Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers ~

One of the sweetest dogs I have ever met is the Beagle.  They are friendly, gentle and merry.  I always love being around and with them.   Sorry for all the photos, but I think that they are so cute!
Beagles are kind and gentle with children.  He loves to play with you and always wants to be near you and he's territorial and protective of his family.

Beagles are a member of the Hound Group along with the Bloodhound, Dachshund, Basset Hound and many others!
The Beagle is a small to medium-sized dog. It is similar in appearance to the Foxhound, but smaller, with shorter legs and longer, softer ears.

Beagles are a scent hound, which means that they use their sense of smell to find game, not like the Greyhound who as a sight hound, the breed pursues game using its vision and speed.  Often you can tell sight hounds from scent hounds but their heads.  For example, the Greyhound has a long lean head so the have more range to see, while the Beagle has a short square head, also the ears play a good part in scent hounds tracking.  Their ears pull the scent towards their nose.

He has a highly developed nose and will wander off after interesting smells. For this reason, he needs to be securely fenced in or on a leash when he's outdoors or he will wander miles away after a scent. He might be more interested in finding out where that fascinating smell comes from than obeying your commands!

 Due to their amazing sense of smell often today in airports throughout the USA, dogs of the "Beagle Brigade" sniff packages and baggage belonging to international passengers, searching for prohibited food and agricultural items.

The Beagle can be quite noisy: baying and barking, telling you he has found his scent. He loves his food and will eat until he bursts if allowed to. He can be quite ingenious in coming up with ways to get to the food in the cupboard, in the bin or on the table! His favorite past time is digging in the dirt. He always wants to be near you and given lots of love and attention from his human family.  They are eager to please and will always be willing to take a treat! 

Beagles have many different hair colors although the Tri-color (white with large black areas and light brown shading) is the most common, Beagles can occur in any hound color.
Tricolored dogs occur in a number of shades, from the "Classic Tri" with a jet black saddle (also known as "Blackback"), to the "Dark Tri" (where faint brown markings are intermingled with more prominent black markings), to the "Faded Tri" (where faint black markings are intermingled with more prominent brown markings)

Some tricolored dogs have a broken pattern, sometimes referred to as pied. These dogs have mostly white coats with patches of black and brown hair.

Tricolor Beagles are almost always born black and white. The white areas are typically set by eight weeks, but the black areas may fade to brown as the puppy matures. (The brown may take between one and two years to fully develop.) 
Some Beagles gradually change color during their lives, and may lose their black markings entirely.

Two-color varieties always have a white base color with areas of the second color. Tan and white is the most common two-color variety, but there is a wide range of other colors including lemon, a very light tan; red, a reddish, almost orange, brown; and liver, a darker brown, and black.

Liver is not common and is not permitted in some standards; it tends to occur with yellow eyes. Ticked or mottled varieties may be either white or black with different colored flecks (ticking), such as the blue-mottled or bluetick Beagle, which has spots that appear to be a midnight-blue color, similar to the coloring of the Bluetick Coonhound. Some tricolor 
Beagles also have ticking of various colors in their white areas.

The short coat of a Beagle requires only an occasional brushing.  But he does shed and you may find yourself brushing him more the twice a week to remove loose hair.

Has anyone heard of Snoopy from the comic strip and TV series Peanuts?  He is one of some very famous Beagles.  So, to finish off, here are some more Beagles that I’m sure you know:

Odie from the Garfield series

Underdog, the Super dog,

There’s no need to fear Underdog is here!

 Gromit from Wallace and Gromit

In the 1960s President Lyndon Johnson had three Beagles.... named "Him", "Her", and "Edgar". 

And here is a really cute video that I found that I just LOVE!
I hope you enjoyed learning more about the Beagle as much as I did!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cute Pups! Cute Dog Photo of the Week!

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers ~
I have a new column where every week I will post a cute dog photo and this week I have some really cute ones to share with you to kick off the new column!
Here they are!
Which one is your favorite?  I love the one with the Golden and Westie!

If you have any beautiful or cute dog photos you'd like to share, please e-mail me at  I would love to share them here on Lil Dog Whisperer. 

Hope you enjoyed the photos and look forward to seeing some of yours soon!! 

You Dog Lovin’ Pal, 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flat-Coated Retriever ~ Peter Pan of the Dog World

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers!
This week I have decided to write about the fun, beautiful Flat-Coated Retriever!  I hope you enjoy learning about them as much as I have!!

 The Flat-Coated Retriever is excellent with children and a great family dog, with a reliable temperament. Friendly, sweet and high-spirited, they love everyone, even strangers. They have a puppy-like attitude and always appear to be in good spirits.

