The Russell Terrier

The Russell Terrier was created in the 1800’s to hunt fox in rugged terrain, and came from bloodlines very similar to the Parson Russell Terrier. In fact, there is a history of crossbreeding the two breeds before the recognition and standard was set for the Russell Terrier, and it’s only been recently that the breed has been considered separate and distinct. The history of the Russell, the Parson Russell, and the Jack Russell has been a long and (occasionally complicated) one, further muddled by the fact that the various breed clubs have different ideas of what constitutes the “perfect Russell”. Despite his complicated history, however, there is no questioning the fact that this is a feisty hunting terrier with a high prey drive!

Russells need to be given lots of socialization when they are young to help them coexist well with people and other dogs. They also require exercise…. and a LOT of it. Many new owners are surprised by the amount of energy that these little dogs have inside them! Not only high energy, but high intensity as well – the Russell is a lot of dog in a tiny package. Lazy lapdogs they most certainly are not! They do best in situation with active, outdoors-y owners and are hardy enough for hiking and other rough-and-tumble activities. Without strenuous activity, it can be difficult to wear this breed out.

The Russell is incredibly intelligent and responds very well to training. When his high drive is channeled into obedience and other dog sports, he really shines! This terrier often gathers top scores in agility, hunting and obedience venues. Because they are very adaptable to all sorts of training, they can often be taught just about anything… and do it in style! This said, like most terriers they do have a stubborn side and owners should expect to establish firm rules from the beginning. Patience and a sense of humor are also necessary tools to have when training a Russell Terrier. This quick-moving and quick-thinking breed must have a job to do in order to stay sane, and obedience training is usually the first step to giving the dog a job.

Russell Terriers are loyal and devoted to their owners, and will curl up on the couch with their favorite person after they have been exercised for the day. They get along well with children, although kids must be taught to treat them nicely. Curious and friendly, they make great companions for young and old alike! They can easily adapt into a single-person home as well as an active family – as long as their needs are met, of course. They also tend to get along well with other dogs.

Most Russells are not overly loud dogs although they will bark to announce people at the door. They can often be trained to be quiet after a short alarm, as long as the owner stays consistent. Their fearless nature makes them willing to take on any threat they deem necessary, which means it is important to establish what is a threat and what is not, while they are young. This is a courageous breed who doesn’t realize the shortcomings of his tiny size. Here at The Academic Hound, we have experience with Russell Terriers. If you live in the Austin, TX area and are looking for a dog trainer, give us a call!

The Irish Red and White Setter

The Irish Red and White Setter is not just another color variation of the Irish Setter, rather he is an entirely separate breed. He is touted for his gun dog abilities and effortless stamina in the field. He also makes an excellent companion with a joyful and friendly temperament, provided that he is given exercise and training. These setters can become destructive if they aren’t given a job to do. They were bred to work, after all – not lie around the house all day.

Irish Red and White Setters are a very active breed requiring plenty of activity (they have been described as “tireless”). Ideally, they would be taken hunting on a regular basis but if this isn’t a possibility, other energy-challenging activities can be substituted, such as agility and obedience. This is in addition to regular jogging and free-running in the yard. Spirited and determined, this pointing breed is always happy to work! Males are said to be more active in general, but this is dependent upon the individual dog. Because of their high activity level, this breed is generally not recommended for apartment living.

The playful Red and White is good with children, but may be too boisterous for toddler-age kids. They also get along well with other dogs, as well as cats as long as they are raised with them. They are vastly loyal toward their owners but have a silly, clownish side as well. This is an affectionate breed that will always let you know that you are loved! With strangers, they are equally friendly and accepting (making them poor guard dogs). While they are stable enough to live in busy family settings, without enough time dedicated to them they will add to any household chaos.

Red and Whites are very versatile and trainable, although a touch of patience may be required, particularly when the dogs are in the adolescent stage. It is important to start the training while the dog is still young, so that by the time he has matured (at 3 or 4 years of age), he will be easy to handle. As long as training is consistent and fair, however, they can learn how to be very polite members of the household. They tend to become great breed ambassadors when out in public, as a trained Red and White is often a joy to be around. Furthermore, these dogs tend to learn fast – sometimes faster than a trainer might expect!

One of the key features of the Irish Red and White Setter is his beautifully marked coat – always red “islands” splashed on a white background. Although it is medium-long in length, the coat shouldn’t be too difficult to keep groomed. Brushing it out 2-3 times a week will keep it free of mats, and bathing it when necessary (once a month or so) will keep it clean. Most coats are fairly easy to take care of as long as they are looked after regularly. When well taken care of, the coat of the IRWS will help to keep him happy in cool weather – a temperature that these dogs particularly love.

