Monday, September 30, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Cesky Terrier

Photo from akc.org
The Cesky Terrier is a small dog from the Czech Republic. It is a family-loving hunting dog who loves to dig. 

The webpage ceskyterrierfanciers.com writes, "The premise was for the Cesky to be an aggressive, mobile, well-muscled, short-legged and well-pigmented canine who, at the end of the day of running through dense forests, bogs and thickets could be cleaned with minimal effort. This would allow the dog to transition from hunter to 'family's best friend.'"

They are known to be patient, playful, and sporty. They're brave, loyal, and courageous, and usually good with children. It is important to socialize them from a young age, and the socialization should continue on a regular basis.

Cesky Terriers are active love running and playing. A back yard where the dog can get exercise is a plus, but they can adapt to apartment life if they get long daily walks.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What do you do if your dog is missing?

A pet owners nightmare: their beloved furry friend has gone walkabout and might never come home again. It can happen. Many dogs are experts at sliding out of collars or jumping fences. They might bolt when they get scared by something, or they sneak out when someone comes to visit.

In personal experience, I was taking one of my dogs from the car to the house when she saw a dog on the other side of the road. She tugged on the leash, and the metal hook that attached to her collar snapped right off.

No one counts on metal fatigue to ruin the day!

My imagination painted out vivid images of Bonnie scrambling into traffic and being hit by a car. She could have gone for the dog on the other side of the road and ended up in a fight, or she could have ran away. Luckily, she's a good girl, and when I called her name she sat down just a step away from me.

Did I learn from this? Not really. My dog still doesn't have a tag with my name and address. I've looked at GPS collars, but not gotten around to buying one. She's microchipped, but my contact information probably isn't up to date.

What do you do if your dog does run away?

1. Search the neighborhood.

Start with your normal dog-walking routes, and expand your search from there. Remember to bring a leash and some smelly, yummie foods. A favorite toy that makes sound is a great thing to bring; dogs hear quite well. If you have more than one dog, or if your doggie has a friend, bring them. Show recent photos to everyone you meet, and give people a way to contact you.

2. Tell your neighbors.

Not every neighborhood is suitable for going door to door, but most people are happy to help. Post fliers and tell as many people as possible. On the flier, offer a reward and create tear-off tags with your phone number. Leave fliers at vet offices, emergency clinics, shelters, groomers, pet stores, and everywhere else you can think of.

While you do this, talk to the vets, trainers, and groomers. Someone might pick your dog up and decide to keep him or her. If they seek out a vet or a groomer, you want to know.

Post photos of your dog on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media available to you.

3. Enroll the mailman.

Postal workers, delivery drivers, and bus drivers go around your neighborhood all the time. Give them a photo of your dog and ask them to call you if they see anything.

4. Search shelter and rescues.

Contact local breed specific rescues, even if they're not right by you. Search shelters within roaming distance every day - depending on where you live, strays might be euthanized after just a couple of days. It's tempting to just sit down and call, but it's much better to go in person. Whoever answers the phone might not know which dogs are there. Your dog might be designated as the wrong breed or gender. If you're not allowed inside, bring photos.

5. Never give up.

Dogs are tough. Some people look for their furry friends for months or even years before the doggie turns up on the other side of the country. Keep looking, and keep asking people to help you search.

What do you do if you find your dog?

In a perfect world, doggie would come running up to you with a wagging tail, excited to see you. The outside can be pretty darned exciting, though, and other things might be more interesting.

Chasing a dog usually isn't a good idea. Tricking them into a yard that can be closed off is easier. Encourage your dog to run after you instead of the other way around. If that doesn't work, try falling down on the ground and crying out in a high-pitched, distressed tone. Many dogs will run over to tend to their owner.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rapper gone dog-rescuer

While searching for dog news one article has popped up over and over again. I have avoided it, since it's title is too gloomy: "City of Strays; Detroit's Epidemic of 50,000 Abandoned Dogs." Today, I decided to read it.

The beginning was even sadder than I expected. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Detroit. There are some 90,000 abandoned houses, and up to 50,000 abandoned dogs. The estimate sounds high, but to be honest, no one knows exactly how many there are.

