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The Portuguese Mountain Dog, a dog with a strong personality

The Portuguese Mountain Dog or Serra da Estrela Dog is a very old breed from the Iberian Peninsula. It was first and foremost a working animal before becoming the family companion it is today. It is a gentle dog, enthusiastic and good guardian, but needs an experienced master because of its strong personality and imposing build.

Characteristics of the Portuguese Mountain Dog

The Portuguese Mountain Dog, also known as the Serra da Estrela dog, is an imposing animal with harmonious proportions and a rustic, yet elegant style. Females measure between 62 and 65 cm and weigh between 30 and 40 kg, while males measure between 65 and 73 cm and weigh between 40 and 50 kg. This mastiff type is recognizable by its massive, strong and long head with a convex skull and a slightly marked stop, all carried by a strong and short neck with a discreet tie. The dog has a long and developed jaw and wears a dark mask. The eyes are oval shaped, with amber shades and are quite small. They express a look combining intelligence and calm. On their side, the ears are of triangular form, all in smoothness and also of small dimensions. The dog has a short coat, which is very rare, or a long coat. The texture is said to be goat hair and the hair must be dense. The coat is wolf-gray, self-colored (gray, fawn or yellow) or brindle.

History of the Portuguese Mountain Dog

The origins of the Serra da Estrela dog are relatively unclear. However, it is known that it comes from the eponymous mountainous regions on the Iberian Peninsula. It is believed to be a cross between local sheepdogs and Asian molosses. The Portuguese Mountain Dog has always been used to protect farms and herds from vandals and wolves. Its strength has also allowed it to be used as a draught dog. In Portugal, this breed enjoys a high level of popularity and ranks first in terms of registrations in the breeding register. In France, it is less known.

Living conditions and behavior of the Portuguese Mountain Dog

The Portuguese Mountain Dog is a breed that is both docile and very attached to its owners. This doggie is playful with children. Nevertheless, as it has an imposing size, the sessions of games will systematically be carried out under the supervision of an adult. The Portuguese Mountain Dog is best known as a guard dog because of its natural distrust of strangers. It will not hesitate to protect its own at the risk of its life. As for its education, it must be started early and be taken care of by an experienced master, because the Portuguese Mountain Dog tends to be dominant and stubborn although it is a good listener.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Portuguese Mountain Dog

Like all large dogs, the Portuguese Mountain Dog is unfortunately not spared from hip dysplasia. A rigorous follow-up with the veterinarian is necessary to avoid the appearance of the disease.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, a short-legged terrier dog

This short-legged terrier is a very tenacious hunting dog that also plays a wonderful role as a companion dog. Sometimes calm, sometimes feisty, one thing is certain: the Dandie Dinmont Terrier knows how to make himself respected despite his small size.

Characteristics of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a short-legged terrier that has the silhouette of a basset hound due to its long body and slightly curved back. It is small in size, measuring between 20 and 28 cm at the withers and weighing between 8 and 11 kg. It is easily recognized by its head with a tuft of hair. The skull is wide and tapers down to the eyes. The animal has a bulging forehead, a black nose and a triangular muzzle that highlights round and lively eyes. The eyes are wide apart, have an intense hazel color and are large without being bulging. The ears are set back and drooping. They are also well spread out between them. As for its coat, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a rather harsh and rough coat on top and a softer undercoat. The coat is pepper or mustard. The dog has a creamy white or silvery white topcoat.

History of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier breed

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier appeared in Scotland around the 18th century. This breed belonging to the Terrier family was bred by the nomadic people of the Borders region and is believed to be a cross between the Otterhound and the Terriers. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was very popular in tracking pests, which it pursues into their burrows. Weasels, rabbits, rats and other weasels are among its favorite prey. Small anecdote: this dog owes its name to a famous character in Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering. The book appeared in 1814 and tells the story of a Dandie called Dinmont who bred dogs resembling the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Today, the breed is rare and confidential so it is subject to theft.

Living conditions and behavior of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a lively, good-natured and relatively independent breed. It is a good family dog, friendly and playful, which makes the happiness of children. It is possible to envisage a cohabitation with other animals, but beware of the fights, because in spite of its small size, this dog is not afraid to measure itself with bigger than him. He needs a firm education from his youngest age, because he tends to make the strong head and to test the limits of his master. The advantage of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is that it can live in the city or in the country. It is a good watchdog to give the alarm.

Diet and main health problems of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The health of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is to be monitored because of the possible appearance of diseases such as luxation of the kneecap, herniated disc, hip dysplasia or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease). It is advisable to take out a health insurance policy for dogs that reimburses veterinary expenses.

Uterine cyst in female dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment

Uterine cysts can appear in female dogs, usually not spayed. They require urgent treatment. They can be the cause of a pyometra, which is an accumulation of pus in the uterus. If left untreated, the consequences can be serious. Let's take a look at this inflammation of the uterus in the female dog and take it very seriously.

Uterine cyst at the origin of pyometra: symptoms that should alert

A hormonal disease, the glandulocystic hyperplasia of the uterus, can be deplored in many female dogs. It occurs as a result of the development of several cysts and a thickening of the uterine lining called the endometrium. Complications are serious as the disease progresses, especially if treatment is not started early enough.

Pyometra is an inflammation of the uterus that can in some cases be due to the evolution of glandular cystic hyperplasia. Older and middle-aged unspayed female dogs are more prone to pyometra, but this uterine inflammation can also develop in young female dogs. In this case, it is rather favored by a hormonal treatment that can be administered :
  • either to interrupt a gestation in progress: the female dog receives an injection of estrogens,
  • or to postpone the heat period.
The pyometra appears quite quickly after the end of the treatment.

This uterine inflammation is favored by cysts appearing on the endometrium. They form pockets containing pus. The uterus is then more vulnerable to pathogenic bacteria that are likely to colonize it, especially during periods of heat during which the female loses blood. Note that uterine cysts are not the only cause of pyometra.

The symptoms that should alert the owner are the following:
  • The vulva is swollen,
  • Vulvar discharge is more or less important,
  • The female dog may appear weakened,
  • The males are attracted to the female when she is not in heat.

Pyometra: treatment

It is important not to wait to consult a doctor so that the pathogenic bacteria are completely eliminated. The accumulation of pus in the uterus warrants urgent care. When all the pus is removed, the veterinarian will administer a long-term antibiotic treatment to cure the bacterial infection. But in many cases, the female dog is so weakened that even intensive treatment cannot save her life.

The only effective way to treat a female dog with pyometra is surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus. The hospital stay lasts at least 48 hours. However, it can be prolonged in case of peritonitis or bleeding, which are possible complications.

After an ovariectomy, it is common to notice side effects, such as an increase in appetite, weight gain, slight incontinence in one out of ten females, which manifests itself as urine leakage, and a change in the quality of the coat, which is more visible in long-haired breeds.

Uterine cyst and inflammation: dog breeds most at risk for pyometra

Female dogs that are more frequently susceptible to pyometra belong to the following dog breeds:
  • Golden Retriever,
  • Rottweiler,
  • English Cocker Spaniel,
  • Long-haired Collie,
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
But this does not mean that other breeds are completely protected against this purulent inflammation of the uterus.

To prevent a uterine cyst from degenerating, it is very important to visit the veterinarian on a regular basis to have the animal checked. At the same time, it is recommended to have your female dog spayed as soon as possible. Sterilization is a surgical procedure that is very frequently performed to preserve the health of your pet. Moreover, it can be covered by mutual health insurance companies for pets.

How to breed a female dog?

For the breeding of pedigree dogs, the conditions should preferably be in writing, agreed upon by the owner of the stallion and the owner of the bitch, stallion and bitch being the appropriate terms for the breeding male and the breeding bitch respectively. In the majority of cases, the interested parties refer to article 2 of the International Breeding Rules, even if in this field of the reproduction of purebred dogs, it is admitted that the owners of the dogs are free to organize the mating of the bitch without formalism, in a consensual way. Let's take stock of the situation and see what precautions should be taken by the two owners and breeders before the mating of the dog and the female dog.

Breeding a female dog: taking the necessary precautions

For both the owner of the bitch and the owner of the male, it is highly recommended to anticipate the event by making sure that all the following points are true.

