GENERAL PET ARTICLES

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.

Manchester Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Black and Tan Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Black and Tan Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • 1500′s

Height:
  • 15 to 16 inches

Weight:
  • 12 to 22 pounds

Personality:
  • A one-family dog that is reserved with strangers.

  • Alert and quick to bark an alarm.

  • Many do not get along with other pets, especially smaller ones.

History:

There are two sizes of the Manchester Terrier, the Standard and the Toy.  Both spring from the same stock, one of the oldest strains of British terrier.  In the Manchester district of England, the breed was developed for the poor-man’s sports of rat killing and rabbit coursing.  Judicious crossings of the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier and Whippets gave the Manchester what was wanted in a rat and rabbit dog—the fire and courage of the terrier, and the speed of the little greyhounds.  In 1923, the American Kennel Club (AKC) adopted the name of Manchester Terrier.  Until 1959 the Toy and the Standard were registered as two separate breeds, although interbreeding between the two breeds was permitted.  Since that date, they have been registered as a single breed with two varieties.  A single litter may have both varieties—those under 12 pounds being shown as Toys, and those over 12 pounds being shows as Standards.

Body Type:
  • Everything about this medium-sized terrier is sleek from the long, unbroken line of the face to the tapering tail.

  • Show classes are often divided into two sizes: 12 to 16 pounds and 16 to 22 pounds.

  • Ears on the standard size are often cropped to stand erect.

  • Unaltered ears are either button or pendant.

  • If ears are to be cropped, this should be done at about eight weeks of age.

  • Altered ears are not allowed in the Toy variety.  Their ears must stand erect naturally.

  • Long, whip-like tail is unaltered.

Coat:
  • Sleek, short coat lies close to the body and is very glossy.

  • Only color allowed is jet black with mahogany tan markings on the legs and head.

  • A small tan spot on the side of each cheek and over each eye is required.

  • Low maintenance grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • von Willebrand’s disease.

  • Follicular dysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Once used as a ratter in stables.

  • In an 1880 rat killing contest, a Manchester Terrier called Billy dispatched 100 rodents in just over six minutes.

  • Very graceful in its movements.

  • Breeders describe the Manchester as “pleasant” and “a dog that cares, adapting itself to your moods.”

read less

Miniature Bull Terrier (Colored)

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

Height:
  •  10 to 14 inches
Weight:
  • 24 to 33 pounds

Personality:
  • Personality is identical to the larger Bull Terriers.

  • A real people lover.

  • Loyal and faithful to family.

  • Usually tolerant with strangers.

  • Does not get along well with other dogs or cats.

History:

Bull Terriers were developed in 19th century England for a specific purpose—fighting.  It was created by crossing the Bulldog and various terriers, especially the now extinct White English Terrier.  What resulted was an agile, courageous dog that would stand up to anything.  The original cross was a small dog much like the present day Miniature Bull Terrier.  By adding Pointer blood, the size of the dogs was increased.  Dogs were often pitted by weight and there was a group of fanciers that cultivated the miniature size.  After blood sports were outlawed, the breed fell into disfavor.  Recently breeders have been actively trying to improve the heads of the miniature variety, which were not as refined as the larger ones.  They seem to have succeeded.  Miniature Bull Terriers were granted membership in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1992.

Body Type:
  • A smaller version of the Bull Terrier.

  • The natural tail is moderately short and carried just above level of the back.  It is not altered.

  • The small ears are carried erect and are not altered.

Coat:
  • The short, flat coat is harsh to the touch.

  • Permissible colors are any solid other than white.

  • Brindle or red, often with a white blaze, white on the chest, legs, or tail tip are the most commonly seen.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally quite healthy.

  • Inherited eye problem known as lens luxation.

  • Skin problems including hives, hot spots and allergies.

What you should know:
  • A great choice if you like Bull Terriers and don’t have much space.

  • The egghead of the dog world.

  • The Miniature Bull Terrier’s Roman-nose profile has made it the darling of cartoonists.

  • Noses of puppies are pink but will darken with age.

  • Extremely clean in its personal habits.

  • Not to be confused with more aggressive pit bulls.

read less

Miniature Pinscher

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Reh Pinscher

  • Zwergpinscher

  • Min Pin

Country/Date of ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Reh Pinscher

  • Zwergpinscher

  • Min Pin

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 10 to 12- 1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 8 to 10 pounds

Personality:
  • Lively and alert.

  • High-spirited with unique personality.

  • Always on the go.

  • Due to aggressive nature, males have a tendency to mark territory with urine.

  • Intelligent.

