Tag Archives: dogfacts

Apple Head Chihuahua Care, Facts and Pictures

Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world and they are usually referenced by their physical appearance such as apple head Chihuahua, deer head Chihuahua and teacup Chihuahua.

The Chihuahua dog breed has its origin in Mexico and was so named after the city of Chihuahua in Mexico. They come in different sizes, coat length, head shape and colors.

apple head chihuahua with long coat
Apple head chihuahua with long hair
apple head chihuahua with fluffy tail
White apple head chihuahua

 The American kennel club (AKC) official standard of the Chihuahua breed states that:

The general appearance of the Chihuahua is swift, alert and graceful and with a temperament similar to that of the terrier.

A well balanced Chihuahua is not more than 6 pounds. Over 6 pounds means it is disqualified as a little dog.

A well rounded “apple dome” skull, with or without molera with a non-protruding full round eyes that is either luminous ruby or luminous dark.

apple dome head chihuahua
Apple dome head

The depression at the top of the Chihuahua’s skull is called a molera. The molera at the top part of the skull along with the wider upper part but narrower around the jaw gives the Chihuahua an apple dome skull.

It may take a bit longer for the apple shape to become noticeable in a puppy Chihuahua.

According to the AKC the bite is: “level or scissors. Overshot or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault.”

The Chihuahua has large ears that stand erect when alert and flares sideways when in repose with a slightly pointed, short snout.

short haired apple head chihuahua with erect ears
A well fed short haired apple head chihuahua with large erect ears.
deer head chihuahua with large erect ears
A deer head chihuahua with large erect ears.

The Chihuahua breed comes in the smooth and long coat varieties. The smooth coat should be glossy, close and of soft texture with heavier coats acceptable as long as they come with undercoats. Long coat must also be of a soft texture, that is either mildly wavy or flat and preferably with undercoat.

long and short haired chihuahua with apple head
Long and short haired chihuahuas with apple shaped head.

They can come in any color – splashed, solid or marked with a terrier like temperament of self reliance, self importance and confidence.

A Chihuahua that has any of the following physical appearance is disqualified by the AKC because it is considered to have fallen short of the standard of the Chihuahua breed:

  • Weighs more than 6 pounds.
  • Cropped or broken down ears.
  • Bobtail or docked tail.
  • If the long coat is too thin that it resembles bareness.
overweight chihuahua
Weighing more than 6 pounds is a disqualifying factor for a chihuahua.

 Apple head Chihuahua facts

The apple head is an informal way of referring to the Chihuahua that has the round “apple dome” skull as defined by the AKC Chihuahua breed standard. So we could say that it is only the apple head Chihuahua that is officially accepted as a Chihuahua based on the standard for the shape of the head.

Of course there are other criteria that have to be met as stated above.

The Chihuahua breed comes in either the smooth (short haired) or long hair and either of them can be an apple head.

The upper part of the head of the apple headed Chihuahua is wider than the lower part of the head.

The apple head Chihuahua with it’s distinctively apple shaped head makes the apple headed Chihuahua’s eyes appear more pronounced.

Lots of breeders prefer to breed the apple head Chihuahua because it is only the apple head that meet the kennel club breed standard. This means only the apple head can take part in conformation dog shows.

If you want a Chihuahua of show quality, the apple head is the only choice you have either long or short haired.

The apple head Chihuahua can comes in different colors.

Apple head Chihuahua vs. deer head

The Chihuahua is easily identified by the shape of the head which is either apple shaped or a deer head (because it looks like that of a deer). The apple or deer head shape does not imply two breed but rather just one breed with different shapes of the head. Therefore the apple and deer references are an unofficial or layman’s way of referring to the Chihuahua breed based on the shape of the head.

apple head chihuahua
Apple head chihuahua

The Chihuahua has one of largest variations of all dog breeds in terms of their sizes, shapes, coat length and colors.

They come in a broad range of colors such as black, sable, fawn, rare whites and blues, chocolate, brindle, tri-colored etc.

Some Chihuahuas have long bodies and long slim legs which makes them taller than those with compact bodies and shorter legs.

The breed standard expects the Chihuahua’s body length to be longer than the legs but the deer head Chihuahua has slightly longer legs than the body length.

Deer head Chihuahua can get as big as 10 to 12 pounds but the breed standard states that when the size is over 6 pounds, the Chihuahua stands disqualified.

