Welsh Corgis are a very old breed. There is record of them dating all the way back to the 11th century. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an offshoot of the older version of the breed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The two breeds are very similar in appearance with the real difference being their tail – Cardigans have a long tail and Pembroke Corgis have no tail or have a stub. These dogs originated in Wales, bred for herding as well as for hunting and guarding children. The two breeds once collectively were called Welsh Corgis despite their different appearances but in 1934 the Kennel Club separated them.
The Corgi is known for its short, stumpy legs. It has the body of a much bigger dog but is usually only 10-12 inches tall from feet to shoulders and usually weighs around 30 lbs. There are 5 colors recognized by the AKC for Corgis: Red, with or without white markings, sable/white, fawn/white, red-headed tricolor (black dog with a red head and white markings), black-headed tricolor (black and red with red and white markings). Red is the most predominant color. Corgis have a double coat and are heavy shedders. They do not require extensive grooming but de-shedding is a must as they shed all year round.
Corgis are among the healthiest dog breeds, in addition to longest living. The usually live 12-15 years. Diseases they are predisposed to are hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and epilepsy. Corgis have a great love for food and if over fed, they can become very obese.
Corgis are very personable, intelligent dogs. Their natural herding instincts make them excellent at dog agility, obedience, fly ball, and tracking. They are very affectionate and love to be involved with their family. They have a great desire to please, making them easy to train. Their alertness and intelligence make them excellent watch dogs. It is important to socialize these dogs at a young age with other dogs and people or anti-social behavior could emerge. Their herding instinct can cause them to nip at ankles. They can be trained out of this behavior but are better suited for families with older children.
1. Welsh folklore states that the corgi is the preferred mount of fairy warriors. There is also a folk legend that says corgis were a gift to us from the woodland fairies, and that the breed’s markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles.
2. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are famed for being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned more than 30 during her reign. These dogs have been favored by British royalty for more than seventy years.
3. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the shortest breed in the AKC herding group.
4. Corgis are prone to random bursts of energy. They will run and play for hours and are good at entertaining themselves.
5. Corgis lay with their legs sprawled behind them, in a ‘flying frog’ position.
When Obie the dachshund came to live with his new owner, Nora, he weighed a whopping 77lbs and was so overweight he could barely walk. The normal weight range for a standard European dachshund is around 25-30 lbs, making poor Obie over twice as heavy as he should be. His previous owners were elderly people with failing health and they were no longer able to properly care for him. They showed their love for him with food, and this overfeeding left Obie very obese. A family member finally convinced them them that they could not provide the care Obie needed and he went to a dachshund rescue, and then his forever home with Nora.
With a background in animal science and the health care field, Nora was the perfect person to help this portly pup. She and her vet came up with a plan for Obie’s weight loss journey. Through a mixture of a prescription diet food, healthy snacks, and exercise, Nora has helped Obie to lose 42lbs since August, leaving him currently at 35lbs! Because of his extensive weight loss, he was left with a lot of loose, excess skin including a waddle dubbed his “bosom pile” on his chest that drug the ground and required him to wear a vest to hold it up.
Through hard work and diligence, Obie is nearing the end of his weight loss journey. This past Tuesday Obie underwent surgery to remove his excess skin, making him the first dog to have weight loss plastic surgery. In total they removed 2.5lbs of excess skin and he is recovering nicely. He still has a few more pounds to shed, but the hardest part is over. Throughout Obie’s weight loss, Nora and Obie have been inspiring people everywhere they go and spreading weight loss and fitness information. With well over half the pet population overweight or obese, this information is very beneficial to owners and their pets. Two thumbs up to Obie and his owner for all their hard work and progress! This once pudgy pup has a whole new lease on life.
Here’s some interesting facts about our canine companions!
1. Dogs turn in circles before lying down because in the wild this instinctive action turns long grass into a bed.
2. Dogs actually do sweat! They have sweat glands in between their paws.
3. The average dog can run about 19 mph. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on Earth and can run at speeds of 45 mph.
4. One female dog and her female children could produce 4,372 puppies in 7 years. Please spay and neuter your pets!
5. Dogs are roughly as smart as a 2 or 3 year old child. This means that they can understand about 150-200 words, including signals and hand movements with the same meanings as the words.
Contrary to popular belief, the Miniature Pinscher is not a miniature Doberman! These compact, alert dogs originated in Germany and share some of the same ancestors as Dobermans but are a completely different breed. Their earliest ancestors may have been a mix of Italian Greyhounds and Dachshunds. “Pinscher” means “Terrier” in German and the Min Pin breed originated over 200 years ago, bred to hunt rats.
Miniature Pinschers are sturdy little dogs that stand 10-12 inches in height and weight about 8-10 lbs. They have a smooth coat and require very little grooming. Min Pins have a characteristic hackneyed like walk akin to horses. They have an arched neck and a muscular body. The ears and tail are often cropped. Typical coat colors are black and rust, chocolate and tan, or red.
