Tag Archives: Great Dane

Why the World Needs Purebred Dogs


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May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day, a day to appreciate the centuries-old tradition of breeding dogs for specifically valued traits. The day’s founder, Susi Szeremy, writes that each dog breed is “a living legacy of the culture that created it,” and the continuation of purebreds keeps their respective culture’s history alive. While mixed breeds are cool, too, there are good reasons to support purebreds. Read on for the top three reasons why we think the world still needs purebred dogs.

1. They’re predictable.

One big reason why purebreds are valued dogs is their predictability. Because each breed is bred for specific traits, one can expect to find particular physical and behavioral qualities in any one member of the breed. While these traits can vary within individual dogs, you know that if you breed a Chihuahua you’ll be getting a pint-sized pup that fits in your purse, while if you breed a Great Dane, she’ll be even bigger than the Chihuahua the moment she’s born! Moreover, the predictability of purebreds makes them indispensable in the many pup-powered jobs which our communities depend on. In the US alone, ten million people suffer from allergies, many of whom rely on specific allergy-friendly dog breeds to accommodate their health needs. For example, the intelligent and low-shedding Poodle makes a qualified assistant to disabled people with dog allergies. Purebred dogs are our service dogs, police dogs, military dogs and of course, the loving companions that brighten up our homes. They can be specially trained to serve purposes that go above and beyond fetching a bone. Purebred dogs are society’s four-legged superheroes, often trained as early on as birth to fulfill roles such as guiding the blind, sniffing out drugs or explosives in the airport, detecting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, and the list goes on. Purebred dogs are crucial, irreplaceable members of society who improve the lives of people you know every single day.

2. They help us make scientific advancements.

Purebred dogs help us make advancements in science that enhance our understanding of both humans and other dogs. For example, a recent study discovered a gene found in Dalmatians associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome in dogs. This research not only reveals an important factor of this canine disease, but it may also lead to a breakthrough in research for respiratory disease in humans. This research and others like it would not be possible if not for the uniform traits in purebreds which lend themselves to objective scientific testing.

3. They tell a story of the past.
Each breed tells a unique story form the time and place in history it came from. Perhaps it was the German Shepherd, herding the fields of Germany during the turn of the 20th Century. Or maybe the Yorkshire Terrier, working alongside factory workers during the Industrial Revolution. Each breed has its very own story tell, and believe it or not, these stories are in danger of fading away. There is such a thing as an endangered dog breed, and if it were not for the efforts of responsible breeders, these breeds would not survive.

Breeding purebreds is not just a tradition that provides us with a fun and furry look into the past. Rather, purebred dogs are indispensable to lending a helping hand (or paw) to present day problems such as physical and mental disabilities and health issues. This National Purebred Dog Day, let’s take a moment to look around at the amazing creatures who fill our lives with joy on a daily basis. We hope to have them around for years to come.

Bloat: A Serious Condition Every Dog Owner Should Know About


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Bloat is a commonly used term to refer to a severe medical condition in dogs called “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus.” Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and causes the stomach to expand. This, in turn, increases pressure on other organs. In some cases, the stomach will rotate and twist, which hinders blood flow and prevents blood from flowing back to the heart and other important areas of the body.

Bloat usually comes on very quickly, so time is of the essence in treating the condition and preventing it from becoming life-threatening. Thus, as a responsible dog owner, it’s crucial to understand the warning signs as awareness and action could very well save your dog’s life.

Is My Dog at Risk?

While any dog can get bloat, the condition is more frequently seen in deep-chested, large dog breeds such as the following:

In addition to breed, age and gender may also play a factor in proclivity. It is widely believed that dogs older than seven years as well as males are more likely to get bloat than females. Dogs with an aggressive, anxious or fearful personality are also more likely to experience this issue, as stress and negative emotions seem to play a part in triggering the condition.

Causes & Prevention of Bloat

While the exact cause of bloat is not known, there are a variety of factors that raise a dog’s risk of getting bloat, so do your best to protect your dog from these possible causes:

  • Eating or drinking too quickly. Gulping large amounts of food or water at once often means the dog is gulping air, which can increase pressure in the stomach.
  •  Eating dry dog food that is too high in grain. Grain gets fermented in the stomach, which releases gas. Try grain-free food options to see if that makes a difference in your dog’s digestion.
  • Exercising during and especially immediately after eating. Give your dog an hour or more of rest time before and after eating to allow for proper digestion.
  • Experiencing extreme stress, such as mating, whelping, boarding, or due to a change in routine or new dog in the household.
  • Bloat may also be hereditary, especially if your dog has a first-degree relative who has suffered from the condition.