The snout of the apple head Chihuahuas are shorter with a pronounced jaw line than those of the deer head, which are narrower and longer. However there are some apple head Chihuahua that have long snout like those of a deer head.

The deep “stop” (the 90 degrees that can be seen between the forehead and the snout) of the apple head Chihuahua makes its eyes appear more pronounced than those of the deer head Chihuahua which has a sloping forehead.

Short Haired German shepherd Facts and Pictures

From the perspective of the coat length, German shepherd dogs (GSD) fall into either of the two broad categories: a short haired German shepherd or a long haired German shepherd.

Short haired German shepherd or short coated German shepherd is exactly as it sound. This simply means that the German shepherd’s coat lies very close to its body and is usually a double layered coat.

German shepherd with fewer hair

short haired german shepherd

short haired German shepherd with lighter color

short haired German shepherd with a common coat color

German shepherd with more hair than short haired

The undercoat is woolly and water proof,  which provides extra insulation for the German shepherd in the cold (perfect for the winter) and with an additional stiff short haired outer (top) coat.

Long haired German shepherd is also referred to as coated German shepherd or long coated German shepherd. These German shepherd dogs have longer hairs (soft and silk like) around their bellies, ears, faces, behind their legs, hindquarters, their tails and indeed generally more hairs than the short haired.

Most long haired German shepherd however do not have undercoat which makes them less suitable for working in the cold while some other long coated German shepherds have the undercoat just like the short haired German shepherds i.e. they are double coated.

There are however some German shepherd dogs that do not have a short or long coat because their coat is longer than a short coated German shepherd but not as long as a long coated German shepherd.

These German shepherd dogs are said to have a medium coat and are referred to as plush coated. Just like the short coated German shepherds the plush coated German shepherd are also double coated with nice wool like undercoat and longer outer coat.

plush coated looks like the short haired German shepherd
Plush coated GSD have a little more hair than the short coated German shepherd
plush coated German shepherd lies down on the grass
Plush coated German shepherd can be mistaken for the short coated German shepherd

Regardless of the length of hair on the body of the German shepherd dog, be it short, plush or long hair they still all belong to the same breed. However because long coated German shepherd breeders do not breed their German shepherd for protection or guard work, these long haired German shepherds are said to have much softer temperament.

Long coated German shepherd dogs without the double coat are viewed as a defect in conformation dog shows. In fact in the united states of American long coated German shepherd either double or single coated are not permitted to compete in dog shows by the American kennel club because the long coat are not considered to have met the standard for the German shepherd breed.

There are more short coated German shepherd dogs than long coated German shepherds. There are only a small percentage of long coated German shepherd puppies. This is partly because the American kennel club does not approve of long haired  German shepherd which makes the long coated puppies difficult to find.

The long coat has its origin in the breed that was used to start the German shepherd breed, which had coats like collie.

Short haired German shepherd shedding

There is a misconception that the long haired German shepherd shed more than the short coated German shepherd but this is not true.

On the contrary, a closer observation of both the short and long coated German shepherd might even suggest that the short coated German shepherd shed more than the long haired German shepherd because when the short coat German shepherd sheds, the hairs are all over the house. However the shed hairs of the long coated German shepherd tend to get trapped in their long coat.

Therefore with regular brushing this creates the illusion that the long haired German shepherd shed less than the short coated German shepherd.

However the fact is that the German shepherd breed is a heavy shedder and indeed one of the worst of all dog breeds. Either short or long coated. While most dog breeds shed moderately a few times during the year with a heavy shedding occurring twice. The GSD sheds all year round with some of the heaviest shedding of any dog breed occurring during those two shedding seasons of the year.

While all German shepherd dogs of the various coat length shed a lot, the single long coated German shepherd (without the undercoat) sheds the least of all because it has only a single layer of coat to shed.

If we look back at the primary reason the German shepherd was bred, this may give us a closer insight about the shedding nature of this particular dog breed. The German shepherd dog were bred primarily as working dogs on farms for herding sheep and this will involve having a strong, large-sized and intelligent dogs that can work all year under different weather conditions.

A dog that will do well in all weather conditions must be well coated i.e. it must have an undercoat that will always keep it well protected from the harshness of the different weather conditions and also able to repel water. Above all, it must be able to retain this coat all through the year.

Shedding which occurs quietly on daily basis is how the German shepherd retains its coats. Same way the birds drop their feathers in order to grow new ones.

