BREED INFORMATION

General Pet Articles

You love your pet and want what’s best for them, and we share that same goal! To help manage your animal companion’s lifestyle and keep them as happy and healthy as possible, we’ve gathered a collection of helpful pet articles that cover everything from health tips to diet and exercise to interesting stories designed to educate and entertain. Please feel free to browse our library of topics and refer back to this resource as often as you’d like.

Italian Greyhound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Piccolo Levrieri Italiani

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 500 BC

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Piccolo Levrieri Italiani

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 500 BC

Height:
  • 13 to 15 inches

Weight:
  • As little as 5 pounds

  • Up to 15 pounds

  • The average is about 8 pounds

Personality:
  • Affectionate and playful with those in its family.

  • Reserved with strangers.

  • Can be difficult to housebreak.

  • Often destructive if left alone.

  • Cannot take criticism or any harsh treatment, including sharp reprimands.

History:

The miniature version of the Greyhound has been known since the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs.  Mummies of similar dogs have been found in royal tombs.  It was popular in ancient Greece and in Rome where it found great favor.  In Italy it was refined and flowered in the Renaissance.  It is not known whether the original Italian Greyhound was used for hunting game.  However, the modern dog is strictly a decorative, companion animal.  The list of monarchs that fancied the breed is long:  James I of England, Anne of Denmark, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia, and Queen Victoria of England.  Italian Greyhounds have been listed in the American Kennel Club (AKC) stud books since 1886 but it was not until 1950 that as many as 50 were registered in a single year.

Body Type:
  • A miniature Greyhound.

  • Rose ears are thin and carried close to the neck in repose.  Ears are semi pricked when alert.  They are not altered.

  • The long tail is held down, often tucked between legs.  It is not altered.

  • The Italian Greyhound differs in its walking gait from the other sighthounds.  It has a spirited high stepping prance.

Coat:
  • Short, thin and glossy.  Feels like satin.

  • All colors permissible with any markings except the black and tan patterning or any sort of brindle.

  • Minimal grooming.

  • Very little shedding.

Health and Wellness:
  • Fairly healthy breed.

  • Slender legs break easily.

  • Joint problems such as dislocations and deterioration of the ball and socket of hip.

  • Intolerant of cold.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy.

  • Hemangiomas (actinic).

  • Hemangiosarcomas.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, actinic).

What you should know:
  • A mild mannered, small, elegant dog without the spoiled nature of some toys.

  • The Italian Greyhound does not like rough play.

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Japanese Bobtail Longhair

Personality:
  • Inquisitive and people-oriented.

  • Active and talkative.

  • Soft voices with a wide...

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Personality:
  • Inquisitive and people-oriented.

  • Active and talkative.

  • Soft voices with a wide range in pitch.

  • The ratio of shorthaired over longhaired offspring is 4:1.

History:

Imported from China or Korea into Japan at least 1,000 years ago.  Featured in Japan’s ancient prints and paintings.  Imported to United States in 1968 with all registered Japanese Bobtails able to trace their ancestry back to the original imports.  Accepted for championship in the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) in 1976.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized, well-muscled cat that is slender rather than massive.

  • Long, finely-chiseled head with high cheekbones and large, wide-set ears.

  • Corkscrew tail is no longer than three to four inches, with the hair fanning out to form a pom pom.

  • Eyes are large, oval, set at a pronounced slant, and complement coat color.

Coat:
  • Coat is medium long, soft, silky, and without undercoat.

  • Preferred color is the mi-ke (mee-kay) which is white, black, and red and is customarily found only in females.

  • Contrasting colors and bold markings are preferred.

  • All colors are accepted with the exception of a Siamese point pattern and agouti.

Health and Wellness:
  • Genetically linked defects have not been reported in this breed.

What you should know:
  • The unique tails of Japanese Bobtails are somewhat delicate and must not be handled roughly.

  • Usually have litters of four kittens that are extremely large at birth.

  • Low kitten mortality and high disease resistance.

  • Because the Longhaired Japanese Bobtail is still very rare, there may be a brief waiting period before a kitten can be acquired.

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Japanese Chin

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Japanese Spaniel

  • Chins 

Country/Date of origin:
  • Japan

  • 8th century

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Japanese Spaniel

  • Chins 

Country/Date of origin:
  • Japan

  • 8th century

Height:
  • 9 inches

Weight:
  • 4 to 7 pounds

Personality:
  • This true canine aristocrat seems to have been born with impeccable manners.

  • Chins are never aggressive.

  • Sweet and loving with family but reserved with strangers.

History:

There is no doubt that this breed descended from the Chinese Pekingese.  The first to reach Japan were probably tribute gifts from one emperor to another.  In Japan, each noble family kept a strain that was guarded in its purity for over a 1,000 years.  Commodore Perry brought the first of the tiny dogs out of Japan in the mid 1880′s.  At first they were called Japanese Spaniels, but the name was officially changed in 1977 to reflect the fact that this is not a sporting dog.

