Tag Archives: AKC

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Boxer


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Built like athletes, Boxers are a sporty dog breed that is both easily-trained and friendly with others. For all Boxers have to offer, they’ve made it onto our list of most popular dog breeds at #11! Learn more about these popular family dogs with our 7 things you need to know about Boxers!

1. They’ve got a youthful spirit.
While some dogs are considered mature at one year old, others, like the Boxer, maintain their endearing puppy-like nature for a longer period. Because Boxers are not considered fully mature until the age of three, these playful and energetic pups are sometimes called the “Peter Pan” of dog breeds, with one of the longest puppyhoods of all dogs.

2. They got their name for a reason.

Boxers got their name because of their funny poses. They have a tendency to stand on their hind legs and “box” with their front paws in play. They’re real athletes!

3. They were one of the first German police dogs.

Bred for their high intelligence and ability to follow orders, it’s no wonder why the Boxer was one of Germany’s first dogs to be used in police training. They went on to serve as military dogs during WWI.

4. They’re related to another popular pup.

The Boxer is the cousin to nearly all Bulldog-type breeds. These dogs descend from the ancient Molosser line of dog breeds.

5. They have long tongues!

Boxers tend to have longer tongues than other dog breeds. The world record for the “Longest Tongue on a Dog” went to a Boxer named Brandy, whose licker was a full 17 inches long!

6. They have a distinctive look.
The Boxer’s square jaw is called an “undershot,” named for how the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper and curves slightly upward. This unique dental feature gives Boxers their distinctive smiles!

7. They’re multitalented.

While these dogs were bred to be hunters, Boxers also excel in the show ring and other areas. While originally a member of the Working dog group, in 2012 the AKC changes its rules to allow Boxers eligibility for herding titles. They also do well in agility, obedience and tracking.

Which of these facts were surprising to you? Comment below and share with us! 

The LAB Report: All About The Labrador Retriever


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The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the country, and it’s no surprise why. We’ve broken down the top reasons why dog owners can’t get enough of the Lab. Disclaimer: You may shortly find yourself yearning to bring home one of these very special dogs after reading these 10 characteristics of Labs:

1. Very Trainable
Bred to follow human cues, Labs are extremely obedient if they receive proper training. In addition to the basic commands of sit, stay and roll-over, Labs can be taught more difficult tasks that require a high level of attention and intelligence.

2. Can Doggie Paddle
Natural-born swimmers, Labs were bred to jump into icy waters and help fishermen retrieve nets, fish and equipment. The extra skin (webbing) around their toes makes for natural paddles and their water resistant coat keeps them warm and dry in the water. Lastly, the Lab’s long round tail, often called an “otter tail,” moves back and forth in water like a ship rudder, making the Lab the Michael Phelps of dogs.

3. Easy-to-Manage Coat
Labs are short-haired, so you don’t need to brush them often, with the exception of during molting season. You also don’t need to bathe the Lab often as the natural oils in their skin serve as protection from outside irritants. In fact, it’s recommended to bathe Labs only 3-4 times per year.

4. Great with Kids
Want a nice, well-mannered family dog? The Lab is one of the best dogs for children of all ages. Labs are kind, good-natured, friendly, laid-back and affectionate. However, as puppies they can be rambunctious and unknowingly play a little rough. The good news is with a little bit of training (and maturity), they will respond well.

5. Athletic Sports Dogs
Part of the AKC-classified sporting group, Labs are willing to retrieve just about anything. Thus, if you’re interested in a breed to accompany you in hunting or fishing, Labs are a prime choice.

6. Selfless Helpers
Labs also make incredible service and therapy dogs. If you or someone in your family has a disability or illness that requires canine assistance, the Lab is a great option. Their intelligence and trainability, coupled with their readiness to please and affectionate streak make for a perfect combination. Labs are known for their ability to lead the blind, act as hearing dogs, and perform law enforcement and military work.

7. Active, Energetic Dogs
As you can tell from this article so far, Labs love exercise and are perfect companions to the active owner who loves the outdoors and daily walks. Whether playing a game of fetch, hiking, swimming, or fishing, Labs are in their element when they’re outdoors, and are not for your average couch potato.

8. Nose for Security
Labs are highly protective of their family members and home, so they make for effective watch dogs. If you’re interested in a dog who will bark at an intruder, the Lab is a great choice. Because Labs are considered “working dogs,” they are often trained to be professional security dogs.

9. Healthy with Long Lifespan
While every dog is different (just as humans are), some generalizations can be made for the healthiness of the breed. Labs are expected to live for at least 10 years, and have an average lifespan of 12 years. Thus, if they’re taken good care of, they’ll be around for lots of memories to be made.

