So You Want a Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is a good dog that has developed a bad reputation. This dog was created to fight and when a Bull Terrier is mistreated, it can be made into a dog that is quite aggressive, even vicious. With proper care and training, a Bull Terrier puppy can grow up to be a sweet and loving dog. In fact, at times this breed is even slightly silly. However, an older dog who has been mistreated may never be truly trustworthy and should not be placed in a home where it has access to children.

Bull Terrier breed characteristics

The Bull Terrier is a member of the American Kennel Club’s terrier group and most commonly comes in pure white or brindle. Brindle dogs can have white markings, but they cannot be predominantly white. Don’t confuse this dog with its relative, the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Bull Terrier is a solidly built, muscular animal, weighing in at fifty five to seventy pounds. The dog’s broad chest and bullet shaped head are distinctive identifying characteristics for the breed.

The Bull Terrier is content living in an apartment as long as it receives plenty of exercise. However, these dogs prefer living in a home with a roomy, securely fenced yard. No matter where or how you exercise your dog, be sure he cannot escape, as some Bull Terriers and cats or small dogs can be a deadly combination.

Bull Terrier adorable character

The Bull Terrier loves family life and often is quite good with children. These dogs love to play and will spend hours playing frisbee. However, if you do not have children of your own, and your Bull Terrier isn’t used to small children, never leave your Bull Terrier with visiting children unattended, as infants and toddlers are sometimes mistaken for other animals instead of people.

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If you’ve never owned a dog before, then the Bull Terrier is definitely not for you. These dogs are not a good match with inexperienced dog owners. In addition, if you are a shrinking violet instead of an assertive person, your Bull Terrier will sense this. He will quickly dominate you and rule your household.

Since Bull Terriers are such powerful animals, you will need to be sure your dog is thoroughly trained before he gets too big for you to control easily. It is a good idea to enroll your dog in puppy obedience classes, so you can be sure he is correctly trained while he is small. In addition, obedience classes are an important step in socializing your puppy.

Bull Terriers can put away quite a bit of dog chow. While they don’t eat as much as a Great Dane, these dogs can make a noticeable difference in the grocery budget. You may want to ask your veterinarian about feeding your Bull Terrier a dog chow that alleviates kidney problems. Besides being prone to kidney disease, the Bull Terrier can develop heart disease or deafness.

Your Bull Terrier needs very little grooming. You may want to brush him weekly to remove loose hair and dirt to keep his coat looking smooth and healthy. You may also want to brush his teeth and trim his nails.

If you are an experienced dog owner and are willing to work with your dog to turn him into a good citizen, then you may want to take a look at the Bull Terrier.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Doberman Pinscher
  2. Bloodhound
  3. Labrador Retriever
  4. Boxer
  5. Cocker Spaniel

So You Want a Standard Poodle

Some people take one look at the fluffy, immaculately groomed Standard Poodles in the show ring and discount them as silly, shallow dogs. However, the Standard Poodle is considered by many people to be the most intelligent breed in the world, with the reasoning ability of a three year old child.

Standard Poodle breed characteristics

These dogs may look like lightweights in the show ring, but they were originally bred to work hard in the water. The Standard Poodle spent hours retrieving water fowl for hunters and the breed’s dense coat helped protect it from the cold, damp working conditions. Because the breed is not commonly used as a working dog today, The American Kennel Club classifies the Standard Poodle as part of the Non-Sporting Group. These dogs weigh 45 to 70 pounds and stand over 15 inches tall.

The Standard Poodle has a muscular body under all of that hair. Its ears are long and fold over close to the head and its eyes are dark brown and filled with intelligence. This dog’s tail is docked and stands erect. The tail should not curve over the dog’s back. The Standard Poodle comes in a wide range of colors, including apricot, black, cream, red, blue, gray, silver, brown, parti-color, and white. Overall, the white and cream colored Standard Poodles seem to be a bit more high strung and nervous than other colors, while black Standard Poodles seem calmer.

Standard Poodle adorable character

The Standard Poodle does best in family settings and is extremely devoted to its family’s children. This breed also is an excellent choice for families with more than one dog, as the Standard Poodle rarely meets a dog it doesn’t like. If you have a cat, be prepared for your dog to rampage through the house as he gives chase, although when he finally catches up to the cat, he will just want to play.

If you live in an apartment, your dog will need to take a long walk or go for a romp in the park every day. These dogs can live in apartments, but do much better in a home with a fenced yard.

