Pointer

his German hunting dog was developed in the late 1800s from crossings of the German Shorthaired Pointer, Pudelpointer, Pointer, Foxhound, and other breeds. It is an excellent hunting dog both on land and in water. This is an active, hard-working dog with a strong desire to both point and retrieve. Although there are similarities between the German Wirehaired Pointer and the German Shorthaired Pointer, and the Shorthaired Pointer is an ancestor, the Wirehaired Pointer should not be considered a Shorthair with a different coat. This is an entirely different breed.

The Wirehair stands 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs 45 to 75 pounds. He is medium-sized, lean, and athletic. He has brown eyes, a brown nose, and dropped ears. The tail is docked. His coat is wiry and weather-resistant, with a dense undercoat. The coat is liver and white, with spots, ticking, or roaning.

This breed's wiry coat needs regular grooming. A breeder can demonstrate correct grooming techniques. The undercoat does shed, and between grooming sessions, the coat should be brushed twice weekly.

The Wirehaired Pointer is an active breed who needs vigorous daily exercise. He will enjoy a run alongside a bicycle or a jog with you. All exercise should be on leash or inside a fenced-in yard, as this breed enjoys hunting and can be gone in a flash.

Training should begin young because this breed can be somewhat independent and stubborn. The breed does take to training well, however, if the training is structured and firm yet fun. Socialization should also begin young, as Wirehairs can be wary of strangers.

This breed does best with an active owner who will keep the dog active as well. Left alone too much, these dogs can get into trouble. With socialization and training, Wirehairs can be good with kids, although young dogs may be rowdy. The breed is not always good with smaller dogs, cats, or other small pets. Health concerns include hip dysplasia and von Willebrand disease.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter, pointer and retriever Size: 22 to 26 in tall; 45 to 75 lbs

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

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iant Schnauzer

Pointer Retreiver Size

he Giant Schnauzer was developed in the German agricultural areas of Wurttemberg and Bavaria, as were the other two schnauzer breeds, the Standard Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer. The Giant Schnauzer was developed from the Standard Schnauzer and crossed with other drovers' dogs and the black Great Dane. Some experts believe the Bouvier des Flandres might also have been used in the breed's development. The Giant Schnauzer was used as a drover, helping to drive sheep and cattle to market, and as a guard dog for both farms and businesses. Rarely

Grooming Giant Schnauzer Head

seen outside of agricultural districts, it wasn't until World War I that the breed was discovered to be an excellent candidate for police and military training.

This breed is the largest of the three schnauzer breeds. Standing 23.5 to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 70 and 100 pounds, with females smaller than males, this large, sturdy dog is able to work hard. The Giant should look like a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer, with a body as long as the dog is tall, a head carried erect, and medium dark eyes. The ears can be cropped or left as natural button ears carried high on the head. Giant Schnauzers are all black or salt and pepper. The tail is docked.

The Giant's coat has a hard, wiry outer coat and a soft undercoat. It needs brushing and combing two to three times a week. Dogs being shown will need to be hand-stripped every four to six weeks. If you desire to do this yourself, your dog's breeder can teach you how to do it. If you're not showing your dog, he can be trimmed with clippers; a professional groomer can groom your dog for you. Bred to work and work hard, this breed needs vigorous aerobic exercise every day. A long walk morning and evening is great but is not enough. The Giant will also need a fast game of catch, a session of flyball, or a good agility training session. The Giant also makes a great carting dog, and pulling a load in the wagon is good exercise.

Training is very important for all Giant Schnauzers. These dogs will get into all kinds of trouble of their own making if not provided with guidelines for their behavior in the house and out in public. Training, especially advanced training, can help provide them with a job to do—something to keep the mind challenged.

Early puppy socialization is also important for this breed. Bred to be watchful and protective, Giants need socialization to people of all sizes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. A well-socialized dog is a well-balanced dog who is able to make a decision about protection without fear. Puppy socialization should include introductions to dogs of various sizes and breeds, too, as the breed has been known to be aggressive toward other dogs.

