All About Rhodesian Ridgebacks

All About Rhodesian Ridgebacks



Description of a Rhodesian Ridgeback

This large sized hound looking breed has a distinctive feature in its short, dense coat. The hair along the backbone actually grows in the opposite direction towards the head, different than the rest of the hair on the dog. This gives the unique “stand up ” appearance of the backbone, therefore the name ridgeback. The dog is a light to dark wheaten color with white markings acceptable. The head is dignified and broad with a large, powerful square shaped jaw. The ears are folded over to the front, and are usually very alert looking. The legs and feet are sturdy and strong, and overall the dog appears very powerful and highly athletic. The tail is long and tapered and curves up slightly at the tip.

Temperament of a Rhodesian Ridgeback

The breed is a ferocious hunter by nature and must be thoroughly socialized to prevent aggression as they get older. The males may be particularly aggressive towards other dogs, but neutering and socialization will often minimize this problem. They are natural guard dogs that will protect the property and the family no matter what. They can be taught to be very social and are general easy to train with firm, consistent training and positive rewards. The breed wants please but is not as demonstrative or affectionate as some of the other hound breeds. They are not recommended for small children as they cannot tolerate being pestered or teased. They prefer a challenge and need to have something to do with their time. If bored the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be highly destructive, chewing and destroying furniture, landscaping or digging out of the fence. Amazingly these dogs can withstand incredible temperature changes, go without food and water for prolonged periods of time and have almost no discomfort from insect bites or pain.

Grooming & Shedding of a Rhodesian Ridgeback

The short, dense coat is easy to keep. All that is required is weekly brushing with a slicker brush, stiff bristle brush or a grooming mitt. Care must be taken to check the ears for debris and remove any waxy build-up. Only bath the Rhodesian Ridgeback when absolutely necessary. They are an average shedder throughout the year.

History of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred by the Boer settlers when they moved into South Africa. It is assumed that the native ridgeback dogs were bred with the larger European breeds including Mastiffs, Deerhounds and possibly Great Danes. The combination of the native Khoikhoi dog and these European dogs that created the breed that is known today. The Khoikhoi dog is responsible for the ridge down the back, as this is a trait that they possessed. The dogs have been used for hunting lions in Rhodesia, and were typically used in packs. The first breed standard was developed in Rhodesia in 1922.

Health Issues for the Rhodesian Ridgeback

  • Major Concerns: dermoid sinus (cysts)
  • Minor Concerns: hip dysplasia
  • Occasionally seen: elbow dysplasia, deafness
  • Suggested tests: dermoid sinus test, hip

Characteristics of a Rhodesian Ridgeback

Height Dogs 25-27 inches (63-69cm) Bitches 24-26 inches (61-66cm)
Weight Dogs 80-90 pounds (36-41kg) Bitches 65-75 pounds (29-34kg)
Lifespan 10-12 years
Exercise High
Apartment Yes- -with frequent exercise
Families Yes
Young Children No
Need exercise space Yes – large yard and frequent walks

All About Norfolk Terriers

All About Norfolk Terriers


Description of a Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is the smallest of the working terriers but more than makes up for its small size with its boundless energy and loving personality. They have short, sturdy legs and a square body that is muscular and athletic in appearance. The Norfolk Terrier has a fox-like face with a short, pointed muzzle and bright, alert eyes. The face is further highlighted with noticeable eyebrows and whiskers. The ears are folded over and held close to the head. The tail is often docked but may also be left natural and is carried high, especially while hunting or working. The coat is wiry and straight with feathering on the legs, tail and ruff. The colors for the breed include wheaten, grizzle, black and tan and red. Some white markings are acceptable.

Temperament of a Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier makes an excellent family dog and gets along well with children. When properly socialized from a young age they will get along well with other dogs and even non-canine pets. The breed is very intelligent but will find things to do if left alone for long periods of time. They tend to learn very quickly but constantly test to see what they can and cannot get away with. They do need consistent and positive training to stay focused and under control. If left alone for long periods of time they will bark, chew and dig, often excessively. They do have a strong chase instinct and usually have to be on a leash when out of the yard. The breed loves to run and play and enjoys having a variety of toys to play with. Occasionally they can become jealous of people or toys, but training and socialization will prevent this from becoming a problem.

