Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

Highland White Terrier

Highland White Terrier

At around 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every “threat” from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier
Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds

Temperament:

Naturally,

•    they like to bark and dig
•    they are not as willful like most terriers
•    they love companionship

When properly trained

•    they can become fairly friendly towards strangers
•    they develop close affinity with behaved children
•    they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them
•    they can become a very good watch dog
•    they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

•         Chronic skin problems
•       Perthe’s disease (hip problems)
•       Jawbone calcification
•       Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)
•       Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap
•       Liver ailments
•       Deafness
•       Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

•    Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.
•    They should bathe only when necessary.
•    Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.
•    The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.
•    They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.

Origin/History:

As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland. It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that were known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in the history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in the history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland. Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, that are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire.

In the first-ever dog show that were organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called as White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.

We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

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October 1, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | 1 Comment

Caring for Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Pet Dog

softcoated-wheaten-terrier

soft coated-wheaten-terrier

The soft coated wheaten terrier would be considered by most people to be “high maintenance”. This means that a lot of care should be given to it in order to maintain its stature. This statement also means that a lot of steps should be taken in order to care for the dog properly. So how do you care for your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog?

Let us first talk about the coat. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of a soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. In fact, when you take a look at the name, you will realize that the coat gives the dog its identity. Taking care of this essential part of the soft coated wheaten terrier dog can be quite a daunting task. This is especially true if you have just found out about the various standards that people use to judge the beauty of a soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

Frequent grooming is required to keep the coat shiny and to prevent matting. It also helps get rid of any accumulated dirt. You should comb or brush your soft coated wheaten terrier dog everyday to make sure that his coat remains silky and tangle-free. The coat also needs to be trimmed once in a while to preserve the “terrier look” and to allow a new coat to grow.

Besides the coat, you should also take care of the nails and teeth of your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. In case that you do not know what to do by yourself, you might want to hire some professional dog grooming services to do the job for you.

Another aspect you should concentrate on is the training. Remember to train your soft coated wheaten terrier dog as early as possible in order to ingrain in him the basics of proper behavior. There are several keywords that should come to your mind when training your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog:

1) Consistency – be consistent with your teaching. Do not use different commands in order to get the same response as this will only serve to confuse your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. You should also be consistent in terms of reward and punishment. This will help your dog understand what you want to happen.

2) Tone – a soft coated wheaten terrier dog is actually pretty sensitive to the tones in the human voice. This means that the dog will be able to tell if you are feeling upset or if you are feeling impatient. You need to learn how to moderate your tone in order to avoid confusion with your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

3) Timing –learn the proper timing of when to correct your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog. The element you need during correction is surprise. You need to correct the soft coated wheaten terrier for a mistake right after or even before it performs the act. This way, you will be able to instill a sense of consequence into your soft coated wheaten terrier pet dog.

Caring and training for your soft coated wheaten terrier can be quite a bit of work. You will also have to contend with the energy inherent in every terrier breed. However, with patience, your efforts will be rewarded.

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | 6 Comments

Information Regarding Cairn Terrier Pet Dogs

If you are thinking of getting a Cairn terrier pet dog, then you need to know some information about it first. Why? Well, knowing the right information about anything will help you in the long run. This is especially true when we are talking about a pet ownership. Before you get a Cairn terrier pet dog, you need to be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. You need to know how to take proper care of your cairn terrier pet dog and you also need to know what to expect when you are getting one.

Thankfully, there are a lot of sites on the internet which can provide you the necessary information. To save you some time, however, here are the basics:

Originally bred in the Scottish highlands, the Cairn terrier is the smallest of all terrier breeds. You should not let the size deceive you when you are getting a Cairn terrier pet dog, however. The Cairn terrier was first bred because of its working ability. You know what this means? This means energy.

A Cairn terrier pet dog has a lot of energy to spare. They can gain a lot from taking brisk walks daily. However, you should know that they do best when they have a fenced-in yard to play in. This way, they get more room when they play. Their high energy also means that they aren’t really suitable for apartment or condo living. If you live in such places, then having a Cairn terrier pet dog is not for you.

Their energy may also put them in danger. This is the reason why you need to make sure that a Cairn terrier pet dog stays in one area. Their natural instincts tell them to dig and run and these activities may lead to accidents if unsupervised.

There are, however, a lot of positive things that can be said about a Cairn terrier pet dog’s energy. For one thing, it makes the dog fun to play with. It can play for hours on end, giving you the companionship that you want. Another positive with this energy is the fact that this energy can be channeled into good purposes. A Cairn terrier pet dog is naturally inquisitive and is always willing to participate in a new adventure. This means that a Cairn terrier pet dog can be easily taught to do tricks. They learn tricks very fast and thrive in obedience training.

You need to make sure that your Cairn terrier pet dog is trained properly since untrained ones have a tendency to be destructive when they are bored.

Let us talk about the proper care for a Cairn terrier pet dog. One thing you do not need to worry about is its coat. The Cairn terrier pet dog was not bred for the beauty of its coat. The coat of a Cairn terrier pet dog is weather resistant and sheds little to no fur. Because of this, it can be a great indoor pet.