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Because of its high intelligence, this breed enjoys learning and should attend puppy obedience classes. In addition, Standard Poodles need to be socialized as puppies, or their natural aloofness with strangers can turn to fear. Your puppy will work hard during classes, because he will want to please you. If he can’t figure out what you want him to do, he will wrinkle his brow and try again. If he still can’t figure it out, he may start to get depressed and frustrated. If this happens, give him a command that he already knows and after he joyously obeys he will be ready to try to learn the new command again. Many Standard Poodles and their owners go on to take advanced classes so that they can compete in obedience and agility trials.

The Standard Poodle breed has several common health problems. Addison’s disease, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy problems are prevalent enough that many breeders actually screen their parent dogs to be sure they don’t carry these genetic faults. Your dog could also suffer from renal disease, bloat, and skin problems.

Standard Poodles are big dogs and have big appetites. If you’ve never had a big dog before, be prepared for a noticeable increase in the grocery budget. These dogs also should receive a daily vitamin. In addition, ask your veterinarian about giving your poodle a daily vitamin C tablet, which many veterinarians say can help decrease the chance of hip dysplasia.

If you do not want to spend time grooming a dog, don’t buy a Standard Poodle. These dogs need to be brushed daily, and, with their large size, it can take an hour or more to thoroughly brush out a Standard Poodle’s coat. Also, you will have to learn to cut your poodle’s hair or you will need to take him to a professional groomer every six weeks.

The Standard Poodle is a fun loving, intelligent dog. If you don’t mind brushing your dog instead of watching the news, this may be the breed for you.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Boxer
  3. Cocker Spaniel
  4. Bichon Frise
  5. Newfoundland

Is a Siberian Husky Right for You?

Are you looking for a dog who is very active but still loves the company of people? If so, you may want to consider the Siberian Husky. This beautiful dog was bred to tirelessly pull sleds loaded with supplies over frozen terrain for miles on end. At the end of the day, Huskies provide companionship to their owners.

Siberian Husky breed characteristics

The Siberian Husky is classified as a part of the Working Group by the American Kennel Club. Like most dogs in this group, the Husky must have a job to do to keep him from getting into trouble. These dogs are less domesticated than many other dog breeds and are actually quite wolf like. The Husky is a thirty five to sixty pound dog that stands twenty to twenty four inches tall.

Siberian Husky adorable character

These high energy dogs have a very thick coat made up of two distinct layers. Huskies have prick ears and a wolf like face. This breed’s coat comes in a variety of colors, although most Huskies have black and white or silver and white coats. The most striking feature of the Husky is his almond shaped blue or brown eyes.

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The Siberian Husky is a very impulsive dog and can get into more scrapes and dangerous situations than almost any other type of dog. More than one Husky visits the veterinarian’s office to be patched up on a routine basis. These dogs are usually good with older children, but may not be the best choice for families with infants or toddlers. Huskies have a reputation for being aggressive towards cats or small animals and may not be trustworthy with smaller children.

Since the Husky is so energetic, this breed does not do well in apartments or homes with small yards. In fact, Huskies often prefer to spend most of their time outdoors during the colder months, since their heavy coats make indoor temperatures uncomfortable. Just be sure that your yard is securely fenced, as these dogs have Houdini like tendencies.

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It is important that you train your dog thoroughly, since the Siberian Husky is constantly looking for signs of weakness. You may want to attend obedience classes with your puppy to get some help in training him. If you do not maintain a dominant position, your dog will become a nightmare to own. Huskies are best for experienced dog owners.

Siberian Huskies can eat a lot, although some of these dogs do not eat well when they become nervous and high strung. Of course, other Huskies eat everything, including the house siding.

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Siberian Huskies should be groomed once a week to remove dirt and debris. Of course, when your dog is shedding his coat, you may want to groom him more frequently.

Overall, Huskies are fairly healthy. The majority of the Husky’s health problems are accident related, although this breed can suffer from hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

If you don’t mind owning a dog who will constantly keep you on your toes, then you may want to consider the beautiful Siberian Husky.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Boxer
  2. Cocker Spaniel
  3. Bichon Frise
  4. Newfoundland
  5. German Shepherd

A Look at the Saint Bernard

More than one traveler stranded in the snowy Swiss Alps owes the ponderous Saint Bernard his life. Monks in the Alps actually developed this massive dog to be used as a rescue dog. The Saint Bernard breed is quite an old one, going back as far as the 1700s.