Grooming & Shedding of a Norfolk Terrier

Except for a brief period of time in the spring and fall the breed is considered a light shedder. Their coat is naturally very clean and relatively easy to care for with regular brushing and combing. Care needs to be taken to groom the softer undercoat that can become easily matted. Mats or small knots can be clipped to prevent greater problems. As with all terriers the hair has natural oils that can be lost with bathing, so bathe only when necessary.

History of the Norfolk Terrier

Originally bred in the Norfolk region of England, they were traditionally used as small terriers that could go to ground to flush out small hunting animals from their dens. There is another terrier, now called the Norwich Terrier, that used to be grouped with the Norfolk Terrier. Since they were bred to be pack hunters, they love to be with groups of dogs and humans. Currently Norfolk Terriers are used as companion dogs as well as in obedience trials. They are still known for their hunting ability and will chase squirrels and vermin whenever they get the chance.

Health Issues with a Norfolk Terrier

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: none
  • Occasionally seen: cardiomyopathy, patellar luxation
  • Suggested tests: heart, knee

Characteristics of the Norfolk Terrier

Height 10 inches (25cm)
Weight 10-12 pounds (4½-5½kg)
Lifespan 12-15 years
Exercise High
Apartment Yes –with frequent exercise
Families Yes
Young Children Yes –with socialization
Need exercise space No- with frequent walks

All About Neapolitan Mastiffs

All About Neapolitan Mastiffs



Description of a Neapolitan Mastiff

Once you have seen a Neapolitan Mastiff it is impossible to not recognize the breed. They are a massive, huge dog with a broad head, deep set eyes, pendant ears and noticeable lips and jowls. The dogs have a short, dense coat that is usually black, gray, mahogany, tawny or blue, and the front quarters of the dog, including the head and neck, seem to be encased in wrinkles and folds. The dog is very strong looking and thick through the chest and body. The feet are rounded and well formed and the tail is broad and flat, tapering to the end. Traditionally the tail was docked rather long, but many countries no longer allow this practice.

Temperament of a Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a very gentle and loving dog despite its huge size. It is very intelligent and does not do well with repetitive training; rather it needs to be challenged with new routines and expectations. Since they are so large they need to be trained from an early age and well socialized as both males and females can be somewhat dog-aggressive, although males are far more aggressive than females. Neos can be wonderful companion dogs to cats and other canines provided they are socialized as puppies. They can be independent dogs and make excellent watch and guard dogs. Usually the Neapolitan Mastiff only barks when necessary, but their bark is very deep and resonant. The breed is a heavy drooler and owners should understand this before bringing the breed into the house.

Grooming & Shedding of a Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff sheds very little and typically a grooming mitt or rubber brush is all that is necessary to keep the dogs looking shiny. Care needs to be taken to keep debris out of the folds and wrinkles around the face to prevent bacterial infections and skin irritations. It is also important to keep nails clipped short as the weight of the dog can cause lameness if nails become too long.

History of the Neapolitan Mastiff

Like all of the Mastiff breeds the Neapolitan Mastiff is a direct descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff. The short hair is likely a resolute of breeding with another large breed from India to result in the Roman Molossus breed of giant dog. The breed was originally used by the Greeks and Romans as a war dog and a sporting dog in fights. When the Romans invaded Britain in 55 BC, they crossed the Molossus with the British Mastiff, resulting in the Neapolitan Mastiff breed. In the Neapolitan area of Italy the breed was developed and standardize, and hence the name that is now used.