Advice to the owner of the female dog (reproductive breed)

  • He is not allowed to have his female dog bred by several stallions during the same heat period.
  • Check that the stallion :
    • Is compatible with the origins of the bitch,
    • Is registered in the LOF on a permanent basis if he is French or if he comes from a foreign country that he is registered in a herd book recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale),
    • Is declared fit for reproduction,
    • Has been screened and found free of any hereditary defect.
  • Make sure that the owner of the breeding dog (stud dog) :
    • Is of legal age,
    • Holds the animal on a regular basis. It may happen that a stallion is co-owned. In this case, the third parties and/or beneficiaries must give their consent,
    • Has the pedigree of the dog, which proves that the stallion has been confirmed.
  • Have proof, before mating, that the stallion is the one agreed upon by the two owners. Note that nothing prohibits the mating by another stallion, provided that the owner of the bitch is informed and has clearly indicated his agreement.

Advice to the owner of the stallion (breeding dog)

  • The owner must read the entire stud certificate before signing it, as it is binding. It is therefore necessary to verify beforehand that all the indications concerning the bitch appear formally as well as the owner's coordinates. Be careful, signing a blank certificate of service is totally prohibited and is liable to disciplinary action.
  • It is strongly recommended to require that the owner of the female dog be constantly present and consequently to refuse any request to take custody of the bitch to be mated, even if only for a short time. This precaution makes it possible to avoid the responsibility of an accidental mating which could be the cause of an affiliation error, which could lead to the payment of high damages if a complaint were lodged by the buyers of the puppies born from this mating.
  • He must take the precaution of signing two copies of the mating certificate, as a photocopy cannot be used as proof in case of need.

Mating between stallion and bitch: informal agreement between owners

Since mating is understood to be the voluntary intervention of the owners of the male and female to allow this biological act to take place and result in a pregnancy, the rules are agreed upon. However, there are not really precise conditions to draw up this type of agreement which is thus completely informal since the French law does not impose anything to the owners of the dogs concerned. The organization of the mating can therefore be freely organized as long as the two owners manage to find a common ground and that this is recorded if possible.

It should be noted that the FCI issues in its article 2 of the International Breeding Rules some recommendations. It is stipulated that the agreement between the owner of the stallion and the owner of the brood mare can be verbal or written, free of charge or for a fee, but that it must clearly define at least the financial conditions related to the mating if it has been decided by both parties. This article advises to put the conditions in writing so that they can be easily invoked if necessary.

It is also important to consider the possibility of an unsuccessful mating leaving an empty pen. It can be agreed that the owner of the stallion will reimburse the amount of money he has received or will grant a second mating (free of charge, of course).

On the other hand, each of the two parties must refer to the International Breeding Regulations (which is however a matter of private international law) specifying the conditions of registration of the litter in the LOF (French Book of Origins) and reminds us that adherence to the regulations of the SCC (Société Centrale Canine) and of the FCI is implicit for the owner of the litter. The latter must complete a declaration of mating, a form that can be downloaded, sign it and have it signed by the owner of the stallion. This is of course if the dog and the female dog do not belong to the same person.

In the case of a mating involving a dog and a female dog whose owners do not reside in the same country, it is agreed that the declarative formalities fall to the owner of the female dog. Thus, if he resides in France, it is up to him to take care of the declaration of the puppies to the LOF, the female dog being able to be visited on the place indicated on the declaration and the certificate of mating. If he lives in another country, the local regulations will apply.

Finally, if artificial insemination is to be performed, all costs involved should be borne by the owner of the female dog, and it is preferable to have this in writing.

How much does it cost to breed a female dog?

Although there is no requirement that a fee be charged for the breeding of a purebred female dog, the owner of the female dog will usually pay a fee to the owner of the breeding male. As stated earlier, it is in the interest of both parties that this condition be clearly stated in the agreement. In fact, a mating is considered to be free of charge if no commitment has been signed by both owners beforehand.

Nothing obliges the breeder of the bitch to give a puppy born from this mating free of charge - as compensation for example - to the other party. Moreover, the other party has no right to the puppies in the litter. However, if such an agreement were to be made, the terms should be drafted in advance. Similarly, domestic law does not require the payment of any sum of money or any type of consideration to the breeder of the stallion since a mating can be decided without compensation of any kind. Similarly, it is not tolerated that the female dog is the subject of a retention as a pledge.

The Spanish Mastiff, rustic and imposing dog

Hardy dog, the Spanish Mastiff is a colossus which attracts the attention by its imposing size. A good pet, he is an efficient guard dog with a dissuasive aspect that protects his family with strength and courage.

Characteristics of the Spanish Mastiff

A large dog, the Spanish Mastiff has a heavy, muscular and powerful body. This mesomorphic and brachycephalic colossus develops a compact bone structure and a resolutely voluminous physique. It measures on average 78 cm if it is a male and 72 cm if it is a female, for a weight going from 60 to 90 kg according to the age and the sex. The Spanish Mastiff is remarkable for its massive and solid head with a broad skull with a sub-convex profile. The stop is not very accentuated while the muzzle is rectangular and decreases when reaching the nose. The Spanish Mastiff has eyes that express nobility, intelligence and gentleness. They are small, dark and almond-shaped. The eyelids seem to be slightly drooping. The ears are small, drooping and end in a point at the tip. The dog has a short, soft and dense coat. The coat can be fawn, white and gray, red, white and yellow or white and black.

History of the Spanish Mastiff breed

The Spanish Mastiff originated in Extremadura, a region in southwestern Spain. It is an ancient breed whose ancestor is said to be the Tibetan Mastiff, which was introduced into Europe thousands of years ago. It is said that the Spanish Mastiff has been used for 4000 years by Spanish shepherds to guard their flocks. For the transhumance, that is to say the migration of the cattle towards grazing areas located at very long distances, they needed a dog able to keep the rhythm and to protect the herds. The Spanish Mastiff was also used as a draft dog and even as a fighting dog. As the activity of shepherding is becoming more and more rare, the perpetuation of the breed is becoming difficult.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is a very good guard dog. He is bold in front of strangers and pests. Its low, hoarse and deep bark is a deterrent. This breed can also serve as a pet that is calm, gentle and very intelligent. On the other hand, considering its corpulence, it is not a great sportsman. Its build prevents it from moving around too much. Moreover, because of its size, it cannot live in an apartment, but in a large house with a garden. This aspect must also be taken into account if it must integrate families with children, because although it is attentive and posed, this dog can hurt the little ones without its knowledge.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Spanish Mastiff

It is important to take good care of the health of the Spanish Mastiff, which can be affected by joints. Hip dysplasia is a very common disease causing lameness and pain. Osteoarthritis can also affect the animal as it ages. And that's not all. The breed is affected by a parasitic disease called leishmaniasis. Ear infections are also common. Another thing: given the corpulence of the animal which can weigh up to 90 kg, it is imperative to plan a rather high food budget. Its diet must be meticulous to avoid overweight.

The Sealyham Terrier, English breed dog

Once a star in its native country, the Sealyham Terrier is a breed that seduces with its physique and character. Once used as a hunting dog, it is now appreciated as a family companion for its joie de vivre and its balanced and affectionate character. What do we know exactly about this English breed?

Characteristics of the Sealyham Terrier

Behind its small size, the Sealyham Terrier is striking for the impression of power and energy it gives off. This supple and very vigorous dog measures less than 31 cm and weighs 8.2 kg if it is a female and 9 kg if it is a male. It is recognizable by its head with a domed skull with a strong, square jaw and a black nose. Usually, he wears a mustache that gives him a British dandy look. His eyes express vivacity through their round shape and dark color with pigmented lids. However, unpigmented lids are not an eliminatory defect. The ears are medium sized, with rounded tips and fall to the sides to frame the face. The Sealyham Terrier has a muscular neck, thick and more or less long. The beauty of the Sealyham Terrier comes from its long, hard coat. The coat must be uniformly white and single-colored. The standard also tolerates white coats with brown, lemon, blue or badger notes on the ears and head.

History of the Sealyham Terrier breed

The Sealyham Terrier was born during the 19th century in Wales. It owes its creation to the gentleman-farmer John Owen Tucker Edwardes who wanted to develop a breed with predispositions to hunting small game. He then made a cross between white English Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Corgis, West Highland White Terriers and Fox Terriers. He selected mainly the white subjects which were easier to distinguish from the game. We can say that the work of the founder of the breed paid off, because the Sealyham Terrier was an extremely popular dog. All the Hollywood stars like Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Jean Harlow, Elizabeth Taylor and even Princess Margaret were seduced by the charm of this breed. Unfortunately, this breed is threatened with extinction today.