How did this happen? Humans flee the city, and leave their dogs behind. Poverty runs rampant, and people can't afford to feed their pets anymore. Heartbreaking!

Somewhere on the first page, the article turned into a ray of hope. Hip-hop artist Dan Carlisle and TV producer Monica Martino started Detroit Dog Rescue. This too seemed to lead nowhere - until an anonymous donor gave them money. A lot of money.

Carlisle stepped up to the occasion. Together with his bass player, photographer, former body guard, and other friends, he now rescues the dogs of Detroit. The rescue receives about 250 calls every week, and when the article was written, they'd only had to put down one dog. A stunning difference against the other local shelters who keep a euthanasia rate of 70%. 

If you want to know more about this, check out these links:
~ Maria Sadowski ~ 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who invented the pet door?

Cats and dogs have accompanied humans for millennia. Dog fossil records go back around 40 million years, and cat fossils around 12 million years. To the best of our knowledge, dogs have been domesticated for about 12,000 years.

This is a long time walking side by side, and it makes sense that our ancestors did their best to accommodate their furry friends just like we do.

In the beginning, the cat door was a hole in the wall meant to invite feral cats to come in and hunt rodents. We know the people of Cyprus had pet cats 9,500 years ago. They might very well have had cat holes too.

In more recent history, 14th century writer Geoffrey Chaucer described a cat hole in his Canterbury Tales, where a servant knocks on a door, no one answers, and he peeks in through the cat hole.

Nowadays, Sir Isaac Newton is most often accredited with inventing the pet door. He allegedly cut two holes in the wall; one for his adult cat and a smaller one for the kittens. It sounds like an urban myth created to show how even an incredibly intelligent person can have moments of stupid and not realize the kitten would follow their mother through the big hole...

Anyway, according to legend, Newton covered the holes with felt to keep excess light from coming in and disturbing his experiments. This would have been a predecessor of the modern cat flap.

~ Maria Sadowski

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A service dog can be a great help for a child with Autism

Autism is a neurological disorder that impacts social, communicative, and cognitive functions, and the disability is becoming increasingly common. In 2012, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 88 children in the US has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

It is difficult to compare this number against previous decades, because the criteria for what counts as Autism has changed. According to the Autism Science Foundation, in the 1980's, autism prevalence was reported as 1 in 10,000. Even with different measuring criteria, it's a stunning difference to 1 in 88. Autism is almost five times more common among boys than among girls.

Many children with autism are non-verbal, or don't use the skill to actively communicate with other people. In short, a child with autism does not connect well with the surrounding environment. That doesn't mean the child doesn't want a connection.

Luckily, it can be easier to connect with a dog than with other people. The organization Autism Service Dogs of America says, "A child who connects to a dog connects with the world." They explain that a dog serves as a physical and emotional anchor for the child, and even provides a focus through which a child with autism can connect with other children. 

The dogs also helps kids deal with emotions, and while many children with autism dislike being touched by another person, they can enjoy touching a dog. Some children tend to wander away, and in this case the service dog can be trained to track the scent of, hold, retrieve, or find the child. 

the MIRA Foundation in Canada recently made a study on the physiological impact of service dogs on children with autism, and found that their stress levels dropped significantly with the presence of a dog. Most likely, the stress levels in the parents dropped as well...

If you want to read more about service dogs and children with autism, there are many great resources on the Internet. I visited Autism Service Dogs of America, Pawsitive solutions, and 4 Paws For Ability.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Komondor

Komondor photo from akc.org.
The Komondor is a Hungarian breed that arrived to Europe from Asia between the years 900-1100. It is descended from Tibetan dogs, and has worked with sheep and cattle in Hungary for over 1,000 years.

This is a herding breed, but rather than rounding up herds or flocks, the Komondor follows the animals and protects them, usually without assistance from a human. Here, the eye-catching coat has a practical purpose; it helps protect the dog in case of attack. Wolves are not able to bite through the thick coat.

The Komondor is a very large breed that often grows over 30 inches tall. They're known to be calm and steady when things are normal, and they are responsible and loving towards their families. If there's trouble, the dog will defend its charges. Komondors have been bred to think and act independently and make decisions on their own, which can create problems in the modern world if the dog isn't trained. Training sessions need to be upbeat and happy, and the dogs thrive on praise.

