Friday, December 18, 2015


Known to many people as the "Westie," this breed is a small dog but is very well balanced and hardy. Always able to exhibit good showmanship when exhibited, especially when they are groomed properly, they are very elegant looking with a beautiful white coat and bright dark button eyes. For a more detailed look, the head has a round appearance from the front view, with dark and almond shaped eyes with black rims. Erect and small ear end in sharp points, while the muzzle is blunt tipped with powerful jaws, tapering toward the nose area. The teeth appear to be too big for the small dog, with six incisor teeth between the canines of the upper and lower jaw.

With a double coat, the Westie is strongly built, while deep in the chest and back ribs. The back is straight and the hindquarters are powerful with very highly muscular legs. When exhibiting in shows, the breed demonstrates great strength and energy levels. Its gait is free and easy, while showing a distinctive drive that is powerful to see. Its legs see to not move in a square when viewed from the front, while the hind movement is free and strong.The wiry coat of the little Westie needs brushed about three times a week, or more depending on the lifestyle, with shaping and stripping once every three months. If the West Highland White Terrier is to be shown at a dog show, shaping will be done by stripping, while clipping does the job adequately as pets. The coat of the Westie is a harsh double coat, and was originally developed to provide protection when hunting. The tail with full hair was necessary to pull the dog backwards out of shallow holes when it was digging and hunting varmints.

Originating in the highlands of Scotland, many breeds have the West Highland White Terrier blood line in them, all originating back to the early 1800's with each breed deriving their name from the areas of their origin. These short-legged Scotland terriers are now known as the Scottish, Skye, Cairn, DandieDinmont, and West Highland White Terriers--and all were bred as small game hunters. Not raised as pets alone, each breed of terrier was a working dog and had a specific purpose-keeping vermin in control for the Scotland villages, coalmines, mills, farms, and homes. Zestful diggers and hunters as they were, flower gardens and vegetable patches today presents a challenge to these little hunters. 

The Westie is a very intelligent dog who loves human companionship both indoors and outdoors-but do have issues with other pets or small animals. Introduce them gradually to the little newcomers, making sure the Westie is not ignored or pushed back. Happy, curious, and always trying to get into the middle of everything, they are considered one of the most affectionate of all the terriers with their also demanding personality-yet can still feel jealousy if their homeland is threatened. 

They are very popular due to their extreme versatility. And like most terriers, this breed loves to bark and dig-or dig and bark-anyway, they have a tendency to do both at the same time, while showing off their independence and stubborn attitude. A high energy level requires walks in the park, leash-training lessons, fetching balls or toys, or sleeping. Due to a high need to stay active when awake, sleeping about 13 hours a day is required by the little Westie when they finally collapse. In fact, many Westie owners say that if their West Highland White Terrier is contented, they can sleep as much as 22 hours a day! But when they are awake, watch out for a pure energy ball of business. 

The West Highland White Terrier has a few major ones are globoid cell leukodystrophy, along with Legg Perthes disease and CMO. The Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy disease is similar to Krabbe's disease in people. A storage disease, it is an accumulation of galactocerebroside, which is a component of myelin, leading to a progressive loss of the myelin. The breeds that are most affected by the disease are the Cairn and the Westie through an autosomal recessive disorder. Sporadically, the disease has been reported in the BeagleMiniature PoodleBasset HoundPomeranian, and blue tickhound. Minor concerns are copper toxicosisCataractspatellar luxationDeafness, with suggested testing areas as the hip and knee.