Being the smallest of terrier breeds, however, makes Cairn terrier pet dogs especially vulnerable to various health problems. Care must be taken when feeding it as it can gain weight quite rapidly. A Cairn terrier pet dog is also especially sensitive to fleas. However, you can be sure that this is one of the best breeds around.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | Leave a comment

Unfortunate Impressions on Bull Dog Terriers

People might be wondering why there is such a name as “bull dog”.

Originally, Great Britain and later, America were obsessed with bloody fights between bulls and dogs. The main function of the canine is to hang on to the bull’s neck and worry the poor animal until it dies. Obviously, these dogs had developed great strength in their jaws.

Among the popular choices of dogs for this sport were the pit bulls. Back then, the selection of pit bulls was so varied that many showed a variety of characteristics that made the sport highly interesting. Later in the life of the sport though, the center of attraction switched towards the fight between pit bulls and not against the bulls themselves.

From these canines rooted most of the bull dog terriers that we know of today.

One of the significant bull dog terriers we have is the American Staffordshire Terrier who is of great interest since it possesses intriguing seemingly opposing characters.

They project strength and physically power but they are not vicious. In fact, this dog is very much associated with its relationship to its family, especially among children. The physical features it has are now only due to their basic nature and orientation during their bloody fights as fighting machines. But this does not negate the fact that they can sometimes show aggressiveness which may somehow work against them. Nevertheless, this can be set off with their loving nature and devotion to human family. Thus, it has a stable temperament which make them good pets and excellent watchdogs.

AmStaff terrier, as it is called by its shorter name suffers in reputation though since it is commonly associated with pit bulls. These dogs are known for their love for challnge and are therefore employed in illegal dog fighting.

Most of the problems root from irresponsible training. Sadly, there are too few AmStaff that are properly trained. And what’s even depressing is that there are innumerable pit bulls that are continually ill-treated by sadistic owners.

We are often confused of what true pit bulls are. In fact, many contend that these dogs must not be called by that name since it elicits unwanted images of gory dog fights. While this breed is not yet officially recognized by the American Dog Breeders Association or the United Kennel Club, the legitimate name remains to be American Pit Bull Terrier.

While it is true that American Pit Bull Terrier is violent in nature, this doesn’t imply that they are made purely for brutal stuffs. As we have earlier said, these dogs are only products of maltreatment and exploitive training (and inhumane) for self serving purposes. Otherwise, American Pit Bull Terriers can be very people loving.

These are also known for their being hardworking on which they excel from. They are also fond of excessive physical activities that would exhaust their power reserves. Thus, this breed is great for those who need company during athletic training. If you are the couch potato personality, please find another breed of dog that would suit your lifestyle.

To clear things off, American Pit Bull Terrier are not officially recognized not because of its ill reputation but mainly due to beliefs that it is not a purebred. One major standard for a dog to be distinguished as member of Kennel Clubs is that it should be purebred. Until more comprehensive findings on its origin are found, this dog will remain unfortunately tagged as “nasty”.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | Leave a comment

The Bull(y) and Strong Dog: Staffordshire Terrier

The Staffordshire bulls are known for their great strength because of their sizes. Their variety is muscular and stocky but is also known for their agility. Surprisingly, this breed is one of the two breeds recognized by the UK Kennel Club as very suitable for children. Furthermore, their types ranked 5th when it comes to dog popularity in the UK, where the breed originated. Interestingly, Staffies are the only breed of dog that are “totally reliable” when it comes to standard of breed.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Staffies:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: either indoors or outdoors

Coat: smooth (or silky like most terriers), dense, and short

Colors: black, brindle, red, blue, fawn; or any of these colors mixed with white

Height: between 14 and 16 inches

Weight: between 24 and 38 pounds

Colors: brindle, blue, black, red, fawn, white; or any of these with white

Temperament: aggressive towards other animals but very friendly with children

Health Issues: heat stroke, cataracts, and breathing problems

Care and Exercise Tips:

•    Bathe when necessary.
•    Brush their coat only occasionally using a brush with firm bristles.
•    Rub down their coat with a chamois or towel to remove hairs that are loose.
•    Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes a daily play time while on a leash.
•    They should be on leash while walking in public places.

Origin/History:

The Staffordshire bull terriers, also known as the Staffies, are known to have existed around the 17th century. Since dog fighting gained a surge of popularity over bull baiting, it became a must to develop a breed of dog that is agile, strong, and has a more punishing head than the Bulldog.

In this light, fighting Bulldogs of that time were crossed with some terrier blood. The hybrid was known as the Pit Dog or the Bull and Terrier. The new cross breed became well known for their tenacity and courage, and despite their reputation of being furious with other animals they were excellent companions especially with children.

The Staffie pit dog became a favorite of steelworkers and miners alike. The breed also provided chain makers of the “Black Country” with extra income when worked against ratters or badgers.

The enforcement of the Humane Act in 1835 completely prohibited sports like dog fighting and bull baiting. However, a group of men in the Staffordshire chose to maintain their breed of dogs by introducing them to the show business.

