Dog Profile Of The Week – Maltese

MalteseDog Profile Of The Week – Maltese

The Maltese is a diminutive dog weighing from four to six pounds (two to three kilograms).

The body is compact, the shoulder blades sloping. The back is level and the ribs well sprung. The tufted tail is carried gracefully over the back. The neck is elegantly structured to promote high carriage of the head.

The head is well proportioned to the body and the skull is slightly rounded. The drop ears are low set and heavily feathered. The eyes are dark, the nose black and the muzzle of medium length and slightly tapered.

The long, silky coat that sweeps or hangs close to the ground gives the Maltese an almost ornamental appearance. The long hair on the head may be tied in a topknot or left hanging. The coat color is pure white.

The Maltese moves in a buoyant, flowing gait.

Personality:

The Maltese is gentle, affectionate, intelligent, responsive and trusting. A good family dog, Maltese are lively, playful, vigorous, and they generally enjoys learning tricks. They can be snappy with raucous children. The petite build of the Maltese belies its fearless presence. Highly alert, the Maltese elicits a flurry of barking in response to unfamiliar noises.

Living With:

The Maltese is a suitable indoor dog that thrives even in apartments and small confines. This breed can be difficult to housebreak, and they tend to be finicky eaters. Maltese are light shedders and are acceptable pets for most allergy sufferers. Daily brushing and regular bathing are recommended in order to prevent coat matting. The hair around the eyes should be cleaned daily in order to prevent tear staining.

History:

For more than 28 centuries, the Maltese spaniel has been the aristocrat of the dog world. It is believed that the Maltese originated in Malta, a tiny island south of Sicily. It is only fitting that such a noble dog be established in Malta, whose civilization was distinguished by its sophistication and opulence.

One Maltese of note, Issa, was owned by Publius, the Roman governor of Malta in the 1st century. Issa was described in a celebrated epigram as “frolicsome … purer than a dove’s kiss, gentler than a maiden … more precious than Indian gems.” Many famous authors and scholars, including Pliny the Elder and Strabo, wrote of the beauty, finesse and irresistible charm of the tiny Maltese dog. The Greeks erected tombs to their Maltese and, from the 5th century on, these ornate dogs are represented in Greek ceramic art. Archaeological evidence exists to show that Maltese dogs were owned by the Egyptians who may have worshiped them.

The Maltese has been highly valued in society throughout time. In fact, one account is of a Maltese being sold in the 1500s for the equivalent of $2,000. It is said that Maltese dogs were particularly popular with women who carried them in their bosoms or their sleeves. Invariably, scholars of yore drew attention to the breed’s diminutive size. In 1792, the botanist Linnaeus referred to Maltese as being “about the size of squirrels.” The first Maltese exhibited in the United States was white and listed as a “Maltese lion dog” at Westminster’s first dog show in 1877. The American Kennel Club registered the Maltese in 1888.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com

Dog Breed Profile Of The Week – Labrador Retriever

Dog Profile Of The Week – Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers are sturdy, solid dogs. They are almost square in appearance, with a strong body and sturdy legs. The maximum height for a male is 24 inches, which puts them in the medium-size dog category, but their sturdy build can make them seem much larger. Weights range from 85 pounds for a large male to 55 pounds for a smaller female. Field line bred dogs are often taller and somewhat thinner in build.

Labrador retrievers are easily recognized by their broad head, drop ears and large, expressive eyes. Two trademarks of the Lab are the thick but fairly short double coat, which is very water-repellent, and the well-known “otter tail.” The tail is thick and sturdy and comes off the topline almost straight. The feet are described as “webbed,” with longer skin between the toes to aid in swimming. Color can range from black through chocolate to a red/yellow or even almost white.

The Labrador retriever is a moderately fast maturing breed, reaching adult height from six to 12 months, but possibly still filling out up to 2 years of age. Many Labs reach 12 to 14 years of age.

Personality:

In general, Labrador retrievers are excellent family dogs, as long as you keep in mind their need for exercise and training. These are dogs bred to work and work hard and they love to have jobs to do, particularly retrieving.

Labs are usually good with other dogs, other pets, and children as long as training has toned down their natural exuberance. They are strong dogs and need some obedience training at an early age or they can be seen dragging their owners down the street at will.

Owing to their energetic nature, Labrador’s who are left alone or not well exercised can become destructive — chewing, digging and barking to excess.

The field line dogs are especially high-energy dogs, while some of the show line dogs become perfect couch potatoes at an early age. Chewing can be a problem because the strong retrieve urge gives them an oral fixation. Sturdy chew toys, exercise and training all help with this.

Living With:

Obviously, Labrador’s have a number of endearing traits or they would not be so popular. They are intelligent and fairly easy to train, partly from their desire to work with people. They are “easy keepers” and can become overweight if they are not exercised and food portions adjusted as needed. Labs are excellent family dogs because they do want to be with people and many do not do well as kennel dogs.

Labrador’s do tend to be protective of their families and homes but are usually happy to greet company, too. With the strong retrieving instinct, they can develop into destructive chewers if not given appropriate toys and guidance. Labs may tend to “mouth” people and the solution is often simply to give them a toy to carry around, so their mouths are already full! These are very strong dogs and early training is necessary to have a dog that walks nicely on lead.

The wonderful double coat that keeps the Labrador warm while retrieving in icy water also gives this breed top billing as shedders. Normally, their coats do fine with a quick weekly grooming, but at shedding time daily grooming is needed. The amount of exercise they need varies with the different lines: field line dogs can run all day, whereas show line dogs only need moderate exercise.

History:

Early in the 1800s, some of the multipurpose dogs used in North America (mostly Canada) by hunters were shipped back to England. Many of these “water dogs” were of the Newfoundland type, but the smaller ones were often designated “St John’s” dogs. In England, the breed was developed and refined (probably with some flat-coated retriever input) into the breed we recognize today.

As is evidenced by their name, Labrador retrievers were bred and selected for their outstanding retrieving abilities, particularly in water. They have worked as partners with duck hunters in all kinds of weather and conditions. Their intelligence and desire to work as a partner with man has led to many other jobs, and to their current status as popular pets. Today, Labrador’s excel as service and guide dogs, family pets, scenting dogs for the military, customs and arson task force dogs, search and rescue dogs as well as hunting companions and performance dogs.

The breed’s good nature has propelled it to the number one ranking in popularity in America, a position it intends to keep. Despite their fame as indoor pets, they are even more at home outdoors. It should always be remembered that Labrador’s are water retrievers at heart and from early on, puppies show a strong desire to carry things around with them and a strong attraction to water, even puddles!

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com

 

Ten Peeves That Dogs Have About Humans

Bad DogTen Peeves That Dogs Have About Humans

  1. Blaming your farts on me… not funny… not funny at all!!!
  2. Yelling at me for barking. Really, I am a dog!
  3. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?
  4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose…stop it!
  5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home.
  6. The slight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Whoooo Hoooooo. What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.
  7. Taking me to the vet for “the big snip”, then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!
  8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.
  9. Dog sweaters. Hello???? Haven’t you noticed the fur?
  10. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth, you’re just jealous.

Now lay off me on some of these things. We both know who’s the boss here! You don’t see me picking up your poop, do you?