They love to play and retrieve, and with enough exercise they will be quiet indoors, saving the activity for the outside. They are intelligent, loyal companions. This very sociable breed needs lots of gentle but firm leadership from their family.

As a family companion he is sensible, alert and highly intelligent; a lighthearted, affectionate and adaptable friend. He retains these qualities as well as his youthfully good-humored outlook on life into old age. 
Paddy Petch, author of The Complete Flat-Coated Retriever, refers to these dogs as the "Peter Pan" of the retriever breeds, given they never quite grow up.
The Flat-Coated Retriever gets along well with dogs and other pets. They are active, obedient and highly trainable, and can get bored easily without variety.

Keep training sessions short and fun, without excessive repetition. Be sure to take them for daily walks to satisfy their high energy.

The Flat-Coated Retrievers is a versatile family companion hunting retriever with a happy and active demeanor, intelligent expression, and clean lines.The Flat-

Coated Retriever is an active, multi-talented bird dog with a strong desire to please people. Exuberant, confident, and outgoing, they make a loving family pet and are excellent companions to even small children, providing adults are nearby to direct this dog's boisterous enthusiasm.

These retrievers do best with plenty of exercise and engagement to help channel their natural sporting energy. Including them in one's daily routines whether for a walk, jog, or car ride are great ways to indulge their innate desire to be with people. While flat-coats will protect their owners and property with an assertive bark, they are unlikely to back up such noise with actual aggression.

Originating in the mid-19th century in England, the Flat-Coated Retriever gained popularity as a gamekeeper’s dog.  It is thought that Canadian seafarers brought Newfoundlands to British ports and that they factored into the ancestry of the Flat-coat. It is thought that Collie-type dogs were added to increase the breed's trainability along with the Newfoundland for strength and Setter blood for enhanced scenting ability.

The first examples of the breed were introduced around 1860, but the final type was only established twenty years later.  These retrievers were invaluable to fishermen and often traded between Britain and North America, where they became known as generic "Labrador" dogs. Eventually, a breed known as the Wavy-Coated (subsequently Flat-Coated) Retriever appeared and became distinct to these "Labrador" dogs.
The medium-length coat of the Flat-Coated Retriever only requires an occasional brushing. But because he sheds you may find yourself brushing him once or twice a week to remove loose hair. (What you get out with a brush doesn't fall out in your home!)

The distinctive and most important features of the Flat-Coat are the silhouette (both moving and standing), smooth effortless movement, head type, coat and character.

In silhouette the Flat-Coat has a long, strong, clean, "one piece" head, which is unique to the breed. Free from exaggeration of stop or cheek, the head is set well into a moderately long neck which flows smoothly into well laid back shoulders.
A level topline combined with a deep, long rib cage tapering to a moderate tuck-up create the impression of a blunted triangle. The brisket is well developed and the forechest forms a prominent prow.
(Liver Flat Coated Retriever)
This utilitarian retriever is well balanced, strong, but elegant; never cobby, short legged or rangy. The coat is thick and flat lying, and the legs and tail are well feathered. A proud carriage, responsive attitude, waving tail and overall look of functional strength, quality, style and symmetry complete the picture of the typical Flat-Coat.

From the young Peter Pan or strong retriever, the Flat-Coated Retriever is an amazing dog!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

From Hero to Beethoven~ The Saint Bernard

I have met a few Saint Bernards here on Alki and so this week I have decided to write about the beautiful, large and brave Saint Bernard.
I hope you enjoy learning about them as much as I have!

The St. Bernard is a large dog. The average weight of the breed is between 140 and 264 lbs and the approximate height at the withers is 27½ inches to 35½ inches.
The St. Bernard is descended from the ancient Roman Molossian dogs of war that accompanied Roman soldiers on their invasion of the Alps. These dogs were crossed with native Swiss dogs and the Saint was developed for hauling carts, guarding and herding.

The hospice was founded in 980 AD by St Bernard de Menthon as a refuge for mountain travelers using the hazardous mountain pass between Switzerland and Italy.
By the 18th century, the monks of the hospice were breeding St. Bernards to guide and rescue mountain travelers.

The Saint’s sense of smell is so good that he can find people buried by avalanches under many feet of snow.

The breed also seems to be able to sense low frequency vibrations and predict avalanches. During the past 3 centuries, these dogs are credited with saving the lives of well over 2,000 people.
"St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs", "Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time. .

