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The Best Dog Breed For A Family

The Best Dog Breed For A Family- Is There One?

One of my awesome cousins (I’ve got 30-some-odd cousins or so) recently sent me a question.  Her question was one that I get quite frequently so I thought I’d turn it into a blog post.

Her question was:

“What is the benefits from having a male or female dog? I would love to get my kids a dog but I know nothing about them and am fairly allergic to them, (however I have had a dog before and had no allergy problems). Any ideas on what would be best for my small kids?”

Whether it’s casual conversation with friends at church, an encounter with a stranger on the street that finds out I’m a dog trainer, or a question coming in from the website, I frequently hear ‘what is the best dog breed for a family?”

Along with those types of questions I frequently hear various iterations like I heard from my cousin regarding breeds for allergenic dog owners and gender of the dog.

So the question remains…is there a best dog breed for a family?

Unfortunately, my answer is no.

The Best Dog Breed For A Family- Why Not?

So why isn’t there a best dog breed for a family?  The answer is that there is simply too much variation within breeds to say that one breed is going to reliably act a certain way around kids, within a home, etc.

You see, in my years of training I’ve heard from various sources that Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers are the best dog breed for a family.  I’ve heard these assertions from dog owners, breeders, rescue organizations, and others.  If you go searching online you’ll likely be able to find collaboration for each of these breeds being the most suitable for your family and kids.

As a trainer, though, I can tell you that I’ve worked with dozens of aggressive Labradors and Golden Retrievers.  I’ve seen plenty of aggressive German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and Doodles.  I’ve met Labradors that want to kill every kid they see and I’ve met Pit Bulls who will let kids perform on them a tonsillectomy without any anesthesia.

Dog Training MembershipI’ve seen dogs of all breeds that started out wonderfully with kids but turned into a liability when the parents didn’t supervise the children well enough and the kids abused the dog.  I’ve met dogs that are perfectly fine with their family’s kids but hate all other neighborhood kids due to taunting at the fence.

I’ve seen owners raise a dog around children and do everything nearly flawless and still have the dog turn out with child aggression issues.

As far as the allergy issue goes, I’ve seen people who have never been allergic to dogs suddenly develop an allergy to a particular dog.  I’ve seen scads of the supposedly ‘hypo-allergenic’ breeds (doodles, poodles, Portuguese water dogs, Havanese, Shih Tzus, etc.) cause allergies in owners.  And then I’ve seen owners who are allergic do just fine with their own dog.  (One of our trainers at my company is quite allergic to dogs, in fact, but manages fine with controlled amounts of medication.)

What I’m getting at is that for every ‘best dog breed for a family’ that you see out there, I’ve seen countless exceptions.

And I’ve quite frequently had conversations with dog owners who are down-trodden and confused when the breed they researched suddenly isn’t acting the way the book told them to act.

There are so many factors that go into the temperament and behavior of the dog including:

  • Proper breeding practices
  • Early imprinting and conditioning
  • The right quantity and quality of socialization during the puppy’s ‘socialization window’
  • Giving proper leadership to a dog
  • Excellent training from a young age
  • Nutrition, exercise, medical care
  • So much more.

If you tweak with just one of those components you may find that the Labrador who was supposed to be great with kids suddenly isn’t.

Now, on top of that, there are other considerations to be taken into account.

The truth is that, yes, I’ve found that MOST Labradors (leaving plenty of room for exceptions) tend to be friendly towards children.  Having said that, I’ve trained numerous Labs because they are ‘over-friendly’ with the kids and jump on them, run into them, knock them down, get in their face, etc.

I’ve also found that MOST Pit Bulls TEND to be gentle with children.  But many that I’ve worked with have had dog aggression issues so that poses various threats were the dog to be with the kids while another dog approached.

So even a dog that IS good with kids can often become a liability if other aspects of training, care, supervision, and smart dog-ownership are ignored.