Body Type:
  • A small, profusely-coated, snub-nosed, Oriental breed similar to the Pekingese.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Tail is carried over the back like a plume.  It is not altered.

Coat:
  • Long, silky coat with no curl or wave.

  • Definite ruff around neck and feathering on ears, thighs and tail.

  • Colors may be black and white, or red and white.

  • Red can range from pale lemon to a bright orange.

  • Especially prized is a spot in the middle of the skull, which is said to be Buddha’s thumbprint which was left when he blessed the breed.

  • High maintenance.

  • Hair tangles easily.

Health and Wellness:
  • Cryptorchidism.

  • Chondrodysplasia.

  • Patella luxation.

What you should know:
  • Chins exhibit a dainty, catlike grace.  They dance rather than walk.

  • Both Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandria of England had Chin pets.

  • Chins will not take rough handling.

  • The Japanese Chin has definite likes and dislikes.

  • Rarely, if ever, will it forget either friend or foe.

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Karelian Bear Dog

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bjornhund

  • Karjalankarhukoira

Country/Date of origin:
  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bjornhund

  • Karjalankarhukoira

Country/Date of origin:
  • Finland

  • 1600′s

Height:
  • 18 to 23 inches

Weight:
  • 44 to 50 pounds

Personality:
  • This is a one-person dog.

  • Brave, determined, and fierce.

  • Very self-confident.

  • Aggressive towards strangers.

  • Quarrelsome with other dogs.  Will attack.

History:

A Spitz-type dog, the Karelian Bear Dog was used by the early Finnish settlers to hunt bear, lynx and wolf.  It was used in vast numbers at the turn of the 20th century and was recognized by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1935.  The striking black and white markings and light colored eyes make the dog distinctive in appearance but it has not gotten very popular outside of Scandinavia because of its fierce and quarrelsome nature.  This makes a good dog to take against bears but a difficult one to live with, especially in cities and suburban areas.

Body Type:
  • Spitz-like in appearance.

  • The tail is high set and carried in an arch over the back.  It is not altered, but some are born with a bobtail.

  • The ears are carried erect and are not altered.

  • Eyes are light in color, usually yellow, adding a piercing stare to the already intense attention the dog gives to its surroundings.

Coat:
  • Not as profuse or long as other sled-dog types, but thick.

  • Harsh in texture.

  • The acceptable color is black with white markings on the muzzle, neck, chest, legs, and tip of the tail.

  • Moderate grooming required.

  • Seasonal shedding.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally robust.

What you should know:
  • Not recommended as a family pet or for the first time dog owner.

  • Extremely hard to obtain outside its native country.

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Kerry Blue Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Irish Blue Terrier

  • Silver-haired Irish Terrier

Country/Date of ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Irish Blue Terrier

  • Silver-haired Irish Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ireland

  • 19th century

Height:
  • Females:  17-1/2 to 19 inches

  • Males:  18 to 19-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 33 to 40 pounds

Personality:
  • Very outgoing and friendly with people.

  • An excellent guard dog, the Kerry will bark an alarm and will defend his property.

  • Convinced he is in the right, a Kerry will not back down from a fight.

  • Not recommended for home with other dogs or cats.

  • Assertive in personality, the Kerry is often difficult to train.

History:

In the southern mountains of Ireland, farmers kept an all-around working and utility terrier.  This blue-coated worker came to be known as the Kerry Blue Terrier, for the county where it came to prominence.  It was used for hunting small game and birds (retrieving on land and water), eliminating vermin, and herding cattle and sheep.  As a watchdog for the farm, the Kerry is second-to-none.  Although the Kerry Blue is hundreds of years old as a purebred, it did not come to the attention of international fanciers until the 1920′s.  After acceptance by the kennel clubs of Ireland and England, it gained recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1924.

Body Type:
  • A long-legged terrier with a stocky, solid build.

  • V-shaped ears hang forward on the head and are not altered.

  • Erect tail is docked.

Coat:
  • Unusual, single coat of silky softness is unusually dense and wavy.

  • Blue, described as silver and steel ranges from light, silver gray to slate, and is the only color permissible.

  • Requires professional grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Entropion (turned in eyelids).

  • Skin tumors.

  • Eye problems especially tear deficiencies.

What you should know:
  • The non-shedding coat makes the Kerry an excellent choice for those with allergies.

  • Also free from doggy odors.

  • Puppies are born black and gradually fade to blue over a period of 18 months.

  • A extremely active dog that needs daily exercise.

  • Long-lived and retains vigor throughout its life.

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Jack Russell Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Parson Jack Russell Terrier

  • Hunt Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Parson Jack Russell Terrier

  • Hunt Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • 10 to 13 inches

Weight:
  • 11 to 15 pounds

Personality:
  • The quintessential terrier.