Living requirements and behavior of the Sealyham Terrier

Friendly and sympathetic, the Sealyham Terrier is a dog appreciated for its good character. It is cheerful, lively, loyal, intelligent and has a good sense of humor. However, it does not have a tendency to overflow. Because of its origins as a hunting dog, it is very energetic, which is why it will never give up a walk or a few play sessions. It can perfectly share life with children. Beware, when young, the Sealyham Terrier is very active, but as he gets older, he becomes slightly lazy. It needs a firm education, because it tends to be stubborn. Good candidate for an apartment life, he will also be happy in the countryside.

Diet and main health problems of the Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier may suffer from some diseases such as retinal dysplasia or glaucoma. It is also subject to some intestinal tumors. The follow-up of health must then be rigorous to guard against all these diseases. Moreover, as he easily gains weight, which can cause diabetes and joint problems, he needs a very strict diet.

Which crate to choose for your dog?

The transport crate allows you to travel with a small or medium dog and the transport crate with a large dog. It is an equipment that comes in different models and must be chosen carefully when you want to travel by car with your dog to ensure safety and comfort. Note that to travel by plane with your dog, only the transport cage that meets the IATA standard is accepted because the animal must be placed in the hold if it cannot travel in the cabin. Let's review.

Criteria for choosing a dog carrier

There is a wide range of crates and transport cages available, so much so that the consumer sometimes has trouble finding the right one. Generally, the crate is suitable for dogs weighing less than 11 kg, while the crate is designed for larger dogs.

For short or long car journeys with your dog, it is much better to have a crate or transport box in the trunk than to use a harness on the back seat or to leave your dog in the trunk separated from the rest of the car by a protective net. All these solutions are allowed. But it is in a perfectly chosen crate/cage that the dog will travel in the car as comfortably and safely as possible. This also guarantees the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the following criteria
  • The weight and size of the dog: it must be comfortable lying down, sitting, standing and turning around without difficulty,
  • The weight of the animal,
  • The material of manufacture, knowing that :
    • The transport crate for small or medium dogs is made of plastic,
    • The transport cage for large dogs is made of metal but can have a rigid plastic tray.
  • The closing system which can be with latches, clips, rivets, centralized,
  • Its ease of maintenance,
  • Its smaller size when not in use: in this case, you can opt for a foldable model that is very easy to store,
  • The means of transport that you wish to use because, depending on the case, only a cage that meets the current standard can be accepted. This point is detailed in the second part of this article dealing with air travel with a dog.
We recommend that you get your pet used to staying in its crate or cage, starting with short trips some time before departure. This will avoid disappointments when leaving on vacation.

Travelling dog crate: IATA standard required for air travel!

Only small dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin, but the conditions should be checked before check-in as they may vary depending on the airline. On the other hand, it is necessary to obtain a transport cage if you plan to fly with your dog whose size does not allow it to be carried in the cabin. It is mandatory to choose a model that complies with the IATA (International Air Transport Association) standard. This one imposes the following characteristics:
  • Hull material: fiberglass or rigid plastic.
  • Body door: two-point locking system (top and bottom) with centralized anti-fugue latch.
  • Hinges: 1.6 cm minimum over the horizontal edges of the door.
  • The top and bottom of the transport box are bolted together.
  • Wheels: not mandatory. However, if the transport box is equipped with them, they must be removed during the trip. Retractable wheels must be secured with strong adhesive tape.
  • Bowl: must be attached to the screen door. It must be accessible without having to open the cage.
As an indication, the price of an IATA-approved cage/carrying case costs from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on its size. If you are traveling with your dog on an exceptional basis, it may be more interesting to rent a crate rather than buy one.
The IATA mention on the label does not exempt you from verifying the presence of all these mandatory criteria because only this dog transport material can be placed in the hold.

It should be noted that the owner must also ensure the comfort of his pet during the entire trip by respecting the following points:
  • Choose a crate with IATA standards adapted to the size of the dog which must be able to :
    • Lie down completely,
    • Turn over,
    • Stand upright. Note that the height of the crate must be at least 5 cm higher than the height of the dog (from the ground to the tip of the ears).
  • Place an absorbent material on the bottom of the crate (blanket, newspaper, mattress, sheet...) knowing that straw is not allowed,
  • Do not use a leash or muzzle, and do not leave these accessories in the crate either.
  • Do not lock the crate with a padlock.
It is totally forbidden to give tranquilizers to your dog during air transport, to make an injured or physically weak animal travel. Moreover, before taking the plane tickets, you must make sure that the company accepts dogs on board, which is not always the case.

How do I know if my dog is sad?

We humans have a strong tendency to project our emotions onto the animals we observe. And if animals are not devoid of emotions, they do not have the same awareness of the world as ours and their relationship to the events they face is more "raw", less elaborate.

For example, your dog may be sad. But how can you be sure that he is really sad?

Observe your dog's behavior to know if he is sad

In humans, emotions can be read on the face. Scientists conduct many experiments to find out what the basic emotions are. Kindergarten and elementary school children are regularly asked to draw minimalist pictures where only the eyes, eyebrows and mouth, depending on their position, can signify a particular emotion.

A dog's face is not structured in the same way as a human's and the expressiveness of this body part is essentially limited to showing or hiding the fangs.
To identify your dog's emotions, you need to observe him and note the differences in his behavior compared to his habits. And you'll find that we have a lot in common with our four-legged friends in terms of behavior. If you can't know exactly what emotion your dog is working on, you can be sure that something is wrong and, once you understand the cause of his worries, you can do something about it.

Aggression in a dog that was not aggressive before is an extreme behavior, the source of which can be sadness. It is important not to wait for a catastrophe to happen before reacting. Consult a veterinarian quickly!

But beyond aggressiveness, there is also a whole range of reactions that should be deciphered.

Your dog's sleep

A healthy and happy dog sleeps between 8 and 10 hours per 24 hours, roughly the same amount as a human being. Unlike cats, dogs are active during the day.

If your dog wakes up at night and sleeps most of the day, he's not doing well. Take him to your veterinarian to check his health. If all is well, your dog may not be getting enough attention or exercise. Your veterinarian will be able to direct you to solutions that will help your dog regain his well-being.

Your dog's appetite

Like sleep quality, regularity of appetite is a major sign of good physical and psychological health.

If your dog does not eat with the same eagerness, if he leaves leftovers in his bowl while you give him his usual ration, it means that your dog has psychological or physical health problems. Don't delay in consulting a veterinarian for a thorough examination and diagnosis, as your dog's health condition can deteriorate rapidly.

Your dog's energy level

Each dog, depending on its breed and character, has its own behavior. Dogs are generally sought after for their companionship, so you may have established a rhythm and routine for playing and going out.
If you notice that your dog no longer reacts positively during these times of exchange and physical activity, or that he even remains prostrate, something is wrong.

When a dog is sad, he may start destroying objects in his environment in your absence, whereas he used to respect them. These are signs of hyperactivity that should alert you. Seek immediate medical attention, especially if your dog starts urinating and defecating when he was clean.

Similarly, if your dog no longer parties with you when you come home, or doesn't want to be petted as much, then you need to ask yourself what's causing the change in his behavior.

Your dog wants your attention

Unwanted barking can be a sign of a lack of attention. If he feels the need for activity when you're not taking him out enough, he'll do anything to get the message across to you. And if you are slow to respond to his requests, if you drag your feet to meet his needs, he may become apathetic and even depressed.

Your dog may also be constantly glued to you, following you wherever you go. This type of behavior can be observed when you move to a new place, while the dog gets used to its new surroundings. If the behavior continues, there is something on your dog's mind and it is important that you find out what it is.

Welcoming a dog into your life means taking care of him and giving him what he needs. If the dog is not satisfied on a relational level, it can quickly become unmanageable or lose its will to live. Take good care of your companion! Watching him live is an essential step to understand who he is, beyond the main criteria common to the breed.

The Cane Corso, an imposing dog of the molossoid family

Belonging to the molossoid family, the Cane Corso impresses with its imposing posture. However, underneath its large guard dog appearance lies a calm and balanced personality. It is also affectionate and can be suitable for families, provided that it is well trained from the start.

Characteristics of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an athletic dog that develops a strong and solid musculature. This dog is longer than it is tall and is between 60 and 64 cm for females and 64 and 68 cm for males for an approximate weight of 40 to 50 kg. Its elegant body despite its power expresses resistance and strength. It has a grey-lead, black, light grey, slate grey, dark fawn, light fawn, stag fawn or brindle (with gradations or stripes) coat.