So for these reasons I always find it incredibly difficult to make a recommendation on which breed to choose for a family.

The Best Dog Breed For A Family- So How Can You Choose?

I know I’ve spent the past page of prose waxing profound on why it is so difficult to find the best breed for children.  I don’t mean to scare you away, though, and I don’t want you to back away from your decision to get a dog.

Here are the guidelines the I normally recommend for finding the best breed for YOUR family:

  • Take into account cost.  Certain breeds are going to cost more to acquire, groom, and feed.
  • Think about allergies.  As I mentioned previously there are numerous exceptions but certain dogs have a better chance for not causing allergies.  Typically these are dogs that have ‘hair’ rather than ‘fur’.  Examples would be poodles of any size, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Havanese, Bouvier de Flandres, Schnauzers, Airedales, amongst others.
  • Consider training.  I’ll get flack for this, I’m sure, but I find it easier to get dogs of medium to large size house trained and obedience trained.  (In my years of training I’d conservatively say that of the dogs that I’ve met past one year of age who still weren’t house trained 98% of them were Yorkies, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzus.)  Also speaking in generalities, I find that a lot of smaller dogs aren’t best suited for kids because they can quickly become terrified when they have many pairs of hands coming at them all day.
  • Think of things like your family’s energy level, time that you’re home, and age of your children and use that data to help better choose.  Certain breeds will require more exercise, require more attention, etc.
  • Once you’ve found the breed that YOU like and you feel best fits YOUR family, go search out the right individual within that breed that meets those characteristics.  ***This is very important***  Many people through their research find that a Labrador or German Shepherd, for example, are the best breed for them.  What they don’t realize, however, is that those two breeds, amongst dozens of others, have been severely over-bred and improperly bred for the past two decades.  What that means is that all the info you learned in your breed related books doesn’t apply.  Yes, perhaps a German Shepherd is typically strong and confident but just try getting one from a lousy breeder and you could very well end up with a neurotic, fearful mess.  Yes, a Labrador should be happy-go-lucky but just try getting one from a horrible breeder (the majority of breeders are horrible breeders, by the way) and you could end up with a Labrador that snarls at children.  At this point it’s important to note that rescuing a dog is a viable option.  You obviously can’t know too much about the dog’s history, though, so you’ll have to test the dog out, take him out for walks, do a trial weekend at your home, etc. before deciding.

If you were to break down my advice into one simple adage it would be- ‘Don’t think about which breed is best for a family…instead think of which breed is right for YOUR family and then search out the individual within that breed that is MOST likely to be great with your kids.’

I’ll tell you that the breeds best for MY family would likely be Jack Russel Terriers, Labradors, Belgian Malinois, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Airedales.  Those breeds in other families, though, could be a disaster.  And just try giving my family a poodle, a boxer, or a Cocker Spaniel.  While I think those breeds are wonderful they are just a lousy fit for my family.

Best of luck in your choice and happy training.

How to Train a Boxer Dog

The Boxer is a German breed that was created by crossing a Bullenbeisser, an unknown breed, and an English Bulldog. This breed was originally very aggressive and used for fighting and baiting bulls. However, over the years this breed lost their aggressiveness and it has become better suited for family life. With proper training the Boxer can make an excellent companion for adult and child alike. Be prepared, though, as they often have a very high level of energy.

The boxer is a mid-sized dog breed that typically stands between 21 and 25 inches tall. They are noted for their muscularity and gorgeous appearance. They usually weigh between 66 and 70 pounds. Their coat is short, smooth and shiny. Their coat can come in a variety of colors and have several different marking patterns. Some of the most common colors Boxers have include white, brindle, and fawn. Although they have short fur they still do shed, although it may be less noticeable due to its length.

Boxers are affectionate and playful breeds. Their past may indicate ferociousness but their general temperament of todays breed is rather friendly and welcoming.

Boxers are one of the most popular breeds of dog today.