10. Affordable
Although the Labrador Retriever is a purebred, the breed is only #18 on the list of most expensive breeds factoring in all medical costs. That said, it’s worth assessing expected expenses to make sure the Lab (or any other breed) is within your budget.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Poodle


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Poodles are poufy and proud, and they’re #6 on our list of most popular dog breeds. The popular show dogs are known for their intelligence, grace and of course, their beautiful curly coats. We bet you don’t know it all when it comes to this breed, though. Here are 7 facts you need to know about the Poodle!

1. They’ve got beauty and brains.

Poodles are not only lovely to look at; they’re also highly intelligent. They’re the second-smartest dogs in the world according to the AKC, just under the Border Collie.

2. They’re a good choice for people with allergies.
Because their curly coats resemble hair more than fur, Poodles are considered virtually hypoallergenic, odorless and tend to be a good choice for those with allergies to shedding dogs. However, like human hair, their fur grows continuously and needs to be managed accordingly.

3. They come in three sizes.

The poodle is the only dog that comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. However, they are all the same breed. Standard poodles weigh 40-70 pounds, miniature poodles 15-17 pounds, and toy poodles a miniscule 6-9 pounds.

4. There’s a reason for those bulbous hairdos.

Your first image of a Poodle is most likely the meticulously groomed pooch with perfectly shaped spheres of fluff. Turns out there’s a specific use for what’s known as the “Poodle clip.” Relevant to its history as a water retriever, the Poodle’s fancy haircut is meant to strategically protect its joints and vital organs in cold water. Interesting, huh?

5. They’re globally coveted dogs.
While the breed originated in Germany, many think of Poodles as a French breed because of the widespread popularity Toy Poodles have achieved, starting in France under the rule of King Louis XVI. They even hold the title as the official dog of France! Poodles continue to receive worldwide allure; recently, toy brown poodles have become the current pet trend in Asia.

6. They’re athletic.

Despite their reputation as prim and proper dogs, Poodles love to get down and dirty. They’re great swimmers, and were originally bred to hunt water fowl. Along with their strong, springy legs, they also have plenty of energy to do the tricks you’ll see them perform at dog shows.

7. They were the pet of many famous celebrities.
Poodles are a favorite among both past and present celebrities, the list of which includes famous figures like Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Streisand, Jackie Kennedy, Debbie Reynolds, Walt Disney and Rihanna. Perhaps the biggest celebrity Poodle enthusiast in history was King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley, who gifted the popular pooches to the special ladies in his life.

Westminster Insight

At the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a Minature Poodle named “Danfour Avalon As If” took the winning spot in the Non-Sporting Group.

Do you have a Poodle? Comment below and share what you love about Poodles!

New Breeds to Debut at Westminster Dog Show


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Every year for four days in February, dog experts meet in New York City’s Madison Square Garden to judge dogs according to their breed standards at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This year, three breeds new to the show will be judged for the first time: The Pumi, American Hairless Terrier and Sloughi. Will one of them win Best in Show?

Pumi

This newly recognized hound to the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the Pumi, a popular Hungarian herding dog first imported to Finland in 1972. This active breed loves to take direction and is an expert at herding sheep, cattle and pigs. Intelligent and alert, these dogs have a curly, Poodle-like coat which comes in black, white, gray and fawn. They do great in agility, and can be trained to compete in just about any event!

American Hairless Terrier

Who knew the playful, perky American Hairless Terrier was the result of a mutation? In 1972, a completely hairless puppy was born to a litter of otherwise normal Rat Terriers in Louisiana. The puppy was kept and well-received by its owners, who considered the spotted and pink-skinned pup a delight. From there, these dogs went on to begin the first hairless breed originating in the US. Their lack of fur makes them an excellent choice for people with allergies, though they still shed skin cells and need sunscreen to prevent their skin from burning. In addition, their alertness to unknown sounds make them great watchdogs. They come in a variety of colors and markings and excel at competitions that put their energetic bodies to use!

Sloughi

While new to the AKC and now Westminster’s hound group, the Sloughi is an ancient breed. Also called the Arabian Greyhound, the Sloughi originates from North Africa and was developed further in the US and Europe. Part of what makes Sloughis unique is that they are sighthounds, meaning they rely primarily on their sight, rather than their nose, to hunt. These sleek and noble dogs will be an interesting sight at this year’s show!

 

All amazing dogs, yet these are only three of the many breeds set to take the stage this weekend. Which breed are you rooting for this year?

9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Golden Retriever


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Golden Retrievers always rank high among the most popular breeds in the United States, and they’re #3 on PuppySpot’s list. These loyal, sociable dogs are excellent with children and families, and excel at obedience training and therapy work. They’re eager-to-please companions that can adapt to many environments, from apartments to larger living spaces. Here are 9 facts you need to know about Golden Retrievers!

