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How to protect your dog from summer heat?

Hot weather is a problem for dogs. It is therefore essential to take precautions during the summer, and even more so when the temperatures are scorching. Whether on vacation or at home, a healthy dog - just like a human - can have health problems during the summer heat. As for very young puppies, sick and/or elderly dogs, they are all the more exposed to complications. How to protect your dog to limit the risks?

Put your dog in a cool place

During the summer, and even more so during a heat wave, temperatures remain very high both day and night. It is wise to set up a corner for your dog in the coolest part of the house or garage. He will find there something to rest without suffering. This does not prevent you from leaving a water bowl at your dog's disposal, to be replaced frequently by fresh water.

Make sure he always has water available

It's vital to make sure your dog has clean water at all times, because the high summer heat considerably increases the risk of dehydration. But the water in his bowl heats up at a rapid rate in these extreme conditions. Therefore, we take care to renew it as often as possible and we don't forget to monitor the level to check if our dog drinks very regularly.

Opt for morning or evening walks

You should avoid taking your dog out during the hottest hours of the day, i.e. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., or even until 5 p.m. in case of heat wave. The ideal is to get up earlier to take advantage of the morning coolness, between 6 and 9 am or to schedule evening outings from 7 or 8 pm.

It is also important to take water for yourself and your dog when you go for a walk and to take a break from time to time to quench your thirst. This allows you to spare your physical efforts and to take advantage of a well ventilated and shaded area. Don't hesitate to mist your dog's fur regularly. If it is possible to allow him to swim in a safe waterway, it is a plus.

Avoiding heat stroke

Hyperthermia or heatstroke is to be feared when temperatures are very high, especially in the car, and even if the windows are open or the vehicle is parked in the shade. It is of course absurd to leave your pet in the car, even if it is just for the time it takes to go shopping for example! He risks a rapid rise in his body temperature, which can easily reach 43°C, well above the norm, which is between 38 and 39°C. His body is exposed to a severe alteration.

The risk of heat stroke is also important on the beach. Many people think that by tying their dog up under the parasol, he will be protected. This is not true! On the one hand, more than 50% of the UV rays pass through this pseudo barrier and the dog is therefore subjected to indirect radiation. On the other hand, the sand favors the reverberation of the radiation, and when the sun is at its zenith, the risks of heat stroke are even greater.

In case of hyperthermia, it is necessary to intervene as soon as possible because the consequences can be fatal. To cool the dog, you can wet its paws and pads, or even cover it with a large wet bath sheet. But in the most serious cases, it is essential to consult a veterinarian urgently, especially if the animal seems totally exhausted, if its mucous membranes and gums take on an unusual purplish color and/or if it drools foam.

Anyone who sees a dog locked in a car during hot weather should call the police, who are authorized to open the vehicle in the absence of its owner when the animal's life is clearly in danger.

Modify the dog's diet

When the weather is really hot, dog owners are advised to give their pets a food that is sufficiently nourishing but light. The food should be low in fat but high in water content to limit the risk of dehydration. His food can be moistened with a little vegetable broth for example. At the same time, it is better to eliminate kibbles in favor of food, or at least to give him only a little each day if he cannot do without it.

Finally, it is possible to connect a fan in the room where your dog lives during the hot summer days. But be careful: the fan should not be within the dog's reach. You should also not direct the airflow towards the dog's head, as this can lead to dry eyes.

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog, a dog with a calm and affectionate character

It is also affectionately called "Boubou", a nickname that fits like a glove if we can say to the Great Swiss Mountain Dog, because denoting a soft, calm and affectionate character which corresponds to him precisely. This dog will make a pleasant companion in families looking for a balanced animal.

Characteristics of the Great Swiss Mountain Dog

This large dog will certainly not go unnoticed during your walks. It measures between 60 and 72 cm for a weight oscillating between 35 and 50 kg. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog develops a solid bone structure and a body all in muscle. Its massive head is free of heaviness, with a broad, flat skull, a strong muzzle, a black nose and a slightly accentuated stop. Special mention for its powerful jaws which remind us that this breed is a molossoid. His eyes, from which one can read kindness and vivacity, are almond-shaped and not extremely large. They are raised by a hazel color to brown. As for the ears, they are carried hanging and triangular in shape. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a short, tight and hard coat. The coat is tricolored on a background of black and tan with traces of white.

History of the breed Great Swiss Mountain Dog

Historically, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog is derived from the Butchers' Mastiff. It was originally used to guard herds. However, because of its large size, it was not very efficient in this task and was then converted to pulling meat carcasses. This breed was officially recognized as such in 1909. The first standard established by the FCI was published in 1939. It should be noted that the Great Swiss Mountain Dog has only recently arrived in France and is not very widespread compared to the Bernese Mountain Dog, appreciated more for its teddy bear look.

Living conditions and behavior of the Great Swiss Mountain Dog

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is an easy-going dog. Always happy, it adapts to all situations and can be lively and playful outside and rather calm and placid inside. It is an animal of great kindness, affectionate and attached to its masters. It can support loneliness provided that it is educated from an early age. And as it has a very developed instinct of protection, it will be able to mount the guard without problem in the house. As for his lifestyle, he prefers to live in a house with a garden and enjoy regular walks. As a working dog, he needs to exercise constantly. He can also get along with children, but it is important to supervise play sessions to avoid incidents due to his large size.

Diet and main health problems of the Great Swiss Mountain Dog

The Great Swiss Mountain Dog is unfortunately not spared from hip dysplasia, which is common to dogs of the same size. It can also be subject to joint diseases as well as osteochondrosis of the shoulder which causes a defect in the cartilage. Beware also of stomach torsion and obesity. In this respect, the health of the animal depends on a balanced and enriched diet of indisputable quality.

The Japanese Spaniel, a proud-looking dog

The Japanese Spaniel's proud appearance, short muzzle, small size and plume-like tail are just a few of the characteristics of this breed. This cheerful, affectionate and intelligent breed has only one ambition: to become your best companion.

Characteristics of the Japanese Spaniel

Underneath its stocky and robust appearance, the Japanese Spaniel is not dedicated to work. It reveals a very elegant physique and averages 30 cm in height for a weight of about 4 kg. The body ends with a long, bushy tail, carried in a plume and slightly raised. This breed is recognizable by its head with atypical features. It has a broad skull with a short muzzle devoid of wrinkles and a large nose that gives it a dignified and serious air.

His upper lips border the nostrils. His eyes are large and round, wide apart and black in color. The ears are "V" shaped and small. They are fringed and hanging. The Japanese Spaniel has an abundant coat. It is long on the whole body except on the face. The coat has a white background with black and red markings appearing on the ears, around the eyes and on the back.

History of the Japanese Spaniel breed

Contrary to what one might think, the Japanese Spaniel did not first appear in Japan but rather in Korea where it was exported to the Land of the Rising Sun in 750 as a gift for the Japanese emperor. There, it flourished to the point of being considered a sacred breed that could only be owned by noble families. The Japanese Spaniel was introduced in Europe around the 16th century where it also enjoyed tremendous success. Numerous personalities have adopted it, such as Queen Victoria, Marie-Antoinette and Mistinguett.

Living conditions and behavior of the Japanese Spaniel

The Japanese Spaniel is essentially a companion dog that adapts perfectly to indoor life. It is not a big barker and the fact that it is discreet makes it ideal for apartments. It is an affectionate, loyal, alert, intelligent and very generous cuddler. It is also very cunning, even a little tricky. It can live very well with the elderly because of its calm. Children and him also form an excellent tandem. On the other hand, the small blond heads will have to learn not to handle it too brutally. At home, this dog will have to be educated with firmness and softness at the same time not to become a domestic tyrant.

Diet and main health problems of the Japanese Spaniel

The Japanese Spaniel can live between 12 and 14 years. However, it is important to watch out for certain diseases to which it is prone. For example, because of its crushed face, it can develop a brachycephalic syndrome as well as joint or eye problems. He can also suffer from patella luxation, dwarfism or atlanto-axial instability. Moreover, it is a dog which does not support the excessive heats.

As far as food is concerned, provide him with small kibbles that fit his small jaw. As it can be easily prone to overweight, the excess of sweets is prohibited.

Can we talk about intelligence in dogs?

The intelligence of an individual must be measured by taking into account data specific to his condition. The dog has its own form of intelligence, which we prefer to call cognition. This can take many forms. This is why the dog constantly amazes his master. Whether it is a small breed or a large breed, it is capable of showing the extent of its abilities at any time. Let's take a look at each of his dispositions, linguistic, emotional, spatial, corporal and even logical-mathematical.