  • Alert, active, and feisty.

  • Noisy.

  • Always ready for a romp.

  • As a pack hunter, it tends to get along well with other dogs, although it seems to relish a good scrap from time to time.

  • Jack Russells have so much hunting instinct they are difficult to train in basic obedience.

  • They mean well but they are just so busy they can’t spare the time it takes to pay attention to you.

History:

This is the working terrier.  For 250 years it has been the dog of choice of masters of Foxhounds and serious terrier men.  The breed was already well established when Parson John Russell (1795-1883) popularized them.  Everything about the Jack Russell is designed with fox hunting in mind.  In short, where the fox can go, the Jack Russell must be able to go.  The color is a white ground so that Foxhounds can distinguish the dogs from the dark colored fox or badger when they emerge from the dens.  The Jack Russell has the necessary courage, intelligence, and determination to do its job.  It is the working cousin to the more gentrified Fox Terrier that one sees in shows.

Body Type:
  • A rugged, well-balanced, rather small, go-to-ground terrier.

  • Button ears are not altered.

  • Tail is docked.

Coat:
  • Coat may be smooth, broken, or rough.

  • Color should be predominantly white, with tan, black, or brown markings.

  • Moderate grooming.

  • These terriers are not prettied-up for shows.

Health and Wellness:
  • Congenital deafness.

  • Myasthenia gravis.

  • Legg-Perthes disease.

  • Patella luxation.

  • Atopy.

  • Demodicosis.

What you should know:
  • Although it is not registered in either the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC), the Jack Russell is extremely popular in the United States.

  • It is a wonderful little terrier that has a special affinity for horses.

  • Type varies widely from longer-legged roughs to short-legged smooths.

  • The physical type is not fixed, but nobody seems to care as long as they can do their job underground.

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Japanese Bobtail Shorthair

Personality:
  • Active, intelligent cats that love human companionship.

  • Curious, bold, and alert.

    ...
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Personality:
  • Active, intelligent cats that love human companionship.

  • Curious, bold, and alert.

  • Soft voices with a wide range in pitch.

History:

Imported from China or Korea into Japan at least 1,000 years ago.  Featured in Japan’s ancient prints and paintings.  Imported to the United States in 1968 with all registered Japanese Bobtails able to trace their ancestry back to the original imports.  Accepted for championship in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1976.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized, well-muscled cat that is slender rather than massive.

  • Long, finely-chiseled head with high cheekbones and large, wide-set ears.

  • Corkscrew tail is no longer than three to four inches, with the hair fanning out to form a pom pom.

  • Eyes are large, oval, set at a pronounced slant, and complement coat color.

Coat:
  • Coat is medium short in length, soft, and silky.

  • Preferred color is the mi-ke (mee-kay) which is white, black, and red and is customarily found only in females.

  • Contrasting colors and bold markings are preferred.

  • All colors are accepted with the exception of a Siamese point pattern and agouti.

Health and Wellness:
  • Genetically linked defects have not been reported in this breed.

What you should know:
  • The unique tails of Japanese Bobtails are somewhat delicate and must not be handled roughly.

  • Usually have litters of four kittens that are extremely large at birth.

  • Low kitten mortality and high disease resistance.

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Javanese

Personality:
  • Talkative, people-loving cats that enjoy sitting on laps and shoulders.

  • ...
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Personality:
  • Talkative, people-loving cats that enjoy sitting on laps and shoulders.

  • Demonstrative, playful, and affectionate.

  • Dog-like in their devotion and behavior.

  • Easily trained to fetch and walk on a leash.

  • Like to participate in all household activities.

History:

Created by cat fanciers who wanted a Balinese (longhaired Siamese) cat with a wide variety of colorpoint possibilities beyond the traditional point colors of seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac.  Breed was primarily created by crossing Balinese with Colorpoint Shorthairs.  Named for the island of Java, the next island over from Bali.  Accepted for championship in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1986.  In The International Cat Association (TICA), all longhaired Siamese in all colorpoint possibilities are considered as Balinese—there is no separate Javanese breed in that association.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized with long, svelte lines, fine bones and firm muscles.

  • Plume like tail.

  • Head is a long, tapering wedge with large pointed ears.

  • Deep blue eyes are almond shaped.

Coat:
  • Coat is medium long, fine, silky, and without undercoat.

  • Mask, ears, legs, feet, and tail are pointed.

  • Long coat does not mat and sheds less than many shorthaired breeds.

  • Body is a contrasting pale color that darkens slightly as the cat matures.

  • Kittens are born white, developing colorpoints when they are a week to 10 days old.

  • Color points include red, cream, seal-lynx, chocolate lynx, blue-lynx, lilac-lynx, red-lynx, chocolate-tortie lynx, blue-cream lynx, lilac-cream lynx, cream lynx, seal-tortie, chocolate-tortie, blue-cream, and lilac cream.