Because of their activity level and social nature, the Red and White does not make a good kennel dog. He prefers to live inside the house where he can stretch his legs and visit with his owners. If there will be no people in the house for long periods of time (such as a working owner), it is highly recommended to get another dog to keep him company. Looking for a dog trainer for your Irish Red and White Setter? If you live in Austin or the surrounding areas give us a call today!

By Pleple2000 – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3885076

The Otterhound

Despite his AKC recognition, the Otterhound is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. These friendly hunting dogs have a unique wire coat which sets them apart from other scenthound breeds – a coat that allowed them to hunt otter in frigid rivers. Despite their general rarity, the breed makes great companions for those owners patient enough to wait for one to become available.

Otterhounds can be versatile enough to succeed in many different activities. Not only are they adept at their specific hunting task, but several members of the breed have become Search and Rescue dogs – a task which makes use of their great senses of smell. Tracking and nosework are two other nose-centric dog sports which Otterhounds are quite successful at. Overall, however, the breed is adaptable to many different activities although growing puppies will need special care to make sure they aren’t over-exercised. Once the joints are fully formed, the dog will be able to engage in more physically demanding tasks.

The Otterhound tends to have a sense of humor and loves to amuse his owner. He is definitely one of the clowns of the hound world! Many Otterhounds do not realize their size and think they are lapdogs – and a 100 pound lapdog is a heavy load! This is not a frantic or anxious dog by nature and, in fact, has a slow and steady way about him. He is not normally in a hurry – unless he is in hunting mode. In spite of his unhurried nature, he is moderately active overall and does require regular exercise, although once back at home after a long walk he will turn into a couch potato. Without mental and physical stimulation he is prone to boredom.

Living with an Otterhound can be a trying experience for those expecting a perfectly clean dog. To start with, these big dogs are fond of digging and covering themselves in mud. Most are not dissuaded by rain and think nothing of taking a joyful run through the yard during a rainstorm – leaving you to clean up after them. Furthermore, their beards are prone to getting wet from the water bowl, or covered in food from the food bowl. They require a brushing every week, nail care, tooth care, and special care of ears. Long ears tend to get dirty easier than other types of ears and must be cleaned regularly.

When meeting new people, the Otterhound is a social butterfly, often becoming more excited and active. He will eagerly announce the visitor’s arrival (which serves as a great alarm and deterrent), but will quickly make friends afterward. This is not an aggressive breed, nor a natural guard dog. With family (including children), the breed is loyal and equally friendly, without being demanding of attention (although young dogs may inadvertently hurt toddlers or senior citizens because of their size). With other pets, as well as with strange dogs, they are normally happy and social.

Otterhounds are fairly intelligent animals, although not always easy to train. They are great problem solvers and can figure out how to manipulate people into doing their bidding. They must be trained with methods that are fair and without excessive harshness. Sensitive in nature, they tend to shut down with harsh corrections. The breed can be equally stubborn – this combination make them difficult to train for novices. If he doesn’t feel like doing a command he will often pretend to be deaf, and his huge size makes it hard for him not to get his way!

Being bred to hunt, the Otterhound requires a safe yard when he is outside. Otherwise, his nature will take him right off the property in pursuit of game – a prospect that can be very dangerous. This is true for most, if not all, scenthound breeds. Furthermore, Otterhounds were bred to hunt in packs and therefore enjoy living with other dogs. If this isn’t possible, they require a living situation where their owner is frequently at home. They must have a companion, in one way or another, to keep from becoming destructive, bored or outright depressed. Excessive loudness is one common behavior problem seen in Otterhounds without a companion.

Like most scenthounds, the Otterhound has a melodic (read: loud) voice that he enjoys using. This can result in complaints from neighbors. He does best living in a country setting away from direct neighbors, in a situation where he is socialized early and often with other people. The breed matures slowly and needs this socialization to keep him from becoming fearful – and instead nurtures his natural tendency to become social and friendly. Do you own an Otterhound? Are you looking for a dog trainer in the Travis or Hays county, TX area? Call us today and tell us about your dog!

The Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound is an American scenthound breed with an even-tempered personality. When hunting, however, they are full of fire and vigor! Although occasionally stubborn, these hound dogs do enjoy pleasing their owners. Fairly active, they require plenty of outdoor activity although they are able to calm down and relax in the house (as long as they are given enough exercise). Prospective owners should remember that these are hunting dogs, first and foremost. As such, they thrive on outdoor hikes, swims and jogs.

As long as they get enough exercise, Redbones are able to live in apartments but a house in the country is usually a better fit for most members of the breed. Bonus – their short red coats shed very little. Not only does this make grooming a breeze, but it means that it is possible to live in a clean house with this breed. This said, their droopy-ish lips does mean that they are prone to drooling when hot or excited, so an owner may want to have a few drool rags around the house. Some also tend to have a “doggy odor” – and while regular baths will help, a prospective owner should be prepared to deal with.

