Panish Water

he Spanish Water Dog, or Perro de Agua Espanol, is a versatile, ancient breed found on the Iberian Peninsula. For centuries, this breed was used to herd goats and sheep, but it is also a water retriever.

These dogs stand 17 to 19.5 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. The head is strong, with a slightly flat skull, hazel to chestnut colored eyes, and dropped ears. The body is slightly longer than tall, with a deep chest, and a docked or naturally bobbed tail. The coat is curly and wooly. When the coat grows in length, cords form. The coat can be white, chestnut, black, or tricolored.

The coat will grow and cord naturally, but the cords should be helped to grow without turning into mats, which can pull the skin or cause skin problems underneath. Special care must be taken when bathing the dog, too. The coat is usually shaved short once a year. Potential owners should discuss this breed's coat care with a breeder.

Breed expert Linda Kardonis says, "The SWD is an active breed. They do need their playtime; however, when one finds themselves wrapped up in the everyday chores, these dogs are naturally inclined to amuse themselves." She adds, "The SWD is always ready to entertain, to retrieve, to swim, hike, herd, or to entice you into playing a game of ball."

This is an intelligent breed. Kardonis says, "They are easy to train and have a high motivation to please." The training technique should be fun. She adds that early and continued socialization is important, as those who are not well-socialized may be overprotective or shy.

This breed needs an owner who can socialize and train the dog. The owner must be aware of the breed's grooming needs and be willing to take the time to groom the dog properly. Many breeders will not sell dogs to families with children under the age of 5, as the dogs often try to herd the kids. These dogs are also good with other dogs and smaller pets. Health concerns include eye defects, thyroid disease, and hip dysplasia.

Kathy Morton Saluki

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Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC FSS, UKC Occupation: Herder, water retriever Size: 17 to 19.5 in tall; 30 to 50 lbs

Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Daily Training: Easy Grooming: Difficult

pinone Italiano

he Spinone Italiano, or Italian Griffon, is one of the oldest griffon (wire coated) breeds, with ancestors known to be in existence more than 2,500 years ago. The breed originated in the Piedmont region of Italy. These dogs are very capable gun dogs, pointers, and enthusiastic retrievers.

These dogs stand 22 to 27 inches tall and weigh between 65 and 90 pounds. The head is long, the eyes are large, and the ears are hanging. The dog has a square build with a deep chest and a docked tail. The coat is weather-resistant, wire-haired, dense, stiff, and flat or slightly wavy. The face has eyebrows, a beard, and a mustache. Some of the acceptable colors include white, orange and white, and brown and white.

The coat needs to be brushed weekly, and once in a while will need hand-stripping to remove dead coat. Potential owners should discuss coat care with a breeder. The beard can be messy and may need daily care. This is an active breed. These dogs enjoy walks but should also have a chance to run. Many dogs of this breed have excelled in canine sports, including agility, flyball, tracking, search and rescue, and even carting. The Spinone Italiano is also an excellent swimmer.

Early socialization is very important for these dogs. Unsocialized dogs may be timid or fearful. A puppy class is a great idea, but socialization should continue into young adulthood. Happy, upbeat, and playful, these dogs thrive on training that is fun and not too repetitive. They can have a stubborn streak, though, and sometimes need additional motivation to perform a given task or exercise.

These dogs crave interaction with their people and need a situation where they are not alone for too many hours each day. When alone and bored, these dogs have been known to become escape artists, jumping fences or tunneling under them. They are great with children and are also good with other dogs. Primary health concerns include hip dysplasia and cerebellar ataxia.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Gun dog, retriever Size: 22 to 27 in tall; 65 to 90 lbs

Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise Training: Moderate Grooming: Difficult

taffordshire

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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