Giants are devoted to their family, steady, and intelligent. Young Giants can be quite rambunctious and must be taught to be gentle with younger children. They are wonderful playmates and companions for older kids. Interactions with other pets should be supervised. The breed does have some health concerns, including hip and elbow dysplasia, seizure disorders, eye problems, and hypothyroidism.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Drover, guardian Size: 23.5 to 27.5 in tall; 70

to 100 lbs Longevity: 9 to 12 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise Training: Easy; hard to keep challenged Grooming: Difficult

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olden Retriever

t his lovely golden breed was developed in Great Britain. In the mid-1800s, Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan bought his first yellow retriever, a male, whom he bred to a Tweed Water Spaniel in hopes of developing an even better bird dog. Through the years, cross-breedings were made to other Tweed Water Spaniels, Irish Setters, other retrievers, and, it is said, even a Bloodhound. Lord Tweedmouth's gamekeepers kept records of breedings from 1835 until about 1890. These records detailed the beginning of the breed that was later to be called the Golden Retriever.

Goldens stand from 21.5 to 24 inches tall and weigh about 50 to 80 pounds, with females smaller than males. Their expression is kind, eager, and alert, with dark, friendly eyes and soft, dropped ears. The body is strong, giving the appearance of being able to work in the field all day. The coat is dense and of medium length, not coarse or silky. There is a ruff around the neck and down the front of the chest and feathering on the legs and tail. The undercoat is soft. Colors range throughout the spectrum of gold, from light to dark, although extremely pale and extremely dark golds are less preferable.

Grooming a Golden is not difficult but needs to be done on a regular basis, as the feathering can mat, especially if it gets wet or picks up burrs or foxtails. Brushing and combing the dog twice a week is usually fine, although additional effort might be needed in the spring and fall when shedding is at its heaviest. The ears should be cleaned twice a week, too.

Goldens are very active, and when they don't get enough exercise, they can get into trouble. Linda Hughes, a Golden breeder and owner of two certified Golden Retriever therapy dogs, says, "My dogs get two good walks a day, morning and evening, plus playtime. When it's time for their walk, they will bug me until we go!" Hughes says that even when her dogs go on a therapy dog visit with children, they still demand their exercise walks and playtime. Goldens, by temperament, are friendly with just about everyone. Hughes says, "Goldens love all mankind! Snickers would rather you pet her than throw the ball, and the ball is her favorite toy." The breed can also be funny and silly; Goldens enjoy trick training and love to show off. Although they will bark when someone comes to the house, they cannot be counted on to be watchdogs or protectors.

Training is necessary so that the Golden puppy learns the household rules and correct social behaviors. In addition, the breed needs the mental stimulation and challenge of training. A bored Golden will get into trouble; a Golden with training and a job to do is a happy dog. Goldens also thrive in performance sports, including obedience competition, agility, flyball, flying disc, and hunt tests, as well as tracking and search and rescue. Their temperament is perfect for therapy dog work.

Goldens are excellent family dogs, although puppies can be rowdy and need to learn to be gentle with small children. They are usually quite good with other small pets. Do not trust the breed with birds! Health concerns include hip dysplasia, allergies, and eye disorders.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter, companion, performance sports Size: 21.5 to 24 in tall; 50 to 80 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Vigorous daily

Training: Easy; moderate to keep challenged Grooming: Easy to moderate

ordon Setter

ordon Setters are an old breed; black and tan setters were known in England and Scotland as early as the 1500s. In the early 1800s, the Duke of Gordon took a somewhat generic bird dog and created the versatile dog we know today.

The Gordon stands between 23 and 27 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 80 pounds. He has a chiseled head, long muzzle, dark eyes, and dropped ears. He is sturdy without being heavy. He has a long tail. The coat is straight or slightly wavy, with feathering on the tail, the back of the legs, the belly, the ears, and around the neck down to the front of the chest. The Gordon's lovely coat needs at least twice weekly combing and brushing to prevent tangles and mats. The Gordon Setter Club of America recommends daily brushing for puppies to get them used to the grooming routine.

This is a busy breed who needs vigorous daily exercise. The Gordon is an athlete and will enjoy playing flying disc, training in agility, tracking, search and rescue, playing flyball, or participating in field trials. Without enough exercise, Gordon Setters will get into trouble and can be quite inventive. All exercise should be on leash or within a fenced area; when hunting, a Gordon can be gone in a flash.

