AFTER You Get Your Puppy covers the last three developmental deadlines that your puppy needs to meet before he is five months old: 1. Your puppy should be socialized to a wide variety of people, especially children, men, and strangers, before he is twelve weeks old. 2. Your puppy must learn to inhibit the force of his bites and develop a soft mouth before he is eighteen weeks old. 3. You must prevent predictable adolescent problems. Veterinarian and animal behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar is the original creator of off-leash puppy classes, which sparked the revolution for positive, reward-based, dog-friendly dog training.
The Cocker Spaniel is such a pretty, graceful dog in the show ring that it is hard to imagine that this breed was developed to be a working dog. However, before Cocker Spaniels were bred for their long, flowing coats, these bouncy little dogs were developed to be able to work tirelessly alongside hunters and sportsmen. Today, the spunky little Cocker has few of its former hunting instincts. Instead, this breed has become popular as a family pet.
Cocker Spaniels are small dogs and weigh in at twenty four to twenty nine pounds. They stand fifteen to sixteen inches tall. This breed is known for its feathery, long leg hair, its floppy ears, and its soulful dark eyes. The Cocker comes in a wide range of colors, including black, cream, roan, black and white, orange and white, tan tricolor, and black with tan points.
For several years, Cocker Spaniels were so popular that some breeders allowed dogs with bad temperaments to reproduce. The resulting puppies with bad traits were bred back to other dogs with bad traits. Suddenly, the Cocker Spaniel breed was filled with dogs who suffered from inexplicable episodes of rage or were extremely high strung. Luckily, breed enthusiasts stepped in to rescue the breed and have been breeding dogs with sound temperaments. Now, most Cockers are once again wonderful family pets and are good with children and other animals. To be sure you buy a Cocker Spaniel with a good temperament, only buy from a reputable breeder and make certain you meet both parents.
Since Cocker Spaniels are not high energy dogs, they do well in apartments, town houses, or single homes. However, your dog will still need to be exercised daily. If you have a child who likes to throw balls or sticks, your Cocker will be blissfully happy, since these dogs love to play fetch.
Although Cocker Spaniels are small enough to be easily controlled when they are full grown, it is still a good idea to train your dog. Puppy classes will help him learn to get along well with other dogs and people. These classes are also a good idea for new dog owners, since owners are actually learning alongside their dogs.
The Cocker Spaniel’s coat requires a fair amount of grooming, especially if you want your dog to have that beautiful feathery leg hair. If you do not keep your Cocker’s coat clipped short, be prepared to brush his coat at least three times a week. Keep a close eye on your dog’s ears, since those hairy floppy ears don’t always get enough air circulating to keep them healthy.
Cocker Spaniels have a bit of a reputation for being gluttonous. When feeding your dog, be sure you use proper portion sizes. You may also want to consider avoiding the use of treats as training rewards. The charming Cocker can suffer from other health problems besides obesity. They include hip dysplasia, bad knees, epilepsy, eye problems, heart disease and allergy problems.
If you want a small family dog with a playful spirit, then a Cocker Spaniel just may be the right breed for you.
Do you want a dog that is as all American as apple pie? If so, you may want to consider the Boston Terrier, which is one of the few breeds developed in the USA.
These comical charmers originated in Boston in the 1800′s. The Boston Terrier was the first American breed accepted by the American Kennel Club, which classified it as part of the Non-Sporting Group. These dogs weigh 15 to 25 pounds and stand 15 to 17 inches tall.
These highly intelligent dogs have a square skull and a short muzzle. Their floppy jaws give them a slightly clownish appearance and their short tails can be straight or corkscrewed. The Boston Terrier’s coat can be brindle, seal, or black, with white markings. The ideal Boston has symmetrical markings, with a blaze of white between the eyes and a white chest and front legs.
The Boston Terrier is a kind, friendly dog and rarely meets a person it doesn’t like. Bostons love family gatherings, which mean they get tons of attention and some tasty treats. This breed absolutely adores children, although puppies may be too rough and rowdy for toddlers unless they are closely supervised. The Boston is known for its high energy and slightly boisterous behavior.
Since Boston Terriers are such intelligent dogs, they enjoy learning. Puppy classes are important for this breed, since without something to occupy, your Boston’s energy will get him into a ton of mischief. Once you see how quickly your Boston Terrier masters basic obedience, you may want to start competing in obedience and agility trials with him. Most of these dogs love the chance to put on a performance for a crowd and genuinely enjoy competing in these trials.
Despite its high energy, the Boston Terrier can thrive in an apartment or small house. However, if you do not have a fenced yard, you will need to take your dog for a long walk or a romp in the park each day. If you cut your dog’s exercise routine short, don’t be surprised if he is bouncing off the walls the next day, especially if he is a young dog.
For many years, the Boston Terrier breed was in serious danger of being destroyed by irresponsible breeders, who did not care breeding dogs with genetic problems. With hard work and careful breeding, fanciers have brought this breed back from the brink. However, the breed still suffers from a few common health problems. These dogs are prone to cataracts, deafness, hypothyroidism, heart murmers, and bad knees. In addition, many Bostons have a weakened immune system, especially when they are under six months of age. This can lead to a serious case of Demodectic mange, which is a non-contagious condition that results in bald spots. A bad case of Demodectic mange can leave your dog completely bald and covered in sores. Most dogs grow out of the condition with treatment, but some never recover and have to be put down after developing massive skin infections.
Boston Terriers are chow hounds, but still do not eat nearly as much as bigger breeds. While they are young and active, these dogs burn through all of those calories fast, but you will need to keep a close eye on your dog’s weight as he ages. If he starts to bulk up around his chest, ask your veterinarian about a diet for overweight dogs.
Unless your Boston Terrier develops Demodectic mange, you will not need to groom him more than once a week. If he does have mange, you will need to give him a daily bath and you will need to take him to the veterinarian frequently for additional treatment.
The Boston Terrier can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but if you don’t mind a little noise and rowdy behavior, why not let this dog charm you with his loving, affectionate nature.