The Maltese is a lovely breed, in terms of character and looks. These intelligent little dogs are even said to be hypoallergenic, because their long silky hair does not shed as much as other breeds. Their small size, attractive white coat, and perky characters means they are a delightful pet.
Indeed the Maltese has a long history which goes back over 2,000 years. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all adored the Maltese, which also went under names such as the “Roman Ladies Dog” or “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta”. Indeed, some wealthy owners even built tombs for their deceased Maltese dogs.
The breed continued to be popular for centuries, but was almost wiped out in the 17th century by a misguided breeding program. For some reason, it was decided to reduse the size of the Maltese to that of a squirrel – with the result that the breed was almost eradicated. Fortunately, common sense prevailed before it was too late and the Maltese recovered.
However, one of the personality traits of the Maltese that make it so popular – its love of human company – also means these dogs are prone to stress or anxiety when left alone.
What is Separation Anxiety?
When a dog likes being in your company so much that he is distressed when left alone, this is known as separation anxiety. The problem also tends to get worse as time goes by, because the dog soon learns to associate the owner leaving with physiological sensations of stress such as a racing heart and feelings of fear.
Is Your Maltese Showing Signs of Anxiety?
As a breed, the Maltese are prone to being dependant on their owner, which may means the dog feels stressed when separated. As an owner it is helpful to know the telltale signs of anxiety.
Each dog shows their distress in different ways, but when are preparing to go out, some dogs will follow your heels like a shadow, or else retiring to her basket wearing a miserable expression. Other classic signs include whining, pacing, licking or biting at herself excessively, chewing and destructive behaviour, and messing in the house when you’re out.
What Can You Do About It?
The dog becomes anxious because she has no concept of time and doesn’t want to be alone. What you need to do is teach her that you do return. You do this in slow steps.
The first stage is to teach her “Sit” and “Stay” commands. Once the dog sits on command, you get her to stay on her blanket whilst you briefly leave the room. Return almost immediately (whilst she is still quiet) and give her a treat or reward.
Then, gradually increase the amount of time you spend out of her sight. If at any stage she cries, wait until a moment of silence before you re-enter the room. This is because you want to reward the good (ie the quiet) behaviour, rather than crying.
Separation anxiety is not the exclusive domain of the Maltese, and can affect any breed of dog. However, it is a very real source of distress for the pet, so if your pet messes in the house when you are out – don’t scold her – the chances are she thought you were never going to return.
Want to Know More about the Maltese?
Height: 10 inches (25 cms)
Weight 4 – 6 lbs (2 – 3 kg)
Life expectancy: 12- 15 years
Coat: Long and silky, requires daily grooming
Health: Like any purebred dog, the Maltese is at higher risk than others of certain inherited conditions. For the Maltese these include:
Heart disease as a result of stiff heart valves (in later life)
Yeast infections affecting the skin
Portosystemic shunt – this is a blood vessel that bypasses the liver and results in neurological symptoms in young dogs
Luxating patellas (better known as wobbly kneecaps)
White Shaker Dog Syndrome – the exact natures of this condition is not fully understood, but the symptoms are those of uncontrolled shaking such that the dog falls over or is unable to eat
Hydrocephalus – water on the brain
Temperament: Because Maltese are physically small, you need to take this into consideration if you have boisterous children. Although the breed is robust enough to catch rats (it original job!) they can easily suffer broken bones if dropped or generally rough-housed.
Like all puppies, the Maltese benefits from good socialization as a youngster. The breed is good-natured and intelligent, but is renowned for getting their own way!
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Handing over a credit card or cash to buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store is like holding a gun to a homeless pup’s head and squeezing the trigger.
That’s the message PETA supporters will send on Tuesday outside New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is taking place.
How does buying one dog kill another? It’s simple: Buying a dog takes a home away from a dog whose life depends on being adopted from a shelter.
Westminster and the dog-breeding industry that it props up encourage people to buy dogs from breeders, even though millions of dogs must be euthanized in shelters every year—many of them simply for lack of a good home.
