OK. So I've posted the Jack Russell Terrier as the Breed of the Week
. I've also posted the Jack Russell Terrier Breed
page so you can still read about them after the new Breed of the Week gets posted. That means I've done my homework and researched the breed. And that research has left me somewhat confused.
It seems that there is not a clear answer as to whether the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier are two different breeds or two varieties of the same breed. I'm not declaring myself on either side of this debate because I just don't know the answer. But I must admit that I lean toward it being two varieties - they're just too similar.Now I understand that the original JRT, as developed back in the 1800's, was closer to the dog we now know as the Parson Russell Terrier in size. And, that PRT enthusiasts believe that, at some point another stock breed, possibly the Welsh Corgi, was introduced to make the breed a bit smaller. But there is no proof or lineage, that I have been able to find, to support this belief.
And I can't get past the idea that if in fact another breed had been introduced there would be at least a few minor differences other than height. I know that the PRT has a slightly larger skull and broader chest but really, wouldn't you expect that a larger dog would be larger in several ways?There are quite a few examples of breeds that are recognized as varieties within the same breed based on size, coat type. or even color
. Think about the Beagle, the Poodle, the Dachshund, the Chihuahua - shall I go on. The Beagle is probably the best example to compare to the JRT / PRT issue. If you were to look at pictures of two different Beagles, without something in the background that gave a hint of size or proportion, you would not be able to tell which size you were looking at. I'd say the same about a JRT and a PRT. Side by side you can tell which is which. But in isolated pictures, especially sitting down or laying down, I don't think you can be sure. And everything else about them, health, temperament and personality, etc. is exactly the same.So I'd love to hear your feedback on this subject. Whether you have some facts you'd like to share or simply wish to state an opinion - I'd love to hear it.
Many people seem to believe that having a small breed dog means is easier than having larger dogs. Maybe they think it will require less exercise or less grooming. Some believe that small dogs are healthier.
If you are considering getting a dog, small, medium or large, do your homework. It is imperative that you fully understand everything about the breed or breeds that you are considering. For example knowing what the breed's intended purpose was may help you to understand what to expect in terms of temperament and activity level. Understand the grooming requirements: are they a do-it-yourself bath and brush or high maintenance requiring professional care. What are the potential health issues common to the breeds?
Not only should you know the answers to these and other questions, but you should also know what fits into your life style. Don't pick a pet because you think it's cute - pick one that fits your energy level, living situation and even your economic situation based on potential grooming, feeding, and veterinary expenses.
Many people assume that small breed dogs, particularly those in the 'Toy Breeds' category do not need much exercise thus making them best suited for apartment life or life with those who cannot be too active such as the elderly or infirmed. The truth is some small dogs, such as the Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Miniature Pinscher and Toy Fox Terrier are extremely high energy and require daily and active playtime. That said, certain 'hand games' or fetching a small ball or stuffed animal can be done in the house or a small yard.
Some small breeds are actually known for nipping or biting and yapping or barking excessively. While these are behaviors that can be corrected it will take time, consistency and possibly money. If you are not an experienced dog owner you may need to attend school with your dog and/or hire a professional dog trainer to assist in correcting negative behavior.
A health crisis can occur with any dog. Research the breed you are interested in to learn which health problems occur at a higher than average rate for that breed. If you are obtaining your dog from a breeder, though I'd hope you would check rescues first, discuss the health of the parent dogs with the breeder. Also research the steps you can take to reduce the risks of certain health issues in your chosen breed and how to manage these issues if they should arise.
There are many great toy and small breed dogs to fit all living situations. Just be sure to do your homework and pick the breed that fits your life.
Everyone, dog lover or not, has heard the term 'bully breed.' But what does it mean? The misinterpretation of this term, unfortunately, adds to the negativity that follows the breeds that are captured under this term.
The term 'bully breeds' was initially used to refer to all dogs that were bred for the purpose of 'bull baiting.' Bull baiting was a sport practiced in Great Britain in the 1700 and early 1800's. It was finally outlawed in 1835 when the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed by Parliament. This was a 'sport'
in which dogs bred for this purpose were set upon a bull that was tied up or restrained. The objective was for the dog to sink it's teeth into the bull's snout and hold on. The English Bulldog was specifically bred for this purpose and excelled at the sport.
Given that it was a term primarily attached to the Bulldog, it later became a term to refer to a class of dogs that were 'bulldog
' like. And from there it grew to include all brachycephalic (flat faced or pushed in faced) dogs.
Some people seem to believe that any breed that has the word 'bull' in its name belongs in this category. Though not true I prefer this misunderstanding to the one that assumes all bully breeds are bad and aggressive dogs!
Unfortunately, in recent times, people seem to have come to believe that the term 'bully breed' refers to dogs that they believe behave like the schoolyard bully. The truth is that there is not a single breed of dog that is inherently mean and aggressive. Though some can be trained to behave that way. And when that happens we need to blame the owners - not the dogs!