Redbones, like most scenthounds, are not quiet dogs. They were bred to chase raccoons up trees, and once they’d finished the task, would howl to alert the hunter to their catch. Because vocalizing is in their blood, they will gladly and freely use their voice whenever they see or hear anything that excites them. They may also howl when they play, when they run around, and even when they eat. Although they may bark as well, they most commonly howl or “bay” – which is a very distinctive loud, drawn-out sound. For some people, it is like music. For others, it is simply frustrating.

The Redbone Coonhound, being the stubborn breed that they are, aren’t usually recommended for novice owners. This said, in the right home they are supremely affectionate and loving. Getting along well with kids, other dogs and even strangers, this is a very sociable breed. So much so, in fact, that they make terrible guard dogs! This sociability doesn’t always extend to cats or small pocket pets, however – their prey drive is understandably high. 

The Redbone Coonhound must never be allowed to roam off-leash in unfenced areas, as they are prone to wandering and chasing small critters. This prey drive must never be under-estimated – Redbones that catch sight of a running squirrel can instantly change from a mild-mannered beast to a super-intense hunting machine. Novice owners are often surprised at this sudden change in temperament and must be prepared in advance. An off-leash Redbone in hunt-mode is in danger of being hit by a car.

These gentle hounds are very sensitive to the emotions of their owners, and don’t tend to do well in homes that are filled with chaos. Redbones need stability, love, and attention in order to be happy. Being pack animals, they need to be around their owners on a regular basis, or if that is not possible – they require other dogs to keep them sane. If not given people or animals to coexist with, it is common for Redbone Coonhounds to become quite destructive, particularly with chewing.

Redbones are intelligent… but often are more difficult to train than breeds developed to work with people such as herding or sporting breeds. Many have an almost ADHD-type personality, and they enjoy putting their own spin on commands. They also tend to be very mouthy as puppies, and may be extra destructive when young so definitely should be given regular obedience training to get them (and keep them) on the right track. They tend to do better with positive-based methods and may shut down if the training is filled with harsh treatment.

Redbones have been said to be the easiest of the coonhound breeds to take care of, as well as having the most stable temperament of the group. While they retain a strong hunting instinct, they are easier to accommodate into a household pet situation. Although they can be kept outdoors (with canine companionship), they tend to enjoy the comforts of an indoor living environment. The more interaction they are given, the better a pet they will become! Goofy and loving, a well-raised Redbone can be a fantastic companion. If you have a Redbone Coonhound and are looking for a dog trainer in the Austin, TX area, call us today!

 

The Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie, a longhaired sheepdog developed in Scotland, is known for his gentle demeanor and confident (almost noble) temperament. He is independent and bred to make decisions on his own – the human shepherd could be miles away yet he was still responsible for his flock. This said, he can be clownish and silly when he wants to be, and enjoys making his owner laugh! Beardies have a curiosity about life and may be persistent and even stubborn when trying to satiate their curiosity. This said, when it comes down to it, these loving creatures bond closely to their humans and grow to be very loyal.

The Bearded Collie is an outgoing fellow to strangers while retaining an affectionate nature toward his family. In fact, this breed must live indoors with the family and doesn’t do well being left at home with barely any interaction. Most destructive Beardies became this way because of a lack of human contact (the owner works all day). He gets along well with other dogs and pets as well (including cats), especially if he has been raised around other animals. Some have been known to be possessive over toys, and so precautions should be taken from the start to rid him of this bad habit. Most get along well with children, although he should be trained from an early age not to herd the kids!

As with all breeds, Beardies are not for everyone. Some can test their independence quite stubbornly when they reach adolescence, they can be very strong for their size, and individuals of all ages love to jump. The “Beardie Bounce” is a coin termed just for the breed because of their love of leaping! They also require a good bit of grooming upkeep – their long hair must be kept brushed out to avoid huge tangles, they are prone to tracking dirt all over their house (again, because of their long hair), and they always sport a wet, dripping beard after getting a drink of water. Some members of the breed are fond of digging, as well as barking.

Beardies are generally active dogs, although there is a range in activity level with some being more low-key while others are very rambunctious. A responsible breeder can help pick out the right pup for each family, although a would-be owner should expect the dog to be fairly active and plan accordingly. After all, Bearded Collies were bred to work outside for long hours every day. The breed needs ongoing training and mental/physical outlets for their energy, even when the weather is less-than-accomodating. A hyper dog usually means that he has not been given enough exercise, as Beardies shouldn’t be hyper normally but rather it comes about because of a lack of stimulation.