What to Look For: Signs & Symptoms

Nobody knows better than you what is normal behavior for your furry friend! Keep an eye on your pup, and if you notice any unusual behavior, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. The most common symptoms are:

  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to vomit (nothing comes up, or possibly just foam/mucus comes up).
  • Unusual behavior, such as asking to go outside in the middle of the night.
  •  Anxiousness and restlessness.
  •  Abdomen is bloated and tight.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.

Your dog may also be pacing, whining, drooling, panting, or gagging, and may be standing or laying strangely. An accelerated heartbeat, weak pulse and collapse are indicators of a serious problem.

Keep in mind, not every dog will exhibit every symptom. If you’re not sure if your dog is experiencing bloat, contact your veterinarian. It’s of course better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your beloved pooch!

Treating Bloat

There are a few ways bloat is treated, depending on the severity of the case including:

  • The vet may take x-rays to see if your dog’s stomach is twisted.
  •  If your dog’s stomach is not twisted, the vet can release the pressure inside it by putting a tube down the dog’s throat into the stomach.
  •  If the stomach is twisted, a tube may be unable to pass into the stomach, so the vet will insert a large needle through your pup’s belly to release the pressure that way.
  • If the stomach is twisted, it is likely your dog will need surgery to untwist it and put it back where it belongs. Often, the vet will secure the stomach in the right place to prevent your dog from getting bloat again.

Big or Small? Choosing a Dog Breed Based on Size


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When it comes to deciding what kind of puppy to add to the family, size is a factor that should be considered. The difference between big and small dog breeds is for some, the difference between two completely different dogs. They’re not only different physically, but many argue that big dogs and small dogs have different personalities, too. Below are some things to keep in mind in order to make an informed decision about which size dog is right for you.

Space
The size of your home should be a deciding factor in what size dog you should choose to live in it. While small dogs can do well in both apartments and houses, a large dog may not thrive as well in small living spaces due to its energy level and exercise needs. Some big dogs, like Great Danes and Greyhounds, can manage in an apartment because of their lower energy levels, but as you are probably already aware, some buildings do not allow tenants to have larger dogs, no matter the personality. And even if you have a house with a large yard, a big dog will still have to be taken out to get plenty of exercise to fulfill its physical needs. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors and lives an active lifestyle, then a big dog could be the right fit for you.

Training and Behavioral Issues
When it comes to training, bigger dog breeds are generally more open to taking to direction, while things like house-training tend to be harder to teach smaller dogs. Smaller dogs are also known to have more behavioral issues and excitable demeanors. There’s a name for it—small dog syndrome—which is characterized by a small dog that acts much bigger than its size, including yapping, barking, and intimidating dogs much larger than itself. According to Psychology Today, this might be due in part to the way owners treat their small dogs as compared to big dogs. However, while big dogs may be more obedient, the physical aspects of training a big dog, such as retraining the dog from getting into something he shouldn’t or catching him when he runs away, can be more difficult.

Cost
It takes more to maintain a big dog than it does a small one. While some fashionable small dogs such as Pomeranians carry a large price tag, big dogs can be more expensive in the long run because of their additional needs. Because they eat considerably more than small dogs with lower exercise needs, big dogs necessitate greater spending on food, which is one of the biggest dog-related expenses. In addition, groomers typically charge more to take bigger dogs, but the frequency of needed visits of course depends on your dog’s coat type.

Lifespan
Small dogs have a longer lifespan than big dogs. Since large dogs age faster though, they will also be more mature for the duration of time you have them. With a small dog, you might have a puppy-acting adult on your hands for quite a few years.

There are some exceptions to these generalizations. For example, toy and miniature Poodles are small dogs with calm, even temperaments and are highly trainable, while Siberian Huskies are often difficult for a pup-parent beginner to control. Despite these characterizations, personalities differ from one dog to another, so training is key to ensure you make the best out of whichever size dog you choose.

Dog Breeds by Fur: Low to High Maintenance Pooches


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When deciding on the best dog for your family, grooming responsibilities probably don’t top of the list of criteria during breed selection. However, depending on your financial situation and time constraints, hair may be a factor worth considering. Depending on the type of dog and their grooming needs, you could be visiting a professional groomer as much as every two-four weeks, or at a minimum, intensively brushing at home on a daily basis. Here’s a rundown of the lowest to highest maintenance pups when it comes to hair, which should help with setting expectations, planning and budgeting.

Short-haired, smaller dogs are going to require the least amount of grooming. An important caveat however is that even though these breeds are short-haired, they will still shed somewhat as all dogs shed some fur. Check out these breeds with low grooming needs if you’d rather not trade in your day job for a styling gig.