The two major shedding season of the German shepherd (including other breeds) occurs over three weeks in spring and autumn. As temperature increases during summer the German shepherd shed the undercoat, enabling them to stay cool in the hot summer weather. When the temperature drops in the winter the summer undercoat is shed for a thicker winter undercoat.

Regular brushing of the German shepherd dog (GSD) is almost mandatory if you don’t want your GSD to end up with a matted coat particularly with the long hair German shepherd. Regular brushing is also necessary to reduce the amount of German shepherd dog hairs flying all over the house.

While grooming for German shepherd dogs is a necessity, the short coat German shepherd will require less grooming.

Pictures of short haired German shepherd

beautiful short haired German shepherd

perfect specimen of a short haired German shepherd

short haired German shepherd with angulation

white short haired German shepherd

Miniature Golden Retriever: 24 Vital Facts and Images

Miniature golden retriever is a cross breed that has its origin in the United States. It is referred to by different names such as comfort golden retriever, petite golden retriever and mini retriever.

miniature golden retriever puppies

litter of miniature golden retriever puppies

beautiful miniature golden retriever

The petite golden retriever is the outcome of selective breeding (cross breeding for specific traits) aimed at satisfying the wishes of lovers of golden retriever who are not very comfortable with the large size of the breed.

More images of the miniature golden retriever

trainng a petite golden retriever

miniature golden retriever with a gentle disposition

miniature golden retriever are great retrievers

miniature golden retriever is an intelligent breed

For this reason, golden retriever breeders worked towards producing a designer version of a golden retriever that is smaller in size.

Hence the mini retriever was born and along with it came a new class of dog breeders – the miniature golden retriever breeders.

The mini golden retriever is a cross breed of three different dog breeds: Golden retriever, Poodle and Cocker Spaniel.

miniature golden retriever is a cross breed

miniature golden retriever is a mix of 3 different breeds

miniature golden retriever with ball in mouth

Depending on the comfort golden retriever breeder, your miniature golden retriever puppy may have anything from less than 50% to as high as 75% golden retriever genetic makeup while the poodle and cocker makes up the remaining percentage.

Before we take deeper look at the comfort golden retriever, let us first take a brief view of the three dog breed types from which mini golden retriever is bred.

How to Start a Dog Training Business on Your Own

how to start a dog training business by following a simple guide
Successful dog training business begins with as a good dog trainer.

So you have great interest in dog training and you probably already have some experience under your belt and now you are probably wondering how to start a dog training business on your own.

There is a steadily high demand for dog training services as dog owners have continuously demonstrated their desire to invest in the well being of their dogs.

Starting your own dog training business is a profitable venture that requires a low startup capital. Therefore if you have the skills for training dogs and the interest then this may be the right business for you.

To stand a chance of ever becoming successful in the business of dog training it is very vital to state that your dog training skills is one of the two most vital pillars on which your dog training business will rest; the second pillar being marketing. Even if you are a genius in marketing you will need your dog training skills to sustain the business.

The business of dog training can be a very rewarding venture in addition to the fact that you become your own boss. However to increase your chances of succeeding  in this business you have to take the time to learn all the details that help you create a successful dog training business. This article will provide you with the necessary information on how to start a dog training business on your own.

Dog training business in a general sense is nothing but just a business like any other business and the only difference is that it is a business built around dogs. The reason for this statement is to bring home a reality in the world of business: starting a business is often very challenging and a lot of businesses actually die in the very first year while a higher percentage will not go beyond the fifth year.

The statistics in the USA shows that 30% of small businesses fail in the first year while the failure rate increased to 50% by the fifth year. So if you want to be part of the 20% business owner whose survival beyond the fifth year then you should be prepare to do your home work well before starting out.

It is worth stating that just about anybody can be successful in any business including dog training business if they have the right information. Therefore a struggling business means that the business owner needs more knowledge than he presently has.

A dog training business plan

One of the foremost steps in getting started in the dog training business is to come up with a dog training business plan. A dog training business plan is an effective way of documenting your business goals and strategies for achieving them. It helps you to easily keep track of these goals by monitoring your progress and you can always update these goals as the business evolves.

A dog training business plan is the single most powerful means of selling a dog training business to a willing investor. A well detailed and convincing business plan is the first step in attracting investors into your dog training business.

The executive summary of the dog training business plan is very important because most investors may not initially be willing to go through the entire business plan but will rather go through the executive summary. If an investor finds the executive summary convincing them he will then willing to go through the key areas in the business plan.

