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10 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

Women are fond of saying “men are dogs”.

Some dogs may be more than a bit insulted, with that remark . Nevertheless, there are many similarities between men and dogs.

Living together with a man is a big deal. Suddenly, we have to put up with his many bad habits, all of the time. Living together with a dog, is an even bigger deal. With dogs, it is truly a “till death do us part” commitment. Since dogs are totally dependent on us, there is no such thing as a divorce.

When we agree to bring a dog into our family, we are making that commitment for life.

And just like men, dogs have an array of bad habits.

Therefore, before getting a dog, we want to first consider some of their less than desirable traits.

Should I Get a Dog 1

Dogs Snore Like Drunken Sailors.

This is my cute little Siberian Husky girl, Shania. She is the sweetest thing ever, but at night, she snores like a really large, really drunk, sailor.

At least when a man snores, we can give him a swift kick, and make him turn to the side. This will usually stop the snoring.

My Husky girl, bless her heart, will snore in whatever position she is in.

Should I Get a Dog 2

Dogs Are Expert Stalkers.

I think that the Police song, Every Breath You Take, was composed for a dog. Dogs like following us everywhere, and they watch everything that we do.

My Shiba Inu likes sitting outside, and staring at passers-by, cars, and everything else.

He is known by some of my neighbors as “the little detective”.

If he could talk, I bet he would have some really juicy stories to tell!

Should I Get a Dog 3

Dogs Are Not Ashamed of Begging.

My dogs learned really early on that their most powerful weapon is not their teeth, but their pretty face.

Dogs are willing to do about anything to get what they want, and that includes begging. Beware! They are very, very, good at it, and they will do it whenever they want something from us, which is almost all of the time.

Should I Get a Dog 4

A Dog’s Favorite Perfume is Eau De Skunk.

A dog’s favorite scent is not Dior, CK, or even Old Spice. Rather, they like dead things that smell like, well, dead things. Rolling around in a dead thing to acquire that oh-so-quaint aroma, is often the highlight of a dog’s day.

Smelling and eating poop is also a favorite activity. My Siberian Husky Shania, treats bird poop like it is caviar. What the cat, horse, and goat left behind, is also on her favorite list of foods and scents.

Should I Get a Dog 5

Dogs Are Landscaping Addicts.

We may think that our yard is perfect or close to perfect, but our dogs know better.

Yards often have a boring, flat surface, look. All dogs know that the most interesting, beautiful yards, are the ones that have the most number of holes.

Dogs are such optimists that they always have a can dig attitude. Even when our entire yard is riddled with holes, they always find a way to add just one more. Finally, all the holes combine into one large, big, flat hole, and the process starts all over again.

Should I Get a Dog 6

Dogs Drool, Belch, and Fart.

Dogs live in the moment.

They will drool, fart, belch, and whatever else, in the moment as well. Think Homer Simpson, except much cuter, and with more hair.

Should I Get a Dog 7

Dogs Are Lazy About Personal Hygiene.

When women say “men are dogs“, this is probably one of the key reasons why.

Like men, dogs will sometimes clean themselves, but most of the time, they prefer to just lie around, watch t.v., and go to sleep. Even when we offer to give them a bath, brush their teeth, clip their nails, and wipe their muddy paws, they will object in the most virulent fashion.

The best way to get a man, err I mean dog, to let us groom him, is to pair grooming with something pleasant. Using a favorite food, often does the trick.

Should I Get a Dog 8

Dogs Shed, and Shed, and Shed.

Dogs are cute, and cuddly because they have all that soft, plush, silky hair that we love running our fingers through.

What they often fail to advertise, is that the hair comes off – all over the house.

The amount of shedding varies greatly by dog breed, so careful research is a must. Before getting a dog, make sure that we are not allergic to dog dander. Also get used to having hair all over our floors, furniture, clothes, and other prized possessions.

Frequent brushing, will help ensure that the hair comes off in a more controlled, and manageable fashion. I find that a Furminator is very helpful, especially for dogs with double coats.

Should I Get a Dog 9

Dogs Think that the World is Their Toilet.

Dogs, especially puppies, find it extremely inconvenient to have to go to the toilet, like we do. Interrupting dog play for a trip to the loo, seems like a big waste of time. Therefore, they will just do it on the go. After all, they have unpaid human servants to clean up after them, so life is good.

The best way to potty-train a dog, is to teach him that toileting outside is more fun than a Chuck-E-Cheese trip.

My Siberian Husky puppy was not easy to house-train, because she did not seem to mind frolicking in her own waste products. As soon as she has to go, which is when she wakes up, and after every 10-15 minutes of play-time; I take her outside and give her the “Go Potty” command.

When she goes potty, I praise her very well and give her yummy treats and affection. Then, she goes back to playing. Very quickly, she learned to go sit by the door whenever she needed to go potty. After all, pottying inside gets her nothing, but pottying outside, is a happy bonanza of praise, treats, attention, and play.

Should I Get a Dog 10

A Dog’s Favorite Chew Toy is Everything.

Before we bring a puppy or new dog home, make sure to store away all of our prized possessions.

I do not leave my Jimmy Choo shoes around, or it will quickly become designer rawhide. Make sure to put cell-phones, iPhones, iPods, and all other expensive equipment on a high shelf.

Proper puppy training and puppy management is a must. When puppy Shania is out and about, I supervise her very closely. When I am too busy to supervise, she goes in her crate or long-term enclosure. I also provide her with many interactive, dog friendly, chew toys.

An iPhone may be coolest thing since sliced bread, but it is not friendly to a dog’s digestive system, nor is it friendly to our pocketbook when we pay the vet bill.

Unusual Eating Habits in Dogs and Cats

If your pet has an appetite for such oddities as socks, rocks, or even feces, chances are you’ve wondered—and worried—about her unusual eating habits. In this case, your worry may be justified: Not only can your possessions be destroyed or damaged, but objects such as clothing and rocks can produce life-threatening blockages in your pet’s intestines.

Eating non-food items has a name: It’s called pica. A specific type of pica is stool eating—either the dog’s own or that of another animal. It’s called coprophagia.
Rarely seen in cats, coprophagy is fairly common in dogs, especially those who tend to be highly food-motivated. Although it’s not necessarily dangerous to the animal, it probably is unacceptable to you.

Why Animals do This

The causes of pica and coprophagy are not known. Many theories have been proposed by various experts, but none has been proven or disproven. One idea is that such behaviors may be attention-seeking behaviors. If engaging in one of these behaviors results in some type of social interaction between the animal and her owner—even a verbal scolding—then the behavior may be reinforced and occur more frequently.

Others think these behaviors may be attempts to obtain a necessary nutrient lacking in the diet, although no nutritional studies have ever substantiated this idea. Pica and coprophagy may also stem from frustration or anxiety. It’s even possible that the behaviors begin as play; as the animal investigates and chews on the objects, she eventually begins to eat or ingest them.

Some experts have suggested that coprophagy is carried over from the normal parental behavior of ingesting the waste of young offspring. Others believe that coprophagy occurs more often in animals who live in relatively barren environments, are frequently confined to small areas, or receive limited attention from their owners. It’s also possible that dogs learn this behavior from other dogs. Because pica and coprophagy are not well understood, stopping these behaviors may require assistance from an animal-behavior professional who will work individually with you and your pet.

