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The Chihuahua, a small dog with a strong character!

You should not judge him by his small size: the Chihuahua has a strong temperament and is very suspicious of strangers who approach him or his owners. A character that shows his loyalty and attachment to his family. Better yet, its small size is not synonymous with poor health since this breed can live up to 20 years.

Characteristics of the Chihuahua

Its small size is the first detail that attracts attention when it comes to the physical characteristics of the Chihuahua. It is between 16 and 20 cm long and weighs between 1 and 3 kg. It has a well-structured and compact body, with a broad chest and a short, firm back. This balanced and harmonious constitution is one of the assets of this breed.

Their coat is short, soft and shiny, although it is not uncommon to see Chihuahuas with long, silky, fine hair. White, tan, cream or black: the coat can also have several colors. The eyes are another particularity of the Chihuahua: they are big and very expressive. The same goes for the ears, which are large, erect and very wide apart.

History of the Chihuahua breed

It is said that the Chihuahua originated in Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua. It would have been very appreciated by the Aztec princesses. Several engraved stones discovered in Mexico have brought to light canines whose resemblance to the Chihuahua is striking.

In spite of these legends, one thing is sure: the origin of this breed remains unclear. It could be much further back, because in a painting by Sandro Botticelli in 1482 called "Scenes from the life of Moses", we can see the image of a dog that looks like the Chihuahua. At that time, Europeans had not yet arrived in America. It is therefore said that this breed originated in China and was brought to America much later.

Living conditions and behavior of the Chihuahua

Playful and dynamic, the Chihuahua is characterized by its strong character. A way perhaps to compensate for its small size. In any case, it is not a dog that lets itself be done and it can emit strong barks in front of strangers in order to frighten them. Because of its size, this breed is an excellent companion dog but can also be used as an alarm dog. As it is a fighter, it is not afraid to take on much larger dogs. To avoid any problems, it is better to educate him from a young age so that he learns to control his fiery temperament.

As far as living conditions are concerned, he will be just as happy in an apartment as in a large house with a garden. But as he is very energetic, he must enjoy regular walks.

Diet and main health problems of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is not at all in poor health. On the contrary, it is very robust. Nevertheless, it can in some cases be subject to eye irritations as well as dental problems caused by tartar. Another point: as it is very dynamic, it can be victim of falls which can be fatal.

His diet should be rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and lipids which are provided by quality kibbles. Finally, a good hydration is essential.

The Clumber Spaniel, dog of imposing size

A dog of imposing size, the Clumber Spaniel has swapped its role of hunting dog for that of pet. It is a dog pleasant to live with, faithful and affectionate which will get along wonderfully with the children being an inveterate player.

Characteristics of the Clumber Spaniel

Belonging to the large family of Spaniels, the Clumber Spaniel stands out because of its somewhat atypical physique. It is relatively heavy, low on legs and especially corpulent. It is a large dog that measures between 43 and 51 cm and weighs between 25 and 35 kg. It is said that it has a physiognomy resembling that of the Sussex spaniel. Apart from its massive bone structure, this dog is distinguished by its bulky head which is medium long and square in shape. It has a strong muzzle with a few freckles as well as front legs. It has clear eyes a little sunken which display a dark amber color. The ears remind of a vine leaf. They are large and go forward. The Clumber Spaniel has a long and abundant coat that has a soft texture and a straight shape. The chest and limbs are trimmed with thick bangs. The dog should have a white coat dotted with orange and lemon colors.

History of the Clumber Spaniel breed

The true origins of the Clumber Spaniel are relatively unclear. Some say that its origins would be French where it would have appeared for the first time. Others say that it would rather come from England and would be the result of a cross between Spaniels, Saint Bernards and Bassets. The breed was very appreciated by the nobility. Prince Albert and his son Edward VII of the United Kingdom contributed greatly to the success of the Clumber Spaniel. Like many dogs, it almost disappeared during the 20th century before regaining its letters of nobility from 1925 thanks to George V. Today, the breed is extremely rare.

Living conditions and behavior of the Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is nicknamed the aristocrat of the Spaniels certainly because of the natural elegance that it gives off despite its massiveness. It is a dog which cumulates many qualities. It is calm, stable, kind and easy to live with. He tends to bond with one member of the family in particular. But this does not prevent him from being fond of other humans. He gets along very well with children and can play for many hours with them. The Clumber Spaniel can not be used for guarding, because it barks very little. This dog is not very active either, although it needs at least one hour of daily walk.

Feeding and main health problems of the Clumber Spaniel

Because of its strong corpulence, the Clumber Spaniel is fragile at the level of its articulations and its skeleton. He can be affected by elbow pain, hip dysplasia or complete ossification of the humeral condyle. It is also advisable to watch out for hereditary eye disorders that can be detected through tests.

The Manchester Terrier, a graceful and elegant dog

A model of grace and elegance, the Manchester Terrier was originally specialized in hunting vermin before becoming a very good pet. It is a good guardian and a joyful laugh that brings joy to families.

Characteristics of the Manchester Terrier

Revealing a body with substance, the Manchester Terrier stands out for its robustness and elegance. It does not go unnoticed with its muscular and powerful hind legs and straight forelegs well positioned on the body. The average height of the dog is 38 cm for a female and 41 cm for a male. The weight is around 8 kg. The Manchester Terrier has a narrow, flat and wedge-shaped skull, but it is long. The lips are tight, the jaws are of equal length and the nose is black. The Manchester Terrier is recognized by its bright, dark, almond-shaped eyes. The V-shaped ears are small. The dog has a short, smooth, close coat that should be jet black and tan.

History of the Manchester Terrier breed

As the title suggests, the Manchester Terrier is an English breed. It is said to be a cross between the Whippet and the Old Black and Tan Terrier, a pest hunter that had its heyday in the North of England. During the 19th century, dog shows were very successful. It is because of this phenomenon that the Manchester Terrier was created. It did not take long for it to win the hearts of the British people, even if it meant stealing the show from the little dogs that accompanied the ladies. It was even nicknamed the Gentlemen's dog because of its elegant appearance. Although the breed was very popular at one time, today it is little known outside of the English borders. In fact, due to the gradual reduction of the Manchester Terrier population, they are classified as a "vulnerable native breed".

Living requirements and behavior of the Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier has many qualities. They are affectionate, loyal, gentle yet cheerful, quick and lively. It is a perfect pet for families with children, as it gets along very well with little ones as long as they learn to respect it. Untiring, he will never refuse a game of play to please his human companions. If properly trained, the Manchester Terrier can get along with other animals. However, because of its ratter origins, it may start chasing birds, rodents or small animals. As for his lifestyle, he loves the comfort and warmth of an apartment. But it must be able to do regular physical exercises and walks.

Nutrition and major health problems of the Manchester Terrier

Before adopting a Manchester Terrier, it is strongly recommended to check that it is not predisposed to certain hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, patella luxation and Willebrand disease type I.

Function and role of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Created in 1911, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is a worldwide canine organization aiming to promote cynology - the study and knowledge of dogs - and to encourage the breeding of pure breeds based on strict rules.

Definition of breed standards

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes a total of 352 breeds of dogs whose health, character and morphological appearance meet the requirements of the standards established by its 99 member and partner countries. Each member issues its own pedigrees and trains judges for dog shows. These criteria and requirements are the only reference on which the jury (during the shows and competitions held in the FCI member countries) and the breeders are based in their desire to produce dogs of excellent lineage. The world organization delegates to its members the maintenance of their own stud book (LOF in France).

More than a century of existence for the FCI

Based in the Belgian town of Thuin, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale was founded on May 22, 1911 by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The First World War interrupted the project and it was not until 1921 that the Société Centrale Canine de France and the Société Royale Saint-Hubert in Belgium took the initiative to recreate the FCI. The two countries were soon joined by the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

The CFI is represented around the world

The 99 member and partner countries of the FCI represent the five continents and are divided into three geographical sections: Europe; the Americas and the Caribbean; Asia, Africa and Oceania. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale communicates with its members in its four official languages: French, English, German and Spanish. It also translates the rules and breed standards proposed by its partners.

FCI: the role of the commissions

Three mandatory commissions deal with specific issues: the standards commission, the disciplinary and arbitration commission and the scientific commission. The scientific commission deals with issues related to the health of the dog, such as hip dysplasia and other diseases affecting certain breeds, or the practice of inbreeding. At the same time, 24 optional commissions are in charge of various subjects such as exhibitions, hounds, utility dogs, rescue dogs, herding dogs, pointing dogs, retrievers and bushwhackers, greyhound racing, canicross, etc. ....

