Albert The Great Swiss Mountain

he Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, also know as a Swissy, originated in Switzerland as a versatile working dog doing herding, carting, and guard dog duty. The breed came close to extinction when machines took away several of its ancestral duties, but Dr. Albert Heim, of Zurich, was instrumental in building enthusiasm for saving the breed.

A Swissy stands between 23.5 and 28.5 inches tall and weighs between 90 and 150 pounds. The head is broad, and the muzzle is large and blunt. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark. The ears are dropped. The body is strong and muscular, and the tail reaches to the hocks. The coat is double, with a thick undercoat and a dense 2-inch outer coat. Swissies are tricolored: black with white and rust markings.

The Swissy's coat sheds, so twice weekly brushing is needed to keep it under control. In the spring and fall, when shedding is at its worst, daily brushing may be needed.

Swissy puppies are active and playful, and although some Swissies retain that sense of play when they grow up, they can also be quite serious. They are not overly active but still need regular exercise. A long, brisk walk morning and evening and a chance to play will make most Swissies happy.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America recommends early and continued socialization and training for all Swissies. The training should be structured, fair, and firm yet fun. Swissies also do well in many canine sports, including carting, weight pulling, search and rescue, tracking, and agility. In puppyhood, housetraining can be a challenge and requires patience.

The Swissy is a working dog and needs an owner who will do things with him. This dog needs to feel needed, yet also needs an owner who will be his leader. He is great with kids as long as he has been well socialized with them and the kids treat him with respect. He is not always good with strange dogs. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and epilepsy.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Versatile draft and farm dog Size: 23.5 to 28.5 in tall to 150 lbs Longevity: 9 to 11 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Challenge to housetrain Grooming: Easy; sheds

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y(/ running Greyhound is an elegant sight. With no wasted motion and a body uniquely suited to the effort, the Greyhound is the fastest dog on the planet. A well-conditioned racing Greyhound can run up to forty-five miles per hour. The Greyhound is an ancient breed, with a documented history going back at least 5,000 years. Carvings of Greyhounds, looking then like they do today, can be found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2900 B.C. The breed's popularity was not limited to the Mideast; in Elizabethan England, hare coursing with

Greyhounds was popular. In the late 1700s, when the U.S. was being explored and settled, many European immigrants brought their Greyhounds with them.

The Greyhound is first and foremost a dog made for running. He is lean, with a narrow body and a deep chest with room for the large lungs and big heart. He is well-muscled and gives the appearance of a well-conditioned athlete. The head is long and narrow, the eyes are dark and full of personality, and the ears are small and folded. The tail is long and fine. The Greyhound's coat is short and smooth and can be found in any color or color pattern.

Grooming a Greyhound is very easy. The coat should be brushed twice a week with a soft bristle brush or curry comb.

Although most Greyhounds enjoy snuggling on the sofa, they are athletes. They do need daily exercise, and a long walk morning and evening should be the absolute minimum. Designed for thousands of years to run, they should be allowed to run at least once every day. However, they should not be allowed to run outside of a fenced-in area; if a rabbit or squirrel is flushed during that run, the Greyhound will forget everything in the excitement of the chase. No amount of calling the dog to Come will break off that chase.

Greyhounds who have been adopted from a racetrack are normally well-socialized to both people and other Greyhounds. Racing Greyhounds are crate (or cage) trained and know how to walk on a leash. The adoption agencies who rescue and place these dogs usually make sure the dogs are healthy prior to placing them, and often foster homes make sure the dogs are housetrained. Once adopted, the dogs need to learn the details of living in a house, including walking up and down stairs. But they usually adapt well and can make wonderful pets.

Greyhound puppies from a breeder (non-racing) should attend a puppy class for socialization and an introduction to training. Although the Greyhound is not normally a problem breed, just as with any puppy, he can get into trouble if not supervised.

Greyhounds are very oriented to people and can be quite social but can also develop a strong attachment to one person. Tammy Zybura, owner of Moose, a rescued racer, says, "Moose is very gentle, loving, and silly. He's affectionate to everyone, but he is definitely my dog." Greyhounds are good with other dogs, especially large ones, but should be closely supervised and should be on leash when interacting with small dogs, cats, and other small pets. Greyhounds can be prone to sports injuries from running. Other health concerns include sensitivity to anesthesia, bloat, and torsion.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Sighthound, racer, companion Size: 26 to 30 in tall; 60 to 70 lbs

Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Couch potatoes who love to run Training: Easy; hard to motivate Grooming: Easy

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amer he Harrier originated in England and has not changed significantly in centuries. This is a pack scenthound used primarily to hunt hares, although packs occasionally hunted other game.

The Harrier stands between 19 and 21 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 55 pounds. The eyes are medium-sized and range from brown to yellow. The ears are dropped. The topline is level, and the chest is deep with plenty of room for the heart and lungs. The tail is long and carried high but not arched over the back. The coat is short and dense. Color is not regarded as important. The Harrier's coat is not difficult to care for; a weekly brushing is fine.