  • Some colors exhibit thumbprint marks on the backs of their ears.

Health and Wellness:
  • Some lines have a tendency toward gingivitis.  Preventive dental care and early detection keep this condition under control.

What you should know:
  • Since Javanese are hybrids with Siamese in their background, they sometimes have kinked tails and/or crossed eyes.  These defects do not affect the well being of the cat.

  • Minimal dander makes this breed easier to tolerate by some people with allergies.

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Keeshond

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Dutch Barge Dog

  • Wolf Spitz

  • Chien Loup

Country/Date of origin:
  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Dutch Barge Dog

  • Wolf Spitz

  • Chien Loup

Country/Date of origin:
  • Netherlands

  • 1500′s

Height:
  • 17 to 18 inches

Weight:
  • 55 to 66 pounds

Personality:
  • A delightful little companion.

  • Loyal, alert and protective.

  • Intelligent but quite stubborn.

History:

The Keeshond is named after Cornelis “Kees” de Gyselaer, the leader of the Dutch rebels who rose up against the House of Orange in the late 18th century.  The King used the Pug as his symbol, so de Gyselaer chose his own dog to be the symbol of the revolution.  The dog became known as the dog of Kees or Keeshond.  It made the Keeshond famous.  Of course, being the symbol of a political movement can have its drawbacks, too.  When the monarchy regained power, the Keeshond disappeared from the cities.  A few of the barge captains kept it as a guard dog, and as a result it got its other name, the Dutch Barge Dog.  The present day Keeshond was first shown at a dog show in Holland in 1891.  A breed standard was drawn up in 1933 in its native land, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) did not approve one until 1949.

Body Type:
  • Typical Northern sled-dog type of medium size.

  • The fairly long, plume tail is tightly curled over the back and is not altered.  A double curl is most desirable.

  • The high set ears are small and erect.  They are not altered.

Coat:
  • The bushy, double coat consists of a thick, downy undercoat and a long, straight outercoat that stands well away from the body.

  • Reflecting the dog’s oft used descriptive name, Wolf Spitz, the Keeshond is gray.  It sports a pale gray or cream undercoat with an outercoat that is a mixture of gray and black hairs.

  • The neck has a heavy ruff of longer hair and the long feathering on the legs resembles britches.

  • The feet and face have short soft hair.

  • Characteristic dark markings frame the face with spectacles.

  • Requires frequent brushing.

  • Seasonal shedding may overwhelm the owner.

Health and Wellness:
  • Tetralogy of Fallot.

  • Ventricular septal defect.

  • Renal dysplasia.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy.

  • Alopecia X.

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism.

  • Melanoma.

What you should know:
  • Pronounce the name kayshond.

  • The plural of Keeshond is Keeshonden, utilizing the Dutch form.

  • Puppies are born black, or seal brown, and fade to white by four months.

  • The wolf markings may take 18 months to develop.

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Komondor

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 800′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 800′s

Height:
  • Females:  from 25-1/2 inches

  • Males:  from 27-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  from 80 pounds

  • Males:  from 100 pounds

Personality:
  • Strictly a one-man dog. Even then, there is often a struggle for dominance.

  • Dignified.

  • Only puppies romp and play.

  • Suspicious and uneasy in strange environments.

  • Do not seek friendship and do not tolerate being insulted either.

  • Quiet.  Komondorok hardly ever bark.  This makes them very dangerous, as they do not warn before attacking.

History:

The Komondor and the Kuvasz (the two large, white, sheep dogs of Hungary), were first used by the nomadic Magyars to protect their herds from predators, both animal and human.  These giant guardians are always white, a color that allowed the shepherd to tell his dogs from the wolves which were darker in color.  The actual origin of the breed is obscure, but Hungarians say they have guarded the herds since the beginning of time, and leave it at that.  Old drawings show us that the Komondor has not changed much in the last five hundred years.

Body Type:
  • A very large, sheep-guarding breed with a unique coat of shaggy cords that hides its expression and intentions.

  • The natural tail is long and never altered.

  • Medium-sized, hanging ears are not altered.

  • Komondors do not move their ears, even when they are on alert.

Coat:
  • Unusual double coat resembles long, white ribbons of felted or matted material.  It consists of a coarse outercoat and soft, woolly undercoat that intertwine to form tassel-like cords.

  • It is parted in the middle and hangs down over the head, body, and legs.

  • Color is always white.

  • Grooming is very demanding.  However, Komondorok should not be brought to a professional groomer.  They do not like strangers and may attack without warning.

Health and Wellness:
  • Prone to hip dysplasia.

  • Bloat.

  • Eye irritations.

What you should know:
  • Komondor means somber or angry.

  • In Hungarian, the plural of Komondor is Komondorok.

