Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is a powerful dog that was originally developed for protection. English gamekeepers in the mid-19th century crossed the Mastiff and the Bulldog. The result was a powerful, fearless dog that could stop poachers in their tracks.

Today’s Bullmastiff is still a highly capable guard dog, but the breed is most treasured as a companion. Despite it’s powerful and somewhat intimidating appearance, this is a gentle and affectionate dog that forms a solid bond with it’s family members. However, the Bullmastiff’s tough side does instinctively comes out when necessary. One important thing to know about this breed: be prepared for slobber. The Bullmastiff owner tends to carry around a drool rag. If this sort of thing bothers you, then look elsewhere for the breed of your dreams. Otherwise, there’s a lot to love about these big sweeties. Could this breed be the choice for you? Learn all about the Bullmastiff and see for yourself.

Group:

Working

History:

The Bullmastiff was developed in England during the mid-1800s. Gamekeepers needed a dog to protect their game from poachers, and they experimented with crossbreeding. At the time, Bulldogs were fierce and intrepid – much more than today’s Bulldog. Yet the breed was too small to take down a human. The Mastiff was too large and slow to do the job, but crossing the two breeds resulted in the ideal guard dog. Though the Bullmastiff still makes an excellent guard dog, it is betten known today as a friendly companion and wonderful family dog. This breed was recognized by the AKC in 1933.

Size:

100-130 pounds

Colors:

fawn, red or brindle

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Ruptured Cruciate Ligament
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  • Ectropion

About the Breed:

The Bullmastiff is large-boned and muscular working dog. Its origins as a Mastiff/Bulldog cross are apparent in its appearance. In personality, this breed is smart, alert and loyal. Though the Bullmastiff has a natural protective instinct, the breed is typically quite gentle around children and others who pose no threat.

The Mastiff has a short haircoat that typically needs little more than routine grooming. This breed is a moderately high shedder. Additionally, the Bullmastiff’s ears and facial skin folds (if present) should be kept clean and dry. This breed is a drooler, so be prepared when he shakes his head! You’ll want to carry a slobber rag for this one.

Like all dogs, proper training and socialization is important for the Bullmastiff. Overall, the breed is smart, but also has an independent streak. Training will require firm consistency. The Bullmastiff is not overly active, but the breed needs routine exercise to remain fit and motivated. A word of caution: the Bullmastiff is vulnerable to overheating due to its short snout. Don’t overdo exercise, and be sure to keep your dog cool in hot weather.

Bullmastiffs are very gentle companions and family protectors that make lovely family pets. They will get along wonderfully with children when properly trained and socialized. These dogs are quite versatile as well, even adapting to apartment life provided they get plenty of daily exercise. Above all, the Bullmastiff is a loyal and affectionate house pet that forms a close bond with its humans.

People who know Bullmastiffs simply cannot say enough wonderful things about this breed. Have you been lucky enough to share your life with a Bullmastiff?

Scottish Terrier

This week’s featured breed was chosen in honor of “Sadie” AKA Ch. Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot, Best in Show winner at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show. This Scottie also competed for best in show at Westminster in 2009, where she lost to a Sussex Spaniel named Stump. Well, this year she was back and, apparently, in it to win it. Congratulations to Sadie, her handler and her owners.

The Scottish Terrier, or Scottie, is an active and bold dog with very short legs and a small but sturdy build. The Scottie is strong and fearless, but also makes an affectionate companion. This breed is well known for its distinctive beard and short stature, as well as it’s frequent Scottish attire in pictures and cartoons. Scotties have been owned by many well-known public figures over the years, including Queen Victoria, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and George W. Bush.

Akita

The large, noble Akita is a courageous companion and protector with a powerful presence. In many ways, the Akita has two faces: To outsiders, the breed may seem aloof or standoffish. However, to his family, the Akita is affectionate and loyal. This is a dog that requires respectful treatment from those around him. In turn, he will treat others with respect. He is clean and relatively odor-free, sometimes even grooming himself.

No, the Akita is not a feline, but he does seem to have the spirit of a lion. On the flip side, many Akita owners say the breed has a silly side that he shares only with those in his inner circle. One thing is for certain: the Akita is a natural guardian that will protect his loved ones no matter what. Could this breed be right for your household?

Group:

Working

History:

The Akita is a native of Japan and was named for its city of origin. The breed was developed as a watchdog and all-purpose hunter in the mountains of northern Japan, where it can be traced back several hundred years or more. Traditionally, the Akita represents health and good luck to the Japanese people.It is believed that the first Akita in the US was brought over by the famous Helen Keller, who grew fond of the breed while traveling in Japan. After World War II, when Akitas were brought to the US by servicemen, popularity of the breed began to grow. The Akita was officially recognized by the AKC in 1972.

