BREED INFORMATION

Breed Information

When it comes to dog and cat breeds, there certainly are plenty of choices and varieties. We thought we’d make learning the unique traits and special features of each breed a little easier by providing access to detailed breed information. We hope this helps you determine which type of animal companion would be the best fit for you so that you can both enjoy a long, happy life together.

Abyssinian

Personality:
  • People-oriented, loyal, and intelligent.

  • Affectionate and very active.

  • ...
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Personality:
  • People-oriented, loyal, and intelligent.

  • Affectionate and very active.

  • Retains the feral look of felis lybica, ancestor of all domestic cats.

  • Many can be trained to walk on leashes and to retrieve.

  • Stands well off the ground, giving the impression of being on tip toe.

History:

Cats exhibited at a show in England in the late 1800′s were reported to have been imported from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia).  Geneticists believe the breed actually originated in parts of Southeast Asia and were imported to England by Far East traders.  Breed was refined in England and imported to North America in early 1900′s.  Recognized by all breed associations for championship status.

Body Type:
  • Medium-sized, lithe, well-proportioned, and muscular.

  • Head is a slightly-rounded wedge with large pointed ears.

  • Large, almond-shaped eyes.

Coat:
  • Coat is short, soft, and silky.

  • Colors include red, ruddy, blue, and fawn.

  • Each hair should be long enough to accommodate two or three dark bands of ticking.

Health and Wellness:
  • Medial patella luxation.

  • Neonatal isoerythrolysis.

  • Red cell osmotic fragility.

  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency.

  • Mucopolysaccaridosis.

  • Renal amyloidosis.

  • Myasthenia gravis.

What you should know:
  • These active cats love to ride on shoulders and peer down at you from high places.

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Afghan Hound

Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Tazi
  • Afghans
Country/Date of Origin:
  • Afghanistan
  • 17th...
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Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Tazi
  • Afghans
Country/Date of Origin:
  • Afghanistan
  • 17th Century

 

Height:
  • Females:  24 to 26 inches
  • Males:  26 to 28 inches
Weight:
  • 50 to 60 pounds
Personality:
  • Alert and aloof.

  • Ignores strangers as if they are beneath acknowledgement.

  • Reserved nature.

  • Not particularly intelligent and can be difficult to train.

History

The Afghan originated in an area along the Afghan border with Iran known as Seistan.  Obviously from the same stock as the other Middle East Gazehounds, the Afghan changed to better do its job—coursing gazelle and leopard in the cold, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.  Its primary difference from the other coursing dogs is its long coat, which was developed to insulate the dog from the cold and protect it from scrapes as it hunted on rocky slopes.  English soldiers returning home from the Afghan War brought these beautiful dogs home with them at the turn of the 20th century.  The first Afghans were registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC) stud book in 1927.

Body Type:
  • An exotic appearing, coursing dog of great athletic ability.  Slim, muscular body is wrapped in a long, glamorous coat.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Long, tapering, curled at the tip tail is not altered.

  • Hip bones are very prominent.

  • A mandarin beard is desired in both male and female Afghans.

Coat and Grooming:
  • Long and silky, the single coat tangles easily.

  • The high-stepping gait of the Afghan is springy and appears to flow out behind it.

  • Very high-grooming maintenance.

Health & Wellness:
  • Afghan myelopathy.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Cataracts.

  • Hypothyroidism.

  • Osteosarcoma.

What you should know:
  • Unusual in hunting dogs, Afghans have a low tolerance to pain and they will let you know it.

  • Very high-strung and will become hyperactive if not exercised regularly.

  • One of the first Afghans imported to the United States belonged to Zeppo Marx of Marx Brothers fame.

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Akita

Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Akita Inu

Country/Date of Origin:
  • Japan

  • 1600′s

Height:
    ...
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Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Akita Inu

Country/Date of Origin:
  • Japan

  • 1600′s

Height:
  • Females:  24 to 26 inches

  • Males:  26 to 28 inches

     
Weight:
  • 75 to 110 pounds

Personality:
  • An aggressive breed that is not for first-time dog owners.

  • Not trustworthy around other dogs or cats.

  • A natural guard, and very possessive of both its family and property.

History:

Named for a town on the northern Japanese island of Honshu, the Akita was a sporting dog of the noble houses.  Each Shogun kept a kennel of the big dogs to hunt deer, bear and boar.  It was forbidden to speak to the dogs or about them except in a special language called dog words.  Good examples of the Akita were jealously guarded and it was not until after World War II that any appreciable number left their homeland.  They were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1973.