While very smart, the Bearded Collie might decide that His way of training is better than Your way of training, and act accordingly! It is therefore recommended that you convince the dog that the idea was his the whole time, and make it a fun experience. Adding games into training usually works well for this breed, as Beardies are very playful and always up for a game. Once you’ve got his attention, you’ll have a very responsive and energetic working dog! The breed is also very sensitive to human moods, so it is best not to train a Bearded Collie if you’ve been having a bad day. Furthermore, never play into his temper tantrums, as many a Beardie has conned his owner into thinking that he is un-trainable, simply because he throws a fit.

Beardies are medium-sized dogs that come in a rainbow of colors. When born, they are either black, blue, fawn or brown but the colors tend to change and lighten as they get older. This means that blacks can stay black or become slate or silver, while a brown can be a light sandy color or become a deep chocolate. Blues and fawns may be dark or light. Most Bearded Collies also sport a white trim which complements the main color, and they may also have tan points. They may continue to change shade until they reach 4 years of age. This gives the breed a great variance of possible appearances! All Beardies, regardless of color, do shed. Most of the time this shedding is minimal although once a year they will shed a great deal more.

The Bearded Collie is fairly healthy with only occasionally incidences of hip dysplasia and autoimmune disorders popping up here and there. Problems may arise if they aren’t taken care of properly, such as leaving them with wet, tangled hair for long periods of time. Sound sensitivity, while not a health problem, is a common psychological occurrence with the breed. When well taken care of, however, it is common for them to live to around 14 years of age. Looking for a dog trainer for your Bearded Collie? If you live in Austin or the surrounding areas give us a call today!

The Border Collie

The Border Collie has been referred to as one of the brightest of dog breeds – easily trained and incredibly intelligent. However, without a job this athletic herding breed can quickly turn into a nightmare to live with. While many breeds need a job in order to keep them mentally fit… this goes double for the Border Collie! Not a breed for the novice owner, even well-seasoned dog people might not be a good match for these clever athletes. The exercise and time they require goes well above what many people may expect. However, although they require more work than the average dog, many owners insist that they return that investment many times over.

Border Collies were originally bred to be sheep herding dogs which means that most have very high herding instincts. They will chase the cat, herd the kids, and occasionally nip a person or animal in the butt to get them to move in a desired direction. Some are car-chasers – a very dangerous habit. As such, they do need consistent training so they know what they are, and are not, allowed to get away with. They are not always recommended for kids – particularly young kids or those that race around the house a lot, as they tend to be reactive to movement and their herding instincts will often override. The more supervision and discipline the parents are able to give, the better the outcome of the dog living harmoniously with the kids.

Requiring more exercise than many other breeds, Border Collies must be given enough physical stimulation every day to tire them out. A short walk around the block will not cut it, and neither will a single game of fetch. The breed is only recommended for those who are already active and therefore will be able to provide the jogging, hiking and other physical exercise requirements needed. This is NOT including the mental exercise the dog will need as well (obedience and a job such as herding or agility). As the breed is extremely versatile, they don’t necessarily need to herd sheep in order to have a job, and most Border Collies will take any assigned job very seriously, even if it’s a game of frisbee. Oftentimes a good way to tell if the dog considers the activity a job is whether or not he goes into his “natural working position” (head down, stalking pose).

Luckily, Border Collies are one of the easiest dogs to train. Eager to please, extremely intense and with an almost-endless drive, training this breed is both exciting and rewarding! Furthermore, their athleticism makes them great competitors in dog sports requiring speed. This is a big reason why there are so many people competing with Border Collies in all manner of events – and often winning! The downside to their intensity and drive is that if they are not worked enough, they can become very destructive and even neurotic. Digging holes, chasing other pets, and OCD behaviors are common issues with dogs who haven’t been given enough to do. Every year, loads of Border Collies are relinquished to shelters or rescue groups, or even put down because their owner didn’t realize the commitment they were signing up for when they bought one. This is why obedience and exercise cannot be stressed enough.

Those seeking a Border Collie for herding work should direct their gaze to breeders who focus on breeding working dogs. While many dogs from show stock will have a herding instinct, a buyer will have more luck finding a high-drive dog if the breeder uses dogs that regularly compete in herding trials. Note that while many show-stock dogs have a similar appearance, working Border Collies often are quite varied in how they might look. The breed is allowed to be any color, and both smooth and rough coated – although many show dogs are rough coated, black and white dogs. Working dogs often have a bigger variation in their appearance. Eye color can also vary considerably, as well as the set of the dog’s ears (prick, semi-prick or dropped).

Border Collies, particularly rough-coated dogs, do indeed shed. Beyond brushing and the occasional bath, they also require regular nail trimming and teeth cleaning. Like any dog, regular veterinary care is important as well as a healthy diet. When taken care of, the breed is fairly hardy although they do have some genetic susceptibility to eye problems, hip dysplasia and deafness. Make sure that the breeder health-tests the parents!

