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K-9 to 5


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Mojo- Siberian Husky

Pinto- Boston Terrier

Gus- Chinese Shar-pei

Axl- Mastiff

Titan- AmericanPit Bull Terrier

Mira- English Cocker Spaniel

Bianca-Bichon Bolognese

Stuart- American Eskimo Dog


Charter & Ziggy- Labrador Retriever

Macey- Golden Retriever

Juno- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Jake- Bassett Hound

Finn- Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier

Dakota- Jack Russell Terrier

Ginger- Viszla

Mya- German Shepherd

Della & Gus- Designer Breeds

Molly- Yorkshire Terrier

Luke- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Jesse James- Flat Coated Retriever

Siberian Husky

Mojo                                                                                                                                   December 2009

I am Mojo- a Siberian Husky- one of the most heroic breeds of dogs known to man. There are lots of characteristics that make us a great pet, and some that are not so great and could pose a challenge to new dog owners.  I personally think we are great in all that we do but I could be somewhat biased.

First of all we were developed to run, pull sleds and run for long periods of time.  We will require lots of activity. We originated from northeastern Asia, and were designed to carry light loads at great distances. We eventually made our way to Alaska where we earned titles in different racing tournaments, some of which were at distances of 400 miles in the harsh winter terrain and elements of Alaska.  In 1925, Nome, Alaska was cut off from the life saving supply of serum it needed to combat a diphtheria outbreak.  A blizzard prevented any normal means of transportation to deliver the serum. A relay team of sled dogs made the 650 mile trek through blizzards, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous terrain to save the remote village of Nome. Balto was the lead dog in this life saving team, he even saved his musher’s life on this journey.  Balto had a statue erected in his honor for this heroic serum run. He also had a movie made about his legendary trip. We can’t all be Baltos, but us huskies all try.

Because of our breeding in cold climates, we have a special double coat to protect us in the sub-zero temperatures we faced. The undercoat is soft and  insulates against the cold. The outercoat grows guard hairs that grow through the undercoat and protect from the snow and ice. We will shed at least once a year, more often in more heated climates.  We will require some brushing during the shedding season, which can produce an excessive amount of dog hair.

We are friendly, gentle and alert, however we do not make good guard dogs as we are not possessive.  We are not aggressive towards people or other dogs, because of our natural instinct to work as a team.  We are world-renown escape artists, if there is a sliver of a door opened, we will run through it. This is an inherited reaction that is not our fault!  Because of our independence, our ability to focus on training can be difficult for us.  My aloofness, determination and stubbornness should not be counted against me, as those traits are what got us Huskies to Nome on the great serum run. When we have a job to do we are happy which is why we are in the working group.

We are very affectionate toward our family and other dogs, but we are also predatory toward small animals due to our breeding to survive the winters of Alaska. With our varied markings we can be wolf-like in our appearance, however our outgoing nature will pull you into our world and let you become part of all that is great in being a Siberian Husky!



Boston Terrier

Pinto                                                                                                                                     January 2010

Hi my name is Pinto, I‘d like to introduce you to my breed the Boston Terrier. If you are considering us as a choice for your next pet, here is some useful information about us.  The Boston Terrier is truly one of America’s native breeds. We were first bred from an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier in Boston in the late 1870’s.  From these first dogs my breed developed into the Boston Terrier you see today. We were not bred to do a specific task as other dogs, which lands us in the non-sporting group. We can excel in some sporty activities such as agility trials. We are active dogs, not sedentary although our only job is to be the ultimate man’s best friend. We thrive on being a companion to our people so we can adapt to most lifestyles. Because we are so eager to please, we train fairly easily. I am very talented in the many tricks I can perform. My breed is considered “the American gentleman among dogs”, due to our gentle disposition and our keen intelligence. 

Our breed standard states there are 3 classes within our breed that are acceptable weights- under 15 pounds; 15 and up to 20 pounds; and 20 pounds not to exceed 25 pounds. Most of us are black with white markings, however brindle and seal are also acceptable.  Seal appears black but has a red cast in bright light.  We also have a distinctive requirement regarding our markings. We are required to have a white blaze (a white stripe running up the center of the face) between the eyes, a white forechest and a white muzzle band.  This gives us the look of being dressed in a tuxedo, adding to our overall charming gentlemanly looks. Speaking of our good looks, we require very little grooming, we pride ourselves on our dapper, short coats and are very easy to keep clean.  We are a good choice for families with any aged children. We are alert and will fit in easily as a house pet and a great companion for your family. We are not shy and will always use our inside voice to alert you to anything going on.  We will miss you while you are gone, so be prepared to get lots of attention from us when you come back!

Chinese Shar-Pei

Gus                                                                                                                                 February 2010

Gus here, I am not a breed you see every day, but I have some unique characteristics in the dog world that make me one of the most recognizable breeds. My wrinkles are the first distinctive trait that draws people to me.  I was a very cute, wrinkly puppy, but my personality is quite different as I mature.  My wrinkles are mostly limited to my face and neck now that I am almost full grown. Our name Shar-Pei literally means “sand-skin” which translates to “rough, sandy coat” or “sandpaper–like coat”.  This refers to the two qualities of my coat- the roughness and the shortness that are unique in the dog world.  We are one of two dog breeds that have a blue-black tongue, the other being a Chow-Chow which indicates we could be related. 

The Chinese Shar-Pei has been traced back to the Han Dynasty in China (200 B.C.) When China was formed as a communist country, the dog population was reduced mostly to farms outside the cities. We were used in all tasks on the farm, as they could not have a different dog for each particular task.  Our size and protective nature made these jobs easy for us to perform. We still retain many skills we used in those tasks such as herding, tracking, hunting and especially guarding, yet we are in the non-sporting group today because we have not been bred to do these tasks for many years.   We were then bred throughout Hong Kong and Taiwan to keep an established line from our original ancestors. We were introduced to the U.S. through a Hong Kong kennel club that launched a successful “Save the Shar-Pei” campaign. Because of our rarity and unique traits, an enthusiastic interest developed and our breed flourished here in the United States.

We are only acceptable in show standards in solid color; I am considered a Bella because of my blue tinted color on my face and ears.   We have strict guidelines in reference to our high set curling tail, our broad muzzle and of course our coat.  We should have the look of a hippopotamus, as far as muzzle, head, and overall structure. We are strong and muscular in stature. We are regal, alert, dignified and independent in personality.  Due to our heritage on the farms, we are extremely devoted to our family, almost to a fault protective of them to outsiders.  My masters are my property; it is my duty to be sure anyone who encounters them has only the best intentions with them. We stand our ground firmly with calmness and confidence. Our scowling look can be quite intimidating; don’t push us too far because we will protect what is ours. I love my family, but I am a little guarded and standoffish to outsiders.   Because of these qualities we may require additional training time and more socialization than other breeds.  We may need a family that has had dog experience in the past to be sure we grow up happy and can give us the attention we need.

Our special coat requires little grooming, and we do not shed. I am very tidy and keep myself very clean.  I need extra help in keeping my wrinkles and ears clean and my nails clipped.  We are 18-20 inches tall and weigh 45-60 pounds as adults.  I am a great companion for my family, I like to be active but do not need hours of continuous activity.  I prefer to use my energy in spurts, I’ll play for a while and then I’ll have longer periods of rest.  It’s probably a good idea for me to have my own bed.  If we share, I warn you, I do hog my space in the bed (which you may think is your space).   I am not easily moved during my rest time, it’s like trying to move a hippo.     Again, I am protective of what I perceive as my property and I will not surrender easily!   Smaller children sometimes are cautious near me because of my guarded nature and daunting look.  As long as I am introduced to outsiders properly, I welcome them into our home. 




Axl                                                                                                                                         March 2010

If you are looking for a dog that will be totally devoted to your family, you should do some research on my breed. I am Axl, a Mastiff (aka Old English Mastiff) who has a look that does not match my personality. You can ask anyone in my family, I am a gentle giant and I just want to be with my family members. Despite my intimidating look, I have never had to use my hereditary traits of fighting.  My history can be traced back to Roman times when we were bred to fight lions, bulls, bears and even elephants. Animal baiting and dog fighting events were popular entertainment for nobility and the upper class over a century ago throughout England and America. Mastiffs were proven champions in these rings. My ancestors were vital for the protection of peasants in the Anglo-Saxon villages.  We were used to keep wolves and other predators at bay to protect the family, property and livestock.  

Throughout history there are many tales depicting our loyalty, agility, strength and courageousness. One story tells of Sir Peers Legh, Knight of Lyme Hall who lay mortally wounded on the battlefield and the dedicated Mastiff who stood over him and protected him until he was helped by English soldiers.  He later died of his injuries, but his dog’s line has been bred by his family for over 500 years. There is another story of a Mastiff bringing an elephant down by intimidating the animal with his commanding poise.  But most of my history is related to the complete devotion we have demonstrated to our masters.  Because of this close relationship to our humans and because of their dependence on our protection, we have developed a unique bond with people that make us excellent family pets.

My breed standard states we should be at least 30 inches at the shoulder in males, and 27.5 inches in females. Large males can be over 200 pounds.  I am over 190 pounds, which is mostly muscle although my master would say it is mostly the weight of my head alone.  A mastiff once held the world record as the heaviest dog at 343 pounds!  The loose skin on my muzzle gives me a very dignified look and protected us from animal bites when we were in confrontations.     