How to define intelligence in animals?

Intelligence in dogs or any other animal can be defined by the speed at which they find - to adapt or to survive - a solution to a problem. Numerous experiments have made it possible to measure the intelligent behavior of various animals, but not their intelligence, this last notion being abstract and not measurable.

After his observations, and according to the results obtained, it was thus possible to determine if an animal, a race or a species is "rather intelligent". Today, a more appropriate term is used to designate animal intelligence. It is called cognition. This term seems to be more accurate in that it expresses the notion of intuition, instinct or experience that can explain the mental capacities of animals.

An animal may be able to adapt to certain situations as well as to a particular environment, alone or in a group depending on its species, thanks to a form of learning linked to a social organization. Throughout its life, any animal learns through a succession of experiences.

Some examples are striking, as is the case of bees and ants whose flawless organization we know. Some birds know how to retrieve food they have hidden before it spoils. This leads us to believe that they not only have a memory of the place but that they also have a certain notion of time. Rats, cetaceans, chimpanzees have different behaviors from each other but that can lead us to believe that they are endowed with an ability to reason. Can we talk about intelligence? In any case, these are proven cognitive abilities.

The different forms of intelligence in dogs

The dog can learn various things by habituation or by conditioning. He understands words, some quite phenomenal specimens know between 100 and 200 of them. He easily receives the information that we want to transmit to him. It memorizes them and has the ability to use them when it is confronted with a problem which it can then solve thanks to information that it has kept in memory. It finds a solution according to the circumstance in order to adapt to a situation.

The linguistic intelligence of the dog refers to the animal's ability to understand :
  • Nuanced sounds,
  • Words, whether they are pronounced in isolation or inserted in a sentence,
  • intonations.
By communicating with his dog and doing everything possible to help him understand as many words and expressions as possible, and to recognize even more sounds and tones, the owner can train his dog's linguistic intelligence on a daily basis.

Emotional intelligence and social intelligence: the former is not developed in dogs as far as the analysis and understanding of their own emotions is concerned, nor even their control, far from it. However, the social intelligence of the dog is measurable. They are very receptive to the emotions felt towards them by their owners, by other humans around them, by other dogs and even by animals that do not belong to their species. We also know that dogs can detect certain expressions on a person's face. These are essentially facial micro-expressions betraying the emotions and mood of a child, a woman or a man.

Spatial intelligence: the dog knows how to find its way in a space that it can mentally represent. He can easily get from one point to another in this space even if he does not always use the same route.

Body intelligence: the dog is fully aware of his body and has all the physical qualities to use it. Agility courses are a good solution to develop the body-kinesthetic intelligence of a dog.

Dogs also possess a form of logical-mathematical intelligence. To illustrate this, the best example is that of a bitch who watches her litter of puppies and is always looking for the offspring that has strayed a bit from the others. She seems to know at all times how many pups she has and knows exactly if one is missing. Every day, in other circumstances, the dog proves that it has a form of logical-mathematical intelligence. Playing can help to develop this ability.

Dog repellent: what are the natural ways to keep dogs away?

Even if you love your dog above all else, some attitudes are not always pleasing. This is the case when the dog soils the house or the garden with its urine and poop every day. This quickly accumulates in the garden if we are not careful. This plague is even worse when you don't have a dog but the neighbor's dog comes to relieve itself in your flowerbeds. To keep small and large dogs away, there is a natural solution: dog repellent.

Natural dog repellents: serious advantages

Specialized shops offer various repellents that help to scare dogs away so that they go and do their business elsewhere. These are effective and environmentally friendly solutions, which is very important. But they can be quite expensive. The only solution is to make your own magic potion to keep dogs away.

Sulfur to keep dogs away effectively

The smell of sulphur is not the most pleasant thing in the world. No dog gets used to it, and that goes for cats too. Every few days, it is necessary to sprinkle sulphur flower powder, which can be purchased in large garden and DIY stores, on places where dogs are too busy to do their business.

Prepare a homemade repellent to keep dogs away

You don't have to be a chemist to make a dog repellent from natural products that are known to work. Here are a few good ideas that will keep dogs from pawing (and worse!) at pretty planters or even kitchen furniture.

Potted citrus wedges

It's a real treat, yet dogs hate this natural repellent potion, which is made by cutting up various citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, lime, bitter orange, orange and tangerine. All that's left to do is to place small jars filled with mixed citrus wedges in strategic locations. The dog won't like the smell at all, but his owner will be charmed by this olfactory delight. When they no longer smell anything, just replace the old citrus wedges with freshly cut ones to continue enjoying this well-deserved tranquility.

Lemon juice spritz

After collecting the acidic juice from a few lemons and pouring it into a spray bottle, a few squeezes are all it takes to generously distribute the lemony scent that canines don't like. It also works with freshly squeezed grapefruit.

An association of essential oils

We can take advantage of the synergy of plants to keep dogs away from places we want to spare them from their assaults, whether inside or outside the house, such as the threshold of the entrance, the porch, the edges of bay windows, flower beds, the terrace, tree trunks, etc. Five drops of each of the following essential oils can be added to 500 ml of water: Bitter Orange, Peppermint, True Lavender, Lemongrass and Eucalyptus. This mixture is to be sprayed where the dog has the annoying habit of relieving itself.

Finally, pure white vinegar as well as crushed and macerated garlic are to be sprayed directly on the dog's passages. It is very effective. Other solutions have certainly proven themselves.

Everyone sometimes discovers by chance what can keep dogs away without having to resort to chemicals. The goal is not to harm the environment, but just to keep one's living space clean and healthy, free from the really unbearable odors of urine and excrement. A very legitimate wish that deserves to be respected by pet owners. Moreover, it is useful to remind here that a dog must be educated and that his owner must not let him roam at will.

What is a dog's normal temperature? How to detect fever?

It is common to wonder if your dog has a temperature, especially when he seems down, has watery eyes or if he presents various more or less worrying symptoms. But in fact, what is the normal temperature of a dog and how to measure it?

The dog's body temperature

In dogs, a temperature between 38 and 39°C is considered normal. Throughout the day, it can vary without causing any concern as long as it stays within this range. Factors that influence temperature variations are, for example:
  • Weather conditions: the temperature is slightly higher when it is hot and lower when it is cold.
  • The activity of the animal: the body temperature of the dog increases during an effort and decreases at rest.
For different reasons, it can become abnormal (illness, intoxication, heat stroke). It is then either below 38°C or above 39°C. However, there is not always a reason to worry if the dog's temperature rises to 39.2 or 39.3°C or, on the contrary, falls to 37.7°C. It is enough that the dog has fallen asleep on a heated floor or on an icy tile floor for his temperature to be outside the normal range.

It is therefore always useful to look for associated symptoms that could lead to the suspicion that the dog is ill. In addition, it is essential to take his temperature at different times of the day in order to compare the results and draw the appropriate conclusions.

Hypothermia, hyperthermia, fever: what is the difference?

When the dog's temperature is below 38°C, it is called hypothermia. When it is above 39°C, it is either fever or hyperthermia, depending on the cause of the rise in temperature.

Thus, the term hyperthermia is used only when the accumulated heat is exogenous, i.e. produced by a cause external to the body. The term fever is used when there is an accumulation of endogenous heat, i.e. heat that comes from within the body.

Detecting fever in dogs: different methods

To obtain the most reliable results in 6 or 7 seconds at the most, we recommend taking a rectal temperature with a simple thermometer or with a digital device. It is simply a matter of inserting the tip of the thermometer into the dog's anus. For this, it is better to be two people to hold the animal because, although not painful, this act is quite uncomfortable. If the dog struggles, there is a risk of injury.

For nervous or aggressive dogs, it is preferable to use one of the following thermometers:
  • Ear thermometer: this device allows you to take the dog's temperature in the ear. The best model has an articulated arm that is perfectly designed to fit the dog's bent ear canal. The infrared waves emitted by the eardrum are then captured by the thermometer probe and converted in a single second. It is necessary to count approximately 50 $ for this type of device.
  • The infrared forehead thermometer: it indicates the temperature instantly. To do this, simply place it on the dog's forehead. This area being hairy, the result obtained is not extremely accurate.
  • The infrared thermometer without contact: it allows to take the temperature of the dog at a distance and memorizes the last 30 readings. You just have to point it towards the least hairy part of the animal's body or towards an ear to get a more reliable result. This thermometer costs around 60 $.
As a last resort, if the owner does not want to take the rectal temperature of his dog and does not have any other model of thermometer, he can ask the veterinarian to check during the consultation if the dog's temperature is normal or not.