The breed has a more or less arched and wide skull, with a deep and wide muzzle and a pronounced stop. The ears in the shape of a triangle fall downwards. All the particularity of the Cane Corso is in its lips which are imposing and display an inverted U.

History of the Cane Corso breed

The Cane Corso originated in the south of Italy, in the Puglia region. It was originally used as a dog for warfare or to play against lions during Roman times. This breed would also have been used for bear hunting, driving cattle, hunting boars or simply as a guard dog. It has a close cousin in the Naples Mastiff, also known as the Cane Corso. In relation to the etymology of the breed, the name "Corso" does not mean Corsican but rather Roman cohort (praetorian bodyguard).

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Cane Corso

Even if it is not a dangerous dog as defined by the 1999 law, the Cane Corso is a watchdog and defense dog par excellence, which must be educated from an early age to avoid extreme or even aggressive behavior, because the animal is a bit stubborn. He will watch his territory with vigilance and discretion. Faithful and loyal, it will be happy to live in families with children. He can live in an apartment as long as he gets regular walks and games, because he is a very active dog whose energy needs to be channeled. The advantage is that he barks very little so you won't have any problems with your neighbors. And if you're new to dog training, it's best to leave this part to a specialist.

Feeding and major health problems of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a model of strength and robustness. It can live up to 12 years with proper care and feeding. As such, it must be given highly nutritious food given its size and its boundless energy. This food should prevent the appearance of digestive problems, skin problems or overweight.

Concerning the diseases that can affect it, this breed can be affected by a coxo-femoral dysplasia.

Hunting dog: top 10 breeds suitable for hunting

Since time immemorial, man has domesticated wolves that evolved in contact with man and gave the first dogs to help them hunt. The first hunting dogs date back to more than 9000 years ago, according to dog burials found in Japan. Today, many breeds of dogs exist, some of which were created by man to have characteristics that are particularly useful for hunting.

So we are going to review the top 10 dog breeds that are the most suitable for hunting in France. But before we start, it is important to understand the different types of hunting dogs, each of which has a very specific purpose.

The different types of hunting dogs

  • Pointing dogs: the purpose of these dogs is to find game (mainly birds) by scent and to catch them,
  • Terriers: as their name indicates, these hunting dogs will go and look for prey hidden in the burrows, such as rabbits.
  • Bloodhounds: these dogs are excellent trackers once the prey is wounded, since they can follow any game over several kilometers, via the smell of blood.
There are others, but they are either not used enough, or are forbidden for hunting. So we won't talk about them in this article. Now that we have talked about the basics, the top 10 can begin.

Weimar Hound

Originally from Germany, the Weimar Hound is used in hunting as a pointing dog. It is a medium-sized dog with a gray coat. It measures from 62 to 67cm at the withers for males, and 59 to 63cm for females, weighs on average from 30 to 40kg, and generally lives from 10 to 12 years.

The Weimar Hound was already used as a hunting dog by Louis IX. Nowadays, the Weimaraner is a sociable dog, which needs a lot of exercise. The master must also be firm enough to educate him. It is a dog that loves children, and is quite protective, without being aggressive.


This small dog of English origin is a rather popular breed nowadays as a simple pet dog, because of its frequent presence in movies. The beagle measures between 33 and 40cm at the withers, weighs between 8 and 22kg and has a life span of 10 to 15 years on average.

It is however originally a hunting dog, with a white coat spotted with beige or black, used as a bloodhound. It is a very playful dog that loves children and also makes a good watchdog. Moreover, the education of this rather docile dog is not very complicated, as long as it can practice a daily physical activity.

English Setter

The English Setter is a medium-sized British hunting dog with a white coat dotted with black, beige or brown depending on the individual. It measures 61 to 68cm at the withers, weighs an average of about 30 kilos, and generally lives from 10 to 12 years.

When hunting, it is used as a pointing dog. This dog requires a fairly firm education, but is very friendly with other dogs and children, although some may be fearful of strangers.

Brittany Spaniel

As its name suggests, the Brittany Spaniel is a dog that originated in Brittany. It has a white coat spotted with light brown. It is a very intelligent and obedient dog. It measures 45 to 51cm at the withers, weighs 14 to 18kg and lives about 14 to 15 years.

It is quite popular among hunters who use it as a pointing dog. It is very socially balanced and can adapt to any life, even with children or other animals. Moreover, he is very easy to train.

Bruno du Jura

The Bruno du Jura, originally from Switzerland, is medium-sized and has a white coat with light brown spots and long floppy ears. It measures 50 to 60cm at the withers, weighs between 20 and 25kg and lives on average between 12 and 13 years.

The Bruno du Jura, calm and docile, is used as a bloodhound. It is very attached to its master, but also very dynamic and will need to exercise daily.

English Cocker

This cocker spaniel, resulting from the crossing between Spanish cocker spaniels and English hunting dogs, is today much represented as a pet dog, in particular thanks to the comic strip "Boule et Bill". The English cocker spaniel has the dress generally clear fawn, even if there is some with a black or white spotted dress. It measures from 38 to 41cm to the withers, weighs from 12 to 16kg and has a life span which oscillates between 12 and 15 years.

It is however originally a bloodhound. Easy to train, this dog loves to play, and likes to be in contact with children, with whom he will be quite protective without being aggressive.


This is a family and not a single breed, as there are wirehaired dachshunds, short-haired dachshunds and long-haired dachshunds. This small dog originating from Germany with a brindle coat, generally measures 35cm at the withers for a weight of 9kg, and lives between 10 and 15 years.

The Dachshund was originally a dog for digging, but it turned out to be an excellent bloodhound, as well as a very good terrier. He prefers to live in the company of other dogs, because of his origins as a pack dog, but he can also live alone. This very docile little dog is also adapted to family life.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is a dog that originated in Scotland. This small dog with a fawn coat measures between 26 and 31 cm on average, weighs between 6 and 10 kg and has a lifespan of about 13 years.
The Cairn Terrier is excellent at finding rodents in their burrows. It is one of the first known terrier dogs. It is a very playful dog, which loves children, but it will be necessary to be firm during its education, because it tends to bite when it is a puppy. He will also need to be physically active every day.

Fox terrier

Of English origin, there are two varieties of fox terrier: those with curly hair, which are the most widespread, and those with smooth hair, a little rarer. They have a white coat, spotted with brown or black. These medium-sized dogs measure 35 to 40cm at the withers, weigh 7 to 9.5kg, and generally live about 15 years.

Fox terrier dogs are very good fox hunters. This breed is very intelligent, quite playful, but also very protective of children. It is also a very good guard dog.

Great Blue of Gascony

This dog, originally from Gascony, France, is part of the Gascony blue family which has four breeds: the petit bleu de Gascogne, the basset bleu de Gascogne, the griffon bleu de Gascogne and the grand bleu de Gascogne which is one of the most widespread. It is of medium size and has a white coat spotted with black. This dog measures 62 to 72cm at the withers, weighs 35 to 39kg on average and generally lives 12 years.

It is a very good bloodhound and is also used for hunting in the backyard.

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is an intelligent breed and very attached to its master. It is also gentle with children, quite protective, and sociable with other dogs.

The Hanoverian Red Dog, a dog close to its owners

Created especially for searching for wounded game during hunting, the Hanoverian Red Dog excelled in bloodhounding before gradually becoming a pet today. This breed is close to its owners and develops a balanced and calm character.

Characteristics of the Hanoverian Red Dog

The Hanoverian Red Dog was created to offer very high performance. They are remarkable for their powerful, supple and dynamic gait and their well-proportioned, robust and muscular body. Female dogs measure between 48 and 53 cm for a weight of 25 to 35 kg and males are between 50 and 55 cm and weigh 30 to 40 kg. The breed develops a powerful head with a broad skull and a pronounced stop. On the forehead, some wrinkles are visible. The animal has a wide, deep and muscular muzzle and powerful cheeks. It needs it, because during hunting activities, it has among other things the role of finishing off injured prey to prevent them from suffering unnecessarily. The head is supported by a long, strong neck. The Hanoverian Red Hound stands out with its medium-sized eyes offering a lively and open look, with dark brown irises. The ears are fairly large, broad, set high and hanging. The coat is thick, short and rough. The coat goes from light to dark red and can be brindle. The stag color is also admitted.

