American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier was brought to America in the 1800′s from Ireland and England. The American Pit Bull Terrier was a popular dog for fighting and as a working dog on farms.

In the early 1900′s dog fighting in American was banned and two clubs were formed to register and keep track of all American Pit Bull Terrier’s. The United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeder’s Association were created to help legitimize the breed.

The American Pit Bull Terrier remained a popular breed of choice until the time period of World War II where other dog breeds emerged.

Today the American Pit Bull Terrier remains to be a highly controversial topic for many dog enthusiasts. It’s aggressive attitude and natural fighting tendency still in it’s blood line has many wondering how family friendly this breed really is.

American Pit Bull Terrier male weighs from 35 to 65 pounds and stands 15 to 22 inches from the ground. It’s female counterpart weighs in between 30 and 60 pounds and also stands 15 to 22 inches from the ground.

The coat of the American Pit Bull Terrier is short and stiff but has an almost shiny appearance to it. It’s coat comes in many different colors and shades as well as the eye color. The American Pit Bull Terrier has a medium sized muscular jaw that meets a wedged shaped head.

It’s body is very muscular and sturdy with little to no fat. The American Pit Bull Terrier boast a broad chest giving it an intimidating and powerful stance.

The Temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier is based on how the dog was raised. One that has been brought up in a family environment shows an outgoing, playful yet protective attitude for it’s family. The APBT will make a great pet as long as it trained well and raised with a firm but fair hand.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is well know to show aggression towards other dogs that are moving in on it’s territory. It is not a recommended pet for a first time dog owner unless you are ready to handle the aggression that could arise. The breeds high energy level and natural tendency to “prey” leave the American Pit Bull Terrier needing lots of exercise to focus this energy positively.

Mange and heart murmurs and the main health issues that face the American Pit Bull Terrier. Mange is a parasitic infestation
of the skin where a naturally occurring mite will create small patches of missing hair on the dog (see pic). Mange will usually go away with time as long as the dog has a strong immune system. Heart murmurs are most often caused by defective heart valves and if not to serious should not be a major issue.

Overall the American Pit Bull Terrier is good dog when treated with respect and trained with a firm hand. First time pet owners this probably is not the dog of choice for you due to it’s energy and naturally aggressive nature.

The American Pit Bull Terrier has a life expectancy of 12 years.

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a predecessor of the English Bulldog which originated in England. As will all bulldogs the American
Bulldog has a blood line dating back to England’s bull baiting.

The English Bulldog was eventually breed down to a smaller dog with a softer attitude. The American Bulldog however has
managed to remain bigger and more fierce in nature.

The sole reason that the American Bulldog is still in existence today belongs to John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia. He single handily revived this dying breed shortly after WWII. John D. Johnson scoured the south purchasing only best examples of the American Bulldog with the intention of increasing the American Bulldog population through breeding.

American Bulldog is a powerful stocky looking dog, longer legged than an English Bulldog. It weighs between 35 – 70 pounds
and spreads a distance of 20 – 28 inches at the withers. American bulldog has a squared shaped jaw that is extremely powerful
with sharp teeth.

The American Bulldog’s ear are naturally “floppy” but many have cropped ears. The coat of the American Bulldog is coarse and
fairly short short. The coat comes in various colors of brindle, red, white, tan and blue.

Contrary to popular belief the American Bulldog is generally a mild tempered family friendly breed. To ensure that the good
nature of the American Bulldog is exposed it is recommended that they are trained when they are young. They need to be
exposed to other dogs and people to keep them from becoming to protective. They tend to have a strong bond with their master
because of it’s guarding instincts.

The American Bulldog was breed for catching livestock and for protecting property. If you need an animal to guard your house
and one that is still family friendly this is a good choice.

As with other bull breeds hip dysplasia is a common health risk. Hip dysplasia is the result of abnormal
development of the hip joint while it was a puppy. Signs of hip dysplasia are limping, stiffing of the legs, bunny hopping
when walking and a loss of muscle tone.