Suggested Solutions for Coprophagy

Because the cause of coprophagy isn’t known, no techniques or solutions are known to be consistently successful. However, the following techniques may be effective in resolving the problem.
  • Treat your pet’s food with something that causes her stool to taste bad. A commercial product called 4-BID™ is available through your veterinarian. The same result may be achieved by using the food additive MSG. Based on owners’ reports, both of these products work in many cases, but not all. Before using either of these products, consult with your veterinarian.
  • Give your pet’s stools a bad taste by sprinkling them directly with cayenne pepper or a commercial product such as Bitter Apple®. For this method to be effective, every stool your pet has access to must be treated so that she learns that eating stools results in something unpleasant. Otherwise, she may discriminate (using scent) which stools have been treated and which have not.
  • Keep your dog on a leash any time you take her outside. If you see her about to ingest a stool, interrupt her by clapping your hands, spraying a squirt bottle, or shaking a can (only for pets who aren’t afraid of loud noises). Then immediately give her a toy to play with instead, and praise her for taking an interest in the toy.
  • Clean your yard daily to minimize your pet’s opportunity to eat her stools.
  • If your dog eats cat feces from the litter box, install a babygate in front of the litter box area. Your cat shouldn’t have any trouble jumping over it, but your dog may not make the attempt. Or place the litter box in a closet or room where the door can be wedged slightly open from both sides so that your cat has access but your dog doesn’t.
  • Think twice before setting up a booby trap to stop your dog from eating cat feces from a litter box: If it frightens your dog, it’s likely to frighten your cat, too.
Suggested Solutions for Pica

Pica can be a serious problem because items such as rubber bands, socks, rocks, and string can severely damage or block an animal’s intestines. In some instances, the items must be surgically removed. Because pica can be potentially lifethreatening, consult both your veterinarian and an animal behavior professional for help. Here are some other suggestions.
  • Make the objects your pet is eating taste unpleasant by applying cayenne pepper, Bitter Apple®, or some other aversive. (For more information on using aversives, see “Using Aversives to Modify Your Cat’s Behavior” and “Using Aversives to Modify Your Dog’s Behavior.”)
  • Prevent your pet’s access to these items.
  • If your pet is highly food-oriented, change her diet to a low-calorie or high-fiber diet. This may allow her to eat more food, more often, which may decrease the behavior. Check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
  • If you suspect that anxiety or frustration is the reason for your animal’s pica habit, change the behavior by using behavior modification techniques.
  • If you catch your pet ingesting items and believe it is to get attention, startle your pet with a loud noise or a spray of water. If possible, avoid letting her know that the startling noise or spray comes from you, and be sure to praise her when she leaves the items alone. You may want to give her something acceptable to eat or chew. Try to set aside 10–15 minutes twice a day to spend with your pet so that she doesn’t need to resort to pica to get your attention.
  • If you think your pet’s pica habit is play behavior, then keep plenty of toys around for her to play with. Cats especially like to play with string, rubber bands, and tinsel, and ultimately ingest them. Keep these items out of reach and provide a selection of ppropriate toys. (See “Cat Toys and How to Use Them” and “Dog Toys and How to Use Them.”)

What Doesn't Work
  • Interactive punishment (punishment that comes directly from you, such as verbal scolding) is usually not effective because it may be interpreted by your pet as attention. What’s more, many animals learn to refrain from the problem behavior when their owner is present, yet still engage in the behavior when their owner is absent.
  • Punishment after the fact is never helpful. Animals don’t understand that they’re being punished for something they did hours or even minutes before. This approach won’t resolve the problem and is likely to produce either fearful or aggressive responses from your pet.

Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado.

Top 7 Habits of Highly Successful Dog Owners

Take a close look at the behavior of any successful pack leader, and you can’t help seeing it mirrored in the behavior of successful people from all walks of life. It’s probably not a coincidence then that as I’ve practiced what I’ve preached to dog owners over the years, I’ve seen improvements in other areas of my life, too. Here are the pack-leading tactics that have helped me most— not just with my dogs but as a husband, a father, and a man.


Scientists now know that animals aren’t in tune just with other animals—they have an uncanny ability to read the energy of the earth as well. We’ve all heard anecdotes about a dog who predicts earthquakes, a cat who “smells” an impending tornado, or a captive elephant who breaks through his fence and heads for higher ground hours before his human companions learn that a tsunami is headed straight for the village they all inhabit.

One of the most important things to remember is that all the animals around you—especially the ones with whom you share your home—are reading and interpreting your energy whenever they’re in your presence. When you talk to them, you can use any combination of words that pop into your head, but the energy you’re projecting cannot and does not lie. You can scream and shriek till your face is blue when your dog jumps onto your new coffee table, but be aware that, in losing your cool, you’re also losing your dog’s respect.

Because dogs often perceive loud vocalizing by excited, overly emotional humans as a sign of instability, your dog will either be frightened by your tantrum or, worse, completely un-affected by it. What he won’t do is respond the way you want him to. Humans respond to unstable leaders; dogs do not. With your dog, you want to project what I call calm-assertive energy at all times—in other words, that you are relaxed but always confident that you are in control.

Calm-assertive personalities are the leaders in the animal world. (Think about the way the mother of a litter of newborn pups conducts herself.) And though they are few and far between in the human kingdom, they’re always easy to spot. They’re the ones who are powerful, confident, inspiring, and successful. Oprah Winfrey—one of my role models—exudes calm-assertive energy in spades. She is consistently relaxed, curious, and even-tempered, but she is also always undeniably in charge. Her personal magnetism is impossible to deny, and it has made her not only one of the world’s most powerful women but also one of the richest.


Many of us are not naturally calm--assertive types, at least not when being that way would serve us best. The minute a problem arises, we become panicky, excited, defensive, or aggressiveand often take the subtlest slights—even the unintended kind—personally. The frenetic, uncertain energy we project under those circumstances can’t be disguised—and it doesn’t help us.

The good news, though, is that we can learn to focus our emotions in new ways and harness the power of the good energy that comes from doing so. -Biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques are excellent for controlling the energy you project. Psychologists call this learning to manage your emotions. If you’re overly emotional in general, it’s especially important to look into these techniques. Developing a calm--assertive mindset and learning to project the resulting energy won’t just affect the way your dogs perceive you. It will have a positive impact on your mental health and, consequently, on your relationships with the humans in your life as well.

When my clients feel they can’t muster the right energy to deal with their dogs effectively, I tell them to use their imaginations and try visualizing themselves in situations where they’re behaving like the leaders I know they can be. And if visualization doesn’t do the trick, there are a number of philosophical self-help books that have helped me tremendously. A few authors I strongly recommend are Dr. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Phil McGraw.


I often hear people complain that their adolescent dogs “no longer listen” to them—that the dogs are quite literally zooming past them. When Junior, my young pit bull, entered that distracted phase, I managed his growing intensity and craving for exploration by introducing him to as many new situations and environments as possible. Every time I took him to a new place, it gave me a chance to show that I was in control, which kept him both challenged and submissive at once. While a young dog can easily feel like the master of his home domain, a new setting gets him back into an open, learning mode.