Alfalfa, Dog Rescued by PETA and Available for Adoption
Breeding dogs to conform to “breed standards” also causes many purebred dogs to suffer from painful and sometimes deadly health problems and deformities—as PETA’s humorous new spoof of the “puppybabymonkey” Super Bowl ad points out:
Pugs often suffer from serious breathing problems and are prone to eyes that bulge, are constantly dry, become ulcerated, or even pop out of the socket because the dogs are bred to have unnaturally flattened faces. Most bulldogs must give birth via cesarean section because they have been bred to have massive heads and small hips. Cavalier King Charles spaniels often suffer from an excruciating condition called syringomyelia, which is caused by having a skull that is too small for their brains. These are just a handful of the health problems dogs experience because of breeders’ pursuit of show trophies.
If you’re ready to give a lucky pup first place in your heart, don’t buy into the cruel breeding industry. Save a life instead by adopting a dog from your local shelter.
Credit : http://www.peta.org/blog/heres-what-happens-when-you-breed-or-buy-a-dog-it-isnt-pretty/
It sounds easy really, doesn’t it?
You’re in the park and your puppy is off exploring. You call them and they immediately come running straight to you. You give them a tasty treat as a reward and that’s it – simple!
In reality though, it doesn’t quite work out that way for a lot of dog owners. It’s very easy to end up running around the park, chasing after your puppy as you shout their name and they completely ignore you as they continue to run away from you.
At times like this it can seem like your only option is to sit down and wait for your puppy to get tired and eventually come back to you once they’ve had enough exploration and adventure.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PUPPY TO COME TO YOU AT THE PARK
It doesn’t have to be that way though, as it’s actually quite easy to train your puppy to come to you at your command. It’s not some great secret that only the best dog trainers can master – anyone can train their dog to do this.
You do have to know the right way to do it in order to achieve success though. You need to approach it in the right way or you’ll never get anywhere. Luckily the way you do it is quite simple, so let’s take a closer look at how to train your puppy to come to you at the park…
DON’T CHASE YOUR PUPPY
The first thing to note is very important – don’t go running after your puppy if they run away from you. Whatever else you do, don’t do this; it really is the last thing you want to do because then you’re making you chasing after them a fun game for them.
Yet, so many people make this mistake. They call their puppy to come but their puppy ignores them and moves away from them, so they follow and move closer to their puppy. Before they know it, they’re running madly around the park after their dog, shouting their name. This is great fun for your dog, but not for you!
So what do you do then?
A FEW SIMPLE STEPS
Well, one thing you can do is to make sure you keep your puppy on a long line until you’ve trained them to come when you call and you’re sure they’ll respond. That is, you don’t let them off the leash until you know they’ll come back when called. Of course, all the time they’re on the long line you should be training them to come. It’s also very important not to get angry with your dog if they don’t come when called – positive reinforcement training is by far the best way to train your dog.
Secondly, when they’re at the stage where you’re starting to let them off the lead, don’t call them if you don’t think they’re going to respond. If they’re running around excitedly or have just found a really interesting new smell, they’re unlikely to come. Indeed, they may not even hear you calling them. So wait until they’re calm and relaxed before calling them.
Another useful tip is to know how to get your puppy to chase after you instead. Master that and getting your puppy to come to you is easy!
So how do you do this?
Simple – just turn away from them and move the other way. This encourages them to follow you and return to your side. If you do the opposite and move towards your puppy as you call them, you’re actually giving them mixed messages. Your call is saying come here, but in dog language by moving towards them you’re telling them to stay where they are. The next time you get a chance, watch some dogs playing together. You’ll soon notice that this is how a dog gets the other dogs to chase after them – they move away from them.
When your dog does come to you, it’s important to reward them with treats and praise so that they learn that this behavior is what you want from them.