As a Mastiff, I crave attention and I am very sensitive, so I can be easy to train.  I am adaptable to different lifestyles as I do not require a lot of exercise, grooming or even space.  Despite my size, I can do well in an apartment or a small yard if given sufficient exercise.  I can be lazy if left on my own.  My pack at home includes Pinto the Boston Terrier, who is the alpha dog, our brother Clyde, another Boston Terrier and me, the recessive one in the hierarchy.  My job is to announce visitors, good or bad, so my family is aware of their arrival.  No one who is suspicious or unwelcome would dare set foot on my property after hearing my warning to them.   

Now that I have shown you all my great family pet qualities and you are ready to welcome one of us as a member of the family, I should prepare you for the one characteristic we have that some consider a drawback.   If you have seen the movie, “Turner and Hooch”, you have a peek into what to expect in terms of drool. Hooch was a Dogue de Bourdeaux, but we have the same loose skin on our muzzle to help with our drooling issue. I have been told this is not for the faint of heart if you have a great dislike of drool and slobber.  My loyalty to you will outweigh any drooling.  And I can assure you; I would let no amount of drooling ever come between you and me if the reverse was true.


American Pit Bull Terrier

Titan                                                                                                                                         April 2010

I am one of the most recognized breeds in America today. I have gone from the symbol of strength, held in the highest regard in the eyes of this country to being feared just based on a glance; on the brink of forced extinction by legislation that prohibit people from even owning my breed.  I am Titan, an American Pit Bull Terrier.

To understand fully the predicament we find ourselves in today, I should visit our history first.  We were first called Bull Terriers, being cross bred by Bulldogs and terriers in England during the 19th century.  These early ancestors were prized for their strength and athleticism from the Bulldogs and the gameness of the terriers. The gameness refers to our willingness and determination to continue a task until it is completed. We were originally bred to be fighting dogs and bull baiters (like the English Bulldog) in England until it was banned in 1835.  We were brought to the United States in the mid 1800’s by Irish immigrants arriving in Boston.  We were quickly a favorite dog for farmers and ranchers in the west, used to catch wild hogs and other large game. This is about the time that “American” was added to our name. We were a loyal, devoted, protective part of the rancher’s family.  One of our traits bred into us is a certain level of dog aggression.  Because of this it did not take long for people to tap into the natural aggression and use us in dog fighting rings.  It is important to point out that our handlers were in the “pits” beside us controlling the fight.  This is where we obtained the notorious “pit” in our name.

During this time as America discovered our loyal nature combined with our superior strength, we became a beloved symbol of America itself.  During World War I we were used as an icon for America in wartime posters.  Because of this rise to fame, we became constant companions to of all types of people including Teddy Roosevelt, Jack Dempsey, Helen Keller, General George S. Patton, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. RCA chose the pit bull terrier/fox terrier mix, Nipper as their logo.  Buster Brown Shoe company also had a pit bull terrier as its symbol.  The most famous of us pit bulls was probably Petey from the Little Rascals “Our Gang”.  Petey was one of the first registered American Pit Bull Terriers.  He was registered with the United Kennel Club.  The UKC is the 2nd largest registry for dog breeds.  Petey had the famous ring around his eye that was actually only ¾ of a ring and was made complete by then unknown make-up artist Max Factor.

How we fell from the graces of the American people is perhaps one of the most tragic stories of man and dog. It is mostly due to misnomers from the media and irresponsible owners. We are a loyal breed set on pleasing the owner, if our owner encourages our natural fighting tendencies, we will take direction from them and fight.  I have owners that give positive, gentle enforcement to keep my dog aggression in check; therefore I am a pretty laid back guy. My trait of dog aggression is exactly that- we have never been bred to have any aggression towards people.  In fact, it is a disqualification in the UKC standard. When we are properly bred, trained and socialized we are among the least likely to be human aggressive due to our uncanny ability to determine friend or foe and our strong determination to please our owner. Many stories report pit bull attacks on people are not even pit bulls at all.   Pit bulls used by drug dealers for protection from police have also led to our bad press. Michael Vick and his illegal dog fighting ring are proof that people are irresponsibly breeding and training pit bulls. Because of all this bad publicity, we are now in danger of becoming extinct. Communities and towns, insurance companies, and home owners associations across America are introducing legislation to ban ownership of pit bull terriers.  The AKC “strongly opposes breed specific legislation as dogs should be deemed dangerous based on measured action and penalties should be imposed on the irresponsible owners” to discourage this trend.    

The UKC standard states we should show strength, confidence, and a zest for life.  Any combinations of colors solid or otherwise are acceptable, as are any color eyes except blue.  I am a blue 70 pound typical American Pit Bull Terrier and I live with my friend Roxy, a cat.  I need an owner that can be a good public relations representative for my breed and can be a strong leader for me. I am easily trained because of my willingness to please.   If you decide to help rebuild the reputation of the American Pit Bull Terrier, be sure to get a breeder referred through the UKC or ADBA for the best temperament and to avoid a questionable background and uncertain heritage.  We excel at all different sports including agility and weight pulling which shows off our strength and determination.  Socialization is crucial to reduce the impulse to challenge other dogs. We should be socialized early as a puppy and should be trained to ignore other dogs, even when we are challenged.  A lack of socialization can lead to a fearful or aggressive dog. There are thousands of adoptable pit bulls and if you have the patience, you should consider this option as we will be devoted to you for life.  I leave you with consideration of an old English proverb- “The virtues of the dog are his own; his vices those of his master.”



English Cocker Spaniel

Mira                                                                                                                                                   May 2010

I am Mira, an English Cocker Spaniel.  My breed is not widely popular, but once people get to know us, they become completely loyal to the breed.  We are closely related to the English Springer Spaniel, who is slightly larger and the English Toy Spaniel who is smaller. In fact, we were developed with the Springer with height being the only difference. Throughout our history, great precautions were taken to keep our bloodlines pure and separate from the American Cocker Spaniel. The biggest difference between us and the American Cocker Spaniel is our muzzle, which is longer than the American Cocker Spaniel’s.  Our physical characteristics that are part of our standard, all put together makes us the finest of all small hunting dogs. Our long, wavy coats protect us through dense woods, thick brush and marshes.  Our long, low set ears and wide nostrils help sweep up the scent of the trail we are on. Our wide-set eyes help us see as our heads are down following the scent. We are graceful, muscular and compact which adds to our excellent hunting skills.

Of all the English Cocker Spaniel friends I have, I don’t know any who are out on the hunt. We all still have strong hunting instincts however, as we were bred to quarter and flush out our prey which included woodcock, pheasant and rabbit. We worked close on the ground with the hunters.  Because of our strong hunting instincts, we need a leader that is as motivated as we are, as we can be somewhat stubborn and challenging during training. Like most breeds we should be socialized at an early age.  We do fine as a solo dog or with other dogs.

Most of us are beloved, devoted, loyal companion dogs. We are merry and affectionate, sometimes clownish with a quirky sense of humor and very athletic.  We excel at agility and obedience training. My friend Coco does obedience training and my friend Christian is great at agility.

I am orange roan in color and require brushing and grooming to help keep me beautiful. Other acceptable colors are black, liver, and various combinations of tans, reds and white. Our variations of colors make us each look unique.  I do need a fair amount of physical exercise as a pet, and I love to play.  My friend Sabrina loves to play ball and she can play for a long time.

 When I was a puppy, I was in a terrible car accident and that’s how I got my name, it’s short for Miracle.  I am almost 2 now and weigh 23 pounds.  I was the pick of my litter, as I am very feminine and pretty.  I am very lucky because I am very well taken care of and I feel I deserve it!  I like to be on a schedule and can sometimes let you know if I don’t feel like playing with you or if I want to do something else, it’s pretty much all about me. One of our greatest characteristics is our emotional expressions, which people fall in love with… we literally give you the “puppy eyes” look. We are devoted to our people and if you are looking for a medium sized, sweet, joyful, active (yet not hyperactive) dog, you should consider an English Cocker Spaniel.


Bichon Bolognese

Bianca                                                                                                                                   June 2010

My name is Bianca, also known as Princess Bianca or Miss B.  I may be small, but I am full of personality. You can even ask my mom who saw me at just 5 weeks old, and knew she just had to have me!

I am a rare breed that is not common in the United States; in fact there are only around 1,000 of us here in the   U. S.  We are much more popular in the countries where we were first bred, Italy and France. I am a Bichon Bolognese. The word bichon refers to the type of related breeds that are non-sporting companion dogs. We vary in appearance, but we all have tails that curl over our back and have hair versus fur which reduces shedding.  We also have short snouts, drop ears and large, dark eyes.  Other Bichons you may recognize include the Bichon Frise, the Havanese, the Maltese, the Lowchen, and the Coton de Tulear. We are all distant descendants of the poodle.  