View this list of the breeds that are, in fact, included under the heading bully breeds
. I really think you will be surprised at the variety of digs on this list!
You can question this list under any or all of these definitions of the term. The Pug and the French Bulldog, for example, were bred as companions, intended to be lap dogs. But they are brachycephalic breeds, so . . . Several of the breeds listed don't have the word 'bull' in their breed name. And though, unfortunately, several of these breeds were initially bred and developed for bull baiting and others for various forms of varmint hunting and fighting, they are no longer considered aggressive breeds and, in may cases, have come to be considered companion animals.
So I wish the term 'bully breed' would be dropped from the vocabulary of the general public since it is so easily misinterpreted. But if it must by used then I maintain that the term 'bully breed' should refer only to those breeds originally intended for bull baiting or are bulldog like in their appearance. This term should never be used and should not be used to define the behavior or personality of any breeds.
What exactly is a pit bull? Can you answer that question? Pick the one below that is the pit bull.
The honest answer is that there is no recognized breed called the "Pit Bull." This is in fact a term that refers to several breeds of dogs that resulted from the crossing of various types of bulldogs with various types of terriers. Over time some of these resulting breeds have incorporated the words 'pit' and / or 'bull' into the breed name. These include the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Given our propensity to shorten some breed names, such as Yorkshire Terrier to Yorkie and West Highland Terrier to Westie, I guess you could make the case that the American Pit Bull Terrier is in fact the true Pit Bull. But most people use the term to reference any and all of these fine breeds and many people probably cannot really distinguish the differences in these breeds. In fact, the American Staffordshire Terrier, which has neither 'pit' nor 'bull' in its name, is most frequently referred to as the 'pit bull.' And - by the way - there is also not a breed called the "Pit Terrier.' This is just a nickname for the American Pit Bull Terrier. Unfortunately
all of these breeds have the misfortune of being categorized by the generic terms 'Pit Bulls' and 'bully breeds.' And these breeds are now often covered by breed specific legislation (BSL
). According to Wikipedia "Breed-specific legislation is a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws or ordinances pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds . . . This legislation ranges from outright bans on the possession of these dogs to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that these dogs are prima facie legally dangerous or vicious.
I don't dispute that these are powerful, and in some circumstances, aggressive or protective animals. But it also cannot be disputed that these dogs are courageous, loyal and heroic in many of those same circumstances. But compare them to other legal dangers. Guns, automobiles and alcohol probably kill more people each year than all of the bully breeds put together. That's because, like guns, automobiles and alcohol they are dangerous in the hands of the wrong people.And if you couldn't name the breeds pictured above they are, from left to right:
Stay tuned. later this week I will blog the complete list of bully breeds - and you will flabbergasted by that list. Then I will blog the 10 most dangerous breeds as of 2011. Wait until you see how many bully breeds made that list!
- The American Pit Bull Terrier
- The American Staffordshire Terrier
- The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- The Bull Terrier
Well it was my intention to post the American Staffordshire Terrier as the Breed of the Week. But my site editor is giving me a headache. I can blog, post quotes, move pages around and edit them. But for some reason I can't add new pages today. So while we wait for the help desk to address the trouble ticket I put in we'll go in another directions.I'm re-posting the APBT, the American Pit Bull Terrier, as the Breed of the Week.
This wasn't an arbitrary choice. It seems many people are still confused about the differences between the various bully breeds. So if I post the APBT this week and the AmStaff next week maybe it will help.On the up side, since I've been so busy with the move and all, the APBT Designer Breeds and the Bully Breed Specific Rescues are already available.And by the way, I'm starting something new. If you happen to have a dog that is a member of the breed of the week
or one of the related designer breeds and would like to have it posted let me know. Email pix and a bio - anything you want to tell us about your dog - and I'll blog about it.
I'd love to get your input about what breed you'd like to see written up as the next Breed of the Week
on this site. Remember, whatever breed I focus on you will also get to see the Designer Breeds
and the Breed Specific Rescues
for that breed.
I'm considering The Bulldog, the Shih Tzu, the Bichon Frise or the American Staffordshire Terrier. Not sure why those four are coming to mind. They sure don't have much in common!But leave me a comment - let me know your opinion. Which of these four would you like to see. OR -- suggest another if you like.
Have you ever heard of the Alsatian, Alsatian Wolf Dog, Deutscher Schaferhund, American White Shepherd or Panda Shepherd. Well, let's take them one at a time.
- The GSD had just begun to be noticed in the U.S. when World War I broke out. Since all things of German origin were shunned in many countries during and after the war it was believed that the inclusion of the word 'German' in the breed name would hinder its popularity. Therefore the breed was officially renamed by the UK Kennel Club to "Alsatian Wolf Dog." Although this name lasted for five decades dog enthusiasts eventually won the battle to have the British Kennel Club allow the breed to be registered by its original name, the "German Shepherd Dog." The extension of the word "Alsatian" remained present until it was removed in 2010.
- Deutscher Schaferhund literally translates to the "German Shepherd Dog."
