If you decide to add a canine companion from the Terrier Group, be prepared for an active, feisty friend who needs plenty of love, attention and activity.
Members of the Terrier Group range from small to medium-sized dogs, like the Norwich Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier to large, muscular dogs, like the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Bull Terrier. Other members of the Terrier Group include the popular Jack Russell Terrier (like “Eddie,” some would say one of the “stars” of the hit show “Frasier”), the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Bedington Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier.
It may be best if you incorporate a member of the Terrier Group as an “only child.” Terriers are hard-wired to chase small creatures, such as rabbits and squirrels, and were originally bred to kill rats. So if your house also includes small pets like cats, ferrets and other small animals, a terrier is probably not a wise choice. And some Terriers may not like other dogs, so be aware of that factor when looking into the Terrier Group.
Terriers are active dogs and need plenty of exercise. They love to play and consequently are wonderful companions for active people who have lots of time to share with their pet. If you have the time and the energy, a member of the Terrier Group may be just the dog for you.
The dogs designated as “working dogs” by the American Kennel Club include some beautiful, bold and big specimens, including Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies, Saint Bernard’s, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Mastiffs and Rottweilers.
Working Dogs were bred to, well, work, with duties such as sled dogs, rescue dogs, and guard dogs. And as much as these canine companions work hard for a living, they can also be hard to live with, as they need intensive obedience training and early and consistent socialization.
And, because many of the members of this group are large and even extra large, they also need a big area in which to get their necessary exercise and to just “be.” They are not recommended for apartments or small dwellings. Many members of this group are not always appropriate for first-time dog owners, as they can be stubborn with strong personalities.
Having said that, with the proper training, socialization and exercise, these dogs can be brought into the family structure and are very loyal and devoted. They are also highly intelligent.
So while working dogs might take a little extra “work” and expertise to integrate into your family, the rewards can be great. Take the time to investigate the breed you are interested in from this group. With a little planning and a good amount of work, Working Dogs will reward you with a lifetime of affection and enthusiasm.
Who hasn’t been transfixed by the sad-eyed Basset Hound looking lovingly at a pair of Hush Puppy shoes? Or mesmerized by the elegance of the sophisticated Afghan Hound? Members of the hound group include breeds as diverse as the charming and funny Dachshund to the lazy-eyed Coon hound.
The AKC categorizes hounds as “even-tempered, affectionate and relaxed.” That sounds like a description for the perfect canine companion.
But there are a few caveats. These dogs were bred for hunting. They will resort to their nature by running frantically after bunnies and squirrels or whatever they determine to be prey. Consequently they need plenty of safe exercise, on a leash or in a fenced yard.
Many of these beautiful animals, such as Beagles, Foxhounds and Bloodhounds have distinctive voices which they use to alert their owners of nearby prey. They can’t, however, distinguish between the mail carrier or a mountain lion (the original objective of the Rhodesian Ridgeback).
Some find the resulting “baying” musical; others maniacal. Know your tolerance for this aspect of some members of this group.
With research and care you, like Elvis Presley, may find yourself singing about hound dogs.
Whether you are getting a new puppy or adopting a puppy or dog from a shelter, your criteria for choosing your new member of the family must by more than “he/she is so cute!”
The American Kennel Club recognizes 193 different breeds of dogs. Some are big, some small, some in between. There are very energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise, and other breeds that are more laid back. Some dogs are good with families, and in particular, children; others thrive with adults only.
It is imperative you know into which category the dog you pick falls. There are far too many cases where people discover that the breed they are interested in is too big, too energetic or just plain too much for their family and needs, but only after they’ve tried to integrate that animal into their lives.
To that end, in the next few months we’ll be exploring the seven different groups of dogs, as identified by the AKC: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terriers, Herding, Non-sporting and Toy. We’ll list some of the different breeds included in the grouping, their characteristics and pros and cons. Obviously, the information is general in tone, and good breeding is always paramount when picking a purebred dog.
Finally, there are many wonderful animals who are of mixed breeds, and in our last installment we’ll discuss how to select a dog that is perfect for you and your family. Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you’ll pick a pooch that will be your best friend for many years to come.
If you’re looking for an exercise partner, the Sporting Dogs might be a good choice. Some of the breeds in the sporting group include the ever-popular Labrador retriever, the German shorthaired pointer, the English springer spaniel, the Golden retriever and the Weimaraner. The AKC describes the Sporting Dogs as “calm inside the home, but exuberant in the field, sweet-natured, fun-loving, devoted and affectionate.” These dogs are generally eager to please, highly trainable, friendly, intelligent and energetic. They need room to run, as they are generally medium to larger dogs, and they need a lot of exercise.