We originate from the town in Italy where we get our name, Bologna.  As far back as the 11th and 12th centuries, we were valued as special gifts of the courts and nobility class.   We appear in many pieces of artwork from the Renaissance period. The ruler of Florence, Cosimo de Medici, gave eight of us to Belgium noblemen as gifts. The King of Spain, Philip II, received a pair of dogs and wrote a letter of appreciation saying, “These 2 little dogs are the most royal gifts one can make to an emperor.” We were bred to hunt mice and were kept on ships to keep the mice away.  I personally would never hunt a mouse, but I guess my some of my ancestors had to work a lot harder than I do! Work really isn’t for me!  I lead a pretty luxurious life, the hardest thing I do is decide which sweater to wear for the day!  I would have done better in the courts of the day.

As nobility came to pass in European countries we almost became extinct. A man from Italy that was totally devoted to our breed, Gian Franco Gianelli, with the help a few breeders in Europe brought the breed back to what it has become today. 

I will be 3 next month, and I weigh about 10 pounds. Our typical weight is 5-14 pounds, and we are generally 10-12” at the withers. We are all white; some cream shading is also acceptable. We have a single coat of curly hair that is wooly in texture. Most of us leave our hair longer, but I prefer a shorter cut to look my best at all times! I go to the groomers once a month to keep myself trim and pretty!  The longer the hair gets, the more matted it can become, and I’m not really a matted type girl! Where our breed was favored among nobility, we are very personable and well behaved; we do not tend to be “yappy” and are great companion dogs. We closely bond with our owner and are fairly easy to train, we are very intelligent. I know all the commands, it’s just a matter if I feel like showing you that I know them. I love attention from people and am good with other dogs.  As long as the dogs know that I have first dibs on the lap, we’ll all get along.  One of my favorite activities is sitting with the fan on with my curls blowing in the wind. I am a more non active breed and only need a good 20 minute walk each day for exercise.  I am compact and can travel around easy with you, which I prefer than being left alone.  Some owners report dogs as old as 10 still being as playful as a puppy.  If you are searching for a small companion dog, you have found the perfect breed!


American Eskimo Dog

Stuart                                                                                                                                           July 2010

The American Eskimo Dog is a spitz breed that is known as circus performing dogs.  I am Stuart and I love to perform tricks that I learn. My breed is descended from European Nordic spitz dogs including the
white German spitz, large white Pomeranians, the white Keeshond and the Italian spitz. German immigrants brought us to America in the 19th century, where we were popular in German communities and known as a German spitz.  After years of breeding the white dogs, we became distinctly different from the original dogs.  At this time we became known as the American Spitz. Part of this new name was due to patriotism during World War I. Later, we had another name change and Eskimo was added to our name.  Although we had no real connection to the Eskimos, other than the similar look to their sled dogs this became our official name. It is believed that the Eskimo name came from one of the first kennels to breed us. 

Contrary to what our name suggests, we were not bred as a sled dog.  We were originally bred to guard and protect both people and property.  We were sent out on the farms to watch over herds and even children.  We are sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s watchdog”, as we are not very large and intimidating, but can sound like we are. We are very alert and protective and sometimes have trouble with the “quiet” command, however nothing and no one gets by me! As circus performers, we were favored for our swift agility, extreme intelligence and our sparkling white coats.  We worked well with the other performers and animals and were eager to learn new tricks and routines.  We performed with Barnum and Bailey and with Ringling Brothers. One of my famous ancestors, Stout’s Pal Pierre, was famous for walking the tightrope in the Cooper Brother’s Railroad Circus in 1917. The traveling circuses helped us become a beloved breed throughout America, where we gained popularity at a time when we were at war with our country of origin which led to our name changes. It is believed that most of us can actually trace our lineage back directly to these circus performers.  I haven’t learned the tightrope yet, but I can jump through hula hoops, over fences, run through tunnels and follow various hand signals from my owner.  Learning these tricks are so easy and fun, not as hard as learning “quiet”.

There are three recognized sizes of “Eskies” toy (9-12 inches), miniature (over 12 to 15 inches) and standard (15-19 inches).  I am a miniature and I weigh 24 pounds, I am just a little guy but I am pretty muscular and very quick when in motion. Eskies are all white or white with biscuit cream.  I have cream colored ears.  We all have white eyelashes and black points at the lips, nose and eye rims. . My oval eyes are soft brown and very alert.  Under my sparkling white lion-like rough double coat, I have pink skin.  I will shed once or twice a year, so brushing daily is required during that time. Other than that we do not require special grooming, in fact any trimming (except at the pads of the feet) is against our breed standard. We are in the non-sporting group in the AKC, one of only 3 kennel clubs in which we are recognized in the world.

I am somewhat wary of strangers and need to be introduced to get to know them to feel comfortable with new people. I am very sweet and loyal to my family and like to be an active part of their life.  I am not much of a couch potato, I like to be active; but I am not above a relaxing belly rub.  I need plenty of exercise and I love to play.  I like to play hide and seek and fetching games.  We are easy to train and like all dogs I need proper socialization to keep my protective skills in check. I am lots of fun and like to amuse and entertain my family with my tricks.  We do best with families with older children.   If you have an active lifestyle and are looking for a playful companion, you should consider an American Eskimo Dog.  



Fenway                                                                                                                                   August 2010              

I’m Fenway, also known as the “Fastest Tongue on the South Shore”. I love to give kisses and will not ask before giving them, so be on alert for unexpected kisses from me.  I am a Boxer; my tongue is just the tip of the iceberg as far as how fast and energetic the rest of me can be.  We are known as the clowns of the dog world because we are so playful and can be silly sometimes too.  Regardless of these traits, we were originally hunters of wild game and are now used worldwide as excellent assistants to police, military, and search and rescue teams. 

We originate from Germany, where we pinned the game until the hunters caught up with us to collect their prize.  The Bulldog is a cousin of ours, and where we get our strong jaws. There is also a bit of terrier in our blood, which gives us the unyielding determination to follow our prey.  This combination made us a favorite for hunters of larger game such as bison and wild boar.  This type of work contributed to the docked tail and cropped ears you see today, the wild game would grab our tails as we tried to pin them to a hold, so they were shortened for our protection.  When we play you can easily imagine me running towards a wild boar leading with my front paws batting at him, nipping at his feet and springing around quickly to take hold.  Everyone who knows me, would laugh at that image, because I’m really too worried about playing with anyone and anything, as opposed to taking down wild game!  This action of leading with our front paws is how we got our name because of our resemblance to a boxer in the ring.

We are very sensitive dogs and become devoted to our people. We will mirror your moods and be ready for anything you lay on us- we will work hard for you and are eager to learn, we will outlast you playing any game you can come up with, we will make you laugh, and we will be a shoulder to cry on. Our deep expressions will comfort you, alert you, and make you laugh.  Our work with police and military requires alertness, courage, and intelligence.  We do need a strong, positive leader to guide us, as there is still a trace of aggression that makes us excellent guard dogs. We are in the working group, and are extremely agile and athletic. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Justin Timberlake and Humphrey Bogart have all loved a Boxer. 

I am told I look like one big muscle, even my head looks muscular! My short, reverse brindle coat shows off my muscular build.  The coloring is black with orange making me look almost like I am a tiger!  I have 4 white “socks” on my legs, ironic given my Red Sox namesake.  Because of this coat, I can be sensitive to temperature, easily heated and chilled quickly.  That’s why you see some of us wearing a sweater in the winter.  A weekly brushing keeps my skin healthy. I am only 7 months old and weigh 60 pounds- my father weighs about 80 pounds so I probably will grow even more muscles. I need lots of exercise so I get to go to day care, go on pack walks and will be walked or go jogging for 3-5 miles to get my energy out and to socialize with lots of friends.  Frisbee and fetch are my two favorite games.  My family is active and is going to take me kayaking and camping soon!  I can’t wait. My mom says I can be stubborn during training, but I always come around, because after all I really just want to make her happy!  I love children and meeting new people and am a trusted companion to my family.  When I finally do run out of energy, I like a nap, and I like to be touching someone so I can really get comfy.  And I have been told that when I am in a deep sleep, I snore very loudly- but that just means I feel safe and happy to be with you and am dreaming of giving you a lifetime of kisses!    


Labrador Retriever

Charter and Ziggy                                                                                                           September 2010

Hands down the most popular registered dog breed in America has consistently been the Labrador Retriever.  It is also the most popular breed in Canada and the United Kingdom where the breed was developed into the dogs we see today. Meet Charter and Ziggy to see why this breed is so popular.

I’m Charter, I am a yellow English Labrador Retriever, and I love being a lab!  We were originally from Newfoundland and bred to pull in the fishermen’s nets and catch any fish that escaped. We were vital to their livelihood and worked hard beside them in the water. Because of our close relationship with the fishermen, we became an active member of their family.   We were recognized by English merchants as superior water dogs and were brought to England to accompany hunters.    A heavy dog tax in Newfoundland stopped the importations of labs to England and caused our breed to die out in Newfoundland. We survived by the few dogs that had previously been imported by the merchants. The region we were brought to is how we got the name Labrador. This is when we were bred to retrieve and hunt for water fowl for long hours under difficult weather and terrain conditions.  This is still what we are bred to do. I have been trained since I was only a few weeks old to retrieve water fowl during duck season. At six months old I dove into the icy bay and retrieved my first black duck!  It was so much fun, my dad was so proud of me and now I can’t wait to get to the water. When I see geese or birds flying above- I get really excited to go duck hunting.