Health Issues with a Neapolitan Mastiff

  • Major Concerns: hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, demodicosis, pano-ostiosis
  • Minor Concerns: cherry eye, elbow dysplasia
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: eye, hip, heart, elbow

Characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff

Height Males 26-30 inches (65-75 cm)

Females 24-28 inches (60-70 cm)

Weight Average: Up to 165 pounds (74 kg)

Mature Males: Up to 200 pounds (90kg)

Lifespan Under 10 years
Exercise High – long, frequent walks
Apartment Yes – with frequent exercise
Families Yes
Young Children Yes – with socialization and training
Need exercise space Yes –small yard

All About Old English Sheepdogs

All About Old English Sheepdog


Description of an Old English Sheepdog

Also known as the Bob or the Bobtail, the Old English Sheepdog is a large breed of dog with a profuse, shaggy looking coat. The dog has an unusual body shape in that the hindquarters are actually higher than the shoulders, giving an upward topline from the front to the back. The long, shaggy coat is usually blue, gray, blue merle or blue-gray with our without white markings on the legs, chest and face. Some Old English Sheepdogs may be mostly white, and this is acceptable as well. The head is square and large, with hair falling over the eyes if left natural. The eyes may be blue or brown or even one of each. Many of the breed are born without tails or the tails are completely removed shortly after birth. The legs are strong and sturdy with somewhat small feet. The breed is very muscular and compact and is able to travel great distances with their distinctive rolling gait.

Temperament of an Old English Sheepdog

As with most of the herding breeds, the Old English Sheepdog has an amazingly calm and friendly personality. They love to be with children and will tolerate even young children with endless patients. They do require firm training, as they are prone to be somewhat stubborn and independent, especially through their puppyhood. The love to please and will often naturally herd other pets, children and even people by pushing up against them to give direction. The Old English Sheepdog gets along very well with all other types of pets including cats with little training or socialization. They are not typically dog aggressive but socialization is needed to prevent them from being shy or timid in new situations.

Grooming & Shedding of an Old English Sheepdog

A heavy shedder year round the Old English Sheepdog will completely shed out its coat in the spring, requiring additional grooming. Throughout the rest of the year the breed will need at least every other day grooming and ideally daily grooming if they are outside. The coat will mat and tangle easily, clipping may be required to remove well-established tangles. Many people that are not showing the breed keep the coat clipped year round to eliminate problems in caring for the coat. Most owners trim around the eyes to prevent irritation and also around the anal area to keep the dog clean.

History of the Old English Sheepdog

The exact origins of the Old English Sheepdog are not known, but many experts suggest that the breed has elements of the Scottish Deerhound, Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar as well as the Briard. The breed as we now know it started in the West country area of England roughly 200 years ago. It was originally bred as a dog to herd both cattle and sheep to market. Many farmers in the 19th century used to shear the  coat of the Old English Sheepdog to make various types of blankets and cloth. While still used as a herding dog in some agricultural areas and in competition it is largely a companion dog.

Health Issues with an Old English Sheepdog

  • Major Concerns: canine hip dysplasia,
  • Minor Concerns: gastric torsion (bloat), otitis externa retinal detachment, cataract, deafness
  • Occasionally seen: Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
  • Suggested tests: eye, hip, hearing

Characteristics of the Old English Sheepdog

Height Males 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)Females 20-22 inches (51 cm)
Weight Males from 65 pounds (29 kg)Females from 60 pounds (27 kg)
Lifespan 10-12 years
Exercise Medium – frequent long walks
Apartment Yes –with lots of regular exercise
Families Yes
Young Children Yes
Need exercise space Yes – a large yard is ideal

All About Miniature Schnauzers

All About Miniature Schnauzers


Miniature Schnauzer

Description of a Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a distinctive looking dog with its beard, long moustache and bushy eyebrows. They are often described as a square shape, with the face being trimmed to highlight the straight lines and features. The coat is wavy or wiry and almost harsh to the touch but the undercoat is dense and soft. The breed may be black, black and silver, white or salt and pepper. The American Kennel Club or AKC does not recognize the white color variation. The dogs are sturdy and athletic looking without appearing overly muscular or cobby. The ears are either cropped and very erect or slightly folded over at the tip. Traditionally the tails have been docked but many countries now prohibit the practice so the tails are left natural.

Temperament of a Miniature Schnauzer

The breed is very endearing and lovable, with lots of energy for playing and a high level of intelligence. They can be easily trained but tend to try to be quite independent so need firm training. As a general statement the breed loves children and does well with kids of all ages. The breed tends to retain its puppy like behavior until it is a senior dog, enjoying outings and runs until very late in life. A true “people dog” they need to be with humans as much as possible and do not do well left alone for long periods of time. The Miniature Schnauzer can be rather dog aggressive if not socialized properly, but with the proper socialization will be a great companion for other dogs and non-canine pets. They are good watchdogs and will bark at strangers, but usually will quickly settle down and accept new people. They have a unique bark that almost sounds like a low rumble, and many will “talk” to their owners for attention and when excited.