Body Type:
  • A powerful looking dog with a distinctive, bear-like expression.

  • The tail is set high and curls forward over the back.  It is never altered.

  • The ears are erect and are not altered.

  • Bones are very thick and strong.

Coat:
  • Thick, double coat of short to medium length lies close to the body.

  • In Japan, the all white Akita is revered.

  • In the United States and Britain, parti-colors and brindles are not only allowed—they are preferred.  These coat varieties are not permissible at Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) sponsored shows, which are governed by the standard accepted by the dog’s native Japan.

  • Moderate grooming.

  • Not an excessive shedder.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

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

  • Atrial septal defect.

  • Polyarthritis.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Uveodermatologic syndrome.

  • Pemphigus foliaceus.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

What you should know:
  • The Akita was officially declared a national treasure in Japan in 1931.

  • The first Akita in the United States was a gift to Helen Keller from the Japanese people.  He was named Kamikaze but she always referred to him as her angel in fur.

  • In 1995, the already popular breed gained even more attention for its part in the Nicole Brown Simpson murder case.

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American Bulldog

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Old Country Bulldog

Country/Date of Origin:
  • United States

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Old Country Bulldog

Country/Date of Origin:
  • United States

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • 19 to 28 inches

Weight:
  • 65 to 130 pounds

Personality:
  • Calm in nature.

  • Intelligent and eager learners.

  • Bold and outgoing.

  • Loyal.

History:

This powerful working breed is a descendant of the original working Bulldogs brought to this country from England in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Intelligent, athletic, and naturally protective, they are farm and family guardians and can still be used for their original jobs—hog catching and bulldogging (catching and controlling unruly cattle).  Most American Bulldogs are used as working farm dogs in the South.  In recent years, the breed has become more recognizable due to its use in several movies such as Disney’s Homeward Bound and the new Little Rascals.

Body Type:
  • Resembles a long-legged Bulldog.

  • The tail is docked short.

  • The small, highset ears fold forward and are not altered.

Coat:
  • Short, shiny, and harsh in texture

  • Allowed colors are white or white with brindle or tan patches.

  • It is desired that more than half the coat should be white.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally very robust.

  • Possible hip dysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Quarrelsome with other dogs.

  • Can be aggressive with strangers on its property.

  • Obedience training is recommended.

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American Curl Shorthair

Personality:
  • Intelligent, people-oriented, and eager to please.

  • Playful into...

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Personality:
  • Intelligent, people-oriented, and eager to please.

  • Playful into adulthood.

History:

Occurred as a spontaneous mutation in Southern California in 1981 when an adopted stray cat named Shulamith gave birth to a litter of kittens in which two of the four had ears that curled away from their faces.  Shulamith produced the first shorthaired kittens in her third litter, and at that time they were considered undesirable.  As requests for shorthaired kittens became numerous, a breeding program to develop a shorthaired version of the breed was developed.  Accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1986 and accepted for championship status by CFA in 1993.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, well-balanced cat with a semi-foreign body and intermediate boning.

  • Head is a medium-sized, modified wedge with moderately-large ears that curve back in a smooth arc.

  • Eyes are moderately large and can be of any color.

Coat:
  • Coat is short, lies flat, and has a minimal undercoat.

  • Any and all colors and patterns, including pointed.

Health and Wellness:
  • Ear infections.

What you should know:
  • Kittens are born with straight ears that curl between hours after birth and seven days of age.  Not every kitten born will develop curled ears.  At six to 16 weeks the kitten’s ears enter a period of transition where the degree of curl fluctuates.

  • Because the cartilage in the ears is hard, handling them roughly can cause damage.

  • Kitten buyers should be aware that the ears of kittens purchased younger than four months of age may change in regard to degree of curl.  By four months of age, the ears stabilize.

  • Because the ears are not pliable, Curls cannot manipulate their ears around to clean them.  Therefore, ears must be cleaned on a regular basis with cotton swabs.

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Affenpinscher

Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Monkey Terrier

Country/Date of Origin:
  • ...
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Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Monkey Terrier

Country/Date of Origin:
  • Germany

  • 1600′s

     

 

Height:
  • 10 inches

Weight:
  • 7 to 8 pounds

     
Personality:
  • Loyal and devoted pal.  Tends to be a one-person dog.