The Westie should be trained to be accustomed to any grooming features as a young puppy before grooming ever begins, beginning with two to three minutes a day to begin with. Daily combings will make him accustomed to being touch all over, and the pleasure of having his coat brushed. The West Highland White Terrier needs firmness when this early training begins, but no roughness or loud voices should be part of the training methods. The next step is to begin the habit of grooming the little Westie about once a week to clip out of place hair and checking his ears, gradually increasing the time spent on the actual grooming. A two to three minute brush-out should begin to be done on a daily basis, laying the Westie puppy on the grooming table until the young dog begins to be anxious about the grooming. The decision whether to strip or groom the little Westie depends a lot on whether or not the dog will be shown or not. Simply put, it is a matter of personal preferences, as stripping makes the coat harder and coarser, while clipping the coat makes it softer and wavy on some dogs. 
Most people clip a dog because it is easy and quick, and both methods give two entirely different looks to the breed. If the groomers or the owner is good at dog grooming, the standard look of the breed will be as good with a clipper as with stripping. If the decision to use clippers gives too soft of a look, changing the mind is still an option as once the hair is grown back slightly, hand stripping can be done then until it gets the real Westie
 look and feel, done naturally.

Exercise for dogs should be the same as exercise for their owners-it is good for the mind, a good and healthy physical activity to keep the body in shape, and it relieves stress. Such things anymore as dog treadmills, doggy day cares, doggie gyms, playing at the park, or just simple walking-all of these are fun and healthy for the Westie and its owner. 
The Westie, as a high-energy dog, can develop pent-up energy when sitting around the apartment all day waiting for the family to come home. If the West Highland White Terrier does not get enough exercise to remove this energy, or at least spread it around a bit, then destructive behavior can occur. This behavior can occur in many forms-chewing, barking, digging, stubbornness, not minding, vomiting, stool issues, and depression.

Intelligent as the West Highland White Terrier is, it is important to understand the whole concept of the Westie personality and essence of who they are. One article says it all, "The Westie is really a big dog inside a small dog's body." The dog has the personality that is spunky, intelligent, bold, independent, lots of self-esteem--and stubborn. These varied qualities of the little Westie terrier breed in mind, will help prepare a person for the beginning "fun of training a Westie."If a Westie is given too much at once, the breed will quickly develop the ability to acquire the upper hand, becoming bossy and aggressive to the point of becoming aggressive and snapping or biting. The assertive nature of the Westie, notwithstanding its intelligence, needs to be properly understood to avoid any behavior issues that could develop. But before any training begins, the thing to know before starting is whether it suffers any negative setbacks such as lack of companionship, lack of discipline, activity, or exercise. If none of these are available, then the Westie can become very destructive if left alone.

Some commands are more important than others-at least to begin with. The West Highland should know the five basic commands plus some-come, heel, sit, down, and stay. Combining them to form a sit-stay and down-stay is also very beneficial for a dog such as the Westie with an overwhelming attraction to people combined with high energy
. Stay firm yet positive, always ending every training session with a command the dog does know, even after spending an hour or so learning new ones.


The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large, muscular dog that is sturdy and very solid looking even as a puppy. They come in various shades of brown ranging from a lighter tan or straw color through to a deep brown or mahogany color. The coat is rather short and may be somewhat wavy, especially down the back and around the neck and shoulder area. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a unique double coat that is slightly oily to the touch on both the inner and outer layers. This ensures that the dog can easily go in and out of the water even in very cold weather while only having minimum amounts of water stay in their coat. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to the end, usually carried slightly curled or flat.

The head of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is broad and wide with a powerful and yet gentle looking slightly tapered muzzle. The shape of the skull is very round and the stop is not as pronounced giving a softer profile to the head than some breeds of retrievers. The hair on the head and face is much shorter than the hair on the rest of the body and the large round eyes are very visible. The eyes are yellow to amber in color and are particularly striking on the darker colored dogs. The ears are small in comparison to many of the hunting breeds and hang down just to the level of the mouth or lower jaw. They fold over completely and are not held erect. 

The neck is strong and muscular and blends nicely into the powerful front shoulders of the breed. The front legs and straight and well boned and muscled. The body is slightly longer than it is high at the withers, with a well-developed chest and ribcage. The hind legs are very strong and powerful, easily able to propel the dog through water to allow them to run for long periods of time. The feet are webbed to enhance swimming ability.