I’m always saddened when a dog -owner throws in the towel because a previously well-behaved puppy starts to grow and as a result starts pushing the behavioral envelope. Because they had a good puppy—and any quirks were written off as “baby stuff he’ll soon outgrow”—owners often become complacent. Suddenly, though, they find themselves totally unprepared for the challenges of raising an adolescent dog, which are somewhat comparable to dealing with a teenage boy. Yet between eight months and two years of age, dogs go through a sort of teenage rebel phase and are often confined to the backyard or, worse, returned to a shelter. As a preventive measure, I always urge my clients to lay down a -solid foundation of rules, boundaries, and limitations in puppyhood and never waver from those basic guidelines, no matter how big or defiant their adolescent dogs become.


Dogs experience the world through scent, sight, and then sound—in that specific order. It’s vital to remember that fact if we want to communicate correctly with them. The process never changes: nose, eyes, ears. Repeat the words to yourself until acting with them in mind becomes second nature.

A guide to canine etiquette would demand that when meeting a dog for the first time you avoid eye contact, exude calm energy, and allow him to simply sniff you. Even crotch-sniffing shouldn’t set off any alarms; it’s how dogs greet each other all the time. And with good reason: Thanks to their highly developed olfactory sense—millions of times sharper than ours—sniffing is simply an effective way of gathering information: age, gender, what the other dog had for lunch. Remember, though, that when a dog sniffs you, he’s also analyzing the type of energy you exude.


That same sniffing dog I just mentioned may well decide you’re not that interesting and simply wander off in search of a more intriguing scent. If, on the other hand, a dog has decided to initiate contact with you—by nuzzling or rubbing up against you—only then should you become affectionate with her. And save the eye contact for when you know each other better—it’s sort of like not going too far on a first date.

And that thing you’re usually tempted to do when you encounter a cute little puppy? Ooohing and aaahing in a high-pitched voice you’d normally reserve for a baby? Don’t. Not only are you introducing yourself to the dog through sound rather than scent, but you’re displaying a kind of excited energy that’s exactly the opposite of calm-assertive. Let him thoroughly sniff you first, and then decide on your next move.


The first mistake so many of my clients make in relating to their dogs is assuming the dogs’ minds work in exactly the same way that their minds work. But the truth is that humanizing a dog is sort of comparable to being a man and trying to relate to a woman as though she were another man, or vice versa. Our brains work differently, and if those differences aren’t taken into account, the result is an unfulfilling and often troubled relationship.

By humanizing our dogs, we actually create a disconnect for them. We may love them the way we love a human, but we’re never going to achieve deep communication with them and love them for who and what they -really are.

Some of my clients are crushed when I tell them that in order to solve their dogs’ problems they have to start relating to them in a way that’s completely different from how they’ve related to them in the past. But there’s no reason to become disheartened. In relating to her in a way that she understands, you are giving your dog an opportunity to reach her true potential and, in doing so, offering another living creature the highest form of respect.

You’re letting that creature become exactly who she is meant to be.


Dog's Character infor

The civilisation, the manners, and the morals of dog-kind[1] are to a great extent subordinated to those of his ancestral master, man. This animal, in many ways so superior, has accepted a position of inferiority, shares the domestic life, and humours the caprices of the tyrant. But the potentate, like the British in India, pays small regard to the character of his willing client, judges him with listless glances, and condemns him in a byword. Listless have been the looks of his admirers, who have exhausted idle terms of praise, and buried the poor soul below exaggerations. And yet more idle and, if possible, more unintelligent has been the attitude of his express detractors; those who are very fond of dogs "but in their proper place"; who say "poo' fellow, poo' fellow," and are themselves far poorer; who whet the knife of the vivisectionist or heat his oven;[2] who are not ashamed to admire "the creature's instinct"; and flying far beyond folly, have dared to resuscitate the theory of animal machines. The "dog's instinct" and the "automaton-dog," in this age of psychology and science, sound like strange anachronisms. An automaton he certainly is; a machine working independently of his control, the heart like the mill-wheel, keeping all in motion, and the consciousness, like a person shut in the mill garret, enjoying the view out of the window and shaken by the thunder of the stones; an automaton in one corner of which a living spirit is confined: an automaton like man. Instinct again he certainly possesses. Inherited aptitudes are his, inherited frailties. Some things he at once views and understands, as though he were awakened from a sleep, as though he came "trailing clouds of glory."[3] But with him, as with man, the field of instinct is limited; its utterances are obscure and occasional; and about the far larger part of life both the dog and his master must conduct their steps by deduction and observation.

The leading distinction[4] between dog and man, after and perhaps before the different duration of their lives, is that the one can speak and that the other cannot. The absence of the power of speech confines the dog in the development of his intellect. It hinders him from many speculations, for words are the beginning of metaphysic. At the same blow it saves him from many superstitions, and his silence has won for him a higher name for virtue than his conduct justifies. The faults of the dog[5] are many. He is vainer than man, singularly greedy of notice, singularly intolerant of ridicule, suspicious like the deaf, jealous to the degree of frenzy, and radically devoid of truth. The day of an intelligent small dog is passed in the manufacture and the laborious communication of falsehood; he lies with his tail, he lies with his eye, he lies with his protesting paw; and when he rattles his dish or scratches at the door his purpose is other than appears. But he has some apology to offer for the vice. Many of the signs which form his dialect have come to bear an arbitrary meaning, clearly understood both by his master and himself; yet when a new want arises he must either invent a new vehicle of meaning or wrest an old one to a different purpose; and this necessity frequently recurring must tend to lessen his idea of the sanctity of symbols. Meanwhile the dog is clear in his own conscience, and draws, with a human nicety, the distinction between formal and essential truth. Of his punning perversions, his legitimate dexterity with symbols, he is even vain; but when he has told and been detected in a lie, there is not a hair upon his body but confesses guilt. To a dog of gentlemanly feeling theft and falsehood are disgraceful vices. The canine, like the human, gentleman demands in his misdemeanours Montaigne's "_je ne sais quoi de genereux_."[6] He is never more than half ashamed of having barked or bitten; and for those faults into which he has been led by the desire to shine before a lady of his race, he retains, even under physical correction, a share of pride. But to be caught lying, if he understands it, instantly uncurls his fleece.

Just as among dull observers he preserves a name for truth, the dog has been credited with modesty. It is amazing how the use of language blunts the faculties of man---that because vainglory finds no vent in words, creatures supplied with eyes have been unable to detect a fault so gross and obvious. If a small spoiled dog were suddenly to be endowed with speech, he would prate interminably, and still about himself; when we had friends, we should be forced to lock him in a garret; and what with his whining jealousies and his foible for falsehood, in a year's time he would have gone far to weary out our love. I was about to compare him to Sir Willoughby Patterne,[7] but the Patternes have a manlier sense of their own merits; and the parallel, besides, is ready. Hans Christian Andersen,[8] as we behold him in his startling memoirs, thrilling from top to toe with an excruciating vanity, and scouting even along the street for shadows of offence--here was the talking dog.