Saint Bernard breed characteristics

The American Kennel Club places the Saint Bernard in the Working Group. These big dogs weigh from one hundred twenty to two hundred pounds and stand twenty six to twenty eight inches tall. This breed can be short haired or it can have a long haired coat. Originally, all Saint Bernards had a short haired coat, since snow did not stick to the short hair easily. However, when these dogs became popular as pets in Victorian England, Saint Bernard fanciers bred them to have longer hair. They also worked to make them bigger and bigger.

Saint Bernard adorable character

Unfortunately, some breeders today still are more concerned with appearance than they are with personality. Before buying a puppy, make sure that your prospective Saint Bernard’s parents are outgoing and sweet tempered dogs. Otherwise, you may end up with a fearful or aggressive dog. Please don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a puppy with a good temperament.

The Saint Bernard is usually a gentle giant and plays well with children and other dogs. However, a young Saint Bernard and small children is usually a bad combination, since these dogs make awkward, clumsy puppies. More than one toddler has been accidentally knocked down and injured when trying to play with a Saint Bernard puppy. Older dogs are usually more graceful and are careful not to knock children down.

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The Saint Bernard does not do well in apartments or town homes. These dogs need a lot of room and are not happy without a home that has a fenced yard. If they do not have enough exercise, Saint Bernards tend to get into a lot of trouble. A bored puppy of this size can sure make a lot of damage.

Saint Bernards are loyal, loving dogs with a strong desire to please. However, their enormous size means that they can be hard to control. You may want to consider enrolling your puppy in obedience classes while you still outweigh him. These classes will help you train him, but they also play another important role, socializing your puppy. He will meet plenty of strangers and their dogs in the classes.

Saint Bernards eat a sizable amount of food, so it is no surprise that feeding a Saint Bernard increases the grocery bill. Since this breed suffers from hip dysplasia, you may want to use a food that is formulated to help large breed puppies grow healthy and strong. Saint Bernards are also prone to heart disease and tumors.

Short haired Saint Bernards need very little grooming. Even long haired dogs don’t require too much work, since they are not heavy matters. Just be sure you brush through your dog’s hair once a week.

The Saint Bernard is a wonderful companion dog. As long as you don’t mind having a dog who is bigger than most people, a Saint Bernard may be the right choice for you.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Cocker Spaniel
  2. Bichon Frise
  3. Newfoundland
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Chihuahua

Is a Rottweiler the Right Breed for You?

Do you need a protective dog that is intelligent and devoted to its owners? If so, you may want to consider buying a Rottweiler. These big dogs were bred to be very versatile working dogs. They guard their homes and families, excel in agility training, and think that they are tiny lapdogs when they are with their owners.

Rottweiler breed characteristics

The Rottweiler is fairly large and very muscular. These powerful dogs weigh between 85 to 130 pounds and stand 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. A Rottweiler has a sleek black and brown coat and deep, soulful brown eyes.

The Rottweiler is a part of the American Kennel Club’s Working Group. These powerful dogs are often used as guard dogs. Unfortunately, some Rottweiler owners have mistreated their dogs in an attempt to make them more aggressive. These abused Rottweilers have given the breed an undeserved reputation as a dangerous breed. Rottweilers that are bred and raised properly are actually wonderful, loving family pets.

Rottweilers adorable character

Rottweilers are not the best breed for an apartment. These dogs are big and powerful and they need room to run. Ideally, Rottweiler owners should own a home with a fenced yard. If you do not have a fenced yard, you should be prepared to take your dog for frequent runs in the park to burn off excess energy.

The Rottweiler is an extremely intelligent dog and this breed does best when it has something to do. Give your Rottweiler a job, such as keeping pests out of the garden, and you will have a happy dog. It is important to begin training a Rottweiler puppy at a young age, as these dogs quickly grow into large, powerful animals. Also, puppy obedience classes are a wonderful opportunity for you to provide your Rottweiler with plenty of socialization at a young age. Luckily, this breed enjoys learning, as long as the trainer uses love and patience. These dogs respond eagerly to new challenges, which is why the Rottweiler does well in agility trials.

Because of their size and strength, Rottweilers may not be the best choice for a family with a toddler. A six month old puppy may not realize his own strength and could accidentally injure small children while he is romping around. If your heart is set on a Rottweiler puppy, you may want to wait until your children are old enough to walk well.

Of course, a dog with the size and energy of a Rottweiler can burn up quite a few calories. You should be prepared to buy quite a lot of food for your puppy. Also, it is important to make sure that your puppy’s nutritional needs are being met, since Rottweilers can develop joint problems when they are older.