One other thing to note is that it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t only call your dog to come to you at the end of your visit to the park. If they learn that every time you call them they’re going to be getting in the car to go home and the fun is over, they won’t be keen to come to you. So call them to come to you at other times during your visit and reward them when they obey. In this way, they’ll start to associate answering your call with good things happening, not bad things
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NEW YORK (AP) — Labrador retrievers still reign supreme after a quarter century as America's most prevalent purebred dog. But French bulldogs are riding their je ne sais quoi toward new heights, and some lesser-known breeds are climbing the popularity ladder, according to American Kennel Club rankings released Monday. Here's a look at how breeds stack up:
THE TOP 10
Known for being easygoing, multitalented and friendly, Labs have held the top spot for longer than any other breed since the AKC started counting in the 1880s. Rounding out the top 10 for 2015, in order: German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs, beagles, French bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, Rottweilers and boxers.
So what to make of a list that includes both the toy Yorkie and the powerful Rottweiler?
Americans "like easy-to-care-for, fun family dogs," whether that means big, strong animals that can protect their families or small pets with "big-dog personalities," says AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo.
French bulldogs moved from No. 9 to No. 6 last year and became the predominant purebred in Miami and San Francisco, having already conquered New York City. The droll little bat-eared bulldogs last peaked at No. 6 during the 1910s. They weren't even top 50 as recently as 2002, but TV shows, movies and celebrity owners, including Martha Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Carrie Fisher, have helped spur their renaissance.
Some other movers that aren't as visible, at least for now: the Cane Corso, an imposing Italian guard dog that rose from 47th in 2014 to 35th last year, and the Norwegian elkhound, a stalwart hunting dog that's up from 100th to 88th.
WHAT ABOUT THE WESTMINSTER-WINNING BREED?
Winning the televised Westminster Kennel Club dog show can give a breed a bump. This past Tuesday's best-in-show champ, CJ, is a German shorthaired pointer — a breed already quite popular at No. 11.
WILL ANOTHER DOG GET ITS DAY?
Faves can hold their own for years but do shift over time. Dachshunds and shih tzus dropped out of the top 10 within the last five years. Boston terriers, cocker spaniels, and St. Bernards were No. 1 in decades past but aren't in the top 20 now.
WHAT'S IN A RANKING?
The stats reflect puppies and other newly registered dogs; the AKC doesn't release raw numbers, only rankings. They don't include mixed-breed dogs (or hybrids such as Labradoodles and maltipoos that aren't AKC-recognized breeds).
Some animal-rights advocates feel the pursuit of purebreds fuels puppy mills and makes it harder to find homes for mixed-breeds in shelters. The AKC says breed characteristics help people find the right dog to give a permanent home.
WHO'S THE RAREST OF THEM ALL?
The English foxhound is the rarest of the AKC's 184 recognized breeds. And most of us aren't likely to run into a harrier, a Norwegian Lundehund, an American foxhound or an otterhound any time soon.
Popularity rises and falls on many factors, and trends can be self-perpetuating — the scarcer the breed, the fewer the puppies, and vice versa, DiNardo notes. She encourages would-be dog owners to consider both rare and familiar ones.
"You may want to be one of those people who helps protect and preserve a breed," she said
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You get up, he gets up.
You go into another room, he follows. If you seem upset in any way, he sits in front of you and gives you a good lick to cheer you up. He is your loyal dog.
Many of our canine companions are very loyal, regardless of breeding, but there are some that are known for this commendable trait. Integrative veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne details six loyal dog breeds:
The Akita is a large dog originating from Japan that is a powerful, dominant, and independent breed.
“They are very loyal dogs, but usually to one member of the family,” says Osborne. “They would not be your typical family dog, but are very loyal to their handler or owner. They are very protective and [dominant] dogs. They not a low-maintenance breed; they have double-ply coats like Siberian Huskies. They are very loyal dogs…but their traits should not be overlooked. They should have a large yard to [roam] and again a sense of a job and purpose. This is not the kind of dog who should be kenneled all day, and requires daily exercise; it’s of most importance to maintain a sense of well-being.”
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed dog with a smooth, silky coat, originating from the United Kingdom. These dogs have become the 18th most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the AKC.