The coat is very dense, short and somewhat oily to the touch. Although the breed is double coated they are average shedders year round. The oils in the coat usually do not cause either an odor or management problem and the dogs should only be bathed occasional when necessary. The coat may be straight all over the body although wavy but not curly hair on the neck, chest and back is acceptable and very common.

t is believed that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed originated when a shipwreck occurred off the coast of Maryland in 1807. The story is that there were two Newfoundland dogs onboard that survived the shipwreck and these were given to a local family that was known as animal lovers. The family then crossed the Newfoundland's with local retrievers and possibly native dogs which eventually led to the development of a very hardy breed that was able to swim in the cold waters in the Chesapeake Bay. Some breeders indicate that the Irish Water Spaniel, bloodhound and other local mixed hound breeds may also form a part of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever's heritage. 
The Chesapeake Bay Retrieverscontinued to be a popular dog in the area, and their amazing endurance and ability to tolerate even the coldest water temperatures with little concern earned them a place in duck and goose hunter's hearts. There are several claims by owners of the breed that they are capable of retrieving over a hundred ducks per day with some records of dogs bringing in up to 200 per day. 

Currently the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is used as a watchdog, hunting dog, retriever, trial dog, obedience dog as well as a faithful family pet and companion dog. The watchdog abilities are more pronounced in some lines than others and knowing the personality of the parents will really help in choosing a more or less protective puppy. Their natural hunting and retrieving ability has also made them popular as a schutzhund breed. This demanding competition involves intelligence, agility and obedience as well as excellent communication between the handler and the dog.

A Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent family dog that is generally very good with children and other pets. It is important to properly socialize this breed as they are more dog-aggressive than other retrievers and can become territorial. They are good watchdogs and have a natural wariness with strangers however regular socialization and exposure to new people and new environments will help prevent this from becoming a problem. 
Unlike many of the hunting dog breeds the Chesapeake Bay Retriever tends to be much more independent and stubborn than the norm. They can be dominant and are known for their selective hearing of commands they simply wish to ignore. Not a mean spirited dog they just need consistent training and lots of positive praise for a job well done. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent dog for obedience training at a young age to establish good behaviours and decrease the tendency for willfulness or independence. 

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an intelligent dogthat learns best with repetition. They should always be trained using positive rewards and methods as their natural independence will only increase if negative training techniques are used. They are naturals at fetching and swimming and love exercise of all types in almost any kind of weather. They are not a hyperactive dog but do need regular, longer periods of exercise. In the house they are typically very relaxed and calm and will simply find a comfortable place to stay out of the way. They are not demanding of attention but love to be able to keep the family in sight. 

Overall the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a relatively healthy breed.  They should not be exercised immediately after eating. The breed may also have problems with growth as puppies (OCD) and hip dysplasia is a minor concern. Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Entropion are eye conditions that are seen in the breed.The natural independence and dominance of the breed makes it more difficult to train than other retrievers. Owners must positively and gently assert that they are the boss or this large dog will try to dominant the family. They also have an aloof presentation around strangers and should be introduced to lots of new people throughout their life to prevent them from becoming overly protective or possessive of their territory. 
Although not recommended for first time dog owners the breed can easily be trained through use of a professional trainer or obedience class provided the owners are willing to practice and follow through with the lessons.

Monday, December 7, 2015


The Snowshoe is a rare breed of cat originating in the United States of America in the 1960s. Snowshoes were first produced in Philadelphia when a Siamese breeder's cat gave birth to three kittens with white feet. The breeder, Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, then began a breeding program to produce what were originally called "Silver Laces",crossing the strangely marked Siamese cats with bi-color American Shorthair cats and other breeds. When Hinds-Daugherty left the program, Vikki Olander began working with the cats and recruited new breeders, as well as worked towards full recognition within cat associations. Despite having existed for 45 years, Snowshoes are rare due to the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings. The marks are based on recessive genes for color points and on the co-dominant but variably-expressed piebald pattern gene, making it difficult to predict the appearance of offspring.

The coat coloration recognized by registries and associations is point coloration, and it comes in a variety of colors, though some organizations do not recognize certain colors. Snowshoe cats have an affectionate and docile disposition. Due to this, they do not do well under circumstances where they are left alone for long periods of time. Snowshoes are also very vocal, though their voices are not as loud as the Siamese, a cat found in their breed heritage. They are noted as being very intelligent and have the ability to learn tricks and open doors. These cats also enjoy water, and may swim.

