Monday, April 8, 2013

Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a dog breed from Ireland, one of many breeds of terrier. The Irish Terrier is considered one of the oldest terrier breeds. The Dublin dog show in 1873 was the first to provide a separate class for Irish Terriers. By the 1880s, Irish Terriers were the fourth most popular breed in Ireland and Britain.The Irish Terrier is an active and compactly sized dog that is suited for life in both rural and city environments. Its harsh red coat protects it from all kinds of weather.Breed standards describe the ideal Irish Terrier as being racy, red and rectangular. Racy: an Irish Terrier should appear powerful without being sturdy or heavy. Rectangular: the outline of the Irish Terrier differs markedly from those of other terriers. The Irish Terrier's body is proportionately longer than that of the Fox Terrier, with a tendency toward racy lines but with no lack of substance.The tail is customarily docked soon after birth to approximately two-thirds of the original length. In countries where docking is prohibited, the conformation judges emphasize tail carriage. The tail should start up quite high, but it should not stick straight up or curl over the back or either side of its body. The ears are small and folded forward just above skull level. They are preferably slightly darker than the rest of the coat.

The Irish Terrier is colored golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten. Dark red is often mistaken as the only correct color  possibly because wheaten coats are often of worse quality. As with many other solid-colored breeds, a small patch of white is allowed on the chest. No white should appear elsewhere. As an Irish Terrier grows older, grey hair may appear here and there.A properly trimmed Irish Terrier should have some "furnishings" on legs and head. The slightly longer hair on the front legs should form even pillars, while the rear legs should only have some longer hair and not be trimmed too close to the skin. The chin is accentuated with a small beard. The beard should not be as profuse as that of a Schnauzer.The eyes should be dark brown and quite small with a "fiery" expression. The eyes are topped with well-groomed eyebrows. The whole head should have good pigmentation.Irish Terriers weigh only 11 to 12 kg (25-27 lb).


Irish Terriers are active dogs and need and enjoy consistent mental and physical challenges; well-trained Irish Terriers may do well at a variety of dog sports, such as dog agility. The Irish Terrier is full of life, but not hyperactive; it should be able to relax inside the house and be roused to full activity level quickly.Irish Terriers are good with people. They have a highly developed sense of loyalty and it is important that they have a strong responsible leader, for whom they have natural respect. Most Irish Terriers love children and tolerate rough-housing to a certain extent. Irish terriers need exercise; do not get one if you are not prepared to walk it. They enjoy training, new tasks are easily mastered with food and toys working equally well as motivation. Irish terriers have less of an eagerness to please people than some other breeds but have mental ability and enjoy puzzle solving. They respond best to consistent, reward based training from a relaxed, authoritative person. As with all dog breeds, violence should never be used - instead use distraction and reward the behavior you want. It is always best to outwit and lure. When seeking a trainer, one should look for a person who has experience with terriers.Irish Terrier is a generally healthy breed. The life expectancy is around 13 – 14 years.

African Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) or – to distinguish it from the true fish eagles (Ichthyophaga), the African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. It is the national bird of Zimbabwe and Zambia and South Sudan.This species may resemble the Bald Eagle in appearance; though related, each species occurs on different continents, with the Bald Eagle being resident in North America.As a result of its large range, it is known in many languages. Examples of names include: Visarend in AfrikaansAigle PĂȘcheur in French;Hungwe in Shona, and Inkwazi in Zulu.

The African Fish Eagle is a species placed in the genus Haliaeetus (sea eagles). The African Fish Eagle's closest relative appears to be the critically endangered Madagascar Fish Eagle (H. vociferoides). Like all sea eagle species pairs, this one consists of a white-headed species (the African Fish Eagle) and a tan-headed one. These are an ancient lineage of sea eagles, and as such have dark talons, beaks, and eyes. Both species have at least partially white tails even as juveniles. The scientific name is derived from HaliaeetusNew Latin for "sea eagle" (from the Ancient Greek haliaetos), and vocifer is derived from its original genus name, so named by the French naturalist François Levaillant, who called it 'the vociferous one'.