Activities of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The FCI oversees the international exhibitions and competitions organized by its members, in which the dogs must be judged according to the standards of the country of origin. Following these events, the federation verifies and certifies the titles of international champion in the various categories: beauty, working, obedience, agility, racing, performance, herding... Another activity of the FCI consists in managing the breeders' catteries. The cattery is the name of the kennel that allows to know the origins of the dog. Its registration in the French Book of Origins (LOF) represents a guarantee of traceability and security.

Framing of the breeding

The FCI has established international breeding regulations in order to legalize this activity within its member countries. The provisions concern in particular the conditions of the mating, the transfer of the breeding right and the registration of the puppies in the book of origins. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale advocates breeding to preserve and preferably extend the genetic diversity (polygenicity) of a breed. According to the FCI, "it is the responsibility of any breeder selecting a dog for breeding to ensure that the dog's character and physical condition are stable. As long as a breeder maintains the care of a puppy, he or she must allow the puppy to develop in a healthy - mentally and physically - and beneficial environment to ensure proper socialization."

Youth FCI, the next generation

The world canine organization recently created the FCI Youth group to oversee the actions of young dog lovers around the world. This initiative aims to cultivate and celebrate all activities carried out by teens, young adults and young professionals within the Fédération Cynologique Internationale's national organizations. FCI Youth is mobilizing social media to share its values and ideas to build the FCI of tomorrow, "for the benefit of dogs everywhere.

The Norfolk Terrier, dog with a mini format

The Norfolk Terrier, not to be confused with its cousin the Norwich Terrier, is a small-sized dog originally used as a hunting dog. Today, it has succeeded in a brilliant reconversion as a pet very appreciated by families because of its mini-format and its friendly nature.

Characteristics of the Norfolk Terrier

A small, hardy dog, the Norfolk Terrier is recognizable by its compact, low-slung physique. To be accepted by the standard, it must not be excessively heavy, go towards the "toy" format nor be too graceful. The dog must measure on average between 25 and 26 cm and weigh an average of 5 kg depending on sex and age. Apart from its small size, the Norfolk Terrier is appreciated for its irresistible face. It has a hairy head with a more or less rounded and wide skull. The muzzle is wedge-shaped, the stop is accentuated, the jaws are strong and the lips are tight. The eyes express dynamism. They are oval and have a dark brown or black color. The ears for their part have slightly rounded tips, are V-shaped and of medium size. The flat and straight coat is rather rough to the touch. It is relatively dense on the neck and shoulders. The whiskers and eyebrows are also abundant. The coat is gray, black and tan, red or in wheaten tones.

History of the Norfolk Terrier breed

Coming from Great Britain, the Norfolk Terrier shares common origins with the Norwich Terrier, which is distinguished by its folded ears. This English breed was born from a cross between several British terriers and would have appeared in the eponymous city. It was mainly used as a ratter. This dynamic dog was known to catch vermin very easily in stables and farms as well as among the gypsies living in Norfolk. This breed, which is still rare today, received official recognition in 1964.

Living conditions and behavior of the Norfolk Terrier

Its small size does not prevent it from being a valiant warrior. The Norfolk Terrier is a fearless, lively, active and very energetic animal. It develops a strong hunting instinct as it was specialized in tracking pests. This sometimes leads him to want to chase smaller than him. On the other hand, he remains sociable towards other dogs if his socialization is done early. At home, the Norfolk-Terrier is gentle, affectionate and pleasant to live with. He likes the constant presence of his owners at his side. Because of his hunting background, he needs a lot of physical exercise to be happy and healthy.

Diet and main health problems of the Norfolk Terrier

The life expectancy of the Norfolk Terrier ranges from 12 to 15 years. Some can live up to 19 years. Diseases that can affect the breed include hip dysplasia, patella luxation or congenital heart disease such as mitral valve disease. Dogs can also become brachygnathic and prognathic.

The Norwich Terrier, a dog with a strong character

Don't be fooled by its small size. The Norwich Terrier has a strong character. This does not prevent him from being a pleasant pet that you can always count on. Sociable and playful, they get along well with children and other animals.

Norwich Terrier Characteristics

The Norwich Terrier is distinguished by its small size. It is considered one of the smallest terrier breeds. With good power and strong bones, this compact, sturdy dog is low to the ground. It measures on average 25 cm and weighs nearly 5 kg. They are best recognized by their fox-like muzzle mounted on a slightly rounded, broad skull with a pronounced stop. The animal has small, strong, sharp jaws and tight lips. It has small oval shaped eyes that reveal a lively look. Their brightness and their black or dark brown color are also very remarkable. Concerning the ears, they are straight, triangular in shape and set wide apart. They have pointed tips and are of medium size. The Norwich Terrier has a straight lying hair called "wire" because of its rough texture. It is longer on the head than the rest of the body. The coat can be red, wheaten, gray or black and tan.

History of the Norwich Terrier breed

The Norwich Terrier is a relatively old breed. It has always been confused with the Norfolk Terrier during the 19th century. This breed appeared in England and would be born from a cross between different breeds: the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Cairn Terrier or the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The resulting breed was mainly used to track badgers, foxes and rabbits in the tunnels. Very popular on the Cambridge campus, the Norwich Terrier almost became extinct during the Second World War. Luckily, the breed was saved thanks to ingenious crossbreeding. The breed was first listed in 1932 by the English Kennel Club and was officially recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) in 1954.

Living conditions and behavior of the Norwich Terrier

Formerly a hunter, the Norwich Terrier has now become a pet. It is known to be cheerful and mischievous. Moreover, it is an animal full of energy and lively, always ready to play, which makes the happiness of the children. Fearless, it is also sympathetic and friendly and will never seek confrontation. Other qualities include intelligence and courage. The Norwich Terrier can adapt to any lifestyle. He can live in the city and in the country. They need regular exercise to stay in shape.

Diet and major health problems of the Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier does not develop any specific pathology, which is why it is considered a strong and robust animal. It does not need a specific diet either. However, it is important to watch its diet, because it tends to be greedy, which can cause obesity.

How to guess a dog's age? What elements to take into account?

The age of a dog is not always known by its owner when it has been found on the side of the road after being abandoned for example. As the animal's size and weight are not always reliable indicators, it is better to examine its teeth, eyes, musculature and coat. This is what we will see here, knowing however that to know the exact age of his dog, it is better to rely on the opinion of the veterinarian.

Knowing a puppy's age by looking at his teeth

A puppy that doesn't have a single baby tooth yet is no more than 15 days old. The incisors in the upper jaw and the two canines appear in the third week of life, but this happens a little later in small breeds. Generally, by the end of his first month, he has all his incisors and canines in his lower jaw.

The first milk teeth start to fall out in the 4th or 5th week and the permanent incisors gradually take their place. Their shape is more rounded than the milk teeth, and they are also less wide. At 4 months of age, the permanent central incisors and the claws start to appear, while the middle ones appear at about 4 ½ months. The claws and canines appear at 5 months, and the molars appear between 6 and 7 months.

Finally, at the age of 8 months the animal has lost all its milk teeth, and it is at 12 months on average that it has all its permanent teeth. At this stage, their color is white.

Evaluating the age of an adult dog by its teeth

In principle, in a dog between 18 and 30 months old, the incisors show some signs of wear. This wear is not yet too noticeable, but it is enough to give the central incisors of the lower jaw a square shape.

By the time the dog is 3 years old and about 4 ½ years old, the other incisors are well worn. Their square shape is much more pronounced than it was before.

Between 5 and 6 years of age, the incisors show signs of deterioration while the canines, then pointed, also become square. From the age of 6, tartar is clearly visible. The color of the enamel turns yellow. Plaque leads to reddening of the gums and even gum inflammation, which can be deplored in dogs of 6 years and older.

The incisors start to fall out between 10 and 12 years of age, depending on the dog, and the canines around 15 or 16 years of age.

If it is quite reliable to evaluate the age of a puppy, it is less reliable for an adult dog. Indeed, it should be noted that the deterioration of a dog's teeth can be more or less premature if the animal has not had the benefit of a balanced diet that perfectly meets its needs. Also, if he has never been followed by a veterinarian specialized in animal dentistry, his teeth can be very scaled. He is therefore likely to have broken teeth, or even to have already lost some before the age of 7.

Examining a dog's eyes to assess his age

A puppy's eyes do not open until the 12th day after birth. In the vast majority of cases, until the age of 7, there is no tearing or discharge and the eyes do not show signs of aging.