In the 1960s, a cat, owned by Siamese cat breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, produced a litter of Siamese kittens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Three of the kittens had unique markings, consisting of white points and feet. Intrigued by their looks, she began working to breed cats like them, using seal point Siamese with bicolor American Shorthairs.The offspring of those cats lacked the Siamese points, but by breeding the offspring to Siamese cats, the desired look was accomplished. Hinds-Daugherty named the breed "Snowshoe" because of their white feet. Hinds-Daugherty promoted the Snowshoe at local cats shows, though they were not recognized at the time. Hinds-Daughtery eventually abandoned the Snowshoe breeding program, and it was taken up by Vikki Olander.

The ear size ranges from medium to medium-large with slightly rounded tips. The head may be triangular, however can be an "applehead" shape with a traditional cat look. The short-haired coat consists of solid and white patterns. Points (ears, tail, face-mask and sometimes legs) are solid black-based colors. White patterns vary, typically falling along the face, chest, stomach, and paws. The body is an even coloration, subtle shading to point color on back, shoulders and hips; toning to a lighter shade near chest and stomach. Paw pads may be white, point color, flesh tone, or mottled. Their color will darken with age, even to the point of turning a chocolate brown shade. In purebreds, the eyes are always blue. The tail is medium-sized. Snowshoe cats come in blue, lilac, lynx, fawn, chocolate, and seal points
. The Snowshoe is a medium-large cat and longer length wise than many cats, with many males reaching 14  lbs or more.

In registries and cat associations, the recognized Snowshoe coat color is point coloration, with a light body color and darker ears, face, legs, and tail. The American Cat Fanciers Association and the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts recognize seal point coloration and blue point coloration while the Fédération Internationale Féline recognizes seal, blue, black, chocolate, red, cream, cinnamon, and fawn point coloration. Additionally, the FIF recognizes the colors in tortoiseshell, tabby, and tortoiseshell-tabby coat patterns. The International Cat Association recognizes all pointed colors. Snowshoe kittens are born white, and markings appear within 1 to 3 weeks. Each Snowshoe has a pattern unique to the individual cat.The Snowshoe's coat should be of medium to short in length, and should be bright and smooth with no noticeable undercoat. It is considered a fault within cat associations if the Snowshoe has a plush or double coat.The Snowshoe's coat undergoes seasonal changes and does not require much grooming.
Snowshoes are generally affectionate, sweet-tempered, and mellow. They enjoy the company of humans and being given attention, and are compatible with children and other pets.Snowshoes are very social and docile, and show great devotion and love towards their owners. Consequently, the breed dislike being left alone for long periods of time and are able to cope with working hours more if they have another cat companion. Snowshoes may express themselves and their complaints vocally, though their meowsare not as loud as the Siamese. The cats are also noted as being intelligent; they can learn to open various types of doors, and can be taught tricks, especially fetch.Snowshoes also enjoy water, particularly running water, and may on occasion swim. Though very active, they are not restless or easily agitated, and they have a fondness for perching in high places.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


The Spotted Saddle Horse is a horse breed from the United States that was developed by crossing Spanish-American type gaitedpinto ponies with gaited horse breeds, such as the Tennessee Walking Horse. The result was a colorful, smooth-gaited horse, used in the show ring and for pleasure and trail riding. Two registries have been created for the breed, one in 1979 and the other in 1985. The two have similar registration requirements, although one has an open stud book and the other is slightly more strict with regard to parentage requirements, having a semi-closed stud book. The Spotted Saddle Horse is a light riding horse, always pinto in color. Solid-colored foals from registered parents may be registered for identification purposes, so their pinto-colored foals have documented parentage. They always perform an ambling gait, rather than a trot, in addition to the gaits of walk and canter, performed by all breeds.