Many Border Collies are known for having a high startle reflex, and can react suddenly if they are surprised by a loud noise. They may react by nipping at the dog or person sitting next to them, or they may try to flee the room or the house. Some develop problems with obsessive barking. In order to minimize these risks, it is important to socialize them from a young age so that they grow comfortable with unexpected events happening. Well-bred and well-raised Border Collies shouldn’t be shy or anxious, but the work must be put into them early in order for them to be the stable companions they have the potential to be. Here at The Academic Hound, we have experience with Border Collies. If you live in Travis or Hays county, TX and are looking for a dog trainer, give us a call!

The Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of domesticated dog. His appearance has not changed much since ancient times, as most breeders want to retain their natural beauty. This sighthound also has a great sense of hearing and smell and is very versatile, with the capability to do many different activities. The outgoing breed loves to be outdoors enjoying a jog or game of fetch with their owners! This said, they are also gentle and sensitive and must always be treated fairly. One of the unique traits of this breed is that, when excited, they will smile and even blush!

Unlike some sighthounds, Pharaohs are very active and tend to have a lot of energy. One cannot just put them in the backyard and let them “run off some steam”. Instead, they need regular structured exercise and play with their owner. While free-running in a yard is important, it cannot substitute for walking or jogging. These dogs are very people-oriented and need to spend lots of quality time with the humans in the household. Very affectionate, males are more laid back while females tend to be a bit more independent. Their activity level combined with their propensity for mischief does not make them suitable for first-time dog owners.

Pharaohs love to play and to entertain their owners – so much so that they have been called the “jester of the canine world”, but a bored Pharoah can become mischievous and will invent his own games. These games might include ripping up his bedding, digging large craters in the yard or counter-surfing, so it is important to give the dog enough mental and physical stimulation to prevent these obnoxious behaviors. Obedience training is a great way to do this, although potential owners should be aware that this breed was developed to be independent, and therefore might not take as easily to training as a Border Collie or Golden Retriever. Lots of positive reinforcement and motivation will probably be required in order to hold the dog’s attention! They tend to shut down when only negative reinforcement is used.

Pharaohs are not considered quiet dogs – they do like to bark! This makes them good watchdogs, although they will not back up their bark with a bite. These are not guard dogs by any means. They will bark when they play (a pastime that they love), bark when anything looks out of the ordinary and bark whenever they hear a sound. This makes them ill-adept at living in most apartments. Another con for apartment-living is that they tend to get very excited several times a day and whisk around the house like little whirlwinds! This can be difficult when living in a small space. The older the dog gets, the less often he will go into these zoomie-fits but most of these dogs are very slow to fully mature. When not zooming around, the breed tends to plant themselves on the couch and chill until the next burst of energy.

Originally bred to hunt down rabbits, the Pharaoh has a high prey drive and will chase most things that move – even grabbing birds out of the air! This instinct is so strong that these hounds will need to be kept on-leash at all times that they are not in a safely fenced area. A fenced yard is also required by most breeders for the same reason, at least 6 feet high in order to curtail their jumping. They can live with cats although the best results are when the dog is raised with cats from puppyhood. Many recommend to never leave the two alone together – always supervising their interaction. By no means should the dog ever be allowed to chase the cat, even if it seems funny or cute at the time. Most will still go after a cat that gets outside, including neighborhood cats that make the unlucky mistake of coming into the yard with a Pharaoh…

Pharaohs get along wonderfully with children, although supervision is also recommended if the child is very young. Their sensitive nature makes this sighthound skittish around sudden movements and they will get spooked if suddenly hit or surprised by a toddler. They are a much better match for slightly older kids who will run and play with them. As far as other dogs, many Pharaohs get along famously with other dogs, usually accepting a new canine members of the family very quickly. One caveat – some tend to play rough and might accidentally hurt a much smaller dog. Tiny breeds might not make the best match.

These short-haired dogs came from desert areas and don’t always handle cold very well. They should be given coats whenever they are outside in chilly weather. Some owners even buy them pajamas to wear on cold nights, although snuggling underneath a blanket probably works just as well! Despite these minor inconveniences, their short coat means that they are very easy to groom and rarely require baths. They have little doggy odor and tend to keep themselves pretty clean. Cleaning their ears and keeping their nails trimmed short is the bulk of the grooming work, although most enjoy a rub down with a damp cloth every now and again to pull out loose hairs. Bathe when necessary. Extra bonus – they rarely shed!

These beautiful dogs are naturally very thin – and the appearance of ribs is normal in a healthy Pharaoh. Other distinguishing features include their large size, always-tan coloration (anywhere from chestnut to a rich red) and the large erect ears. The ears should never be cropped – they stand up this way naturally. While the dog can have tiny white markings on the tail, chest, feet or face, this is the extent to which the dog can be marked. Do you own a Pharaoh Hound? Are you looking for a dog trainer in the Austin, TX area? Call us today and tell us about your dog!