Besides swimming, Charter’s next favorite activity is going to school. I know because I am Ziggy and Charter is my best friend. Everyone at school always wants to play with Charter, he is the cool kid and he has lots of friends. He is very outgoing, athletic and well balanced, typical lab characteristics.  We are always together, we play ball, we wrestle, and we chew on the same bone together.  Charter is 75 pounds and is just about 18 months old, I am 90 pounds and about the same. Sometimes too many dogs want to play all at the same time with us, and it’s my job to tell the other guys whose turn it is to play with us.  Charter will let me know, and I am bigger and have a louder bark so I will let the other guys know who is up for fun with Ziggy and Charter.  When we have nap time, Charter will use me as a pillow. I am not so into duck hunting like Charter- but I love to play ball.  My favorite activity is chewing on a good bone. If I can lie down on your feet and chew on my bone, I am in doggy heaven!

Ziggy is so laid back, which is why he is my best friend.  He is very even tempered, that’s why when he uses his size and bark the other guys listen to him.  He has big, brown eyes that let you how gentle he is. Ziggy just loves affection and attention and makes the best pillow at naptime.  He is considered a white lab which is the lightest form of the yellow color that can range from fox red to light cream. Labs can also be black like our friend Hunter, or chocolate like our friend Luigi.  My dad weighed 100 pounds, but I am probably not going to get that big. Ziggy is hopefully full grown too. He was off puppy food at six months old; because the vet told his mom he was losing his waist line!

Like all labs, we both have the classic “otter tail” that we are famous for, and they never stop wagging- but look out by Ziggy, he sometimes forgets how strong that tail can be.  The tail propels us through the water and helps us be excellent swimmers along with our webbed feet. We also have a short, dense weather resistant double-coat, but don’t be fooled; we do shed twice a year and still need to be groomed regularly.  We are an active member of our families, and are eager to please, but do need a strong leader to show us boundaries.

There are two types of labs, yet they are not separated by the AKC standards.  The English Labs have shorter legs, a heavier body, a thicker tail and coat and are known to be calmer by nature.  These labs are thought to be more show quality than the American Labs. In England, however, no dog can be a bench show champion without a working certificate. The American Labs are tall and lanky and are more of the field champions.  Either way, us labs are absolutely lovable and mesh well with family life. We are completely devoted and loyal and are very eager to please.  We take to training with a firm and fair leader very easily.

Of course everyone knows and loves a lab, and there have been many famous labs.  Recently the book and movie Marley and Me have brought our popularity to an all time high. Other famous labs include many guide and search and rescue dogs such as Endal, a service dog in Britain that was “the most decorated dog in the world”.  The single most important trait that we all share is being well balanced- and that alone makes us an endearing part of all our families and friends life.



Golden Retriever

Macey                                                                                                                                 October 2010

Look out- here I come- it’s Macey!!  I very rarely sit still enough for you to get a good look at me.  I am a Golden Retriever- I love life and live every moment to its fullest. I always have a smile on my face and I like to be in the thick of the action and the center of attention and will go to great lengths to get noticed. I like being the class clown and doing anything for a laugh.  One time at school, I even pulled the fire alarm while I was chasing the light reflecting off my tags.  I don’t think the teachers thought it was very funny, but me and my friends did, even though it was an accident. I also rule the school and make sure everyone knows it.   

Us Goldens have been loved worldwide for a long time, since we were first used as hunters’ companions in England and Scotland.  In the early 1800’s, the development of more sophisticated guns caused the birds to become lost because of the distance with which the hunter could hit his mark.  The need for a dog with specific characteristics to find these fowl at a distance began the development of the perfect gun dog.   We were bred with several different breeds to become great retrievers, such as the Irish Setter and Bloodhound. We have the perfect combination of size and strength and are excellent swimmers to retrieve water fowl such as duck. Our dense water-repellent, double coats help us move easily through heavy vegetation in the fields to retrieve upland game birds such as pheasant and quail.  We filled the hunters’ needs because hunting was both a sport and a necessity for getting food.  Because we are so versatile and such excellent companions: trustworthy, reliable, eager to please and easy to train, we eliminated the need for different dogs bred to do specific tasks.  We bonded deeply with our owners and became the favorite dog with their families.  We went to work and we played with them.  And even today that is all we want to do- be with our family and work and play with them.

I am 2 and a half years old and weigh 85 pounds and have a true yellow golden color. But I know lots of Golden Retrievers and they can range in all different sizes and colors from light golden like my friend Mickey and richer dark golden like my friend Charlie.  I love to play ball, but only with my favorite ball, don’t try to trick me with any old ball, I only want my ball. I love to wrestle with my friend Mattie at school. I live with a bunch of kids which is really fun because I have lots of energy!  We go swimming, and I chase the frogs in the pool.    I get super excited when I get to see you, and would love a belly rub if you have the time.  Goldens are not a “one man dog”, as we love everyone so we wouldn’t make a great guard dog, but these qualities are what makes us superior guide dogs. 

Golden Retrievers have become one of the most popular breeds in America because of all our great traits. We are the preferred breed to be trained as guide dogs for the blind, as we are intelligent and compassionate. We are enthusiastic and need lots of activity, we will work or play, either way we like to be on the constant move.  Many famous people from all walks of life have enjoyed Goldens such as Pam Anderson, Jackie Chan, Tom Cruise, Oprah, Nick Jonas, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Buffet with his Golden- Cheeseburger. We are very versatile and can adapt to any lifestyle and family, just be prepared to get up and go with us, because we don’t like to go without you! 


Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Juno                                                                                                                                     November 2010

You may not know my breed very well and you may confuse me with my cousin the Bernese Mountain Dog, as we both come from Switzerland and have similar coloring. We were bred for many of the same jobs.  I am Juno, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.  I do not have the long silky coat like a Bernese, my double coat is short and smooth, but we both proudly carry the white Swiss cross on our chest.  At one time, we were the most popular breed in Switzerland.  The Swissy, as we are known, is the oldest and the largest of the four Sennenhund breeds.  The Senn were dairy farmers and herders that lived in the Swiss Alps. We were bred to herd cattle on the dairy farms in the mountainous terrain of the Alps.  We were known as the “poor man’s horse”.  We were relied on as a draft dog- to pull heavy carts throughout the farm, helping the farmers with their daily work.  We worked closely with the farmers and soon became a favorite companion.

 As machines took over many of our jobs in the late 19th century, our breed became obsolete. Dr. Albert Heim, a famous dog expert from Zurich, was judging a Swiss dog show in 1908. An owner thought he had an unusual looking Bernese Mountain Dog, Bello, and entered him in the show as a Bernese. Little did he know; Bello was a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.  Dr. Heim identified him as a rare Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and began work on restoring the breed. He wrote the first standard for our breed based on Bello.  Dr. Heim located other examples of the Swissy in the Alps and brought the breed back before it became extinct.    During World War II, we were used as draft dogs in the Swiss Army.  As we were shown in European dog shows, we caught the attention of two Americans, who eventually imported us to the United States in the late 1960’s.  We were officially recognized by the AKC in 1995 and were placed in the Working Group, along with the Rottweiler and the Saint Bernard. We were the foundation for the development of both those breeds.

I am 13 months old and I am still growing, so I still have lots of puppy qualities.  My body is still developing into the strong, muscular draft dog of my ancestors, so sometimes I can be a little clumsy if I try to run too fast.  I have a little way to go to grow into my feet.  It can take up to 3 years for me to fully mature both in body and mind.  That means I get to be a big puppy for a long time! It’s so fun to be a puppy; I like to do all the things puppies do like steal toys and eat shoes and follow you all around.  Lucky for me, my family has lots of patience and did their homework to be prepared for this extended puppy time.  That also means I may need extra help in training, as I can be puppy stubborn and may not be able to focus on all that work for a long time!  It took 9 months for me to be fully trusted with housetraining, but I tried really hard.  Right now I am pretty energetic and go for walks about 45 minutes each day, but I am not super high energy. I will have bursts of energy and then take a timeout.  Playing with my friends at school is great exercise for me and I love other dogs!  As I age, the amount of activity I’ll require will diminish.  I have the classic Swissy markings, with black being the ground color and rust and white as the marking colors. A white marking on our chest will typically form an inverted cross.  Mine is kind of hard to see, but I am still growing. I weigh 85 pounds and will probably get to be 110-120 pounds when I am full grown.

I live with a family with three young kids that I love to hang around with.  We Swissys are very much an active part of our family.  I have a big backyard that I get to play around in, but I much prefer to be with my family. I always make sure they know when someone is arriving at the house.  I don’t want them to be surprised so sometimes I will alert them a couple of times, or more.  I am a good watchdog and will stand my ground if threatened, but not aggressive in any way. I am friendly and enthusiastic when I meet new people. I am a pretty mellow girl and a big sweetheart according to my teachers at school. When I finally lay down for a rest, get your earplugs, because I can snore pretty loud.      


Basset Hound

Jake                                                                                                                                 December 2010

Most dogs were selectively bred to do specific jobs and you can usually see all the traits that were picked for their jobs pretty easily.  I am Jake the Basset Hound and looking at me at first glance, it may be hard to pick out my special features. At first I look sad and slow, when I play I may look a little clownish, but as you look closer at all my details, you can see what I was originally designed to do. Every inch of me has a precise purpose, from my tail, to my coat, to my paws, to my voice, to my ears, and of course my most important asset, my nose.

