Lots of Dogs to Choose From: Purebred, and Hybrid, and Designer! Oh, my!

Nowadays people think about a lot more than “How much is that doggy in the window.” There are many considerations.

JustDogBreeds.Com has created a list of 155 dog breeds, A-Z, and how to find the one which is your perfect match. They take eight points into consideration:

  1. Temperament
  2. Dog Size
  3. Time for Exercise
  4. Children
  5. Grooming
  6. Allergies
  7. How Easy to Train
  8. Protection

Hybrid Dogs

A list of the most popular hybrid dogs can be found on Dog Breed Info Center. They suggest that the best way to determine the traits of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. They state, “If you do not feel the temperament of one of the purebreds in the mix is suited for your lifestyle, then that hybrid dog is not for you.”

Designer Dogs

A “designer” dog (as the media has labeled them) is a cross between two purebred dogs. A purebred dog is one that has been bred over many generations to breed true, which means each puppy that is born looks and has the same temperament and characteristics as one another. In most cases a standard is written and breeders must follow this written standard. Only dogs which make the written standard are to be bred.

You may wonder, what’s the difference between a designer dog and a mutt? Generally, a mutt is of uncertain ancestry. A designer dog has documented purebred ancestry, and one knows for sure what it is. The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) is  the leading registry for designer dogs.

Two other sources for lists of hybrid dogs can be found on:
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/americancaninehybridclub.htm
http://www.tinytracks.net/ACHC-Mixed-breed.htm

What do you consider most important in selecting a dog? Do you care whether the dog is a purebred, hybrid, designer, or mutt?

Good Fences Make Safe Dogs

Robert Frost ended his poem Mending Wall with a line which continues to be quoted decades later—“Good fences make good neighbors.” While Frost’s line has proven to be sound advice for neighbors of all kinds, it can also be said that good fences make safe dogs.

Dogs not only like to be outside—it’s good for them! Dogs need to commune with nature, sniff the great outdoors, and have a safe place to play.  Dogs that have the opportunity to play outside are happier and healthier.  And, does anything warm the heart more than seeing a happy dog?

Even the most devout dog walkers can attest to the advantages of opening the door to a protected yard so Fido can go out to play or do his business—even when it is not convenient for you to be there with him.  If you can keep your dog safely contained in your yard, he’ll be free to explore and play; and you’ll be happy knowing he is safe.

Veterinarian, Dr. Jeffrey S. Kordell, tells us that clients often ask his opinion about the best way to contain their pet in a yard.  He recommends hidden underground fences to his clients for several reasons.  Dr. Kordell says “Homeowners quickly realize that (a hidden fence) not only looks better and is more affordable, but it also has the benefit of adding a training tool for their dog. They end up spending much more time with their pet and good training leads to good habits.”

Raymond J. McSoley, an internationally renowned Animal Behaviorist, believes training is key to successful dog containment. McSoley who is well acquainted with the DogWatch Hidden Fences system says, “DogWatch dealers follow the same behavioral and conditioning principles professional trainers use…A DogWatch Hidden Fence is in itself a 24-hour trainer for your dog. The system reinforces what the dog has already been trained to do by your DogWatch Dealer – respect the boundaries you have set.”

McSoley also speaks about the effectiveness and safety of DogWatch products. “By keeping your dog contained in your yard, the DogWatch system protects your dog from harm. The fact is that a slight correction is much better for your dog than risking a potentially fatal run-in with a car on a busy street.”

So, if you’re still on the fence (so to speak!) about an underground dog fence, tell us what you need to know!  We’d be happy to answer your questions!

P.S.,  Hidden Fences work well for cats, too—inside or outside!

Tail-Wagging Dogs & What They Communicate

2 labsIn case you couldn’t already tell—we’re interested in Dog tails and tales. We’re curious about the tails which Anna Swir so perfectly describes in her poem, “Happy as a Dog’s Tail.” And of course, we’re also intrigued by dog tales; classic and popular fiction and non-fiction dog stories, and the priceless ones our DogWatch Dealers and clients share with us.

What do dogs communicate with their tails?

As Dr. Stanley Coren author of How to Speak Dog writes , “In some ways, tail-wagging serves the same functions as our human smile, polite greeting, or nod of recognition…For dogs, the tail wag seems to have the same properties. A dog will wag its tail for a person or another dog. It may wag its tail for a cat, horse, mouse, or perhaps even a butterfly. But when the dog is by itself, it will not wag its tail to any lifeless thing. If you put a bowl of food down, the dog will wag its tail to express its gratitude to you. In contrast, when the dog walks into a room and finds its bowl full, it will approach and eat the food just as happily, but with no tail-wagging other than perhaps a slight excitement tremor.”

Dr. Coren suggests says this is an indication that tail-wagging is meant as communication or language and that the dog’s tail “speaks volumes about his mental state, his social position, and his intentions.” It’s interesting to note that puppies don’t wag their tails when they’re very young.

Dr. Coren says there are differences among the various breeds and that on the average, “By thirty days of age, about half of all puppies are tail wagging, and the behavior is usually fully established by around forty nine days of age…Pups learn to connect their own signals and the signals provided by their mother and their siblings with the behaviors that come next. They also begin to learn that they can use signals to indicate their intentions and to circumvent any conflicts. This is where and when the tail-wagging behavior begins.”

It’s believed that young puppies don’t wag their tails because they need to send appeasement signals to other dogs but when communication between dogs is needed, they rapidly learn the appropriate tail signals. Tail language uses three different channels of information: position, shape, and movement.

Virginia Wells explains position and movement further; “By looking at the position and movement of the tail, you can often tell what dogs are thinking. When a dog wags his tail high and wags it back and forth, he’s usually feeling pretty good. When he is interested in something, his tail is usually horizontal to the ground. A tucked tail indicates the dog is frightened or submissive. When the tail goes from horizontal to upright and becomes rigid, he is feeling threatened or challenged. A tail that is low and wagging indicates the dog is worried or insecure.”

The tail also has another vital role in communicating. Virginia Wells writes, “Every time your dog moves his tail, it acts like a fan and spreads his natural scent around him…A dominant dog that carries his tail high will release much more scent than a dog that holds his tail lower. A frightened dog holds his tail between his legs to keep others from sniffing him, and in that way does not draw attention to himself.”

Take a look at your dog’s tail in different situations: when they greet you after you’ve returned home, as another dog approaches when you’re out walking, during a thunder storm.

What have you noticed about your dog’s tail? What tales could you tell us here?

Dogs in Art: A Feast for the Dog Lovers Eyes

In a recent blog post, Maria Goodavage wrote about Dogs in Art, a video created by Moira McLaughlin.  Moira writes about Dog Art on her blog, Dog Art Today.  She’s published over 840 posts about the creative ways dogs appear in every form of art.  She focuses on “the joyful depiction of dogs and the eternal bond that they have made with the artists in their lives.” Dog Art Today contains a long list of dog art sites as well as sites for the dog lover.

What’s particularly striking about the Dogs in Art video is Moira’s dedication.  She says she had been inspired by a YouTube masterpiece on Women in Art and knew immediately that she wanted to create a video even though she had never done anything like this before. The project took her over two years to complete. Dog lovers are truly an amazing breed!

The list of art shown in the video is quite exhaustive, some dating back as early as 50 A.D., up through the ages to present day artists you may be familiar with and some not as well known. In any case, it’s a masterpiece.

Are you a dog art lover? What are some of your favorite paintings?  Tell us about them.