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The First and Last Word on Pets

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EnglishMastiff

English Mastiff

So you want to breed mastiffs. Breeding mastiffs is not an easy job, Please take a moment to read this before considering being a mastiff breeder.

Breeding the Old English Mastiff .

The English Mastiff is one of the hardest and most expensive breeds of dog to raise and breed . Fertility problems in both the male and female mastiff is common . Whelping difficulties are normal for the female mastiff as well as post delivery problems are a high probability in this breed. You can not breed a mastiff until they are at least 18 months of age and if you try breeding after 6 years of age you will be courting disaster. So you would be very lucky to see 3 litters out of a mastiff female , I have been breeding mastiffs for 10 years and have never managed to get 3 litters from any of my bitches..This is one of the reasons the cost of buying a mastiff puppy is higher then other breeds. Reputable mastiff breeders seldom ever make money breeding mastiffs.

Before deciding to breed a mastiff stud dog or bitch , the breeder should be confident that their mastiff is a good example of the breed in both temperament size and confirmation and dose not have health or temperament problems that can be passed on to their puppies.

Health problems that should be tested for are Hip and Elbow Displacia , Heart problems, genetic eye problems, and thyroid. Many reputable breeders go even farther and do testing for many more genetic health problems.

If you are thinking why bother testing, I will tell you that from a monetary standpoint you do not want to be refunding money to unhappy puppy buyers because their pup has Hip dysplacia or a bad heart. You could go broke really fast, You may even find yourself in court over an unhealthy puppy. Your goal as a breeder should always be to produce a healthy, sound, friendly, mastiff, of outstanding breed type.

You can contact you local veterinarian and he can make all the arrangements for the testing you should do before breeding your mastiff.

If you are thinking of breeding your mastiff to make money let me show you how wrong you can be.

First of all you will need to factor in the cost of buying a breeding quality mastiff, you are looking at paying $1800 to $3000 dollars for a mastiff puppy from a breeder who dose genetic and health testing on their lines. Then the cost of caring for that mastiff for 2 years before you can breed the mastiff.

Then you are looking at about $700 dollars to do X-rays on hips elbows, eye testing, and heart and thyroid.

You can then expect to pay $2000 for stud feel to the owner of the male you are using.

As I stated before mastiffs are very hard to breed so you may well have to do progesterone testing on the female to make sure you have bred her at the right time, so factor in another $400 dollars on progesterone tests. 60 percent of mastiffs need some sort of veterinarian help whelping and many end up in C-sections at a cost of about $800 or higher. After the mastiff whelps you have a very high probability of mastitis in this breed, this is an infection in then mammary glands, “My last 4 breedings my females all got mastitis” and you may well end up bottle feeding pups and have a bitch so sick she needs strong antibiotics and sometimes surgery to drain the infection, you could well be looking at another $400 to $600 dollars for this common complication. Then you must supplement the pups , pay for worming and vaccination and health checks before you can sell the pup, as well as the cost of registering the pups. Add another 600 dollars for this expense. We are not even going to factor in to this the cost of laundry, whelping box, puppy food, milk replacer, thermometer and other whelping and medical supplies. Now suppose you only have 4 pups in the litter, Guess what even if you sell your pups for $2000 each, you are in dept big time. Now to make matters even worse, lets say some of the pups have a genetic health problem after you have sold the pups, You will ether have to refund the puppy buyers money or they can take you to court and sue you.. Gee should have done that genetic testing and X-rays right !!

So you wonder why anyone would every want to breed mastiffs , There is only one reason reputable breeders keep on with the breed and that is LOVE OF THIS BREED, Any long time mastiff breeder will tell you they have gone in dept, that breeding mastiffs is hard on the pocket book. I know many mastiff breeders and do not know a single one who can say they make a profit.

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Labradoodle

Labradoodle

You’re responsible for making the commitment to train your Labradoodle to behave properly at home, when guests are visiting, and away from home. Unless taught, a puppy doesn’t know right from wrong. This can only be accomplished with dedication and repetition, repetition, and more repetition! Dogs don’t fail . . . owners fail their dogs.