When you are starting your dog training business you do not need to spend a lot of time trying to come up with your own business plan, you can easily lay hold of a free sample dog training business plan and alter it to suit your need.

Dog training business name, cards and forms

The next step in starting a dog training business is to come up with a dog training business name that reflects that you are into the business of dog training, so carefully decide on a business name that makes it easy for your customers to know that you are in the business of dog training.

business card for dog training business
Dog training business card.

You will also need a well designed dog training business card that will reflects your dog training business and which you should also use as part of branding yourself and your business.

A dog training business forms may also be appropriate when starting a dog training business; the business forms will take care of such things as dog training application, contract agreement, invoice, dog training report card etc.

Then you have to register the business and you will also need to obtain insurance policy for your dog training business.

When you decide that you want to start a dog training business there are two options available:

  1. You can decide to run your dog training business on your location which means that you must have adequate space and dog training equipment. This can be a lot more expensive approach to starting a dog training business and you must have adequate funds to carry through. This is not advisable for a one man dog training business.
  2. This other option is far less expensive and this is the natural route that most beginner dog trainers will opt for. In this option you are operating out of your house and just a room in your apartment or your garage can act as your office.

Confirm your skills

You don’t want to make a failure of your dog training business by jumping right into starting the business only to start seeing your inadequacies. Dog training business is a twofold responsibility for the dog trainer; on one half you provide canine training and on the other hand you will be providing training for the dog owners by teaching them how to train their dog.

This is the core responsibility of the dog trainer and you need to be double sure that you are good on the job. Often time aspiring dog trainers will look forward to established dog trainer for apprenticeship and this is the best approach to find out how you will perform on the job. Apprenticeship will give you a close to real life experience of what the job will feel like when you are out in the field.

So the reasonable thing is to make an effort to see if you can get an established dog trainer that you can learn from but if you are unable to get an established dog trainer in order to try out your dog training skills, you should at least try and have your dog training skills evaluate by a third party.

It is very easy for you to think of yourself as an excellent dog trainer and that may be true based on the results of dogs that you have trained. But as earlier stated dog training is twofold, if you lack the skill to communicate the training skills to your client then you cannot consider yourself as a good dog trainer.

The option of trying out a third party involves offering your service for free to one or two dog owners in exchange for their honest and blunt feedback, this will give you a fair idea of how your clients may perceive your training abilities. While this may be an expensive venture the result that you get from this exercise will be very helpful and it can also boost your confidence.

Because you are offering you service in exchange for valuable feedback in order to get a third party assessment, it should not be difficult to get the right dog owners to work with. Make sure you do not choose someone that is close to you and try and assess the dog owners you want to work by asking them a few question.

Go for dog lovers that have the least dog training skills and worse dog behavioral problem. And because this is meant to be a test bed for you, you don’t want to give out the farm just some fruits from the farm. This means that the training is meant to provide significant and obvious result for them but not solve the entire dog problem.

250 x 358

Build a Dog House:How I Built Mine in 14 Easy Steps

Building your own dog house is an inexpensive way to create a special and customized house for man’s best friend.

build a dog houseIn this article you do not need to worry about unraveling the plan of a dog house because it is integrated into the following simple, short and practical 14 step processes that just about anyone can follow to build his own dog house.

Before setting out to build a dog house it is essential that you have a general understanding of the most important material (in this case wood), that you will use to build the dog house.

This knowledge will help you in making the right decision when choosing wood type to build a dog house that will last some years.

When building your own dog house you can choose between 2 durable options of either wood or plastic. Both have their strengths and weaknesses:

Wood:
  • Wood is an excellent choice if you are concern (and you should be) about the insulation for your dog house from cold and heat.
  • An easier material for getting the job done if you are going to build the dog house yourself.
  • The sturdy nature of wood is perfect for a jumpy and chewing dog like yours.
  • Wood wears out over years and therefore may require some yearly maintenance such as painting.
  • Vulnerable to termite infestation.
  • Wood tends to absorb dog odors over time.
Plastic:
  • Plastic is very durable and far more light weight compared to wood.
  • Easier to clean up and does not tend to absorb the dog’s odors like wood.
  • While plastic also provide some measure of insulation, it is however not as good as wood and may therefore require additional insulating material.

The post will be working with wood. The best wood to use for outdoor furniture must be able to withstand the ravages of nature – the harshness of the sun or drenching rains – on a long term.