Grooming & Shedding of a Miniature Schnauzer

The wiry over coat is easy to care for with regular grooming, but the soft dense inner coat tends to mat and tangle if not properly and regularly groomed daily. All mats need to be removed to prevent irritations and large mats and knots. The coat is usually clipped in non-show dogs and stripped for those that are going to be competing in shows. Care needs to be taken to keep long hairs trimmed around the eyes and mouth to avoid messy tangles and irritations.

History of the Miniature Schnauzer

The first Miniature Schnauzer was shown in Germany in 1899.  The breed originates from the crossing of the Standard Schnauzer and the Affenpinscher and Poodle breeds. Historically the breed was used for hunting rats and vermin, hence its position in the terrier group. Currently the breed is used as a companion dog but is also seen in competitive obedience events, agility events and hunting trials.

Health Issues with a Miniature Schnauzer

  • Major Concerns:  progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), urolithiasis
  • Minor Concerns: von Willebrand’s disease, follicular dermatitis, esophageal achalasia
  • Occasionally seen: cataracts, pulmonic stenosis, Legg-Perthes
  • Suggested tests: DNA, eye, heart

Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer

Height 12-14 inches (30-36cm.)
Weight 10-15 pounds (5-7kg)
Lifespan 15 years
Exercise Medium to high
Apartment Yes
Families Yes
Young Children Yes
Need exercise space No – with regular, frequent exercise

Incoming search terms:

  • amyloidosis causing blindness in schnausers
  • schnauzers & hip dysplasia

All About Miniature Dachshunds

All About Miniature Dachshunds



Description of a Miniature Dachshund

An exact replica of the larger, standard Dachshund, the miniature variety is a dynamic and playful dog, just in a very small size. Like their larger counterparts the miniature Dachshund is very low to the ground with short, sturdy legs and an overall balanced body. They have almond shaped, highly expressive eyes, a long and slightly tapering muzzle and a long, slightly curved tail. There may be short, long or wired haired coat varieties in the miniature dachshund and all coat colors are accepted with the exception of white markings anywhere but on a small portion of the chest.

Temperament of a Miniature Dachshund

The miniature Dachshund is very playful and loves to be with the family. They are typically more nervous and timid than the larger standard size, and may have a tendency to snap and nip, especially if being handled incorrectly. Miniature Dachshunds are excellent for families with older children but are not recommended for young children as they are small dogs that can easy be hurt or startled. Often the miniature Dachshund will bond very strongly with a member of the family and may become jealous of other people or pets. Early and consistent socialization as well as exposure to new events, people and pets will help with this problem. As with all miniature breeds they are a bit difficult to train, and housetraining is often a problem. Since they are so small many are paper trained or litter trained rather than taken outdoors, especially in cold climates. The miniature Dachshund will respond well to positive training methods and should never be treated harshly.

Grooming & Shedding of a Miniature Dachshund

The wire haired and longhaired varieties of the miniature Dachshund require more frequent grooming and clipping than the short haired coat. Typically they love to be groomed and enjoy the contact with their owner. Teeth and nails should be checked every grooming. Any tearing of the eyes should be closely monitored.

History of the Miniature Dachshund

The miniature Dachshund was bred strictly as a companion dog, not as a hunting dog. The standard sized Dachshund were bred in Germany to hunt badgers, and the miniature still retains those tendencies. Some breeders also try to indicate that they sell “toy” Dachshunds, which are smaller still than miniatures. The AKC and Kennel Club do not recognize a toy variety of the breed, so care should be taken before purchasing these very small dogs.

