Canine Facts, Tips, & Trivia...

How many breeds of dogs are there?

There are more than 400 dog breeds, but the American Kennel Club officially recognizes only 150. The American Rare Breed Association recognizes 178. The United Kennel Club recognizes 308.

What are the largest and smallest breeds? -

The Mastiff (28-30 inches, 175 to 190 pounds) and Saint Bernard (24 to 28 inches, 110-200 pounds) are the heaviest. The Chihuahua (6 to 9 inches, 6 pounds) is the smallest. The Irish Wolfhound (28 to 35 inches at the shoulders) is the tallest breed.

What are the most popular breeds in the United States? -

1. Labrador Retrievers
2. Golden Retrievers
3. German Sheperds
4. Beagles
5. Dachshunds
6. Yorkshire Terriers
7. Boxers
8. Poodles
9. Chihuahuas
10. Shih Tzus

Does a dog need to have its teeth brushed? -

Periodontal disease is one of the most common health problems in dogs. More than 75 percent of domestic dogs 3 years and older are affected by gum infections.

Once or twice a week an owner should use a canine toothrush, a soft child's toothbrush or a gauze pad wrapped around a finer to brush the dog's teeth. The AKC recommends toothpaste formulated for dogs (human toothpaste can upset the pets's stomach and ingestion of too much fluoride can be fatal) or a paste made from water and baking soda.

Scrub the teeth completely, especially the insides and back upper molars.

In between cleaning, dental chew toys help fight plaque and tartar.

How often should a dog have a bath? -

A dog should be given a bath whenever it is dirty enough to need one.
Indoor dogs require fewer baths than outdoor dogs. Breeds prone to skin conditions benefit from monthly baths. Breeds with thick coats might only get bathed three or four times a year. Shampoo formulated for dogs is best. The PH balance of human shampoo is incorrect for dogs and can damage their coat and skin.

If your dog acquires a little dirt and is brushed and groomed on a regular basis, a quick rinse with lukewarm water will clean up the pet nicely.

What is a healthy weight for a dog? -

In an animal of any breed, indications of healthy weight include:
*Abdomen should be tucked up higher than the dog's chest.
*Owner should be able to feel the ribs with a slight bit of fat between the bone and skin.
*the dog should be able to trot effortlessly without the skin and fat rolling from side to side.
*When viewed from above, there should be a distinct curce inward at the waist and the last few ribs whould be pronounced. Your release word after training is over is a loud "okay", then praise your dog!

Is chocolate really deadly for dogs to eat?

Eating too much chocolate can be harmful to a dog. The darker the chocolate, the more of the toxin theobromine is present. Baking chocolate is the deadliest, white chocolate is the least.

Signs of toxicity occur within hours after a dog eats a sufficient amount of chocolate. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, and coma. If a high enough quantity of theobromine is eaten, the dog could die from cardiac arrest.

The approximate toxic dose of four types of cholcolate for a 20-pound dog:
*White chocolate has very little theobromine, and the dog would have to eat more than two and half times its body weight to reach toxic levels.
*A little less than one pound of milk chocolate.
*As little as six ounces of instant cocoa or semi-sweet chocolate.
*Two one-ounce squares of baking chocolate.

If you know your dog has eaten a questionable quantity of chocolate, take it to a vet immediately.

Do dogs sweat to cool off?

Dogs give off some perspiration throught the sweat glands in the pads of their feet, but panting is the main method of ridding themselves of heat. Body heat is dispersed by evaporation from the surface of the tongue.

On warm, sunny days, dogs in parked cars are especially prone to heatstroke. Even in the shade with the windows partially rolled down, there is not enough ventilation to allow the animal to regulate its body temperature.

Do dogs really age one year to seven human years?

By year one, most dogs are mentally, physically, and sexualy mature as a 16-year-old human. Depending on size, each year after that is equal to five to seven years of human life. Toy and small dogs are roughly five human years to every canine one and can live 15 years and longer. Medium and large dogs (CBR's) age around six and live 12-15 years. Giant breeds (Mastiffs) age roughly seven to one and live 10-11 years.

Are dogs colorblind?

Dogs are not completely colorblind, but they do only see certain colors. While humans have three receptors in their eye's retina, dogs only have two and have difficulty distinguishing among green, yellow, orange and red. Dogs interpret blue-green colors as white and those toward the red end of the color spectrum as more and more yellowish. Dogs can differentiate colors in the blue to violet range of the color spectrum and recognize the diference between black, white and some shades of gray.

Should a puppy sleep with its owner?

Puppies sleep with the litter and consider siblings as peers.

If you want to reinforce your role as the dominant partner in the relationship, let the puppy sleep in your bedroom, but on a bed/crate of its own.

What percentage of American households own a dog?

According to the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, about 36 percent of U.S. households included a dog in 2001.

Are ther benefits from spaying or neutering a dog?

There are several benefits other than responsible ownership and stopping unwanted pregnancies.
For Males:
*Decreased sexual behavior, including leg-lifting, marking, roaming, aggressive behavior and fighting.
*Decreased desire to escape from the yard.
*Protection from testicular cancer.
For Females:
*Decreased incidence of breast cancer.
*Protection against cancers of the repoductive system.
*Decreased female aggression.

Will I ever find a dog that doesn't shed?

Except for a few "hairless" breeds, all dogs shed. Hairless breeds include the Chinese crested, Mexican hairless, Inca hairless, Peruvian Inca orchid and the American Hairless Terrier.

Some"non-shedding" breeds keep the shed hair in their coat until it is brushed out. Breeds that shed very little, and can have their hair cut to reduce shedding include the Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Poodle, Kerry Blue, Soft-Coated Wheaten, and Bedington Terriers, Briard, Bouvier and Bichon Frise.

New! Information on PANOSTEITIS -
(Frequently referred to as "Growing Pains")

New! The Change & Science of Your Dogs Vaccination Schedule -

Back to Health & Training Page -

Contact Information:
Debra Wiley-Cuevas
QuailRidge Chesapeakes
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Phone: 805 239 0677
Fax: 805 239-3552

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