It is therefore essential that you have some basic understanding of different wood types so that you will be in the best position to choose the best wood type for building your dog house.

An excellent wood for outdoor furniture like a dog house must have some resistance to insect infestation and rot.

There are 2 major ways that woods tend to resist rot. Chemical compound found in some woods such as cedars, cypress, redwood offer rot resisting barriers that is offensive to agents of decomposition like bacteria and bugs.

While wood types like ash, birch, pine and spruce have little or no resistance to rot.

The other way that woods that are excellent for outdoor use prevent rot resistance is through physical barriers. Some wood types such as black locust and white oak have a structure called tyloses which fills up the pores of the wood thereby shutting moisture and decay causing agents that thrive in moisture from getting into the wood.

Wood types fall into 2 general categories: soft or hard wood. This is based on the structure and type of the wood and not its durability.

  • Soft wood – They are not weaker than hard wood but are generally less expensive than hard wood because they come from coniferous trees which grow quickly.
  • Hard wood – They come in a variety of grain patterns, texture and colors and are therefore very good in making good looking furniture, however they could be quite pricey.

Some types of soft woods are: cedar, fir, pine, spruce and redwood.

Some hard wood types: ash, birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, popular, teak and walnut.

Some common wood types used in building dog house include:

  • Cedar
  • Spruce

The wood type that will be the best for building your dog house will depend on the temperament of your dog and your climate. If your dog like to chew then a sturdy wood type will certainly be an excellent choice.

In the post we will be working with cedar (however you can use any wood type of your choice) for a number of reasons:

  • Cedar is good for areas with high humidity.
  • Generally used for outdoor projects like building exteriors, decks, furniture, etc. because it is good at handling moist environment without rotting.
  • The dimensions or size of cedar is unaffected by weather, temperature or humidity conditions. This means that unlike other wood type cedar does not get warped by exposure to moisture.
  • Cedar is able to resist insect damage far better than other wood types.

Make sure that your choice of wood type for building your dog house is not treated with any chemical that may harm your dog’s health such as pressure treated pine.

The content of this article would work perfectly for a medium sized dog however you can easily scale the size to accommodate the size of your dog either bigger or smaller.

Requirements :

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Work bench (or 2 saw horses)
  • 10’ cedar 2×4
  • Safety goggles (glasses) – make sure to use this in order to prevent wood debris from getting into your eyes.
  • Hammer
  • A bag of 16d nails
  • A bag of 8d nails
  • 4’x8’ sheet of untreated cedar plywood siding
  • 8’ cedar 2×4
  • Cedar shaving
  • Hand file
  • 1 gallon of exterior wood primer – you apply the primer before painting
  • 1 gallon of exterior enamel paint
  • Roofing shingles
  • Roofing nails

STEP 1

dog measurement for building dog house
Take the measurement of the dog before building the house

The first step in building your dog house is to measure your pet’s height, weight and length and add 12 inches to the height, 18 inches to the length and 9 inches width in order to get the dimensions of your dog house.

A medium size dog of about 25” height, 23” length and 21” width will require a house dimension of 37” high, 41” long and 30” wide.

Because a dog’s body heat warms the house, it should be just big enough for your dog to stand in and turn around easily.

STEP 2

Put the 10’ cedar 2×4 on the work bench and cut it into 8 pieces with the circular saw:

  • 2 pieces that twenty two and seven eight inches long (22 -7/8”).
  • Another 2 pieces that are twenty and three quarter inches long (20-3/4”).
  • Cut the remaining 4 pieces each into six inches long (6’’).
wood dimension for building dog house
Cut the 10’ cedar 2×4 into 8 pieces.

STEP 3

The dog house will be fitted with legs so the house can stay some inches above the ground. This will help to prevent water from getting in and also protect the dog from the cold ground in the cold periods of the year.

With the circular saw ground (i.e. rounded the edges) one end of each of the 4 (6’’) pieces, these will become the legs of the dog house.

legs of the dog house
The making of the legs of the dog house.

Then take 2 of the legs and 1 of the 22 ‘‘7/8 pieces and line up the flat edges of the legs (the rounded edge in the other direction) with the edge of the platform side (22 ‘‘7/8) and nail the 2 legs to the 22 ‘‘7/8 using the 16d nails. Repeat the step for the other side. These 2 pieces will be the 2 sides of the platform.

legs of the dog house
The finished legs of the dog house.