History:

The Miniature Pinscher looks like a tiny Doberman Pinscher.  Although both were created in Germany, they are not related.  The Miniature Pinscher, bred as a stable ratter, is several centuries older than the Doberman.  The breed was originally called the Reh Pinscher because of its resemblance to the tiny roe deer of Germany (Reh in German means deer).  Miniature Pinschers were brought to the United States in the 1920′s as companions and farm ratters.  They became quite popular, although it is difficult to find them today.

Body Type:
  • Tiny, square-shaped, and high-spirited with a distinctive hackney gait.

  • Some dogs develop self-standing ears, but ears are commonly cropped.

  • Tail is docked short and is carried erect.

  • Eyes are full, slightly oval, clean, and bright.

Coat:
  • Short, smooth coat that is hard to the touch.

  • Permissible colors are solid red, black with tan markings, or chocolate with rust markings.

  • Low grooming requirements.

Health and Wellness:
  • Legg-Perthes disease.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • Follicular dysplasia.

What you should know:
  • Must have room to exercise or will become hyperactive.

  • Noisy.

  • Min Pins love to be pampered.

  • Often mistaken for the Toy Manchester Terrier.  It is easy to tell the two breeds apart, as the Miniature Pinscher has a docked tail and a very level back.

read less

Miniature Schnauzer

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Zwergschnauzer

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • 15th...

read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Zwergschnauzer

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • 15th century

Height:
  • 12 to 14 inches

Weight:
  • 14 to 15 pounds

Personality:
  • A German sensibility instead of the fiery nature of the British terriers.

  • High intelligence.

  • Excellent family companion.

  • Alert nature and natural protective instincts make the Miniature Schnauzer a good watchdog.

History:

The Miniature Schnauzer was made in Germany with 100% German ingredients.  About 1890, breeders crossed the larger Standard Schnauzer with an Affenpinscher to create a dog that was better able to catch rats than either ancestor.  The Miniature Schnauzers arrived in the United States in 1925 and became a very popular breed.

Body Type:
  • A compact, stocky terrier with abundant face and leg furnishings.

  • Ears are cropped to stand erect in the United States.

  • Tail is docked short.

Coat:
  • Double coat with a harsh and wiry outer coat, and soft, close-lying undercoat.

  • Beard and bushy eyebrows.

  • Acceptable colors are solid black, black and silver, or salt and pepper.

  • The gray salt-and-peppers are the most common.

  • The grizzled colors are the result of hairs with unique light and dark banding instead of a mixture of light and dark hairs.

  • Requires professional grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Tetralogy of Fallot.

  • Portosystemic shunt.

  • Cryptorchidism.

  • Cataracts.

  • Calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

  • Diabetes mellitis.

  • Sick sinus syndrome.

  • Lupoid onchodystrophy.

  • Urolithiasis (oxalate and struvite).

  • Atopy.

  • Food allergy.

  • Pancreatitis.

  • Idiopathic hyperlipidemia.

  • Schnauzer comedo syndrome.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.

  • Fibrocartilagenous emboli.

  • Glaucoma.

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

  • Melanoma (dermal and oral).

  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

What you should know:
  • The most popular terrier, it is the only one that is not of British origin.

  • One of three sizes of the Schnauzer.  There are two larger varieties: the Standard and the Giant.

  • Non-shedding coat is good for people with allergies.

  • Not as prone to wandering as other terriers.

  • Unlike most other terriers, it does not enjoy digging.

read less

Neopolitan Mastiff

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Mastino Napoletano

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 100 BC

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Mastino Napoletano

Country/Date of origin:
  • Italy

  • 100 BC

Height:
  • Females:  24 to 29 inches

  • Males:  26 to 31 inches

Weight:
  • 110 to 150 pounds

Personality:
  • Slow and deliberate in its movements.

  • Can be quite quick if aroused.

  • Alert with natural protective instincts.

  • Very loyal.

  • Tends to be a one-person dog.

History:

A living bit of ancient Italian history, the Neapolitan Mastiff is left over from the days of the Roman Empire where it was used to fight in the circus rings.  These enormous animals were also used as home guardians, hunters of large dangerous game, and war dogs.  For many centuries the breed was largely ignored and it was not until after World War II that several fanciers, led by the painter Piero Scanziani, undertook the promotion of the breed and ensured its survival.

Body Type:
  • A gigantic member of the Mastiff family, with massive head and bone.

  • The thick tail may be docked by one-third of the length, and is carried low.

  • The ears are quite small and are cropped very close.

  • Skin is loose and wrinkled, especially on the skull and muzzle.

  • A prominent dewlap is required.

Coat:
  • Short and dense with a hard texture.

  • Allowed colors are black, gray, brown, blue, or brindle.

  • The nose and eye colors match that of the coat.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Elbow dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

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

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Muzzle pyoderma.

  • Arthritis.

What you should know:
  • Obedience training is highly recommended.

  • Be sure to establish the upper hand from an early age.

