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Dog Breeds Articles – Dog Groups.com http://www.doggroups.com All Dog Breeds Welcome! Sun, 08 Jan 2012 17:10:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Just another WordPress weblog No No Mange in Dogs, Cats and Other Pets http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/mange-in-dogs-cats-and-other-pets/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/mange-in-dogs-cats-and-other-pets/#respond Wed, 12 May 2010 17:17:18 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=885 Mange is a serious and sometimes untreatable condition that affects many pets. Mange can come in two distinct forms, Demodectic and Sarcoptic. The article below offers common causes and background information on both types of mange.

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Mange in Dogs Cats and Other Pets
Mange is a serious and sometimes untreatable condition that affects many pets. Mange can come in two distinct forms, Demodectic and Sarcoptic. The article below offers common causes and background information on both types of mange.

Mange is a rather common disease in household pets.

Dogs are primarily susceptible to two forms of mange, Demodectic mange (red mange) and Sarcoptic mange. Demodectic mange is generally seen in dogs less than two years of age. These mange mites are passed to puppies skin from their mothers. Demodectic mange mites live in the hair and oil (sebaceous) follicles of the skin. The first signs of this disease are patchy areas of hair loss about the head and forelegs, which do not itch and do not appear inflamed. These areas may spontaneously resolve or become larger until large areas of the pet’s skin is involved. It is considerably rarer in cats. A few of these parasites are present in the skin of many or all normal dogs. However dogs which develop disease have a defect in their immune system (T-cell defect) and can not keep the number of mites under control. The only product approved for use on Demodectic mange in the United States is amitraz (Mitaban). This concentrated liquid is diluted to a dip and the entire animal is immersed and scrubbed in the solution every two weeks until no living parasites can be seen under a microscope. A compound named benzyl benzoate cream was once used to treat small areas of infection. It is no longer believed to be effective. I will sometimes mix a 10% solution of Amitraz in propylene glycol and have the owner first cleanse and then massage this solution into isolated lesions. I have had good success in curing small areas of Demodectic mange in this way. The effectiveness of treatment is hard to evaluate because small lesions often go away on their own. Shar Pei dogs are notorious for their susceptibility to Demodectic mange. When amitraz (Mitaban) dips fail to halt the infection, I have had good success in placing these dogs on daily oral ivermectin. This product is sold as Ivomec 1% and the dose I use is 1ml (cc or approximately 15-20 drops) per110 lbs body weight. This comes out to 200 mcg/kg of body weight. Ivermectin may take up to a year to completely cure the dog. In severe cases, secondary bacterial skin infection is severe and subcutaneous lymph nodes enlarge with mites present in these nodes.

The second common form of mange in dogs, other pets (and wild animals) is Sarcoptic mange. This microscopic spider-like mite burrows through the layers of the skin causing an intense itch and streaks of reddened skin. After a month or so the skin becomes very crusty. It is spread from one mature dog to another by contact or by contact with objects the infected dog has touched. Humans in contact with these pets will often begin to itch too. This disease in man was once called the seven year itch. It is the disease that back-woods folk and farmers used to cure by rubbing the dog with burnt motor oil. Do not attempt this ! The most gentle way of curing this disease (but the most smelly way) in all species of animals is with lime sulfur dips. Oral or injectable ivermectin cures the disease very well too. However, Ivermectin can be toxic in cats. Besides dogs, I see this disease in cats, hedgehogs raccoons and squirrels.

A third form of mange, psoroptic mange, I see most often in rabbit ears and the area surrounding the ears. All ear-mite medicines cure this disease but the ears often need a soothing antibiotic corticosteroids cream for a week or two to heal.

A form of mange that I see in budgerigars (parakeets) and canaries is knemidocoptic mange. It affects their legs, the base of the beak and their vents. The skin in these areas is thickened and flaky. It responds very well to ivermectin or oily topical products containing rotenone (derris root & cube resin) such as Goodwinol. Goodwinol is difficult to obtain these days, but the active ingredient, rotenone, can be purchased as an organic rose and vegetable insecticide and mixed with margarine.

The reason most mange can be treated with any non-toxic oily product is that mange mites, being arachnids, breath through openings (sphericals) along their body. Any substance which plugs up these pores kills the mites. The exception are Demodectic mites which live so deeply within hair follicles that oily substances do not seem to affect them.

Additional Resources

Discuss Health Issues at DogGroups.com.

Find other health resources in the Dog Directory at DogGroups.com.


Ron Hines DVM PhD has devoted his life to the care of sick, and orphaned exotic pets and wildlife. He enjoys pets & helping others care for their pets. Purchase low priced Pet Medication at his website http://www.2ndchance.info and also read some of the many articles written by him. Reprint permission granted with this footer included. Copyright © 2ndchance.info 2003.

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Afghan Hound Breed http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/afghan-hound-breed/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/afghan-hound-breed/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:51:03 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=130 With roots dating to the Egyptian Pharaohs, the Afghan Hound is an ancient breed derived from the group of Middle Eastern sighthounds. Afghan Hounds development is the result of its use of being a coursing hound capable of providing hare and gazelle meat.

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With roots dating to the Egyptian Pharaohs, the Afghan Hound is an ancient breed derived from the group of Middle Eastern sighthounds. Afghan Hounds development is the result of its use of being a coursing hound capable of providing hare and gazelle meat.

This dog often hunted with the aid of falcons. Generations of hunting in Afghanistan produced a fast dog that also had a good deal of stamina, but most of all an incredible leaping ability and nimbleness. It’s long coat protected it from the cold climate.

The first Afghan Hound came to England in the 1900s; at that time these dogs were called Persian Greyhounds or Barukhzy Hounds. Popularity soon came fast coming in the show ring, with the Afghan becoming one of the most competitive and glamorous dogs in the shows. In the 1970’s the Afghan became a fad breed with the public, but it has since dwindled in popularity.


The Afghan hound has several features that are bound to catch ones eye. From the long silky coat that to the almond shaped eyes that force your attention, the Afghan is a confident and royal looking breed.

The Head

The appearance of the Afghan Hound is that of dignity and assurance. The head is evenly shaped and the breed has confident, almost almond shaped eyes. The Afghan has a level mouth in which the upper and lower jaw meet evenly. The ears are long and should reach to the front of the dogs long, distinctive nose if moved forward.

Faults round eyes, exaggerated nose, topknot not upon head, courseness of hair and overshot or undershot bite.

Neck and Body

The neck is long and curves into the body. The backline of the Afghan should be long and mostly level across the entire back of the animal. The height of the Afghan should equal that of the distance from the front of the chest to the buttocks. The hip bones are prominent in the breed.

Faults swayback, prominance lacking in the hips, neck lacking length or overly thick, chest to wide.


An Afghan male should stand 27 inches in height, plus or minus 1”. The female should measure 25 inches, plus or minus 1”.


A male Afghan will weigh around 60 pounds while their female counterpart weighs around 50 pounds.


Afghans come in a variety of colors and all are allowed. White markings are undesireable in the breed, espeically on the head.


The Afghan Hound is a hunter at heart, bred to chase down game. It will chase animals outside, however inside it will coexist as a family pet peacefully. Though gentle with children, it may not be playful and interactive enough with them.

The Afghan is sometimes referred to as “catlike”, it is independant yet sensitive, and not overly demonstrative. It is reserved with strangers; some can be timid. It has a gay, clownish side.

Health Concerns

Minor concerns for the Afghan Hound include cataract problems. Also, occasionally seen health concerns include Necrotic Myelopthy and CHD. Suggested related tests in an older Afghan Hound would be that of vision screening. The typical life span ranges from 12-14 years and the average weight for a male is 60lbs. compared to a female at 50 lbs. Please note, some Afghan Hounds are sensitive to anesthesia and are prone to tail injuries.

The Afghan’s daily upkeep involves daily exertion, either in the form of a long walk followed by a short sprint, or a chance to run full speed in a safe enclosed area. Although it’s coat is suited for the outdoors, Afghans need a soft bed and is better suited as a housedog. The coat requires some commitment, especially when shedding. Most adults coats need brushing or combing every two to three days.


The Afghan Hound Rates in the top 100 breeds according to AKC statistics with a rank of 83.

Additional Resources

Chat about the Afghan Hound at DogGroups.com.

View Afghan Hound Pictures at DogGroups.com

View breed standards at AKC.org

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The Golden Retriever http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-golden-retriever/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-golden-retriever/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:49:54 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=128 This wavy coated breed is the youngest of the retriever and continues to be one of the most popular breeds for families and fanciers.

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This wavy coated breed is the youngest of the retriever and continues to be one of the most popular breeds for families and fanciers.


Those new to the breed may have heard the lively tale about the beautiful Russian tracking dogs that toured England with the circus. Dont believe a word of it. The real credit goes to a Scottish Nobleman, the former Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks, who became the first Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan at Inverness, Scotland. Lord Tweedmouth was a ardent waterfowl enthusiast who hunted the rugged waters of the English seacoast. He dreamed of a canine hunting partner possessed of a superb nose that would hunt more closely than the commonly used Setters and Spaniels of that time.

He also fancied a dog that would not only retrieve his birds, but deliver them to his hand, a dual talent that was lacking in the bird dogs of that era.

To that end, in 1868, he bred a wavy-coated retriever named Nous, who was reportedly a gift from the Earl of Chichester, to a liver-colored Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, given to Tweedmouth by his cousin David Robertson. Nous, the greek word for wisdom had been born the only yellow pup, then called a sport, out of a litter of all blacks, which was the standard color for the wavy coat, an ancestor of todays Flat Coated Retriever. This mating was no accident; Tweedmouth had a passion for yellow dogs. Belle produced four fuzzy yellow pups and thus launched Tweedmouth on his Golden journey. He kept his favorite pup, Cowslip, and gave little Ada, Primrose and Crocus to a few good friends who joined him in his breeding venture.

These Golden fanciers persisted breeding yellow dog to yellow dog, despite the fact that linebreeding of this nature was most uncommon in those times. Ocassionally, they did experimental outcrosses to the Irish Setter, the yellow Labrador and the Bloodhound (Where do you think that expert Golden nose came from). The kennels at Guisachan were sold in 1905, but by that time two historic kennels had emerged: Ingestre and Culham which were eventually registered with the Kennel Club of England. Lord Harcourts Culham Goldens continued Tweedmouths legacy of excellence, producing the great sires Culham Brass and Culham Copper, who are behind the Modern Golden Retriever. In 1909, Lord Harcourt was joined in his breeding endeavors by Mrs William Charlesworth, who later established her own line of influential Goldens under the kennel prefix of Noranby (originally Noramby). Mrs Charlesworth became an icon in the breed, devoting the next 50 years to perserving the breeds working ability, always with an eye toward true type and soundness. Her Noranby Goldens not only worked in the admirably in the field, but also claimed the highest honors on the bench, achievements we have not witnessed in the Golden for many decades.

In 1913, she and a few other breed enthusiasts successfully formed the Golden Retriever Club of England. The early 1900s were flagship years for the Golden in England. Goldens became a popular hunting dog and the breed earned field trial wins and produced several dual champions. Bench champions wore a darker red coat in those days until about 1936 when the lighter colors became fashionable with judges and exhibitors. The Yellow or Golden, Retriever offically recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1913 became the Golden Retriever in 1920. The breed began migrating to Canada and the United States around 1900 when the British military and other professionals traveled to those countries with thier hunting dogs. By 1931, Goldens had also been exported to Uruguay, Belgium, Holland, India, South America, Kenya and Aregentina- true testimony to the breeds versatility and universal appeal. In the United States, these talented and willing retrievers naturally became popular in areas rich with waterfowl and upland game, and thier delightful dispositions earned high marks with non-hunters as wll. In 1925, the American Kennel Club (AKC) granted them offical breed status.

So the original Golden was a hunting dog. With its handsome looks and winning personality, however, this versatile animal was destined to become much more. Those early Golden hunters have evolved into the do-it-all dogs we know and love today.


The Goldens general appearence is that of a symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long inthe leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self confident. Primarily a hunting dog, it should be shown in hard working condition. Overall appearence, balance, gait and purpose are to be given more emphasis than any of its component parts.

In size, a male Golden Retriever should stand 23 to 24 inches at the withers, or shoulder, with females standing 21 1/2 to 22 1/2 inches. A variation of 1 inch above or below the standard is permitted but penalized proportionately in the show ring. A dog that deviates in height more than a inch either way must be disqualified. In accordance with its height, the typical male Golden weighs 65 to 75 pounds, a female 55 to 65 pounds. Proportion is important as well. The standard calls for the length from breastbone to the point of the buttocks to be slightly greater than the height at the withers (top of the shoulder) in a ratio of 12 to 11. Those dimensions make for a dog that is beautifully angled front and rear, able to carry itself with the smooth, powerful gait needed by a hardworking hunting dog.

A proper Goldens skull is broad, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally, but without a prominent forehead or occipital bones. The stop- the indentation between the eyes where the nasal bones and cranium meet- is well defined but not abrupt. The foreface is deep and wide, nearly as long as the skull, and the muzzle is straight, blending smoothly and strongly into the skull. When viewed in profile or from above, the muzzle is slightly deeper and wider at the stop than at the tip. The flews – the hanging sides of the upper lip- should not be heavy. Whiskers may be removed, but this isn’t a preferred look.

The Goldens eyes can be descrided as friendly and intelligent in espression, medium large with dark, close fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep on the sockets. The preferred color is dark brown, but medium brown eyes are acceptable. When the dog is looking straight ahead, no white or haw- the third eyelid- should be visable. Slant eyes and narrow triangular eyes are faulted because they detract from the correct expression.