It is just this rage for consideration that has betrayed the dog into his satellite position as the friend of man. The cat, an animal of franker appetites, preserves his independence. But the dog, with one eye ever on the audience, has been wheedled into slavery, and praised and patted into the renunciation of his nature. Once he ceased hunting[9] and became man's plate-licker, the Rubicon was crossed. Thenceforth he was a gentleman of leisure; and except the few whom we keep working, the whole race grew more and more self-conscious, mannered and affected. The number of things that a small dog does naturally is strangely small. Enjoying better spirits and not crushed under material cares, he is far more theatrical than average man. His whole life, if he be a dog of any pretension to gallantry, is spent in a vain show, and in the hot pursuit of admiration. Take out your puppy for a walk, and you will find the little ball of fur clumsy, stupid, bewildered, but natural. Let but a few months pass, and when you repeat the process you will find nature buried in convention. He will do nothing plainly; but the simplest processes of our material life will all be bent into the forms of an elaborate and mysterious etiquette. Instinct, says the fool, has awakened. But it is not so. Some dogs--some, at the very least--if they be kept separate from others, remain quite natural; and these, when at length they meet with a companion of experience, and have the game explained to them, distinguish themselves by the severity of their devotion to its rules. I wish I were allowed to tell a story which would radiantly illuminate the point; but men, like dogs, have an elaborate and mysterious etiquette. It is their bond of sympathy that both are the children of convention.

The person, man or dog, who has a conscience is eternally condemned to some degree of humbug; the sense of the law in their members[10] fatally precipitates either towards a frozen and affected bearing. And the converse is true; and in the elaborate and conscious manners of the dog, moral opinions and the love of the ideal stand confessed. To follow for ten minutes in the street some swaggering, canine cavalier, is to receive a lesson in dramatic art and the cultured conduct of the body; in every act and gesture you see him true to a refined conception; and the dullest cur, beholding him, pricks up his ear and proceeds to imitate and parody that charming ease. For to be a high-mannered and high-minded gentleman, careless, affable, and gay, is the inborn pretension of the dog. The large dog, so much lazier, so much more weighed upon with matter, so majestic in repose, so beautiful in effort, is born with the dramatic means to wholly represent the part. And it is more pathetic and perhaps more instructive to consider the small dog in his conscientious and imperfect efforts to outdo Sir Philip Sidney.[11] For the ideal of the dog is feudal and religious;[12] the ever-present polytheism, the whip-bearing Olympus of mankind, rules them on the one hand; on the other, their singular difference of size and strength among themselves effectually prevents the appearance of the democratic notion. Or we might more exactly compare their society to the curious spectacle presented by a school--ushers, monitors, and big and little boys--qualified by one circumstance, the introduction of the other sex. In each, we should observe a somewhat similar tension of manner, and somewhat similar points of honour. In each the larger animal keeps a contemptuous good humour; in each the smaller annoys him with wasp-like impudence, certain of practical immunity; in each we shall find a double life producing double characters, and an excursive and noisy heroism combined with a fair amount of practical timidity. I have known dogs, and I have known school heroes that, set aside the fur, could hardly have been told apart; and if we desire to understand the chivalry of old, we must turn to the school playfields or the dungheap where the dogs are trooping.

Woman, with the dog, has been long enfranchised. Incessant massacre of female innocents has changed the proportions of the sexes and perverted their relations. Thus, when we regard the manners of the dog, we see a romantic and monogamous animal, once perhaps as delicate as the cat, at war with impossible conditions. Man has much to answer for; and the part he plays is yet more damnable and parlous[13] than Corin's in the eyes of Touchstone. But his intervention has at least created an imperial situation for the rare surviving ladies. In that society they reign without a rival: conscious queens; and in the only instance of a canine wife-beater that has ever fallen under my notice, the criminal was somewhat excused by the circumstances of his story. He is a little, very alert, well-bred, intelligent Skye, as black as a hat, with a wet bramble for a nose and two cairn-gorms[14] for eyes. To the human observer, he is decidedly well-looking; but to the ladies of his race he seems abhorrent. A thorough elaborate gentleman, of the plume and sword-knot order, he was born with the nice sense of gallantry to women. He took at their hands the most outrageous treatment; I have heard him bleating like a sheep, I have seen him streaming blood, and his ear tattered like a regimental banner; and yet he would scorn to make reprisals. Nay more, when a human lady upraised the contumelious whip against the very dame who had been so cruelly misusing him, my little great-heart gave but one hoarse cry and fell upon the tyrant tooth and nail. This is the tale of a soul's tragedy.[15] After three years of unavailing chivalry, he suddenly, in one hour, threw off the yoke of obligation; had he been Shakespeare he would then have written _Troilus and Cressida_[16] to brand the offending sex; but being only a little dog, he began to bite them. The surprise of the ladies whom he attacked indicated the monstrosity of his offence; but he had fairly beaten off his better angel, fairly committed moral suicide; for almost in the same hour, throwing aside the last rags of decency, he proceeded to attack the aged also. The fact is worth remark, showing as it does, that ethical laws are common both to dogs and men; and that with both a single deliberate violation of the conscience loosens all. "But while the lamp holds on to burn," says the paraphrase, "the greatest sinner may return."[17] I have been cheered to see symptoms of effectual penitence in my sweet ruffian; and by the handling that he accepted uncomplainingly the other day from an indignant fair one, I begin to hope the period of _Sturm und Drang_[18] is closed.

All these little gentlemen are subtle casuists. The duty to the female dog is plain; but where competing duties rise, down they will sit and study them out like Jesuit confessors.[19] I knew another little Skye, somewhat plain in manner and appearance, but a creature compact of amiability and solid wisdom. His family going abroad for a winter, he was received for that period by an uncle in the same city. The winter over, his own family home again, and his own house (of which he was very proud) reopened, he found himself in a dilemma between two conflicting duties of loyalty and gratitude. His old friends were not to be neglected, but it seemed hardly decent to desert the new. This was how he solved the problem. Every morning, as soon as the door was opened, off posted Coolin to his uncle's, visited the children in the nursery, saluted the whole family, and was back at home in time for breakfast and his bit of fish. Nor was this done without a sacrifice on his part, sharply felt; for he had to forego the particular honour and jewel of his day--his morning's walk with my father. And perhaps, from this cause, he gradually wearied of and relaxed the practice, and at length returned entirely to his ancient habits. But the same decision served him in another and more distressing case of divided duty, which happened not long after. He was not at all a kitchen dog, but the cook had nursed him with unusual kindness during the distemper; and though he did not adore her as he adored my father--although (born snob) he was critically conscious of her position as "only a servant"--he still cherished for her a special gratitude. Well, the cook left, and retired some streets away to lodgings of her own; and there was Coolin in precisely the same situation with any young gentleman who has had the inestimable benefit of a faithful nurse. The canine conscience did not solve the problem with a pound of tea at Christmas. No longer content to pay a flying visit, it was the whole forenoon that he dedicated to his solitary friend. And so, day by day, he continued to comfort her solitude until (for some reason which I could never understand and cannot approve) he was kept locked up to break him of the graceful habit. Here, it is not the similarity, it is the difference, that is worthy of remark; the clearly marked degrees of gratitude and the proportional duration of his visits. Anything further removed from instinct it were hard to fancy; and one is even stirred to a certain impatience with a character so destitute of spontaneity, so passionless in justice, and so priggishly obedient to the voice of reason.

