Breed of the Week: Leonberger

 

For all the giant dog breed lovers out there, here is the great, majestic Leonberger! The dog bred to look similar to a lion (mane and all!). This gentle giant is a great companion for the whole family and always ready for a photo opportunity!

 

The Leonberger was bred in the 1800’s in a German town called Leonberg. Breeder’s combined various other already existing breeds such as the St. Bernard, Newfoundlander and Great Pyrenees to create the majestic giant; carefully bred to resemble the town’s lion crest. Leonbergers were originally bred to be watchdogs working with farmers to help protect the livestock. Throughout the years, the Leonberger has been used for search and rescue, water rescue, guarding livestock, and of course, a family companion.

The Leonberger has a very recognisable coat that is always thick and plush. They tend to be dark brown or black around their face, with a brown/gold coat (similar to a lion’s coat). You will find some Leonbergers may not have the typical black or dark brown face, we still think they are gorgeous but unfortunately Leonbergers without the standard black face are not able to be shown in competition. This breed is not for someone looking for a low maintenance or low shedding dog. This giant breed has a lot of hair! It is gorgeous to look at, and hopefully you don’t mind it being everywhere in your house too! Daily brushing is essential for this breed!

Leonbergers have the very typical gentle giant personality that most giant dog breeds have. They are typically very confident dogs that don’t scare easily, but also quick to become submissive when playing with a friendly dog or interacting with people. Generally good with strangers but keep in mind they were at one time used to guarding so be alert of your dog possibly trying to protect you if he believes you are in danger. Leonbergers are famous for being great around kids; but may accidentally knock down small children simply due to the dogs large body. These are definitely sturdy dogs that are always more than happy to go anywhere with you. You never have to worry about a Leonberger slowing you down on a big hike! With that said, they don’t require an absurd amount of exercise. Just as with most giant breeds, after an hour walk, they are more than happy to lounge on the couch with you for the rest of the day.

If you haven’t heard of the Leonberger breed before, we definitely recommend you dive even further in your own research on the wonderful breed. They are such a wonderful companion. Whether you want a Leonberger to guard some livestock, or just a big fluffy dog to cuddle up with and keep you warm, the Leonberger is an excellent choice and fits in to a variety of different lifestyles.

Breed of the Week: Irish Setter

Image result for irish setter
Looking for a friendly companion to add to your family? Look no further than the gorgeous Irish Setter! Graceful and endearing, the Irish Setter is a great choice for anyone in need of a gentle and loving pet.
True to the name, the Irish Setter originated in Ireland. There is a lot of debate over what breeds the Irish Setter came from; but likely a combination of pointer and water spaniel breeds. This breed was usually a mix of red and white in colouring, whereas now we most commonly see only the solid red coat. Graceful and athletic, the Irish setter was bred as a hunting dog, specifically birds. These dog were happiest when working with their hunting masters in the field all day. Giving us the high activity level and high stamina that today’s Irish Setters are known for.
The Irish Setter is known for its beautiful red coat. This breed requires daily brushing/combing as the hair is very fine and there’s a lot of it! Especially after long hikes or walks by the lake, the Irish Setters fur can be a magnet for burrs, grass, twigs, etc. and easily tangle.
Originally a hunting dog, today’s Irish Setters need an active owner to keep up with them. They would love to go for a long hike every single day if they could! They also love to swim, so if you are an avid beach goer, consider making an Irish Setter your new best friend! You will love playing Frisbee or fetch with this breed as they are so incredibly graceful when they run.
This breed is generally healthy and will often live to about 11-13 years old. Some of the health concerns to watch out for as your Irish Setter gets older are, arthritis, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. If you notice any sudden changes to your Irish Setters appearance or personality, make sure to call your vet immediately.
The Irish Setter is a friendly breed that brings grace and stamina together. They love adventure and are great with the whole family including other pets. Maintaining their coat with daily brushings is essential to keeping out all those twigs and knots. If you do keep up with their daily grooming, you can watch that beautiful hair flow in the wind as they take their long strides!