History of the Hanoverian Red Dog breed

The Hanoverian Red Dog is a breed that originated in Germany in the northern city of Hanover, Lower Saxony. It was developed on the initiative of a Hanoverian gamekeeper who wanted to obtain a specialist in the search for injured big game. To do this, he crossed the now extinct Haidbracke with German bloodhounds. The Hanoverian Red Dog was mainly bred and trained in German hunting schools called Jägerhöf. These prestigious institutions were responsible for training hunters for the princely courts. The art of bloodhounding was also developed in these institutions.

Living conditions and behavior of the Hanoverian Red Dog

The Hanoverian Red Dog is a persevering, dynamic animal with an exceptional sense of smell. They can be used as a companion dog, although in reality they can't stand to do nothing. It is therefore advisable to welcome him in a place with space and to make him practice activities like mantrailing, tracking or canicross. At home, he is balanced, calm, smart and intelligent. He is also a great player, cuddly and kind. He can get along with other animals provided he is socialized early. Its hunting instincts can take over when faced with small animals. Because it can be dominant and stubborn, the Hanoverian Red Dog also needs an experienced owner.

Diet and major health problems of the Hanoverian Red Dog

The Hanoverian Red Dog is free of any particular diseases. Before using him for hunting activities, it is important to keep his vaccinations, anti-parasite treatments and deworming up to date. On the other hand, they require a rich and healthy diet to meet the high energy requirements of the hunting season.

The Kromfohrländer, a cheerful and affectionate dog

The Kromi, as the Kromfohrländer is known, is a good companion and family dog. Always cheerful, he is constant and affectionate. A real ray of sunshine that will brighten up children's lives with its playfulness.

Characteristics of the Kromfohrländer

The Kromfohrländer is a rather medium sized breed that is between 38 and 46 cm and weighs on average 15 kg depending on age and sex. It is a well-proportioned animal with a slightly protruding chest and muscular legs. It expresses an active, clear and regular gait. The tail is of medium length with a strong set on. The Kromi is recognizable by its head marked by a rounded skull, a frontal furrow slightly accentuated and a visible stop. The muscular cheeks end in strong jaws. As for the eyes, they are ovalized, of intermediate size and positioned slightly slanting while displaying a beautiful dark brown color. The ears for their part are of triangular form, attached high, mobile and close to the cheeks. The dog has a semi-long, hard and dense coat with a beard. It can also have a smooth coat and in this case, will be exempt of beard. The coat is white with tan and tan markings on the body. The cheeks, top of the eyes and ears are reddish-brown, light brown or darker.

History of the Kromfohrländer breed

The Kromfohrländer has its origins in Germany. It would have existed since the XVIIIth century, but its development is made only from the end of the Second World War. This recent breed would be born from a cross between a fox terrier and a great basset hound. It was created under the impulse of the breeder Ilse Scheifenbaum who was installed near Krom Fohr located in the region of Siegen, from where the name of the animal. It was not until 1955 that the breed was recognized. It should be noted that there are very few specimens outside its native country

Living conditions and behavior of the Kromfohrländer

The Kromi is a rare and confidential breed, which is a pity, because it has many qualities that deserve to be in the spotlight. This dog is a gentle and pleasant companion, adapting to all situations and revealing a clever and intelligent character. Thanks to his playfulness, he will quickly become a child's best friend. He is also very attached to his master, but this does not prevent him from enduring solitude as long as he spends as he wants upstream. He is receptive and docile, which facilitates his education. Be careful, sometimes he is stubborn.

Diet and main health problems of the Kromfohrländer

The Kromi shines for its robustness. Nevertheless, there are some pathologies that need to be monitored, especially those affecting the knee joints. It also happens that this dog is affected by hereditary hyperkeratosis of the pads, which causes them to harden and thicken. As for food, the Kromi loves treats as rewards, but it is important not to overdo it.

How do I know if my dog is smart?

Evaluating the intelligence of a dog is extremely complex and depends on different factors such as instinct, adaptability, ability to obey and many others. Thus, one dog may be more capable than another of surviving in the wilderness, while another will be distinguished by his speed in understanding and carrying out a command. In any case, studies to learn more about the intelligence of dogs have determined that the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd are the breeds that do best. But it appears that with training, a dog can improve significantly, regardless of the breed to which it belongs. Let's zoom in on the intelligence tests to give your dog.

How can we determine the intelligence of a dog?

The notion of intelligence in dogs is assessed by taking into account their cognitive abilities, i.e. the capacity of their brain to process various information. It is therefore important to be able to analyze its capacity:
  • Spatial or ability to analyze its environment,
  • Of adaptation,
  • Attention,
  • Of memorization,
  • Of reasoning,
  • Decision-making,
  • Perception,
  • Learning,
  • Language.

Measuring your dog's intelligence through tests

To get an idea of the level of intelligence of your dog, you can submit him to different tests that will allow you to see, for example, if the animal remains attentive, if he assimilates as quickly as possible what is expected of him, if he is capable of memorizing and then executing an order, or even of solving a problem, or of being cunning, or even of being understood. The first step is to use a stopwatch to measure the speed with which the dog understands and executes.

The maze test

This consists of creating a simple course with few obstacles and then a more and more complex course, full of pitfalls, leading to a kibble. Only one way to reach the treat, but for the test to be successful, the owner must not show the dog the way. The test is only successful if the dog quickly takes the only path to the reward, without pushing the obstacles but avoiding them.

The cup test

The principle consists in providing three completely opaque plastic cups and placing a kibble under one of them. The dog is first shown that a treat is placed under one cup and the other two are turned over. Then we take him out of the room for about 30 seconds at first (we can lengthen the wait later) after which we ask him to go get his reward. If the dog has an excellent memory, he should find without any hesitation the cup under which his kibble has been hidden.

The interactive game test

Get an interactive intelligence game for dogs from a specialty store. Some of these games take the form of a puzzle with treats that the dog must find in a minimum amount of time. These games are generally well liked by intelligent dogs and can be left with them while their owners are away so they don't get bored.

The towel test

The owner covers the dog's head with a large towel. The dog should be able to get out of the towel within half a minute. Even though it looks like nothing, this little exercise is not so easy since not all dogs solve it in the allotted time (even well beyond 30 seconds).

The obstacle bypass test

This is an exercise to be practiced outside, in a park for example, which has a fence or a non-blinding fence at least 15 meters long with an opening. The master must pass on the other side of the obstacle without his little companion knowing and then call him. A very intelligent dog will not hesitate to go around the obstacle. An unintelligent dog will not immediately understand that in order to reach his master on the other side, he must simply go around the obstacle.

Let's not confuse docile dogs with intelligent dogs. A doggie can be quite capable of obeying his master without having a great capacity of reasoning for example. But you should not despair: improvements are possible if you give your dog the opportunity to train his cognitive abilities through games and exercises of all kinds that the dog will appreciate very much because it creates a special relationship and a beautiful complicity between the master and the animal. In addition, thanks to these trainings, the master will learn to better understand the behaviors of his dog and therefore, his language.

Top 10 guard dogs

Dogs have been used since time immemorial to defend a territory, a person, a particular place, in short, to guard. Even though our relationship with animals has evolved over hundreds of years of domestication, dogs are still used today to guard our homes: what could be more reassuring to know that our faithful companion is ready to defend his masters as well as our property. But not all dogs are made for this task. Which breeds are better suited to this mission than others? That's what we'll see in this top 10 guard dogs.

What is a guard dog?

Before we start this top 10, it is important to clarify a few things. A guard dog is not a dog that has been made aggressive towards anyone approaching us. It is a dog that has been properly trained, without jumping at the throat of the first person who says hello to us, so that it is ready in case something goes wrong, or if someone enters your house without you being present. To sum up, educating your dog to guard is not to make him a dangerous dog, but a dog that knows how to distinguish a threat from what is not, and react accordingly.

The German Shepherd

His love of work, his intelligence, his strength and his endurance make this breed of dog very often found with the man to help him in various tasks, and in particular for the guarding. Its large jaw and long fangs are easily impressed, as well as its build.

The German Shepherd is therefore a dog of first choice to defend a house, and dissuade potential criminals.

The Rottweiler

The effectiveness of the Rottweiler is no longer to be proven as far as guarding is concerned. These dogs, very attached to their masters, will not hesitate to defend them at the risk of their life if it is necessary. Sometimes too reckless, it will however be necessary to educate them so that they do not go too far without reasons.