Since a Rottweiler has such a short coat, grooming one of these dogs is not very time consuming. Brush your dog once a week with a slicker brush to keep his coat looking shiny and glossy. Also, be sure you take the time to check his nails to be sure they become not too long. When your dog is a puppy, you may also want to accustom him to having his teeth brushed.

If the thought of having a hundred pound dog attempt to crawl into your lap as though he weighs ten pounds horrifies you, then a Rottweiler may not be the breed for you. After all, not everyone wants a dog who has the appearance of a killer and the heart of a marshmallow.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Boston Terrier
  2. Golden Retriever
  3. Yorkshire Terrier
  4. Jack Russell Terrier
  5. Siberian Husky

Should You Buy a Miniature Pinscher?

If you love the sleek, muscled appearance of the Doberman Pinscher, but you don’t want a big dog, you may want to consider a Miniature Pinscher. These dogs are very similar in appearance to Dobermans, but are almost one hundred pounds lighter.

Miniature Pinscher breed characteristics

The Miniature Pinscher may look like a miniature Doberman, but these dogs are not actually directly related. In fact, the Miniature Pinscher was developed long before the Doberman. The Miniature Pinscher was created by breeding the German Pinscher to a smaller breed. The American Kennel Club classifies the Miniature Pinscher as a part of the Toy Group, but these dogs are not cute little lapdogs. The Miniature Pinscher was bred to be a tough, aggressive ratter. The Min Pin weighs in at 8 to 10 pounds and stands 10 to 12 inches high.

Miniature Pinschers have a compact, muscular frame. Their intelligent eyes are so dark brown that they look black. The Min Pin’s short coat can be red, stag red, black and rust, or chocolate and rust. This breed’s tails are docked. In addition, some people crop their Miniature Pinscher’s ears, but this is not necessary. Most of these dogs develop pricked ears as they mature.

Miniature Pinscher adorable character

The high energy Miniature Pinscher does well in apartment settings, as long as you are willing to go for a long walk once a day. Of course, the Min Pin also enjoys the freedom of a fenced yard. These dogs have a tendency to roam and they will search for ways to escape, so be sure your yard has a securely fenced exercise area. If you live in an area with busy streets, your dog’s escape could prove fatal, since the Miniature Pinscher is too small to be easily seen from a moving car.

Miniature Pinschers are very loyal dogs, and are deeply devoted to their owners, but that loyalty does not always extend to small children. This breed has a tendency to be nippy with babies and toddlers. If you have family members with children who visit frequently, you may want to crate your dog while your guests are there to avoid problems. In addition, some of these dogs are quite high strung and will become aggressive to adults, especially mail carriers and deliverymen.

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While Miniature Pinschers are small, most of them are a bit stubborn and hard to control. Your puppy should attend obedience classes and you should be careful to follow up on every command. These dogs enjoy agility training and attending competitions gives them a chance to shine. The Min Pin was bred to work and takes vermin seriously. If a mouse gets into your house, your dog will not rest until it is caught.

Miniature Pinschers can have several serious health problems, such as heart conditions, thyroid conditions, and epilepsy. In addition, these dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, which is a rare thing in small breeds.

Miniature Pinschers do not consume huge quantities of food, but they have a tendency to be a bit gluttonous. You may need to switch to a food that controls weight gain if you notice your sleek Miniature Pinscher is starting to resemble a blowfish with legs.

Min Pins require little grooming, but they do have problems with overgrown nails. Be sure to check your dog’s nails frequently.

The Miniature Pinscher is not for everyone, but if you want a dog who is completely loyal to you, you may want to consider this breed.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Bulldog
  2. Collie
  3. Bloodhound
  4. Boxer
  5. German Shepherd

Is a Greyhound Right For You?

The Greyhound is a breed with the tragic ability to run fast. Many Greyhound owners use their dogs to compete in races and put them down when they loose too many races. However, these dogs can also be wonderful pets and many of them are rehabilitated by Greyhound rescues.

Before you open your heart and home to a displaced Greyhound, you should talk to the rescue about the problems new dog owners face. Racing Greyhounds are trained to chase down a mechanical rabbit. Unfortunately, they don’t always differentiate between a rabbit and a small dog or cat. They do better as single pets. In addition, these dogs are already full grown, but are not potty trained and do not have any idea of household etiquette.