Breed of the Week: Pomeranian

Image result for pomeranian

Is your idea of the perfect dog outgoing, alert and intelligent? Well then you may be interested in our pint-sized breed of the week, the Pomeranian!
The Pomeranian can come in many different colours/ variations, but the most common is the orange and red. Typically this breed will only weigh between 3-7 lbs when full grown (although it often looks like more with all that fur!). The Pomeranian name originates from Pomerania, a region in Germany, even though the breed was not created in Germany, but it was bred down to its small size there. Surprisingly, this breeds’ ancestors are working dogs from Iceland, specifically sled dogs. In fact, the Pomeranian still belongs to the Spitz family which also includes such breeds as the Norwegian elkhound and the Malamute. This history gives us a better idea of why the Pomeranian always seems to have that big dog personality in that tiny little body.
This breed definitely looks like it needs a lot of grooming, but in reality, their fur only really requires 1-2 times a week of brushing. Hair clipping only if the owner desires. They are almost fox-like in appearance especially with the red colouring. Other variations the Pomeranian can come in are; black, black and white, brown, white, black and tan, even blue merle!
Pomeranians can make wonderful family pets! When socialized properly, they get along amazingly with kids, strangers and other pets. They strongly believe they are there to protect you, and will bark to alert you to any possible threats or dangers. It is a good idea to work on obedience including ‘quiet’ so you can communicate to your Pomeranian when to stop barking. Obedience training for Pomeranians is relatively easy as they are very intelligent and enjoy making their people happy. Pomeranians have lots of energy and require a long walk everyday as well as some sort of mental stimulation or training to keep their minds active. Many Pomeranian owners have started entering their dogs into fly ball and agility competitions. Competitions are a great idea for these feisty little dogs so they can release some of that energy!
If you’re interested in a little dog with a huge personality, the Pomeranian may be perfect for you! They will easily adapt to apartment living due to their compact size, but keep in mind that you’ll need to teach your dog important manners such as stop barking on command, to not disturb your neighbours. Fairly easy fur to maintain, but with the freedom of many different haircut possibilities! Just as with any dog, make sure to keep yours physically and mentally stimulated to have a happy and healthy life. The Pomeranian will require at least one good long walk each day. Suitable for families or individuals just looking for a companion, with the right socialization, the Pomeranian can become best friends with just about anyone!

Breed of the Week: Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is possibly one of the most famous and recognizable breeds in the world. With their signature spots, most people instantly think of ‘101 Dalmatians’ or the dogs working alongside firefighters. Let’s take a closer look at this breeds history, lifestyle and personality quirks!

The Dalmatian was originally known as ‘The Carriage Dog’ in the 1790’s as they were often found in paintings standing next to horse drawn carriages. Even as far back as you can find records on the Dalmatian, you will consistently see that they were always a working breed. When not running alongside and guarding the carriages, people would use the Dalmatian to hunt vermin, as trail hounds, even as circus dogs thanks to their high intelligence and distinctive look! With their natural ease around horses, they would help firefighters get to the fire faster by running ahead and making sure there was a clear path for the horse drawn carriage (obviously this was no longer needed once we had fire trucks!). They would also be used to guard the fire station and alert the fire fighters of anyone breaking in.

With all that intelligence and energy, this breed is best suited for someone with a very active lifestyle. Dalmatians require a lot of exercise as well as mental stimulation every day to be at their happiest. They love to be with their family 24/7 but can be a bit aloof around strangers as they do really bond with ‘their people’. It is a great idea to train your Dalmatian early on basic commands as well as looking at options for agility competitions. These dogs are so naturally active and strong they easily earn high rankings in dog agility competitions or fly ball competitions.

If you are considering adding a Dalmatian to your family, whether a purebred or mixed, make sure to learn all about any health concerns they may be prone to so you can treat any signs or symptoms early on. Dalmatians in particular can be prone to deafness as many breeders will overlook some genetic defects and instead breed only for that perfect Dalmatian look. Dalmatians will also need to relieve themselves more often than other dogs as they actually have a very unique urinary system. For this reason, it is important that their diet is closely monitored and discussed with your vet as nutrition imbalance can easily cause urinary tract disease in this breed. If you ever see your Dalmatian straining to relieve themselves it is best to call your vet right away.