Through the years, the breeders themselves changed the name of the dog into Staffordshire bull terrier to differentiate its physique from the English bull terrier. However, the name of the dog was officially registered only in 1935 by the American Kennel Club.

In 1938, a couple of Staffies gained popularity as Champions at the Birmingham National. The popularity of Ch. Lady Eve and were Ch. Gentleman Jim reached many established countries including France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Holland and even the USA. Since then, Staffies became successful as show dogs and were very popular as compared to other terriers.

The Stafford bull terrier, yes, has become a popular pet while still retaining reputations gained through generations of fighting dogs bred for tenacity, courage, agility, and most importantly, its reliability and great affinity with people especially with children.

And today you can say that the bull is not so bully after all! In fact, the bull is totally reliable as children’s pets.

Keywords: bull dog pit terrier

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | Leave a comment

The Loyal Working Companion Dog: American Pit Bull Terrier

This breed of dog, also fondly called as APBT, is known for its loyalty and intelligence. The dogs with this breed make excellent companions since they are very aggressive because of their protective nature.

How, then, are they different from the Staffies? For the UKC or the United Kennel Club, Staffies and APBT are of the same breed but many disapprove of this suggestion. For instance, if the American Kennel Club has an American Staffordshire terrier, it will be registered as an American pit bull terrier by the United Kennel Club. Furthermore, many breeders noted that their lineages have been separate for a long time already for these dogs to be still considered as having the same variety.

Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club does not register a UKC-listed American pit as an American Staffie. In order to gain dual-registry, the dog must initially be recorded as an AKC American Staffie before it can be listed with the UKC as an American pit bull, and not the other way around.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about APTBs:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: either outdoor or indoor

Coat: smooth, shiny, thick, and short

Colors: color varies

Height: between 18 and 22 inches

Weight: between 30 and 60 pounds

Temperament: courageous, full of energy, and loyal; should be socialized early on with other animals especially with children

Health Issues: heart murmurs and mange

Care and Exercise:
•    Bathe when necessary.
•    Brush their coat only occasionally using a brush with firm bristles.
•    Rub down their coat with a towel or a chamois to remove hairs that are loose.
•    Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes a daily play time and/or running along a bicycle while on a leash.
•    They should be on leash while walking in public places.

Origin/History:

The ancestors of APBT came to the US in the mid-1800s with some Irish-Boston immigrants. Like the Staffie, they were originally bred from bulldogs and terriers. Since APBT is a forerunner to the Staffie, it was also molded to be a fighting dog. However, the Americans made their variety some pounds heavier and trained them to have a more powerful head.

Bull baiting and dog baiting were prohibited in England so bull terriers were no longer bred for bouts. It is in America where the pit bull also gained its popularity for many uses and reasons like:

1.    It was used to embody the country in one WW1 artwork.
2.    Well-known companies like the Buster Brown Shoe Company and even RCA used the breed as mascots.
3.    Petie, a pitbull, was one of the stars in, “Our Gang”, a well sought children’s TV series.
4.    A mix breed called Stubby was transformed into a popular and decorated WW1 hero.
5.    Pits became good companies of pioneer families on their journeys.
6.    Jack, a working pit bulldog was owned by Laura Wilder of lines of books called “Little House”.
7.    Popular people like Helen Keller and US President Theodore Roosevelt owned the variety.

Here is some history about the cause of dilemma regarding the registries of APBTs.

In 1898, the United Kennel Club or UKC was structured to provide fighting guidelines and registration for APBT as fighting dogs. Later, there were breeders who shun away from dog fighting so they asked the AKC to recognize their pits so they would be fit for performance events like dog shows.

In 1935, the AKC approved of their petitions but the dogs were registered as Staffordshire Terriers, naming them after the little province in England that the breed was known to have originated from. Thus, many breeders have dogs that have dual-registry.

It is interesting to note that Petie, which was one of the stars in the, “Our Gang” TV series was the first breed that was dual-registered to be Staffordshire Terrier/Pit Bull. However, the UKC later started registering other performing-type varieties and they also began holding dog shows comparable to those of the American Kennel Club.

The AKC soon sealed its studbooks to APBTs. They allocated registration to those pit breeds with lineages that are listed as Staffies. For a little time during the 1970s, the AKC disclosed the American pits to their studbooks.

In 1973, the American KC decided to add the word “American” with the pit’s name to discriminate it from a Staffie. At present, those dogs with mixed APTB-StaffIe parents are recognized by UKC and even the American Dog Breeders’ Association as “American pits or American pit bull terriers”.

Nowadays, the pit has employed as search and rescuers, police/armed service dogs, livestock workers, and even as therapy animals because they are good as companions and working dogs.

Moreover, the variety can even compete in dog sports such as herding, obedience, and conformation, French Ring, and Schutzhund. Breeds of this type can be very loving as pets for everyone. The physical demands and harshness of various activities developed a healthy, strong, and stable animal.

If you want to have an APBT as a pet, be sure that the puppy is handled well and properly socialized. A solid and good training will surely produce an obedient, tranquil, and good companion or even a working dog!

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Terrier Dogs | Leave a comment