  • These dogs drool a lot.  Have plenty of towels handy.

  • Males tend to be more aggressive than females.

read less

Mastiff

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bandog

  • Alaunt (formerly)

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great...

read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bandog

  • Alaunt (formerly)

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 100 BC

Height:
  • Females:  From 27 inches

  • Males:  From 30 inches

Weight:
  • 175 to 190 pounds

Personality:
  • Here is the original homebody.

  • The Mastiff loves its family and surroundings and is willing to protect them with its life if need be.

  • Slow in both mind and body.

  • The Mastiff is willing to do something to please you, just as soon as it figures out what you want.

  • Is awesome when aroused.

  • It is hard to arouse a Mastiff but once over the edge, this massive breed is difficult to calm down.

  • Do not pick a shy puppy.

  • Mastiffs can be fear biters.

History:

Standard bearer of the family of dogs that share its shape and phlegmatic nature, the Mastiff is one of the oldest breeds of dogs.  Its ancestors were brought to Britain by the Roman invaders.  They in turn got the dogs from Egyptians, who in turn got them from Babylonians and Assyrians.  The recorded history of the giant, Molossus dog goes back to the beginnings of recorded history.  It was a war dog, a guard animal, and even a dispatcher of big game.  Today, it has a much softer temperament, although it retains a lot of its natural guarding instincts.  The Mastiff is one of the original breeds exhibited and registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • A massive dog with a huge head and deep foreface.

  • A scissors-bite is preferred but a slightly undershot bite is permitted.

  • The high-set tail is natural and is never altered.  It is carried low.

  • The ears hang and lie close to the head.  They are not altered.

Coat:
  • Short, smooth, double coat consists of a coarse outer coat and dense undercoat.

  • Permissible colors are brindle, fawn, or apricot with dark face or mask.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Elbow dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

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

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Muzzle pyoderma.

  • Arthritis.

What you should know:
  • Short-lived.  This is typical of the giant breeds.

  • Spanish conquistadors brought mastiffs with them to the New World.

  • The fierce war dogs did much to help the Spaniards conquer the native peoples who had never seen big, fierce dogs.

read less

Miniature Bull Terrier (White)

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 10 to 14 inches

Weight:
  • 24 to 33 pounds

Personality:
  • Personality is identical to the larger Bull Terriers.

  • A real people-lover.

  • Loyal and faithful to family.

  • Usually tolerant with strangers.

  • Does not get along well with other dogs or cats.

History:

Bull Terriers were developed in 19th century England for a specific purpose—fighting.  It was created by crossing the Bulldog and various terriers, especially the now extinct White English Terrier.  What resulted was an agile, courageous dog that would stand up to anything.  The original cross was a small dog much like the present day Miniature Bull Terrier.  By adding Pointer blood the size of the dogs was increased.  Dogs were often pitted by weight and there was a group of fanciers that cultivated the miniature size.  After blood sports were outlawed, it fell into disfavor.  Recently breeders have been actively trying to improve the heads of the miniature variety, which were not as refined as the larger ones.  They seem to have succeeded.  Miniature Bull Terriers were granted membership in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1992.

Body Type:
  • A smaller version of the Bull Terrier.

  • The natural tail is moderately short and carried just above level of the back.  It is not altered.

  • The small ears are carried erect and are not altered.

Coat:
  • The short, flat coat is harsh to the touch.

  • Permissible colors are all white or white with red or brindle markings on the head only.

  • Minimal grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally quite healthy.

  • Inherited eye problem known as lens luxation.

  • Skin problems including hives, hot spots and allergies.

What you should know:
  • A great choice if you like Bull Terriers and don’t have much space.

  • The egghead of the dog world.

  • The Miniature Bull Terrier’s Roman-nose profile has made it the darling of cartoonists.

  • Noses of puppies are pink but will darken with age.

  • Extremely clean in its personal habits.

  • Not to be confused with more aggressive pit bulls.

read less

Miniature Poodle

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Caniche

  • French Poodle

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Caniche

  • French Poodle

Country/Date of origin:
  • Germany

  • 1400′s

Height:
  • 10 to 15 inches

Weight:
  • 15 to 16 pounds

Personality:
  • Candidate for most intelligent breed of dog.

  • Extremely willing to please.

  • Happy, lively, and playful.

  • Easily trained.

  • Friendly and outgoing.

  • Poodles love everybody.

  • An excellent family dog for those who are prepared to maintain the coat.

History:

The Poodle originated in Germany as a water retriever.  Pudel means water in German.  Today there are three sizes: toy, miniature and standard.  All sizes are judged by the same standard of perfection and are identical in every respect except height and weight.  The miniature, middle of the three varieties, is a miniaturized version of the Standard.  It is thought that the Miniature Poodle was not used for sporting purposes.  It was, instead, the pampered darling of the French nobility.  Some were used as truffle hunters because of their trainability and good noses.  They have gained renown as performers in the circus ring.  Today, the Miniature version is the most popular of the Poodles.  It is one of the most popular dogs in the whole world.