While every breed has inherent health problems, Miniature Pinschers are generally healthy dogs that live long lives. Life expectancy is around 15 years. Typical health problems are usually with the eyes or legs like cataracts, glaucoma, and hip dysplasia. Min Pins are also prone to obesity if they are not regularly exercised and are sensitive to cold. This breed will appreciate a dog coat and dog boots in the winter time.
Min Pins are proud, courageous, and intelligent dogs. They are incredibly loyal and have a lot of energy. Min Pins tend to be skilled escape artists and shouldn’t be left off leash. Because of their independence and intelligence, you must assert yourself as the pack leader or these little dogs can develop bad habits. Because of their small size, they make good apartment dwellers but also thrive in environments with a big yard. Min Pins make very good watch dogs. These curious dogs are very observant and don’t realize their size, making them fearless in the face of danger.
1. In Germany, this breed is known as Zwergpinscher. Pinscher refers to terriers, which are dogs bred as guardians or to hunt vermin. Zwerg means ‘dwarf.
2. The Min Pin’s nickname is the “King of Toys” though the breed is not actually a toy breed at all.
3. The miniature pinscher once came in harlequin like that which is found in the Great Dane
4. Until the early 1900′s Miniature Pinscher popularity was primarily contained in Germany and the Scandinavian countries but has gained great popularity in the US since the first one was registered with the AKC in 1925.
5. Originally the AKC recognized this breed as “Pinscher- Toy”. The name was officially changed to “Miniature Pinscher” in 1972.
This month the ASPCA launched their National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. There are countless innocent animals abused or neglected by their owners every year. This month is a great time to spread awareness and help pets in need. There are many simple things you can do to crack down on animal cruelty in your community. Knowing who to report to is key. Each town is different; some rely on the police department for taking action in animal cruelty cases and some rely on the local animal control agency. If you suspect a case of animal cruelty, be sure to call and provide as much information about the incident as possible including type of cruelty, who was involved, dates, times, and where it took place. Be sure to observe pets in your neighborhood. If you familiarize yourself with the animals around you, you’ll notice if an animal has lost a lot of weight or changed their demeanor. Here are some additional signs and symptoms of animal abuse:
• Tick or flea infestation
• Wounds on the body
• Patches of missing fur
• Extremely thin
• Repeatedly left alone without food or water
• Left outdoors in extreme weather
• Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when owners approach
• Dogs who need medical attention and aren’t taken to the vet
• Pets housed with too many other animals
• Overgrown nails, matted fur, filthy
• Weakness, drowsiness, confusion
If you notice any animals displaying these symptoms, or if you witness physical abuse such as hitting or kicking firsthand, be sure to alert authorities immediately. If you don’t want to give your name, you can always call anonymously. Animals depend on their owners to provide them with food, water, shelter, and kindness. Pets are innocent creatures and need you to step in if they are suffering.
Our canine friends are the single most diverse species on Earth. There are approximately 400 different breeds of dogs! Thanks to human’s selectively breeding dogs, our furry friends come in all shapes and sizes and the wide variety of dog breeds far surpasses any other creature on the planet. Here are some quick facts about a few of those breeds:
1. One kind of Pekingese is referred to as a “sleeve” because it was bred to fit into a Chinese empress’ sleeves, which was how it was often carried around.
2. The most intelligent dogs are reportedly the Border Collie and the Poodle, while the least intelligent dogs are the Afghan Hound and the Basenji.
3. Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf in one or both ears.
4. The best dog to reportedly attract a date is the Golden Retriever. The worst is the Pit Bull.
5. Greyhounds appear to be the most ancient dog breed. “Greyhound” comes from a mistake in translating the early German name Greishund, which means “old (or ancient) dog,” not from the color gray.
Boston Terriers are truly “All American” dogs. They were the first breed created in the US that was recognized by the AKC. With their friendly and enthusiastic nature, high intelligence, and small size, the Boston Terrier makes a perfect companion. Bostons originated around 1870 from a combination of Terrier and Bulldog lineage. Originally bred for fighting, the first Boston Terriers weighed in at around 40lbs but were later scaled down and meant to be companion dogs. The breed was first shown in Boston in 1870 and was finally recognized by the AKC in 1893 and was also the first non-sporting dog bred in America.
Boston Terriers are compact, muscular dogs with large, bat-like erect ears, short tails and a short, square face. While black and white are the most common colors seen, Boston terriers come in a wide range of colors including brindle, seal, red, brown, all white, and black with white markings. They typically weigh between 10-25 pounds and their average life span is 11-13 years.
Every dog breed is prone to certain health problems. The main ailments that Boston Terriers suffer from are cataracts, luxating patellas, deafness, heart murmors, mast cell tumors, and allergies. Because of their short muzzle they are a brachycephalic breed and cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold. A dog coat and dog boots can help keep these sensitive dogs warm in the winter time but they shouldn’t be left outdoors for very long in the heat or cold.
Boston Terriers have a very easy going nature and get along well with children, strangers, and other pets as long as they are properly socialized. They are not difficult to house train and are not usually barkers. They shed very little and require only basic grooming. They are suited well for either and apartment life or active life.