You can expect the American bulldog to live longer than it’s English Counterpart, up to 17 years. A well maintained and properly trained American Bulldog can make an excellent family companion and great guard dog.

Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is an extremely rare bulldog. With only approximately 175 know Alapha Blue’s still in existence.

The Lane family of Rebecca, Georgia tried to revive the dying breed by starting a breeding kennel in the 1800′s. With little progress the Lane family ran the kennel until 2001 when it was sold.

The appearance of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is stout and muscular body with a large head and drop ears. Average weight for a male is 65 to 90 pounds with a standing length of 19 to 26 inches. Alapha females average weight is 60 to 70 pounds with a standing length about the same as the male.

The Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog’s coat is short and has a fairly coarse feel to it. The most sought after coloring of the coat various from blue merle, brown merle, red merle with shades of white or chocolate. Preferred eye color is the blue that appear to almost be glass or see through.

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a perfect watch dog and easy trainable. They have a good temperament and react well around
children showing a protective attitude when danger alerts.

Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog prefers to be outdoors verse a small indoor house. They are active dogs and enjoy exercise and
playing. It is not a recommend breed for someone that will need to keep the dog inside a lot.

As far as health problems the Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog does not have many because of it’s pure blood line. Entropion is the most common heath problem but not a major health issue.

Entropion occurs when the eyelid is irritated and will begin to roll. This is easily treatable by minor surgery and it is
suggest to wait until the bulldog is an adult. If left untreated it could eventually lead to visual impairment from irritating the surface of the eye.

Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog’s make great companions for adults and children alike. They are low maintenance only requiring the
usual check ups, brushing of the teeth and occasional coat brushing.

Weaning Puppy

Whether a newborn puppy is fed by his own mother or by his owner, he must eventually be taught to depend on something besides milk for his food. This learning process is called “weaning”, and represents the changing of a puppy’s diet from liquid to solid. At about three to four weeks of age, as soon as their eyes open and they are able to move about with some ease, most puppies will begin to experiment with the solid foods being fed to their mother. When this happens it is time to begin to teach the puppies to eat from the pan.

Instituting such an early feeding procedure accomplishes four important things. First, it allows you to feed the puppies a food that is more satisfactory for them than the food you are feeding their mother. Second, it speeds up the weaning process because the puppies will learn to eat solid food at an earlier age. Third, it begins the social interaction between the puppy and his owners. And finally, it allows you to reduce the mother’s intake of food at the same rate you increase that of her puppies. The latter prevents the mother from overeating as the early feeding of her pups promotes reduced lactation.

Weaning is a learning process in which the pups’ digestive system is trained to eat solid foods. Before the puppy is born, he is fed by his mother with pre-digested nutrients. When he is whelped the puppy drinks the mother’s milk. The mother’s milk contains some of the most digestible nutrients that a puppy can eat. At weaning the puppy’s digestive system must learn to handle each new food in turn, as it comes to him. Similar to all learning processes, the weaning process cannot be taught faster than the puppy’s ability to learn.

In formulating the diet, the ingredients that make up the food fed to a puppy that is starting to wean must be highly digestible and non-irritating. An excellent weaning diet can be made easily by preparing slurry using a specialized dietary animal foods designed to be fed to patients with gastro-intestinal disorders, mixed into equal parts of the mother’s milk substitutes. “Half and half” coffee cream can also be used. High-quality ration-type commercial foods also make adequate solid foods to mix with the liquid part of the diet. In all cases, ¼ to ½ tablespoonful of grated, raw liver should be added to each can of food just before it is mixed. The slurry can be either beaten with a fork or mixed in a blender.

For larger breeds, it may be more practical to use the higher quality, expanded dry foods in combination with the canned foods to blend with the liquids. Addition of dry foods may also help these larger, faster-growing puppies to get sufficient nutrients in the quantity of food they are able to consume in. Whatever the mixture used, the quantity of milk substitute in it is gradually reduced, so that when the puppy is about six or seven weeks old, he is only eating pure, solid food.