STEP 4

The 2 20’’3/4 pieces will be used as the front and back of the frame, place the 2 side pieces of the legs from step 2 above opposite each other with the legs inside and nail the front and back pieces to the sides pieces that contain the legs.

the base of the dog house
Finished product of step 4: the base of the dog house

STEP 5

Put the 4’x8’ plywood on the work bench (or saw horses) and cut it according to these dimensions:

  • 2 bottom pieces of 20’’3/4 inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
  • 2 roof pieces of 31’’7/8 inches by 21’’7/8 inches.
  • 2 side pieces of 16’’ inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
  • One back piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.
  • One front piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.
bottom pieces of the dog house
The 2 bottom pieces of the dog house.
roof pieces of the dog house
The 2 roof pieces for the dog house.
side pieces of the dog house
The 2 side pieces of the dog house.
back piece of the dog house
The back piece of the dog house.
front piece of the dog house
The front piece of the dog house.

Dog Breeding Info:Steps for Successful Dog Breeding

Though a demanding venture, dog breeding can be pretty rewarding if you have the appropriate dog breeding info necessary to help you make a success of it.

dog breeding info - lots of puppies Dog breeders naturally fall into 2 categories: a novice dog breeder or an experienced dog breeder. And for the person who is yet to at least have her bitch give birth to a puppy, he does not qualify to be referred to as a dog breeder.

This article will take an exhaustive view on how to become a successful dog breeder from the starting point of a novice breeder. For a starter in dog breeding, you need to have a clear picture of the demands of the profession as this information will greatly enhance your chances of being a successful dog breeder.

Some basic question for every new dog breeder

  • Why do you want to breed dogs? For fun, personal or commercial reasons?
  • Do I want to breed dogs on a part time basis or full time?
  • If you intend to breed dogs on a part time basis, would you be willing to invest the time and exercise the patience required to nurture your litters until they are ripe enough to go into their new homes? This can take as much as 2 months.
  • Do you have capacity to meet the financial requirements of the recommended health checks for the bitch and her litter?
  • Are you willing to invest both time and money in acquiring the necessary dog breeding information that will be helpful to you and that will also put you in a position to impact the right knowledge, in various aspects of care for the puppies, on the new owners of your puppies?
  • Will you be able to handle it if your bitch gives birth to a large litter?
  • How will you find good homes for my puppies?
  • Do you have the capacity to take back the puppies from their owners if such a situation should arise?

If as a new entrant into the dog breeding business either for personal or commercial reasons and you are unable to provide convincing positive answers to the above questions then you will be better advised not to continue with your wish to breed dogs.

If however you have passed the foregoing test, then the next set of things to keep in mind are:

  • As an intending dog breeder you should always strive to ensure that every litter is an improvement on the parents.
  • Special considerations must be given to the health and temperament of your bitch and her litter.
  • As a dog breeder that cares for your puppies, you must make sure that you are available to provide the new owner with the needed help and advice.
  • Always make sure that your bitch is healthy enough to give birth to a litter.
  • Check the health status of the stud as well.
  • Keep in contact with your vet once your bitch is close to giving birth.
  • Maintain a list of the places where your puppies can be sold or advertised for sale.
  • Make sure you have a contract attached to every puppy sold.

Breeding to improve

One of major objectives of breeding dogs is to improve the quality of the breed. Therefore a worthwhile refrain for a dog breeder to keep in mind is “breed to improve”.

When you set out to breed you should take the time to properly evaluate the strong and weak points of your dog before going ahead with your decision to breed, if you truly want to achieve the noble goal of producing a better dog and a higher quality pet.

This will involve examining your dog in order to identify its flaws and then look for a stud that will help to balance or eliminate those flaws in the litter that will be given birth to.

A good way of objectively identifying these flaws is to put your dog up for test against other dogs and see how your dog measures up when juxtaposed with the finest specimens of its breed.

The female dog heat cycle

The female dog has a heat cycle or estrous cycle which is a period or season of heightened sexual arousal and activity. A mature bitch (female dog) will normally experience two heat cycles in a year or once on rare occasion. The heat cycle will usually kick in when the bitch is between 9-12 months old.

However it is not advisable to start mating a bitch until she is at least 2 years old for the simple reason that some of the most essential health checks such as hip and elbow dysplasia cannot be done until they grow to around this age.

But once they reach this age of maturity it is safe to start breeding your bitch but only after you have carried out the necessary health checks to confirm that it appropriate to put her through breeding.