Soft and floppy, the Goldens ears are rather short, with the front edge attaached well behind and just above the eye and falling close to the cheek. When pulled forward, the tip of the ear should just cover the eye. Low houndlike ears are faulted.

The nose should be black or brownish black. Some noses fade to a lighter shade in cold weather, which isn’t a serious flaw, but a pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation is faulted.

It goes without saying that a Golden should have all of its teeth. They should meet in a scissirs bite, in which the outter side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. This breed is meant to carry large fowl, so it needs to have a strong jaw. Irregularly placed incisors are undesireable, as is a level bite- one wich the incisors meet each other edge to edge. Goldens with overshot or undershot bites are disqualified.

Supporting the head is a medium-long neck that merges gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving the dog a sturdy muscular appearence. The neck needs to be of a length that allows the dog to be a pickup dog but not so long that it appears elegant or sighthoundlike. Too much loose skin under the throat, described as throatiness is undesireable.

Whether a Golden is standing or moving, it should have a well put together body, starting with a topline that is strong and level from the withers to a slightly sloping croup (the region of the pelvic girdle). Faults include a sloping topline, a roach (rounded) or sway back or a flat or steep croup. The body should also be well balanced, short coupled and deep through the chest. What does that mean? The standard goes on to explain that the chest between the forelegs should be at least as wide as a mans closed hand including thumb, with a well developed forechest.

The brisket should extend to the elbow. The ribs should be long and well sprung, but not barrelshaped, extending well toward the hindquarters. The short muscular loinis wide and deep with very little tuck up. Powering up the Golden are muscular forequarters and hindquarters. At the front end, the shoulder blades are long and well laid back, with the upper tips farely close together at the withers. The upper arms appear about the same length as the blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper tip of the blades, close to the ribs without looseness.

Viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good bone, although they shouldn’t appear coarse. Pasterns are short and strong, sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness. Medium sized feet are round, compact, well knuckled with thick pads. To show the natural size and contour of the foot, excess hair may be trimmed. Front dewclaws may be removed, but most people leave them on. Faults are splayed or hare feet. At the rear are broad strongly muscled hindquarters. Legs are straight when viewed from the rear. In a natural stance the femur joins the pelvis at approximatly a 90 degree angle. The stifles are well bent and the hocks well let down with short strong rear pasterns. Goldens with cow hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks are to be faulted.

The merrily carried tail is thick and muscular at the base with a feathered underside. It should be carried level or with some moderate upward curve but never curled over the back. The Golden is a swimmer and uses its tail as a rudder, so its important that the tail not be carried too high.

The crowning glory of this breed is, of course, its coat, but again moderation is the key. A proper Golden coat is dense and water repellent with a good undercoat. The texture of the outer coat is neither coarse nor silky but instead should be form and resilient, lying close to the body. Where the coat shines is in its rich, lustrous golden color of various shades. Like the Golden as a whole, the dogs predominat body coloring should be moderate, neither excessively pale or excessively dark. Take into account, however, that the coat of a light colored puppy may deepen with maturity. The feathering may be lighter in color than the rest of the coat, but with the exception of graying or whitening due to age, white markings are penalized unless they are limited to a few white hairs on the chest. It’s important not to confuse allowable light shadings with white markings. The hair can be straight or wavy, with a natural ruff at the neck, moderate feathering on the back of the forelegs and the underbody, and heavier feathering on the front of the neck, the back of the thighs and the underside of the tail. The coat on the head, paws and front of the legs should be short and even. In no case should the natural appearence of the coat be altered by cutting or clipping, except as noted above to display the feet.

Looks are well and good, but this is a sporting breed we are talking about and in the final analysis, performance is what counts. Even if your Golden never sees a field, it should still be built to move or gait in a certin way. When trotting, its movement should be free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach. Viewed in any position, the legs neither turn in or out and the feet shouldn’t cross or interfere with each other. Show a Golden on a loose lead to best display its gait.


The Golden Retriever is more than just a pretty face and a beautiful coat. It exemplifies the old saying “Pretty is as pretty does”. The description of temperment in the Golden standard could just as easily appear in the Boy Scout Handbook. This dog is to be friendly, reliable and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations or an unwarrented show of timidity or nervousness are not typical Golden traits and should be penalized accordingly.

Gentle, kind, and affecionate: The breed of dog that most comes to mind at the sound of these adjatives is the Golden Retriever. The Golden comes by this reputation with good reason. Of all the hundreds of dog breeds in the world the Golden is one of the most giving and sweetest dogs on earth. Goldens work as Therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and they provide loyalty and companionship to children and adults alike. And as most people know Golden Retrievers have a smile and a wagging tail for just about everyone they meet.

Often they are comical and entertaining and they make up games. They are also very intuitive and sense many things. They try very hard to communicate with their owners and the closer the bond the more successful they are. They are also very observent and notice the strangest things. They are a willing worker, eager to please, lives to be with his or her people, and has the think it through mentality of many great sporting dogs. By and large most Goldens are unflappable, love people, kids and other animals and will gladly run through fire for you if that is what you ask of them, also they are well known for being a benevolent and sofhearted dog. The Golden is considered one of the most tolerant dog breeds around, a trait which makes them uniquely suited to being a excellent companion and also fulfilling some of the most challenging canine jobs around.

Another distinctive facet of the Goldens temperment is versatility. Goldens can work hard in the field one hour and be the perfect childs companion the next. Because the Golden is such a friendly and forgiving dog, the breed is well known among those who provide pet assisted therapy to patients in nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions, because Goldens have a natural love of people many of them seem to thrive in this environment.


Very high

The numbers speak for themselves. Proving the breeds trainability and unwavering desire to please. Golden Retrieves consistantly amass more titles in obedience and tracking than any other breed. During the year 2000 they claimed the following:

635 Companion Dog titles (CD)

310 Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)

111 Utility Dog (UD)

56 Utility Dog Excellent (UDX)

40 prestigous Obedience Trial Champion titles (OTCh)

71 Tracking Dog titles (TD)

24 Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX)

1,319 Agility titles second only to the Border Collie

49 now call themselves Master Hunter (MH)

238 became Junior Hunter (JH)

88 claimed Senior Hunter titles (SH)


The following is a list of health concerns that Goldens can be faced with

Hip Dysplasia

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (a form of congential heart disease)



A Golden is most happiest to be wherever you are. It would be best to get your dog out for at least an hour a day, or you can take up one of the many canine sports, or take a hike in the woods. It is all dependent on the dog as to what type of excersise they need, some may be happy to just lay on the couch with a walk every now and then, others may need to have a job to do.


Goldens are notorious shedders and regular brushing cuts down on the amount of hair left on floors and furniture. It also prevents painful mats from forming in thier coats. These dogs tend to shed moderatly year round and blow coat (shed thier entire haircoat profusly) in the spring and fall. I would groom every day but you can groom every week, it is up to you. I would use a pin brush, slicker, double sided comb, a shedding blade, etc. Pay close attention to the ears and teeth


* Youngest of all the Retriever breeds

* President Gerald Ford owned a Golden Retriever named Liberty

* They actually smile by curling up the corners of thier mouths and showing some teeth

* A Golden can easily carry 10 to 25 pounds of equipment, depending on the size and fitness of the dog on a mountain trail

Additional Resources

View Golden Retriever Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about Golden Retrievers

Send a Golden Retriever E-card

Breed Profile submitted by GreenLeafKennelClub

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The Boxer http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-boxer/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-boxer/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:48:34 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=126 Loving, loyal and plain silly at times! The Boxer is a breed that grabs attention with its looks and personality.

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Loving, loyal and plain silly at times! The Boxer is a breed that grabs attention with its looks and personality.

History of the Breed

It is believed that the Boxer breed originated from the Brabanter Bullenbeisser which can be be traced back to Belgium. This dog was described as a strong and agile dog, much as the Boxer is today. The Brabanter Bullenbeisser was used by elite individuals in Germany to help in the hunting of wild boar. The dog’s ears were cropped to prevent any potential injuries and tears from encounters with the boars.

As time moved on the Brabanter Bullenbeisser came to do work with cattle dealers and by the 1800’s was considered a working class dog. When not working the Brabanter was an excellent family pet always eager to please its owners. Around the year of 1830 it is believed that an early form of the English Bulldog was crossed with the Brabanter Bullenbeisser and thus the Boxer breed was born. The crossed dogs were white in color, much like the white Boxers today that are banned from confirmation shows and not accepted as a proper color.

The development of the Boxer breed started to flourish with the start of the German Boxer Klub in 1860’s. Although the breed started to flourish it was given an English name that many believe relates to the dogs instinct to use it’s front paws when at play and fighting.

By 1895 the Boxer Klub was formally organized and a breed standard was described to help define what the Boxer should look like. In the majority of pictures from this era of the breed the Boxer is shown white in color. In 1925 the white Boxer was no longer accepted as a proper color for the breed. Most believe the reasoning for this change is that if the Boxer was to be used for police work it would need to be of a darker color as to not be seen at night.

The Boxer was introduced to the United States around the turn of the century and shortly after, in 1915 the first Boxer Champion was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). To the surprise of no one the first champion was from Frau Stockman’s kennel that had done so much for the breed in the early years.

It was not until 1949 that the Boxer started to really make headlines in the U.S. In this year Bang Away was born to Sirrah Crest and went on to become the winningest Boxer of the century. The first win for Bang Away came at the age of 2 and a half months as it was selected by Frau Stockman as Best in Show. Bang Away went on to win the most highly coveted dog show the Westminster along with 121 other Best in Show wins over a six-year period.

Many changes have been seen in the Boxer over the years and more will most likely come. Some of the hottest issues in recent years is the addition of the white Boxer into the breed standard and if natural tails and ears should be standard. No matter what the future holds for the Boxer it will always remain a family favorite.

General Appearance

The ideal Boxer would be described as a medium sized, well-muscled dog. The Boxer is a square built dog with a short coat. The muscle tone of the Boxer is one of its distinguished features and should be clean and well defined. The gait of the Boxer is one of pride and courage as its strides are firm.

The Boxer’s expression should be alert and exert a penetrating gaze from the eyes. As with most breeds the shape and proportion of the Boxer’s head is of the up most importance. The skull should be well proportioned with a broad muzzle.

Proportion and Size

The Boxer is a medium built breed and males should measure 22.5 – 25 inches in height and the female counterpart should be a height of 21 – 23.5 inches. The breed does not have a size disqualification but it is undesirable for males to be below the minimum or females above the maximum. When size is considered the most important aspect is proper balance of the dog.

The proportion of the Boxer is a square body in that the distance should be of equal length when measured horizontally from the front of the chest to the back thigh and the vertically from the withers to the ground.


The Boxer is accepted in two distinct colors, Fawn and Brindle. The fawn can vary from a light tan to a dark almost red color. The Brindle color looks similar to a tiger stripe in that the fawn background is marked with black stripes. The Brindle can range from a few well-defined lines to an almost reversal of color where the fawn background is barely seen.

The Boxer may have white markings in a way that they are beneficial to the appearance of the animal. White markings exceeding one third of the total body is considered a fault. There have been many debates recently of the acceptance of the all white Boxer for the breed and allowing them to compete in confirmation shows.

Temperament and Personality

Energetic, Playful, Loyal, Family Oriented. If owners of this fun loving breed were asked to describe a Boxer these are just a few examples that would be used. The Boxer was originally bred for work but also makes an excellent choice when looking for a family pet. Although no two Boxer dogs are alike, there are common characteristics that a Boxer should display.

If a poll conducted amongst all Boxer owners for choosing one word to describe this breed the overwhelming choice would be Playful. The Boxer is an amazing breed in its youthful exuberance is shown from the puppy stage to the senior years. A Boxer that is not playful, is just not a Boxer. With their uncanny knack for always-making owners smile, a Boxer household is one that is constantly filled with joy and laughter.

If a single profession could be chosen for the Boxer most owners today would say a clown would be the most fitting. Whether wiggling or wagging, the Boxer is constantly entertaining and one cannot help but smile even when in the worse of moods. The Boxer has a variety of tricks to make us laugh. One of the most common is “kidney beaning”. This is a dance a Boxer does when it is excited. It involves the dog turning itself into a semi-circle (similar to the shape of a “kidney bean”, hence the name) and turning in a circle. This is one of the best benefits of the Boxer because who would not love to see this each day when coming home from a tiring day of work.

Another trick of the trade for the Boxer is the elusive “woo-woo”. This is the sound they make when they want something or are excited. It is not exactly a bark, but similar. If you have heard a Boxer “woo-woo” you would know as it is such a unique sound and it sounds as if they are saying “woo-woo” look at me!

The general movements of the Boxer at times while running can be a very enjoyable experience to walk. A healthy, happy Boxer is a treat to see run free as they have a glow and you can feel the happiness they are experiencing. When the Boxer runs also are on the lookout as many will also jump, twist and even summersault end over end for your viewing pleasure.

The Boxers personality is a unique and very enjoyable for most owners but new owners should be weary that the Boxer is not for everyone. They are high-energy dogs and require lots of attention. This is not a breed that is going to lie at the foot of the bed and sleep most of a day away. If the Boxer is not properly exercised and challenged, they can become destructive, as they will find ways to entertain themselves (read chewing your shoes!). The Boxer should be walked or jogged at least two times a day and also provided with mental stimulation. An excellent source of mental stimulation is obedience training. Obedience training is a must for any Boxer owner due to their strength and size. If not properly trained the Boxer can be a handful to take on a walk as they will pull every which direction if not given proper direction. Obedience training is a win-win situation for the Boxer and owner. The Boxer gets to be mentally stimulated, which they desire and it allows the owner to set boundaries for the dog. Placed in the proper home where they can be exercised and mentally challenged, the Boxer makes most owners an excellent pet.