Ring Worm Dog

If you suddenly notice a bald spot on your dog’s coat, chances are it is not because he is getting older. Sudden hair loss in dogs as well as cats could indicate the presence of ringworm. And although your dog may catch ringworm from time to time, he may experience nothing worse than a bald spot and mild itchiness.

Ring worm creates ring-like, flaky, bald patches on your dog’s head, ears, back, nails, and paws. Although the name ringworm sounds like some sort of a curly worm, it is actually a type of fungus that is similar to athlete’s foot. Ringworm can be easily seen and looks very similar to a ripple forming when you throw a stone in a pond. The growth begins at a middle point and gradually spreads out in a ring shape. As the fungus grows in the skin cell and hair, the skin may become irritated, reddened, and thickened and the hairs may break off leaving course stubble behind.

The ringworm is contagious to humans, especially children, and other animals. The extensive spread of this parasite could indicate that your pet’s health is not doing well. Actually, it is usually the sick, stressed, and weakened ones that acquire serious infestation. Ringworm that spreads throughout the body is a very serious issue that signifies a severely low immune system.

But unless your dog has a low immune system, ring worm normally goes away on its own within one to three months. In the meantime, you may still want to relieve the itchiness and discomfort that is associated with this parasite and also reduce the odds of infection to humans and other animals.

To effectively treat ringworm, the first thing you must do is clip the hair around the area of your dog’s bare spot and up to about one half of an inch past it. You may need to have someone help you keep your dog still or preoccupied in order to prevent you from accidentally injuring the skin. Clipping the hair will reduce the chances of spreading the ringworm by confining the infection to just that area and also make for an easier application of the treatment.

Remember to carefully dispose the infected hair once you remove it, burning it if possible. Ringworm can still feed on the hair even after it is off your dog and is contagious on contact. Vacuum the area where you did the clipping to catch loose hairs. You also need to vacuum carefully and regularly if your pet has ringworm. Wash bedding, dishes, and utensils with soap and hot water and always wash your hands properly.

Puppy Show

Getting your puppy used to people and strange places is another thing you can do for him while he is growing up. Take him with you as often as you can. After he is lead-broken (so you know he won’t embarrass you), take him with you to the market, or the post office or to buy some cigarettes. This is even more important if you live in the country where his own back yard is all he would get to know without your help. Take him in the car with you when you go to the railroad station, airport, or bus depot; if possible take him through a revolving door and in an elevator. Then when he runs into these things at a dog show, they won’t faze him a bit.

If you take your puppy with you in your car often enough while he is still a puppy and continue to do so while he is growing up, you will never have to car break him or clean him up upon arrival at a show – he will be so used to traveling. Also you will never have to watch him shake and tremble at the sight of a lot of people as he will expect that each and every one is a great friend – it will reflect in his behavior and will benefit him greatly in his show career.

By all means, don’t forget the best training grounds of all, the Sanctioned Match. Whether he wins or loses at the Match, the training he gets there will stand him in good stead. When you go to a Match, go through all the motions just as though it were a big and important show, for the experience is good for you too. Here is where your puppy will get used to being shown, handled and gaited with a strange dog beside him. There have been well trained and well behaved puppies go all to pieces at a Match when perhaps for the first time in a long time they see many strange dogs. Remember, your dog will be expected to behave without thoroughly investigating each and every new arrival.

Of course, if you have two or more dogs at home your puppy may be fairly used to company but he may expect that he can play with the new acquaintances just as he does with his friend at home and the new dog may not feel like playing or the new dog’s owner may not be inclined to allow his youngster to indulge in puppy foolishness at a Match. If you have used the short, quick tugs on the lead when you lead broke your puppy, resort to them at the Match when he gets too frisky. The puppy will soon remember that he is on a lead and is expected to perform for you. The word, “No” in a sharp tone of voice used at the same time as the sharp jerk on the lead will also help, particularly if you have used this word whenever he displeased you or you wanted him to stop doing whatever he was doing.