  • It may take three years to grow a full, show coat and it takes two full days (of sunshine ) to dry a Komondor after bathing.

  • An explosion in the coyote population and a reluctance to use poison baits has led to a renaissance in the use of the Komondor as a flock guardian in the United States.

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Korat

Personality:
  • Will try to be the dominant cat in a multi-pet household.

  • Intelligent, gentle,...

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Personality:
  • Will try to be the dominant cat in a multi-pet household.

  • Intelligent, gentle, quiet, and affectionate with their owners.

  • Extraordinary powers of hearing, sight, and scent.

  • Not as vocal as their Siamese cousins.

  • Protective of their humans and household.

History:

Considered to be the native cat of Thailand where it is a symbol of good luck.  Earliest picture of a Korat is found in the ancient book of paintings and verses known as The Cat-Book Poemsin Bangkok’s National Library.  In 1959, the first known pair of Korats were imported into the United States.  Accepted for championship in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) 1966.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized with muscular, hard bodies and broad chests.

  • Back is carried in a curve.

  • Head is heart shaped with large, rounded ears.

  • Green eyes are large and luminous.

Coat:
  • Single coat is short, glossy, and fine.

  • Hair does not float off, making them easier to tolerate by some people with allergies.

  • Silver-blue base color with silver tips creates a halo effect.

Health and Wellness:
  • Because of the limited gene pool, Korat breeders have had a difficult time eliminating kinked tails and/or white lockets from their breed.

  • Although these defects do not affect the well being of the cat, they are grounds for disqualification in the show ring.

  • Some lines have indicated problems with gangliosidosis, a condition caused by an enzyme deficiency.  Can cause severe neurological degeneration.

What you should know:
  • If the pedigree of a Korat cannot be traced back to Thailand, it is not a true Korat.

  • It is a myth that these cats were developed as fighting cats.  The Korat is a lover, not a fighter.

  • The best age to purchase a Korat kitten is between three and five months of age.

  • Because they bond so strongly with their owners, older kittens and cats may have difficulty adjusting to a new home.

  • Considered to be a rare breed.

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Kuvasz

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 1200′s

Height:
  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 1200′s

Height:
  • Females:  26 to 28 inches

  • Males: 28 to 30 inches 

Weight:
  • Females:  70 to 90 pounds

  • Males:  100 to 115 pounds 

Personality:
  • Highly intelligent and easily trained for guard duties, which is the breed’s natural bent.

  • Loyal to owner but hostile to strangers.

  • If mistreated or if a warning is ignored, this breed can be ferocious and uncontrollable.

  • Territorial and not inclined to roam.

History:

The Kuvasz and the Komondor, the two large white sheep dogs of Hungary, were first used by the nomadic Magyars to protect their herds from thieves and wild animals.  While the Komondor is unique, breeds related to the Kuvasz can be found all over the world.  In all these breeds, the color of the dogs is either yellowish white or cream.  This enabled the shepherd to tell his guard dogs from the wolves, which were darker in color.  It is difficult, even for experienced dog people to tell the Hungarian Kuvasz from the Italian Maremma and the Polish Owczarek Podhalanski at a glance.  The white, herd guardian is both strong and agile, as befits a dog designed to kill wolves.  The various strains of the working dogs, which were passed from father to son and rarely left the villages where they were born, were registered beginning in 1905.  At first, the breed underwent a surge in popularity but it barely managed to survive the storm of World War II.  Dedicated dog lovers searched the country for the few surviving Kuvasz and started breeding efforts again in the late 1940′s.  In 1960, a standard was finally drawn up and it was accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1963.

Body Type:
  • Very large dog of sturdy, muscular build.

  • The tail is long and carried low.  It is never altered.

  • The drop ears hang slightly forward and close to the head.  They are not altered.

  • Eyes are almond shaped, giving the dog an oriental expression.

Coat:
  • Thick, double coat is longer on the neck, legs, and tail.

  • May be slightly wavy.

  • Color is pure white or ivory.

  • Sheds heavily in warm weather.

  • Needs moderate grooming.

  • The coat does not mat without attention.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally quite healthy.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Congenital deafness.

What you should know:
  • In Turkish, kuvasz means protector.

  • Kuvasz are incredibly agile for such a big dog.

  • Not recommended as a breed for the first-time dog owner.

  • The bark is deep and menacing.  Often, this is enough to frighten a thief away.

  • In olden times, the Kuvasz wore a leather collar that had nails protruding from it to protect their neck from wolf bites.

  • Kuvasz do not tolerate unjust or undeserved punishment.

  • It is not wise to interfere with their possessions.

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Lagotto Romagnolo

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Truffle Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 1300′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Truffle Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 1300′s

Height:
  • 16 to 19 inches

Weight:
  • 24 to 35 pounds

Personality:
  • Friendly and playful.

  • Gets along well with other pets.

  • Very intelligent and anxious to please.