Physically, the Rottweiler's build and jaw, as well as their reputation, are generally enough to dissuade any form of aggression or theft.

The Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Shepherd is a natural born guard dog with a physique very similar to the German Shepherd. Like its cousin, the Belgian Shepherd is very intelligent, likes to work with people and is very loyal. It is often used by the police force.

For guarding, the Belgian Shepherd will be unparalleled efficiency, but must be entrusted to a sporty family because it is a very active dog that needs to let off steam regularly.

The Doberman

Sadly famous for being the dog of choice of the Nazis during the Second World War, this dog is nonetheless adorable when in the right hands. Although not recommended as a first dog because it needs a strict education, the Doberman will be, once well educated, a guard dog of choice, especially with children whom it adores and with whom it is at the same time very playful, very gentle and very protective.

Like the Belgian Shepherd, the Doberman needs a lot of exercise, a sporty family with experience in dog training would be perfect for this breed.

The Dogue de Bordeaux

The loyalty of the Dogue de Bordeaux makes this soft-hearted hound a fabulous watchdog. With their very muscular and stocky physique, Dogue de Bordeaux are reassuring to their owners as their mere presence is usually enough to dissuade the slightest troublemaker.

Very gentle and protective with children, the Great Dane is perfect for a family.

The American Staffordshire Terrier

Like the pit bull, this breed was created in England in the 19th century for underground dog fighting.

Even though these dogs are nowadays real creams with children and faithful and affectionate companions with their masters, the American Staffordshire Terrier, also called Staff, displays impressive strength, endurance and build, which will dissuade any individual from causing you harm.

The Beauceron

Also known as the Beauce Shepherd, the Beauceron is a dog that barks very little, except to sound the alarm when it's really necessary.

Very gentle and loyal to his family, he is also a rather calm dog as long as he gets his daily exercise, like many sheepdogs.

The Boxer

Physically similar to the Great Dane, the Boxer is however finer and more agile thanks to its more athletic physique.

A very playful dog that loves children, the Boxer is very attached to its family and tends to be fearless. It is a very good watchdog, but it should be watched on walks because it tends to be rather dominant, especially the unspayed males.

The White Swiss Shepherd

The White Swiss Shepherd is, like many sheepdogs, an excellent watchdog because of its instinct, which originally came from guarding flocks.

Very possessive of his masters, he can be jealous of other animals, but he is still very friendly. It is better to put him in the hands of a sporty family because he needs to do a lot of exercises.

The Great Dane

One of the most leggy dogs in the world, the Great Dane is a dog that combines elegance and pride.

It is a dog that is absolutely not aggressive, that adores children and that is very loyal to its owners. However, he can be distrustful with strangers, and sometimes be overzealous in guarding, so it will be necessary to educate him properly so that he knows when he must intervene and when everything is fine.

How to choose a basket for your dog ?

As with humans, sleep plays an important role in a dog's health. After long walks in nature or wild play sessions, your four-legged friend needs to rest in a reassuring place of his own. Our tips for finding a soft cocoon for your fur ball.

Observe your dog's habits

The first step is to observe your dog's preferred sleeping position. Some like to curl up in a ball with their backs wrapped around the edges. Others prefer to lie down completely on their bed. Some dogs feel safe hiding in a shelter while others sleep with their head on a ledge. Based on your observations, you'll know more about which bed is best for your dog.

Choosing a basket according to the context

The choice of bedding depends primarily on criteria that will evolve over the course of his life.
  • The puppy. Because of their small size, puppies don't need a bed as large as an adult's. The selection of the material will also be taken into account if the puppy is destructive. This criterion implies the need to acquire a bedding later to adapt to its growth.
  • An older dog. Cushions and mattresses are a good sleeping option for an older dog because the absence of a ledge makes it easier for him to settle down, putting less strain on his joints.
  • A dog in pain. For an animal affected by arthritis, a basket or a heating pad will allow his limbs to be less stiff when he wakes up and will thus reduce his pain. There are also orthopedic beds (minimum thickness of 15 cm) equipped with a memory foam mattress that limits pressure points and relieves the spine.

Prefer a bed that is easy to wash

It is necessary to wash regularly (at least twice a month) the beds of our furry companions. It's important to remember that when they return from their walks, dogs are likely to bring back a whole collection of parasites, viruses, bacteria and other fungi in their coat. And then there are the odors. To keep your home clean, opt for a bed that can be washed or a plastic basket that can be easily cleaned with a sponge. In any case, choose a bed that can be removed from its cover and is easy to clean.

Study the different types of bedding

Here are the main types of bedding that you can find in stores:
  • Baskets, baskets, bassinets and dog sofas are the most commonly used bedding. Their edges are suitable for most dogs, who feel secure in the enveloping space.
  • Pillows and mattresses without edges do not offer your pet a protective feeling but are suitable for dogs that sleep completely flat. Choose a rectangular shape so that all his limbs are on the bed.
  • Mats come with varying degrees of padding. Some look like cushions, while others are thinner and can be carried easily.
  • Tipis, cabins and igloos allow a shy dog to feel safe with a roof over his head. In addition, he will warm up very easily in this enclosed space.
  • Cooling mats have been on the market for a few years. These products help your pet maintain its body temperature during hot weather.

Choose the right size for your dog

The size of the dog bed is the most important criterion. If the bed is too narrow, your pet will not be able to lie down as it pleases. By contracting his limbs too much, he may suffer from joint pain. On the other hand, if the bed is too large, your pet may feel cold and uncomfortable. To get an idea of the right size, simply measure your dog from snout to tail, then add about 15 cm.

Selecting the basket material

  • Plastic is very practical because it's easy to maintain and therefore more hygienic until your puppy is potty trained. It's a strong, durable material that's also inexpensive. For more comfort, cover the bottom with a carpet, a blanket or a cushion (beware of the puppy who could destroy the padding).
  • Wicker is aesthetically pleasing and generates few allergies in dogs with sensitive skin. However, wicker baskets tend to disappear because they have certain disadvantages: in addition to being difficult to maintain, the branches get damaged and can cause injuries to your dog. If ingested, the branches can also cause internal injuries. If you like the look of wicker, choose woven resin baskets, which are light, washable and resistant.
  • Fleece is very popular because it is inexpensive and provides real comfort to the bed. Faux fur models are very soft and cuddly and offer your pet a cozy refuge. Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, they fit your home decor!

The Pudelpointer, calm dog with a balanced temperament

His little moustache gives him the air of a good man. The Pudelpointer is a versatile hunting dog resulting from a cross between the English pointer and the poodle. It is today reconverted in pet appreciated for its calm and its balanced temperament.

Characteristics of the Pudelpointer

The Pudelpointer is a large dog breed that measures between 55 and 63 cm if it is a female and between 60 and 68 cm if it is a male. Its weight varies from 20 to 30 kg depending on the sex. This dog is recognizable by its muscular and athletic body that displays elegance and balanced and harmonious proportions. It has a skull whose length is equal to that of the muzzle. The head remains well proportioned and reveals a clear stop. A relatively thick moustache fills this part of the body and gives a particular air to the animal. The high set ears have a rounded tip, are drooping and of medium size. The large eyes are positioned on the sides of the head. They display a nice amber color. The Pudelpointer has a semi-long coat, tight, hard and lying on the body. The coat is brown, black or dead leaf and must be self-colored although the presence of some white traces is tolerated.

History of the Pudelpointer breed

The Pudelpointer would have originated in Germany. It appeared towards the end of the XIXth century thanks to the initiative of Baron Von Zedlitz. The breed is the result of a cross between the Poodle and the Pointer. The combination of the hunting qualities of the Poodle with the skills of the Pointer resulted in a fast dog with an exceptional sense of smell and versatility. The Pudelpointer is also known for its eclectic character. Pudelpointer is not only a pointing dog, but also a retriever. It likes to track ducks, partridges, quail, foxes and hares. In spite of all these qualities, the number of dogs in the world is very limited.

Living conditions and behavior of the Pudelpointer

The Pudelpointer is very enthusiastic at work. When it is not assigned to hunting activities, it performs brilliantly as a companion dog. Brave, cheerful and affectionate towards its owners, it is also a dream companion for children. The animal is a passionate and docile character. Its education must be done in an early way to avoid the overflows. The Pudelpointer needs to live in large spaces. It is not made for sedentary and home owners, because it must be taken out daily for long walks to be well in its skin.