There are two coat types for the Saint Bernard.  The coat can be either smooth or rough, with the smooth coat close and flat. The rough coat is dense but flat, and more profuse around the neck and legs. The coat is typically a red color with white, or sometimes a mahogany brindle with white.
Black shading is usually found on the face and ears. The tail is long and heavy, hanging low with the end turned up slightly. Sometimes the eyes, brown usually, can be icy blue, nearly white.
                     (Short haired St. Bernard)
The Saint is an intelligent, courageous, loyal, obedient and good natured dog breed. Some Saints are extroverts and some introverts but all need close contact with their families. Do not leave this breed outside all the time as it needs to be part of the family’s activities.
The breed is very good with children and also other pets but because of their very large size, young children and toddlers should be supervised carefully to avoid any accidents. The St Bernard is devoted to its family and will guard it from any threats.
The Saint is slow moving, obedient and wants to please its owner and therefore is relatively easy to train. However St. Bernard dogs are so large that they must be thoroughly socialized and trained while they are young and haven’t grown too large to handle. Any giant breed must be thoroughly obedience trained or you will have a disaster in the making.
The Saint makes a good watchdog even though it doesn’t bark much and is fairly tolerant of strangers. The Saint Bernard does best with an experienced dog owner.
Here are some famous Saint Bernards:
  • Bamse, a Norwegian dog honoured for exploits during World War II memorial statue in Montrose, Scotland.
  • Barry, famous Alpine rescue dog
  • Beethoven (from the movie series of the same name)
  • Buck, from Jack London's The Call of the Wild, is half St. Bernard
  • Cujo, the dog from the book Cujo and film of the same name
  • Nana, in the Disney and Columbia Pictures Peter Pan movies (but a Newfoundland in J.M. Barrie's original play and novel
  • Porthos, J.M. Barrie's dog
  •  Scipio St.Bernard of Orville Wright
And here is a photo that I really love of a St. Bernard and a cute little friend!
And so from Hero to Beethoven, the St. Bernard is a great dog!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Coton de Tulear - Playful Pup

Hello Dog Whisperer Readers ~
This week I am going to write about the Coton de Tulear (It’s pronounced KO-Tone Dih TOO-Lay-ARE) due to a request from Julie, a Lil' Dog Whisperer reader!  Thank you very much for the request and I hope that you enjoy!
Madagascar is the country of origin of the Coton Tulear. It is presumed that in the 16th century sailors had brought the ancestors of the Coton to the port city of Tulear (present day Toliara) in Madagascar from Spain and Portugal. The Coton is related to the Bichon dog family.

Cotons are both lovable and lucky, so it seems. In general, the Coton de Tulear is a healthy animal that can live to be 18 years old.
Coton de Tulears are affectionate, playful, and intelligent little breeds.  They love life, and are generally lively and enthusiastic. A very vocal breed, this fluffy dog grunts and makes noise when having fun. Some even have a habit of leaping and walking on their rear legs to entertain people. But some may exhibit cautiousness or shyness in new situation, particularly around strangers. This will not be a problem if you properly socialize and train him/her.

Training Coton de Tulears is a delightful experience. This breed is lovable, and eager to please the owner making them highly responsive to positive methods using praise and rewards. They are obedient and highly agile dogs that enjoys competition being in the spotlight. As with other breeds, they still require consistent training with obedience classes as puppies to both socialize them, and provide a good knowledge of the basic commands.
The Coton de Tulear loves to play and swim. They appreciate wide open space, and can tag along on horseback with their masters. They do great in various dog sports including agility trials, and catch. As an active breed, they really adapt well to their family's situation for as long as they are provided with daily walks.

This small dog weighs between 9-13 pounds for males, 8-11 pounds for females, and stands 10-12 inches for males, 8.5-10.5 inches for females.
The Coton de Tulear is different from most breeds of dogs in that the cotton, dry textured coat is more like hair than it is like a traditional dog fur. This makes the coat appear very fluffy and light, almost tussled in appearance.
The tail of the Coton de Tulear may be carried straight or slightly curved, but will always be covered with longer, cottony hair. The breed has a noticeable beard and moustache of longer hair, plus the eyes of the mature Coton de Tulear will be covered with the long hair from the forehead. In pets this may be trimmed to help with upkeep, but in show dogs the coats and faces may not be trimmed or clipped. The overall appearance of the coat should be windblown and free, not slicked or flat against the body. They should closely resemble a fluffy cotton ball that has been slightly pulled apart.

I hope you’ve enjoy learning about the Coton de Tulear as much as I have! 
You dog Lovin’ Friend,

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Military Reunions with Man's Best Friend ~ So Sweet!

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers!  I found this video and had to share it with you!  It is so beautiful! 

Your Dog Lovin' Friend,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shar Pei ~ Wrinkles Galore!