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, and the female, at 3.2-3.6 kg (7-8 lbs) is larger than the male, at 2-2.5 kg (4.4-5.5 lbs). This is typical of sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males usually have a wingspan of about 2 m (6 feet), while females have wingspans of 2.4 m (8 feet). The body length is 63–75 cm (25–30 in). The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body and large, powerful, black wings. The head, breast, and tail of African Fish Eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, which is yellow. The eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in color  and the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species mainly subsists on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds. Its distinctive cry is, for many, evocative of the spirit or essence of Africa.The call, shriller when uttered by males, is a weee-ah, hyo-hyo or a heee-ah, heeah-heeah.This species is still quite common near freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, although they can sometimes be found near the coast at the mouths of rivers or lagoons. The African Fish Eagle is absent from arid areas with little surface water.

Breeding season for African Fish Eagles is during the dry season, when water levels are low. African Fish Eagles are believed to be monogamous - in other words, they mate for life. Pairs will often maintain two or more nests, which they will frequently re-use. Because nests are re-used and built upon over the years the nests can grow to be quite large, some reaching 2m (six feet) across and 1.2 m (4 feet) deep. The nests are placed in a large tree and built mostly of sticks and other pieces of wood.The female lays 1 to 3 eggs, which are primarily white with a few reddish speckles. Incubation is mostly done by the female, but the male will incubate when the female leaves to hunt. Incubation lasts for 42 to 45 days before the chicks hatch. The eggs will often hatch a few days apart, and the eldest chick will usually kill any younger chicks; this tactic is known as siblicide and is also found in other birds of prey. Fledging lasts for 70 to 75 days, and after about 8 weeks the chick is capable of feeding itself and will usually begin to venture outside of the nest 2 weeks later.The African Fish Eagle feeds mainly on fish, which, upon spotting a potential prey item from a perch in a tree, it will swoop down upon and snatch the prey from the water with its large clawed talons. The eagle will then fly back to its perch to eat its catch.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct color point coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat.Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name "Ragdoll" is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.The docile and floppy nature of the Ragdoll is a characteristic thought to be passed down from the Persian and Birman breed. Opinions vary as to whether this trait might be the result of genetic mutation. The extreme docility of some individuals has led to the myth that Ragdolls are pain-resistant. Some breeders in Britain have tried to breed away from the limpness due to concerns that extreme docility "might not be in the best interests of the cat".multiple occasions, ragdolls have been reported as nonchalantly approaching moving cars and vicious dogs and getting hurt. Breed standards describe the Ragdoll as affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle, and easy to handle.

The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds with a sturdy body, large frame, and proportionate legs. A fully-grown female weighs from 8 to 15 pounds (3.6 to 6.8 kg). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 12 to 20 pounds (5.4 to 9.1 kg) or more.The genes for point coloration are also responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll. More intense shades of blue are favored in cat shows. Ragdolls come in 6 different colors: seal; chocolate; flame; and the corresponding "dilutes", including blue, lilac, and cream. This also includes the tortoiseshell pattern in all colors and the three patterns. All Ragdoll kittens are born white. They have good color at 8 – 10 weeks and full color and coat at 3 – 4 years.

The four different patterns are:
  • Pointed - One color darkening at the extremities (nose, ears, tail, and paws).
  • Mitted - Same as pointed, but with white paws and abdomen. With or without a blaze (a white line or spot on the face), but must have a "belly stripe" (white stripe that runs from the chin to the genitals) and a white chin.
  • Bicolor — White legs, white inverted 'V' on the face, white abdomen and sometimes white patches on the back. (Excessive amounts of white, or "high white", on a bicolor is known as the Van pattern, although this doesn't occur nearly as often as the other patterns.)
  • Lynx - A variant of the above type having tabby markings.

