Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I "Spot" a Dalmatian

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Reader ~

This week I have decided to feature a lively, playful and loving family dog... the Dalmatian!
I hope you enjoy learning about the Dalmatian as much as I did.

Dalmatians are large dogs with even larger personalities.  They are playful and easy-going, though they are high energy.
They were bred to be a working dogs, so they have abundant stamina and energy.  They love to play and due to their high energy, they are not good with young kids, but are a great family dog for older kids.   

These dogs are people-oriented and thrive in a family environment. They will want to follow you from room to room and cuddle with you at night. Dalmatians who are kept away from family activities frequently become barkers, chewers or diggers.

They were bred to run along-side horse and coach.  They were also used to guard the coach and the horses.  
To guard, they required an intelligent nature.  Dalmatians were later used to clear paths for horse drawn fire engines to travel and to help calm the horses while at the fire.  Thought firehouses no longer need Dalmatians for this purpose, the affection remains.   
Early training is essential with this breed. Dalmatians can be dominant, and if they are not shown early on who the pack leader is, they will try to take on the role. Dalmatians will certainly take advantage of a master who lets them get away with bad behavior. They are, however, quick to housetrain.
They enjoy hiking, agility, rollerblading, running and they love to play!!  They also usually love the water.  They need to be kept on a leash and in a fenced yard because they love to run and they are fast and they are not very car smart.
They are instantly recognizable as the unofficial mascot of firehouses with their white coat with black spots.  Dalmatians are born all white and their spots develop later. They are more commonly known for the white coat with black spots, but they come in many colors! 

The spots on a Dalmatian can be black, brown lemon, dark blue, tri colored, brindled, or sable.  Dalmatians can have brown, blue eyes and sometimes a blue-brown combination.
They require little bathing, The Dalmatian is an average shedder and sheds heavily during spring and fall. Its short and smooth coat is easy to groom. Daily brushing is needed during the shedding season to maintain a healthy looking coat. It should be bathed only when necessary using a mild shampoo. 
This breed is sensitive to synthetic fibers usually found in upholstery items and thus, should be adequately protected. It is also sensitive to extremely cold temperatures so care should be taken when taking them out. 

Here are some famous Dalmatians (Pongo is one of my favorites)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cute Dog Photos That I Love

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers ~

One of my favorite things to find are cute dog photos!
So here are some that I wanted to share with you.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Basset Hound

My Aunt has had many Basset Hounds over the years and they are a great family dog and are so fun to hang out with so I have decided to feature them.  I hope you enjoy learning more about them as much as I did.

Known as the clown of the canine world, A Basset Hound is sure to bring you lots of laughs.  They are a terrific family dog, because they are easygoing, sociable, loyal and loving.  They are also easily recognizable, low to the ground with their long ears for pulling a scent towards their nose, their sad eyes and don’t forget their wrinkles. 

Even though the Basset was bred to be a hunting hound, they are more made to be an over-sized lap dog.  

They are great with kids and other dogs, and are friendly with strangers.  They love to be a part of the family and will want to go everywhere with you.  They love going for car rides, hang out on the couch with you and play in the yard.  They are a pack hound and don’t like to be left alone for a long time.  If no humans are available, they would love to have another animal in the home to keep them company.  They are also prone to mischief.

The Basset Hounds are famous for being stubborn and strong-willed.  He is a master of getting his own way.  So early obedience and leash training and patience are a must.  Like most Hounds, they love to "sing," which your neighbors might interpret as baying or howling.  

A Basset needs to be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard because they will follow their nose, being a scent hound, and tends to lead them into dangerous situations, like a road.  (There are two main types of hounds, sight hounds like the Greyhound, and scent hounds, like the Basset Hound.  The main difference is their eye placement.  The Greyhound has a long narrow face with the eyes close together and used their eyes to spot their game and scent hounds use their nose and ears to pull the scent of their game.)

Even though they are not high energy dogs, they are capable of impressive bursts of energy.  While Basset Hounds can be lazy and love to sleep in the sun, they love to go on long un-hurried walks.

If you want to own a Basset you must be comfortable.  Bassets love to eat and will beg for and steal food any chance they get.  They are not opposed to climbing on a table to lick a plate clean.  They are also good for cleaning up food spills, but are infamous for snatching a cracker out of a kid's hand. 

It's not safe for a Basset to do much jumping, so be prepared to provide them a boost now and again, like into your car or your bed, which is where they will more than likely want to be.   