  We are true hounds, so we are hunting dogs.  We were specifically designed by friars of St. Hubert Abbey in France to be a lower set, slower hunting dog easier to be followed on foot.  The word basset is from bas- “low” or “dwarf” in French.  We were bred to trail rabbits, hares, deer and pheasant in the hunt and to take them to the ground.  My skin hangs loose, causing lots of wrinkles that helps protect me in the dense underbrush.  My short legs keep me low to the ground to pick up the scent.   My long low ears are set far back on my head almost to my neck to swoop up and trap the scent to my strong nose.  They are velvety and soft and are slightly curled at the tip to direct the scent to my nose.  When folded over, my ears are longer than my snout. We actually hold the world record for the longest dog ears! Many of my features help to heighten my sense of smell.  My scent sense is second only to the Blood Hound in the dog world.  The Blood Hound was famous for tracking lost people.  When the monks set out to develop a lower tracking dog, they selected a Blood Hound for his famous nose.   Being a descendent of the Blood Hound, us Basset Hounds inherited this exceptional sense of smell.  I can smell one to ten million times more acutely than humans.  My long snout helps to keep me focused on a scent and distinguish the specific scent of the game in the hunt. This means I can track those rabbits on a long trail. I am not as quick as a rabbit, but being slow and deliberate, I am less likely to scare them as I approach.  My paws are very large to give my heavy body balance. We have powerful necks under all that loose skin, to use when we have our game trapped. The Basset Hound is the heaviest boned dog when compared by size to other breeds.  My tail is white tipped, so hunters following by foot can easily follow me in the dense brush. My other well known characteristic is my voice.  If the hunters ever lost my trail, my low deep howl would easily lead them back to me. 

Because of my slow, gentle and agreeable ways, I can fit into a pack of hunting dogs easily, but I am just as happy alone too. At the time we were first developed, hunting was a sport amongst the aristocrats and I was an easy dog to keep as both a pet and out on the hunt as a competitor. We were extremely devoted to our masters. I am almost 10 months old and weigh 50 pounds. I will only be 12-15” high and will be 50-70 pounds when I am full grown.  That is almost as much as a lab, which is almost twice as tall as me! I need lots of exercise, because it is important that I don’t become overweight.  An overweight Basset can lead to many health problems, especially adding stress to my spine. I can become very lazy if you let me, my dad has a treadmill for me.  I get treats when I get on the treadmill so I guess it’s worth it!  I love to go for long walks, but don’t get mad if I start to pull, I may find a scent that I have to follow.  I love to use my nose and once I am in the zone it may be difficult to get my attention!  I am told I can be a little bit stubborn, but treats will always work to get my attention during training.  Because of my unique body structure, I am not a swimmer, I am so heavy and with my short legs, I cannot get enough momentum to keep myself afloat.  Sometimes even stairs are hard to negotiate!

George Washington was presented a pair of Basset Hounds by Lafayette, a French general who fought under Washington in the American Revolution. This was our first introduction to the U. S. and our popularity grew from there.  The first Basset registered in the AKC was in 1885. In 1928 we were featured on the cover of Time magazine and from there we started to show up in cartoons, comic strips and other popular culture.  Of course we have been the symbol for Hush Puppies for over 50 years! I love to go to day care and see all my friends, I get to play and bark with all my buddies. Sometimes we will break into a howl song and we will see who can howl the longest, I usually win! After day care or my walk or a treadmill work out, I get pretty tired and when I sack out, I sleep on my back and get a good long rest!  I can be a little reserved when I first meet you, but when I see you again I will be happy to have your company!    



Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Finn                                                                                                                                     January 2011

Look out here I come to give you my famous “Wheaty Greety”, I am so excited to meet you!!  I will jump up to see you and get lots of pets.  You will really love meI am Finn, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.  I have so much to tell you about my breed! The first thing you should know about us, is that we are very high energy. I love to run.   I love to jump. I love to play.  I love to be in on all the action and I don’t want to miss one single thing! We are famous for our happy, merry, buoyant nature.  This sets us apart from other terriers, as we are not so tenacious and determined in our work- we love to play!  I may not have a long attention span, but I love to play! Our long silky single coat of hair is the other characteristic that sets us apart from other terriers too. We are soft and fluffy and my coat is wavy, not wiry like other terriers. I keep the puppy cut, which suits me, I look like a big muppet when I run and jump and play!  The show dogs keep the classic terrier cut, showing off the terrier outline with a “fau” the tuft of hair that hangs over our eyes and a beard.  I need a lot of combing to keep my hair from getting tangled.    I am a good choice for people with allergies who like to run and jump and play, as I shed very little and have real hair. Speaking of running, jumping and playing, I am great with kids, my kids Sydney and Samantha love to run and jump and play with me. My favorite game is tug-of-war.  I will take a break and watch tv with Syd and Sam but I really love to run and jump and play!

I am also good with other dogs but my natural instincts can kick in with smaller animals and we may mistake a small pet such as a guinea pig as prey.  We were known as “the poor man’s dog” in my native Ireland, where we have been a popular breed for over 200 years.  The farmers were not allowed to keep hounds and we were not popular with the upper class (probably because they didn’t run and jump and play), so we became a favorite of the farmers. We were an all purpose farm dog, patrolling the borders (running), herding sheep and hunting small game (jumping) keeping the farm free of small pests (playing). The legend of our beginning tells a story of a Spanish Armada that was sinking off the coast of Ireland.  The dark blue dogs on the ship jumped off and swam to Ireland’s shores where they mated with the wheaten colored native dogs.  Maybe that’s where we get our jumping instincts from.  We are believed to be related to both the Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier, both natives of Ireland as well.  We were first brought to the United States by Lydia Vogel of Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1940’s, but did not get admitted into the AKC until 1973. The first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier registered with the AKC, was Holmenocks Gramchree, known as “Irish” whose owner was an original member of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America that was founded on St. Patrick’s Day in 1962.

I weigh 38 pounds and am a very sturdy, medium built dog.  I am 16 months old and when Wheatens are born we are a rusty brown or mahogany color, as we grow, our coats become the blonder, wheaten color. We are very intelligent, despite our light-hearted puppy ways.  My dad says on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being easy to train, I was a 7. If you make training a reward based, fun game I will stay more focused and pay attention better. I still do have some of those famous terrier traits, like stubbornness and stamina, so I do require a firm handler for training.  One health issue we have is that we are very allergic to fleas, even one bite can cause a serious allergic reaction so preventative precautions are a must.  Well it’s time for me to either run, jump, or play, not sure which I ‘m going to do first. If you are looking for a dog that closely bonds to your family and gives nothing but love and affection, you should consider a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. And did I mention I love to run and jump and play?!



Parson Jack Russell Terrier

Dakota                                                                                                                   February  2011

Hi! I’m Dakota the Parson Jack Russell Terrier.  You would recognize my breed by two famous Jack Russells- Wishbone and Eddie (from the TV show Frasier). We are true terriers that have some extra distinctive traits bred into us to excel at fox hunting.  Red fox hunting was the sport of kings for Englishmen in the 1800’s, and we were developed to work the fox both above and underground. We were the ideal dog to follow the horses and hounds and then to burrow underground so the hunt could continue.  We have a sound trotting gait with long legs to allow us to keep up with the pack and a compact flexible strong chest to chase the fox underground. We were bred to have the will to follow the fox without regard of fear. We have an unyielding determination to never quit and no capacity to feel fear despite the chances or costs.  We have a high tolerance of pain and are a tenacious and courageous hunter. Our water proof coat helps protect us against the severe elements we may encounter through the thicket and underground. In fact our fold-over triangle ears were bred into our breed to keep the dirt out as we burrow after the fox.  Our tails are docked so the hunters have a handle to pull us out of the tunnels once we have cornered our prey.  The hounds use their sense of smell to pursue the fox, while we use our speed and our determination. We were used to hold the fox at bay and not to kill it until the hunters arrived. We originated from a cross between the Old English White Terrier, which is now extinct and a black and tan terrier similar to the Manchester Terrier.

 The Reverend John “Jack” Russell was a celebrated fox hunter and had very specific requirements for his terriers as he developed the breed.  He was a founding member of England’s Kennel Club and he judged fox terriers.  He did not show his own terriers at conformation shows, because he believed the nature of his terriers would not show well at conformation competitions.  Because of his great contributions to the dog world, the name Jack Russell terrier was bestowed on us in his honor after his death. However, the name Jack Russell Terrier was known to the public as any working hunting terrier, some of which had suspected bull terrier or Lakeland terrier in the blood lines. These dogs would not be recognized as the terriers Rev. Russell had developed. As they were introduced to America, this name followed.  Our breed standard is written to fault for brindle coloring and any curling or waving in our coat to ensure that the bull terrier and Lakeland terrier has not been introduced to the bloodline.  Our breed standard was written in 1904 to distinguish us from all other hunting terriers.  We were accepted into the AKC in 1997 as Jack Russell Terrier, later having our name changed to Parson Jack Russell Terrier.  Within our terrier world, there are three types: Jack Russells are known as the broader, taller dogs at 10-15 inches, Parson Russells are slimmer at 12-14 inches with longer legs and the Russells are the little guys at 8-12 inches.  The AKC recognizes 14 inches as ideal height and disqualifies dogs under 12 inches and over 15 inches.