Origin of the Boxer

Boxers were developed in Germany and they are believed to have been descended from the Bullenbeiszer and the Barenbeiszer, two German mastiff type of dogs. Later they were crossed with bulldogs and a few other ancient mastiffs.

Dog Training MembershipThey were once used in the violent game of bull baiting, for pulling carts because of their strength and as a hunting companion.

This breed is relatively new and it wasn’t until 1904, when the first Boxer studbook was created, that breed standards were finally established. The name “Boxer” came from the earlier fighting instincts of the breed.

Early Boxers were indeed ferocious because they were mainly bred for viciousness but nowadays they are gentle and obedient breeds. They have versatile uses and they are now prized for companionship.

Boxer Appearance and Abilities

Boxers are solidly built and compact. They look powerful and muscled. They have round, powerfully built necks and do not have any dewlap. There are two types of Boxers to consider, the larger and more muscular German type and the American type of boxer.

The most distinctive feature of the Boxer is its head. It must be perfectly proportioned to the body and above all it must never be too light. They also have powerful jaws ideal for hanging on to large prey.

They close-fitting coats that come in fawn, brindle, white and various shades of red, with white markings. Boxers’ tails are carried high

Temperament and Tendencies of the Boxer

Boxers are active dogs. They are playful and high-spirited. Their physicality can be quite overwhelming but they are loyal, affectionate, and obedient. In fact, they are great dogs for obedience competitions. Boxers are very eager to please and have remarkable intelligence.

Surprisingly, they love and get along well with children. They also get along with other canines and cats as well if properly socialized. Game-like animals however, are too tempting for Boxers. However, they tend to get boisterous and jump at people. Calm training is a must for Boxers.

They tend to paw things such as toys and food. This is another reason why they may have been named Boxers. Boxers seem punch everything they touch with their paws. This habit may make them seem funny and clown-like.

Boxers are courageous animals and they will protect their masters when threatened.

Boxer Training and Care

Leadership is the key to managing Boxers. The objective in training this breed is to achieve a pack leader status. So, as a member of the pack, owners must take the role of the alpha dog. Meekness and inconsistency will make the Boxers believe that they hold the alpha role. When this happens, the Boxer is demanding, stubborn, and boisterous.

Never allow Boxers develop dominance problems. Any signs of dominance need to be immediately corrected by the owners in a calm, but firm, confident way.

Boxers require daily walks and occasional plays such as fetching things. So, apartment living is okay as long as you can give them adequate physical and mental stimulation.

Boxers are naturally clean dogs. They clean themselves like a cat does. Grooming their short smooth coats is very easy. Bathe only when necessary. Don’t give too much bathing because it removes natural oils from their skin.

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How to Train an Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog, also referred to as the Anatolian Karabash, is a large dog breed that originated in Turkey. They were bred to guard sheep herds on the Anatolian plateau in Turkey. This breed can grow up to 30 inches tall and can weigh up to 150 pounds. They have a double coat. Their undercoat is thick and dense and their overcoat is short. The most desirable coat colors for this breed include cream and fawn with black face masks. However, this breed can come in just about any color combination.

This is a very intelligent dog breed that loyal and protective. They get along with children as long as the children are a part of their family, or as long as they have been introduced to the dog. Their instincts for guarding sheep can be easily translated to protecting your home and family. Because of this and their size, they make a great guard dog and watch dog.

To care for this breed you will need to brush its coat daily to keep it clean and tangle free. This dog needs a lot of exercise and large areas to run around in freely. Because they are an intelligent breed they also need mental stimulation as well to stay happy and healthy. If cared for properly they can live up to 15 years.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a large and powerful dog, and as such is not suited for everyone. They have bred for thousands of years in Turkey as livestock guardians for the flocks of semi-nomadic shepherds. Their natural foes included wolves, bears, and wild boar.

It is probable that dogs of this type existed 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. The dogs were probably called Coban Kopegi (shepherd dog), and over the centuries, regional variations developed.