Body Type:
  • A squarely-built, active dog that carries itself with dignity.

  • Standard does not specify weight but given weight is an average.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Upright tail is carried at an angle to the body.  It is docked.

Coat:
  • The long coat of the poodle is double.  The outercoat is wiry curls.  The undercoat is thick and woolly.

  • If unhindered, the outercoat forms thin cylindrical mats known as cords.  Corded Poodles are rarely seen in the United States because they are difficult to keep clean.

  • Any solid color is permitted. Common colors are black, white, apricot, brown, blue, or silver.

  • The skin color of Poodles varies.  Skin may be pink, blue, silver, or cream.

  • Requires professional grooming every five or six weeks.

  • Two clips are allowed in the United States show ring: the Continental and the English Saddle.  Puppies are exempted from this and can be shown in a puppy clip (their hair isn’t long enough to accommodate the adult clips) until they are one-year old.

  • The face, feet, and base of tail are shaved in all the clips.

  • A full coat may take two years to develop.

Health and Wellness:
  • The immense popularity of this breed has resulted in many genetic defects.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Patent ductus areteriosis.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot.

  • von Willebrand’s disease.

  • Distichiasis.

  • Glaucoma.

  • Epiphora.

  • Portosystemic shunt.

  • Legg-Perthes disease.

  • Congenital deafness.

  • cataracts.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • Addision’s disease.

  • Atopy.

  • Urolithiasis (oxalate and struvite).

  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA).

  • Immune mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT).

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.

  • Collapsing trachea.

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

  • Sialocele.

  • Cushing’s syndrome (PDH and AT).

  • Mitral insufficiency.

  • Intervertebral disc disease.

  • Sebaceous adenomas.

What you should know:
  • In spite of the name, the French Poodle is not Gallic.  It is a breed made in Germany.

  • The pompoms and topknots of the Poodle, which seem so frivolous, had a utilitarian origin.  As water retrievers, Poodles needed the chest and head hair to protect vital organs from the cold.  The pompoms are placed on the joints to protect them from becoming arthritic.

  • Victorian merchants often had advertisements cut into the coat of a Poodle, and hired someone to walk around with the dog.  Sort of a living billboard.

  • Grooming contests attract international teams, clipping Poodles into artistic creations.  Prizes are in the thousands of dollars.

  • Poodles are beautiful and they know it.  You might even describe them as vain.

  • Love to be pampered, and it is easy to spoil these adorable clowns.

  • Does not shed.

  • Suggested for allergy sufferers.

read less

Mudi

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 14 ...

read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • Hungary

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 14 to 20 inches

Weight:
  • 18 to 29 pounds

Personality:
  • Super intelligent and willing to learn.

  • Suspicious of strangers.

  • A good guard dog.

  • Lively with a great deal of energy.

  • Serious-minded.

  • The Mudi is not frivolous.

History:

When Hungarian dog fanciers were separating Pulis and Pumis as individual breeds at the end of the 19th century, they discovered the existence of a third type of sheep dog—the Mudi.  The Mudi is used as a guard and herding dog and was recognized by the Hungarian Kennel Club in 1936.

Body Type:
  • A shaggy, medium-sized sheepdog that looks like a miniaturized, Belgian Sheepdog that is rather light in build.

  • Prick ears are carried erect and are not altered.

  • Tail is docked short.

  • Topline is sloping.

Coat:
  • The Mudi’s coat is the shortest of all the Hungarian sheep dogs.

  • The limbs and paws are naturally smooth and the rest of the body is covered with thick, glossy hair just under two-inches long.

  • Coat can be wavy or curly.

  • Coat color can be black ( the most common ), white, or a combination of the two known as pepita.

  • Mudi hair does not mat or get tangled.

Health and Wellness:
  • This is a very healthy breed and has a high level of disease resistance.

What you should know:
  • Long-lived.

  • Little known outside Europe.

  • A puppy will probably have to be imported.

read less

Newfoundland

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Newfie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Newfie

Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada

  • 1700′s

Height:
  • 26 to 28 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  100 to 120 pounds

  • Males:  130 to 150 pounds

Personality:
  • A lovable bear.

  • A Newfoundland named Nana, owned by James Barrie, was the model for the nursemaid dog in his Peter Pan story.

  • Moderately intelligent with a strong desire to please.

