Chihuahua

chihuahua-smooth-coatThe temperament of its owner can make a difference in the temperament of this breed. Chihuahuas can be easily provoked to attack, and are therefore generally unsuitable for homes with small children. The breed tends to be fiercely loyal to one particular person and in some cases may become over protective of the person, especially around other people or animals. If properly managed by older children, 13 and up, they can adapt to this kind of living with a dedicated owner. They do not always get along with other breeds,[18] and tend to have a “clannish” nature, often preferring the companionship of other Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes over other dogs. These traits generally make them unsuitable for households with children who are not patient and calm. Chihuahuas love their dens and will often burrow themselves in pillows, clothes hampers, and blankets. They are often found under the covers or at the bottom of the bed, deep in the dark and safety of what they perceive as their den.

Lifespan: 17 years
Weight: 4 – 6 lbs (Adult)
Height: 8 in. (Adult)

HEALTH CONCERNS: This breed has many health concerns which make it a bit high maintenance. For instance they require expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. Chihuahuas are also prone to some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones, such as epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Chihuahuas, and other toy breeds, are prone to the sometimes painful disease hydrocephalus. It is often diagnosed by the puppy having an abnormally large head during the first several months of life. Chihuahua puppies exhibiting hydrocephalus usually have patchy skull plates rather than a solid bone and are typically lethargic and do not grow at the same pace as their siblings. A true case of hydrocephalus can be diagnosed by a veterinarian, though the prognosis is grim.

Many Chihuahuas have moleras, or a soft spot in their skulls, and they are the only breed of dog to be born with an incomplete skull. This is not a defect; it is a normal adaptation facilitating the passage through the birth canal and growth and development of the domed type of forehead. The molera is predominant in the rounder heads often and is present in nearly all Chihuahua puppies. The molera fills in with age, but great care needs to be taken during the first six months until the skull is fully formed. Some moleras do not close completely and if particularly large will require extra care to prevent injury. Many veterinarians are not familiar with Chihuahuas as a breed and mistakenly confuse a molera with hydrocephalus.

Overfeeding a Chihuahua can be a great danger to the dog’s health, shortening its life and leading to diabetes.

Chihuahuas can also be at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which is especially dangerous for puppies. Left unattended, hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death but can be avoided with frequent feedings, especially for chihuahuas who are younger, smaller or leaner. Chihuahua owners should have a simple sugar supplement on hand to use in emergencies, such as Nutri-Cal, Karo syrup and honey. These supplements can be rubbed on the gums and roof of the mouth to rapidly raise the blood sugar level. Signs of hypoglycemia include lethargy, sleepiness, low energy, uncoordinated walking, unfocused eyes and spasms of the neck muscles or head pulling back or to the side, fainting and seizures.

As in other breeds with large protruding eyes, Chihuahuas are prone to eye infections or eye injury. The eyes may water frequently in response to dry air, dust or air-borne allergens. Daily wiping will keep the eyes clean and minimize tear staining.

Collapsed trachea is a health concern that is characteristic of the chihuahua breed.

Chihuahuas have a tendency to tremble or shiver when stressed, excited or cold. Chihuahuas, especially the short-coat variety, are less tolerant of cold than larger breeds, and may require a sweater or boots in cold weather. They will seek warmth in sunshine, under blankets, or on furniture, human laps or the back of a larger dog.

Although figures often vary, as with any breed, the average lifespan range for a healthy Chihuahua is between 12 and 20 years.

Chihuahuas are sometimes picky eaters and care must be taken to provide them with adequate nutrition. Sometimes wet or fresh food can have the most appealing smell to these constant eaters. Chihuahuas are prone to hypoglycemia and could be at a critical state if allowed to go too long without a meal. At the same time, care must be exercised not to overfeed them.

Chihuahuas have a notorious problem with dental issues. Dental care is a must for these little creatures. Over-feeding and insufficient exercise can result in an overweight Chihuahua. Overweight Chihuahuas are susceptible to increased rates of joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened life span.

Chihuahuas are also known for a genetic condition called ‘luxating patella’, a genetic condition that can occur in all dogs. In some dogs, the ridges forming the patellar groove are not shaped correctly and a shallow groove is created. In a dog with shallow grooves, the patella will luxate or slip out of place, sideways. It causes the leg to ‘lock up’ and will force the chihuahua to hold its foot off the ground. When the patella luxates from the groove of the femur, it usually cannot return to its normal position until the quadriceps muscle relaxes and increases in length, explaining why the affected dog may be forced to hold his leg up for a few minutes or so after the initial displacement. While the muscles are contracted and the patella is luxated from its correct position, the joint is held in the flexed or bent position. The knee cap sliding across the femur can cause some pain due to the bony ridges of the femur. Once out of position, the animal feels no discomfort and continues with activity.

Chihuahuas are also prone to some heart-related disorders, such as heart murmurs and pulmonic stenosis, a condition in which the blood outflow from the heart’s right ventricle is obstructed at the pulmonic valve.

Looking for a Chihuahua? Use our Pet finder tool on our Pet Circkles page and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now. Also read about Operation Bagdad Pups and Adopting a Barn Cat on this month’s archived articles.

Dog Breeds A-Z: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Featured DOG BREED:
Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

chesapeake_bay_retrieverThe Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a breed of dog belonging to the Retriever, Gun dog, and Sporting breed groups. Members of the breed may also be referred to as a Chessie, CBR, or Chesapeake. Historically used by area market hunters to retrieve waterfowl, it is primarily a family pet and hunting companion. They are often known for their love of water and their ability to hunt. It is a medium to large sized dog similar in appearance to the Labrador Retriever. The Chesapeake have a wavy coat, rather than the Labrador’s smooth coat. They are described as having a bright and happy disposition, courage, willingness to work, alertness, intelligence, and love of water as some of their characteristics.

Weight: Male 65 to 80 lb. Female 55 to 70 lb.

Height: Male 23 to 26 in. Female 21 to 24 in.

Coa: A defining characteristic of the breed is the texture of the double-coat.
Color: Any color of brown, sedge, or dead grass with limited white spots.

Life span- 10 to 13 years

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can make excellent family dogs when socialized properly. Some Chesapeakes are assertive and willful and may be reserved with strangers, but others are passive and outgoing with people.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a versatile breed competing in field trials, hunt tests, conformation, obedience, agility and tracking, yet remains true to its roots as a hunting dog of great stamina and ability. This dog is an intelligent breed and learns at a high speed. Historically considered stubborn and difficult to train, many trainers thought this breed required more physical discipline than other retriever breeds. Some trainers now recommend that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever owner use consistent, daily obedience training with play time before and after to keep the dog wanting to work with little or no physical discipline required.

Health Concerns:
The breed is subject to a number of hereditary diseases. These include, but are not limited to:
• Hip dysplasia
• Progressive retinal atrophy
• Type 3 von Willebrand disease
• Cataract
• Regional Alopecia in both sexes

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