First, treat your Labradoodle puppy from the day you bring him home as if he’s already full-grown. What do I mean by this? Your cute little 15-20 pound Labradoodle puppy is going to grow up (fast!) into a large dog. Don’t allow or sanction any behavior in your puppy you would not allow a full-grown dog to do. For example, it’s so cute when your new puppy jumps up on you to get attention! It’s obnoxious, not to mention dangerous, when six months later your now large eight-month-old Labradoodle puppy has just knocked someone to the floor!

Labradoodle and Goldendoodle breeder Michael Waggenbach of Sunshine Acres says it best, “Training is vital because, if Labradoodles aren’t challenged, that boredom makes them trouble. So, I usually tell people if you’re going to have a great dog, you have to keep them challenged. I tell people, a well trained dog makes for a happy family.”

He adds, “When you take a Labradoodle puppy home, many times people have this glorious idea they will take this puppy home and it’s going to be perfectly trained. It’s not! They need to do training! And there are people who give up after three days of not sleeping. They think they have the worst dog in the world! So, I think it would be good to set these expectations straight. When you take a Labradoodle puppy home, it’s not going to be everything you want it to be.”

So, housetraining with a crate should be one of your first priorities of training. A crate is useful, but stock up on carpet cleaner, deodorizer, and some puppy training pads as accidents are inevitable.

You will also train on basic good manners. There are many puppy-training classes available in a variety of levels. Check the yellow pages or ask someone at your local pet store, because it’s best to get a referral or recommendation.

There will be times in your Labradoodles life when it’s critical to their safety they obey your commands. Make sure they’re trained that obeying you is not optional!

Copyright by Edie MacKenzie. All Rights Reserved.

Edie MacKenzie is the author of a comprehensive guide to Labradoodles that covers, Multi-gens, F1’s, choosing a breeder, health considerations, and training and discipline. Discover the principles of raising healthy, happy, and well-tempered Labradoodles even if you’ve never owned a dog. You can read about The Definitive Guide to Labradoodles at http://www.labradoodle-guide.com.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog standing 23-28 inches tall and weighing around 55-80 lbs, however in Germany the official weight standards are between 77-103 lbs. They should be black in colour or salt and pepper, although their face should always be dark. They are recognisable by how their face is trimmed leaving long eyebrows, and a full moustache. Their bodies are as long as they are tall which gives them their square appearance, their eyes are small and round and set close together, and they have ears that are small and fold over although they can often look like they stick out. However in some countries their ears are cropped which makes them pointy and stand upright. They have long, thick and powerful legs, and their front legs should be straight. History: The Giant Schnauzer was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer, the Bouvier des Flandres and the black Great Dane. The name Schnauzer comes from the German word Schnauze, which means muzzle, they were developed for driving cattle in Bavaria, Germany. Although no breed standards were established until 1923, they have been known as far back as 1832. They have also been used as guard dogs by the police and military and to this day are better known as working dogs than as pampered pets.
Temperament: They can be a very loving dog and are highly intelligent. However they are prone to being rather dominant so need an experienced owner who can be the ‘alpha’ while maintaining a calm and consistent manner. They are exceptionally energetic dogs and if not exercised enough and left on their own they can become destructive. They need plenty of structure in their lives’, and should be socialised well with both people and animals from a young age. However if properly trained and well exercised they can be wonderful pets that will always look after you, they are brave, fun-loving and full of character and will always be faithful.

Health Issues: The Giant Schnauzer is prone to quite a few illnesses and diseases including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, incontinence, bloat and cancer. These are all becoming almost common in the breed. They can also suffer from autoimmune diseases, and are especially prone to toe cancer which even when caught early still is fatal to many Giant Schnauzers annually. Their average life expectancy is 12-15 years.

Grooming: Although in some ways they do not need much grooming and are relatively easy to keep there are a few things that are important to do. Due to the fact that the Giant Schnauzer doesn’t shed, it’s important to regularly brush them to remove any dead undercoat as if this is left it can matt, you should first brush with the lay of the hair, and then against it to lift the coat. Giant Schnauzers who are pets will only need to be clipped down a few times a year, whereas show dogs should be hand stripped. It’s also important to clean their faces down after they eat as bits of food can get caught in their moustache which can matt the hair and cause discolouration.

