Dachshunds are lively, loyal, friendly dogs with big attitude. These dogs date back to the 1600s and hail from Germany. Bred for hunting, their name literally means “badger dog” in German. The standard size was bred to flush out badgers and burrow-dwelling animals, and much later, the miniature size was developed to hunt smaller prey, like rabbits. The first Dachshunds in Germany were much larger than the family pets we know today but even the smallest still retains the fearless hunter instinct their forerunners possessed. By the 1800s these fierce dogs were bred more as pets than hunters and their size was reduced and by 1885 they were recognized by the AKC in the hound group. Between World War I and World War II the popularity of the breed dropped significantly because they were widely used to depict Germany in wartime propaganda. The breed has since risen back to popularity and is almost always included in the AKC’s top ten most popular breeds.
Dachshunds are known for their long body set low to the ground. This body type is not a flaw – They were bred into this body shape so that they could dig with their paddle feet and fit into tight burrows to chase prey. Their deep chest provides increased lung capacity, provided them with increased stamina when hunting prey. Their longer snout and large nose offer an increased area for absorbing odors. There are two sizes, standard and miniature. The standard typically weighs 16-32lbs, while the miniature weighs between 8-11lbs. There are 3 coat types – smooth (short), long, and wire-hair and a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be solid colored, dappled, and a myriad of color combinations. They can have amber, light brown, or green eyes or even two different colored eyes. Their life expectancy is around 12 years.
Dachshunds are known to have spinal problems, specifically intervertebral disk disease because of their extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. Nearly 25% of all Dachshunds will develop IVDD. Their risk of injury is worsened by being overweight, jumping, rough play, and extensive exercise because of the added strain on their vertebrae. This breed is also prone to luxating patella, hereditary epilepsy, eye issues, and brittle bone disease.
Dachshunds are fun loving, playful dogs but can be very stubborn. They don’t like to share attention and make excellent companions for single people or those with lots of free time to devote to their pets. Dachshunds are rated as being of average intelligence. Burrowers by nature, these pups are likely to burrow in blankets or other items around the house. Dachshunds can be aggressive towards children if they are not properly introduced at a young age. Well trained Dachshunds and well behaved children can get along, however children should be mindful of the breed’s vulnerable back. In a University of Pennsylvania study on smaller breed aggression, Dachshunds rated the highest, with 20% having bitten strangers, and also have a high rate of attacking other dogs and their owners. Dachshunds love to be in the middle of everything and are funny, clownish dogs. Because of their stubbornness, diligent obedience training is a must!
1. A Dachshund named Otto was first cast in the Wizard of Oz but got fired and was replaced with Toto because of the strong anti-German sentiment during World War II.
2. Dachshunds can detect movement at a far greater distance than humans, but cannot see as well up close. They can hear 4 times better than human and can track a scent that is a week old.
3. Hot dogs were originally called “Dachshund Sausages” and shortened to “hot dog.”
4. Dachshunds are considered to be the national dog of Germany.
5. Dachshunds are generally 3 times as long as they are tall.
Our furry friends not only fulfill our lives – They are endlessly entertaining companions and incredibly interesting to boot. You may think you know your canine companion inside out, but here are a few interesting facts about our fascinating pets you might not already know:
- There were three dogs who survived the sinking of the Titanic – two Pomeranians and one Pekingese.
- When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.
- Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep due to an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and protect their abdomen and vital organs from predators.
- Dogs’ eyes contain a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.
- Salukis are the most ancient breed; there is evidence of their existence in Ancient Mesopotamia.
The Shih Tzu, who comes to us from China, is an ancient breed that dates all the way back to 800 BC. These lovable dogs were originally bred to be ornaments, their purpose being to sit in the emperor’s palace and bark when anyone approached. It is believed that they were created from a mix of Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. DNA evidence proves that the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds. The first Shih Tzus were imported into Europe in 1930s and spread throughout the country, eventually being imported to the U.S. during World War II. They were recognized by the AKC in 1969, as part of the toy group and are now recognized by all of the major kennel clubs in the English speaking world.