The Boxer by nature is not an aggressive or vicious breed. Many uneducated about the breed assume because of the tough look and sturdy structure of the breed that they are aggressive animals. The Boxer naturally prefers to play and work. They do make excellent watchdogs in that they will bark at strangers and protect their family if need be. In fact, the most difficult of Schutzhund training for the breed is passing the required attack sequence of the training where the Boxer must attack a trainer poised as an attacker.

With its youthful exuberance and affection the Boxer makes an excellent pet for families with children. From personal experience, the breed seems to have a sense of gauging the size of a child and toning down its level appropriately. Although in most cases the Boxer makes an excellent pet for children, a potential owner should always research the breed before deciding on the proper breed for their family. For instance the Boxer is a large dog and could cause problems for infants and young children by knocking them over by accident.

The Boxer is not an outside dog and does not adapt well to extreme heat or cold. The Boxer is not suited for cold conditions because of its short coat does not provide much barrier from cold winds. On the other extreme the Boxer has a short nasal cavity, which can make breathing very hard in extremely hot conditions. For these reasons, potential owners should be prepared to make adjustments and space in their house for a Boxer if they choose the breed. Most owners say the Boxer prefers mild 70 to 72 degrees controlled living environment, much as we would all prefer!

If you do not like a “lap dog” and think by getting a larger breed you will avoid a dog wanting up in your lap the Boxer is definitely not right for you. The Boxer is a “lap dog” and feels the need to be with its owners. Although it is sometimes hard to imagine a 75-pound dog as being cuddly, the Boxer fits this description. Potential owners should be prepared to give their Boxer lots of time with them and know that the Boxer will follow their owner throughout the house.


The Boxer is a very intelligent breed, which has many benefits when training but also drawbacks. The benefits are obvious in that they learn quickly and are eager to further their training education. The downside to working with such an intelligent breed is that they also can and do think on their own. Potential owners should be prepared for many occasions in which the Boxer will plain out not listen to commands. The owner and dog both know exactly what is being commanded and what is suspected. It is just a characteristic of the Boxer to be stubborn from time to time. This can be frustrating but remember to always be patient and the Boxer and trainer will both benefit.

A common example of the Boxer’s stubborn streak is easily observable many times when traveling and it comes time to load up into the car to leave. The Boxer cannot be more excited and has been jumping around all morning looking forward to a ride. When it comes time to physically get into the car, the Boxer will act as if it all of the sudden has lead in it’s feet and not being able to jump into the car. The dog and owner both know the Boxer can get into the car and the Boxer has displayed this ability on many occasions. On this particular day, the dog has decided he wants pampered and needs the owner lift it up into the car. This is just a small example to detail how the stubborn streak can come out and to forewarn anyone considering the breed.

Exercise Needs

The Boxer is an energetic dog. If an owner is looking for a dog to just lie around, this is not a good breed. Although they do have lots of energy, they are not hyperactive and their energy can be easily managed. Daily walks or runs are a must to keep a Boxer feeling their best. Also, the Boxer needs a lot of mental stimulation. If the right amount of exercise is not given, look out because a Boxer will find a way to entertain itself (read chewing shoes, sofas etc…).

Grooming Needs

The Boxer has a short coat but will and does shed. Many often are surprised at the amount of hair that the Boxer does shed. With regular brushings the shedding problem can be held to a minimum. Often a shedding blade can be used to remove the majority of the hair. If using a shedding blade, careful strokes should be taken around the Boxers leg because of the possibility of tearing a tendon or hurting the dog.

Fun FAQs

The Boxers name originates from the dog using its front paw when fighting or playing.

The Boxers ears were originally cropped because it was used for police work and some hunting. By cropping the ears it prevented possible tears while fighting.

The Boxer is known as the “peter pan” of dog breeds because of its youthful mannerism throughout its life.


Although not right for everyone, the Boxer can make most a loving addition to their family and provide years of joy. The key is to properly socialize and train the Boxer at an early age and set limits for your Boxer baby. If these simple guidelines are followed, you can look forward to one of the funniest, loyal family member you could imagine.

Additional Resources

View Boxer Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about Boxer Dogs

Send a Boxer E-card

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-rhodesian-ridgeback/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-rhodesian-ridgeback/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:47:09 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=123 True to it's African roots, this profile of the Ridgie gets back to basics by giving an explanation of the breed by using a story, a practice that African Tribes use.

The post The Rhodesian Ridgeback appeared first on Dog Groups.com.


True to it’s African roots, this profile of the Ridgie gets back to basics by giving an explanation of the breed by using a story, a practice that African Tribes use.

Boetie, the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Boetie grew up in the veldt of Africa. The grasses were tall and made wonderful hiding areas for Boetie and his brothers and sisters. They played, day after day, stalking each other through the long grasses, chasing small rodents from the hidey-holes, and sometimes just simply lying in the grass napping.

Boetie was the group’s fearless leader. If there was a koggelmander (agama lizard) in sight, it was always Boetie who dared to get close. It never bothered him that the koggelmander would flare out his red or blue frill in an attempt to frighten Boetie away. Boetie would just stare at the lizard and with a curious frown, creasing his brow and trying to put a paw onto the lizard to get a closer look. He never quite made the connection, as the koggelmander would always speed away from Boetie’s paw and he would be left there alone, creasing his brow even more.

He would sit and listen to the turtle doves coo-coo-cooing. He would watch the little weaver birds hard at work, weaving their intricate nests over the edge of the river. His ouma (grandmother) had told him that the birds built their almost impenetrable nests over water to keep out the snakes. The cobras and boomslang (tree snake), as well as other snakes had a difficult time trying to get inside a weaver bird’s nest to eat the baby birds there.

Sometimes Boetie would scratch at the surface of an anthill that looked like a big black rock. He just wanted to watch the ants scurrying about inside their home. He never wanted to hurt them and they seemed to rebuild their anthill very quickly.

Once he found a very pretty rock that was moving. It had lovely colours and things that looked like legs and a head and tail. When he put his nose out to sniff it, and touched it with his paw, it came to a sudden stop. Boetie was very surprised. His father, Dagga, told him that it was just skilpad (tortoise), looking for food on his way home and that the skilpad would not hurt anyone.

Boetie loved to learn about the creatures and plants that lived around him. He asked his ouma and oupa (grandfather) often to tell him what such-and-such was and where it lived and what it ate. Oupa told him about trapsoetjies (“walk sweetly/softly” the chameleon), who walked even more slowly than skilpad. His eyes moved separately, and he could actually look forward with his one eye and backwards with the other eye! Boetie tried SO hard to make his eyes work that way but he could not.

When he played at the edge of the kopje (rocky hill) close to his home, he enjoyed chasing the dassies (hyrax) into the rocks. Sometimes he took one home for dinner, but mostly he just enjoyed chasing them.

One day, while playing chase with the dassies, he came face to face with a rinkhals cobra (spitting cobra). Oh, my goodness, Boetie got such a fright! He froze as the snake stretched its body upward. Before the snake could spit its venom into Boetie’s eyes, Boetie apologized and bowed his head down onto his front paws; Rinky had been resting after his midday meal and was too sleepy to bother much with Boetie. He simply hissed that Boetie should be more careful in the future and then he curled up and went back to sleep. Boetie was so scared that he avoided that place for many months afterwards.

In the heat of the afternoon, Boetie and his brothers and sisters would watch the miskruiers (dung beetles) hard at work rolling up big balls of elephant dung. These beetles would be a fraction of the size of the huge round ball they were pushing home and the pups enjoyed watching them; They also played with the tok-tokkie (tapping beetles) beetles, these pretty little brown beetles would scurry along, tapping their bellies to the ground every now and then. The noise they made fascinated Boetie, it went “Tok, tok, tok. Tok, tok, tok”(perhaps that’s why Ridgebacks do so well with clicker training?)

These are some of the creatures that shared adventures with Boetie. Many of them helped Boetie, some of them failed to give him warnings, and some of them helped him get into trouble at times. Boetie and his siblings had many adventures growing up on the veldt of Africa.

The Legend of the Ridge

Long ago, in the veldt of Africa, lived a pack of dogs. They were very nice dogs: Fair sized, different colours, sleek and shiny.

They preferred to live in the veldt area, rather than the bush. They were very clannish, enjoying each other’s company tremendously, never wandering off alone. None of them would dream of going off to hunt alone.

One day Boetie (brother in Afrikaans), being the adventurous sort of pup, tried to round up a group of siblings to try their hand at hunting without their parents. None of the pups would join him, so Boetie ran off toward the bush alone. He had never been near the bush as it was a forbidden area, but the adults never told Boetie why it was forbidden.

Boetie was angry at the other pups and thought they were being cowards. He decided he would show them what a great hunter he was, and how brave too. He was going to return to the den with dinner for his family.

He first met a meerkat, who peered at him slyly and asked why he was alone. Boetie replied he was going to find dinner. Frikkie, the meerkat, chortled and went on his way.

Boetie wandered about, getting closer and closer to the bush. He met an ostrich, who peered down his beak and asked where he thought he was going. Boetie told the ostrich he was going to get dinner. The ostrich told him to go home immediately (ostriches can be rather bossy, you know) and aimed a swift kick at Boetie. Boetie dodged out of the way and ran on.

He came across a pangolin, who carefully unrolled himself to hiss, “Where DO you think you are going, you must go home immediately!” Boetie kept right on trotting.

Then he met Simba, who grumbled at him that he was too young to be out alone, he should go home to be with his mother. Boetie stopped to tell the lion that he was big enough to find dinner all by himself and that that was what he was going to do. Simba, being the father of many young ones, insisted that Boetie return home and swatted at Boetie’s rear end. Boetie ran, veering left, going deeper into the bush.

Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw a meerkat, followed by a large ostrich and something small and scaley behind that, but he ran on looking for something good he could take home for dinner.

Suddenly, something grabbed him from above and held on tightly. Boetie squirmed and wriggled, but he could not get loose. He tried calling out for someone, anyone, to help him. He struggled some more and the harder he struggled, the more firmly he was held by this unseen “animal” from above.

The meerkat scuttled up and told Boetie he deserved what happened to him as he was such a disobedient pup. He then settled down to watch Boetie struggle. Soon the ostrich and the pangolin arrived. They too told him how much he deserved to be punished, as he was so disobedient. Simba strolled up, stared at Boetie with his cold golden eyes and said, “You will make a tasty morsel for my lunch, it is what you deserve for being so disobedient.”

Well, you can imagine the fear, the absolute terror, that rippled through Boetie. He struggled fiercely and valiantly to be free of his unseen captor. He heard the rustle of a breeze – he thought it was talking to him, saying “wag ‘n bietjie, wag ‘n bietjie” (he translated it to mean “wait a minute, wait a minute). Boetie was quite sure he was going crazy, after all, trees don’t talk. He scrabbled frantically with his feet, and with one final lunge, tore free of the wait-a-minute tree.

As he ran away, he did not feel the cuts from where the thorns of the tree had scored his back. His mother was very happy to see him home and alive. She licked his wounds clean and tried to comfort him. She told him that the wag’n bietjie tree was the real reason they did not go into the bush. It stopped all passersby with its cruel, long thorns.

Boetie, being the type of dog to hold a grudge, swore his mishap was all the lion’s fault. After all, it was he (the lion) who had made him run deeper into the bush, then threatened to eat him. He vowed he would never let a lion get close enough to hurt him.

His back healed up, and he was very proud of his new hair. It had grown back quickly enough, but it was now reversed. His family watched as Boetie grew into a fearless Lion Dog. He practised day after day tracking the lions for hours.

Always staying just out of reach of their razor-like claws, Boetie would antagonize and feint away, taunt, then feint again. He was so deft in his pursuit of the lions that all the maiden dogs vied for the honor of having his children.

The Mantis god looked upon Boetie very favourably, as Boetie had learned he had a purpose in this life. The Mantis granted that all of Boetie’s offspring would henceforth wear the sign of their father in the shape of the ridge.

So, my friends that is how the Ridgeback got his ridge.

Tale of the Diamond

Boetie sniffed the blue frilled koggelmander warily. He was not used to the scent of the lizard, and wondered if it was edible. As he tried to grasp it in his mouth, a loud hiss from the lizard sent him running backward. His sister, Bessie, fell as he cannoned into her. She got up, shaking the red dust from her tawny coat and grumbled at Boetie, saying, “We should go and look for dinner as it is growing late.” Boetie gave up his pursuit of the koggelmander and together the two pups strode off through the rocky ground in search of food. Neither pup noticed that they were not alone.

Old Man Simba lay in the sun atop the kopje. He watched from slitted eyes as the two pups hunted amongst the rocks. He knew that Boetie would eventually get himself, and perhaps his sister too, in some sort of trouble.

Simba noticed that Big Bobbejaan was also watching the pups. He roared his displeasure at the sight of Bobbejaan nearby. He rose gracefully and slowly made his way toward the big baboon.

Bobbejaan was very cunning though and he scrambled closer to where Boetie and Bessie were stalking a dassie amongst the rocks of the kopje. He thought Simba would not dare to chase him if he were near the Ridgeback pups.

Bessie was so engrossed in the hunt that she failed to move quickly enough, out of Bobbejaan’s reach. Bobbejaan grabbed her by her long tail. She yelped as his hand took hold of the base of her tail. Bessie scambled to get behind a rock, but Bobbejaan held fast. Boetie came running, growling at Bobbejaan to let go of his sister. Bobbejaan hung on tighter. Being a very arrogant baboon, he was not going to allow Simba to chase him away from the kopje. He was also not going to let go of this pup he held, as he knew Simba would not come too close to the dog.

Simba roared at Bobbejaan, Bessie yelped and whimpered and Boetie howled his rage, all three animals feeling powerless in their own way against sly old Bobbejaan.