By kallerna – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7255585

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that is still used today for his original purpose – guarding livestock, both is his homeland of Turkey as well as around the world. This huge dog is a deterrent to predators… and he will back up his heavy bark with powerful teeth if need be. Because most predators will leave livestock alone if they see a giant dog sitting guard, the predators themselves are being protected as well (otherwise, they would be shot by humans). Anatolians are a big part of the Cheetah Conservation Project in Africa – an undertaking that serves to protect the big cats from being hunted by farmers.

Although these loyal guardians can become very bonded to people, it takes a special type of person to own this breed. They must be treated fairly, yet firmly. Rules must be put into place from the very start and enforced throughout the dog’s life. This often-dominant and habitually possessive breed will quickly take charge if rules are lacking, and some dogs can even become dangerous in the wrong hands. This is a serious dog that puts the protection of his master in the highest regard – and he will take it upon himself to decide who is friend and who is foe. For obvious reasons, proper socialization and lifelong training are an absolute necessity! Anatolians require formal introductions to house guests before allowing them in the house.

Given these things, these molossers can be very laid-back and calm – some even making great therapy dogs! The more experienced the owner and the more time put into the dog, the better the outcome. An experienced owner always keeps in mind that Anatolians are confident but ever-alert to danger. In addition to providing a stable household and plenty of balanced affection, a good owner will never put their dog into a situation that might cause the dog to react. Furthermore, a good owner will not train aggression into an Anatolian, knowing that his protective instincts are natural and need no special training for them to emerge. “Guard dog training” will create a dog that is unsafe to everyone – owner’s family included!

The Anatolian requires a high fence for his yard and he should never be walked off-leash in public. Because of his very high guarding instincts and suspicion of strangers, a roaming Anatolian can be a recipe for disaster and it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the dog is always kept safe and secure. Running loose in the neighborhood, his powerful build and impressive size can make him a frightening sight for many people! Bigger males are close to 150 pounds of solid muscle, and even a small female is still 27 inches tall at the withers and 80 pounds, which is a very large dog! Fences should be six feet tall and very secure since some of these dogs are Houdinis.

The Anatolian can come in any color pattern, and he can also come in either a short or a long coat. Just because most of these Turkish molossers are short-haired, and fawn-colored with a black mask, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a rainbow of colors in the breed! The coat tends to stay fairly clean and doesn’t have too strong of a doggy odor, although it will require regular brushing – especially during heavy shedding seasons which occur twice a year. Speaking of appearance… it is important to note that these dogs are very slow to mature and may remain “gawky” for several years. They aren’t considered fully grown until around 3-4 years. This means that about a third of their life is spent growing up (typical lifespan is about 12-13).

Most Anatolians are affectionate and trustworthy around the family’s children because they consider each child to be part of the pack, and therefore, something to protect. This is the same basic way that it works for livestock. A young livestock guardian puppy is raised with the sheep so that he come to define each animal as a pack member. While the Anatolian will treat the family’s children as one of his own, he will not tolerate strange children, nor will he tolerate children who misbehave. This is not a dog to bring to a child’s birthday party! Furthermore, supervision is always required whenever the dog is around any kid. With other dogs, the Anatolian tends to want to dominate. Most of the time, two males cannot live together. Adding in other animals when the dog is an adult can take extra time and lots of supervision – Anatolians are much more likely to accept new family members while they are still puppies.

Anatolians were bred to make decisions for themselves and are therefore very intelligent. They are easy to housebreak and learn most things fairly quickly. This said, some have a stubborn streak that practically rivals their own giant size! Because they are so independent, they don’t always understand the point of obedience training. This is unfortunate, since Anatolians MUST be taught obedience, but a good trainer can help make it fun for the dog. Obedience training is one of the ways that an owner can establish himself as “top dog”, and if done right, will be a positive experience for both dog and human.

The Anatolian is a quiet dog most of the time but will sound an alarm if he sees (or hears) someone coming closer to the property. This can include people that he sees through the window, a wandering cat, or an unexpected sound. For this reason, there is a wide variation of noise with this breed, depending on living situations. People who live in crowded or busy neighborhoods will probably have a much noisier dog that those that live out in the countryside. The older the Anatolian gets, the more he will learn what sights and sounds are “normal”, and which are actual threats.

Unlike many breeds, an Anatolian can be kept outside as long as he is provided with shelter from the elements. Many actually prefer being outside, where they can survey their territory without the visual confines of walls. One caveat though – this breed should never be left out on a chain while outside! Not only is this practice dangerous to the dog, but it will make him extra defensive and can psychologically damage him. Not to mention the fact that a chained dog isn’t a deterrent to a criminal anyway! Some Anatolians get nervous if they aren’t near “their people”, however, and these dogs may be better as mostly-indoor dogs. If you have an Anatolian Shepherd Dog and are looking for a dog trainer in Austin or the surrounding areas, call us today!

