Breed of the Week: Boxer

Boxer dog

Meet our sweet and lovable breed of the week, the Boxer! An active breed that loves spending time with their family. It’s easy to fall in love with this charming breed, read on to discover their wonderful attributes!

 

Developed in Germany in the late 1800’s, the Boxer is considered part of the ‘Molosser’ group which all bulldog breeds also belong to. His ancestors are the English bulldog, and an old mastiff-type breed that does not exist anymore, called ‘Bullenbeisser’. The Boxer was originally bred for hunting large animals such as deer and wild boar. They were trained to take down the animals and hold them until their hunting master could get to the animal.  Boxers were bred with the intent to make the perfect hunting companion. The strength and determination of a bulldog, combined with the stamina and size of the Bullenbeisser (small mastiff-type dog). Everything about the Boxer breed was very intentional, even their colouring. The brindle colouring of many Boxers was specifically created by breeders to help them camouflage when on the hunt.

 

The Boxer completely suits their name as anyone who has watched a Boxer play, knows how much they like to ‘stand up’ and use their front paws (and they look like they’re boxing!). Which makes sense considering the large prey they were bred to hunt, it was natural for them to go on their hind legs so they could reach the neck of their prey. As this action of jumping up is so natural for these dogs, one of the most valuable things you can teach your boxer is to not jump up on people. Once taught, this breed will often require management on their manners; meaning even when they’re an adult, you may still need to do training sessions once in a while on how to properly greet a stranger and not jump.

 

Boxers are one of the most family friendly breeds you will find. They love to spend every minute of the day with you. When properly socialized, they get along amazingly with kids, but be sure to watch them around very young kids as the boxer’s boisterous energy may knock young children over! They are very active dogs and will need to be with an owner who has an active lifestyle to match. They are able to adapt to apartment living if they have sufficient time running around and getting out their energy.

 

If you want a dog that doesn’t require regular trips to the groomer, the boxer might be your next dog! They don’t require any hair clipping, but they do shed and require regular brushing at home, along with bathing, nail clipping, etc. Also be sure to inspect and wipe out their facial wrinkles as needed to ensure they stay clean and don’t get infected or irritated.

 

The wonderful Boxer can make a great companion to an active individual or family. Be sure to teach them early on not to jump on people, and continue to maintain those manners throughout their lives. If you think you can handle the energy of these playful wonderful dogs, then consider bringing a Boxer into your life!

Breed of the Week: St. Bernard

saintbernard

If you’ve seen the famous movie ‘Beethoven’, then you’re already familiar with our breed of the week, the St. Bernard! This big cuddly goofball is a well-known family dog that really is a gentle giant! Read on to find out why everyone’s heart melts when they meet a St. Bernard!

 

The St. Bernard breed was developed in the 17th century Switzerland as companions to monks. They were bred from various mastiff-type dogs. These dogs would accompany the monks on search patrols as they were excellent at detecting avalanches about to happen. With their keen sense of smell, they were also used to track anyone who had been buried in snow by the avalanches. When the weather was too bad for the monks to do their searches, they would send out groups of St. Bernards to go alone and search out for anyone who had been lost or buried in the snow. When the dog would find someone, one St. Bernard would lie on the body to keep it warm, while another Bernard would go back to the monastery to alert the monks. The very recognizable barrel under the neck of a St. Bernard, would contain some sort of alcohol so that the person being rescued could drink it to help stay warm while waiting to be rescued.

 

Now that we use helicopters and various forms of technology for search and rescues, the St. Bernard is generally just used as companion dog. As with most giant breeds, the St. Bernard does require daily exercise but not as much as a highly active dog such as a Border collie or Weimaraner.  But due to their extra-large size, they do take up a lot of space so they may not be best for small living areas such as an apartment. They get along great with kids as well as cats and other dogs. As with any breed they should be well socialized at an early age. St. Bernards should also learn all of their basic obedience at an early age as to not become to rambunctious when full grown and to prevent jumping on people (as they could easily knock an adult over!).

 

The St. Bernard doesn’t require any hair trimming, but they do shed a lot! They will need to be brushed at least once a day. And if you don’t like drool, then you will not enjoy living with a St. Bernard. They will drool on anything and everything! You won’t ever have to worry about buying them booties or a jacket for the cold weather, they were bred to work in the snow! So they often really enjoy going for even longer walks during the cold weather.

 

Living with a St. Bernard is like living with a giant cuddly teddy bear, they are excellent cuddlers (their original job was to basically cuddle people buried in snow and keep them warm!). They get along great with everyone and really enjoy being around their owners. Hopefully you like the snow because St. Bernards will want to play in the cold weather all day! And as long as you’re okay with drool, the St. Bernard could be the perfect breed for you.

Breed of the Week: Chow Chow

chow-chow-dog

Here comes the Chow Chow! A bouncy, fluffy, energetic teddy bear that loves his family! This dog is an independent thinker and some say this breed acts more like a cat than a dog!

 

Chow chows are believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Originating from Mongolia, they were kept by Chinese emperors to guard all of their valuable possessions. Some emperors kept as many as 2000 Chows! The breed started becoming very popular outside of China after Queen Victoria gained interest in them, and then in 1895 a breed club was finally formed for the Chow Chow. Now in the modern world, many celebrities have fallen in love with the breed too! Sigmund Freud’s daughter became a Chow breeder and Martha Stewart would often bring her own Chows onto her television show.

 

As you can probably guess by looking at these big fluffy teddy bears, the Chow would be considered high maintenance for grooming. They require daily brushing, sometimes twice a day if your particular Chow is a heavy seasonal shedder. Basic grooming like nail clipping, teeth cleaning and bathing will also be required. Some owners choose to shave down their Chows, but most groomers will recommend against this due to the Chow’s ‘double coat’. When dogs with double coats are shaved, it often leaves the hair to grow back much coarser than it was before, as well as diminish it’s naturally ability as insulation in colder weather. So we highly recommend that you don’t shave your Chow Chow’s coat, but instead simply keep up with brushing and your Chow will be feeling comfortable as well as keeping stylish!

 

Chow Chows are very family oriented. The family unit they grow up with they will often bond to for life and be very loyal companions. Chows are often independent and serious type dogs and do not like to be ‘messed with’; for this reason they should be carefully monitored around young or rowdy children. Chows need to be heavily socialized when puppies to ensure they are not too standoffish or weary of strangers, as well as to become comfortable around children and other animals. Most Chows have a natural tendency to be very friendly with cats, probably because they act so similar in mannerisms! Although they are almost always calm and almost lazy inside the home, they do still require a fair amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

 

Chows are a wonderful choice for individuals or families looking for a laid back dog that will always be happy to see their owners. Loved by many celebrities, this dog gets along great with cats and can get along well with kids when socialized early. The Chow Chow will love to go for a long run with their owner and then relax for the rest of the day at home. So make sure to consider the Chow Chow when looking to add a new dog to your home!