Pitbull Toy

Toys provide two important roles for your Pit Bull puppy. The first role is to help stimulate your dog both physically and mentally. The second is to prevent him from tearing down your home. Pit Bulls, or any dog for that matter, are less likely to destroy items in your house if given their own toys that they can play with.

Pit Bulls love playing with balls, especially big, colorful bouncing balls. They also enjoy a large and partially deflated ball. Hard rubber balls are good for tough-playing puppies. Avoid using small balls such as jack balls or golf balls because dogs tend to inhale or swallow them. Soft rubber balls are also not recommended because they can easily be chewed to small pieces and then swallowed.

Pit Bulls also enjoy fleece toys, although some dogs tend to be too rough with them and rip them into shreds. Keep in mind that fleece toys are not chew toys and your dog should not be allowed to play with them while you are not around to supervise, or your Pit Bull might chew it up and swallow the material.

Rubber tug toys are also among the favorites of the Pit Bull, although you may need to have constant supervision when your Pit Bull is playing with them, especially around kids. This kind of play may promote physical competitiveness that may not be appropriate for your Pit Bull. Use this toy sporadically and combine it with more moderate and gentler activities.

Squeaky toys that are made of plastics are not a good choice for your Pit Bull. These kinds of toys can be easily chewed and swallowed or the “squeaker” can be lodged and also swallowed. Never leave your dog unattended with a squeaky toy. Similar to fleece toys, squeaky toys are not chew toys and should only be used when you are playing with your dog.

Another type of toy that is your Pit Bull can enjoy is a pole lure. It is basically a stick that is about six feet long with a string of the same length tied to the end and a toy tied to the end of the string. The goal of playing this toy is for you to run around while dragging the toy and trying to keep your dog from catching it. Avoid letting your dog get hurt by jumping too erratically after the toy.

If a pole lure is not available, your dog will be just as happy settling for a good old fashioned stick. Just make sure that the ends are not sharp and that it is long enough for him to be able to jab one end to the ground while holding the other end in its mouth.

Malnourished Dog

Once upon a time the poorest fed dog in America was the farm dog left to fend for itself for food. These dogs, undernourished bags of bones, were once so common they almost became symbolic of impoverished rural America. Today vast numbers of those small farms have vanished. With them have gone the gaunt, hollow-eyed hounds that greeted every farm visitor with a hungry, ill-tempered bark.

The farmer has snored to the city, gotten a job, and become the suburbanite. With him have come his companion dogs. And, the suburbanite house-pet has replaced the farm dog as the poorest fed dog in America. Probably 75 percent of all dogs in the United States owned by private individuals are household pets.

Most of these dogs are anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent overweight because the most frequent error made by feeders of house-pets is overfeeding. Unlike their predecessors, today’s poorest fed dogs are not underfed, but overfed. The irony of it all is the fact that, while they may be overfed and overweight, they may also be undernourished! Unfortunately, there is a widespread misconception among dog owners that any dog food that comes out of a can or box that they bought at the grocery store is adequate and nourishing enough for a dog.

This belief has led politicians, sociologists, and even some nutritionists to express the opinion that most American house-pets are better fed than most Americans. While these statements may grab sensational headlines, the accuracy of such a proposition does not stand up under critical exploitation. While it certainly is true that some house-pets receive far better nourishment than some people, it is also true that many dogs in this country are woefully malnourished. Some of the dogs suffering from the greatest malnourishment are those eating the very item to which the politicians and sociologists attribute such grandiose performance-commercial dog food.

Not all, probably not even most, of the canned dog foods in this country are guilty of malnourishing a dog, but some do exist, and they are being fed. Nowhere does a dog feeder need to evaluate the food he feeds more than he does when he is feeding canned foods to a house-pet. Yet, the number of pet owners who actually feed their dogs based on their evaluation of the foods available to them is practically zero.