Health Issues with a Miniature Dachshund

  • Major Concerns: intervertebral disc disease (Dachshund paralysis)
  • Minor Concerns: KCS (dry eye), heart disease, epilepsy, obesity
  • Occasionally seen: diabetes, patellar luxation, gastric torsion, urinary tract problems
  • Suggested tests: eye, knee

Characteristics of the Miniature Dachshund

Height  Up to 14 inches (35 cm)
Weight  Up to 9 pounds (4 kg)
Lifespan  12-15 years
Exercise Low – self exercise indoors
Apartment Yes – with regular, short walks
Families Yes
Young Children No
Need exercise space No –with routine walks

All About Chinese Crested

All About Chinese Crested



This is a robust, medium-sized, well-balanced dog. There is a large variation in breed size and they range in weight from between thirty-five to seventy-five pounds and stand anywhere from seventeen to twenty-three inches at the withers. Their height is slightly shorter than their length, with front legs straight and strong. Some of the eight main Australian shepherd colors include:


Description of a Chinese Crested

The Chinese crested is one of the rare breeds of dogs that actually comes in two distinctive looks within the same breed. The most commonly known variety of the breed is the hairless dog that only has longer hair on the head, ears, legs and tail, with very fine, extremely short hair all over the body. The other, less well known coat type is the Powerpuff Chinese Crested that has long, silky hair all over the body. Both varieties can come in any color or combination of patterns and markings. The Chinese Crested has a long, pointed muzzle, dark intelligent eyes and alert ears.

Temperament of a Chinese Crested

The breed is known for its intelligent and alert behavior as well as its desire to be with people. Known as a true companion breed, they love to sit right next to or ideally in the lap of their owners. They are excellent family dogs and love children. They are very playful and social dogs provided they are socialized properly as puppies. Chinese Crested that are not properly socialized may become timid and frightened as they mature. The breed is sensitive to sudden loud noises if not used to lots of activity and movement in the environment. The breed tends to bond very strongly with the family and typically does not do well if separated from the original owners. Care should be taken when rehoming this breed to avoid stress and depressive type behaviors. Chinese crested are very accepting of strangers and are not a watchdog. They are prone to digging and climbing behaviors if left alone.

Grooming & Shedding of a Chinese Crested

The Powderpuff variety of the Chinese Crested requires daily grooming as the long silky over and undercoat is prone to matting. They do not have the whole coat shed that many double-coated dogs do and they are considered to be low shedders. The hairless variety needs combing of the longer hair on the head, feet and tail every other day, with attention to the skin. Most of the hairless variety are very sensitive to sun and should be rubbed down with sunscreen before time is spent outside. The skin may become dry or irritated if bathing is frequent, and may require lotion to keep it soft and supple.

History of the Chinese Crested

Originally from Africa, not China, the breed was used both as a ratter on ships at sea as well as a companion dog in ancient Aztec civilizations. It is likely that the unusual appearance of these dogs and the fact that both hairless and Powderpuff varieties are born in the same litter that caught the attention of dog fanciers. Although historically a novelty or rare breed, they are now increasingly popular as indoor pets since they are very clean dogs and considered to be less allergenic for owners with respiratory problems.

Characteristics of the Chinese Crested

Height 12 inches (30 cm)
Weight Less than 10 pounds (4.5 kg)
Lifespan 10 years
Exercise Low
Apartment Yes
Families Yes
Young Children Yes –with proper socialization
Need exercise space No


Health Issues with a Chinese Crested

  • Major Concerns: dental problems
  • Minor Concerns: skin allergies
  • Occasionally seen: Legg-Perthes
  • Suggested tests: none

All About Chihuahua

All About Chihuahua


This is a robust, medium-sized, well-balanced dog. There is a large variation in breed size and they range in weight from between thirty-five to seventy-five pounds and stand anywhere from seventeen to twenty-three inches at the withers. Their height is slightly shorter than their length, with front legs straight and strong. Some of the eight main Australian shepherd colors include:


Description of a Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is such an easily identified breed that most non-dog owners can easily pick out these small sized little dogs. They are very fragile looking with fine boned legs and features, and a head that is shaped like an apple. The breed has very large ears that are carried erect, and a tail that is carried high and slightly curved towards the head. Chihuahua can be virtually any color with sable, black and tan, brindle and fawn being the commonly seen colors. Chihuahuas can be long or short haired.