By Tibilou – travail personnel (own work) Franck Balzar, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4438490

The Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested comes in two rather distinctive varieties – the hairless (naked except for a mane around the head, as well as on the legs and tail) and the powderpuff (long silky hair all over the body). Bred since ancient times for companionship, this delicate little breed exhibits grace and elegance in their movement. That said, this is a loving and playful breed that enjoys entertaining his family with his oftentime-silly antics. Cresteds are affectionate and love being around their people – many of them becoming little shadows to their owners. Some can tip into being needy and prone to separation anxiety.

It is a good idea to have an escape-proof fence with this breed, as Cresteds are known for being little escape artists! They can jump surprisingly high for their height, and are apt climbers and diggers. If the owner is out in the yard with them, there is usually no reason to worry. These guys prefer to stay near their owners. But if they are left alone in the yard… especially if they can see the owner through the fence… they may try to escape. A secure fence will solve this problem.

The breed has been described as “cat-like” in many ways. For example, they enjoy high places and can often be found perching on the back of a couch or a table – keeping an alert eye on “their kingdom”. They use their feet to grab objects and pull them closer. Clean and quiet like a cat, they make great companions for apartment-dwellers. Although this tiny breed has a medium-high energy level, they have no problem calming down when the family is in “relaxed mode”. While they enjoys walks, they don’t require a ton of exercise (although they should be given a coat if being walked on a cold day)

Although not always seen in obedience competitions, Cresteds learns quickly and can be trained to do many things. Intelligent and enthusiastic, they enjoy pleasing their owners and learning new commands. This said, they may take longer to housebreak and some have a big stubborn streak. Because of their sensitive nature, they don’t do well with harsh training and learn better with fair, positive-based methods. Chinese Crested Hays county

Being sensitive, the Chinese Crested will not put up with rough handling of any sort. Therefore, families with young kids generally don’t make a great match. The same thing can be said for other dogs – Cresteds usually get along very well with even-tempered dogs but can become overwhelmed with rude, pushy ones. Following this trend, these little toys love strangers… as long as they’re polite. It is highly recommended to socialize a Crested while still a puppy to avoid excessive shyness. Under-socialized members of the breed are extra cautious of everyone and everything.

The skin of the hairless Crested needs regular care and protection from the sun. They can – and do – get sunburned! Dogs who have lighter skin, or have not yet built up a tan, are more likely to burn. For this reason, sunscreen and/or protective clothing is necessary if they are going to be outside in the sun for a long period of time. Giving them access to shade is another precaution that can be taken. If the dog does burn, a bit of aloe lotion can help soothe the skin. Just like humans, hairless are also prone to acne! Acne can be prevented by bathing the dog once a week with a quality shampoo and conditioner. If needed, many acne products made for humans can be used for dogs as well – but consult a vet first.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the coat of the Powderpuff must be brushed regularly to avoid mats and tangles. Although the hair furnishings should be brushed on the hairless variety as well, obviously it is much less work! Both varieties need to have regular teeth brushings and inspections since dental disease is more common in Cresteds (and toy dogs in general). Ears should be cleaned every other week or so, and nails must be clipped regularly. Powderpuffs often have their faces and ears shaved for a cleaner appearance. The breed sheds very little and is hypoallergenic (for some people).

Cresteds are a long-lived breed, often living 13-18 years. They are generally healthy although it is recommended to buy a dog from a responsible breeder who health-checks their breeding stock. Make sure the breeder checks for PRA and PLL (eye disorders) and patellar luxation (slipping kneecaps). The breed is sensitive to anesthesia and some medications, so find a vet that is familiar with treating these sensitive dogs. It is also recommended to space apart vaccinations from each other and not give every vaccine to the dog on the same day. This is good practice for any dog – purebred or mixed breed – but smaller breeds are extra susceptible to over-vaccination issues. Looking for a dog trainer for your Chinese Crested? If you live in Travis or Hays county, TX, give us a call today!

The Komondor

The Komondor is known for his distinctive long, corded coat and his unsurpassed livestock guardian abilities. This is not a herding dog, but instead a dog that specialized in watching over flocks in his native Hungary. To do this job meant that he had to be fearless and brave – often facing off against wolves and other predators. Protecting is in his blood, and even today’s Komondor needs something (or someone) to protect. Not every owner needs to have a flock of sheep, but a child or even a cat can fill this need. This trait is so ingrained that prospective owners are urged to visit an adult Komondor at the owner’s house before they buy. This way they can see for themselves just how protective the breed is, and decide whether it is the right breed for them!