Mantis, who we all know created everything, stood tall and rubbed his two front legs together, as if praying. From between his feet shot a bolt of lightning, it hit Bobbejaan’s hand as he tried to keep a firm grip on Bessie’s tail. The lightning burnt Bobbejaan’s hand, but it also burnt a small part of Bessie’s tail.

Mantis spoke from the kopje, “Let it be known that the mark of the Mantis protects all these dogs from harm forthwith.” He went on to say that the Ridgeback was forever more to be recognized by the mark on the tail, and that this mark would show all that the Ridgeback was a very agile animal. All dogs so marked would be able to stay out of reach of any baboon.

Bobbejaan slunk back to his home nursing, his sore hand. Simba looked down at Mantis, raised an eyebrow and asked what form the mark would take. Mantis did not reply.

Boetie licked Bessie’s burnt skin and they walked slowly home. They slept well that night, they were both so tired. In the morning, their mother asked why Bessie had not washed her tail and to go and remove the dirt at once. Bessie tried and tried to lick away the little diamond shape at the top of her tail, but it would not go away.

Boetie told his mother what Mantis had said about the mark on Bessie’s tail. Their mother looked more closely at the mark which Bessie was still vainly trying to lick off her tail. There was a perfect diamond shape made by the burnt hair. To this day, Mantis’ words proved true. All Ridgebacks are marked with Mantis’ own brand. They all have the diamond at the base of their tail, and marked dogs are very agile.

Do you really think Mantis could have made the diamond just to show everyone how agile Ridgebacks are? You will have to ask Mantis.

A Ridgeback’s Floppy Ears

On the banks of the Umfani River, lived a large male crocodile. He was very old and indeed, had been king of his realm for many years. He was very learned in the ways of the bush and the veldt.

He was probably the same crocodile who helped the elephant grow its trunk (apologies to Rudyard Kipling). His name was Tande, meaning “teeth”.

Old Tande lived a lazy life amongst the reeds and brush of the river. He ate when he was hungry, he basked in the sun alot, and he kept to himself except when “the others” came to him for advice.

Tande was the only one that was unafraid of the Tokeloshe who lived in the river. Now, we all know how evil the Tokeloshes can be and we try hard to stay away from them.

Boetie, being his adventurous self, wanted to know more about the Tokeloshe and travelled far to visit Tande. He had many questions for the old crocodile and was very excited at the prospect of meeting the old king.

His arrival was a bit of a letdown, as the king was asleep and no one would wake him up. Boetie had to wait for several hours, so he amused himself by stalking boomsingetjies. These proved to be too elusive for him and he tried his luck on a slow-moving chameleon. He sat and watched the long tongue flick out at as it chose a large fly for a meal. The chameleon chomped once, twice, then swallowed the fly. Boetie stared , his ears standing straight up in amazement.

He was finally called to meet with King Tande. The crocodile was very sleepy still, and really did not want to be bothered by a whippersnapper like Boetie. He did tell Boetie that if he ever heard his name called out, he must not answer.

With this rather mysterious instruction, he fell asleep again and poor Boetie, feeling very disappointed, left to begin his journey home again.

He wandered along the river bank aimlessly. He was upset that he had not been able to ask any of his questions of the King, and he was beginning to become a bit angry at the King’s rude behaviour.

Just then, he heard someone call his name. He stopped, looked around, thinking it was the King’s wife calling him back. He hoped the King would apologize for his rudeness, invite Boetie to dinner and they would talk all night.

He called back, “I am coming. Wait for me.”

As he was musing about how he would talk to the King, his name came floating across the water again. He looked across the river but could see nothing.

He walked closer to the water and as he heard his name again, he stepped into the water.


Something big and black grabbed at him. Boetie leapt backwards, but clawlike fingers caught his ears. Ouch, that hurt! He thrashed, bellowed, barked, and tried to bite at the thing that was holding and hurting his ears. It would not let go!

Suddenly, Boetie remembered the old crocodile telling him not to answer if he heard his name being called. He realized the crocodile must have been warning him about the Tokeloshe. Now he did not know what to do to get away from the beast.

He howled, he struggled, and finally his feet found a good grip in the sandy bottom of the river and slowly, so slowly, he managed to inch his way backward toward the river bank.

He got his two hind feet on dry ground, then one by one his two front feet were on the dry ground, but the thing, the Tokeloshe, still had a firm hold on his ears.

The Tokeloshe was big, black, hairy and very strong. It had a fat belly, big wild-looking eyes, and teeth that even old King Crocodile would have envied.

Boetie had never seen teeth like these facing him now – they were huge! Boetie pulled and pulled. He realized the Tokeloshe could not come out of the water, he was truly a water-beast, so he pulled harder and cried with the pain of his ears being stretched and stretched and stretched. Poor Boetie, they hurt so, but this brave puppy kept pulling backwards out of the water and finally the Tokeloshe had to let his ears go.

The Tokeloshe screamed his fury at losing such a delicious meal, or perhaps a slave, and sent torrents of water-spirits towards Boetie. Boetie turned and ran for his life, his long ears flapping in the wind.

His family was surprised to see him with his damaged ears and hastened to try to make them better. Mantis had other ideas though, and he came and spoke to all the animals. Mantis said: “Henceforth, all Ridgebacks will have ears that dangle down and they will not stand upright again. This is in honor of Boetie, who fought bravely with the Tokeloshe, but it is also for the Ridgeback to be able to use his ears well and perhaps next time he will hear the crocodile’s warning”.

So, that is how the ridgeback got long floppy ears.

Remember what that warning was? If you hear your name called, do not answer. Do your Ridgebacks hear their names when they are called?

A Ridgeback’s White Toes

Boetie lay next to his cousins Gert and Nooi, at the edge of the tall grass, listening and smelling new aromas in the air. The three pups were remarkably similar in appearance, they each had a shiny bronze coat, long droopy ears, a strip of hair growing in reverse along their back and a small diamond shape of darker hair on their tails. Although their coats shone brightly, they were not easy to see as they lay calmly in the dry grass.

They dozed as the sound of a kalimba swept softly across the veld. The notes rose and fell as if in time to the fever tree branches swaying in the breeze. There was an enticing smell of meat cooking over a fire that wafted on this same breeze, tickling the three noses poking through the tall elephant grass.

All three lay together, plotting to steal the meat from over the fire. Gert thought he was braver than Boetie, and Nooi thought she was cleverer than either Boetie or Gert. So they lay listening and smelling and dozing in the sun, still plotting all the same.

A herd of zebra wandered close to the pups, but they were too busy planning their theft, to harass the striped animals. A gompou (bustard) strolled across in front of the pups and a ratel (badger) rolled by on his way to raid a honey nest. The pups ignored them all. The smell of the cooking meat was far more enticing to the pups than any of their usual quarry of the veld.

Nooi rolled over lazily, crushing the fragrant flowers of a blue Afrikander beneath her as she rolled. Close to Boetie grew a Buchu bush and he wrinkled his nose as the pungent aroma of the buchu mingled with the sweet Afrikander and joined the heady, tummy-wrenching smell of the cooking meat.

He rose slowly to his feet and stretched majestically. He told his cousins to stay well hidden and to answer his call only when he barked twice. As he was the eldest, they obeyed Boetie, but they were not happy to be left behind. Slinking low to the ground, Boetie crept closer to the kraal. He wriggled through the grass on his belly and stopped just inches away from the path through the doringboom wall (thorn tree wall). The smell of meat was so much stronger here, the music was very soothing and Boetie felt himself relax and he became more confident of sneaking into the kraal without being seen by the people.

Boetie skirted behind the nearest rondavel (hut), and trotted carefully across a small open space between two grinding stones. He crawled into a hole under the next rondavel, went out the other side, shaking pieces of straw from his whiskers and found himself right at the edge of the fire pit. The aroma was simply delicious and Boetie’s mouth drooled as he feasted on the smell and the sight of the meat roasting over the fire. As he readied himself to bark twice, a large hand grabbed the scruff of his neck and shook him hard. Boetie was so scared. A second pair of hands grabbed Boetie around the hindquarters and between the two men Boetie was unceremoniously carried into a rondavel and dumped on the ground. Boetie barked and barked. He forgot that the signal of two barks would bring his cousins to his side. He began to try and dig his way out of the rondavel, and to his great relief found the dirt to be well packed but soft. He stopped barking but continued to grumble like the drums of the warriors.

Meanwhile Nooi and Gert had crept into the kraal after they heard Boetie’s frantic barks. They travelled through the kraal very slowly and carefully. Straining to hear the direction from which Boetie’s grumbles were coming, they managed to arrive near the fire pit, just as Boetie’s front feet tore through the underneath of the rondavel. Boetie dug furiously and as his feet churned up the edge of the fire pit, two rough hands grabbed him from behind. Now he was truly trapped. He was stuck under the rondavel, his feet were getting warm from the fire pit and his rear end was being firmly held by the unseen hands. What was the dog to do???

Leaving Gert to guard one side of the rondavel, Nooi made her way around to the other side and together they both began to dig through to Boetie, trying to open up the hole he had begun. Boetie was struggling for his life now and his feet were burning in the embers at the edge of the fire pit. The unseen pair of hands holding onto him from behind tried to pull his entire body backwards, but Boetie’s front legs were too strong. He had such a good grip, albeit in amongst the hot embers, that he was able to gain a little bit of ground, further into the fire pit. Poor Boetie. His feet were smarting and burning, but he knew he had to go forward to escape his unseen captor.

All three pups forgot about the smells still wafting on the breeze. Forgotten too were their plans for stealing the meat. Boetie had to get out of this place quickly. Gert and Nooi dug faster and harder. Just as their toes felt the heat from the embers, Boetie tumbled out through the hole they had widened for him. With smarting toes, Boetie ran behind Gert and Nooi to the doringboom opening. He whimpered as he ran. He was too afraid someone might catch him again if he slowed down to lick his sore feet, so on he ran as fast as he could.

When they reached the safety of the elephant grass, Nooi made Boetie lie down and licked the pads on his feet for him. Gert brought some cool wet mud from the riverbank and using his mouth put the mud over Boetie’s toes and pads to try and soothe the pain. They were so exhausted they fell asleep curled up together in the tall grass. Boetie whimpered in his sleep that night.

The next day they started for home. They walked very slowly. Boetie liked to keep his feet wet so he walked through as many streams and rivers as he could. He kept his feet caked with mud as he found that they did not hurt as much with a thick coating of mud protecting the burned pads. They arrived home and once again Boetie’s mother helped nurse her son back to health.

Several months later Mantis came to visit the pack of Ridgebacks. He had been told of the incident involving the cooking meat and was there to mete out suitable punishment to Boetie. He listened very carefully to the tale of Boetie’s escapade while trying to steal the meat. Boetie was very honest in relating his attempted theft and showed Mantis the scars on his feet from the burning embers. Mantis was both proud of Boetie’s honesty and angry that Boetie had tried to steal from another. He told the pup that he would have to think long on the matter and he climbed high up to the top of a kopje to assume his usual pose, and to think deeply of a suitable punishment to be dispensed to Boetie.

The following morning Mantis climbed down from the kopje and announced he had come to a decision about Boetie’s attempted theft. He looked carefully at Boetie’s scarred feet and said, “From this day, shall all thieving Ridgebacks have white toes. This shall be so and it shall show to the rest of the clan those that are not to be trusted around food.”

Boetie and the Bloat

When Mantis created all about him, he made sure there were locusts and other beasties that helped destroy vegetation at times, thereby causing famines. This was to keep all beings on their toes so that they would not take anything for granted. That is, all beings except the Ridgeback.

Boetie was the most dare-devil pup in his litter. He was forever getting himself – and sometimes his relatives – into trouble, but they usually escaped the wrath of Mantis. On this fine day, however, Boetie wanted to go far afield to chase the dassies just for fun. He did have such a mischievous streak in him. He was setting out toward the kopjes when he heard a strange shrill humming sound. He stopped and stood very still and listened closely to this odd noise. It grew louder and louder. It seemed to be coming closer to him and he began to get a bit nervous. He turned around to see what his family was doing about this noise. He was suddenly afraid as he could not see his family. There was just a thick black line where his home had been, but the black line was moving and travelling toward where he stood. He growled and took some steps backward but the line moved toward him faster than he thought possible. He took several steps backwards and growled louder, then he barked. The line continued to advance. The humming grew louder.

Boetie turned and tried to run, but found that there were creatures crawling up his sides, down his legs, along his back and across his face. They were biting him and they really hurt. He screamed his fury and ran headlong into the river. There he sat, with his tail firmly planted in the mud, his ears and eyes were all that remained visible above the water. As much as he hated the wetness of the water, he was glad that the creatures were drowning and not crawling on him any more. He watched the black line move on and as it moved he saw that there was not a blade of grass behind the line. There was not a leaf on a bush nor on a tree, there was nothing to show that this was the veld of Africa, except broken twigs and branches and dust, lots of red dust. Boetie was very frightened. His family was not where he thought they should be, in fact there was not a trace of anything except the red dust. The locusts kept moving. They did not stop for anything or anyone in their path.

He walked up the bank of the river toward where his home had been. He decided to walk toward where the sun went under the earth each day. He was cold, wet, and afraid, but he bravely began his search for his family. He walked for sunsets and moon sets. He found very little in the way of food, and he chewed pieces of broken twig or tree branch – they were dry and tough, but it kept his tummy from grumbling too loudly. The sun was burning hot yet on he walked.

He woke up one morning to hear barks and growls. Boetie raced up a hill and found his whole family at the bottom, right near the river. He raced down barking with joy – he was so happy to see everyone. As he got closer he saw that they were all very thin and weak. They too, had been eating twigs and bark, there was no meat to be found. Boetie joined the scrounging family. He began to share in the daily hunt for real food. Now and then one of the dogs would find a vole or a small field mouse and this thin, but tasty, morsel would be given to the weakest of the group. They all shared whatever food they could scrounge.