They are heavy shedders but only requires an occasional brushing. They come in many colors like Black & White, Lemon & White, Red & White, Black & Brown, Brown & White and their more commonly known Tri-color.
Here are some famous Bassets:

On February 27, 1928, Time magazine featured a basset hound on the front cover.[23] The accompanying story was about the 52nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden as if observed by the basset hound puppy.
Many cartoon dogs are based on the basset, such as Tex Avery's Droopy, with several Bassets appearing in animated Disney films. Syndicated comic strip Fred Basset has been a regular feature in newspapers since 1963. There is a basset hound character named Fred in the Smokey and the Bandit movie series.
In the early days of television, Elvis Presley famously sang "Hound Dog" to a basset hound named Sherlock on The Steve Allen Show on July 1, 1956. Lassie had a basset friend named Pokey early in the Lassie television series. Other famous TV bassets are the wisecracking Cleo from The People's ChoiceColumbo's dog Dog, and the sheriff's dog Flash in The Dukes of Hazzard.
Basset hounds are often used as advertising logos. The logo for Hush Puppies brand shoes prominently features a basset hound whose real name is Jason.[24]Basset hounds are occasionally referred to as "hush puppies" for that reason. A basset hound also serves as the companion to the lonely Maytag Man in Maytagappliance advertisements. Tidewater Petroleum advertised its "Flying A" gasoline using a basset hound named Axelrod.

                                                    Lafayette in The Aristocats

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Little Fox ~ The Shiba Inu

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers ~
Recently, I got a request to feature this foxy little dog, the Shiba Inu.  I hope you enjoy this little dog as much as I did.

The Shiba Inu is a unique and beautiful breed.  They are intelligent, active and energetic.  They are famous for their spirited boldness, cat-like agility and independent nature.  The Shiba Inu approaches the world with a calm dignity that is uniquely his own, which is likely why he is also described as stubborn. 

Early obedience training is important, but even then they can be stubborn.  Off leash training is especially challenging and does not always stay with them, so keeping them on leash is always a better option.  They are escape artists and owners have to be careful every time they open a door because they will bolt and they are fast.  They have even been known to climb chain link fences. 

They are alert and high energy so they need regular exercise, but a spirited 30 to 45 minute walk every day should suffice.  However, for best results, running or jogging should be made a part of the daily routine

They are not great with other dogs, and because of their hunting nature, the Shiba dog was originally used for hunting, specifically large game. Due to their speed, small compact build and agility, they would flush game out of the brush and bushes, they are not great with small animals but can coexist peacefully with cats, but if a cat runs your Shiba Inu is likely to chase it.

They are good watchdogs and only bark when there is a reason.  Then tend to be reserved towards strangers.  Shiba’s will do well with older children, but some are afraid of young children and are alarmed by their squeals and quick movements.  Many Shibas will run and hide from toddlers.  If the toddler pursues the dog the Shiba is not one to stay calm.  The Shiba Inu guard his stuff, including toys, food and territory.  

Proper socialization helps minaimize this characteristic, but it's wise to put away his toys when other dogs and kids are around.   

They are not lapdogs and prefer to sit beside you, not on you. They are not particularly cuddly and don't really like to be held. They spend a lot of time on their own, enjoying some quiet solitude. Because they don't really like to be touched or handled, grooming can be a real challenge. They are generally quiet, but do possess the Shiba scream -- a high-pitched banshee call.  They can be a bit of a drama queen.

Shibas may be red, black and tan, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or grey undercoat.  They may also be white (cream), though this color is considered a "major fault" by the American Kennel Club and should never be intentionally bred in a show dog, as the required markings known as "urajiro" are not visible; "Urajiro" literally translates to "underside white".  Conversely, a white (cream) coat is perfectly acceptable according to the British Kennel Club breed standard.

These dogs are very clean, so grooming needs will likely be minimal. A Shiba Inu's coat is coarse; short to medium length with the outer coat being 1–114 inch long; and is naturally waterproof so there is little need for regular bathing. 

They also have a thick undercoat that can protect them from temperatures well below freezing. However, shedding, also known as blowing coat, can be a nuisance. Shedding is heaviest during the seasonal change and particularly during the summer season, but daily brushing can temper this problem.

The Shiba is the smallest of the Japanese native breeds, which include the Kai Inu, Hokkaido Inu, Kishu Inu, Shikoku Inu, Tosa Inu and the Akita Inu.  Despite their smaller size it was bred to hunt small wild game, boar, bear and to flush birds.  Their name Shiba means both, “small” and “Brushwood” in Japanese.   

At the close of World War II, Shiba's were close to extinction, but merging the three remaining primary blood lines save the Shiba Inu breed.

The first Shiba dog to enter the United States was documented in 1954 and the first documented litter here in the US was born in 1973.

The American Kennel Club recognized this unique dog breed in 1993.  Today these charming dogs are the #1 most popular dog breed in Japan.

The breed received a huge boost in popularity following the debut of the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam, which went viral in 2008. The website featured a live-streamed webcam trained on six newborn Shiba Inu dogs born on October 7, 2008. Within the first week, more than three million viewers had spent 1.2 million hours watching the puppies.
Several Shiba Inu puppies were also featured in the 2009 film Hachi: A Dog's Tale, portraying the young Hachikō (who was, in real life, an Akita Inu).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fun and Feisty, The West Highland Terrier

Hi Lil Dog Whisperer Readers ~

One of my favorite Terriers is the West Highland Terrier or more commonly know as the Westie. They are feisty, determined and devoted little dogs with lots of personality. So I have decided to feature them.
I hope you enjoy learning about them as much as I did.