1. They’re talented.
Not only do they make great family pets, but Goldens are also helpful to greater society. They’re used as hunters, guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and more. Their great trainability and keen sense of smell makes them useful for many jobs.

2. They love to swim.
Golden Retrievers give meaning to the term “doggy paddle.” These dogs have a knack for swimming in their blood; they even have water-repellent coats! They’ll joyfully take a dip in the pool or the ocean with you (sometimes without being asked).

3. They’re all over TV and cinema.
The camera loves Goldens, and is it any wonder why? Their friendly smiles and lovable character are irresistible to viewers everywhere. You might recognize the breed from the Disney movie franchise “Air Bud” or from Comet in the TV series “Full House.” This breed is a favorite in television and movies, and we’re not complaining!

4. They’re considered the fourth smartest dog breed.

According to the AKC, Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest dogs behind the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd. That must be why they’re so good at many different jobs!

5. They belonged to presidents.
US presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan both had Golden Retrievers as pets while serving in the White House. The name of Ford’s Golden was Liberty, and Reagan’s was Victory.

6. They come in three recognized colors.
When it comes to Golden Retrievers, there’s not just one version of “golden.” The three standard colors of this breed are gold, light golden, and dark golden.

7. They’re calm and cool.
Despite their size and strength, Goldens are not particularly loud. They don’t bark much, except for if a stranger comes to the door. Most of the time, this majestic breed is quiet and well-behaved.

8. They get along with others.
Cat, dog, goldfish—doesn’t matter, a Golden can get along with just about anyone. They’re also very gentle around small children, though supervision is still needed because Goldens can get overexcited and accidentally knock over a child.

9. They set the bar for obedience.
Goldens excel in tests of obedience. In fact, they were the first three consecutive winners of AKC’s Obedience trials starting in 1977. These champs are truly outstanding dogs.

Westminster Insight
A Golden Retriver named “Tamarack And Blueprint’s Defying Gravity” placed in third among the Sporting Group at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What do you love about your Golden Retriever? Comment below!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Yorkshire Terrier


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Pint-sized and playful, Yorkies rank #4 on our list of most popular pups. The oft-spoiled Yorkshire Terrier has risen to fame as a pampered lap dog with an attitude that beats its size. But there’s a lot more to this pup beyond its cute and cuddly appearance. Here are 7 facts you need to know about Yorkies!

1. Their history is less than lavish.
The Yorkie was brought to Yorkshire, England by Scottish workers to work in the coal mines, textile mills and factories during the Industrial Revolution. Yorkies were originally used as ratters (rat catchers) until they eventually found favor among British elite as well as American gentry.

2. Their name is misleading.

Contrary to the “terrier” in their name, Yorkies are registered as part of the Toy group, according to the AKC.

3. They change color with age.
The steel-blue and tan Yorkie we know and love isn’t actually born that color combination. As a matter of fact, Yorkie puppies are born black and tan, almost looking like mini German Shepherds, then develop their characteristic fur color after a few months.

4. They make good watchdogs.

Sure, their small toy bodies aren’t enough to take on a threatening intruder, but since Yorkies don’t realize how small they actually are, they’re not afraid to give someone much bigger a piece of their mind. A Yorkie’s sharp yelp can alert owners of a trespasser, and the Yorkie won’t give up until the threat to safety is gone.

5. The first therapy dog was a Yorkie.
The use of therapy dogs for hospital patients, veterans and the disabled has gained popularity in recent years. While modern-day therapy work most typically employs dogs like the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, the first ever therapy dog was a Yorkie named Smoky who comforted wounded soldiers after WWII.

6. Their fur is a lot like our hair.
If you’ve ever seen a Yorkie show dog, you’ve noticed its long, flowing, silky hair. Yorkies are one of a few dog breeds that don’t shed; instead, their hair grows continuously, much like human hair. Their coat can grow up to two feet long! Therefore, owners who don’t want their Yorkies to have unmanageably long fur should get their dogs regular trims.

7. This dog has graced the White House.
Though former US President Richard Nixon is widely known for his Cocker Spaniel named Checkers, few know about his Yorkie, Pasha. While Pasha didn’t get the spotlight time that Checkers did, she was one of Nixon’s three pooches who joined him in the White House.

Westminster Insight
A Yorkie named Cede Higgins won Best in Show at the 1978 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What makes your Yorkie special? Comment below and share with us!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About the German Shepherd


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Intelligent. Brave. Strong. These are three words describing the German Shepherd (formally known as the German Shepherd Dog), America’s second-favorite dog, just behind the Labrador Retriever, and #2 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds. But there’s more to these popular working companions than what you might think. Here are 6 facts you need to know about German Shepherds!

1. They are very trainable.
Despite their reputation as an intimidating and stubborn breed, Germans take direction well and are valued in police and service work, among other jobs. As quick learners, these active dogs are favorites for all types of training including military, obedience and agility skill sets. They live to learn and obey commands, whether it’s sniffing out explosives at the airport, or fetching a Frisbee in a game at the park.