Boetie found some tall grasses near a kopje that the locusts had not eaten. They had several large seed pods still attached. He tried chewing them and they were the best food he had tasted for a long time. He carefully looked about him, no one had seen him leave the pack and head for the kopje. He thought if he were careful, he could eat the seeds himself, making them last a few days, thereby regaining some of his lost strength. That would then help him to go farther out to look for food for the weaker members of his pack. Boetie then went back to the pack without taking any of the stalks of grain with him to share. The next day he snuck back to the kopje to eat a few seeds. One of his brothers watched where he went and followed at a distance.

When Boetie returned to the pack his brother picked a fight with him – the pack was very angry about the seeds Boetie was hiding. None of the dogs were willing to listen to his belief that if one dog was strong, that dog would be able to range farther out to look for food. The dogs were very angry and wanted their share of the food. Boetie ran to the kopje as fast as he could, and began to devour the seeds. He wanted to get as far away from his family as possible. If he found food quickly, they would be able to eat and grow strong again and discord amongst them would be a thing of their past.

With his back to the rocks of the kopje, Boetie ate the last of the seeds, while his family barked furiously at him. With his back protected, he had no fear of them fighting with him. As he chewed the last mouthful, he quickly turned tail and jumped over the rocks and ran out into the bare, sun-baked veld. His family trudged tiredly home. Only Jaapie, unseen by his family, followed Boetie

Boetie ran hard and fast until he could no longer see the kopje over his shoulder. As he slowed down he felt his stomach give a lurch. He stood quietly for a moment and felt his tummy rumble, then he heard his tummy gurgle loudly. He decided to go on and that he was probably hungrier than he thought he had been. He had not gone far when a sharp stabbing pain seared through his tummy. He stopped and waited for the pain to pass. He slowly continued on his way. Every few steps he had to stop and wait for the pain to lessen. Finally he found he had to lie down to stretch his body out to try to stop the pain. He stretched, he lay flat on his side, he lay on his tummy and stretched forward, but that made the pain worse. He tried to roll over but he did not have the strength, so he simply lay very still. He lolled his tongue out of his mouth and tried to make his breathing even, it just rasped out of his lungs as his body burned in fiery pain. He felt like his stomach was going to burst like the orange poffer mushrooms which grew in the vlei each winter. Boetie remembered jumping on them just to see the thick yellow dusty innards burst outward when they were broken. Then he remembered his mother licking his face when a nasty bee stung him on the cheek, and his sister snuggling up close when he was cold. He remembered Jaapie calling his name when he was lost in the bush, he thought he could hear Jaapie now as he lay in the red dirt shaking with pain.

Jaapie was trying to rouse Boetie with little success. Finally he prayed to Mantis for help and as he prayed a small green insect flew down to settle in the red dust beside Boetie’s head. Jaapie bowed his head in reverence to the presence of the Creator and asked humbly for help in healing Boetie. Mantis explained that the food in Boetie’s stomach was expanding with the gases inside because Boetie had run so hard and so far right after he had eaten. He laid his praying legs onto Boetie and very soon Boetie seemed to lie more calmly and not to writhe around so much. Jaapie sat close by waiting. After a while Boetie sat up and Mantis began to question him about the food he had eaten. Boetie explained about the locusts, not having any home left, nor food, and then told about finding his family and the seeds. He told of his hopes to help his family, but the anger they showed and lack of understanding made him run away as fast as he could.

Mantis understood that Boetie had truly meant well, but what he did also showed greed and selfishness with regard to the actual food. He therefore ruled that if a Ridgeback ever ate food that others too would benefit from eating, then that Ridgeback would bloat and be in a great deal of pain. Only at the assistance of others would that dog be able to get well again. Mantis would not abide selfish eating in the future, even though Boetie had meant well, Mantis said there was food enough for all to share and no one was to ever try to keep food to one’s self again, even if they thought it would ultimately help others. He told Boetie that the only reason he, Mantis, had helped Boetie to recover was because he knew Boetie was trying to help and that neither he nor the pack had the knowledge of what to do in times of need. He told Boetie and Jaapie that this would serve to warn others in the future. He then spread his gossamer wings and flew away.

Additional Resources

View Rhodesian Ridgeback Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs

Upload a picture of your Ridgie to send as an e-card in our Dog E-cards section.

Find Dog Gifts for the Ridgie lover in our Doggie search engine.

by Elizabeth Akers, © 1998-always

Reprint with permission.

Breed Profile submitted by Ridgie mom

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The Border Collie http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-border-collie/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-border-collie/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:45:43 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=121 One of the top stars in any agility or flyball competition, the Border is full of energy and loves to compete and please.

The post The Border Collie appeared first on Dog Groups.com.


One of the top stars in any agility or flyball competition, the Border is full of energy and loves to compete and please.


The Border Collie originated in the border country between Scotland and England. It is a very old breed, with references in literature going back to at least 1570 in writings by Dr. Caius. Caius mentions him as “not huge, vaste and bigge but of indifferent stature and growth”. The breed has been known as the Working Collie, Old-Fashioned Collie, Farm Collie, and English Collie. It was in 1915 that James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society in Great Britain, first called the dog a Border Collie.

The first sheepdog trials were held on October 9, 1873 in Bala, Wales. In the United States, the trials started in 1880.

Famous Border Collies

Two Border Collies that have had a great deal of influence on the modern Border Collie are Old Hemp and Wiston Cap.

Old Hemp, a tri-color dog, was born September 1893 and died May 1901. He was bred by Adam Telfer from Roy, a black and tan dog, and Meg, a black-coated, strong-eyed dog. Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog that sheep responded to easily. Many shepherds used him for stud on their bitches, and Hemp’s working style became the Border Collie style. It is believed that Old Hemp’s blood runs in the veins of almost all Border Collies today.

Wiston Cap is the dog that the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) badge portrays in the characteristic Border Collie herding pose. He was the most popular and used stud dog in the history of the breed, and appears in a huge percentage of pedigrees today. Bred by W. S. Hetherington and trained and handled by John Richardson, Cap was a biddable and good-natured dog. His blood lines all trace back to the early registered dogs of the stud book, and to J. M. Wilson’s Cap, who occurs sixteen times within seven generations in his pedigree. Wiston Cap sired three Supreme Champions and is grand-sire of three others, one of which is E. W. Edwards’ Bill, who won the championship twice.

The Border Collie Controversy

The Border Collie brings out a great deal of passion in the people who love it, especially in regard to what is best for the breed. Unfortunately, there is much disagreement on that subject, and the disagreement has created some hard feelings among people who are all intensely concerned about the Border Collie’s future. Following is a very simplified summary of the three main factions.

Many people, particularly Border Collie owners from the herding community, feel that American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition in the United States, and Canadian Kennel Club recognition (CKC) in Canada, will irreparably harm the Border Collie. These people believe that breeding the dogs to a conformation standard (that is, for beauty or a certain look) will, at best, split the breed in North America by creating a set of Border Collies that are pretty but can’t work. They take the dogs’ herding instinct very seriously, and believe it would be a serious injustice to the breed if this were to happen. These people refuse to have anything to do with the AKC, and do not register their dogs with the AKC.

Many other people, especially those involved in showing their dogs in AKC obedience trials and other performance events, hope that, with enough people committed to keeping the dog a working dog, and with an AKC parent club committed to the same thing, they will be able to keep a major split from happening by placing the emphasis on herding and performance, especially when it comes to breeding dogs.

There is also a group of Border Collie owners who are primarily interested in showing in conformation. Many of these people have imported conformation-bred Border Collies from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, where the breed has been recognized by the Kennel Clubs for a number of years.

In 1994, breed clubs for all breeds that had been in the Miscellaneous group for many years without seeking full recognition were notified by the AKC that they had to either seek recognition or be dropped from the AKC entirely. The AKC had made the decision that the Miscellaneous group should be used as it was intended: as a temporary holding place for breeds actively seeking recognition.

In December 1994, the AKC voted to officially recognize the Border Collie after decades of its being in the Miscellaneous group (no one seems to be sure exactly how long it’s been, but it’s apparently at least since 1955). Registration began in February, 1995, with stud books to be kept open for three years (in October 1997, the AKC decided to allow an additional three years; as of this writing, stud books are now due to close in January 2001). As a Miscellaneous breed, the Border Collie was allowed to show only in AKC obedience and tracking trials; on February 1, 1995, the breed also became eligible to show in herding and agility trials. In October 1995, Border Collies were seen for the first time in AKC conformation as part of the herding group. And finally, in the summer of 1996, the AKC selected the Border Collie Society of America (BCSA) as the AKC parent club for the breed.

The Canadian Kennel Club, due to its inability to recognize the breed at this time, removed the Border Collie from its Miscellaneous group. (The process of breed recognition is regulated by the Canadian government through the Animal Pedigree Act.) As a result, any Border Collies not CKC miscellaneous certified by the end of 1993 are not allowed to participate in CKC- sanctioned events. The Border Collie Club of Canada (BCCC) is continuing to work with the CKC to regain their showing privileges.

General Appearance

The Border Collie is a medium sized bundle of energy, looking rather like a lightly built Australian Shepherd without a bob-tail. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The skull is fairly wide with a distinct stop. The muzzle tapers to the black nose. The ears are usually half-perked. The oval eyes are generally dark brown, except in merles where one or more eyes may be blue. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail reaches at least to the hock and is sometimes raised when the dog is excited, but is never carried over the back. There are two varieties of Border Collie: one with coarse hair (thick, straight, about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) long), and one with sleek hair (about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) long). The coat colors come in black and white, tri-color, red & white, black & gray, and all black. White should never be the main color. The longer haired variety should have a mane and tail brush. The hair on the face, ears and front legs is always short and sleek. Since Border Collies are bred for working ability and intelligence rather than for physical beauty, conformation varies widely.

Proportion and Size

The height at the withers varies from 19” to 22” for males, 18” to 21” for females. The body, from point of shoulder to buttocks, is slightly longer than the height at the shoulders. bone must be strong, not excessive, always in proportion to size. Overall balance between height, length, weight and bone is crucial and is more important than any absolute measurement. Excess body weight is not to be mistaken for muscle or substance. Any single feature of size appearing out of proportion should be considered a fault.


The Border Collie appears in many colors, with various combinations of patterns and markings. The most common color is black with or without the traditional white blaze, collar, stockings and tail tip, with or without tan points. However, a variety of primary body colors is permissible. The sole exception being all white. Solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle and sable dogs are judged equally with dogs having traditional markings. Color and markings are always secondary to physical evaluation and gait.


The Border Collie is a very intelligent and responsive dog. It excels at obedience, agility and Frisbee (TM). They thrive on praise, are sensitive and very trainable. The Border Collies are commonly used in the agility competitions, as sports like agility are right the this intelligent dogs alley. The Border Collie is highly energetic with great stamina. Provided it gets sufficient activity to keep it occupied and ample exercise, the Border Collie will get along quite happily with other dogs, and children, however the Border Collie may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. They should not be trusted with small non-canine pets, however there are plenty of Border Collies that live and get along with family cats. This breed should be very well socialized as a puppy to prevent shyness. To be truly happy, it needs a lot of: ongoing attention, extensive daily exercise, and a job to do. For those who wish to reach high levels in dog sports, the Border Collie is a gift from heaven. Farmers (for whom the dogs perform work for which they were bred) are also happy with them. It is not surprising that at competitive levels in various sports such as: agility skills, obedience, and sheepdog trials, the Border Collie is represented among the leaders in the sport. They are perfectionist with a permanent will to please. This breed lives for serving you day in and day out. They are not ideal pets for people who have no plans to spend a lot of time with them. These dogs are too intelligent to lie around the house all day with nothing to do. Prospective owners who are looking for just a family pet should consider other similar but calmer breeds, like show line Australian Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs. If there is insufficient activity then it will find its own work to do, and that may not be what YOU had in mind when we say the word WORK. They can become destructive if they get bored or if they are ignored. They can become neurotic if they are left alone for long periods, leading to many behavior problems. This breed is known as an escape artist. Because of his strong herding instincts, the Border Collie may be snappish with children and strangers. They do best with an experienced owner that has lots of time to spend with the dog. The adolescent Border Collie often goes through a phase where he challenges his master’s authority. Some are highly reactive and sound sensitive, making them a poor choice for families with young children. Dominance level is highly variable in Border Collies.


Border Collies are often “soft” dogs; that is, they are sensitive to rough treatment and corrections. You must be firm and consistent because these dogs will try to get away with as much as they can, but you must also be fair in your corrections and training. Typical reactions from a Border Collie that has been stressed by rough or unfair treatment are that it may shut down, possibly rolling onto its back in submission, or acting very engrossed in something else and paying no attention to you; or it may become more anxious and wound up, trying to do everything in triple time, which causes it to make even more mistakes. Motivational-type training, with plenty of treats and/or play, works best with soft dogs for obedience training. It brings out the best in them, helping to turn them into excellent, happy workers that love their training sessions.

Attention-training is important for Border Collies that will be shown in obedience competition. These dogs are very sight-oriented, and are easily distracted by anything moving around them. A dog that is closely watching his handler cannot pay attention to other things that are happening around him.

Border Collies make wonderful trick dogs. They love to learn new things and can be taught many behaviors, such as sitting up, playing dead, and rolling over, and they usually love to show off. They can be very undignified and clownish if they think it will get them attention or make people laugh. This is why these dogs are so popular in movies and television.