From the age of 7 onwards, an opacification of the crystalline lens can be detected, suggesting a cataract. Later on, the pupil may appear whitish, and in older dogs, the decrease in visual acuity leads to a less confident gait when the light decreases.

Guessing a dog's age by its musculature

As with humans, a dog's musculature changes over the years. If he's active and gets exercise every day, his well-maintained muscles will stay firm for a long time. On the other hand, in a sedentary dog, we can very quickly notice a slackening of his muscles.

A reduced muscle mass and overweight indicate that the dog is not quite young anymore. If, in addition, he shows some hesitation (or difficulty) in walking, if his movements are stiff and if the animal is slow or lacks drive, then we can deduce that he is an old dog.

Although excess body fat is common in older dogs, it should not be the only criterion for guessing the age of the dog. He can be thin and old if he has had health problems.

The coat, a good indicator of a dog's age

A young dog's coat is shiny, silky and fine. Over time, it thickens, becomes rougher to the touch and loses its shine. You can also notice that older dogs lose their skin elasticity, and their muzzle becomes covered with small whitish spots.

When taking in a dog of unknown age, you can start by brushing him thoroughly or, if he accepts it, by giving him a good bath with a dog shampoo. Once his coat is clean and dry, it's easier to judge his texture and check the condition of his skin.

Guessing a dog's age by its measurements

Finally, in order to use height and weight to try to estimate a dog's age, it is necessary to know what breed it is. We can at least know if he is adult or not. Small dogs are small at 12 months and their weight is less than 10 kg. At 1 year old, as soon as they have completed their development, medium size dogs weigh between 10 and 23 kg depending on their breed. The definitive stature is acquired around 14 to 16 months for large breed dogs whose adult weight can be from 23 to 45 kg. As for giant breed dogs, they reach their final size between 20 and 24 months and weigh more than 45 kg.

It is of course essential that the dog you have just adopted without knowing anything about him be examined by a veterinarian. This will allow to know if he is in good health but also to identify him, and thanks to a thorough examination, the practitioner will be able to estimate the age of the dog in a reliable way.

If the owner wants to insure his new companion with a dog health insurance to be reimbursed for expenses incurred, he should first ask the veterinarian for a certificate, because many companies will only grant a contract if they know the age of the animal to be insured. Once the waiting period is over, the owner can make sure that the vaccination is up to date and also have the dog sterilized if he wishes. To be reimbursed immediately after the subscription, it is better to opt for a contract without waiting period.

Weaning a puppy too early: what are the consequences?

Fundamental for the puppy's future life, weaning is a stage that requires a lot of attention. It corresponds to the break between the puppy and his mother, and it is a natural process. But for it to be successful, it must be done in several stages so that the puppy learns to become autonomous and knows how to control himself. Early weaning does not allow the puppy to build up and learn what is necessary for him. In this case, he may develop behavioral problems. Let's take stock.

Early weaning in puppies: the main causes

Many puppies are exposed to early weaning, and the main reasons are the following:
  • Their mother dies while they are still very young,
  • They are rejected by their mother,
  • The bitch does not have enough milk to nurse them for the time needed,
  • The breeder separates the puppy from its mother too early to sell it. By the way, the French law forbids the sale of puppies that are not at least 8 weeks old. Any offender is exposed to legal and financial sanctions.
Weaning is considered premature if it is done on a puppy that is less than 40 days old. It is therefore his master who must take charge of this process if the bitch cannot, and to carry out this takeover successfully, he must respect the different essential steps.

Puppy weaned too early: the consequences

The consequences of early weaning can be seen in the animal's behavior. Thus, we can later deplore :

The absence of socialization

The animal could not integrate the limits and can become dominant. This type of dog is generally dangerous in adulthood because it is unable to obey a coherent order since it does not understand what is expected of it.

The impossibility of self-control

The bitch educates her pups by taking into account the character of each one. She teaches them, without violence of course, to control themselves and to submit when necessary. If they are weaned early, they will become aggressive in adulthood and will not know how to control themselves even when they share games, whether with their fellow dogs or with humans, adults and children.


As soon as the puppy's milk teeth start to come in, he'll chew on anything he finds, including his mother's teats when he's suckling. In these cases, the bitch doesn't hesitate to correct her pup. This correction is an integral part of learning, and it's completely natural. She knows instinctively how to reprimand one of her puppies when he bites his brother or sister too hard.

The mother's role is to teach her offspring to understand the limit and to temper their bites. If weaned too early, the adult dog is likely to become a biter and seriously injure a person because it will be unable to control its strength.

Steps to follow when weaning a puppy

If the weaning of the puppy is assumed by the owner, he must imperatively respect the steps of the process in order to obtain the expected result, namely a dog that knows how to control himself, that does not represent any danger to his environment and does not suffer from any behavioral disorder. Thus, one should not rush things because each puppy is different.
  • At 4 or 5 weeks of age: the puppy can start receiving several small daily rations of wet food. As long as you always give him the same preparation to avoid digestive problems. You can offer him kibble softened with formula or warm water, or a puppy food that contains all the nutrients the animal needs for its development. This allows him to discover solid food.
  • At 5 or 6 weeks of age, he can be given more substantial rations.
  • From about 7 to 8 weeks of age, the puppy can go to 3 or 4 daily rations at the most.
At the same time, the owner must teach his puppy to be independent. To do so, the animal can be left alone for 20 minutes at the beginning, at different times of the day, and this time should be increased significantly throughout the weaning period, at the end of which the animal should be able to stay alone for at least 2 hours. When the dog is weaned by its mother, she teaches her puppies to separate from her little by little, which does not create any trauma. This is essential so that the puppies do not feel this step as a difficult and painful moment. If you go too fast, the dog could be very fearful once it is an adult.

If the owner has to wean his puppies himself, he should seek advice from a veterinarian. This way, the owner will know exactly what basic steps to take to avoid early weaning of his puppies and what food he should give them throughout the process.

Why should you never give your dog chocolate?

Christmas and Easter are two times of the year when dogs' health is particularly at risk and emergency veterinary services are frequently confronted with chocolate poisoning in dogs. Many pet owners are still unaware that this food product - reserved for humans - is dangerous for their four-legged friends. Zoom on the toxicity of chocolate.

Theobromine in chocolate: a dangerous alkaloid for dogs

Chocolate should never be given to a domestic carnivore because it causes intoxication. It contains, among other things, theobromine. This is the powerful element contained in cocoa. The more cocoa there is in a chocolate bar, the more it contains. Like caffeine, it belongs to the group of methylxanthines. It is an alkaloid, which is an organic substance of plant origin.

An alkaloid can have therapeutic but also toxic effects. There is indeed a difference between quinine, caffeine, morphine... or theobromine, which are all alkaloids. If their role can be beneficial for humans, some alkaloids are only delivered on medical prescription because they can be extremely dangerous for the human body depending on the dosage. But the risk is much higher for an animal.

From what quantity is chocolate dangerous for the dog?

Theobromine is a stimulant of the myocardium and the nervous system. It increases the diuresis, favors the relaxation of the bronchial muscles fibers but also of the other muscles. It represents a real danger for the health of the dog because this animal has a slower metabolism than his master. The alkaloid stays longer in the animal's body. The risk of toxicity depends on the quantity of theobromine ingested and the weight of the dog.

Chocolate can therefore affect :
  • The nervous system,
  • The cardiovascular system,
  • The muscles,
  • The urinary system.
Symptoms are mild with 20 mg of theobromine per kg, serious from 40 mg/kg and the dog presents convulsions as soon as the dose reaches 60 mg/kg.

It is important to know that a dog dies if it absorbs 80 mg of theobromine per kilo, that is to say for a small dog of 7 kg, 560 mg of this alkaloid. This is called the lethal dose. You have to be very careful because depending on the composition of the chocolate, the alkaloid content is extremely variable.

What type of chocolate is toxic for the dog?

Cocoa beans and cocoa powder are the richest in alkaloid. Dark chocolate is also very toxic because it is rich in cocoa. It should be avoided for both dogs and cats. As a precaution, you should not give milk chocolate to your pet either, because it is also toxic. As for the famous white chocolate, it does not contain theobromine - or only traces of it, depending on the brand. But it's not chocolate!

All breeds of dogs are vulnerable to theobromine contained in cocoa (and therefore in chocolate). It seems that brachycephalic dogs are even more sensitive to it because they have a fragile respiratory system but also a heart condition.