All terriers are alert and confident, independent and have a balanced build. With our innate sense to hunt, I may not be best friends with small animals that I may mistake as prey. I require an experienced dog owner for training, as I have low tolerance for boredom and can be quite stubborn and feisty.  I require my due portion of proper attention and can become destructive and aggressive if not given an outlet for my boundless energy. My natural instincts for digging and chasing can be quite destructive if I am left to my own devices. That is why I like to have a job to do. My job is very important, I am a certified Canine Good Citizen and I make visits with children who have special needs and the elderly. I love to meet people and show them my tricks. I can salute you with my paw when you say “Attention”!  We are also excellent jumpers- we can jump 5 times our height.  We are stars at agility, especially the racing trials which include steeplechases.  My favorite activity is chasing the ball!  I LOVE the ball.  I go after the ball with the same tenacity as my ancestors went after the fox.  We need at least an hour a day to run; I could chase the ball all day.

I’ll l be 4 years old this month and weigh 17 pounds.  I have the classic smooth white coat, with tan markings. We can have black markings or be all white or a combination of all three colors. Ideally our markings are confined to our head and tail. Our wiry coat comes in smooth or broken, broken having a short, dense undercoat covered with a straight tight jacket.  The broken coat also has a hint of eyebrows and a beard.  Even with my smooth coat, I shed, getting groomed every 6-8 weeks helps reduce shedding and keeps me soft.  We do have sensitive skin and sunscreen should be used if we are out on a sunny day.  Even with all our good hunter instincts out with the pack, we were playful and overwhelmingly affectionate at home with the hunters.  We are loyal to our owners and I love to burrow under the blankets for a snooze. It’s one of the only times you’ll catch me be still!



Ginger                                                                                                                                                   March 2011

My name is Ginger- I stand out in a crowd because of my graceful elegant looks.  My rust color accentuates my sleek, muscular stature. I may be pretty to look at, but as with most breeds, all of my features have a specific purpose. I am a Viszla, also known as the Hungarian Pointer.  My breed is represented in etchings going back to the 10th century and we were first written about in the Illustrated Vienna Chronicle in 1357.  We originated in Hungary and became a favorite of the aristocratic barons that ruled.  We were a prized possession of the barons and they quickly recognized our talents for hunting and developed our breed as the ultimate medium sized hunting dog. With the long, hot summers and short cool winters, we thrived in the Hungarian countryside.  Hungary was mostly an agricultural country with open fields of wheat and grains which attracted small game such as rabbits and waterfowl and birds such as partridge and quail. With our catlike paws, and cautious approach in the open fields we served well as a pointer. With our swift, agile and athletic ways, we also served well as a retriever. Our coats blended into the landscape to help camouflage us on the hunt.  Our endurance allowed us to keep up with the hunters for long hours and that led to the strong bond between us and the barons.  We were part of the family and lived regally with our owners. During winters we were kept indoors, as we do not have an undercoat for protection against the elements. Winter is not my favorite time of year as I can become quite chilled.  Sometimes you will see Viszlas wearing sweaters for warmth, although they can make quite the fashion statement as well. I am all about style. 

I am 18 months old and weigh 38 pounds.  The AKC standard for Viszlas is quite specific in regards to height and weight as we were specifically bred to be the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds.  We also have strict requirements relating to color.  White is only acceptable on the chest or the toes in small amounts. We are considered “self colored” meaning our eyes, eye rims, nose, lips, toenails and pads all blend with the color of our coat which can range from golden rust to sandy yellow.  That is some color coordination!  Black, mahogany and pale yellow are all disqualifications.  We have a large iris and show very little white in our eyes.  I am gorgeous and I know it and I take care of myself.   I need a little grooming help at the spa with nails, and maybe dry bath (aka massage).  I am very clean and do not have the typical “dog smell”, which is good because I think I am human and can blend in. This “dog smell” can be even worse after most dogs swim, but not with me! I love the ocean and going for long runs and swims at the beach. Viszlas are famous for having no dog smell which is probably why we were welcome into the barons’ homes so long ago.   We Viszlas also have a docked tail by design to protect the whip like tail we are born with from becoming injured during the hunt. 

Towards the end of World War II we were practically extinct, with only about 12 of us left in Hungary. From these twelve, our breed was saved. In 1950, the first Viszlas- Sari and her two pups were imported to the United States. By 1960 Rex was registered as the first Viszla in the AKC. Today the Viszla is one of the top 50 most popular breeds registered in the Kennel Club of Great Britain, with almost 1,000 registered per year.  In fact, in 2010 at the world’s largest dog show, Crufts, a Viszla named Yogi won best in show.  We have come a long way since our hunting days!

One of my best friends at school is Jake the Basset Hound, we are about as opposite as you can get.  There I am with my long legs and sleek body, my beautiful shiny coat and quiet, gentle regal elegance and style. And there is Jake low and droopy and clownish, handsome in his own unique way with his big booming voice.  Everyone says we make quite the pair- I guess opposites attract. But we have lots of fun playing and playing! I am very energetic and require a good hour or two of activity each day. I love to run so space is a must.  My natural hunting instincts will kick in with small animals, and because of my high energy, I may be too much for very small children.   I am also learning to go on the hunt with my dad; I have been once and had fun. I live with my sister Kasey who is also a Viszla.  She is 14 years old and is a perfect example of how Viszlas have a long puppy life, she still wrestles with me.  We are also known as the “Velcro dog”, if we are not on the hunt, we want to be with you.  We are extremely loyal, affectionate and gentle.  We warm up to new people quickly. We love to be part of an active family and bond very deeply with our family.   I am sensitive by nature, and thrive on your positive attention which makes me easy to train. But it takes some patience to get me to focus on exactly what it is you would like me to do, as I can become overwhelmed.  Harsh training is not a good idea for Viszlas, as we are too sensitive and it can actually cause long term behavioral issues.  Even a slightly raised voice can send me cowering.  We are not above crying for the attention we love and deserve, and in return will give you all the love and attention a snuggly 38 pound lap dog can give!


German Shepherd Dog

Mya                                                                                                                                         April 2011

The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most popular 5 dog breeds in the United States, which is impressive as it is a fairly new breed in terms of dog breeds.  We were founded by a German cavalry captain determined to develop the ultimate working dog in 1899. Max von Stephanitz identified what he felt was the perfect working dog in his dog Horand and registered him as the first Deutscher Schӓferhund, translated as German Shepherd Dog.  I am Mya and I continue Max’s ideal of a working dog. I do not work the sheep in the fields, but when you see me, you can imagine my ancestors herding and protecting the flock and patrolling the borders around them.

We are known as a servant and companion to man, with our intelligence and loyalty being key characteristics in our breed. We are ranked as the 3rd most intelligent breed, behind the Border Collie and the Poodle.  We are known to learn basic commands after only five repetitions, which makes us excellent military and police dogs, which we are now famous for. My mom says I was very easy to train and I am learning “roll over” now.  We excel at all aspects of serving and protecting man from herding, aiding the blind, scouting for soldiers for booby traps or enemies (even being trained by some military to parachute from aircraft), tracking and holding criminals, detection of drugs, accelerants, explosives, and search and rescue. We were vital to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center during recovery efforts on 9/11. Several of us were awarded merits based on our heroic efforts during the search and rescue.  Apollo, was chosen to represent 31 German Shepherds from the NYPD canine unit to be honored for their tireless work at Ground Zero.  He was honored in a tribute at the Westminster Dog Show for working long hours, even after becoming engulfed in flames from falling debris, hungry, with hot paws. He was praised for his complete service and devotion to man in their greatest time of need.

Our popularity grew after World War I when our specialized skills were recognized by soldiers returning from war. The United Kingdom Kennel Club first accepted German Shepherd registrations in 1919, when 54 dogs were registered. By 1926, the number of registrations increased to over 8,000.  Two famous dogs, Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin added to the popularity of German Shepherds throughout the world.  By the end of World War II, due to anti-German sentiment, as with other breeds such as the American Eskimo (formally known as the German Spitz), our breed saw a decline in registrations.  The first German Shepherd registered in the AKC was a female named Queen of Switzerland in 1908.  Her offspring suffered genetic defects due to poor breeding and contributed to the decline of available dogs in the 1920’s in America. Again, popular culture contributed to our rebirth in the hearts of the public with Batman’s dog Ace the Bat-Hound appearing in the Batman comics around 1955. Slowly seeing an increase in registrations until 1993 and becoming the 3rd most popular breed in the U. S. by 2009.

Why have we become one of America’s favorite breeds? We do not give our love and affection freely, but when we do, we are a devoted friend for life.  If you do not have a German Shepherd in your life, we can appear aloof, wary, and suspicious. However to our owners we are intelligent, noble and protective.  I am very cautious about meeting new people, and I am very protective of my family, after all that is my job! I bonded very deeply with my family which includes 4 kids (ages 10, 14, 15 & 18) and my 5 year old big brother Nanuk, who is a white German Shepherd. We love to play out in the yard together.  My favorite activity is going to “puppy school”; there I get to play with all my friends. I also learn to get along with all different size dogs, which is important for a dog my size. My best friend is Stuart, the American Eskimo, when we first met, I was just a puppy and we were about the same size, but now I am 16 months old and weigh about 80 pounds (he only weighs 24!) , but he is faster so we have lots of fun chasing each other.  We both like to steal stuffed animals at home and prance around and show off our “road kill”, some people find it funnier than others!  He reminds me of a smaller version of my big brother, one that I can win wrestling matches with when I can catch him!