Hyperplasia

Hyperplasia of the prostate gland is a benign enlargement due to an increase in the number of cells within the gland and occurs in about 2/3 of older male dogs. However, only a small percentage of these dogs ever show any noticeable signs of the abnormality. The underlying cause is unknown but is thought to be an imbalance of the hormones produced in aging testicles. As the prostate is located directly below the rectum, the enlarged gland may press up against the rectal wall and cause difficulty and discomfort while defecating, straining, and constipation. Unlike man, there is rarely any pain or difficulty in urinating.

Medical treatment with an estrogen injection generally stops the symptoms, reduces the size of the prostate within five or six days, and will keep it that way for several months, in most cases, and occasionally for several years. Some few dogs respond poorly, or not at all, and can be helped only by castration, which causes a permanent shrinking of the prostate.

Should your dog need this operation, he will be home from the hospital in just a few days, but you should keep him quiet and resting for at least one week. A low-bulk diet may be advised for several days. He will probably walk cautiously at first, experiencing some slight discomfort each time he moves a rear leg. This may prompt him to lick or bite at the stitches. Restraint collars or tranquilizers may be used for a short time until the operation is healed and the stitches can be removed.

Cancer of the prostate is rare in dogs and fortunately so, because by the time any noticeable symptoms develop, the tumor has almost always spread to other parts of the body, making it inoperable. Severe loss of weight, lameness in one or both rear legs, pain and difficulty during urination, blood at the beginning of urination, and low back pain may be present in addition to difficult defecation and constipation. Castration or estrogen therapy offer temporary relief of symptoms, but the tumor continues on its destructive course. A recent discovery holds out hope that immunotherapy may be successfully used to treat prostatic cancer but such research is still in its infancy.

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Dog Grooming

The long coated small breeds are characterized by a certain appealing full fluffiness, as opposed to the parted coat-breeds, which are characterized by long, smooth, flowing hair, which is more similar to long human hair. For this reason, keep this in mind when grooming long-coated small dogs: Think of the coat standing out from the body, rather than lying flat against the skin.

When you have finished giving your small dog a bath, below is a step by step process on how to groom that long fluffy coat.

1. After drying your dog, blow-dry the long coat to keep it from drying into tangles. With the blow-dryer on cool or low setting, work from the bottom up, using the pin brush or slicker brush to fluff-dry. Divide the hair into sections with the pin brush or slicker brush and hold them out from the body as you blow-dry.

2. Keep the blow-dryer moving over each piece of hair until it is dry, then work your way up. Start with the legs and rear end and work your way up and forward. Keep brushing and fluffing for fullness, keeping the coat free from tangles.

3. Finish by running a metal comb through the coat to make sure that you did not miss a single tangle or snag.

4. With a #10 blade on your electric clipper, shave your dog’s anal area to keep it clean and free of long hair and tangles. Be careful not to touch the blade directly on your dog’s skin. Another way of keeping this area clean is to clip it neatly with scissors.

5. Depending on the breed or if you like the idea of having your dog’s underside free of long hair, with the same #10 blade, shave your dog’s abdomen from groin to naval and down the insides of both thighs. Shave with the lay of the hair.

6. Trim between your dog’s paw pads with scissors, and if hair covers the feet, trim around the feet so the hair reaches the ground evenly around the paw in a rounded shape.

7 Brush and comb the hair on your dog’s head, ears, and face.

8. Stand back and look at the dog’s shape. Scissor any stray long hairs without changing the shape of the coat. Just look for uneven, stray areas that stand out after brushing.

9. To finish the dog and take advantage of the coat’s fluffiness, spray it with coat conditioner or coat dressing to keep it soft and in place, then brush lightly over the top of the coat to set. Brush from bottom up and from shoulders forward to fluff-the ruff. Fluff the tail, the body, and the chest.

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