English Setter

The English Setter is a breed of dog. It is part of the Setter family, which includes red Irish SettersIrish Red and White Setters, and black-and-tan Gordon Setters. It is a gun dog, bred for a mix of endurance and athleticism.The coat is flat with light feathering of long length or short length depending on the type. The bench or show type has a long, flowing coat that requires regular grooming. The field or hunting type has a shorter coat that requires less grooming.The various speckled coat colors when occurring in English Setters are referred to as belton; valid combinations are white with black (blue belton), white with orange flecks (orange belton)), white with orange flecks and lighter nose (lemon belton), white with liver flecks (liver belton), or "Tricolor" which is blue or liver belton with tan markings on the face, chest, and legs.

This breed's standard temperament is best described as a "Gentleman by Nature". However, it can also be strong-willed and mischievous. English Setters are energetic, people-oriented dogs, that are well suited to families who can give them attention and activity, or to working with a hunter, where they have a job to do. They are active dogs outside that need plenty of exercise in a good sized fenced-in yard. Inside they tend to be lower energy and love to be couch potatoes and lap dogs that love to cuddle. Many are good around children. However, they are not always easy to train, as their natural bird instinct tends to distract them in outdoor environments.Their temperament is considered a soft one. Therefore they are very sensitive to criticism, and could be unwilling to repeat a behavior out of fear to disappoint the trainer. Positive reinforcement training methods therefore work best for English Setters.

The English Setter was originally bred to set or point upland game birds. From the best available information, it appears that the English Setter was a trained bird dog in England more than 400 years ago. There is evidence that the English Setter originated in crosses of the Spanish Pointer, large Water Spaniel, and English Springer Spaniel, which combined to produce an excellent bird dog with a high degree of proficiency in finding and pointing game in open country.The breed is still fairly well represented in Italy, where it is popular as a working gun-dog. The English setter is one of the most popular and elegant sporting breeds, often grouped with its cousins, the Irish and Gordon Setters.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Boykin Spaniel

 Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized breed of dog, a Spaniel bred for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in the Wateree River Swamp of South Carolina, in the United States. It is the state dog of South Carolina.The Boykin Spaniel is only slightly larger than the English Cocker Spaniel but much heavier through the body width. Height at the withers for males ranges from 15.5 - 17 ins (39.4 - 43.18 cm) and weight 30 - 40 lbs (13.6 - 18.2 kg). Females are smaller, 14 - 16.5 ins (35 - 41.91 cm) and 25 - 35 lbs (11.4 - 15.9 kg). Although against the true form and function of the breed, some field trial breeders are increasing their line's size to be competitive against other retriever breeds. Buyers should be aware of the size and weight in the puppy's pedigree before choosing a breeder if size is a factor in their choice of dog. Traditionally, its tail is docked at the age of three days, leaving 1/3 length. Eyes are engaging and bright. The color ranges from brilliant gold to a dark amber. Puppies will have milky bluish-gold to amber eyes until a few months old. The coat color comes in liver or chocolate (shades of brown).
The Boykin Spaniel is a versatile hunter, working as a retriever and upland hunter, flushing birds into flight. Pointing is not in character with the Boykin's hunting style. Their stamina in hot weather and eagerness make them good for dove hunts, but also for pheasant and other upland game. They can be used in driving deer or in tracking wounded game. Their small size makes them easy to carry in a canoe or other small boat, and they are described as "the dog that doesn't rock the boat''. Boykin Spaniel is quickly becoming one of the most common spaniel breeds in America. Boykin spaniel are adapted to various weather conditions. The attractive and good -natured  boykin spaniel  is promoted as a rare breed pet.
The Boykin Spaniel is a friendly, social dog that is considered a good family pet. It is easily trained and eager to work. It is good with, and extremely stable around, children and other dogs. They can sometimes be described as energetic with great endurance that lasts throughout the day. They are extremely adaptable to different environments as long as they are given ample opportunity for social interaction and plenty of time to burn off excess energy. They are not easily angered and tend to be eager to please and friendly, but they love attention. Boykins have great energy reserves and will always outlast you in any activity you choose.As with all dogs, the Boykin Spaniels require daily exercise and regular grooming. Clipping the coat regularly is recommended especially if the dog is in the field, as the soft coat collects fox tails and briars. Spraying the dog with cooking spray is also recommended to help defend against tangles in the long fur.