Size:

75-120 pounds

Color:

Akitas are seen in many colors. Commonly seen colors include brindle and pinto (each with white markings).

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Akita is a noble, loyal and courageous dog of somewhat large size. In general, the Akita is quiet, deliberate and strong-willed, though the breed will bark when he thinks it necessary. Overall, the Akita makes an excellent protector of the home as well as a valued companion.

The Akita has a stiff, straight outer coat with a soft, thick undercoat. The breed sheds at a relatively high rate and will shed excessively about twice a year. Basic routine grooming is all that this breed tends to need for maintenance. Weekly brushing will keep the coat healthy and decrease shedding, and brushing should be done more frequently during peak shedding seasons.

Akitas are very smart dogs, but are also known to be willful and stubborn. This makes training a challenge but also a necessity. In addition, early socialization is key. The Akita has a strong prey drive, is often hesitant around strangers, and may not always get along with other dogs. Proper obedience training and socialization can help you keep your Akita under control and allow the better personality traits to shine through. If necessary, a dog training collar may help you train your Akita In addition, this breed has a relatively high energy level and should get plenty of exercise – at least a daily walk or two.

The Akita can thrive in the right household, showing affection and great loyalty to its family. However, this my not be the ideal breed for the first-time dog owner. The breed may get along well with children if carefully socialized, and it will grow quite protective of them. If you decide the Akita is the right breed for you, you will have a loyal and steadfast companion for life.

Whippet

The Whippet was the result of selective crossbreeding between Greyhounds and terriers in England, explaining its appearance as a “miniature Greyhound.” Once used by the English working class to hunt small game (particularly rabbits), the breed eventually became quite valued in the sport of coursing. Much like the Greyhound, the Whippet is an extremely swift runner and is considered the fastest dog of its size.The Whippet was first brought to the US in the late 1800s and registered with the AKC in 1888. Surprisingly, the breed was not officially recognized by the English Kennel Club until 1891.

Size:

25-40 pounds

Colors:

Whippets are seen in a variety of colors including black, blue, fawn, red, white and various shades of brindle, or a combination of any of these colors.

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Whippet is a dog breed quite similar to the Greyhound, though smaller in size. Typically, it can run as fast as 35 miles per hour, making it the fastest dog breed of its size. This sighthound is also known for its alert and friendly demeanor

The Whippet has a very short, smooth coat that needs very little grooming. The breed sheds at a low to moderate rate, but shedding tends to increase seasonally. Most Whippets only need periodical brushing with a grooming mitt and occasional bathing. Their nails should be kept short to prevent slipping on slick floors.

Whippets are full of energy and sometimes a bit goofy, but they can also have a lazy side. In short, don’t expect your Whippet to stay off the furniture. The breed does love to run, so be sure to provide plenty of space and daily exercise. As a sighthound, the Whippet is likely to run after anything in motion, and will not easily find its way back. The breed should never be permitted to run off-leash, and the “invisible fence” is not an option.

Proper dog training and socialization is important for the Whippet, as with all dogs. While the Whippet may not seem like the sharpest tool in the shed, the breed will learn relatively well with persistence. It is important to know that cats and other small animals may provoke the Whippet’s predatory instinct. Proper socialization is essential, but the breed might never truly be trusted around small creatures. On the other hand, Whippets tend to get along extremely well with children.

Whippets are very affectionate with their families prefer not to be left alone. They are rarely aggressive and act quite welcoming to strangers. For this reason, they do not make ideal guard dogs. However, the joyful Whippet is a lovely and loyal companion that makes a delightful addition to almost any household.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as “Yorkies,” offer big personalities in a small package. Though members of the Toy Group, they are terriers by nature and are brave, determined, investigative and energetic. They have long, luxurious blue and tan coats. This portable pooch is one of the most popular breeds according the AKCĀ® Registration Statistics.

A Look Back
Named for the English city from which they originally hail, Yorkshire Terriers were used in the nineteenth century to catch rats in clothing mills. Surprisingly enough, in its beginnings, the Yorkie belonged to the working class, especially the weavers; in fact, facetious comments were often made about how the dogs’ fine, silky coats were the ultimate product of the looms. Eventually, the breed left the workforce and became a companion animal to families of European high society.

Right Breed for You?
Yorkies are easily adaptable to all surroundings, travel well and make suitable pets for many homes. Due to their small size, they require limited exercise, but need daily interaction with their people. Their long coat requires regular brushing.

Colors
Puppies are born black and tan and are normally darker in body color, showing an intermingling of black hair in the tan until they are matured. Color of hair on body and richness of tan on head and legs are of prime importance in adult dogs, to which the following color requirements apply: Blue: Is a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with fawn, bronzy or black hairs. Tan: All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. There should be no sooty or black hair intermingled with any of the tan.