- A white dog has always been considered a fault in the German Shepherd. However these dogs are now recognized as a separate breed by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) and are known as the American White Shepherd.
- The piebald coloring occurs in a single bloodline of the German Shepherd. These dogs are know as Panda Shepherds where approximately 35% of the dog is white and the remainder of the dog is black and tan. Other GSD's that exhibit this coloring have been tested and thus far none, outside of this blodline, none have exhibited the 'Panda' gene.
Learn more about the German Shepherd. View All Dogs Welcome Breed of the Week
on this site.
If you follow me on twitter, facebook or this site then you know that I periodically post list and pix of 'Designer Breeds' based on a particular recognized breed. But it seems that when I do I get a lot of feedback. Much of it is in the spirit in which these DB posts are intended, comments like "great pix", or "I always wondered what a Bassug looks like." But much of it is also very negative. Such as "Why are you promoting these mutts", or, "Designer Breeds promote irresponsible breeding."So I want to talk about this a little bit. You may or may not recall that I blogged on the subject of Designer Breed, Mixed Breed, or Mutt back in February
. I'm not going to repeat the content of that blog, but you might want to read it
to understand my position.To those of you who just wonder what some of these dogs might look like or be called, or just enjoy looking at the pix, I will continue to post these from time to time and to tweet and let you know when I have posted them.
And I truly hope you continue to enjoy them!But to those of you with a negative opinion about the existence of these dogs or about me posting them I would say the following:
- You are entitled to that opinion and I respect it
- I actually agree that calling these animals "Designer Breeds" may not be the best idea. I find that it delivers a negative connotation and wish they were called something else though I don't really have a good idea on that subject. Maybe 'breeds in progress.'
- There is a perception that they are in fact called 'Designer Breeds' in order to positively impact the prices that can be charged. And so you say 'these fools are paying $1000.00 or more for a mutt." I guess that decision is up to the buyer.
- And as far as promoting irresponsible breeding - well I don't give myself credit for having that much influence. I'm pretty sure that all of these breeders will continue to breed and sell regardless of whether this site even exists.
But on the subject of irresponsible breeding, I do wish we could all put some energy into finding more ways to address this issue. Because it effects not only the designer breeds but also purebred dogs and the families that purchase, rescue or adopt them. And I will continue to tweet, blog and post information that supports all rescue and adoption activities for all dogs, regardless of whether they are Designer Breeds, Mixed Breeds or Mutts!
What do you know about the Yorkshire Terrier? If you'd like to learn more it is this week's Breed of the Week
on All Dogs Welcome. Did you know that the breed was originally named the 'Broken-haired Scotch Terrier'. I'm glad they changed it. What is broken-haired
anyway?And did you also know that the Yorkshire Terrier is known by five other names:
- Biewer Terrier
- Biewer a'la Pom Pon
- Biewer Yorkie
- Biewer Yorkshire Terrier
I've also posted Breed Specific Rescues
for the Yorkshire Terrier and a list and pictures of all the Designer Breeds
based on the Yorkshire Terrier. Have a look. Some are really cute and others - well beauty is in the eyes of the beholder - right?!?!?!?
The two dogs pictured above are Spike Jones (left) and Jack. Both American Staffordshire Terriers - members of the notorious 'bully breeds'. Spike belonged to my brother and passed away at the age of 14. He was the same age as my son and they basically grew up together. Jack belongs to my parents, is now about 13 years old, and lives with two Shih Tzus.
On March 21, 2011 I happened to post the American Pit Bull Terrier as the Breed of the Week on this site. You can still read about this magnificent breed on the APBT breed page. In that post I mention that a recent study indicated that bully breeds were getting high scores in comparison to the general dog population on temperament tests.
The average domestic dog breed scores about 77% on these tests. The various and so-called 'bully breeds' are averaging scores between 83% - 86%. It is this bloggers opinion that this proves what bully breed advocates have said about these dogs all along. It isn't the dogs!
The reputation of pit bulls is based on a cruel and inhumane 'sport' during which the dogs are effectively fighting for their lives. Think about this. They don't know they are 'entertaining' groups of ignorant humans. They are in there fighting for their lives. Doesn't that lead you to believe that any breed of dogs that had been forced into this activity would have fought as hard and could have developed this reputation.
Unfortunately the attributes that make them beautiful, their size, build, strength and agility, add credence to their reputation. The pit bulls strength is obvious even at just a glance making it possible for people to believe they could attack and never let go.
Further enhancing this reputation is the fact that only the horror stories involving pit bulls seem to get any media attention. But there are so many more stories of pit bulls that are so loyal to their families that they have endangered or even sacrificed their own lives to save one or more family members.
American Pit Bull Terriers (APBTs), American Staffordshire Terriers (AmStaffs), Pit Bulls and Bull Terriers are in fact more intelligent, affectionate, compassionate and gentle than the ignorant humans who would have anything to do with the so-called and illegal sport of pit fights.