Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:21 AM PST
The Brussels Griffon dogs are city-bred through and through, designed small and companionable from the start. They were first bred to chase and kill rats in the stables of Belgium's horse-drawn cabs-for-hire (the predecessor of the modern-day taxicab). They are the perfect companion animals for hands-on owners.
The First Brussels Griffon Dogs
In creating the Brussels Griffon dogs, breeders cross-bred the English Toy Spaniel, the Affenpinscher, and even the Pug. These mixes combined to create a tiny dog well-suited to chasing down animals just its size. The size also helped the small dogs navigate the stables without taking up too much space.
How Brussels Griffon Dogs Became Popular
Because the dogs were so small, they became attractive housepets to both the workers and laborers who first came in contact with them, and to the nobility as well. By the late 1800s, the Brussels Griffon dogs were registered as a standard Belgian breed (Griffon Bruxellois) and allowed to enter dog shows.
As their popularity grew, the Brussels Griffon dogs caught the attention of Belgian Queen Marie Henriette. She not only owned and bred them, she eagerly spread the word of this tiny housepet in her travels to other parts of Europe. The World Wars threw the breeding off the priority list in Continental Europe, when keeping pets was an ill-afforded expense. However, the breeds in England survived, but until now the breed continues to be rare.
What Are Brussels Griffon Dogs Like?
The Brussels Griffon dogs were bred to be around people and horses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which means they may demand quite a lot of attention. Despite that, they will pinpoint a person to whom they develop a special attachment, and stay loyal to that person. Their owner should be willing to give the level of attention the dog demands.
Griffons are not too patient with children, or with forced attentions such as kissing and hugging. They are snugglers, and sensitive to rough or impatient handling. Because they are so small, owners may pull them or grab them away from danger instead of using vocal commands. This may cause fear- or aggression-biting from the surprised Griffons. If you are worried about your dog, think about reading through the best invisible dog fence reviews and protecting your dog with one of those.
Despite their long history as perfect housedogs, their rat-hunting abilities will still manifest if ever their households are faced with that problem. At the same time, they are not too easy to house-train. Intensive, patient training is demanded to properly train them, and it may take many months before you are confident in leaving your Griffon in the house.
How Big Do Brussels Griffon Dogs Get?
These tiny dogs stand around 7 to 8 inches high at the shoulder, a full 4 inches short of a foot. They only weigh around 7 to 12 pounds, making them a perfect dog for the interior of the house. Their temperaments hardly make them lapdogs, however. They enjoy action and are energetic, so they need play as much as cuddling.
Brussels Griffon Dogs: Tiny Energetic Companions
Brussels Griffon dogs are perfect for owners with enough time on their hands to give them the attention they deserve. Well-adjusted, well-trained Griffons will easily do whatever is asked of them by their owners.
Posted: 01 Oct 2015 05:15 AM PDT
Clumber Spaniels are the perfect walking companions. Mainly because it is healthier for them to walk than to run, and their stamina is of the slow-burning kind that allows them to do one activity–namely, walking–for hours on end. They like chasing down things, since they were bred as retriever dogs, but they are just as happy lying on your feet.
The First Clumber Spaniels
The general spaniel breed, as we know it today, was bred as a hound for flushing out small game, and as a retriever dog for water-fowl. The Clumber Spaniel originated from the spaniels bred at Clumber Park (hence the name), under the ownership of the Duke of Newcastle and the oversight of the Park's gamekeeper, William Mansell. True to their spaniel breeding, they were hunting and retriever dogs, and the largest of the breed.
How Clumber Spaniels Became Popular
After the Duke started to share his spaniels with other noblemen in the Dukeries (a district in Nottinghamshire with four Dukes), they became popular hunting dogs in the area by the 1850s. Their popularity was increased by the royals taking an interest in them hunting dogs. Prince Albert kept some, as did his son King Edward the Seventh.
World War I greatly reduced the demand for hunting dogs as the nobility began to lose homes and properties after the war. The demand for Clumber Spaniels declined as well, despite their growing popularity as show dogs. In 1925, however, King George the Fifth decided to continue developing the breed in the Royal Kennels.