There are not many dogs like this good Coolin. and not many people. But the type is one well marked, both in the human and the canine family. Gallantry was not his aim, but a solid and somewhat oppressive respectability. He was a sworn foe to the unusual and the conspicuous, a praiser of the golden mean, a kind of city uncle modified by Cheeryble.[20] And as he was precise and conscientious in all the steps of his own blameless course, he looked for the same precision and an even greater gravity in the bearing of his deity, my father. It was no sinecure to be Coolin's idol; he was exacting like a rigid parent; and at every sign of levity in the man whom he respected, he announced loudly the death of virtue and the proximate fall of the pillars of the earth.

I have called him a snob; but all dogs are so, though in varying degrees. It is hard to follow their snobbery among themselves; for though I think we can perceive distinctions of rank, we cannot grasp what is the criterion. Thus in Edinburgh, in a good part of the town, there were several distinct societies or clubs that met in the morning to--the phrase is technical--to "rake the backets"[21] in a troop. A friend of mine, the master of three dogs, was one day surprised to observe that they had left one club and joined another; but whether it was a rise or a fall, and the result of an invitation or an expulsion, was more than he could guess. And this illustrates pointedly our ignorance of the real life of dogs, their social ambitions and their social hierarchies. At least, in their dealings with men they are not only conscious of sex, but of the difference of station. And that in the most snobbish manner; for the poor man's dog is not offended by the notice of the rich, and keeps all his ugly feeling for those poorer or more ragged than his master. And again, for every station they have an ideal of behaviour, to which the master, under pain of derogation, will do wisely to conform. How often has not a cold glance of an eye informed me that my dog was disappointed; and how much more gladly would he not have taken a beating than to be thus wounded in the seat of piety!

I knew one disrespectable dog. He was far liker a cat; cared little or nothing for men, with whom he merely coexisted as we do with cattle, and was entirely devoted to the art of poaching. A house would not hold him, and to live in a town was what he refused. He led, I believe, a life of troubled but genuine pleasure, and perished beyond all question in a trap. But this was an exception, a marked reversion to the ancestral type; like the hairy human infant. The true dog of the nineteenth century, to judge by the remainder of my fairly large acquaintance, is in love with respectability. A street-dog was once adopted by a lady. While still an Arab, he had done as Arabs do, gambolling in the mud, charging into butchers' stalls, a cat-hunter, a sturdy beggar, a common rogue and vagabond; but with his rise into society he laid aside these inconsistent pleasures. He stole no more, he hunted no more cats; and conscious of his collar he ignored his old companions. Yet the canine upper class was never brought to recognize the upstart, and from that hour, except for human countenance, he was alone. Friendless, shorn of his sports and the habits of a lifetime, he still lived in a glory of happiness, content with his acquired respectability, and with no care but to support it solemnly. Are we to condemn or praise this self-made dog! We praise his human brother. And thus to conquer vicious habits is as rare with dogs as with men. With the more part, for all their scruple-mongering and moral thought, the vices that are born with them remain invincible throughout; and they live all their years, glorying in their virtues, but still the slaves of their defects. Thus the sage Coolin was a thief to the last; among a thousand peccadilloes, a whole goose and a whole cold leg of mutton lay upon his conscience; but Woggs,[22] whose soul's shipwreck in the matter of gallantry I have recounted above, has only twice been known to steal, and has often nobly conquered the temptation. The eighth is his favourite commandment. There is something painfully human in these unequal virtues and mortal frailties of the best. Still more painful is the bearing of those "stammering professors"[23] in the house of sickness and under the terror of death. It is beyond a doubt to me that, somehow or other, the dog connects together, or confounds, the uneasiness of sickness and the consciousness of guilt. To the pains of the body he often adds the tortures of the conscience; and at these times his haggard protestations form, in regard to the human deathbed, a dreadful parody or parallel.

I once supposed that I had found an inverse relation between the double etiquette which dogs obey; and that those who were most addicted to the showy street life among other dogs were less careful in the practice of home virtues for the tyrant man. But the female dog, that mass of carneying[24] affectations, shines equally in either sphere; rules her rough posse of attendant swains with unwearying tact and gusto; and with her master and mistress pushes the arts of insinuation to their crowning point. The attention of man and the regard of other dogs flatter (it would thus appear) the same sensibility; but perhaps, if we could read the canine heart, they would be found to flatter it in very marked degrees. Dogs live with man as courtiers round a monarch, steeped in the flattery of his notice and enriched with sinecures. To push their favour in this world of pickings and caresses is, perhaps, the business of their lives; and their joys may lie outside. I am in despair at our persistent ignorance. I read in the lives of our companions the same processes of reason, the same antique and fatal conflicts of the right against the wrong, and of unbitted nature with too rigid custom; I see them with our weaknesses, vain, false, inconstant against appetite, and with our one stalk of virtue, devoted to the dream of an ideal; and yet, as they hurry by me on the street with tail in air, or come singly to solicit my regard, I must own the secret purport of their lives is still inscrutable to man. Is man the friend, or is he the patron only? Have they indeed forgotten nature's voice? or are those moments snatched from courtiership when they touch noses with the tinker's mongrel, the brief reward and pleasure of their artificial lives? Doubtless, when man shares with his dog the toils of a profession and the pleasures of an art, as with the shepherd or the poacher, the affection warms and strengthens till it fills the soul. But doubtless, also, the masters are, in many cases, the object of a merely interested cultus, sitting aloft like Louis Quatorze,[25] giving and receiving flattery and favour; and the dogs, like the majority of men, have but forgotten their true existence and become the dupes of their ambition.


This article originally appeared in _The English Illustrated Magazine_ for May 1883, Vol. I, pp. 300-305. It was accompanied with illustrations by Randolph Caldecott. The essay was later included in the volume _Memories and Portraits_ (1887).

The astonishing fidelity and devotion of the dog to his master have certainly been in part repaid by men of letters in all times. A valuable essay might be written on the Dog's Place in Literature; in the poetry of the East, hundreds of years before Christ, the dog's faithfulness was more than once celebrated. One of the most marvellous passages in Homer's _Odyssey_ is the recognition of the ragged Ulysses by the noble old dog, who dies of joy. In recent years, since the publication of Dr. John Brown's _Rab and his Friends_ (1858), the dog has approached an apotheosis. Among innumerable sketches and stories with canine heroes may be mentioned Bret Harte's extraordinary portrait of _Boonder_: M. Maeterlinck's essay on dogs: Richard Harding Davis's _The Bar Sinister_: Jack London's _The Call of the Wild_: and best of all, Alfred Ollivant's splendid story _Bob, Son of Battle_ (1898) which has every indication of becoming an English classic. It is a pity that dogs cannot read.

[Note 1: _The morals of dog-kind_. Stevenson discusses this subject again in his essay _Pulvis et Umbra_ (1888).]