Anyway, whether you have a Great Dane, a Tervuren, a Dachshund or a Bulldog, you should not give chocolate to your dog. Be careful if the animal is very greedy, and moreover, pilferer because it is doomed to a certain death by intoxication if it consumes a complete bar of dark chocolate. So we put away chocolate bites, chocolate bars, cocoa and other sweets of this type in the cupboards.

Chocolate poisoning: symptoms in dogs

A dog that has eaten chocolate may present one or more of the following symptoms
  • Vomiting,
  • Irritability,
  • Agitation,
  • Hyperthermia,
  • Faster heart rate than usual,
  • Muscle rigidity,
  • Very frequent urination,
  • Convulsions,
  • Coma,
  • Death.
If the dog has consumed a large dose of chocolate, it risks death by cardiac arrest.

Symptoms can occur in some cases as early as 4 hours after ingesting chocolate, but more commonly within 24 hours and persist for 72 hours. It is very important that the dog be treated urgently as the life of the dog is at risk if a lethal dose has been ingested. It may be helpful to call your local veterinary poison control center for information on what to do in case of chocolate poisoning.

Puppy training: 5 basic rules to teach your small dog

In order to avoid dealing with problems of outbursts and disobedience later in life, dogs need to be trained from an early age. And while some owners choose to entrust this responsibility to a dog trainer, others do it themselves. Follow the guide.

Teaching your puppy to respond to his name

After wavering between three dog breeds, you've finally settled on a Labrador. You've even decided to name him Rocky. But he still has to respond when you call him and he runs to you. Moreover, the success of a puppy's education depends entirely on the assimilation of his name. A little tip! Make life easier for yourself by giving your puppy a nickname with a maximum of two syllables.

Of course, training will take place in a calm and quiet place. You'll need to be very patient, as you may have to call his name several times before he turns to you. And when it does, don't hesitate to reward the animal. Show him how pleased you are with his responsiveness. Use "good Rocky" and "yes Rocky". Whenever you interact with him, always say his name.

Potty training your small dog

It's usually the potty training that owners dread the most, because once bad habits are established, it's very difficult to get the dog back on track. That's why it's important to start as early as possible, between four and six months. Otherwise, your dog will regularly pee and poop in your house or apartment. The secret of success in this undertaking will depend mainly on your sense of anticipation of his needs.

And as a rough guide, whether it's for the big or the little errand, a dog needs to go to the little corner on average every two hours. You should easily be able to identify this time of day, since by observing your dog, you'll notice that he smells and sniffs every corner of the house. Without further ado, take him to a dog park where he can finally relieve himself. And don't forget to praise him. Impose a ritual on him by scheduling his "needs" outings at fixed times. The three key moments are often when he wakes up, after lunch and in the evening before bedtime.

Teach your puppy to wear a collar and walk on a leash

However, no walk or outing outside will be possible without the indispensable leash. And here, the objective is also to familiarize him with this accessory. That's why, before putting the leash on your dog for an outdoor walk, start by getting him used to wearing his collar. Whether it's a choke chain, a classic collar or a harness, no matter which model you choose, your puppy will probably try to remove his collar during the first few days. Tighten the collar enough so that the dog can't put his paws through it, he could get hurt.

Once the dog has adapted to it, you can go on to learn how to walk on a leash. And so that he memorizes the classic commands such as the small light pull or the words "heel", train him first in a quiet place indoors, or in your garden. Traffic noises can distract him, but especially frighten him, especially if he is not used to them. The leash should never be tight, but preferably slightly loose.

Teaching your puppy to respect his space

As much as you want your new pet to share every important moment of your daily life, a puppy needs his own private space for both his balance and well-being. This is usually a quiet place in the house where his basket and food bowl will be installed. It is indeed important to limit the territories of each one, so that the dog does not invade the living spaces of its owners.

On the other hand, it is also a very effective way to keep him away from your guests if you receive your friends and relatives for example. The use of a lanyard will be necessary throughout this learning process because it is through this cord that you will show him the limits of his space, as well as the limits of yours. Repeat the exercise until he understands.

Teaching your puppy to socialize

When a dog has not been socialized from a young age, his life in the community can be very difficult. Not to mention the consequences on his character. Is your puppy fearful? Does he attack strangers and other dogs? Does he get nervous when you take him somewhere he doesn't know? Is the doggie too possessive of his belongings? Is he easily approached by the groomer or the vet?

If you are facing these signs, you must react as soon as possible and take care of his socialization. From his first month of life, think of getting him used to different smells, noises, places, other dogs, without forgetting the domestic animals, especially the cat. Take him regularly to busy places where there are many people.

The Australian Shepherd, an obedient dog with an energetic character

Rather obedient, the Australian Shepherd is especially known for its energetic character. This medium-length, fairly large dog is best suited to environments with lots of space because it needs to exercise.

Characteristics of the Australian Shepherd Dog

Classified as a large dog, the Australian Shepherd has a long, broad skull with floppy, triangular ears and almond-shaped blue, brown or amber eyes. The dog has medium length hair of straight or wavy type whose coat can be blue merle, black tricolor, red merle or red tricolor often highlighted with white or fawn spots. Its body is rather long with a raised chest and curved ribs. In general, males measure between 51 and 58 cm and weigh between 25 and 34 kg. Females are between 46 and 53 cm with a weight of about 19 kg and up to 26 kg on average.

History of the Australian Shepherd Dog

There is much debate about the history of this breed. However, it is known that even though it is called Australian Shepherd, this animal does not originate in Australia. According to the writings, it would have appeared rather among the Basques. In search of work, they would have migrated with their dogs in many countries, including Australia, known for its sheep farming. In the 1900's, some Basques left Australia for the United States. The skills of their dogs would have been so appreciated by the American farmers that they would have decided to develop the breed. The agility of the Australian Shepherd and its character are very appropriate in the control of flocks, especially of sheep.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Australian Shepherd

As in the beginning, the Australian Shepherd has remained a flock dog, needing a lot of energy to manage a flock. Over the years, he has continued to develop all this vivacity. That's why he needs a lot of space to spend his time. It is thus perfectly suitable for people who have a large garden. Adoring sports activities, he can accompany his master in the practice of mountain biking, trail, running, horseback riding or even cross-country skiing if he is trained.

The Australian Shepherd is very affectionate and very endearing but can express a character a little invasive. Although they love action, they are not at all a fighter and have a stable temperament. He is loyal and gentle and can be perfectly chosen as a pet for children. On the other hand, it does not appreciate solitude or being locked up. Under these conditions, the Australian Shepherd can make a little mess. Specialists do not recommend them for people looking for their first pet.

Diet and major health problems of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd does not require any particular diet. It is recommended to give him 300 to 400 g of kibble but the amount will depend on his health, his age and his weight. It is best to feed him once a day, or twice a day at most.

With an average life expectancy of 13 years, the Australian Shepherd can be affected by a certain number of diseases, starting with congenital problems, notably the persistence of the ductus arteriosus, essentially in females. It can also be subject to hip problems, back problems or eye defects such as juvenile cataract, progressive retinal atrophy or collie eye anomaly. Epilepsy is also a potential health problem, as well as skin diseases.

What functions do the anal glands have in the dog? How to purge them?

The anal glands (or anal sacs) in dogs are susceptible to blockage for a variety of reasons. When the ducts are clogged, the dog normally adopts certain behaviors that may alert the owner. It is possible to purge the anal glands in these cases, but if it can be done by a veterinarian, it is preferable. However, let's see what is the best method to purge your dog's anal glands.

What are anal glands in dogs?

There are two anal sacs (commonly called anal glands) that look like small pouches. They are located on the right and left sides of the dog's anus. These glands secrete pheromones that are absolutely fundamental in terms of communication between male and female dogs. They are essential for these animals, and as a proof, they always sniff the hindquarters of their congeners.

In response to stress, extreme fear or panic, these anal sacs suddenly empty, and the entire contents can be propelled 100 cm or more.

Normally, anal glands do not require any special intervention by the owner, and it is not advisable to purge them on a regular basis as long as they do not cause any problems for the animal. On the other hand, they can be affected by certain health problems, such as
  • Infection, sometimes leading to abscesses: impaction, when the anal sacs can no longer empty properly in a natural way,
  • A tumor located in the perianal area.
In some cases, especially when a tumor occurs in certain lymph nodes, the anal sacs can be affected. Many owners apply hot water compresses to an abscess that may affect their dog's anal sacs. However, it is recommended that any type of problem be treated by a veterinarian.