Large, rugged and impressive, they possess great endurance and agility. These dogs are tall and powerful, yet not massive in build. The breed is regarded as a flock guardian of the mountain molosser-type belonging to the mastiff family. They are capable of reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour or greater. Their agility coupled with endurance helps them to run down predators with relative ease over great distances.

Dog Training MembershipThe Anatolian Shepherd has an intelligent expression and wide-set, dark brown, almond-shaped eyes. The ears are approximately four to six inches in length, V-shaped, rounded at the tips and rest on the sides of head. The muzzle has a sturdy, strong appearance and the nose is either brown or entirely black.

While not a “glamor” breed, the Anatolian’s loyalty, independence and hardiness is cherished by breeders and owners. The Anatolian Shepherd is a very dependable, alert and possessive dog. It is intelligent and easy to train, but is not a dog for beginners. It needs a handler who naturally radiates leadership.

Keep in mind, time and effort is required to keep Anatolians socialized and well-behaved. They are very strong and can be very stubborn at times. If you are looking for a dog that will obey at the drop of a command, then this is not the dog for you. The owner should not allow commands to be given unless an effort is being made to follow through should the dog elect the typical reaction of “selective deafness”.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are wary of strangers. Therefore, socialization is a must. This is best done in a pup’s early months. Obedience training should begin as early as possible, as well, due to this dog’s immense size. Firm, consistent training as a youngster will prevent an out-of-control, massive dog that tries to show dominance over its master.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has two different coat varieties short and rough. The short coated variety possesses a short, dense coat in solid colors ranging from cream to fawn, with a black mask and ears. Be prepared for the extremely heavy seasonal shedding that typically accompanies undercoated breeds. During this time, the coat will need to be brushed frequently. Otherwise, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog coat requires very little care.

As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Anatolian Shepherd. If you are not familiar with these conditions, it is absolutely necessary to learn about them and know the symptoms. These conditions can cause real life threatening conditions that will require emergency Veterinary attention.

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How to Train a Collie

The Collie, also referred to as the Scottish Collie, is a Scottish breed that was developed as a sheepdog. They come in two varieties, rough and smooth. The Smooth Coated Collie has a medium length coat that is soft and dense. The Rough Coated Collie has short hair that is smooth. Both variations come in colors of blue merle, sable and white, and tri colored. This is a medium sized dog that typically stands between 22 and 26 inches tall.

The Collie has an excellent temperament that makes it ideal as both a family pet and as a working dog. They are very gentle and intelligent, and they enjoy being sociable. They are an excellent addition for homes with children and homes with other pets. Some of the health problems that are associated with breed include skin infections, eye problems and hip dysplasia.

Origin of the Collie

The Collie breed has existed for centuries as herding dogs in Scotland and England. Originally, they were drover dogs, driving cows and sheep to market.

Collies have descended from generations of hard working herding dogs. Their name may have originated from the Scottish black-faced sheep called the “Colley”. Long ago, the early Collies were smaller; they had shorter muzzles with broader heads.

Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed when she visited the Scottish Highlands. Collies became popular and very fashionable after that.

Collie Appearance and Abilities

Dog Training MembershipCollies have great beauty. They are very attractive dogs with long coats which are long and textured. They are both elegant and graceful and they have a delightful gait which makes them appear to be floating over the ground as they run.

A medium-sized dog, Collies are fairly lightly built. They weigh about 20-50lbs and they have pointed snouts and erect ears. This gives them a fox-like impression. Collies have different varieties. Cattle-herding types tend to be rather stocky. Show types are more slender and graceful.

Fur can differ as well. Some Collies may have short, flat, or long hair. Tails may be smooth, feathered, or bushy. Collies vary in colors too. The usual base colors are black, black-and-tan, red, red-and-tan, or sable.