Greyhounds breed characteristics

The Greyhound is classified as a member of the Hound Group by the American Kennel Club. These dogs first appeared in ancient Egypt, where they were used to run down prey. When they came to England, they became common with British noblemen, who began racing them. Greyhounds traveled to America, where their owners continued this popular sport.

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Greyhounds are large, powerfully built dogs. They have long legs and narrow bodies. These dogs are all muscle. Greyhounds have dark eyes and a long, graceful tail. Unlike many other breeds, a Greyhound can be any color.

Greyhounds adorable character

Greyhounds are capable of developing an incredible speed, but they are not actually high energy dogs. In between races, these dogs are couch potatoes, conserving their energy for the next chase. They need a fenced yard so they have room to run, although dogs that live in apartments adapt to walking on a leash without too much trouble.

Greyhounds are friendly, sociable dogs. They love to spend time with their family and are very playful. They like nothing better than snuggling up on the couch beside their owners all evening long. Greyhounds enjoy playing with children and are very gentle with them. They also play well with other dogs. You will need to keep a close eye on your dog if you have other pets, since the prey instinct may be too hard to resist.

Greyhounds need plenty of fuel for their bodies. You will need to feed your dog a high quality dog food. However, since these dogs are prone to bloat, do not allow your dog to overeat. Several small meals are better for his health than one large meal. Consult your veterinarian to find out how much you should feed your dog at each meal. A good vitamin supplement is also a good idea for these dogs.

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Grooming a Greyhound is simple, since these dogs have a short, sleek coat that does not shed heavily. Brushing your Greyhound once a week should be sufficient. You may also want to trim his nails if they are tapping on the floor when he walks.

Owning one of these dogs can be overwhelming at first. However, if you are willing to persevere, you can end up with a wonderful, devoted family pet for many years to come.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Boston Terrier
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Chihuahua
  5. Siberian Husky

Is a Golden Retriever the Right Dog Breed for You?

So, you read THE WATCHER a dozen times, you’ve seen Golden Retrievers working as guide dogs, and now you want to buy a Golden Retriever puppy of your own. However, before you bring one of these cuddly yellow fuzz balls home, you need to be sure a Golden Retriever is really the right dog for you and your family.

Golden Retrievers breed characteristics

The Golden Retriever is a big, muscular dog, weighing in at 55 to 75 pounds and standing 21 ½ to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. This dog breed has a broad skull, which may be why Golden Retrievers are so intelligent. Coat colors range from a deep, honey colored gold to a light gold that is almost white. The palest gold or darkest gold colors are considered to be undesirable, as are any white patches or markings.

Golden Retrievers adorable character

Did you know that Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be working dogs? They are members of the Sporting Group. These dogs are high energy animals and need plenty of exercise, especially while they are less than three years of age. This desire to stay busy is one reason that Golden Retrievers make good rescue, Seeing Eye, or drug sniffing dogs. If you do not keep them occupied, they will find ways to amuse themselves, such as eating your entire shoe collection.

If you are an avid gardener, you will need to be sure you have a separate area where you can contain your dog, since most Golden Retrievers love to dig. While they are going through their puppy stage, they are also prone to chewing up shrubs.

Since Golden Retrievers are large dogs, you may want to consider the cost of food before buying your puppy. These dogs eat a lot. Also, since Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, you may want to ask your veterinarian about feeding your puppy food that is especially formulated to help large breeds grow properly.

If you have small children, you may need to consider whether a Golden Retriever puppy will be too boisterous for them. Although adult Goldens are excellent family dogs, puppies can be quite mouthy and rowdy. They may accidentally knock toddlers down while they are playing.

If you do buy a puppy when you have small children, you will need to find time to teach him good manners quickly. You may want to attend obedience classes with him, so that he is used to other dogs and people and learns how to act when he is outside the house. Training your puppy before he is too strong for you to control easily is a good idea.

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Golden Retrievers need frequent grooming to keep their coats from tangling. You will need to pay special attention to the area behind your dog’s ears, as it is prone to developing large mats. Frequent grooming will also help you alleviate dog hair on furniture, which can be quite heavy when your dog is shedding his coat. In addition, you will need to have enough time to check your dog for ticks after he goes for a romp in the park or other grassy and wooded areas.

If you still feel that this is the breed for you, be sure to look for a good breeder to buy your puppy from. A healthy, good tempered Golden Retriever makes a wonderful, intelligent companion.

You may read and choose another breed:

  1. Beagle
  2. Basset Hound
  3. Dalmation
  4. Yorkshire Terrier
  5. Boston Terrier