Why can a dog's anal sacs become obstructed?

Obstruction of the anal sacs is visually detectable as the small pouches increase in size due to the accumulation of secretions. It is a phenomenon that is found more particularly in sedentary dogs, which rarely go out and therefore spend little time. But there are also dog breeds that are more exposed than others to the problem of anal gland obstruction. This is for example the case of the Poodle.

The exact reason for this is not known at this time. But we do know that among the breeds prone to anal sac obstruction, some produce a particularly thick secretion, others have a weaker muscle tone in the anal region, and still others have a very narrow excretory canal.

Finally, a spikelet, for example, that infiltrates an anal canal can result in an obstructed anal sac. This is common in dogs that spend a lot of time in the field for example. But the same type of problem is not caused by a spikelet but by an infestation of eggs laid by a digestive worm.

It is important to regularly monitor the general health of your dog. Ideally, your dog should be seen periodically by a veterinarian.

When should I purge my dog's anal glands?

You should not purge your dog's anal glands without reason. It is only necessary in case of an obstruction, which is quite frequent in canines. In this case, of course, the purging will relieve the animal. When everything is working well, the anal sacs purge naturally, either when the dog is relieving itself or when the animal is subjected to a strong emotion. Therefore, they should only be purged if there is an obstruction.

If you have a dog that is used to this kind of problem, you should not purge the anal glands too often. The time between two purges should be several months. In any case, you should only intervene when the anal sac engorgement represents a real discomfort for the animal. Some attitudes are not deceiving since when its anal glands are engorged, the dog drags its hindquarters on the ground (this is called the sign of the sledge), and licks very frequently its anal area.

How do I purge my dog's anal sacs?

This should always be done by the veterinarian who will take the opportunity to identify the cause of the obstruction and prescribe an appropriate treatment if necessary, especially in case of a tumor for example. If the cause is a worm, the dog will be dewormed.

However, it is possible to empty the dog's anal sacs by following a strict method:
  • Put on a pair of disposable surgical gloves,
  • Palpate the animal's anal area to check for engorgement: this is confirmed if :
    • the anal sacs are swollen, indurated, and two firm, spherical masses can be felt under the skin,
    • a nauseating odor emanates from the anal glands: this one is extremely tenacious and if the master does not wear disposable gloves, it can remain fixed on his hands during several days.
  • Hold the dog's tail up so that it does not cover the anus,
  • Gently squeeze the full anal glands between thumb and forefinger with a paper towel between them,
  • Squeeze the fluid that comes out of the dog's anus into the tissue or paper towel,
  • Stop squeezing when no more fluid comes out.
It is important to check the color of the fluid recovered after purging the dog's anal glands. If it is greenish with a yellow or reddish color, it is necessary to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible. The normal color of this fluid is usually brown to orange-yellow.

After purging the dog's anal sacs, it is best to give him a good bath, with a shampoo, in order to eliminate the stubborn smell of the secretions.

If possible, dog owners should not empty their dog's anal sacs themselves if they suspect an obstruction. It is wiser to leave this delicate task to a veterinarian, who will be able to spot any suspicious signs and find the appropriate solution.

The Kishu, a very beautiful Spitz type dog

The Spitz breeds are certainly among those that come in a maximum of varieties. In this large family, the Kishu is perhaps one of the least known, but it has the merit of being one of the most beautiful. Get to know this breed that comes straight from the land of the rising sun.

Characteristics of the Kishu

The Kishu is distinguished by its beautiful, supple and athletic appearance. Of medium size, it has a developed bone structure and a muscular body. Behind an expression of elegance and nobility lies a formidable hunting dog. The animal measures approximately 46 cm if it is a female and 52 cm if it is a male for a weight approaching 19 to 25 kg. Like all Spitzes, the Kishu is recognizable by its wedge-shaped muzzle that tapers. The skull is accompanied by a slightly marked stop. Tight lips, strong jaws, a black nose and developed cheeks distinguish its face. The dog also has small eyes resembling triangles and which display a dark brown color. The ears, which go slightly forward, are also triangular, small and always erect on the head. This dog has a short, straight coat. The coat is sesame, white or red. Another of its specificities concerns its sickle tail curled on the back.

History of the Kishu breed

The Kishu comes to us straight from Japan, more precisely from the eponymous mountainous region which was formerly known as the province of Kii. Not much is known about this breed. We only know that it is ancient and that it was used to hunt deer and later, wild boar. In the 1930s, animals with a sesame or red coat were less popular than those with a uniform coat, which almost led to the disappearance of these specimens. The Kishu is generally not well known outside of Japan. In his country, however, he is a real star since he was even awarded the title of "National Monument" in 1934. The recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) dates from 1982.

Living conditions and behavior of the Kishu

The Kishu is an animal with many qualities. It can be counted on in hunting activities thanks to its courage, its seriousness and its endurance. The same goes for the home. Because the Kishu also makes an excellent pet. It is affectionate without being clingy, thoughtful, composed and intelligent. It is an independent breed without being detached from its owners. Because of this character, it supports very well the solitude. On the other hand, the Kishu is not the best of alarm dogs, as it only barks occasionally. Fortunately, its distrust of strangers makes it a good watchdog.

Kishu's diet and major health problems

Being a primitive breed, the Kishu is fortunate to develop good stamina and strength. No genetic pathology is to be declared for this breed. It also does not need any special diet.

The Canaan Dog, a dog with a strong and athletic body

Behind its strong and athletic body, the Canaan Dog develops unique abilities in guarding. Calm and independent, it can also be a good pet that shows gentleness towards its family.

Characteristics of the Canaan Dog

Of medium size, the Canaan Dog has a strong and well-balanced physique that fits into a square. It reveals the airs of wild dog which make all its singularity. The animal measures on average between 50 and 60 cm and weighs between 20 and 27 kg. It is recognizable by its truncated cone-shaped head, which is correctly proportioned and of medium length. The skull is of good width and appears slightly flattened with a marked and shallow stop. The head also has tight lips, a black nose and a long, robust muzzle. The Canaan Dog has beautiful almond-shaped eyes that are slightly oblique and dark brown in color. The ears are short, erect, broad and set low. All the beauty of the Canaan Dog lies in its coat. It has short to medium hair without ever being long. This coat must have a hard texture and be tight. The standard accepts white, sable, variegated or black coats.

History of the breed Canaan Dog

Originally from Israel, the Canaan Dog's ancestors are the wild dogs of the Near East. It is a particularly old breed since it is mentioned in the biblical stories dating back to 3000 years BC. At that time it was called Kalef K'naan which meant Dog of Canaan. The animal was mainly used for defense and guarding homes and livestock. However, it was not until the 1940s that the first serious breeding of this breed appeared. The initiative was taken by Rudolphina Menzel. The recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) will be itself late since it will be done only on November 23, 1966.

Living conditions and behavior of the Canaan Dog

The Canaan Dog is a primitive animal with exceptional guarding skills. Always on the alert, he will not let anyone enter the house without giving the alarm. Despite its intransigence regarding its territory, this dog does not show aggression. It is very attached to its owners and develops docility. Living with families with children is perfectly feasible. But so that the cohabitation is not chaotic, it is essential to educate the animal with firmness, respect and flexibility. Since it is a native dog, it has difficulty in following orders.

Diet and main health problems of the Canaan Dog

A positive point for owners, the Canaan Dog's hardiness prevents it from developing serious genetic diseases. Nevertheless, it is advisable to monitor the luxation of the patella and hip dysplasia. As far as his diet is concerned, he does not need any specific food. As long as it is adapted to his physical activities, his health, his weight and his age, it will be enough.

Top 10 short-haired dog breeds

Shorthair dogs are not sought after for the softness of their coat. It also doesn't mean that they shed less than other dogs. Here is a top 10 list of shorthair breeds to give you some pointers.

1- The Jack Russell

This small dog (no more than 30 cm at the withers) belongs to the terrier family. Its name comes from an English pastor living in the 19th century who was passionate about hunting foxes and started breeding these dogs, which are very well suited to hunting hounds. This breed is also appreciated by riders because it runs fast and can follow a horse at a gallop.

Its coat is smooth, rough or both mixed. Note that the rough-coated Jack Russel sheds much less than the others, which does not prevent it from being maintained regularly. The smooth-haired Jack Russel sheds throughout the year.