The Shar Pei, or Chinese Shar-Pei, is a breed of dog known for its distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The breed comes from China. The name (沙皮, pinyin: shā pí; English name probably derived from British spelling of the Cantonese equivalent, sā pèih) translates to "sand skin" and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat.  The plural for Shar Pei is Shar Pei which was really interesting to me.
As puppies, Shar Pei have numerous wrinkles, but as they mature, these wrinkles loosen and spread out as they "grow into their skin". Shar Pei were named in 1978 as one of the world's rarest dog breeds by Time magazine and the Guinness Book of World Records, and the American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1991.

Western Shar Pei come in many different colors, such as fawn, red (rose), sand, cream, black, lilac and blue. They resemble the Chow Chow due to having the same blue-black tongue.
There are over sixteen recognized colors in AKC. The coat must be solid in color, and any Shar-Pei with a "flowered coat" (spotted) or black and tan in coloration (i.e. German Shepherd) is a disqualification. Colors include black, cream, fawn, red-fawn, lilac, (The lilac is the hardest color to describe - it is like a purple mocha), red, sable, apricot, chocolate, isabella, (The isabella color is a light color - kind of a very, very light Khaki color. It is hard to see it in the pictures as the lighting often casts a yellow tint to the photo. It is like a platinum with a hint of taupe. It is related to the blue line), and blue. The nose may be black or brick (pink with black), with or without a black mask.

A Shar-Pei can also have what is called a "dilute" coloration. Meaning the nose and nails of the dog are the same color as the coat (i.e. chocolate coat with chocolate nose and nails). All of these color variations are acceptable and beautiful, but the coat color must be solid and well blended throughout the whole body of the dog.
Shar Pei usually come in two varieties. One is covered in large folds of wrinkles, even into adulthood (the Western type and mainly brush coat). The other variation has skin that appears tighter on its body, with wrinkles just on the face and at the withers (the original type and horse coat).

The Shar Pei is often suspicious of strangers, which pertains to their origin as a guard dog. In general, the breed has proved itself to be a loving, devoted family dog. They are also a very independent and reserved breed.

Nevertheless, the Shar Pei is extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to its family and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and proper introduction at a young age.

If poorly socialized or trained, it can become especially territorial and aggressive. Even friendly and well-socialized individuals will retain the breed's watch dog proclivities (such as barking at strangers). It is a largely silent breed, barking only when playing or when worried. The Shar Pei were originally bred as palace guards in China. This breed is also very protective of its home and family, a powerful dog that is willing to guard its family members. The breed is amenable to training but can get bored from repetition.

Overall, the Shar Pei is a dog that is loyal and loving to its family while being very protective and independent.
It was believed in ancient times that the dark mouth, exposed when barking, helped to ward off evil spirits.

At one point, the Chinese Shar Pei served as a guardian to the Royal Chinese Family before becoming virtually extinct under the rule of Communist leader Mao Tse Tung. Under the rule of the Communist leader, the Shar Pei was considered a burden because of the "wasted" food used to feed the dog. In addition, prior to the Communist takeover, Shar Peis were considered pets of the wealthy, a theory that is no longer valid or true under the new Communist regime.

The Shar Pei had become so rare at one point that it was named the "rarest dog in the world". But by the late 1960s, its popularity began to pick up, and currently, the Chinese Shar Pei is the thirty-fourth most popular breed of the 134 listed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Here are some famous Shar Pei ~
  • Lao-Tzu, Martin Prince's dog in The Simpsons, appeared in two episodes: "Bart's Dog Gets an F" and "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds".
  • Fu Dog from the Disney cartoon American Dragon: Jake Long is a Shar Pei.
  • Kimmy Gibbler from "Full House" had a Shar Pei named Sinbad and a litter of Shar Pei puppies in one episode.
  • Satchel, from the syndicated comic strip Get Fuzzy, is half yellow lab and half Shar Pei.
  • In a British television advert for a Garnier anti-wrinkle cream, a Shar Pei puppy is featured.
  • In Australia and New Zealand, a Shar Pei puppy named Roly has been used for many years in television commercials for Purex toilet paper.
  • Zac Lichman from Big Brother had a Shar Pei named Molly, who undertook a task on Day 55 and was also reunited.
  • G-Dragon from the popular Korean hip-hop group Big Bang has a Shar Pei puppy named Gaho. Gaho is featured several times in a documentary, GDTV, from Mnet as well as more recently in the lyrics and video of the song KNOCK OUT[9] on the GD & TOP album by G-Dragon and T.O.P (entertainer).