Border Collies can be very sound-sensitive. This sensitivity manifests itself in a couple of ways: some dogs become very frightened at loud or unusual noises (i.e., fireworks, the sound of a smoke alarm, even something as simple as hand-clapping); other dogs might just be extremely distracted be different noises.

Exercise Needs

Border collies need exercise and whilst it is not true that they need a 20 mile walk every day they do need an opportunity for a good run each and every day in all weathers.

These are not dogs for the idle or passive owner unless they are sufficiently ingenious to devise activities to satisfy their border collie’s thirst for activity without exerting themselves. We make this point because we certainly know of border collie owners with disabilities, that prohibit them from engaging in physical activities but whose dogs lead a very satisfying and fulfilled life.

Provided with a ball, propelled a great distance by a tennis racket, to be retrieved many times over the period of an hour, two or three times a day the border collie will usually be physically satisfied but it is the mental stimulation provided by an ingenious owner which keeps the border collie sane. Agility practised for fun exercises the body, mind and excellent co-ordination skills of the border collie even when the handler is unfit or has limiting disabilities.

Playing “search” in the house, garden or on walks is excellent stimulation, just leaving the dog in a stay and hiding a favourite toy in an obscure place and then sending the dog to seek and retrieve uses the border collies brain, scent organs and, if the hiding place is well considered, physical dexterity. Teaching tricks such as “giving a paw”, “roll over”, “play dead” or “weaving” on a regular basis exercise the border collie’ agile mind, develop your relationship with your dog – and impress friends too!

Remember the border collie is an all round dog who needs mental, physical and emotional stimulation to remain healthy, happy and well adjusted, depravation in any of these areas are unfair to the dog and likely to cause problems for the owner.

Grooming Needs

The Border Collie needs regular combing and brushing to keep the coat gleaming. Extra care is needed when the soft, dense undercoat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check the ears and coat regularly for ticks. This breed is an average shedder.

Fun FAQs

I heard that Border Collies are the most intelligent dog there is. Is this true?

Defining “most intelligent” is a highly subjective thing, and depends on what traits (such as trainability, reasoning ability, independent thinking, fitness for a particular task, etc.) you consider to be signs of intelligence. Still, by most standards Border Collies are very intelligent dogs. They are highly trainable and have good reasoning abilities. It’s not unusual for them to learn a new command in just a few minutes with only a few repetitions. But their intelligence can also be a problem: many times they quickly learn things that the owner didn’t intend for them to learn, and would prefer they didn’t know! Their intelligence is one of the reasons that they tend to get bored (and into trouble) easily. But then, it’s also one of the reasons they can excel in obedience training and competition. However, Border Collies do not train themselves. All dogs need owners who are willing to commit the time to obedience training if the dogs are to become good companions, and the Border Collie is by no means an exception.

Since they’re good herding dogs, I can let my Border Collie run loose around my livestock when I’m not there, and he won’t hurt them, right?

This is not the case at all. Herding instinct is a modified prey drive. An unsupervised Border Collie will chase, injure, and kill livestock just like any other dog, especially (but not only) if he’s untrained .

How are they with children?

When properly socialized and well-supervised with children, some Border Collies can be fine. Those individuals often seem to know how boisterous or how gentle they need to be with different children. But Border Collies must be supervised around children to make sure neither hurts the other inadvertently. As previously mentioned, they often nip at fast-moving children. Border Collies that aren’t well-socialized with them can be fearful and untrusting of children, and a nervous dog will snap at a child.

How are they with cats and other small animals?

It depends on the dog. Typically, a Border Collie will get along with cats and small animals that belong to the family, but chase those that don’t. However, you often need a good-natured cat to deal with one of these dogs. Remember, if a dog’s instinct is strong enough that it chases and nips at humans when they move, it’s also going to be strong enough to constantly harrass the cat. It’s usually a good idea to separate a Border Collie from all small animals when you’re not there to supervise.

Are Border Collies hyperactive? Do they need a lot of exercise?

Border Collies should be very intense, high-energy, busy dogs, both indoors and out. If bored, they will chew anything (books, shoes, carpet, furniture, walls…). They also love to dig holes. Good forms of exercise for a Border Collie include playing fetch (they usually love to chase balls and Frisbees), swimming, jogging, running with a bicycle (be careful they don’t try to cross in front of the bike to herd it!), and hiking.

Border Collies won’t usually exercise on their own, and merely putting a Border Collie into a fenced area as a form of exercise is not enough for them. They tend to either lie around waiting for you to join them, or they spend their time digging up the yard and chewing things they shouldn’t.

When exercising a Border Collie, especially in warm weather, you must watch very carefully for signs of heat exhaustion. Because they are so intense in their work and play, they often don’t stop when they get too tired or too hot. They can easily work themselves to death, even on cool days. Another problem is that they can physically injure themselves because they are so quick and concentrate so completely on their task that they don’t always pay attention to where they are going and can run into obstacles if they happen to be in the way. It’s also very common for Border Collies running on gravel, concrete, and asphalt to wear the pads of their feet down to the point where they bleed, especially when they’re not used to hard, rough surfaces. Most Border Collies won’t even limp until the fun is over, so be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s feet!

How much exercise is enough for a Border Collie?

The answer to this question is as individual as the dogs themselves. Plan on two 45-minute walks per day, snow, rain, or shine – your dog won’t care what the weather is like! At least 20 minutes of each of those walks should be off leash in a safe area, and should include a game of fetch or something equally vigorous. In addition, a 15- to 30- minute daily training session (obedience, tricks, etc.) helps to keep your dog mentally stimulated and well-behaved. If you think your dog still needs more, you may be better off increasing the amount of training and/or mental exercise as opposed to increasing the physical exercise. For a dog with the Border Collie’s physical stamina, working his mind is much more likely to tire him out than taking him for another run. Don’t expect all this work to keep that soggy tennis ball out of your lap when you’re watching television, though. Your Border Collie will still have plenty of energy to spare!

What active sports and activities can I participate in with a Border Collie?

Because of their agility, energy, trainability, love of work, and good scenting ability, Border Collies are extremely versatile dogs that excel at many things: competitive dog sports such as obedience, agility, Schutzhund, Flyball, Scent Hurdles, Frisbee, and tracking; they make good search and rescue dogs; some well-trained, well-socialized Border Collies are wonderful pet-therapy dogs, and some organizations train them as signal (hearing) and assistance dogs; police departments in several states are using them as drug detection dogs. And, last but definitely not least, Border Collies are among the best herding dogs in the world. Be very careful, though, if you get a Border Collie and decide to try herding, because it can be addictive. Many people who got a Border Collie as a companion dog wind up buying property and sheep just to work the dog!

Do they play “Fetch”?

One of a Border Collie’s favorite games is “Fetch,” and it’s great exercise for them. They love chasing balls, Frisbees, and anything else that moves, and their gathering instinct makes them natural retrievers. In fact, the fetching can become obsessive and, to some people, annoying. Not everyone enjoys having tennis balls frequently dropped in their laps as they’re trying to relax, and an insistent dog staring at them or scolding them until the ball is thrown – only to have the process repeated again (and again and again…) a few seconds later.

A word of warning about playing Frisbee with a Border Collie (or any other dog): according to M. Christine Zink, DVM, Ph.D., author of the book Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete: “Frisbees can be very dangerous for dogs, particularly when they are thrown so that the dog must catch them with all four feet off the ground. The problem lies not in the dog jumping and catching the Frisbee, but in the fact that the trajectory of a Frisbee can change unpredictably, causing the dog to twist to catch it and then land in whatever position it can. The most common injuries as a consequence of Frisbee-catching are herniation of the disks of the spinal cord and tearing or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligaments. Both of these injuries can be severe enough to end a dog’s performance career.”

Do Border Collies like to swim?

Border Collies love to swim if encouraged to do so when they are young. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise these high-energy dogs during the hot summer months. It’s also a good way of exercising a dog that has hip dysplasia because it strengthens the muscles that support the hips without putting any weight on the joint..

What other things do they like to do that will help me exercise my dog and keep it mentally stimulated?

Remember: if it moves, it will probably interest a Border Collie. Many love to chase and bite at bubbles blown from a children’s bubble set. They also often love to chase water coming out of a hose (or spray bottle) – a great activity for hot days. Border Collies that understand the stay command (or that have someone who can hold onto them for a minute while another person hides) love to play hide and seek, and they get very good at locating hiding people (be sure to give them “hints” at first by calling them when they have trouble finding you so they don’t get frustrated and give up). You can also hide their toys, and teach them to look for them. Teach them the names of their toys, and then to retrieve a specific toy. They love a good, fast game of “Tag” (and they love to be “It” – but don’t let them nip your legs!). Many Border Collies enjoy using their herding instinct to push basketball-sized balls around the yard, and it’s not unusual to find Border Collies that will play tetherball by jumping at, biting, nosing, and pawing a tetherball around the pole. You can teach your dog some informal agility by making use of the slides, tunnels, bridges, and teeter-totters available in your backyard or some parks’ playgrounds. Teach them tricks – the more complicated, the better (and most Border Collies just love showing off to an appreciative audience).

Do Border Collie jump fences? Are they escape artists?

Border Collies are extremely agile dogs and can easily jump/climb a 6-foot or taller fence if they decide there’s something more interesting on the other side. They are also good diggers and chewers, so if they can’t jump a fence, they might try to dig under it or chew through it if they want to get out. Some Border Collies can even learn to open doors and latches!

How big do Border Collies get?

Border Collies average between 30 to 50 pounds. However, if size is important to you, be aware that some Border Collies are as small as 25 pounds, and some are as large as 65 pounds. You can usually tell how big a dog will get by looking at his parents, but if you plan to get a puppy and you need or want a dog whose size you can count on, you might want to consider a breed with less variation in size.

Do they make good guard dogs?

Because Border Collies are bred to herd rather that protect livestock, they are not reliable guard dogs. They can be protective of their families and generally bark if they hear or see something they don’t like. (There are, however, some Border Collies that have been trained to advanced Schutzhund degrees.)

Do they shed?

They are moderate shedders. Like most dogs, they shed most in early spring and late fall.

How much grooming do they need?

Border Collies are fairly low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming because their coats actually shed dirt very nicely. Generally, a good 10-minute brushing two or three times per week helps to keep their coats clean and in nice condition; more frequent brushing while they are shedding helps to control the amount of hair that ends up on your carpet. Because Border Collies should not have a strong odor, bathing should be necessary only when your dog starts feeling dirty to you, or if the dog has rolled in something noxious. If your Border Collie starts to smell bad soon after a bath, a trip to the vet for a check for skin and ear problems is probably in order.

Like all dogs, they also need to have their toenails clipped regularly unless they do a lot of running on hard surfaces. In that case they often wear their nails down on their own. However, even then it’s a good idea to check the nails once a week, just to make sure.

Do they bark much?

Any dog can become a barker if it gets bored, and Border Collies become more easily bored than most other dogs. In general, however, well-trained, well-exercised Border Collies that get plenty of attention are relatively quiet dogs.

How long do they live?

Border Collies are fairly long-lived dogs. Their average lifespan, barring accidents, is probably around 12 to 13 years, and it isn’t at all unusual to find individuals that are 14 years and older. They usually hold their age well – a 12-year-old Border Collie often still looks and acts like a young dog.

Where should I get my dog?

There are several options, some good, others not so good. If you choose to get an adult dog, you can get one from a shelter, from a Border Collie rescue organization, or from a breeder who is looking for a home for an adult Border Collie. If you decide to get a puppy, you should do some research and find a breeder with a good reputation. Do not buy a Border Collie puppy from a pet store. Although these puppies are adorable, they are generally from puppy mills and are incredibly overpriced. Most people don’t realize that they can usually buy a very well-bred, well-socialized, pet-quality puppy with exceptional guarantees from a reputable breeder for less money than they can buy a puppy from a pet store. Pet store puppies have usually been bred for profit with little consideration given to long-term health. They are often prone to many problems, such as epilepsy, hip and joint problems, and early blindness. They are also usually poorly socialized, which means they can grow up to be timid, fearful dogs. Do not even buy from pet stores advertising that their animals are not from puppy mills: no reputable breeder would ever sell puppies to a pet store! You will often encounter the same problems with health and socialization with puppies sold through ads in the newspaper. The best way to find a good breeder is by asking people who already own healthy Border Collies with good temperaments.

Don’t “rescued” Border Collies have a lot of behavior problems? Do they have trouble bonding with their new owners?

Rescue can be an excellent way of getting a Border Collie, particularly if it will be your first one. The dogs that come into rescue are often well-bred, healthy dogs screened by the rescuer for temperament, whose only “faults” were that they were in homes that could not deal with the exercise and training needs of the breed. The dogs are often housebroken, and sometimes partially trained in basic obedience. Border Collies that go from rescue into active, loving homes seem to bond very quickly and strongly to their new owners. You can even sometimes get a puppy from rescue. (See the section on Breed Rescue Organizations for contacts and further information.)

How do I choose a puppy?

If you want a healthy puppy with a good temperament, the most important thing is to not be in a hurry! First, decide what activities you want to do with the dog: herding, obedience, agility, active pet (jogging, hiking), etc. Once you know what you’re looking for, talk to breeders and discuss your concerns and ideas. Since Border Collies are prone to eye diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and juvenile cataracts, and hip problems such as hip dysplasia, look for a breeder who has all dogs’ eyes and hips checked and certified: eyes are certified by C.E.R.F., and hips are certified by O.F.A. Be sure to ask to see the certificates issued by those organizations. Make sure the puppies are well-socialized: they should be friendly and confident. When you find a someone that you like and who has a good reputation, allow the breeder to help you select your puppy. Most good breeders have a pretty good idea of what the puppies’ personalities are like and will help you to make a good choice of the best puppy for your particular lifestyle.