2- The Boxer

This medium-sized dog (no more than 64 cm at the withers) belongs to the molosser family. Rather easy to train, this breed of dog is perfect for being around children. However, depending on the individual, it may present behavioral defects (aggressiveness, excessive fear...), so it is advisable to call in a professional to train it, especially since it is an animal with strong muscles that has long been used for fighting.

This dog sheds a lot, which can be reduced by brushing twice a week, followed by a shine. Despite its short coat, the Boxer is able to sleep outside in a shelter during the winter.

3- The Dalmatian

This medium-sized dog (no more than 60 cm at the withers) comes from a region in Croatia. Its hair is short, dense and fine, slightly shiny.

As early as the 18th century, it accompanied American firemen to bark and ward off people from passing. It then gained great popularity following the cartoon of Walt Disney.

The Dalmatian is not an indoor dog: it is athletic and gets good results in competitions such as agility or rhythmic obedience.

4- The American Staffordshire Terrier

This medium-sized dog (no more than 48 cm at the withers) belongs to the terrier family. Its hair is short, tight, and hard to the touch.

It is towards the end of the 19th century, that the American Staffordshire Terrier becomes very appreciated, not any more for its qualities related to the combat, but for its relational qualities, like dog of company. Today, in Great Britain, these dogs are named "nanny dogs", and it is not ironic! They are indeed particularly affectionate towards children. They are also truly loyal to their master. In the days when they were used in fights, their master could pull them out at any time without being bitten, despite the tension in which the animal could be.

5- The Boston Terrier

This medium-sized dog (no more than 43 cm at the withers) belongs to the family of molosses. It is of American origin. It was so popular in the United States in the 1920s that it represented 20 to 30% of the dogs shown in competitions. The Boston Terrier is easy to train because he likes to learn. They are one of the highest jumping dogs.

Its coat is short, smooth, shiny and fine and requires very little maintenance.

6- The Dachshund

This small dog (no more than 27 cm at the withers) belongs to the terrier family. It is a very versatile hunting dog, used to lift game or search for wounded game. It can also enter burrows to dislodge game. It is a dog that needs exercise and must be taken out several times a day.

The Dachshund comes in three sizes: Dachshund, Miniature Dachshund and Rabbit Hunting Dachshund. Besides the short-haired variety, there are two other varieties: wire-haired and long-haired.

Its small size does not make it a weak character: it is cunning, it has a pronounced dominant side which encourages it to want to impose itself to its master. It thus needs a tightened education.

7- The Basset Hound

This small dog (no more than 38 cm at the withers) is the heaviest of the bassets. Its morphology and its power make it a working dog with a great endurance. Its coat is smooth, short and tight, without being too fine, and does not require any particular maintenance. However, it needs regular cleaning of the ears and eyes.

It is a hunting dog that has a very good sense of smell, which is why, in the United States, the Basset Hound is used as a sniffer dog in the police or as a detector dog by companies treating insects.

Some individuals have a temperament that causes them to follow scents easily and to wander off without responding to the owner's calls. This basset hound also has a tendency to howl when it senses major changes, whines for attention and barks for food or petting. It is a dog that can be a burden on a daily basis if it is not well behaved.

8- The Beagle

This medium-sized dog (no more than 41 cm at the withers) is very popular in France. Intelligent, lively but gentle, it is a good playmate for children.

Its very short and dense coat gives it a great resistance to bad weather conditions. Appreciated by hunters for its agility, its speed and its exceptional sense of smell, it was, in the 19th century in Great Britain, very much used for hunting hares.

Of a stubborn temperament, the Beagle is however difficult to train, especially since it has a tendency to run away and, very greedy, it easily and insistently asks for its food if it is not rid of this behavior very young.

9- The Weimaraner

This large dog (no more than 63 cm at the withers) is a pointing dog of German origin, very athletic and needs to move all the time.

Its short coat reveals an athletic anatomy. Its gray color makes it a unique and very elegant animal that was the muse of the photographer William Wegman. The Weimaraner only needs to be brushed once a week, but a little more during the moulting period.

10- The Dobermann

This large dog (no more than 72 cm at the withers) takes its name from the man who created the breed. The story is not certain, but it would be a tax collector who needed courageous and combative, fast and agile defense dogs to defend the large sums of money he had to move.

The Dobermann has a short, rough, tight, smooth and close coat, without undercoat, which is why it cannot stand the cold. Tail and ears are usually cropped, except in Europe where the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals prohibits it.

Endowed with a strong character but emotionally fragile, he is very devoted to his master, who must be stable and composed.

Anemia in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment

Anemia in dogs needs to be treated by a veterinarian because if left untreated, it can be life threatening. This blood disease has different origins. Certain symptoms should raise a red flag, which is why it is important to know the main signs of canine anemia, which can be regenerative or non-regenerative. Let's take stock.

Anemia: a serious blood disease

Anemia leads to poor oxygenation of tissues, muscles and organs due to a decrease in the number of red blood cells. As a result, the level of hemoglobin, the protein that gives red blood cells their red color and whose role is to bind oxygen, drops.

The two types of anemia in dogs

There are two types of anemia in dogs: regenerative anemia and non-regenerative anemia, the causes of which vary greatly.

Regenerative anemia

It is also called hemolytic anemia. It may be due to heavy bleeding from pathological or accidental causes, which are external causes, or it may be caused by a malformation that reduces the longevity of red blood cells. Regenerative anemia is caused by hemolysis - a term used to describe the destruction of a large number of red blood cells.

The main causes of hemolytic anemia are:
  • Ulcer of the intestine,
  • Hemorrhage,
  • Tumor,
  • Autoimmune disease,
  • Poisoning of the dog by a pesticide or following the ingestion of a toxic food such as onion for example,
  • Prostatitis,
  • A coagulation defect,
  • A parasitosis.

Non-regenerative anemia

This central anemia is caused by an abnormality in the bone marrow that results in insufficient production of red blood cells. As a result, not all red blood cells are replaced at the end of life. Bone marrow dysfunction can be caused by:
  • A bone marrow tumor,
  • Cobalamin (vitamin B12), copper or iron deficiency, usually caused by a poor diet,
  • High levels of estrogen in the blood for a long period of time,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Canine ehrlichiosis,
  • Parvovirus.
In some cases, a vaccine or a drug treatment can be the cause of non-regenerative anemia in dogs.

Anemia in dogs: symptoms

Both forms of canine anemia have similar manifestations. A dog with anemia may have one or more of the following symptoms.
  • A loss of appetite,
  • A loss of weight,
  • A lack of color in the mucous membranes, which may even become white,
  • A great fatigue,
  • Palpitations,
  • Tachycardia,
  • A change in respiratory rate (slowing down or speeding up).
These symptoms are coupled with those due to the cause of the anemia itself. For example, there may be vomiting, diarrhea, or even abundant drooling if the dog has been poisoned. Of course, if there is any doubt, the veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Dog anemia: treatment

The first step in treating anemia is to treat the problem that caused it. The veterinarian must therefore diagnose the cause of the anemia, regardless of its form. Once an underlying disease has been identified, an appropriate treatment plan is put in place. An antiparasitic treatment is necessary if the anemia is the result of an infestation, a food rebalancing through a reinforced diet is recommended if the anemia is due to a nutritional deficiency, etc. If a tumor is the cause of this blood disease, the tumor must of course be treated.

At the same time, the veterinarian must treat the dog to alleviate the symptoms of the anemia. Of course, the decision is made on a case-by-case basis. A blood transfusion may be necessary to better oxygenate the dog's organs.

In order to save the dog's life, the owner must react as soon as possible when he detects symptoms that make anemia suspicious. It is essential that this blood disease be diagnosed as early as possible. In this way, a quicker recovery of the animal can be hoped for.

The Russkiy Toy, miniature dog breed

The name alone suggests the physical characteristics of this dog. The Russkiy Toy is a miniature breed often confused with the Chihuahua because of its size. This breed will fascinate you by its incredible history.

Characteristics of the Russkiy Toy

The Russkiy Toy is the ultimate companion dog and is distinguished by its small size. They have long, slender legs and limbs and well-defined muscles. Its lightness, dynamism and liveliness give it a beautiful appearance. The animal measures on average between 20 and 28 cm and weighs from 1 to 3 kg. Physically, it looks like a Chihuahua. It develops a head proportional to the body with a high skull, without being excessively wide, a well accentuated stop, a pointed and dry muzzle, a black and small nose as well as dry and fine lips. The eyes stand out from the rest of the body, because they are relatively large. Of round form, they are distinguished in addition to their prominence by their dark color and their good distance. As for the ears, they are thin, large, erect and set high. This little Russian dog, as it is also called, has a long or short and smooth coat. The coat can be brown and tan, black and tan or blue and tan. It can also have brown tones. Only spotted coats are forbidden by the standard.