[Note 2: _Who whet the knife of the vivisectionist or heat his oven_. Stevenson was so sympathetic by nature that once, seeing a man beating a dog, he interfered, crying, "It's not your dog, it's God's dog." On the subject of vivisection, however his biographer says: "It must be laid to the credit of his reason and the firm balance of his judgment that although vivisection was a subject he could not endure even to have mentioned, yet, with all his imagination and sensibility, he never ranged himself among the opponents of this method of inquiry, provided, of course, it was limited, as in England, with the utmost rigour possible."--Balfour's _Life_, II, 217. The two most powerful opponents of vivisection among Stevenson's contemporaries were Ruskin and Browning. The former resigned the Professorship of Poetry at Oxford because vivisection was permitted at the University: and the latter in two poems _Tray_ and _Arcades Ambo_ treated the vivisectionists with contempt, implying that they were cowards. In Bernard Shaw's clever novel _Cashel Byron's Profession_, The prize-fighter maintains that his profession is more honorable than that of a man who bakes dogs in an oven. This novel, by the way, which he read in the winter of 1887-88, made an extraordinary impression on Stevenson; he recognised its author's originality and cleverness immediately, and was filled with curiosity as to what kind of person this Shaw might be. "Tell me more of the inimitable author," he cried. It is a pity that Stevenson did not live to see the vogue of Shaw as a dramatist, for the latter's early novels produced practically no impression on the public. See Stevenson's highly entertaining letter to William Archer, _Letters_, II, 107.]

[Note 3: "_Trailing clouds of glory_." _Trailing with him clouds of glory._ This passage, from Wordsworth's _Ode on the Intimations of Immortality_ (1807), was a favorite one with Stevenson, and he quotes it several times in various essays.]

[Note 4: _The leading distinction_. Those who know dogs will fully agree with Stevenson here.]

[Note 5: _The faults of the dog_. All lovers of dogs will by no means agree with Stevenson in his enumeration of canine sins.]

[Note 6: _Montaigne's "je ne sais quoi de genereux_." A bit of generosity. Montaigne's _Essays_ (1580) had an enormous influence on Stevenson, as they have had on nearly all literary men for three hundred years. See his article in this volume, _Books Which Save Influenced Me_, and the discussion of the "personal essay" in our general Introduction.]

[Note 7: _Sir Willoughby Patterne_. Again a character in Meredith's _Egoist_. See our Note 47 of Chapter IV above.]

[Note 8: _Hans Christian Andersen_. A Danish writer of prodigious popularity: born 1805, died 1875. His books were translated into many languages. The "memoirs" Stevenson refers to, were called _The Story of My Life_, in which the author brought the narrative only so far as 1847: it was, however, finished by another hand. He is well known to juvenile readers by his _Stories for Children_.]

[Note 9: _Once he ceased hunting and became man's plate-licker, the Rubicon was crossed_. For a reversion to type, where the plate-licker goes back to hunting, see Mr. London's powerful story, _The Call of the Wild_. ... The "Rubicon" was a small stream separating Cisalpine Gaul from Italy. Caesar crossed it in 49 B. C, thus taking a decisive step in deliberately advancing into Italy. "Plutarch, in his life of Caesar, makes quite a dramatic scene out of the crossing of the Rubicon. Caesar does not even mention it."--B. Perrin's ed. of _Caesar's Civil War_, p. 142.]

[Note 10: _The law in their members. Romans_, VII, 23. "But I see another law in my members."]

[Note 11: _Sir Philip Sidney_. The stainless Knight of Elizabeth's Court, born 1554, died 1586. The pages of history afford no better illustration of the "gentleman and the scholar." Poet, romancer, critic, courtier, soldier, his beautiful life was crowned by a noble death.]

[Note 12: _The ideal of the dog is feudal and religious_. Maeterlinck says the dog is the only being who has found and is absolutely sure of his God.]

[Note 13: _Damnable and parlous than Corin's in the eyes of Touchstone_. See _As You Like It_, Act III, Sc. 2. "Sin is damnation: Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd."]

[Note 14: _Cairn-gorms_. Brown or yellow quartz, found in the mountain of Cairngorm, Scotland, over 4000 feet high. Stevenson's own dog, "Woggs" or "Bogue," was a black Skye terrier, whom the author seems here to have in mind. See Note 20 of this Chapter, below, "Woggs."]

[Note 15: _A Soul's Tragedy_. The title of a tragedy by Browning, published in 1846.]

[Note 16: _Troilus and Cressida_. One of the most bitter and cynical plays ever written; practically never seen on the English stage, it was successfully revived at Berlin, in September 1904.]

[Note 17: "_While the lamp holds on to burn ... the greatest sinner may return_." From a hymn by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), beginning

"Life is the time to serve the Lord,
The time to insure the great reward;
And while the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return."

Although this stanza has no remarkable merit, many of Watts's hymns are genuine poetry.]

[Note 18: _Sturm und Drang_. This German expression has been well translated "Storm and Stress." It was applied to the literature in Germany (and in Europe) the latter part of the XVIIIth century, which was characterised by emotional excess of all kinds. A typical book of the period was Goethe's _Sorrows of Werther_ (_Die Leiden des jungen Werthers_, 1774). The expression is also often applied to the period of adolescence in the life of the individual.]

[Note 19: _Jesuit confessors_. The Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, one of the most famous religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church, was founded in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola and a few others.]

[Note 20: _Modified by Cheeryble_. The Cheeryble Brothers are characters in Dickens's _Nicholas Nickleby_ (1838-9). Dickens said in his Preface, "Those who take an interest in this tale, will be glad to learn that the BROTHERS CHEERYBLE live: that their liberal charity, their singleness of heart, their noble nature ... are no creations of the Author's brain."]

[Note 21: "_Rake the backets_." The "backet" is a small, square, wooden trough generally used for ashes and waste.]

[Note 22: _Woggs_ (_and Note: Walter, Watty, Woggy, Woggs, Wog, and lastly Bogue; under which last name he fell in battle some twelve months ago. Glory was his aim and he attained it; for his icon, by the hand of Caldecott, now lies among the treasures of the nation.) Stevenson's well-beloved black Skye terrier. See Balfour's _Life_, I, 212, 223. Stevenson was so deeply affected by Woggs's death that he could not bear ever to own another dog. A Latin inscription was placed on his tombstone.... This Note was added in 1887, when the essay appeared in _Memories and Portraits_. "Icon" means image (cf. _iconoclast_); the word has lately become familiar through the religious use of icons by the Russians in the war with Japan. Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) was a well-known artist and prominent contributor of sketches to illustrated magazines.]

[Note 23: "_Stammering Professors_." A "professor" here means simply a professing Christian. Stevenson alludes to the fact that dogs howl fearfully if some one in the house is dying.]

[Note 24: "_Carneying_." This means coaxing, wheedling.]

[Note 25: _Louis Quatorze_. Louis XIV of France, who died in 1715, after a reign of 72 years, the longest reign of any monarch in history. His absolutism and complete disregard of the people unconsciously prepared the way for the French Revolution in 1789.]

East Siberian Laika dogs


The East Siberian Laika is the largest of the 3 Laika breeds and is used for hunting furred animals and forest birds, but mainly for hunting big game, such as bear, wild boar and moose. In the early days, these dogs were even used for hunting tigers in Siberia, but this is forbidden nowadays. Moreover, this breed is used by professional Siberian hunters as a sled dog during their long hunting journeys.
The East Siberian Laika looks very impressive, has a relatively broad skull, is strong without a heavy bone structure and the length of the body is longer than the height. His somewhat slanting eyes give him an Asiatic expression. The eye colour is preferably dark. Due to the arctic circumstances and its low temperatures, he has a dense, water resistant, double coat, like all Laika breeds. In summer, he looses his coat and therefore the coat is thinner during this season. The most popular colour is ‘karamis’; black and tan with white or light patches, but almost all colours are allowed. The ears are quite small, pricked and must be covered with thick hair, also on the inside.