These dogs often rest during daytime, and patrol during night time. If a Komondor would discover an intruder, they're known to knock them down and keep them down. Hungarian Komondor breeders say, "an intruder may be allowed to enter, but he will not be allowed to leave."

The Komondor requires daily exercise and obedience training. They don't shed much, but they need help in separating the cords so the coat doesn't turn into a huge, matted mess. They need baths just like all dogs, but the coat takes about two and a half day to dry.

The proper plural of Komondor is Komondorok.

Friday, September 20, 2013

PlexiDors in the blogger world

Working in the pet industry is infinitely rewarding. The highest points of my days are always when we solved someone's problem, or made life easier for someone. 

Image from catvideos.com
Recently, the website catvideos.com featured the PlexiDor small, telling the world how our door helped solve a problem in their multi-pet household. Yay!

The blog post is both funny and informative, and tells the story of how the dogs figured out what hidden goodies the cats left in the litter box. (Yuck! LOL!)

Nowadays, the litter box resides in a closet, where the cats can get to it through the PlexiDor, but the dogs have to stay outside, because they're too big to go through.

Houndgirl.com writes about the PlexiDor on the other side of the spectrum: Extra Large.

She says, "We live in Texas and the heat can be well over 100 degrees several months out of the year and with our old dog door I could feel the money flying right out the door. Every time she would go in or out the flap wore down or would swing several times till it closed, even when it was closed it wasn’t a tight seal."

Problem solved. Read her blog to see the full details of her PlexiDor experience!

Image from www.houndgirl.com

The website cheapisthenewclassy.com has also tried a PlexiDor. They answer a question many customers bring up: can a small pet really use a large door? This is a common concern since many household have dogs and cats, or large dogs as well as small dogs.

They have a medium door, and compared to their Chihuahua it looks gigantic. They write, "Puppy Mister was hopping back and forth through the door in minutes. He is only 4 pounds, so if he is strong enough to get the door open, I am sure that your little fur babies can too. No problem."

Puppy Mister from c
heapisthenewclassy.com

Waywarddogs.com have the PlexiDor Electronic. This door is automatic, and it only opens for pets with a key.

This review also focuses on some common questions. Like, "What if the door closes and the dog is still in the opening?" It's a fair and reasonable question. Especially since some dogs used to dog doors like to lie down and look out with their head out the door and their butt still in the room.

They write, "The PlexiDor has a sensor so it knows if there's a dog or something else blocking it. I tested the door with several objects, including my own wrist. It doesn't press down very hard, and if it hits a foreign object more than a few times, it freezes open and beeps like crazy."

Luke from waywarddogs.com

Do you have a pet door? Do you like it? Why, or why not? =)

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Emma the GBGV wrote a book!

Emma from mygbgvlife.com
Emma the GBGV wrote a book. That's no small feat for a dog, but Emma is good at all sorts of things. She runs a B&B for her friends, she bakes, cooks, reads... She has even guest blogged here for our Rare Breed Monday feature. 

Her book is released today, September 19. I haven't read it yet, but her blog is fantastic, so I'm assuming the book will be too. 
The book trailer sure has me curious. How does a dog run a B&B? Is she going to launder the cat? What does Emma's mom think of having a dog cooking in her kitchen?


Blurb:

What in the world is a GBGV? Who is Debucher Baguette, aka Emma the GBGV? Find out as Emma tells all about her breed, and adventures in her own words, barks, and howls. She is a talented writer, currently residing in Minnesota with her furry siblings - Kuvasz sister Katie, kitty brother Bert, and kitty sister Sophie. Emma shares her amusing tales about running a successful B&B for dogs, helping out with housework, being a master chef in the kitchen, her life as a photo model, and many other humorous undertakings. Emma is definitely not your average dog, and her tales are also out of the ordinary!

The book is available as e-book or in print from a number of outlets. Take a look on Amazon!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Run, run, run, run, jump!

At times, I worry my dogs might get too little exercise. They have ample time to run around the yard every day and I do my best to remember to play soccer with them, but I still have a constant bad conscience. What if they're bored? Under-stimulated? They like to run, but I sure don't.