Obviously, by nature of their breeding, they can be excellent hunting dogs. Within the grouping there are spaniels, pointers, retrievers and setters, each with their own specialty in the field.
Whether you’re looking for a hunting partner, a family dog or both, do a bit of research if you think a member of this grouping fits your lifestyle and needs. The AKC website includes a plethora of information, and their dog breed selector site is especially helpful. Find it at www.akc.org/dog-breed-selector/
And remember, no matter what breed you choose, your dog will need training, care and most of all, love.
Next month: The Hound group
It’s that time of the year when our thoughts turn to making improvements for a happier, healthier new year. Whether it’s losing weight, incorporating more exercise or eating healthier, most of us have entertained those changes with a big Jan. 1 starting date.
And really, those same resolutions can apply to our treasured pets as well. If your pooch is getting a little porky, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate his or her diet. Overweight pets can experience the same issues as their overweight human counterparts, including diabetes, sore joints and kidney and heart issues.
To amend these conditions, consider switching your pet to a better quality dog food, feeding recommended amounts to meet individual needs, and avoid feeding your dog human food. Think about it…you wouldn’t benefit from eating pet food, and your pet doesn’t benefit from eating people food, especially food high in sugar and salt. And when it comes to treats, make sure you’re not being tricked into giving your pet cheap treats that are counterproductive to good health.
Even if your pet isn’t overweight, a well-exercised pet is healthier and happier and a better companion. Daily exercise is essential. If you’re already exercising your pet, consider increasing the exercise time, even if it’s just 10 extra minutes a day. You and your pup will both benefit, and before you know it, you will have transformed your treasured pet into your own four-legged trainer.
Along with physical exercise, consider working on your pet’s mental acuity. Teach your dog a new trick every few weeks or play hiding games with him or her. By keeping your pet on his or her “mental toes” as well as their physical ones, you’ll have a well-balanced pet to provide a wonderful source of companionship and love.
Finally, if Santa found your pooch had more naughty than nice marks on his Christmas list, think about enrolling him or her in obedience school. Bad behaviors can be addressed and corrected and together you’ll make 2020 the Year of the Great Healthy and Happy Dog!
Happy New Year!
Mary talked with Craig Dillon at WCUB Radio – Manitowoc, on September 20th about her approach on canine obedience training.
Listen to the interview below:
Chloe was born on April 9, 2019. She was adopted from Monticello Way Border Collies. Her and Shelby have the same dad. She is a very smart little girl. She is a snuggler and loves everyone she meets. She is catches on to everything so quickly. The perfect match for my pack.
Mary will be speaking at the following locations:
With the cooler days of fall right around the corner, many dog owners look forward to exploring the woods and countryside with their pets. But as welcoming as the woods appear, we must also be aware that we are sharing the area with hunters and their dogs, and all of us should take precautions to keep everyone—humans and dogs alike–safe.
As we are enjoying the changing colors of the leaves of autumn, we should also think color in clothing, both for us, and in any kind of protective wear for our pets. Bright orange vests for man and man’s best friend are the recommended attire when enjoying the woods and trails.
Do some research regarding the hunting seasons in the areas you’ll be visiting. By knowing whether the season is open for hunting you can more safely assess whether a specific area is appropriate for exploration. The best advice is to only use trails in areas that are closed to hunting.
If you do take to the woods with your dog, it is best to keep your pet on a leash, as dogs can venture away from the safety of trails where hunting is prohibited. Make sure your pet has the proper identification as well in case he or she accidentally gets loose. This is especially important for dogs who are bred for hunting. Even if you are not taking your dog on a hunt, spaniels, pointers and retrievers may possibly be tempted to revert to the call or nature versus the training you have tried to nurture in him or her. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If your pet is also your treasured hunting partner it is very important to keep your animal safe. Colored vests, bells and identification may be even more important if you’re taking your dog into an active hunting zone.
And if you happen to live near an area open to hunting, make sure you keep an active eye on your pet and never let him or her run loose. Even if your pet doesn’t venture outside of your yard, and is only going outside for bathroom purposes, consider putting him or her in a colorful vest.
When it comes to your pet’s safety, remember it is always better to err on the side of safety. Enjoy the beautiful fall season in all its glory—and be safe!
On Wednesday, July 31 from 6-7pm K-9 Perfection, Mary Jackson will be at Dirty Paws in Two Rivers. Bring your dogs, ask questions, this is for you and your dog. The address is 1612 12th Street. Hope to see you there!