History:

The Lagotto Romagnolo’s origins lie in the marshlands of northeast Italy where it was used as a sporting retriever.  As these wetlands disappeared, the dogs found a new vocation as a truffle sniffer.  Truffles, an underground fungus, are worth more per pound than gold and the dogs who could detect them were obviously worth their weight in gold, too.  It is one of the few, if not only, breeds that have an affinity for this lucrative work.  The Lagotto, with its remarkable nose and strong desire to do the truffle hunter’s bidding, was guarded closely for centuries.  The breed, with its looks reminiscent of the Barbet and Poodle, has changed little over the years.  The perky little workers are enjoying their own Italian renaissance today.

Body Type:
  • Has a Poodle-like appearance.

  • The tail is long and carried erect when the dog is interested in something.  It is not altered.

  • The hanging ears are not altered.

Coat:
  • Short, thick, and woolly with tight curls on the body and looser curls on the head and ears.

  • Allowed colors are white or off-white, with or without liver brown patches and ticking; liver brown or liver roan; or, orange.

  • Moderate grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • None that are known.

What you should know:
  • Non-shedding.

  • A bright and lively dog that has been overlooked by the international fancy.

  • These dogs were so closely guarded because of their work as truffle hunters that they are practically unknown.

  • A puppy will be difficult to locate and expensive to purchase.

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Lhasa Apso

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bark Lion Sentinel Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Tibet

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bark Lion Sentinel Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Tibet

  • 600′s

Height:
  • 10 to 11 inches

Weight:
  • 13 to 15 pounds

Personality:
  • Very alert and watchful.

  • Suspicious of strangers and will bark an alarm.

  • Independent and stubborn.

  • Loyal and faithful to family.

History:

In the holy city of Lhasa, there is a beautiful palace called Potala and there the high priest called the Dalai Lama sat on the Lion Throne of Tibet.  His palace guardians were tiny watchdogs bred to resemble the sacred lion that is believed to be the protector of Buddha.  An ancient breed, and probably foundation stock for some of the Chinese dogs, the Lhasa didn’t reach the West until the 1920′s when the Dalai Lama gave some as a gift to an English doctor.  The breed made its way across the Atlantic via Britain, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.

Body Type:
  • A small dog whose long, flowing coat completely hides its face.

  • The plume tail is carried high over the back and is never altered.

  • The hanging ears are not altered.

Coat:
  • A double coat, with a topcoat that is heavy, straight and rather hard.   The undercoat is moderate.

  • Long in length, the coat touches the ground and is parted down the back.

  • All colors are acceptable.  Golden or lion colors are preferred.

  • Grooming is very high maintenance.  Daily brushing is required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Porto-systemic shunt.

  • Epiphora.

  • Inguinal hernia.

  • Renal dysplasia.

  • Urolithiasis (oxalate and struvite).

  • Patella luxation.

  • Atopy.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

  • Mitral insufficiency.

  • Skin tumors.

What you should know:
  • A translation of the Tibetan name is Bark Sentinel Lion Dog.

  • Slow to mature, but long-lived and ages gracefully.

  • Lhasas are a watch dog that seems to have an uncanny ability to distinguish friend from foe.

  • Lhasas are not lap dogs or companion animals. They are guard animals by nature.

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Maine Coon

Personality:
  • Gentle, dignified, and sociable.
  • Eager to be involved in household activities.
  • ...
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Personality:
  • Gentle, dignified, and sociable.
  • Eager to be involved in household activities.
  • Exceptionally good with dogs.
  • Slow maturing, often not reaching full development until five-years of age.
History:

This official Maine state cat is most likely the descendant of cats brought to North America by European colonists.  Shown at the very first American cat show in 1895, winning Best in Show.  Almost disappeared with the introduction of the Persian and Turkish Angora.  Re-established by devoted breeders in the 1970′s and by 1980 was accepted by all cat associations for championship status.

Body Type:
  • Large, broad-chested cat with a long rectangular body and substantial bone structure.
  • Head is suitable for capturing prey, with high cheekbones and a slightly concave nose.
  • Ears are large and well tufted.
  • Eyes are large and slant upward.
Coat:
  • Silky coat is heavy, long, and shaggy with britches, ruff, and a flowing tail.
  • Shown in five color classes:  solid (white, black, blue, red and cream), tabby (classic, mackerel, and patched), tabby with white, parti-color (tortoiseshell and calico), and shaded/smokes.
Health and Wellness:
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Patella luxation.
What you should know:
  • Minimal dander makes Maine Coons easier to tolerate by some people with allergies.
  • These cats need regular grooming to look their best.
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Korean Jindo

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Korea

  • 1800′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Korea

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 17 to 24 inches

Weight:
  • 40 to 45 pounds

Personality:
  • Excellent watch dog.

  • Has a strong, territorial instinct.

  • Very loyal.