Living Conditions: The Giant Schnauzer is really not suited to apartment life, they are extremely active and need plenty of space to run around as well as twice daily walks or runs. They would do best with a family with no other pets and no young children, unless the dog is well trained. They really cannot be given enough exercise so an active family that can take them out cycling or running for hours would be best. It’s also worth remembering that they are tall dogs so can easily grab things off of any low surfaces.

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ChowChow

Chow Chow

Bred about 2100 years back in Mongolia, the Chow Chow makes a great companion and an excellent watchdog. It’s a medium size dog which has thick fur coat and appears as a living, growling teddy bear. These dogs are normally solid black in color but also come in shades of brown and red. Unlike other dogs, they have black tongues and black noses, and even the inside of their mouths is black. To look at, the Chow Chow is cute, cuddly dog but has a lordly attitude, which is why it is considered to be a tough and mean dog, which is true in part. Some of them are grouchy and downright mean, while many are playful and indifferent. They are, in general, aloof and haughty. One thing that stands apart is the Chow Chow’s fierce loyalty towards its owners. They are tough defenders and would defend their families to the last of their breath. This is what makes them great watchdogs. Put him on and not a fly could pass. Any unknown person is not allowed near any of his things, and if you mess with it, you’ll have some part of your body in his mouth in a jiffy. They are quite choosy when it comes to bonding. So, a Chow Chow would find a person of his choice in the family and would obey him or her at all the times. Not that he is intolerant of others. He can bear them but obedience comes for a price. If anyone else wants him to obey, he could offer a treat, after which obedience might be considered. However, that doesn’t mean that even the outsiders can bribe the dog. This offer of treat-for-obedience is valid only with respect to the family members, and any outsider trying it may get a bite-treatment from the dog. This also means that if you want your neighbor to come and watch the house while the dog is in, the dog would ignore the fellow and do whatever it likes though it is unlikely that he would harm the person. In other words, you can sit and watch, but do not command, as your commands will fall on a deaf Chow Chow’s ear and will be ignored altogether.

They need strong human masters, for they are themselves quite strong willed, and needs to be told that the man is the boss. So you need to be affectionate and firm consistently and your Chow Chow will grow into an obedient, good boy.

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Dachsund

Dachsund

I know I was not. We love our Dachshunds and only want the best for them yet I failed on the one part of his life that he needs most – health. Because I was ignorant about what he was eating.

My friends, family and the Dachshund Rescue Organization that I foster for know I am a huge Dachshund lover and I want nothing more than for my own little Dachshund to be happy and healthy. Most people I meet when we are out for our walk remember me because of my Dachshunds.

A couple of years ago Dachshund Luke got very sick and needed an emergency operation. It was a scary and frightening experience to watch my healthy little one become so sick and lethargic.

As if this was not bad enough I was shocked to find out that the dog food I was feeding him had caused it all. His vet explained that the food that I was feeding Dachshund Luke was too rich for him, contained too much fat and had cause his stomach to swell up with acid and a blockage in the tiny tube leading into it. I thank god that he survived the operation but it was a long seven day stay at the vets and nearly a month of recovery at home before he was truly back to his old self. He has a scar that runs the whole length of his little belly. This is my reminder to not blindly trust but to learn.

To watch a healthy dog become so sick and nearly lose them is an experience I never want to go through again. I still feel so guilty for feeding him the cute little cans of expensive dog food and not even having any inkling that it might be harming him. I am so grateful that I was able to pay for the large vet bill.

Since then he has been on a combination of prescription food, dog food that I trust and homemade. He occasionally gets sick due to finding and eating something he shouldn’t but we are very vigilant now and do all we can to keep him healthy and yes I have to admit spoilt – but not with food and treats that I no longer trust.

I am an internet addict so this experience sent me hunting on websites to try to find out what was in the dog food I was feeding him. Then when the dog food recall happened more horrid truths came out.

I have put together an article on all the information that I could find to give to people who adopt our foster Dachshunds and have at last had time to get it on the web so all Dachshund lovers can be informed. I feel strongly about giving our Dachshunds the best, healthy life that we can. Health starts with the food that we feed them. We should all be aware what is in the food they are eating so that we can make informed decisions.

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