History:

Developed in the Newfoundland province of Canada, this dog looks the part of a rugged northland worker.  On land it pulled sleds and carried packs.  At the shore it helped fishermen haul in nets and carried objects from ship-to-shore.  In dire times, it carried rescue lines to shipwreck victims.  The breed is both tireless and fearless—the stuff heroes are made of.  Much of the refinement of the breed took place in England, where it was enormously popular in the 19th century.  This admirable companion has been shown in the United States since dog shows began.

Body Type:
  • A large, powerful dog that has a massive head and webbed feet.

  • The tail is long, bushy, and carried low.  It is not altered.

  • The ears are small and hang close to the head.  They are never altered.

  • Feet are webbed to assist in swimming.

Coat:
  • The heavy, double coat is flat, coarse, and dense.

  • Its oily nature makes it highly water-resistant.

  • In the United States three solid colors are permitted:  black, bronze, and blue.

  • Only one parti-color pattern is allowed.  It is called Landseer and consists of a white body with cleanly delineated black patches.  The head should be black with or without a white blaze.  It is difficult to find a properly marked Landseer.

  • Needs regular brushing.

  • Seasonal shedding is considerable.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Elbow dysplasia.

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

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Sub-aortic stenosis.

  • Ectopic ureter.

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Pemphigus foliaceus.

  • Bacterial folliculitis.

  • Pyoderma.

What you should know:
  • Short-lived.

  • This dog can drool.  Owners tend to carry bibs and wiping towels around with them.

  • For a family with a country way of life, this is an ideal pet.

  • A Newfie was chosen to accompany Lewis and Clark on their historic cross country expedition.

read less

Nizinny

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog

  • Owczarek

  • PONS

Country/Date of...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog

  • Owczarek

  • PONS

Country/Date of origin:
  • Poland

  • 1500′s

Height:
  • 16 to 20 inches

Weight:
  • 30 to 35 pounds

Personality:
  • A happy, upbeat companion that has all of its herding instincts intact.

  • Intelligent and is said to have an excellent memory.

History:

A sheep-herding breed, which has not been seen outside of its native Poland for very long.  It has been rumored that it played a part in the creation of the Bearded Collie, although this is unsubstantiated.  At the end of World War II the breed had almost disappeared.  A Polish veterinarian dedicated himself to resurrecting the Nizinny with two dogs and six bitches that had survived the war.  The adorable appearance, quick wits, and handy size give this breed a very good chance to become popular.

Body Type:
  • A small, shaggy sheepdog that resembles a miniature Bearded Collie.

  • Hanging ears are not altered.

  • Naturally tailless or if not, the tail is docked.

Coat:
  • Thick coat is long and harsh.  Should be slightly wavy.

  • All colors are permitted but the most common are white with or without colored markings, and solid gray with or without markings.

  • High amount of grooming required to keep coat from matting.

  • Seasonal shedding.

Health and Wellness:
  • A healthy breed in spite of its limited genetic heritage.

What you should know:
  • The PONS, as it is called in the United States is an up-and-coming breed.

  • It is already wildly popular in western Europe.

  • Puppies will be difficult to find and costly.

read less

Norwegian Elkhound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Norsk Elghund

Country/Date of origin:
  • Norway

  • 11th century

    ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Norsk Elghund

Country/Date of origin:
  • Norway

  • 11th century

Height:
  • 19-1/2 to 20-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • 48 to 55 pounds

Personality:
  • Naturally protective, and friendly to strangers.

  • Very intelligent, although notoriously hardheaded and stubborn.

  • Tends to be a one-person or one-family dog.

  • This is not a frivolous, fun-loving dog.  Elkhounds have a very serious outlook on life.

  • Bark is high pitched and piercing.

History:

This is the dog of the Vikings.  It has existed almost unchanged since the Stone Age.  The Norwegian Elkhound is a specialist hunter of the largest member of the deer family—the moose.  A member of the spitz group of dogs, they are versatile animals, hunting, guarding, and even pulling sleds.  The Elkhound’s powers of scent are legendary.  They can detect a moose from five or six miles and will whimper to alert the accompanying hunter.  Also of mythic proportions is its endurance in subfreezing weather.  In 1913, the first Norwegian Elkhounds were registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book.

Body Type:
  • Looks like a stocky, medium-sized sled dog.

  • Erect ears are not altered.

  • Tail is carried tightly curled over the back and is not altered.

Coat:
  • The flat, double coat is extremely dense.

  • Permissible colors are any shade of gray with black-tipped outer hairs.

  • Muzzle, tail tip, and ears are black.

  • Requires extensive brushing.

  • Sheds excessively.

Health Concerns:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Renal dysplasia.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.

  • Pyoderma.

  • Glaucoma.

  • Fanconi’s syndrome.

  • Skin tumors.

  • Keratoacanthoma.

What you should know:
  • The Elk in the name of this breed refers to what Americans call a moose.  The animal we call elk (wapiti) is not native to Norway.