Collies stand out with their intelligence. They are so intelligent that they have been trained for many purposes, as a rescue dog, guide for the blind, movie star, and as a guard dog.

Temperament and Tendencies of the Collie

Collies are very responsive dogs. They show an unmistakable expression of intelligence. They are gentle and devoted to their owners but their guarding instincts make them very suspicious of strangers. Collies are wary and always alert.

They are also persistent in their endeavors but their high intelligence make them easily trained dogs. Working types are extremely energetic and very agile dogs. They are tireless workers with great stamina in the field. Show types tend to be more elegant. They are great companion dogs with delightful temperaments.

They are very gentle and sweet dogs. Collies are very good with children and they are very protective of their family.

Working strains have strong herding instincts, and some individuals can be single minded to the point of obsession. They can be intensely loyal for their own good.

Collie Training and Care

Training Collies requires a calm, firm, and confident manner. Owners should set the rules for the breed to follow. You should be consistent and never falter. However, be gentle while showing an air of authority. Being meek or passive will make the Collie think he is dominant over you. If that is the case, the dog will never listen and may become willful, stubborn and indolent.

Some have very strong herding instincts and may nip people’s heels. As puppies, they must be taught not to herd humans. Socialize Collies well so they may develop into well-mannered companions. House training them is rather easy.

Collies will do okay in an apartment as long as they are sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least an average-sized yard.

They are sensitive to the heat so make sure to provide plenty of shade and fresh water in warm weather.

Weekly brushing of their coats is essential to keep them in good condition. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. This breed sheds heavily twice a year.

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How to Train a Boerboel

The Boerboel is a large, powerful and intelligent working dog. Known for being good with children it is still incredibly important to engage in heavy socialization and training from a young age.

Being such a powerful dog this breed is prone to being dominant and imposing. Unless the owner becomes a leader from the beginning this breed will take over and rule the roost. As such, this may not be a dog for the first time dog owner. Rather, this dog excels in a home where the owner is committed to appropriate training and control.

Origin of the Boerboel

The Boerboel is a large working molossoid breed from South Africa. The name came from the Afrikaans/Dutch word meaning “farmer’s dog”. The dog was also bred to guard homesteads.

The true origin of the breed is uncertain but it is believed that the dog derived from interbreeding of indigenous African species with breeds brought from the European settlers.

The refining of the breed is still on the developing stage.

Boerboel Appearance and Abilities

The Boerboel is a heavy mastiff breed with a height of about 25 to 28 inches for males, and 23 to 26 inches for females and I can weigh from 100 to 200 pounds. It is robust with a solid build. Well balanced, substantial and powerful in appearance, the Boerboel is well-muscled and intimidating.

Dog Training MembershipIt has a powerful neck and moves with purpose and ample agility. The head is large but proportional to the body. It gives an overall impression of substance, strength, power, and physical ability.

Commonly, they have sand-colored coats with black masks. However, shades may vary its coat colors may come in brindle, brown, red-brown, red, fawn, yellow-cream, white-cream, dilute, and black. These are all accepted colors. A deep mask is preferred for all.

Temperament and Tendencies of the Boerboel

They are very obedient and very smart and they are confident and very dominant. However, it requires human leadership and companionship. If left alone for regular extended periods, they can become destructive, reckless and dangerous.

Boerboels are highly protective but not aggressive. They also possess strong territorial instincts making them perfect for guard work, particularly in domestic situations. They are fearless and display self-assurance and they are responsive to the needs of their families.

They are very playful and they enjoy a good game of fetch.

Boerboel Training and Care

Boerboels are not recommended for apartment life. A large fenced yard is necessary to keep your Boerboel happy. It should be stressed that Boerboels should not be left alone too often and too long. They are very protective and sometimes do not take too well to strangers.

Socialization is crucial for Boerboels. This will limit their aggressiveness brought about by their strong watchdog instincts. Owners should always supervise them if strangers are present.