The East Siberian Laika is originally from the eastern part of Siberia, east of the Jenisej river to the Pacific Ocean. In this area, as large as Europe, a number of local variances have developed with differences in type and size. There are 5 main types: Evenki Laika, Irkutsk Laika, Jakutia Laika, Amur Laika and Tofolar Laika.
The Evenki type has had the biggest influence on the development of the East Siberian Laika. Dogs from the Evenki area are large, strong and dry built. The legs are long, the head can be somewhat light and the ears are placed high and close to each other. Mostly, the colour is white, white and grey or white with large black or grey spots.
The other important type is the Irkutsk type. These dogs are strong, sometimes massive and medium-sized. The head is broad and strong and the ears are placed to the side and sloping outwards. Mostly, the colour is black or karamis.
The other East Siberian Laika types are mixed or crossed with other types, so that their influence has declined.
The first breed description was accomplished in 1949, the present one is from 1980.


De East Siberian Laika is a medium-sized, slightly rectangular, strong built and agile dog.

Head Wedge shaped, broad skull, occipital protuberance clearly defined, gradual stop. Length of muzzle almost equal to the length of skull, upper line of the muzzle runs parallel with upper line of the skull. Dry lips, black nose leather. In white or pale yellow coloured dogs, a brown nose is permitted; 
Teeth Scissor bite, teeth white and strong;
Eyes Not large, oval, slanting, dark in colour;
Ears Triangular, pricked;
Neck Muscular, length near to that of the head;
Body Strong back, broad loins, slightly arched. Broad and long croup, slightly sloping. Deep, broad and muscular chest. Belly lightly tucked up;
Limbs Front legs straight and parallel, length slightly more than half the height at withers, well defined angulations between shoulder blade and upper arm. Elastic pastern, strong bone. Well defined angulated, straight and parallel hind legs, muscular;
Feet Almost round, tight toes, dew claws may occur;
Tail Sickle or ring shape. The sickle tail is carried erect or curved towards the back or loins, the strong ring tail leans on the croup or the buttocks. Length reaches the hocks, but may be 1-2 cm shorter;
Movement Typical for the breed is gallop, alterning with trot;
Coat Hair of top coat long, coarse, dense and straight. Under coat dense and soft. A collar is formed on neck and shoulders. In male dogs, a mane is formed at the withers;
Colour Black and tan, with light patches (karamis), grizzle, patched, ticked, white, grey, black, red and brown in all shades;
Height Male dog 55-64 cm
Bitch 51-60 cm 


The East Siberian Laika is balanced, calm, affectionate and loyal to the family and the herd. He has a strong herd instinct and can be aggressive if a dog outside the herd enters his territory. He has good control of his nerves. 
The East Siberian Laika reacts fast, but uses his consideration, taking the master’s wishes into account. He is open and friendly towards strangers, bitches may be more reserved.
In strange situations, he is considerate and courageous and attacks if needed. The sensitivity to bark varies per dog. 
The East Siberian Laika can defend himself well and is persistent if needed.
He can easily be trained, but has to be taught using soft methods. He cannot take hard training and unnecessary repeating should be avoided.

Hunting skills

The East Siberian Laika has a very strong developed hunting instinct and has a remarkable sense of direction. He will never get lost and will always be able to find his way back. The movements and reactions are fast. The scent and hearing are the sharpest of all senses.
The East Siberian Laika uses his scent (either in the air or by tracking) and hearing to detect game quickly. The East Siberian Laika hunts with adequate persistence and keeps contact to his master with suitable intervals. The barking is loud and clear whenever game is found. The barking style varies according to game type and event.


The East Siberian Laika is a healthy breed. Not many health problems occur, although some cases of epilepsy, skin problems (allergy), eye problems and bite problems are known, as well as some cases of HD..  


The East Siberian Laika is a lively dog with a very good endurance. He needs a lot of exercise, and needs to run off-leash. If this is not the case, he will try and find another - mostly not a positive - way to loose his energy.Moreover, every Laika has at least a good (but often an excellent) hunting instinct. The East Siberian Laika is only bred in countries where strict selection of these working skills takes place. This means that there is a high chance that the dog will chase game as soon as there is an opportunity. Because of his hunting method, it is not unlikely that the owner needs to be patient for a couple of hours, before the dog will return. In many countries this is not allowed and a dog hunting solitary and without permission can even be shot. Therefore it is very important that, when choosing a Laika, one should realize that the natural looks should not be the only important fact. Along with it comes natural behaviour and this may not be convenient in all situations. Especially when keeping a Laika as a family dog only, there are some consequences to it, like finding a way for the dog to loose its energy and to use its hunting instinct. 

angular picture beautiful about dog

East Russian Coursing Hounds dogs

General Breed Information

Among the oldest and lesser known Russian sighthound breeds are the Taigan and Tasy. These two are also known as the East Russian Coursing Hounds. The Tasy comes from the desert plains just east of the Caspian Sea, while the Taigan comes from the Tien Shan region located right on the Chinese border. The Tasy has been used by rural hunters for coursing marmot, hare, fox, and even wolf. The Taigan has been adapted for during endurance work at high elevations. Taigans can retrieve and track by using their scenting abilities as well. There are only few East Russian Coursing Hounds left, and breeders are hoping that the numbers of this breed can be increased. 

East Russian Coursing Hounds are medium-sized dogs with a height that ranges from 22 to 28 inches. The coat of the Tasy is short and silky, and dogs of this breed have fringing on their ears and tail. The Taigan's coat, on the other hand, is long, thick, and may sometimes be wavy. Taigans also have heavy feathering on their thighs, ears, tail, front legs, and shoulders. The acceptable coat colours for the Tasy include gray, black and tan, and tan, while the Taigan usually comes in solid black, fawn, white, or gray. Taigans may also have white markings.

East European Shepherd dogs

Also known as the Owczarek Wschodnioeuropejski, Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka, and the Byelorussian Ovcharka, the East European Shepherd is an intelligent and loyal breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the East European Shepherd can be traced back to 1930's Russia. The breed was created by crossing the German Shepherd with various unnamed local breeds, in hopes of developing an highly trainable and versatile working dog.

Throughout its history, the East European Shepherd has been most commonly used as a watch and guard dog, service dog for the handicapped, police dog, and show dog, proving its superior abilities to perform while providing companionship.

Today, while the East European Shepherd has attained a regional popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.

Personality Traits

Best known for its lively and outgoing nature, the East European Shepherd thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. These dogs are highly intelligent, obedient by nature, and generally very easy to train. The East European Shepherd is alert and aware of its surroundings, loving to play the part of watch and guard dog. As a pet, this breed is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed adapts well to indoor and apartment living, and views spending time outdoors as a special treat.