Additional Resources

View Border Collie Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about Border Collie dogs

Send a Border Collie E-card to another dog lover.

Find Border Collie Gifts in our Doggie search engine.

Breed Profile submitted by rosie

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The Bulldog http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-bulldog/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-bulldog/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:43:30 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=118 No one could ever complete the sentence "I like a Bulldog best because....." in twenty-five words or less - the advantages of this breed are far too many. It is a combination of formidable exterior and Victorian sentimentality which makes the "sourmug" so appealing.

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No one could ever complete the sentence “I like a Bulldog best because…..” in twenty-five words or less – the advantages of this breed are far too many. It is a combination of formidable exterior and Victorian sentimentality which makes the “sourmug” so appealing.


During the “Gay Nineties” came a small but very important change in the spelling of the breed name – from the Bull Dog to Bulldog. This transition summarizes the evolution of the breed.

The Bulldog is a tribute to man’s willpower. No dog has been so deliberately “made” by selective breeding for desired traits. As one authority has said, “A mongrel never looks like a Bulldog.” The only thing that does is another Bulldog. The name, like the dog, goes back to antiquity. In 1210 an English nobleman saw the butcher’s dogs harry a bull at bay on the village green and commanded a repeat performance as a sport. This was the first official bullbaiting contest, and thereafter, mention of the ” Bull Dogge” appears in letters and historical accounts.

These early dogs weighed 80 to 100 pounds and were trained to be merciless fighters. Every physical characteristic we associate with the breed was either strengthened or deliberately bred in. Mastiff blood was added to give not only courage and determination, but power and activity. Pug blood brought the size down, broadened the chest, and shortened the legs.

Early Function Of The Breed

The early “Bull Dog,” his duty being to catch the bull by the nose and hold it down, needed the heavy shoulders with which he lunged forward, and which gave leverage; the light hindquarters swayed easily as the bull tossed him in an effort to break his back. He needed the “layback” of face to let him breathe while hanging on; this is the only breed able to do so, and to hang on indefinitely.

Pinched nostrils were bad, so his short nose has wide nostrils for easier breathing. The deep stop was to unite with furrows from eyes to chops to prevent blood from getting in his eyes. The loose skin, which seems so many sizes too large, protects vital organs and the jugular vein. Lowness of leg enabled him to attack well below the bull’s horns, while the sturdy “foursquare” stance permitted him to regain his footing firmly if thrown down. The old ” Bull Dog” was thus a formidable fighting machine.

Thankfully, in 1835, bullbaiting was abolished. It was the English working man who stubbornly kept the breed alive when extinction seemed certain leading many even today to call the breed an “English Bulldog,” however, the breed was not originated in England as many still to this day think but is believed to have originated in the British Isles. The British standard was drafted in 1864, ten years later, the offical Bull Dog Club was founded in London. Registrations began, and the first dog was registered as Adam. Soon after came the great Crib of 1870; from him, modern pedigrees date.

The American Kennel Club uses the breed name as one word. So does the Bulldog Club of America. But this parent organization was founded in 1890, and its insignia, reproduced on stationary and medallions, still reads: Bull Dog Club of America. The present standard was adopted in 1896. It took hundreds of years after that fight on the village green to produce our modern sourmug. May he flourish hundreds more!

General Appearance

Without going into the Official Bulldog Standard – The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size ( the size for adult males is about 55 pounds; for mature females, about 45 pounds. ) and smooth coat; with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive, short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. A brown or liver-colored nose is not only undesirable but also a disqualification by Standard. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength.


The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous ( not vicious or aggressive ), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. The breed as a whole does very well with young and old alike, typically has a great fondness for small children and prefers to spend their time with his human companions rather than other pets. This is not to say that the Bulldog does not do well with other animals but on the contrary tends to get along with just about any four legged creature that will allow him to be himself.


Bulldogs are known to be fairly easy to housebreak and master basic commands without too much difficulty however, this is a breed that can be “bullheaded” and requires patience. The bulldog motto: I’ll do it, but in MY time. Contrary to belief, this is a breed that is very capable of participating in not only conformation events but also CGC, Agility and many others!

Health Issues

It may seem that man has directed the breeding of an animal with many problems. Not true. All breeds have problems they are prone to. Most of the Bulldog’s problems are with reproduction and as tiny puppies. Although their life span is only about 10 – 15 years, those years are relatively healthy and happy.

Issues of concern for this breed are: Hypothyroidism, entropian, dysplasia and elongated palate.

Grooming and Exercise Requirements

Bulldogs really enjoy being groomed ( except for nail trimming ), and many especially enjoy taking baths. If you use the bathtub to bathe your Bulldog, be sure to close your bathroom door tightly when taking your bath or you may have him trying to share the tub with you!

The Bulldog has a smooth, short coat and is naturally a reasonably clean dog. Because of his short coat many people think grooming is not needed. Not true. The cost of having a professional groomer clip, pluck, trim or shape is an expense you will not have, but there is more to grooming than elaborate coat care.

This particular breed requires daily care of its facial wrinkles, body folds and special attention must also be paid to the tail. Due to the build of the bulldog it is almost physically impossible for him to clean these areas himself. If attention is not given to these areas infections can and will set in!

Bulldogs do not require much excercise and usually the daily walk to check the mail or pay a visit to the neighbor is all that is needed. The breed does not do well with long periods of excercise and will overheat quickly. Special attention should be given to make sure overheating does not occur.


Some Famous Owners Of Bulldogs Past & Present



Calvin Coolidge

Frances Day

Tennessee Williams

Olivia de Havilland

Stan Lee

Nancy Mitford

Vincent Price

George Clooney

Ozzy Osbourne

Adam Sandler

Woodrow Wilson

Jesse Ventura

Truman Capote

Peter O’Toole

1917 began the still offical use of the Bulldog by Mack Truck

Additional Resources

View Bulldog Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about Bulldogs

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Find Bulldog Gifts in our Doggie search engine.

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The Pekingese http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-pekingese/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-pekingese/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:40:00 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=112 The Pekingese breed is often refered to as the "lion dog" The Pekingese originated in China very long ago in the first century A.D.

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The Pekingese breed is often refered to as the “lion dog” The Pekingese originated in China very long ago in the first century A.D.

It was during the conversion to Buddhism of the Emperor Ming Ti that the new symbol of the religion was the lion, however, In all of China there were no lions. This created a problem. Until one individual noted that nothing resembled the lion more than the Emperor’s little Pekingese dog. Throughout this period Pekingese were bred selectively, they were breed more and more to resemble the lion. The Pekingnese were unable to leave the palace walls and were considered very valuable. There were harsh punishments for removing these dogs. One such punishment as recorded in “The Lion Dog of Pekin”, was death by stoning for the person responsible for the dog’s removal.


If there is one thing I know for sure is that there are a hundred and one different characteristics wraped into a 10 pound bundle of fur. Where to begin seems to be the question? Pekingese are the aristocrats of the dog world. They are both loveable and stubbern. Both haughty and bold. They are NOT bad tempered as so many are lead to believe. They are quite the opposite. They are always willing to please and quite the show-offs. They are great watchdogs, always alerting you of strange things or people. They never back down regardless of there size they show no fear toward other animals or people. They are also the ultimate lap dog. Always wanting your attention and praise. They are quite content setting in your lap. They are happy just to be near you.. They love to go places, and see things. Their characteristics are to a great extent formed by their owners, for they seem to sense your every mood. Usually there is one member of the family that the pet is more fond of and will obey more readily. These tiny dogs are very clean and love to show their coats off after a bath. They walk with pride holding their heads high as to say to the world ‘ look at me’ Pekes can be haughty with strangers, but it soon does not take them long to make up once they are convinced of your good intentions. One fascination of the Peke’s character is that you never know quite what they are thinking.

To breed or not to breed?

Letting your Peke have puppies is both rewarding and fun, but should never be undertaken without serious thought. You will not profet financially, when you take into the consideration, food and vet bills and the inconvenience that is sometimes involved. FAR TOO MANY UNWANTED PUPPIES ARE PRODUCED by irresponsible owners. Make sure you can sell your puppy at the going rate and not just cheap to get rid of them. This just increases the amount of unwanted dogs that pack the walls of the animal shelter. Most of these animals are needlesly but to rest. And breeding for poor stock does no one any good. It just causes sickness and alot of pain and suffering on the animals part and the owners.


The story of the lion and the marmset

Once ago in a far away land there was a magical kingdom where just about everything was perfect. The land was green, the food was plentiful, and the animals that dwelled there were happy. They had a great lion king, and though he was brave and fearless he was also merciful and kind. He ruled the land with gentle paws, and all that knew him loved him. Many of his servants brought gifts to him, to show their gratitude for all he had done. One day a young marmoset entered the majestic castle bringing fresh fruit for the king. She kneeled before him saying ” Your grace I have brought you a gift from my father, he wishes to thank you for all you have done for our family. It means much to us to know that our king is kind and understanding.” She then looked up at the great manned lion. Her large dark eyes meeting his. Then a strange thing happened. The lion felt his heart plunge deep within his chest. Those eyes….He had never seen such beautiful brown eyes. He collected his thoughts and said. “Thank you little marmoset, what is your name?”She was bewildered by his question for even though the king was a kind king he had never asked for anyone’s name. They were always refereed to as his servants. She began to tremble in fear, for why would a great king want to know her? She was no one just a peasant. She found courage to answer..” I am Miranda, your highness.” “Miranda” What a lovely name. “Miranda how would you like to take a walk with me? I will show you my castle” What was he doing? What would the gods think of him? He didn’t know the answer but he knew that his heart was reaching out to the marmoset called Miranda. And so they walked through the palace talking and listening to each other’s thoughts, and the more they talked the more in love he fell. Miranda was beginning to feel the same thing, her small heart was beating so hard that she thought for sure the king could see her chest moving. Oh why was she feeling this way? He was a king and non-the less a lion. It was impossible!!! And yet she could dream…. “Well Miranda how do you like the castle?” “I like it very well your highness” she replied. “You can come back and visit me anytime you like.” Said the lionMiranda looked up at him her eyes as big as ever. His heart jumped a thousand times and then he said, “Stay with me….” Miranda didn’t know what to say…. For here was the great king asking her to live with him… Her heart wanted to say yes but her mind spoke the truth “Oh lion it could never work” and she ran out of the castle tears running down her face. The great king was heart broken for he so loved her. I will petition the gods !! He said to himself they will listen they just have to. And so he went to the gods and petitioned them to make him small enough to be with his love, yet still retain his brave heart and lion sized nobility. And did the gods grant him his wish? That they did. For you see the offspring of the little marmoset and the great lion is what we now know as the pekingese- a dog with the size and face of the little monkey, and the mane and heart of a lion.

If you decide to breed make yourself aware

Pregnancy and birth causes a major metabolic change in the female. She should be physically fully mature and should be spared her first heat. Also be aware that Pekes sometimes need help with the delivery of their young do to their large head. Make sure your male and female are compatable both geneticly and phisically. This is very important to insure the health of the female and also the puppies. Discuss it with the breeder of your own dog and also your vet. Read all you can about the Pekingese and again ask questions.. Go in knowledgable so you know what to expect.

The mating cycle

Some breeders say that ten days after the beginning of the discharge is the best time for mating. others prefer 12 days. If you are using a stud dog take your female to him rather than the other way around. Most females are aggressive on home territory when introduced to a new male. And it is the male who needs to be assertive in this situation.

Questions and Answers

Are Pekes good with children?

Pekes are good with children if the child is taught to respect the animal. Pekes do not like to be awoke from a deep sleep by a child pulling their hair. They also sometimes get a little nippy if a toy is taken from them.

How old do they live to be?

Pekes generaly live to be around 14 or 15 years, however there are known cases of them living to be 18, 19, and even 20 years of age.

Can they be ouside dogs?

Pekes do not like the heat. They can become easily overheated.

What is a Sleeve Peke?

A sleeve peke is a peke that does not weigh more than 6 pounds.

Do they have many health problems?

Pekes sometimes develop eye and breathing problems.

Do they get along with other animals?

Generaly speaking pekes get along well with other animals if socialized. Socialization is a must for any breed.

Do they bark alot?

Pekes will only bark if there is something to bark at. They never bark just to be barking.

Are they easily house trained?

Pekes can be stubbern, therefor it is sometimes hard to house train them. If you let them know whos boss they learn faster.

Is it true that Pekes have to have a c-section in order to give birth?

Pekes can have difficulty giving birth due to their large heads. A c-section is sometimes the only means of a healthy birth.

Common concerns:

Eye diseases

1) CONJUNCTIVITIS the eye may be red and swollen: tearing and watering; purulent(pus) discharge especially on awakening.

TREATMENT: Wiping away matter and mucus, remove any hairs or eyelashes on the eyeball. Apply antibiotic drops in the eyes every two to three hours and apply before bed. Treatment is gradually reduced

2) DISEASE OF THE LIDS styes, like small boils.

TREATMENT Hot compresses of plain water for ten minutes or longer followed by antibiotic, 2 to 3 times a day.

3) DISEASE OF THE CORNEA The most important and most common of the eye diseases. This is due to their large eyes. Because of the sensitivity of the cornea it is possible for the dog to have a severe ulcer and still keep his eye wide open. This is sometimes viewed best in bright light, it is a grey discoloration of the cornea under the ulcer and sometimes white pus in the anterior chamber.

TREATMENT Small ulcer 1 or 2 mm, use antibiotics three times a day. Larger than 2mm use Hyoscine or Atrophine drops once daily. Guard against medicine running into mouth it is toxic. several ulcers Use Atropine drops three times a day, hot compresses for 15 min. every two to three hours followed by antibiotic drops which in turn are followed in five minutes by antibiotic ointment. Seek professional help.