The Dalmatian is undeniably cute and loves to be around their family. They can get along well with young kids if socialized early and monitored during interactions. They make very strong bonds with their family and will protect them from any harm. A perfect day for a Dalmatian would simply be working alongside their owners outside all day. A Dalmatian can be a fantastic addition to the right family, and they will always be ready for whatever the day has for them!

Breed of the Week: Miniature Pinscher

Ever wonder what that tiny Doberman-looking dog was called? It’s the Miniature Pinscher! Or more commonly known, the Min Pin. These little guys pack a lot of personality and energy into a small package. Read on to find out more about these spirited little dogs.

Although the Min Pin usually looks like a miniature version of a Doberman, they actually aren’t related at all! In fact the Miniature Pinscher breed is much older than the Doberman. The Miniature Pinscher was originally bred in Germany several hundred years ago, gaining most of their popularity in 1895 when the Pinscher club was formed. These tiny dogs were developed to rid vermin in German homes.

The Min Pin that we know today usually aren’t hunting for vermin, but they still possess their natural high prey drive. Anything from squirrels, squeaky toys, even leaves blowing in the wind will often gain their attention. Being very determined and strong-willed dogs, once something has their attention, it takes a lot of convincing for them to move on.

Even though the Min Pin has a big personality, they are still tiny little dogs that can get hurt easily if playing too rough with others. Min Pin owners should be extra careful when watching their dog play as they often won’t hold back and with their tiny limbs it can be very easy for a bigger dog to accidentally hurt the Min Pin during play.

If you are considering buying a Miniature Pinscher, get ready for a lot of energy! These guys love to play every minute of the day. If they aren’t given something to do, these curious guys will go exploring and get into anything they can find to keep their busy minds happy. It’s best to have an experienced dog owner as Min Pins are very intelligent and will require a lot of time and training to be satisfied.

Being so naturally tiny, the Miniature Pinscher will require ‘winter wear’ during the colder months. Little booties, sweaters, jackets, it all helps to keep your dog from getting too cold out on his walks in the snow.

These great little dogs love the company of their human companions. Confident, energetic and curious are the best ways to describe the Min Pin. Never underestimate their determination and focus, but instead direct that focus to learning new tricks and you will have an incredibly smart and happy dog!

Breed of the Week: Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a beautiful large breed dog with a lot of great characteristics. If you love the ‘up for anything’ attitude of terriers, and prefer a larger dog, the Airedale might be perfect for you!

Airedales were originally bred to be a sporting dog, hunting rats and otters for their masters. Because of their incredibility stamina and determination, they were later used as working dogs in World War I. They were trained since birth to assist the soldiers in military tasks such as carrying & delivering messages and locating any injured men.

Today’s Airedale Terriers are still being used as sporting and hunting dogs. Anything from agility competitions to helping retrieve birds for their hunting masters.

When considering adding a Airedale to your family, it is important to keep in mind that they are very intelligent and confident. They need a job to focus on and love to work alongside their owners (and have the stamina to be working all day!). Some say the Airedale can be difficult or stubborn when it comes to training. For this reason, it is extremely important to have patience and stay consistent when training this breed. As an intelligent breed, they will often wonder ‘what’s in it for me?’ when being asked to perform a task (such as ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’).

The Airedale is a hypo-allergenic breed, so someone with allergies is more likely to be able to tolerate being around this dog (although allergy symptoms may not completely disappear). Although they don’t typically shed very much, they do require regular brushing to keep tangles out of their coat, as well as hair trimming once every couple of months.

Airedale Terriers are naturally very protective of their family. For this reason, it is imperative that these dogs are well socialized at an early age with strangers and other dogs.
Airedale Terriers are wonderful dogs that simply love life. They are intelligent, high energy, courageous dogs that will do anything it takes to finish their task at hand. This would be a great dog for someone with a very active lifestyle. And as hard-working as they are known to be, you will still find these dogs to be sweet-natured and lovable. A great companion to an active family.