From time to time my husband will bring out a remote-controlled car. Our gang loves to chase that thing, but there are a couple of downsides: toys break easy, toy cars require a fairly flat and smooth surface, and the range isn't all that good.

Go-go dog pals thought along the same lines.


The go-go dog pal is a remote control pet toy fitted with a long-range system. According to the manufacturer, the range is up to 350 feet, and the toy can travel up to 22 mph. It can be operated on any surface, and it's made for dogs, so it's durable.

Downsides? Would be the price tag.

I have yet to try one, but SantaPaws might bring one for Christmas. Have you tried one? Did your dogs like it? What do you think of the idea?

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dogs designing robots?

Social robots are machines somewhat able to emulate how people express themselves. A social robot needs to be able to communicate verbally, but also through expressions and body language. 

Dogs might help teach
robots social skills.
A social robot must be able to learn from other people, and to collaborate. Sounds like science fiction? These machines are already used in various forms of physical rehabilitation, and we're bound to see them perform more functions in the not too distant future.

So, what does this have to do with dogs? Gabriella Lakatos of the Hungarian Academy of Science says that dogs might come to play an important role in the design of social robots.

Her study shows that dogs react differently to robots who behave socially compared to machines that just do their jobs, even if the device looks nothing like a human. This can give important insight into the robot's design.

According to Science Daily, humans interact differently with machines with a body than with cell phones or computers, and studying the dogs' interaction can help scientists understand the differences.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


Monday, September 16, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Great Anglo-French Tricolor Hound

Image from Wikipedia's media file repository.
The Great Anglo French Tricolor Hound is a result of crossing English and French hounds in the sixteenth century. 

There are actually seven breeds described as Anglo-Francais and Francais hounds that all share a common past, and the Great Anglo-French Tricolor Hound is the variety with the most English blood.

These dogs are hardy, strong, brave, and tenacious, and they love to hunt. They're often used for hunting large game, and they work in packs. Large packs.

As an adult, they normally weigh around 75 lbs and grow to around 24-28 inches at the withers. They lave long legs, long drop ears, and a long tail. The double coat should be tricolored: black, white, and tan.

They can be somewhat stubborn and require training. The Great Anglo-French Tricolor Hound is rarely kept as purely a pet; it's a working dog that requires extensive space and lots of exercise. They also need regular brushing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

K9s for Warriors

PTSD is an acronym for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While PTSD might be most associated with military veterans, it can affect anyone who faces a situation larger than themselves. A few examples are car accidents, death of a loved one, robbery, home invasion, working in any type of emergency or medical field, natural disaster... These situation don't have to lead to PTSD, but they can.

They symptoms of PTSD are as varied as the situations that trigger it, but some of the most common include recurring memories, nightmares, sleeplessness, feeling numb, anger, irritability, fear of crowds, a sense of never being safe... Needless to say, this affects both the person afflicted with PTSD, and people around him or her.

Around 7.8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. When it comes to military veterans, around 29% of veterans treated at VA medical centers have a diagnosis of PTSD. That's a big number.

To many of these people, dogs have proven invaluable. Dogs pick up on stuff humans wouldn't notice, and they're good at sensing when they're needed.

Image from veteranstoday.com
For the veterans, there's an organization called K9s for Warriors located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They rescue dogs from shelters and train them to be service K9s to military troops and veterans suffering from PTSD.

There are probably more organizations, but this one is on my radar since PlexiDor Pet Doors are based in Florida. If you know of another organization, please tell everyone in the comments!

The dogs are able to provide assistance, for example fetching things for soldiers with physical disabilities. They are also trained to provide personal space for veterans who feel uncomfortable in a crowd. The dogs are taught to "cover and block," that is, to stand between their human and approaching people.

Veteranstoday.com points out that some people who don't feel comfortable in crowds might be able to trust their dog; dogs are great observers of their environment and normally perceive tangible danger before people. If the dog with its keen senses is relaxed, the danger might not be there.

People come in all shapes and sizes, and the service dogs do too. A tall person uncomfortable in crowds might need a taller service dog than a shorter person. Some dogs might be trained differently than others. It's important to match the right dog with the right human!

The training of each dog costs around $10,000, and at the moment, K9s for warriors are completely funded by private donations.