  • A mark of its terrier blood is the tendency for the Affenpinscher to become hyper excited.

  • Headstrong and quite fearless against any size aggressor.

  • Carries itself with a comical seriousness.

  • Intelligent but not particularly trainable.  Has a mind of its own.

History

The Affenpinscher is an ancient breed, although its origins are not recorded.  It was known in Germany in the 17th century and is thought to be the foundation breed for the more familiar Brussels Griffon, and perhaps the Miniature Schnauzer.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies the breed as a toy, but elsewhere it is considered a terrier.  The original job of the little, bristle-faced imp was a traditional terrier task as stable rat catcher.

Body Type:
  • Ears are erect and usually cropped to a point.

  • Tail is docked and carried high.

Coat and Grooming:
  • Harsh, wiry coat is short on the body, and longer on the head and legs.  A definite mustache and beard give the dog a monkey-face expression.

  • Black is the preferred color, but black with tan markings, red, or gray mixtures are allowed.

  • Moderate upkeep.

  • Should not be bathed too often as this destroys the crisp, wirehaired feel of the coat.

Health & Wellness:
  • The tiny size and fearless nature can lead to broken bones.

  • Teeth require special care.

  • Slipped stifle (subluxated patella) can cause the dog to have a hitch in its movement.

  • Prominent eyes are subject to scratches and ulcers.

  • Fungal infections in wrinkle between nose and eyes.

  • Follicular dysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Affe means ape or monkey in German.

  • An excellent companion for those whose physical activity is limited.

  • For its size, the Affenpinscher is a good watchdog.

  • This breed is quite rare, and finding a puppy may be difficult.

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Airedale Terrier

Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Waterside Terrier

  • Bingley Terrier

Country/Date of Origin:
  • ...
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Other Names/Nicknames:
  • Waterside Terrier

  • Bingley Terrier

Country/Date of Origin:
  • England

  • 19th century

Height:
  • 22 to 24 inches

Weight:
  • 44 to 50 pounds

Personality:
  • Legendary loyalty.

  • Eager to please and learns easily.

  • Fiery temper shows when around other dogs.

History:

The king of terriers was developed to hunt otter in Yorkshire, England.  It is the result of crosses between the now extinct English Black and Tan Terrier and the Otter Hound.  The Airedale got the best of its hound and terrier ancestors.  Its talents are many.  Airedales have been, and still are, used as bird dogs, big game hunters, and military and police dogs.

Body Type:
  • Overall impression is of a large, robust, long-legged terrier full of fire and spirit.

  • Whiskers and a goatee.

  • Button ears are folded forward and carried to the side of the head.  They are not altered.

  • Docked tail is carried high but not curved over the back.

Coat and Grooming:
  • Harsh, double coat that can be either straight or wavy.

  • Airedales are all tan with black or grizzled saddle.

  • Wiry coat requires professional grooming.

  • Pets are trimmed with clippers but show dogs are hand plucked.

  • Waterproof coat inherited from Otter Hound ancestors.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

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

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Follicular dysplasia.

  • Atopy.

  • Demodicosis.

  • Bladder tumors.

  • Lymphoma.

  • Melanoma.

  • Pancreatic carcinoma.

What you should know:
  • Largest of the terrier tribe.

  • Loves to swim.

  • Puppies born black.

  • Beloved pet of three successive American presidents:  Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.  Also, fancied as a hunting companion of Teddy Roosevelt.

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Alaskan Malamute

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Malamute

Country/Date of Origin
  • United States

  • 3000 BC

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Malamute

Country/Date of Origin
  • United States

  • 3000 BC

Height:
  • 23 to 28 inches

     
Weight:
  • 75 to 125 pounds

     
Personality:
  • Quarrelsome with other dogs.

  • Friendly by nature towards humans but really stubborn.

  • Prefers to be outdoors.

  • Not easily trained.

  • Big, strong and bold, this is not a breed for the first-time dog owner.

History:

This is the sled dog of stamina and strength rather than speed.  It gets its name from the Malamute tribe, an Inuit people of northwestern Alaska.  These nomadic Eskimos used the dogs to haul their possessions between camps.  The breed type was stabilized in the 1920′s and accepted for showing in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.  After that, it gained immense recognition because of its use as a war dog.

Body Type:
  • A sled dog of the Spitz family.

  • Compact and muscular with a wolf-like expression.

  • The tail is large, plumed and carried over the back.  It is never altered.