History of the Russkiy Toy breed

The Russkiy Toy has a fascinating history that began in the 20th century. At that time, its ancestor the English Toy Terrier was considered a royal breed and was present in the Russian court. Adulated and pampered by the ladies of the nobility, this dog had a future until the advent of the October revolution. During this event, which sounded the death knell of the imperial regime, all the symbols of royalty were decimated, including the Little Russian Dogs. Fortunately, from the 50's, some passionate breeders decided to revive the breed. But the subjects obtained had nothing to do with the English Toy Terrier. It is in this way that the Russkiy Toy appears. This last one had difficulty to be recognized at the international level, because it will be necessary to wait until 2006 so that it is accepted by the FCI (Fédération cynologique internationale).

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Russkiy Toy

The Little Russian Dog is the perfect pet, already because of its small size. It is "portable" and you can take it everywhere, even during your vacations. It is also a mischievous animal, lively but knows how to remain wise and quiet when it is necessary. Sociable and always in a good mood, he will get along wonderfully with children. Some rules are nevertheless necessary. Excessive handling should be avoided to avoid hurting the animal.

Feeding and main health problems of the Russkiy Toy

Despite its small size, the Russkiy Toy is a robust and strong dog. However, it is necessary to watch for the appearance of skin problems or the development of pro-alveolitis, which manifests itself by a forward tilt of the incisors.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel, an energetic and cheerful dog

Considered a real joyful dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is the best companion for families looking to bring joy into their homes. They're especially friendly and have a lot of energy to spare.

Characteristics of the Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel exudes good humor and friendliness in its physical appearance alone. They have a harmonious build with a compact body and good musculature. Of medium size, the dog measures between 46 and 48 cm for a weight going from 16 to 21 kg according to the sex, the size and the age. They are best known for their head, which is very similar to that of the Brittany Spaniel. The skull is correctly proportioned, the stop is accentuated and the nostril is developed while displaying a dark flesh color. The eyes are remarkable with their soft hazel color that expresses kindness and gentleness. And what to say about the ears whose shape reminds that of a vine leaf. Falling, fringed and of small dimensions, they are attached low and of hanging style. Let's not forget to mention the majestic coat of the Welsh Springer Spaniel. The coat is long, flat, silky and dense. It must be bright red and white as required by the standard.

History of the Welsh Springer Spaniel breed

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a dog of high lineage that comes straight from Wales and would have existed long before the 14th century. During the Renaissance period, its ancestors were used to accompany hunters who used falcons or bows. Originally, all Spaniels were considered Cocker Spaniels or Cockers. Later, these famous Spaniels will be called English springer Spaniels. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that English Coockers, English and Welsh Springer Spaniels were seen as breeds in their own right. Today, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is relatively rare.

Living requirements and behavior of the Welsh Springer Spaniel

Although originally used as a hunting dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is a family dog par excellence. It is a good-natured dog. Devoid of any form of aggression, it is at the same time sociable, affectionate, friendly and always in a good mood. Thanks to its soft temperament, it maintains a fusional relationship with the children. However, to be happy, he needs to live in the open air in the countryside. Being cooped up in an apartment is not the ideal environment for a hunting dog. He also needs a good education from a young age, especially in terms of socialization. This dog has for example a tendency to be shy towards strangers. It does not appreciate repetitive commands, hence the importance of varying games, pleasures and commands to obtain good results.

Diet and main health problems of the Welsh Springer Spaniel

The Welsh Springer Spaniel does not show any signs of specific diseases. It is a robust breed that nevertheless needs a good quality, balanced diet to stay in shape. The only health concern is the appearance of ear infections.

What is a veterinary behaviorist? Is it covered by dog insurance?

A dog with behavioral problems needs to be treated by an animal behaviorist. But this represents a very high cost. It is therefore better to have anticipated this by taking out a health insurance policy for pets. Be careful, however, because the coverage is only possible if you go to a behaviorist veterinarian and not to a dog trainer. Let's take stock of this recognized profession and what are the conditions for his acts to be covered by the health insurance of his dog.

Behaviorist veterinarian: a highly qualified specialist

The behaviorist veterinarian is a specialist in veterinary behavioral medicine. To be able to practice his profession, he has followed long studies in order to obtain a diploma recognized by the state since 1998. This course of study takes at least 9 years, 7 years to become a veterinarian and 2 years to specialize. Thus, this Doctor of Medicine, expert in animal behavior, specialized in animal ethology. He or she has a great knowledge of neuroscience and all the necessary skills to study the behavioral problems of a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot, a donkey, a cow, etc.

The veterinary behaviorist should not be confused with the dog trainer whose profession is not sanctioned by a state diploma.

What does the job of a veterinary behaviourist consist of?

The veterinary behaviorist has different missions, namely :
  • To detect a behavioral disorder in an animal and confirm its diagnosis,
  • To set up a protocol of care. He is authorized to prescribe :
  • drugs, psychotropic substances and any type of treatment since he has a great knowledge of the pharmacopoeia,
  • Behavioral therapy adapted to each case,
  • simple training sessions.
  • To ensure the follow-up of the treated animal,
  • Evaluate precisely the level of dangerousness that the dog or any other animal may present.
The veterinary behaviourist also intervenes as a privileged interlocutor in many fields, among which :
  • The insertion of animals in the urban environment,
  • Breeding,
  • Animal education: this specialist can organize educational meetings between several owners and their pets, so that each one integrates the rules of conduct to be respected and that all members of the group can share their experiences.
  • Prevention of behavioral problems.
You can consult this specialist when you have just welcomed an animal in your home to be advised on the rules of education, socialization, the means to establish a harmonious relationship between the master, his family and the animal. But a consultation can be essential at any time, whatever the age of your pet, because it can present behavioral problems for various reasons, for example when it undergoes hormonal changes, when a baby arrives in the home, in case of illness or simply because it gets older...

Does a mutual insurance company reimburse the acts of a veterinarian behaviorist ?

As soon as the animal is insured with a mutual health insurance, the expenses incurred by its owner for a follow-up with a veterinary behaviorist are reimbursed. Depending on the plan the pet owner has subscribed to, this reimbursement can be either full or partial. The reimbursement is possible because this professional has a state diploma, which is not the case for the dog trainer whose intervention does not give rise to any reimbursement.

It is important to understand that insuring your dog (or any other pet) with a specific health insurance is essential to take care of your little companion, from his youngest age until the end of his life. This allows you to be reimbursed for veterinary procedures following an accident, an illness or for expenses incurred by a behaviorist veterinarian.

In this regard, it is important to know that the cost of a consultation with this specialist generally varies from 90 to 160 €. The bill can rise considerably when your dog, cat or other small companion has serious behavioral problems. In order for the cost of the consultation not to affect the budget of the owner, it is better that the latter takes precautions to be well reimbursed.

Before signing a dog health insurance contract, you should take the time to read the general conditions, the exclusions... Some companies only cover the services of a behaviorist veterinarian if the behavioral problems are linked to a physical pathology.

Albino dog : what are the particularities ?

Albinism can affect humans and animals. This disease is quite rare in canids. The albino dog can not be registered in the French Book of Origins (LOF). It presents some particularities that we will discuss here. Let's also see if albinism has an impact on the health of the dog.

What is an albino dog ?

Albinism in dogs, as in any animal or in humans for that matter, is manifested by a deficient production of melanin. This is a pigment that gives hair, eyes and skin their color. This is the reason why the albino dog is white. This condition is aggravated by daylight and is called photo-genodermatosis.

Albinism is an inherited genetic disease. The albino dog has automatically received a carrier gene from his father and one from his mother. On the other hand, it cannot be albino if it receives only one copy of this gene. Some dog breeds are more prone to albinism. This is the case for light-colored breeds, but it does not mean that dark-colored breeds cannot be affected by albinism. It should also be noted that a dog with white or cream fur is not an albino dog... Similarly, if he is white and his eyes are dark, he is not affected by albinism.

Physical characteristics of the albino dog

There is a strong chance that a dog is albino if it presents the following specificities.
  • A completely white coat, without spots, streaks or dark spots...
  • The eyelids as well as the "third eyelid" or nictitating membrane, the skin and the lashes are also depigmented.
  • A thinning of the iris and thus an abnormal shape of the pupil (we speak of dyscoria). Thus, the eyes take on a blue or reddish color. Some albino dogs have eyes of several colors, i.e. heterochromatic.