PTSD might not be visible, but it is real. It's not about what's wrong with a person; it's about what happened to a person. If you want to learn more, I recommend A Spouse's Story on Facebook. This is a great community with information, opportunities to discuss, and practical advice. Bec who runs the page is a dog trainer, and writes many useful posts and notes about service dogs and PTSD.

Here are some more good pages:


~ Maria Sadowski ~

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Soon my dogs will want an iPaw!

I think my dogs frown on all the time I spend in front of the computer instead of playing with them. If I'm home I take frequent breaks to play soccer or rub furry tummies, but to be honest, I spend more time at the office than with them.

What if they had their own computers? Sounds silly, right? Because only humans use technology.

Wrong.

According to The Telegraph, scientists are designing computers for dogs, so they can play, operate household appliances, and communicate with their humans. Wouldn't it be cool if they could answer the phone?

Part of the problem with current technology is that dogs aren't used to doing stuff with their paws. They can learn to poke buttons, but using their noses and mouths comes easier.

This doesn't have to be an obstacle; more and more devices such as cell phones use gestures to control what happens. The iPhone, for instance, has motion sensitive technology that allows users to control it with a shake.

Computers for dogs sounds like science fiction, but the devices might be here before we know it. A British team is working on computer based toys and games for animals to teach them how to use devices. They've been awarded a grant to develop kennels with computer technology.

Read the entire article here, and check out this video!



~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Puppies - and some things you might not know about them.

Every person has been a child, and every dog has been a puppy. While the species have many interesting similarities, there are differences as well. 

Did you know that when puppies are born, many of their organs aren't fully formed yet? This includes the brain, and puppies are fragile. They spend the first few weeks of their lives developing rapidly.

Puppies are born with their eyelids shut, because their eyes aren't fully developed yet. A newborn puppy's eyes are extremely fragile. Never attempt to open a puppy's eyes - they're sensitive to light and can sustain eye damage for life.

Newborn puppies are also deaf, and relative silence is crucial for their developing ears. If you force the puppy's ears to respond to sound inputs before they're fully developed it could cause great damage.

It usually only takes a couple of weeks until the pup's eyes open and they hear well. They still should not be removed from their mother until they're at least eight weeks old! Some animals are born with the ability to leave their mothers right away. Dogs need their time with their mom in order to develop and be taught.

If you want to read more about this, check out this great article at psychologytoday.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dogs are not color blind, they just see the world differently from us.

Dogs being color blind is an old myth that just won't die. A lot of people think animals experience the world as gray, but this isn't true. They see other colors than we do, but they definitely see colors.

Dogs' eyes are focused on a spectrum containing yellows, blues, and violets.

Red, green, and orange as we see it would appear as yellow or blue. I'm guessing my lush green yard looks like a yellow field with yellow bushes carrying yellow flowers.

It's interesting how many dog toys are yellow, orange, or red, because this lets us see them better. From the dog's point of view, a blue tennis ball might be much more visible than a yellow one. They find them anyway, because dogs have a great sense of spotting movement.

Image source: http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/la/davis2.htm


An eye contains two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones. If I got this right, a human eye has many types of cones, which allows us to see many different colors. A doggie eye has more rods. Thus, dogs have much better night vision and ability to track movement than the human eye. On the downside, they see fewer colors and less details.

There's another big difference between a dog's eyes and a human's. Their eyes are placed on the sides of the head while ours face forward. This means that they get a visual field of 250 degrees, and humans only have a field of 190 degrees.

Image source: findretrievers.com
They have much better peripheral vision than we do, but we can focus and judge the distance to an object better.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Mudi

Image from akc.org
The Mudi is a Hungarian breed with roots back to the 15th century. It's a herding dog, often confused with the Croatian Puli. The confusion in no way becomes smaller from the Mudi sometimes being called Puli, even though the breeds stem from different countries.

Many people believe the Mudi and Puli are formed from the same ancestor, and this might very well be true. We don't know for sure. We do know that the Mudi is not created, but discovered as a naturally occurring shepherd's dog type, and it is the last naturally developed herding breed that still works with shepherds and livestock.

The breed is loved and mentioned as one of the best herding breeds, a good hunting dog, watchdog, and companion. It does well in sports, and loves to swim and play in water.

Mudis are generally black, but can also have a merle coat, or be completely white.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Amazing doggie noses!