Temperament of a Chihuahua

The Chihuahua has a unique temperament and tends to attach his or herself to one or two people, and remain very loyal and affection to them with the exclusion of almost everyone else. They love to be held and will stay as close to their chosen owner as possible. They are rather dog-aggressive although when socialized properly they can live in a house with other pets. Since the Chihuahua is a very jealous pet they may have difficulty with other dogs and cats, as they see any attention by pets towards the owner as a need for protection and defense. Often the Chihuahua is very easily trained, although housebreaking can be a challenge as they are so small. It is not uncommon for owners to simply paper train or litter box train these tiny pets. The breed tends to be very noisy, and will often bark excessively if left alone for long periods of time. They do best in a home where someone is almost always present.

Grooming & Shedding of a Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are almost exclusively an indoor dog and are considered to be average shedders, although the volume of hair is less because of their small size. Short haired varieties need a simple brushing once a week while long haired Chihuahuas will need grooming two to three times per week. They can be bathed once a month if necessary, but care needs to be taken to keep them warm until they are completely dry.

History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is named after the state in Mexico where the breed was actually developed. It is believed that the Toltec civilization in 9th century AD bred a small dog known as the Techichi, which resembles the modern day Chihuahua in physical attributes, although it was a bit larger according to ancient stone drawings. Through the years the breed was miniaturized, likely to be companion dogs for royalty. Currently smaller Chihuahuas are considered more desirable for most breeders and owners. The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1904.

Characteristics of the Chihuahua

Height 6-9 inches (15-23 cm)
Weight 2-6 pounds (1-3 Kg)
Lifespan 15 years
Exercise Low – regular walks
Apartment Yes
Families Yes
Young Children No –not recommended for children under 12
Need exercise space No


Health Issues with a Chihuahua

  • Major Concerns: epilepsy, luxated patellae, collapsed trachea, hydrochephalus,
  • Minor Concerns: birthing difficulties, dental problems, respiratory problems, eye infections
  • Occasionally seen: hypoglycemia, skull formation problems
  • Suggested tests: blood, respiratory, eye

All About Standard Poodles

All About Standard Poodles


Description of a Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle with its signature curly but soft coat is one of the most recognizable breeds. The Standard Poodle is a large sized dog that is very athletic, loves water and is energetic and intelligent. The head is very classic in shape with a slight stop and long ears that frame the face. They eyes are oval shaped and tend to be very dark and almost sparkle with intelligence. The muzzle is somewhat tapered and long, but still proportional. The overall shape of the Poodle is a square with the length of the body the same as the height at the withers or front shoulder. The hair on the body is clipped or may be left natural and be rather long and curly. The tail is traditionally docked but is often now left long and natural. The coat may be any solid color including such colors as apricot, café au lait, white, chocolate, black or gray. Most poodles will be clipped in an overall short cut (sports clip or puppy clip) the show cut (Continental cut) or the English saddle cut.

Temperament of a Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle is a very calm and dignified dog that still loves to get out and play with the family. They do not do well when left alone and need to be in the house with people as much as possible. They are highly intelligent and will often almost train themselves. They naturally housebreak themselves given the opportunity. Standard Poodles are patient and gentle dogs with children and are excellent companion dogs for other canines and non-canine pets. They will bark when strangers approach but are generally very accepting of people once they understand they are “safe” people. The Poodle should only be trained using positive training methods and should never be yelled at or treated harshly as they can become timid.

Grooming & Shedding of a Standard Poodle

When clipped, the Poodle has one of the easiest coats to care for. They do require regular, daily grooming to remove old and dead hair, and will need to be clipped every one and a half two months to maintain their coats. Unclipped Poodles require extensive daily grooming. Poodles need to be bathed regularly and care taken to remove all the hair from the ears to prevent wax build up and infections. All Poodles need regular home dental care and will usually require professional scaling to remove tartar from the teeth. Nails must be kept short to prevent foot problems. The Poodle does not shed as such and may be less allergic for many people.

History of the Standard Poodle

Although France lays claim to the Poodle breeds, there is some evidence that the breed may have been developed in Germany rather than France. It may have also been developed in Denmark as a hunting dog. The name Poodle is likely from the German word “Pudel”, and was used to identify these dogs because of their love for the water. Originally used as a gun and hunting dog, the Standard Poodle is still used in this capacity in some areas today. The clip that hunters used is also the traditional cut used on the breed, short on the body to lighten the weight of the coat in the water while still keeping the long hair on the legs to protect the joints from the cold water.