2. They weren’t always called “German.”
Like their name suggests, German Shepherds originated in Germany as sheep-herding dogs on farms during the twentieth century, but the name did not totally stick. Due to tensions between Germany and the US during World War I, the AKC temporarily renamed the breed the Shepherd Dog. Also during that time, the English started calling them Alsatian Wolf Dogs and now, they are known widely as Alsatians in Europe.

3. They make great watchdogs.

Because they are so loyal to their owners, German Shepherds will go out of their way to offer their family protection. In this way, they live up well to their image as fearsome guard dogs. They’ll bark at suspicious strangers and can intimidate aggressors with their size alone, yet a well-trained German is gentle and friendly, especially towards children, making the breed a versatile companion.

4. They come in several different colors.
While the traditional German Shepherd you’ll see is more often than not black and tan, Germans can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including full black, black and silver, blue, gray, sable, and even white. Don’t be fooled, though; despite what some may want you to believe, no one color of German Shepherd is more “rare” or valuable than the common bi-colored coat.

5. They’re movie stars.
This breed first gained fame after WWI Corporal Lee Duncan rescued the German Shepherd “Rin Tin Tin,” who went on to make several appearances in war movies. Other featured roles by the German Shepherd include “Wolfie” in The Terminator, “Hobo” in The Littlest Hobo and “Delgado” in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

6. They’re everyday heroes.

There are countless stories of German Shepherds assisting and even saving the lives of their human companions. According to Les Anges Gardiens, in 1970, a German Shepherd named Kanaka was recognized for her numerous rescues and success in uncovering evidence for police in Ontario. Another famous German, Orient, graduated from the Seeing Eye Program and became the dog of Bill Irwin, leading him through the grueling Appalachian Trail. Nearly every day in the news, you’ll hear about a courageous German Shepherd having saved a life, making the world a more secure place to live in.

Westminster Insight
A German Shepherd named Rumor was awarded Best In Show at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Rumor is one of the only two dogs to win Best in Show from the Herding Group. The last was a German Shepherd Dog named Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan in 1987. 


How has having a German Shepherd changed your life? Comment below and share with us!

How Your Dog Can Help You Make Friends and Meet People


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Owning a dog comes with many perks. There’s the unconditional love, health benefits and sense of security, just to name a few. But what you may not know is that your furry friend can offer you companionship from humans, too. Read on for ways to put your best paw forward and form new relationships with other dog owners.

The Classic Dog Park Interaction
Going to the dog park is an obvious choice for dog owners seeking to meet like-minded individuals. For one, at the dog park you’re bound to find other dog-owners who share the same love for their furry friend as you do. Also, since people frequent the dog park during their leisure time, you’re not likely to trouble another dog owner by striking up a conversation. Get the most out of your visits to the dog park by establishing a routine schedule for your visits. That way, you’ll be more likely to see the same familiar faces over and over again and eventually get to know them on a deeper level than just a simple hello. If your dog approaches another dog, or another dog shows interest in yours, use this interaction opportunity as an ice-breaker to converse with the other dog’s owner and ask questions. The owner will surely have a lot to say about his or her dog, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find something in common. Over time, you might gain not just a new playmate for your pup, but a friend of your own too.

Join a Meetup Group or Breed Club
There are tons of groups that are formed for the sole purpose of dog owners and their dogs to socialize together. Find one in your area through a simple search on Facebook, or even using an app like Meet My Dog, advertised as “a free, private social network for you and your dog.” Breed clubs are also a great way to meet people with an appreciation for the same breed of dog, and often organize events and activities centered around this shared interest. You can find a club near you by browsing AKC’s website.

Make Small Talk at the Vet or Groomer
Since a visit to the vet’s office or groomer can leave a dog owner feeling anxious, some words of reassurance to your fellow pup-parent in the waiting room can be a welcome mood-lightener. You can also exchange tips and tricks for caring for your pup from another experienced dog owner. Just keep the conversation casual, and you never know what friendship might develop.

Enroll in an Obedience Class

At an obedience class, the shared goal of wanting your dog to succeed in training gives dog owners something to bond over. A good conversation starter could be something as simple as a compliment on another dog’s conduct, or a question like “How do you get your dog to sit still like that?” To give you and your dog more time to socialize with others, come to classes early and stick around for a few minutes afterward. At the very least, the obedience training will hopefully help make your dog better behaved and approachable to new dogs and new people.

With your dog by your side, friendship opportunities can be found all over the neighborhood. Whether it’s a dog-based organization or just your local coffee shop, few can resist the lovable sight of a four-legged friend.

How does your dog help you meet new people? Comment below and share with us!