  • The ears are erect and not altered.  The ears are small and heavily furred.

Coat:
  • Thick, double coat of short to medium length.

  • The outer coat is coarse and the undercoat is oily and woolly.

  • Permissible colors are various shades of gray to black, with a white under body and white marking on legs, feet and face.

  • Sheds heavily in the spring.  At other times, grooming is moderate.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Chondrodysplasia.

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

  • Follicular dysplasia.

  • Hemophilia.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia.

  • Zinc-responsive dermatosis.

  • Demodicosis.

  • Cushing’s syndrome (AT).

What you should know:
  • Admiral Byrd used Alaskan Malamutes on his polar expeditions.

  • The legendary Balto, who carried the diphtheria serum to the stranded children of Nome, was an Alaskan Malamute.

  • Endurance is legendary, as is strength.

  • An Alaskan Malamute can carry a pack that weighs 50 pounds, 20 miles or more a day for extended periods.

  • Reverts to pack instincts when in the company of other dogs.

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American Curl Longhair

Personality:
  • Quiet, intelligent, and eager to please.

  • Playful into adulthood.

...
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Personality:
  • Quiet, intelligent, and eager to please.

  • Playful into adulthood.

History:

Occurred as a spontaneous mutation in Southern California in 1981 when an adopted stray named Shulamith gave birth to a litter of kittens in which two of the four had ears that curled away from their faces.  Selective breeding and showing began in 1983 with allowable outcrosses only allowed to non-pedigreed cats.  Accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1986 and accepted for championship status by CFA in 1993.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, well-balanced cat with a semi-foreign body and intermediate boning.

  • Head is a medium-sized, modified wedge with moderately large ears that curve back in a smooth arc.

  • Eyes are moderately large and can be of any color.

Coat:
  • Coat is semi-long and silky with a minimum of undercoat.

  • Tail is plumed.

  • Any and all colors and patterns, including pointed.

Health and Wellness:
  • This breed has not been in existence long enough to report evidence of genetic defects.

  • Since Curls are allowed to outcross to non-pedigreed cats, the opportunity for problems caused by breeding within limited gene pools is reduced.

  • Ear infections.

What you should know:
  • Kittens are born with straight ears that curl between hours after birth and seven days of age.  Not every kitten born will develop curled ears.  At six to 16 weeks the kitten’s ears enter a period of transition where the degree of curl fluctuates.

  • Because the cartilage in the ears is hard, handling them roughly can cause damage.

  • Kitten buyers should be aware that the ears of kittens purchased younger than four months of age may change in regard to degree of curl.  By four months of age, the ears stabilize.

  • Because the ears are not pliable, Curls cannot manipulate their ears around to clean them.  Therefore, ears must be cleaned on a regular basis with cotton swabs.

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American Curl Wirehair

Personality:
  • Fearless, trusting nature.

  • Sweet, loving, easygoing, and...

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Personality:
  • Fearless, trusting nature.

  • Sweet, loving, easygoing, and people-oriented.

  • Uniquely American, this particular mutation has not been reported in any other country.

  • Not all kittens born to wirehaired parents will have a wiry coat.

  • The degree of coat coarseness depends on the coat texture of the sire and dam.

History:

Began as a spontaneous mutation in a litter of New York farm cats in 1966.  A male wirehaired kitten from the litter was crossed with a domestic calico cat producing four kittens, two of which had the wiry coat.  The breed was further developed by outcrosses with American Shorthair cats.  Accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967 and for championship in 1978.

Body Type:
  • Medium to large body is solid, muscular, and well balanced.

  • Head is in proportion to the body with prominent cheekbones, a well-developed muzzle, and medium-sized, rounded ears.

  • Eyes are large, round, set well apart, and correspond to coat color.

Coat:
  • Coat texture is springy, tight, medium in length, and similar to that of a poodle.

  • Individual hairs are crimped (hooked or bent) including hair within the ears.

  • All colors and tabby patterns are accepted with the exception of chocolate, lavender, the Himalayan pattern, or these combinations with white.

Health and Wellness:
  • Some kittens are slow to develop an immune system, making them susceptible to colds and upper respiratory infections. As the cat matures, the problems subside.

What you should know:
  • Brushing can ruin the wiry coat.

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FIND US

Texas West Animal Health

16367 South FM 4,

Santo, TX 76472

Phone. 940-769-2222

Fax. 866-632-3365

Email. texaswestvet@gmail.com