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Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin. Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions?

Do you have neighbors nearby? Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind. High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action.

Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying. A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash until you train him not to , tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail.

A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life. Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging.

Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility. Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. Breed Characteristics: Adaptability. All Around Friendliness.


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Health Grooming. Exercise Needs. See Dogs With Low Intensity. Vital Stats: Dog Breed Group:. Boerboels' physical strength is only matched by the strength of their devotion to their homes and families. The Boerboel breed is descended from dogs brought by Dutch settlers to South Africa who defended the homestead from hyenas, lions, leopards, and other dangerous wildlife. Today, they are prized as watchdogs, guardians, and competitors in canine competitions, as well as highly protective family companions that adore kids. They can, however, be quite territorial, and without proper training and socialization, they can exhibit aggressive tendencies to strangers and other dogs.

Boerboels require plenty of mental and physical exercise. Being surprisingly agile for their size and very intelligent, their need for stimulation of both mind and body is high. Leaving them alone for too long can result in boredom and anxiety, which can lead to destructive behavior.

They need a home that can accommodate their size and exercise needs and a trainer who is patient and confident. In the right home, they can be an invaluable watchdog and affectionate pet for the whole family. The Boerboel is a massive dog and incredibly muscular. They weigh as much as Great Danes, even though they are significantly shorter in stature.

There is much speculation about which breeds were bred together to make the modern Boerboel, but their exact ancestry is not well known. Dutch settlers brought dogs to South Africa to defend farms from big cats and other wildlife. Only the strongest dogs were able to survive the harsh climate and conditions in South Africa, and they became some of the ancestors of the modern Boerboel. After the World Wars, breeding wasn't regulated, and the Boerboel almost completely disappeared. It has made a resurgence after breed enthusiasts began an effort to restore the Boerboel in the s.

Boerboels are known to be especially loving and protective of their human children. They are excellent guardians, though they can be overprotective. The Boerboel has minimal grooming needs and few health concerns, though their need for training and socialization makes them a poor choice for novice owners. Since Boerboels have been revived in South Africa, they have grown in popularity and have been exported around the world. Even so, they are still considered to be a more rare breed.

Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors. Most fears, phobias, and anxieties develop at the onset of social maturity, from 12 to 36 months of age. A profound form of fear and withdrawal of unknown cause occurs at 8 to 10 months of age.

Anxiety in dogs can be fairly common and the most prevalent type is separation anxiety. There are a few ways to deal with this, however, it is encouraged that you also tweak these to fit your dog. Every dog is different, and you may know ways to change these tactics in a way that will get a better response from your dog. First and foremost, the best thing you can do is consult your veterinarian. If there is a need for medicine, it can take a couple of weeks for the medicine to take effect. Ultimately, it is up to you to modify behaviors to get them to relax and not react to environmental situations.

If possible, try to avoid letting your dog be exposed to dark rooms. Anxious dogs will try and escape and generally look for dark rooms such as a closet. Attempt to spot the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack so you may prevent it from happening. Set up safe places for your dog to go to.

Crates can be effective for anxiety in dogs but only if used a positive, comfy place. Dog beds in corners, special blankets placed on sofas that your dog can jump on, are all great options. If you prefer to stray away from medical solutions for your dog, there are ways to get past that. Exercise -. Just as exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, it is wonderful for dogs.

Exercise helps with a couple of issues when managing a dog dealing with anxiety. First, it stimulates the production of serotonin, a chemical that we humans also experience that makes you feel good when your body is being exercised. Second, it gets rid of pent-up aggression and energy that can build up anxiety.

Distraction -. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail.


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  7. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life. Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging.

    Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility. Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. But if you own one of these large, striking dogs, be prepared to turn plenty of heads. Owners of the breed are often asked, "What kind of dog is that?