The French Spaniel, gentle, sociable and intelligent dog

Hunting dog, the French Spaniel is not very well known and yet, we should give him all the merits thanks to his multiple qualities. Gentle, sociable and intelligent, he can fully assume the role of pet. But for his happiness to be complete, he absolutely needs active masters.

Characteristics of the French Spaniel

The French Spaniel has all the physical characteristics expected of a pointing dog. It has a strong and robust body, without being coarse. Its morphology is almost identical to that of the Brittany Spaniel except that it is taller. In the standard, it must measure between 54 and 61 cm for an average weight oscillating between 20 and 27 kg. The French Spaniel is a "braccoid" dog. It develops a head representing a rectangular parallelepiped with a forehead marked by a depression. The nostrils are open and the stop is accentuated.

Another particularity of the braccoids is the muzzle which is wide at the ends as well as at the base. The oval shaped eyes are large and display colors in harmony with the coat, preferably cinnamon to brown. The ears are fringed and drooping. The French Spaniel has a long, wavy coat on the tail, back of the legs and ears. On the rest of the body, the hair is flat and dense while having a silky texture. The coat is white and brown and may reveal some flecks.

History of the French Spaniel breed

Do you know the work of Gaston Fébus? In it, the famous Pyrenean prince, poet and writer of the 14th century speaks of the Oysel dogs, ancestors of the French Spaniel. In the Middle Ages, the breed became very popular, especially among game bird hunters. There is very little information about the true origins of the French Spaniel, but we do know that at the end of the 19th century, the breed almost became extinct. In fact, it lost its popularity to the English Setter and other English breeds. The French Spaniel managed to avoid the decline thanks to the work led by James de Connick.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the French Spaniel

Because of its working dog origins, the French Spaniel will be much happier in the country than in the city. Fortunately, he has a good faculty of adaptation and can evolve very well in a house with a garden or an apartment. In this case, it is imperative to be able to ensure him regular exits and to envisage games and other stimulations in a recurring way so that it is well in its paws. Thus, only available and sporty masters are adapted for this animal. Concerning its character, the French Spaniel is gentle, measured and intelligent. It is pleasant and good with children.

Food and main health problems of the French Spaniel

The French Spaniel does not suffer from any specific genetic defect. However, there are some diseases that can affect him such as eczema, hip dysplasia or cataract. As for his diet, it has nothing special, but it must always be adapted to his physical exercises, his health and his age. He can eat both industrial and homemade food. The ideal is to give him only one meal a day.

The Braque Français, powerful and elegant dog

Categorized as a pointing dog by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the Braque Francais is admired for its power and elegance. Although it is a working dog, it is a great companion dog because of its many qualities.

Picture Credit: American Kennel Club

Characteristics of the Braque Francais

Powerful and noble at the same time, the Braque Francais is recognized by its impressive physique. This breed comes in two types: the Braque Français Pyrenees type and the Braque Français Gascogne type. Their difference is mainly based on their size.

The Braque Pyrénéen is smaller and measures between 47 and 58 cm at the withers for a weight of 17 to 25 kg. The Braque de Gascogne is between 58 and 68 cm and weighs on average between 24 and 35 kg. This dog is distinguished by its look of great lord. Its head is long and tall, without heaviness. With a braccoid appearance, the beast has a broad muzzle at the tips and base, a pronounced stop, a large brown nose and open nostrils that help it track better. The ears are large and long and come down to the eye line. The Braque Francais has a short coat. The white or brown coat may be speckled.

History of the Braque Francais breed

The Braque Francais is a very old breed. Gaston III of Foix-Béarn known as Fébus mentions it as early as the XIVth century when he speaks of the ancestor of the breed we know today. According to history, the French Pointer comes from the Eastern Pyrenees as well as from the southwest of France. It was highly sought after for its talents as a pointing dog. It is said that this breed is the result of a cross between the Italian Braque and the Spanish Braque. It would have been neglected during a long period with the profit of German or English pointing dogs before being reborn of its ashes thanks to the work of certain impassioned.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Braque Francais

With its endurance and speed, the Braque Francais has won over breeders looking for a hunting dog that is good at retrieving game. Even if he is an excellent working dog, he can also become the perfect companion at home. This dog has many qualities: he is obedient, gentle, intelligent and loyal to his owners. If he is to live in the city, he will have to be accustomed to it from a very young age. Moreover, the French Braque must do a lot of physical exercise because of its origins as a hunting dog. Only sporty masters who are fond of wide open spaces will be able to adapt to this need.

Diet and main health problems of the Braque Francais

The Braque Francais is a very robust breed. Luckily, there are no genetic defects associated with the breed. However, as with all large dogs, the risks of stomach dilatation are not to be ruled out. For his health, he must eat premium kibbles or a home-made food made of vegetables, rice and meat. Only one meal a day is recommended for this dog.

Why does my dog have a blue tongue? How do I react?

Some dogs have naturally blue tongue because of an important pigmentation of the mucous membranes. It is the case of the Chow-Chow, of certain Shar-Peï and of dogs resulting from crossings. In these animals, this phenomenon is of genetic origin. On the other hand, in the other cases, this coloring of the tongue is not normal. This symptom is very worrying and requires a consultation with the veterinarian, sometimes even a call to the emergency room. The blue tongue in dogs can make suspect a serious health problem. Explanations.

Blue tongue in dogs: the causes

When a dog's tongue starts to turn blue, it is usually because the blood is poorly oxygenated. This can be due to a dysfunction of the respiratory system or to a heart problem.

When the mucous membranes turn purplish blue, it can be the tongue but also the lips and the palate of the animal. If it is a cyanosis of the dog, it is a vital emergency because its blood is not sufficiently oxygenated, and the more it lacks oxygen the more the mucous membranes are blue.

Cyanosis is peripheral when small vessels do not oxygenate the animal's paws properly. When it is cold, they become icy and bluish. Central cyanosis is when the organs affected by the lack of blood oxygenation are the heart and/or the lungs. A blue tongue is a sign of this.

It can also happen that the blue coloring of the tongue appears within a few minutes. This may be due to respiratory distress caused by:
  • Obstruction of the trachea by an object or food,
  • Strangulation (e.g., a too-tight collar),
  • Stale ambient air or air not adapted to the animal.
You must adopt the right attitude without wasting time and keep your cool.

Blue tongue in dogs: actions that can save the animal

In the event of a sudden blue tongue in a dog, the owner must first call an emergency veterinary service and then try to identify the cause of this symptom if it occurs within a few minutes. It is imperative to:
  • Remove the collar,
  • Carry the dog out to a breathable environment,
  • Keep the dog in a lateral safety position, i.e., the dog must be lying on its side,
  • Open the dog's mouth to see if anything is stuck and preventing it from breathing,
  • Do not give him anything to drink.
Do not give the dog water. Respiratory distress is life-threatening. It is preferable to have the emergency service come to your home. If this is not possible, the owner must transport the dog to the nearest veterinary clinic or office, making sure that the animal does not get up. The dog should remain in the side-lying position.

Apart from imminent emergency situations, if the dog's tongue is blue and its health seems to have deteriorated in the last few days, it is imperative to consult the veterinarian without delay.

In the event of discoloration of the tongue and more generally of the mucous membranes of the dog, the owner should not postpone taking care of his little companion. If no care is taken, the dog is doomed to certain death if it is the victim of a respiratory problem of any origin whatsoever.

Cushing's syndrome in dogs: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Cushing's syndrome is an endocrine disease that is most commonly diagnosed in certain breeds of dogs that are particularly susceptible. It requires a veterinary consultation in order for the professional to determine whether it is malignant or benign and to prescribe the most appropriate treatment for the dog. Symptoms, causes, management: what is it really and are there any preventive means to protect a dog from Cushing's disease? Let's find out.

Cushing's Syndrome: the causes

Also called Cushing's disease, hyperadrenocorticism is due to the dysfunction of an endocrine gland and in more than 8 cases out of 10, it is the pituitary gland that is incriminated. This pituitary gland, located in the sella turcica, is the orchestra conductor of the body and does not function properly. In other cases, Cushing's syndrome is due to a malignant or benign tumor affecting one of the two adrenal glands located above the kidneys. These glands synthesize and release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Cushing's syndrome is more frequently diagnosed in certain small breeds of dogs, since in two-thirds of cases, the affected canines weigh about 20 kilos at most in adulthood, such as terriers, dachshunds and yorkies. But some medium-sized dogs are also quite susceptible to Cushing's disease.