  • Much less aggressive than the closely related Shiba Inu.

  • Very independent nature.

History:

A medium-sized member of the Spitz-family of dogs that is spread across Asia and northern Europe.  The Jindo was isolated on the Korean island of the same name for centuries, where it was used as a guard animal and a hunter.  In a pack, the Jindos tracked and attacked big game such as deer.  They also had the speed and agility to catch small game alone.  In their homeland they are sometimes used to course hares.  The breed appeared in the West first in France and has since made its way to the United States.

Body Type:
  • The tail is carried curled over the body and is not altered.

  • The erect, triangle ears incline slightly forward and are not altered.

Coat:
  • Plush, hard, and straight with a soft undercoat.

  • Allowed colors are red, fawn, and white.

  • Moderate grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • None known at present.

What you should know:
  • This is a very rare breed and a puppy will be difficult to find.

  • Expect to pay a high price for this fad dog of the moment.

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Labrador Retriever

Other names/Nicknames:
  • St. John’s Newfoundland

  • Lesser Newfoundland

  • Lab 

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • St. John’s Newfoundland

  • Lesser Newfoundland

  • Lab 

Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • Females:  21 to 22 inches

  • Males:  23 to 24 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  55 to 70 pounds

  • Males:  65 to 85 pounds

Personality:
  • Non-aggressive towards people.

  • This breed is fond of everyone.

  • Hard to say anything bad about this breed.

  • It is so outstanding in every way that its popularity is well deserved.

  • Loves the rough and tumble of juvenile games and is a superb ballplayer.

  • Slightly more serious and a little less outgoing than the Golden Retriever.

  • Labs have a very long puppy phase (often behaving like a puppy until 2 or 2-1/2 years of age) and can be terrible chewers during this time.

History:

In spite of the name, this breed was developed in Newfoundland as a fisherman’s helper, retrieving game from the sea, hauling boats, and pulling in nets.  The breed retains its love for the water.  The original dogs were black; the yellow color was the result of recessive genes at the E locus (a genetic phenomenon seen in many breeds, including golden retrievers) and called a “sport.”  The chocolate coat is a recessive color to black.  This resulted in the chocolate coat being very uncommon.  The breed earned its popularity in England from the Earl of Malmesbury who gave it the name Labrador and worked it on his estate.

Body Type:
  • A stocky, short-coupled, solid gun dog of the retriever type.

  • Tail that resembles an otter’s.  It is not altered.

  • Short ears hang close to the head and are not altered.

Coat:
  • Smooth, harsh, double coat.

  • Water repellent.

  • Black, chocolate or yellow colors permitted.

  • Minimal grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Obesity if not given enough exercise.

  • Hip dysplasia

  • Elbow dysplasia

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat)

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

  • Metabolic bone disease

  • Tricuspid dysplasia

  • von Willebrand’s disease

  • Idiopathic epilepsy

  • Chronic hepatitis

  • Atopy

  • Food allergy

  • Mast cell tumor

  • Addison’s disease

  • laryngeal paralysis

  • Progressive retinal atrophy

  • Acral lick dermatitis

  • Cushing’s syndrome (PDH and AT)

  • Melanoma

  • Osteosarcoma

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (digit, black Labs)

  • Oral fibrosarcoma.

  • Oral melanoma.

What you should know:
  • The most popular dog in America.

  • There are more than two million working gun dogs, “search and rescue” dogs, and countless pets, guide dogs, and police dogs.

  • In England, a Labrador Retriever Show Champion that earns a working ability certificate is upgraded to a Champion.  They can achieve the Champion title without passing any working test.

  • Black and yellow are both popular colors and chocolate is a distant third.

  • Labs require a lot of exercise or they become destructive.

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Lakeland Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cumberland Terrier

  • Patterdale Terrier (although there is...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cumberland Terrier

  • Patterdale Terrier (although there is another by that name now)

  • Lakies

     
Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • Female:  13-1/2 inches

  • Male:  14-1/2 inches

     
Weight:
  • 15 to 17 pounds

Personality:
  • A friendly, cock-of-the walk attitude.

  • Alert nature makes the Lakeland a good watchdog.

  • Typical terrier stubbornness may make him difficult to housebreak.

  • Tends to bark excessively.

  • Active and requires a great deal of exercise.

  • Argumentative with other dogs, and death to cats and other small, furry critters.

History:

Developed in the lake district of the north England, the Lakeland has strong working roots.  Farmers trained the little terriers to attack foxes, which raided their sheep.  Fox hunts often carried Lakeland Terriers to use as the go-to-ground terrier to root the fox out of its lair.  In the early 20th century, the breed was standardized.  In 1921,  it began to be shown as the Lakeland Terrier in England.  Known for their courage and endurance, the Lakies were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1934.  It remains relatively unspoiled, never having achieved great popularity.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, rough-coated terrier with lavish eyebrows and beard.