  • Puppies are born black and turn gray in about a week.

  • Do not choose a puppy older than a few weeks that has so many black-tipped outer hairs that it appears to be black rather than gray.

read less

Norwich Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cantab Terrier

  • Jones Terrier

  • Trumpington Terrier

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cantab Terrier

  • Jones Terrier

  • Trumpington Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • 19th century

Height:
  • 10 inches

Weight:
  • 11 to 12 pounds

Personality:
  • One of the most personable of all dogs.

  • An excellent watchdog.

  • A sturdy, friendly, little fellow.

  • A perfect demon when ratting, the Norwich is not overly quarrelsome in everyday life.

History:

The working terrier of East Anglia was developed in the 19th century but there wasn’t much uniformity of type until 1923 when the dogs were given the name Norwich Terrier and accepted into the English Kennel Club.  Originally, both the prick-eared and drop-eared varieties were called Norwich Terrier and both appeared in the same litter.  However, in 1979, the American Kennel Club (AKC) reclassified the breed and the prick-eared variety retained the Norwich name and the drop-eared variety was dubbed Norfolk Terrier.  Game and hardy, the little earth terriers were used as house and stable vermin exterminators.  Carried in saddle bags, they were taken on fox hunts to drive the fox from its lair when the hounds had forced it to ground.  Norwich were often around horses, and to this day the breed retains a special affinity for the equine species.

Body Type:
  • A sturdy, short-legged, go-to-ground terrier with prick ears and a tiny tail.

  • Erect, prick ears are not altered.

  • Tail, which is carried stiffly erect, is usually docked.

Coat:
  • Hard, wiry double coat.

  • Shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle are allowed.

  • Requires hand-stripping to maintain the proper coat texture.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally healthy constitution.

  • Subject to dry skin problems if kept in the house.

What you should know:
  • Once the mascot of students of Cambridge University.

  • Today the darling of the horsy set.

  • Likes to dig, and once free of the restraining fence, will set out in quest of adventure and/or mischief.

read less

Ocicat

Personality:
  • Intelligent, extroverted, gregarious, and easily trained.

  • Dedicated and...

read more
Personality:
  • Intelligent, extroverted, gregarious, and easily trained.

  • Dedicated and devoted to its people.

  • Ocicats do not do well without companionship.

History:

The original Ocicat was the unexpected result of an experimental breeding in 1964 that crossed an Abyssinian with a Siamese.  One of the kittens was born with golden spots on an ivory coat and became the prototype for a new breed.  It is named after its resemblance to the wild Ocelot.  Subsequent crossings with American Shorthairs produced silver colors.  Received championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1987.

Body Type:
  • Medium to large with dense muscles and substantial boning.

  • Head is a modified wedge with a well-developed muzzle.

  • Ears are large and alert.

  • Large, almond shaped eyes can be any color except blue.

Coat:
  • Coat is short, fine, and has a lustrous sheen.

  • Some kittens are born without spots.

  • Colors include tawny (brown spotted tabby), chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lavender, fawn, silver, chocolate silver, cinnamon silver, blue silver, lavender silver, and fawn silver.

  • Coat has agouti ticking with a pattern of contrasting thumb print shaped spots and other tabby markings over a lighter base color.

Health and Wellness:
  • As is true with many pedigreed cats, lines that have been extensively inbred may exhibit temperament problems.

What you should know:
  • Since they are hybrids, Ocicats have generally better health than more tightly bred cats.

  • Breeders may outcross their Ocicats with Abyssinians until 2005.

  • Kittens without spots can usually be purchased for substantially less than their spotted litter mates and still have the same sweet, loving personality.

read less

Olde English Bulldogge

Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • United States

  • ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • None

Country/Date of origin:
  • United States

  • Late 1900′s

Height:
  • 20 to 25 inches

Weight:
  • 65 to 105 pounds

Personality:
  • Loyal and affectionate with owners.

  • Should not be overly aggressive.

History:The Olde English Bulldogge is a modern breed that was created to look like the Bulldog of the 18th and 19th centuries.  David Leavitt, an American breeder who was tired of the physical problems of the modern Bulldog, used old drawings and engravings to guide him as he tried to produce a breed closer to the old type—one that would not have such pronounced breathing and whelping difficulties.  He mixed Bullmastiff, Bulldog, American Bulldog, and American Pit Bull Terriers.  The Olde English Bulldogge is a large, fierce-looking dog meant to be determined and courageous yet not aggressive.
Body Type:
  • Medium-size, Mastiff-type dog.

  • The ears are either rose or button and are not altered

  • The short tail is set low.

Coat:
  • Short and close.

  • Allowed colors are brindle, red, white, and beige.