    Topping out at well over pounds, the Swissy's size, paired with his deep, loud bark make him a good watchdog. But he's a gentle fellow at heart, devoted to his family and loving with kids. Originally bred to herd cattle, pull carts, and serve as a watchdog, the modern Swissy likes to have jobs to do.

    He excels in obedience, agility, and conformation competitions, and does well in drafting, weight pulling, herding, pack hiking, and versatility.

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    The Swissy has also served as a therapy dog and search and rescue dog. And be prepared for a long puppyhood: the Swissy is slow to mature, both physically and mentally, and can stay puppyish until he's three years old. While the Swissy isn't the right breed for everyone, those who are willing to love, train, and care for this large dog will enjoy wonderful companionship.

    There are several theories as to the Swissy's origins. The most popular is that he's descended from large, Mastiff-like dogs that were brought to the Alps by invading Roman Legions. The Swissy's ancestors served as herding, guard, and draft dogs. At one time the Swissy is thought to have been one of the most popular breeds in Switzerland. By the s however, their numbers dwindled, probably because their traditional jobs on Swiss farms were taken over by other dog breeds or machines.

    Since then, the breed's popularity has grown slowly, but steadily. Males stand Females stand The Swissy's personality is gentle, alert, and fun loving. These aren't easygoing, pushover dogs, however; they're confident canines with their own ideas, and they can be stubborn at times. Because of their bold personality, Swissy dogs do best with owners who can be kind, yet confident, leaders.

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    This breed is alert and observant, always on the lookout for something amiss. That, plus his loud bark to alert you when he spies something out of the ordinary, makes him a good watchdog, though he's typically not aggressive. Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training , and socialization.

    Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up. Socialization helps ensure that your Swissy puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

    Swissy dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Swissy dogs will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed. If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Swissy dogs, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals OFA for hip dysplasia with a score of fair or better , elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation CERF certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site offa. The Swissy is not suited to apartment or condo life.

    You won't need to sign up for a marathon, though; he needs just a moderate amount of exercise. With his Swiss heritage, this breed is a natural fit for cold climates, and he loves to romp in the snow. The flips side is that he's prone to heatstroke. Don't let him exercise strenuously when it's hot; during hot spells, limit your outings to cool early mornings or evenings.

    During the heat of the day, keep him inside with fans or air conditioning. If he has to be outside, make sure he has shade and, of course, plenty of water. You'll need to take special care if you're raising a Swissy puppy. Like many large breeds, the Swissy grows rapidly between the ages of four and seven months, making them susceptible to bone disorders and injury. Keep your Swissy pup on a high-quality, low-calorie diet that keeps him from growing too fast. Don't let him run and play on hard surfaces such a pavement, do a lot of jumping, or pull weights until he is at least two years old and his joints are fully formed.

    Normal play on grass is fine, and so are puppy agility classes. Puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are a great way to socialize your Swissy and teach him good canine manners. Now, as for housetraining : while every dog is different, Swissy fans say that the breed generally takes to housetraining slowly. The reason isn't exactly clear. But if you use crates and stick to a good housetraining routine, your Swissy will grasp the general concept of housetraining within a week or two of arriving at his new home.

    But don't count on him to be completely reliable in the house until many months later. NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food.

    Animal-MRT | Exercies for Young Dogs

    It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. Keep your Swissy in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight , give him the eye test and the hands-on test. First, look down at him.

    our dogs have no concept of time

    You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise. For more on feeding your Swissy, see our guidelines for buying the right food , feeding your puppy , and feeding your adult dog. The Swissy has a dense outer coat, about one to two inches in length, and a thick undercoat. The breed sheds minimally most of the time, with the exception of twice-yearly "blow-outs," when the undercoat comes out.

    Critical periods in puppy development

    The color is distinct, with a black outer coat and rust and white markings on the face and body. Brushing once or twice a week , plus a bath as needed usually every month or so with a mild dog shampoo is enough to keep the Swissy looking sharp. Brush your Swissy's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems.

    If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long.