“The breed is highly affectionate, loyal, eager to please and extremely patient,” says Osborne. “They easily adapt to any living situation and love people and other dogs. They would do well with a large or small family and are very intelligent and obedient. Unlike the breeds mentioned above, this is a very easy-going, low-maintenance dog; they have no vices. They do well in any situation and are one of the most loyal breeds. Even though they are small, they love the outdoors and love to hunt and play—which for some people is the best of both worlds, as they act like a large dog that is stuffed into a little dog’s body. This would be a great dog for someone who works all day or is at home all day, has kids or does not; regardless of the situation, the breed adapts well and is eager to please.”
According to the AKC, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States. Labradors often help the disabled and blind, and are military and service dogs as well. They are also prized hunting and sporting dogs.
“They are considered the ultimate family dog, as they do well with not only children but adults as well,” says Osborne. “They do need training during puppyhood to ensure they have good behavior and are well-mannered. Overlooking training could very well be a detriment to the livelihood of this breed. They again need a sense of a job and training to ensure their good behavior. This is a medium-maintenance breed, needs minimal grooming, but is high shedding. They have a lot of endless energy, so they need daily exercise and something to do. A Lab is great dog for a large or small family, but keep in mind the energy level of this breed and the requirements that entails. Energy requirements is something often overlooked and is one of the largest mistakes anyone could make when selecting a breed. Make sure you have enough time for a dog; they will be an active member of the family for at least eight to 12 years.”
The Rough Collie is a medium to large dog breed falling under the herding group of dogs. Originating in Scotland, the dogs were used for herding sheep, cows, and other farm animals.
“They show no signs of aggressiveness or nervousness, are wonderful with adults and small and older children,” says Osborne. “They need to be well-socialized to prevent shyness, which can make them timid. They are beyond loyal and are one-family dogs. They often like to participate in herding-like activities and agility. This is a breed that again should be an active member of the family, and have a sense of purpose and a job. They will do well in apartments or in a large home, as they do adapt well and are very calm. Training is key with any breed from a young age and is essential to the happiness of your dog. They do require some grooming and maintenance for their hair coat and general hygiene and cleanliness.”
The Golden Retriever is a large to medium breed. The dogs are known for their hunting ability and ability to retrieve game undamaged.
“They have a longtime love for water and are easily trained to the most basic or most advanced obedience,” says Osborne. “They are a long-coated breed and do well in any environment. They are most known to be kind, friendly, loyal and obedient. They are not one-man dogs like your Akita and German shepherd, and are friendly to almost anyone. They are active and fun-loving dogs, and like to be an active member of the family. They will play or work until they are ready to collapse and are devoted to the game, so one must take note when playing rigorously. This is a great breed for anyone—a single person or a large family. These are fun-loving, easy-going dogs. They do require training from a young age, as with any dog, to ensure proper obedience and manners.”
The German shepherd is a medium to large working breed that originated in—you guessed it—Germany. They’re often used as military, police, therapy and service dogs.
“Most will die to protect their families, and are one of the most loyal dog breeds,” says Osborne. “However, they are not a low-maintenance breed, and often are very attached to their owners. Most have separation anxiety in the absence of their owner. With that being said, it is important to realize the amount of time and energy it takes to properly ensure this breed maintains a healthy body and soul. Daily exercise is a must, they often need a sense of a job and duty, and need biweekly brushing. This would not be a dog for someone who works 9-5 and would have to kennel the dog daily. This is a breed that needs to be an active member of the home, they do best when they have a job. Hence their history as service, police and military dogs.”
If you are looking into one of these loyal breeds—or another—make sure you are as committed to them as they are to you.
“Make sure you are willing to take the time, energy and financial obligation to make this pet an active member of your family,” says Osborne. “If you are thinking of getting a dog and would have to crate the dog longer than five hours a day, make sure you are making the right choice. It is heartbreaking to see so many pet owners resolve to crating their pet all day while at work and even some at night. This is no way for a pet to live and often causes a multitude of problems, all starting with anxiety. Make sure you are able to really care for and love a dog, and have the time required to properly care for it daily. Having a dog is really the equivalent of having a child; both require the same amount of time and attention.”
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