It is important to know that the female dog heat cycle never ceases and will last for the life time of the bitch but that is not to mean that she must be breed for her entire life time. Ideally, you breed your bitch for a period and then you put her out of service, in manner speaking, and some breeder will simply spay (take out the ovaries) her to signify the end of breeding for her.

The heat cycle is in four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus (an interval of sexual inactivity between periods of estrus), and anestus. These four stages are controlled by three hormones:

  1. Estrogen – kick starts the heat cycle.
  2. Luteinizing hormone (LH) – kick starts ovulation.
  3. Progesterone – preserves pregnancy.

Proestrus is the first stage of the bitch heat cycle that can last between 3-17 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 9 days. The level of estrogen would begin to rise some weeks before the proestrus and will peak and fall within this phase. During this heat cycle the bitch’s body is getting ready for possible pregnancy and her vulva become swollen to about three size her normal size and protruding out outwards.

Estrus is the second stage of the heat cycle can last between 2-12 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 9 days. With the drop of estrogen in the first stage of the heat cycle, the level of progesterone starts to rise and reaches a plateau at labor or false pregnancy (at diestrus). The level of luteinizing hormone (LH) also rises sharply during this phase and kick starts ovulation within 3 days. This is the period that the bitch will accept a male dog to mount her. The female is become very flirtatious and start teasing the male dogs around and also lifting her tail sideways when with the male in readiness for mating. This habit of tail side wards lifting of the tail is called flagging.

dog breeding info of a dam in heat
A female dog in heat.

Diestrus is the third stage of the heat cycle can last between 50-80 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 60 days. This phase will kick in even if she is not pregnant though her body will behave as though she is pregnant (false pregnancy).

Anestrus is the last phase of the heat cycle and can last between 130-250 days. This is a resting phase when the bitch is sexually inactive and her body is preparing for the next heat cycle.

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The different breeding methods

There are different types of dog breeding methods: inbreeding, cross breeding and line breeding. No dog breeding info will be complete without this knowledge.

The primary reason behind the man’s conscious involvement in dog breeding is to ensure that we can breed dogs to meet our wishes, otherwise dogs will naturally continue to mate and reproduce randomly with every breed mating with any available dog either of the same breed or not. This results in birth of mutts i.e dogs of unknown parent breeds.

Generally a dog will fall into one of the following three groups: purebred, mutts or designer dogs. A mutt is a result of accidental cross breeding which usually happens naturally when dogs meet other dogs and mate to produce a dog of unknown parent breeds. Such an offspring is called a mutt.

A designer dog is also the product of cross breeding like a mutt however designer dogs are a product of conscious cross breeding of known parent breeds which are usually purebred. Since designer dogs are of different parent breeds, it is difficult to tell what the traits of offspring will be and even offspring from the same litter may differ significantly since each offspring could end up with any combination of any of traits of the parent breeds.

Purebreds on the other hand are breeds that have been bred over many generations of that breed to the point where certain traits has been enforced within the breed. This means that the traits of purebred dogs like the temperament, looks, coat type etc are predicated and well documented so a person that purchases a purebred will know for certain what to expect and how to care for the breed.

Since the intention behind man’s conscious involvement in dog breeding is to breed dog that meet certain purpose e.g. working dogs such as German shepherd for protection. while at the same time improving the breed with successive generation. Therefore in order to understand how this is achieved we need to have some basic understanding of genetics, a very important dog breeding info.

In any complex life the genes is underlying material that determines the outcome of life. The traits of a pup are determined by parent genes. Genes exist as a pair and a pup will inherit one copy from both parents to form a pair i.e. the genotype. Genes not only occur in pair but dominant genes will always manifest in the offspring while recessive genes will only manifest if it occurs in pair.

This means that a parent dog breed can have either of these possibilities: dominant/dominant (DD), dominant/recessive (DR) and recessive/recessive (RR). Since the dominant gene will always show in the offspring for instance if one of the parent has a dominant gene (DD) for a health related problem then all the offspring will suffer from the same health problem even if the other parent has a double recessive gene (RR). This is because all the pups will have a D in their genes.

So when the offspring inherits the same pair from both parents e.g. a D or R from each parent resulting in a DD or RR then the pair is referred to as homozygous but if pair inherited from both parents are different i.e. a D and a R, this will result in a DR, this pair is referred to as heterozygous.