Cushing's disease in dogs: symptoms

Certain symptoms should alert the owner of a dog with Cushing's disease. These are for example:
  • Polyuria, which means that the dog drinks a lot,
  • Polydipsia, which means an increase in urine output,
  • Polyphagia, a term used to describe the increase in the amount of food the dog eats daily,
  • A distension of the abdomen,
  • Muscle wasting,
  • A lack of tone that manifests itself by a great fatigue,
  • A hyperpigmentation that can follow a calcification of the skin,
  • A significant loss of hair.
Since some of these symptoms are often seen in older dogs and since this syndrome mainly affects dogs over 10 years old, the owner may think that they are simply signs of aging. However, when a dog has Cushing's disease and shows several of these warning signs, a visit to the veterinarian is required as soon as possible. The animal must be taken care of because it is at high risk of diabetes, pulmonary embolism, inflammation of the pancreas and other serious pathologies.

Can a dog with Cushing's syndrome be cured?

After a clinical examination, the veterinarian will order a blood test to check for:
  • Corticotropin or ACTH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that triggers cortisol production,
  • Plasma cortisol level, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands,
  • Blood glucose, which is the level of glucose in the blood,
  • Cholesterol levels, which are usually above the normal range in Cushing's disease.
The test results are scrutinized before the veterinarian can make a diagnosis. If Cushing's syndrome is confirmed, a protocol of care is put in place.

Treatment for Cushing's disease in dogs is usually medication and is prescribed for life. The animal must take trilostane. This molecule is an inhibitor of the steroid hormone synthesis process or steroidogenesis. The dosage is prescribed on a case-by-case basis. The dog must then undergo regular blood tests, allowing the veterinarian to modify the dosage of the treatment if necessary.

Removal of the adrenal gland that contains an adrenal tumor may be decided upon. Similarly, in the case of Cushing's disease due to a pituitary adenoma, the chosen solution may be surgical. The pituitary gland is then removed: this is called a hypophysectomy. Afterwards, the dog must undergo several sessions of radiotherapy.

Unfortunately, it can happen that surgical treatment cannot be considered. In this case, all solutions are found so that the dog ends its life as comfortably as possible. In any case, it is important to know that only an early diagnosis of the disease allows a sufficiently early treatment to hope for a complete cure of the dog.

As prevention of this syndrome is impossible, it is very important to have your dog regularly monitored by a veterinarian, and even more so as soon as he feels the first symptoms that could lead to the suspicion of Cushing's syndrome. A regular follow-up from a young age is also necessary if the animal belongs to one of the breeds most prone to this disease.

The Picardy Shepherd or Berger Picard, a dog with an atypical physique

Its scratched appearance certainly does not go unnoticed. Beyond its atypical physique, the Berger de Picardie or Berger Picards is a dynamic dog with a protective instinct. It will make a wonderful companion dog and incidentally, an excellent watchdog.

Characteristics of the Berger de Picardie

Its primitive look distinguishes it from other sheepdogs. The Picardy Shepherd also known as the Picardy Shepherd has a muscular body, but without heaviness. This light appearance combined with a harmonious silhouette makes its success. It measures between 55 and 60 cm for the female and between 60 and 65 cm for the male. The weight oscillates between 20 and 30 kg.

The Picardy Shepherd has a sympathetic head finely cut raised by a vaulted skull, a stop little marked and a black nose. It has whiskers, a goatee and relatively thick eyebrows. The dog has dark eyes and oval shape and has ears planted high that are of intermediate size and wider at the base. The hair is half-long, hard, rough and not curly. It gives the dog a scratched appearance. The coat can be in different shades of fawn: charcoal fawn, brindle fawn. Traces of dark grey are tolerated. White on the other hand is forbidden by the standard.

History of the breed Berger de Picardie

The Picardy Shepherd is much less well known than its cousins the Berger de Brie, the Berger de Beauce or the Berger des Pyrénées and yet, it is one of the oldest French shepherd breeds. It appeared around the year 800 and several representations of it were even made in the Middle Ages. The problem is that the Picardy Shepherd has had difficulty in gaining true recognition because of confusion with the lowland shepherd. It is said to be the offspring of several European shepherd dogs. Because of the Great War, it almost disappeared if it wasn't for the intervention of some enthusiasts like Robert Montenot who launched the Club des Amis du Berger Picard around 1950.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Picardy Shepherd

Don't just rely on its rustic silhouette. In reality, the Picardy Shepherd is an elegant and balanced dog. It is affectionate, demonstrative and patient with children. And despite this country look, living indoors won't be a problem for him, as long as he gets regular walks. It is an animal combining boldness and wisdom. Moreover, it is calm and very protective. This guarding instinct makes it wary of strangers. As it is also lively and dynamic, it will enjoy living with sporty masters, especially since it excels in the practice of certain disciplines such as the ring, agility or tracking.

Diet and main health problems of the Picardy Shepherd

The Picardy Shepherd shines by its iron health. Its life expectancy is estimated between 12 and 15 years. But for him to live that long, he must be fed a diet adapted to his activity. High quality kibble will do the trick, although there is nothing better than homemade food made from vegetables, starches, grains, raw meat and fresh fruit.

The Beagle-Harrier, a brave and affectionate hound

The Beagle-Harrier is a brave and affectionate hound, a breed made in France that shines by its good character. It is the ideal animal for children, because it is also gentle and playful.

Characteristics of the Beagle-Harrier

The Beagle-Harrier has a well-proportioned, medium-sized body that exudes suppleness, vigor and natural elegance. On average, it measures between 45 and 50 cm for a weight around 20 kg, according to whether it is a female or a male. Its body ends with a tail carried high and of intermediate length. The Beagle-Harrier is recognizable by its face marked by a strong and long head, with a slightly domed and broad skull. This dog stands out especially by its large ears designated as "half-breasted" and hanging down the skull. The breed has wide-open, dark-colored eyes that express determination, intelligence and cheerfulness. In relation to its coat, it is thick, short and flat lying. The coat is always tricolored and has different color combinations: fawn with a black and gray or white or black and white coat.

History of the Beagle-Harrier breed

The Beagle-Harrier originated in France, while the breeds that contributed to the crossbreeding came from Great Britain. This dog is actually the result of a hybridization between the Beagle and the Harrier. It is likely that the Briquet du Sud-Ouest was also used in its creation. It is the baron Gérard Grandin de l'Eprevier who contributed to develop this breed from the XIXth century. His goal was to obtain a hunting dog that was both fast and larger than the Beagle. The Beagle-Harrier excelled in hunting foxes, hares, wild boars or deer. And despite its talents, it is however little known outside the French borders.

Living conditions and behavior of the Beagle-Harrier

The Beagle-Harrier is a hunting dog. In its genes are mixed the need for freedom and an excess of energy. This is to say that this animal will not be happy if he is confined in a closed place. Life in an apartment? Very little for him. He prefers country houses with garden to be able to frolic as he pleases. Concerning his character, the Beagle-Harrier is courageous, loyal, curious, intelligent and affectionate. As he has a very developed sense of play, he will make the perfect roommate for children. This breed has a certain sociability towards its fellow dogs since it has been used to living in a pack.

Diet and main health problems of the Beagle-Harrier

Fearing neither heat nor cold, the Beagle-Harrier is a symbol of resistance and robustness. Nevertheless, you must watch a few pathologies, some of which are very atypical, such as malocclusion, an abnormality of the teeth alignment that disturbs the muscular function of the jaws. Hip dysplasia can also affect this breed because of its large size. Otherwise, as far as food is concerned, you should know that the Beagle-Harrier is an incorrigible gourmet, a behavior that makes him easily prone to overweight. Rationalize its food is de rigueur to avoid this problem.

What is the equivalence between the age of a dog and the age of a man?

To evaluate the equivalence between the age of a dog and the age of a man, it was thought for a long time that it was enough to multiply the age of the animal by 7. This formula could have been founded if the relationship between these two ages had been linear. But it is far from being the case. On the contrary, we have to take into account the evolution of the dog according to its breed, and this is not an easy task. Let's make the point.

Age equivalence dog/human : points to consider

There are real differences between small breed, medium breed, large breed and even giant breed dogs because depending on their category, their life expectancy varies greatly.