The main goal in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader position. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When humans live with dogs, they become their part of their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans must be higher up in the order than the dog.

Owners should give time for play and exercise. To the very least, Boerboels needs to be taken on long daily walks. These dogs thrive on love and attention and need companionship from their owners.

Boerboels are easy to groom. An occasional brushing and a monthly bath is all that is needed. This breed is an average shedder.

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How to Train an Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog, also referred to as the Queensland Heeler, the Blue Heeler, and the Hall’s Heeler, is an Australian working dog. It is a short, stocky dog that grows to be about 20 inches tall and weigh about 45 pounds. It has a double coat. Its undercoat is dense and its top coat is smooth, straight and compact which makes it water resistant. The health problems that affect this breed include deafness, eye problems, and hip dysplasia.

This breed is very protective and bold. They make a great family dog, however, they tend to be aggressive towards strange children. This is because they may interpret the games that children play as a treat to their herd, their family. They are also suitable to use as watch dogs, guard dogs, and working dogs.

To care for this breed you will need to brush their coat once a week. Make sure that you remove debris from their coat when you find it to avoid skin problems. They are an active breed that need vigorous exercise at least twice a day. Their temperament can be a bit stubborn at times so you will need to train this dog to be obedient, because it is not going to come naturally to this dog. If cared for properly this breed should live between 12 and 15 Dog Training Membershipyears.

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How to Train an American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is a relative of the German Spitz. It is a cut little snow ball of a dog that comes in three varieties, standard, toy, and miniature. The standard grows to be between 15 and 19 inches tall and can weigh up to 35 pounds. The miniature variation of this breed grows to be between 12 and 15 inches tall and can weigh up to 20 pounds. The toy version of this breed only gets to be about 12 inches tall and weighs up to 10 pounds. All versions of this breed have a white or cream coat that is long, fluffy, and dense. Some of the health issues you will want to look out for include progressive retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia.

The temperament of this breed makes them a great family pet. They are obedient and loving, however, they are also very protective of their families. Because of this they also make great watch dogs.

To care for this dog you will need to brush their coat at least once a week. This will help Dog Training Membershipto keep the hair clean and free of tangles and matting. You will also need to bathe them at least once a month. They are an active bouncy dog breed that needs rigorous exercise every day. They also enjoy a little roughhousing.

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How to Train an Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher, also referred to as the Monkey Dog, is a small breed dog from Germany that makes a great house pet that was actually initially a farm dog. It typically grows to about 10 inches tall and weighs between 7 and 8 pounds. This breed comes in a variety of coat colors including black, gray, red, black and tan, silver and beige. The ears are often cropped and the tail is normally docked. If cared for properly they can live up to 15 years.

This breed is very intelligent, affectionate and loyal. However, it is not the best pet to have if you have very small children. This dog has been bred to be a vermin hunter. It gets along with other pets and it a relatively quite toy dog to have.

To care for the Affenpinscher you will need to use a dog brush that is designed for wiry hair to brush its coat at least three times a week. You will also need to make sure that you clean its ears, teeth and trim its nails once a week. This breed makes a great pet for small Dog Training Membershiphomes or apartments because it requires little exercise. However, they are an active breed that will need a safe place to play.

The Affenpinscher will often get along fine with other pets, especially if they are raised together. In training they need firmness but also a lot of variety so as to not get bored. Make sure to always challenge them mentally.

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How to Train an Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier, also referred to as the Waterside Terrier or the Bingley Terrier, is a British breed that is known for its intelligence and loyalty. This breed grows to a height of about 23 inches and can weigh between 44 and 50 pounds. Some of the physical problems that this breed is susceptible to include: skin problems, eye problems, and hip dysplasia. However, with proper care and nutrition they can live up to 14 years.

The Airdedale Terrier is a sweet dog that is loyal and playful. They adjust well to multi-pet families and are great with older children. However, it is not the best breed to have if you have small children. They are a very intelligent terrier breed that learns quickly.