The West Highland White Terrier is said to originate from Poltalloch, Scotland, and due to this, was originally known as the Poltalloch Terrier. He was also sometimes referred to as the Roseneath Terrier, after the Duke of Argyll's estate. The Westie was first shown in the United States in 1906 under the Roseneath name, but this was changed in 1909 and he has been known as the West Highland Terrier ever since.

The popularity of the breed during the early 20th century was such that dogs were being exchanged for hundreds of guineas.  As of 2010, the Westie is the third most popular breed of terrier in the UK, with 5,361 puppies registered with the Kennel Club.  However, this is a decrease in numbers since 2001, when it was the most popular terrier breed, with 11,019 new dogs registered. The breed's position in the United States is more stable with it remaining in the top third of all breeds since around 1960. It was ranked 30th most popular in 2001, based on registrations with the American Kennel Club, which has varied around the 30s in the decade since, with it ranked 34th in 2010. 

The first show held for the breed was at Crufts in London in 1907. The first AKC registration was in 1908. Originally registered as the Roseneath Terrier, the name was officially changed to West Highland White Terrier on May 31, 1909.

Westie’s are active, spunky and energetic. They are confident and will stand their ground; regardless of their size this makes them good watchdogs.  They have a streak of stubbornness, so their owner/s have to start training at a young age and make them self pack leader from the very beginning. However they are fairly easygoing and friendly.

Westies are good with other dogs, but have been bred to chase small pray, so need to be socialized at a young age if you have any small animals in your home and should not be left alone with them. They also like to play rough so socialize with other small dogs.

They are okay with children, but can get nervous when they run at them, pat them roughly, or pull their ears or tail.  Sometimes a young child will remind a Westie of prey and will give chase and may act bossy around kids.  Most breeders recommend Westies go to a home with kids over ten years of age.

Though the Westie is a small dog, they are not lap dogs.   They don’t need much pampering and are happier to go for a walk in the rain and play in the mud puddles.

They love walking, they are very energetic, and most also enjoy swimming. They love to dig, so they don’t make great gardening companions. They are also known for digging under fences so a strong fence is needed to keep your Westie in your yard.

West Highland Terriers come in only white. They have a double coat. The top coat is about two inches. It is long, harsh and straight, the shorter undercoat lies close and soft.  The Westies are very light shedders but regular brushing is necessary to help keep the coat in good condition and help reduce shedding.

US owner surveys put the average lifespan of a Westie at 12 to 16 years, and some beyond that;  while the average litter size is between three and five puppies.  However, some litters may contain more than this, one of which was a Westie called Isobel who gave birth to a litter of eleven puppies in April 2012.

One of the most famous West Highland Terriers today is the  Westie from Cesar’s Dog Food. 
Cesar is the mascot and poster dog for Cesar brand dog food in the United States. In Canada, the Westie that appears on Cesar brand dog food is named Maggie.

Imelda is the name of the charming Westie that appears on the labels of Australia's My Dog brand dog food.

In the feature film based on the French cartoon character Asterix, the pet dog of Axterix's friend Obelix,
called Dogmatix, or Idefix as he is called in the original French, is played by a Westie with black ear tips.

On the animated series King of the Hill, Doggy, the pet of the Souphanousinphone family, is a West Highland White Terrier.

Happy was an acting dog that appeared on the television series 7th Heaven. Rescued from an animal shelter, Happy was reported to be abused by her first owner, making it necessary for her to make friends with adult actors before filming began. She appeared on eleven seasons of the series.

McDuff is the main character in a series of illustrated children's books created by Rosemary Wells and illustrated by Susan Jeffers.

In the popular series of books about fictional Highland police officer Hamish Macbeth written by MC Beaton, Macbeth is often accompanied by his Westie, Wee Jock. The series was adapted into a popular television series for three seasons by the BBC.

Fergus is the title character in the children's book, "Good Boy, Fergus!" written by American author and recipient of the Caldecott Honor, David Shannon.

Macintosh, the dog owned by Agatha Gregson in PD
Wodehouse's celebrated series Jeeves and Wooster, was a West Highland White Terrier.

The book, Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson, embellished the true story of a Skye Terrier that spent the better part of his life sitting on his master's grave, whom he was devoted to. In a film produced in 2006, called The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby, Bobby was portrayed by a West Highland Terrier.

Coconut is a Westie that appears in the American Girl series of books and dolls.

On the currently produced television series, House, Hector is a Westie that lives with Wilson, one of the main characters of the series.

Here are some Westie Rescues

I hope you enjoyed learning about the Westie as much as I did and if you have any cute photos of your Westie, or a dog breed you would like me to feature, e-mail me at lildogwhisperer@gmail.com