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Wire Fox Terrier ~ Show Stopping Pooch

One of my favorite terriers is the Wire Fox Terrier.  With the fun, friendly personality and great show stopping looks, they are amazing to see!  This was the breed that won the 2011 National Dog Show dog’s name was GCH CH Steele Your Heart.  I think that he is one of the most fun to watch show dogs I have ever seen!

Ch. Matford Vic, a Wire Fox Terrier, is one of only five dogs to have won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on more than one occasion. He won the competition twice, in 1915 and 1916. The only dog to win it on more occasions was Ch. Warren Remedy, a Smooth Fox Terrier, who won it on three occasions between 1907 and 1909.

Although it bears a resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.

Two of the Wire Fox Terriers' most distinctive traits are their enormous amount of energy and intelligence. They have a low threshold for boredom and require stimulation, exercise and attention. Indeed, once absorbed into the family, they are an inquisitive pet with a nose for everybody's business. 

They particularly enjoy comfort time on the couch or in bed in the evening. The wire fox is a true companion animal. Most of them love water and are always up for a swim. A life jacket is recommended for them.
The Wire Fox Terrier should be alert, quick and ready to respond swiftly with enthusiasm. However, they should also be friendly, communicative and exceedingly playful if they receive the proper care and exercise. Bred to be independent thinkers, they are capable of tactical maneuvering for vermin and other sport. Their stamina, energy and level of intelligence are unusually high. But before being seduced by these clever antics and independent ways, prospective owners should attempt to understand the breed's willful nature. 

Often, Wire Fox Terriers are abandoned or surrendered for reasons that may include running away instead of coming on command, chasing cars, bicycles, etc., taunting and then attacking other animals, including a household's cats and other dogs -- and they are sufficiently strong with more than enough bite pressure to do serious damage.
But these are actually normal behaviors for a breed designed to hunt not only foxes but also badgers and boars, with no more fear of cows or buses than they have for small prey. With a firm owner to control and redirect these prey instincts and provide them with enough exercise and diversion, Fox Terriers are amusing, exciting, long-lived companion animals -- but they are not for everyone.

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII of Great Britain did own the wire fox terrier, Caesar.  At the foot of the tomb of Edward VII in St George’s Chapel can be seen the curled up figure of Caesar, a wire-haired fox terrier and the King’s favourite dog.  Caesar was Edward VII’s constant companion, following him everywhere and travelling the world with him. His collar read “I am Caesar. I belong to the King”. Such was Edward’s love of his scruffy sidekick that he had Faberge make a trinket of Caesar, which was given to Queen Alexandra. Caesar might not have been popular with everyone, but Edward loved him.

The wire fox terrier was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Mans series of feature films was created. Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared. Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a Wire Fox Terrier. 
Here are some noteworthy Wire Fox Terriers!
  • Archie, owned by Gill Raddings Stunt Dogs starred in ITV's Catwalk Dogs.
  • Asta, from The Thin Man films adaptation (the novel's breed was a Schnauzer)
  • Bob, from the Hercules Poi rot episode Dumb Witness
  • Bunny, from Hudson Hawk
  • Caesar, the companion of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  • Charles, brought to Ceylon by Leonard Woolf in 1905
  • Chester, in the film Jack Frost
  • Dášeňka, the dog of Czechoslovak writer and journalist Karel Čapek - also featured as main hero of "Dášeňka čili život štěněte" book.
  • George, from Bringing Up Baby
  • Ike Larue, from the Ike Larue series, written and illustrated by Mark Teague
  • Moll, from the book "Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man"
  • Montmorency, from the book Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  • Mr. Atlas, from Topper Takes a Trip (played by Skippy)
  • Mr. Smith, from The Awful Truth
  • Nellie, inspiration for Nellie the Lighthouse Dog (Nellie was formerly known as Hockney) by Jane Scarpino; Nellie's owner, Robert Ensor, illustrated
  • Pan, the companion of A.L. Westgard, AAA pathfinder. Pan was the mascot of the dedication tour for the National Park to Park Highway in 1920.
  • Polly, a white rough terrier companion to Charles Darwin
  • Scruffy, the Muirs' Wire Fox Terrier on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  • Skippy, starred as Asta in The Thin Man, and other movies
  • Snowy (French: Milou), companion of Tintin
  • "The dog," from the Selchow and Righter board game "Mr. Doodle's Dog"
  • Van Gogh, Paul Meltsner's dog featured in his famous painting Paul, Marcella and Van Gogh
  • Wessex, the wire of British novelist ("Tess of the d'Ubervilles") Thomas Hardy
  • Willy, from Ask the Dust
  • Wuffles, the Patrician's dog in the Discworld Series

Asta, George, Mr. Smith and Skippy were all played by the canine actor, Skippy.