Is the health of the albino dog fragile?

The albino dog is exposed to different health problems. He must therefore be regularly monitored by the veterinarian from a very young age. It is also necessary that his master takes care daily to protect him from the sun because of the absence of pigmentation, the animal is predisposed to the risks of cutaneous melanomas or cancers of the skin as well as to the risks of ocular melanomas.

Albinism also favors :
  • The disorders of the nervous system,
  • Deafness,
  • Bilateral ocular disorders,
  • Photophobia, that is to say that the dog is embarrassed when he is exposed to full light.
It is very important to consult a veterinarian so that albinism can be diagnosed.

The prognosis of albinism is good, although there is no treatment for it. The care of the animal is based on its protection. It should not be exposed to full light. On the other hand, if it presents a pathology linked to albinism such as a melanoma for example, it is obviously fundamental that a care protocol can be set up by the veterinarian. Finally, if albinism cannot be cured, there is a solution to prevent it: do not breed a dog and a bitch if they are both albino.

Should I wash my dog? What precautions should I take?

As he gets dirty quickly, especially if he plays outside, the dog needs to be washed regularly. This is essential not only for reasons of hygiene but also for health reasons. Precautions should be taken at bath time in order to carry out this washing mission.

Why and how often should I bathe my dog?

Bathing serves a number of purposes. Hygiene is obviously the main reason. Washing allows the removal of dust, foreign bodies and other dirt that stick to the hair. Bathing also has a therapeutic purpose since it helps to calm itching, eliminate crusts, avoid scales and other parasites.

In principle, a dog should be bathed as soon as it is dirty. However, bathing too frequently can make him weak and lead to certain diseases such as the flu. Repeated baths also cause the elimination of sebum from the skin, which can lead to skin diseases. Therefore, it is preferable to do it once a month for dogs older than two months. It is from this age that the definitive hair of the animal appears.

Which dog shampoo should I use?

First thing to know: never use shampoos for humans on animals because the pH of their skin is much less acid than ours. The ideal is to consult a veterinarian to choose the right product. Depending on the breed and possible skin problems, the shampoo will not be the same. Animals with fragile skin should use a hypoallergenic shampoo. Dogs with black fur can use shampoos with henna and aloe vera, which help to keep their coat shiny and preserve its color. White-haired dogs that can yellow over time should use a special treatment with chamomile extract, for example, or a lightener. Protein shampoos, insect repellents, anti-parasite or anti-itch shampoos are also available on the market to solve each specific problem faced by different dogs. In absolute terms, they should be gentle and cleansing with a pH between 5.5 and 7.2, which is more in line with that of the dog.

The steps of the bath

Before starting the bath, it is important to untangle and cut the hair. It is preferable to protect the ears by inserting absorbent cotton because this part is very fragile and risks of pain can occur, in particular otitis. Start by wetting the coat and then apply shampoo. Rub gently and rinse. Apply shampoo a second time, this time leaving it on for a few minutes. Rinse afterwards. In order to give your dog a very silky coat, the use of a conditioner is also recommended. Finish by drying the coat in a dryer or with a towel if the animal is not used to or does not appreciate the heat of the dryer.

If the dog is agitated, try to calm him down by talking to him in a soft voice, or even whispering. Offering him a treat at the end of the bath will also help motivate him to stay calm during the next bath.

How do you know if your dog is happy?

Since dogs do not have human feelings, talking about their happiness or unhappiness is anthropomorphic. Among dogs, we rather talk about "well-being". In order to make sure that your pet is feeling well, all you have to do is pay attention to a few evocative signs.

Happy dog: the signs that don't deceive

The first sure sign is that he's wagging his tail all the time. Beyond this sign, some indicators give you a general idea of your pet's state of well-being, starting with his appetite. We know that dogs are greedy by nature. Unless he develops a physical or psychological disorder, he won't leave any crumbs in his bowl.

A happy dog is also very active. He loves to play with family members or other animals. He never balks at the idea of going for a walk. If you notice a drop in energy in this area, you may need to be concerned. In order to recover all the energy he expends daily, the animal must also sleep a lot: 16 hours in adults and more than 20 hours in puppies.

Another criterion that reflects the state of health of the animal is its coat, which must be very beautiful. Excessive hair loss is a sign of problems, as is vomiting or diarrhea. Behavioral problems are another alarming indicator. The dog becomes aggressive, barks incessantly and develops abnormal behavior.

Tips and tricks to ensure your pet's well-being

Health problems are one of the main factors in an animal's well-being. A few precautions should be taken to ensure the happiness of your four-legged friend. First of all, give your pet a good diet that covers its essential needs. You can alternate between dog food and homemade food for variety. A check-up at the veterinarian's office at least once a year is also highly recommended to make sure that everything is going well. Don't neglect basic care such as anti-parasite treatment or grooming as well as vaccinations.

On a daily basis, there are other things you can do to keep your dog happy. Daily walks are a priority, especially if you live in an urban environment or apartment. Take him out morning, noon and night for 20 minutes per walk. Once a week, make arrangements to take your dog to a park, forest or other special place so he can romp and exercise. Also invest in toys that you can put at his disposal all the time. Take the time to play with him because it's an unavoidable sign of affection for him.

If possible, schedule dog training sessions to strengthen the bond between you. Taking up a dog sport is also a great idea. Since your pet has energy to spare, he'll be happy with physical activities coupled with dog training.

Group 10 dogs: sighthounds, what are the particularities of these dogs?

Group 10 includes 13 dog breeds, validated by the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). All of them are ancient breeds of sight-hunting dogs with a disconcerting speed, it should be noted that the term sighthound comes from hare. These dogs have a very particular morphology. They are divided into 3 sections and classified according to the type of coat, except for some primitive or related sighthounds which are integrated into group 5. Here is the constitution of group 10 and the main specificities of these sighthounds.

First section of group 10 : Longhaired or fringed sighthounds

Section 1 has 3 dog breeds.
  • Borzoi (Russian hunting sighthound),
  • Afghan Greyhound,
  • Saluki:
    • Fringed-haired,
    • Shorthair.

Second section of group 10: Wirehaired Sighthounds

Only 2 dog breeds make up this second section.
  • Irish wolfhound,
  • Scottish Deerhound.

Third section of group 10: Shorthaired Sighthounds

There are 8 dog breeds in the 3rd and last section of group 10.
  • Polish Greyhound,
  • Hungarian Greyhound,
  • Spanish Greyhound,
  • Sloughi,
  • Azawakh,
  • Whippet,
  • Greyhound,
  • Italian Sighthound (Small Italian Sighthound).

Main physical characteristics of group 10 dogs

These dogs of the graioid type (the common term being sighthound) have a common anatomical characteristic, namely a dolichocephalic head. This means that the width of the head does not exceed 50% of its length. However, there are two exceptions due to their small size: the Italian Sighthound and the Dwarf Sighthound.

The phenotype of sighthounds is peculiar. In addition to their dolichocephalic head, they are long-limbed dogs. They are recognizable by their effaced stop, their more or less convex muzzle and forehead. We speak of a convex profile. Their neck is long and thin, their legs slender, their body tapered whose line strangely recalls that of the cheetah and some other felines. This aerodynamic shape and the lightness of these canines are characteristics that allow them to be classified among the fastest dogs.

Character of Group 10 Sighthounds

The greyhound seduces many people with its haughty, elegant appearance. Distrustful of strangers, Greyhounds are quite protective of their territory. They can be relied upon to guard a property. In the vast majority of cases, group 10 dogs are pleasant companions. They get along well with calm children of at least 7 years of age, the younger ones being generally too turbulent. Also, it is best to avoid adopting a Greyhound when there are very young children in the family.

They are real athletes who love to exercise. It is therefore preferable to have a garden or to enjoy long daily outings. However, they appreciate very much to be able to settle on an armchair or a sofa where they are able to spend several hours sleeping.

Underneath their reserved, sometimes even shy appearance, Greyhounds are quite playful. It is a good companion for humans, but also for pets, as long as it has been socialized at a young age. This is necessary for any dog breed anyway: the integration of a dog into any social network (human or animal) must start as early as possible.

The Greyhound is intelligent, loyal and very obedient. His education - as long as it is done consistently and gently - does not pose any particular problem. We are even quite surprised to see how quickly the dogs of group 10 obey their master, without blinking, at a finger's eye level. The main thing is to never rush a Greyhound because it is a sensitive dog.