Inbreeding involves the breeding of closely related dogs that are within two generations, like mating father with daughter, mom with son, brother with sister etc. Inbreeding helps in strengthening certain traits within the breed by mating dogs that are closely related in order to make the gene pool more homozygous i.e. a DD or RR and eliminate a DR. Since a dominant gene (a D) will always manifest in the offspring but a recessive gene (R) will only manifest when it is a pair (RR).

Inbreeding is also employed in situation when breeders want to preserve breed from extinction or start out a new purebred. If the breed used in inbreeding are not carefully selected then you may end up with a terrible bloodline since inbreeding primarily enforces the traits either good or bad within that breed.

Line breeding is a variation of inbreeding which involves the mating of relatives that are not as close as inbreeding.

This dog breeding info is very essential for a successful dog breeding.

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The commitment involve in dog breeding

Raising puppies requires full dedication.

Raw Diet for Dogs: Benefits of Feeding Your Dog on Raw Diet

The idea of raw diet for dogs has grown in popularity over the past decade, partly influenced by the Australian vet Ian Billinghurst who suggested that dogs will thrive on raw diet which is similar to what wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs feed on before they were domesticated.

raw diet for puppies
puppies feeding on raw food

Feeding dogs on raw diet is regarded controversial and the reason for this is not far fetched: the opponents of this diet have always based their argument on the fact that there are no scientific researches carried out to justify raw diet for dogs.

Raw dog food emphases bone, raw meat, vegetables and fruits. One fact that no one argues it that for animals to experience optimal health they must feed on foods that they are designed to eat. Therefore vegetarians must feed on vegetation for optimal health and carnivorous must feed on fresh prey for their own optimal health.

While pet food purchased off the shelf have only been around for about a hundred years, animals have always hunted their prey and scavenge for millions of years. Because dogs are resilient species they have been able to adapt to canned food and have been able to withstand significant nutritional abuse without dying.

Because our dogs do not die immediately from nutritional deficiency as a result of feeding on canned food we have managed to deceive ourselves that commercially processed food is good for our dogs.

However we have only succeeded in creating generations of weakened dogs that are suffering from degenerative diseases linked to deficiencies in nutritional.

Some basic fact to keep in mind about dog food

It should be noted that carbohydrates are not essential to the diet of carnivorous and should not be fed with grains that metabolizes to sugar.

Because commercial dog food requires intense heat during processing, the benefits of the minerals, enzymes and vitamins in the food is already destroyed by the heat. This means that off the shelf canned dog food will require the lost nutrients to be supplemented.

The heating process also makes it difficult for dogs to digest the amino acids.

It is also well known that meat based protein is far easier to digest by dogs than plant based protein.

raw dog foodWhile a lot of people do not associate disease with diet, there are those who realize the connection but just don’t give a damn.

Optimal nutrition

  • Dogs require fat, quality protein, small quantity of fruits and vegetable. The fruits and vegetable provide fiber and antioxidants.
  • Because the soil in which food is grown lacks many of the nutrients our dogs need, therefore fatty acids, vitamins and natural sources of trace minerals must be added. Food storage like freezers also decreases the level of fatty acids in food.
  • Dog need fresh, unadulterated, whole food that is dense in moisture.
  • They do not need fillers, grains, chemicals, artificial preservatives, additives or processed foods.
  • Dog should be feed on species appropriate diet (high in moisture content, low in carbohydrates and unprocessed food).
  • Provide your dog with everything she need (whole food that is nutritionally complete) and keep away those that does not benefit her.

Some well documented benefits of feeding dogs on raw diet include:

  • Healthier skin
  • Smaller stool and no dog odor
  • An increase in energy level
  • Shining coats
  • A much cleaner teeth
  • Low or non existing vet bills
  • Less costly compared to dog food
  • It enable puppies to grow at the appropriate rate
  • The chewing of the raw meaty bone helps to develop the shoulder, jaws and neck muscles of the dog. This never happen with commercial dog food.

Raw diet for dogs consists of the following:

  • Raw meat including the bone
  • Bare bones
  • Organ meats like kidneys and livers
  • Raw eggs
  • Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and celery
  • Dairy products like yogurt
  • Apples and other fruits

Raw diet is of great benefit to most animals and dog’s digestive system is able to process raw diet without being vulnerable to the organisms in meats which get destroyed through cooking. Dogs feeding on raw diets can achieve a much better overall health compared to dog feed on commercial food.