What Are Clumber Spaniels Like?
Clumber Spaniels were bred for hunting and retrieving, but they have extremely calm temperaments. This means that Clumber Spaniels will happily walk by their hunters' sides until they are told to retrieve game. They do not easily get distracted, neither are they prone to dashing off after any new scent.
Because of their temperaments, Clumber Spaniels are natural choices for families with children of all ages. This breed, because he is both tireless and non-energetic, can adjust his own energy levels to meet each person's need. He can walk with Dad around the block, sit with Mom as she's reading, and play catch with the kids for hours.
Clumber Spaniels do need to be exercised at the recommended daily half-hour for most dogs, but it does not need to be energetic. A walk will do well, better than a jog or a run. They are prone to hip dysplasia, or displacement of the thighbone with the hip, so they are better suited to long walks and very short dashes (like in games of fetch).
How Big Do Clumber Spaniels Get?
They are the heaviest and among the largest of the spaniel breed, but are still quite small. They can stand between 17 inches to 20 inches at the shoulder, and weigh anywhere between 55 to 85 pounds. Their size makes them perfect for families, where they are not too big for a medium-sized house and for smaller children.
Clumber Spaniels: The Best Companion Dogs
If ever there was a dog to grow up or grow old with, the Clumber Spaniel would be it. The strong loyalty, the sensitivity that allows the Spaniel to adjust to his owner's energy levels is the most attractive thing about this sweet-tempered breed.
Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:13 AM PDT
We do not advise you to wrap your knuckles and spar with this dog. Not because he will bite your head off, but because the name "boxer" does not come from this breed's propensity to stand up and fight. The modern-day Boxers are descended from German hunting dogs, who were generally and indiscriminately called boxers, or words very close to that.
The First Boxers
The early hunting dog that the Boxers were bred from, the Bullenbeiszer, was bred for speed and strength. Unlike the hounds used in British hunting, their job is not to flush out game. Neither are they retriever dogs for wild geese shot over wide lakes. The Bullenbeiszer was used to run down gigantic game, including bears, boars, and deer. They would catch the tired animal and hold them until the hunters arrived. This breeding is seen in the dogs' broad chests and medium-length legs.
How Boxers Became Popular
One good thing that came out of the World Wars was this new widespread addition to the species known as man's best friend. The Boxers were already named and spreading as a breed in Europe by 1895, as reliable cattle and guard dogs. During World War I, they took on another duty, functioning as military attack dogs, messenger dogs, and even as pack dogs.
It was inevitable that they would reprise their role in the Second World War, and equally inevitable that soldiers would bring home the boxer pups left without homes or purposes at the end of the war. They brought them as far as across the Atlantic, and former military families raised their children with Boxers. The breeding and spread of Boxers continues to this day.
What Are Boxers Like?
Boxers are perfect family dogs, even when the family has very young children. They are full of energy, which means they can play for hours–just like children can. At the same time, their breeding has made them exceedingly patient–a dog who holds down large prey for his hunters can absorb a whole lot of playful wrestling.
Boxers make brilliant guard dogs for the same reason. They are extremely loyal and protective of their charges, but not to excess. They may keep a wary eye on strangers and others they have not met yet, but they will not attack unless they feel a direct threat towards those they are protecting.
Boxers are housedogs through and through, a funny fact considering they are great big hunting dogs. The main reason for this is the thickness of their coats–lack of thickness, rather. It's not enough to keep them warm, but their heavy-set muzzles are terrible at keeping them cool. They need even temperatures to keep healthy.
How Big Do Boxers Get?
Boxers can stand 21 inches to 25 inches at the shoulder, and weigh anywhere between 60 to 70 pounds. Because of their broad heads and muscular chests, boxers always look bigger than they really are. Their strength makes them perfect to play with for owners with extremely active lifestyles.
Boxers: Hunting Dogs Turned Family Protectors
The unique breeding of the Boxers shows them off as strong and patient, fun-loving and cheerful, watchful and loyal. When trained and cared for with that knowledge, they can become the best companions anyone could ask for.
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