Shih Tzu are small, sturdy dogs with a round, broad head, large dark eyes, and a long body. Their muzzles are very short, making them a brachycephalic breed and they have an under bite, which is part of their breed standard. They usually stand around 11 inches tall and weigh 10-16 lbs. They have a long, silky double coat that requires constant combing, maintenance, and grooming, which could be costly and should be taken into consideration before ownership. Their long tail curls over their back and they come in many different color combinations.
This breed is prone to many health problems including multiple breathing problems, invertibral disk disease, hypothyroidism, ear infections, early tooth loss, and cherry eye. They gain weight easily and should not be overfed. Despite their health problems, these hardy little dogs usually live long lives of about 15 years or more. Because they are a brachycephalice breed, they are very sensitive to extreme heat and cold and should be kept indoors in severe weather. They cannot properly regulate their body temperature and can become very cold in the winter. Depending on the climate of the area they are living in, they might need a dog coat, dog boots, and dog sweaters to maintain warmth in the winter months.
Shih Tzu are very alert, lively dogs. They are usually happy and sweet natured. These gentle dogs make friends easily and usually interact well with other dogs and children, though they tend to get along better with older children. They can be stubborn and house breaking can be difficult, so training and proper socialization from a young age are a must. These people oriented pups are excellent companions and are very loyal to their owners. This dog is well suited for apartment life and requires only basic exercise.
1. The full name of this dog breed is Tibetan Shih Tzu Kou which literally means Tibetan Lion Dog. They are also sometimes called the Chrysanthemum Dog, a name that originated in England, because the dog’s hair grows out up ward from it’s nose, making it’s face resemble the flower.
2. The Shih Tzu is one of the 14 ancient breeds of dog according to DNA studies. These studies indicates that they are the closest known descendant of Senji, the prehistoric Chinese wolf.
3. Famous celebrity Shih Tzu owners include Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, Jane Seymour, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Betty White, Bill Gates, Nicole Richie, Beyonce, Anna Nicole Smith, Queen Elizabeth, and Brooke Shields
4. Old Tibetan monks regarded this breed as holy dog because it was used to guard the Imperial Palace in the old days.
5. The name Shih Tzu is both singular and plural.
We humans interpret our world by sight but our furry friends predominantly use their incredible sense of smell. Here are some fun facts about your dog’s fascinating snout:
1. While a dog’s brain is only one-tenth the size of a human brain, the part that controls smell is 40 times larger than in humans.
2. A dog’s sense of smell is about 1 thousand to 10 million times more sensitive than a human (depending on the breed).
3. The mucus on a dog’s nose actually helps them smell by capturing scent particles. When a dog’s nose is dry, they may lick it to aid them in scent.
4. When a dog smells something they are not just registering a smell, they get an entire story. They can smell pheromone which is not only found in the urine and fecal, but on the skin and fur. From this they can tell a lot about another dog or human including if they are male or female, what they ate, where they have been, what they have touched, if they are ready to mate, if they have recently given birth, or had a false pregnancy and what mood they are in. They have even been known to smell cancer on people, alerting them to it and saving their lives. This means when your dog smells another person, tree that another dog has peed on, pant leg that another dog has rubbed up against, or a chair that someone has sat in, they are actually reading a story, not just smelling an interesting scent.
5. A dog can sniff and breathe at the same time. These are two different functions. Breathing is for air, but when they sniff.
French Bulldogs originated in Europe. Their oldest relatives were ancient Greek dogs bred for blood sports. Once such sports were outlawed and these ‘Bulldogs’ were unemployed, they were bred with terriers and pugs to scale down their size and turn them into companion dogs. A group of lace makers from Nottingham, who were displaced by the industrial revolution, settled in Normandy, France. With them they brought many of these ‘miniature bulldogs’. They became popular in France and were dubbed their own breed in the late 1800’s. French Bulldogs were highly fashionable and were sought after by society ladies and Parisian prostitutes alike as well as artists, writers, and fashion designers.