Regardless of the type of dog, by the end of its first year of life, it is already 10 to 15 times "older" than a one-year-old. But this time it is in the small breed dog such as the Chihuahua that we see the biggest difference, since the age of maturity is significantly higher than that of a giant breed dog such as the Great Dane for example. But that's not all: the dog ages more or less quickly from one year to the next. Thus, the data to consider are:
  • The size (breed) of the dog,
  • Its life expectancy,
  • The age at which he reaches his sexual maturity.
These are of course only approximations, because what also weighs in the balance is the health of the animal related to his lifestyle. He also has a better chance of living in good health and staying "young" longer if he is regularly followed by a veterinarian. Sterilization can also help a dog to age less quickly...

Examples of dog age vs human age equivalences

There is no need to make approximate calculations, and in any case you should not multiply the age of your dog by 7 because the result obtained would be far from reality. It is enough to use an online estimation form which takes into account the type of dog and its real age to give an equivalence in human age. There are also very informative equivalency charts on the Internet.

The signs of senescence do appear at different ages depending on whether the dog is small or large. The slow degradation due to the biological process of aging occurs much earlier in the larger breeds of dogs even though they age less quickly at the beginning of their lives than small breeds. This is the reason why pet health insurance companies set an age limit beyond which they do not always accept to insure the animal.

How to safely remove a tick from your dog?

It is necessary to regularly check your dog's body, head and tail for ticks, as these mites can transmit a number of serious diseases. Let's see how to remove a tick safely to protect your dog's health.

Ticks: the diseases they can transmit to your dog

To prevent your dog from getting sick from a tick, it is essential to inspect your dog when you return from an outing. This allows you to remove the tick without delay because it can transmit :
  • Borreliosis, the equivalent of Lyme disease in humans, and which can do enormous damage to the animal's health,
  • Babesiosis, also called piroplasmosis, which can be fatal,
  • A transient paralysis or tick ascending paralysis, due to a toxin.
If the dog ingests a tick, it is exposed to the risk of suffering from a parasitic disease called canine hepatozoonosis.

Anti-tick hook to remove a tick from your dog: the best solution

There is no question of putting your dog in any danger. It is therefore necessary to remove the entire tick. This consists in checking that its mouth organ has not remained attached to the dog's skin. Ideally, we use a small accessory that is very practical and costs only about ten euros: the anti-tick hook. The instructions for use are as follows:
  • Start by putting your dog in a quiet place,
  • Spread the dog's hair well in order to free the tick,
  • Insert the hook between the skin of the dog and the mite,
  • Insert the hook between the dog's skin and the mite, make several turns of the hook as if you were screwing without pulling on the tick, the tick should come off by itself after a few turns,
  • Check that all the mite has disappeared,
  • Wrap the tick in a piece of tape so that it is completely imprisoned and throw the whole thing in the garbage,
  • Only after removing the tick, sanitize the affected skin area exclusively with a dog disinfectant lotion,
  • Disinfect your hands with a hypoallergenic hydroalcoholic gel for example.
Repeat the operation in the same way until all ticks are removed.

Some people prefer to have a pharmacist or a veterinarian do this. Why not? The main thing is to act quickly and well so that the tick is removed safely and the health of the dog is saved.

There are products marketed in pharmacies and adapted to canines in the form of anti tick lotions. They are applied directly to the mite, which is not resistant to them since it dies within a few hours.

To limit the risks of finding ticks on your dog, it is possible to act preventively. You just have to ask your veterinarian for a specific prescription in order to have the best adapted product for your dog. This preventive treatment must be renewed regularly in order to remain active. This does not exempt you from checking your pet every time you return from a walk. But in no case should the cat be given an anti-tick product prescribed for the dog because it can be fatal for the little feline.

The 10 must-have accessories for your dog

When you welcome a dog in your home, it is very important to buy him some essential accessories for his meals, his rest, his toilet but also for his walks. Here are ten must-have dog accessories and their price range.

Bowl and water bowl

Essential for separating solid food and drinking water, dog bowls must be chosen wisely. The diameter of the bowl should be adapted to the size of the dog, i.e. the bowls for a Great Dane will not be the same as those for a Chihuahua. A pyramid shape and high edges are perfect for dog breeds with hanging ears.

Bowls should be stable and easy to clean. Heavy ceramic or stainless steel bowls are preferred, provided they are non-slip, as this material is relatively light. Plastic should be avoided if you have a dog with a contact allergy.

Dog bowls and water bowls should be cleaned every day so that they don't turn into a breeding ground!

Dog bowls cost between 3 and 15 $. The budget is more important if you choose a bowl with an automatic dispenser, since it costs at least 60 $.

The collar

The dog collar comes in many models, to be chosen according to the size of the animal and its behavior.

The harness is recommended rather than the collar for a dog that constantly pulls on its leash, knowing that for the master, some sudden movements of the animal are difficult to control with a collar and the latter ends up causing pain in the throat of the dog.

Here are some examples of dog collar prices.
  • Anti-bark collar : from 20 to 40 $.
  • Metal chain collar : from 5 $.
The harness is a dog accessory that is easy to put on and take off by the owner and very comfortable for the animal. Thanks to its ring it can be connected to a leash. A dog harness costs between 5 and 30 $.

The leash

Very useful for walks in all places where dogs must be kept on a leash, this accessory comes in many models to best suit the size - and strength - of the dog. For small dogs or puppies, the owner can choose a nylon leash with an adjustable length reel. A leather or nylon leash should be avoided if you have a dog that chews everything within reach.

A metal leash is ideal because it is very strong. A thin chain is sufficient for a puppy or a small breed dog. A large chain with large links is required for a large dog and a zinc-plated steel swivel snap hook attachment system is preferred.

For a good grip, you can choose a leash with a leather strap.

The price of a leash is very variable:
  • Flexible leash with reel: from 10 to 20 $.
  • Leather leash of different lengths and widths: from 15 $.
  • Metal leash with leather strap: from 10 to 35 $.

The identification medallion

In case of a runaway or if the dog gets lost, the identification tag allows the person who finds the animal to contact its owner without waiting. On this small plate to hang on the collar, you can engrave the name of the dog and the mobile number of its owner for example as well as the address of the latter.

A dog tag with a hanging ring costs between 5 and 20 $, engraving generally included.

The basket

The dog needs a place of its own where it can curl up safely. A good, comfortable basket or a basket with a soft cushion is the essential accessory for small or large dogs. Giving your dog a basket also prevents him from squatting on the sofa. Made of wicker, plastic or fully removable padded fabric, it doesn't matter what you choose as long as it is easy to clean and the dog feels comfortable in it.

You can choose a length of 70, 90 or 120 cm depending on whether you have a small breed, medium breed or large breed dog.

Depending on its model and size, the dog bed costs on average between 20 and 180 $, the most expensive being more sophisticated than a dog bed since it is a dog sofa.

The brush

Comb, card and brush allow the daily maintenance of the dog's coat. In addition to limiting the formation of knots, grooming is essential to keep the coat beautiful and healthy, and to keep the dog looking good. Moreover, brushing is a moment of well-being for the animal and allows the owner to check the good health of the undercoat but also to look for any trace of parasites such as fleas or ticks.

It costs between 10 and 40 $ depending on the model.

The carrying case

Necessary for air or train travel, the transport case or crate is also essential when you decide to take the road with your dog. The crate can be just as indispensable for a simple visit to the veterinarian.

The size of the transport case is chosen according to the size of the dog. It can be foldable or not, and can be made of fabric, plastic or iron. Its price varies from 30 to 250 $.

Please note that to travel by plane with your dog, the owner must use an approved crate that meets the IATA standard.

Tick tweezers

This accessory allows you to remove all the ticks that your dog might bring back from a walk. Easy to use, the tick tweezers must be used without delay because this mite is well known to be responsible for Lyme disease and others.

The price of a tick catcher is about 10 $.

The thermometer

The thermometer allows you to take your dog's temperature when he doesn't seem to be in the best of shape. It is normal when it is between 38 and 39°C. If it is lower or higher, the cause must be found. When the dog's body temperature is abnormal for more than 24 hours, it is best to consult the veterinarian. It is important to note the various associated symptoms such as trembling, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and to inform him.

It is better to use a rectal thermometer - whose average price is 15 $ - rather than a frontal model because the first one allows to obtain a much more reliable result. However, taking the temperature with this type of accessory can be dangerous for some relatively agitated dogs. In this case, it is better to leave this task to the veterinarian.

The toy

It is not one but several toys that we advise to offer to your dog in order to encourage its development and to make sure that it does not get bored. Specialized stores offer an interesting range of games and toys from 5 to 100 $, that is to say the extent of the range. From the rubber bone to the indestructible ball and the agility swing, the master can find something to please his little companion.

How to build and install a kennel for your dogs?