Although Gordon Setters are bright and curious, they can also be a bit stubborn. The Gordon Setter Club of America says, "Gordons are highly intelligent dogs, and basic obedience will make your dog a better companion. Although Gordons are bright, they are not blindly obedient and may seem stubborn. Firmness and consistency are the keys to handling Gordons." Socialization is also important, as these dogs may be wary of strangers.

The Gordon Setter needs an actively involved owner, preferably someone who understands the setter mentality and enjoys grooming the dog. He is great with children who treat him well. He is usually good with other dogs but may not be good with smaller pets. Health concerns include bloat and hip dysplasia.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter Size: 23 to 27 in tall; 45 to 80 lbs

Longevity: 10 to 13 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise Training: Moderate Grooming: Moderate to difficult

reat Dane

he Great Dane is not from Denmark; rather, this breed was developed in Germany, although artwork in Egypt dating back to 3000 B.C. shows dogs looking remarkably like Great Danes. The Germans used this breed to hunt wild boar. In the late 1800s, the Germans decided that the breed was to be named the Deutsche Dogge. Where the name Great Dane originated has been hotly debated. This is a giant breed, standing taller than 28 to 32 inches and weighing between 125 and 180 pounds. He has an elegant, regal yet strong appearance, with a rectangular head, medium-sized dark eyes, and a black nose. He has either folded ears or cropped upright ears. The chest is deep and the body strong and balanced. The tail is long, reaching to the hocks. The coat is short and may be brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin, or mantle (black and white). The short coat should be brushed twice weekly.

Great Dane puppies are clumsy, silly, and playful and need regular, easy exercise and several play sessions a day. Puppies should not over-exercise; doing so can cause problems with growing bones. Adult dogs are calmer, although they appreciate a walk morning and evening and a chance to play.

The Great Dane Club of America recommends early and continued socialization and training for all puppies. A Great Dane grows very rapidly (owners and trainers need to know that these dogs are very large physically while mentally still puppies), and training not only teaches him what is expected of him at home and out in public, but also teaches the owner how to control the dog. Training should be firm and structured, yet kind and fun.

The Great Dane does best with an owner who understands the needs and characteristics of a giant dog. The breed is good with children who treat the dog with respect, although puppies can be quite rough. Great Danes are usually good with other dogs. The breed has a number of health concerns, including cardio-myopathy, bloat, cancer, hip dysplasia, and wobbler's syndrome.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter, companion Size: 28 to 32+ in; 125 to

180 lbs Longevity: 8 to 10 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Moderate Grooming: Easy

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reat Pyrenees

he Great Pyrenees is also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog and Le Chien des Pyrenees. This giant livestock guardian originated in the mountains of southwestern Europe, where the breed has guarded flocks of sheep for centuries.

Great Pyrenees stand between 25 and 32 inches tall and weigh 90 to 130 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, the eyes are dark, and the ears are dropped. The body is slightly longer than the dog is tall. The tail is plumed. There are double dewclaws on each rear leg. The coat is weather-resistant and double, with a thick undercoat and a long, flat outer coat. This breed is either all white or white with markings of tan, gray, or reddish brown. This double coat needs regular brushing (at least twice a week) to keep it neat and clean. Brushing the outer coat is not sufficient; the undercoat must be brushed, too, to prevent matting. Daily brushing is needed during the spring and fall shedding seasons.

Young Pyrenees can be quite active, although adult dogs are calmer. Pyrenees owner Janine Staudt says of her dog, Ben, "He has lots of energy and needs daily walks and playtimes." This breed is not the retrieving type; the Pyrenees does not have much interest in bringing back a ball or toy. As with so many livestock guardians, this breed is more active at night.

Early socialization is very important. The Pyrenees needs to meet a variety of people and other dogs, and if he is going to be a livestock protection dog, must also be introduced to livestock. This breed is very protective, and his verbal warnings should never be disregarded. Training should also begin early and should be firm and consistent. These dogs are large and powerful, and the owner should establish leadership early.

This breed needs an owner who understands livestock guardian dogs. They bark and, if left outside at night, will bark loudly at any sound or perceived threat. Many Pyrenees also drool. Health concerns include eyelid problems, hip dysplasia, and bloat.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Livestock guardian Size: 25 to 32 in tall; 90 to

130 lbs Longevity: 9 to 11 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Needs leadership training Grooming: Moderate

reater Swiss

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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