What's that I smell?
You met a poodle? Mom!!!
Most people communicate through hearing, seeing, and smelling, in that order. Dogs do it the other way around; smelling, seeing, and hearing. A dog's brain is one tenth the size of a human brain, but the part that controls smell is 40 times larger than a human's. 

The average dog's sense of smell is about 1,000 times better than a human's. We have around five million scent-detecting cells, and depending on the breed, dogs have between 125 million and 300 million. The average dog has somewhere around 220 million. 


So, what does that really mean? Well, a dog can smell what someone ate, where they have been, what they touched, and what mood they are in. Dogs can smell if someone is pregnant, or of someone has cancer. Trained dogs can identify lung cancer through smelling a person's breath.


When a dog smells a tree, someone's foot, or a chair, they get an entire story. I might smell pasta, and the dog can smell each individual ingredient. Isn't it amazing?


Some dogs are trained to smell dead bodies under water. They can smell where termites are hiding, or natural gas buried under 40 feet of dirt. 

The Bloodhound is usually pointed out as the dog with the best sense of smell, but it might actually be the Beagle.

~ Maria Sadowski ~ 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How smart is a dog?

I bet you'll all agree with me when I say dogs are fantastic. Whether they're trained to do tricks, spend their days herding cattle, work as service dogs, or nap on the sofa, dogs are amazing. The interesting question is, how smart is the average pooch, really? 

Stanley Coren at the University of British Columbia asked the same thing. According to the website livescience.com, a number of tests on dogs have given astonishing results.

Testing dogs on language revealed that the average pooch is on par with a 2-year-old child, able to learn around 165 words, including signals and gestures. Testing dogs on arithmetics gave even more interesting results; they trump a 3-4 year old. They also have good social and spatial skills.

Border Collies, Poodles, and German
Shepherds top Coren's list
of smart dogs.
The smartest dogs are, according to Coren, Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds.

One Border Collie has been tested on 1022 words and understands grammar. In comparison, 1,000 words make up 75% of the Oxford English Corpus; a measurement of which words are really used in everyday situations.

Now is a good time to point out that the smartest dogs don't necessarily make easy pets. Someone clever enough to figure out everything you say will also be smart enough to make up plenty of mischief, get bored easily, and know exactly how much they can get away with. =)

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Star Wars collection from PetCo

I brought a lot of stuff home from BarkWorld in Atlanta the other week. Amongst the goodies were Yoda ears from PetCo's new Star Wars collection. 

They have all sorts of fun stuff; toys, clothes, princess Leia cinnamon buns... You can't believe how cute the Darth Vader chew toys were.

Anyway, I'm sure my dogs are delighted that mommy got them Yoda ears, right?

Do your dogs wear clothes? Do they like it? Would they put up with being turned into Yoda for a night?


Ellie: "Moooom, do I have to wear these?"
Bonnie: "This isn't too bad, but they don't match my bandana at all!"

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dog of the month: Catahoula

The Catahoula is believed to be the first dog breed developed in North America. They have been bred more for abilities than appearance, and can range greatly in size and color.

The Catahoula is a highly intelligent and energetic dog, and if it has a job to do, the job is taken seriously. They often herd or hunt, but are also excellent family dogs, as long as they're allowed to be with the family. They don't like to be alone. They are protective and a natural alarm dog who will alert to anything out of the ordinary.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Rare Breed Monday; Saarloos Wolfdog

Image from dogbreedslist.info
The Saarloos Wolfdog is a Dutch breed of dog known for being a faithful and reliable companion and house dog. This is a young breed, established in the 1930s through breeding German Shepherds with wolves, and the first generation had about 1/4 wolf. Since then, the breed has kept an outer appearance reminiscent of a wolf.

They are lively, energetic, and independent, but also extremely reliable and devoted to their family. They are also known to be suspicious towards strangers and prone to flee any unwanted contact. These dogs require a fair amount of exercise, and are happier in the countryside or in a house with a big yard than in the city.

Saarloos Wolfdogs are large - males often weigh around 90 lbs - and they live to be around twelve years old. They do shed, especially in spring and fall when changing between summer and winter coats. They are known to be good with children, and are generally friendly with other dogs.