Due to its eagerness to please and impress its owner and willingness to learn, the East European Shepherd generally responds well to basic training and commands. These intelligent dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the East European Shepherd. This breed requires a confident and caring handler with a stern and serious approach to repetitive tasks and exercises.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning an East European Shepherd, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This intelligent breed is obedient by nature, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the East European Shepherd gets along well with older children and other pets. These dogs are protective and territorial, making effective watch and guard dogs, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The East European Shepherd is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately there are also disadvantages to owning an East European Shepherd. While this breed generally adapts well to indoor living, they do require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. An East European Shepherd not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The East European Shepherd is not recommended for households with small or ill-behaved children. With proper socialization from a young age, this breed generally gets along well with children, but is known to become defensive when played with roughly.

As previously mentioned, the East European Shepherd remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the East European Shepherd is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative disk disease and other spinal conditions, progressive retinal atrophy, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian - folding outward of the eye lid, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an East European Shepherd? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.

Dutch Smoushond (Hollandse Smoushond , Smoushond)

The Dutch Smoushond has a long double coat of protective, rugged, course, wiry hair giving the dog a carefree, untidy appearance. The color is straw-yellow. Long, straight, wiry hair forms a beard, mustache and eyebrows. The back of the forelegs are thinly feathered. The small eyes are bright with black pigmented lids. The nose and lips are black and the eyes are dark. The feet are small and rounded. The ears are triangular - set high on the head. The firm, straight forelegs and flexible hind legs are well-muscled. The skull is slightly rounded, with a distinct stop and a moderately long muzzle. The jaws are strong. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs limply. The cat-like feet are compact and covered with long hair. The forehead is strong and slightly rounded. The body is well balanced and close to the ground.


This easy care, obedient house-dog is a friendly and charming companion. The Smoushond tends to be quiet with those he does not know, but is loving with those that he does know. This skillful, intelligent dog has considerable adaptability. It is alert with a sense of humor. Dependent, sober and sensitive. They make good watchdog. Do not allow this dog to become yappy. They need to be corrected if their barking becomes obsessive. They get along well with children and happily accept the family cat. Most Dutch Smoushond get along well with other dogs. The Dutch Smoushond is eager to please, which means training them is not hard. It is important, though, to ensure that you are consistent towards them because some can try to take over if they get an idea that their handler is rather easy-going. Proper human to canine communication is essential.

Height, Weight 

Height: 14-17 inches (35-42 cm.)
Weight: 20-22 pounds (9-10 kg.)

Health Problems *

Living Conditions 

The Dutch Smoushond will do okay in an apartment as long as it gets adequate exercise. The Smoushond should live indoors. It prefers cooler climates.


This untiring breed needs daily, long walks where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They love to go swimming. Enrolling it in agility skills or ball playing courses would be a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. 

Life Expectancy About 12-15 years.


This is basically an easy care breed. The coat should have a shaggy unkempt look. Depending upon the quality of the coat, the Dutch Smoushond generally requires the hair to be plucked by hand about twice a year leaving the hair on the head alone as much as possible. You can take your dog to a professional groomer to have this done or learn to do it yourself. Between these grooming sessions, remove any excess hair from inside the ears and between the pads of the feet.


The exact origins of the Smoushond are unknown. However its looks suggest that it is partly related to the German Schnauzers. The Smoushond was popular in the late 1800's as a gentleman's companion. World War II pushed it to near extinction. Attempts were made to save the breed with little success. In the early 1970's, Mrs. H.M. Barkman began collecting information on the Smoushond, and by studying the pictures and old pedigrees, and talking to judges who remember the breed, she was able to re-create it through selective breeding. Today the Dutch Smoushond breeds pure for both types and temperament. A typical terrier, it is a gluttonous ratter, delighted to terrorize any rodent. The breed is now reasonably secure, with approximately 125 puppies registered each year. The Smoushond is hardly known outside the Netherlands, and most Dutch breeders express little interest in promoting it abroad.

Dog bites rank high among insurance claims

Which type of homeowner’s insurance claim costs more on average?

A) Fire

B) Dog bite

C) Credit card theft

D) Hurricane

If you answered fire, you’re correct.

But dog bites, on average, aren’t far behind, and well ahead of the average hurricane claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The average cost to settle a dog bite claim was $29,396, and there were an estimated 16,292 of those claims nationwide in 2011, according to the institute. Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2011.

“The cost comes over someone suing someone over the bite. Whether the bite was damaging or not, there’s the pain and suffering and all that when it goes to court,” State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson said.

Last year, Louisiana ranked 24th nationally in the number of dog bite claims for State Farm, with 55. State Farm paid out $1.3 million to settle those claims, or around $24,000 a claim.

From 2007 to 2011, State Farm had 246 dog bite claims in Louisiana and paid $5.9 million to cover them.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, there were 270 dog bites reported in 2011, according to the Animal Control and Rescue Center. Already, there were 155 dog bites reported during the first half of this year.

The average claim cost nationally, when adjusted for inflation, was 22 percent higher in 2011 than in 2003, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Increased medical costs, bigger lawsuit settlements, judgments and jury awards also contributed to the increase in the cost of dog bite claims, according to the organization.

Each year, there are more than 4.5 million people bitten by dogs, according to the federal Center for Disease Control. About 850,000 of those, or 19 percent, result in the victims seeking medical attention.

Only a small portion of those bites result in an insurance claim, and an even smaller percentage result in a lawsuit.

Stephenson said most dog bite lawsuits are settled before going to trial.

There are good reasons for that.

A single lawsuit can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s true even if the dog owner being sued wins.

Not surprisingly, the wealthier the dog owner is, the better the chances are that he or she will be sued, according to the institute. And the personal liability coverage in a standard homeowner’s policy — generally $100,000 to $300,000 — may not be enough to cover a court judgment.

The dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount, including legal fees.

The Insurance Information Institute recommends homeowners consider purchasing “umbrella liability policies, which cover personal liabilities, such as dog bites. The coverage usually ranges from $1 million to $10 million.

Karen Bryant, owner of All Premiere Insurance Agency in Denham Springs, said a lot of independent insurance companies won’t insure a homeowner with vicious dogs or those with a history of biting.

“The reason, obviously, is because the dogs are biting children and causing damage,” Bryant said.

Children make up more than 60 percent of dog bite victims, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Dog bite claims frequently include higher medical bills because nowadays, people want to take their child to a plastic surgeon, even for a nip on the hand, Bryant said.

Some insurance companies also refuse to sell coverage to homeowners who own breeds of dogs that are considered more aggressive, such as Doberman pinschers, pit bulls and Rottweilers, Bryant said.

Stephenson said State Farm does not require homeowners to pay more money if they have a dog, no matter the breed.

But if the dog has bitten someone, State Farm may not continue offering coverage to the homeowner, he said.

However, Donald Cleary, spokesman for the National Canine Research Council, said that stance doesn’t make sense.

“I’ve always said that dog bites can be insured at a profit,” Cleary said. After all, that’s what insurance companies do, Cleary said. The companies assess a risk and calculate how to cover it and make money.

Cleary said the insurance industry’s claims that there is some sort of dog-bite epidemic are overblown. “No. 1, 95 percent or 97 percent of all claims dollars are paid for property claims,” Cleary said. “The black hole in the insurance business is property damage.”

Dog bite claims account for a very small percentage of claims in an industry that generates more than $400 billion in earned premiums a year and averages double-digit profits, Cleary said.
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