  • Minimal grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia has been a problem in the past, but careful breeding has mostly eliminated this problem.

  • Possible skin problems such as fungal and bacterial infections in the wrinkles of the face.

What you should know:
  • Buy only from a reputable breeder.

  • This dog drools a lot.

  • Moderate amount of exercise.

  • Be careful not to overheat in the summer.

read less

Norfolk Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cantab Terrier

  • Jones Terrier

  • Trumpington Terrier

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Cantab Terrier

  • Jones Terrier

  • Trumpington Terrier

Country/Date of origin:
  • England

  • 19th century

Height:
  • 10 inches at shoulder

Weight:
  • 11 to 12 pounds

Personality:
  • One of the most personable of all dogs.

  • An excellent watchdog

  • A sturdy, friendly, little fellow.

  • A perfect demon when ratting.

  • Not overly quarrelsome in everyday life.

History:

The working terrier of East Anglia was developed in the 19th century.  There wasn’t much uniformity of type until 1923 when the dogs were given the name Norwich Terrier and accepted into the English Kennel Club.  Originally, both the prick-eared and drop-eared varieties were called Norwich Terrier, and both appeared in the same litter.  However, in 1979, at the request of breeders of the drop-eared variety (who were disgruntled because judges most often gave championship points to the prick-eared variety), the American Kennel Club reclassified the breed.  The prick-eared variety retained the Norwich name and the drop-eared variety was dubbed Norfolk Terrier.  Game and hardy, the little earth terriers were used as house and stable vermin exterminators.  Carried in saddle bags, they were taken on fox hunts to drive the fox from its lair when the hounds had forced it to ground.  Norwich were often around horses, and to this day the breed retains a special affinity for the equine specie.

Body Type:
  • A sturdy, short-legged, go-to-ground terrier with drop ears and a tiny tail.

  • Small, rounded, drop ears are not altered.

  • Tail which is carried stiffly erect is usually docked.

Coat:
  • Hard, wiry, double coat.

  • Shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle are allowed.

  • Requires hand stripping to maintain the proper coat texture.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally healthy constitution.

  • Subject to dry skin problems if kept in the house.

What you should know:
  • Once the mascot of students of Cambridge University.

  • Today, the darling of the horsey set.

  • Likes to dig, and once free of the restraining fence, will set out in quest of adventure and/or mischief.

read less

Norwegian Forest

Personality:
  • Active and playful.

  • Sweet, friendly, and family-oriented.

  • Slow to...

read more
Personality:
  • Active and playful.

  • Sweet, friendly, and family-oriented.

  • Slow to develop, reaching full maturity at five years of age.

History:

Known for its superior hunting ability, this natural breed originated on the farms and in the forests of Norway.  In 1970′s, cat fanciers in Norway started breeding program in order to preserve the breed.  Imported into the United States from Northern Europe in 1980.  Accepted for championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1993.

Body Type:
  • Medium to large with heavy bones and powerful muscling.

  • Head is triangular with a straight nose and firm chin.

  • Ears are medium large with lynx tufts and plenty of ear furnishings.

  • Eyes are large and almond shaped and can be green or gold.

  • White cats sometimes have blue eyes or are odd eyed.

Coat:
  • Double-thick, long coat has a ruff and full britches.

  • Coats molt in the spring, with only a minimum of grooming required the rest of the year.

  • All colors or combination of colors are acceptable with the exception of the pointed pattern.

Health and Wellness:
  • In the past, some lines have had problems with cardiomyopathy, a defect of the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure.

  • Gingivitis may be a problem with some lines.  Preventive dental care and early treatment can keep this condition under control.

What you should know:
  • Nicknamed Wedgies in the United States.

  • Frequently confused with the Maine Coon Cat.

read less

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Dog

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little River Duck Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada

  • ...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Little River Duck Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 17 to 21 inches

Weight:
  • 37 to 51 pounds

Personality:
  • Intelligent, keen worker.

  • An all-purpose dog.

  • It makes a wonderful companion and playmate, as well as a happy, working, bird dog.

  • A good watchdog, but not a guard dog.

  • Great sense of humor.

History:

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia as a waterfowl specialist.  Its unique role in hunting is to lure (toll) curious ducks within range of the concealed hunter.  It does this by running and leaping along the shore.  This behavior, for some reason, causes the ducks to approach the dog.  Once thought to be a Fox Terrier mixture, the breed is genetically a mixture of retriever, spaniel, setter and possibly farm collie breeding.  After having bred true for many generations, it was given breed recognition by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, Spaniel-type dog.

  • The natural tail is long and heavily coated.  It is not altered.

  • The hanging ears are never altered.

Coat:
  • Medium-long with a dense undercoat that is water-repellent.

  • The allowed color is various shades of red, often with white markings.