Diet and main health problems of the Pudelpointer

Like many dogs, the Pudelpointer is not spared from hip dysplasia. It can also develop neurological problems such as epilepsy. Note that if the dog is used for hunting, it must receive adequate antiparasitic treatments as well as a very rigorous deworming program to protect it from diseases. For his health, he needs a specific diet dedicated to working dogs as well.

The Ibizan Podenco, a long-headed, wiry dog

It has a resemblance with the greyhound with its filiform body and its long and narrow head. Except that the Ibizan Podenco is not classified in this category. This particularly docile born runner is made only for sport masters.

Characteristics of the Ibizan Podenco

The Ibizan Podenco, also called the Ibizan Podenco, is a primitive type of dog, although its appearance is undoubtedly reminiscent of the greyhound. It has a medium size and is both tall and provided with a medium line body. The breed measures between 57 and 63 cm if it is a female and between 60 and 70 cm if it is a male, with a weight ranging from 19 to 22 kg depending on the sex. The Podenco d'Ibiza is recognizable by its long and narrow head with a flattened and long skull, a slightly accentuated stop and a narrow forehead. Of small size, the eyes are oblique and of amber color. The ears for their part are of average size, quite straight and have a diamond shape. The Ibizan Podenco has a short, hard and resistant coat. There is another variety with wire hair that is abundant and rough. The coat must be unicolor white or red or a combination of white and red. Only fawn can be accepted by the standard. Other colors are prohibited.

History of the breed Podenco d'Ibiza

The Podenco of Ibiza does not only come from the eponymous city. It would also be originating from the islands of Majorca, Formentera as well as Minorca. If we were to trace its history from the beginning, this breed would be extremely old since it was already represented on museum pieces and found in the tombs of pharaohs. It is said that the Ibizan Podenco is descended from an ancient Egyptian sighthound called Tesem or Khufu's sighthound. It is said to have arrived on the island of Ibiza through the Carthaginians, Phoenicians and Romans. At the time, it was given as a gift to the nobility, as it was a precious animal. Although it has been successful, the Ibizan Podenco is still rare.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Ibizan Podenco

As a hunting dog, the Ibizan Podenco is dynamic, fast and agile. This born runner has no trouble catching small game. At home, he becomes more calm and composed. One of the greatest assets of this breed is its ease of adaptation. It can live in an apartment as long as it can go out regularly to exercise. With his family, he is patient, affectionate, and even-tempered. As it is docile, its education will be facilitated. It is a playful animal which gets along with the children provided that the latter know how to respect it. It is also smart and a bit independent.

Food and main health problems of the Ibizan Podenco

The Ibizan Podenco does not develop any particular pathology. Being able to live up to 11 years on average, it simply needs a balanced diet and adapted care to guarantee its longevity and its good health. It should be noted that some of them are real gluttons, hence the importance of a rigorous food monitoring to avoid obesity.

How to choose a veterinarian for your dog?

Adopting a dog implies giving him all the necessary care so that he lives happily and in good health. In addition to giving him a balanced and adapted diet, taking him out, playing with him, educating him, you must also insure him with a mutual insurance company to take care of his health at a lower cost. But it is also essential to choose a good veterinarian so that the dog benefits from a regular follow-up and is properly treated in case of accident or illness. Certain criteria must be studied carefully and this is what we will see without delay.

Veterinary office, clinic or animal hospital: what to choose?

A dog owner may be faced with a difficult choice when all types of animal care facilities are available in his geographical area. It should be noted that the practice is less well equipped than a veterinary clinic or a veterinary hospital because the financial means are not at all the same.

Of course, in case of special needs such as surgery, the veterinarian in the practice may have to redirect the dog to a clinic or a hospital with sophisticated equipment, several veterinarians, auxiliaries and assistants, operating rooms and even specific areas intended only for contagious animals.

It is therefore possible to find an excellent veterinarian who works alone in an office.

Main criteria for choosing a veterinarian for your dog

In the same way that you choose a doctor for your family members and yourself, you choose a veterinarian after considering the following.

His location

It is more reassuring to choose a veterinarian whose office is close to your home. In case of emergency, you can take your dog for a consultation without risking to lose time in traffic jams, especially if you live in a big city. Also, it can be risky in case of urgent needs to go to the clinic located 40 km away when a practice is less than 10 km from his home. It is also important that the veterinarian practices in a geographical area not too far from the home if the dog needs a very regular follow-up. Some owners even consider it essential to be able to walk to the veterinarian.

Days and hours of operation

The wider the opening hours of the veterinarian's office or clinic, the better and this selection criterion is very important for dog owners, especially when they have a professional activity. Being able to consult after work hours is very important. But you should also consider that you may need to have your dog taken care of in the middle of the night, on a Sunday or during a holiday. Some veterinary practices, clinics and hospitals are open 24 hours a day and provide an emergency service.

The reputation of the veterinarian

Word-of-mouth is the key. This is why you should not hesitate to ask your neighbors, colleagues and family. Taking advantage of an outing with your little companion is a good opportunity to meet other owners who walk their dogs and ask them for their opinion on the veterinarians in the area. You can also turn to professionals who work with dogs, such as dog trainers or shelters, but also to your pharmacist, because they all know the practitioners in the area.

The relationship of trust

Being able to rely entirely on the veterinarian to whom you entrust the health of your little companion is a criterion of choice that weighs heavily in the balance. The veterinarian must of course be recognized for his competence but also appreciated for his listening skills, his patience with the animals, his availability and the relevance of his diagnosis.

It is therefore preferable to choose an attentive veterinarian who does not hesitate to take time for each consultation, to examine the animal even if the only reason for coming is to get advice on an antiparasitic lotion, to ask questions to the owner but also to advise him. If the veterinarian is too hasty, it is better to leave. This can be checked on the first visit, especially if you make an appointment to have a simple health certificate issued for insurance purposes, to have your dog identified or if you wish to have it vaccinated.

The cleanliness of the premises

This is an important point of comparison. It is better to change professionals if the waiting room and the examination room are filthy, full of animal hair, smell bad, if the tiles seem not to have been cleaned for years... or if the veterinarian receives his little patient with a dirty coat. A veterinarian must take great care of hygiene in order to preserve the health of the animals he/she examines.

The veterinarian's fees

The rates are applied freely by the veterinarians. They vary from one practitioner to another. Of course, the price should not be the main criterion of choice, even if - it must be recognized - it counts a lot for the owner. It is for this reason that it is essential to insure your dog with an animal health insurance company because the expenses incurred can be reimbursed, in part or in full, within the limits of an annual ceiling, depending on the formula chosen.

In any case, it is important to know that, in most cases, the rates are proportional to the equipment of the veterinary structure that takes care of the dog. However, it is necessary to ask oneself if they are really much lower than the average, maybe it is to attract a clientele that is scarce because of a bad reputation? However, if the rates are exorbitant, it does not mean that the care given to the animals is of better quality than elsewhere. The price of consultations and other services must remain within a reasonable range.

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, playful and dynamic dog

This 100% Made in France breed will please those who are looking for a playful, dynamic and affectionate companion. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is an animal with a balanced character that makes it perfect as a pet.

Characteristics of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Revealing an elegant and harmonious look, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a dog of elongated construction that should resemble that of a basset hound, but without taking on the appearance of a lighter. It measures between 39 and 43 cm if it is a female and between 40 and 44 cm if it is a male. Its weight varies from 17 to 20 kg. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is recognizable by its convex head, without heaviness, chiseled under the eyes and without excessive width. The nose with open nostrils is well highlighted. The dog has a marked stop, a muzzle longer than the skull and a square tip. It has large dark eyes exempt of white color and which are oval in shape. The ears are distinguished by their fineness and flexibility. They are set low and end in an elongated oval. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen has a flat and medium long coat. The coat must be hard and not have too much feathering. The coat can be black with sandy markings, fawn or white markings. Charcoal fawn, fawn, black and white, fawn with white markings or orange and charcoal sable are permitted.

History of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen breed

Like most basset hounds, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is descended from large griffons. As its name implies, it comes from the Vendée region of France and finds its way into wolf hunting. The first selections were launched by the Count of Eleva in the 19th century who wanted to obtain dogs with straight legs and predisposed to hunting hares. Thanks to this advanced selection, the animal developed strong abilities in hunting game of various sizes: wild boar, rabbit, etc. Because of its incredible abilities, the breed participates in competitions such as the European Hare Cup.