When building a kennel, it is important to think about everything so that it is comfortable in summer and winter, safe, healthy, spacious enough and of course very resistant. Choice of materials, surface area, are among the points to be studied beforehand as well as the location of this enclosure. Review of details.

Composition of a kennel

The kennel is an enclosure intended to accommodate one or more dogs. It is composed of :
  • A rectangular, square or octagonal structure that includes hinged tubes or posts and panels,
  • One or more doors that can be closed with a lock,
  • A floor ideally adapted to the exterior, knowing that concrete allows canines to have a healthy enclosure. A gutter or a draining grid must be added. It is also possible to opt for a floor covered with excellent quality pallets, without splinters, or even for grassland. This last solution, however, forces the dogs to evolve in a muddy space on rainy days.
  • A shelter that protects from bad weather and sun.
The kennel must contain a space dedicated to movement and an elevated resting place. It is possible to install, for example, a kennel in the kennel allowing the animal to isolate itself if it wishes.

There are kennels in kit form with good quality wire mesh panels that can be installed on a concrete base after some earthwork.

Materials of a kennel

For the construction of a kennel, you can use :
  • Solid wood,
  • Plywood or CRPS,
  • Galvanized steel, this last solution is very solid and resistant to bad weather.
If you opt for steel mesh panels, it is essential that they are not more than 35 mm apart to prevent dogs from getting their paws caught in the gaps.

The larger the kennel, the more material is needed. If the kennel is located in the center of the property, it is necessary to build all four sides of the kennel. If possible, it is more economical to build the kennel next to a building or in the corner of a wall. This saves one or two partitions. It is also possible to install the kennel in an existing outbuilding, which can further reduce the budget.

Size of the kennel

The regulation size of a kennel is 5 m² minimum per dog. Three elements must be taken into account to define the surface of the kennel:
  • The type of dog it must accommodate, namely that :
    • A small dog requires an enclosure of about 3 x 2 m,
    • A large dog needs a space measuring at least 4 x 2 m,
    • A giant dog needs a minimum of 8 x 12 m.
  • The number of dogs,
  • The number of hours spent in the kennel on a daily basis, knowing that the more time the dogs spend in their kennel, the more space they need to exercise.
It is assumed that the kennel should be roughly the size of the dog x 10. If the kennel does not have a roof, it should be high enough that the animals cannot jump over it. A height of 2 meters is a good size.

Once the kennel is completed, it is imperative to check the finishing touches carefully. Nails and screws should not protrude or even splinters or, if you have opted for a mesh fence, you must ensure that the dogs do not hurt themselves. But before starting to build a kennel for your dogs, it is recommended to go to the town hall of your municipality to know your rights and obligations.

Location of the kennel

Ideally, the kennel should be located in a cool, shaded area, out of the wind. The location of the kennel should be chosen wisely so that the dogs are as comfortable as possible. But it should also be placed at a good distance from the neighbor's fence so as not to impose certain bad smells or disturb his peace. Dogs in kennels are likely to bark frequently. Let's not forget that noise is part of the neighbourhood disturbance.

Building a kennel with rigid fence panels: the procedure

Let's take the construction of a kennel made of wire mesh panels as an example. Here are the main steps to follow.
  • Lay out the ground,
  • Earth the ground to obtain a flat surface,
  • Drill the ground with an auger or a pickaxe and shovel in order to dig the holes that will receive the panel posts,
  • Put the posts in place and check that they are well anchored,
  • Seal the posts by placing concrete at their base, dosed at 340 or 360 kg/m3 and make sure to respect the plumb line,
  • Allow the concrete to set properly,
  • Install the rigid mesh panels, making sure they are level and securely fastened to the posts with clips,
  • Install the kennel doors and adjust them properly,
  • Place a geotextile on the raw kennel floor,
  • Cover the geotextile with a bed of sand,
  • Install welded mesh,
  • Install a drainage grate or gutter,
  • Pour a slab of cleanliness at least 10 cm thick, respecting a sufficient slope to allow the water to drain.
Once the work is completed and the slab is dry, all that is left to do is to clean it up to welcome the dogs. Thereafter, it will be essential to maintain the kennel daily so that the dogs evolve in a healthy and pleasant universe. In this field, regularity is a sine qua non condition. If you are not a DIY pro, you can build a kennel without too much difficulty - preferably with the help of one or two people - as long as you opt for a kit model made of mesh panels or galvanized steel bars. The starting price is 250 $. It increases, of course, in proportion to its dimensions.

The Basset Artesien Normand, affectionate and endearing dog

Just the presence of the Basset Artesien Normand is enough to warm hearts. Even if he is a real little prankster, he will make you smile again with his affectionate and endearing temperament. This breed made in France with disproportionate ears and atypical physique is just waiting to become part of your life.

Characteristics of the Basset Artesien Normand

The Basset Artesien Normand is recognizable between thousand by its appearance out of the beaten track. This small hound, longer than it is tall, has an athletic build. Don't be fooled by his stocky body ending in short legs. It is a dog cut for the sport. It measures on average between 30 and 36 cm for a weight going from 15 to 20 kg. The Basset Artesien Normand has a gaunt head with a domed skull, a moderately pronounced stop, a long muzzle ending in a black nose. It is difficult to talk about this breed without mentioning its disproportionate ears which are set low and end in a point. And what about the eyes. They are large, dark and give a serious and sad air to the Basset. As for his coat, it is short, short and tight. The dress can be bicolored and in this case, be fawn and white or tricolored and display a trio of black, white and fawn.

History of the breed Basset Artesien Normand

The Basset Artésien Normand is a purely French dog whose origins date back to 1870. It was at this time that the breeding programs of French short-haired bassets were launched. The breed is the result of a cross between the Basset d'Artois and the Basset de Normandie. Its standard was first established in 1898. Then several changes will be operated at the beginning of the years 1900. The official recognition of the breed will be effective in 1924. The official recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) dates from 1963.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Basset Artesien Normand

The Basset Artesien Normand is known for its funny faces. It likes to play the clown, to make you laugh. Behind his clown character hides a wonderful pet as affectionate as faithful. He is very attached to his masters and appreciates enormously their constant presence. The Basset Artesian Normand also gets along very well with children, but for the cohabitation to be safe and healthy, one must learn to respect the other. Another thing, even if it is a hunting dog, it is completely able to live in an apartment provided that it is not locked up all the time. He needs to go for walks, if only for environmental, intra- and inter-specific socialization.

Diet and main health problems of the Basset Artesien Normand

The Basset Artesien Normand can be subject to various pathologies such as elbow dysplasia, spinal disc problems caused by "bassetisme" or ear infections. It is also important to watch his diet, because it is a dog prone to obesity. The rations in particular must be correctly quantified.

The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois, frank, loyal and intelligent dog

The Laekenois is a breed that stands out from the crowd, physically speaking, because of its ruffled appearance. He is part of the great family of Belgian Shepherds even if he is less known than his companions. Frank, loyal and intelligent, he is an excellent companion. Unfortunately, he is not well known outside the Belgian and Basque borders.

Characteristics of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

The Laekenois Belgian Shepherd Dog is a powerful, muscular dog measuring between 56 and 66 cm and weighing between 20 and 30 kg. It ends with a tail of intermediate length and strong at the base. This breed of medio-linear type has a square morphology, longer than high. It majestically displays a high, dry and chiseled head. The stop is moderately accentuated and the skull of intermediate size. On this one enthroned two small ears of triangular form displaying a pointed end.

The eyes for their part are in the shape of almond and reveal a brownish or dark shade preferably. They are of medium size. The Laekenois stands out especially from its cousins the Malinois, the Groenendael and the Turvueren by the texture of its coat. Tight and dense, the semi-long coat is hard and dry. This coat with a very tousled appearance reinforces the rustic look of this dog like no other. The standard admits only the fawn color with the presence of charcoal traces on the tail and the muzzle.

History of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois breed

The Laekenois is the least known and rarest variety of Belgian Shepherd. It owes its name to the castle of Laeken, which is located to the north of Brussels. One of the most famous anecdotes about the Laekenois is its connection with Queen Marie-Henriette, wife of the Belgian king Leopold II. She was a great fan of this breed. At the beginning of the 19th century, this dog excelled in herding. Gradually, it fell into disuse and could not compete with its cousins like the Malinois which enjoys a wider fame. The Laekenois is virtually unknown outside its native country.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Belgian Laekenois Shepherd

Even if it is not a star, the Laekenois can pride itself on its innumerable qualities. Full of vitality and energy, it is an active and vigilant dog that excels in herding, but also as a defense dog. He breathes the joy of life and is very affectionate and loyal to his masters. The Laekenois fulfills all the roles expected of him. He can be calm, but also more daring. On the other hand, he sometimes reveals jealousy and demands attention. Flaws that can be rectified with proper training, started as early as possible.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Belgian Laekenois

The Laekenois has a robustness to any test. It is subject to very few diseases. On the other hand, it is crucial to keep a close eye on possible hip and elbow dysplasia, which are typical of large dogs. Physical exercises after meals are also forbidden to avoid twisting the stomach.