The AKC breed standard states very specific guidelines in regards to our black/tan/rust double coat, and our distinctive effortless gait that uses the least amount of energy to cover as much ground as possible.  It also describes the characteristics that Max von Stephanitz admired so long ago, such as our uncanny ability to use judgment when in a potentially tense situation.  And our ability to be a bold fighter if needed, not a brawler at any drop of the hat. We bark only when necessary and are on guard at home.  We have a keen sense of smell and a natural aptitude for training. Males have very masculine traits and females are distinctly female.  You can tell right away I am a pretty girl!  Luckily, I grew into my ears. There is not, however, in the standard any mention of “the Shepherd whine”, although it definitely exists.  All Shepherds I know have it, and will use it.  It is used just to make sure you know exactly what I want!   We require a strong leader, any question that you are anything but my leader and I will take advantage, as I am also a very clever girl!  If you are looking for a devoted protector for your family, a German Shepherd will serve you well, and become the companion you and your family will treasure for life!


Designer Breeds

Della & Gus                                                                                                                             May 2011

Designer Breeds are quickly becoming some of America’s favorite dogs.  These dogs are bred to accompany humans with the best of all worlds.  This is not so unlike how many pure breeds started out, by combining traits, looks and characteristics desired by man to adapt to the ideal perfect dog.  Of course every man has their own interpretation of the perfect dog- resulting in over 450 purebred dogs worldwide.  Mixing breeds for specific purposes today creates a wide variety of Designer Breeds.  One breed that is being bred with others very often is the Poodle and that is because of the hypo-allergenic coat of the Poodle.  This allows people who were otherwise unable to have a dog, to now live comfortably with one of these Designer Breeds. The Poodle is also considered one of the smartest breeds, and therefore brings balance to some breeds that may find it difficult to train.

I’m Gus, I am a Peke-a- poo, you may think because I am a Designer Breed, I am here just to please you, but that is not the case.  I am good-natured and affectionate and after I get to know you, we will be best friends.  The Pekingese is not known for its athletic prowess, but I am a ball player, I love to chase the ball, probably the retriever in me. If you want to play ball with me be prepared for a marathon game, I will let you know when I am done, if you quit too soon I will let you know we are not done! At school I will run with the big dogs to fetch the ball, and I may not get to it first but I can sneak under them when it is rolling around and come up with it if they are not paying attention.   I am a hardy guy; a big dog trapped in a little dog body. I am brave and adventurous and adorable to boot, but that is just a cover to draw you in. Both the Poodle and the Pekingese have a certain air of self-confidence and self- importance and I have inherited these qualities.   My legs are not skinny like the Poodle’s, but more like the Peke’s, sturdy.  I don’t have the Pekingese rolling movement but more the prance of a poodle. My body is shaped like the Peke (without all the hair) and my feathered tail is set high over my back like the Peke. I am just over 18 months old and I weigh 13 pounds.  I have white curly hair like a Poodle which means I don’t shed. I get groomed every 6 weeks or so to keep me looking good. I am great with kids and meeting new people and enjoy the attention they give me when we meet! My mom says I was easy to train and I can even give you a high five.  I go to a playgroup 2-3 times a week and get walked about an hour a day- that is way more exercise than any Pekingese needs, but I am known to have my down time too. I am not such a morning guy, and it takes some coaxing to get me to start my day.  Once I get to school, it’s nothing but fun with all my friends and playing ball.  Della is one of my friends, we are about the same size and we wrestle each other, we have lots of fun together!

Gus & I do have lots of fun at school together, but he spends a lot of time chasing the ball, I like to mingle with everybody. I am Della, a Morkie, I am a cross between a diva and a tomboy!  Really, I am a cross between the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier. The Maltese you would recognize as the white dogs with long, silky, flowing hair that is usually pulled up in a topknot or two when they are in the show ring.   They have black eyes and noses and are a very lively little breed.  You would think this cross would produce a perfect little lap dog, but I am definitely not a lap dog. I am a busy body that needs to be in the thick of everything and everyone. I am little Miss Social Butterfly hopping from one thing to the next to see what I can get myself into!  The Maltese is a spaniel and introducing the terrier into an already spirited, feisty breed has given me gumption and my love of digging and tugging on ropes. The Yorkie was actually a working class dog that was a favorite amongst weavers in England; they were used to catch vermin in the cloth mills. I love to chase the zip line at my house when the kids are playing and I like to play hide and seek with them too. They will give me piggy back rides and we all have lots of fun.  I need lots of activity to tire me out; left to my own devices I can get bored and find my own fun, or trouble. My family did a lot of research looking for a hypoallergenic dog because the little girl I live with has allergies. I even melted the Big Guy at home- he wanted a big manly dog- I have him wrapped around my little paw. I am groomed about every 8 weeks, sometimes I have a longer cut and sometimes it is short- depends on my mood of either tomboy or diva!  I am white with black and tan markings and weigh 13 pounds- and I just turned two. I am the perfect match for my family.         

       Examples of better known Designer Breeds are: the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever & Poodle), Puggle (Pug & Beagle), Jug (Jack Russell Terrier & Pug), Boggle (Boston Terrier & Beagle), Cock-a-poo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle), and Schnoodle (Schnauzer and Poodle).   Because of the three sizes of the Poodle-standard, miniature and toy- they can be easily crossed with breeds of different sizes. They can produce excellent small companion dogs and larger retrievers, as the Poodle was originally a superior water retriever. Less known Designer Breeds are: the Jack a Bee (Beagle & Jack Russell Terrier), Taco Terrier (Chihuahua & Toy Fox Terrier), Brat (American Rat Terrier & Boston Terrier) and the Dorkie (Dauschund & Yorkshire Terrier).  All of these are recognized by both the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the American Canine Hybrid Club. Most are bred to reduce shedding, for hypoallergenic traits, or as pets and do not have a specific job to do as most breeds, but they do inherit both characteristics from their perspective breeds. They also tend to have fewer hereditary health problems as they are bred to keep the most desirable traits. A reputable breeder that is experienced in cross breeding over several generations is recommended when choosing one of these breeds, as temperaments can differ even in the same litter.  Researching both breeds can give you an idea of what to expect from a hybrid dog, so you can be well prepared to welcome one into your home!

Yorkshire Terrier
                                                                                                                                       June 2011
It may surprise some people that my breed is the second most popular in the world for registrations and has been #3 in AKC registrations in 2005, 2009 & 2010, but if you have known one of us, you know why we are so popular. We are lively and compact and love to be pampered, but are also extremely loyal and devoted.   I am Molly a Yorkshire Terrier. We are in the toy group, but that is not where we have our roots.  We originated as a working terrier, patrolling the weaving mills in Yorkshire, England in the 1800’s. We were in charge of keeping the very important looms free of rats.   We had the special job of keeping the mills clear of vermin that could do considerable damage to the looms and cotton and wool that were so important to the livelihood of the weavers. We were small enough to follow our prey into their hideouts and hunt them down, saving the weavers from sure disaster.  Legend says the weavers best product from their looms were the silky hair found on their dogs.   It was hard, arduous work as we always had to be on alert to protect the mills. As you can tell we are very smart, brave, determined and protective, all qualities terriers are well known for.  We were first known as Scotch terriers and were bred with the Waterside Terrier, the rough coat Black and Tan English Terrier, the Paisley Terrier and the Clydesdale Terrier.

As Queen Victoria came into reign, a prosperous and peaceful era began in England and we became favorite companions of the upper class English aristocrats. This is when we found our place, as we liked to be the pampered toy breed much better than working so valiantly in the mills, although we kept many of our terrier instincts. We became very fashionable with ladies and their sweeping dresses and with gentleman such as Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  In America, as old wealth from New England and the Deep South was copying the culture of Victorian Europe, we began to see a rise in our popularity. The first AKC registration was Belle in 1885.  I’m sure some of my ancestors were pampered in places like the Newport Mansions or even a southern plantation like the famous Tara from Gone with the Wind!  Our beautiful straight hair requires special grooming, which let the ladies of the mansions spend quality time with us. They would spend hours brushing us and putting pretty bows in our hair to match their elaborate dresses.  To prevent breakage of our hair, we were given luxurious baths and washed in coconut oil and then our hair was wrapped in rice paper. This treatment dating back to 1878 was done once a month to promote healthy, long strands of hair.  I could really get used to those baths. Today the process is not as detailed, and not necessary if you are of the soft coat variety, the silky coats require high maintenance to perfect the Yorkie look. A big plus to our hair is we barely shed at all and we are hypoallergenic as our hair does not hold dander allergens.