Italian Greyhound
Boston Terrier
Miniature Pinscher
• Harrier
Dalmation
• Whippet
• German Pinscher
• Basenji
• Australian Kelpie
Weimaraner
Vizsla
• English Foxhound
Boxer
Rottweiler
• Black & Tan Coonhound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Mastiff
Great Dane
Bloodhound
• Neapolitan Mastiff

talk-ab-fur-thumbnailConversely, if you can’t resist a fluffy, long-haired pup, target this list of styling breeds, who require more hands-on attention to their coats to avoid matting, shedding and hygiene issues.

Akita
Alaskan Malamute
• Bearded Collie
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bichon Frise
• Border Terrier (or most terriers, for that matter)
Bulldog
Chow Chow
Cockapoo
Cocker Spaniel (and most other Spaniels)
Collie
• English or Irish Setter
• Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers
Havanese
Lhasa Apso
Maltipoo
Old English Sheepdog (and other sheep dogs)
• Pekingese
Pomeranian
Poodle
Portuguese Water Dog
Shih Tzu
Siberian Husky

Hold The Elevator: Best Dogs For Apartment Living


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While any dog can thrive in an apartment setting if given the right amount of exercise, there are certain breeds considered ideal housemates in smaller living spaces. As a general rule of thumb, if a dog can fit in your purse, it can fit in your apartment – but there are exceptions! Some small breeds have high energy levels, and would do best with more room to run and play. On the other hand, some larger breeds are low energy and wouldn’t mind living in an apartment with less space. So, with a grain of salt, take a look at these perfect apartment-dwelling breeds based on size, energy level and personality.

Yorkie – The ever-popular Yorkie is cute, cuddly and compact – what more could you ask for? These small, affectionate dogs are keen to be near their owners, typically only weigh between 5-7 pounds, and are easily exercised indoors.

MalteseMaltese are adorable, gentle companions. They are the quintessential lap dog and love to be pampered, cuddled and held. These 4-7 pound dogs are also easy to train, and don’t have high exercise requirements, making them excellent apartment residents.

Havanese – These small dogs have big personalities! Eager to learn and easily trained, Havanese are between 10-15 pounds when fully grown, and make excellent companion pets. They are playful and somewhat active, but are easily manageable in an apartment.

PugPugs have an amusing, distinctive appearance and are generally considered to be a very adaptable breed. They are loyal, quiet dogs that love to be with their owners and have low exercise requirements, making them a good pet for living spaces of any size.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – These dogs want nothing more than to be by your side! Fairly small at 13-18 pounds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly and easy going, and will get along with anyone. They excel in smaller living spaces because of their calm and adaptable nature.

Bichon Frise – This fancy, fluffy pup is energetic, but can be exercised easily indoors as well as out. At only 7-12 pounds., the Bichon makes a quiet, loving apartment dog – and bonus, they shed much less than other breeds, ideal for living in close quarters!

Bulldog (French and English) – Both French and English Bulldogs tend to be low energy, content to laze around and be by your side, which make them great apartment pets. These dogs thrive on human contact and make great watchdogs. Plus, have you seen those adorable wrinkly faces…?

Shih Tzu – Bred to be a friendly lap dog, the Shih Tzu is certainly good at its job! They are affectionate, mellow and adaptable to any living environment.

hold-elevator-thumbnailBoston Terrier – Ideal because of their size, this breed is fairly energetic and will need to be walked daily. But, if you can keep a Boston Terrier well-exercised, these little gentlemen and ladies make devoted, gentle apartment pets.

Dachshund – These distinctive dogs have short legs, long bodies, and big hearts. They are lively dogs that love to exercise indoors and out. Dachshunds tend to attach strongly to their owners and are extremely affectionate, making them great roommates.

ChihuahuaChihuahuas are tiny and love to cuddle – especially in the cold winter months, as they can be sensitive to low temperatures. They require minimal exercise, but are fun and playful when you want to be active. These little guys and girls make excellent apartment dogs!

Pomeranian – This little fluff ball is feisty and full of energy, but at only 3-7 pounds, they don’t need much room to get their exercise! The Pomeranian is affectionate and outgoing and will take comfort in curling up next to you, no matter how small your apartment.

Great Dane – So, a Great Dane might not seem like the best option for an apartment based on his size – anywhere from 100-200 pounds as adults – but these big guys are actually very low energy and are content to lay on the couch right next to you. As quiet and friendly as they are, this breed would make an excellent apartment roommate!