The Griffon Korthals, the dog with an eboiruffé and rustic appearance

In spite of its ruffled and rustic appearance, the Griffon Korthals has nothing to envy to the continental pointing dogs thanks to its golden heart and its strong working capacity. It is a dog that does not shy away from effort and is ready to do anything to defend its social group.

Characteristics of the Griffon Korthals

There are no two like it. It must be said that its rustic appearance is its trademark. The Griffon Korthals is immediately noticeable by its coarse, hard and rough coat that resembles that of the boar. The coat will be steel gray with brown undertones or it can also be white and orange or white and brown. Dog lovers will agree that this is not the most beautiful of dogs, a small flaw overshadowed by its many qualities that we will develop below.

For the moment, let's linger in front of this vigorous and robust body which is between 50 and 60 cm and weighs between 20 and 30 kg. The Griffon Korthals has a large and long head marked by bushy eyebrows, a beard on the cheeks and thick whiskers that hide the lips. Its ears are flat-lying and of medium size.

History of the Griffon Korthals breed

The Griffon Korthals is an ancient dog. Its traces go back even to the Antiquity. However, it was not until the 16th century in Germany that the Griffon Korthals really made a name for itself. It owes its success to the Dutchman Eduard Karel Kortals, a kennel master who decided to improve the breed through a program of selections and crosses with Pointers, Barbets and French Braques. Moreover, the Griffon Korthals owes its name to him. This dog was mainly used to guard herds, especially in Europe and the United States. Its official recognition will be effective in 1954.

Living conditions and behavior of the Griffon Korthals

Because of its highly developed hunting instinct, the Griffon Korthals prefers to live in a place where it can be free. Small confined apartments are certainly not for him. He needs regular physical exercise to stay in shape. Besides, he is a courageous, powerful and resistant dog with a strong sense of territory and protection. He is loyal to his masters that he will secure against dangers. It is also an affectionate, gentle and intelligent dog that makes a great pet, especially since it can quickly become very close to children. On the other hand, it is necessary to pay attention to its side cabochard. Its strong character is to be channeled from a young age via an adapted education.

Food and main health problems of the Griffon Korthals

The Griffon Korthals is not a dog that gets sick easily. It takes a lot for him to get to that point. It resists very well to bad weather and cold. However, there are certain pathologies that need to be closely monitored, such as prostate problems. The Griffon Korthals can also be subject to hip dysplasia. As far as food is concerned, you should provide about 350 g of kibble daily, divided into two meals. Otherwise, homemade food based on poultry, fish, meat and vegetables will also suit him.

The Finnish Lapphund, a dog with an expressive look

Of a peaceful nature, the Finnish Lapphund will dazzle you with its expressive look, its beautiful and long fur and its fidelity. It is a dog of company par excellence which will be advised more to the sporting people, given its important need for physical exercises.

Characteristics of the Finnish Lapphund

Belonging to the Spitz type of dog, the Finnish Lapphund is of medium size and measures between 41 and 47 cm at the withers and weighs around 20 kg depending on its age and sex. They have a vigorous, triangular body and a solid constitution. The dog is immediately recognizable by its broad, strongly defined head with a tapering muzzle that ends in a black nose. The stop is also accentuated and the furrow is frontal. The dog has oval shaped eyes that reveal a friendly and peaceful air. They are brown in color and match the coat.

The head is enhanced by two triangular, erect ears that are mobile and set wide apart. The coat is long and dense and makes the Finnish Lapphund look like a teddy bear. The coat can have different colors as long as it has a dominant shade and some markings on certain parts of the body, notably the tail, feet, belly, neck, chest and head.

History of the Finnish Lapphund breed

The Finnish Lapphund originated in Finland, more precisely in Lapland, where it was adopted for reindeer herding by the indigenous people of this Scandinavian region. It was also used in the north of Russia and in other Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden or Denmark as a shepherd and herding dog. This breed has had a tumultuous history. Its standard has been modified many times. The same goes for its name. It is only in 1993 that it is definitively named Finnish Lapphund. Its standard will be dissociated from that of the Finnish Lapphund in 1996. The breed is very successful in Finland, but it is also popular in Australia, the United States, Canada and several European countries.

Living conditions and behavior of the Finnish Lapphund

Lapponian Finns are known for being courageous, alert and docile. They develop a calm and peaceful temperament, devoid of any form of aggression, except perhaps towards strangers, against whom they are very suspicious. As it is an alert dog, it can put off those who cannot stand noise. In any case, it will be necessary to educate it from its youngest age so that it learns to control itself. Another thing, as the Finnish Lapphund is a shepherd dog and naturally needs to exercise, a house with a garden will suit him with regular outings.

Diet and main health problems of the Lapphund

The advantage of the Lapphund is that it is very resistant to bad weather and harsh temperatures. However, it is necessary to watch out for eye diseases such as cataracts or retinal atrophy.

Dog house : how to choose it ? Our advice

The dog house allows the animal to have a place of its own. Offering him this type of habitat is a really good idea as long as you choose the right model. Its look should not be the determining factor. A dog house can be very aesthetic but poorly designed, uncomfortable or not adapted to the size of the dog. Let's see how to choose a dog house so that the dog is happy day and night and in any season.

Criteria for choosing a dog house

In addition to the price of the dog house, which obviously weighs in the balance, you should always think about the climate of the region in which it will be installed. In fact, you don't choose the same type of dog house depending on whether you live in the South of France or in the North East.

The kennel must be able to shelter the dog from cold winds, lightning, rain, hail, snow and ambient humidity, but also from heat. It should never be a steam room or an icebox, so it is important to choose a dog house with good thermal insulation. It is also essential that its configuration has been well thought out so that the dog does not feel lost or cramped. It must be possible for him to move around a little and to be comfortable, whether he is sitting, standing or lying down.

So, we don't choose a kennel at random or only because it's fun. It must correspond in all points to the needs of the animal. The main criteria for choosing a dog house are as follows.


We generally find kennels made of wood, PVC, resin and metal.

Wood: this material is an excellent insulator. It is a good protection against wind, cold and heat. It is solid and durable provided that you take care to maintain the kennel regularly and treat it with a special wood product that is non-toxic for dogs. It is preferable to choose a dog house made of treated wood with a perfect finish to avoid the risk of injury due to splinters, for example.

Beware, a wooden dog house is not recommended for a dog that tends to chew everything because it may swallow wood chips and splinters in the long run.

The wooden kennel is a good product that the owner can stain, paint or decorate as he wishes to personalize it. It is necessary to choose the right place at the beginning because it is relatively heavy, especially if it is large, and therefore quite difficult to move.

PVC: it is a light plastic material with a low density and an average lifespan. The PVC dog house is rather adapted to a mild climate because of its low thermal insulation capacity. It is resistant to insects and mildew and can be cleaned with a sponge or a medium-pressure jet, possibly with a non-polluting cleaning product such as black soap. Lightweight, it is easy to move.

Resin: stronger than PVC, this composite material is a polyester resin. Generally, the kennel is made of a plywood structure covered with a layer of resin. It has a good longevity because it is resistant and easy to maintain.

Metal: this is a material that is increasingly rarely used for the manufacture of kennels. Although it is easy to clean and extremely robust, metal does not allow the dog to be sheltered from temperature variations. At most, he can be protected from rain or wind, but he will be too cold or too hot because metal is not a thermal insulator.

The size of the kennel

The size of the kennel should be carefully considered, because if you choose a kennel that is too big or too small, the dog will not really want to settle there. They must correspond to the size of the animal. The principle for determining this criterion of choice is simple. From the floor to the ceiling, the kennel must measure one and a half times the height of the dog. For the width, you must choose the model that allows the animal to turn around easily without being too spacious because he likes to be able to curl up to be warm.

The configuration

If the kennel has two openings (a door and a window, for example), it is better that they are not facing each other, but on the contrary, they should be staggered in order to prevent the dog from being subjected to draughts. It is also preferable that the door be placed in a corner rather than in the middle. This way, the animal will be much better protected from the wind and will have a space to curl up in.