French Bulldogs are small, muscular and compact dogs. They have large, square heads and bat like ears. They can be white, brindle, fawn, or a mixture of brindle and white. Their fur is short and fine and they require little grooming however their eyes and the folds on their face should be kept clean and dry to avoid infection. They usually weight between 25-28 lbs and do not require much exercise beyond a daily walk but they can quickly become obese if overfed. These dogs typically live 10-12 years.
Because they have flat faces, their airways are constricted. They cannot be outdoor dogs and shouldn’t be out for prolonged periods when it is very hot or cold because they cannot effectively regulate their temperature. They can suffer from a variety of back and spinal diseases. They are prone to luxating patellas either as a result of injury or congenital deformities. They are also prone to eye issues such as cherry eye, glaucoma, corneal ulcers and cataracts. French Bulldogs typically require a cesarean to give birth because of the puppies’ large heads. Because of their extremely top heaviness, French Bulldogs have a lot of difficulty swimming and can drown.
Like most companion dogs, Frenchies require close contact with humans. They are very easy going and clownish. They get along well with children and other pets but don’t like very rough play. They usually only bark out of necessity and because of their friendly nature, they don’t make very good watch dogs. They are well suited to apartment life and are content to stay indoors.
1. Most French Bulldogs snore due to their flat faces.
2. French Bulldogs have earned the nickname “Frog Dogs” due to the way they lay with their back legs splayed out behind them.
3. The French Bulldog was originally called the “Boule-dogue Francais”
4. The French Bulldog was very popular with Parisian prostitutes and were nicknamed “The Prostitutes’ Dog”. Postcards of prostitutes with their French Bulldogs were prevalent in France, some of which still exist today
5. Martha Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, and David and Victoria Beckham are just a few of many proud celebrity Frenchie parents.
How much do you know about man’s best friend? Here are some interesting tidbits about our four legged friends:
- Dogs don’t like rain because the sound is amplified and hurts their very sensitive ears
- Dogs were the first animals domesticated by people.
- Dogs’ sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human’s
- A female carries her young about 60 days before the puppies are born.
- An adult dog has 42 teeth.
The month of June celebrates National Pet Preparedness Month. With all of the recent news coverage of the tornado devastation in Oklahoma and the impending hurricane season, we are reminded of the importance of having an emergency evacuation plan in place for our family. The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to be prepared and this plan must include your pets. When disaster strikes, there is not always a lot of time to react. Having a set plan in place could save the lives of your family and pets.
Find a safe place to take your pets. Local and state health and safety regulations don’t permit the Red Cross to allow pets in disaster shelters, so you will need to find another option. Make a list of pet friendly hotels outside your local area, including phone numbers, and keep it with your disaster supplies. Ask friends and relatives if they would be able to shelter your animals in the event of a disaster. Whatever you do, if you must evacuate DO NOT leave your animals behind. If it is not safe enough for you, it is not safe enough for pets either.
Keep an emergency supply kit for your pet along with those for your family and make sure everyone knows where it is. This should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Your pet’s kit should include:
• A spare dog collar, leash and harness
• Food, bowls, and bottled water (and a can opener if you feed canned food)
• Health records and medication
• Current photos in case you become separated from your pet.
• Information on your pet’s feeding schedule, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets unexpectedly.
• Pet first aid kit
• Travelling carrier
Depending on the type of disaster, some warnings are issued hours or even days in advance. Don’t take these warnings lightly. At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your family and pets. Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements. Make sure to bring all of your pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or disaster. They can become disoriented and scared and wander away. Make sure your pet has proper, up to date identification like a microchip and ID tags. Tags should have your dogs’ name, address, telephone number, and immediate health needs. Write your pet’s name and your contact info on the pet carrier. Store all your emergency supplies and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
In the event that you are not at home when evacuation orders come, find a trusted neighbor or family member who would be willing to take your pets to you or shelter them. This person needs to be comfortable with your pets, know where your disaster kit is, and have a key to your home.
Planning and preparation will allow you to evacuate quickly and safely with your pets but keep in mind that animals react differently when they are under stress. Keep them leashed at all times. Even the most trustworthy pets could get scared and run off, or try to bite and scratch.
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.