  • Grooming requires frequent brushing to prevent matting.

Health and Wellness:
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.

  • Some thyroid problems.

  • Possible auto immune problems.

What you should know:
  • Will amuse you with its clown like antics.  If you are appreciative, the Toller will make up all sorts of amusements.

  • An active dog that never tires of retrieving.  Will play ball for hours if it finds a sucker who will throw the ball that long.

  • Puppies may be difficult to find.  Best chance is in the Northeast.

read less

Old English Sheepdog

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bobtail

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

...
read more
Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bobtail

Country/Date of origin:
  • Great Britain

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • Females:  From 21 inches

  • Males:  From 22 inches

Weight:
  • 65 to 90 pounds

Personality:
  • A lovable dog in an adorable, fuzzy package.

  • A slow learner, but trainable.

  • Protective of its people.

  • The Old English is not as docile as it looks.

  • Rather wild as a puppy.

  • Slow to mature, this breed takes more than two years to settle down.

History:

A droving dog as much as it is a herding dog, the Old English was a utility dog in the west of England.  It is thought to be about 150 years old in its present form. At one time it served double duty.  When the sheep were sheared in the spring, the dog was lined up with them and garments were made from its hair.  The breed was brought across the Atlantic in the 1880′s, and the Bobtails were shown at some of the first sanctioned dog shows in the United States.  It wasn’t, however, until 1921 that fanciers put on their first specialty show.

Body Type:
  • A large, shaggy dog whose outline is almost lost in the great puff of hair that surrounds its body.

  • Medium-sized, hanging ears (hidden in the hair), are carried flat against the head.  They are not altered.

  • The tail is very short naturally or is docked to two-inches or less.

  • A distinctive, rolling gait gives an Old English on the move the appearance of a bear.

Coat:
  • The immense, shaggy, double coat is a distinctive feature of this breed.

  • The pattern of brushing is unusual.  The hair on the legs is brushed upwards.  On the face and ears, it is stroked down.  On the rump it is pushed forward over the back.   The shoulder hair is combed straight back toward the nonexistent tail.

  • Grooming is very high maintenance.

  • Colors are any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle, with or without white markings.

  • Needs a bib at mealtime.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

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

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Congenital deafness.

  • Cryptorchidism.

  • Cataracts.

  • Cervical vertebral instability (Wobbler’s syndrome).

  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA).

  • Otitis externa.

  • Atopy.

  • Demodicosis.

  • Skin tumors.

What you should know:
  • This is a country dog. It does not do well in apartments or small suburban homes.

  • Seasonal shedding makes the Old English a mobile fur spreader in the spring and summer.

  • One of the most distinctive features of the Old English Sheepdog is the deep, ringing bark.  It sounds like a bell and is particularly loud.  It is not excessively used.

read less

Oriental Longhair

Personality:
  • Friendly, talkative, and alert.

  • Accept other pets but remain closely...

read more
Personality:
  • Friendly, talkative, and alert.

  • Accept other pets but remain closely attached to their people.

History:

Newly developed breed created to incorporate the best features of the Oriental Shorthair, but with a long, silky coat.  Ancestry includes the Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, Balinese, and Javanese.  Accepted for registration in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1988 and for championship status in 1995.  CFA considers the longhaired and shorthaired versions to be divisions of the same Oriental breed.  The International Cat Association (TICA) considers the Oriental Longhair and Oriental Shorthair to be separate breeds.

Body Type:
  • Medium-size, refined and svelte with firm muscles, long tapering lines, and a plume like tail.

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

  • Green eyes are almond shaped and of medium size (only white Orientals may have either blue or green eyes).

Coat:
  • Coat is medium long and fine without a downy undercoat (prevents matting).

  • Long coat gives this cat a softer, less extreme look than their shorthaired counterparts.

  • Over 300 color and pattern combinations.  Colors include solids (blue, chestnut, cinnamon, cream, ebony, fawn, lavender, red and white), smoke (all colors and combinations of colors with a white undercoat that lies close to the skin), shaded (similar to the smoke colors but the white undercoat extends farther up the hair shaft making the coat appear to sparkle), and parti-color and bi-color (blue-cream, fawn-cream, lavender-cream, cinnamon tortoiseshell, chestnut tortoiseshell and ebony tortoiseshell).

  • Five tabby patterns with the above colors are possible including mackerel, classic, spotted, ticked, and patched (where the tabby pattern is combined with particolor combinations).

Health and Wellness:
  • Since the Oriental Longhair is a hybrid 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, but are grounds for disqualification in the show ring.

  • Gingivitis may exist in some lines. Preventive dental care and early treatment can keep this condition under control.

What you should know:
  • Because this is a relatively new breed, there may be a brief waiting period before a kitten will be available.

read less

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