Health Issues for a Standard Poodle

  • Major Concerns: sebaceous adenitis, gastric torsion (bloat), Addison’s Disease (hormonal imbalance)
  • Minor Concerns: hip dysplasia, distichiasis, entropion, cataract, epilepsy
  • Occasionally seen: progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), von Willebrand’s disease (vWD)
  • Suggested tests: blood, eyes, hip, SA

Characteristics of the Standard Poodle

Height 15 (38cm) or more.
Weight Males 45-70 pounds (20-32kg)

Females 45-60 pounds (20-27kg)

Lifespan 12-15 years
Exercise Medium
Apartment Yes –with regular walks
Families Yes
Young Children Yes
Need exercise space Yes

All About Pekingese Dogs

All About Pekingese Dogs


Description of a Pekingese

This small breed of dog is often compared to a miniature lion in appearance. They have a long, straight and dense coat with a noticeable ruff or mane around the neck with makes the front half of the dog appear heavier and more substantial than the hindquarters. The face is flat with wrinkles across the nose and slightly prominent dark and lustrous eyes. The ears are heart-shaped and are folded over and held close to the head. The muzzle of the dog is darker than the rest of the body, with slightly darker coloration often visible on the hair on the ears. The hair can be any color including patterns, but the nose, lips and the skin around the eyes is always black. The body is somewhat elongated and the short legs are strong and stocky, not delicate or fine-boned in appearance. The dog is often described as having a rolling gait.

Temperament of a Pekingese

A very loyal, loving and protective dog the Pekingese is a profuse barker. They often become very bonded to one or two people and will guard them jealously, even against other family members. With proper socialization this problem is easily avoided. They are very affectionate towards their family and will love to sit with or on their masters, remaining relatively inactive when in the house. It is not a good breed to own if someone is not home most of the time as they tend to become problem barkers. Since they are possessive they are not considered a good breed with small children but will do well with older children that are gentle and kind to them. The Pekingese is not easy to train and often tries to be dominant in the family, requiring and experienced trainer. They will sometimes refuse food and may be extremely finicky eaters. They can be excellent companion dogs for other pets with proper socialization. Pekingese will often be very dog-aggressive and may not take into consideration their small size, resulting in potential serious injury.

Grooming & Shedding of a Pekingese

An average shedder, the Pekingese needs regular, daily grooming especially around the legs and hindquarters. Mats and tangles will form quickly and become impossible to brush through, requiring clipping. The eyes should be wiped with a warm cloth daily, and the hair round the muzzle will need to be cleaned after eating to avoid bacterial build-up. Care needs to be taken in keeping the hair between the pads of the feet trimmed and free from debris.

History of the Pekingese

The Pekingese was considered a manifestation of the legendary Foo Dogs that kept away evil spirits. Buddhist monks held the dogs as sacred and the Chinese nobility also believed that these small dogs were spiritual beings. The Sleeve Pekingese, the smallest of the breed was carried in the sleeves of the formal dress worn in the Forbidden City in China. In addition commoners were not allowed to own the breed and would be killed if caught owning a Pekingese. In 1860 the breed was almost eliminated as the Chinese ordered all the breed killed to avoid them falling into the hands of the invading English and French troops. Five were rescued and given to Queen Victoria, and these are the ancestors of the majority of Pekingese today.

Health Issues for a Pekingese

  • Major Concerns: patellar luxation
  • Minor Concerns: elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, KCS (dry eye), disticiasis, trichiasis, skin fold dermatitis, whelping problems
  • Occasionally seen: urolithiasis
  • Suggested tests: eye, knee

Characteristics of the Pekingese

Height 6-9 inches (30.4-45cm)
Weight 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.5kg)Under 6 pounds (2.7 kg) is a Sleeve Pekingese

Between 6-8 pounds (2.7-3.6 kg) is a Mini Pekingese

Lifespan 12-15 years
Exercise Low
Apartment Yes
Families Yes
Young Children No
Need exercise space No