Breed expert Donna Smiley-Auborn says, "Harriers are a very active breed, requiring a lot of daily exercise. A bored, lonely Harrier may very well become a loud, destructive Harrier." A hunting Harrier could easily cover between twenty and forty miles a day. Even though many Harriers today are companions rather than hunting dogs, they still need a vigorous daily run.

Training is important for all companion dogs, Harriers included. The breed is quite food-motivated, which can make training easier. Smiley-Auborn says, "Harriers are intelligent but are not naturally obedient. They bore easily if the training is too repetitive." She also says that the breed is not recommended for first-time dog owners or trainers not familiar with the challenges of training scenthounds. However, with a motivated trainer, a Harrier can succeed in obedience and agility training.

Smiley-Auborn says, "Harriers are outgoing, friendly, gregarious, affectionate, self-willed, independent, intelligent, determined, and inquisitive." As pack hounds, they are good with other dogs and do best in a home with at least one or two other dogs. They are wonderful with children and, when raised with small pets, can be okay with them, although they will chase running animals. Health concerns include hip dysplasia and eye and thyroid problems.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter Size: 19 to 21 in tall; 45 to 55 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise Training: Challenge Grooming: Easy

Bichon Avanese

he Havanese is one of the older breeds in the Bichon family. In the 1600s, explorers, colonists, and traders brought dogs from Tennerife to Cuba, where the dogs found favor with the local aristocracy. By the 1800s, they had been taken to Europe, where they were popular with the royal families in England, France, and Spain.

The Havanese is a sturdy toy dog who stands between 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7 to 14 pounds. Her body is slightly longer than she is tall, her head is wedge-shaped, eyes are dark, and ears are dropped. Her tail is plumed and carried over the back. Her crowning glory is her silky double coat. The undercoat is soft, while the outer coat is longer, abundant, and slightly wavy. Although white is the best known color, the coat may be any color.

This coat does require some care. Daily brushing and combing will prevent tangles and mats. Show dogs should be untrimmed, but many pet owners have the coat trimmed to keep it neat and clean, especially around the genitals and under the tail.

The Havanese is playful and mischievous but not overly active. She will be happy with a nice walk and a couple of playtimes each day.

This breed is intelligent. Havanese enjoy training, especially when interspersed with playtimes. They enjoy many canine sports, especially agility. Although these dogs are more affectionate with their owners than anyone else, they are still friendly to most people. Socialization is a good idea since the breed was at one time a watchdog, although today they are more social. Havanese make wonderful therapy dogs.

The Havanese will thrive in a home with affectionate people who like to play. She is wonderful with children who treat her gently. She is good with other dogs as long as larger dogs are not too rough. She can also be very good with smaller pets. There are several major health concerns, including chrondrodysplasia, cataracts, deafness, hip dysplasia, liver disorders, and knee and skin problems.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Companion Size: 8.5 to 11.5 in tall; 7 to 14 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Low activity level Training: Moderate Grooming: Moderate; lots of combing

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ovawart t his is an old German working breed with a history that goes back to the 13 th century, although it may be even older. This versatile farm dog could herd livestock, protect them from predators, and guard the farm against predators and trespassers.

The Hovawart stands between 22 and 28 inches tall. Her weight should be in proportion to her height. Males are larger and more robust than females. The Hovawart has a broad head, amber eyes, and dropped ears. Her body is slightly longer than tall at the shoulder, with a plumed tail. She has a double coat, with a light undercoat and a medium-length outer coat that includes feathering on the legs and tail, around the neck, and down the front of the chest. The coat may be blond, black, or black and tan.

The coat should be brushed twice weekly to keep it clean and to prevent mats from forming, especially under the legs and behind the ears.

For many centuries, this breed served as a working dog with many jobs to do, and even today, the breed retains that desire to be busy. The Hovawart needs vigorous daily exercise and a chance to participate in daily activities. She will be happy to watch the kids, look for delivery drivers, and get the newspaper every morning.

These dogs are watchful and protective, so early socialization is very important. They also need early training that continues on into adulthood. Bred to work but also to think for themselves, they may have a stubborn streak, so training should be firm and structured but fun and challenging. The breed does well in many canine sports, including obedience, Schutzhund, search and rescue, tracking, and agility.

The Hovawart needs an owner who will be her leader and will challenge her with training and activities. If left alone for too many hours each day, this dog will get into trouble. She is great with kids and livestock but might not tolerate strange dogs. Health concerns are few but include hip and elbow dysplasia.

Breed in Brief

Registries: UKC, CKC Occupation: Versatile farm dog Size: 22 to 28 in tall; weight proportionate to height Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Vigorous daily

Training: Hard to keep challenged Grooming: Easy

izan Hound

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