Living conditions and behavior of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Long used as a hunting dog, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is now a pet. A task that it assumes wonderfully given its multiple qualities. It is a wise and determined animal which is at the same time faithful and affectionate. He adores children and will never refuse a game with them. It is also a clever dog, but has the disadvantage of being somewhat stubborn. This makes it difficult to educate him, which must be done as early as possible with firmness and sanctions. This doggie does not hold grudges and will not hold a grudge.

Diet and main health problems of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen shines by its strength and its robustness. It can live until it is 12 years old and does not have any particular disease. Its diet must be adapted to its lifestyle especially if it is involved in hunting activities.

The Russian Shepherd or Youjak, a dog with a large body

It is also called the Southern Russian Shepherd or Yuzhak. When you see this dog for the first time, you have the impression of being in front of a Yeti. His strong build and long white coat give him a very special look. Behind this thick tuft of hair is an active and independent dog.

Picture Credit : Fanimalo

Characteristics of the Russian Shepherd Dog

It is immediately recognizable by its general appearance which reminds that of a bear. The Southern Russian Shepherd is a large dog, measuring between 58 and 72 cm and weighing between 43 and 55 kg depending on sex and age. It has a developed musculature and a massive bone structure. Apart from a robust and dry body, the Russian Shepherd has an elongated head with a more or less broad forehead, a large black nose and a slightly marked stop. Its eyes are oval-shaped and have tight, dry lids. They are of dark color and are positioned in a horizontal way. And what about the ears? They are triangular in shape, more or less hanging and small in size compared to the rest of the body. The Russian Shepherd Dog is best distinguished by its long, thick, bushy coat. The coat must be white, but the standard also tolerates grayish, white and yellow or some touches of gray.

History of the Russian Shepherd Dog

The Russian Shepherd is a very old breed in its native country. It is a descendant of the Asturian Shepherd who was imported from Spain to Russia during the 18th century. The development of the breed took place on the Crimean side in Askanïa-Nova. The dog was mainly used as a herdsman. It was crossed with the Borzoi, the Tatar Shepherd and the Russian Ruskaya Povaya breed, which no longer exists today. Over the years, the Yuzhak continued to be used in guard duty at farms, companies and even in the Red Army. It was introduced in some European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In France, it is a recent and rare breed.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Russian Shepherd

Endowed with excellent shepherding qualities, the Southern Russian Shepherd shines in the defense of the flock. It uses this ability to protect its own at home. Moreover, it has a legendary mistrust of strangers. It is a dynamic, curious, independent and lively animal. It is described as gentle, considerate and kind. It will never refuse a cuddle session from its owners to whom it is very attached. The dog is also very sensitive. The Youjak will not be happy if he is locked in a small apartment. He needs space and fresh air, environments in which his ancestors lived in Ukraine and the Caucasus.

Feeding and main health problems of the Russian Shepherd

Adopting a Yuzhak is very advantageous, as this dog is robust and does not develop hereditary diseases. Nevertheless, its large size can induce a risk of hip dysplasia. It is also necessary to watch its floppy ears which are prone to infections and otitis. On the food side, as this dog can easily gain weight, it is imperative to pay attention to its rations.

Can a dog fall in love with a female dog?

Can a dog feel love for a female dog? Anthropomorphism helping, we will answer yes! If in the middle of the 18th century, when science was still in its infancy concerning the understanding of animal behavior, it was not incongruous to project human motivations and emotions onto the animal, today it is different. Science has progressed and the study of behavior has replaced anthropomorphism. So, given the state of our knowledge, what answer can we give to the question of a dog's love for a female dog?

The point about love in humans

With neurosciences, the mechanics of love are more and more precisely known. It depends on a complex chemistry controlled by the brain. And let's be clear, love serves above all the reproduction of the species.

When we fall in love, hormones are secreted in our body and make us euphoric. When we like someone, the hypothalamus secretes testosterone, which increases attraction, and in turn causes the release of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. The sexual act stimulates the release of luliberin, which makes us want to continue until we reach orgasm. And finally, when the latter is reached, the brain is under endorphin, a hormone causing bliss, and oxytocin, which feeds the attachment to the partner.

Some specialists call for a step back from the results of these studies, which focus on the brain's behaviour and are therefore costly, and which for the moment only concern a small number of individuals, in order to draw general conclusions. Indeed, if sexuality and love of human beings are indeed hormonal phenomena, they cannot be reduced to that, because of our degree of consciousness and our capacities of imagination.

What about the love of a dog for a female dog?

For humans, love is made up of memories, moments lived in the present and projections into the future. Other emotions fuel it. It seems obvious that none of these aspects are present in the female dog. It is really about attachment, bonding, or simply the instinct to reproduce. While specialists have observed males being able to follow a female closely, this is not the most common case.

The proximity of a male to a female in heat can trigger a strong reaction: barking, whining, crying, insistent behavior to get closer to the female. This is not psychological suffering, but a consequence of the inability to reproduce. This is the "attraction" phase that we have described for humans, during which testosterone is secreted and increases the desire to mate.

The dog has a different emotional intensity than we do. The proof is in his expressions of joy when he finds you after you have only been away for 10 minutes. Dogs are not as aware as we are, no matter how intelligent they are, and do not rationalize their emotions. They experience emotions like a two-year-old child does. But while humans continue to develop, in dogs it stops.

Moreover, a female dog in heat will naturally seek contact with one or more males in order to be impregnated: it is clear that these are not feelings of love.

And for those who still have doubts, you should know that this type of behavior will no longer occur as soon as the animal is sterilized.

How do I know if my female dog is in heat?

If your pet is a female dog, you must be prepared to deal with certain times when she will show the need to reproduce. It is therefore important to know how to recognize these periods and when they will start, to be able to manage certain changes in behavior so as not to be surprised by a pregnancy that you did not expect.

What is a female dog in heat?

Heat is a period of time that occurs when the female dog is mature, generally twice a year: each time, for about three weeks, your female dog will feel the need to mate, and therefore to reproduce.

Finally, it is important to know that menopause does not exist in dogs, so your female dog will be able to reproduce from her maturity to her death; even a very old female dog can still give birth.

When does a female dog go into heat?

The age at which the first heat occurs depends on the breed, or more importantly, the weight of your pet. Small female dogs (Jack Russel, Yorkshire, etc.) come into heat the earliest, between five and eight months.

In medium-sized female dogs (Australian shepherd, beagle, etc.), the first heat can start during a wide period from eight to 18 months of age.

Large female dogs (Tervuren type, Dog de Bordeaux, etc.) have a late first heat, which can occur between 10 and 18 months.

Finally, you should know that it is better to wait two and a half or even three years to let your female dog reproduce. When they are younger, even if they feel the need, their uterus is not always ready to receive a litter of puppies, and the female dog may suffer the consequences later on.

How to spot heat?

The first physical sign that one can notice when a female dog is in heat is that her vulva is swollen. You can also notice that sometimes there is a discharge coming out of her vulva, sometimes with a little bit of blood (no reason to panic about the blood, it's perfectly normal).

In terms of behavior, the female dog will be very "lazy", she will spend most of her time sleeping, and will have no or very little desire to play, even if she is naturally active and playful.

To be really sure that your female dog is in heat, the best option is to have her meet a male. She will be very interested in him and will want to sniff his anus and sex with her tail in the air.

If she agrees to let herself be impregnated, she will lower the front of her body, with her tail in the air and her rump stretched out. If not, she will violently push the male away, barking, growling, and fighting if necessary.

It's up to you to let her breed with the male or not. If you are planning to have someone look after her or even board her during a vacation when she is in heat, it is very important that you inform the person(s) concerned so that they can act accordingly.

How to behave as a master during hot weather?

At home, there is no need to change your behavior towards your female dog. It is during walks that you will have to be attentive, because your female dog's behavior towards males will change. As mentioned above, she will show interest and not always listen to your commands when you give her one. Don't get more upset with her than necessary though, this is a natural time for her.

When it comes to meeting males, it all depends on your choice. Either you want her to have a litter (as a reminder, it is better to wait until she is 2 and a half or 3 years old for her own good), and in this case, you will simply let nature take its course when she meets a male who satisfies her, or on the contrary, you do not want her to reproduce and in this case it may be necessary to tie her up when you meet dogs, or at least be very careful and be ready to separate them if she decides to stretch her rump.

You now know how to spot when your female dog is in heat, when it can happen, and how to act accordingly. Be patient with her during these periods. It's normal for her behavior to be difficult during heat. And if you can't handle it, remember that spaying is an option.