  • Erect tail is docked.

  • Ears are folded forward and not altered.

Coat:
  • The workman-like, weatherproof coat is double,  with the outer hard and wiry and the undercoat soft.

  • Allowed colors are blue and tan, wheaten, and red (the most commonly seen color).

  • Requires professional grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Lens luxation of the eye.

  • Dry skin problems if kept indoors.

What you should know:
  • In 1967, Stingray of Derrybah (a champion Lakeland) won both Crufts (England’s most prestigious show) and Westminster (America’s top show).  He is the only dog, any breed, to have ever won the double crown.

  • One of the champions of this seldom seen breed is the entertainer Bill Cosby.

  • Puppies often have a soft, curly coat.  This disappears by the time the dog matures.

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Lowchen

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little Lion Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • France

  • 1500′s

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little Lion Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • France

  • 1500′s

Height:
  • 10 to 13 inches

Weight:
  • 8 to 18 pounds

Personality:
  • An affectionate, lively, little, lap dog.

  • Bred to please, the Lowchen seems to have built in good manners.

  • Very intelligent and wants to please.

  • Easily trained.

History:

The Löwchen is a member of the Bichon group of dogs that contains the Maltese, Bichon Frise, and Havanese.  The Löwchen has been the cherished and pampered pet of nobility for almost five centuries.  The custom of clipping the dog to look like a little lion is an old one and is found in paintings from the 1500′s.  If a knight did not have the good fortune to die in battle, he was depicted in paintings with one of the little lion dogs at his feet to symbolize his courage and bravery.  The tiny dogs, the darlings of the French court, dropped in popularity at the same time as the nobility.  They are enjoying a renaissance at the present time.  Imported into the United States about 25 years ago, it has gained enough supporters to be accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) Miscellaneous class in June of 1995.

Body Type:
  • A tiny dog in the Bichon group that is trimmed to resemble a lion.

  • Tail is carried high, curling forward over the back. It is shaved, except for the hair on the end, which is left long to resemble the tassel on a lion’s tail.

  • Ears are hanging and lay flat against the head.

Coat:
  • A long, silky coat that is shaved and trimmed in a pattern to make the dog look like a lion.  This is required for the show ring.

  • Professional grooming required to keep the distinctive clip.

  • Any color or combination of colors is allowed.

  • Nonshedding.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally healthy, although greatly inbred.

  • Eye irritations caused by hair.

  • Subluxated patellas.

  • Skin irritations on shaved areas.

What you should know:
  • Löwchens were used like little, hairy, hot-water bottles.  They would crawl under the bedcovers and stay very still, with their shaved skin next to cold feet or hands.

  • Freeway, an unclipped Löwchen that appeared on the television show Hart to Hart, gave the breed a popularity boost.

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Maltese

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bichon Maltaise

  • Melita

Country/Date of origin:
  • Malta

  • 500 ...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bichon Maltaise

  • Melita

Country/Date of origin:
  • Malta

  • 500 BC

Height:
  • 5 inches

Weight:
  • 4 to 6 pounds

Personality:
  • Sweet and sassy.

  • Gentle mannered and bred for centuries to be a pleasing companion.

  • Very strong-willed and not easily trained.

  • Does not get along well with other pets.

  • Wants to be king of the household.

  • Minimal exercise.

History:

One of the oldest of the toy breeds, the Maltese was the plaything of highborn ladies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and imperial Rome.  It is thought that Phoenician traders brought these dogs to the Isle of Malta in about 1,500 BC, where they flourished.  Maltese are probably the foundation stock for many of the little white dogs such as the Bichon, Havanese, and Bolognese.  It was one of the original breeds shown at American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned shows.

Body Type:
  • A toy dog covered from head-to-foot with a cloak of long, white hair.

  • Lively in action.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Tail is covered with exceptionally long hair and is carried over the back.  It is not altered.

Coat:
  • Long, silky coat is always straight and should reach the ground.

  • Only allowed color is white.

  • Eyes, eye rims, and nose must be black to contrast with the snowy coat.

  • High maintenance coat tangles easily.

  • Head hair may be tied in a topknot or barrettes, or conversely, may be left hanging.

  • Most show dogs have the hair off the face in the United States.

Health and Wellness:
  • Porto-systemic shunt.

  • Juvenile hypoglycemia.

  • Hydrocephalus.

  • Cryptorchidism.

  • Epiphora.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Hypertrophic pyloric hypertrophy.

  • Periodontal disease.

  • Patella luxation.

  • Generalized tremor.

  • Collapsing trachea.

  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).

What you should know:
  • Does not like rough play.

  • Tend to be expensive to purchase, especially very small specimens.

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Texas West Animal Health

16367 South FM 4,

Santo, TX 76472

Phone. 940-769-2222

Fax. 866-632-3365

Email. texaswestvet@gmail.com