4)PIGMENTARY DEGENERATION OF THE CORNEA .Brown or black pigment which may cover the cornea.

There is no known treatment.

5)GLA UCOMA large pupil, hazy cornea and hard eye balls

TREATMENT.surgery gives tempory relife, disease responds poorly to medication.

6)CATARACT the pupil, instead of being black, becomes white or grey. This is very uncommon in pekes but can occur.

TREATMENT removing the opaque lens.

7)PROPTOSIS OF THE EYEBALL eyeball is bulged forward with lids in back of it. The dog is in pain. This is caused by dog fights or holding a peke to tightly around the head.

TREATMENT apply an oinment or vaseline to eye and push the eye back in place gently. This is an emergency. If more than a few minutes go buy the dog could loose its eye.Seek a vet

These diseases and treatment were taken down from “The Pekingese Book by Marie Katz ” Copyright 1962 by T.F.H. Publishers, Inc.

Breed Standard

General Appearance

The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog with heavy front and lighter hindquarters. It must suggest its Chinese origin in its directness, independence, individuality and expression. Its image is lionlike. It should imply courage, boldness and self-esteem rather than prettiness, daintiness or delicacy.

Size, Substance, Proportion

Size/Substance – The Pekingese should be surprisingly heavy when lifted. It has a stocky, muscular body. The bone of the forequarters must be very heavy in relation to the size of the dog. All weights are correct within the limit of 14 pounds, provided that type and points are not sacrificed. Disqualification – Weight over 14 pounds. Proportion – The length of the body, from the front of the breast bone in a straight line to the buttocks, is slightly greater than the height at the withers. Overall balance is of utmost importance.


Skull – The topskull is massive, broad and flat (not dome-shaped). The topskull, the high, wide cheek bones, broad lower jaw and wide chin are the structural formation of the correctly shaped face. When viewed frontally, the skull is wider than deep and contributes to the rectangular envelope-shaped appearance of the head. In profile, the Pekingese face must be flat. The chin, nose leather and brow all lie in one plane. In the natural position of the head, this plane appears vertical but slants very slightly backward from chin to forehead. Nose – It is black, broad, very short and in profile, contributes to the flat appearance of the face. Nostrils are open. The nose is positioned between the eyes so that a line drawn horizontally across the top of the nose intersects the center of the eyes. Eyes – They are large, very dark, round, lustrous and set wide apart. The look is bold, not bulging. The eye rims are black and the white of the eye does not show when the dog is looking straight ahead. Wrinkle – It effectively separates the upper and lower areas of the face. The appearance is of a hair covered fold of skin, extending from one cheek, over the bridge of the nose in a wide inverted “V”, to the other cheek. It is NEVER so prominent or heavy as to crowd the facial features nor to obscure a large portion of the eyes or the nose from view. Stop – It is deep. The bridge of the nose is completely obscured from view by hair and/or the over-nose wrinkle. Muzzle – This is very short and broad with high, wide cheek bones. The color of the skin is black. Whiskers add to the Oriental expression. Mouth – The lower jaw is slightly undershot. The lips meet on a level plane and neither teeth nor tongue show when the mouth is closed. The lower jaw is strong, wide, firm and straight across at the chin. An excessively strong chin is as undesirable as a weak one. Ears – They are heart-shaped and set on the front corners of the skull extending the line of the topskull. Correctly placed ears frame the sides of the face and with their heavy feathering create an illusion of additional width of the head. Pigment – The skin of the nose, lips and eye rims is black on all colors.

Neck, Body, Tail

Neck – It is very short, thick and set back into the shoulder. Body – This is pear-shaped and compact. It is heavy in front with well-sprung ribs slung between the forelegs. The broad chest, with little or no protruding breast bone, tapers to lighter loins with a distinct waist. The topline is level. Tail – The base is set high; the remainder is carried well over the center of the back. Long, profuse straight feathering may fall to either side.


They are short, thick and heavy-boned. The bones of the forelegs are slightly bowed between the pastern and elbow. Shoulders are gently laid back and fit smoothly into the body. The elbows are always close to the body. Front feet are large, flat and turned slightly out. The dog must stand well up on feet.


They are lighter in bone than the forequarters. There is moderate angulation and definition of stifle and hock. When viewed from behind, the rear legs are reasonably close and parallel and the feet point straight ahead.

Soundness is essential in both forequarters and hindquarters.


Body Coat – It is full-bodied, with long, coarse textured, straight, stand-off coat and thick, softer undercoat. The coat forms a noticeable mane on the neck and shoulder area with the coat on the remainder of the body somewhat shorter in length. A long and profuse coat is desirable providing that it does not obscure the shapeliness of the body, nor sacrifice the correct coat texture. Feathering – Long feathering is found on the back of the thighs and forelegs, and on the ears, tail and toes. The feathering is left on the toes but should not be so long as to prevent free movement.


All coat colors and markings, including parti-colors, are allowable and of equal merit.


The gait is unhurried and dignified, with a slight roll over the shoulders. The rolling gait is caused by the bowed front legs and heavier, wider forequarters pivoting on the tapered waist and the lighter, straight parallel hindquarters. The rolling motion is smooth and effortless and is as free as possible from bouncing, prancing or jarring.


A combination of regal dignity, self-importance, self-confidence and exasperating stubbornness make for a good natured, lively and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect.

The foregoing is a description of the ideal Pekingese. Any deviation should be penalized in direct proportion to the extent of that deviation.

Faults to be Noted

Dudley, liver or gray nose.

Light brown, yellow or blue eyes.

Protruding tongue or teeth.

Overshot upper jaw.

Wry mouth.

Ears set much too high, low or far back.

Roach or swayback.

Straight-boned forelegs.










Legs and feet










Shape of body


Coat, feather and condition







Weight over 14 pounds.

Approved June 13, 1995

Effective July 31, 1995

Additional Resources

View Pekingese Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about the Pekingese

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Thinking Of Getting a Lhasa Apso Dog? http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/getting-a-lhasa-apso-dog/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/getting-a-lhasa-apso-dog/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2010 05:18:39 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=110 Information on the Lhasa Apso breed.

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Information on the Lhasa Apso breed.

One of the cutest looking dogs around is the Lhasa Apso. The puppies especially are just irresistible but before one decides to purchase a Lhasa just because the kids are begging for one, there are some things that should be known about this particular breed. Historically, Lhasa Apsos were kept by the monasteries and nobility in Tibet as indoor watch dogs. They would sleep by their masters and with their high intelligence plus keen sense of hearing, would warn of any intruders. Lhasa Apsos were never bought or sold in Tibet. Instead, the Dalai Lama sent Lhasa Apsos

in pairs to the emperors of China as gifts. High ranking visitors to Tibet also received them as gifts.

They are also referred to as the little bark sentinel lion dogs since fully grown Lhasa Apsos could resemble small lions with all their hair. Lhasa Apso dogs can also behave very much like lions exhibiting no fear when confronted by strangers or even larger dogs. Despite its small size with adult females reaching 12 to 16 pounds and adult males ranging from 14 to 18 pounds, they are extremely hardy as well as rugged. Having existed in the extreme

temperatures of Tibet for centuries, they are well suited for and actually enjoy romps in the snow. They are also long lived. Both of my Lhasa Apsos lived past the age of fifteen years. I have heard reports of others living even longer. In appearance, the Lhasa Apso is very similar to the Shih Tzu breed. The face of a Lhasa Apso is not as flat as that of the Shih Tzu. It is believed that the Chinese crossed the Lhasa Apso with the Pekinese which resulted in the Shih Tzu with its flatter face.

One thing that all prospective owners should definitely know is that having a fur ball like a Lhasa Apso will require lots of maintenance. The long hair of this breed requires constant care. If left unattended even for a few days, the Lhasa Apso hair will mat up in clumps that cannot be untangled. Their floppy ears are also prone to infections and their eyes can develop problems. If a prospective owner is not willing to make a commitment to the high maintenance of a Lhasa Apso, a shorter hair breed is recommended.

The Lhasa Apso is considered by some breeders to be more stubborn and difficult to train than other dogs. Do not let all that cuteness give you the wrong impression as they are the little lion dogs after all. This breed has been revered and highly regarded for centuries in Asia. The genetics may have resulted in some arrogance in them. One must be assertive in the proper training of the Lhasa Apso as this breed will test the new master. Lhasa Apsos are completely loyal and affectionate with their masters but many will not be fond of strangers no matter how obedient they are. This may be part of their watch dog tendency. One of my Lhasa Apsos was quite friendly with visitors but the other one wouldn’t even acknowledge their presence.

The breed may also not be appropriate with small children. Small children may get clumsy and accidentally poke Lhasas in the eyes or squeeze them too hard. Lhasas will not take this behavior lightly as they are not as patient with kids compared to say Labrador retrievers. Some Lhasas have been known to bite clumsy kids. Lhasa Apso dogs can be very good with children as long as they are treated with respect and care.

Despite these characteristics of the Lhasa Apso, they are excellent dogs to have as they can be one of the most loyal

companions as long as it is recognized that they are high maintenance and may not be suitable for some families.
About the Author:

Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery http://www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca , an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.

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The Chihuahua http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-chihuahua/ http://www.doggroups.com/breeds/the-chihuahua/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2010 05:15:58 +0000 http://www.doggroups.com/?p=108 Travel through the mysterious past of the Chihuahua to find more about the popular breed loved by so many today.

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Travel through the mysterious past of the Chihuahua to find more about the popular breed loved by so many today.
History of the Breed

Though the chihuahua comes from a mysterious past, today, the chihuahua is one of the most recognizable breeds. They are believed to be one of the oldest breeds of the new world continents. They go back as far as about 2,000 years and though they were long believed to be exclusively Mexican, the Chinese were probably the first to actually develop the breed. The orientals have been in the art of “shrinking” for many centuries (another common example is the popular Bonsai trees). When these proto-chihuahuas, called Techichi, were brought to Mexico around the age of the Toltec civilization (around 10 A.D.), they became the favorite of royalty for both the purpose of companionship and eating. They also became popular sacrificial animals. Every time a human was sacrificed to their Gods, his dog would also go with him. The Techichi was a short-legged dumpy dog by comparison to today’s graceful, happy chihuahua. The chihuahua we know today is believed to have been perfected around the early 1850s, and were not held by royalty anymore, but instead were downgraded to being smuggled by peddlers. They were then called “Chihuahua”, after the city of Chihuahua in Mexico where the breed was first discovered by Caucasians. These lovable, tiny dogs were either smoothcoat, longcoat, or hairless. The hairless version is still around, but now known as the Xoloitzcuintle, or Mexican Hairless. Today, the smoothcoat and the longcoat are the 2 most desirable varieties. Chihuahuas were first recognized by the AKC in 1904.

General Appearance

Small. Legs not too long, not too short, aligned straight with the chest and rear (not cow-hocked or bowed). Back straight, somewhat longer than tall. Head should be round domed (apple-domed) with a well defined stop. Muzzle should meet a 90 degree angle. Eyes are round, wide-set and large, but not protruding. Tail should curl over the back, but not pig-tailed, but curled enough to where the tip barely touches the back. There should be some length to the neck, but it should not be too long, yet it shouldn’t have the appearance of sitting directly on the shoulders. The ears should be carried at 40-degree angles when at rest. The smoothcoat can be either close or plushy (double-coated smooth). Longcoats should appear fluffy, with feathering most pronounced on the ears, legs and tail.

Proportion and Size

Height should be no more than 9 inches at the shoulder. Weight should be no more than 6 pounds.


Any color acceptable, fawn, black, red, blue, white, chocolate, lilac, brindle, cream and even merle. In any pattern.

Temperment (including suitability with children

Described as the “big dog in a little package”, chihuahuas display an amazing terrier-like personality. Chihuahuas are loving dogs with people. They love to seek the warmth of their owner. Chihuahuas tend to attach themselves to one member of the family. They are not recommended for small children. Older children would be more ideal. They are quite suspicious of strangers however.


Chihuahuas can be trained to do anything a larger dog can–on a smaller scale of course. Potty training takes a little extra time and effort. Though chihuahuas are habitually stubborn and even sometimes pig-headed, they are very intelligent dogs.

Exercise Needs

20 minute walks are good enough for chihuahuas mostly to avoid obesity–a common, life-threatening problem in chihuahuas.

Grooming Needs

Smoothcoats are basically wash and go. Longcoats require usually only a small amount of brushing.

Fun FAQs

Here are some things I am typically asked about chihuahuas:

Are longcoat chihuahuas a new breed?

No. Longcoats have been around as long as the smoothcoats.

Did the longcoats come as a result of crossbreeding?

No one is really sure how the longcoats came about. Every smoothcoat dog carries a longcoat gene somewhere.

Do chihuahuas come in different sizes, ie standard, toy or teacup?

There is no such thing as a standard, toy, tiny toy or a teacup chihuahua. The teacup myth was concocted by backyard breeders and puppymills as a ploy for making money, saying these are “special” breeds. The AKC says a chihuahua can be up to 6 pounds. Over 6 pounds is undesirable.

What is the difference between a “deer” chihuahua and an “apple dome” chihuahua?

The answer is simple, the shape of the head. Deer head chihuahuas have flatter heads, eyes closer together and usually longer noses. Apple dome chihuahuas, which are more desirable, have a rounded head, usually a shorter muzzle and wider set eyes.

Is it true chihuahuas tend to prefer companions of their own kind?

Chihuahuas can get along well with any other dog, as long as the dog isn’t too rambunctious. They can get along well with cats and even rabbits. The reason most people who have one chihuahua will get another is ADDICTION. These little dogs grow on a person very quickly.
Additional Resources

View Chihuahua Pictures in our photo album.

Chat about the Chihuahua

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