To care for the Airedale you will need to use a stiff bristle brush to remove dead hair and dander three to four times per week. You will also want to pluck shedding hair clumps from their coat at least two times a year. As for exercise, they will need a good workout at least once a day. This breed is not suitable for apartment living. They need a fenced yard to run around in to stay happy and healthy.

The Airedale Terrier, also known as “The King of Terriers”, is the largest of all terrier breeds. The breed’s greater size matches their equally large devotion and courage while still being one of the calmest and most eager to please.

The Airedale Terrier is a muscular, active, medium-sized dog. They are well-boned, squarely-built dog, and at all times a terrier in appearance and attitude. It should stand alert with head and tail held high, be interested and inquisitive, and show an intelligent, steady quality.

Dog Training MembershipA healthy Airedale will be approximately 22-24 inches at the shoulder. Beware of breeders boasting that they breed extra large or “Oorang” Airedales. To purposefully breed a larger or smaller dog is to destroy the breed’s purity and tradition. Oorang Airedales were developed during the 1930’s when Airedales were farmed like livestock and dogs of this size usually carry the medical and behavioral problems associated with the 1930’s Airedale.

Airedales are very devoted companions, but they fully expect to be an equal partner in your life. They seem to have a sense of humor about themselves and you, so you had better develop the ability to see humor in all situations.

It cannot be emphasized enough how much energy an Airedale has and how important it is to find positive outlets for that energy. If your current lifestyle is already packed with activity, an Airedale is not a dog you can fit in around the edges.

An Airedale will not wait patiently for you to find the time to play with him and don’t expect to be able to stick him in the back yard to exercise alone or think that tossing a ball a few times is going to be enough. Providing an Airedale with adequate exercise requires your active participation.

Puppies, however, should not be suddenly taken out on a five mile hike but should be gradually built up to taking as far as you are prepared to walk. As a puppy, your dog will not be ready to partake in any long walks. You have to wait until it has completed most of its growth, short socialization walks will be sufficient as a young dog.

Even though the Airedale Terrier has a good temperament, it can sometimes be stubborn, and training will take time. Exercise a lot of patience and kindness with your puppy. They do not respond to harsh overbearing training methods. The Airedale Terrier is intelligent enough to perceive quickly what is required of it, but if you ask it to do the same thing over and over again it may refuse.

Airedales do well on high quality foods. Some may have slightly dry “itchy” skin and can be supplemented with certain oils and kelp. Also many Airedales respond well to lamb and rice foods.

The thick, wiry, harsh double coat of an Airedale Terrier should be plucked twice a year. Airedale Terriers will also shed excessively if their coats are not stripped regularly. Airedale Terriers’ beards should be washed daily because of their tendency to pick up bits of food and burrs. Frequent trimming and brushing can help prevent matted fur.

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How to Train an Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is an American breed that was designed to work on cattle ranches. They are a mid-sized active breed that grows to be between 18 and 23 inches tall and they usually weigh between 35 and 70 pounds. They have a medium length double coat that can be straight or wavy. This breed has a variegated coat that can be red, blue merle, black, or red merle. Their coats can also have markings. This breed has a few health issues that you will want to look out for, deafness, sight problems, and hip dysplasia.

When picking out an Australian Shepherd to add to your family you will want to make sure that the puppy comes from a family line that has not been bred for aggressiveness. The non-aggressive lines of this breed make excellent pets. The more aggressive lines are better suited for working with cattle and other herding animals.

To care for this breed you will need to groom and bathe them only as it becomes necessary. Dog Training MembershipHowever, if you notice a burr or other plant material tangled in their coats you will want to remove it as quickly as possible to avoid matting and skin irritation. This is a smart breed that responds well to obedience training. Both the aggressive lines and the non-aggressive lines of this breed should undergo some type of obedience training to keep them safe and to prevent problems in your household.

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