This is a relatively calm and quiet breed as long as there are no intruders onto the property (although some bark more than others – there is a range from very quiet to quite loud). Either way, he should have a steady, even temperament. If someone comes near though… he will erupt into a series of warnings. If his warnings are not taken seriously he will act! Komondorok (the plural of Komondor) have been known to break through windows if they think that their charge needs protecting. Strangers must be introduced to the dog by the owners before entering the house. This way the dog knows that the person is “ok”, and will allow them into “his pack”. Most will continue to remember that person throughout their life, and may even consider that person worthy of protecting as well! This breed is excellent at being able to tell if someone has bad intentions, however – if the dog doesn’t seem to accept someone, there might be a reason why…

There are countless stories detailing Komondorok that warned of danger (such as fires), fought off attackers, and protected their masters. All of these tales speak of the great devotion that the breed has toward their owners. This loyalty is not matched by many other breeds, which is also what makes them ironically difficult and even dangerous if not raised correctly. These dogs live and breathe protection. They follow their charges from room to room, even leaning against the person if they feel the need to be closer. They will make decisions about how best to protect that person – often intelligently but not always socially acceptable.

This is a serious guard dog meant only for serious owners who understand how protective they are! The fact that the Komondor is also large and powerful means that they can do a lot of damage. Obedience training from a young age, as well as continuous rules and structure, are paramount. Komondorok were bred to be independent and to think for themselves. They are cunningly intelligent, but may take advantage of owners who don’t stay consistent with the rules. Although they can take very well to training, it’s best if that training is started early on, before they get to their “testing phase”. They should never be allowed to get away with pushy behavior, as it can potentially escalate into aggressive actions (the breed is not shy about biting). This breed also needs extensive socialization when they are puppies. A Kom that has skipped the socialization stage is more prone to behave aggressively.

Despite being a giant dog, the Komondor is surprisingly athletic and light on his feet. This is not an oaf-ish creature, despite how he may look. He is loving and friendly to everyone in the family, including children (with whom he is exceptionally gentle). Puppies are silly and carefree, but gradually grow into serious and “responsible” adults as they age – although this breed does take a while to mature. Most take about three years to reach adulthood. The middle “teenage” stage is the most difficult to live with, dogs will be more destructive and will test their dominance limits. Lovers of these dogs insist that the wait is worth it, however. A well-bred, well socialized Kom at maturity has a loyalty and sense of responsibility that is unmatched in the dog world.

The Komondor who is bought to be used as a livestock guarding dog should be introduced to “his charges” while he is still young, although always under supervision. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before the dog will start to guard the flock – before he figures it out, he will probably try to chase or play with the animals instead! Some people buy a Komondor and keep it outside 24/7. Unlike most breeds, the Kom can be fulfilled living in this way, although might also become even more suspicious of strangers. Older, retired working dogs have been able to be successfully integrated into the household with little trouble, however. On the other hand, dogs that live primarily indoors and guard family rather than flock, do not like to be outside if they cannot see their charges. They can get very anxious if they can’t do their job.

Despite their size, many Komondorok do not need a lot of food to keep them happy and at an ideal weight. In fact, the serving guidelines on dog food bags are often too high for what this breed needs. Keep in mind, also, that adult Koms are very inactive and do not require a lot of exercise. The combination of these two factors can mean that weight gain is a concern. Owners need to monitor the dog’s weight to make sure he stays healthy. On the plus side, this means that the breed can live in an apartment with only a little bit of added exercise, or in a property with a yard with barely any exercise.

The distinctive coat of the Komondor is functional to the working dog. Always white in color, the dog was bred to “blend in” with the sheep, while also making him easier to be seen by the farmer at night. The long cords served at regulating temperature and protected the dog from wolf or coyote attacks. However impressive, the coat does take quite a bit of work to form its shape and stay clean. The cords need to be helped along while the dog is young, separating them from other cords and fixing them into the final shape. As far as staying clean – it is said that it is easier to keep the dog clean in the first place then to wash the dog after he has already gotten dirty! A wet Komondor can be smelly and even get mildew, so ensuring the dog stays dry is important. Owners should have large dog dryers on hand for when the dog gets soaked. It is safe to say that working Koms who live outside all of the time look (and smell) very different from most Koms kept as pets and show dogs!

The Komondor doesn’t always play nice with other dogs, especially if he feels like they are entering his territory. His sense of property is very strong and he usually knows where the boundaries are – where he belongs and other dogs do not! And while he gets along very well with children in his own family, a child that climbs over the fence and onto his property is considered an intruder and he will act accordingly… Do you own a Komondor? Are you looking for a dog trainer in the Austin, TX area? Call us today and tell us about your dog!

By Nikki68, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3546301