By the 1940’s our popularity had steadily declined, making us almost obscure.  All small breeds saw a decline with only 18% of all registrations being small breeds, an all time low during this period. It was not until World War II when we started to make a comeback, thanks to the bravest dog of all- Smokey.   Smokey was a 4 pound Yorkie found in an abandoned foxhole in the jungle of New Guinea, she was sold to Corporal William Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio whom she accompanied into battle. She served with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron and flew twelve combat missions and was awarded eight battle stars.   She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea with Corporal Wynne. Smokey did extraordinary things for a dog including parachuting 30 feet out of a tree, surviving extreme weather conditions including a typhoon and even helped carry phone wires through a pipe to rebuild a damaged communications center. Corporal Wynne said in one battle she saved his life by guiding him to safety during an intense battle when he could not see.  She also learned lots of tricks and entertained the troops with feats such as walking a tightrope while blindfolded.  Even after the war, she became famous appearing on television with Corporal Wynne telling all her heroic stories and becoming the first therapy dog visiting wounded soldiers. Smokey even has a statue in her honor for all her brave efforts!  She renewed interest in our breed and we have never looked back!

I am not nearly as heroic as Smokey, but I try.  My sister Annie, a Bichon Frise, and I are very adventurous and we like to take on the world together.   I am 18 months old and weigh 6.5 pounds, the AKC Yorkie standard is up to 7 pounds, but when we worked in the mills we could be up to 10 pounds. We love to be outside, I like to play ball and Annie showed me how to dig holes which is lots of fun. Annie can run faster than me so sometimes I will just hold onto her tail and she takes me for a ride!  I will bark at strangers initially, but that is part of my protective nature and will warm up to new people quickly. I can be stubborn (as terriers are) so sometimes training is difficult, positive food rewards always do the trick for me. I do not have a long silky coat as the show dogs, but I still like my hair in bows.  My mom fell in love with me the moment she saw me, probably because of my black sparkling eyes that very few can resist.  The three us go everywhere together and I am one lucky pampered pup!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
                                                                                                                                                       July 2011

I am Luke- a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, my fancy name implies I am high maintenance, but I am just the opposite.  I was bred specifically to be a companion pet, so I aim to please- to be your loyal and faithfully devoted companion. I am pretty laid back so I don’t get easily excited and as long as I am with you I am as happy as can be; tail wagging just looking for treats- my main goal in life! How low maintenance is that? But wait there is more- I have fine hair so I don’t get matted and I like to have my ears brushed about once a week. The most exercise I need is to roll around in the grass, a short walk or I’ll run with my sister Mira (for treats of course). I was very easily trained to be a good boy with house training and polite manners. My breed is sometimes said to be an active spaniel, but deep down at heart I am just a couch potato and love sponge. I love everybody so if you are looking for protection or at least someone to sound an alert- look elsewhere, because you will more than likely find me hiding behind you if it’s something scary!

We get our name from when we became the favorite breed of King Charles I and his son Charles II of Britain. We were a breed that was portrayed in art dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, but they embraced our breed in the 1600’s and made us popular. In many portraits of Charles II, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are often depicted at his feet, even as an infant. Cavaliers were the highest ranking of knights that rode on horseback and were loyal to King Charles I and King Charles II.  As a luxury pet for the royals, we were not often seen as pets for the commoners, as they could not afford to keep a dog just for a pet, their dogs had to work in the fields, farms, mills and on boats. We were very close to our owners, known as a Comforter Spaniel, as we went for carriage rides on our owners laps to provide warmth- the essence of a lap dog. That is what we were bred to do.  When King William and Queen Mary began their reign, our breed became virtually extinct. Their favorite breed was the Pug and soon it became politically improper to be associated with Cavaliers.  The English Toy Spaniel gained in popularity with their domed head and upturned muzzle as formal dog shows and breed clubs became more organized.  Cavaliers were extinct as our characteristics were undesirable according to standards in the show ring. 

In the 1920’s an American, Mr. Roswell Eldridge offered a prize for the best male and female representation of “the old-type” spaniels he had seen in art from King Charles II era.  He offered this prize at the Crufts Dog Show for 5 years straight in search for the perfect pair.  Because the English Toy Spaniel was so dominant in popularity at this time, the breeders had no specimens which he desired. He passed away before he attained his goal, but he jumped started the interest in our breed in both England and America. We were first brought to America in 1952, but not recognized by the AKC until 1996.  This was just about the time our popularity exploded, as we were featured in the television series, “Sex and the City”.  Today we are ranked sixth in registrations in England and 25th in the U.S., and climbing. 

We come in four distinctive colors: Black and Tan -also known as King Charles- black with bright rich chestnut markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears and the underside of the tail, Tricolor-known as Prince Charles-black markings on a white background, they must have black ears and a white blaze between the eyes with the same tan markings as the King Charles, Ruby- completely chestnut color and Blenheim- chestnut markings on a white background, the “Blenheim Spot” is desirable but not required in show dogs. The legend of this spot tells of how the Duchess of Marlborough rubbed the head of a pregnant Cavalier for comfort while her husband, was in the Battle of Blenheim.  After her husband’s victory at Blenheim, five puppies were born; they all had the “Duchess Thumbprint”, a small spot on the top of the head. It became known as good luck for Cavaliers to bear and the name Blenheim was given to the color of these red and white dogs.  I am a 7 year old ruby colored Cavalier, and weigh 24 pounds. I am a little bigger than the AKC standard which states the ideal weight is 13-18 pounds, but that just lets me fill up more of your lap when I cuddle with you at TV time!  We are the perfect breed for anyone looking for a loyal companion, from families with small children to seniors; we will love you and comfort you.  Many celebrities have loved a Cavalier such as Frank Sinatra, Coco Chanel and President and First Lady Reagan had their dog Rex. Just be sure to do your homework when considering a Cavalier, all breeds have the potential for genetic diseases; we are pr one to a very serious disease called Mitral Valve Disease. This is a disorder that can lead to heart failure. It is important the breeder you choose shows the absence of this disease in many generations back to prevent it in your new puppy.  Once you find a healthy pup, you will find true puppy love.  

Flat Coated Retriever
Jesse James
                                                                                                                                     August 2011

You may get me confused with the very popular Labrador Retriever, but when you see us side by side you can easily tell the differences. I am the outlaw Jesse James, a black Flat Coated Retriever.  The biggest difference between us and the Lab is our coats.  I have a soft wavy, feathering coat that is versatile in all different field and water hunting environments.  This coat protects me on the hunt in both the heavy thicket and in cold water. We have a single coat, where the Labs have an undercoat to insulate in the water, where they do most of their work. We are lighter, racier and with our feathering we are more elegant looking.  We were bred to be a bird dog, where the Labs were used to help fishermen pull in their nets and spend most of their time in the water. We also have a unique head which is described as “of one piece”, meaning having minimal stop.  The back of our skull is the same length as our muzzle. My breed also comes in liver color, but black is the most popular color.  We were bred to have very strong, muscular jaws to excel at retrieving the birds in the marsh, field or water, yet we tenderly retrieve to the hunter’s hand.  Today we are considered one of the top seven retriever breeds to consider as a hunting companion by Gun Dog Magazine.

Our features were selected specifically to be the premier bird dog both in the water and in the field. We were first developed in the mid-19th century England from the Retriever Proper, which consisted of the large Newfoundland, the setter, the sheepdog and spaniels.   The Newfoundland blood gave us strength and the setter blood gave us excellent scent ability.  In 1915 when we were recognized by the AKC, we rose in popularity.  By 1918, we were eclipsed by the Golden Retriever and the Lab and by the end of World War II, we were practically extinct.  We were saved by our unique features as we were recognized as the versatile bird dog we were first bred to be.  Our temperament and character are two of our most important qualities which make for an excellent Flat Coated Retriever. We are an integral part of the family, happy, outgoing and intelligent. Our tails never stop wagging.  My teachers at school say I am one of the happiest dogs they have met! We are lighthearted and kind and affectionate. My mom calls me ferociously affectionate, I love to get pats -and belly rubs are to die for! My name may have you think I am an outlaw, but really all Flat Coats are known as the Peter Pan of dogs, as we never grow up. I was named after the Outlaw Jesse James because of my swagger. As soon as I came into my new home, I had my wiggly swagger like a rebel!  We retain these lovable qualities well into old age. These traits are different from other retrievers that are a little more serious than we are, but they say that’s what makes us more adaptable to different terrain and more versatile in the hunt.  We are very eager to please, which makes us self reliant and we have an uncanny way to adapt to different situations.

I get along great with other dogs and I can alert you when strangers approach, but I make fast friends, so I am not going to protect you from intruders. I am 2 1/2 years old and weigh 69 pounds.  I need lots of exercise, as I was bred to work with the hunters all day. I am great with kids, other dogs, and new people.  I have a 6 year old brother, Alex and an 8 month old sister Karina and I am very gentle and playful with both of them. Alex is my best friend, we have lots of fun playing in our yard and running around the house.  I love to play fetch and dig holes. I also like to find my favorite spot and curl up for a nap.  My hunting instincts may kick in with small animals. I need a good brush through my coat once a week. I get groomed every couple of months to keep my silky coat soft.  In the summer I get a short clip to help keep me cool and I don’t shed, as I don’t have an undercoat. Training for commands is not my favorite thing to do, short training sessions work better for me because I can get bored easily.  Sometimes because of my tremendous exuberance, I can’t hold my position long and concentrate on being still. But we are very intelligent and really want to please our family, so we try really hard! My mom says I am well behaved and the most beautiful and friendliest dog in the world- so goes it for the Outlaw Jesse James!


© K-9 to 5   2009




Jesse James Pic