The Spotted Saddle Horse developed from small gaited pinto ponies of Spanish ancestry. These were crossed with larger American breeds such as the Morgan and Standardbred, developed after the American Revolution, to increase size while retaining coloration and the desired gait. After the American Civil War, additional gaited blood was added, with contributing breeds including the Tennessee Walking HorseMissouri Fox TrotterPaso Fino and Peruvian PasoMustangs from the American West were also incorporated. Originally developed in central Tennessee, and selectively bred for pinto coloration, they were used for general pleasure and trail riding.Today, the Spotted Saddle Horse is seen at horse shows, as well as being used for pleasure and trail riding.

potted Saddle Horses are light riding horses. They average 14.3 to 16 hands (59 to 64 inches, 150 to 163 cm) high and weight 900 to 1,100 pounds (410 to 500 kg).The NSSHA will register horses that are shorter, down to 13.3 hands (55 inches, 140 cm), although it considers taller horses to be the breed ideal. The head is refined, with a straight or slightly convex facial profile. The neck is muscular, with a slight arch, leading into long, sloping shoulders and a muscular chest. The back is short and the hindquarters muscular and broad. The croup is slightly sloping and rounded, with a high-set tail. The ideal Spotted Saddle Horse resembles a "smaller, slightly stockier Tennessee Walking Horse". Pinto coloration is required, with white spots on a background any equine coat colorOvero and tobiano are the two most common patterns, and the coverage of the white spots can range from minimal to almost complete.

The Spotted Saddle Horse is a gaited breed, meaning that they perform an intermediate-speed ambling gait instead of the trot. The flat walk, or show walk, is a regular four-beatwalk, covering 4 to 8 miles per hour (6.4 to 12.9 km/h). The show gait is also a four-beat gait, similar to the flat walk with the exception of the speed. Horses traveling at a show gait can cover 10 to 20 miles per hour (16 to 32 km/h), with an extremely smooth motion. The third main gait is the canter, a three-beat gait performed by all breeds. Some members of the Spotted Saddle Horse breed can also perform the rack, stepping pace, fox-trot, single-foot or other variations of ambling gaits, all intermediate gaits, but differentiated by the pattern of foot-falls.


The Black Norwegian Elkhound (Norsk Elghund Sort) is a modern variant of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound. It is a small Spitzbreed and is very rare outside the Nordic countries of Scandinavia. It is bred for the same purpose as the Grey Norwegian Elkhound but is smaller, more agile, and easier to recognize in the snow. Historically, it is a much "younger" breed, first bred in Norway during the early 19th century. It is classified by the FCI as a hunting dog, although it is also used as a watchdog, guarddog and herder.The AKC breed name "Elkhound," comes directly from its original Norwegian name "Elghund," meaning "moose dog." In Norwegian, "elk" refers to the animal English speakers know as a "moose", and "hound" means "dog."

he Black Norwegian Elkhound is a typical Spitz breed with a short compact body, dark eyes, ears standing straight up, and a curly tail carried over the back. It has a rich coat that does not stand out from the body. This is an all-weather hunting dog and the coat is very important. It must be able to keep out the heavy autumn rain in Scandinavia and endure the cold weather, which it does very well.It has a dense, short, thick, course, double coat and is solid black. A mature dog stands between 40 and 51 centimeters (16"-20") - 47 cm (+3/-4) for males and 44 cm (+3/-4) for females - and weighs between 16 kilograms (35 lb) and 20 kilograms (44 lb).

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a very robust and hardy dog: very alert and full of power and pride. It is more strong-minded than the Grey Elkhound. The most recommended training method is one that focuses on motivating the dog; such as clicker training or reward-based training methods. Using punishment or dominance-based methods could negatively impact training with the Black Norwegian Elkhound. It is easy to train, but always needs something to do to be happy. It needs continuous exercise and activity in concert with its superb intelligence to do well. It is an excellent hunting dog and loves to be in the forest.
The Black Elkhound is used in all types of hunts but excels best in hunting large game such as elk, moose and bear. It is very good at tracking and makes an excellent watch dog. It is a good family dog but can sometimes be a bit contentious in relations with other dogs. The Elkhound has been an important dog for farmers in Scandinavia for hundreds of years.and Its coat requires frequent brushing too.