It is important to choose a kennel with an insulating floor so that the humidity of the ground does not rise in the shelter and that insects and spiders cannot penetrate it.

Its roof must be perfectly waterproof and insulating but also removable to allow regular cleaning of the inside of the kennel without the master having to contort himself to perform this task.

The awning or canopy is a plus. It adds style to the kennel, but it also allows the dog to sit outside the shelter while being protected from bad weather or sunlight. With a shaded entrance, the kennel benefits from a more pleasant interior temperature.

Ease of maintenance

The kennel must be able to be cleaned from top to bottom on a regular basis. The easier it is to clean, the less likely it is that this task will be postponed and neglected, or not done at all. As mentioned above, a removable roof is ideal, but you can also opt for a dog house with folding side walls.

The price of the dog house

Once you have found the ideal dog house for your dog, all you have to do is compare the prices of the models of equal quality. The price differences are significant, since the budget to spend on this purchase is between 40 and 800 € knowing that a PVC dog house for small dogs is among the cheapest and that the solid wood dog house for giant dogs can reach peaks. Size, material, insulation, configuration, style, brand... everything is to be taken into account before buying.

In addition to providing your dog with a suitable dog house, it is important to know where to install it. The perfect location is sheltered from the wind. Avoid full sun and opt for a shady area. Finally, when welcoming a dog into your home, it is essential to secure the garden. This is very important to reduce the risk of wandering and exposing the animal to accidents. It also prevents the dog from invading the neighbors' homes, because if it causes damage to their property, the good atmosphere that has existed until now in the neighborhood is likely to be damaged.

My dog has been bitten by a viper: how should I react?

A dog that is running around in the wild is very exposed to the risk of being bitten by a viper. This is also common in the garden, especially from early spring until the arrival of autumn. The venom of this snake being deadly, it is fundamental to act as quickly as possible to preserve your pet.

Dog bitten by a viper: the risks

The viper is a poisonous snake. Its venom contains toxic substances that cause inflammation. The consequences can be neurological disorders and tissue necrosis. It is therefore important to act quickly by using the right gestures.

Viper bite: identifying the signs

At the slightest doubt, try to locate the bite marks left by the viper most often on the dog's legs or on its head. These are two red dots no more than a centimeter apart. They correspond to the impact of the two hooks of the snake.

As for the symptoms that a dog bitten by a viper, they are as follows:
  • Significant pain, instantly felt as soon as the bite is made,
  • An edema in the affected area, which occurs within half an hour at most after the bite.
  • High temperature,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Unexplained fatigue,
  • Vomiting,
  • Breathing difficulties,
  • A convulsive state,
  • A paralysis.
  • Blood in the urine,
  • Bloody stools,
  • A dysfunction of the organs,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Massive destruction of leukocytes (white blood cells).
These different manifestations appear at the latest within three hours after the bite. In the absence of veterinary care, the dog's vital prognosis is engaged. In the following days, the owner may notice small reddish-violet spots on the skin (called purpura or petechiae). These are signs of subcutaneous infiltration of blood. The dog may also have :

All these signs justify an emergency consultation.

Dog bitten by a viper: Action should be taken without delay.

While waiting to show his dog to a veterinarian, or to take him to the nearest veterinary clinic, the owner must :
  • Immobilize the dog's leg, as it should move as little as possible. This will limit the rapid spread of venom throughout the animal's body and thus aggravate its health.
  • Disinfect the area affected by the snake bite with a dog disinfectant only, which excludes 90° alcohol, eosin, ether.
  • Put an ice pack on the bite to soothe the pain.
And contrary to popular belief :
  • We banish the tourniquet,
  • The venom must not be sucked up by any means,
  • The wound should never be incised as this increases the risk of infection.
Be careful to take certain precautions when intervening, because a dog in pain can even bite its master. On the other hand, you must try to be calm so as not to lose time and be able to reassure your animal, who must remain as calm as possible.

The Belgian Greenland Shepherd Dog, elegant and harmonious black dog

Full of life, the Belgian Greenland Shepherd will give happiness to the families ready to welcome him in their home. It is an easy to train dog, affectionate, very gentle and protective towards children. He has everything to be the best companion dog there is.

Characteristics of the Belgian Greenland Shepherd Dog

Like many Belgian Shepherds, the Groenendael reveals an elegant and harmonious look. This large dog inspires strength and power. He measures an average of 58 cm for females and 62 cm for males. This dog has a proudly carried head that is well defined, straight and long. The forehead is slightly rounded with a broad skull, a moderately accentuated median furrow.

The muzzle of medium length, the black nose and the little marked stop are other physical characteristics of this animal. He has almond-shaped eyes with brown or dark color. They are expressive and show vivacity, softness and intelligence. The triangular shaped ears are carried high and are not very large. And what about the coat which is another specificity of Groenendael. It is zain black, i.e. exclusively black, uniform and devoid of white. The coat is long and smooth.

History of the Belgian Greenland Shepherd Dog breed

Of Belgian origin, Groenendael comes from the village of the same name. It is a relatively old breed that appeared in the 19th century. Its creator is Nicolas Rose, a lord lord living in this village, who crossed a long-haired black-haired bitch with a herding dog resembling him.

The black color of the breed was not very popular among Belgian shepherd breeders. Nevertheless, the Groenendael was able to distinguish itself thanks to its qualities as a herdsman. Through his exceptional flair, he also served the police and rescue services in research work. Just like the other shepherd dogs such as the Laekenois, the Tervueren or the Malinois, the recognition by the FCI (Fédération cynologique internationale) will be made in 1956.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Belgian Greenland Shepherd Dog

Groenendael shines by its intelligence and vitality. It is always in search of an activity to practice in order not to get bored and to expend itself. It is an extremely vigilant animal, which is why it has been successful in herding. It is also determined, protective and courageous. His affectionate and easygoing character explains his success with children with whom he gets along very well. Moreover, his education is relatively easy since he remains a dog who understands easily and is alert. However, because he is a sporty dog, he needs owners who are able to satisfy his needs for physical activity.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Belgian Greenland Shepherd Dog

Like all large dogs, the Groenendael is not spared from hip dysplasia if no supervision or attention is paid to them. Muscular dystrophy is one of the pathologies that can affect him, as well as ear problems. In addition, because he is an active dog, he needs a rich diet, without being fat and sweet.

The Japanese Spitz, a dog with immaculate white fur

An immaculate white fur, an irresistible face, a friendly, lively and active character... the Japanese Spitz is an ideal companion for families living in the city, in apartments. This dog being also very playful, children will be delighted to have him in their ranks.

Characteristics of the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is immediately recognizable by its white fur and its bushy, long and dense tail that makes it look like the Samoyed. The dog has an abundant coat, long, spread out and straight. Concerning his size, he is not very tall as he measures between 30 and 33 cm for males and between 29 and 32 cm for females. The weight varies between 6 and 10 kg. The Japanese Spitz develops a robust and harmonious constitution. It is remarkable for its pointed muzzle and black nose. Its skull is domed and more or less broad, with an enlargement on the posterior area. The dog also has small ears with fine triangular tips that are carried high and pointing forward. As for his eyes, the dark color contrasts with the immaculate whiteness of the coat. They are neither too big nor too small and are almond shaped.

History of the Japanese Spitz breed

The origins of the Japanese Spitz are controversial. But it seems that this race would have as ancestor, the German Spitz with the white dress which landed in the land of the Rising Sun around the 1920s. It must be said that the two breeds show similarities. The Japanese Spitz has not had a thrilling history unlike many of its counterparts. It will be improved thanks to the contribution of other spitz from the United States, Canada, China and Australia. After the Second World War, a first official standard was established by the Japanese Kennel Club. This breed is one of the favorite four-legged companions of the Japanese. It was also successful in Sweden and then all over Europe and the world.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz has many qualities. He is jovial, alert, active, lively and shows great intelligence. On the other hand, beware of his stubborn character and especially, his untimely barking. He does not appreciate the presence of strangers and will bark for the occasion if someone he does not know tries to approach. He is thus an excellent guard who develops a lot of courage. Another of his assets is that he is close to the children with whom he will play and have a lot of fun. In addition, he shows an immoderate affection towards his masters and needs to be constantly surrounded by his family.

Diet and main health problems of the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is not affected by any particular defect. It is a sturdy animal, with an important longevity since it can live between 12 and 16 years. Of course, its health will also depend on an adequate diet and constant monitoring. A "homemade" food is recommended, but an industrial food can also do the trick provided that the quality is there.