1. In many editions of the book version of “The Wizard of Oz”, Toto has been illustrated as a Boston Terrier.
2. Due to the their markings resembling a tuxedo (in addition to their pleasant personality) the breed is commonly called the “American Gentleman” .
3. Boston Terriers were so popular in the US during the 1920’s that they represented between 20-30% of all dogs entered into shows.
4. The Boston Terrier was recognized by the state legislature as the “state dog of Massachusetts” in 1979.
5. Before they took the name Boston Terrier in 1889, these pups were called Round Heads, Bullet Heads, and Bull Terriers.
March is National Poison Prevention Month and now is a great time to take a look at your home and stop any potential dangers in their tracks. There are many common household items that are harmful, if not deadly, to our precious pets. According to reports from Poison Control Centers, over 90% of the toxic substances our pets ingest come from inside our own homes. Here is a list of the top toxic substances our pets accidentally ingest:
1. Human medications – When pills are dropped on the floor, our pets will find them and in many cases, eat them. The top medications animals are exposed to unknowingly are heart medications, antidepressants, and pain medications. If you drop a pill, make sure you pick it up right away so that your pup doesn’t mistake it for a snack.
2. Insecticides – We use these on our animals, in our home, and in our yards. Improper use of these substances can cause seizures and skin issues for our pets, especially cats.
3. Pet medication – Most pet medication is flavored with an irresistible taste to make it easier to administer. This same yummy taste could convince them to eat the entire bottle if give the chance.
4. Household items – Paint, drain cleaners, and other cleaning products should be kept away from pets. Pets’ curious nature could lead them to trouble if these are ingested!
5. People food – Many seemingly harmless treats such as raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic can cause severe issues in our pets ranging from upset stomach to death. Be aware of what foods are poisonous to dogs and keep those far away from your pooch.
6. Chocolate - Chocolate is the number one toxic people food dogs ingest. While poisonous to all dogs, it affects each one differently in different doses. Symptoms can range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and in some, death.
7. Plants – There is a long list of household plants that are poisonous to pets. Take care to either not display these plants in your home or to put them far out of reach of your pets. Even a leaf that has fallen in the floor is sometimes enough to poison your pet.
8. Rat poison – When you put out rat poison, never underestimate how clever your pooch is. If they find the poison and eat it can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure, or seizures.
9. Lawn care and garden products - Fertilizers are made of dried blood, manure, and bone meal, making them very attractive to our furry friends. Try to only buy pet friendly products for your lawn and garden.
10. Automotive products - Gas, oil, and especially antifreeze should be kept out of reach. Less than one tablespoon of antifreeze – which has a sweet taste pets have a hard time resisting – can kill a 20lb dog.
Inspect your home and make sure any of these products are out of reach and put where your pet does not have access to them. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, time is of the essence. Steer clear of online forums and don’t waste time doing internet research – The sooner you see your veterinarian the better chance your pet has for a full recovery.
Our canine companions are as interesting as they are loyal. Here are five fun dog facts for all of you dog lovers to enjoy:
1. A dog’s shoulder blades are not attached to the rest of the skeleton. This allows more flexibility for running.
2. The shape of a dog’s face suggests how long it will live. Dogs with sharp, pointed faces that look more like wolves will usually live longer. Dogs with very flat faces, such as bulldogs, tend to have shorter lives.
3. The Basenji is the only dog that doesn’t bark.
4. A dog can use as many as 18 muscles to tilt, rotate, or raise and lower his ear
5. Contrary to popular belief, dogs can see in color, although they most likely see colors similar to a color-blind human.
Every day is a great day to give your pooch a treat but tomorrow, February 23, is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day; a great day to reward your deserving dog with something extra special! No one knows who started this holiday, but it was definitely a dog lover!
Dog biscuits have been around for a very long time – at least since the Roman Times. The dogs biscuits found back then were much different than the gourmet options our furry friends have today. The very first ‘dog biscuits’ were actually just hard, stale old bread. Old bread in those times was called ‘dog’s bread’ – a far cry from a meaty Beggin’ Strip! In the 19th century hunters would give their dogs hard barley meal biscuits to provide them with extra energy when out on a hunt. The early grain only biscuits evolved to contain vegetables, meat, and bone meal. In the late 1850’s an electrician from Cincinnati named James Spratt noticed a group of dogs munching on the rock hard biscuits sailors would eat on ships, sparking an idea. In 1860 he created Spratt’s Patented Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes, made of real meat and sold as dog food. Not long after, in 1908, F. H. Bennett Biscuit Co. developed a hard-baked, bone shaped biscuit made of meat products and cow’s milk, dubbed the Milk Bone.
As dogs evolved from guards, hunters, and workers into roles as companions and family members, treats evolved as well. There are still many plain dry biscuits around but there is also a plethora of other dog treat options to choose from – healthy, gourmet, crunchy, chewy, meaty, jerky, cookie, with or without icing… The list goes on and on!
International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is one of the easiest holidays to celebrate. Just do what us dog lovers do best – Pamper your precious pup! Give your dog an old favorite, try something new, or make something homemade… No matter how you choose to celebrate, your canine companion will be pleased!